I’m sitting outside on my deck today enjoying the beautiful sunshine. The sky is Carolina blue with huge white puffy clouds. I can see the new rose bushes I planted this week, the rosemary plant the kids begged me to purchase (to be like “Meme”), the huge yellow African marigolds in my new planter, and the beautiful wave petunias that grace my deck. I’m smiling this afternoon as I write you this letter because you taught me to LOVE flowers. Every flower that I plant reminds me of you. And I miss you, Mom. Every. single. day.
Continue reading When I Think of You, Mom
We were here. Again. For the second time.
Lauryn, with a terrified look on her face, climbed apprehensively into the dentist’s chair. She knew what was ahead. She had been through this before!
Having four teeth pulled was no joy-ride. It was rather horrific to a ten year old girl who struggles very much with fear of pain.
As I gently held both of her hands in mine, I winced in my own heart as she strangled my fingers with her death grip. I knew she was terrified! As her tears began to flow freely into the sides of her hair, my own tears welled up within my eyes. As she tried to resist the pain and endure the struggle to remain in that chair, I thought of how often I try to resist pain. Pain that I know in my mind will be worth it. But pain that my heart can barely seem to endure. Continue reading The Dentist & My Father’s Love
Exactly three years ago this weekend, the darkness was falling fast into my life. I was headed into a darkness that I had never experienced before or even realized existed. I showed up at the Georgia home of my parents, per my dad’s request to come help out with mom. Mom’s depression was beginning to reach a deep low. Dad was at a loss and needed reinforcement, rest, and encouragement. Mom needed love, care, and gentleness. We all needed God’s grace. Continue reading When Darkness Falls
(If you missed part one and two. . .)
I must tell you that I have had to fight to get from living in empty to living in His fullness. I’m still fighting daily to live in His fullness and truth.
After mom’s death, I had no idea of how intense the battles (and wars) would be that I would fight within my heart for His truth. Grief is such an ugly journey. . . full of many ups and downs.
John 10:10 has become a very special verse to me in the last few years. As I was deeply struggling in my grief, anger, and spiritual questioning, God led me to this verse. Jesus says, “I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” One author paraphrased the verse to read, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I have come to bring them life in its fullness.”
I seriously doubted the truth of this verse for months. My life felt anything but “abundant”. It seemed to me that the devil had won and I would never experience a full life again. Satan is the Ultimate Deceiver! He is downright ugly and plays cruelly! He wants to take me captive. .. and he wants to take you captive. And very often, he slyly pulls our hearts and minds away from the truth by using our emotions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences to pull the engines of our mind and heart rather than allowing Truth to direct our minds and hearts. Our experiences and emotions cannot be our guide. Every event in your life must be understood and interpreted by the Scriptures. For the God revealed in Scripture doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6) Continue reading Filled With All the Fullness of God- Part Three
That’s my one word for this year 2016.
I deeply desire to live a life for Jesus alone. To be undistracted by the myriad of things, comforts, opportunities, relationships, and time-wasters that pull my thoughts and energies away from serving Him alone. From trusting Jesus above all else. From adoring only Him. Continue reading Undistracted
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were texting back and forth concerning a difficult family situation she found herself in. After encouraging her heart to trust the Lord and follow Biblical principles, I received her text that read something like this. . .”Thanks for your help. It’s all such a struggle. It just makes me long so for Heaven.”
Don’t we all feel this way at times if we are honest? The struggles of this life threaten to overwhelm us. We get tired of fighting the battles of faith day in and day out. We long for the day when it’s not so hard anymore to obey the Word and submit our fleshly desires to His.
I understand why she made this comment. Many times we are locked into extremely difficult situations, we are dealing with hurtful relationships, and we feel we are sinking under the daily pressures of life. I find myself often longing for Christ’s return and the hope of Heaven where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)
While it’s not wrong to think of Heaven and long for our future hope (Christ tells us to “set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth”- Col. 3:2), we must remind our hearts to live in the grace He gives us for now. We must not miss the opportunities for grace that God offers to us in this present life. Continue reading Grace for Now
It is one of my favorite times. It is one of my hardest times.
It is a time of sweet and precious memories. It is a time where I find myself now having to purposefully create many new memories.
I eagerly look forward to spending time with extended family and friends. But I deeply miss the presence of my mom (in Heaven) and my dad (in Uganda). The new normal of Christmas isn’t always easy for me.
I often find myself so full of joy in the Christmas season. Yet some days of this holiday season I struggle to breathe when my heart aches with grief and weariness. Continue reading Christmastime Hope
I’m reminded of the story of Jacob in the OT. Recently I read this as it relates. . .
“A long time ago, a preacher named James H. McConkey asked a friend of his, a doctor, ‘What is the exact significance of God’s touching Jacob upon the sinew of his thigh?’”
“And the doctor told him, ‘The sinew of the thigh is the strongest in the human body. A horse couldn’t even tear it apart.’”
These are the words I’ve never forgotten, what preacher McConkey said. “Ah, I see. The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing in us.” (One Thousand Gifts– Ann Voskamp)
God breaks us in order to give us the greatest treasure—the blessing of Himself! He desires that we be filled with all the fullness of Christ. Continue reading Filled with All the Fullness of God-Part Two
My blog has been a little quiet lately as I’ve spent many hours in the past few months preparing to speak at a ladies conference. I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some of my notes that I shared last weekend in NC.
The theme of the conference was drawn from the verse in Ephesians 3:19, “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
To truly know Christ’s love for me (even though it is beyond fully understanding it. . .His love for us is that deep) and then to be filled with all the fullness of God. . . Oh, how I hunger for that! My heart burns with desire to truly live a life that is filled with all the fullness of God. Continue reading Filled with All the Fullness of God-Part One
Tears already fill my eyes as I try to write words here.
Yesterday I sat on my front steps of the porch and watched big tears roll down my oldest boy’s cheeks. I listened intently to the sadness in his voice as he expressed confusion and bitterness in losing his meme- my mom.
“Everything has been different since Meme died. Life has seemed so hard since that day. Nothing has gone right, Mom.” Continue reading Helping Your Children Grieve with Truth