Wednesday, March 13, 2019

50 Things I've Learned in 50 Years

Well, I cannot believe it. Fifty years old. I started blogging so long ago, with very different intentions. Primarily as a means to journal my memories of motherhood. Then it turned into sharing what I was learning in life and from the Word, and well today, perhaps this post is a culmination of all of that. Since on March 24th I will have lived for half of a century. So let's talk wisdom. I'm not sure I'm all that wise, or at least as wise as all the gray hair I'm hiding would have you believe, but I have learned some things that may or may not be worth remembering or sharing. Nonetheless, these are things I've passed down to my children as they are about to enter adulthood. Things I feel are important. My personal "proverbs" if you will. are 50 nuggets of wisdom I've learned in the past 50 years (not in any particular order of importance). That's a lot of 50 in one sentence.

My qualifications for this post. :) 
  1. Some things matter, most things do not. Focus on the things that do.
  2. Do not complain - encourage!
  3. Jesus is the only one we have to please. If we do that well, we've pleased all the right people.
  4. Be genuine. Do not say things on social media to make people believe all is wonderful in your world only to be living a lie behind closed doors. (No need to air dirty laundry out there either.) Refer to # 2. If you have nothing to say that is truthful and encouraging - don't say it at all. 
  5. Read every day. Choose wisely, make it edifying to your spirit.
  6. Be quiet. Be modest in your words.
  7. Listen carefully.
  8. Your opinion is just that. Facts are facts.
  9. Holy Spirit will tell you how to live, how to eat and how to succeed. Listen to Him and allow others to listen to Him too. He doesn't need us to be little holy spirits to other people. 
  10. Do not entertain other people's drama. Stay out of it.
  11. Be careful who you share your personal life with.
  12. Pray every day, multiple times a day and pray in the Spirit.
  13. Read your Bible. It's your map to living.
  14. Be picky about who is speaking into your life.
  15. You can not have 500 best friends, but you CAN be the best friend to whomever you are with in that moment.
  16. Go to church. Get over your hangups and be a part of a local body. No body is perfect - but Jesus is and it's His church.
  17. Love deeply. Hug someone every day. It's important.
  18. Don't wallow in self pity - instead pray for someone else, or go be kind to someone.
  19. Give generously. Bless somebody every day in some way.
  20. Serve with a happy heart.
  21. Smile - it's contagious. (Cry if you need to, of course, we all need to cry sometimes too.)
  22. Be grateful - write down what you're grateful for.
  23. If you must vent - vent to the person you know will move you to the next place and will run to the cross with you. 
  24. Laughing is really important. If you're not laughing every day, find a child - they know how make you laugh. 
  25. Speaking of #24, learn to laugh at yourself, that's equally as important.
  26. Call your parents, grandparents or mentor in your life and tell them you were thinking of them. 
  27. Beware of judging others, you wouldn't want to be judged. Besides that, only God can be the judge.
  28. Exercise if you can. (I know its hard - I'm not all that good at it - but I know it's important).
  29. Bake cookies. NO I'm just kidding about this one. BUT be creative in some have it in you.
  30. Journal. It's for you and for the person that finds what you've written 50 years from now.
  31. Do not hold a grudge or take offence. Life has too many precious moments that need to be captured that you will miss if you take offence. (besides this grieves the Lord and pleases the enemy.)
  32. Take pictures (or draw if you can) of God's beautiful creations.
  33. Listen to a teenager.
  34. Take care of your body - it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (I'm a work in progress too)
  35. Remember grace. It's been freely given to you, thus it should be freely given from you as well.
  36. Music. Play it, write it, sing it, dance to it, listen to it. But again, like what you read, it should edify you in some be picky. What you put in - will affect you.
  37. Do not make decisions based on emotions. (trust me)
  38. Pray for wisdom and patience. Do not believe the tale that if you pray for patience you will be given trials. The truth is trials exist anyway - so pray for wisdom and patience. 
  39. Make personal declarations. (Use the Word of God - its the best - "I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength!")
  40. Do not let your life get so busy that you forget how to relax. Even if you are busy with great things, everyone needs time to relax and refresh.
  41. In light of #40 - it is okay to say....NO. (If the person or thing that you say no to understands #31 it will all be good.) But say YES whenever you can without compromising #40. (It's a fine balance. :)
  42. Commit. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. When you are invited to something just say yes or no - don't wait to see if "something better comes along". Then be faithful in what you've committed to (this is so important).
  43. Leave the scent of joy behind whenever you leave (a conversation, a place...). Don't be high maintenance. 
  44. Stop being so critical. That's the wrong spirit. If you see that you could possibly help something run more smoothly or you have an idea to help make something even better, if you have an open dialog perhaps make the suggestion with tact. But do not assume the other person wants your advice. There is a difference between being helpful and being critical. Think we...not me.
  45. There is a difference between being proud and being prideful. Watch out.
  46.  Do not tell someone "Shame on you!" People deal with enough shame...use different words to get your point across. We are aiming for "Shame off of you!"
  47. If you are married, kiss your husband/wife every day.
  48. Make eye contact with people. Children and teens really need this.
  49. When you are out with family or friends, keep your cell phone in your pocket.
  50. Remember forgiveness. To whom much is given, much is required.
I read this to my family and they have assured me this is my heart and that it wasn't the first time they've heard me say these very things. These are just some of the things I have found that have stuck with me, that mean something to me. We may not be perfect at all 50 of these things all the time, but I do believe in every single one and strive to accomplish them in my life. I absolutely love turning 50. Best year ever! I'm so thankful and am so excited for the many more years I have left to enjoy it with my family and friends. Blessings to you and yours and Thank you for indulging this very long post.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Doing A New Thing

Lake Bled, Slovenia.
 One of my most favorite places I have visited this year.
Great image of reflection.
Reflecting on the past year, there have been plenty of moments that were exciting, devastating, wonderful and painful. Isn't that like most years? For me personally, I have so much to be thankful for. I traveled to places I never knew I would see in person, I struggled with my iron saturation and thyroid, I had 4 major surgeries (3 of them in 30 days), I started a new business, I have one son driving (which shockingly increased my already stretched financial situation so much more than I had expected). I have hugged friends and family who have lost husbands and children. I have seen God come through in miraculous ways financially for my family and so much more. So you see, so much to be thankful for.

Going into 2018 I am expecting major breakthroughs in my life personally and for my family as well. Two verses that the Lord has placed on my heart for this coming year. But before I share those, I do feel like I experienced Isaiah 43:1-3 "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God , the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;" I think that sums up 2017.

For 2018, I find the Lord whispering to my heart some verses later in that same chapter of Isaiah. Verse 19: "See I am doing a new thing? Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, streams in the wasteland." This is the Engel's year of Breakthrough - breakthrough in our finances, breakthrough in our health, our home, our family dreams and desires and our faith! I'm so excited! So Breakthrough - that's the main word for me in 2018. The other is Restoration.
This is a bracelet I was given by a friend for Christmas.
It's called the Restoration Bracelet from Trades of Hope.
Deuteronomy 30:3 says "God, your God will restore everything you lost, He'll have compassion on you, He'll come back and pick up all the pieces from all the places where you were scattered." I do believe what the enemy has tried to steal or has stolen, we will get back double fold. Both relationships and finances specifically but not limited to just those two of course. So I start my year off with great expectation. Some may say, why would you have expectations...they may be dashed, you may be disappointed. NO, not true. I go back to faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen. You can't have faith without some expectation. (Expectation is defined as "a strong belief that something will the future.") Besides that, I'm expecting the Lord to work on my behalf. I'm just believing Him at His own word. He has NEVER EVER let me down! Sure, things didn't turn out exactly as I had thought - but I always know He has my best interest at heart. He loves me. I'm undeserving, but He loves me.

He loves you. You are undeserving, but He loves you. There is not one thing you could do to make Him love you more...or less. You do not have to work at being good or perfect. You don't have to check off some this of things that you do for Him to love you more. Just believe Him. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that "without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone that comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

So let's just seek Him this new year. I just want to be in the center of His will. No placed I would rather be!! Have a blessed New Year friends!

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'll Be There Tomorrow

Five years ago, 2012, I wrote this piece, "What Do You Call an Old Chicken?"  it marked the beginning of this part of my journey. Then in 2015, I was still parked in the middle of Menopause Lane, right smack in the middle of peri-menopause and I wrote this: "Private Pain".  Boy I needed to reread that again today. I know it's been almost exactly a year since I've blogged anything. I am conflicted when it comes to this forum, because I really need to be getting my book published (another one of those things I know I should have done YEARS ago)..I've stopped asking why. However, when I'm struggling with something, and I need a revelation, it often comes when I begin to write. Something tells me that typing is going to be way faster this morning. OK Lord....I need a revelation.

Well, tomorrow two surgeons are going to work together and I'm going to be having  a....(are you sitting down, I'm about to impress you with this medical mumbo jumbo) Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy with Bilateral Oophorectomy along with a Cholecystectomy.  Layman's terms: I'm getting my uterus and ovaries removed and leaving behind my cervix, then I will be getting my gall bladder removed as well. About 6-8 small incisions on my abdomen and over 560 internal stitches.

Back in February of this year I had a different doctor, she, at the very last minute (like the day before my surgery was scheduled) changed her mind and told me she was afraid to do the hysterectomy and instead gave me an ablation. The ablation, sadly didn't work, not even for one month. I've been having to get monthly iron infusions and this surgery has been a long time coming.

SO why am I emotional this morning? 

Possibly because I've seen some beautiful young women give birth this week, my babies are all growing up and I also spoke to a dear young woman who lost her second baby this week. I can't believe that 26 years ago I had a woman lay hands on my womb and tell me that the Lord wanted her to pray for me. I never knew the journey it would be for me to conceive and give birth. 10 years of infertility treatments, 14 babies in Heaven waiting for me, the greatest joys in my world are still sleeping down the hall.....and NOW I'm about to lose that womb and jump directly into menopause.

I've had endometriosis, fibroids, 100s of cysts on my ovaries, have bled all over myself and other peoples homes despite the enormous amount of protection, I've had severe pain, I'm anemic because of this and have suffered tremendously in this past year because of anemia and thyroid condition combined. IT IS TIME - I'M EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!  I really am...I'm not sure why I'm crying.

This morning in my chair I cried to Jesus. He loves me you know. He understands my hormonal mind, my womanhood, my tears,  he doesn't mind when I cry on his shoulder. Really what this entire journey (infertility and peri menopause) has taught me is that NO ONE but Jesus can really comfort your soul. Have you ever needed to be reminded of something you have said yourself? I cannot be the only one. Well, even if I am I'm okay with that. SO here I go:

Lisa, you are a child of God, take comfort in the knowledge that it is who you are the inside that matters to Him. (Prov. 31:30) You shouldn't fear the aging process.  You have the assurance that God's grace is sufficient to get you  through whatever life throws at us. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2nd Corinthians 12:9. Remember Lisa, you find your peace at the foot of the cross.

Am I afraid of the surgery. NOPE! Well, I don't look forward to that gas pain everyone keeps telling me about. The gallbladder coming out and figuring out what I can eat and cannot eat isn't too exciting either, but I have NO FEAR!

I truly think for me today, it is that I loved all things about being pregnant (and I had some very tumultuous stories too), but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love my uterus. Even though it has caused me pain and suffering - it held my babies...all of them. I miss babies. I do. I miss that smell and feeling that comes from holding your own baby and that comfort that only a mommy can bring to their baby. ::sigh:: I know I will never give birth again, and I really don't want to, but for some reason, I guess a little part of me feels like "Gosh, I'm finally here at this place and there is no turning back to what's familiar." Isn't that like us. WOW. STOP!

WHOA! Now there's my revelation. God has great things in store for me. The children of Israel looked back in their trying times and thought slavery in Egypt was better than their journey to the promise land. NOPE! I'm not going there. I want my promise land. God has been so good to me. He's granted me the desire of my heart and now it is time to take back my health. I am excited about tomorrow and I'm believing God for a quick recovery and little to no hormonal symptoms. Either way...He's got me! I think I'm ready for my day to begin.  Tomorrow, surgery, menopause, new life, new beginnings, health....I'm ready as I'll ever be.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Little Girls In My Life

In a world of all boys, I have always appreciated all the wonderful women in my life. The Lord has blessed me with rich friendships with many wonderful women, young and....seasoned. Women I can sit and learn from, women who when we are together can sharpen each other's iron, women who share in my emotions, women who make me come out of my shell and make me laugh, women whom I've been able to wrap my arm around and mentor...all these women...such a blessing in my life. Friendships that I treasure and that are necessary for my personal growth.

Teenage girls are just as beneficial to my life you know. They may get a bad rap sometimes, but they are treasures that are finding themselves and growing up into the women God created them to be. They need us as much as we need them. It's true!! The opportunities I get to spend with teenage or young adult some of the most inspiring times of my life. I can ALWAYS see the potential and will always remind them of their future...which is so open and bright and beautiful! The picture of their life is still to be painted and they are about to begin that process!! It is most exciting.

However, I do believe that it is just as necessary to have some little girls in my life as well. Little girls remind you of the "you" deep inside. The little girl free to be and create and to dance. The little girl that has the natural ability to nurture, love and be the princess she was created to be.

I've been equally blessed to have some little girls in my life. I couldn't get pictures of all of them on my blog, but these two are quite special. The little girl (who isn't so little any more) above just holds such a special place in my heart. She is my baking partner. She loves me and all my quirky ways in the kitchen. It is rare to be with her where we don't dream of what we should bake. She recently sat me down and showed me her incredible doll house. Oh I just wanted to love for her is so big! Her innocence, compassion and genuine love for others...oozes out of her every pore. I want to be just like her. When I am with her, she makes ME feel like a princess. When I walk into her home or she mine...she is so quick to wrap her arms around me...first thing. OH my heart swells just thinking about her. SEE...I need little girls in my life.

Then there is the privilege I have of teaching preschool at my church once a month. These little girls are just reminders of who God made us to be. This precious one in the picture below I have the honor of seeing her at church but also, her Mom and I homeschool together - so I get to see her during the week too. She is such a sweet and special love! The best part of teaching preschool or volunteering in children's ministry is when they see you outside of the classroom and they run up to you in the hall way and wrap their precious little arms around your leg or if tall enough your waist!!! Seriously....there is nothing better than that! I feel like the little girls in my life are such gifts - true treasures!!  (consider volunteering to be blessed by the children in your church)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my boys! I love little boys too!! I'm a boy could I not? I'm all about playing the damsel in distress or making zooming noises as we race cars, or jump on trampolines, throw the football, shoot some hoops are even play an occasional video game! I'm all about it!! I LOVE my guys!  But honestly my boys could never have braided my hair. (I did get a few tea parties and even some doll house playing when my youngest was in preschool. ::smile big::)

Instead I have gotten this...and have loved it just the same

Please understand that nothing can or will ever take the place of moments like this:

But there is just something about the little girls in my life that remind me of this!
So I'm unapologetically appreciative of the the little girls in my life. They teach me so much - thank you Lord for these adorable little treasures....these little girls! Keep them coming Lord...please!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Speak In Psalms

I've been studying the Holy Spirit lately. It's an incredible journey, learning to listen careful and following the leading of the Holy Spirit. One of the things we are asked to do is to speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. So on occasion in my quiet time I ask the Holy Spirit just to lead my pen on the page in my journal. I turn the page and quiet my spirit...and allow the Holy Spirit freedom to write.  I know it encouraged my heart and then I thought it says to do it to one another. So here it is...perhaps it is not only to encourage me...perhaps it is meant for another as well.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20
Here it is.

As I walk in the wonder of my spirit. I am drawn to you oh Lord. I am made aware of your very breath upon my face. Your presence Lord! Your sweet aroma.
Why Lord do I ever get up from this place? Why do I let my flesh creep up? Why do words of defeat escape my lips in moments of conflict?
I know the TRUTH and it has set me free. Praise you oh Lord for your grace and mercy. For being my teacher Holy Spirit, I am forever grateful. You are patient with me as I learn to remain in the Spirit, You pick me up when I stumble.
You have given me life. Your Word is my candle and light. Your Spirit is my counsel. You have given me the road map and have provided Emmanuel to show me the way. I never walk alone.
I will continue to abide in you as I know you also abide in me. I have all authority in Christ Jesus to conquer my flesh. For I am Spirit first with a soul in a body. Soul and body must be trained by the Word of God. Thank you for Your Word. May it forever be upon my lips. Amen and Amen.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Making Memories Around the World

I've got my journal, my passport and some books!
It starts with a dream. Well, it starts with believing God at His word and understanding your identity in Christ. Then it takes a step of faith to believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. (No trying to figure it out - as you will see - it doesn't always happen the way you expect.) So that's where my journey begins.  Believing God!

What does His word say about me and His plans for me! I declare scripture over my life every morning! I must....because my mind is prone to wander and doubt - but my spirit presses me to "seek first His Kingdom". Do I believe His Word to be true - all of it? If so, then why wouldn't God fulfill these scriptures in my life? HE WILL! We are Abraham's heirs after all!

Then, everyone has heard of vision boards. Basically, it revolves around the idea of the "Law of Attraction." Proverbs 23:7 says "For as he thinks in his heart, so he is.." It's about Habakkuk 2

 "And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by." Habakkuk 2:2 [Amp.]
My vision board - entitled...Because He Loves Me!

This post really isn't about vision boards, its about one small picture in the board...the one that says..."I want to make memories around the world..." I expect that all these things on my board are desires that the Lord has put on my we will address others throughout the years.

I sat with my cousin at lunch one day (a few weeks after the completion of my vision board). She recently lost her husband to Parkinson's and she stood by her husband of 40 years and cared for him and loved him for these last years on earth as this disease took his life. Incredible story of love and dedication. Jim and Ilene have been a part of my life since I was a little girl. As time drifted and my life took me from one parent to another and one state to another, we lost touch, until I moved to Florida 13 years ago. We've been close ever since. When my cousin's husband passed away she expressed her interest in enjoying the years she had left. She loves to travel and has been to many places around the world. Her words to me at lunch will ring in my heart forever. "I want to travel, but I want to travel with you...I want to show you the world Lisa!"

What? She wants to make memories...with me! I'm so glad my heart was prepped by believing I am who God says I am! I'm humbled beyond belief, and excited just the same. Lord, really...I'm going to make memories around the world?

Here is our first overseas adventure....a Viking River Cruise along the Danube River.

Our itinerary!

I've got my journal, some books on the places we will go and see. I've already begun reading about Slovenia and am learning some key phrases in the language as well as its history. I've got a year to also study (and I will be studying) about Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Linz, Passau and Prague.  I'm writing the key things I learn through my research in my journal....(words/phrases, history, landmarks, places to see, food to try, things to do...) 

Our first stop...Ljubljana, Slovenia - be still my heart
And I will be blogging about my world adventures while I'm there, taking pictures, going live, and skyping my family. What about my family? Oh, well, they have some incredible adventures to look forward to as well. They will not be coming on this trip - but there will be trips, I'm sure of it. 

I hope you will want to join me here (feel free to subscribe to this blog - see along the right side of this page where it says "subscribe" or up a little further where it says to follow if you are a blogger as well) to see and learn about all the different places I will be going. The Lord has already revealed in my heart that I will have opportunity to sow seed and to be a light, all while enjoying the beauty of a world I've never laid eyes on.  I'm so excited to spend this time alone with my cousin - we will indeed be making memories around the world. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Silent Pain Brought to Light

Kyle, Brendan and Shane

As if the transformation from boy to man isn't difficult enough, add on the social pressures, hormonal changes, and well meaning parents and it's the making of a perfect storm.

(This post was shared with Kyle prior to my posting.)

This isn't going to be an easy post, but I feel strongly that I have a small voice and if I can help someone else....well,  you understand. This has been, hands down the most difficult year of Kyle's life. As most know, Kyle is my son who was diagnosed at 3 years old with PDD-NOS (a spectrum disorder). Recently the Lord has been revealing His Word to me as it relates to our body, mind and spirit. The Lord brought to my memory today of words I've spoken in the past - words that both Kyle and I had to reread. Here is that post - He's My Superhero.

This past year Kyle has been under certain torment. Imagine the square peg in a round hole. He was finding it easier to be "himself" among people that do not know him, that can not see him, and that only know him by the words he types on a screen. So as a parent you see a pull to this environment, you naturally want to limit his exposure because after all, "these people aren't really your friends Kyle," you don't really know who they are...they are...words typed on a screen.

So, I may not know everything there is to know about all things techy, but that is why I work extra hard to be sure I'm on and in everything my kids do. They know that with every device they have - I have the ability to access it at any given time. That's the way its done around here. I had a parent tell me that their child would not appreciate knowing that I can look at a chat that they're involved in. Well, sorry - pick up the telephone and chat the old fashioned way...I'm not listening to phone calls. We all need accountability....and they are all minors. Anyway, with that said I had read some of the most beautiful words written by my son to others in this building game that he plays. His heart for people astounds me. His heartfelt prayers for people....I know it is kind of a ministry for him. However, he was getting lost in that world. I had to help bring him back.

We went to counseling and he was/is loved by his counselor. She adores him. Kyle will tell you, he had so much anger pent up inside of him. He would lash out, uncontrollably. We started not to recognize him at all.

Mike and I tried to help him by showing him different ways to handle himself. In the most loving way a parent can, we would try to help Kyle "change" so he could perhaps be more socially accepted. We didn't understand. An example would be, Kyle had this "thing" where he would want to give everyone a high five but at the last minute move his hand so you would miss. Okay, not bad right? Well, not the first 20 times, but after a while we kept thinking, everyone is going to get so tired of this. Or his crazy dancing that he would do - people may think that is odd or goofy. So we would suggest, "hey buddy, why don't you try to mix it up a bit, surprise people, shake their hand instead." Things like that. We would try to give him alternatives. Different ways to help him, so he didn't "stand out" because he was different. We just wanted him to feel loved by others. We wanted him to feel accepted, like he had friends. We were afraid that kids were not wanting to be around him. He didn't want to go to co-op, church anywhere...he just wanted to stay home and be with his online friends.  We were just trying to get him to hold back on the things we interpreted as "unusual behavior" or "awkward".

All the while, not understanding what was happening, we were trying to squeeze this very special peg in to a box that he wasn't ever meant to fit into. Well, that's painful isn't it. When the counselor said to us, "You are probably the only people who think Kyle has to change, everybody else in that youth group, or co-op or anyone that knows Kyle is not expecting Kyle to be any different." I wept and wept. My son, who was tired of living, who told me it would be better if he were not alive and if he went to be with Jesus. My boy who smiles and makes people around him smile, was dying on the inside...and the people who love him the most were just trying to make him into something he was not. As if what he is...wasn't enough. OUCH!

He is enough. He is perfect. He is a teenage boy, with a sense of humor, a style of his own. He is this child who marches to the beat of his own drum. The same boy who drew this 5 years ago...
So, as the video shows below shows, we have embraced Kyle's uniqueness. We actually try to remember to encourage it. In this we were at a coffee house and it was 80s night. My boy got up and danced his own special dance and people just came out and joined him. He was on top of the world. So we did what any proud parents would do..we cheered him on (even though it reminded me of some 80s version of jazzercise). We laughed, clapped and cheered and it was FUN! When we got in the car that night he said, "The best part about this night was when I heard you guys cheering me on - that made me feel awesome." Lesson learned! So, we love our Kyle so much. He's going through some serious stuff, I would rather have crazy Kyle, the Kyle that God created, the one that was chosen and who is greatly loved, holy, a child of God than a boy who doesn't know who he is.

Parenting. It's not for wimps. He still has limitations on his technology, I still try to encourage other avenues of entertainment. He had a life altering encounter with the Holy Spirit while he was away at camp with our church youth group. He went up for prayer for a broken heart and he came back whole! He feels like he has friends at church now, brothers. He knows what the Lord has done for him. He wants to share his story with others. He even asked if I thought he could be a youth pastor. Ummm....YES!! I have always believed Kyle was special and unique and that God created him for greatness. I got a little lost in the every day teenage hormonal storm, but I'm standing strong now. It's not easy...I'm a human being...but every single day I rely on the Holy Spirit to get me through. I am working on "supernatural parenting" as our youth pastor would call it. I'm thankful for those that have supported us during this time, this very silent time. I encourage you, do not make the mistakes we've made. Just like Kyle never wanted anyone to ever know he spoke of suicide, we never wanted anyone to know the anguish and level of discontent we were living with either. When you put that stuff in the light, the enemy loses his power. Find people you can trust, people you know will storm Heaven on your behalf. People who will speak life over your family and over you. People who will put you in your place and tell you what is what. I'm so thankful. Kyle is still going through puberty, he still struggles with many things. No question. But I see a huge change in him. I see him trying to get past the limitations his disorder has claimed in his life. We now declare over him what God's word says. Autism Spectrum Disorder...its got nothing over my boy! He is created in the image of God, whole and perfect with a destiny that will astonish the next generation!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Being Intentional

I'm working on being intentional about everything that's important to me right now. I've been studying on how to be lead by the Holy Spirit. I want to be lead in every way, in every area of my life. I told the Lord I want to be your student - teach me. So I must invite the Holy Spirit into all the areas of my life that I want to be lead in. My home, my marriage, my schooling, my parenting, my ministry, my business (yes I'm still doing Juice Plus), my dreams and goals all of it!

Slow down. Let's take one thing at a time. Suddenly, I've picked up my "pen" and started "journaling" again. (I place that in quotes because I mean "put my fingers to the keys and starting blogging again" - I journal almost every single day with an actual pen.) I use to blog regularly. I have taken time off, I get caught up in having to "educate" or "entertain", but my original plan for this site was simply to capture moments in my life and save them. If I can be a blessing along the way...Praise the Lord!! (I've got some huge dreams coming to I can't wait to share!)

So what's new? Well, today I'm gonna write about my superheros! (Afterall, that is why I started this blog to begin with.) Oddly enough, my children, my teenagers, asked why I haven't written about them recently. I found that so strange coming from the children that wouldn't allow me to take a picture of them at age 13. Same children who said I should be "very careful on social media."

So here we are Shane, age 13, Brendan and Kyle age 15. Brendan (10th grade) has his learner's permit and is presently dual enrolled at our local college. What? How? When? I know...please...I know all too well. Kyle (9th grade) has had the most difficult transition of all (I promise I will touch upon this as well - for all my special needs parents - I will share what I'm learning - and mistakes I've made in the journey), however he is having such a great school year (only day 2 but hey...we'll take what we can get). I see such great potential and changes in him. Shane, well, as much as I've tried to keep this child my baby...I'm afraid he's grown up despite my efforts. Presently in 8th grade and as fun and funny as ever.

Being intentional about homeschooling. I've done this every year since I pulled Brendan out of school and homeschooled him in 1st grade. As I sat in the van after dropping my young 15 year old, my introverted sophomore, my sweet, self motivated, encourager, my precious treasure of a son....(sorry I digress) to take his PERT exams (college placement tests) I cried a million tears.

WHY? Because at that very moment I heard the words of Brendan's kindergarten teacher say to me in a quiet voice at the grocery store...."Have you ever thought about homeschooling? If you did....your son could soar! He wouldn't have to be "placed in the bubble", he could work at his pace and go full speed ahead!"

Well I brought him home and often times I thought about what she had said and didn't really exactly know what she meant. How do I let him soar? How do I let him...."get ahead"? Does it mean do more chapters in a day...take two math tests a week? I never understood.  Then there he was - at the college - enrolling in two classes for the fall. He will graduate (like many before him) with a high school education and an AA Degree and transfer to the 4 year institution of our choice by the time he is 18. This is his chance to SOAR!  Who knew?  I'm so proud of him! it's not super easy to just let him go. He's been under my wings for a long time. He is my little rock...but as I've been memorizing Psalm 91...I know that God will cover him with His feathers and under HIS wings he will find refuge. His faithfulness will be Brendan's shield and rampart. THAT has been my job, my real job from the beginning of parenthood - planting that seed in him and watching the Lord do the rest - for such a time as this.

Being intentional is paying off!

Until next time.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hope Incarnate - My Anchor

Yesterday I revealed that my word for 2016 is Hope. In light of that I want to meditate on that daily. In a commentary that I read this morning it said that our hope enters the inner sanctuary, behind the curtain. That's the little room that symbolized the very presence of God, but people were not allowed to enter it. But HOPE can.

You see our hope, Christian hope is not exhausted by what it sees of earthly possibilities. It reaches into the very presence of God. It has nothing to do with what is going on in the world, or our lives at this moment. It has everything to do with penetrating right into the holiest place, the inner sanctum of God's presence where it anchors itself to HOPE incarnate.

I love the verse in Hebrews 6:19 "We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain."

That's where my hope is resting right now. In Jesus Christ...Hope incarnate. Listen, when God gives His word, He cannot lie. Your hope, my hope therefore cannot be misplaced if it is in is anchored!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The First Crisp Page

"May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you." Psalm 25:21

Hope. For a whole year that is all I studied so I could teach about it in Women's Ministry. I've been praying about what my focus word from the Lord will be this year. Last year it was revelation. I believe this year, 2016, it will be HOPE.

Hope means so much to me. It is so much more than a wish. I am aware that Hope is the person of Christ. In this we must know that HOPE thrives on a daily watering of the Word of God, of prayer and shared experience with others who have received hope. Think about how important it is to share the hope in your heart with others and how you feel when others share with you. Yes.

Hope looks at everything that is true about right now, lifts the circumstances of life in to the very capable hands of God and then breathes the breath of trust.

Hope makes it possible to live firmly grounded, yet allows our hearts and minds to soar in believing in the supernatural vision that God births in us.

It's a brand new year. It's like a crisp page in a brand new journal like the one above. I still had room in my old journal from yesterday, but I wanted to start on a new page, in a new journal.

So this morning, I picked up my pen on this first day of the 2016. I am aware that this year will hold unexpected joys and sorrows, moments of faith and fear, mountains and valleys. There is plenty of unknown that we face in the beginning of this journal, in the beginning of this year. What will the pages hold?

However there is much we can count on with absolute confidence in this coming year. We can count on the fact that God is in control and that His heart is good and merciful towards us. We can be assured that we will NEVER be alone. We can be confident that the Lord knows the plans He has for us and that they are good, plans of prosperity, protection, a HOPE and a future. We can know without any doubt that we are loved with an everlasting love. We can be assured that no matter what we write on the crisp clean pages of this new year, the Lord will NEVER disappoint and He has this way of bringing beauty from ashes.

So HOPE! Hope in Him! Hope in the future He has for you! Today we begin to write the new chapter in our lives, on this first crisp page of His Story in us.

Happy New Year...may everyday you see HOPE!

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Cracked Pot With A Crock Pot - Orange Chicken

Well I must be crazy. (I am a cracked pot after all - 2 Corinthians 4:7 - look it up!) I am known for my baking, but to be honest if I don't see another cookie for a long long time, I'll be ok. Really. It's hard to be in the health and wellness business and only be showing pictures of powdered sugar and chocolate chips. This holiday season was absolutely wonderful, and I believe I made a lot of people smile with my baked goods. My son says, all those people are going to need to participate in our Shake Off The Holiday Pounds Challenge now. (Including myself!). (If you're interested...let me know...we have an incredible plant based shake..and we're offering a $250 reward for the winner.)

I own my own health and wellness business. That's right...I really push fruits and veggies. Juice Plus! You can check it out my website here!

For 2016, I'm not only going to get back on track with my diet/exercise/health, I'm going to try to expand my talent to helping my husband make dinner....he's a busy guy too.

I'm a wife & homeschool mom (my first job), a business owner, a football mom, a piano mom, a youth group mom....(these are just the wife/mom things I do...we won't go into Bible studies, preschool teaching, church attendance....) SO I need to organize my meal times a bit better. I will be out 4 out of 7 nights at least. It is so easy to get caught in the trap of "grabbing a bite" because we're in a rush. When we do this we sacrifice two and nutrition. I can't afford to sacrifice either of those on the altar of "stop at the store and pick up XY so we can have a quick pasta meal" or whatever. NOPE! Not gonna do it.

SO for 2016 my goal is to make at least one crock pot meal a week....and try to keep it healthy"ish" and delicious enough to please the palates of my people! I will most likely start blogging it in my kitchen blog. Krypton's Kitchen. So stay tuned.

For today I will share what I made right here. It was a show stopper! I had to adjust the original recipe for a family of 5 (4 of them men...3 of them going through puberty)

Orange Chicken
2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup of Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce
1 cup of Smucker's Orange Marmalade
2 Tbsp. of soy sauce

Brown rice

Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours. (That's it, you don't have to do anything else - no seasoning, no nothing. I'm serious! Mind blowing!!!)

After 3 hours take chicken out (drain the juice) and cut into cubes (I tried, it didn't work, it shredded - we loved it that way).

Place back into crock pot.

Mix together the barbecue sauce, marmalade and soy sauce and pour over the chicken and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes. 

I took that time to make some brown rice and broccoli. 

All done! According to My Fitness Pal app, this meal was 255 calories per serving (not including the rice and broccoli.) Not bad. (Little high on the sugar per serving - so if this is a problem this might not be good, but very low in fat).

It was delicious. The orange aroma spread through my home and it called to my people. Really! (Useless fact: The scent of orange makes people want to spend money. - that's what I read once - I don't think it works). :)

Well, I'll be looking for next week's crock pot meal and I'm willing to share if you're willing to read. See you next time in the Kitchen (Krypton's Kitchen).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Private Pain

I cannot believe it has been 3 years since I wrote the light hearted What Do You Call An Old Chicken. This was the absolute beginning of my journey. My journey to....

I'm presently still camped in the long stretch of Peri-Menopause. That is a real thing. Google it. I'm updating for two reasons; one, because it helps me to do some research and to write when I'm experiencing something and two, because I believe I have a voice (albeit a small one) and if I can help anyone else who is suffering from makes everything worth it.

Suffering. I don't want to be heavy, but this is actually more serious than you may think. Well it has been for me.  Three years ago when I was first diagnosed with classic symptomatic perimenopause, I had only a handful of symptoms. 

Let's say I presently have 8-9 from the left column and all 7 from the right plus a few others like (irregular heartbeat, and a sense of being overwhelmingly overwhelmed.)

These are so fun. You feel like you are on fire on the inside of your body and then it just oozes out of your pores. Best when it happens in the middle of the night and you wake up with the fan blowing your soaking wet self, sheets and pillows. 
For me the physical symptoms are not as bad as the emotional ones. To sum it up, I have cried/sobbed hard close to 3-4 times a week since September. I've run away 3 times (not getting very far), I have felt like my life was falling apart at the seams. I have kept this all inside for the most part. I have a couple friends who really know what I'm going through (and they have either gone through it or are experiencing some similar symptoms). I've confided in my husband...although it wouldn't surprise me if he recognized my symptoms before me.

Is this the same lady that wakes up in the morning, spends her time with the Lord, journals her prayers and believes God with supernatural faith? YES! One in the same. 

So that I'm not depressing you, I should put out there that I have serious thyroid issues too. When I was giving birth to my twins I lost over half of my body's blood, putting me into a coma for 4 days. I had 8 blood transfusions to help save my life. With those transfusions I inherited an antibody that ate my thyroid. I've been on medication since. Sadly, my numbers are so crazy out of whack..I'm sure this is just exacerbating the perimenopausal issue, so perhaps your journey will not look as bleak as mine.
Just look at how long that blue box is. We have to get through all of this first.

Ladies and gentlemen (if any read this) we need to be aware that when we are feeling this way (or when your wives are feeling this way) it is fertile ground for the enemy to attack. 

My husband told me that that's just what the enemy wants. He wants me to be alone like a wounded gazelle so he can devour me. I have totally felt alone and wounded...totally (but the toothless lion has yet to devour me - I'm thinking He despises the taste of the blood of Jesus - praise God!)

The truth is this is very private pain. I think its so private because we feel like we're going crazy and we don't want anyone to know it. SO if and when we can, (and that's a big if/when) we put on our happy face, suck it up and muddle through until we can get alone and cry again. I know it sound pathetic, believe me it feels pathetic, but it is really very real. 

SO now what? Well for me, I have options. I can go the medication route...and I have tried some of that. We can eat right, exercise and continue to stay on our face in prayer. I think it is important to remember some key things when we're in the middle of this. OK here is the part that I call therapy, the reason I'm writing this is first for myself remember. I don't have this mastered, I just got back from running away for 4 hours to the river first and then to a friend's house (today) where she promptly, prayed with me, then called an endocrinologist and an OBGYN.  SO I'm writing this for myself, and if you happen to be reading and need to be's for you too.

Encouragement #1 - although as you can see from the graph above, this process can take YEARS, but it will eventually end. My closest friends tell me - it is actually quiet wonderful when it does.

#2 - Because we are children of God, we can take comfort in the knowledge that it is who we are the inside that matters to Him. (Prov. 31:30) We shouldn't fear the aging process. 

#3 - We have the assurance that God's grace is sufficient to get us through whatever life throws at us. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2nd Corinthians 12:9

#4 - God will never leave us or forsake us! (Heb. 13:5)

#5 - Let's remember when we are feeling like we are unravelling - we need more than ever to take all of those anxieties to the Lord in prayer, seeking His wisdom and strength in order to overcome. (1 Peter 5:7)

#6 - If we're married, we should confide in our husband and communicate as best we can why we might be behaving erratically or why we suddenly cannot cope anymore. Listen, after 25 years of marriage as much as I don't like to accept the reality of it, husband's are NOT mind readers. God has the perfect design for marriage - and so if you are married, review that design in Eph. 5:25 and adhere as closely as possible to that.

#7 - If peace of mind is what you're after (and trust me we are) Philippians 4:6-7 says it best "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

#8 - Approach the throne with confidence and as often as needed! (Heb. 4:16)

#9 - Make Him your dwelling place, your refuge and He will command His angels concerning you... (Psalm 91:9-11) Running away to the river can help sometimes and/or to a friends house (I did both of these today), but be sure that your friend runs to the cross with you...because that is where I always find peace. 

Do we have to suffer in private pain? NO Do I sometimes still? YES However, I'm encouraged just by writing these scriptures down, because His Word is alive and active in me and it is TRUTH!! And we all know the truth sets us FREE!  Write down those scriptures ladies! And remember to bear with those who may be suffering in private pain - pray for them, don't be too hard on them, it will pass.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Remember with Peace Not Pain

October is an awareness month. We have Breast Cancer Awareness and Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness going on this month. I thought about it last night as I was lying in bed. When I lost my babies, there was no awareness month, yet I and those who walked that journey with me were aware every day...of every month. I'm glad there are awareness months. I have a son on the autism spectrum, I love to help educate others during Autism awareness month. Losing a pregnancy or a child, there is so much private pain, and it is so incredibly individual. To hear my story of the loss of my babies, I wrote a piece a few years ago called There is a Time For Everything. I hope you find hope and comfort in my experience and my words.

I love how many people I know have memorialized their babies in different ways. Some people have pictures, some have paintings, some have baby blankets, many have named their unborn children.... Not that we would ever forget, but there is something that happens in our hearts when we look at whatever it is that we have as a memorial. Something so endearing that it is almost impossible to find the words. You have to trust me on this.

My memorial of the loss of my 14 babies is this jar. This is a special jar, given to me by a special lady in my life after I lost my first two babies. Sadly, it is cracked and very delicate - yet it has endured the past 20+ years. In this jar are little shells, each shell representing one of my babies that now reside in Heaven. Interestingly enough, I can look at each one and remember the first 2 that I put in this jar so vividly. I actually remember placing each one in the jar, but for sure I remember what the first two look like. This jar is so special because at the top of it is a magnifying glass, so when you look into the jar, you can see the details of each shell, the uniqueness of each one. I think to myself, each of my babies were so unique, I'm sure so different in many ways, but as I look in the jar I know that my love for every single one is the same - so deep, so sincere, so emotional.

Do I look upon this with sadness each time. No. It is not because I am presently raising 3 teenage boys right here on earth. I know this because throughout the 10 years that I lost these children to Heaven, I had to slowly fill the jar and I remember being comforted by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." Psalm 34 (indeed He was). "There is a season for every activity under the Heavens, a time to be born and a time to die..."  Ecc. 3 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 4:11 

I know my babies were created for His Glory (Rev. 4:11). I find great comfort in knowing that one day, I have a very LARGE family, one day my children will meet me, one day when I go home they will know me and recognize the love that I have for each of them. 

My journey of infertility and loss was long, but it was a time that the Lord did an amazing work in me. Oh I remember how patient and loving He was towards me. When I cried, screamed, got angry, hurt, envious...times when I would soak my pillow with my tears...He was there to remind me of His love. He spoke words to me and comforted my soul. There really are never words anyone can every speak that can comfort you the way the Lord can. I count myself blessed and honored to have carried these little ones for as long as the Lord allowed. 

If you've read this and you know someone who has been in this place of loss...pray for them, send them a card, give them a hug. Trust me when I tell you, it doesn't matter if it is 3 days ago, 1 year or 20+, never fear that you are going to remind us...we've not forgotten. 

If you are someone who has lost a baby, a child, or a pregnancy...take time to feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Let Him wrap His arms around you. There is no time limit on grief...but be aware of the Love of Jesus as He hold's you in His arms. Give Him access to your heart so He can begin the healing process.  We tend to want to hold our hand over our wounds don't we? We don't want to expose them to anyone, for fear of the pain. I can tell you, if you let go of those wounds and let the Healer do His thing...He doesn't put a bandaid on it...He heals the wound completely. Don't worry, you will not forget, but you will remember with peace and not pain. I promise. ♥

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Just a Small Jar of Oil

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I - Psalms 61:2

Overwhelmed? I've been studying 2 Kings and I love, absolutely love Elisha. He has taught me so much. As I'm in my 4th week of homeschooling my superheros, perhaps it is my theory of education of homeschooling that gets in my way sometimes, but I have a 7th, 8th and 9th grader now. I'm running a household, running a business, serving at church, keeping up with relationships, trying to stay can be overwhelming. (could be why I've not written in a while) :)

I was walking with a friend this morning and we agreed that everyone has issues in their lives that can easily bring them down. It's how we deal with those issues, how we look at our situation, what we focus on.

Whatever stage of life we are in, there are moments when we feel like we are faced with too many responsibilities facing us at every turn, or like we've run out of options and we're doing life on empty. I imagine that is how the lady in 2 Kings 4 felt. With her husband's death, she was in terrible financial trouble. When you think your financial problems are bad, read about this woman, it puts it in perspective. She was desperate, in fear of losing everything she had including her boys - to creditors.

We know the story. She asks Elisha for help, and he asked her what she had to work with and she said nothing! Just this small jar of oil.

Wow! Can you relate? Have you ever been in that place where you don't think you have enough, you feel desperation in your gut...what happens? We tend to focus only on our limitations don't we?

God sees our situations much differently than we do. I promise you, I serve a God that specializes in doing a lot with a little! 

God took one jar of oil and multiplied it so the widow cold pay her debts.

I just felt like someone needed to be encouraged this morning. When you feel like you've run out of options, or you are drowning and feel there is no way out,...remember you have all God needs. He's given you everything you need. Practice gratitude for those things in life that you do totally changes our focus.  It's outrageous faith that Elisah teaches us! I want outrageous faith - I've got all I need and that's all God needs to do miraculous things in my life! Take a moment and write down what you have, what is your small jar of oil? That's all He needs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Defeated...I Think Not!

I want to say thank you to my friend Monica -  she is an inspiration. Visit her here! She missed me, needed to catch up, wanted to know what's going on in my life - she and I met in this virtual world of blogging years ago - I consider her my sister and love her dearly. It blessed me that she missed me.

I'm going to be very transparent (when am I NOT transparent?). I say this only because it feels like I'm about to undress in front of you and it is "awkward" to say the least. However, I know I need to do this, because getting vulnerable and being authentic is what ministers most to others.  So, lets catch up a bit.

I am still homeschooling all three of my middle schoolers (6th, 7th, 8th graders). I am attending a new church (well not so new, I may have mentioned that in the past year and a half), teaching preschool Sunday school once a month (pick that jaw up off the floor...I am a new creation). I am hosting my first "Fill My Cup" girlfriend gathering at a local coffee house this week, I am a Sales Coordinator with the most amazing company ever - Juice Plus. I've been privileged to see results in my own life, the lives of my family and so many others. God is totally using whole food nutrition to minister to the health and wellness of many. I'm so close to Senior Sales - May is a very big month for me. I've been spending time helping my team grow.  I've been teaching writing at our Homeschool Co-op, getting ready for our big promotion day this Saturday. Running the Mom taxi to tennis, piano, allergy shots, youth group once a week (all different days). Working on raising money for all 3 of my boys to go to camp this summer. Trying to be that cool Mom who loves to watch Marvel with my man group. Yes, I'm still going through peri-menopause...ready for that to move on. :) I group once a week with my accountability group and am presently studying the book of Psalms with another group of amazing ladies. Love going to church on Saturday nights now that we've added that additional service. I'm going through a little mourning because I'm having to say goodbye to a little ray of sunshine in my life as she goes on an incredible adventure with her precious family for a year plus.  I'm trying to be the best friend, wife, Mom, coach, servant that I can possibly be. That's my nutshell.

With that said, today was a rough day. I am thankful for the friends who speak truth in my life. I think sometimes when I get overwhelmed with all the hats I'm wearing I feel paralyzed. I love my hats. Really, I love every single one of those hats...a lot! I've done some serious evaluating of my "crystal balls" and my "bouncy balls" or my hats whatever you want to call them.  I feel like I've placed my hats in proper triage, but today I had a meltdown.

I woke up this morning on fire! I've been declaring out loud who I am in Christ. My pastor is preaching a great sermon series. "I AM COMPLETE! In Christ I have everything I need to live a full life!" Yes, every my Psalms and make my declarations. What happened today? Does it have to do with my many hats? Here is my theory.

It is May. Every homeschool Mom I've ever known says things like..."Gosh, did we do enough this year?" We are WAY harder on ourselves than I ever was when I was a public school teacher with a class of 23 high schoolers). Truth! So in my "fear" I let the enemy get a little foothold. Suddenly, things were not going as I had planned. There was a bit of nit picking going on, some buttons being pushed - I gently warned if the buttons were continually being pushed the nuclear bomb that the boy holds will eventually erupt and that will just not be pretty. Oh but, lets admit it, when you were 11, it was kind of fun to see just how far we could go before the explosion. It's kind of excited...for the one child, for the other....not so much. Well, it wasn't exactly Chernobyl, but by my reaction, it might has well been. What happened to me. I lost it. Suddenly I was appalled by my own behavior and then I started to fall apart.

Lies. Oh the enemy loves to whisper lies. My weakened state from wearing my many hats may have something to do with my meltdown over something so silly. I'm just being real here. I entertained those lies and I said things. "I can't do this...." "I'm not good at this!"  "I'm not going to reach my goals", "I feel like I'm doing all of this on my own." "I feel like scrap metal put out to the curb!" YES I said these things. The very same woman who declared "I AM COMPLETE!" just 5 hours before...said these things. The words were flying out of my mouth and being echoed in my ears. I seriously could not recover. I know the power of words!  When I tell you that I cried...I mean...I haven't cried this hard in a LONG TIME! Seriously, people are going through very difficult things (I've been through more difficult times) but I couldn't recover. In the midst of my tears...I am saying..."NO weapon formed against me shall prosper!" It was like the enemy heard that and was laughing and just shot a little dart my way (I mean it could have been on of those little orange rubber darts) and I just couldn't get up off the ground! UGH! Pitiful right?!

OK. End this pitiful story right? I ran to a friend. I cried on her shoulder. I got back in my car with swollen eyes, told the devil he's a liar and reclaimed my authority! NO MORE! ENOUGH!

Listen, when we criticize and condemn ourselves, we side with the enemy of our hearts. GOD IS FOR US! WE ARE MORE than CONQUERORS! I AM an OVERCOMER!

It happens folks. Even when we read our Bible, even when we wake up with declarations on our tongues - we can get beaten down. I just needed to run back to His feet! I am all about speaking life. Ask my kids! They recognize immediately when they hear someone speaking death! There is so much power in the tongue.

That top picture. Baloney! Rubbish! Well, we can do it - just not alone! We can do ALL things through Christ!! When the hats get to be too much, when we feel overwhelmed or paralyzed, that is not the time to start "taking the wheel", start controling even more imporant to LET God handle it, let Him be in charge!

Defeated....I think not! You, Me, WE ARE OVERCOMERS! WE ARE VICTORIOUS! Thank you Lord for your GRACE! Yes and Amen!

Friday, April 3, 2015

From A Virgin's Womb To An Empty Tomb

I haven't been writing as often as I like. I journal, I use to journal here, but for some reason haven't lately. Perhaps because my children are getting older and they enjoy their privacy...I have to be more creative if I'm writing about my superheros now.

I reflect on my Jesus once again this morning. This week, my study group and my family are all reading Luke 20-24. It's Holy Week after all. I've contemplated allowing my children to watch the Passion of the Christ (haven't decided yet). They are teens now, I think they could handle it...parenting wisdom...always one of the top requests in my prayer time.

I was writing my morning "nugget" on Facebook this morning and I thought about what I had written last Easter. The story of how my Jesus and my Mother both sacrificed for me. Differently, but a sacrifice nonetheless. The link to that story is : They Took My Place.

So much love from the Father. In years past I know I've cried over the sacrifice of Jesus, the pain that He suffered, for me, so that I might enjoy everlasting life. This year once again, I meditate on this story of Cross and concentrate on His Love. His amazing Love! The fact that He came as a baby. He left Heaven and put Himself in a tiny shell, walked this earth...sinless! Suffered incomprehensible persecution and pain...all because He loves me.

Wow! I've been saved for over 36 years and it still overwhelms me. I think about our moments - Jesus and I. The moments we've had, quiet times in my chair, before the sun rises. The intimate times where I could almost physically feel His presence. Times when I know He rocked me to sleep, or caught every tear. Times when my spirit knows He was speaking to me. Whispers of love, gentle correction or even laughter. My Jesus....I am really always on His mind.

Do you feel that way too? I wonder? Is your relationship the kind that you can reflect and recall moments, special moments between just you and He? I can say, to some extent I really do understand His comment..."I AM". He is! He is everything to me. I don't always do this journey correctly. Many days I wish I can do a do over. But His Grace...demonstrates His moves me, it woos me.

Thank you just doesn't seem to fit the emotion that goes along with the words. It will have to do. Thank you Lord for loving me enough to be born in a manger, where animals slept and ate; To walk and work this land before me; to walk the Via Dolorosa bearing a cross that was meant for me. Thank you my Jesus...thank you. I love you too.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lovin' You for Over Half of My Life

You may kiss the bride! 12/15/90
I was 21 years old, you were 25 - this was December 15, 1990. When I tell people that we met in September of 1989, started dating in February 1990, got engaged June 1990 and got married in December of 1990....people think we're nuts. We know we are!

We know that the decision we made at that altar, in Pennington NJ that rainy, snowy day...was one of the easiest and best decisions we've ever made.

My handsome guy...there to pray with me before I spoke! 10/24/14
It's easy to love your very best friend. We've been through so much in the last 24 years....our journey has not been easy, but it has always made everything better...knowing you were by my side. The truth is I couldn't imagine doing life without you. You are my umbrella when it rains in my life. One of my most favorite things about you Mike that you never EVER have always saiud without a doubt...that marrying me was something you know you did right! You have done so many things right....but I am so glad you asked me 24 years ago to do life with you.

I love him SO much! 12/9/14
We have had some serious laughs! We have gone to bed very late...working on issues! We have certainly shared a number of tears....but through it are the one I want to hold me, you are the one that can make me feel better with a kiss. I can't believe that you can still make me melt after 24 years.

I'm so proud of you Michael - you have taught our children that working hard will pay off! You have never given up - I'm so thankful. I know that as we continue through our "middle ages" things are changing. It is strange to see these boys who were just babies when I started this blog...

Shane, Brendan & Kyle - our 3 sons! 12/6/14
...looking so handsome and tall. Look at these young men Mike. WE DID THIS! :) That's got to make you smile big (and cringe a little)! Your role in their lives is now more pivotal than ever. OH...I'm not going to talk about them growing up....we'll work on that later.

Michael, I'm crazy in love with you. I've been holding your hand since 1989...and I will continue on through eternity. Praise God that we have eternity in our hearts Michael. That means we get to keep the gift of our love forever! I've written of so many of our memories throughout the years...but there are some...that are so dear, so special, so vividly engrained in my heart...that seem as fresh as the dawn of a new day.

Thank you. Thank you for proposing 25 years ago, thank you for protecting me, for loving me, for fathering our boys, for making me laugh, for making me stretch, for believing in me, for cheering me on, for standing up for me, for fighting for me, for wanting the very best for me...for loving God and never walking away from Him, for being a constant in our lives, for being willing to bend, morph and even change, for praying with and for me and with and for our boys daily, for sticking to every single vow and for wanting to grow old with me. We've done a pretty good job of growing old so far. We've been loving each other for over half of my life! I look forward to every single day of the remainder of our lives...doing just the same! xoxo ♥ Lisa