Friday, June 30, 2006


I was reading my new friend Margie's blog the other day (see hppt:// June 22) and it made me smile. Margie talks about her house, the little corner of the world that God has blessed her with. She made me think about my house.
My little house was our starter home. We made all kinds of changes...opened up walls, added a huge family room and an office for me, built a brick fireplace with a full wood surround, put in new windows, a nice porch that I used to hang cedar roping and lights on at Christmas, and put in a red brick walkway up to the door. I helped my daughter redo her room when she was 12, from little girl blue with stencil ribbons and hearts, to very grown-up and modern cranberry red with white carpeting--I painted a little message in her closet "Heart you, mom" and the date. For years I wanted a pink flowering dogwood, and finally received one as gift a couple years ago from Vicki Sue. My baby dogwood had a sage green (my favorite color) satin ribbon tied to it that I left hanging on a branch. I called it my "sister tree". I knew it would take a couple years to blossom, but I was so excited...a dream fulfilled!

I remortgaged and paid my ex-husband half the value of the house as part of our divorce settlement. In exchange, I was awarded child support and 4 years of alimony....enough to help me get on my feet. My friends worried about us but I told them what I had been awarded and that we would be fine. Two months later, my ex-husband was laid off affecting my child support and alimony. My friends worried, and I started to worry also. But I kept saying, "God knew this would happen. I am sure He has it covered."
Then came the day when I took a look at my finances and realized I was in trouble. I couldn't meet my bills. How was I going to tell my daughter? She had been through enough at this point. This was the only home she had ever known. As the realization started to sink in, panic started to rise. I decided to sneak out the back door at work, go home, and find some corner to hide in until I could recover a bit. Right then my friends came in the front door of my office to rescue tell me that they would help me and be there for me. I was crashing though, and didn't want to face them. So, I ran crying into the bathroom. (Since we have video surveillance going, I found out later that everyone else was watching me run crying into the Once I got in there, I realized that I had just made a spectacle of myself. Here I was stuck in the bathroom, no keys, no purse...just two toilets and was I ever going to get out with my dignity still intact? I started to laugh in the middle of all the tears.
My friends did help me...alot. There still came the day when I signed a lease agreement, renting my house out...just for a year....until I could pay off some debt. Man, that was a hard year. I questioned God. I felt lost, broken, and like such a failure. There were times at first, that I would be driving and head towards my house, and then realize....oh, I don't live there....and then the grief would come. Sometimes so strong that I felt like I had been physically punched in the gut. My daughter and I cried together as we pictured my love note in her closet being painted over by the tenants. They often invited me in to see what they had done to the place. I couldn't go in.
Just Wednesday, we signed a lease agreement for another year. I can't move back yet. Perhaps I never will. So, why did Margie's blog make me smile? It reminded me of hope. That God has placed her exactly in the right place, just as He has me in exactly the right place even though I wouldn't have chosen it. It reminded me to rejoice with my sister for the good that God has done in her life, even as I rejoice for the tender mercies He continues to bestow in mine. It reminded me that He has a plan, that He is sovereign, and that He is a good and loving God. It reminded me to be pink flowering dogwood was totally covered in blossoms this past spring, my nephew (who also lives where we live) and I are growing more close than ever, my debt is slowly but surely getting paid down, and my daughter...well, she is blossoming more than my dogwood--growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You know, I intentionally didn't connect with the neighbors where I am living now because I knew I wasn't staying. But even more so, because I was feeling pretty depressed about where I was. This morning, as I looked out the window while I was folding my mom's laundry, I realized I don't know the people who live in serveral houses across the street. So, I am going to be missionally intentional about getting over to meet them in the next couple of days. It's time to get busy!

I would have lost hope unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!--Psalm 27:13-14

Please be praying for the divorce recovery group I am a part of. Thanks!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006


I accidently came across a secret plan that one of my friends had hatched to buy me a new Bible because mine is so tattered and worn. This got me to thinking that my Bibles really have represented my Christian journey.
The first Bible I remember wasn't really mine. It was a family Bible that we owned but I never saw used. The cover was a dark brown leather and the pages were so thin that you could almost see through them. The edges were gold. I used to leaf through looking for the heavier, glossy pages that had pictures of the stories that I had learned in chatechism. I felt drawn to this felt mysterious. Spiritually, I was drawn to God and the things of God...but He felt mysterious and was wrapped in traditions I knew but did not understand.

I had graduated from high school before I made a full out commitment to Jesus Christ. It was a time of wonder for me...discovering this God that I had learned about and now knew. I felt like I was seeing the world through entirely new eyes. I lived and breathed Jesus Christ in that way that the newly converted do. My mom came home one day with a pink Bible, the words "Holy Bible" printed in shocking pink metallic letters...a present for me she picked up in a grocery store. It was the most hideous thing you ever saw. I got teased alot about my "Hot Pink Bible". But I didn't held the Word of God and that was all that mattered. Spiritually, I was falling head over heels in love with my Lord so that you just couldn't miss my pink Bible.

My friend Kathy bought me my next Bible, one just like hers. It was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, KJV leather bound edition, with my name engraved on. Kathy and I were inseperable, both growing in the Lord. People used to say that one Kathy without the other was like Aunt Jemimah pancakes without the syrup. And we used to sit, pouring over the study guides and maps and topics for hours and hours. I loved finding a verse and then following the trail of similar verses that were mapped out in the margins. I still have this Bible sans the cover. My husband had the same Bible but had lost his cover. One day I came home to find that he had taken my cover off and put it on his Bible without even asking. That felt like such a violation. You just don't do that to a person's Bible. I guess that kind of signifies our marriage and our spiritual relationship together. Beliefs may have been the same, but our practice of those beliefs were very, very different. Spiritually, this Bible led me to places and on quests that created a thirst in me that still remains unquenched.

The first Bible I ever bought for myself was a small, white Bible that I carried in my wedding. I bought one for me and a small, black one as a wedding gift for my husband. I had Ruth 1:16 engraved on both of them. The book of Ruth was just preached on yesterday at church. It made me sad. But that was my commitment. I have this Bible stored away with other like mementos and some day I will give them to my daughter. Spiritually, this Bible signified a commitment...for love, honor, obey, and cherish. My vows were made first to my God and then to my husband.

Sometime before my daugher was born, or soon after, I got a Max Lucado Study Bible. This is the tattered and torn Bible I use today. The covers have been gone for a couple of years. The pages are underlined, notes written in margins signifying questions or answers to prayer or something that moved my heart. I jokingly say this Bible is like me....old and worn on the outside but has some good stuff on the inside. This Bible has been my comfort like an old easy arm chair or sweater... it just feels cozy. Every page holds a memory. This is the Bible that I was using when I really learned to spend daily time with the Lord, in prayer and study, in listening and seeking, in abiding and growing, in crying and being held. Of all my Bibles, this is my favorite. Spiritually, I was moving from Jesus being my Lord and Savior to my Lover. I will never get rid of this Bible.

Now, I am anxiously awaiting my new Bible purchased by a friend who loves me. I know it is a ESV and the print will be large enough for a person who has to rely on reading glasses. Other than that, I have no clue what it looks like. I am excited. I have never read the ESV before. I am anxious to look through it, to begin reading it, to study with it, to underline a verse on its fresh pages, to find those comfortable and special places God and I have shared within the newness of its covers, to hold it in my hands. Spiritually, God is taking me on a new adventure...this will be the Bible we use to get there. I can't wait to get started and to see what God has mapped out.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 ESV)

Friday, June 23, 2006


Please be in prayer for Ed (see Ed's link on the side).

Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray.... Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the person well; the Lord will raise him up.... pray for each other so that you may be healed....the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
--James 5:13-16


I don't like bugs. I hate bugs. I don't know where this comes from because, being raised with three brothers, catching bugs was a daily occurance during our summer vacations. My brother, Rick, liked bugs so much that once when he was sick, I bought about 20 grasshoppers from a neighbor kid to cheer him up. Since I didn't have a jar, we put them in my lunchbox. When I got home, there he was, tucked in my parents' bed so he could watch TV in comfort. Rick loved his get-well gift! Then we heard my mom coming down the hall. We shoved the lunchbox under the bed. After she completed her nursing rounds, we pulled the container back out. Ummm, turns out we hadn't closed the lid all the way. My parents never did find out why there were so many grasshoppers getting into our house that year!

Perhaps my fear began after I watched a few sci-fi movies about giant bugs. The movie Them! and another about a giant tarantula, left me with the deep impression that bugs are our enemy! To this day, I cover my eyes if a movie has bugs in it. And, I don't care how silly this makes me look, either.

So you can imagine the scene last night when my daughter and I were driving home with the windows open and discovered a beetle type bug in the car. It started on her side and she shooed it away. Next, it was climbing up the windshield right in front of me. I tried to get it on a piece of paper held in one hand, while holding the steering wheel in the other. Of course, it fell off and we couldn't find it for a few minutes. Then she saw it on the steering wheel. I went to shoo it and it landed on me. That's when the screaming and hysterical laughing began. It flew around her head a few times. It was crazy and creepy and funny. But I also didn't want to get into an accident because of this darn bug.

That's when I decided I had to change our perspectives. I told my daughter we had to give this bug a name (George) and make it our mascot. It would be "our" bug friend. Of course, this was quite nonsensical but somehow, the crisis was over. Even though we couldn't find our bug, it no longer was bugging us.

This morning I got to thinking about people. Sometimes people bug me. Usually, I love to be with people....all sorts. But sometimes I feel short-tempered and irritable and intolerant. It might not have anything to do with the person at all, but may be because I am tired, hungry, not feeling well, or whatever (yep, exactly like a two year old!). I have a friend who laughs me out of my bad temper. I value that about her.

George made me think about unity. How much easier would it be for me to uphold unity in the body of Christ, if I just changed MY perspective. If I changed the way I look at the person who is bugging me and see them through our Father's eyes. If I began to look for the good instead of the bad. If I kept focused on their value instead of my own dislikes. If I embraced rather than avoided.

I think I am thankful for George. While I hope he is gone from my life for good, I hope the lesson will remain.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Bet that title caught your! Actually, something I read the other day caught my eye and has had me thinking ever since. "Lust means 'I must have it at once, and I don't care what the consequences are.'* It may be a low, animal lust, or it may be a mental lust, or a moral or spiritual lust; but it is a characteristic that does not belong to the life hid with Christ in God. Love is the opposite; love can wait endlessly."--Oswald Chambers.
With divorce comes a slew of unmeet needs and desires. Perhaps it is feeling lonely and alone and wanting to fill that emotional void. Maybe it is wanting pain to stop and doing whatever to alleviate that pain, even for a short time. Sexuality doesn't disappear just because one no longer has a spouse. It could be wanting to buy something and not having extra cash and putting off bills instead to make the purchase. Or facing disappointing your kids again and again, when what they are asking for is not really that much, and then giving in when you know you shouldn't.
I have been evaluating my life to see if I am making poor decisions because I want something right now. This is pretty tough, since some things are good and even very, very good. I think "lust" as Chambers has defined it, is a trap for many of us divorced folks. We fall into its grasp without even realizing it and then have to dig ourselves out of debt, bad relationships, poor choices, and sin. Even more heartbreaking, is when we have affected our kids and then have to watch the consequences of our lust take a stranglehold on their lives.
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind. --Ecclesiastes 6:9
Ounce for ounce, pound for pound....there is nothing that I want or desire that can even compare to a life hid in Christ. Here's to letting go!
Please be praying for the divorce recovery group I am a part of.
*Note: This does NOT apply to dishwashers--wink!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


To my wonderful friend...Missy O'Day.....
Congrats on the award!!!!
I love ya!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mmmm Mmmm GOOD!





Sunday, June 18, 2006


I have been waiting months to write this Father's Day post. I know A LOT of wonderful fathers...I love to watch them love their kids. I respect the men they are. But I want to write about just one....Eric.
I work with Eric. From the first day he came to work with us, I knew I would like Eric. My first impression was that he was smart and an all-around nice guy. Now, that I know him better, he IS smart. He IS an all-around nice guy. He is a leader. He is a hard worker. He is an avid sports fan. He is funny and fun-loving. He is a good friend to his buddies. He is a man's man. He is a great dad.
Eric was dad to a beautiful baby girl when I first met him. Now he has a "yours-mine-ours" set of kids....his eldest daughter, two stepsons, his youngest son, and another daughter. Five awesome children. And Eric....when he talks about his kids....he transforms. His face absolutely glows. He is proud of them. He is involved in their lives. He is gentle and caring towards them. You can just see that they captivate his heart and he is totally dedicated to them.
Friday, Eric showed me a Father's Day gift he had gotten. It was a book of photos that his wife and kids made for him filled with pictures of Eric and his family. I cannot capture in words the depth of relationship between Eric and his family, but those pictures did. I sat in my office looking through his gift, alternately laughing and crying. Because when you see this kind of love, you can't help but be moved.
Eric: If I had ever had son, I would have wanted him to be like you...Happy Father's Day!!

Friday, June 16, 2006


Ingratitude and love of vanity (of one's own wisdom, or righteousness, or, as it is commonly said, of one's "good intention") pervert man so thoroughly that he refuses to be reproved, for now he thinks that his conduct is good and pleasing to God. He now imagines he is worshiping a merciful God, whereas in reality he has none; indeed, he worships his own figment of reason more devoutly than the living God. Oh, how great an evil ingratitude is! It produces desire for vain things, and this again produces blindness; and blindness produces idolatry, and idolatry leads to a whole deluge of vices. Conversely, gratitude preserves love for God and so the heart remains attached to Him and is enlightened. Filled with light, he worships only the living God and such true worship is followed immediately by a whole host of virtues.--Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


This morning I read, "The world's questions, in fact, should help determine the evangelistic methodologies and expressions of the indigenous church." I sat back and wondered aloud..."What questions has the world asked me lately?" Here is my list:
  • You cleaned up crap in the parking lot?!!
  • You wear that to church?!!
  • How are you today?!!

And You told me to stop and think....what was I being asked?

  • You cleaned up crap in the parking lot?!! This was asked by 2 co-workers who I have shared my faith with. What they were really asking was, "What is different about you? You say you are a Christian, will you put your money where your mouth is? Is Jesus Christ for real?"
  • You wear that to church?!! Asked by my new sister-in-law who has been through alot in her life, and had just minutes before been horribly snubbed by my dad, her father-in-law. What she was really asking was, "Will you accept me just as I am? What is more important--how I look or who I am? What does Jesus Christ think of me...does He even?"
  • How are you today?!! Asked by the woman at the 7-11 counter where I stop every morning to buy a coke. She is asking what most of us ask, "Do you see I matter? And, I realized that I know how old her only child is, what his favorite and least favorite subjects in school are, that he misses his friends from another state terribly, that they are all going to India next year, where they are going on vacation next week, and so much more. And in sharing little details of our lives, she has heard about Jesus Christ, Redeemer & King & that He loves her.

I have been intentional about developing relationships with each person mentioned here. I wanted to be available, in case they asked one of the BIG questions....and then You turned the light bulb on. They have been asking. And at the center of every question I have answered is....YOU! Jesus Christ, their Savior!!!

You are my joy

You are my Joy

You are my


& I'm lauging SO HARD!!!!!

Postscript: I was contemplating all this when I stopped to get my coke this morning. I walked in and instead of the usual, "How are you today?!!" my clerk friend pointed at the counter...there sat my usual order...and she smiled as she said, "I have been waiting for you!" I had to turn down an aisle because YOU...YOU took my breath away and I had to fight the tears and the temptation to get on my knees right there and then and worship You! You are holy...that is all I know!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
& we pray that our unity will one day be restored
& they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love
we will work with each other, we will work side by side
we will work with each other, we will work side by side
& we'll guard each man's dignity & save each man's pride
& they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love


The Dear Thelma post messed up my blog format. I have an appointment w/ the blog doctor to fix it, and it will return. This is only important to a very few.


D...That is what I felt like I had tatooed to my forehead. D...divorce. I was ashamed and didn't want people to even look at me. I was a could this be happening? It has taken a long time to get over those feelings of shame. Every once in a while, shame returns. Last night I was reading a book on a totally different subject and a statistic was mentioned....that the divorce rate within the church is the same as outside of the church. There they were...twinges of shame.
When news broke at my church that I was getting a divorce...most people were compassionate and sympathetic. They wanted to help. Others were curious and wanted details. I remember one saint of a woman who kept trying to get a look at my left hand while she talked to me....I took pleasure in keeping my hand hid so she couldn't see it. Another time, one dear soul asked me to speak at the Women's Ministry Christmas Tea. I explained that might not be a good idea...I was getting divorced. She hugged me and told me she still wanted me to speak. Her kindness and compassion still bring tears. When I was up in front of this group of ladies, I could hardly concentrate...all I kept wondering was...can they see the D? Do they know?
I had trouble saying the words for a long time...divorce, ex-husband. I had to practice them when I was alone because they didn't want to come out of my mouth. Sometimes, they still surprise me when said outloud.
On occassion, I look at my left hand like it belongs to a stranger. No ring perched there. After twenty three years of ring still feels I just forgot to wear it. It reminds me that I am changed. Some changes are better, some still unknown, some just accepted.
D...perhaps it is still there for the world to see. Perhaps it has faded. But I know that it has been gently kissed by the lips of my Savior...again and again.
Please be praying for the Divorce Recovery group I am a part of.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I have people in my life (many!) who seem like average joe citizens, but are nothing less than Incredible! They have encourage me to be better than I am, they have rescued me, they have inspired me. My world would not be the same without them.
What a daunting task to face...leading during division, civil war. Here was a man who was a keeper of unity in the face of discord on a national level and in his own home.
Did you know that RW gave 90% of his royalties from his Purpose Driven books away? And he also payed back his entire salary from the church he started up? Have to admire someone who puts his money where his mouth is.
OW struggled with his faith & his call...he really wanted to be an artist...and died on the mission field. His words continually challange me to a deeper, abandoned type of relationship with God.
His dream was and remains the dream of many. To stand in the face of hate, anger, and injustice and reach out a hand of brotherhood and peace...a clarion call that still rings.
I often wonder if I would have been brave enough to hide a Jew during the Nazi regime. Hers is a vivid testimony of what one life, one seemingly insignificant family can accomplish, endure, and forgive.
What would I lose for the kingdom of heaven? What would I sacrifice? How much of tradition and self will I die to so that I am fulfilling my part in God's plan? How much do I trust God? JHT, by his own example, makes me wonder.
And a Hero amongst Heroes!! The lodestar that all my other Heros looked to find their strength, courage, love, endurance, inspiration, purpose, wisdom, and salvation. My Hero...who rides the winds and commands the seas, who was and is and always will be, a King of all kings, who forsook all to suffer and redeem me to Himself. He is a conqueror. He is Almighty. He is divine. He is glorious. He is beyond imagination yet as close as a whisper.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Tonite, my divorce recovery group shared how difficult socialization has become after divorce or seperation. (I asked if i could share their comments.) It really is like being a square peg being forced into a round hole. They just don't fit.
Long before my divorce, my husband had excluded himself from our group of friends. God forged my community into a family. So, when my divorce happened...I didn't lose all my friends or social relationships. I had this wonderful "family" that cocooned my daughter and I in their safe, loving arms. Most poeple don't have this experience. Most people lose the majority of their relationships, friends and family,when they divorce, leaving them alone and feeling isolated.
Another thing my group members have experienced is stereo-typing and suspicion from "couples". They said they feel like couples don't want to have them around, fearing maybe being divorced equates to looking to "hook up". My "family" of friends is made up primarily of couples and I am so glad it is. My ex-husband and I were not able to model a healthy, God-fearing marriage to my daughter....but we are surrounded by great role models, who through sharing life with us, are teaching her what Godly marriages look like. They are giving her something I cannot provide her on my own.
My group members also shared that "the church" tends to want to pigeon-hole divorced people, like divorced people belong in the "divorce" group and not with the community at large. They want to experience diversity in relationships, in opportunities. They also want to be seen as viable, active, contributing members of their communities.
I was cocooned within this safe little family for most of the three years I have been divorced. This past New Year's Eve was my first time in a mixed social setting. I joined my friends and their friends for dinner before our church gathering. I like people and can talk to most, but I will admit I was somewhat scared. Who do I sit by? Will the others feel awkward around me? Will someone misunderstand my natural friendliness for something else?
I have been fortunate. Someone has always jumped in to rescue me. My challange for you, Church, is what will you do with us? How do you plan to care for us? Worship with us? Care for us? Fellowship with us? Work alongside us? Minister to us and with us? Heal us? Love us?

Please be praying for the divorce recovery group I am a part of.

Friday, June 02, 2006


The other night, racing between tasks and friends, my daughter brought me her Ipod and said, "Mom, listen to this song. I downloaded it for you." The song was one of my favorites, one I sang to her when she was young. The version was one I had never heard before, sung by a boy's choir of all things. But that is how it goes with my daughter. She often picks the unusual. Her Ipod is filled with an eclectic compilation of songs and music that have moved her or captured her attention. There is foreign music. Instrumental music. Familiar music and also the unfamiliar. Nirvana may be followed by the score from The Phantom of the Opera.
I stand back and look at her through new eyes and a heart that is amazed at the complexities within her. See, she and I both know that if I had an Ipod, it would be filled with Third Day, sprinkled with a few other bands. And, speaking of Third Day, a comment Tia Anderson made in magazine perfectly describes my girl..."To me, it has always been about soaring melodies that wake you up, make you think, and stir your soul." She experiences music in a way that is beyond me. She listens beyond the obvious and hears music on so many different levels.
And so I see the same in her relationship with God. Awhile ago I got this email: "i was just thinking about some things the other was very nice clouds or anything, and i somehow got on the subject of thinking about the sun. The sun is a star...a regular star, but even less than that really. Compared to the other stars in the universe its not the biggest or the brightest by far. Yet, it plays a lead role in the means of our survival. Our galaxy revolves around it. I guess it goes to prove once again that God sometimes chooses unlikely things to fulfill his plans. send me back some thoughts of your own please. -yer kid". Another night, we were just chit chatting before going to bed and out of the blue she said, "Mom, you know (unnamed)? Well, when our lives really start (her meaning--when we get to heaven) he will be sorry for (what he did) and will feel the need to apologize. And we won't feel the need to hear him say it." And, you know--she's right and her observation was very healing for me. A few weeks ago she asked the question, "Is it sinful for a Christian to work in a bar?" One of my favorites was a recent joke she made when we were at lunch after seeing the DaVinci Code. I made the observation that really, there will come a point where every man will recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ. She playfully added, "Yeah, I can't see people in the end times saying, 'Wow, I guess I better start believing in Mary Magdelene.' " I have awakened in the middle of the night to hear her sobbing as she watches "The Passion of the Christ" and have watched as she has developed a passion for the persecuted church. And then there are the times she falls asleep during a sermon and others when I know she is hanging on every word.
I think that what I am realizing is that she and God have their own thing going, apart from me. God is singing her these soaring melodies, that wake her up, and make her think. She listens beyond the obvious and hears Him on so many different levels. I feel like I am standing back as God takes her hand to walk with her. And while I wonder where they may be headed, I know that she is safe. Like with her Ipod, I love when she says, "Mom, listen to this...!!"