Tuesday, February 19, 2013


If by chance you have checked in or even thought about me and were concerned that I had lost the staring contest and that my stuff had gotten the better of me,  you were wise to be concerned.  I have been facing those big old eyeballs daily and even hourly lately it seems.  
God knows and He is doing something, of course I wish I knew what and how long it would take, but I don't and really I don't need to...he's got my back.  Easy to say right? But  not so easy to live when it's coming at you from all directions - really!  I have been struggling so much in the past few weeks that I can't even begin to anticipate what is coming.  
I suspect that most of us understand what it is go through a 'season'.  We have seasons of joy, anticipation, fear, challenge, drought, love, adventure and the list goes on.  It is possible to have multiple seasons occurring all at the same time as well apparently - exhausting, but possible.  That can be a little hairy depending on what they are.  I feel like that is where I am right now....I am in a multi-season season!  
My current list of seasons looks something like this.....
 Season of What? aka Season of Will He Make it to His Teen Years?
Season of Mental-Pause
Season of Why Can't I Find Something Happy to Think About?
Season of Where Can I Escape the Stress?
Season of How Can I Produce More Hours in My Day?
Season of When Do I Get to Rest?
Season of Why is Everything So Hard Right Now?
You get the gist of it.....I am weary and some of it I have no ability to do a stinking thing about.  This is where the overwhelmed feeling that has had me down enters in oh so easily.    
The past few weeks are a blur of one 'attack' on top of another, in fact the enemy has orchestrated them so beautifully that at times they were overlapping.  Truly I have felt chest pains and even what I think may have been panic attacks, but somehow I find myself able this morning to sit and share some of the darkness with you.  Somehow? No not somehow, by His Grace Alone am I able to sit here and pour out some of the mania that has been going on inside me.   
It occurs to me as I type, that this probably sounds like a lunatic rant and won't make sense to anyone and that I should scrub this post and start all over again with a less crazed and more uplifting topic, but then I suspect, that is just what the enemy wants me to think.  I have promised to be transparent here and so in the interest of doing just that and keeping it real.....I will not hit the delete button.  However, I would love to know either in the comments section or email if you prefer to be less transparent that somehow in some way, some of this made some sense to someone.  We all need validation....I'm just saying.
In other news......indulge me while I share a few moments of thanks....   
Gifts 11 thru 14
*11*  A simple and sweet Valentine's Day with the 2 people I love the most.  A thoughtful gift from My Prince...he had 2of my mother's rings sized for me.  So Sweet!
*12*  The fun we are having watching our puppy grow via emailed pictures and videos......
  Meet Shiloh (Hebrew for God's gift), he is a tri-colored Papillon.  Shiloh is 4 weeks old and has already stolen our hearts!  He is currently residing in The Great Smoky Mountains of  Tennessee and will be coming to home in 4 weeks time.
*13*  The pleasure of seeing a sweet friend this past weekend who no longer lives local and is beautifully pregnant with her first child.  This little man will make me 'Grand-Mama Leisha'.
*14*   Reading through the bible over coffee in the early morning with My Prince each dayGod is so good to give me a husband who embraces Him!
Thank You Father, that regardless of  the season I find myself in,  You are with me and watching over me.  You know the days to come and I can rest in the fact that You will never leave me nor forsake me.  I will put my trust in You Lord, to lead me, to guide me,  to guard and love me through all of life's seasons and to equip me for what is to come.  I trust Lord, that You will use these seasons for Your purposes and I am humbled to be able to play even a small part in that. In Jesus' sweet name. Amen.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Staring Down Our Stuff

The older I get, the more messed up I realize I am.  I mean I do ok most of the time and overall I think I "pass with a push" as my sweet grandmother was fond of saying, but then there is that beneath the surface stuff that we don't care to display for all to see or even look at much ourselves for that matter.
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I spent the early hours today confronted with some of that and I have to tell you, it is not my favorite way to spend time. 
 Let me explain how I found myself 'staring down my stuff'.  I have alot going on lately - who doesn't?  I know.  Each of us has our own tightrope we balance on day to day basis sometimes.  I am in a very high tightrope season and the pressure is on in center ring for me at the moment.  This does not make me the happy, kind, warm, gentle and loving, wife, mother, daughter, friend and in general human being that I want to be.
I have been blessed thus far with 48 years  and with that I find myself in new territory - what I have re-named 'mental-pause'.  This is h.a.r.dMy brain, body and emotions betray me continually - I have become my own worst enemy even more than ever!!  I am smack in the middle of a 'bout' of it now and have so much to do and manage and I don't feel equipped to deal with any of it.  I want to find the outlet and pull the plug or just spontaneously combust, neither is a valid option.  
I can't seem to calm myself and find myself in mini panic attacks more often than I care to admit.  SO that is where I was today.  This morning I got up (though I didn't want to) read Hebrews Chapter 5 with my sweet husband and then promptly launched into an all out spaz attack over coffee.  Bless his heart, he was happy to have work to go to I'm pretty sure!  I.don't.blame.him one.bit.  So he escaped left for work and I was left to myself.  The boy was still snoozing and I knew what I needed to do was spend some time with Father, before the day took on a life of it's own.  I got out a new devotional that I started last week,  Unglued Devotional  60 Days of Imperfect Progress by Lysa TerKeurst.  I am on Day 5, I about chocked when I opened the book and saw the title for today - 'The Root of my Rot'  (how does He do that??).  I read the opening scripture...

Do not conform any longer t the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

from there I made my way to the 'Thought for the Day' ....
How we react is a crucial gauge of what's really going on inside us.

ouch .Ouch. OUCH!!!  

I called my husband before I read any more and shared what I had just read with him.  Bless him, I know he had to feel a little vindicated ;-)  He really is a source of strength and encouragement in my life in these kind of moments, so with his blessing, I hung up and read on.
I realized over the next two pages that what I really needed (which I knew all along if I could shut myself off long enough to listen to the still small voice) was to get quiet and take all this to God.  To tell Him how I am feeling, struggling and panicking and seek His GRACE.... I cried (I do that alot lately too...sigh), I prayed, I asked Him to show me where the root of my rot is so I can dig it out and plant something lovely in it's place....Oh Father, show me, I cried out.

 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
    consider my sighing.

Listen to my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait in expectation.

 Psalm 5:1-3 (NIV) 
Do I have all the answers?  Nope, I sure don't but I do feel calmer, as I wait in expectation. I am in a much better position to function effectively than I was in the state I was in.  For now, that is enough.  That is grace.  The words of this worship song came to me while I was praying.....maybe you need this today too.


What do you do when mental-pause seeks to get the better of you?  A mental pause is likely a good start!  Have you found something that might be an encouragement to those of us in the weeds today?  Please, please ....share!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Marriage 101 .....The Series....Part II

I know what it's like to be in a marriage and feel trapped and unhappy, hopeless even.  More than once during my first marriage, I was locked out of the house, left at various locations to make my own way home without transportation or resources and even dialed the crisis hot line number more than once - I do understand hard and hopeless - really I do. At this time in my life, I was acclimating to a new country, city and working toward building a life here for myself.  I had no family and only a few 'new' friends who I was not yet at the 'fall apart openly' stage with...these were extremely tough times! I slept in my mini van one night at 6 months pregnant in a Winn Dixie parking lot, because I was locked out and had no other options.   I very clearly remember one Sunday in July or August (dog days of summer in Alabama regardless) getting into an argument at a restaurant after church - he took his 2 boys and left me with the baby and the diaper bag.  I was in heels and it was hot.  My son was 10.1 lbs at birth, he was just a few months old at this time.  I walked home (just over 4 miles), in my heels and the heat carrying my little chunk, a loaded diaper bag and my purse - great memories!
My mouth got me in trouble that day and many other days, it still does, not as much but it still happens.  In any case,  I can't go back and look through a crystal ball and say that if I had done this or that then things would have turned out differently, perhaps they would have, I will never know that.  
 My point here is this, I was in church, learning to walk with God, trying to do things better, but sin was still infecting my life.  I had not yet allowed Him full access.  In my mind I was justified in shooting off my mouth on these kind of occasions.....that man left me high and dry with a baby, in the Alabama heat and sent an awful message to his two boys in the process.  In my mind that day, I was very righteous in my anger.  Was.  I see now that my anger and the mouth it flowed from were just as responsible for my circumstances as anything was.  
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That was over 10 years ago friends and I would not consider myself transparent here if I didn't fess up and tell you that today that little flapping piece of pink flesh is still getting me in trouble and still one of my greatest struggles.  The good news is that I don't struggle as often and I have not taken any unplanned walks or been intentionally locked out of the house in that time either.  Now some of that may be me and what I have allowed God to do in me during the past 10 years, some the fact that I am longer in that relationship, either way, I have learned a little about the power of the tongue and the damage it can do!  The one thing that I do know has been a contributing factor is my relationship with the Creator of it all.  He has so kindly and lovingly and patiently showed me over the years how I hurt myself and those around me when I spout off without thinking.  He has taught me how to come to Him when I need strength that I do not have in my own flesh.  He has been the shelter in the many storms and gifted me with new perspective with which to grow and change to become more a reflection of Him.
It really is all about perspective, you have to change your vantage point if you want the view to change.  I personally don't know a better way  to make that happen than to enter into a deeper relationship with God.  Lord knows, I tried other things for many years, but never came to a place of peace or satisfaction like I have since I  have allowed Jesus to fill my heart with His Love and Goodness.
If I had not taken the path I have; walked the hard walks, spent the nights locked out, gotten to the point of desperation to make  crisis calls, would I be here today sharing my heart with you?  No, I don't think so.  It was those things that led me to the One who came to Save me and He has!  It is only through that relationship that I feel remotely equipped to be typing these words today.  
He saves.  He saved me.  He can save you too.  He loves you.  He wants your marriage to thrive.  He will help you. Invite Him in to help.  Upgrade His access.  I don't know much, but this I do know.  He came for these reasons alone...for you and for me.
If you are in a place of trial today and need to see a pin prick of light in the darkness before you....speak His name and ask for His help....He is there...waiting.  Ask Him what your nest step should be.  A kind word, an unexpected apology for a past hurt, reach out and make yourself vulnerable.... it is scary but it is necessary to find the healing and wholeness we seek.  These are the first steps to seeing marriages healed and thriving!
 2 Corinthians 12:9 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Doubt Diet

 This morning as I was going through my email I across this and had to share it with you dear ones.  Doubt is what puts us on the B List in our minds, where the not good enoughs, not this enoughs and the not that enoughs come from.....I am going on a 7 Day Doubt Diet....
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Do you want to join me in losing the weight of discouragement and self-doubt? Renee Swope, from Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering a FREE “7-day Doubt Diet.” Just click here to enter your information in her sidebar, and you’ll receive a week’s worth of devotions from her upcoming book, A Confident Heart. Let me know so we encourage one another along the way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marriage 101.....The Series.....Part I

There must be something of value to someone in this post because there has been a myriad of  interruptions, computer challenges and discouragements to get it written and posted.  If this is for you....I apologize for the delay........
You've said the "I do's", gotten settled into a pleasant enough day to day routine and the honeymoon phase is pretty much winding down.....now what?  As I mentioned a few posts ago, I do not profess to be a marriage expert on any level, but I do have some experience in that arena, both good and bad.  That is what I bring to the table and what I am willing to be transparent about.  I made many many mistakes in my first marriage and by God's grace learned a little which has helped me to be a better, but not mistake free wife this time around.  When I said my vows this time I knew it was forever, I did not have that assurance the first time.
Divorce is something that I carry much guilt and shame about and I do not consider to be an option in my life any longer.  My Prince and I have a wonderful friendship, a bond unlike any I have ever known and after almost 8 years are only more deeply in love with each other than we were the day we said 'I do' barefoot on the beach in Jamaica.  Life is good, but certainly not easy.  Marriage requires effort and the ability to put someone else first, time and time again even when you don't want to.  This is a skill that did not in any way come naturally to me.  It has been hard work at times.  But I have to be honest and tell you that for me personally the benefits have far outweighed the effort required of me. 
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 And...somewhere along the way it became less like effort and more like a desire to please.... I know crazy huh?
Several years ago I read Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl which brought with it much conviction and a new perspective about my role as a wife.  During the time I was reading the book, something in me shifted and the way I viewed  marriage and my role within our marriage changed.  I began to see God's plan for  marriage in a way I never had before.  I was able to step out of selfish pride and allow God to soften my heart for my husband and his needs.  For that I am grateful.....and so is My Prince ;-)  At first, he did not know I was reading the book, but as things began to change he knew something was up....he joked about not knowing what he might come home to each day.  I began to really look at my role as his wife as an opportunity to minister to him and felt called to encourage and support him in all he did, something, truthfully, I had never even considered before.  I did things that required time or effort or both on my part and the strangest thing began to happen - I found myself looking forward to doing things for him.  I would get excited about a new idea or surprise I might have planned.  Not everything I did was a bulls-eye, but overall, my efforts were well received and I in turn felt more love and connection with my husband than I ever had.  Is our marriage perfect, no, but I can honestly say it is very happy and for me it really is my fairy tale.  There are days we snap and snarl but there is never any question of our forever.
What I really want to leave you with today is this....marriage is hard, but you can do things to make it more enjoyable and deepen the bond you share with Your Prince! First and foremost, pride has got to go girls!  If you put all your energy into what he said (or didn't), what he did (or didn't) you are equipping yourself for a losing battle.  Forget what he said, did, didn't do or what kind of thoughtless clod he may have been and extend some good old fashioned love and kindness his way.  If your typical greeting at the end of the day is a spewing laundry list of everything the kids did to drive you over the edge or how much you hate your job, or all the drama on Facebook (ouch) today then you might as well forget about having any of your emotional needs met in your marriage, because sweetie - those things will kill a mans desire to connect with you emotionally in no time flat!  (I believe in saying it plain...I love you).  You have to park your pride and your issues at the rear and put your hubby's needs before your own. 
 Proverbs 21:19 (NIV)
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
He is your man, you know what he needs! Set aside a little time to really consider how you can support him daily, what things please him, maybe he would appreciate a home packed lunch once or twice a week with a note, where you could share a sweet memory, dream a little about the future or even encourage him in something he may be going through at work.  Pray about what you can do that will bless him most right now.  Think about it and then formulate a plan. 
In my house, some fitted clothes instead of baggy sweats, a little squirt of something pleasing to the nose, a loving greeting at the door sans complaints and  good meal are a great thing to come home to and set the tone for an enjoyable evening together.  I am fortunate to be home and able to make this happen pretty often, you may not be - work with your circumstances.  Men really are made happy pretty easily.  If you are unsure of what he wants....ask....he will tell you ;-)  Then do it....even if it is one small thing at a time, baby steps, imperfect progress....it will get you there!
 Proverbs 12:4 (NIV)
 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Now is a great time to start....it's almost February, this is a great lead in to gearing up for a wonderful Valentine's Day!  I have more ideas that I will share with you over the next few weeks....and it goes without saying that I would love for you to share yours as well!  Remember we are here to support and encourage each other!

Marriage matters and it pleases God when we function within our marriages as He planned for us to - He can't bless what we don't honor.  A pan of brownies or a thoughtful gesture goes a long way toward telling your guy that he is important and that he matters to you, that you think about him when he isn't around and that pleasing him is important to you.  You will reap a bountiful harvest for your efforts in ways that you would never imagine...really!!