Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Give In...Don't Give Up

It seems as though everyone that know is going through some sort of trial or attack. Whether it be physical, financial, emotional, people are hurting and feeling alone. Life-altering moments can either make you or break you. I have said many times this year that I don't know how you can get through hard times without faith. In the midst of many trying situations this year, I knew that the faith that I thought was strong in me was no where near the strength that I needed to make it through. I am not ashamed to say that I uttered the words, "why us" many times this year and wondered how we (my husband, parents) were going to make it through... then I remember this verse- 
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world. John 16:33 MSG 

My dad always says, "It will all be okay because WE WIN!" He's right, we do win because Jesus conquered the world. Sometimes though, I have struggled and wondered if we'd see the end of these trials. I have cried out to God, broken and shattered. It has been excruciating to see my mom struggle with the smallest tasks and even worse to witness her  frustration in what was so simple before, now takes every bit of effort in her. I have watched my dad weary and hurting...wanting to make everything okay for her. Oh the love between them... what a priceless lesson in true love. In my home, we have endured attack after attack since the clock switched from 2009 to 2010. We have had to choose to rise above our circumstances, turn the other cheek, and work at loving others when they are unlovable. 

In all of this, one thing that I have learned is that faith really is believing when you don't see. We have to believe that my mom will walk, talk, and function in completeness, even when the statistics tell us that too much time has gone by.  This week, almost 11 months since she suffered the stroke, we saw a breakthrough.  Even her doctors are surprised!
Dan and I have learned on our lives this year, that you MUST stand for what you believe and risk being called a radical. We have learned that God is our Provider and that He knows every need before we do. There have been days that seem so dark and hopeless, BUT GOD. God sees our struggle and He hears our cries. He knows when we are pressing through and asking for hope. Encouragement comes to us through God's Word and through the many vessels that allow themselves to be used by Him. I was encouraged this morning after reading the post from Stilettos & Grace and watching the video by Amy Grant.

Rick Renner says, “Faith is the spark that ignites the impossible and causes it to become possible. When a person’s faith is activated, it sets in motion supernatural power that enables that person to do what he normally would never be able to do!”

If you are struggling with faith and wondering if God really moves, if He really hears you?? Then take a look at these pictures and know that He really does answer our prayers. He still heals and restores and He will make all things right for those who love and trust Him.

February 2010

November 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

35.. me, seriously??

I turned the big 35 last week.. I still haven't wrapped my mind around the fact that I'm in my mid-30's now.  Honestly, I feel like I must be 25, but there have been recent moments when my body is telling me different.  Now, I'm rambling, must come with the territory.. right? 

Dan and I were in San Antonio to celebrate with my family..
Grandma and Mom.. aren't they pretty?
Dan and Uncle Sonny
Frank and Vicki Lynn

Mom and Dad

I am so blessed, my cup runs over!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Saved by Grace

I remember asking Jesus into my heart when I was five years old.. I remember the church, Praise Temple, in Littlefield, Texas.  When I think back, I can recall standing outside of the church, telling my parents and their joy.  From that day forward, I have not lived with out sinning, but I have lived a life pressing forward and trying to honor God.  

We are all born into this world with what the Bible calls a sin nature, but when we make the decision to follow Christ, to repent of our sins, then we are called the righteous, this does not mean that we are without sin, but rather we are called to live a life that turns from sin.  There is not one person that has made the decision to follow Christ that has not been tempted to sin or given into sin.  Living for Christ is a daily choice!  Being a Christian isn't just a label, you are not a Christian just because you go to church, belong to an denomination,  or know the Bible.  NO, we are Christians because we follow the life that Christ lived in the 33 years here on this earth and because we have acknowledged his sacrifice and repented of our sins.  He died for our sins. When we repent of our sins, we are forgiven and made righteous or made in right standing with Him. Can we stand with Him if we are sinners

Romans 10:9-11(New King James Version) says, 
9 Thatif you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  

If we are still "sinners" we should be ashamed, but if we've been forgiven and we believe what the Bible says, we should not be ashamed. Webster's Dictionary defines salvation as: deliverance from the power and effects of sin. We are forgiven only by grace,  only by the blood that Jesus shed at the Cross.

I am certain that I, just like anyone else, will sin again before the end of my time on this earth. We all make the choice to live by how the Bible instructs us to live or to live a life that opposes that instruction. We fail, maybe even over and over, but when we come to God and repent (Webster's dictionary: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life), then we are forgiven. 

Romans 3:23-27(New Living Translation) says: 
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.
24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,
26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

My hope is that if you look at my life, you will see someone that is working at building a relationship with Christ, a girl just trying to live a life that honors God. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect on this earth.  Heaven is the only place without sin.. and until I get there, I'm going to look at the example that Christ set for me, be grateful for His sacrifice for my sin, and live a victorious, righteous life because that is what He desires for me!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For My Dad

Thank you, Dad, for seeing a baby girl who needed a family and not thinking twice before you brought me home.

Thank you, Dad, for wanting to be the best you could be for me and making the decision to follow God with your whole heart.

Thank you, Dad, for making sacrifices, sometimes working two or three jobs to give me a Christian School Education, where a firm spiritual foundation was laid.

Thank you, Dad, for the time you spent with me...playing with Barbies, reading to me, taking me shopping.

Thank you, Dad, for encouraging me to go to Bible School, a choice that would solidify and focus my relationship with Jesus.

Thank you, Dad, for praying me through so many years of being a single young woman. You were my spiritual covering and your prayers and love protected me.

Thank you, Dad, for giving me the most beautiful wedding that a girl could ask for.. you really did make all my dreams come true.

Thank you, Dad, for being such a man of Faith and Grace. This journey that we've been on since January, has tested us far beyond the limits we thought we had. I am blessed to watch you care and love Mom.

I love you more than words can say...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lay It Down

How long have I been so focused on my own dreams that I didn't have

room for The Destiny and Purpose designed for me? The sad thing is.. I

haven't realized before that I've been thinking like this.

I had a conversation with my husband recently... At the end of it, I

clearly heard God tell me to lay down MY dreams and with it the burden

that I've been DRAGGING. In that moment, I felt peace. But immediately

following that peace, the enemy tried to bring heartbreak, fear, even

resentment over my laid-down dreams. I had to make a choice in that

moment, to trust that the plans that God has for me are much greater

than the ones that I've had a death grip on for as long as I can

remember. If My Lord asks of me, I have no other desire than to honor


Yes, for moment, I felt like Abraham sacrificing Issac. If I remember

correctly, God only asked for the willingness to obey, not the actual

sacrifice. But the Bible has many stories that required some sort of

sacrifice, laying down desires that were not just a test, but a command.

My prayer is that as I trust the

Lord to lead me in my journey, that He will use this broken vessel and

mold me, shape me, use me, and that I will ultimately bring honor and

glory to His Name.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I had a fabulous weekend with my friend.. we ate, shopped, and caught up on each other's lives!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Forgivness, Friends, and Real Housewives

My husband likes to tease me about the reality shows that I watch..before you gasp--- I'll just admit to you the shows that I watch: all of the Bravo Real Housewives shows, Guiliana and Bill, Tori and Dean.. I'm reality show junkie. I think it's the fact that I am a people watcher. Seriously, give me a cup of coffee and a good seat, and I'll sit and watch people forever. It's interesting to see how people interact, to wonder what people are really like. I know that these shows are a bit campy, but to me, it's like being a fly on the wall. Of course, my hubby thinks they are all absurd! I know that some of you out there know exactly what shows I'm talking about because you watch them, too!

For the last several weeks, I've been watching the Real Housewives of NYC.. and oh goodness, I have been bothered. There are two friends, that in previous seasons, were the best of best friends. During this past year, they had a major falling out and seemingly didn't address the issues, until one of them thought they were past the point of no return. I've watched this feeling like I know them (one of the reasons that my sweet hubby thinks I'm a little silly for watching), but come on, friends out there- Do you ever put your self in these situations? How many of us have disagreed with a close friend and wondered if forgiveness was an option. The TRUTH is written here- Mark 11:25-26
"If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins."

You see, when we are wronged, and we ALL have been at some point, we dwell on the hurt, the misunderstanding, the pain caused by someone we've trusted. What we forget in these times, is that at some point we have probably inflicted the same hurt or pain on someone else. The hurt usually seems so one-sided that we think we have the choice to not forgive what has been done to us. The Bible clearly says that we don't have that choice. We MUST forgive to have the Father forgive our sins. If you're like me, you are glad to know that there is grace for my missteps, my SIN. Let's face it... we are all in need of GRACE, the Son of God, and we should never take for granted all that we have been forgiven!

I recently had a friend come back into my life, after a time where I will admit that I held on to a grudge. I can't really tell you where she was with her process of forgiveness, but I know that I held onto my end for way too long. We reconnected and I was so blessed by her friendship. It was good to remember what made us friends, initially and to recount the great times that we had shared. The forgiveness helped us move forward and opened the door for us to rebuild a great friendship.

Always remember what brought you together, what made you friends.. it was something special. Measure someone else by the same measure that you'd hope to be measured. We must remember that we're all human, we all hurt others at some point, and we ALL need to be forgiven at some point. Most of all remember that Jesus died to forgive us and we hadn't even sinned yet. Yet, He made to ultimate sacrifice and cleared the slate.

PS.. in my wildest dreams, maybe those two NYC Housewives will read this and rethink their friendship. A girl can hope, can't she?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deep Thoughts On A Snowy Day

I'm sitting here at my desk with a fresh cup of coffee.. honestly, I should be doing something a little more productive. Have you ever had so much on your mind that you really couldn't focus on all those things on your list? Believe me, right now, there is so much to be done that I don't know where to begin. Dan and I have some big decisions ahead of us, but I've talked to lots of my friends and it seems as though many people are in that same boat right now. Along with decisions, there seems to come the struggle with keeping peace, joy, and grace in our outlook. Yesterday, I had the thought.."Too bad you can't buy the fruit of the Spirit at Target." (Target has everything else, doesn't it) Silly, I know, but I wish it were that easy. Reality is that you just can't find love, joy, peace, patience and all of those other qualities on Aisle 3 at Target.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 AMP
Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace (the peace of His kingdom) at all times and in all ways [under all circumstances and conditions, whatever comes]. So my realization was that peace really is that easy, it's reaching up, and accepting what God has already given us. What I need to do is simply set aside my cares, fears, and needs..then just let the peace of God fill my heart. One of the most amazing things that I have discovered is that when you start walking in just one of these gifts, when you accept what is already provided by our Heavenly Father.. then all of the other things come right along. His Word tell us that He has given us HIS peace at all times for all circumstances. So I remind myself that He sees my needs, He knows what I need, He knows every single care in my life.. AND, God has every answer. Waiting can be the hard part, but choosing to stay at peace, not fretting that God won't hear my prayers.. but rather trusting and remembering that Numbers 23:19 says- God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man, changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through? Yes, He will come through .. and until then, I'm off to tackle that list!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Words Like Honey

My morning devotions spoke straight to my heart this morning. As I was reading, this verse jumped off the page to me.. Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body." WOW.. how did the Lord know that I've been struggling with words coming out of my mouth that aren't.. um, so much like honey and more like vinegar?? You see, lately, I have been overwhelmed by the circumstances in my life. I know that God is bigger than my circumstances, but I have allowed myself to let the circumstances weigh on my heart and the result has not been pretty. Someone very close to me asked me a few nights ago, "Have you heard yourself lately? You're complaining about everything?" Ouch! Thing sad thing was, that yes, I did realize that I had been letting any and everything get to me and I WAS complaining about all of it!!

I had already made the decision to consider everything that I spoke.. but how gentle and gracious our Heavenly Father is to us. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb...yes, they are! Today, I will choose to let my words be sweet and words that bless, encourage, and I choose to be grateful. This is an act of faith, because you see, my circumstances haven't changed, but the attitude of my heart has!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The year 2009 came to an very unexpected end for my family. We were not mentally prepared for the attack that came, we didn't see it coming... but one thing was certain- We were SPIRITUALLY prepared. You see, as a child, my parents made decision to "Train me up in the way I should go". I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Christian school and we were a part of a great church. Church and school were not the only two places where the foundation of my faith was laid. My mom and dad lived a life of faith, morality, and walked a close walk with God. They showed me how to not just say I was a Christian, but rather they built a relationship with Christ. We've all heard- You don't just need religion, you need a relationship. The difference to me between these two is that religion can just be words, but a relationship with Christ requires effort, communion, and interaction. All of that said... Mom and Dad taught and showed me how to have faith. Faith.. the hope/belief of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 says- The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.

The last 35 days have been a true test of that faith. We have watched my mom struggle to recover from a vicious attack on her body. The enemy was underhanded and attacked her brain. My thought is that he knew her mind held so much of the Word of God, so much that she had studied.. but what the enemy didn't know was that MY MOM didn't just store the Word in her head, she stored it in her heart, in her spirit. Although the last month has been a struggle for her to recovery, it is very evident that her faith is still there, still strong, and pushing her through.

A month before all of these events, I was praying and asked the Lord to meet a certain need. He told me.. "I will meet this need, but you must remember to have faith that I will do what I say that I will and leave NO room for doubt." I thought.. that sounds simple enough. Faithful to His Word, God answered that initial prayer that I had prayed. Then when my dad called to say that my mom had been taken to the hospital, the phrase-Leave no room for doubt, came back to me. So many of our family and friends have stood so graciously with us, praying and believing that God would restore Mom's health and heal her wounds (Jeremiah 30:17). But I want to say, it's not just this promise that has held my faith.. there are teachers, children's church workers, pastors and of course, my parents that took the time to teach me that God is faithful to what His Word says. He will make this crooked path straight.. He hears my prayers and He WILL heal my mom.

So remember, whether you're a parent or teacher, or whatever door opportunity to plant a seed of faith in a child's heart.. you might not see that flower bloom today, but knows when they'll need it and your labor is not in vain! Lay a strong foundation of faith for your family because you never know when that faith will seemingly rise up and carry you ALL through.