Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On to the New Year

Christmas came quick this year. The day moved slow and easy, long and deliberate, just the way I like it. And now the new year is upon us; 365 more days to live -hopefully. What will we do with them?

 Job 19:25-27 says this:
I know that my Redeemer lives,
 and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
 I myself will see him
 with my own eyes-I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Not that what I'm about to say has much to do with that verse necessarily...but it got me to thinking.

Seeing something with the eyes can make the soul break open wild. And wild, well that's kind of been what I've always been. God made me that way. I just used it for my purposes instead of his.

I don't believe God ever drew a line in the sand and said, "Don't cross this."  But I do believe he drew that line just to see how far we might go for him. I have always chosen my own way. How about you? I wouldn't dare to put even a toe over to the wild side of God's dash and still here I sit questioning how to fully, wildly live. I'm convinced the only way to to step over.

"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey his voice, and that you may cling to him, for he is your life and the length of your days. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Heavenly Father,
My next 365 days...Use me. There is no greater purpose in life. You are my creator and I am your masterpiece gently molded by your hands. The road has been long and rough. I chose not the direct path, but the long winding one with many forks, all because you created a wild soul within me. There was something for me to learn and I have learned it. You are my God and I have faith you will go with me. I am willing. My eyes are open, my ears are not deaf. I have no excuse. I am capable because you have made me that way. You are a powerful God. Please Lord, show me the way. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

Here in the next year, this is how I will fully, wildly live- eyes aware of the world around me and ears listening to the voice of God.

How will you live wild?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Candle

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.  Isaiah 9:2


                     The last candle to be delivered tonight.
                    May His light shine forever in your hearts.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet Love

While it's still dark, he walks to the edge of the bed and searches out her face. He bends, and lightly  brushes his lips on her cheek. He moves slowly to her ear and softly whispers, "I adore you" -then he turns towards the door for work that beckons.

Of all the words he's ever spoken to her, it's those three that keep coming back. Over and over again.

                                                    I love this man...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Look

Love this photo! I don't think anyone else noticed what was going on but I am so happy I caught the moment forever. I clicked that button at just the right time.

Cooper slowly puts his arm around Mikah. She turns to him and says "what do you think you're doing?" To which Cooper just smiles. He doesn't say a word. He must be practicing for future years when he has his first real girlfriend. The look on Cooper's face is priceless to this mama's heart. I see it now, playing out just the same in about 10 years at a movie theater. That exact look as he shyly puts his arm around his girl.

I won't be there to see that one- but it'll be here before I know it. Until then- I'll love the innocence in this photo. It melts my heart. I love, love, love it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time is a wasting.

 Old man winter reminds me...

 I gaze out looking at the line where heaven meets dirt. The big orb shines light in the night sky and every detail is seen in every dead tree, every barn and silo outlined against the midnight blue and there is no other color. The world seems right with children giggling in the background as I notice all God's beauty in the shadows. The car moves fast and the landscape always changes and nothing stays the same. Time moves quickly and there's no grabbing on, no stopping father time.

Seems just yesterday I had my first pains and now have had two more since. The pain that lasts long and brings life. The pain that takes breath away only to witness a first breath taken. Yes, pain brings life in all situations.

Like Jesus dying on the cross. A painful death brings us life everlasting.

The Bible says...

-All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

-But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

-For the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Roman 6:23)

-If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9)

-Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.(Romans 10:13)

Jesus...the only one to pay the price for our sin.

Your first breath brought you life here on Earth, let His last breath give you life eternal in heaven. After all, it is the reason he was born.

Weird sometimes to talk about life and death. But the crows feet and laugh lines no longer need a smile to appear. They are permanent reminders of the years gone by. Don't waste anymore time. Will you pick up your cross and follow him?

To see this hard to watch video first go to the sidebar to the right and pause music.

                                     Before it's too late.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Always learning something

I learned something tonight.

 If you have something nice to say you shouldn't wait to say it.

It took days but I finally caught them at I thought.

A woman answers and I tell her good evening and hand the candle over wishing Merry Christmas. I tell her I'm wondering if she has a marine in the family that visited her about a year ago. She says no but the lady that lived here before passed away in March and she moved in in June.

I catch my breath this is not how I thought it would go. I tell her "oh, I wanted to come by and just tell her the story of something that touched my heart when that marine was here on this porch." I stand there collecting my thoughts. Saddened I hadn't come by before to tell the woman about her grandson. Not that it would've drastically changed the woman's life if I'd told her sooner but I bet it would've lifted her spirit. I bet it would've made her feel good, a little less lonely perhaps. But, she is gone now.

If you have something nice to say, say it.

So I wish Merry Christmas to the woman at the door again and tell her I pray the light of Christ warms her heart tonight.  She says thank you and as I turn to go I notice a tear in her eye. I think maybe she really needed this tonight and that is what I hope...but maybe she just noticed the tear in mine.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hard to believe Jesus would do such a thing.

Sometimes it's just not easy.

If I could count the number of times I let Him go the shame would rise on my cheeks, burn red hot like crimson. Foolish girl I am day by day. He is there and he calls me back home.

Far fetched...that's what some might say about the idea of a man dying on the cross for them and then rising again to make a place. I have wondered myself. Here is what I have to say about that-

I am not who I used to be. A young girl with no dream to carry in her heart going down a path of destruction just waiting for the world to fall down around her, and it did.

Who I am now, after years of turning away and coming home again, a woman with a dream ready to take on the world for Christ.

I've spent years, 11 to be exact, walking around doing things on my own with a thought that wrestles constant. "Don't you know the way"...

It's hard to always have that nagging thought. The conscience that says I'm here waiting when you finally come to your senses. Yes, being a christian is hard. The Man upstairs NEVER lets go even if you think you want him to.

That's a tough spot to be in, isn't it? But, why would he let go?

 God in the flesh...came down.

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
-Philippians 2:6-11

Why would he let me go? Beaten and bloody this man, my Lord, Jesus Christ hanging on a cross crying out in agony because of me and for me.

So hard to believe a man would willingly take that on for me, a wretched sinner day by day. Yes, so hard to believe. A man born to die.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Marine

I pass the house everyday on my way home. The scene played out as I drove by maybe 30 seconds tops. It's burned into my memory for well over a year.

A marine fully dressed with white hat and white gloves standing on the porch of his Grandma and Grandpa. He opens the door for them and waits for each to sit before he does. There on the front porch in the beautiful summertime sat this marine straight up and down erect back not touching the chair behind him as he visited.

I remember passing thinking how proud they must be of this man and as I drove by my softened bones grew rigid-proud to be an American. I think about that moment all the time. I don't know why. I remember thinking I too would want to sit on the porch show him off proud. So tonight I will deliver 'the Light of the world candle' to those grandparents and tell them what I saw and how it made me feel. I want them to know.

I pray for that proud marine today. I know not where he is or what he might be doing - but I still see him marine tall.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Some don't feel the eager anticipation of Christmas. For whatever reason they hurt and have shadowy places in their heart. They don't see the light coming in the distance. I say we don't  just wait for Grace to come. I say we bring some of that light to the world. Would you like to join me?

Each night December 1st-25th knock on a door, light a candle, and give it away. Pray the light of Christ will warm their heart tonight.

Is anyone else in?

If you hear a knock, answer that door. The Light is coming! Can you feel it? Can you see it? Christ is coming; the Light of the world is on His way...

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.---Isaiah 9:2  it goes on to say in verses 6&7...

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 I am 100% EXPECTING God to show up! Want to join?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Never too late...

Dreams sometimes just lie flat and die. Don't they? Don't get me wrong I love the life God has given me. This piece of the world he chose for me. My husband and kids are my life!

But let's face it, sometimes life doesn't turn out the way you thought it would.

 I was 20 and found myself pregnant and ALONE. A place where many young women find themselves these days. I've wondered for the last 15 years now why I made the choices I did. Why didn't I respect myself enough not to have sex before marriage? Why didn't I believe I was worth it all when I chose to do that drug or drink before I should've? Was I really just being a kid or did I not have a dream-- something that was bigger than myself.

Finally after all this time... I DIDN'T HAVE A DREAM. I was just living life for all it was back then. I was in it for me.

I'm starting to think that's what happens to most of our young girls that wind up pregnant. They just don't have a dream or they are too scared to try. Easier not try than to fail and possibly disappoint.

Maybe I actually did have a dream back then but it was just sleeping quietly in the shadows of my heart. Whether you are young or happens. The dream dying slow and deliberate. It is deliberate.

What if you had taken that step crossing the threshold of fear?  But instead you worry about what people might think of this crazy dream. So you stop dead in your tracks, you don't move, and it slowly fades into darkness. Life takes over, some get pregnant and some just settle for less than what their heart desires, and that dream it shrinks smaller and smaller til you believe you didn't have a dream somewhere in your soul to start with.

I've lived that dreamless life now for 35 years. Please remember I love my life I just have a longing in my soul. Do you feel that too?  I think God is bringing mine to the surface, shedding light in the corners. I'll share it with you some day. But what a shame to live this long and not be living my dream. But, better late than never, right?

My daughter is 14 and at that age where she thinks she knows everything and life doesn't go beyond this moment. I guess that's why I'm thinking about all this now. Hoping she has a dream and that I do everything I can to help her take the steps to fulfill that dream. Back her 100% no matter the dream because the dream is ALWAYS better than the alternative.

 So I ask her...she wants to be a police officer. She's been saying that for 2 years now- so can I just say YIKES!!  :) Why that, I ask? "I want to help people and do what I want to be doing all at the same time."

Help people...isn't that what we all really want to do?

I hope this dream stays alive in these next few years of high school and beyond. I hope she never forgets it. I hope she takes that step forward through her fear when the time is right.

 Until then................ I hope that dream roars like a lion in her soul.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

On this Veteran's Day I am taken back to 2 memories. The first- Going to Grama's house and selling poppies at the Veteran's Day parade every year. I had so much fun.

The second- Visiting my sister and her husband Marc who lived on base in Georgia. Everynight at 10 pm we went outside and listened to the buglar play taps. A very humbling experience. Never went back in without a tear in my eye.

Today reminds me of a poster I read just last night:

Winners are those who chose to do what noone else wants to do.

Thank you to all those who have and are serving in the military. You are all winners. Your sacrifice is not forgotten by this American. And sis-I know how much you have sacrificed too. I love you. You are a beautiful soul.
This is Shantel and Marc minutes before he left for his latest tour in Iraq. God bless you.

I pledge alligiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day #30 has arrived...and I've learned a few things.

The eyes are the window to the soul. That's how the saying goes, right? I believe it.

I miss so many things that are right in front of me.

There is this woman who stands on the street corner. I've seen her there so many times before and my thought is 'If she spent the same time looking for a job as she does on this corner she might not be homeless.' Sounds harsh doesn't it? I've passed her by time after time never looking her in the eye.

At the stop light that seemed forever long I rolled down my window and gave her a $20. I ask her name and tell her I've passed her by many times- but no more. I look her in the eye and tell her I will pray. She believes in me and I in her. All by the look in the eye. I tell you this not to boast "oh look what I did." I tell you this because of a heart changed. This is what I saw....Jesus. It was him standing there looking for help. How many times has he watched me pass him by? My heart aches at the thought.

Time and time again I lose my way. I never understand how I get to this point but I ALWAYS get to this point. That place where you wonder where you're at. You do so good for awhile but sooner or later it all falls apart. That's where I was when I started this challenge. God...awake my soul. My soul felt dead. I have since figured out why. Because I failed to pray. No communication with God equals separation from God. Separation from God equals lonely.

I eventually gave up on prayer because praying is hard. It is not for the weak.

I was looking for joy. And I've learned that the JOY is in the journey. The journey lasts a lifetime and that lifetime can be all you want it to be. You just have to ask.

"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.

Why do I believe this? Why should you believe me? Because I did it...and He didn't fail me.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets." Matthew 7: 9-12.

...and that is the answer to my question. "How do I make a difference in this world? How do I change the world?"

The 1st commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The 2nd is to love thy neighbor as thy self. And that, is how you change the world. Love your neighbor as yourself.

This journey doesn't stop here. But will continue. Where the next thing is I don't know, but I do know this...this time-this time I'm staying alive. This time I'm staying awake...wide awake for the journey. This time I'm praying my butt off! Why? Because I am anything but weak.

My eyes are open Lord. Show me the way...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So this is how God is keeping my soul alive on day #25.

I feel like I've been through hell and back the last couple of days.

Something was said of me that is untrue, but none the less, very hurtful. I tend to be the kind of person that dwells on things for awhile. I walk down the street and think,"hmmm, I wonder if they heard that and if they believe it?"

Perception is reality, right?

As I was crying myself to sleep the other night I heard God say,"You have already dealt with this issue there is no need to go back there again." I woke up the next morning told my daughter we weren't going to rehash all this again and that we were moving on.

Next day...this 'thing' was taken a bit further. Where the end of this goes I do not know. I will have to be patient.

What I do know is this...I know who I am in Christ. There is no wavering there. I am standing on the rock that is unshakable. No need to worry. No need to rehash. No need to dwell.

I am moving on.

I read something this morning that someone had posted on facebook. One of those perfect timing moments, ya know?

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as ain't how hard you hit; it's about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. If you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth." -Rocky Balboa

What Satan intended for evil, God intended for good. And that's how this soul is staying alive today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

End of challenge day #22...AWAKE MY SOUL.

Don't you just love those moments when someone surprises you? Not with the little stuff but with the BIG stuff? You know, the stuff that REALLY matters? The stuff that changes peoples lives. Well, my husband did that today. Can I just say HE'S AWESOME!!! I love that he gets me.

Thank you God for giving me this man. MAN. I love this MAN. I've been with some real doosies in my life...but this guy-he's for real.

Have you all ever listened to K LOVE the radio station? It's the right song at the right time I'm tellin ya. I think around Emporia it might be 99.1. I think. Kansas City it's 97.3. Give it a try, see if you can find it. Keep it dialed there for a few days and see if your life doesn't look just a little bit brighter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

End of challenge day #20...AWAKE MY SOUL.

So this sums it all up right here. This is exactly where I'm at...

Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"-
when you now have it with you.

Proverbs 3:28

Friday, October 15, 2010

End of challenge day #17... AWAKE MY SOUL.

I am sure there are many facets to finding the joy I'm looking for. Where to start is a hard thing. Been pondering it for a few days now. I guess the only thing to really do is search it out. To continue to pray God will reveal it to me.

But something in the back of my mind keeps telling me, with my own little journey I've got going on here, that I should start with gratitude. A grateful heart for all things even the small ones that I sometimes take for granted. I am thankful for what I have been given. I just think that maybe I'm supposed to show it more.

I just want that spark to be lit, ya know? That one thing that gives my life purpose. That one thing I and ONLY I was meant to do? The reason God created me just as he did. That one thing that helps me to change the world...even if it's just a piece of the small world I live in. I'll try anything Lord. ANYTHING to fulfill my purpose.

A grateful heart comes first.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:28

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

End of challenge day #14...AWAKE MY SOUL.

Okay, so it's not actually the end of the day but when something hits you in the face it hits you in the face. Does it ever happen to you...those times when you keep hearing something over and over again? Or you read the same word on a sign or in a song? And it finally, after a few days or weeks, makes your ears perk up and you start to wonder what is it that God is trying to say?

Well, this afternoon I figured it out. I think.

JOY. One small three letter word. Who ever knew it could mean so much? I think that is what my soul has been missing. Not the kind of joy where you put a fake smile on and pretend that life is grand- but the kind that is way down deep in the gut. The joy that bubbles out and over and makes you want to let your light shine kind of joy. Oh, YES do I want that. Been missing for far too long. I actually am not sure if I ever had it to begin with.

The joy some experience with the everyday things in life. The ordinary or what I might call mundane or boring. I wonder how you get that kind of joy. I'm hoping God will show me soon because I want to FULLY live this one life I have been given.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

End of challenge day #11...AWAKE MY SOUL.

So challenge day #11 has been fabulous. :)

I know it's late or early (me writting this) depending on how you look at it. But, isn't that true to life in itself. "It's in the eye of the beholder?"

We had baseball today(go figure) about an hour away from the house. We stopped to get me some coffee which I went into Quick Trip to get. Kyle gave me a 20 dollar bill to pay and I got a 10, a 5, and some change back. When I got in the car I set the change in the console.

We had gotten about 20 minutes out of town when we realized that Justin's baseball equipment wasn't in the car. Can I just say "duh" here please! So we headed back towards home. You can imagine the tension in the vehicle since we were now going to be running late. We get back into town and are stopped at a light where there are people collecting money for something or other. I grab the 5 dollar bill from the console and tell Kyle to give it to them. He looks at me and says, " Five bucks...really?" I said "yip" and gave him a great big smile. Apparently he should just be thankful I didn't grab the 10 dollar bill that was sitting there. :)

Kyle, being the great man he is rolled down his window and gave them the 5 bucks. In return they gave us 2 big tootsie roll pops which the boys enjoyed!

The mood in the car changed straight up. It didn't matter that we were now running late anymore. And can I just say that we ended up being right on time for warm ups for the game.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this. Even when things seem bad, your in a bad mood or whatever- give, give till it might hurt. It will change your attitude. The anger is replaced with thankfulness. Your soul is freed up to be happy. :)

We ended up losing both games. One of them we lost BIG. But who isn't about baseball.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

End of challenge day #8...AWAKE MY SOUL.

Today I went for a country drive after dropping Cooper off at preschool. There's just something about driving down an old dirt road, know what I mean? Windows down, music up, and the nostrils filling with the pungent scent of hay. I love it! I love what it does to my soul. Feels like it's opened up wide.

So here is the barn I came across- that I took a photo of- while I went for a ride- on an old dirt road- that had my soul singing this...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

End of challenge day #7...AWAKE MY SOUL.

Aren't friends just AWESOME. They can help get you through anything...

There's a blog I read everyday and have for years now. Tammy, who writes it, has been through alot in her life. She lost a daughter to SIDS and then recently lost a son to brain cancer. While trying to hold it all together even while grieving, she posted that she can't cook and that really bothers her. What a couple of her friends did for her is why I am posting this tonight. I am amazed at the power of friends. They can lift up a hurting soul just when it's needed. Before you read it I wanted to challenge you, myself included, to do something in the next week or two for a friend. Something spectacular. Something they would never dream would happen to them. Let them know how special they are to you. I bet you their soul could use the lift!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

End of challenge day #4...AWAKE MY SOUL

The other day I was sitting with a friend who had just moved into our neighborhood. She was talking about how much she loved it here and all I said was, "I like the neighborhood but I hate my house." My heart was almost instantly convicted. I should appreciate all that I have.

This house is much different than most we've lived in. Usually we buy ranch style homes but this is a tri-level and it takes forever to clean. Truth be told, I have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, food on the table, and a great family. Why should I gripe about my house just because it is different. It is actually beautiful. And being thankful for what you have...well, that's always good for the soul.

Lord, thank you for my home. I will never gripe about it again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

End of challenge day #3...AWAKE MY SOUL

So today I had a piano delivered to the house. It's been passed down through the family and I'm honored to have it grace my home. I have never played a lick of piano in my life. But, trying new things is good for the soul, right?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of challenge day #2

I got to hold a baby today. He felt so good and smelled so sweet. A little peace of heaven.

Met a friend at the park and we watched all our boys play together. The breeze was cool and the sun felt good on my face.

We watched them play in the creek. Her little guy went in with his shoes on first and I'm not sure why but I didn't think Coop would go in with shoes on. And he did. My first inclination was to holler at him but then I said,"screw it."

We watched our boys being boys and it was fantastic. It was like a big deep breathe of fresh air. A stirring of the soul. A reminder that things aren't always hard.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

End of challenge day #1

I started writing this challenge three different times before I finally decided to post it on facebook. Why? Well, because I like to be comfortable. You see, putting this out there for all of you to see means I am vulnerable. Some of you may think I'm nuts while others may think I'm just me.

I have a wide variety of friends. Some are Christians, some don't care, and some are atheists. Do you see why I might fear? What might people think of me? Truth be told, at this point, I no longer care.

My life has seemed mundane for far too long. I think it is time to live a less comfortable life.
So I ask God," What's the most important thing I can do with my life? How should I REALLY live?"

So I guess that's what God has given me on this first day of the challenge...a hope...a stirring of the soul. That my life truly does matter and it's possible that I could change the world. And I'm going to believe just that as I fall asleep tonight.


So if you are here I take it you've had that 200 pound backpack digging into your shoulders?

Well, the last year of my life has taken its toll. I feel tired and edgy like my soul has been in slumber for a very long time. A friend of mine had posted a song on facebook...

while watching it dawned on me how sleepy and heavy my soul has been. Almost as if I've just been going through the motions of being alive but am not really alive.

My comment to her about the video was the challenge of waking every morning for the next 30 days and asking God to awake my soul. I told her I knew my God well enough to know that He would be taking me on an adventure and that is just what I needed. How about you?

Starting today and for the next 30 days I am asking God to awake my soul. I am hoping to share something everyday here about how God is doing just that. I'll leave a link on FB for you. If you would like to join the challenge just leave a comment at the end of these posts about the way you're coming alive. I'm sure there will be some small things and some big. Anyway, I would love to hear from you.

In the words of my friend Leslie," Here's to new adventures and being awake...WIDE awake!"

If there is a real woman-even the trace of one-still there inside the grumbling, it can be brought to life again. If there's one wee spark under all those ashes, we'll blow it till the whole pile is red and clear. - C.S. Lewis