Saturday, December 25, 2010

to whom it may concern

To Whom It May Concern In The Underworld:

I am writing to you today after my repeated verbal requests, that I am currently not in need of your services, have apparently fallen in deaf ears.  Please remove my name, phone number and address from your call list as I am very happy with my current provider Jesus Christ.

While I appreciate your attempts in recent weeks, trying to prove to me that my current provider is unreliable, you have failed to convince me.  I know you were behind the broken patio door, broken garage door, broken coffee pot, favorite broken coffee mug, clogged drain resulting in a river on my basement floor, lost drivers license and walking into a door resulting in a goose egg and cut on my forehead while looking for said lost drivers license, expired library card and standing in line for fifteen minutes to renew it only to find out I could not check out my selection of Christian literature because of unknown library fines. I happy to report that after much ado all overdue fees have been paid and said reading material was able to follow me home.  I also feel I must thank you for the opportunity to stand in line for an entire morning at the DMV, the owner and CEO of my current provider, Jesus himself kept me company and we enjoyed a very pleasant morning in each others company, and I also met a new Jesus lovin friend, the goose egg has reduced in swelling and my cut is healing quite nicely, thank you for asking.

While I further appreciate your efforts woo my business away from your competitor with your promises of worldly wealth and material goods, I feel I must direct your attention to your proven track record of lies and deceit, your reputation of destruction starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden precedes you. May I also point out that at one time you held quite the coveted primo position within the company of my current provider and now your competitor, that is until your selfish pride got the best of you, I wouldn’t exactly advertise that on your flyers and business cards. May I also say that I heard you were really quite beautiful back in the day, what happened?  If you don’t mind me making a suggestion perhaps a facial and a little waxing, it only hurts for a moment, but that should be no problem for you, as pain and destruction are your specialty.

In regards to my repeated requests for an instructional manual, apparently the postal service needs some restructuring as I keep hearing the promise that it is in the mail however it never arrives, do you even have an instruction manual?  If you don’t mind me saying so my current provider has had the same one for over 2000 years and every promise in it has been kept, it can be found in just about any bookstore and there is no other book in print that has come close to rivaling its best seller status, not to mention that the mere sight of it warms my heart.   References of proven customer satisfaction on your behalf have also become a little sketchy, apparently those customers have become unavoidably detained, which makes me wonder what they have been unavoidably detained doing.

You have taken enough of my time today and in recent weeks, it is a little chilly on the outdoors today, however, the sun is shining and I plan to take a spin through the woods and get my praise on. If you insist on following me you will only be hurting yourself as I have been told by many that my singing can wake the bears from hibernation, however since it fills my heart with gladness and joy and I am told that it is music to my Fathers ears I am plan to do it loud, proud and for a very long time.  So I ask that you pack your truck with your baggage of lies and deceit, put this girl in your rearview mirror and drive away, I will not be moved and you are not welcome here. It is In Him I serve.


A Daughter of the King

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

whitney was here

My Whitney was here, and now she is not, we said our goodbyes this morning around eleven o’clock, and I am going to miss her.  My heart hurts and my eyes are swollen from the tears, but I am at peace in knowing that she will no longer feel the pain that had laid claim on her back legs and she will no longer labor to breath in the frigid Wisconsin cold. I will somehow find a way to go to sleep tonight without the lull of her snoring as she lay alongside my bed, there will be no more 5:00 a.m. wake up calls with her cool wet nose pressing against my face telling me it is time to get up, there is a new day to conquer.  It is eerily quiet as I type this, no clicking on the floor of her nails as she comes to find me to let her outside, or tell me that is time for her afternoon sustenance.  There is no murmur of her breath as she lay beside my chair as I write this post, there is just silence, but there is also peace. Peace as I envision her running down the streets of gold in search of the nearest watering hole waiting for all of those who have preceded her to throw her ball for her, she will no longer feel the pain that suddenly seemed to wrack her body in recent days as she glides through the water.

As her heart began to slow the Doctor quickly grabbed my hand and lay it over the quivering parts of her body telling me that she is meeting God right now.  I lay on the blanket of the floor in the Doctor’s office with her long after she had gone, her cheeks beginning to sink, so I get up and cover her body with the knitted blanket we lay on together and quietly leave the room, I don’t want to remember her that way.  I want to remember the sweet girl who would strain at her leash and excitedly dance around when she saw the all too familiar swimming hole we would frequent dashing off the moment I unhooked her leash, I want to remember the girl who would romp through the woods with reckless abandon taking in all the smells, I want to remember the girl who would make a bed out of all the shoes in my closet or scatter my clean clothes around the house because I lazily left the laundry basket on the floor.  Eventually her things will be put away and the dog hair vacuumed up and I will no longer have clothes laced with drool and dog schnoz.  There will be no more mud prints to mop up after rainy days, and I will have to learn how to go on without her, but I will go on. 

There will be a day when I will get to go for walks with her again, and throw her ball and pet her brillo pad fur.  We will meet again someday, on the streets of the gold, with the music of angels, when we will no longer taste the harshness of the realities of this fallen world we live in. When it is time for me too to go home, I envision her sitting at the gates waiting for me with her tail wagging and a ball in her mouth excitedly running to greet me and show me all the places she has been running and swimming, and this time there will be no goodbyes.

Rest in peace my sweet girl, I love you.

During one of our last walks together at our favorite place.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

love lessons

The best lessons I learned about love were taught to me by my dog, its true, a lot can be said about the love of our pets.  I have a thirteen year old Chesapeake Bay retriever named Whitney who tops the scales these days at 95 pounds, yet she does not know this, many times my legs almost buckling under me when she tries to relive her glory days and curl up in my lap.  Despite my shortcomings and many flaws she loves me anyway, when the humidity level outside is registering 90% and my hair resembles that of an overcooked crinkle fry, she loves me, when my hormones woke up on different sides of the bed that day, I mysteriously gained ten pounds during the night and I am having an all around “I feel ugly” day, it escapes her unnoticed as she is still waiting by door when I get home, tail wagging, letting out a near window shattering bark when I take too long getting in the house, anxiously awaiting her welcome home rub down and nuzzling my neck and hair leaving me sopping wet from drool. She is excited to see me even when I am not excited to be me on that particular day, she listens and doesn’t respond when I need to talk, she just lays at my feet and listens, almost as if by instinct lifting her tired old bones off the floor that sometimes don’t always work properly anymore to rest her head in my lap when I need an extra hug at that particular moment, she doesn’t give my favorite pair of paint stained jogging pants a second glance, she doesn’t care that I don’t wear a size 2 and that I am not a fan of hair and makeup and I try to do it as little as possible, she isn’t embarrassed to be seen with me on our daily walks, at times my hair uncombed and my bare face freshly scrubbed and starting to show signs of its age, she doesn’t care what I look like or how I am dressed she is just happy to be taking a walk with me, never once asking me if I am really going to leave the house looking like that. 

Whitney loves everyone and everyone loves Whitney, well not everyone, if you are not a large dog type of person you will not like Whitney, a little scratch on her ears and she is your friend forever, when Whitney is done you will find yourself bathed in drool and wearing a new fur coat. She never holds a grudge and is all too willing to forgive with just a simple good old fashioned belly rub.  My Whitney will love you, despite every flaw and shortcoming, she doesn’t care whether you are short or tall thin or heavy where you live or what your income is, she will love you.  May we all walk in love like this.

We were created in love, by the One who is love, we are beautiful in God's eyes just as we are.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells it this way:  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres.

My sweet girl who will always love you.

For your listening pleasure today is Francesca Battistelli, Beautiful Beautiful.
Francesca Battistelli - Beautiful Beautiful

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

paint it like a Picasso

Shortly after I moved into my house my family came over to help me paint.  My nephew, who was just a little guy at the time, so badly wanted to help but he was just too small to use the rollers and brushes the adults were using. He cried and cried because he just wanted to help, so I searched the house and found one of those foam brush on a stick thingys, it was just the right size to fit into his little hand. He was less than happy and wanted to know why he couldn’t use the big brushes like the adults were using, I told him it was a very special brush I picked out just for him and only really special people could use it, his eyes grew wide, reeeeeeally he asked, yupperrrrs I replied.  Then I gave him about a 3ft x 3ft wall in my hallway to paint, again he was not happy because he wanted to paint on the big walls like the adults, so I told him that is was a very special wall that I only let really special people paint on, his face lit up. My nephew thinks I am so totally not cool, in fact he takes great pleasure in telling me what a nerd I am, no one can humble you quite like a tweenager can, but I earned major cool Auntie points that day.  He had this wild and crazy out of control hair back then and no matter what my sister did to it, it still stuck straight up. So my nephew, with his special paint brush and alfalfa hair bobbing up and down was concentrating so hard on painting that wall his little tongue was sticking out of the side of his mouth, he painted like he was painting a one of a kind Picasso. My nephew is older now and has since graduated to the big people paint brushes, but I still look at that wall and remember that day. 

God has a special paintbrush too, one for each of His children, with a special wall just for us to paint on. Perhaps it is your life that has been a little wild and crazy out of control, there is still paint brush waiting for you. I was watching a television program about Mother Teresa, one thing she said really got my attention, we are all given a special gift, and if the gift you have been given is to be a potato peeler then you be the best potato peeler you can be, peel ‘em like a Picasso.  A potato peeler is just as valuable to God as someone who has dedicated their life to missions. Whatever wall you have been given to paint, with whatever paintbrush you have been given to use, know that it is just the right size and has been picked out just for you by God to help paint His Kingdom.  As our faith grows so do our walls and brushes, so whatever your paintbrush looks like or how small or large your wall is at the moment, paint it like a Picasso.

Luke 16:10 tells us that whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Ephesians 5:20 tells us to always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In a few days we will be gathering around our tables giving thanks and this year my family will be welcoming some new friends to ours.  It has been a year of seasons, nothing has stayed the same for too very long, and change still lingers in the air, doors have closed and others have opened, I have had to say good bye to some cherished friends while welcoming new ones. This year I am grateful for all the lives that have intersected with mine and the circumstances that have brought me to the place where I stand today.   As I breathe in and take inventory of what the past year has brought I can’t help but be grateful not just for the times of joy but for the times of sorrow as well.  Some have a left permanent smile tattooed on my heart while other left a crimson stain, some have crossed my path but for a moment, while others lingered a little longer, but all of them have touched my life and changed it forever.  All of those things were orchestrated by the hand of God to shape and mold me into the person He intended for me to be and it is my testimony of His grace, mercy and love.  

I am grateful for the people who have been kind and loving towards me, even when I wasn’t so lovable.

I am grateful to Jesus for going to the cross so I don’t have to. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  So when the waters start to rise I remind myself of what He did for me, that I can have faith and trust in whatever storm comes my way He will be there to walk with me.

I am grateful for the simple pleasures.  The absolutely gorgeous summer we had here in Wisconsin and the extra time He gave me to enjoy it. To sit at His feet, among His creation and really dig my heels into the Word.  I have fallen head over heals in love with Jesus, I loved Him before, but this a whole new ball game.  I take Him everywhere I go, He is the best date I ever had.

I am grateful for my sisters in Christ who have walked this journey with me.  Who have propped me up when I was down, held my hand when I wept, help celebrate my victories and encouraged me when I didn’t think I could make it another day.

Be grateful, not just when times are good but when they are not so good, a grateful heart is a contented heart.  When the waves start to swell a grateful heart can get up on that surf board and glide right over em. It is how we choose to live our lives through and after those experiences that glorifies God. 

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Stop by Rachel Olsen's blog to read what others have written on gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year when I went to Chris Tomlin Christmas concert, Audrey Assad sang her song Winter Song, it is beautiful, a link to the song is attached. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

always a treasure

Each week I put a little bit of money away in my book jar, and when I have enough saved I treat myself to a trip to the bookstore to pick out a book.  Usually there are so many to choose from it is hard to decide and whatever I don’t buy on that trip I either get on my next one or put it on my Christmas or birthday list, which ever one comes first, but today was something different. I had a book in mind that I wanted to get but God had other ideas. I didn’t find the book I was looking for I found the book that God had already picked out for me, Knit Together by Debbie Macomber.  I usually read the first chapter before I decide on anything, so I nestled into a chair and before I even had a chance to get comfortable I was hooked, by paragraph two.  Even though she was writing about her own life, it felt like in someway as if she were looking through a telescope into mine.  She wrote about her own struggles with a disability, dyslexia and her humble beginnings, she is the last person anyone would think, including her, to become a best selling author.  The children’s librarian at the library Debbie frequented as a child also had problems reading, you may have heard of her, her name is Beverly Cleary. 

I don’t know why I am still amazed at the way God shows up in our lives, He can turn a regular ordinary day in an extraordinary day, He can turn what one person sees as trash into a beautiful treasure.  There is a part in the book where an editor tells Debbie to throw away her manuscript, I think that book went on to be a best seller, what one person saw as trash became a treasure to millions.  A few weeks ago I came to the end of myself, and gave up the last little bit of control I was trying to hang onto, I extended my arms and held out my hands and gave it all up, “Father You take it, I am going to go do my thing and when You are ready come get me, You know where to find me”, He found me in the bookstore. My feet have been on a journey I never expected, a long journey that has been ripe with steep mountains, deep oceans and treacherous terrain, sometimes wondering how I was going to make it through, and even during my days when I largely ignored God, He never left my side, sometimes He held my hand making sure I didn’t fall and other times when my legs were too tired to take even one more step He picked me up and carried me over that mountain. 

I have been to the end of myself before, and it has been in those times I have seen God’s amazing grace and mercy, it is when I have seen Him at His best, where I have realized what I huge God I worship. Sometimes we have to get to the end of ourselves before we can see the new He wants to give us, as long as we are still holding onto a little piece of the control we prevent Him from working in our lives, we have to let go of how we think things should look and let God work it how He wants it to look.  As a good friend once told me, God may have some something really great planned, but He is waiting on you.

  We have heard it said before that He doesn’t call the most equipped, He equips those He calls, and sometimes the way He equips doesn’t look the way we would expect. He equipped Debbie Macomber through her humble beginnings and dyslexia.  It is the story He is writing through the least likely that He will use for His glory, however He chooses for that to look.  I may never be a best selling author, or publish anything beyond this blog, but He wouldn’t have given me this story to write if He hadn’t intended on sharing it, however that may look, more words of wisdom from the same friend. I leave it up to God to decide how He wants to share the story He has written through me for His glory.

In the book of Acts we learn about Saul of Tarsus, he was busy doing his own thing, killing Christians, and he was having fun doing it. In Acts 9:4, we learn that while on the road to Damascus Jesus appeared before Saul and Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  Saul eventually became the Apostle Paul and from what I hear quite a spokesman for Jesus.

God can use anyone that means me, that means you. Whatever your life has been or what it looks like, to the awesome God we have the privilege to serve, it is a treasure.

Lets take a listen today to the song, Our God, by Chris Tomlin.  Truly an inspiring up lifting song.

Monday, November 8, 2010

hands and feet

It is the journey that God has taken my feet on that has enabled my hands to type the words that He has placed in my heart to write, and what a journey it has been.  Each one of us is knitted together, carefully, precisely and intentionally, given our own special gift with a specific purpose in mind.   I have been gifted with a learning disability that at one time I did not see as a gift at all.  In my youth I struggled academically and I have spent most of my life struggling with why I have it.  I don’t like having this disability and you will not see me running on a mountain top singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music” anytime soon as a testimony, but I have come to accept it as a gift.  I really have no choice in the matter, there is no magic pill or miracle surgery to fix it, I was born with it and I will die with it.

I have felt the frustration of others around me, even becoming frustrated with myself at times, as hard as I try my brain just doesn’t process information quickly, I am not incapable of learning, the dial on my learn-o-meter is set at slow. It is discouraging, it robs you of your dignity, at times I felt worthless, like a lesser human being, when the small amount of self respect I had left was stolen away with one callous remark, “there is no hope for you”, wondering why I was even put on this earth to live this life, I didn’t understand it.

I have a plaque hanging on the wall in my hallway, it is quote from Mother Teresa, “I always know God won’t give me more than I can handle, but there are times I wish He didn’t trust me so much”.  I have had my moments when I wish God wouldn’t have trusted me with this disability, “no thank you, I think You made a mistake can You find someone else please?”  But God doesn’t make mistakes His creation of me was deliberate as is His creation of all his children.  He knows our beginning and our end, and He knew that I would need this disability someday to lead me to the path He has prepared for me, to be His hands and feet.

I have often wondered where in this world me and my disability fit, where the prideful boast of survival of the fittest, a society that values quick thinkers, fast learners and our worth is measured by our financial assets and how many work hours we log, I fit into none of it, rather choosing to live in God’s society, to let Him drive the car of my life and use it for His glory.  My disability steers me away from the path of my own making that up to this point has not really worked out well for me, and puts me on His path, a path that is so much better than anything I could ever think up for myself.  I don’t need to be the strongest, fastest or smartest, there is no survival of the fittest in God’s kingdom.  He chose a mere sheep herder, the smallest and weakest of all his brothers to be king, don’t discount the David’s of the world you may need them one day to beat the Goliath’s. 

As hard as it has been at times my disability is a gift, and when the time is right, when His preparation is done and I am ready to start the next leg of His tour He will send me and my disability out into this world to be His hands and feet.
There is a song floating around by Jonny Diaz, More Beautiful You, I have attached a link for the song. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

this little light of mine

When I first became a Christian the biggest struggle I had with God was why he allowed suffering and the only answer I ever got to that question was, there is a reason for it. A few years ago I served meals at a homeless shelter, men women and children shuffled in by the hundreds, each one having their own story as to why they were living on the streets.  Many of them had addictions that put them there, some had mental health issues, others were just hard luck stories, they lost their job and eventually everything else right along with it.  You could see the deadness in many of their eyes, they had given up on life and they were just trying to survive, day by day, hour by hour minute by minute.  But there was one young man that wasn’t like the rest of them, yes his entire life was stuffed into a tiny duffle bag that he carried around with him, he sat in the corner by himself, with his head down, eating like he hadn’t seen a meal in days, but on the rare occasion that he did look up from his plate, I could see that he still had a fire in him, his little light was still burning.  It is hard to say how long he had been living on the streets, perhaps it has only been a short while and it hadn’t broken his spirit like it had with so many others in that room that day, perhaps it was only a matter of time before his little light would too burn out, but on that day he still had some fight left in him.  I never saw him again after that, I never knew his name or what his story was, but I think about him from time to time and wonder whatever became of him. 

The shelter that I served at wasn’t one that was in my comfortable suburban town, it was in the inner city, where poverty already reigned supreme, the tiny room of the church where I worked was hot, it was a sweltering summer day with no air conditioning, the air was thick with unwashed bodies, and unwashed clothes, the tables and chairs were unsteady on their feet and I half expected a few of them to buckle under the weight of its occupant, and as I scanned the room I wondered where God was.  This was in my very early days as a Christian when I didn’t quite understand why God would allow such things to happen.  Many years later I realized that God was in that room, he was right there with each and every one of us, I saw him in the sadness behind that young mans eyes whose little light was fighting the darkness to keep shining.

I worked in the city for many years, and almost daily went outside for lunch, and on some days I would loose count of the multitudes of homeless people on the street asking me for money, to be honest I usually declined, but there were some that I can’t help but to remember them, the young man in the homeless shelter that day and the young man on the Riverwalk.  Most days I would spend my lunch hour on the Riverwalk, there was a book store on the corner and benches along the river where I would eat my lunch and I loved spending time there, one day  I felt the presence of the boy standing on front of me, he was no older twenty years old and refused to look in my direction as he asked me for a quarter then backed up a good ten feet from me as I rummaged through my purse looking for something to give him when I saw the five dollars, and I felt the nudging on my heart, give it to him his children are hungry, I motioned him over and told him I didn’t have a quarter but take this instead and handed him the five dollars.  The person sitting next to me looked on in disbelief, telling me he was probably going to go buy drugs with that, I said perhaps, but I don’t think so, but really only God knows for sure what he is going to do with that money, it is out of my hands now.

I am not telling this story to toot my own horn, or make you think I am more than what I am, because really the person that I am is a person that more times than not would walk right past the person who is asking me for a dollar or even a quarter, but there have been a few times over the years where I saw a little flicker of light that was struggling to shine through the darkness.  I have never told this story before, and over the years it has faded to memory until I went to the Tenth Avenue North, Addison Road and Matt Maher concert, and Addison Road sang the song, This Little Light of Mine, and I remembered those two young men that crossed my path many years before whose little light was shining before me and I couldn’t help but take notice, I thought about them that night and wondered where they were, if they were safe, and had enough to eat. 

When I started writing this I had no idea where I was going with it, and honestly now that I am at the end of  it I have no words of wisdom to share, no lesson to be learned, just the story of two young men who in some ways became invisible to the rest of the world through their journey of homelessness and poverty but touched something so deep inside of me that I will not forget them.

For your listening pleasure today I Addison Road, This Little Light of Mine. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

twenty pounds

For as long as I can remember I have always had issues with my weight, and although I have accepted that I will never be a super thin girl, I cannot accept that I am carrying around an extra twenty pounds that I did not have three years ago.  I hit my breaking point a little over a month ago when the weather started to get cooler and I had to put the shorts and Capri pants away and break out the jeans, that did not fit, I had to dig through my rummage sale pile for the jeans I wore when I was at my heaviest.  Twenty pounds may not seem like a big deal, I can work on it over the winter and have it off by spring, but to me it is more than that. 

Four years ago is when I accepted Christ as my savior and while God was changing me on the inside there was also a change happening on the outside.  I dropped twenty pounds, cut my long hair into a short bob and went from blonde to brunette.  To me the changes on the outside were a reflection of what was happening on the inside, it was the birth of a new me, I stopped hiding behind my hair and baggy clothes, for me gaining that weight back is in a way back sliding.  So a little more than a month ago when I realized how much weight I had gained I put my nose to the grind stone and was determined to get it off.  I counted calories, measured out my food and increased the exercise. I knew every calorie that went in my mouth and every calorie I burned off.  From a numbers stand point I should have lost about 4 or 5 pounds by now so imagine my horror as I was getting dressed for Church this morning and I couldn’t get my jeans buttoned, these are the same jeans I dug out from my rummage sale pile, how could that be, how in the world did I gain weight? 

That seems to the theme of my life these days, I don’t know what I am doing wrong, I don’t what else it is I am supposed to be doing, I am not going forward and I am struggling with all my might to not go backward, yet I seem to be on this mud slide that is taking me down fast, and I cannot find my footing.  I wonder if God really does have a plan for me, I question if he has washed his hands of me and left me on my own to figure out this next season, have I been disobedient and not realized it? I keep praying my prayers of confusion not knowing where to go or what to do next. This afternoon I took a stroll through the woods that are behind the pond that I frequent, the place where I feel the presence of God more than anywhere else, Revelation by Third Day was on my ipod, and as I shuffled my way along the trails with the leaves crunching beneath my feet I knew God was with me.  I still don’t know what is waiting for me around the corner or where he plans to put me, but this afternoon was a reminder of how great our God is that he is in such small stuff as making sure the song I needed to hear at the moment I needed to hear it was on my ipod when I clicked the play button.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

an elephants tale

I was watching Animal Planet the other night, my most favorite channel ever.  There was a program on about a very special orphanage in Africa that rescues, rehabilitates and releases baby elephants that are orphaned by the poachers who have killed their families for their coveted ivory tusks.  Many of these babies have witnessed their entire family being killed and are often traumatized and near death when the rescue workers reach them.

I thought about these elephants, and their welcome wagon of acceptance for the new elephants joining the sanctuary, the earth trembling beneath their feet as the stampede of seasoned veterans rush towards them, raising their trunks and trumpeting their welcomes as if to say “where have you been?! We have been waiting for you”! Wrapping their trunks around them, giving them gentle and loving nudges as if they were long lost friends that had finally found each other again, taking them under their wings, showing them around their new digs, being loving, gentle and kind towards the scared and traumatized newbie in their presence, thinking we could learn a little something from them.

As human beings we are bent towards selfishness, looking out for number one, but these elephants even in the nursery at just a few weeks or months old and have lost everything still gather outside the stables of the new arrivals, extending their trunks in loving kindness as if to say, “we know and we too remember and we are to here to help you”.  There is love, each one looking out for the best interests of the others, and many times that is the very thing that brings them through to the other side.   

Sometimes we can so caught up in our own lives, and our own problems we can forget to slow down and take a look around us, we don’t know what is behind the faces we pass on the street, a simple smile or hello could make someone who feels insignificant feel significant, give them the will to go on another day when they didn’t think they couldn’t.  Many times we don’t know the flood gates we may be opening when we show one act if kindness towards another person, but God knows, he put that person in our path for a reason, perhaps they needed that one simple act of acknowledgement to know that they still matter, perhaps it will encourage them to pay it forward and show kindness to someone else who may also need a little encouragement, and it continues to be paid forward.  Showing love and kindness not only lifts the spirits of another person, but it also lifts our spirits and warms our hearts, we can never go wrong by being kind and loving.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give to you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Rachel Olsen is hosting a blog carnival, on sisters in Christ, the link to her website is in my post below that I wrote about what having fellow sisters in Christ means to me.  I just had to write this post because to me it was such an example of what having friends can do, whether we are human or not.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

sisters in Christ

The first song I ever heard by a Christian artist was Shine by the Newsboys and I have been hooked ever since, and in my disappointment that they never come to Milwaukee, I hatched myself a little plan.  I was going to get myself a 1960’s VW style bus, decorate it with various type flower decals and follow the band across the country. Yes, my friends my career aspirations were to become a professional groupie.  I was convinced that they would eventually take notice and invite me on stage and I would become the newest member of the band, and I would spend the rest of my days traveling across the country in my VW bus entertaining audiences.  So I began practicing for the monumental moment, I would put on a CD, crank the music as loud as I could and use a hairbrush as a makeshift microphone and practice, completely oblivious to the fact that the music was so loud the house was shaking, I mean who has time to worry about such small stuff as me being one woman earthquake, I was busy rockin it.  My plan was coming close to fruition when reality reared its ugly head, when you are in the depths of delusion you fail to realize a few key details.  I can’t sing, I mean seriously cannot sing.  I was in front of the mirror polishing my singing and dancing prowess when I discovered I was not good, not only was I not good I was horrible.  How was I going to secure the coveted role of career groupie and newest member of the band if I cannot sing?  I have since given up my career groupie aspirations but I still dance around the house gettin my worship on for an audience of one, my beloved dog Whitney, who has on several occasions peered around the corner of a doorway cocking her head in bemusement, as if to ask what are you doing?

When you think up the utterly ridiculous your sisters in Christ are the ones you want to laugh with it about because they are the ones that accept you as you are, even in your complete absurdness.  They are the fence post you lean on when you have been knocked down and beat up by the world, they are the ones that will pick you up and dust you off and encourage you to get up and go at it again.  A friend is someone who wants the best for you and will tell you the truth, in a friends company is where you are secure, Proverbs 27:6 tells us that wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.  When I get thrown a curve ball on this crazy roller coaster of life all I need is one spin on the turntable of the song “Shine” and a squeeze of the hand from a friend and I remember all that I have to be grateful for.  A sister in Christ is something that has to be experienced to understand its crucial impact. They are the ones that remind you that you have seen enough miracles that are beyond any human comprehension that whatever dream you may have that seems like the utterly ridiculous to some are actually within your grasp, that is except my career groupie aspirations, that will forever remain just fodder for entertainment purposes only.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
Two are better than one,
     Because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
     his friend can help him up.
     But pity the man who falls
      and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
     But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
     two can defend themselves.
     A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Today I am joining in the fun of a blog carnival over at Rachel Olsen’s blog, so hop on over and check out the other blogs.

In honor of today’s post, pull out your hairbrushes ladies, and let’s take spin on turntable with Shine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

the best you

I ticked off some ducks today, I didn’t just make them mad I seriously ticked them off.  The pond was teaming with them, I have never seen so many ducks at that pond before, and they were none to happy see me and my 90 pound dog nipping at my heels to get in the water.  There were some near window shattering squawks, wings flapping and flailing as my lone ranger Whitney fought to the finish with these Navy Seals of the duck world as to who owned what corner of the pond, in the end each party retreated to the furthest corners and as far away from each other as possible and agreed to disagree. 

We are heading into a new series at church, the me I want to be, becoming the you God created you to be. I sat at the pond that afternoon, while Whitney was working out her differences with the ducks, reading the first chapter of the book, Learning Why God Made You, and I thought about my Whitney.  God teaches some through their children, He teaches me through my dog.  Whitney is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, she is a water dog, a bird hunter, too bad for the ducks at the pond that afternoon, ha?  It doesn’t matter the body of water, a pond, a river, a stream, the neighbors swimming pool, a bubble bath, if it is water she will find a way to get to it and doesn’t care who is occupying it at the time, she is more than willing to join in the fun.  She has an oily, wavy, wiry type coat that some liken to a brillo pad that dries very quickly and keeps the water from touching her skin, even in the dead of winter she breaks through the ice to go for a swim and doesn’t feel a thing.

She is doing what she was made to do and she has been provided with everything she needs to do it. The coat that protects her from the elements, the strong sturdy frame that enables her to swim very long distances and break through the ice if necessary, ears that sit higher on her head so water doesn’t get in them, and even when it looks to the outside world that perhaps it is not such a good idea, like going for a swim in January, she is doing what she was meant to do and she has been equipped with what she needs to do it.  Whitney doesn’t try to be anything else, she doesn’t try to be a yellow lab or black lab or golden retriever, Whitney just tries to be the best Chesapeake Bay Retriever she can be, and she is succeeding very well at it.

As humans can we say the same thing?  I did not adopt a retriever hoping she would turn into a Dachshund, if I wanted a Dachshund I would have gotten one, and God doesn’t do that either.  He doesn’t create us then hope we turn out to be like the girl that occupies the office next door and he doesn’t want us to try to be, if he wanted you to be like her he would have created you that way.  He created you to be in this time and this place you are his handiwork created to do a good work that he has prepared in advance.

Whitney was created for the water that is the work she has been prepared for, that is where she is the best version of herself, so the water is where I take her, and although a walk is sufficient the water is where she shines. It hasn’t has always been like that, it took years of training.  It was hard for her and even harder for me, although I always kept her in my sights I let her wander off and loose sight of me, she got herself into some predicaments and it wasn’t easy to stand back and not rush in as my tiny girl was yelping and crying for me to come rescue her, but eventually she learned that as long as she kept me in her sights she would always be safe, she had to learn to hear my voice and listen to my commands and as long she did that she would  be safe. Sometimes I would have to go in a shake some things loose when I knew she wasn’t going to be able to free herself on her own but I still let her struggle to get out of whatever it was she got herself into.  She has proven to me that she can be trusted off leash, but not without a lot of training.  These days I can let her go far and be the dog was she meant to be and she is enjoying the freedom she gets when she obeys, but I am still always watching and I know she is keeping her eye on me. I test her every once in a while, I will go hide in the bushes and start counting to see how long it takes, I have never gotten past five before she is poking her head through the branches wagging her tail like she just won the ultimate prize in our game of hide and seek.   Gosh, that story sounds familiar.

God also wants his children to be the best version of themselves not just be sufficient but to shine in the places that we were created to shine, and it is going to take some training to get there and when we mess with the bad stuff there are consequences. It is not to keep us from anything good, it is to protect us from the bad and steer us to the place where we can be our best, the place where we can shine, the place we were created for. He doesn’t want to change who he created you to be, he wants you to be the best version of the person he had in mind when he created you, to do the good works he has prepared in advance.  Keep your eyes above, learn to hear his voice, obey his commands because that is the place where you will be safe and start to become the best version of yourself and taken to the place where you were meant to shine.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Disclaimer:  there were no animals injured in the making of this story.

I have a fun song for you today, feeling so fly by Toby Mac

Monday, October 4, 2010

common ground

I felt the presence of the Lord in every step I took, and the presence of the enemy making each one of those steps feel like I had cement weights strapped to my feet, and it was all leading to my heart being broken in a hundred different pieces.  A seemingly harmless remark provoked some to get on their soap box in agreement, in me it provoked anger, sadness and a broken heart.  I knew I should have said something, but what?  What could I have said in that moment that wouldn’t have started a war of words where there would be no winner just more division, I wrestled with my thoughts, and  went to bed that night with my heart broken and praying for guidance, praying for the right words to speak that weren’t judgmental or threatening, just words that would provoke a thought.  I finished reading John 3:16 that night, not John 3:16 the scripture but John 3:16 the novel.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This scripture doesn’t say that God so loved America or Europe or Asia or any other place that he gave his one and only son, it says that he so loved the WORLD he gave his one and only son. Matthew 5:16 tells us to let our light shine before men and sometimes God calls his children to let their light shine in places that others don’t agree with, or don’t feel the same passion for, opinions and hurtful words are thrown out, division among men occurs and hearts break. 

My goal isn’t make someone see things the way I see them or serve where it is I have been called to serve, it is to provoke a thought, a thought that perhaps we are all working towards the same common goal, to make this fractured world we live in a better place, not just for ourselves but for future generations, a thought that perhaps we were all put on this earth to serve in a different capacity to reach the one common goal we all have, you see if God put us all in the same boat it would surely sink from the weight of it all.  

So to all the people who are following the call on their lives to serve in places that I don’t necessarily feel the same passion for, I say thank you, for going to where the Lord has led you, to help that fractured part of the world that he loved so much he gave his one and only son for, to the those who challenged others because they do not feel the same passion for the place in which it is you have been called, I say thank you for going to where the Lord has led you to help that fractured part of the world that he loved so much he gave his one and only son for.

In the end we all want the same thing, and name calling and snarky remarks towards those who don’t see things the way we do isn’t going to get us any closer to that goal, but we could start by respecting where each of us is called to serve and say thank you for going to where the Lord has led you  to help that corner of the world that he loved so much he gave his one and only son for.

There is a song floating around by Natalie Grant, Human, I hope you love it.

Monday, September 27, 2010


There is a jail that I would reason a guess exists in every nation around the world, it is a jail that allows us to roam freely among society, live in the home of our choice, have a car, and earn a paycheck to spend as we wish. It is a jail with no visible bars or barbed wire.  There is no warden or parole board, it is a jail that no one has sentenced us to but ourselves, and every prisoner is free to leave whenever they want all they have to do is walk through the door, it is the jail of our own making in our mind and thoughts.  I know many people, past and present that have sentenced themselves and are currently residing in this jail, some are living in the cell block of condemnation some are in the addiction and self medication ward, while others are across the yard in revenge and unforgiveness.  I try to visit them as often as I can, holding the door open behind me a few extra minutes when I leave just in case one of them wants to walk out the door with me. Some have come close but then dutifully turn around preferring to be in the comfort of the familiar than the bright light of the unknown that promises wonderful things, and that makes me sad.

I lived in this jail most of my life, I could not forgive myself for not being able to be thin enough to deserve being loved, I could not forgive myself for not being able to make myself pretty enough to deserve being loved, I could not forgive myself for being born with a learning disability and not being able to be smart enough to deserve being loved, I condemned myself for not being able to be perfect enough to deserve being loved.  Warped, but oh so true, what I did not know at the time is that God created me to be way I was meant to be. 

I don’t want to make it seem like I have it all together because I don’t, I still put myself back in that jail cell from time to time when I don't live up to the unreasonable expectations I place on myself.  I have a learning disability that has no has not always served me well, I have always had to work twice as hard to keep up yet most of the time I still fell short, I came from a physically and verbally abusive home where I was always trying to be perfect enough for my father to love me but still falling short, I still struggle with how could I possibly think that someone else could find something about me to love if my own father didn’t, and that is when I put myself back in that jail and have to remind myself of who I am in Christ, I am beautifully and wonderfully created by a God who loves me just the way I am.

I am created by a God who brought me into this world knowing the struggles I would have, and He was always there never letting me fall too far, even when I didn’t know it, but never letting me get too comfortable. He knew one day I would get tired of the constant struggling to make life happen on my own and I would come looking for Him for a way out, and that way out is available to anyone who wants it.

I will let you in on a little secret, you are beautifully and wonderfully created by a God who loves you just the way you are, He wants to free you from the bondage you have put yourself in and a bondage He never intended for you to have.  Confess whatever it is that keeping you in jail and let Him sort it out, He will and He will work it out for your good, trust me, you cannot fix anything better than God can.

When you live your life putting God first it having something on the inside of you filled up, a place you may not have even known was empty until it was full.  It is knowing that whatever storm of life you are in or is headed your way you don't have to handle it on your own.  There is a peace in knowing that whatever happens is under God's sovereign control, and He already has a plan.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

For your listening pleasure today I have included some Josh Wilson, Before the Morning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

brought to you today by the number 40, a Bible, and some coffee and banana bread

Today is my 40th birthday, it has finally arrived, and I say that because when I was 39 I would never tell people I was 39, I would always say I am going to be 40 this year, and as my birthday got closer I would tell people I am going to be 40 in few months, or soon to be 40. 

Last week I went shopping with my mother to pick out my birthday present, a brand new Bible and she even got me a nifty little case to carry it in, and then surprised me with
Tenth Avenue North
concert tickets, and all I wanted was a new Bible. I had been needing one for a long time now, my old one has a paper cover and the edges are frayed, it has some coffee stains on it, a few bite marks in it when I would leave it to close to the edge of the table and the dog would snatch it, she is tall enough to reach the tops of tables so I can’t leave anything to close to the edge. She ate my dinner one time when I left it unattended on the dining room table while I was in the kitchen getting a glass of milk to wash it down with that was a hard lesson learned.  Anyway, my new Bible has a leather cover and a case to keep it safely tucked away in.

I was thinking about that day and the events of the months before that. I am not just my mother’s daughter but I am also a daughter of the King, who likes to surprise His children just like our earthly parents do.  I went into the bookstore that day with the small dream of a Bible and my mother surprised me with goody bag of treasures, and just a few months before, my Father surprised me with the treasure of a new friend.  I am forty years old today, never married and I have no children, except Whitney the dog, who in my opinion is the work of 10 children.  I am totally at peace with my singleness and it really hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do, but on the other side of that coin I wonder what God is waiting for.  I thought today would be a good day to talk a little bit about my singleness.

It wasn’t until the day that I was sitting at my new friend’s dining room table, drinking coffee, eating banana bread, telling her about some things that had happened to me in the past, that the words were said out loud, and hearing the words made it totally real, “could that be the reason why God is keeping you single?”, of course it is, deep in my heart I knew it, but as long I as I never heard it said out loud I didn’t have to face it, I could gloss over it, keep it stuffed inside and never let it rear its ugly head. 

The rest is something I wrote in my diary a long time ago, and even though there is this thing that has to be dealt with, God will deal with me about it when the time is right, and I still feel the way I do about my singleness in what I wrote so long ago.  I hope it helps someone else who is single and not liking it to put things in perspective.

It Is All A Matter of Perspective

“Embracing where you are and what you do with it is a matter of perspective, you are either going to spend it focusing on what you don’t have, which by the way I did a lot, or focusing in what you do have, I had to get it out of my head that I was alone and when I did that it was as if the heavens opened up and the angels started to sing.  

Holidays are especially hard on single people, there is no one to exchange Christmas gifts with, no one to kiss at midnight on New Years eve, no one to cuddle with under a blanket while watching the fireworks, even I don’t always enjoy being the only single person in a circle of couples distracting myself with watching the fly on the wall, pretending it fills empty space next to me that I so wish was occupied by someone that wants to hold my hand or put their arm around me, but holidays only make up a small portion of the 365 days that we get, so rather than wallowing in that yet again I am spending Christmas alone, I make the decision to not take off my pajamas all day, not do hair or makeup, I spread out the leftovers of the Christmas Eve feast with my family from the night before and settle in for day of back to back Christmas movies and a boat load of uninterrupted napping.  

I wasted so much time being miserable and unhappy over what I didn’t have I feel as if I am making up for lost time and embracing what I do have, chasing it like a lion after its prey, I can’t believe that after twenty years of being alone I am just now realizing this.  God has given me the precious gift of time, time to find out who I am, what makes me, me and I have chosen to embrace it for as long I have it and I will let God decide when it is time for me not to be single anymore, and let Him write that chapter, because his timing is always perfect.  I am able to receive God’s will for my life freely and without complication, I found some talents I never knew I had and my life has gone down a path that is so much better that I ever imagined. I now understand the meaning of the phrase “the peace that passes all understanding”.

My life is hardly a walk through a daisy field on a warm summer day by any stretch of the imagination I have struggles just like everyone else.  I found myself in the unemployment line a few times more than I would have liked to be and I had no husband at home with a paycheck to fall back on, no husband to unclog the drain or take my car to the mechanic, when I am sick I can’t just yell out “ hey honey can you go to the store and get me some medicine” at times it becomes all too consuming sitting down exasperated, asking God if it was really necessary for it to snow again that day, I was cold and tired and I all I wanted to do was take a hot shower and tuck myself under a blanket, I didn’t really want to spend 20 minutes getting dressed in preparation of shoveling 3 feet of heavy wet snow.  But everything always seemed to work out, The bills got paid on a mere $200.00 a week in unemployment, I didn’t die because I had to shovel snow, after hours of laboring I finally managed to unclog the drain, and even though I didn’t have any medicine the deadly virus that I was convinced was coursing through my veins turned out to be a nasty head cold that eventually cleared up.

I am still a baby Christian, I don’t feel firmly planted in my walk with God and if He gave me what I wanted I would loose focus on my relationship with Him. A relationship I have come to cherish with every pore of my being.  I have given my life to building my relationship with Him, focusing on His word, getting to know Him, wanting to obey Him and I am square in the position to do  that, free from the distractions of the world that often and almost unnoticeably overtake our lives.  God doesn’t have to share me with anyone or anything He has me all to Himself, to teach me to guide me to shape and mold me into anything He wants me to be, I wholeheartedly embrace it, at this moment there isn’t a single thing I would change about my life, I don’t feel like I am missing anything.  I have heard from so many people how they don’t want to spend Sunday nights alone, I never spend a Sunday night alone or any other night for that matter, I am spending it with my Father, in my tiny enclave of a home office, sipping tea, snug in my jammies and the dog snoring at my feet typing feverishly to get my thoughts on paper before they exit my head as fast as they entered it, not having to share my time with anyone but Him and I can’t think of anything more divine than that.”


2 Peter 1:5-8
Make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Today we have the musical talents of Michael W. Smith, A New Hallelujah.  It has nothing to do with what I wrote, but I love the song, and imagine myself standing in the choir singing it at the top of my lungs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Late Sunday, my blog sounding eerily like my tenth grade science paper, wondering how in heavens I was going to fix this.  Frantically searching my diary looking for anything when I came across an entry I wrote about hands and feet, locking my eyes in on the first sentence, “It is the journey that God has taken my feet on that has enabled my hands to type the words that He has placed in my heart to write”, and there it was, the reminder of the chaos of where my feet have walked, and where I never want them to tread again.  It was peace, the simple pleasure of the peace I feel when I am at the pond sitting at my Father’s feet reading His word while the dog is enjoying her daily swim completely aware that I am sitting among my Father’s creation, it is the simple pleasure of peace I feel when I hear a bird singing outside my window or the leaves rustling on the trees.  It is the peace I feel while singing along during worship in Church, It is the peace I feel sitting on my patio sipping my coffee laced with caramel macchiato half and half with the sun shining on my face.  But more importantly it the peace I feel in knowing that I am not walking through this life alone, it is peace that I no longer have to worry because God is in control and has my best interests at heart, it is peace in knowing that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, it is peace that if my God is for me who can be against me, it is the peace of trust and faith, it is resting in the peace of God.

God doesn’t promise us a big house, monetary wealth or anything else the world tells us we are to place our worth in, He promises peace, because sometimes we can find ourselves in some really stinky places, and His promise of peace is what is going to get us through those times with a joyful and a glad heart.  Perhaps peace isn’t something you think about when you think of simple pleasures, but it is my simple pleasure, because I remember the days, all too well, when I didn’t have any. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I like to include a song with my posts, so for your listening pleasure today I have included Matt Redman’s, You Never Let Go.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

Ok so it is more like Bald Eagles, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Beavers. 

“C’mon lets go” my friend yelled standing two feet away in the patio door that leads to my backyard. 

“Shhhhh quiet, you are going to scare them away, come take a look at this” I said in little more than a whisper.

Exasperated and growing impatient she steps out onto the patio to take a look.  “It is a bird” she says.

“It is not just a bird, look at it, it’s a Cardinal, I think there is a family of them living up there” I said pointing up into the 50 year old maple tree that is still standing tall in my backyard.

“Ok, so it is a Cardinal, I think we learned about those in the first grade, c’mon lets go”.

“If there is any doubt in your mind that God exists, that bird right there is proof that He does”.

“It’s a bird”.

So my friend was completely missing my point, and I am not giving up hope that some day she will see the beauty in what I saw in my backyard that afternoon. Living in Wisconsin we don’t see many Cardinals, our state bird is the Robin, and Cardinals don’t come around for a visit very often, but when they do, it is hard to miss them.  I had Cardinals and Blue Jays living in my back yard that summer, looking quite intentional with their color palette of blues and reds so bright that it is unmistakably God who created them, and rather than containing these colors, He created a bird to bestow them upon, to swoop and dart through the air for all the world to see, and they were living in the tree in my backyard, and they stuck around all summer keeping me company. 

I saw many miracles that summer, A long neck crane cooling himself in the pond across the street, Cardinals and Blue Jays gliding through the air over head, a beaver slithering its way into the water and a bald eagle perched on a lamp post that had the entire neighborhood out to watch, and when it spread its wings and took flight I don’t see how anyone can deny how great our God is to create such a beautiful and spectacular creature.

I was asked the question recently, how to find God’s purpose for our life, I had to tap a few resources to find the best answer I could possibly give to that question, and this is what I came up with, we are to live our lives to glorify God.  We have to say yes, we have to say yes Lord I accept you as my Savior, we have to say yes and get out of the boat.  Because as long as we stay in the comfortable confines of the four walls of ourselves, relying on our own understanding to get us through this life we have no need for Him, we do not glorify Him, and we miss His best.  But when we say yes, and get out of the boat we are stepping outside our own understanding and doing what looks to be the impossible in our small human minds, and that is when we become totally dependent on God, who will bring us through to glorify Him. I have attached some links to a blog by Lysa TerKeurst (start at the bottom with Permission to be Haunted and read up) and her story on how she came to adopt two orphan boys, it is a story of saying yes to God and stepping out of the boat into the unknown and how God brought them all through, and where they are today. I am not done talking about this but I think I have said enough for today. So I leave you with a song, In Wonder by the Newsboys, it is one of my favorites, a few scriptures and a story, and give God some glory for the beauty He has created.

Psalms 9:1-2
I will praise you, O'Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise in your name, O Most High.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar in wings likes eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.