Sunday, November 4, 2012


A birthday celebration with our best friends tonight for my husband. I do not know of a man alive that lives by his convictions without wavering to the degree that he does, honors the role of husband and provider and ENJOYS making me happy, invests himself 100% with every one of his children, prays for and with his patients daily and searches and researches and asks God for the answers to the missing pieces so that he can further add to his already vast knowledge so that he can help more people...and God gives it to him! I even have watched my husband suffer with a sickness "without answers" or cure...and find healing and a purpose with which he is impacting the WORLD through that same faith in JESUS that continues to lead him, endure other challenges that most would have crumbled under and continue to trust God for what is on the "other side" of the mountain that made those struggles necessary in God's sight. Well friends...we are almost to the other side of the mountain...I will call it PARK CITY :))) I am blessed to be this man's wife and consider my husband HIGHLY FAVORED and loved by God with a special love that I often marvel at. I can't imagine life with ANY ONE else as our strengths and weaknesses are perfectly complementary and our passion for truth and purpose are equally matched as well. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANNY!!! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shifting Gears

Today was a day of shifts.  The weather is shifting, there is a shift of years as Simon is soon to turn 9 and even a giant shift is becoming so evident in our life.  Saying Goodbye to friends and family (even that in shifts today) is a process that reminds me of the seasons that change beneath the clouds of storms.  Every storm passes and every rainbow births a promise.

Our old office (where we have not been in over 2 years was closed this weekend as the doctor moved into a new space and my husband's greatest fan, Heather, sent texts to us through her tears as she "packed it up"  and reminded us of how much she loved working there, how my husband changed her life and that she was saved in that office.  She, too, said "I know this chapter is ending with an even greater one beginning but I just needed to pause in the middle of the chaotic moving process and tell you how much I love you and am so excited for your next chapter...."  Her words reminded me of the mourning we have already done...many times over it seems; trusting in God to not only see us through but not waste one day of it and replace that pain with something that would be eternal and exciting with an expectation of ONLY GOD attached to it.  Reminding her it was time for her to "begin her new dance" is something that I realized Danny and I had already begun long ago (perhaps as early as when Danny first got sick), although finding our feet has been the longest of journeys and walked alone it seems much of the time without the security of our footing beneath us to carry us with any step of our own for a purpose which is not.  Reflecting, I realize that is just the way God wants it.  Utter dependence upon the Master for the piece that He is creating that we cannot possibly understand except when we look from the rear view.

One of my dearest friends, Jaynee, who has come into my life by God's design and stood faithful in prayer for our family has too experienced her own shift of life getting married yesterday.  I realized as I was reading what she wrote to me that God is so faithful to the cries and pain of our heart.  Her words lifted me to an eternal perspective when she shared her heart and said something so touching to me recounting my voice mail message to her:  "I am amazed by your sweet and timely words.  As usual, they hit their mark.  I'm overwhelmed with gratitude about so much and most of those things can be traced back to you and your faithful prayers and friendship."  She thanked me for those prayers (as undeserving as I felt reading them) and then she added this: "For without them, I might have given up and never realized that what I hold now is worth every bit of the journey and pain which pressed me into something brand new."  I understand that so well...I understand the pain of closing a door that someone else slammed shut first, I understand the pain of feeling forced to move on when things feel comfortable and I also understand waiting until God says "It's time."  Perhaps that is why I am not sad...I realize that we have walked a journey that has led to a life yet to be discovered for a greater purpose than even which we have suffered.  I have repeatedly said that when the pain of holding on is greater than letting go, then letting go brings a greater sense of finality as well as a greater hope of trust in a God who loves us and is deliberately involved in our journey toward our destination.  As she shared that perspective as well, I looked at her marriage and the joy within it that is causing her soul to sing as the way the destination of hope will be culminated in a unique way for each of us as God restores the years of thievery.

I have learned that those who "hear" are more unforgiving than those who "see."  While those who see develop a perspective that cannot be diminished as they walk through their experiences, those who hear can convince themselves of anything they choose and what they choose usually is determined by their own conscience and its limited and self-righteous perspectives.  I have also learned that being able to lay pride aside and focus not on what others want you to be, but on what He wants you to be is where your soul and your heart become united.  When those two entities connect, the ability to reach beyond ourselves becomes unlimited, what we expect from life becomes unlimited and what we know God is capable of in our lives also becomes unlimited.

The next time you contemplate a battle, contemplate a purpose for it and contemplate what you will risk for it.  While you may not understand or appreciate the losses associated with making progress, just remember you actually do not have to.  Simply trust Him and follow Him as He leads you.  Within the darkness, the light of day is born.

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.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How God Shows Himself Faithful....

I wanted to connect my feelings with my faith as I fly back home to Pennsylvania after leaving Daniel on the other side of the country in California to begin his 9th gade year of high school.  The process of our actions aligning with our will is only satisfying of of lasting value when there is reconciliation between the choices we make and our destiny.

Many years ago, while Danny and I were still going to school in Atlanta, we went to visit his aunt in San Francisco and spent some time in Lake Tahoe.  Danny told me many stories of his childhood with the fondest of memories encapsulated within his time there and within the confines of their property which was built on the lake.  Knowing Danny as I did even then, I immediately understood why his heart seemed to be rooted in the soil of this majestic place.  We haven't been back since.

This past school year while many of Daniel's friends visited more than a few boarding schools as they sought out the one that was best for them, Daniel only visited one...this one.  He came home after almost a week on the snow before his state finals for alpine skiing and was extremely excited with the training he received and the experience he shared.  I received more than I expected form their desire to have Daniel attend their school.  I knew it was an impressive academic environment as well, which was priority number one for me.  While our lives at that time were being lived out one day at a time with very little ability to plan, their encouragement for us to take the next step and apply was my first step toward trusting God for Daniel's future, regardless of our own uncertainties.

I really didn't know if it would be possible for him to be there, although I knew it was his heart's desire to be and so we both tucked it away as our only option out of any other that moved us both, but like most desires of our heart, categorized even the thought as an exercise in hope and faith.

Daniel had confidence in what this school could and would offer him and I knew his connection to one of the greatest desires of his heart was out of my hands and firmly placed into the hands of God.

When the formal acceptance letter came with what they could offer to him as a scholarship, I was excited but intimidated.  I knew we couldn't yet afford to agree to the difference, but like my son, I couldn't not ask and hope for more.  Again, knowing that God has this child's (and every child's) life ordained, I had all the courage I needed to be thankful for the offer but to also be bloody honest about our limitations.

Behind closed doors, Danny would fret knowing how hard Daniel worked at becoming the best that he could possibly be as a downhill ski racer with the opportunities that surrounded him and this was a child that deserved a chance to pursue his dream but we wouldn't be wise agreeing to it.

Daniel has always minimized everything that stands in his way with a plan of action and to everyone that knows him, he will do whatever he can to overcome every obstacle that represents restriction.  While I am wired in much the same way, I realized Daniel is in greater touch with reality than even me, as he, at his young age, has in many ways earned his badge of being honored.  He has sacrificed his parents for a greater call, a few of them actually, and has even watched us be stripped in ways that (I often acquiesce in my mind) represent failure even though nothing in our language or lifestyle of poise and purpose reflects apathy or surrender.  Since there was nothing to lose and as far as I am concerned, everything for him to gain, we were gracious and thankful but had to risk perception and potentially miss out and ask for more.  Round two proved to be worth laying my hopes and my heart down for.

Our financial limitations created concern but our faith was hopeful knowing if it was God's will, then He would make it happen.  Not every obstacle in life is necessarily easy to overcome but every objection is able to be understood as an exercise in faith and ultimately trusting in God to be our Provider enables us to experience miracles.  Fortunately, there wasn't just an inability to refuse the school's second offer, but there was a position in my head that matched my heart which were perfectly aligned with every aspect of what I know to be true about God's calling and purpose for our lives: our destination will be determined by our ability to let go.  That reality superseded all.  The added and enhanced provision came to me through nothing but my heart being connected to God' uncertain as our future can seem at times, what I knew from Day 1 of our journey with Dylan and Olivia was being secured by a loving God who saw Daniel's sacrifice and knew his pain and was now securing his feet on the mountaintop of his dreams.

Is it any surprise that my husband's heart's desires are being lived out in many ways through his son?  Does not every parent who wants the best for their children feel an element of satisfaction in their soul when their own limitations take flight?  And does not God have ways of speaking to us and reminding us of His love when we pause to assess the pain and plan He allows for a greater good?  And is it any wonder that the child who has been so emotionally connected to our pain is now planted and developing his own roots in the soil God has planted him (and the same as my husband had his own expanded within many years ago) as we wait for our own roots to begin to be replanted in ways and places for purposes with a lasting value that can only be accomplished by letting go and trusting Him?

Driving up to Donner Pass Summit with the incredible presence of the powerful landscape was an experience that fortified my faith and served as a gnawing reminder of what this day meant, this season of life has meant and how it has helped me stay the course through so many difficulties and challenges.  God suddenly and overwhelmingly connected my heart with my emotions and I will NEVER forget what that felt like or what it meant to me.  My special and soul-tossed son was about to embark on his own journey that will lead him beyond his dreams and to his purpose and my husband and I are the privileged ones chosen by God to guide him there.

I have been here before during others calls upon my life and while the outcome has been a journey to be walked out in faith and has had countless twists and turns with what has often felt like relentless insecurity and overwhelming uncertainty, the endless impartations of God's amazing grace and mercy has refreshed my soul in ways I wouldn't trade for anything.  I honestly believe and therefore move in ways of anticipation and reassurance from God's word that what adversity has taken, faith will restore...and because of desiring to trust God to lead, I expect I will experience every interesection with this trepidation that connects with my faith to restore what I initially have lost many, many ways and times over.

Applying a standard for my children to follow their heart is something that I am purposed to do, in the same way that I am purposed to be Danny's wife and support his calling that was birthed out of his adversity.  Daniel is the next anointed one then another and another and another and so on until each has arrived at the own destination.  Why would that be easy?  What is at stake has eternal consequence and impact as well as a legacy attached to it that leads the generations to follow.

When criticism comes, and it has and it does and it will, remember who you are serving.  If it is God, then His viewpoint and provisions are the ones to be considered, no one else's.  When He makes your heart align with your head, especially when what is at stake tears at your soul, you do not have to question whether or not you are making the right choice, you will know that you are.  That is the side trip and the main path of spiritual growth.  There are many of them in a life well lived.  Sadly, many fear the pain of growth so much and they risk nothing out of their fear.  While I understand why, I would encourage you to trust in God more than in yourself.  In so doing, you will grow in your service, you will find satisfaction and peace in your challenges and you will lean in and on your God, who wants nothing more than to be your rock and your fortress. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I walked away from Daniel today processing my expectations of him and all I asked of him was this (and I wrote it to him in a text): to make prayer a priority.  I told him he can do it anywhere and that is doesn't have to be planned or restrictive.  I told him that God loves him and favors him.  The truth is that God loves all of us and favors us all, but too few of us are willing to lay down what matters most to us and trust Him with our precious possessions so that we can experience His power that is made manifest in our weakness.  The bible says that "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2Corinthians 12:9.  I used to think I couldn't live without certain securities and what I have learned through many difficulties is that I can't live without the One who loves us through those difficulties so that we increase our capacity to experience more and become more so that He is all the more interested in the lives of those He calls us to lead.  My son is just one of those.  If I embrace His will for Daniel, how much more can I embrace His will for me...and for you and for the others He leads me to?

May none of us that understand purpose ever miss out on our very reason for living.  May we always be able to respond to our hearts, understanding that their desires are wired within much like a primal need.  Where we end up is directly proportional to what and how much of ourselves and what we hold dear, what we risk, and realizing that as we do the greatest accomplishment is not measured by what we can purchase but in what we invest.

"The mother loves her child most divinely, not when she surrounds him with comfort and anticipates his wants, but when she resolutely holds him to the highest standards and is content with nothing less than his best." ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When Words Work

Words are insignificant when the revelations are from the heart...those perspectives are ONLY possible with Faith!

I have met many "professionals" leading me in destructive ways.  I have met those who touched my heart and led me through.  I have never wavered or doubted my way...even when my words were few and through.
Today I was given this "gift" from my attorney.  He knows my heart and the truth.  Sometimes the comfort comes through the words that encourage me as they did today, but every day they come through my faith that leads the way :)

This is as much for me as it is for my boys (and Olivia too ;)  To overcome opposition is what makes a success!  And EVERY ONE of my children are already successful!

Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Wish For You...Olivia

I  wrote this for Olivia's Time Capsule at school last year....she opened it this year and sharing it with the world speaks of the theme of my life:  FROM PAIN TO PURPOSE

May 2011

What I would wish for you is hardly a short offering or a suggestion.  How you have come into my life was anything but predictable and the impact you have had on my growth as a child of God as well as a mother I can not fully articulate even yet as I am constantly growing within those roles each day.   I do not have “it” all figured out, but I do know that He does.  I also know that He has firmly planted my feet on solid ground when it comes to my faith and hope in making a lasting difference in this world.  I also know that because He brought you into my life, He expects me to instill that same clarity within your own heart as you sort through trials, temptations and the trails along your own journey.  That opportunity/privilege is something I take very seriously.  
One of the most important charges that I could suggest to you is for you to remember who you are:  A VERY SPECIAL CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH AND ONLY GOD.  Remember that He has a plan for your life and that it is within this plan that you will find your purpose, peace and joy.   When you wonder why your life was met with such pain early on, remember that what you have endured has made you who you are.  Your faith and ability to endure tremendous hurt and regain your hope for your future is directly proportional to the opportunities you will have in this life to encourage others and experience a most amazing and satisfying relationship with Him who has brought you safe thus far.  His plan for you is enormous.   It will enable you to soar to heights that you couldn’t have otherwise.  He has provided for you by placing you in our family and allowing you to experience tremendous opportunity that will enrich each step you have taken and will continue to take as you establish yourself in this world. 
Regardless of where you go, I trust Him to go before you.  I pray for protection and provision and providence in each space in time in which you find yourself.  I am not always going to be “there” but I am always going to be “here” for you.   As you grow in age you will grow in responsibility.  I am blessed to experience your capability as you have reached this space in time and I believe with all of my heart that God is going to continue to grow you in every way that will cause me to continue to ooze with pride as I felt so under qualified for the role that I knew I couldn’t not accept.  This role has been my “crowning moment” even though it has taken me years to learn how to release its gems…or so I have felt.  It hasn’t been until we have entered our own space and time with even greater challenges that I have realized how complete I have become within it.  I learned the truth of God’s word that we are never fully complete unless we are giving ourselves away.  Our gifts are given to us so that we can use them to bless others.  It is through that process that we experience one of God’s ironies…that as we use our gifts for the benefit of others, we are the ones who are blessed.  I pray that you expect God to show up for you in that most incredible way in which you will know for sure that His love for you is immeasurable and His desire for you is not quantifiable but the evidence of His hand upon you will not be something you ever have to wonder about.  I can tell you first hand that when you know that you know…that is all you need to know.
Keep your head held high as you walk through life.  You belong to Him.  He has a plan for your life and it is guaranteed to be more than I could ever choose for you or you could ever choose for yourself.
Trusting God above all else is my wish for you.  Remembering who you are in Him and how much He loves you and that His love never fails is all I care about you knowing above everything else.  When that is front and center and at the core of your being, EVERYTHING you put your hand to will work out to your benefit and for your blessing.

"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 a hope and a future."  ~Jeremiah 29:11


I am about to transition again in life.  I feel a new chapter opening.  I also feel an old one closing.  I have been here before but under different circumstances.  This is the first time I am anticipating such a life change.  The first few I never could have seen coming.  The first that had such a life-altering course attached to it as an adult was when my husband became sick and I hardly recognized the familiar things about our relationship.  The second was when Dylan and Olivia came into our life and I ONLY recognized the familiar things...and now, as my first born goes off to follow his dream of being the best he can be as a downhill ski racer, I am in a mode of anticipating a different kind of loss.

I have always believed that raising kids was a purposeful role in life that was not chosen, but selected.  Who God gives us to be "our own" are so far from what we can imagine, but yet, I am convinced exactly what we need.  I can see within the pages of my life with 5 children that there is a unique blend of personalities, most that are not complimentary to the others in so many ways all the while each being absolutely perfectly matched.  DNA is the most fascinating component and weighs heavier than I ever would have believed before being a mom.  I often say that Danny and I procreating was not a good decision, but I also know that when these years are over I will miss them ;)  I was lonely during my own childhood, and always said I wanted 5 children...and here I am, overwhelmed most days and overjoyed during my reflections.

Intentionally speaking, when watching your child's interests take shape, there is something that just satisfies them.  It drives them beyond what your pushing them toward something ever could.  I knew I would not be a parent that would force my child to do something that they didn't want to do other than eating their broccoli or brushing their teeth or doing their chores, but when Daniel began to be noticeably more content in the winter and spend more time on his skis than any other kid in the house, I took notice.  I thought back to the time when Dylan and Olivia were coming into our lives.  The window of reality broke over my heart when I realized what I lost (Lisa) and was anticipating what I was gaining (her children). The fear that moved my heart to ask God how it would affect Daniel was immediately answered with a knowing that came with no explanation needed:  "Not only will I do great things THROUGH Daniel, I will do great things FOR Daniel."  The beat I never missed until that moment, resumed.

Life takes bittersweet moments and turns them into unexplainable realities.  The depth of our souls are developed during adversity.  What we learn about God, ourselves and our dreams and why they exist would not be able to be realized if we weren't called into these chasms of chaos and crisis.  The birthing of beauty occurs during the burning of ashes.  In order to move to higher places of impact, we must focus on embracing the challenges and realizing that we are meant to become more, give more and choose more for a purpose that speaks more.

I have been waking up during the night and thinking about Daniel leaving.  During the day I think of it with excitement for him being able to do with his life at such a young age what I never knew existed but during the night I feel lost.  As much as he challenges me, he satisfies me.  I also remind myself that since he has known he is leaving to pursue his dream, he has been satisfied.  He has began training, feeding himself accordingly and all without reminders of making good choices as he is "creating cells" based upon the choices he makes.  He has embraced 100% my husband's coaching and I am not chasing him from pillar to post as he is searching for himself...there is unexplainable satisfaction in the result of him finding himself.

This experience, yet again, reminds me of this being analogous to every other challenging season I have found myself within.  We are called to dig deep, sacrifice and trust God with the outcome.  As I do this with my eyes wide open and my heart laid bare, I walk another road of my journey that reminds me that the more I sacrifice, the bigger God becomes to me and the more I trust Him and expect from Him.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I was encouraged this morning to write.  This time it was my husband that told me I HAD TO WRITE ABOUT THE GIANTS.  We were reading Streams In The Desert, a daily devotional that has YEARS of readership (use and abuse) and within its pages we have found hope for what seems like endless seasons of trial.  It's pages are marked by my husband with years of tears, underlining and various colors and the dates of promises from God.  As painful as it is to have journeyed through, even typing those words reminds me of beauty that comes from ashes.

Within this reading, we are reminded and easily can reflect upon these words: "The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size."  Numbers 13:32.  Joshua and Caleb saw God, not the giants as the Israeli spies did when they went to investigate the land.  They knew that when they overcame their opposition they would be stronger than if there had never been any "giants" to defeat.  Joshua and Caleb believed that keeping their eyes focused on God would bring them through the difficulties to the promised land.

Something I have learned and believe with every ounce of my being is the words I read on this day: "We encounter giants only when we are serving God and following Him.  It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared…."  In the most peacefully disturbing way this has brought increased expectation and hope for my weary soul many times over.

I asked a friend just yesterday if I should have increased or decreased hope that everything in our life is such a struggle…I honestly want to know?  She didn't want to answer me fearing "playing God" but this very morning God led us to this reading.  Streams goes on and talks about Paul and his severe and endless conflicts but concludes with reminding the reader than he ALWAYS "emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.  What comes next is one of my most personally understood series of verses in The Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.  "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

We may be surrounded by "enemies" but we will not be crushed.  The literal meaning is that we are crowded from all sides, but we are not defeated.  We may be blocked or twarted by the enemy, but evenso we will persevere as we trust God to light the way to our next step.  In one literal translation it is described as being "without a road, but not without a 'side road' of escape."  Next, we can additionally be pursued but not abandoned by The One who will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  As we progress through these verses, the fourth image is even more difficult to deal with as the enemy has in fact overtaken us, struck us and knocked us down.  There is comfort even here, as we focus on the fact that the blow is not fatal:  we are able to rise again…and will if we choose to as we are not destroyed.  We may have been "overthrown," but we have not been "overcome."  In the final image of verse 10, the "life of Jesus" comes to our rescue and we live through that life until our own lifeswork is complete…our assignment, chosen by our Creator Himself.

"Difficult times and places are our schools of faith and character.  If we are ever to rise above mere human strength, and experience the power of the life of Christ in our mortal bodies, it will be through the process of conflict that could very well be called the 'labor pains' of the new life."

I know it was no coincidence that God led me to the answer to my question.  The One who loves me in every unlovable place and state I find myself within handed me the reassurance this day that EACH hurdle and EVERY battle is handed to me in love and with a purpose of producing incredible fruit from my small and insignificant life that without Him serves NO purpose, but with Him serves others and even myself in ways I have yet to know or realize.  I will walk in faith and trust that He orders my steps.

A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way? Proverbs 20:24

Sunday, June 17, 2012



I am glad my husband focuses on relationship above ALL ELSE, (especially as the mother of his children), but I will never discount what my own dad offered and gave to me, especially after being raised without a dad until the age of 12.  The addition of him into my life restored so much that was just not capable of being present under the circumstances of which I had been raised in the first decade of  life.

When my mom remarried, and I was adopted as his own shortly thereafter I quickly learned that he worked tirelessly (still does) and provided well for us with a very comfortable life that had no financial lack.  His job is extremely demanding and the expectations of others in their time of need (as a funeral director), presents a life that he cannot dictate the pace of.  He was raised by a father who, at the age of 8 was a water boy serving those building a main highway during the depression, which had created a standard as a very young boy for "what it takes" to make it in this world to an entirely different level than many of my friend's fathers. The investment of his time was into others and their emotional needs came before all else.  His other title was lieutenant colonel in the Army and he served a standard for our country as well as himself that set a precendent for everything he was called to.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a gregarious Italian family with an incredible focus upon others.  While Danny's dad too, grew up during the depression and had a tireless work ethic, he came home after a long day's work and was wisked into social scenes involving food, cards and family gatherings.  Imagine what it was like marrying me (an only child) with little interaction with family or others, and certainly no interest in serving at the level that his mom had served his dad or their extended family?

God CLEARLY had other plans by giving me 5 children (a number that would dart out of my mouth when asked how many kids I wanted one day) in which there was/is ample opportunity to serve as well as teach service for ultimate surrender to a life well lived where God is concerned.

The more experiences that life gives me, the more I realize that there is much humor to be found in the incredible circumstances of life if it is perceived that way.  That is a choice we will all have to make at one time or another as life ALWAYS throws us circumstances beyond our expectations.  There is also much to be learned during the process that enables a perspective to be gained that is unable to be taken away as well as irreplaceable value to be added for the benefit of the life that God has called each of us to live.

After a series of unique challenges, beginning with my husband's "bizarre and unexplainable" illness that began 12 years ago (but which led to an understanding of the diseases of the new millenium), a sudden and unexpected addition of twins to our family 8 years ago and then brutal allegations that led to significant financial loss but replaced by increased advancement of what ignites our soul (which is my husband's impact upon a world rapidly losing ground and often hope in the area of health), as well as 5 very special children who have learned at a very young age to trust God when life is not what you expected it to be, I have learned that remaining riveted to God's call upon our lives is the ONLY way to stay afloat with nothing but hope and faith and overcome the obstacles, no matter how awful they may seem at times.

I can look at my husband and see how much he values the return of the investment he has given to each of our children.  I can see his eyes light up when he catches glimpses of their appreciation of him.  I can feel his pain when they are not grateful for the sacrifices he has made through our difficult and unexplainable reality or when they have watched the course of his life shift to a new direction that satisfies his soul while the circumstances aren't yet connecting to the immediate needs of life.  I know his heart for pushing forward each day and I also know when it overwhelms his spirit at times and forces us to trudge through extremely uncertain circumstances with a few paramount goals that drive our days:  to make a difference in this world and shape our children's hearts by reminding them that we have a responsibilty as God's children to trust Him and Him alone and that family is forever and the value that we have for one another will only increase as the years go by.  We understand that circumstances change, but we also KNOW that God never does.  His word and His love of those who trust in His purpose and His provisions as that purpose is called forth are nothing short of incredible tests of faith.

Faith is what releases God's promise to work on our behalf.  If we are His, then He will see us through as long as we surrender to Him. He has a purpose for each of us.  He reminds us through the challenges, that the call that is placed upon our life is not for our enrichment, but His.  As we surrender and trust Him, He shapes our hearts to endure, He rewards us through our pain, and He releases even greater results than our efforts deserve.

This Father's Day I can look at 2 men in my life that, while easy to compare and contrast, have both been used by God to remind me that throughout the seasons of our lives, being aware of God's blessings often comes through reflection and not the current reality that is limited by time and space.

Today, I realize that the greatest gifts we ever receive ALWAYS come from the Hand of God.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


God moves us because he loves us.  This can mean literally or spiritually…and usually both.  He calls us forward through our adversity.  The pain of this transition is often not able to be reconciled, even within our heart initially, but it is able to be identified as we progress.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to press on and not lose hope and the only way this courage is understood is by doing just that.

That particular transitional phase that requires ridiculous surrender is a choice.  It is denying the thoughts of "how" can this be possible, to ones of "With man this is impossible but with God ALL things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

I have been in transition for a call upon my life (more than one actually) that has left me empty and full at the same time.  I have been emptied of predictability and filled with expectation.  While the outcome remains uncertain, there are certain pathways that are secure.  They are not to be known when the journey begins, but they are to be trusted as our faith is exercised.

We have only one command as believers and that is the words of Jesus who specifically said: "Follow Me."  He knew every snare that would cause us to stumble and/or fall (and being shifted off course is Satan's plan), but He also created the outcome of our steps that would lead us to greater faith and greater purpose.

Oftentimes, within that walk of faith to our own "Hall of Fame" we find the greatest uncertainties and the greatest rewards.  We must take hold of what leads us to His purpose while puttling blinders on and letting go of ourselves that we have known so as not to be distracted from the goal…HIS goal for our lives.

I now understand the quote that says: "Men fail because they quit too soon."  How easy that is to do.

What comes against us fiercely and ferociously atttacks us in every way to create fear and defeat, but God says that we should "not be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul."  Matthew 10:28

When you live your life with His purpose, you are automatically FOCUSED on the call upon your life.  It ALWAYS involves focusing on others.  In the process of doing so, you are in HIS WILL and it enables your sacrifices to be edifying to your very soul.

Take the plunge of living beyond yourself and WATCH WHAT GOD DOES THROUGH YOU AND FOR YOU!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Journeying Toward Destination

What do we learn as we wait on God?

Speaking from personal experience, and more than I could have imagined as well as beyond what I could have imagined, I have learned that waiting requires a stoic patience that replaces our own agenda. The process of anticipation swells and retracts, much like waves against the shoreline. Within each swell is a sense of urgency and excitement that is often fueled by circumstances as well as a temporary denial that disappoints us at the core of our being.

As we trust our God to lead us, we realize that His leading requires a relinquishing of every mode of manipulation that we have previously used to advance our cause(s). Somewhere between the justice and the injustice of the process, we learn that in order to advance our mission (which is the ultimate furtherance of our hopes and dreams…at least those that are driven by the heart rather than the flesh), we had to begin where we started, endure the agony of the challenges within, and WAIT for God to direct (as well as redirect) the path toward our freedom that is found within the restrictions of our bondage. I just thought of something that Danny said to me a few weeks ago that I find myself repeating almost daily in my head:

…"We are like the Israelites and have not yet reached our promised land. That is why we feel the way we do." I appreciate so much my husband's perspective as it was mine that carried us through his sickness and the further challenges within our family while he rallied in a very different but equally necessary way to sustain us. But to finally hear his words match my heart is a gift that I recognize as a portion (gift) from God to supply what is needed as we toil toward our goal of advancing our mission and our family through the stages that we have for the greater purpose of legacy.

I know that purpose fulfills us as well as makes a difference in the world we are called to live within (whether it is a home, neighborhood, community, stage or platform of teaching or leadership or beyond), and therefore requires the emptiness of ourselves so that we can be filled by those things that remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~1Corinthians 13:13

As God heals my hurts and my sorrows, I am exposed…mostly to myself. It is a vulnerable place to admit the reality of, but it is necessary for my healing as well as for who I I am first called to support my husband and nuture my children before I can share the pain which has led me to where God leads. I wait for that time but I no longer wait with restraint of my emotions or a dissatisfaction of my circumstances, but I wait with surrender and I follow what He reveals, which is usually something "hidden" within my heart and has been shut off to not only myself but to others as a way of protecting myself. I have learned that God will leave me right where I am or allow circumstances to wane unless I admit where I am struggling and accept my responsibility within it as He leads the process of change.

I often hear myself telling my kids that they are to be an example to the younger ones (particularly Simon, who in our home is a force that creates much opportunity…and he knows it. Just last evening he was spinning in circles for over 10 minutes and saying that the force of God was with him and giving him the ability to do what he does…whatever it may be at the time). And while Simon may be their challenge for growth as well as a model for faith in our home, raising 5 children and difficulties beyond our control have certainly been mine. Every time I tell them how the result (Simon being less problematic in their world) could be achieved, I realize that I am also needing to heed the advice I give: that love is the greatest virtue to exercise in life for EVERY objective and while faith and hope I have mastered by proportion, learning how to love has been what God has revealed to me to be where my greatest wounds lie…and He has given me plenty of opportunities to approach my challenges with His direction (which is from a spiritual perspective), rather than from one that protects myself from becoming vulnerable to those that do not care whether or not they hurt me and often have and do intentionally. While no one wants to receive pain, I have learned it is the catalyst that God allows to further our purpose.

The natural inclination to protect myself exists from wounds in my childhood that are wrapped in pain and isolation and peppered with rejection. A few of my own children (while they do not yet understand it), have this within them as well due to circumstances beyond their control. As they get older it becomes easier to identify as well as discuss but nonetheless it is still something THEY have to deal with and because God loves them so much, He already has given them through their own "healed" lives even more opportunities to let Him do so. He has also given me to them to use as an example. I would even suggest that we all have this place that we detach ourselves from and place on a shelf because the process to release it is not pleasant. In some people it is much more easily understood due to the circumstances in their lives and it is more evident to understand why it exists. And as I have learned, God uses the broken to heal others, and He doesn't allow those that He uses to be left in stagnation, but He requires us all to also be healed so that we can truly serve a hurting world…which is only done successfully through our love...and therefore the process is a painful one for every one, but what exists on the other side is restoration and a legacy worth more than we can quantify.

So while we all recognize that this journey we call life stretches our patience, reveals our ugliness and redeems our futures, let us also realize that we serve a God who is the Master of redemption and the Manipulator of circumstances that while "... we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. and hope does not disappoint us…." ~Romans 5:3-6

Hold on tightly to your hope…it will not disappoint you…that is not my promise, but HIS!

“The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours.”
~ Piper