Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Winning for me is being secure in who I am every day. The Bible says in Phillipians 3:14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" ~ Winning for me is moving my life every day toward what and who God wants me to be. The ultimate prize in this life is making it to heaven.
One of the best things that's happened to my family since moving to Nashville is seeing my children growing in God. They are bringing their friends to church and they are really establishing their own walks with God. Just yesterday, I was having a frustrating day and my daughter brought to mind how Pastor had just taught on Sunday about our testimonies being under attack. Those simple words from her brought me to tears because I knew the word was getting in her. I knew that we are in the will of God and for me, that is Winning.
So in the small things in life, winning isn't everything, but in the big scheme of things, Winning is everything~ Walking with God and winning the ultimate prize of a relationship with Jesus Christ is what this life is all about!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Just last night I was walking on this bridge with my husband. It was beautiful balmy night in Nashville and we decided to escape for some alone time. We'd never been on the pedestrian bridge so we decided to take a stroll and look at the city lights. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. It was funny. Brad was going in for a romantic kiss when a homeless man interrupted to ask for some spare change. That was funny ~
As we looked and relaxed in the awe of where we were we began to talk about what an amazing journey the Lord has placed us on and that our life is so different from where we were just a short time ago. I hope there won't be a day when I am not amazed by the Nashville skyline. I love this place, this east Nashville vibe and the people who are in my life.
On that bridge last night I was thankful for every experience I have endured that brought me to that moment and in those short minutes, I thought, nothing can touch this. Nothing can touch this feeling, this clear path of where we are and who we are becoming.
As we left the bridge I thought, that was really an experience in forgiveness. Looking at the strong parts of the bridge and how it held up against every wind and every flood and every boat that might bump against it, it reminded me of God and how when we are rooted in his love and forgiveness that people can bump us and the wind can blow us but the forgiveness is what makes us strong. Forgiveness makes us strong because it's what makes us. The pain people put on us is not what makes us strong, it's the willingness on our part to Forgive as God forgives us that makes us strong. The hurts we experience are there to allow us to grow in Forgiveness.
As we walked backed to the car I told Brad that I know that there will be challenges ahead of us even though right now we feel on top of the world. I also told him that the only thing that scares me is that I know whatever comes our way will be more personal than anything before and I hope my bridge of forgiveness is strong and sure so that I can move through it.
I woke this morning to discover a hurt that I had long ago 'thought' I had gotten past was thrown up at me in the worst way. There is a part of me that feels like I am dying inside right now and only God and I can talk about it. No one else can understand where I am emotionally about this one thing. The bridge of forgiveness that I talked about in my head last night as I dreamt up this blog was pretty and silver and as I look at it today, there seem to be some steps missing and it's a little shakey. Did I mention God is Funny? Nevertheless, I am going to get on this bridge and I don't know how long it will take me to cross it, I don't know how sure my steps are, but I know that with Him all things are possible. I know that when I get on the other side of this bridge I will feel safe again and be able to breathe.
I know God didn't bring me to this bridge without knowing I can cross it.
I know that.
And for today, for this moment, that's enough.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We were talking this weekend about when we first came to Point of Mercy, our church home here in Nashville. Today I got on my blog because I remembered writing a post the next day after we had visited, the day that changed our life and put us on the path we are walking today. This post was about the pain and the betrayal and hurt we were feeling on that day. It is AMAZING how far God can bring you in a year's time.
Almost one year exactly to that day, June 17, 2010 ~ we moved into our cute, roomy bungalow here in East Nashville. We moved here where Hopkinsville already seems to be a life time ago.
I am amazed and in awe at how great our God is and that He chose TeamDeason to walk through the fires we have went through so that we can help others to come out on the other side, just like we have ~ I never want to forget the blessing in the trial because on the other side the sweetness of knowing it was all for us to grow in Him makes each trial worth it ~ We are Blessed Beyond Measure
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Seventeen means so many things to me. Seventeen has woven itself in and out of my life since the day I was born; and today, as you turn seventeen, it happens once more.
Your grandmother was Seventeen when she found herself pregnant with me and seventeen when she married your granddad and had me that August of 1973.
Seventeen years later, in 1990 on a warm August Saturday, your Dad and I got married and at seventeen, I was a wife. I cannot imagine how my mom felt letting me marry at such a young age, and I am thankful that you have your sights set on Jesus, schooling and career at this age instead of marriage. On that warm August afternoon in 1990 there were no doubts and no fears, only excitement for the future. I am sure that your dad and I could have made better choices and while there were things we both regret; you were were never one of those regrets. Three years later, on May 5th, 1993, you arrived; you were more than we had hoped for and we loved you with all we had in the best way we knew how.
Last night, like every birthday in between, we came together as a family for a birthday party that you really didn’t even want to have. We ate and laughed , had birthday cupcakes, virgin margaritas in pretty glasses and had our house full of love. It warmed my heart when afterward you told me that you were glad I had the party for you. This party, was admittedly, for me. I feel that this is the last chance to catch you in that divide between child and adult, and I wanted to revel in every second of it. If I had it to again, I would go back and even buy a piñata.
Where did this crazy-faced, cake eating baby girl go who was so happy to just have a Cinderella party? Gone is this little pigtailed girl and in her place is a young woman on the brink of first loves, first heartbreaks, first kisses, first car, first college experiences. Thank you for bringing me along on this trip with you. It's amazing to be your Mom. Digging through the photos of your life tonight, I cried as I saw those moments and faces that only come in certain stages of life. I am thankful that not only do you respect me as your mom, that you love me as a friend.
Don’t ever take the stages of your life for granted. It's okay to be single, it's okay to be in love, it's okay to be whatever you want. I am grateful for every fork in the road and every decision I have made because it brought me to today. Don’t ever worry about what others think of you, plow ahead into all that life has for you; and on the sidelines, I will be here, forever cheering you on as only a mama can. I hope some of these photos bring back the good memories for you that they brought me tonight.
I love you Cait, keep Jesus and your family first and be like me in this one respect, Make every Seventeen Count!
Monday, May 3, 2010
My heart breaks as I think of children who don't have their favorite blanket or pillow and for moms and dads who have no idea what they will do because they have no flood insurance. Being an animal lover, I think of the many animals that are displaced. Being a small business owner, I think of people that if they lose their business, their whole world is turned upside down.
My heart hurts for the homeless person who's home is literally washed away. I think of how the two income family is not much different from the people who always reside underneath the Jefferson Street Bridge or have a tent or two off of Trinity Lane. Every Sunday and Wednesday, as we head down Trinity Lane to church, we will see a few homeless people, sometimes panhandling, sometimes walking their dog, sometimes just heading to the tents that you can see through the brush on the right hand side of the road right before the Pilot. The white & blue tarps are just visible enough for you to know they are there, and I wonder, as the brush becomes green with spring and summer, will we even see that? When we see these folks we always talk about it, how we are so blessed to not be without, how we are blessed for family that helped us when we could have been in that place, those tents on the side of the road.
As you watch this video below just put yourself there for a minute, for a moment in time and think of what you would do if this happened to you. This was swift and unimaginable and honestly, it will probably get worse for most people before it gets better. My heart breaks and my words move often today for God to show His face in this disaster, for Him to make himself known. Maybe He makes himself known in us, maybe it takes things like this for us to tap into the relationship with Him that we need.
Please continue to pray for Nashville families and businesses and homeless and churches that unity will bring us all together and that God will be glorified through this tragedy somehow. If you can help financially, please send to the red cross.
We have checked a few times and as far as we know, this door (and the house attached to it) is safe. This door makes my heart smile and gives me hope. It makes me aware that I will be there hand in hand with my neighbors through the summer and beyond, restoring a city to its beauty and wonder.
It's the door that will welcome us home when we get to Nashville in June. It's the door that many will go through for bible studies, cookouts, sleepovers, fellowship, yummy cup cakes and love. I am excited to share more behind this door with you but that will keep for another day. Just keep our friends and neighbors in your hearts and your minds and Keep Him First Always.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
About a year ago today, I lost some of my best friends and that was a sad loss for me & my family. Today as I revisited some of the reasons for this loss, I came out with the understanding that sometimes you have to lose those things you held most dearly in order to grab a hold of what is most important. Wow, even in saying that, I am amazed at where God has moved my life. God is so amazing and His plan is so definite that if we just let go and lose all the things around us that seem so important and hold onto Him, He won't let us fall. In fact, it is more than likely His idea for you to let go of those things in the first place.
See, today I trust God more, because I know He leads me. Today, I hold my husband more tightly because I know how the enemy tried to destroy our family. Today, I am aglow with pride because my kids are sensitive to God and I can see His purpose being fulfilled in their lives. Today, I am thankful that my Pastor seeks God's face and brings the Word with passion and intensity because God led us to a wonderful church home.
If I had never let go and experienced the loss and pain I would most likely not be experiencing the greatness that is in my life right now. The Bible teaches us about counting it joy when we are put to the test. I love how 'The Message' depicts James 1:2-4 ~ Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
As the trials and pressures of this life swell around us, let's count it all joy. It is because of the joy I have in my life that I am not as discouraged as I could be about my weight loss (or lack thereof). It is through this joy that I see God growing our business in His time and not ours. It is through this joy that I hopefully can speak peace into the troubled life of a friend or has experienced a loss of their own. It is through this joy that I choose to move forward and take the losses and turn them into wins. God is developing something in you right now and you don't even realize it. Just hang in there through this loss in your life and give Him time to show you what it was about.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I think that in this time of crossroads where Brad & I are working together now, building our business, getting ready to move to Nashville, getting the kids' their school interviews for fall, being in Nashville, on average, three days a week, trying to balance that and our quality time is really not working. This transitional time has been pretty hard on me because although I am excited about the changes going on, I don't always deal with change well and right now, everything is changing. Everything!
So many changes, so many concerns, so much to budget, to juggle, to decide, to discuss, to manage, to figure out, and taking no time to enjoy glancing over the top of our plates at a dinner table or a quick hug as we go out the door. People have always picked on Brad & I for our lovey dovey ways and honestly, I have always had a great sense of pride in the fact that we are best friends and that we do always have that spark with each other. Over the last little bit, the spark has gave way to comfort and being so used to seeing each other 24/7 that we haven't had time to miss each other or be excited to see the other person arrive. We wake up together, work together, eat together, cook together, look at houses together, etc. You get the idea.
It made me sad last week as I thought about it and I told Brad, "This is no fun, I feel like, for the first time in six years, we are old married people". This is not who we are, we have let ourselves become this way the last 5 months because we are stressed, over worked and tired and this has made us lazy about one of the most important aspects of our lives, each other.
Today, the scripture, Phillipians 4:6 came to my mind about our situation "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Our marriages are, besides our relationship with God, the most important relationships on this earth. With our marriages we show the world around us what an example of a christian marriage is, we teach our children how to be parents and team mates, we show each other the value that we truly have. I have renewed sense of awareness that my marriage will not fall by the wayside of bills and decisions and problems that just won't matter in two weeks. I will cherish how lucky and blessed I am to be married to my best friend and instead of complaining about our life being to boring, find ways to make it not.
Rough Patches are good, because they help us realize that something needs our attention before it's too late. Rough Patches are God's way of saying, Hey, Look over there and sand that down and get back on a smooth path. I am so thankful that He allows me to learn lessons through everything I go through and that He cares for our souls so much!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I remember being a newlywed and our freezer did not have self defrost, much less an ice maker. Stacking those ice trays ups and checking them way too often would be so frustrating to that 17 year old girl. What was even more frustrating is opening the freezer and there being ice trays in there with no ice and no water at all. Refilling ice trays was not my strong suite. I wish I had known about $5 bags of ice from sonic back then. Anyway, my research today showed me that four typical ice trays put into the freezer at room temperature take 10 hours to freeze. As the molecules of the water get colder and colder they expand and grow larger until they are those chunks of ice.
That typical piece of ice, though, takes on average less than 2 hours to thaw. I don’t know the science on this, but in view of life events I find it interesting. God in all His wisdom made water to thaw faster than he made it to freeze. Can we humans take a lesson from the water? It seems that God has used water for ever to try and teach us lessons.
Genesis 7:17-19 ..and it continued forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily upon the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered."
Exodus 2:5-6 "Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked beside the river; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it. When she opened it she saw the child; and lo, the babe was crying. She took pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children...And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses, for she said, "Because I drew him out of the water."
Exodus 7:19 The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt--over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs'--and they will turn to blood. Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars."
Exodus 14:21 states, "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided." Verse 24 says, "And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians."
Exodus 17:4-5 4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, "What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me." 5 The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?
Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus walks on the water
John 2:1-5 1 Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee.89 Jesus’ mother was there,90 2 and both Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.
John 4:14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to Eternal Life."
What has been amazing to me is that when God controls the water there is a lesson in it. When we experience hurts we freeze automatically, we don’t take 10 hours to puff up and let our hearts get hard. It is as instantaneous as the water was turned to wine. We have an automatic icemakers in our minds and hearts and when we experience hurt it is much like that magic shell chocolate we used to use a kids. It hardens around us immediately and is unyielding.
But our thawing process is slow and tenuous. It takes prayer and understanding and hugs and friends to let those guards down. God forbid we get hurt while we are thawing because then our hearts and minds become the human version of the frozen tundra. Layers upon layers of frozen fears and hurts and scabs just pile onto the old ones until we wonder where the first frozen layer even is. Our only hope is to let the God of heaven thaw us from the inside out, to let the miracle of him control our ‘water’ like He has done so aptly since the beginning of time.
As I watched in awe and somewhat horror (just being honest) as my husband smiled and shook someone’s hand yesterday that had brought much pain to our family, I was witnessing a thaw. A thaw of hope and a thaw of mercy that created a thaw of it’s own in my heart. I had never been more proud to say my husband was a person of character and someone I can call my rock and my strength. I pray that God continues to thaw us into what He wants us to be and if you have ice around your heart and your mind, just take it to Him and ask him to THAW you out; that is my prayer today. Let’s be like the ice and be easier to thaw than to be frozen. Let’s be who God desires us to be.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
When I let myself get sad for friendships lost I have to remember that Jesus, the ultimate Lion of Judah was betrayed and hurt and killed for the love He had for others. He made the ultimate love sacrifice and the Lion wept. Ultimately the Lion conquered sin and was raised from the dead to give us life eternally and when I think of this sacrifice, it makes my sacrifices and hurts and trials seem so trivial. How do I still miss the friends who betrayed me? Jesus, the true Lion of Judah is in my heart and He guides me through this sadness and brings me to the hope of the resurrection and lets me know that my suffering and shame are going to be trivial as I conquer the sin in my life and draw closer to Him.
It has been almost a year, a crazy, unpredictable, year since these hurts started and tomorrow as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus I am determined in my heart that this Lion will weep no more, I will forget those things which are behind me and run the race that God has set before me.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today we were invited to share our ministry or our story through Kelly’s blog and I decided to put it all out there. Many times I have wondered how my situations and circumstances can help others and what these times have meant to me as a person and how these things could possibly help others.
I truly believe that God uses our circumstances and situations for His good when we let Him. I was born in 1973 to a very young mother who got pregnant out of wedlock and got married because she was pregnant. When I was almost 2; my mother was murdered and my whole life changed. My dad was young and irresponsible so my grandmother got custody of me.
Thus should have become my happy ending. Young girl raised by her grandparents, right? Um, No ~ My grandfather molested my cousin and me for years when we were kids and then when we finally told my grandmother; she got us family counseling but never divorced him. Every day I lived with my abuser and felt like I was not important enough to make the choice to not live with a child molester. Every day I wondered why my life was this, my search for being good enough led me to seek love from a very early age.
By the age of 17, I was married and still the void was there. There was this part of me that was always looking for more, but not knowing what it was. My beautiful babies came in 1993 and 1995 and the is love was different, a love I had not known before; a love that was different than any other love. But even still, there was a deep unhappiness in me that could not be explained.
I guess by now I should have already said that I grew up in church; I grew up always knowing about God, always hearing about God, always thinking I was a Christian, always wearing the title but never really knowing God, knowing Him in the glory of His power and in the beauty of his wonder.
In 2004, as my marriage fell apart I blamed God. I blamed him for the abuse, for my mom dying, for an unfaithful spouse, for all my shortcomings in life. I turned completely away from Him because I felt He had failed me in every way possible. I decided I could do just as well on my own as I had with God; not knowing that I really had not experienced Him for myself.
I met a great guy, who became my best friend and my love. I knew then that my life was complete. I knew that now I needed nothing. Except that there was a missing piece still, there was a hole that could not be filled. There is a great song out right now and one of my favorite lines goes like this. . “there is a God Shaped hole in all of us”. See that was my problem; I had this hole that only God could fill and it took me 30+ years to realize it.
The last six years have been the best of my life even though we have faced so many financial and emotional hardships but everyone of those have brought us closer to God. The day that I realized the God shaped hole could only be filled by God was the best day of my life. As you read through my other blogs you will see the path we have walked the last few years, struggling to find employment, walking through bankruptcy, suffering through hurt in ministry, having been victims of identity theft. All of this that we have went through I can see now is for God’s Glory and for us to be a help to those who are facing those same situations today and to let them know that as you let God fill that hole in your heart He can walk you through any fire.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Kids grow so fast and it is amazing to see what a year brings. My baby will be 15 years old tomorrow and is a Freshman in high school. It seems like yesterday when I could feel his little feet press against the inside of my belly so hard that you could see his foot print on my stomach.
It seems like about an hour ago that his chubby cheeks would pop as his smile showed the first four teeth he got and that, even then, he was flirty with all the ladies.
As I read back over the post from last year, I realized that Logan really is growing up ~ he is singing in the choir at HHS and has a solo in the spring concert. He continues to play the piano some but has found he likes the guitar better. The noises from his room actually sound like music so that is a good thing.
Although he is growing up, he still has those boyish tendencies that really never go away. He has the aptitude to make me laugh, cry, smile and curse in about a 10 minute time frame and is quite proud of that. He is a button pusher in the largest way, especially toward his sister. But when push comes to shove, he has her back and she knows it.
So happy birthday to my pride and joy, the one who makes me shake my head in amazement and frustration and makes me proud to be his mama.