There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Faith that moves mountains.....

I am so thankful today for an amazing, beautiful, healthy, strong, talented little girl. I have shared "Macie moments" many times before but I never seem to be amazed the wisdom such a little soul can have. I may never dance with the grace that she does or be able to bend my body in ways that she can ever again for cheer moves but I guarantee if I could aspire after one asset she possesses its the audacious faith that she displays. With kids maybe some of it is lack of experience from lifes pain but alot of it is this uncanny ability to have hope that truly believes mountains can be moved through the faith of a mustard seed. Its trust, hope, grace and redemption shown stretched to all capability. Its never questioning or believing that God is bigger than anything in this entire world and can take pure brokeness and fix it. I dunno but to me thats beautiful and thats what faith is meant to be even though I often put it in a box.

Macie loves Polly Pocket Dolls and for anyone that even knows a little girl you are familiar with what I'm talking about. Actually Polly Pockets dolls have been around for years and I remember playing with them with my two sisters, although back then they were much smaller and made of hard plastic. One day Macie was playing with one of her Polly Dolls and trying to change her outfit when her hair came off. Its all rubber material so when it came off I mean she was bald. She first started laughing and then said the sweetest thing that will forever remain on my heart and she said "look mommy she looks like Chrissy." Macie has a friend Chrissy who is battling Leukemia right now and has lost most of her hair. Its been a month or so since this happened and she still has the Polly Doll sitting on her bedside table because she told me she wants to give that doll to her friend Chrissy so she doesnt feel sad and knows someone else can be like her. So that she knows she is never alone and its ok that her hair is gone :)

Its so simple but so amazing a lesson that my 6 year old reminded me. I figured when she said it was broken we would just throw it away and get a new one afterall its one of her favorites but instead to her she saw the beauty in the midst of the brokenness, she saw a use for something different a purpose that I missed. The Lord has shown me lately as I have shared before this overwhelming ability for brokenness because I know what the Lord has done with my mess. He has shown me time and time again how by His power and grace all things can be made new and used for a purpose. He has reminded me how thankful I am that when I was broken He never gave up on me but created a new purpose and design for my life.

Life may take us down some difficult paths or lead us through circumstances we didnt expect but God has the ability to always turn our brokenness into purpose and use every piece for His glory. I am thankful that my Macie gets it and instead of seeing the parts that are missing she sees the parts that can be used. Thank You Jesus for your redemption and always trading "beauty for ashes."

Monday, February 27, 2012

What to pray?

Tonight I am reminded of the verse Romans 8:26-28 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Have you ever prayed for something for so long that literally somewhere along the process you lost sight of what you were praying for? When I started having all the major surgeries back 2 years ago our little Macie started praying for my belly every-night before bed and she hasn't stopped praying that same prayer since. Maybe its a habit but I think its really because she hasn't seen that prayer answered so until then she is going to keep praying and praying until it happens. I too have prayed the same prayer since that moment but its changed so many times that I have lost track. At this point I don't even know what to pray for anymore. I think I struggle so much lately because I am realizing as Macie prays for me she is praying with the option of only one thing being the answer and that is for me to be better and that is ok but God is showing me that He can answer our prayers but yet it have a totally different answer than we expected or wanted. What I mean is that I have prayed for healing at times but maybe Gods will is not to heal me?

God will stop at nothing to get people to see Him and if through my suffering and pain His glory is revealed then maybe thats what His plan is. We can get so caught up in ourselves that we forget there is a much bigger plan than what we see. There are countless pieces that are all apart of His plan and we are just a small section. Its not about just us but a purpose greater than the small piece we add to the picture. His plan for my life is not for me to be comfortable but for me to have a story and travel a journey that shows people Him. I could have an ideal plan layed out for my life but that doesnt mean thats what God has in mind. My hearts desire is to daily abandon myself for the cause of showing Jesus and in the process that means Him saying no to my plans and my prayers than so be it.

So tonight I don't know what to pray, I don't know if I should pray for different circumstances, easier health trials or what so instead I will pray for Gods will. I will pray that my heart be open to His plans for my life and trust that He knows my struggles and desires right now. Honestly its exhausting, my words have run out. I don't know what to say but I know you see the depths of my heart when I can't even possibly find the right words.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts.....

Let me first start off by saying my intention for this post is merely food for thought and not to offend anyones practices concerning Lent. Some people are struggling with headaches from caffeine withdrawl, thumb cramps from texting withdrawl or the intense feeling of missing that favorite candy bar, facebook or hundreds of other things people choose to give up starting yesterday for 40 days until Easter. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "the real aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare men for the celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ…the better the preparation the more effective the celebration will be. One can effectively relive the mystery only with purified mind and heart. The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts."

I know many people give things up for Lent and thats a very personal choice for them but its not something I have ever done. I can see the benefits that would come from giving up something wordly and using that time and energy to merely focus on God instead, however, the problem I have with Lent is why do we wait for Ash Wednesday to give up the things that are getting in the way of having pure hearts before the Lord. We all allow things to get in the way of our relationship with God and to compete with our time everyday so why does it have to be today opposed to any other Wednesday in the entire year that we decide to remove that distraction?? Why do we feel like we can push through each day of Lent fasting from something but yet Easter comes and its like a huge party because we can once again completely indulge in the thing we gave up initially. If the thing we gave up for Lent was something we identified as needing to be removed from our lives during any period of time to allow ourselves more time to focus on Christ then shouldn't we give it up for good and not just 40 days??? Maybe I dont understand the true meaning of Lent or the details of how its observed but simply speaking I feel like we obviously know before Lent that this "thing" is getting in the way of our relationship with God which is why we choose to give it up so why not do it before then? A very popular worship song thats been around for years talks about this concept and the words say "We bow our hearts,we bend our knees oh Spirit come make us humble.We turn our eyes, from evil things oh Lord we cast down our idols. So give us clean hands and give us pure hearts, let us not lift our souls to another. Oh give us clean hands and give us pure hearts, let us not lift our souls to another."

I also have a hard time with the idea that we are a busy society that constantly finds time to add "one" more thing in our schedules everyday but yet we dont have room for God instead we have to get rid of something to squeeze Him in??? I think we could all learn something from this idea because it seems to me especially as our daughter is getting older that its easier to add another activity but yet somehow we dont have time for God or time to spend in His word each day? I am going to be completely honest and real but whenever I feel like I don't have time for God because our lives are too busy its almost, ok its ALWAYS because my priorities are out of whack and I am not intentionally choosing to leave God out of my life but I am consciencly choosing to stuff it with the other things. Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a loyal spirit within me."All of this just goes to say that as we think about Ash Wednesday today and this season of Lent be open to what God is trying to reveal to you. Pray for eyes to see the things in your life that are interferring and causing you to be consumed be negativity therefore not fully allowing you to worship the Lord

Facts About Lent
By Dr. Richard P. Bucher
  • Lent Is a 40 day Christian festival beginning Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter (Sundays are not counted)
  • The word "Lent" comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word lengten, which means "springtime," named so for the time of the year in which it occurs.
  • What we now call Lent was originally a period of fasting and study for catechumens who were to be baptized on the Saturday before Easter. The 40 day fast was said by Athanasius in 339 AD to be celebrated the world over. The 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness was responsible for the number 40 being chosen.
  • The purpose of this extended fast was to practice self-denial and humility. This was to prepare oneself for receiving God's grace and forgiveness in baptism, given on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday.
  • The liturgical color for Lent is purple, the color of repentance and sorrow for sin.
  • Lent prepares us for the observance of Jesus Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection for us. It is a season of repentance and sorrow for sin. Lent is a time of self-examination in light of the Ten Commandments; it is a time of giving up of sinful behavior, a time of personal housecleaning. It is a time of commitment to the new life of Christ begun in baptism. It is a time of disciplined study of Scripture and a time of growing in faith. In recent years Lent has become a time to remember our baptisms. It is a time to reflect on the impact of baptism on our lives, and to ask ourselves how we are doing. Most of all, it is a time of renewal and new beginnings, as we through faith apply the complete forgiveness won by Christ's death to our lives. Lent heightens our awareness that we desperately need Jesus Christ.
  • As someone has said: "Lent is the Church's springtime. Out of the darkness of sin's winter emerges a people the Church--reborn through baptism into their Lord's death and resurrection from the grave."
    Lent is an opportunity not an obligation. It is not commanded by our Lord, nor is it even mentioned in the Bible. Those Christians who observe it do so because they find it a helpful opportunity for repentance and renewal, for the strengthening of their faith. Christians are free to observe or not observe Lent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The Lord has placed something on my heart today that I wanted to share a little something about. Its been so frustrating to me lately to watch some of the most beautiful women inside out and out struggle with the most devastating circumstances, trials and pain. I have constantly been reminded of the battlefield that we face every single day with the enemy who strives to destory us. My heart breaks for the pain physically and emotionally these women are facing. My prayer today for these ladies is this

"Lord, when no one else notices, You see the struggles of my soul, the sadness of my heart, the darkness of my days. Give me Your hope, Your strength, Your peace, Your assurance that my life is in Your loving hands...may I listen to You---not to my thoughts or emotions."

Isaiah 33:2: "O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their strength every morning, our salvation also in the time of distress."

I pray in the name of Jesus that the enemy would be defeated today on behalf of these precious ladies, that every stronghold would be broken, every negative thought would be snuffed out, that every ounce of pain would be soothed by the power of Jesus loving touch. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Poured out and used up...."

Yesterday’s message at Church scraped the inside of my heart like nails on a chalkboard. It struck a nerve that has been irritated since. The message spoke to me from the regard of how “doing the required amount just isn’t enough.” It’s not enough to just get by but to push the envelope beyond the point of being completely used up for the cause of showing Jesus Christ. I saw a post on “Pinterest, don’t knock it until you try it but it literally felt like someone had punched me in the gut, it knocked the wind out of my sails and screamed in my face “I want more, it’s just not enough.” The quote said this:

Wow……to be used up so that not one single bit of talent is left is powerful. Even when we finish a jar of peanut butter it’s impossible to get every single slather of that delicious goodness out of the container but for Jesus that’s exactly what He is saying, “I don’t want you to stop at almost being empty; I want you to be used up, completely wiped out and empty for me!! I want you to step out of your comfort zone and bear the burdens of the broken that I have called you to bear, not for those that you feel comfortable going after. I want you to do more than the minimum, sacrificing yourself for me.”

I posted a video a few days ago on my fb and I knew when I posted it I would have mixed reactions, what I didn’t expect was no reaction. Not one single person commented on the video I posted about “abortion.” Why? Because it’s a controversial subject, because it’s something we don’t like to talk about. Or what about adultery,sexual scandals, addictions, crime? I feel like for the past year the Lord has been pushing this envelope for me, He has placed in me a deep passion for the broken, the hurting that I never expected. A place that I never would have picked I step into the muddy waters of but He has shown me pain in the lives of others through His eyes, not my own. He has showed me that when I want to be judgmental, when I want to wonder why someone ended up where they did, when I want to try to figure out what went wrong “how dare I!!!!”  

All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." ~
Edmund Burke
I don’t promote abortion but I promote healing from the pain of something I could never imagine, I don’t promote alcohol but I promote recovery and freedom from the bondage it can have over people. I have witnessed in the lives of many and in my own life the healing, restorative, redemptive power of Jesus and the grace that has been offered to me is no different than the grace that needs offered to another hurting, broken, child of His.

I don’t want to be quiet, I don’t want to tip toe around the brokenness, and mistakes we face but I want to share a Jesus that is there regardless of them. I want to share a Jesus that when the world has given someone every reason to stop fighting and throw in the towel that they can hear from behind someone is cheering for them and holding up a sign rooting them on. 

I imagine that’s what pushing the envelope is. For me I imagine this beautiful moment standing before an omnipotent, powerful, loving God and being so exhausted that I know there isn’t doubt, I know that my human being is completely famished because I worked to show people Jesus. I imagine a moment standing before Him that He didn’t call me by name because of how much money I had, what materialistic things I obtained, what friends I had, but instead because I am so withered up from giving it every ounce of my being I am completely famished. That’s when I believe we will hear “well done good and faithful servant well done.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In awe of my Savior....

Today has been one of those days where I have just stood in complete awe of my Savior. Even when I question the circumstances in life, the trials ahead, the moments that don't make sense He always seem to whisper in my ear "precious daughter, DO NOT FEAR, I AM WITH YOU!" These whispers may come through a quote, song, or some other subtle drop of peace but either way I know that in order to have the words whisper to my heart such calmness He had to of orchestrated the path it took to reach its hidden destination. Its amazing to me how in a few shorts moments of uncertainty He can instantly calm the raging seas within our unsettled, human beings. It may take repetitive strikes of negative thoughts in my head to beat me down but when Jesus whispers softly in my ear it breaks me down instantly, in that moment I am weak...or really I think I am made strong. "I will remain, confident in this I will see THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD." I may never understand all of life's craziness but I will always hold tight to my Jesus that promises to be in the midst of it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just a swingin.......

I often look at a swing set placed in our background and think of the many memories that has happened there. We first got the swing set when Macie was a baby and it was one of the larger things that was a must take when we moved to our new house. When I see the different swings hanging it’s a reminder of the growth and journey that’s taken place. Among the two regular swings hanging we still have Macie’s baby swing attached to that metal bar. I have thought about taking it down many times but then I just look at it and smile remembering our baby that once giggled and clenched her tiny hands around those yellow string anchors. 

When Macie was a baby she loved swinging, she loved exploring and trying different things with this fearlessness but for us that was scary we knew that she wasn’t mature enough to handle the dangers along the way. By placing her in the baby swing she was able to be held secure but still experience the journey around her. At that time in her minimum knowledge she needed something that would protect her more and keep her safe until she had gained the physical and mental maturity to move to the next swing. Now Macie is in a big girl swing. She has grown over the past 5 years and gained the knowledge of what you need to do to stay safe. She knows the swing will hold her secure still but she has to hold on and use the things that she has learned to keep her safe.
I started thinking about how our relationship with God is like that swing set in my backyard. When we first come to know God we are in this infancy stage and have to rest in the security of who God is and trust in His wisdom and leading due to our lack of knowledge at the time. After a while and many years of experiences, prayer, teachings, Godly counsel, accountability and preparation’s we move out of that infancy stage into a more mature role. Like Macie’s big girl swing we still have the safety and security of Christ but He now trusts us a little more to do the right things, make the right decisions and to hold onto Him still ultimately so we don’t slip and fall off the swing causing heartache in our journey. Now that Macie has mastered the big girl swing  she starts thinking of all the cool things she could do like standing on the swing, going super high, jumping off the swing in mid air, using it as part of an obstacle course or whatever. It makes me nervous I just want her to be content with being back in that blue swing with the safety buckle and having me push her gently in the air but the truth is she has grown up and she needs more.

Do you ever feel like that?? You feel like you have trusted all the little pieces of your life in Gods hands and have worked super hard to become mature in Him and be the man or woman He wants you to be but then you just feel like there is something more? You start thinking of the out of the box ways that may be a little dangerous but your confident you can do it like Macie and her new boldness on the swing set. You are ready for a new challenge and for what God has for your life. I have felt like at different times in my life and a few things happened. At one point when I was ready to jump out and try something new and completely out of the box it ended in pain and failure, the truth is I just wasn’t ready for the challenge yet. Although my heart wanted to serve so bad I was still so spiritually immature. Now this doesn’t mean you have to read so much of the Bible or have a list of qualifications to serve it just means you have to be aware of what you are ready for and you still may stumble but that’s ok. After I felt like I had failed I got back up and tried again, not immediately but I used as many resources around me whether it be books, sermons, community group, bible studies, prayer, mentoring relationships and all of those things along with experiences helped me to grow even more and gain the ability to have insight and capability of stepping out of the box safely, maturely, and knowledgeably. 

So which swing do you think you would place yourself in, either the baby swing or swing 1, big girl swing or swing 2 or using the swing as an acrobat or swing 3

If you would say that you are a fairly new Christian and need to be held and feel that safety and security right now until you mature a little more for the journey ahead, you are probably in swing 1.

If you have grown in Christ a little but still need lots of help and you know the moment you let go of His guidance a disaster is waiting, then you would be in swing 2. 

If you’re in a place in life where you feel you have worked really hard to learn and grow in the Lord and although you have become mature you still are not safe from stumbling but you would like to do something out of the box, something bold for Christ, you are in swing 3.

Whatever swing you find yourself in now doesn’t have to be permanent. There is a season and time for everything. God knows exactly what you need when you need it and if you continue to seek Him He will nurture, and love you so that you can grow and do more extreme out of the box things for Him.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cutest couple....

With Valentines Day quickly approaching we can't help but walk into any store and be flooded by candy hearts, pink and red stuffed animals, every assortment and shape of chocolate bars we can imagine and multiple card aisles filled with goofy and mushy phrases to try and express our feelings to the one we love. I like Valentines Day but even I am already sick of seeing it and hearing about it, lets be real they have had the pink and red out since the day after Chritmas:)

One thing that always seems to pop up around this time of year are contests for the "cutest couple." I clicked on a link for a local one and started glancing through the entries and I'm not sure how long they have had the webpage open to accept entries but there were over 800 entries as of a week ago so I can't imagine the number of entries the judges have to choose from now. Now I'm not trying to be a downer but as I looked through some of those pictures you see nothing but smiles and laughter, never tears, pain, trials or messiness. I wonder what it would be like if instead of the "cutest couple," the contest was for the messiest couple? Instead of smiles there were pictures of people mad, sad, sick, dying and struggling with life. I would like to assume that if that were the case you wouldnt see 800 + pictures in the running. I have no clue of the contest details and maybe you have to share your story and your struggles along with your picture and your journey as a couple but I know in past contests I have witnessed it was strictly superfical and nothing more than what appeared on the oustide instead of the beauty on the inside because of the battle. Its just in a contest like that its not a very good indicator of who the people beyond the smiles really are. What their character is, their strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, passions and motivators in life are. I'm not picking cutest couple contests apart at all because we could say the same thing with the "cutest baby" contests we see on Regis and Kelly or in Parents magazine. I think we sent in a picture of Macie for one of them when she was a newborn and the picture was her at her cutest not throwing a temper tantrum at 3 a.m.

The one amazing thing though is that even if we arent winners in a wordly cutest couple, baby, mom, dad, man or woman contest we are winners to Jesus and we do make the final cut in His eyes. Each day He looks at not our smiles but our scars, our messiness, our pain, our tears and our brokeness and thats what makes us winners to Him. We dont have to put on a front and hope that because of that we will be choosen all we have to do is be messy, broken, raw and real us. God doesnt get a snap shot of us when we have it all together He gets the whole picture, the real us. I love that I can wake up each day knonwing regardles of where I have been, where i'm at now or where i'm going I have already won and He has already decided to love me and make me the big winner. We don't win a night out on the town, a free dinner or a shopping spree by being messy but we do win the most amazing love story with a Savior who will change our lives. Not only do we win unconditional love we win eternal life so we can never use it up, like a shopping spree pass or dinner gift card.

I think I have shared this before but my all time favorite book is called "Messy Spirituality" by Mike Yaconelli. The book is a beautiful story of God's neverending love for us regardless of our flaws and messiness. One quote from the book says this "You, with all your faults and imperfections; you, with your defects and failures; you, with your hang-ups and emotional scars; you, with your weaknesses and your defeats; you, with all of your blunders, brokenness, and floundering: you are God's beloved, God's favored, the disciple whose name God calls, the one Jesus prefers to hang with, eat with, play with, talk with, cry with, and laugh with. You are the one whom the holy God of heaven and earth longs to spend time with. You are all of this and more. You always have been. And you always will be." Wow is all I can say, amazing isnt it??? I also love the lyrics to a Francesca Battistelli's song called "Free to Be Me" it says "I got a couple dents in my fender, got a couple rips in my jeans, tryin to put the pieces together but reflection is my enemy and on my own I'm so clumsy but on Your shoulders I can see, I'm free to be me." How beautiful, we dont have to appear to be together because God can take the pieces and arrange them so perfectly that the beauty in which is reflected is far more amazing than any picture or contest shot. I just encourage you that this week regardless of whether you win at a competition in sports, one for beauty, one for smartness or none at all you can rest assured you have already won! It may not be a shopping spree or cash prize but I guarantee its a reward that will never let you down or run out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Lately I feel like I am playing a complicated game of catch with God and can't seem to get it right. You know when you try to play catch with a toddler and you tell them to be ready but when it comes to actually catching the ball its all about timing. They realize you are going to toss the ball their way but for them to really grasp the concept and get the timing of when to open their hands to receive the ball its complicated. That's how I feel right now. The Lord has been preparing me for the game of catch ahead but I constantly feel like I am fumbling with the circumstances He has before me and I can't quite grasp them fully. Somewhere in the process of getting my heart and mind ready and then actually connecting the dots to receive the challenge ahead I mix things up. Its as if the Lord is projecting a difficult journey for me ahead and I know the challenge but then I struggle with being confident enough in His coaching to fully accept the challenge. There is a quote I read tonight and its the prayer of my heart right now.

"Peace will never come until we have accepted in totality all that is involved in our suffering, even facing and accepting the fact that the sorrow that has struck us so suddenly may never be removed. Acceptance is taking from God's hand absolutely anything He chooses to give us, looking up into His face with love and trust."Margaret Clarkson

Is there a situation in your life right now you feel like the Lord is preparing your heart to receive? 

My prayer right now is this: Jesus, I love you and trust you. Even in the difficult circumstances of life I know you are good. I pray that you would continue to prepare my heart for the journey ahead, forgive my need for control and lack of openness to receive your challenges with acceptance. I surrender my will and believe You always, always, always work all things together for Your good. Break me of the hidden corners of my heart where my humanness gets in the way of your will. I place all the pieces of the puzzle in Your hands and accept the path ahead as coming from Your throne.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Olympic Gold....

I think I did it, I found my Olympic Sport. You know the one odd thing you can do and you think, "if only this were and Olympic Sport I would surely bring home the gold." Usually its something really odd and quirky like picking things up with your toes, balancing silverware on your forehead, or any other crazy bizarre thing normal everyday life has caused you to discover. Tonight going through our nightly bath/bedtime routine I once again mastered perfectly my "Olympic Sport" of tossing Macie's shoes down a flight of stairs making them land perfectly in the shoe pile at the bottom without hitting the wall on the way down. I know not so glamorous right, but seriously tonight when I did it I secretly cheered to myself and said "YES!!! you are so awesome" lol. What quirky Olympic Sport would you bring home a medal for? I may be made fun of for this silly talent and in fact my husband probably will laugh about it when its revealed out in the open but we all have them.

Life often gets so crazy and chaotic that we get caught up in doing alot of stuff instead of just doing a few things well. God has given each of us unique talents, gifts, strengths and weaknesses and wants nothing more than to nurture them and develop those gifts to be used the best way possible. As a parent something Scott and I have struggled with lately is with the activities Macie is involved in. It seems like we are running every night and honestly we are most. Between dance, cheerleading, caravan, cheer camp its crazy and we only have 1 child. Its a balance between picking the few things that she is really good at and focusing on them instead of spreading her energy out to alot of things that maybe isn't as good for her. Since she is only 6 and just figuring out her different strengths and passions its a crazy time and I think will slow down a bit when she finds "her sport, dance, activity, group."

Its my prayer as a parent that I would have the discernment to sit back and evaluate all the craziness and be able to decipher the difference between just doing something to do it or because its your heart and passion. I know even as an adult this is hard for me, I want to serve God and there are so many amazing things that I could be involved in or devote my time and energy too but just because I can do a bunch of different things at once that doesn't necessarily mean I should. I guess my point is that God wants nothing more than for us to find our "niche" to find the areas in ministry where He can use the gifts and abilities He has given you for the best thing possible. He has placed within each of us a passion and fire that if surrendered in His hands He can develop into the most amazing story ever. Even when we feel like our abilities are small and we will never be able to "win the gold with our talent" He can take little and doing something great. As a friend always says "is it a good thing or a God thing?" Its a challenge for me to not spread myself to thin and decide which things to say yes and which to say no. Its not about where I think I should serve because like my talent I think I should be a national shoe throwing champ but that isnt reasonable so instead its about where God things I will succeed the best with the abilities He has given me. Have you found where God wants you???

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Tough Family Celebration 2011

Its crazy to think of how quickly time flies, the hours, days, weeks, months and years just seem to zoom by faster and faster every year. Holidays come and go, Birthdays come and go, school years come and go and while your in the midst of it you can hardly stop and focus on the moment until its passed and then you are able to capture the beauty of what you have survived and the successes you have gained.

This week we get out the party decorations for our "Tough Family Celebration." After we began the intense battle with the health obstacles 2 years ago February 8, 2010 to be exact we decided to make the day 2-8 each year a day we would celebrate. We realized over time the faith, love, unity and surrender it took to face the battles head on as a family and battle our circumstances gaining as much insight and strength from God and each other as we could. We call it our tough family celebration in which basically we say "shew we survived." Its not a party we invite all our friends and family but something we celebrate the 3 of us with balloons, streamers, dinner, cake and laughter. We spend the evening celebrating and praising God together for bringing us through and using our trials for His glory.

Being in the hospital this weekend it was a reminder to me we are still fighting the battle but we have been victorious by the power of Christ for another year. Instead of focusing on the pain we will rejoice for the milestones, we will rejoice because we are further now than we were two years ago. My husband and I are more in love than we were 2 years ago, our daughter is growing, beautiful and intelligent. The Lord has provided financially and helped us to draw closer to Him through the unknown questions we faced many times. We are celebrating because when the world placed odds against our family for surviving the chaos, we faced it head on and chose to stand and unite as a team. I can't wait to celebrate this week, wonder what our cake should say....."Take that Satan, We did it, Cameron Warriors???" Hmmmm what do you think???

Friday, February 3, 2012

Break me down Jesus....

The crack of the whip in mid air is a reminder of the reality that I need to be broken. Just when I think I have it all figured out and I know what I need to travel the journey ahead I am startled to realization that I need my Master to show me. People see it as seflish and unnecsseary but to Him its done in love and preparation. Its not meant to harm me in a way that breaks me down to less but only to rid me off myself and build me up to something bigger and obtain victories only His preparation can lead me too.

Growing up one of my favorite things to do was to ride horses. I wasn't good at it or knowledgeable about it I just liked to jump on and ride into an open field with freedom. There was this sense of letting go and allowing the horse to lead me because it always seemed like he knew the trail ahead, he didnt need me to tell him to watch out for a hole, stick or difficult spot on our journey but he knew. He knew enough based on the way that his master had broken him and was able to safely guide me with wisdom and clarity.

The Lord is  showing me lately in the simplest things of my continual need to be broken. My need to be startled to reality and left aware that unless I heed to his direction I will struggle with the path ahead. Its painful, its difficult, its confusing and a constant power struggle to take back the reigns and think I have it under control. In those moments where my selfishness takes over and the pain of His training sets in I am reminded by my masters voice "trust me, trust me." When I decide to continually give up my power to Him I will meet victory. Its a tough love mentality where although it hurts Him so much to break me down He knows that at the end of myself is His greatest blessings.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Laying it down.....again

There's often a moment in everyone's life that you are hit with the realization that somethings changed. For me its been over the past few months I think. With the health battles over the past 2 years I just assumed it was a season in my life and that like anything else there would be a fix and things would turn back to how they were. I would heal physically and bounce back to being a working mom and living the average life of a 29 year old. The realization is now becoming that its not just a season for me but a life change. I can't just fix the health stuff its a new way of life for us and the health battles aren't going to mysteriously go away by snapping my fingers.

Going to the doctors in Cleveland today I was sure they would have a fix for me, I was sure they would say I needed surgery and then we could start getting back to the way things were and although it would be a difficult journey it would be the start to new beginnings. What today has shown me is that maybe instead of looking for a new journey I need to embrace the one I'm on. Its becoming more aware that this is now my life. It could always be much worse and there are people who would love to have my easy circumstances. I think there's this defining moment in everyone's life and how we all come to a point where you realize "maybe i should have just been ok with the moment." When I look at the journey we have traveled in the past 2 years its seriously crazy. I remember a time of daily nursing visits, constant terrible pain, sleeping in a chair, multiple surgeries, extended hospital stays away from my family and many missed memories with my sweet daughter. We may have to travel that road again soon and it makes me stop and be thankful for this moment. Although it may still be difficult, its not as bad as it once was. Today my prayer is:

Jesus, give me an insatiable craving to breathe the moments of today in and be content with my circumstances now. Remind me of the journey we have traveled and help me to be humble and thankful for what I do have and not what I don't. I trust that if there is a fix You will be in that place and if there isn't a fix I praise you still for being there even still. Break my selfish spirit when I try and take away control from your plans and remind me to live surrendering to Your plans for my life and not the ones I wish. Jesus I believe in Your faithfulness and hand it over to You tonight again, and again and again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beautiful Things....

When I started following Jesus I was a mess, come to think of it I'm still a mess. The difference now and then is that I no longer sit in the pain, brokenness and despair but surrender it. My past is my past and with the Lords healing and redemption He has the ability to rewrite my ending. I always thought people in the church had it all together. I figured they never made mistakes, their relationships were perfect, they never struggled with addictions, debt, depression, tragedies or health battles. When I decided I was desperate to change not because I thought I could obtain a holy life but because not one ounce of my being could be kept in the brokenness anymore I then found Jesus. I surrendered each burden, mistake, shame, fear, and pain to the Lord in that very moment and still daily find myself bowed at the foot of the cross doing it all over again. 

Its a daily process of surrendering me and my mess to Him and allowing the power of His love to transform me. Its about taking it one step at a time and one battle at a time but believing by surrendering to a God who loves me unconditionally that His strength will lift me up and set me free from the strongholds this world has tried to place on me. Its about daily saying "Jesus I am so unworthy but thank You for loving me." Some days are easier than others, some days I find myself hourly surrendering over and over the things that God is trying to untangle my slaved being from. Each day we are faced with a battle and like the battles of our country its easier to take on the enemy with an army opposed to doing it on our own. The church is our army, full of broken, wounded, tired people. People that have all traveled a difficult journey and have a goal in mind to defeat the enemy and accomplish victory. Those people with whom you can huddle together in the heat of the battle and help support and lift each other up is a blessing from God. During some of my darkest moments God has used my church family as my cheerleaders. I am thankful for an amazing church, amazing friends, a supportive community group and people who I can share my life with. With the battle ahead and the trials of life each day I am so thankful for support of our church. A place that we call our home and friends that have become our family. Thank You Jesus today for taking messy, wounded and broken people and using our stories for something beautiful. Thank You that church isnt about having it all together but being broken, healed and restored in Your hands. 

May the cry of our hearts be this: "You bring hope you bring life, awaken hearts open eyes. With our voices hear them rise, we call these dry bones to come alive. You are faithful you are true, we can always run to you. Love that never fails arms that never close, blood that covers sin, grace that never ends. You have saved us, You have won. Sin is broken, death is gone. Freedom's found us breakthrough's near, in your presence no more fear." Our Savior's here!!!!"