Saturday, December 31, 2011


We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
~Kenji Miyazawa

I have this burning desire within me to encourage others through difficulites. There are a "chosen" few in my life that I can't seem to shake the role of SUPREME began with my husband through his sickness and has passed through each of my kids and especially my twins who lost their parents when they were just 7 years old; and even today is flowing through their friends who are painfully enduring their own losses and painful grapplings with God as a result.

2011 represented a "refueling" for me. I have been steadfast and building upon my faith; expectantly waiting for God...I periodically experience sensations that feel as if I have "little butterflies in my soul" is the only way I know to explain it. While it may be easy to ignore, it only happens when I am overtaken by an immediate concern or just happen to ponder the question of "when" will God begin to show me manifestations of what I have been clinging to all along and that is my purpose for His service beyond just the 4 walls of my home. In these exact spaces in time my mind leaps forward and the blip of a "what if" moment creeps in and connects my heart to God's purpose for my life all at the same time. What initally begins as a concern transforms into an excitement of fulfillment of my desires. I believe this quote to be true: "Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow." ~Norman Vincent Peale

I know that God has me. I'm one of billions that He can handle ;) Jeremiah 29:11 says: 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." When I keep that in focus, fear is released and the pain is able to be embraced and I truly do use it for the fuel that moves me toward my destiny.

He wants that kind of trust from each of us who call upon His name. He prefers ALL mankind would call upon Him, but He does not push...however He often does pull and we have a choice as to how we respond...with His power or with our own. His power brings us peace and contentment and satisfaction while our own is often accompanied by an internalization of the pain that can deeply wound us rather than liberate us.

As 2011 has been birth pains to 2012, realize that resolutions are worthless as they depend upon each of our own efforts while revolutions depend upon our rallying alongside what is already this case what He is already doing. His power has ZERO LIMITATIONS and His ability to create something out of nothing does not occur without pressure. There can be no diamonds without it. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist. ~Jack London

Embrace your pain, shed your fears, trust your God and pray for mercy as He orchestrates your challenges and allows them to be used as fuel for your mission. If you are ready to truly live according to the power of God within your dreams then realize that "Life has no limitations, except the ones you make." ~Les Brown

Welcome 2012! I have been waiting for you and walking toward you all my life!

As you wait on God to vindicate, remember this: Truth and Time will kiss each other.

“Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters, “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God ALWAYS Exceeds Our Expectations

Olivia Pompa
I have been living with my new family for almost 8 years and I love them as if I was born here. I am extremely thankful for my new parents, Merily and Daniel ♥ All things work to the greater good (No matter what it is) <33 They are giving more than I could ever ask for and I want to thank them for that too (: I LOOVE YOU GUUYS♥ ALSO, Yesterdaay was my real mommmyss birthday, I wanted to wish her a Happy Birthhdaay! <33 Happy Birthday Moommmyy (: Miss you! <3333

What a post from Olivia's Facebook..How INCREDIBLY solid this incredible God-given child of mine is in her "interpretation" of Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to
His purpose.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

Our prayer has always been for our family to be unified. Through the most challenging of times...even more so than the commitment to them through their initial loss and our initial gain has been our recent challenges. God truly has exceeded our expectations! We praise Him!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From Bondage To Freedom

Freedom comes to us in many forms. Often it comes into our lives through bondage. Because we are experienced-based creatures, we have to learn about life through experience. There are some experiences that have nothing to do with choices but yet we evolve into ourselves based on decisions others have made for us. For example, as a child we do not choose our parents or the dynamic within their relationship and consequently choices are made on our behalf that we have no control over. We must however, take those (preconceived) notions/ideas into our next seasons of life and often what drives us is what we learned and often lacked, or possibly even had in surplus to satisfy our desires. Through daily living we find that often what we thought was part of the fiber of our existence isn't where our ultimate satisfaction comes. For me personally, I had to be placed into situations even as an adult that I did not have choices in to realize how true that really is. While choices are always made within scenarios, overarching realities have a far greater determination in who we find ourselves to be. It is far easier to do the right thing when faced with challenge than it is to embrace the changes within that challenge. While our initial response is self-preservation, if we are really honest with ourselves (either through admission or coercion), we must enter the threshold within it that allows us to step across it to a new level of living. What we inevitably find when we enter that higher dimension is soul satisfaction. While it may not look like we have previously known, who we are is who we have desired to be all along but lacked the tools to acquire.
When we belong to God, He often orchestrates events to enable us to find who we have been looking for as well as knew we were destined to become all along but too wounded to attain. Superfluousness sheds itself from necessity, and as self-preservation is replaced by surrender and trust, we take our eyes off our ourselves and put them on to those that we are entrusted with as well as to our God who ultimately holds ALL of the power anyway. We find within the pages of our further unfolding story hope, completion in the creation of ourselves and advancement of of our mind to attain our vision...and even passions deepen within our calling and it is renewed eventhough it may seem to have been detained. We learn that without the reduction in ourselves, we could not possibly reach the heights that God has chosen for His purposes, not our own. There is no other way to remove self than to have it removed for least for those of us who are natural at cultivating resources due to personalities that have determination and perseverance at the helm.
I had to be very honest with myself many times over in this life already to accept that each challenge that I have been called to walk through is perfect for me. Each test of my faith, each test of my character, each test of my self within myself has been hand-picked by God to advance His purpose for my life. I have also had to remind myself in moments where I have been tempted to feel sorry for myself (which could be easy to do with 5 children who have pre-existing wounds and tainted belief systems) that my own journey is not just for me but for all of us. Who they are learning to rely on beyond a Sunday School role of Christianity is beyond what any of us would sign up for, but once living our lives at that level of faith, we are never going to be satisfied with knowing about God...we want to KNOW Him and be known by Him...where we can call upon Him and know He is always speaking even if He is not always answering every prayer to our satisfaction or in our timing. We find in our solitude that a Biblical faith is one that applies the scriptures and follows the patriarchs of the Bible as they did and watch and wait for Him to show up on our behalf. What greater lesson about living a life that God blesses could our children extract from any other experience other than our own?
Be encouraged that God lives with His people as "a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people." Exodus 13:21-22 While we do not see that manifestation in the same way physically, He is still illuminating and directing even our darkest times for His light to become an everlasting flame and the light that must never be extinguished must originate in our own hearts so that we never lose our direction or desire for Him.
When I remind myself that life is a journey as well as a tapestry to be taken and woven all at the same time, I feel honored to be chosen for such a role that has taken me through so many twists and turns and uncertainties. I realize that apart from God's calling and His favor to achieve it, I would waste this life seeking but never being fully satisfied. I can now find riddled within the pages of my life's story the hand of God upon my heart that loves me too much to let my life move randomly. While pain is an inevitable part of growth, life lessons learned births desires beyond reason and hope beyond expectation. I do not believe that God merely calls us to have a legacy that is solely parenting our children and therefore we must live out our calling with our children watching and waiting right with us in order for them to develop the kind of faith that too "if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29 In verse 28, the one directly before, God tell us: " There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell." This is the place where we are in captivity and He desires to release us. While letting go is often not a choice we would make, there is a freedom in having it removed. Rebuilding SOLELY on the foundation that leads us to victorious living is the only place that our soul satisfaction is found. What God adds to that is up to Him, but being driven by our purpose (His purpose) is far more exciting than being driven by our desires.
Who gets what is a common theme in a large family. With God, who gets what is determined by His resources, not our own and I don't know about you, but I would far rather be waiting on Him rather than trusting in myself.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In Trying Times...Is Anything Better Than This???

My daughter's facebook post today: I want to remember this time in our life and how God used this scripture in our lives and in our family: "You meant evil against me but God meant it for good..." (Genesis 50:20-21)

Olivia Pompa
Riding home from a fantastic thanksgiving! Another thanksgiving dinner on Sunday! I am thankful for so much. Loving parents, annoying but amazing brothers, my giving grandfather, and soo much more! ((: Happy Thanksgiving everyonee!!


Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Father's Business...ONLY He Would Consider Me Worthy.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011.

At dinner with my dad yesterday, we took the time to go around the table as we always do giving thanks. I was enriched by my kid's hearts and their expressions of gratitude. What I wasn't expecting was my own. The VERY first thing that came to my mind and consequently out of my mouth, was my gratitude for Dylan and Olivia. What I realize is that I have become who I am as a result of them in my life. The difficult and unpenetrable places of my heart that I knew were resistant to change have become open and receptive to offering myself and what has been stifled as a result of the wounds that have been in me since I was very young and rejected and abandoned by my own biological father.

The public battle that has taken so much from us has undeniably given us so much more. The matter of the truth being heard has become secondary to the greater purpose it has served within our family. Only God could accomplish such a feat. My protected and repellant state of existence can only be defined as fear. What did I fear? I have asked myself that so many times I have lost count and yet it hasn't been until God took my fear that I realized why it existed and that I wasn't the one who could control when or how it would become a healed wound.

I humorously added that I was glad that they had the personalities they had and that there were 2 of them rather than the reverse with the 3 that came from Danny and I being added to the mix ;)

The second thought that came out of my mouth was something that occurred the day before but it wasn't until I began speaking that I realized another healed area of my wounded self. Olivia and I went out for the evening the other night and the boys (especially Izik) were anxious to finish the Christmas Tree. Under any other circumstances and any other year, I decorate it.
When we came home Izik was laying on the couch looking at the completed tree with a look of satisfaction. He asked me what I thought of it...I took it in and told him it was PERFECT!

It was while I was recounting what I was thankful for that I found myself announcing that all of the stress in my life that I have had no choice but to deal with has not robbed me at all, but restored my joy and appreciation for the role of a mother called into a unique situation for an enormous mend hearts. I realized that it wasn't possible to fully mend my children's hearts when my own still required an overhaul. God has provided the opportunity for this to occur...I will never be the same and my children will be blessed by me and through me as a result.

So thank you to the one who has created havoc. And Thank YOU more Lord God for knowing my heart and loving me enough to not leave me as I was but calling me out of myself and into your desires. While releasing my own has been done through tremendous adversity, I am now grateful for your relentless love and mercy that accompanies our challenges.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

The final piece of gratitude that emerged from my brokenness was the power of God alone to do this. I realized fully in that moment that trust maintained in the ONLY ONE who holds the power to turn defeat into victory is how the ultimate battle is won. Many "things" can be taken, but the things that matter most are our relationships and our hearts with their desires in tact with the hope that has been long-since planted, but with roots growing underneath the soil until the appropriate time for them to spring forth.

I NOW UNDERSTAND MYSELF...that my God will meet all (of my) needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. What has been replaced by what has been stolen is far greater.

In Trying Times...Is Anything Better Than This???

My daughter's facebook post today: I want to remember this time in our life and how God used this scripture in our lives and in our family: "You meant evil against me but God meant it for good..." (Genesis 50:20-21)

Olivia Pompa
Riding home from a fantastic thanksgiving! Another thanksgiving dinner on Sunday! I am thankful for so much. Loving parents, annoying but amazing brothers, my giving grandfather, and soo much more! ((: Happy Thanksgiving everyonee!!


Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I feel an inner oppositional force at work. I feel the desire to share my heart, but I also feel the desire to remain quiet. What is within me has been expressed many times for you to find your own encouragement for hope when life seems out of balance or a desperate need for restoration is a craving needing satisfied within your soul. I am learning through seasons of turmoil that the only place to find that peace is within. It is not found by expressing discontent or injustice nor is it found by indignant posturing. Our hope is only found in the power that God alone possesses. He alone knows what is best. Injustices occur. Our skewed perspectives of what is right and wrong occur. Our trust in others expecting our protection to be first and foremost in their dealings with us can also occur. We learn through disappointments and oftentimes devastation that life-lessons are often necessary for our future dealings in the lives that we are called to live out. If we interpret each defect and detour along the way as a life-lesson and learn from it then we begin to view our progress and impotentence simultaneously. We realize humans are exactly that...we rise and fall at the same time.

The dichotomy between our thoughts and our actions is at the very core of why we need a savior. We need someone to guide us that is beyond human and finite in thinking and direction. While faith used as a crutch is often an excuse for those who do not understand it and always accompanies a refusal to release control, for those of us that grow (often by force) through life's challenges, we begin to understand at an even more concentrated level that pain must precede purpose.

Being able to find peace within the process is perhaps the greatest of all the demands we must meet. I have learned in my own challenges that surrender is what I do last, but it is precisely where the provisions and protection occurs for my preservation and advancement. I am not sure I ever could have released my efforts to stand and fight for my story or the truth if it weren't for what God had to allow me to pass through for the objective of my purpose being met. I have found that when we feel outnumbered, both on the side of the enemy as well as even our allies, and we have no ability left to find hope in what is right, we surrender. We allow God to take over. We plead with Him for favor, for mercy, for opening the closed minds of those that stand in our way or hold us back from being restored. And we also realize that if He doesn't orchestrate on our schedule (which is already proven by the endless journey and wanderings we are involved in), then it must be for our good and His goals for our life.

This may be the place that breaking down and feeling helpless also is necessary. Without remembering that feeling, there is no surrender. We don't want to give up our fight. We feel the most vulnerable when we do UNLESS our vulnerability has already been proven to us by the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Remember this quote: "Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties." ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon It is true of some of the most memorable of Biblical contributors to our hope and understanding of God's greatness that they too underwent tremendous difficulties for a much greater and often unforeseen purpose. History is waiting to be made. Do you desire a role in the greatest story ever written? The story is still being written and giving Him the pen is the most assured way of having your designated assignment come to life within its pages.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


When I sit down to write, I often have NO idea what it is that I have to say. I realize that writing is a tool for me to understand my life with more clarity and my vision is what becomes more vivid as I communicate my emotions to myself and those who read what I leave upon the once blank space. I also understand that often people are filled with unanswered questions about their challenges and finding a space in their head to process is often difficult to do. We wrestle the inner man to preserve the outer man. At a certain inevitable juncture, we must face our reality with the proper persective. That perspective is never one that runs and hides, but one that embraces whatever it is that we are called to overcome and face it head on with an understanding that we will become better, not bitter as a result of it.

What I continue to learn through my own challenges is that with faith in God's direction for our lives and His perfect plan, we fulfill our destiny. This occurs in the most unlikely of ways typically, but we learn too that it is something that is truly best suited to every aspect of God's desire for our life. I read this quote and thought "how appropriate as it relates to my life": “ God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not a choice. You must take it. The only choice is how”. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Could there be a more true statement of our grapplings with what "happens" to us? The embrace of each challenge with the proper perspective that leads to growth enriches us while the one that asks why me will lead us to defeat. As we journey through our season of enrichment we realize too that ‎"God seldom delivers....virtues all wrapped in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues." ~C.R. Findley

I have been 12 years in challenges that have defied who and how I expected my life to look. The situations I have found myself in have taken me by surprise (to say the least) and tested every virute and value I have lived by. They have called me to deeper faith, deeper trust, deeper hope and deeper commitment to my ultimate goal of service to a God that loves me, knows what is best for me and cultivates not only my circumstances, but also my heart in the process of where He is leading me.
While some of what He is up to is becoming manifest without doubt, some of it lies in "utter" (outer) space waiting within the deepest but most readily recesses of my heart and waiting with a child-like excitement and anticipation to be released into my world.

As I wait with this fervor, I am feeling led to "release" some of what I have learned in very practial and applicable ways. A few well-respected friends have encouraged me to write more and one relationship in particular has taken an interest in leading me to have that materialize. She has connected me with resources, including her own, to expedite the release of my new blog with the title: Fit, Focused and 40. This will include physical, emotional and spiritual fundamentals that I am trusting God to lead the way with. I have always believed that when God calls us through something that stretches us He also calls us to use what has created pain for a purpose. I am excited to reveal my passions of living, raising a family, seeking to improve weaknesses within the areas of health of the physical, emotional and mental carcass that carries our soul throughout our life on this planet. I thank you for your contribution of questions and feedback in the very near future while sending any questions or thoughts that you would like me to address. While I certainly do not claim to be a final authority and at times even reluctant to share what I believe or have learned for myself, my husband reminds me of the fact that when you have victory over attacks (regardless of the area) it gives you an element of authority that (while it may not be the ONLY way) it certainly is proven through the methods of warfare that led to triumph. I need an army of warriors who desire to fight for victory. The battle is fierce for us all and yet God desires that we win it for Him!

Friday, August 5, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul...And Theirs Too

Summer has been busy. Many travels. Many days of busy-ness. Nothing ever seems to get completed. The house is never quiet...except when we are asleep. Working from home has its benefits, but I expect that they will be more evident when our kids are back in school ;-)

I think about time. Time is elusive. I cannot seem to capture it, or have enough of it. I remember the feeling of being stuffed into a challenging role that I refused to refuse and accepted without exception. When my understanding of life took a very different turn from my expectations I had one perspective that held me fast: HOPE. Romans 5:3-5 says: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

I remember assuming the role of the one who would offer hope to my husband who was suffering. I remember offering hope to Daniel, even though he was only 3 when his Dad got sick. I remember offering hope to Dylan and Olivia that God loved them with an IMMEASURABLE love and would restore their joy and put a smile on their heart that would be evident and contagious.

I am thinking about this this evening because I am reflecting on the adolescents they have become. They are kind and thoughtful. They are helpful and satisfied. They have joy. They have opportunity. They have dreams. They have a family that loves them and values what they have added to our lives.

Without them I would not be who I am. I would not have grown into understanding how adversity enables your dreams to be bigger and your hopes to be higher and your expectations to be exceeded...even in the darkest of days.

This month, Dylan and Olivia had an opportunity to visit Jamaica on a mission's trip. In fact, I just paused in my writing because I remembered that she had something for me to share with all of my facebook friends and I have been spinning since I got home from Utah 2 days ago trying to catch up. When I read her is the SAME THEME as this post!! I am overwhelmed by God's promptings of His children who desire to follow Him for GREAT-ER things!!!

I will attach her letter to this post so that it is always connected to this writing. Her heart is so connected to His. I remember our vacation that we took them on just 6 weeks after they came to live with us. We went to St. Martin each year for 2 weeks and 2004 was no different. It was just that we took 2 more kids with us. Traumatized kids. I remember giving Olivia an iPod with Christian music on it. She used it often. While we were there, she was outside one day and the way our condo was built, there was a set of steps that from the ground floor appeared to just stop in the middle of the air with only the sky beyond them. The clouds were puffs of cotton against the Carribbean blue sky and there was Olivia with her hands stretched wide and high as she talked to God about her parents. She praised Him by doing this. She praised Him as she sang. She sought Him. He was there. At that moment I knew that she had a gift of faith that would enable her to thrive in life amidst such difficult circumstances. I realized at that moment too how blessed I was to watch her grow as He satsified her soul through her trust in Him and Him alone.

And now today, more than 7 years later, I see God in every aspect of her life. She chooses her friends wisely. She does not engage in petty nonsense as is easily part of a teenage girl's life. She is a great friend. She is honorable. She is loyal.
And now today, she is beginning her second week in Florida with a family that has remained steadfast in their support of both of them through the years. They were the next door neighbors of theirs at the time of the tragic event. Today, they are the best of friends and strongest of supporters but they no longer live next door. They are the kind of friends that feel the sense of obligation and responsibility but above all else a call to love these kids and keep them connected to their past life. It blesses me to see how God works, how He heals us, how He lifts us up when we are down.

As Dylan left to meet Olivia in Florida today, I saw the incredibly independent and cautiously confident young man he is becoming. I saw his excitement and yet his gentle approach toward his experiences when they are not as predictable as the day-to-day routine. That is another comfort to watch him step out when change is not something he looks forward to. He has learned that in ALL things he possesses the ability, through the grace of God, to grow...and heal through every new adventure. His journey has created a quiet confidence and a solid peacefulness that is comforting not only to him, but those who are close to him.

For me, this day, I had recurring thoughts of my own journey. I thought of the challenges of our lives. I thought of the unfairness. I thought of the meanness that has reared its ugly head and spews venom whenever possible. Forces with presence always exist, but power does not have to be given to them. Then I realized what it is that God keeps revealing to me and that is the beauty that has been birthed out of the ashes. And that brings this verse in Isaiah to mind: "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3.

No other words are necessary.

Olivia's letter:

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you already know, last week, Dylan and I went on a mission trip with Mission Discovery to Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was a great experience and I was blessed to be able to go. While we were there, we worked 7-hour days, building and repairing a deaf school, played with kids at Vacation Bible School, and also we got to spend a day at an orphanage. Meeting Jamaican children at the deaf school and the orphanage was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me. I wish I could have done more to help them.

Before the trip, Dylan and I had sent out letters asking for support for the trip. We did not get as much financial support as we had hoped, and we are hoping to be given the opportunity to be asked to go next year. I just wanted to thank those of you who did send in donations, but if you would like, we would greatly appreciate your donations for Dylan and I.

Dylan and I have been through something that most people I know have never experienced and most likely will never, but God has made it all good. My family and I have been through even more challenges in the past few years. This trip has impacted me. The orphanage showed me how lucky I am to be blessed with parents that God chose to love me, but these kids may never know what it feels like to be loved, only to not have the hope of love. Going there and spending time with those kids let them know that we are there to provide a hope and a future, and I would love to offer them the hope like I have again next year. Again, I wanted to truly thank those of you who did decide to support. Those of you who did not, this is your opportunity to bless others! Donations, even now as they will be applied to the trip we just took as well as the one we plan to take next summer. It is very expensive to be doing God’s work so far away!

God Bless!
Olivia Pompa

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


There are times in life when friendships disappear and there are times in life when friendships reappear. There are also those times when out of nowhere a friendship appears that we were not expecting. If you are like me, you may not trust the ones who disappear, may be skeptical of the ones which reappear and overwhelmingly blessed by the ones that just seem to drop out of the dark and into the light or into the light and make it even brighter. I cannot begin to tell you from the recesses of my heart how disappointed I have been in people that I have expected would always be part of my life. I have learned that it is not that they are intentionally resisting my presence in their life as much as they are resisting what they may not understand or simply involved in their own lives and cannot or will not make time for things that take unnecessary effort. Whichever the scenario, I have grown less disappointed in those absences and more expectant of those who God will bring into my life. Let's face it, as we mature in this journey of life, we learn that life is a game of keeping up with life. The more we are called to manage, the more unmanageable we can feel our life is.

I have felt this way for years. I may have kept managing my friendships as a way of preserving my"self". The challenges that I faced and the way life pressed in caused me to desire to cling to anything familiar. Although maybe I am more inclined to stay in touch with those I care about because my life as a child was very lonely and who I wanted to be with most was elusive (my mom) and I learned through painful experience that I NEVER want to walk that road again.

As in love with my husband as I have always been and expectant of our life together, it was riddled with complications that forced loss accompanied by complicated gain. There is a verse that God has given my husband and I over and over and it is this: "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm--my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25.

I have written before about how I look at every challenging and painful experience as something that comes from the hand of God. Because I know this to be is His way of setting us on His course, redirecting our path, often our hearts as well and calling us to a position of passion and purpose that we soemtimes can only dream of. Our comfort zones are not places of excitement, but security. How can we be moved when we are satisfied? How can we be used by Him when our purpose is to serve and maintain ourselves?

The friendships that I sought to preserve were comfortable for me as well. They resembled what I knew of myself. Letting go of who I was for who God wanted me to become was a process that took years to connect with and let go of, simultaneously. Through this process, one of the most disappointing realities was in who didn't remain. But just as in all the other areas of my life, I knew that God would make up for it. Suddenly it is happening. People are coming into our life that feel led to be involved and lead us into our next destinations of our journey through life as God is directing. My awareness of this is heightened as I believe He wants me to realize that HE is doing it. He is making up for what He has allowed that which has caused our family pain. This has become a source of excitement for me as God never does anything in a mediocre way. The friendships that are accompanying this process have satisfied me in a way I always desired, but failed to experience. Again I think of the verse above.

I write out of my pain. I think about many things I have experienced. I think constantly. But if life weren't hurling chaos I wouldn't have a reason to think. I even think I overthink :-) I also write as a result of my purpose: to encourage those who are walking through their own wilderness and wonder where God is. HE IS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AND HE IS MORE THAN ABLE TO SATISFY YOUR SOUL AS WELL AS GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART! He does this when you surrender to the process and let go of what it is that you expected, and reach in to the reality that He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20.
Don't restrict Him. Let Him have His way. He will always BE exceedingly more and DO exceedingly more than we could possibly conceive in our finite minds and it pleases Him to know we are waiting for Him and Him alone.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Immeasurable Loss/Immeasurable Pain...Where Does It Lead?

I have watched with pride the pain of 3 young men in the past few months. Pride and Pain should not be in the same sentence. Neither should an adjective such as immeasurable be attached to Loss or Pain for kids. The only outlet I have for my own confusion is to write. It heals me. I am broken for 3 boys that have lost one of their parents. I am broken for my own who lost them both at the same time. I went through the depth of loss with Dylan and Olivia 7 years ago. I felt so under-qualified for the task of restoring their hope, their life and the opportunities within it, but I had the role of the one who was called to just that. I had no choice but to embrace the challenge. I suddenly realized in the past few weeks that I am finally restored. My family is restored. My hope is restored...and now it is time to offer others who are hurting...hope. I didn't even realize that it was there until my heart was aching for them that I had something to say...and I feel it just oozing out of me. It is almost uncontrollable. I can only hope they "heard" me. It is not my voice that matters, but God's heart.

How could I possibly have spoken into their desolation if we had not been desolate? How could I have lifted their spirits if ours had not been lifted? And how could I say with certainty that God will show them a measure of favor if He had not shown that to us?

When we are empty and confused, what else matters other than to know that we will be ok? If you are like me, being ok just isn't enough. I want to know that there is an everlasting and enormous hope that stands on the other side waiting for me when I am in pain. I want to know that my God is there and that He will reveal Himself in a way that says He believes that I am worthy of His mercy. How can I be in that place if I am not in pain? How can I watch Him be who He is if I am not who I am...challenged, struggling, confused and uncertain?

So to you INCREDIBLY FAVORED CHILDREN OF GOD (even more of you than perhaps I am referring to specifically as I write)...remember...HE LOVES YOU. HE IS WITH YOU IN YOUR PAIN. HE WILL NEVER ABANDON YOU TO YOURSELF AND YOUR FEARS. The only responsibility He gives you is to choose which direction your mind focuses. That is often where the battle lies. Do not give in to the fears associated with uncertainty. That is a place where your heart can be healed, your purpose born and your passion nutured.

Character is never rich unless it is born out of adversity. CS Lewis, a renowned biblical scholar, has been quoted as saying this: "But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

When we are hurting, people are watching. When we experience tremendous loss and are lost within it, it is much more difficult to understand how we will ever find our hope or a purpose that matters. Our foundation has been shaken and our hearts are crumbling. We just want our life to be "normal" again. We want to smile again without restraint. We want the pain that weighs us down to be lifted so that we can have fun again. We smile, but we hurt. We laugh, but inside we are crying.
I can identify with this emotional process because I have been there. I have watched my own children as they were there. And even now, I am there.

I do not have much figured out about life, but one thing I do know and that is that I would much rather feel this type of pain with the certainty that God is with me and that He will direct my path and that while He may not have chosen it, He will work it for good in my life. Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I know that He has created a purpose for me that is far better than what I could have chosen without Him. While there are plenty of times that I am left in a state of confusion and loss, I only have the ability to express my heart as a result of my experiences, not because I understand it.

I hope this encourages those of you are have lost so much in life. I hope you remember how big God really is. I hope you expect Him to reveal great things in your life and I hope that you stand still and wait...and do not lose heart. That is where I am. It isn't easy to be patient. "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4 : 16 He knows we are weak. He understands our impatience. We may feel our pain is too much to bear, but if we remember Him in it, we will emerge with greater character than the ones who have not endured and therefore we will be capable of making a greater difference in this world due to a greater understanding of what it means to stay the course as we anticipate the result...and it is guaranteed to be difficult as we put one foot in front of the other...but it will be ok.

Sometimes God touches our lives is ways we aren't prepared for. But if we trust Him...we will soon realize that staying the way we "were" is boring and growing into who we "are" is challenging...but satisfying. Who does God want you to become through your pain? You will find you could never become (on your own) who He wants you to be and it will be MORE THAN OK!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Stirring Occurring

When I found out that a few of my friends...who connected by "divine design" were determined to mobilize an effort to help our family, I was humbed once more. Their energy directed toward that effort has shown me yet again that God calls us all to a purpose beyond ourselves.
I am grateful for God leading their efforts as the devastation has been incredible. Maintaining five children with a significantly diminished income and insurmountable legal bills; as well as the fallout from the gross distortions and allegations have more than taken their toll on our family.
While I realize that there is purpose in all adversity, the challenges that press in certainly have a ripple effect in which even more pain is felt that the overarching one that will be sorted out in the courts.
I recently watched a series of videos by Andy Andrews called The Butterfly Effect. He speaks of how every action we take in life makes a difference. I wake up every morning with the determination to make a difference within the space and time that I am living. I believe that I have many friends out there that know that know our family's character and want to show their support. I have wondered if our silence has been misinterpreted. But I also understand that every thing has a season and its own time. I have been changed through my silence. I have learned a level of compassion for those hurting that I never would have understood any other way if it weren't for my own pain...and what I am sure of is that God calls us through those challenging circumstances to stay faithful, remain steadfast in our trust of Him, and hopeful for what can be produced as a result.
While it is somewhat embarrassing to be in the situation we are in without the truth setting us free (at least at this point), I have realized that unless we are willing to lay ourselves bare, trust God for the outcome working to our ultimate benefit, we cannot experience healing and restoration on all the levels that He desires for our lives. Romans 8:28 is a verse we have been quoting for over a decade in our home...between my husband's illness, the loss of the twin's parents, our reformed family and the challenges associated within it...and now this. God has proven faithful in all areas, I will continue to put my hope and faith in the ONLY ONE who has the power to bring beauty of out ashes.
Thank you so much friends. I have learned who my real friends are in my life and I treasure the ones that God continues to bring into our life for His purpose to be fulfilled on this earth.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lifting His Arms

Our life at times feels as if it is coming apart...I trust God for the outcome, but the challenges along the way are beyond me. This speaks to my heart...especially concerning all that my husband is dealing with: Exodus 17:8-13 says: "Moses stood on top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand overlooking the battlefield, and as he lifted it up it showed their dependence upon the Lord and there would be no victory without God's intervention. The Israelites prevailed while the rod was lifted and when Moses' arms were too tired to lift up the rod, Aaron and Hur found a rock for Moses to sit on and they held up his hands." Please pray for my husband...I am not the only one who God calls to "lift up his arms".
In the battle in Exodus 17, Moses was feeling weary. When his arms got tired and he could no longer "hold up his arms" the enemy would start winning the battle. Where we are in our life's journey, there is an overwhelming amount of opposition. It is truly beyond explanantion. During this battle in Exodus, God sent Aaron and Hur to each come alongside of Moses and hold up his arms. As a result, they won the battle and Moses' strength returned to him. I often write to encourage others through what I have been allowed to understand as a result of my own battle. But today I am writing as a request for you, my friends, to stand in the gap and lift not just Danny's arms, but mine as well as we fight our enemies. I believe, beyond any explanantion, that our power to defeat what comes against us daily will be done through the people of God, aligning themselves for the purpose of God, and supporting this man of God, as He leads this mission to expose this epidemic and all that comes against us as we trudge into the enemy territory of the culture in which we live.
And as you do, I believe we will all see miracles happen! You know I will keep you informed as we each victory, as well as seeming defeat, as our battle truly belongs to the Lord.
1 Samuel 17:45-47 reminds us of David's faith in God: Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
I have come to understand that our battles belong to God. Like David, I have more faith in God than in any "giant" in my life. My faith is all I have and yet I know that it is everything I need...and more. If you want to test Him, (and even if you haven't given it thought at the level I am suggesting), PLEASE join us in our battle. Come before God on our behalf and watch Him work...this is what so many need to see in their own lives but fear putting their trust in Him so that they can experience it. Trust Him with me...I will take whatever you will give and so will He. I will not be disappointed and neither will you. The challenges we all have are not too big for Him...we are sometimes just too big to give them to Him.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today is our anniversary. I think many of you know my respect for my husband and all that he is especially for those of you that have been touched by his brilliant mind and compassionate heart. Today I want to remind him of the man that satisfies our family beyond his life's work. Today is the perfect opportunity to remind him of the investment that he makes into our children each day that has and will shape them into the adults they will become. Whether it is getting to the heart of a motive or lack of or fishing in the lake he invests 100% of himself into each place he travels with them. He also calls me to a higher standard in my motives for being an effective mom in a culture in which teaching moment after teaching moment arises throughout each day. He has also helped to shape me as a woman in ways too numerous to mention. As a man and a doctor, there are countless people that have rallied to his side and many that have been birthed out of the adversity in a way that only God could provide for his support and encouragement.
On our 15 year anniversary, the last 10 have certainly been difficult and they have chiseled away at both of us with heartfelt losses along the way. As we have felt the pressure of life remove bits and pieces of us bit by bit, we have also experienced that there is purpose in all suffering. There is life after loss. There is even tremendous hope that we can offer to others as they suffer in their own pain.
I cannot think of a more perfectly suited man to walk this walk with me and my own challenges nor can I imagine not standing by his side as God brings us through each trial for a reason much greater than ourselves and something that will last well beyond this lifetime.
Happy Anniversary Danny...I will remind well as myself today that the man you have become through such difficulty is on a journey toward a destination that has the ability to change a paradigm for an unnecessarily suffering culture and as our God works in and through us to accomplish His purpose...He knows best what the most effective route is for His goals to be achieved in our lives. As He tarries...I will also remember that the journey is the destination so that I do not grow weary in the challenging circumstances. Our circumstances will not define us...only our God will.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Interrupted By God

"Sometimes the crossroads define us and we are not meant to find our way back, but find the new path that intersects at the crossroads. Finding our way back isn't an option when God has used our past to define our future." ~Me :-)

I wrote this as a response to a post when someone was suggesting that we turn around if we get off track and find our way back and all will be well. I have learned that when we are desiring to be used by God for His purpose(s) we will never go back to where we came from. While the pain is felt at every level of our life and within every fiber of our being, the focus that is removed from our life is self. After is His purpose even if we are fueled by it and excited for it. Even though we are all struggling to remain intact in the midst of life's twists and turns, it is in the place that we abandon our "self" that we find our heart's desire. This is accomplished with less reisistance and pain for some but there certainly is a common thread that goes along with determination and that is persistance. Persistance keeps us on track until we meet our goals, but when God interrupts us in our quest to accomplish our "self-ish" goals we spend the first portion of His blatant agenda preserving self until we realize He is going to have His way and there is nothing we can do to change that other than surrender to the process. Our prayer then becomes: let me learn every lesson You desire to teach me so that I do not have to stay here any longer than necessary. While the discomfort can be interruptions are...the ability to bring comfort to others begins to come out as we are squeezed. We begin to see others challenges from a perspective of empathy rather than apathy. We realize that there are many types of personalities that we are confronted with each day and to truly lead effectively we must have patience and understanding for those that do not look at life through the same lenses. Let's face it, the "lenses" each of us has are there as a result of our life's experiences. How we perceive, interpret, and handle life is a direct result of what we learned through our fears and reactions to them and therefore expect as an outcome to our response. When our response no longer accomplishes our goals, we shift gears. When the shift doesn't produce the desired result (sometimes repeatedly) we will eventually get to a place where we realize God is going to have His way and no amount of action or reaction by us will change that.
When we truly let go, we become free. Free from the determination to have our way and free from the burdens that go along with having our own way. We trust He knows best and His will is best. When we live by His paradigm, we also realize there is much more life to be lived because He controls and allows everything for His glory and we, as His children were created to glorify Him. When we can understand that reality, our fears shift toward excitement. How much more effective will we then be when we release the fear of holding on and realize that the ONLY ONE who can gives us the absolute best life has to offer, and desires to do just that, is THE ONE in control?!! I have struggled with this myself and it hasn't been until I stubbornly dug in and realized God digs in even more, not to harm me or my "self" but to help me find my true self that is truly devoted to His call and cannot rest until that call is realized that I have begun letting go. I certainly see myself within it, but it is not the same restless self. It is the self that knows, the one that is connected to His spirit, that He will make it happen if I just remove myself from the determination to "make it happen".
In Psalm 37:4 the Psalmist said “Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” If we are passionate about God, we can trust our passions. It is when we are determined to have our way, that His way cannot be realized. We are held back. We are limited. Following God knows no limits. Even though I have been a slow learner, I feel I am now on the fast track and my head space has advanced despite my physical place. I can tell you as one who feared, there is nothing to fear. The anticipation of the goal realized has taken on a new excitement. There is also a fresh assurance. We do not have to fear that our heart's desire is in contrast to God's heart. Through a surrendered life comes a sense of urgency for your purpose. Under these circumstances, that purpose will be in direct alignment with His heart and therefore it is trustworthy. You will feel a freedom as you release yourself and let Him control the steps He has already ordained. The path is different for each of us, but the destination is the same: defined self, redefined mission, purpose-filled destination. Abandon yourself to the process and do not look back...the crossroads are right in front of you...take the step and feel the freedom in your soul. It may not look like you expected, but what you expected never looked so good!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Decade of Hope

I expect it is safe to say that we all have challenges we are hoping to put behind us as not only a new year, but a new decade is upon us. While it is always exciting dealing with anticipation of new possibilities, it is important to not forget where we have come from...what those challenges in our lives have created for us as well as revealed in us so that we can learn, grow and offer more than we would have been able to otherwise.

When I reflect, and reflecting on a decade, especially during this stage of my life, encompassing a wide range of experiences, I realize I have grown from and through each of them. I began as a still "enamored by love" wife, an energetic young mother and a child that was still residing within, attempting to make sense of the new responsibilities while confronting the old demons that were always there...or so it seemed. I ended this decade as a steadfast wife, committed to my husband, not just because of duty, but respect for the man he has become (and the man he was impressed me enough to marry him), a confident mother in a family that collided, with an ability to see each child's heart, insecurities and strengths that enable me to direct and dictate the pace for each as they find their place within the world and begin to apply their uniqueness into niches that exist...hopefully for the purpose of making this world a place where hope still exists and leaders still lead, to bring those who lack hope and purpose, inspiration and direction.

Somewhere along the way, I realized, as I transitioned from my determined and optimistic self, that we all have within us an energy that supercedes our ability to eminate enjoyable life and it simply enables us to live. When our hearts are in turmoil, and there is nowhere to run and no escape route, we are forced to turn inward and hopefully upward, for the wisdom that only a Creator of our soul is capable of sustaining and sprinkling with hope. There is no way we could attain this that reveals life where there has been fresh and unending death.

In my life, and I am sure any of you can identify with this as it is relative to each of our own life experiences, my new husband was no longer available to me the way he had been and I had expected. He was caught in a hell that he was determined to find a way out of and I was determined to have him come back into reality as a hope and voice for others suffering. At the time, I didn't realize that when he came back, he would not be who he once was. My once "enamored by love" self would have to see through a new lens of hope if I was going to be able to continue the journey alongside him with a fresh perspective that was going to be of even more value, but not to myself as I had once anticipated, but to others as I soon learned that was where a life well lived would ultimately find its value.

The very hope that I had in him (Danny) for completing me, had to be understood so that I could trust in the One (Jesus) who wanted me to be satisfied by Him, the lover of my soul, and not a man who could not possibly provide the soul satisfaction that every human desires.

As purpose is born, perspective is as well. When we align our purpose with God's agenda, it isn't hard to find that satisfaction. It comes to us automatically. It is as if someone turned on the water and an empty spring was filled. My existence has elements of emptiness riddled within the pages and yet God has enabled further painful experiences to bring hope and healing into my life and now I can see that there are glimpses for me that this will manifest in even greater ways into the lives of others than had I not had that pain of rejection and heartache of loneliness and isolation. The difference is, and it wasn't this way until I surrendered my will, not only am I healing, but I am hoping in an even greater way than before, not of what I had "seen" in my own mind's eye for how I thought my life would best reflect my goals, but now I see through God's eyes, and wait as He directs my steps with each opportunity that comes my way. The opportunities would not be there if it were based on my desires in the same way because they would be self-gratifying which is never sustaining or fulfilling at a heart level. "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4

Even as parents, we begin our journey with an expectation of how we will raise our children, how they will respond as we do, and how our family will reflect our values and priorities. It seems that we can package this nicely and precisely and the result will be predictable. Once again, my life's example may be more extreme than most, but it is still reflective of the fact that regardless of our determination, effort and expectations, life does not cooperate with our intentions. While I initially thought this to be a cruel reality, I now realize that it is precisely what is necessary for the life well-lived. I was listening to JK Rowling in a clip to the graduating class at Harvard and she said this: "So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I was still alive...and still had a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all."

While the circumstances of her life are dramatically different than my own, her words resonated with what has been learned through my own dashed expectations. And this is where I find myself...between rock bottom and hope. "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:5.

She concluded her thought with this: "We speak about success all the time but failure doesn't get spoken about enough. Everyone involved in Harry Potter has experienced failure. While I do not want to romaniticize failure, rock bottom is liberating."

So regardless of what type of failure we have experienced in the past decade of this life, do not be held back and crippled or worse yet, paralyzed by it. Allow it to be your building block of hope. Do not let the past dictate your future, unless it liberates your senses to experience the desire within each of us to experience a life well lived. That life can only be lived well with purpose and hope and releasing ourselves to the process of pain which is used for the purpose of healing the wounds that debilitate our hopes. Do not let what you have experienced hold you back, allow it to enable you to apperate your soul for the potential to bloom among the thorns of your life for the purpose that exists beyond this life.