Monday, January 13, 2014

See You in Heaven

Last weekend I went to say goodbye to my Grama. I knew I wouldn't see her again before she died. She was 90 years old with Alzheimer's and a broken hip. Grama was lying in a hospital bed. I sat there most of Friday with my mom, not saying much but watching mom take care of her. I recall when we left that night Grama's eyes were still open and I told mom I hated leaving her while she was awake. It seems as soon as we got home that night my mom became sick with a fever and severe congestion. I told her I would go sit with Grama the next day.

I laid awake that night in bed thinking about a letter I had written my Grama about 8 years ago, before that dreadful disease started taking her mind. I told her of all the wonderful memories I had of being with her as a child. We used to get up in the wee hours of the morning before the birds started chirping to walk a mile or two and get her coffee and us hot chocolate. Halloween was always fun going around with our cousins trick or treating and at Christmas time around her tree seemed to be a hundred presents. There was always a fire going in the fireplace and a big bowl of nuts to crack. On Memorial Day we would sell poppies along the streets while the parade was going on. I wrote her all this so she would know I remembered all the things we did together and so she would know how much I loved her.

I also wanted to make sure she would be in heaven with me forever someday. So I asked her in this letter  if she had ever asked Jesus into her heart as Lord and Savior of her life. She wrote a letter back and it started out, "Oh honey I thought you knew! Yes, I have!" And she went on to tell me the story. She was 12. So as I lay there the night before I was to tell my Grama goodbye, with tears rolling down my face, thinking of all the memories, my soul was at peace.

When I arrived the next day Grama was going in and out of sleep. Every time she opened her eyes I'd get right in her face. I wanted her to know I was there. Eventually she woke up due to being in a lot of pain and stayed awake for quite awhile. I combed her hair and started talking to her. It was hard to understand much of what she said, but you could make out the words yeah, no, I know, and I love you.

We were eye to eye as I spoke to her. I told her what a great Grama she was and that she was such a beautiful lady. As I stroked her hair, I asked her if she remembered those silver dollar pancakes glistening with sugar that she always use to make us. I started to cry then and told her once again what a great Grama she was and how much I loved her. She just stared into my eyes.

I asked her if she would like me to wash her face. "Yeah." So I got a cool wash cloth, she doesn't like it warm, and I slowly washed her cheeks and then her eyes. I asked her if that felt good and she said yeah. I swabbed her mouth out with some water and then got her to suck on a straw and I tell you it was like she hadn't drank in days! Her eyes lit up. But she was so congested she began to cough. I kept talking to her when suddenly she said, "You tell him how hard this is!" I don't know who she was speaking of but I have my guesses. By this time I was still up in her face when the tears started again. I heard her say something about being worn out so I asked if she was. "Yeah." I said I know you are and it's okay. I love you and Jesus loves you and it's okay! I stroked her hair. Then I told her I'd be right back, that I needed to get a tissue from my purse, and as I walked to get it I heard something behind me and turned to look. Grama's entire head and shoulders were off the bed looking for me! I said," I'm right here Grama I'm coming!"

As I returned I asked her to give me a smile but she wouldn't. Finally about 20 seconds later she gave me the biggest grin. I said, "There it is" and smiled back. I was brushing her hair again when she said something I couldn't understand so I leaned my ear to her mouth and she said, "Wash my hands." I had to repeat her to make sure that's what she said and she said "yeah."

I got another cool washcloth and came back to the side of the bed. I gently took her hand from under the covers and slowly washed her fingers with it. Then she gently lifted her hand to my face and touched my cheek with her fingertips. I pressed my cheek into the palm of her hand and took a deep breath in and closed my eyes. She moved her fingers towards my eye as to brush away the tears. We just kept looking at each other.

She may not have remembered who I was, but a soul doesn't forget what love feels like...ever!
 She knew I loved her!

When she lay her hand back on the bed I gently placed it under the covers and tucked her in. I asked if that felt good and warm? "Yeah." And then the pain medication took over and she closed her eyes to sleep.

I wanted to shake her and wake her so this could go on forever but I recalled the night before telling my mom I hated leaving while she was awake. So I kissed her forehead lots of times.

I loved the feel of her warm skin! I whispered I love you in her ear and I turned and walked away.

The Lord has since called her home. Such a long beautiful life!

I can't leave it like that though. When I walked in that hospital room the first day I couldn't help but notice she was still wearing bright red fingernail polish! And this is the woman she was. I like to think I take after her.

RIP Grama! I love you and I will see you in heaven...

Joanna Bradburry
2/22/1924 - 1/11/2014

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

I've stood at the base of the mountain and looked up that 1,000 feet thinking ain't no way Lord. Ain't no way!
Spent days taking step after step and those days turned to weeks, and weeks turned into months. I'd lay awake at night crying into my pillow to the point I thought I'd drown. But...

You have seen my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? -Psalm 56:8

I walked every step up that mountain and I cried the whole way. I made it over the top and back down the other side and when I got there I took off running never looking back. Until yesterday. It has taken me YEARS to figure out that God had truly answered my prayers. You might ask what I had been doing all those years?

Not thanking God. Turned my back, gave Him the cold shoulder never realizing I'm through it. He has delivered me people, right on over to the other side of that big tall mountain. He set the path, gather my tears along the way, and wrote every step in His book. He did not forget me.

You might wonder why I believe every word of the Bible? It's because he made sure I lived through it so I WOULD believe it. I may not have liked the way he went about it, but I am here to testify IT"S TRUE!

If you think He does not see you, your pain, and that big ol' mountain before you...YOU ARE WRONG.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Is This a Midlife Crisis?

I have spent the last 10 plus years being a stay at home mom taking care of the kids and the house. My youngest is now in second grade. I recall when he first started kindergarten the elation, the oh man I'm gonna have all this time to do whatever I want, and I did. His first grade year rolled around and towards the middle of it I began to struggle. Now, just one month into his second grade, I sit here and wonder what I have become. Because really there are only so many times you can mop a floor and only so many loads of laundry you can do in a day. What has become of me?

I was a nurse before I quit to stay home all those years ago. Now I feel like I have nothing. NOTHING. No job to occupy my time, no kids to take care of all day, and I don't even have a clue who I am anymore. I feel like I gave it all up all those years ago and for what?

I, a very strong willed woman, have become dependent on a man. I text my 17 year old daughter yesterday, who is also very strong willed, and told her to keep trucking away at school and don't ever give up what you want and don't ever and I mean EVER become dependent on a man. She never responded. I wonder what she thinks of that.

I have been a lost lost soul. When I stop the pity long enough I realize my life has been exactly as I chose it to be. Every step and every decision I made for myself and it's time to take responsibility for it. It's not fair to my husband to have a sullen ticked off ungrateful wife who thinks she gave it all up just to take care of his kids. While he works away to provide I sit pissed off because I'm stuck with nothing. My heart has been overflowing with anger and I have to say I am sorry to the man who has provided me the privilege of watching my kids grow up and being there when they've gotten off the bus.

I am sorry. This is not your fault. We are a team.

I have surrounded myself with asking Why? What? How? Where do I go from here? for so long I never stopped long enough to make a move.

Today I took the first step into the next chapter of my life. I was born to help people. PERIOD. That is what God made me for. And I can not wait CAN NOT WAIT to see what He has in store for me. I can't wait to build relationships with people I don't even know yet. Because truly that's what life is all about right? Relationships.

I am so full of excitement to start this new journey! Who knew all I had to do was just take the first step?

Is there something you have been struggling with? Do you need to just take that first step into the next chapter of your life? Make that move! Stop that struggle!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Agree to Disagree

    Sometimes I don't always say things in a politically correct manner. Like last night during a small discussion on someones FB page about homosexuality. I was called heartless because I said I hope and pray my kids aren't gay. But, I also hope and pray my kids aren't drug addicts, alcoholics, or a gamet of other things. So I believe there to be no "discrimination" within the walls of my heart.

Dear Sir,

     If my kids came to me with any problem you would be a fool to think I would love them any less for ANY reason. You do not have kids yet so I don't expect you to understand the parental role. So I would like to explain something to you. I have every right to hope and pray my kids never have any extra struggles to deal with other than what life already has to offer. In fact, I see it as my job. The last few years I've had to deal with things I never dreamed would come my way. We are talking real pain, real suffering. Trust me when I say I know sometimes life sucks!

    I want you to know I have left a message with Chris Walker the guy in charge of the "letter to the editor" portion of the Emporia Gazette. I left a message for him saying I would like to write in a response to Joel Wessel's piece about "perversion". I told him I want to be polite and respectful in doing so and I also wanted to add some hotline numbers for those who might be in need of immediate assistance. I also asked what the guidelines were for writing in but I have not gotten a call back. I did it just as I told you I would. I am a woman of my word and regardless of what you think of my heart or lack there of, I ache for ANYONE who is hurting.

    I believe every human being was made for a purpose. I believe every human being is valuable to our world. I believe every human being is worthy of all good things. I believe the world is full of pain and sorrow. I believe people live in deep dark pits all alone searching for light. I believe if we as individuals don't start reaching down into that pit and lifting people up, this world will only grow darker and people more retched.

    I do not believe it is the job of the newspaper editor nor the job of the news anchor, unless on personal time if they so choose. I believe it's your job and it's mine.

    Best wishes to you and yours, Cheri Nace

                                                              HOTLINE NUMBERS

GLBT   1-800-850-8078


SUICIDE PREVENTION    1-800-273-8255

HOMELESS/RUNAWAY   1-800-231-6946

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE   1-800-799-7233



MENTAL HEALTH   1-800-447-4474


Monday, August 22, 2011


...a girl who came to her senses and wanted to come home where she belongs!

And as she started her first day back at school this morning, I am thankful.

    We continue to need prayer but I still believe that God can and will make all things new. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

What they see

I put my camera in the hands of my boys today. What is it they find beautiful? I don't know why I'm surprised at what intrigues their individual soul. A true reflection of their personalities...

Seems Cooper likes that which grows wild and free!


And Justin likes that which runs deep, is strong, and stands alone. The road less traveled...


 As we go along I remind them of how God created everything and if we open our eyes to see the beauty, we'll notice it's already been framed up. And we are smack dab in the middle of every beautiful canvas...

And everything is a gift from God

 with his personal signature on every magnificent piece!

  • post inspired by Ann Voskamp                                                                                                  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's next?

Thank God every morning when you get up, that you have something to do that day which must be done… ~Charles Kingsley

This is what I grasp for this morning...something that must be done. I find myself on most days spending my time searching for something that MUST be done besides laundry, dishes, or vacuuming. I mean isn't there something more important than this that I need to tend to?

I grasp for time passed, 4 or 5 years ago back to a time when we were all together. But time once laid down can not rise again. It is the one impossible. And I am struggling to find ways to fill my time so I live a life with no regret.

Time is the only infinite... but once gone, it's gone.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is Time

Dear Dallas,
I hope that somehow your eyes feast upon these lines and that you read them over and over and over. This is my heart. I've spent days wondering why things happened as they have questioning God, "Why us?"

I'm not asking him that anymore. I'm letting my mind lead the rest of me now.

I pull out my journal from years back and this is what I read. "I am so excited. We just found out that Dallas asked Jesus into her heart at Awana's last Wed. January 16, 2002. What a great day! Thank you Lord- You are so awesome. Lord, I ask that you might keep at Dallas' heart as she grows so that you might grow in her. She needs to know that she is saved. I pray that she will always listen and obey you. Lord you are mighty and you never cease to amaze me. It is so wonderful to know there is a God and to have a relationship with you. I have faith in you Lord that you can do wonderous miracles. God you are so awesome. My daughter's life has been saved by Jesus. How wonderful are your works! Make me whole in your love. I want nothing more than to know you. I can't seem to express my feelings. It seems no matter what I write or say, it's just not enough. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It's so great to know my daughter will be with you in heaven."

There is no doubt of that in my mind. In fact, 4 or 5 years later, God used you to lead your oldest brother to the Lord. We were sitting on the couch, just the three of us and you started talking to Justin about Jesus and how he died on the cross so that he would be forgiven of all he had done wrong. I jumped in with you and the next thing you know, Justin will be in heaven with us someday too. I can never thank you enough for starting that conversation, as your brother may have not done it at any other time. Do you have any idea how awesome that is? God used you to get someone else to heaven! What a priviledge. You were always so bold about your faith when you were younger. You even got the neighbors praying before their meals, and at school you would pray at the table before lunch where people would join you. Such great boldness!

So right now here in this time we are in, this is how my mind is leading...

You went from our house, a place where God is known, to a place where God is not known. Your Dad has not asked Jesus into his heart. Let me boldly say this to you Dallas, we both know the ONLY way to heaven is to believe that Jesus died on the cross as payment for your sin and that he rose on the third day to prepare a place for those who believe. You might just be the only love of Jesus they see. It is time to get to work my love. It is time to reach deep and find that boldness again. Speak to them about the love of Jesus. Ask them to take you to church. It is time...this may be the only chance to have your dad in heaven with you someday. Right now, nothing else matters but this. It's the least I can do to share you for such a great task. God has plans and they never fail. Please find that voice soon, get the job done so you can come home where you belong. I will pray everyday that you are strong and you find your boldness so your dad and his family have a chance to know the Lord.

You are special. You are chosen.

All my love always,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

He will not delay

A couple of nights ago I spent hours listening to the whirl of the ceiling fan and I cried. Just broken. I started thinking of my girl riding her little motorized 4 wheeler in the backyard with her blonde bouncing curls so many years ago, big smile on her face. And the time her dad (the one that raised her) took the training wheels off her bike and taught her to ride it without them. A lifetime of memories flooded my mind. And as the pillow soaked up my tears I prayed for her and begged God to make me whole again.

The next day the boys and I were running errands, me with my headache from a night of crying and still in a somber mood. That's when God got my attention, just to say "don't forget who I am and what I can do."

We were driving along listening to KLOVE. This song was playing... go ahead and start listening to it if you'd like but you may have to pause the music to the right first.

So we're driving along at 45 mph when a bird starts flying next to my window for a few seconds and then lands on it. He just sits there at 45 mph till we get to our destination where I am able to stop and snap a picture on my camera phone. I'm telling you that bird sat there for 4 blocks staring me right in the eye everytime I looked at it. And this came to mind instantly

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7

And reading this this morning just drove it all home. Something my heart knows full well but my mind forgets...

..."there is nothing you can want, there is nothing you can ask for,

there is nothing you can need in time or in eternity,

there is nothing living, nothing dying,

there is nothing in this world, nothing in the next world,

there is nothing now, nothing at the resurrection-morning,

nothing in heaven

which is not contained in this text —

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

~Charles Spurgeon

My God did not delay.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The days of glory

These are the glory days. That's what I thought last weekend on the way to Justin's baseball tournament. The sun was dawning as we were coming into downtown Kansas City that morning. The word glory came to mind. I knew right then those boys were gonna win the whole thing. These are the glory days.

They had gone undefeated playing 7 games. I wish you could've been there that day to see the face of every boy. The jumping and whooping, all the hollering. It was a beautiful moment. These are the glory days. That's what my mind keeps thinking.

So they win one of the biggest tournaments there is and the coaches give them a week off. NO BASEBALL! Except for the team trip to watch the Royals play. All the boys sat in the row in front of me. Smiles on their faces, eating nachos, and dancing like crazy just to get on the jumbo tron and they did, several times. And all I could think of while sitting there watching these crazy boys was these are the glory days. Ahhhh to go back and be young again...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Day

Woke up this morning, the last day of school here, thinking back to this moment...

The first day of Dallas' freshman year. My, the places it has taken me! Places I never dreamed. I keep thinking about how quickly time is passing by and that this seems like just yesterday. Where did it all go wrong? And as her school year in Colorado winds down on Tuesday all I'm doin' now...praying to God she is bored stiff at her dad's.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's only one day

I'm sitting here thinking to myself it's only one day. May 23rd, my daughter's 15th birthday.

It was no fun when we went shopping for her. I had a lady working at AE come up to me and ask what I was looking for. Nothing in particular was my response but she kept prodding till I finally told her a gift for my daughter who's turning 15. To make a long story short that is when the experience went down hill.

What I wanted to tell the lady is this, " Could you please just leave me alone. My girl no longer lives with us. She lives with someone who didn't raise her. Someone who has missed birthdays without calling, months with out calling, and many times not even a card was sent. So honestly lady, it would do me good if you'd get out of my face and go help someone who wants it." But I didn't say it. I bit my tongue. No reason to ruin her day.

What was going through my mind was all that I'll miss at this age. Like teaching her to drive and handing over the keys to her first car. Her first date. Helping her get her first job. Taking her to pick out a dress for the school dance. And her friends...I'm missing them too. Her graduation isn't far off with time moving so fast.

Sometimes I even wonder if I'll get to help pick out her wedding dress, though I know that one is a long way off. But most of the time I wonder why God would choose to give us this girl to raise and then at the most crucial time take her away and hand her over to someone who didn't do all the work. I know there is a reason.

It's your birthday and I have to keep telling myself, "It's only one day, just one day in this life on earth. It's just one day." And I thank God that his mercies are new every morning. And I thank God that someday I'll be singing his praises forever. FOREVER. And today is just one day.

I love you Dallas, my first true love. I miss you. Happy 15th birthday.

Pause music to the right first.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bud

Neighbors who think I'm worth it deliver this to me. It makes me smile and brightens my day.

But it's this that speaks loud to my heart.

One little flower beginning to burst open in color and I think yes, beauty waits to come alive at just the right time. Somewhere underneath all the mess and darkness, all the tears and pain, beauty does exist. And God's
perfect timing will bring it forth.

My frame was not hidden from you
 when I was made in that secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
 were written in your book
 before one of them came to be.
                       Psalm 139:15-16

God knows the struggle that has come your way and he puts your tears in a bottle and he promises to make all things beautiful.(ECC. 3:11)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fear Not

I'm amazed a what fear can do to a life. Chokes it out, flames gone, and only smoke rises in the cosmos. And that smoke will disperse too leaving nothing behind. Nothing. Fear flat out turns life into death. There's no hope, no stirring of the soul with fear. And that same fear leads to a life of little opportunity. There is no faith in fear.

That's where I was for a long while...till the day I decided to just say YES! And I'm equally amazed at what one yes can do to a life. Turns it right around. The grass is greener the sky is bluer it's like falling in love. A life can bud right open with one small yes.

Sometimes it's taking that first step, that one yes I'm gonna step out and in, to break that soul wide. Man does it feel good. I suck that air down deep when I'm living the yes. Oh how I know it's that first yes that thrashes and rips at the heart. It's the wrestle you think will do you in. But remember there is someone on your side...

For I am the Lord, your God,
  who takes hold of your right hand,
and says to you, Do not fear;
   I will help you
                       ~ Isaiah 41:13
There is freedom in the yes!

Are you in fear today? of anything? Is it holding you back from saying yes? I challenge you today to take that step of faith, in that one word yes, and believe the doors will be opened for you. Just do it. Just say yes, let the struggle be over, and opportunity will knock on your door.

Heavenly Father, I just pray today for those struggling with yes. That you might crack that door of their heart open just enough for them to see some light. When they say yes Lord, bust down that door and let opportunities fly their way. I know first had how powerful you are God and I'm asking you to show it the lives of those who say yes today. In Jesus' name and all according to your will, Amen.

* If you are reading this today and have decided to say yes, to something big or small, please come back and share it with me. I am praying for you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

He walks around the dim room searching, looking for warmth of sun. Just a beam of light from the window falls on the floor, but he seeks it out and finds it. Never fails. Dog does it every time. How is it a K-9 can figure out how to find comfort when needed but this simple minded human seems to always forget.

The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
~ Psalm 119:130

That dog does it over and over again. Why not me?

I've spent the last few years struggling with one problem after another. I'd seek out the Son for a little while trying to find peace or comfort, but when things didn't happen quickly I'd move on. A woman of no patience I am. So I'd sit in my struggles day after day and before I knew it, sitting there was what I did best.

Practices makes perfect, right?

I've come to the conclusion I need to form a habit much like the dog. If I want something I have to go find it, time after time I'll have to get up and go seek out the Son till it becomes my first reaction.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.- Matthew 7:7-8 

Keep knocking on the door. Keep seeking out the Son. Keep asking God...and you will find your way. Just don't give up! Be persistent and soon you will not forget where to go. It'll be old habit. Practice makes perfect. Over and over. Time after time.

Heavenly Father, I pray today that I continue to seek you in all circumstances. Help me to not give up when I want to be impatient and help me to keep pushing through. Lord, I know if I could only see the number of times I gave up just before the finish line I would be more diligent to continue to seek you always. Let me look you full in the face. I thank you so much that you were, are, and always will be the same. I am so glad you never change. In Jesus' name and all according to your will, Amen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Building my nest

I turned to look out the window and notice the green leaves breaking forth from tree limbs and I thank God. Even out of the cold dark bowels of earth life bursts forth. It all looks so beautiful against the bright blue sky.

                                                It reminds me that there's nothing God can't do.

And I think if he can do that then he can bring life back to my relationship with my daughter. But first things might have to be cold and dark for awhile. So, in the mean time...

As I'm watching out my window he gives me another reminder. One bird after another flying by with makings for a nest and God is telling me something here.

 While I'm my nest. A place of solace and refuge in the storm. My boys need a nest. I think of all the smiles they've brought to my face, all the laughter from my belly since the day in March and I see. We are a family and that's how you get through. Stick together, pray, and build a nest.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding Joy!

What good is it for a child to have a bitter angry mother? One who sees no joys, no laughter, no fun?
Today I have absolutely nothing on the agenda. The boredom and mundane take flight again. Where is the joy?

Friends call up to see how I am and the answers always different. Today is good but call me tomorrow and you'll get a different answer. I'm about as unsteady as a glass of water teetering on the edge of the counter. Wouldn't it be nice to flow steady like a river?

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

Train your children how to find joy. Let them see how giving thanks to God for all things brings joy into the heart.

The fireball in sky rises bright bringing heat. Warmth that feels far away from winter. I think I'll start with that today.

#89...fireball rising in sky
#90...bunnies nestled in grass
#91...tulips that open to the sun
#92...birds perching high on rooftops

Research shows that youth who are ungrateful are “less satisfied with their lives and are more apt to be aggressive and engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as early or frequent promiscuous activities, substance use, poor eating habits, physical inactivity, and poor academic performance.”

Back in 2009 I started teaching this to my kids. Lasting long it did not. I had this book on a table where we could write down our thanks. On 9/26/09 this was my entry- Thank you Lord for the life you have given me. It is so good.

Justin happened to look and saw it, to which he followed suit and wrote this on 9/28/09- Thanks God for the water, land, and creatures. Also, thanks for the 7 days of light and the 7 nights of dark.

That was it folks. That's as far as it went. And I keep thinking if I had been diligent in showing the way of thanks would Dallas still be here with us in our home. Would she have eventually followed along too and found the joy that so many long for?

 Remember above what research says?

I don't want to risk it anymore. I truly believe that giving thanks is the key to finding and experiencing joy. And there is NOTHING on earth I want more for my kids than to have a grateful heart filled with joy. NOTHING MORE. We're coming up with a plan today and I'll be back to share it.

Today begins our journey as a family. The long steady flow of the river...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Living the only way I know how...

It's 8:10 on this Monday morning. What I really want to do is go back to bed and forget that this world exists. Yes, that sounds mighty good to me. Instead I write this because, well because at some point I have to move my feet and I guess today is the chosen day.

As some of you know we have allowed our very soon to be 15 year old daughter to move to her biological father's. That is 14 hours away from me. It was not an easy choice to make but was one that I believe in my heart had to be made.

Thursday will make 1 month since she has been gone and on May 23 she will turn 15, the first birthday I won't get to spend with her.

The first 2 days after she left I spent in bed, sad. I would sit up long enough to play board games with my boys whenever I knew they needed attention but that was about all I got done. Until some very good friends came by to see how I was doing. They had recently lost their daughter/sister. That is to say, lost her till they join her in heaven where there will be no more separation ever again.

I had just gotten out of the shower when they got here and hadn't even made it downstairs yet. I hadn't actually been down there for 2 days. I was slightly embarrassed at how dark and dim the house had been while I tucked away in bed so I went down to push the curtains back with a "let me get some light in here."

I've felt better since their visit. Almost a month has passed since Dallas left. I recall so clearly the hug I gave her as she walked out the door with this mama heart wondering if it would be the last one. I buried my nose in her long thick beautiful hair and inhaled long and deep. She smells so good. And then poof she was gone.

Fourteen years I've raised her. 14. A daily part of my life. The first few days I would think "it's five o'clock, time to go pick her up from track." But, no. No track. No more endless ringing of the phone. No daughter here with me. It's quiet. Very quiet. And I feel like I walk around mechanical because I don't remember how to move. How do I live this life without her here with me?

I know God has a plan for everything. That this too all has a greater purpose, that this had to happen in order for something else to happen.

 Daily I wash my robe, the sin off my skin. ( Revelation 22:12-16)...and I wait.

Writing this- left foot down. Pushing the post button- right foot down. Mechanical? I will live the only way I know how.

"To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain , O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
     ISAIAH 40: 25-31

Friday, March 4, 2011

Isn't it all in the name?

 A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22:1

...and it's everywhere in this place.

and I remember this too, always...

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

A good name is better than fine perfume. Ecclesiastes 7:1

And a good name it is. I am so blessed to be a part of this family. Thank you Mr. Kyle Nace for choosing me. You're a good man and that is why I love you. Mr and Mrs...always from this day forward...

Happy 11th Anniversary!!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What to do? What to do?

So I'm sitting here on yet another snow day for my kids wondering what to do. To be honest my first inclination is to lay in bed all day on this computer and watch tv. That would pass the time and require next to no energy. I am getting old, ya know? Wasting away with this time just sitting around.

How much fun is that? How productive is it? Why can't I get motivated to live?

The sun is shining so bright today, setting of sparks of color from every flake of snow. But I don't really know it, see it. The light is coming through drawn curtains. Why are the curtains drawn? It is a beautiful day and the light falls on surfaces whispering to me, "come alive."

The bedroom door is half open with the sound of the dishwasher and a movie flooding in. I hear my oldest talking on the phone. I wonder if I hollered "let's go outside" if they'd drop everything to get ready?

But do I really want to do that? I go downstairs to make my 2nd cup of coffee. I notice how dark the living room is so I go down and open the curtains. Awww, there. More light for today. As I come upstairs I notice I shut my bedroom door behind me, keeping out all the noise of the day. Before I sit I turn to open it back up.

I hear my youngest laughing with his brother as if to say, "it's time to play." My oldest is on youtube and the song she is playing...I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me and I start to think...

It's time to go meet God here. Right here in this place. He is all around. Everything is God beautiful. And it's time to play.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chapter 6: 1000 Gifts

Ann asks us in this chapter, "What do you want?" The answer is easy for me. It is the same as Ann and I think maybe that is why I enjoy her writing so much, why I got this book. I just knew. We want the same thing. What you want may be a different thing but just take time to figure it out.

So to sum it up I'll just put some things from the book that jumped out at me.

What do I want?

" Lord I want to see." (Luke 18:41) pg.108

And whether I am conscience of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it's Him and not the thing?" pg.112

That is what makes us persevere through a life: to see Him who is invisible! pg 115

I long to live all eye.  pg 115 ( This is my prayer, that I live all eye.)

Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing. pg.121

#34...warm wash clothes
#35...sleepy yawning eyes in the morning
#36...little voices singing

It's all God beautiful, really.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapter 5: 1000 Gifts

So here's what I'm taking from this chapter...

Dark days are going to come your way. They have and they will. You want a right relationship with God when those days do come. Listing the ways he loves is a good way to start knowing God.

# 29...sound of wind chimes
#30...the pink in sunset across the sky
#31...smell of charcoal grill

Kyle said to me last night, after reading my list, "I don't get how some of this stuff you see as a gift from God. Like your first one, the sound of Kyle shoveling snow before the sun has risen. I don't see that as a gift. I have to work hard to do that. I hate shoveling snow."

Yes, but you are alive to be able to do it and I am grateful for that. And I don't have to be able to hear the wind chimes, see that pink hue in sunset, or smell that charcoal. At any moment I could go blind or deaf or whatever. Darkness could fall at any moment but for now I get to experience all these things. And I want to thank God for them because they are a gift. God's grace towards me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chapter 4: 1000 Gifts

"We are all merely shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing" (Psalm 39:6). pg.65

I actually feel that deep. I can't stand busyness. I don't want to sit around doing nothing but constant motion drives me mad. I love to be still.

Kyle used to come to me and say "on Monday we have these 3 things, on Tuesday we have this, Wed. and Thursday we have to go here and do this, oh and next Friday I'll be out of town for 3 days and you'll have to take care of everything then.

My man is just made that way. He loves to stay busy. It's who he is and I love him. Sometimes on the way to kid's sporting events we'll be in such a hurry even though we leave an extra 30 minutes early. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Fights start, moods change, and right before your eyes...the hurry has emptied our souls. pg.67

Haste makes waste. pg. 66

It makes you feel like there is never enough time. I don't like feeling that way.

I finally told Kyle one day, when he was running down his list of the weeks events, "Stop, I don't want to hear it. Tell me 2 days before you have to leave town. No sooner please and don't list off the events of the week anymore. It stresses me out. I feel the anxiety rise in my cheeks. I need to be all here, right now, not constantly thinking about all that has to be done and that there's not enough time for it all."

And I love this most. The way she writes this. It clicks in the brain. "Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. I'd never considered those to words, the bridge words there in the middle, the crossing over that took the not enough and made it enough.
 Gave thanks... Eucharisteo."

There wasn't enough bread but Jesus took it and gave thanks and by doing so it was made more than enough.

You see, it's happening. Finally, I'm getting it. I am a hunter of beauty and I want to move slow and keep the eyes wide. I hunger to taste life. pg.71

Take this moment. Notice this moment. Give thanks for it. In good times and in bad. And it will be enough.

In my head I know it. See it clear. Slow, taste, give thanks. This precedes the miracle ~ joy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is love?

Love is...

#9...dangling red hearts

Love is~ roses to his love

Love is~ #11...valentine's from school

Love is~ masking tape roses made for his mama

Love is~ #13...reminders of what to do

Love is~ heart valentine's made at school displayed high above door frames

Love is~ #15...homemade valentine from his wife that sets on his bedside table

Love is~ #16...words that remind me to slow and see

Love is~ #17...roses from her daddy(the one who raised her)reminding her the true love of a father...a man

Not all love is red, I know.
It's right there already highlighted in my husband's Bible.

Do you see it right there in black and white? GOD IS LOVE. And I think it over, and yes, this love is red too. Blood red.

#18...this love hangs

#19...and His love is all around

So look and SEE and count the ways he loves...

(says Ann Voskamp)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 3: One Thousand Gifts

"Just naming it...Just naming it. When you don't have the name for something, you're haunted by shadows. It ages you." (pg.52)

For almost a year here recently I lived that. The not knowing, the unnamed. Blood test after blood test. Bone density tests, holter monitor's and EKG's. Endocrinologists who say every thing's fine here. NO NAME. It ages me.

This is my baby we're talking about here. I wanted the mystery solved so I didn't have to live in the shadows anymore. Finally, a gastroenteroligist names it. Celiac Disease. An autoimmune disease that destroys the intestines if gluten (wheat, barley, or rye) is ingested.  We have a name, we research it, and we know what to do and we move on.

It aged me.

Here I am again not even a year later looking to solve another mystery. Needing another name for something else that has gone wrong with my girl. More needles and more tests. No name yet...(since I wrote this the Dr. called and she was dehydrated and low on potassium. That's why she collapsed at school) Praise the Lord for that. I thought she was going to be diabetic on top of the Celiac. God is good...all the time.

All of that just to say, "I totally get how giving a name to something allows you to see it for what it is."

And like you, I have been in plenty and I have been in want. If I am to be totally honest with you, right now I am in want. I am fully aware that I have not given thanks in ALL circumstances. But I believe it's time. I want to learn to live fully. I want to learn to be thankful whether empty or full, in plenty or in want. (pg 47)

Something on page 61 strikes me like a blow. "Life change comes when you receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change."

I don't think I've ever done that. I feel sorry for my girl and want things to change for her...I'm not gonna lie.

But, life change comes when you receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.

So, I have to start somewhere and maybe the not asking for things to change will come in time. On page 57 Ann says this,"There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up."

...and if I name them I will see them for what they are. A GIFT!

The beginning of my giving thanks in all things...

                                   My SEEd list: a hunt to see God's love for me

#1...the sound of Kyle shoveling snow before the sun has risen
#2...the street light illuminating the falling snow
#3...I get to do her laundry


Monday, February 7, 2011

Week Two: One Thousand Gifts

I'm sitting here reading the first part of this chapter, the part where she is having a nightmare about being diagnosed with cancer, and the way she describes it sends chills through. While she was birthing her 6, and cleaning floors, and kissing their daddy this cancer was taking over her body.

And it got me to thinking, what if? What if that's happening to me right now? I do a lot of griping in this life to not know how many days I have left. And no one knows how much longer you get to live. No one but God.

I live somewhere in between living fully alive and living in nothingness.


She's right. It's the in between that leaves me always wanting more.

BUT...I am learning that it's joy I want. And Joy comes from giving thanks(eucharisteo).

Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.    Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.    Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.

 I keep thinking if I say it enough it might sink in. 

I am reminded of some things I wrote awhile back, here and here.

Seems God has been stirring my soul about this for some time now. And now this book. All the stars are aligning. I love it when he does that. Thank you God.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we all open our eyes to see all the gifts you have given us. May we give thanks for them all. And Lord bring joy to our hearts. We are sorry for the things we do wrong; the selfishness, the anger that rises, and the many more. Please forgive us and help us open our eyes wide to beauty. Thank you for all you have given. In Jesus' name and all according to your will, Amen.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Can't Breathe

This morning my oldest son decides he hates trying out these contacts. He wants his glasses and where are they? It's been three weeks and we haven't gotten them yet. There is no time. I feel like a bad mom.

My youngest son has some eye issue going on for two months now. It just won't clear up. He woke up this morning with the same red eye after I thought it was finally gone. I called the eye Dr. and he gives me new drops. This is the 4th one.

One phone call this afternoon. That's all it takes for the fear to rise. I'm in the middle of the grocery store and she tells me she's the nurse from the high school. Dallas has collapsed at school. She got dizzy and down she went. Had to have help to get to the nurse and she asks if she is hypoglycemic. I tell her no but that she has Celiac Disease and it can cause all sorts of problems. She asks if she can give Dallas ibuprofen for her headache as she hit her head on a chair and has two big bumps. I talk to Dallas and she says is fine now. Had I known all the story then I'd have picked her up from school and taken her to the Dr. immediately. More blood tests, more needles. She is prepared.

I'm taking the meat off of a chicken and give the wishbone to my 5 year old to do with his brother, he drops it on the floor and the dog gets it. I try but can't get it from the dog and he swallows it whole. I call the vet and he tells me what to do and what to watch for.

And I think again about Dallas. And it's this. All that I can think about. Fear grips me tight like a noose around my neck. I can't breathe. I go outside and I suck in the cold air deep. Breathe. I am not in control. I am not in control.

Then I hear the melody of a birds song. What used to be background noise is now music to my ears. And it reminds me...

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? - Matthew 6:26-27

God is in control. Easy to say. Sometimes so hard to believe.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Week One: One Thousand gifts

Seems we all have things that brand our lives, don't we? Things that we never forget. And regardless of time spent thinking on it and thinking of it, trying hard to move passed; it's never gonna go away. That is life. A very harsh reality.

I have followed Ann's blog for years and never knew this was all part of her story. Not until I began to read the pages did I ask in the world has she moved passed all this-darkness? It wasn't 'in the world' that she got through it, but in Christ Jesus. That's how.

Not too long ago I met with an old friend to catch up. She told me about some very serious marriage problems she is having. After listening to her I recall saying, with tears running down my cheeks, "I have been in some very dark places in my life. And it's in those places that you learn to love the light."

THANK GOD there is light even in darkness. But, what Ann says is true, it is a choice. God always leaves it a choice.

After all, he is a God of love not a God of force. He waits for you to call him. He waits for YOUR love. Seek him.

Thank God there is light somewhere in this black hole.

That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart aching beauty beyond. ~Ann Voskamp

This is my prayer for all of us-

Dear God,
   I pray each one of us reaches for you, that you are the one we seek in time of need, in time of crisis, and in times of darkness. There is so much darkness Lord. I pray we seek the light that is you. And you are faithful God. You are always there. May we feel that deep inside today Lord. Carry us till we can put one foot in front of the other again. Forgive us when we desperately try on our own. Thank you for who you are...The Everlasting Faithful God. In Jesus' name and all according to your will, Amen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Of all the things the eye can see
when you go for a walk

In search of beauty...

                                                             You might be surprised

                                                          If you opened up your eyes


to see the wonder of it all