Sunday, November 13, 2011


I am at peace, because He is with me.  In similar circumstances in the past, I would have cried.  I would have felt helpless and lost.  But not now.  Not anymore.  I am convicted.  I have been set free.  I know Truth.  I know God. 

I closed my eyes and called out to Him.  He comforted me. 

I reach for my Bible, unsure of what I am looking for...I find Psalm 18

"1I love you, O Lord, my strength.  2The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer...5The cords of death entangled me, the torrents of destruction overwhelm me...6In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From His temple He heard my voice...7The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because He was angry.
16He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.  17He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me...19He rescued me because He delighted in me. 
20The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me.  21For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not done evil by turning from my God.
25To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, 26to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd.
30As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him...32It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect...34He trains my hands for battle...36You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
46The Lord lives!  Praise be to my Rock!  Exalted be God my Savior!"

He is ever-present in my time of need.  I will not doubt His perfect timing.  I will hold steadfast to His promise.  He will deliver me.  He will.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

accepting the challenge

 i've heard the term "bucket list" used over and over, but i hadn't ever before accepted the 'challenge' to actually write it down.  so here it is...

pass the CPA exam.  learn how to sew.  start a photography business.  visit Europe, South America, Austrailia, Albania, England...  finish The Holy Bible.  have another baby.  ski, snowboard, surf.  climb a mountain.  drive cross-country.  be a room-mother.  coach a team.  write a song.  have a video go viral.  model my son.  stay married until death-does-us-part. {not in any particular order}

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If the moon stays out until morning

Cooper has noticed the moon out during the day, because he remembers what I read to him from

Nancy Tillman's On The Night You Were Born
"If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…"

My son knows that he is loved.  And that means the world to me.  We make a big deal out of it, when he points it out in the sky.  Because it IS a big deal in his little world.  And his little world is my whole world.  

He requests it, by name, 'Bears Dancing'


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Be Brilliant

A very good friend of mine reminded me of something I came to know in my heart to be true, about forging close friendships with other mothers...God wrote us into each other's stories so that we may mother together We aren't meant to do it alone.

Shelly Radic, in her book Momology, eloquently puts it this way, 
“In the midst of bonding with one little human being,
we feel very isolated from the rest of the world.”

It's a dangerous place to be:  Isolation.  You're trapped with only your own thoughts.  Criticisms.  Perceptions.  You need at least one "safe" person to talk to.  Someone who will listen, encourage, uplift, and not judge you or your circumstances.  No matter what.  An unconditional, two-way street, kind-of friendship.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime find.  Seek her.  Find her.  Hang on to her.    

"God is stirring those whose hearts are longing to see these loose ends tied up.  Those are connections we need to actively search out and begin to develop.  Sisters, I believe it is our time.  Nurture, the language of the feminine heart, is being restored as women arise, recognize each other, and begin to connect for strength and purpose.”
--Lisa Bevere, Nurture

Be that friend to others.  Reach out.  Be brilliant.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. 
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
--Marianne Williamson, quoted in Lisa Bevere's book, Nurture.

This quote was so empowering for me.  When you are surrounded by people who make you feel yucky, find a different circle.  There are others like you, and they're looking for you, too.  Don't surround yourself with women (or men) who dim your light, take the wind out of your sails, steal your joy, or want to compete with you.  
In my son's favorite bedtime story, The Night You were Born, Nancy Tillman says, 
"You are the one and only you." 
  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.”
~Psalm 139:13-14

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Praise Report!

For anyone who has been "keeping up", you may have noticed how God has moved mountains in my life.  I started this blog out of desparation.  I was lost.  I was scared.  I didn't know how to ask my husband if he'd allow raising our kids in The Church.  I hid this fear from my Christian social circle.  I was ashamed.  He had been against it in previous discussions.  I knew I didn't want to defy him.  I didn't want to go behind his back.  I didn't want to take on the battle.  I did not know how to ask him.  I asked HIM, instead, to move this mountain for me. 

I not only found the courage, but the joy, not only to attend church, but to truly believe.  My husband is not only supportive, but he's proud.  Encouraging.  He tells me, daily, how proud he is.  He tells me how he has seen the change in me.  And how it has helped him to change his own perspective.  To gain a perspective of gratitude.  We're less likely to seek, or expect gratitude. We're learning how to appreciate our countless blessings, and appreciate each other.  He tells me about the conversations he has with other people, how he brags about the fact that his wife takes his boys to church every Sunday.  He tells me how envious everyone is.  I used to be envious.      

He believes me when I say "I prayed for that."  Now, he's asking me, "did you pray about that?"  Yes, actually, I did.  I pray often, about everything.  And when I asked him why he thought I go to church each Sunday...he shrugged.  He sort of knew.  I gather he thought it had something to do with our boys.  Or needing to find a place in this life, in this world.  No.  That's not why.  (Although, those are wonderful derivatives.)  This is why:  I go to thank Him.

And, there's more.  My two-year old says, "Thank you, God.  Amen."  He nearly recites a book we read, every night, titled Thank You, God.  (for everything).  He says "God bless you" to Daddy when he sneezes.  He won't grow up, as I did, not knowing if there's a God or not.  God is apart of his vocabulary and apart of his life. 

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

My teenager, a year ago, was a self-proclaimed, 'conformist' athiest. [this is someone who was raised Catholic, and endured the year-plus Confirmation process.  how could i lead him back?]  We fought nearly every day.  I carried guilt over being an "evil step-mother."  I felt like a failure, because he couldn't pass his classes.  I couldn't get him to even care.

Leave it to God to use a cute girl to ask him to come to youth group, one Wednesday night.  Once I saw the willingness, the 'I'm-not-so-completely-against-it' surrender,  I took him to church with me.'s just what we do Sunday mornings.  No questions asked.  No reluctance (well, there's a little reluctance; he is a teenager, afterall).  He wore a rosary to his first day of school.  His senior year.  He's on track to graduate early.  How much more proud can a mother be?  When Pastor's Wife prayed a back-to-school blessing over him that ended with "this will be your Finest Hour," he believed it.  Enough to want a tattoo that says, "Finest Hour." 

We'll see about that.

"As for me and my house, we WILL serve The Lord." ~Joshua 24:15


Sunday, August 28, 2011

...but a breath

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. 
Remind me that my days are numbered--how fleeting my life is. 
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. 
My entire lifetime is just a moment to You; at best, each of us is but a breath."
~Psalm 39:4-5 NLT

Let me live a life You are proud of.  Let me always be grateful for Your blessings.  Your mercy.  Your grace.  Let me inspire, in others, the desire to live a life of grace and mercy and gratitude.  Let me inspire, in others, the desire to seek You, as I desire to seek You, in everything I do, during this breath of life.  Amen.

Monday, August 22, 2011


There are good forces and evil forces at war for our souls.  The enemy is a liar.  He tells you that you are alone.  That you are worthless.  He lurks in the shadows, even while you're doing well, and he waits.  He waits for the opportunity to whisper these lies in your ear.  He waits until you're alone, with only your own self-destructive thoughts. 

We have to be steadfast in our belief that we serve a mighty God, who will never forsake us.  We have to believe that we are equipped for the battle.  Shield yourself with the armor He has fitted for you.  Take up the sword that He has forged for you.  He is only a breath away.  Reach out, and take His hand.  It's never too late.  He is always ready to fight for you.  Now, you have to be ready to fight for HIM.

"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." ~Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT

*This post was inspired by Highpoint Church Pastor Gary Simon's message "Fighting the Good Fight of Faith".  Listen to it here: 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

one bad potato

i know the saying usually goes, "one bad apple..." but i bought a bag of potatoes the other day, with this one rotten potato that made the whole bag stink!  if i had left it in there, the rest of them would have surely rotted along with it.  i dumped them all out into the sink, threw the nasty one out, and washed the rest of them off.

it made me think.  when you have that one bad person in your life, your business, or your circle, throw him out!  if not in a physical sense, do so mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  find peace.  don't let his rotteness spoil your day, your mood, or your relationships.  it's not as easy to do with a person, as it is with rotten produce, but the result is inevitable in either case.

"Don't envy evil people or desire their company. 
For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble."
~Proverbs 24:1-2 NLT     

Sunday, August 7, 2011

hope you're well

i read this quote today, "Respect people who find time for you in their busy schedule.  But love people who never look at their schedule when you need them."  it made me think...about my circle.  i don't want to regret having any relationship.  i heard a speaker once explain that everything we need is in a relationship.  whether that relationship is marriage, friendship, blood, or spiritual, God has appointed each encounter.  He wrote our stories to cross paths. 

"God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God."
~Romans 8:28 NLT

i like to give more than i take, but some people make it too easy to give, and impossible to take.  i hate to question whether it's worth my effort, so i normally don't think that far...i just jump right in.  and in the end, i often get hurt.  but i think it's worth the risk.  because when i find that relationship that completes a part of me, i become more of who i am supposed to be. 

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become--because He made us."
~C.S. Lewis

Thursday, August 4, 2011

no time to cry

Each day has gotten progressively more difficult over the last five days, and although it doesn't seem relief is anywhere in sight, I have a peace within me, a "peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).  This peace will guard my heart and my mind in Jesus Christ.  

I know God will deliver me from this valley.  He is with me, and He comforts me (Psalm 23:4).   

My body is broken, my flesh is exhausted; I witness the pain of those closest to me.  But The Lord delights in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For His grace is sufficient for me.  His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

I am calm.  I am faithful.  Because He is faithful.  For it is in this time of famine and drought that seeds of prosperity will be sown (Genesis 26:1-13).  When else could we reap a hundredfold?

Through this adversity, I am learning what is important:  Family.  Faith.  Prayer.  Perspective.  Gratitude.  Trust.  and Belief.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. 
You have collected all my tears in your bottle. 
You have recorded each one in your book."
~Psalm 56:8 NLT

Friday, July 29, 2011


Does this ever happen to you?  Everything you read or see points you in the same direction.  It's no coincidence.  God moves through our relationships.  He is telling me, right now, "follow the dream you forgot you had."  I have buried it away so deep, I don't remember how it went.  The dream is still alive in His heart, for me.  I have to ressurect it by strengthening my faith.  Only through seeking Him will I rediscover the dream He placed in my heart.  And if it is a dream He dreamed for me, how could He not make it come to pass? 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
~Jeremiah 29:11 NIV 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

7/17 a little emotional

When a woman becomes a mother, she gets to feel a fraction of the love God feels for her, as His daughter.  Love that is comsuming.  Infinite.  Everlasting.  I never knew I could love like that.  And I never knew I could be loved like that.  A mother's love.  Father's love. 

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
~Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

There's this Vietnamese saying my mom always rattles off, "A child may leave his parent, but a parent would never leave his/her child."  It always offended me, because I would never leave my parents.  But now that I am a mother, I get it.  Nothing Cooper ever does would anger me enough to leave or forsake him.  My love for him is unconditional.  God's love for me is unconditional.  There is nothing I could ever do that would anger God enough to leave or forsake me.  His grace is sufficient for me.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
~2 Corinthians 12: 9 NKJV

As much as I fell in love with my son the second I laid eyes on him, I have continued to fall deeper and deeper, each day.  Today is his second birthday.  I thought I'd be an emotional wreck, but instead, I stand in awe of God's greatness.  It's one of those moments in my life that I know this life, this plan, this book was written for me.  Only me.  I am chosen.  And so is my son.  I will be forever grateful.  {okay, so maybe a little emotional.}

Sunday, July 10, 2011


July is busy.  And it always creeps up on me.  For the second year in a row, I'm planning a birthday celebration for my son, and forgot my anniversary.  The only saving grace is that my husband forgot too.  And we're both relieved that we both forgot.  Is that wrong?  We had *just* spoken about it a couple of days prior...we concluded--no gifts, just dinner.  Well, we did go out to dinner, so I guess we did what we said we would do.  I'm trying to justify why we don't think it's a big deal, but deep-down, I feel pretty guilty about it.

My marriage is supposed to come second only to my relationship with God.  But everyday, it takes the back seat to my relationship with my son, to chores, to work, many other things.  I know that he knows I love him.  That he's my partner.  My confidant.  My security.  My soulmate.  He needs me to tell him.  To show him.  I will.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


When I get caught up in "Life", Earthly, Flesh-driven Life,  I forget to make the time to nurture my relationship with God.  I allow Life to rule me, instead of allowing His will to be done in and on my Life. 

The result: 
My other relationships suffer. 
My priorities are completely out of whack. 
My center is off balance. 
My soul is thirsty. 

But regardless of how far behind I fall in my daily Bible reading, or how long it's been since I had a heart-to-heart with God, He will make sure I know He is still here.  And He is the same.  Today, yesterday, forever. 

Psalm 143: 6-12

 6 I lift my hands to you in prayer.
      I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
 7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
      for my depression deepens.
   Don’t turn away from me,
      or I will die.
 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
      for I am trusting you.
   Show me where to walk,
      for I give myself to you.
 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
      I run to you to hide me.
 10 Teach me to do your will,
      for you are my God.
   May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
      on a firm footing.
 11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
      Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
 12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
      and destroy all my foes,
      for I am your servant.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Psalm 31

1 O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
      don’t let me be disgraced.
      Save me, for you do what is right.
 2 Turn your ear to listen to me;
      rescue me quickly.
   Be my rock of protection,
      a fortress where I will be safe.
 3 You are my rock and my fortress.
      For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
 4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
      for I find protection in you alone.
 5 I entrust my spirit into your hand.
      Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
 6 I hate those who worship worthless idols.
      I trust in the Lord.
 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
      for you have seen my troubles,
      and you care about the anguish of my soul.
 8 You have not handed me over to my enemies
      but have set me in a safe place.
 9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
      Tears blur my eyes.
      My body and soul are withering away.
 10 I am dying from grief;
      my years are shortened by sadness.
   Sin has drained my strength;
      I am wasting away from within.
 11 I am scorned by all my enemies
      and despised by my neighbors—
      even my friends are afraid to come near me.
   When they see me on the street,
      they run the other way.
 12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
      as if I were a broken pot.
 13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
      and I am surrounded by terror.
   My enemies conspire against me,
      plotting to take my life.
 14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
      saying, “You are my God!”
 15 My future is in your hands.
      Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
 16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
      In your unfailing love, rescue me.
 17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord,
      for I call out to you for help.
   Let the wicked be disgraced;
      let them lie silent in the grave.
 18 Silence their lying lips—
      those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
 19 How great is the goodness
      you have stored up for those who fear you.
   You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
      blessing them before the watching world.
 20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
      safe from those who conspire against them.
   You shelter them in your presence,
      far from accusing tongues.
 21 Praise the Lord,
      for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
      He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
 22 In panic I cried out,
      “I am cut off from the Lord!”
   But you heard my cry for mercy
      and answered my call for help.
 23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
      For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
      but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
 24 So be strong and courageous,
      all you who put your hope in the Lord!

Psalm 31 New Living Translation (NLT)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Psalm 23

   1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
   2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
   3He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
   4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
   5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
   6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Good Cry

I'm a crier.  Frankly, I wish I had more opportunities to cry.  I think you truly have to feel safe to cry.  Really cry.  Often times, I'm expected to be strong.  I'm the reliable one.  The professional.  But inside, I'd rather be weak.  Not responsible.  Unaccountable.

Sometimes, you have to just let go.  Admit that you're weak, and let someone rescue you.  Lean on the people in your life who want nothing more than to help you.  But how will they ever know, if you don't ask?  We're not meant to live this life alone.  We have to seek and nurture relationships.  Give more than we take.  But also know how to take what is given.  How else can you feel valued? 

I asked for help, and I was rescued.  Then, I cried.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Showing Up isn't Enough

I'm a strong believer in giving 100%, pretty much all of the time. 
It's more a measure of effort and willingness, than it is skill or productivity. 
I try not to do things reluctantly. 

I'm that girl.  They talk behind my back, saying "she can do no wrong." 
Here's the thing:  I earned that.  Because I keep my word. 
I don't have to swear or vow or promise.  I just do. 

So when I mess up, I usually get the benefit of the doubt.  That's the perk. 
And I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation to have of others. 
It's not always easy, but the alternative is unacceptable.

I'm blessed to have a partnership with a man who is the most trustworthy, hardworking man I know:
my husband. 
When he says he's going to do something, it's done. 
[It also means he doesn't make too many social commitments.] 

This unwavering character trait we both possess helps us to reinforce each other. 
We know, at the end of the day, we can rely on each other, if on noone else. 
There's great security in that.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Bringing enjoyment to God, living for His pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. 
When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. 
It proves your worth. 
If you are that important to God, and He considers you valuable enough to keep with Him for eternity,
what greater significance could you have?"
~The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren.

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become--because He made us."
~C.S. Lewis


Why am I suprised that some of my closest family members (closest in lineage) don't know I am a Christian?  When I really didn't know, myself?  It's obviously because I hid my light under a basket. 

You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 
No one lights a lamp and then puts in under a basket. 
Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 
~Matthew 5:14-15

I remember, in my junior-high days, my Sunday school teacher asked us,
       "What temperature do you think you should be for Jesus?  Cold, lukewarm, or hot?"   
        Everyone knew the answer wasn't 'cold'.  'Lukewarm', however, sounded comfortable. 
        "Yeah, lukewarm," we answered.  
        "Wrong," she said, "you're supposed to be on fire for God." 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Immersed in His Love

The water was warm.  I didn't wear that silly plastic shower cap. 
I let it all go, and gave it all to Him. 
I was reborn, today, Mother's Day 2011.  
Thank you, Jesus. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I always have to pull out my calendar to count how much time has passed since I wrote my first entry, April 17, 2011.  Three weeks, tomorrow, the day I'll be baptized. 

My mindset, as I wrote that first entry, was obviously confusion.  My purpose was to research, in hopes of finding guidance.  Answers.  I was going to give Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam a "fair chance" at "winning" me. 

Since my son was born, I've had a very strong spiritual connection with God.  I knew that creation was not of this earth, that it could only be achieved supernaturally.  My son was much too perfect.  Perfect for me.  Perfect for my family.

So I needed to set out in search of God.  Intentionally seek Him.  Wherever that would take me.  My life was incomplete without Him.  I thought it would take me years to get through The Bible, Koran, encyclopedias, wikipedia, and whatever else I could use to educate myself.  I really wasn't prepared to be completely swept off my feet by His Grace.  I opened myself up to Him, and He won my heart.  Like love at first sight. 

It's like hearing about that couple who went to school together, never really had a relationship, had the same mutual friends, but hadn't ever noticed one another.  Then, one day, they just hit it off.  And three weeks later, they were married.  Because they knew they were soulmates.  Kind of like that.       

" the Lord your God, and you will find Him
if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Deuteronomy 4:29

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jesus was Baptized when He was 30

I opened up the laptop.  Pulled up this page.  Handed it to my husband, and said, "here.  read this.  because i can't talk to you." 

I'll spare you the details.  I poured my heart out, and he listened.  I made him listen.  I didn't let him pretend like he didn't know what was going on.  Like he hadn't noticed how I've been consciously and intentionally choosing my words and actions to breathe life into our marriage and our home.

"if it means that much to you, you can take Cooper to church with you," he said.

I added, "oh, yeah, and i'm getting baptized on Sunday."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What am I so afraid of?

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. 
If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment,
and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. 
We love each other because He loved us first."
~1 John 4:18-19

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mission to {more than} Clean

31 Days to Clean--Mission Statement:

A clean house gives my family freedom from stress, nagging, allergens, and hazards.
A clean house creates an atmosphere of peace, accompanied by good moods.
A clean house provides the opportunity to nurture relationships.
A clean house inspires us to accomplish other {important, life-giving} things.
A clean house is what my family deserves.

Kicking off 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way, by Sarah Mae.

Finding support here:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 30, 2011: the stage is set.

All I know is, when you *really* believe, God moves on your behalf.  I KNOW it's Him, because what has happened in the last month, or so, is not my doing.  His Grace is sufficient.  He put the words in my mouth.  He gave me the courage. 

When it comes to talking to my husband about religion/church, I get scared.  I mean fear palpitates in my heart.  The devil lurks in the shadows, and tells me I'll never get through to him.  That my son will grow up as a lost soul.  But the devil is a toothless monster. He has no power in my realm. 

So I casually, purposefully use "life-giving words" in conversations over current events, business, and life in general... "God", "Grace", "Mercy", "Blessings", "Gratitude", "Prayer".... and the stage is set.  The Holy Spirit is in our presence, now, because I have saved a seat.  and God goes to work.  In me.  On me.  Through me.  And lives will be changed forever.

April 24, 2011: my 'ah ha' moment

I rededicated my life to The Lord, today.  Even though, before I left, this Easter Sunday morning, I said to myself....when they call people to the alter, DON'T stand up.  And, I didn't. (At first.)  When Pastor said, "on the count of three.  One...two...THREE!" 

I stood my ground, as tears flowed down both of my cheeks.  I clapped for those who were brave enough to stand up.  Pastor continued, "the voice you hear inside your heart is the Holy Spirit; don't let the devil talk you out of it.  Hell is full of people who thought they would have another opportunity."

My friend hears me sob.  She whispers, "I'll go with you, if you want me to."

Pastor continued...everything he had said that morning was FOR ME.  The doubt and confusion I had felt, in days and weeks prior, had vanished.  "Jesus did not come to condemn the world.  He came to bring us conviction.". It was my 'ah ha' moment.  I get it.  What was once cloudy, now was clear.

The Holy Spirit took my breath away as Pastor continued to call people forward.  "but I'm already saved," I thought to myself.  Then why am I SOBBING?  Why was I out of breath?  Because I needed to let go.  I needed to let Him take over. 

So, I stood up. 

April 23, 2011: Good Friday, indeed.

My faith has been strengthened. 

I can imagine my future-self thinking back to Easter Weekend 2011, and saying, "that was a major turning point in my life." 

And, my friend Eryn was right there holding my hand. 

April 20, 2011: Unworthy

The closest thing I know to witnessing God's works occurs within my MOPS group.  These women are faithful, God-fearing, servants of humanity.  I aspire to do and speak as they do. 

Often times, I feel unworthy of these relationships.  These are Godly women.  I am just a First Generation Christian.  Who am I to mentor?  To lead?  Among this group of warriors. 

Then I read this passage in Lisa Bevere's book, Nurture, "I prayed, 'Father, what portion could I possibly bring to this table?' {and, He answered} 'Tell My daughters I am looking for something more. I am not looking for mentors...I am looking for mothers.'"

Yes.  I can be a mother.  I can be a Sister.

April 17, 2011: I need answers

I believe in God.  Which God?  Well, that's the thing...I believe there is ONE God; I'm not sure how that fits in with all of these religions.  Does it have to be all or nothing?  Does it have to be a "zero-sum" game?  Black and white?  I think most people say "yes, it does."

All I have, right now, is a long list of questions. 

My parents and my grandparents are Buddhist.  My husband's family is Muslim.  I am Christian.  At least  I think I am.  But I'm not sure I have enough conviction to be Christian.  "Faith" is a word that is used to accept the unknown, the unexplainable.  But I'm wired to want to know "why". 

How can I follow a religion that claims not be judgmental, but only accepts their religion's ways?  Its beliefs?  One that judges the entire world's people?  How can I follow a religion that says my parents, my grandparents, my husband, and his entire family are all going to hell?  I want to know "how".

Am I a hypocrite?  A fake?  Probably.  But I need to know more.  I don't want to live my life misrepresenting my true beliefs.  I need a religion that is accepting of ALL.  That believes in doing good.  In striving to do the right thing.  That empowers both sexes.  That I can follow whole-heartedly.  That I can believe.  That I can be proud to teach to my son.