Tuesday, February 14, 2017


The title of today's post seems fitting because it is Valentine's Day. This wasn't going to be what I was thinking about writing about, but when I was praying over what to write this was actually what God put on my queue for my music it's called Worth It by Francesca Battistelli

Love, is not easy, and if it wasn't for love, I honestly don't know if I would be here today writing this. When I was 20 years old in 1993, I married a man who I thought I would spend my life with, little did I know that was not what God had planned for me. In March of 1995 we were blessed with the birth of our daughter Ashley. Ashley was our miracle, it was a difficult delivery and we ended up having to have an emergent c-section, as the placenta had separated from the uterine wall, and I was bleeding internally. After Ashley was born, the doctor told us that if we had waited an hour longer to come in Ashley would not have survived, if we had waited until the next day, I would not have survived either. Just think of that, 60 minutes was the difference between life and death. What do we do daily within 60 minutes? Sometimes without a thought. 

That was where Ashley was our first miracle, little did I know that 8 months after she was born my husband, David would take his own life. That final day, I knew something was wrong with him, because he called in sick to work, and he never did that. David waited until the mail came, because it was payday, then he left. At that time I worked 3 pm - 11 pm. David never came back home before I left for work, I brought our daughter to daycare as planned, but he didn't pick her up like he was supposed to. I had his parents pick Ashley up from daycare and I had everyone I knew out looking for David, but no one could find him. I finished my shift, and went to pick up Ashley from my in-laws house, and then went home. His vehicle was not parked in the driveway, so I decided to check the garage to see if he parked it in the garage. As I got to the garage, I was unable to open the door,, and the side door was padlocked, with Ashley fast asleep in my vehicle, I had to get the key from my key chain to unlock the side door, the scene inside is something that I will never forget, I close my eyes and see it like it was yesterday. The large garage door, was locked from the inside, bungee cords holding it closed, blankets lining the bottom of the door, and David sitting in the driver's side of the vehicle. The vehicle was not running. I opened the driver's door and remember how still he was, like he was sleeping, but he was ice cold, this was November 16, 1995. I remember screaming and running to the house to call 911, then called his parents and then my parents. My house was swarming with people within minutes. I was 22 years old, widowed with an 8 month old daughter. I didn't just lose David that day, I also lost DJ, David's son from his first marriage. DJ was almost 6. Being a step-mother I lost all visitation privileges, I had known DJ since he was 1 1/2 years old. I lost two thirds of my family in one day.  This isn't what I had planned for my life, picking out a casket, flowers, what songs to play, pall bearers, who should be having to do this at 22? I was still trying to figure out who I was, all I had now were titles, single mom, widow, alone. 

This is where Ashley is MY second miracle, during the months that followed, I fell into a very deep and dark depression, I went off the rails. I lost a great amount of weight in a very short time because I didn't eat, and my job was strenuous. I was hospitalized frequently, I had made myself sick. It was in this time that if it wasn't  for Ashley, I don't know that I would be here. I had my parents, my grandma, and extended family for my support system. The hardest part of this whole situation was not when people were around, it was when everyone left, and I was alone, and trust me I felt very much ALONE. I didn't realize it at the time, but God had plans for me. 

May 1996. God brought Mike into my life, even with all my baggage, he loved me, and he made me happy. We moved in together not long after, and soon we had another blessing Quentin, born June 26, 1997. Mike and I married in August of 1999. Love. It will change your life, bless you in many ways, and cut you to the core at the same time. Love's not easy. Love has ups and downs, sometimes more up and sometimes more downs. After 20 years together, Mike and I divorced last year. Although this love story doesn't have a happy ending either, the love and respect I still have for Mike is something that he earned and deserves. He's a man with a big, loving heart that was just hurt one to many times, for that I am sorry. I know that sorry doesn't take away the hurt. I'm sorry that it took me so long to realize what a gift I was given, that I wasted. Although we did things to hurt each other, and we each have our own hurt and brokenness to share, I still have a hard time seeing myself without him, and I still love him with all my heart. 

Like I said in a previous post, my wise mom, told me sometimes you have to lose everything so the only thing left is God.  Since our separation and divorce, I have learned a lot, lets just say that my eyes were opened. In this time, I have been trying to discover who I am as an individual, I haven't been single since I was 18, so I've been trying to separate the "me" from the "we". 

We all know that saying hindsight is 20/20, sometimes I wish I knew then, what I know now. Now I know that all this time it was God, He was with me all this time, He was writing my story, even though I didn't see Him until recently. 

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 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. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:2-8).

It also says that we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us (you, and me), and we ought to lay our lives for our brothers and sisters, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:16-17). 

Showing love to others is as easy as a smile, handshake, a hello, or how are you today? You never know what that smile, handshake, hello or how are you will mean to the other person. We all struggle, we are all broken, some suffer in silence, and that smile, or hello may be the 60 minutes between life and death. We don't know what that person is dealing with, that one person may have decided to end their life, and your kindness may make them reconsider. We live in a cruel and cold world, choose to be the light in the darkness, let your light shine, pay it forward, one light becomes 2, then 4 then 100 then 1000, let it spread. 

Well, today even if you spent this Valentine's Day alone (like I did), please just know that you are not alone, You are loved, you are stronger than you realize, you are not a failure or worthless. You are loved so much by a Perfect God who created you, you are His beloved. There are people that love you, life is gift even with its sorrows, struggles. Faith will light your path, hope will keep you strong, love will bring you your greatest joys and your friendships will remind you that everyday is a reason to celebrate. 

I'm gonna leave you with one more song it is Love Like That by Hawk Nelson:

Have a great week everyone. Until next time. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Shabar (shaw-bar')

This week I started the online bible study for Ann Voskamp's new book "The Broken Way", in the first video session, she asked a question "why are we afraid of broken things? That question got me thinking, why are we afraid of being broken? What is it about being totally broken, exposed and raw that makes us afraid? Why is it that when something happens to us that we feel that we are alone like we are the only ones that have ever experienced this divorce, loss of job, rejection, anxiety, depression, shame, fear, etc.  Ann uses John 12:24-25 to help us understand:

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to
the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. 
But, if it dies, it produces many seeds.
The man who loves his life will lose it, 
while the man who hates his life in this world
will keep it for eternal life.

If ya all are like me, you have read that verse many times, but the meaning never really sunk in, this is an awesome picture of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Could it just be that we all have to fall and break in order to be the bearers of much fruit? 

Some of you are probably wondering about the title of this post- after listening to the first video session I looked up the Hebrew word for broken, which is shabar, which literally means to break or break into pieces (http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7665.htm). This word is the definition of ME. I have been broken/am broken into pieces, so many that I never thought I could ever pull them back together. Recently, I found a picture that showed me how important broken things are:

If broken OBJECTS are mended with gold, imagine what God does with us, when HE puts us back together, if we are willing to lean on HIM. It says many times in Psalms that God is close to the brokenhearted, and that he saves those that are crushed in spirit, and that HE will bind up their wounds. When a bone is broken, the place that broke, as it heals becomes the strongest part of the bone, so imagine your broken heart, where it is broken, will heal to scars. Those scars become your battle scars of a war that was fought and won and now becomes stronger. Scars and all we are perfect, beautiful in God's eyes. Perfectly Broken. 

While I am writing these posts, I put my headphones on and listen to music, and as I was writing this last paragraph, the song "Clean" by Natalie Grant came on, it kinda put this whole post into perspective, What negativity I see, or say about myself, God sees something beautiful, we are beautiful to HIM, we are HIS beloved children, created for HIS glory (Isaiah 43:6-7). 

I live in Iowa, and the last two days we have alot of snow, winter is such a mucky, messy mess, I am reminded of Isaiah 1:18:
"Though your sins are like scarlet
they shall be white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, 
they shall be like wool."

All that muck and mess was just covered with a fresh blanket of white snow, it is symbolic, all are sins are covered, and they become white as snow, it is a beautiful picture. As I have said before in one of my posts, I am inspired by music, and this week I have heard many songs that fit into this post, I will try and post all the videos for the ones I feel inspired me this week.

Remember, we are all broken, that is not something to be afraid of, this brokenness will mold and shape us into the people that God has intended us to be, although it will leave many scars, please remember that you are BEAUTIFUL, don't let the enemy, anyone else or mostly yourself tell you anything different. Turn to the ONE who made you, turn to HIS word. 

A last note, I was introduced to a blog this week that is written by a young lady that struggles with the same thing that I do. Anxiety. I have struggled for many years, and the winters are the worst, and when you are alone, those thoughts that run through your head can be crippling, zapping all your energy. Somedays it is a fight just to get out of bed when you just want to throw the covers over your head and forget the rest of the world. In one of my devotions from this month, I read this from Romans 5:3-5:

We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and 
character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, 
because God has poured out his love into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

So young lady, cling to hope because it never disappoints. Remember that your feelings are indicators, not dictators, just because you feel it, doesn't make it real (Lysa TerKeurst) (Even though they feel real.) Now a song or two just for you, both are from Skillet (they are my favorite) these are more like fight songs for you: Remember you are not alone!!! I know that you have a wonderful support system, which is awesome. My prayers are with you, and I know that you are gonna do great things, because you were created to.

Have a good week all!! Blessings to each and everyone that reads this. You are loved more than you know.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

On Fire

Many years ago I saw this piece of framed art that just took my breath away, ever since then I have wanted that picture. This picture by the way is based on historical events.

The bible verse that is on the plaque at the bottom is Psalm 18:2:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, 
my stronghold.

Here is the YouTube video:

During this Christmas, I came across this picture, and after many years, I bought it for myself. As a Christian I have always known the the Lord is my Savior, and in those years if I had sought after Jesus just as much as I sought after this picture, I would not have spent these last years feeling like the failure I thought I was, and always asking why me? I spent so much time going after earthly things, and the things that I wanted to do that God did take a back seat. I should have turned my eyes to the one who saved me first, instead of doing it my way. 

 In the end, I lost everything. My mother, the wise and wonderful woman that she is said "sometimes God will take everything, so the only thing left is God." I have come to believe that this is true. This Fall I was invited to a bible study "The God I Never Knew" by Robert Morris. Up until this point I have kept myself away from church, and bible studies, but I felt this was something that I needed to do, and I am glad that I did. I had my eyes opened, and there are some parts that I am still trying to wrap my head around, but GOD ignited a fire in me. 

The study is about developing a friendship with the Holy Spirit, now, at least in my life and the churches that I have attended the Holy Spirit is usually only mentioned as part of the Trinity. There is so much more to the Holy Spirit than I has ever been taught before. 

There are so many things that happen that some would call a coincidence, I no longer believe in coincidence to me they are the moments that God, or the Holy Spirit is talking to me, or showing me something. As I am writing this, the song that comes on is My Revival by Lauren Daigle. This speaks to me in many ways, first and foremost I am going through a revival- I have asked the Lord to renew my mind, heart, spirit & my strength, telling Him that I trust Him everyday, and that I need to lean on Him more. The part of the lyrics that really speak to me are: 

I will soar on wings like eagles
Find my rest in your everlasting name
You are my revival
Jesus on you I wait
And I lean on your promise 
You will renew my strength.

The song is based on Isaiah 40:28-31, and I love the commentary in my Bible which is the Life Application Bible NIV version:

Even the strongest people get tired at times, but God's
power and strength never diminish. 
He is never to tired or too busy to help and listen.
His strength is our source of strength.
When you feel all of life crushing you and cannot go another step
remember that you can call upon God to renew your strength!

Isn't it wonderful to know that no matter what you are feeling, tired, exhausted, weak, unloved, rejected, guilty, depression, fear, and many, many others you can just call upon God, and He hears you!!!

Back to the picture for a moment, for so long I felt like I was that man standing in that doorway, and those waves were going to just wash me away, but the more that my eyes have been opened to all the things that the God and Holy Spirit have had to show me, I can now see those wave as God's WINGS of protection, because He is my rock, my fortress in whom I take refuge. 

On a 2nd Note:
Since the study has ended I have been listening to past teachings on our wonderful world wide web, and there is no one that I have listened to that gets me more on fire for God than Beth Moore. This woman has such as passion for God and a love to teach what she studies and knows to women around the world. I have seen her a few times at her live events. The teachings that I have been listening to recently were all recorded in 2016 at live events. She tells you like it is, and makes sure that you understand what she is trying for you to understand, she is a little "stick of dynamite for the Lord." What I love is her love for us, and the LORD. 

I am a student and love to take notes, her 27 minute teaching lesson will take me at least over an hour to listen to because I have to keep stopping the video, and rewinding so I can write down exactly what she said, the way she said it. I'm going to end with a few of her quotes that have struck me.
  1. This is from February 3, 2016 entitled Women of God-Part 1: "Jesus changes the story of every woman He meets' and "You have the greatest story, you just don't know it yet-because Jesus is still writing it." I really liked this last comment because we were all put here for a purpose, and that purpose is our story. You don't have to be stuck in your shame, or your perfect brokenness because we were made broken by a perfect God, you has a plan for each and every one of us.
  3. From Women of God-Part 3 from February 17, 2016: "We have so much clutter (that is definitely me), and so much going on, that we treat God as an 'add on'. In this teaching she puts emphasizes on how much we need girlfriends, because a woman's joy is not the same without girlfriends to share it. She continues that we have 1000's of contacts on social media but very few comrades. 

One of the things that would be on my bucket list- just meaning something that I hope I can accomplish sometime in my life would be to meet this beautiful, passionate woman, and as a student I want to understand how she studies. This would be one of most joyous gifts that I could be given, if it is God's will, it will happen. Until/if then I am content listening to her teachings on the web. 

Beth- you have touched my heart with your messages many times, and when I saw you at your live events I felt like you were speaking directly to me, it was a message at the time that I needed to hear, and it was on shame, I'll never forget it. God has blessed all of us women (and some men) with your messages, and I am so thankful to you for what you do. Thank you Lord for putting this beautiful woman in my life. 

I am leaving you today with some Love& The Outcome- He Is With Us

Lord, I ask that you will let all who read this know that you are with them, you know their struggles, hurts and that you know their heart, wrap them in your wings of protection, let them feel your love, and that you are close, and you will never leave them or forsake them. Let them know that they can trust you, for you are their rock, and their fortress, their deliverer. I pray that you will ignite a spark in them and that you will continue to let that spark grow, to make them hunger for you, until it is an all consuming fire. 
This I pray in your beautiful loving name,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Welcome to 2017 all!!!

For this post, I am going to do something a little different.

I am asking all that read this blog to comment below, and let me know what some of your struggles are, you don't have to identify yourself. I want to hear from my readers what you are dealing with.

Also, what topics would you like me to address? I have had a few ideas, but want to know what you want to hear about. This would all be from my perspective or my experiences, and it would all be to let you know that you are not alone in your struggles, there is someone listening. I want to listen, and I want to share.

I found a picture this last week that I feel sums up a great deal of how we as human beings treat one another:

This picture is linked to 1 Peter 5:8:
Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a
roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

The commentary for this verse I feel is also extremely important:
Feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from 
others, or other believers, we become so focused
on our troubles that we forget to watch for danger, 
we are especially vulnerable to Satan's attacks.
During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support.

I'm going to leave you today with another song. The first time I heard this song it sent chills up my spine and I had goose bumps all over- it's Zach Willams- Chainbreaker. 

Please comment below, and share your stories with me, if you are more comfortable you may email me. I would like to hear your input. I AM LISTENING!!!!

Have a blessed evening all
With Love,