Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

I first began reading Mark Batterson's book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" about this time last year. It was a book that proved to change my life dramatically. God used that book to put me on a path that would cause me to make one of the biggest changes of my life. His next book "Wild Goose Chase" caused me to take the next steps in leaving the cage I had been bound up in and embark on something new for the Glory of God.

When I first heard about his latest book, "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" I was very excited, but at the same time I wondered what God would challenge me to change after reading this book. While I haven't been able to finish the book just yet due to my homework load this quarter... already I have begun to feel God's whisper to my heart... it is calling me to pursue Him in a new and deeper way.

One paragraph that spoke to my heart stated:
"...I couldn't help but wonder if our generation has conveniently forgotten how inconvenient it can be to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I couldn't help but wonder if we have diluted the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities. I couldn't help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced."

Already God has used this book to challenge me to look at the Great Commandment in a new light. Do I really love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength? Do I even understand what that means? Do I obey it or do I merely think it is another great verse in the Bible? Is it just a "warm fuzzy" or does it mean more in my life? I want my love for God to be more... I want to love Him with ALL of my heart, ALL of my mind, ALL of my soul and ALL of my strength.

"The decent down this flight of stairs into primal Christianity will be convicting at points, but the end result will be a renewed love for God that is full of genuine compassion, infinite wonder, insatiable curiosity, and boundless energy. Anything less is not enough. It's not just unfulfilling, it's also unfaithful. The quest is not complete until it results in catacomb-like convictions that go beyond conventional logic. The goal is a love that, as our spiritual ancestors understood, is worth living for and dying for."

My gift to you this Christmas is a strong recommendation to make Mark Batterson's new book "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" the next book you read... make sure it is the first book you read in 2010!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yesterday in church, our Pastor read this scripture:

Romans 12:2:
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing a perfect.

I then heard the Lord explain to me part of the issue of the previous day and the previous post. He showed me how I expect things to look a certain way based on how the world says it should look. It's so easy to pick up the behaviors and customs of this world and just assume that's the way things are supposed to be. For me, God showed me how I was locked in to thinking that Christmas should look a certain way... I have been thinking that way for years. If you don't have "this" then Christmas just isn't Christmas... if you can't give lots of gifts then it just isn't Christmas like it should be... if you don't have a tree... well then it just isn't Christmas. Really? Is that really what Christmas is about?

This little book I have been reading during my morning devotions added to this by stating, "Jesus was not attached to the form of things... Often we think a relationship or project should turn out a certain way, but, if we are wise, we must be willing to have it take another form. ... People who are too attached to the form of things are locking themselves into "realities" that are almost always sure to change."

This Christmas I want to look at Christmas differently... I want to be open to doing something different for a change... I want to be willing to see Christmas from God's eyes. I want to allow Him to transform me by changing the way I "think" Christmas should look. I have the feeling He wants to show me something AMAZING... He usually does!

Thank you for letting me ramble my thoughts out here and for your words of encouragement... May you have a very blessed Christmas and may it take on a new form for you as well!


Saturday, December 5, 2009


I hesitate to even write this post... partly because I don't want to sound like I'm complaining when I know I have so much to be thankful for and yet needing to voice these thoughts out in writing... and partly because I don't know how to word this without having it sound bad but you know what?? I need to just say it!

I struggle with this whole time of year. My inward struggle begins November 1st each year as I remember my parent's anniversary and how much I miss them. I also know it heads into the whole season of being thankful and then the Christmas season hits... Once I have managed to make it through Thanksgiving then December 2nd comes... the date of Gerad's birth and last year, it was the date of Nick's funeral...

I just tend to have a blah feeling during the months of November and December. Just a missing of my baby and my parents and the struggles financially that we always seem to walk through at Christmas time when the world says it's all about the gifts and the decorations and the love and the festivities and lights and everybody's joyous! For me.... I just want to crawl in a hole with a warm blanket and hibernate until the New Year. I love New Year's... the promise of something new and hopefully better coming ahead... a time when I can put behind me the sadness of the last couple of months and look forward to the freshness of Spring. Each year I pray it gets easier and yet at the same time... I don't want to forget them. I can't forget them...

Last night as I watched this little boy skip across the lobby at the theater... it reminded me of another little boy... so long ago. My heart once again told Gerad... "I'm sorry"... and then I heard his sweet little voice speak to my heart and say... "It's okay mommy. I love you and I'm having so much fun here!" My heart's reply was... "but I miss you honey." and he said, "I know but I will see you again soon.".... So I smiled and turned away to focus on something else before I started to cry.

Today I wonder... Do all mom's who have lost a child struggle with this time of year? Or is it just me? Whenever I see the snow flakes in light of the streetlights I always remember the night of Gerad's birth and the feeling of wonderment I had that night... wondering if Mary had that same feeling of wonder... I remember standing and wondering what was so special about this child because he felt different in my arms. I knew there was something unique about him. Little did I know what was ahead... I don't think Mary really understood the depths of how special her baby boy was the night He was born. She knew He was special but she couldn't have known how it would feel to watch Him die... to give up His life so that we might live. Thank You Jesus for being willing to give up your life for me. Thank you Mary for being willing to be the vessel used by God to carry such a special child.

That night as Jesus was laying in a manger there wasn't a Christmas tree decorated with lights. There wasn't a whole bunch of gifts because the gifts technically came later. There was just a little family gathered together in a little stable... filled with love for each other and the God who had blessed them so very much. Isn't that what it's really all about anyway? Just being together and being filled with love for each other and the One who has loved us SO much more then we can possibly imagine.

Thank You Jesus for once again... bringing my focus back to you....

Monday, November 16, 2009

the frisbee...

So yesterday I went forward for prayer about my anxieties over my finals today. I wasn't alone in my anxiety issues... there were many people who had come forward for this. The man that prayed over us had us say a verse (I can't remember where it's found) and all I can remember of it is, "don't fret". He then had us close our eyes and picture being in a park playing frisbee with Jesus. He instructed us to throw whatever we were worried about to Jesus.... to cast all of our cares and anxieties on Him and let Him take them.

When I woke up this morning a song played through my head that has a line, "the old me is dead and gone"... I'm not who I used to be in high school. I'm not who I was 11 months ago when I was at my old job. I'm not who I was 20 some years ago when this dream was placed in my heart. I'm growing and I'm learning.... I'm no longer stagnant...

When I went to my Bible this morning to find the verse from yesterday I couldn't find it so I looked at my list of promises from God's Word that we were given several months ago at church. Since I thought today was the 15th, I looked at the verse for the 15th day on my list. It was the scripture in 2 Corinthians 1 that I blogged about before. Immediately upon looking at the page I remembered the verses that had spoken to me that day. The verses that talk about: "We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God... We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us." and, "We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom."

All this to say... I've thrown the frisbee of these tests to Jesus and I'm looking to Him to take care of the grades for me. I am leaning and relying on Him and His grace, not on my own wisdom and understanding. I trust that.... He's got it! He'll take care of it! And I can trust Him with it! And whenever I think about the Chemistry final I have this afternoon... I can confidently say, "It's okay... God's got it!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There, we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." (Hebrews 4:16)

Chemistry... is a struggle for me... and yet... it is the beginning of the hard classes to come! When I was pausing in my study time this morning to sit and have some time in the Word, He brought me to this verse. As I look at my Chemistry book and all the notes, handouts, homework and tests I have completed over the course of this quarter... there is a LOT of information!! And yet.... I sit here in the presence of the One who created the Universe!! He created all of these atoms and molecules, He created the Heavens and the Earth!

Lord, I do come boldly... and very tiredly... to your throne of much Grace and Mercy. I know that You know ALL things. This is your creation! Science is so... little and easy in your scope of wisdom and knowledge. I come to You because You know more than any scientist EVER!! Lord, I need Your Mercy to finish this quarter strong in this class that has proved to be EXTREMELY challenging for me! Lord, I know You want me to take this and conquer it... like the lion in the pit! I know.... You are here with me! Show me Your mercy and grace as I begin to study for this upcoming final. Show me what to study, how to study so I can finish strong. Show me what to focus on so I can do better then the last test (which I didn't do so well on). You know the grade I need so... I'm counting on You... the creator the Universe... to help me.

You are awesome Lord! Thank You for bringing me this far! Thank You that I know You will not leave me alone in this! Thank You for constantly being with me... each and every step of the way. I give this over to You.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


I come from a family of music-lovers... it seems my memories of my Dad always have him whistling or singing a little tune. My mom played the piano so music filled our home. My sisters play the piano and all of us kids sing... so it's no surprise when God drops a song in my path when things are hard... or even joyous.

Today as I was driving home in the rain feeling rather numb this song came on the cd I had playing and I just kept hitting repeat because it ministered to me... and is what's really in my heart of hearts...

You are Faithful
by Hillsong

Lord of all the earth
how you care for me
You have made me
You will saved me
and carry me always

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful
Your joy is my strength

Lord you are my guide
I rely on You
I put my hope in things not seen
Your promises are all true

Always you are with me
Your hand will lead me
My trust is in Your name

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful
Your joy is my strength

Then as I opened my Bible to read from while I ate my lunch He took me to this verse....

Psalm 18:1 & 2:
I love you , Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior...

He is faithful and He IS my strength... that about says it all. Even when things are rough, when puppies die and little kids get cancer... when you feel alone... in the midst of things you don't understand... in the quietness... He is there. He is there and He knows exactly what we need when we need it. Sometimes, it comes in the comfort of a song or the hug of a friend or even... just.... being. He is faithful...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a fork in the road....

I sit here with two different options before me. Which path do I take? Lord, I want to be where you want me to be... that's always been my desire. Today's verse:

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me." (Psalm 16:8)

As I look at the two paths in front of me... one seems easier and faster, a more direct route in some ways. The other path is harder and longer... more challenging... and yet... I feel the Lord calling me to follow Him.

As I look back at my life, I see hardships but there has been growth along the way. I KNOW He has been with me each and every step, through each and every trial and challenge.

Course, my flesh cries out and doesn't want the pain - who in their right mind would?! But that's just it... the flesh always wants to take the easy route.

He is with me and I know He is directing my each and every step. I will trust in HIM alone. I will follow Him where ever He may take me and even if the road we travel seems hard, I will not be shaken because I KNOW He is right here beside me.

Hmm... guess the choice is made! =)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

moments in time...

This week was an interesting to say the very least...

Monday - I found a beautiful new $100 bill in an envelope lying on the ground outside a building at school. Feeling badly for the person who lost it, I took it to the Student Services office so they could hold onto it in case someone would come looking for it. I later found out if it went unclaimed after 30 days, it would be mine. Finding that money and deciding what to do... was a moment in time.

Tuesday - I received a call from Student Services and the owner had indeed come looking for the money. It ended up belonging to a single mom with three kids who works part-time at the campus. She was amazed and I was blessed with the joy of knowing that the lost had been found. Hugging a stranger who was amazed at the goodness of God... was a moment in time.

Wednesday - I had two tests on the same day. For most college students is this a normal occurrence but for me... I was stressed to say the least. Add... on top of two tests my English assignment I had spent HOURS on came back to me with a grade that I thought said "not good enough". I also had a period of feeling like I had failed God in helping someone. Two tests and feeling down... was a moment in time.

Thursday - I went to the library to breathe and spend some time with the Lord when He began speaking to me about the many times in my life where I felt I was walking in more then what I could bear. Situations that were hard and difficult and painful to say the least. He was reminding me of those times and how I felt I couldn't handle much more and yet each and every time He rescued me and delivered me... out of them all! I was asking Him to help me with my test anxiety and He reminded me of how He has called me on this journey and even though it seems hard at the moment, He will bring me through it so He receives the Glory. As I was leaving the library a man stopped me and asked me what I was studying. "Oh... I'm taking my general Math and Science classes because I want to go into Physical Therapy", I replied. He asked me how long that took and I explained that I would spend a year at Metro catching up and then I would do a year at Clarkson where I would graduate with an Associates as an Assistant and then hopefully go on from there. He told me to not waste my time on the Associates but to go for the end goal... to go for what I felt I should be doing. It was a moment in time where I felt the presence of God settle down on me. A moment where I knew this wasn't just a stranger sitting there being nice to me, it was the voice of the Lord speaking to me. I explained how I had always been afraid of Physical Therapy because of how I had done in high school. He went on to tell me how I shouldn't worry about how I did in high school. "That was then, this is now" he said and he explained how we all do silly things in high school. "Don't let how you did then, hold you back from what you're supposed to do now."

Friday - as part of the Clarkson application process I had scheduled to do eight hours of observation of Physical Therapists. I spent the day observing and asking questions. What were the differences between a Physical Therapist and a Physical Therapist Assistant and did the credits transfer from the classes I would take as an Assistant into the Physical Therapy programs offered at area colleges. What were their suggestions?

As I look back at the ups and downs of this week I see the Hand of God. He's shown me how there will be times where I will do really well and be really happy with how things are going. Then, there will be times where I feel like I failed and wonder why in the world God would have me walking this path. He revealed to me that if I will just simply lean on and rely on Him, He WILL take me through this journey. He WILL rescue me in the hard places and He WILL continue to lead me and guide me each step as I trust in Him.

I believe He has a plan and a purpose for all of these struggles we face and have faced. I believe that the loss of a child, another who was diagnosed and healed of a serious illness, a husband with a back injury and a 43 year woman starting to pursue Physical Therapy.... it all fits together for my good and for His Glory!

I went and picked up the book that God used as a catalyst for this journey and I read this line that speaks volumes...

"There is an old aphorism: 'No guts, no glory.' When we don't have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him." -- Mark Batterson

I don't want to rob Him of the Glory He deserves.

For this moment in time... I will trust in Him and give Him all the praise and Glory for this weeks... "moments in time".

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I need to write this down so I don't forget. The Lord just revealed something so powerful to me... as I type I pray He shows me more if there is more.

I was sitting in my Algebra class this morning listening intently to what the instructor was saying. He was talking about a concept and I thought, "I have NO idea what you just said or what you meant by that!". All of a sudden the Lord showed me a picture of my head down, going head first into a wall, full speed ahead. "Like boring through a wall head-first", I heard Him say. "You try to tackle these concepts and all that your learning with your head and with your own understanding. You're going at it using your head. Like your boring through a wall head-first. I want you to go in like a warrior. Head up, shield up, following Me, your Leader, Teacher, Commander in Chief. I will show you the way, I will explain the concepts with each step as you seek Me and listen to My voice. As a warrior gets instruction from his leader, so I will give you instruction as you need it. Don't lean on your own ability to understand what you are being taught. Instead, lean on Me and listen to My instruction and I will show you the way." ...wow...

Yesterday I had my first Chemistry test and I was SO stressed about it. I just wanted to do a good job. Yesterday morning when I was asking a friend to pray for me I told her I felt like I was trying to make up for the grades I got in high school. I didn't know what the test would be like but all I knew was, I wanted to get a good grade. I thought about this test so much yesterday and all the while, I was trying to lean on God at the same time. When I finished the test, I was exhausted. I felt physically and mentally worn out!

When the Lord gave me that picture this morning I realized that was why I felt that way yesterday. I was trying to pack all this information in my brain and lean on Him at the same time. I know I need to trust Him in this. I know I CAN trust Him to bring me through it and yet, there still seems to be a battle going on where I am trying to do it in my own strength. Forgive me Lord for leaning on my own understanding. Forgive me for not fully resting in Your promise that You will walk with me each step of the way and passing the tests and classes and doing well WILL happen for YOUR glory!

When I came downstairs after class and was pondering on this picture He gave me, I went to my Bible to read today's scripture from a list I have of 40 promises from God. I chuckled a little when I read this passage:

"So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer ALL their enemies. Not a single one of ALL the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; EVERYTHING he had spoken came true." (Joshua 21:43-45)

ALL my enemies, all my fears and anxieties are conquered in Jesus Name. He has already conquered them. All I have to do is walk in the peace that passes all understanding. This dream, this path I am walking is a path designed and chosen by Him. It's a path that will bring HIM glory when I walk across the stage to get my diploma. I KNOW He has begun a good work in me and I KNOW He will be faithful to complete it. I know He will help me each step of the way.

No matter the outcome.... I will trust in YOU.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today was supposed to be a day spent studying. A day to accomplish a lot in the realm of learning. Well what I learned was NOT Chemistry. What I learned was that our Father is amazing. Yes, I already knew that but I just have been amazed lately at how He doesn't always care about what we think our schedule should hold. The last couple of days He has taken me to blogs of mom's who have lost a child. Yesterday during what I thought would be a brief study break, He had me explain our story of loosing Gerad to a friend from high school and to pray with her about her fear of her daughter driving a couple of hours away to a game.... only to address my own fears a short time later.

Distractions are things that keep us from our goal. A definition I found is: "
that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration". Sometimes this is a bad thing because we loose focus. Granted, I have lost focus and will need to spend a lot of time catching up but.... sometimes I believe God allows the distractions to get us to see that life is more then just checking off things on our "to do" lists. Life is about taking time to read blogs of hurting people, to weep with those who weep, to listen to fears and to take the time to pray over those fears on instant message... Life is about seeing the Hand of the Father directing your every step and trusting Him for the rest.

I guess my point in this post is just this... thank you Lord for the distractions that broaden my scope of things. Thank you for reminding me that there are people who need prayer and encouraging words. Thank you Lord for the reminder that you are never to busy to hear our hurts and our hearts. Thank you that you take the time to listen. Thank you Lord that you will now redeem my study time and that since you are the Master Teacher you will infuse me with your great wisdom and understanding!

Friday, September 18, 2009


"Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Martha Schlaback

I love when the Lord gives you a practical application to something He shows you. As I read this little quote this morning I had to smile because right before I got to it, I was thinking of a situation that came about yesterday afternoon in the cafeteria. I had watched out the window to see a blind woman getting out of a van, as her ride dropped her off at the door. I have seen several blind students around campus but this one in particular caught my eye as I wondered how they do everything without sight. As she disappeared from my view I marveled at how they use their canes and counting steps to get through life. I went back to studying and after a few minutes I heard clicking against chairs. As I looked up and saw this same blind woman as she attempted to make her way through the tables and chairs. Clearly, things were out of place and she was becoming confused as to where she was. I watched her as she stopped to listen to the sounds around her so she could figure out where she was in the room. She turned around and started walking toward a back corner and I knew... she needed some assistance. I approached her and gently touched her arm as I spoke. "Is there someplace I can help you find?" and she smiled at me the sweetest smile. She was intending to go to Student Services and wasn't sure how she had ended up in the cafeteria. She was thinking it was closed. As we began walking I explained where we were and that yes, the cafeteria was open. She told me she would like to get a bottle of pop then so I lead her to the register and got one for her. I waited behind her as she paid. It was one of those moments where you wonder if you should help more or leave to let her handle it on her own. Not wanting to abandon her, I stood and waited. As the gal at the register asked me if I needed anything I told her no, that I was just helping. I asked the blind woman if she knew how to get to Student Services from here and gave her a point of direction from where she was to where she needed to go. As I walked away I asked Jesus to help her get to where she needed to go and that someone would be helpful and kind to her.

I couldn't help but think of the scripture that talks about when you help someone you may be helping an angel. The amazing thing was, though, I was so blessed to have been able to help her find her way. It spoke to my heart in ways I can't put into words. Even now as I'm typing this tears come to my eyes. It wasn't so much about being nice to someone, it was more about being Jesus in a moment in time, in a real and tangible way. What a blessing it was to me... to see my daughter's words to me lived out. "There are people out there who need you Mom. They need your touch and they need to hear your story and they need the Jesus that's on the inside of you."

As I live my life now as a student among so many new faces, daily I am reminded about how the Presence of God goes with me and how I carry His Presence to that campus. It was Jesus who touched the woman's arm. It was Jesus who led the way. It was Jesus who got up when others just sat and ignored her struggles. Oh dear Jesus, help me to see that there are so many people there who are spiritually blind and looking for their way. Help me to be a light there. Help me to get up and go to them and not be like those who just ignore the struggles of others. Help me to daily, touch the life of an angel.

"How will they know unless you tell them?" How will they know unless you touch them? How will they know He loves them unless you love them? How will they know?

Today speak the language of kindness that goes beyond words.

Friday, August 28, 2009

new beginnings....

WOW... what a day!

As I sit here on my floor with gifts from my friends all around me... I reflect on the day that it has been. I have good friends where I work... people that I love and care about. People that have come out of the wood-work over the last month to tell me they appreciate me. It has really been amazing! You know... you don't think you make much of an impact but then... suddenly you realize that maybe you made more of an impact then you realize. My daughter has had a similar experience in her returning to school. People that she had class with but wasn't really friends with... have greeted her so warmly... and it's amazed her. Course, any of you that read this that know her know... she's pretty amazing! =)

What I have learned over the course of this week, especially in building up to this meeting that I had today with one of the directors of the company is that people are important and need to feel important... like they matter. People do matter... I think that is part of why I want to go into Physical Therapy. Just to be able to have one on one moments with people. To speak into their lives. To touch them with the touch of Jesus and to love them like He loves them. I know I was doing that where I was... but I want to do it even more so. This week has been amazing. I have talked to more people this week then I have ever talked to at one time before. I had the freedom to just stop and talk and it was so neat! And I shared tears today as I said good-bye to several of those people. If I didn't know without a doubt that leaving is what God wants me to do... I probably would have backed out. But there really is no doubt in my mind. And that's awesome! =)

My challenge to you is... take some time today to bless someone's life. Tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them they do a great job. Tell them they... matter. Tell them that you care. It really does make a difference in their lives and you blessing them... ends up blessing you!

That's all for now!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

standing before kings....

So... today I received an interesting invite. It came to my inbox at work. It took me by surprise to begin with because this was not your typical invite to a typical meeting. You see, this particular invite was to meet with someone very important in our company. I knew almost immediately that not everyone gets this kind of invitation when leaving the company. I went and talked to one of my managers who then confirmed that I was only the second person she knew of to receive such an invitation. Upon clicking the "Accept" button, I began to pray for wisdom and the words to say. I am... in a sense... being summoned... to come before a "king". At first I was nervous and yes, even a little afraid, but then I heard the Lord tell me not to be afraid and that He would go with me. This is an opportunity that has been ordained by Him. This is an opportunity to go and speak.... to be the voice of my fellow associates. This is a significant meeting... not just because of who this person is and the position that he holds... but it feels as though there is more to it. God orders our steps... even into important meetings. I meet with this person Thursday morning. Please pray that God will speak through me and give me the right words to say.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

verses that speak...

I love it when I'm reading my Bible in the morning and verses jump out at me and I hear God speaking to my heart through them... It's so awesome because it proves to me on a real life basis that His Word is living and active. There are times, yes, where it cuts me deep and points out where I have been wrong. There are also times where the Lord just sends me gentle words of encouragement such as the story of Ezra - "the gracious hand of his God was upon him" - this is stated in chapter 7 & 8 of Ezra several times. We all know that when God says something more then once we're supposed to listen because it's important. In verses 9 & 10 of chapter 7 it says, "the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel."

The gracious hand of the Lord his God was upon Ezra because he chose to study and obey the Word of God and he determined in his heart to share the Word of the Lord with the people of Israel.

I felt the Lord reminding me this morning of the verse that started this blog last year. That He has Chosen me as His very own possession and as a result I can share with others about His goodness. He encouraged me to blog about a journey He has me on and about how He is opening doors for me to walk through that... amaze me on a daily basis!

I am not really sure how to go about sharing everything of the last few months but a glimpse into the journey is the amazing goodness of God. Eight months ago God planted a seed in my heart. It was a calling to lay down the security I know in my current job, to lay down the fears I have always had about math and science. He began by taking me through a couple of math classes to gradually build my confidence. He used those classes to show me that He will give me wisdom and understanding about things... I have no understanding of! The last test I took a couple of weeks ago will forever stand as a reminder to me of GOD being the one behind this whole thing! I went into a test totally and completely relying on HIM. I didn't understand the section we were on but I needed to pass the test in order to be done with the class. I prayed before, during and after the test and.... HE helped me pass! I was so..... amazed! I walked out to the truck knowing that God was on this and that He was helping me take each step. I knew that HE was going to be the one to get me through the necessary courses and that in the end... when I walk across the stage to get my diploma it will be for HIS glory.... so that everyone will know... that HE brought me through this great victory!

One morning about a month ago I was reading my Bible outside and praying about school and work and going to school full-time. I wasn't sure how it would be possible for me to quit my job but I knew that taking one class a quarter was going to take me FOREVER to get through them all! I came in and counted up that if I were to start taking two classes a quarter then I could be through the pre-requisites in a year and be onto the next step next fall! I presented this to my husband but neither one of us knew how I could continue to work full-time and take two classes. It would be too much. We began praying and figuring together and finally... he gave me his blessing to quit my job and focus on school. I am still amazed! This was a major turn around from just a few months ago!! God had moved the mountains that were in front of me and suddenly... I could see a brand new day dawning!!

The doors that opened from that moment on were doors that only God could open.
First, my husband needed to be in agreement and we had reached that door and walked through it.
Second, I began praying about one friend in particular at work. She is very dear to my heart and I knew she would take my leaving very hard. I prayed that God would prepare her for the news and that He would help me tell her at just the right moment.
Third, was telling my managers and people at work that I have known for a lot of years.

The day I told my friend at work... God provided the perfect moment. He gave her a dream one night that our former manager came to her to find out how much I make. He looked at the amount and said, "I can top that. I'm taking her." She was stunned and didn't understand what it meant. I told her that maybe it was preparation and explained that I was going to be giving my notice. I told her that God had given her that dream. She denied it but I knew... only God could have given her a dream like that! We talked about it for quite awhile and I could see it was hard but our talk went better then I had hoped.

Next came telling my manager. I had thought I would do it Friday afternoon before I left to go on my "vacation". God had other plans.... He set up a perfect opportunity in the middle of the week and there wasn't any way I could put off telling him any longer. Once I told him... there was no turning back. What was so cool about the whole thing was I was going to put in an application and my daughter told me I would need to know my class schedule before I could put down the hours I was available (spoken like a true college student!). I registered for classes and got that set up, then told my boss I was quitting. He tried to get me to extend out my last day. For a brief moment I contemplated working on a part-time basis. I went outside to talk it through with my husband and in the course of our conversation... I knew staying was not what God wanted for me. It was so awesome! If I wouldn't have already registered for classes, it would have been so easy to have stayed "just a little bit longer". God had me register so I couldn't change my mind in any way! It was so cool!

Finally, when I registered for one of my classes I was on a wait-list because it had filled. I was going to change it to a different class but didn't have the chance to. Today, when I went to the school to look at the books I will need I printed off my schedule... and I'm no longer on the wait-list! It shows me as registered! This is both cool and a little bit scary for me because... it's a Chemistry class!! I was walking on the campus and praying about this new development and suddenly... I was filled with peace. I know that God has helped me pass so far.... He won't let me down now! This is HIS dream for me that He has placed on my heart and I KNOW He will bring it to completion!

My last day is next Friday. While I am a little sad to be leaving those friendships that I have made over the last nine years I am even more excited to be laying down my staff of security to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.... and going on a Wild Goose Chase with HIM!

In going back to the verses I mentioned at the beginning of this post... I feel like God was saying to me this morning that His hand is upon me and He will lead me each step of the way and He will provide for whatever I may need. I believe too that as I'm in the process, He wants me to study and obey His Word and to tell others along the way. As I study these courses, as He gives me the wisdom that I need, I need to share with those people around me what God is saying to me and that HE is the one bringing about victory every step of the way! As I do this, as I acknowledge HIM, His gracious hand will be upon me and it will be evident to everyone around me!

Welcome to my journey... I am so excited to be stepping into HIS New Day for my life. I will keep you posted on the progress! =)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

back again...

Hello, to anyone who still randomly checks this little blog out... Yes, it's true, I have been gone an awfully long time. You see, my daughter has been home over the summer (and it's been SO wonderful!). She was taking an online class and needed to use my laptop. She was able to buy herself a new laptop so now she's finishing up the class on her own lovely computer.

So much has happened over the summer that I almost don't know where to begin. God has been showing me some amazing things and is directing my paths in incredible ways. I have seen the beauty of the sunrise on several occasions as I was out walking in the early morning hours. Last Friday I took a walk around the lake and felt His smile as He spoke words of love, comfort and encouragement to me. I am so amazed at how truly wonderful He is.

One morning God spoke to me through this portion of scripture found in 2 Chronicles 32:

"Be strong and courageous! Don't be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!"

The kind of Assyria had been very successful in battle and had come to attack Jerusalem. He was taunting the people and was spouting off about how King Hezekiah was lying to them when he told them that God was going to rescue all of Jerusalem from his army. "Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst!" The king of Assyria was pretty confident that his army would defeat God's people. "What makes you think your God can rescue you from me?". The kind of Assyria didn't realize Who he was coming up against and he and his men continued to mock God and His servant Hezekiah.

"Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in Heaven. And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So (king) Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. That is how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennachaerib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them."

What spoke to me about this passage was that so many times when we are moving forward in the things of God, the enemy comes along and spouts off lies and tries to make us think that we'll die if we follow the path of God or that He won't rescue us from whatever trial we may be in. He tries to get us to believe that we are all alone or that "thing" we're going through is impossible to get out of.

However, if we cry out to God in prayer He will send angels to destroy the enemy and all of his tactics and will continue to reign victorious in our lives! If we cry out to Him and focus our eyes on Him, the enemy is forced to go back to the pit where he belongs and WILL leave us alone. What we need to remember is that GOD is on our side! He fights all our battles for us and HE alone.... IS VICTORIOUS.... ALWAYS!

What an amazing thing to grab hold of... with God on our side there really isn't anything that can hold us back or that we can't do. With God on our side we CAN do all things!! Isn't that awesome! What are you afraid of? What's holding you back? What lies do you believe? What things do you find yourself saying, "I can't do that!" to?? With God ALL things ARE possible! How cool is that????

Stay tuned dear friends... there is more to come!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

profound quote...

This quote was brought to my attention today and it just seemed like something that needed to be shared...

"Growth demands a temporary surrender of  security" 
- Gail Sheehy

"On face value, this looks like a simple statement. Yet, is it the key to why so many of us refuse to embrace growth?
Are we not willing to surrender the rewards provided by our doing too much in terms of security?
Even when that surrender is temporary?
What are the roadblocks we put up against our own growth?
What fears do we use to scare ourselves?"

I believe we all have things that stand in front of us, like roadblocks, that prevent us from moving forward into that next step and into all God has for us. I believe too many times we see those roadblocks, those mountains, as insurmountable and impassable. However, Jesus says in His Word, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." (Matthew 17:20)

Did you catch that? NOTHING would be impossible. As I sit here tonight I wonder... am I letting mountains stand in my way? Am I letting fears scare me into staying in the "secure" zone? What are the mountains that stand in your way? What things are you afraid of? What areas are you comfortable in where you feel God is wanting you to step out and experience something new and unknown?

I'm reminded of a story I heard recently... forgive me if you're the story-teller and I don't say it quite right. There was a young girl (or maybe it was a young woman) who was in a hospital room. Out her window all she could see was a big mountain. She knew on the other side of the mountain was a beautiful ocean. Every day she asked God to move the mountain so she could just see the ocean.... and she didn't stop asking. After some time had passed she began to notice earth movers by the mountain and they were digging to build something (if I remember right) and in the end... God moved the mountain and she could see the ocean. Even though I may not have stated it completely or correctly... I think it points out that God hears and answers our prayers... even when they may seem as impossible as moving mountains.

Lord, show us what hinders us from moving forward. Show us the mountains and fears that stand in our way and keep us from what You desire for us. Show us and may we begin to say to that mountain.... MOVE! Fears be gone in the Name of Jesus! Mountains MOVE in the name of Jesus! Show us the beauty of what lies just beyond the mountains and may we believe that they CAN be moved!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

attitude is everything...

It's always wonderful when we get warm fuzzy's when we hear from God but what about the times when He's gentle voice... brings conviction? 

I've been reading Joyce Meyer's book "Battlefield of the Mind". Excellent book by the way... I've been digesting it slowly and even going back through and reading sections again. This started as a result of a women's Bible Study group I am a part of but like God's timing usually is... it's perfect for where I am at.

I have been struggling with doing something I want to do but have not been released to do. I struggle because there is part of me that wants to jump out and run ahead and then there is the other part that knows I need to wait until the Lord makes it possible. I am referring to my dream to go to school full-time to become a Physical Therapist. I still believe that it is something I am supposed to do but at the same time, I haven't been released to leave my job and pursue this on a full-time basis. I have been asking God what HIS will is for me over the last several days and tonight I believe I heard the answer. 

I grumble and complain a lot about my job and how hard it is to be there. I tend to complain that my job isn't really going anywhere and wouldn't it be more profitable to be doing something different? After all, isn't it better to use my gifts and talents in something like Physical Therapy rather then just sitting in my cube doing something that doesn't allow me to interact with others very much? Yes, I believe He does want to use me to bless others.... to touch their lives in a way that ministers to their hurts and their need for Jesus. What I have been seeing lately through the Word and the various books I am reading is.... it isn't so much "what" I do but "how" I do it. Do I do my job joyfully and as unto the Lord? Am I patient in the "waiting" process? Do I minister to those around me right now? Or am I just waiting for the "someday"? Do I watch and listen for opportunities to share Jesus NOW? This verse struck me tonight as I was reading:

..."But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God". 1 Peter 2:20

And then next came:
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" Philippians 2:5

Did Jesus complain about the hardness of the cross? NO. He went to the cross out of love for me. He patiently suffered in the midst of the injustice of it all. He didn't have to take my sin upon Himself. He didn't have to endure the pain and suffering of the cross... but He did... because He loves me. 

What does this mean for me? I believe that one day I will be able to go to school full-time... I have a lot of classes to take care of before I am at that point... one step at a time is what He's saying to me. See, I would love to get them all done NOW and be able to get into the program this fall but... there are steps that must be taken first. There are all these little classes that I need to get out of the way first before I can even apply to the program I desire. If I rush ahead... I will surely miss something important. "Patience, my dear" is what I hear the Lord saying to me. I need to be patient... and through bearing patiently with this process... as I take on the same attitude that Christ had...I will be pleasing HIM. 

What is His will for my life? To patiently take each step with HIM. To hold His hand and listen to His voice. To make cupcakes for a birthday tomorrow or to listen when someone is having a hard day. To walk through these next set of changes... trusting Him. 

I know He has a plan and a purpose for my life. I know that each day there is a plan and a purpose. My part is to trust Him and to wait patiently for His timing.

Patiently trusting....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

His grace & love...

I should go for a walk or clean up the laundry room for the repairman that's coming tomorrow but first... I feel I need to share some things that God has been showing me lately. I have hesitated to post anything just because I have really been seeking to hear GOD's voice. Tonight, though, as I was waiting for my husband to pick me up after my class I felt that I should sharing and that it was time for the "word of my testimony" to be spoken. 

Probably one of the biggest things has been a simple little verse I read one morning just a few days ago...

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Psalm 139:4

I remember pausing at this verse that morning, struck by what those words we saying. He goes before me and He follows me, I have read that before and could feel once again, His presence in that simple statement. What seemed the most powerful to me though was the next sentence, "You place your hand of blessing on my head". In that moment, as I closed my eyes to soak in the words and the meaning, I felt His Hand settle gently on my head. I recalled the stories of where the father's would bless their sons or grandsons in the Old Testament and the power that was behind those blessings. Words that were spoken prophetically over their lives and the lives of their descendants. In that moment I felt the Lord uttering blessings over my life, for that day, for that moment but also for my future days and moments. I knew... I could tell that this wasn't just a one time deal... He goes before me and follows me on a daily basis and daily He places His hand of blessing upon my head. Each day before I leave the house for work He places His hand of blessing on my head. It was amazing to me.

As I sat there and pondered on these things I took a moment to go back again to the first verse of this Psalm and I could hear the Lord saying these things to me as a blessing:

"Bonnelle, I have examined every part of your heart. I know everything about you. Every detail and every thought. I know when you sit down and when you stand up. I know your thoughts even when they drift off to far away places. I know and I see you when you travel whether it be to work or to the store. I know when you're resting at home... I love to watch you sleep and I especially love it when you nestle in and rest in My arms. I know everything you do and I know the words you are going to say even before you speak them. Bonnelle, I go before you. Each step you take, I am with you. I go before you and I follow you. I hem you in with my love and protection. And each day... I am blessing you. I bless you with My love and My favor. I bless you and speak words of promise in your ear. Yes dear, I do have a plan and a purpose for your life. Yes, I have great plans and you are following in the path I want you to take. Hold onto My hand and I will lead you and guide you and show you the next step. Follow my lead, wait for my timing and you will see... everything I have promised, will come to be.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it's too great for me to fully understand and comprehend! 

God is so good... He is just so kind to me. I am so thankful that He's patient and always so faithful. He truly is amazing to me. 

Monday, June 22, 2009


Again it's been awhile since I last posted any thoughts. This is largely due to the fact that I have been praying and seeking the Lord a lot lately. I have felt an increased desired to hear from Him... to just hear HIS voice above all others. I find at times I'm easily distracted and long to be more focused on Him and all that He desires for me.

I have a friend named Kate who is on this amazing bike ride/trek... 240 miles over the next 5 days!! Please keep her in your prayers because it's hot where she's at also! Then my friend Renee Swope - her husband just ran a marathon. I've been pondering on the "art" of running and training for these great accomplishments that these people I know (through the blog world) are participating in... and discipline and perseverance it takes to accomplish these goals. I'm impressed by their dedication and at the same time... wishing I had that kind of perseverance, discipline, dedication... stick-to-it-iveness...

Lord, help me to keep my eyes focused on you. You are my goal... You are the one that I want to finish strong for. You are the one.... cheering me on along the way. You are the one... who's always there... even when I fall. Please help me to stay focused on Your voice and to keep my eyes trained on You. I don't want to become distracted by anything because nothing in all this world compares to You.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

momentous occasion...

Goodness! I keep marveling at God's Goodness. 

Today, Josiah graduates from High School. This is a momentous occasion in many ways. For one, Josiah HATES school... with a passion! Since his first day of kindergarten he has had a hard time with the idea of having to be INSIDE a classroom for such a long period of time EVERY DAY! He would much rather be playing then sitting still listening to someone go on and on about something he's not really interested in. =) When I look back on his school days I think about the goodness of God in how each year He would supply a teacher who understood him... and saw the potential in him. Each year there was a teacher or someone who seemed to "get" Josiah... with the exception of his 3rd grade year. That's the goodness of God! 

Another reason why this is a momentous day is because Josiah walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death when he went through Leukemia and chemo. There were so many negatives predicted about his life after chemo like his growth being stunted or his ability to learn being slower. The goodness of God though... outweighed all of those things and he is 6' 3" and graduating from High School! There aren't words enough to describe how good and amazing God  is. 

Yet another reason why this is such a momentous occasion is that in exactly one week from today Josiah will be boarding a plan headed for Turkey. Who knew that he would be the first of my children to go over-seas?!?! How amazing that is to me because Josiah is heading out on a Missions trip to go and tell others of the goodness of God! He shared his testimony to a group of friends last weekend and shared how God had brought him through the loss of a brother, a big move and then Leukemia. He shared about the goodness of God on his life and the things he's learned along the way. I wasn't able to hear all that he shared but I know... God is good! 

 There are verses in the Bible where God had brought someone through this HUGE battle or amazing feat and He tells them that He has rescued them so they can proclaim the goodness of the Lord and so that the world would know that GOD has done this great thing... Today I declare the goodness of the Lord because He has brought us through so much... next week Josiah will be declaring the goodness of God in a foreign country... What an amazing thing!! 

GOD is SO good!!

May you have a blessed day and may you see things surrounding you that help you declare... the goodness of God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Today is the 11th anniversary of the day our lives changed dramatically... It was 11 years ago today that our youngest child went home to be with Jesus. It's amazing how my mind goes back to that day each year. Today the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, brought back sweet memories of that day.... the moment where I glanced over and saw Gerad making the motions of giving his heart to Jesus... the moment I saw him walk away, hand in hand with Jesus, in a field filled with Daisy's...

How am I doing today? I am feeling... thankful. I am thankful that my other son who has walked through the valley of the shadow of death, has survived Leukemia is now working on going to Turkey on a missions trip in a few weeks. I am thankful that my daughter, even though she's 7 hours away, calls me to tell me the latest stories of her life. They both have gone through so much in their lives and I am thankful that even in the midst of these trials of life... they are good kids and love the Lord. I am thankful that Gerad is safe and sound in Heaven and he's waiting for the day of our arrival. I am thankful that in spite of the loss of a child, the illness of another and the injury of my husband... our marriage is stronger then it was 11 years ago and the Lord has been our Provider every step of the way. I am thankful.... for the Comforter who wipes away all my tears and comforts me with all Hope. And I am thankful once again that even though I don't understand everything I have a Father who knows and understands ALL things. 

To all the Mother's who have lost a child.... may you have a blessed Mother's Day this weekend. May the Comforter fill you with all Hope of what is yet to come... and may you find peace and strength in the arms of the Father who loves you more than anyone else possibly could.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


"...casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)

I was over come with emotion this morning and the Lord spoke these words to me. Then He gave me the picture of casting your line in fishing. He showed me that casting my cares and worries upon Him is much the same way as casting your line out in the water when you are fishing. So over lunch today with my husband (who is a fisherman) I asked him to tell me about casting like I had never seen it done before. He proceeded to tell me about opening the bail in order to release the line and holding onto it until just the right moment. If you release the line too early it will "plunk" down in front of you but if you throw it out and release it, it will fly a long way out. I told him how the Lord had shown me this and that casting takes patience... even in fishing. Sometimes you have to practice and throw the line out several times before it hits the right spot and you are able to catch a fish. I saw how releasing our cares and worries to the Lord is like this in that it takes practice because sometimes we want to pull the rod and line back too quickly... sometimes we don't get them thrown all the way out to the Lord... somethings are easier to release and let go of but other things... are harder. When we cast our cares on Him and release them to His capable hands.... we are rewarded with something far greater then we can imagine. Sometimes, our reward is little but sometimes the reward is great.

Here I am Lord, casting and releasing my cares and those I care about on You. I release them into Your most capable hands because I know You are able to take care of them far better then I can. I know You have a plan and a purpose for all of our lives and I know that not a single detail slips by you. By releasing... I look forward to the greatness of the return that will come back to me in due time... Help me to have patience to wait on Your timing in everything that concerns me and may I trust YOU in all things... at all times....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

God has a plan...

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord... 11 years ago God spoke this verse to my heart so loud and so clear... it got me through the most difficult time of my life... the loss of our son. Many times over the course of the years He brings it back to my rememberance... as a reminder that no matter how things look, He has a plan. Sometimes though, I don't always see it when I am in the midst of the terrible storms of life.... 

In looking back over the last several months, after I cried all the tears, there were many times I struggled but in the struggling part of me tried to see God in the midst of everything. Even though I didn't understand... somewhere I knew that God MUST have a plan in this. There are some things I still don't understand but slowly I am beginning to see some good come of this. Like, my friend's husband now works with a man who is a Christian and has lunch with him every day. That was the most amazing thing to me and it blessed me so much! 

After interviewing for another department almost three weeks ago, I came out of the interview unsure of what the outcome would be. Daily I would ask God for HIS wisdom and direction. Specifically I would ask Him to please close the door where He didn't want me to be. I was open to whatever the decision would be whether that meant I was to stay in my department or move on to something new. In the midst of my waiting I received this amazing award that still overwhelms me at times. By the end of last week, with no word on the position I interviewed for and feeling less and less like I wanted it, I again asked the Lord to close the door if that wasn't where He wanted me. Like Abraham I told Him, if you don't go with me then I don't want to go at all. I also was beginning to feel that to take the new position would almost be like a slap in the face for all those people who SO wanted me to be selected for the award I had received... I was torn. I was willing to stay but I was willing to leave too.... 

Monday I finally received the email that stated that someone else had been selected for the position and I felt... RELIEF and thankfulness. One by one I began telling people that I was staying and each time... they were happy.... and I was truly happy as well. It was so strange because at one point I was asking God why I had felt so strongly that I was to let go of what once was and step into something new... when I wasn't going anywhere. I began to see that while I might not be leaving my department... I AM going somewhere.... "the waters are no longer stagnant" as I was told in my Saturday morning Bible Study. 

I believe that in the moment in the stairwell when He told me to let go of all that I had been holding so tightly to... and as I released what had been.... a change took place in my heart... and I stepped into the plan God has for me. I'm not sure where all this will go but one thing I do know... God has a plan. While I may not understand what He's doing... I know that I can trust Him.... and I know that no matter what... He IS with me.

What an awesome, comforting thing to know that God has a plan and that He IS walking each step with me. He's so good and so faithful! 

Friday, April 24, 2009


Hmmm... I think we all look for someone (live and in person) to ask our questions to because... like Eve, we want answers and understanding! Sometimes though... it's nice to have a place to go and ask our questions... just to throw it out there for multiple opinions at once.

I have this bloggy-friend who has stopped over here from time to time and I, likewise, have stopped over to her blog from time to time. This bloggy-friends name is Sheryl and she has an amazing story. I don't know all of it but I do know that she is an inspiration and I know she hears the Lord when He speaks. She is trusting Jesus in this new journey her life has her on... A life of singleness... following hand in hand with the One who loves her most. She is starting this new day with a new blog titled "Go Ask Sadie". You can find a link to her blog in my Blogroll to the right or click here (if it works) http://goasksadie.blogspot.com where you can ask Sadie (her alter ego) any question you might have. Currently, there is a give away going on and even if I don't win, I admire her heart to obey the Lord and GIVE even when she doesn't have much to give. 

May God richly bless Sheryl in her New Day!!

this week in review...

"Don't be afraid for I AM with you. I AM with when things are going well and I AM with you when things appear to not be going well. In any and every situation you encounter... remember... Don't be afraid for I AM with you."

The Father has been whispering these words to me on many occasions recently but it seems especially so this week. When my heart is pounding and anxious thoughts are racing through my head I hear, "Don't be afraid for I AM with you". When things are going well and I'm a little suspicious... I hear, "Don't be afraid for I AM with you". When I'm afraid I may have messed up in some way I hear, "Don't be afraid for I AM with you and I will take care of everything". It has amazed me how each time... a peace flooded my heart. 

This week has been rather interesting to say the very least. In the midst of a HUGE amount of money passing before my eyes a man walks down my row and congratulates me. Now, this man isn't just any man. This man is former military and walks with much authority. I have always been a little afraid of him because he's one of the big-wigs. "Why is he congratulating me?", I wonder. I am most confused and dumbfounded but of course I just say, "Thank you". Someone wants to take my picture with him? WHY? What's going on? These questions are racing through my mind but I simply say, "Oh, okay" and stand up to have my picture taken. I make a little joke only to notice my entire department has now stood up and is looking at me... mind you this is not just a few people but a LOT of people are all looking at me!! Embarrassment flushes my face and I quickly take my seat. "What's this for?" Someone asks me but I still have no idea what's going on! When my manager tells me I've won I am in shock!! I was nominated by my peers as someone who is outstanding in service and leadership and I won! Now, this is amazing because no one from our department has won this award and what this means for our department, our team is HUGE! At first (not to sound ungrateful or anything) I was horrified because I had wanted my assistant manager to win for all the turmoil she has carried us through the last several months! Surely someone had made a mistake! Since the week has progressed I realize.... what a significant honor this is.... and I feel like Joseph must have felt when Potiphar asked him to be the 2nd in command. All this recognition has been hard for me to handle because for nine years I have just gone about my job... doing my job.... for my bosses and for the Lord. To suddenly be recognized is almost more then I can comprehend. I'm still a little overwhelmed. 

I don't share all of this to proclaim my greatness or anything like that I just share this because I saw this week the evidence of the favor of the Lord on my life and... there's a scripture that talks about having favor with God and man... and I feel like I'm walking in that and I am amazed at the goodness of God. 

Later in the week there was a moment of fear when I saw my name in the middle of a long email chain addressed to several of the upper level management team. I really wish I would stop receiving all this attention because I am only human and I do make mistakes! (Lord knows I do!!) Fear floods my heart and mind and suddenly I hear the Father whisper in my ear again, "Don't be afraid for I AM with you and will take care of you no matter what the circumstances." I realized in that moment that whether I receive the highest honors or whether I loose my job for some mistake... the Lord IS with me and will ALWAYS fight for me and watch out for me. If lies are spoken about me... "No weapon formed against me will prosper". If I receive recognition, it's for the Glory of the Lord. Either way... He IS with me! 

Today I saw the verse played out that says, "Vengence is mine says the Lord". We were informed that the person responsible for causing so much chaos in our department was let go. While I'm sorry she lost her job, there is also a part of me that knows, the Lord judged the unrighteous behavior and decisions this person had been making over the course of the last several months. I thought about how I would feel if I lost my job and I realized that even in those circumstances, the Lord is with me and He is my source and most importantly I have the assurance that He IS with me. 

Here I am this evening amazed at the Hand of God... amazed at His goodness... amazed at how HE turns things around for our good and His Glory... amazed and comforted by the fact that the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Lord God Almighty IS with me. He walks with me and talks with me and shares each and every moment of my days. I am amazed at His love for me. I am amazed that He has time for little me and I'm amazed that He really does care about every little detail of my life. I am amazed that He loves me and will ALWAYS be with me.

I pray that you will see His goodness in such amazing and tangible ways. I pray that if you are going through a hard time that you will just... hold onto His Hand for He loves and cares for you SO much. I know that He will take care of you and He will shield you in the midst of the storm you are facing. When things look the darkest... hold on because "Here comes the Son" and it will be all right. 

It's been a good week! FINALLY!!! Thank you Jesus for ALL you have done for me. Thank you for your hand that's upon me and may this award only bring Glory to YOUR name!! I lay it at YOUR feet because all the glory and honor and recognition goes to you.