Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Growing Up, Moving On. . .

With the holidays behind us, I think back on what they meant to me growing up. Because of my extended, dysfunctional family, there were more Christmas celebrations you could count on one hand.

There was Memaw Bertha's house which reeked of turnip greens on the stove and there were always a ton of presents under her tree. It didn't matter that most of them came from Woolworth and they weren't on 'your list' ~ Memaw Bertha always had something for everyone that came in her door. The food there was not the best so we always went right for Papaw Wallaces red velvet cake, which he made with his pipe sticking out of the left side of his face. This was the house where we could get by with just about anything and if a grown up fussed at us, well Memaw would say 'leave those babies alone'. We always went here on lunch on Christmas Eve because it was her birthday and because it fit into the many places we needed to go.

Christmas Eve night was spent with my Meme's family. We either went to Meme's or out to Aunt Lindas and here the food was the best. Deviled eggs, ham, fresh fruit, cheese log, german chocolate cake and as I mentioned about Thanksgiving, Meme's chocolate pie. Usually she made three of them and there was barely any left. Here, us kids drew names and we usually stayed up late playing games and just being stupid in general.

Christmas Day always began at home with whatever 'Santa' left under the tree. See, there were the unwrapped 'santa' gifts and then there were the wrapped gifts. Way too much stuff under the tree and so spoiled and we did not even realize it.

That afternoon I would go to with my Dad to Granny Millie's. She had been up cooking since 5am and the ham was to die for although the canned biscuits were always burned. Granny Millie got stuff off our list and tried to make sure we had whatever we wanted.

These days all of us kids have grown up and with Memaw Bertha and Meme gone on to be with the Lord, the family has splintered into so many parts that it is hard for us all to get together. I know this, Christmas for us, is being together as a family. Whatever that means.

This year; it meant having Christmas on December 23rd with my exhusband Bill, my Mom, the Kids and us at my moms. The kids were so excited to spend Christmas with both of their parents and we were happy to do it for them.

Christmas Eve was a drive by to Granny Millies for the kids to get their gifts on our way to Illinois to Brad's family's where we spend Christmas Day and came back home on the 26th.

On the 30th; we had our 'Meme's Christmas' pretty much food and hanging out at my moms.

I love the holidays but I am always glad when they are over. I am working on a year in review post and some goals for this year. .talk to you soon.

Shelly

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Seriously? You laugh at what?


 

Thanksgiving with my family seems like a version of the movie groundhog day. Every year is the comfortably the same with the exception of us each growing older every year. There is always some little ones running around; older ones bossing younger ones; the sure fire family fight (this year was between me & Nick over putting butter on corn); guys watching football; and us reminiscing about years gone by.

My Meme was famous for her Chocolate Pie and since she died over five years ago we have never really had anything like it grace the kitchen. Oh, the German chocolate cake was still a guarantee and there are always cookies and pies and more dessert than should be legal, but the chocolate pie was missing. I have scoured the nation and ordered chocolate pie after chocolate pie to no avail. No One makes pie like my Meme. My cousin Tracey read a poem at her funeral and the chocolate pie was mentioned several times. It is one of those traditions that we loved about our Meme. She was a grouchy lady for the most part and always had a smart remark but we would fight over the last piece of her chocolate pie. Well, surprise upon surprise, Peggy (who is not known for her cooking, not being rude, just being honest {she knows this}) got the recipe and tried her hand at it this year. It is crazy how a taste can be a memory but it is. I could not believe that we were having Meme's chocolate pie, but there it was the buttery crust in my mouth, the meringue mingling around it dancing with the taste of the gooey chocolate. I was 10 years old again bullying my cousins and running through the house in my sock feet. I was immediately seeing that face with the twinkling eyes and curly white hair standing over the stove in one of her 'jogging suits' ready to smack the hands getting in the ham before time to eat. Kudos to Peggy for those memories and for the two pounds I gained eating WONDERFUL chocolate pie.

As we savored the pie my cousins and aunts and I began to talk about how fast our kids are growing and how apparently, Lori and I are now middle aged. Ugh, I am refusing to be middle aged. I am going to live to be 100 so I will not be middle-aged until at least 50 so I have 14 more years. . . LOL ~ The table is always filled with laughter and some of the same stories year after year. Sometimes we remember things not talked about in years like how we thought the grownups were dumb when they hid the easter eggs in plain sight in Meme's yard and they laughed and said, well we wanted it to be easy so it would be over quick.

Somehow we ended up talking about our family faux paus. We, well some of us, laugh at funerals. We have had to separate ourselves at funerals to not laugh and two of my aunts had to leave a funeral once because they could not quit laughing. I remember one funeral when we were glared at and we tried to contain ourselves. Why do we do this? We have no clue, it's a nervous thing. So talk moved to what we were going to do when my mom passes away. We all have to sit on the front row and that will be pretty bad to be sitting in the front row of my mom's funeral laughing at some point. I say this because I know I will be crushed beyond belief because even after 36 years, I am a Mama's girl. She makes me mad, she makes me laugh, she makes me cry, but no one can compare to who she is to me. As we laughed about this tonight, mom said, "In front of everyone, I give you all permission to laugh at my funeral" which was funny in itself. I told her we would just make buttons or stickers to hand out at the door that say "we laugh at funerals" so no one will be surprised or offended. . . . seriously, though, laughter is the best medicine.

Over laughter Nichole and I made up over our butter incident. Over laughter, we discuss disciplining our children, meeting our life's goals and memories from childhood past. Today was about laughter and memories and thankfulness for those we hold near and dear and don't tell them nearly enough.

Feel free to share some of your Thanksgiving Memories.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show us Your Life ~ Pets

Kelly is doing Pets this week on Show us your life and I could not resist this one. . .

We have, of course, two human babies that are 14 & 16 years old.

We have had hunter since Cait was 7 or 8, so he has been part of our family for over half her life and most of Logan's. He is the Alpha Male in this pack and sometimes needs to be reminded that we are actually the pack leaders. He is happy to lay on the couch or snuggle between me and Brad in the mornings.
Hunter loves to lay around, like, all the time!



Baleigh has been with us for about 8 months. She is around 10 months old and crazy as Hunter is calm. She is a lab/boxer mix and her affection for all things garbage related can sometimes be quite irritating. But her loving demeanor soon wins you back over and it is hard to stay mad at her.
Baleigh has a slight underbite (well not so slight) but she is too cute


Just when life seemed good in the dog department, I got stupid. Okay, I am a sucker for a pretty face anymore. I used to not be a dog person but apparently this has changed. Little Zoey entered our home about 3 weeks ago at age 4 weeks. She had to be taken from her mom early and was headed to the pound and when those brown eyes looked up at me, I was a goner. The family soon succumbed to her wiles and she is our baby.



Could you resist this face? Not me . . . .


We are not planning on adding to the dog family anytime soon, but who knows what this old sap will do. Stick around and read some blogs, I would love for you to follow our family as we walk this crazy journey through life.

Much Love,

Shelly

Sunday, November 15, 2009

and again. . . .

One of my favorite things about God is that we can always begin again. . . . and again. . . . and again.

Pastor's message today dug at my heart. He talked about what our purpose is for the kingdom. I think that I am finally letting God back in where He wants to be because for the last six months I have leaned on God, I have held onto God, I have relied on God, I have been this pitiful small person before the Lord and in that, I forgot my purpose not only in the work of God but also in my personal life. In the wanting to shield my heart, I quit making myself available to God like I needed to. I leaned on Him but didn't allow myself to invest in anything except for my husband and kids and a few close friends.

Days have went by without doing anything at work but playing games or hanging out on facebook when I should have been working. Days have went by with no laundry being done or supper cooked. Not everyday, of course, but enough days that it is noticeable. Enough days that my work suffers and that my husband has to say, Hey Honey, "Let's catch up on laundry tonight" or the kids get excited because I am actually cooking and not doing Wendy's or the Chicken Strips and Fries that our FryDaddy cranks out on a regular basis.

I cannot remember the last time I cried so hard before God and the only words I could say were "I want to be different but I don't know how" "I want to work with a purpose but I don't know how" "Please fix me, Please change me" "I want to be different but I don't know how". All I know is that when I got up from the altar I felt like it was one of those again moments. I know that tomorrow God is going to once more, again, help me to find my purpose in the natural and the spiritual.

What do you need to begin again today? Is it with your family? Is it at work? Is it in your time of worship and prayer? Whatever it is, God is an again kind of God and He loves us, again. . .and again. . . and again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Fine Line

I walk a fine line. A line between moving forward in the wonders and majesty of what God is doing in my life today and how He is blessing me right now and how I know He is blessing my future versus not being able to forget the past hurt because it comes up almost daily in some shape or form.

As we prepare to go to court again on November 18th there is that part of me that dreads to see the face of the man who for all intents and purposes, was my family. The man who stole my identity and and destroyed my email accounts without a single thought to what that did to our family. The man who did everything he could for three years to isolate my family and turn friends against us. Then there is the part of me that likes to face it head on, knowing no matter what the outcome that God is still on the throne and that all will be revealed and dealt with in His time frame, not mine. The part of me that can walk in that courtroom knowing whatever happens, God knows the hurt and God knows the situation from the inside out.

Walking in forgiveness for myself is easy most days. Walking in forgiveness has freed me from the chains of hatred and bitterness that tried to form around my heart. The hard part of forgiveness is not even toward Shane but toward the situation and the fact that there are people who actually believe this guy, in his unrepentant state, can still be a leader for the Kingdom of God.

I know this is going to be controversial to some but the Bible says in Luke 17: 3-4 "If thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in the day turns again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." Those are the words of Jesus, the words of our Savior. How could the brother forgive if he had not been repented to and asked for forgiveness?

When the prodigal son returned to his father he said Luke 15:21"Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy site, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." This father was not left to wonder what was in his son's heart. There was repentance there. Romans 3:23 says "All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God." The fact that sins were committed is not the issue, the issue is that there are one of two scenarios in place here:

1. The person in question is under a spirit of confusion and does not realize that they were wrong.

or

2. They refuse to acknowledge the sins they committed and feel justified in their actions.

My deepest prayer is that people turn to God and not to a man in this day we live in. Belief in a man, a building, an earthly kingdom full of flattering words and empty promises will not get you one step closer to where God intends for you to be. Please pray that you are not deceived and that God reveals the truth for all to see before you are like Proverbs 26:11 " As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." Or as us regular folks would put it, Fool me once, Shame on You; Fool me twice, Shame on me.

I know this is not a pretty blog, but today it's who I am, it's how I feel and somewhere, someone is reading this feeling the same way and sometimes its just good for someone to identify with you for a minute. To know they too have walked your path. I am encouraged to know that others walk this line too as they walk through grief or divorce or loss of job because it means we are all human. To love a God who didn't heal the sick as we expected or to love a God who did not prevent a divorce or to love a God who did not prevent job loss astounds some people. But see when Job's wife told him he should Curse God and die he replied in verse 10: But Job replied, "You talk a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. God is a God of love but sometimes he puts things in our paths, hurdles to cross so it will glorify Him in the end and help us grow as individuals.

Dear God, Help me to put the past to rest and walk each day in forgiveness and continue to bless those around me with discernment for the situations they are facing today to your promise will hold true because your word says in Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What time is it?




Embracing the winds of change are not always easy. Sometimes it is easier to stay in the rut we are in then to step out into the change that will make us grow. It has been beautiful the last few weeks as we drive back and forth to our church home in Nashville. It is lovely to see how the trees are starting to change and to see the occasional small tornados of leaves as wind hits the trees just right. It seems like everywhere I look and everywhere I read people are talking about fall and winter which although beautiful in their own way are also wet, cold, bare and dark. But these wet,cold,bare and dark days are what makes us enjoy spring all the more.

I think our life is like that. When we see a new job opportunity or lose a job, when we get married or become single, when we graduate or start school, when we move away from our family; these kinds of events are so changing to us. Some are exciting changes, some are scarey, some are lonely, but all these changes make us grow.

Pastor preached about the process of sowing and reaping on Sunday and how the seeds we plant in our life will be the harvest we face whether that be good seeds or bad seeds. Trust me, I've had my share of both seed sowing and the good seed is definitely better than the bad seed. The scripture also comes to mind from Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

What is your season today? Is it time for you to turn away from what you are doing and move on? Is it time for you to embrace what you have and appreciate it? Is it time for you to tear down the walls you put around you? Is is time for you to be quiet and seek the face of God for your future? Is it time for you to speak up for yourself? Is it time for you to grieve for the what if's in your life and rejoice in the good memories that are mingled in that grief? Is it time for you to heal your heart or your mind today?

There is a time for something in your life and when the winds of change blow your way don't second guess or debate or throw a temper tantrum because winter has come in your life in a cold and barren way because after the winter has passed, spring will come and bring with it the joys and the renewals that life always does. Just pray God shows you what 'time' it is for your life and then run with it, because no matter what, you will learn something from your 'time'.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Plans I Have For You

Flashes come to me this morning. Snapshots of my life that I never really understood.

There is the me I dont even remember. The me who lost her mother to the hands of a murderer when I was not quite two years old. The me who was embroiled in a custody fight that my grandparents eventually won. The me who never remembers her mother's face and did not have a relationship with her father until she was 10 years old.

The young six year old that hoped against hope that I could make it outside to play before before my grandfather wanted to 'play' with me himself. Dreading seeing the chain going on the door knowing I was on the wrong side of it yet again.

The teenage me rebelling and wanting someone to love me because I never felt worthy after the abuse that occured in my younger years, the despair of knowing that my grandmother chose to stay with him after she found out about the abuse only increased the thought that I was not enough. Wondering and wondering why if I prayed hard on Sunday and went to church every Wednesday night then why did I still fill so empty most of the time.

Being a newleywed and fighting over nothing but knowing deep inside that it was about control. The knowing that NO ONE would ever control me again. NO ONE would put the chain on my door and leave me on the wrong side of it. Developing a seed of bitterness against each other that became an environment of animosity and failure.

Feeling crushed, and again, not enough to find my spouse had not only been unfaithful, but with one of my best friends. Why on earth was Shelly not enough? Why on earth would I worship a God who could not fix my pain.

The descent into a darkness I never knew existed. Trying to find love in a marriage relationship that was doomed because all the parties have to want it for it to be successful. The anger toward God for 'not fixing' me or my husband to make us have our happy ever after. Was this God worth serving? I had wasted 1/2 my life with a man who would not love me and loved a God who would not fix it. So, I walked away from God for some time.

As I found my way back to Jesus, the confusion would still hit me from time to time. Why had I and others endured such heartache. What good came from it? When would I find my happiness? As my relationship with God grew, I found that a real relationship with Him ends the emptiness. He was a real God who really loves us. He doesn't always answer our way but one day, we will understand the whys.

I now look back with understanding because of this scripture:

Jeremiah 29:11-14 "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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Now I am going to read this another way; a way my cousin Nichole did a blog the other day. This has changed my life, seriously. Put your name where the you's are


Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for Shelly," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper Shelly and not to harm shelly, plans to give Shelly hope and a future. Then Shelly will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to Shelly. Shelly will seek me and find me when Shelly seek me with all her heart. I will be found by Shelly," declares the LORD, "and will bring Shelly back from captivity. I will gather Shelly from all the nations and places where I have banished Shelly," declares the LORD, "and will bring Shelly back to the place from which I carried her into exile."

See, I have been in the place without a hope or a future. I have been banished and exiled before but the Lord has brought me back. He has given ME a hope and a future. He has allowed me to marry my best friend. He has given me a church family and pastor that is truly home. He has put friend in my life that I know I cannot do without. He has used my pain to help other people.

So as we go through things, and we will, we always will in this life. Cling this scripture. Know that weeping may endure for a night, but JOY will come in the morning because God has a plan for each of us. The beautiful thing about this scripture is that it is not just for Shelly. It is for Stephanie, it is for Nichole, it is for Lisa, it is for Brandi, it is for Jina, it is for Brittany, it is for Brad, it is for Pastor and Sis. Livingston, it is for Breanna, it is for Jason, it is for Robbie, it is for Tina, it is for Candy, it is for Dawn, it is for Joseph, it is for YOU

Put your name in the scripture and wear it when you face adversity and struggle.

in love,

Shelly

Monday, October 5, 2009

Entertaining Angels. . .

Chicago has been amazing so far. Just watching the faces of our kids as they experience this city has been worth the whole trip already. Saturday after we arrived and got settled we went to Ed Debevic's and for those who have never been, it is a 50's style diner where the waiters are rude to you on purpose. It was a hoot, the kids had a blast and my mom just laughed and laughed.

Sunday morning we walked over to Palmer House and picked up our Go Cards so we could get in the museums and what not. Then we hit the grey line open air trolley for a tour and got off at Michigan Ave so we could eat at Giordanos Pizza and do some window shopping on the Million Dollar Mile. We were talking and lauging as we entered the Pizza place. Emily and Cait were getting on my moms nerves so she separated them as Brad and I went up to pre-order our Pizza. Logan and Lacee were taking pictures of everyone and Brad and I were updating my phone. Everything was normal for Team Deason.

All the kids and my mom were sitting on a ledge at the window and Brad and I were standing. Out of nowhere, Brad told Logan he needed to sit down so Logan scooted out of the way and Brad sat down. Immediately I asked him what was wrong and almost instantly he was just about incoherrent. At the same exact time, they called us to our table. I told mom and the kids to go ahead to the table and we would be there in a second. Brad tend to have low blood pressure sometimes and it always passes in a few minutes so I was sure he would steady himself and we would be right up.

Things did not go up from there. Brad became unresponsive and I could barely get him to focus on talking to me. I started to panic for a second, my thoughts ran from I need to call our pastor to what am I gonna do in the middle of chicago to please dont completely pass out because I am not sure I can hold you up to oh, Jesus I cannot do this. Collected, I got out my phone and called Cait back down to where we were. I asked her to go to the counter and get Brad some Orange Juice and seeing my face and seeing Brad she went right away. Normally, she hates approaching people and asking for anything but she jumped right in for that one.

On my left, I noticed a lady sitting on the ledge my mom had been at just minutes ago. I never saw her come up and she said you need to call an ambulance. I said, no he has low blood pressure sometimes and I think he just needs a minute and something to drink. She looked at me so serious and said, don't take chances with your husband. I reiterated how since Brad's surgery he tends to get light headed sometimes and he would be fine. She said, I lost my husband 3 months ago, you need to call someone.
I looked at Cait and said, call and ambulance. She went to the counter and had them call.

As Brad went from normal countenance to white to ashy to greenish gray, my mind was just blank. All I could do was ask him to talk to me and he was not responding to me hardly at all. The lady said, Brad you have to stay with her, you have to stay with her. I thought, how does the lady know his name? It struck me as odd because I had not said Brads name. Then a man approached and asked medical questions and I asked him if he was a doctor and he told me no but he had medical training. He started to take Brad's pulse but could not find it so he called over a friend who was a nurse as the waiter brought the orange juice over. By that time, I could barely get brad to drink the juice but I got enough in him for it to start to work. The nurse had a hard time finding the pulse either and as the nurse and his friend worked on him, I talked with the lady. She was amaziningly calm and she just kept saying, dont' take chances with your family and I told her that I would not.

The paramedics arrived and by that time Brad was responsive but still having tingling in his hands and as they came in I looked for the lady and she was gone. I looked all over and could not find her. Brad went to the ambulance with the crew to be looked over and I went and updated my mom and the kids and let them know he would be fine but was getting checked out. I continued to look for the lady and never saw her again. It crossed my mind that maybe she was an angel, but I dismissed the thought. Then when Brad and I talked, I knew that I was wrong.

His memory of the lady was quite different than mine. He remembered her reaching toward him and saying stay with us baby, stay with us. He remembered seeing her shoes but she never stood beside him, she never even was close enough to touch him. Whether she was a human angel or one that God sent to us we are thankful.

Thankful that my husband is fine. We just have to keep juice and some snacks for him to eat every two hours like he does at home/work. Thankful that I kept my calm through the situation. Thankful that they called our table so four kids and my mom were not there to go through that experience. Thankful that no matter what, I know I will not take chances with my family. Love your kids and your moms and your husbands. Hold them tighter every time you get a chance. Don't take anything for granted. Live life to the fullest, start right now.

Shell

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nothing Shall Separate Us. . .

Romans 8:38 & 39 Says ~For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ...


This scripture burned into my mind today and I started to think back on the last year and what God has done and what He continues to do. I think of the way the devil has tried to not only separate us from the love of God but also from each other. I think back to conversations spoken and where someone either spoke or implied things to try to make me doubt myself, my husband, my faith and my God. I am so thankful that the love of God which is in Christ would not allow that to happen. God sees our hearts and knows when to put that hedge of protection around us and knows when it is something we can handle ourselves. He always steps in when necessary; just not always as quickly or in the manner we would prefer.

I always find it interesting when some people speak of 'once saved, always saved' to imply that once we are serving Jesus we can never be in danger with our souls. I find it funny that those same people will say of someone who was saved and then turned from the Lord, if they ever knew the Lord they would not have turned away. I find this all to be so untrue. Sometimes we get tired or bitter or just plain stupid for a while and turn from Jesus. As this scripture says, nothing can separate us from the love of God but it never said we couldn't separate ourselves.

The reason God created us was for us to have a choice; if that choice is to not serve Him, then His choice is to not let us in Heaven. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust and sometimes we that believe think that is unfair. We have to keep ourselves in check and make sure we dont' separate ourselves from God because no matter how dark the night, or how hurtful the situation, God has a plan and He has a reason for what we are going through.

I love what the message says for Romans 8:38&39 ~ None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable-absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Let's determine in our hearts that nothing separate us. . If you have a situation that was rough but you came out the other side and saw that God knew what was best, please feel free to share it. What you have to say may really touch someone's heart.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Feels Like Home

Man our weekend away was wonderful. We packed so much into those 2.5 days we felt we had been gone for a week. We laughed, cried, got lost (multiple times), enjoyed a God-Centered wedding, met new friends, shopped for Drums, made out good at the Goodwill, decorated wedding cakes and cupcakes, met with a pastor friend for some guidance on our future, went to the Eklipse yard sale (was accosted by Devon and King and sold a fountain that does not work), pulled over by the police (for not wearing seat belts) and just all around enjoyed ourselves. Believe it or not, I did not take one picture.

Upon our Saturday evening homecoming we were greeted by our four kiddos, human and canine with great happiness. Except for our smallest human, who was sound asleep.

Sunday we arrived at Point of Mercy about 5 minutes late because we were pulled over before we left Hoptown for, guess what, not having out seat belts on. . .we were again overwhelmed by the welcoming spirit of the congregation, the annointed singing and a really timely and God-sent message by Bro Livingston. With all the confusion of the past six months it was just nice to feel like we were home. Walking in Point of Mercy on Sunday morning was much like coming home on Saturday night, less the canines.

We continue to seek God's face to make sure we are landing in the right place but it already says so much when it already feels like home. For all of you who have been following our journey and have lifted us up, thank you. I know it wont' be long until our footing is sure again because God has shown us that He is taking care of our situations, spiritually, physically and financially.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Light in Your Eyes

Do you ever look into your husbands eyes and see him like it is the very first time you knew? That you knew he was your soul mate? That he was your best friend forever and ever?

Today we left home after work on a mini-vacay. . Just down the road in Nashville our friends are getting married on Saturday. We are doing their wedding cakes as a gift so the kids and puppies are squared away at home and we have left for some Brad & Shelly time. Our time is going to be filled with friends and laughter and wedding plans but we are also carving out Brad & Shelly time.

Finding love is just part of the marriage equation. Keeping love is another thing all together. There is nothing that makes me happier than to look at my husband and to see that light in his eyes, to hear him say I Love You without saying a word. It is those moments when I know I am the most blessed woman in this world. To be loved wholey and completely just because I am me overwhelms me.

This makes me think about the fact that God loves me more than Brad ever could; God loves me with the love of a father, a husband, a friend, a confidant and so many other ways. I can't wait to get to heaven and look at his face, to see the light in his eyes when he sees me and that I made it home safe. I pray that daily I grow more like Him so that others can see it and they can make a decision to follow Jesus too so that one day they too can see the light in his eyes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Wait Til' Next Month

Those words are a mantra at the Deasons. Seems whether it is money, health, family situations, etc; we are always waiting til next month for things to be better, for things to 'turn around'.

Next month must be here now, and being I am not the superstitious type and that I let the Lord lead me in my life to the best of my ability; I can honestly say that God has laid it on my heart that this is our time. This new season we are entering starting right now is a season of growth and a season of blessing. This season is one of stability and faith and reconnection with who we are in Christ. This season that we are entering into will be one where we are blessed coming in and going out. This season the Lord will restore what the Locusts have stolen from us.

The Word of God teaches us to pray the scripture over our lives. Isaiah 40:28-31 is so beautiful: "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

When you really think about these words over our lives, have we not known, have we not heard? Do we not realize how BIG our God is compared to everything else in this world? He created EVERYTHING and he knows our todays and tomorrows and as long as we wait on him, we will be as the eagles, soaring where He wants us to be, running through this life with faith and mercy by our sides.

I am so excited for who He is and what He is doing in my life and what He is going to do through our family. God is opening doors that no man can shut and our path is being made clearer by the moment. So if this is just the beginning. . . Just wait til' next month.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reflections

I was so moved today by an artist I have never heard of. The song is "Painting Pictures of Egypt" by Sara Groves. She has a unique storytelling approach to her songs and the sincerity of the lyrics ring true. I will be listening to more of this for sure.



As I just celebrated my birthday, it made me reflective of where I have been and where I am going. It is amazing what we outgrow and change to as the Lord continues to mold and shape us; it is amazing that until we stop and reflect we don't even see the differences in who we are.

I am so thankful that God lets us grow and evolve in His time instead of ours and that His agendas are not human to hurt or cause confusion. God's timing in all things is perfect.

Today I have an amazing thankfulness swelling inside me that He chose me to be His child. Somedays I think I take that for granted. I take for granted that I have Him as my guide. I take for granted that through all the past mistakes, failures and hurts He carried me down this path for this season so that I could be a better light for him.

Thank you Lord for who you are and thank you that while we remember our Egypt's; we don't ever have to go back to them

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's Just Weeds


I've talked about my backyard lately, how I want God to help me love this community that He has called us to be a light in. I have talked about the negatives I see all around this yard. Maybe the big problem is that the only thing I am seeing is the weeds and not the beauty around or below the weeds. I see every crack in the concrete that has scraggily grass trying to weasle it's way through the hard ground and rock to make it's way to the light.

Maybe the problem with this city is the weeds try to get bigger and bigger because they are growing in effort to find the light. Maybe the people here just want to find the light and they don't know how to act without it. So then are the weeds the problem or is it me? Is is my perception that I want to live in a wonderful community of fellow believers but am unwilling to pull the weeds toward the light? Well, now, that's just crazy. If I want to see the weeds to give way to beautiful growth I have to let them see the light. I have to be the light that Jesus wants me to be.

Brad preached an awesome sermon yesterday about sin and my favorite part was that sin astranges us from God. What astranges us from God more than not following His word that teaches me to love my neighbor as myself? I absolutely don't love my neighbor as myself and I know it. I pray that God helps me grow in this area. How can I love my neighbors as myself and I don't even know their names. I've never walked up and down the street and introduced myself or invited them to our bible study. How is that being a light to the world? I have a lot to learn about evangelism and love, don't I?

Yesterday we were going to lunch and we saw 4-5 very small children sitting on a street curb. In my mind I flashed forward 10 years. Would these kids be in a gang or a youth group? Would they be ditching school or teaching others about God's word? So much of that relies on the decisions that their moms or dads will make in their immediate future. Those parents need a light to guide them so that as the weeds are removed their children can bask in the light.

I am going to strive this week to get into the word more and to lovingly pull the weeds around me to give way for the area to become beautified for His glory. Whether that be my neighbors weeds, my weeds or maybe an actual weed in my sidewalk(that part is the most unlikely but hey, you gotta have goals, right?) ~ I am going to make an effort to involve myself and to invite others to share what the Lord is doing. Maybe then I won't be just another weed taking up space shoving others out of the way as I head toward the light.

Blessings,

Shelly

Monday, July 27, 2009

Whew~

That's all I can say today, is Whew. My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings and I thought just maybe if I could write for a bit I could sort it all out so for those faithful readers "here I am throwing up on paper"

Today I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. I awoke several times in the night with Jennifer and her sweet baby Stellan on my mind. Please pray for this baby as he has been airlifted to Boston this afternoon. There are days when my kids just get on my nerves but I am stopping today to be thankful for them and their arguments and their faults and their sweet sweet hearts.

Today I am overwhelmed with work. My business is taking an upward turn right at a time when I have virtually no help. When I get here in the mornings I feel like I am just treading water and hoping not to drown. I have a few people to interview this week and need someone who is a good fit for a growing business. I cant offer the world yet, so it is going to be hard to find that certain person but I know that He knows and will supply my needs.

Today I am tired of being fat. Today I am sad that my weight loss journey is at a stand still. I am sad that I don't feel like I am what I need to be physically. I need to get moving and I just am unmotivated to do so, I am so unmotivated to go to the gym or push back the cheetos or Dr. Pepper. So I guess on this front I am wallowing in self pity, so I guess I need a cookie ~ LOL

Today I am hopeful for the future. Financially, we are still squeaking by but we are in a better place than we have ever been. Sure we screw up, we buy junk we don't need or go out to eat too much. But we aren't eating at Mortons every night either. (although I wish we could go ...oops that is me lapsing back to being fatter) We are gaining our footing and that is a good thing.

Today I am proud. I am proud of my husband and the weight he has lost. I am proud that he is a man of integrity and truth. I am proud that as he walks closer to God, I can see him walk tall as the spiritual leader of our home and our church. There is a peace in knowing that your mate is there for you in every moment in life that cannot compare to anything else in a natural relationship. The covenant of a true God led marriage is a joy to be part of.

Today I am ready. I am ready for what God has in store for us, I am ready for tomorrow, I am ready to build this church in Hopkinsville to the glory of God. I am a willing vessel to all that God has for me and for my family and for the family of God that He is raising up in this day to make a difference.

Whew ~ I feel like I can breathe just a little bit now, thanks for allowing me to ramble.

Blessings

Shelly

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Own Backyard

We went to Lowe's yesterday for a something to try and keep Hunter from jumping the fence and to keep Bailey from trying to go under it. Between the two of them, they are determined to find a way out. I, apparently, am a lot like my dogs. I have been convincing myself that this backyard is too small, that this town's mindset is just too narrow, that God has put our heart in Clarksville to make a difference in that city and to get out of this one. This city where it seems there are more bad neighborhoods than good anymore. This city where education is lacking in our high schools and teenage pregnancy is rampant. But this is not the city God wants us to affect for Jesus, right? He wants us in Clarksville, that is where our hearts and ministry has focused for almost three years.

As we have began the journey with forming Bethesda House we have coupled with a wonderful family, Dewey & Rebecca Edwards and we have been having Bible Studies in Hopkinsville and Clarksville for some weeks now. Our first nudge came from a conversation with Dewey as he said he really saw us ministering to the city of Hopkinsville. Surely I misheard him, or he misspoke because Clarksville is our destination. With great confusing Brad and I talked about it and thought that is crazy, we are Clarksville bound. Then three days later Brad was speaking with a prayer warrior friend of ours and she said that she would help us as we started in Clarksville (where she lives) but she knows our ultimate ministry is in Hopkinsville. Okay, God, are you trying to tell us something? Are we listening? Probably not. . .so I guess He has to say it over and over again. Talking to my friend Becky she laughed and said, Don't be like Jonah and get swallowed by a whale, and we joked about that for a bit.

Brad and I were like what is up with this and then in the past week we have had people we know from Hopkinsville start popping back in our lives for no apparent reason; but we know by now that's not true. God always has a reason. So today, the last Sunday before we officially launch Bethesda Ministries we go visit a local church. The Pastors Message: "When the pivotal places in your ministry happen, what do you do?" Do you respond by 1. Fear 2. Fleeing 3. Hiding 4.Negativity or 5. Faith ~ As he spoke about Jonah I was amazed that Jonah felt pretty much about Nineveh as we have felt about Hopkinsville. We hate it here; it really has nothing to offer as far as family entertainment and there is more bad than good. So God knows we hate it here and it is still His plan for us to be a light to this city. It is still His plan for us to reach out to a place we aren't quite sold on. God give us a love for this place that you have destined us to be.

When we were at Lowes we decided the best thing for the back yard would be a privacy fence. Hunter can't jump over it and Bailey and go under it. It will hide our dogs from the dogs in the 5 backyards that butt against our one yard. It will let us look out our back deck and pretend for a few hours that we love 'our backyard'. So we have given our backyard to the Lord and have surrendered to His will and will start walking in the direction of winning souls in this city. Hopefully now, we can heal our scratches from trying to jump this fence and get the dirt off our noses where we have been trying to dig our way out. Let us be a light to those around us so that God may be lifted up.

Blessings,

Shelly

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lean Not

Why is it so hard for us to believe what God says? I think that we because of this world we live in we say with our mouth that we believe, we say with our mouth that God can do anything, but alot of times it's just lip service. We don't let Him bring the wholeness and healing that can only come from Him.

I have spent the last week mostly sad, sometimes angry at my current situation. What are we doing? Where are we going? When is God going to show us what to do? I want answers as quickly as the questions hit my frontal lobe. I am a right now kind of girl, God should know that, right? He created me and since it is my nature to be inpatient, He should respond in kind, shouldn't He?

My problem is that I want to understand the hows and the whys of what is going on in my life and to be honest, there really are not answers to a lot of the whys and hows right now. God has shown clearly over the last year in my life that his timing is perfect, even though I don't usually see it until I am well past the situation.

My friend and I were talking yesterday and some of our words were "I just want to know where to go" "I just want to know what to do" "I know that God has a plan but I wish I was in on it" God gave me a scripture this morning that flooded my heart with peace.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (King James Version)

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. (The Message Version)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (New Living Translation)

See, God knows I don't understand every circumstance in my life. He made me that way on purpose so that I can "lean not on myself"; there fore I will lean on Him. Do I think that bad situations and circumstances are put on us by God, not always.

Our live are alot like those mystery books I used to read as a kid. You know the ones with the options? You would read four or five pages and then at the bottom of the page it would say "If Timmy should enter the cave and chase the burglar go to page 47, If Timmy should turn around and find out where the cave ends go to page 63". God has a plan and a path and and ending that He desires for our lives, but we make the decisions so sometimes it take much longer to get to page 63 than it should. Sometimes we want to explore the cave and thus we fall into a trap or a hole that then causes us to 'lean' on Him.

What would we pick in our books today. Would we go the long path and see the 'sights' and fall in the holes or would we run to the end to where God wants us to be? Honesty, I would go the long path because for me, in my life, that is how I grow. If God made me who he wanted to be, completely and wholly today, would I really value what He had done in my life? I would hope so but I do know that through the storms of this life, it has brought me to a leaning place where I know He is my strength and my rock and my salvation. So today, I am going to lean on God and learn that He is directing my path in His time on His terms.

Blessings,

Shelly

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rug Burn ~

God is funny sometimes, He really must have a great sense of humor that I just don't get sometimes. He lets us believe the fantasies we build for ourselves and just when we are feeling really confident about those; the rug is pulled. Today it is hard to be thankful for the rug burn.

Brad & I have felt so prayed for and so lifted up through this truly hurtful time in our lives that we have almost become 'immune' to the fact that we have been so emotionally hurt and violated and used. Yesterday brought that immunity to a crashing HALT. We went to visit a church in Nashville with some friends. The church had most of the boxes checked on what we want in a 'new church home'.

Friendliness ~ Check
Non Judgemental ~ Check
Lively and Annointed Music ~ Check
Timely Message for our Hearts ~ Check
Close to Home ~ not so much check (it was an hour away)
People we know ~ Check
Strong Teen Ministry ~ Check

So what was wrong with the church, nothing, it was us. The message from Nehemiah 1:3 was like a bullet to the heart. It spoke directly to the hurt we have felt over the last 6 weeks and let us know that God knows where we are and that we are hurt and that he wants to heal our minds and our hearts. It talked about although the Isrealites had been released from the captivity of Egypt their minds and hearts were damaged and that caused them to be unable to repair the walls of the city or rebuild the gates.

It made me realize that we have just been in shock for the most part the last month or so. We have walked around with our hands and feet free but our minds and hearts are still hurt so much ~ and that is kinda crappy. In fact, it's alot crappy. I think I have not let myself feel the anger of the betrayal very much because I was concentrating on helping others who were hurt. I have seen my husband bury his emotions because that is easier than facing our hurts. I know that God wants us to go THROUGH this and not pretend that we are living in this rosy world of "all is well" and "we are fine" because today, we are not. We are tired, we are sad, we are on the floor with 'rug burn' on our faces and on our knees and elbows and on our hearts.

As a victim of a "white collar crime" I am coming to the realization that the violations that we encountered feel alot like being abused as a child. You feel unsafe at every moment and you trust no one. Until this person was put into jail I did not feel safe. I had to check my email every five minutes and my website for my office just as often. I spent hours in my workday going over every electronic device i have checking for bugs and keyloggers. My business suffered from my lack of 'really being at work'. Oh, I was here, but I was either talking to detectives, gathering evidence, copying files, not really working. I used to think that it was silly to worry when someone hacked your computer but until it happens to you, you have NO IDEA the magnitude it impacts your life.

As we take the steps toward healing, we get pulled back because the next arraingment or pre-trial hearing, or phone call reminds us where we are trying to move away from. Every phone call of, "hey what's the news?" makes me more tired. A story told too often becomes a tale of woe and now we are just tired and with the trial still months away, I know that it wont stop anytime soon. So how do we do that, how do we heal and move ahead and still have to be bogged down from the past. I have had to bog others down that have been hurt by this same individual and have tried to move past as well. I have had to reach out to these folks because only they know the pain and the anger and the frustration that come with this kind of betrayal.

Please continue to pray for us as we go through this journey ~ because I am going to serve notice on anyone and anything that thinks that this will beat us, IT WON'T ~ because He who holds our broken hearts and our hurt minds knows He is walking with us and when we have a day like today and we are just 'over it' ~ He will see us through to another day and when the 'rug burn' is stinging He will help it scab over and soon we will forget we were flat on our face crying into the rug. We will pick each other up and brush each others knees off and wipe tears of each others face and turn and limp into another day because we are a team ~ teamdeason has seen some bad days and some good days and the good outweigh the bad.

I once had a friend who had a tattoo that said simply W>L ~ our wins are greater than our losses. Our blessings are more than our trials. Our love is more than the hurt we feel today. It is just a little rug burn.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What if. . .

What if things turn out the way we always want. . . . we could never appreciate it.
What if things always went wrong. . . . . We could never have hope
What if our dreams are just in front of us . . . . and we never took the steps.
What if life was passing us by. . . . and we were too busy to notice.

The what if's have plagued me lately. What if I had noticed more? What if I had asked more questions? What if I had demanded to get to the bottom of things? What if I had not waited so long?

When my mind starts going there I have to turn to the word of the Lord. Proverbs 16:9 tells us "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." My plan was to grow a church, to reach a city for Jesus; I shut a blind eye to the destructive spirits that were surrounding me, making excuses because I was not soul searching each aspect of my life. So, I could not notice more until I prayed more. I didn't pray more because I was comfortable. I didn't ask questions because maybe I was starting to see the answers already ~ God had to put a burr in my boot so to speak. He had to make me uncomfortable, he had to make see start to see my surroundings for what they were. Then and only then, did I start talking seriously to God about the things that should have been a priority from the start.

I have to realize that God knows my heart and my mind and He had to get me to place of readiness. A place where I didn't care if there was egg on my face and and a place where I would stand for what is right, no matter the cost. I told Brad just Saturday, we are rebuilding our lives, we based all of our friendships and activities around our best friends who we considered family. Now that we know the truth and have walked away, we had successfully made ourselves friendless. But we are okay with that, we are building a new circle of friends (some old ones we've renewed and some new altogether). But we had to be at a place where God got us ready for that. We all have a place of readiness and we all have a section of What if's that run through our mind.

Brad taught an awesome lesson about Darkness and Light this past Sunday and this scripture really lifted my spirits:
Psalm 126:
1. When the Lord brought his exiles back to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
2. We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the Lord has done for them."
3. Yes the Lord has done amazing things fr us! What a joy!
4. Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renewed in the desert.
5.Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
6. They will weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

We have wept as we've began to plant a new life for ourselves but we know that joy is coming with the harvest. We have cried for the friends we have lost; but rejoice in the new ones to come. We have regret that things never could have been different, but we are excited about the future.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" Psalms 30:5

So for today, what if we lived like it was our last day and we approached each situation and each person as such? What if we loved unconditionally? What if we prayed without ceasing? What if we let the light of Christ shine through us? Those are the What if's I am going to try and concentrate on today, how about you?

Joyfully,

Shelly

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Even when I'm unsure. . He is here

Today I am unsure. There are so many things on the horizon and so many choices to make and so much to do with work and with family and with church. Is this the right time for this? Is this the right time for that? Are we moving too quickly in this direction? Should we stay still here for a while? I have battled doing a blog for days because with this too I've been without direction. When all else fails, read the instructions, right?

Well the instruction manual says in Psalm 46:10 "be still and know that I am God" I always thought this meant to keep in one place, to wait on the Lord so I did some interwebs research today and found:

The word still is the hebrew word raphah,(raw-feh); a prim root ; to slacken, fail l(be) faint, be (wax) feeble, abate ,forsake, idle. (be) weak, cease.
slacken-lacking diligence, to become less energetic, not under any tension.
abate- to reduce, to do away with, to grow less.
feeble-lacking in energy or strength, weak lacking in character or intelligence, lacking in effectiveness, unclear.

So this scripture could say ~...Be weak and know that I am God,or Be without strength and know that I am God. How can that be okay with God? For us to be weak, for us to need to lean on Him for so much? Because the Bible also says that "His strength is made perfect in our weakness". Through our weakness and humanity He can show through us ~ so to be still, to be weak, to be in need of a Huge God who loves us so much, that is what He wants! Wow, I guess today I am right where he wants me..LOL.

What comforts me in this moment is that it is okay to be unsure. It is okay to be weak. It is okay to lean on God and let Him lead us down the path of His choosing.

Blessings

Shelly

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Am I?

Who I am that a King would bleed and die for me? Who am I that He would climb Mount Calvary?

Those lyrics keep running through my head. I think since we stepped into the calling of God to build a church for His glory that I think, why us? How are we worthy of this job? But I think that if God had a job description for soul winners it would go like this:

Help Wanted:
Heaven needs someone who loves people and isn't afraid to get their hands dirty. Someone who will lend an ear, a helping hand or an uplifting prayer for their fellow man. This job does require life experience and the ability to utilize your past to help others in the future. Please apply by talking to God daily and letting Him guide your steps. Only serious God Chasers need apply.

When I think of all my past hurts (even recent ones) I am honored. I am honored that God has put Brad & I in a place where we can understand the hurts of people who are living life the best they can and just need a better road map. I am honored that the things we have endured almost feel like they were tests we were passing along the way so that we could be the principals of this 'special school'. This school helps people who have failed miserably, who have been hurt physically and emotionally, people who have hit bottom and are coming back up or still just hovering right above the ground, and people who do not know where to turn.

Now that we have moved past the hurts of separation from our old church, it is time to start reaching the people that no one has ever even considered. It is time to be the church. It is time for Bethesda House to open: the house where healing begins and where hope abounds.

Who am I? I am a child of God and He delights in my happiness. I am a woman who loves with all she is and all she has. I am a wife who follows her husband and he follows Christ. I am me, and for God, that's enough.

Blessings,

Shelly


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Annibirthary ~ I love that Matt Caudill

Today is two fold in the Deason House ~ today is Brad's 43rd birthday and it is our 3rd anniversary. Our friend Matt Caudill has deemed this an Annibirthary ~ which I love.

Brad Deason is not only my best friend, he is a man after God's heart so he definitely has mine. The crazy things we have been through and done and endured through the five years we have known each other seem like a lifetime of memories. Three years ago today we officially started our journey as husband and wife. Wow ~ what a great life we have.

I heard this joke about an officer who stopped a speeding driver. He told her, "I've been waiting for you all day" and her reply was "Officer, I got here as quick as I could". . . It may have taken us the first thirty years of my life for these soulmates that God created for each other, but I got there as fast as I could. It was well worth the wait.

I walked down the aisle three years ago to my husband reading this poem that I want to share with you all ( i wanted to put it on here with the music but I am uncapable of that; anyone who could help me out music wise and I will post it):

I always knew you would find me,
no clock needed to remind me that it would happen,
I planned on it, worked it out, hid in plain sight every day.
Knowing you would pass, that way or this;
come along, Go by, pausing, moving to here or somewhere
It did not matter, you would arrive

It kept the heart alive and thriving in the clatter of times traveled
To know you would turn and see me, and not turn away.
You Here, or Coming, Unraveling the Puzzle,
Kept me whole and safe and traveling toward this day.

When evenings, like forever, started fleeting; going fast;
I could see you in some distance, disappearing in the midst.
In the mass of fondled faces, one amasses in a lifetime;
Yours was there, just out of grasp.

As you fluttered in my future, fled throughout my life-longs past,
I expected every spring to bring you to my arms, to my side.
When autumn started coming; thick and firm and fast,
I never once gave up believing you would come with winters passing.
You would be here as the moon fell.

As the sun rose, we would clasp hands at first,
then bodies closing up that awful gap that life without a life-long
partners leaves between noon and the night line.

Did I falter in my faith? Once or twice perhaps,
But never long enough to leave you in a dream that wasn't mine.
Because I always knew you would find me.

I was blessed with growing knowledge.
Something whispered:
Do not worry, it will happen, it's been planned.
Nothing here is happenstance, do not hurry
Do not pause to catch your breath, so it was I always knew.

Lessons learned, prizes earned; but not always given.
Paths I've paved; paths left unpaved.
The rest of what I have to offer,
the little things this life's amassed.
For you, for you , It was for you:
I saved the best for last!

We had a wonderful anniversary and spent some time alone and also with the whole Deason clan and ended the day with a lovely meal at our favorite restaurant. It has been a great three years and our love and our friendship seems to get better every single day. My wish is that everyone who is not married, find your best friend to share your life with and if you are already married, make you husband or wife your best friend. There is nothing like it in this world.

Brad, Happy Annibirthary baby!

Shell

Catching up. . .

I have wanted to get on here and just catch up with my own thoughts. We have so much going on that it is overwhelming sometimes. God continues to give us strength through the storm and we are so thankful. I have to let everyone know what has been going on.

We were part of a start up ministry since fall of 2006. For almost three years, we poured our hearts and our souls into trying to build something for Jesus. We poured our time and effort into a pastor and his family to be a support unit to them. This Pastor has such charisma and charm and when annointed by the Lord, it is amazing how lives are touched. We were just honored that God had led us to be part of the work of God that we knew was going to happen.

As time passed, Pastors flaws became apparent, but hey, we are all flawed people and God loves us just as we are as long as we are striving to be more like Him every day. I equated my Pastor to David of the Old Testament, flawed but loving God, mistakes abounded but the repentance did too. This was enough for my family to stay even when literally hundreds of people came in and out the doors never to return. Our hearts were confused on why these folks didn't have enough strength or perseverance to stay and see it through. Little did we know that God would use this as a tool to show us the truth when the time was right.

Around six months ago, God started tapping on my hearts door and letting me know that we would break away from this ministry and begin our own work for the Lord at some point. I think this is God's love shown forth because if I had not started to break away emotionally all those months ago, I would be so hurt by the last few weeks that I would not be able to function. It is God's divine grace that has sustained us through it all.

Two months ago, my husband told me, God is telling me we need to stay here. "We are staying here and supporting Pastor and his family until God makes it clear that this door is shut and that another door is opened." In loving (okay sometimes not so loving) submission, I waited on God and my husband to confer about the appropriate time-line. God's time is not always our time, but He is always right on time.

Three weeks ago this Friday, the poo hit the fan, so to speak. It seemed like out of the woodwork people began to tell us things that hurt our heart so badly that I would not put them on a blog for anyone to read. Our Pastor had basically said untrue things about myself and my family and that was our final straw. That was the door shutting in our face and though it hurt like you know what, it was a relief of sorts. I was so spiritually tired of trying to be a help to a ministry that was built on falsehoods and I was so relieved that I could breathe again. It seems like it had been six months since I took a really deep breath.

So much has been unearthed in the past few weeks, our email accounts have been attacked and compromised and our facebooks hacked and mine even deleted. Even my work email has been violated. The vile and hateful attacks of the enemy during this time have not dampened our faith, have only strengthened our resolve to move forward for Jesus. I said sometime ago that people hurt people, not God or Churches.

There are only about three families left at my old Pastors church and I pray for them everyday, that they will have the strength and that they will hear the still small voice of God when he shuts the doors for their families. I remember when families would leave and they would say to us, you need to leave, this is not where you need to be and we would say, this is where God wants us to be. And that was true - for the time we were there, God wanted us there, whether it was to expose the enemy for who he was or just to learn how to be better when our leadership time comes, whatever it was, it was God teaching us something to use in the future.

I miss my Pastor and his wife, or at the least the people I thought they were. Today is mine and Brad's third wedding anniversary. My pastor married us, that was one of the most awesome days of our lives and they were there, front and center, sharing that with them. It is my prayer that this family really find where things went wrong and get back on the path God wants them on . It is my prayer that everything comes to light so that their true healing and redemption can begin. Someone once told my pastor that to be truly used of God, you truly have to be broken before him. I sincerely hope that this is how he views this time, that he finds where God's direction should be leading him and his family. Most of you don't know this family, but they need your prayers. While we are hurting, we do have others around us lifting us up, we have a body of believers who are standing united together. This family does not have a strong support system and greatly need prayer. Please pray for them because if through this, they can come to repentance, that is the heartbeat of God.

I know this is quite lengthly but it has been in my head and heart, a jumble of emotions and prayers. We are thankful that as we start our new work as a body of believers who broke away, we had 45 people at our service last Sunday for mothers day. I am thankful that people are choosing forgiveness over bitterness. I am thankful to be a part of the Kingdom of God that refuses to let human pain paralyze us spiritually.

Pray that God leads our church body as we pray about leadership and about board members. Pray that our focus at Bethesda will always be what Bethesda means (healing waters - house of grace). Pray that we get so much of Jesus in us as a body of believers that others are compelled to ask about the God within us. Brad taught on Sunday about how Mary birthed God ~ literally. He talked about how she was moved as God moved within her. That is my prayer for our church body. As God grows within us, help us to move where he moves. . . .

Blessings.

Shelly

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY ~ THE DEASONS
Brad, Shelly, Logan, Caitlin, Hunter & Bayleigh

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Friday, May 8, 2009

TeamDeason's Living Room

well, somehow my blog got messed up so here are the living room pics.
Our "D" welcomes you into the Living Room

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The Wall of Crosses ~ Love These!

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Cait's Artwork from Middle School

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My moms antique table with our fam. picture and flowers i carried in our wedding.

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We got this on our honeymoon ~ framed it at Hobby Lobby.

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Wall of Crosses / Reading Nook ~ Baileigh in the floor

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Our Great Big Comfy Couch

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Our New Flatscreen & Some lovely Hobby Lobby Pictures

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The inspiration piece for these rooms ~ the famous checked Chair. . .

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Our family sand ceremony momentos

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Picture as a wedding gift, over our wedding momento table
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Just put one foot in front of the other ~

That is the plan. Just put one foot in front of the other and walk in the direction that God leads. This is what our family has been doing and God is opening so many doors and we are already seeing so many people starting to have their hurts healed and their hearts full of the tenderness of God. As we left our old church, it was our greatest fear that people would begin to walk in bitterness because of the hurts we experienced there but we serve a gracious and good and mighty God who kept us there for such a time as this.

Ephesians 6: 11 - 18 says ~

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Verse 15 is near and dear to my heart because although we as a church, we as a united body of believers have walked through a bunch of junk to get to where we are now, our constant prayer is that our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace ~ peace that passes all understanding.

When God showed us it was time to go and to begin again a new work at Bethesda (meaning house of mercy, grace & abundance also meaning healing waters); we were in awe that this was His plan. It is truly our desire to see people faith in others restored and to live the life God had for us. Please pray for our family as we take on this new endeavor. We had 32 people at our first church service last Sunday and Brad taught on the healing power of God for our lives. We are thankful that God has surrounded us with mature loving Christians who are working and praying along side us in this endeavor.

Please pray that many come to know Jesus in the power of who He is. .

Blessings,

Shelly


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

16 Candles

Caitlin ~ today the blog is all about you

Today marks a milestone in the life of my first born. Sixteen years ago today she brought into my life a love I never knew existed. The love of a mother and child. Thinking back through the years at how she has grown and matured and how she has turned into my 'mini-me' is bittersweet to say the least.

The once shy girl who would hide behind her mothers skirt when strangers said hello and peek around to smile with those big blue eyes is on the verge of becoming a woman. She has set goals for college and career and now that the big 16 has arrived ~ she can start dating. This seemed like a great age to allow that when she was ten years old. Not so much today ~ today I want to change the age to 18 ~ I want her to grow and want her to stay the same but we can't have that now can we.

On Sunday, we celebrated at El'Bracero Mexican restaurant with family and a few friends.
Here are a few pictures from the party:






I am thankful that God has given me such a great daughter: she is compassionate and kind to others (if you don't count Logan) and she has a true love for Jesus. She is not easily swayed by the people who surround her and she stands up for what she believes in. She is stubborn and hardheaded when she knows she is right (and sometimes even when she's wrong). She is beautiful and quirky and her smile lights up the room. She faces responsibilities without (much) complaining and does really well in school. What is not to like about that? Happy birthday baby girl ~ Mama Loves You~

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What doesn't kill us. . .

There are days when you wonder what in the world did I do to deserve what is going on? Ironically, or not so ironically, I just recently posted about the friction of rocks and how it ultimately smooths our lives. Well as much friction as we have had in the past seven days, we should be smooth as a baby's bottom after a good dose of Johnson & Johnson.

See, like I've said before, God knows the outcome ~ He knew where we would be last Friday, He knew I would be sitting here this morning wondering how to put into words what I am feeling without seeming discouraged (because I am very encouraged because I know I walk in the Favor Of God) without seeming petty (because sometimes hurt comes across as whiney), without being ugly (my flesh feels ugly but my spirit is just saddened by the actions of others) but while proclaiming that Jesus is Lord of my life and that I am still chasing God through all this junk.

Because this is a lesson for good ol' teamdeason. A lesson long time coming ~ we have learned we can't take our eyes off of God and we learn that we can't stop seeking His face or listening to His voice ~ if we listen to anything else ~ we could be in a world of hurt.

For those of you who read my blog, alot of this might not make sense, but it does to me and to other families that are in our situation who have been hurt by the ministry. I told my husband just the other day this is why people quit church and never go back. But we have to always remember that People hurt People, not buidlings or assemblies or God. People hurt you when you allow them too and when you are seeking God's face and you get serious about your walk with Him, in God's time it will be revealed. God is always on time even when we feel like he is way overdue to show up for our situation.

God is with us and God is for us and we are so thankful that we have a strong army of believers lifting each other up in a time of need. Pray for us as we pray for you and God willl lead our paths. More to come . . . .

Blessings,

Shelly

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rocks ~ Part 3 ~ Its all about the Friction

There are those earth-shattering things that happen to us that bring us to our knees. Divorce, abuse, death, loss of job, the list could go on and on, right? Sometimes we put the real weight of what changes our life on those things but I want us to look at something small that changes us quiety, slowly and profoundly.

Its Friction ~
Webster Defines Friction as:

1. surface resistance to relative motion, as of a body sliding or rolling.
2. the rubbing of the surface of one body against that of another.
3. dissension or conflict between persons, nations, etc., because of differing ideas, wishes, etc.



Today is Sunday and I started this post (what you see above) on Thursday and couldn't get direction on how to finish. I had so many things in my head to say but I really knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would show me when and how to continue.

Well he has. My heart was really on definition #2 The rubbing of the surface of one body against another. It reminds me of when you stop and put your feet in a cold stream and those smooth stones are beneath your feet. God didn't create them smooth but allowed them to be smooth by the friction of one rubbing against the other and rubbing against the current and rubbing against the feet of youngsters playing in the water. God puts things in our lives to smooth our edges. To enable us to be able to move into the next level of what he has for us.

I say this a lot, but each life situation we face helps shape us for the next one IF, if being the word, we learn something and put that to work in our life.

My family is facing a huge change, good change but huge which I will write more about as time and wisdom and God allows but I look back on the last three years and know that the people and places and lives that I have rubbed against is what will enable me to make this next step in my life and in the life of my family.

I love the Lord so much and am so amazed by His timing. My timing is never right, but his is always right. If we set our clocks to 'jesus time' we will never be too early or too late. . .

Blessings

Shelly




Rocks ~ Part 2 ~ Upon this Rock

I take my salvation very seriously and one of my favorite scripture readings is as follows:

Matthew 16:18-19
Jesus Speaking "And I say also to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven."

When we fast forward to after Jesus' ascension we see the believers praying in one mind and one accord in the book of Acts waiting for the comforter that Jesus promised would come.

Acts 2:2-4 says:
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them cloven tongues as of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"

As the promised comforter began to dwell in these believers the people around them knew that God was working because there were many travelers in the city that day for the Feast of Pentecost and as the believers spoke in tongues, they understood it in their native languages. They knew that these Jews did not speak their language and that something supernatural was taking place.

Acts 2:37-38
"Now when they had heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what should we do? Then Peter said unto them "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and your shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Now these are the keys that Jesus told Peter about. The keys to salvation: Repentance, Baptism and infilling of the Holy Ghost

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever so this is not some idea that is come and gone.

Recently someone told me that to believe is enough ~ well the Bible tells me that the demons believe that Jesus is Lord and I am pretty sure that they are not saved.

I want everything that God had for me and I want to continue to read and pray and study His Words so that I can continue to Build my life Upon this Rock