Keep The Baby Not The Bathwater

Happy Friday!! Or whatever day you’re reading this. I hope you are abiding in God’s peace today!

This subject was given to me by the Lord about 6 weeks ago, and today was the day to write it. I am learning to not question God’s timing, and I am really starting to see just how Sovereign He truly is. It’s something I have known, but now I am starting to really know. If that makes sense. I suspect some of you who are reading this have noticed that you are listening to Him more and more and you’re starting to see and hear things you haven’t before. In the natural and supernatural! This is for you, friend. I see you and God sees you. And if you’re not noticing you’re hearing Him more, this is for you too. If you want to hear Him more, here’s how to start.

On the subject of this post, I do have authority to speak from experience. Sometimes we read or see or hear things and have the thought,

“Yeah…but you have no idea what I have been through or am going through. That may work for you, but my situation and circumstances are just too much for what you’re talking about.”

I know exactly what you mean, and I have had these very thoughts before. The last 5 years total have accrued quite a story in Frank and I’s and our girl’s lives. This will be coming out soon! Until then, I am going to write without specific details but with much knowledge on the things I’m talking about. I am just now embarking on something new and uncharted territory for me! So, you get to walk with me in my transfiguration, and I hope you are also always allowing yourself to be clay in the Potter’s Hands. Jeremiah 18.

One thing I am really just actually beginning to know and see with my own eyes is the goodness of God! I have seen His hand on countless areas of my life over the years, and I’ve known He’s a Good Father. However, I didn’t realize just how much more there was with this! There’s another layer of what it’s like to know His goodness. I’m just beginning to tap into it on the deepest spiritual levels I ever have. It’s almost frightening in a way, but it’s the fear of the Lord. I don’t think I ever actually knew what this fear felt like. Solomon in Proverbs 9:10-11:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

We go through trials that can absolutely level our lives. Like, there is literally nothing left — not even the rubble. Sometimes the pain is too great that even the smoldering ashes have been taken. I know this type of pain, and some of you might too. Pain is pain, and there should never be a comparing game, either. I’ve seen folks do that. And even with me, I felt like people sometimes said, “Well, what I’m going through is nothing like what you’re going through. I shouldn’t complain.” Many times I stopped people in their tracks and told them that what they are feeling is just as legitimate as what I am feeling. God sees all of us as it’s just us and Him, and we are the only souls in our bodies. It’s a very intimate relationship, and God has tailored a God-shaped whole in each of us that only He can fill. So everything about us is uniquely crafted as He saw fit, and we are that special to Him. You don’t have to believe it for it to still be true, but I do hope you believe it! It’ll make your time on Earth so much fuller and what it was always intended to be!

Regarding the actual title of this post, I wanted to throw something out there. You guys ever feel like a season of life or an experience was totally wasted because there was so much pain in it? Things and circumstances where it’s so difficult to find just one good thing. Or if you’ve been lied to, deceived and thrown away. And you think of all the times and things that happened in a season of life and find out that it wasn’t actually what you thought it was? Or times when you’ve made decisions like a job, a move, a trip, a relationship, etc that turn out to be totally worthless (from your perception, at least). Sometimes anger creeps in, and we not only get bitter and hardened to others — but to ourselves as well. We start to take nosedives in the skies of the “if-only’s” and it’s hard to regain emotional stability while looking back at the past like that. These emotions cause blindness to Truth in our hearts. It causes the good to be immediately thrown out with the bad. Folks, I am here to say God IS good. He was always there, He will always be here, and He will always be there.

I am here to say that it’s time to stop throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Every second of our days have been accounted for by the Lord, and whatever your past holds, so does God. Nothing is ever wasted by Him! Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things together for good to those who love Him. Keep the proverbial baby and get rid of the bathwater. There are good things interwoven with all of the bad, painful, horrific, grievous, nasty things as well. This is because God has never left us or forsaken us!

Our worship pastor shared a story he had read about a master tapestry maker. This man was teaching his granddaughter how to make beautifully perfect and amazing tapestries like he had made. He got her all set up to make her first one, and by the time she had finished it — it was the most incredible tapestry anyone had ever seen! Many came to see this masterpiece, because it was simply a miracle that she could make something like this with being so seemingly inexperienced. They asked her grandfather how he taught her so well.

His reply was profound but simple, “I anticipated where she would make her mistakes as I set up her loom, and I arranged the loom with the fibers so she could work and make what she was supposed to.”

There are some things in our lives that happen and are absolutely no fault of our own. There are things that are on us and we must own them. If you don’t think you have anything to own, ask the Lord. I guarantee you that in your life there are things to ask forgiveness for. I know my life has been littered with my own shortcomings, but God has made provision in His Sovereignty for my mistakes. Remember, Romans 8:28! He is my Master Tapestry Maker Teacher. He is your’s as well.

However these things got there and however they happened; however you got to this point right now and you’re reading this — you are meant to be. Everything about you, things you think are mistakes, things you think are amazing. Everything in your life means something, including the unity of good and bad and what these things mean to you. Joy and pain. Heartache and laughter. The night and the day. In death and in life. You aren’t powerful enough to change God’s design for you and thwart His plans! He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and The End. He’s in everything, cares about everything and knows everything. If you’re still alive, there is nothing you have done that is strong enough to keep you from the Father’s hands and Jesus’ blood of redemption. Today, make the decision to thank Him and praise His name! I used to emotionally give in to my pain and simply refused to see anything good in certain things. God has been gracious to me though! He has been opening my eyes to things –little snippets– of some of the reasons why things that have happened the way they have. It’s like staring into a picture from a perspective I’ve never seen before, but with His perspective. Incredible!

The reason I wanted to write this to you is so you, too, can see what your future can hold. Regardless of what things may look like here on Earth. What we see with our physical eyes isn’t eternal like the things our spiritual eyes can see by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like the muscle of the Earth! I heard that said at church a couple of years ago, and it’s stuck with me. Just like what Proverbs 17 is talking about, God multiplying your days and restoring what the locusts have eaten and redeeming time that was stolen. This is for you.

Give this life a go.

Start fresh right now. In Jesus’ name!

I love you all! Enjoy your weekends.

Birds, Phone Calls & Wheelchairs

Hello there! I know the title of this one is a little odd. You shall see why it is titled this! I’m already giggling as I write the title.

God has been so good to our family, and I want to share a little bit about our journey as we have moved our Meme into an assisted living this past February. This is my dad’s mom. We lost PawPaw (Hal Abernethy) here on Earth back in 2016, and she’s been doing so well living on her own these past few years. Due to a need, it was time to provide more help then we could all pitch in and give her together at home. My dad and his siblings found the perfect place for her! We are so thankful for it and the staff that works so diligently to care for the residents there. I am blessed with the time to be able to see her every weekday morning. I have also been able to get to know the awesome folks who work there and live there. Win-WIN!

June Abernethy is her name. I was born on her birthday, August 24, and was her first grandkid out of 9 total. The Abernethy Clan has been close over the years. I’m so thankful for my mom’s side of the family as well as my dad’s side. There is more to come about all of this soon! I always joke that I have the “Meme Gene”. This gene entails the love of nice things, nails, jewelry, perfume and a special knack of how to interact with others. I am so thankful for both sides of my family and how I have been molded and shaped to be who I am becoming.

I get a lot of my sense of adventure from my mom though, and a way of just getting into things. If you know me, you know what I am talking about! It makes me shake my head sometimes of the situations I find myself in. I ask myself, “HOW the heck am I even here??” But one thing I do and do often is laugh at myself. I invite you all to laugh with me!

On the subject of birds in particular: Meme has always loved looking at the birds as they do their thing. She always loved watching them at her house when she lived there. I recently got her a birdfeeder and put it right outside her window at this new place so she could watch them. Well, guess what? The silly birds didn’t show up right away to eat their food like I thought they would. She kept telling me every morning how she’s been watching for them. Bless! I started to pray and ask God to bring them so she could enjoy His creation. I also heard recently from a friend who said that when she sees a red cardinal in particular, she is reminded of how the Holy Spirit is always with her and is speaking to her. I absolutely loved that! So, as a bonus — I asked the Lord for cardinals, too! Why not? Why don’t we ask God for those specific things? I know I am guilty of not always thinking they’re significant enough, but everything is meaningful to Him.

Monday morning, as soon as I walked in Meme’s room at her new place, she leaned forward to give me “sugar” (kisses for you non-Southern folks!) and I hugged her. She glanced over toward the window and said, “WELL, SHELL! Lookie there! There are birds in that birdfeeder!” I looked over excitedly and lo and behold — there were birds! Not just any birds though. You guessed it, there were cardinals! A bright red male and a beautiful, bright-beaked female. So amazing! I told her God really heard our prayers! She shook her head and said, “God really does answer prayer, doesn’t He?” We’ve seen them every day this week. So many different types, too. They are eating through the seed! Meme gets excited when she sees the space on the top of how far down the seed has gotten, meaning they are going to town on that food.

On the subject of phone calls. There are many other residents who live in this facility as well, and I’ve been so happy to get to know some of them! There is one in particular who just won my heart over the very first time I met her. We’ll call her Elsie. I walked in her room to see how she was doing about a month ago or so, and I could sense she was pretty down in the dumps. I pulled up a chair and just listened to her. She was facing the fact her children were looking at selling her house, and she was emotional about all of it. She said she couldn’t get her cellphone to work to call her son about something with the contract, so I offered to make the calls from my phone. She read off some numbers from a paper with her chicken-scratch handwriting, and I kept dialing wrong numbers. She couldn’t read her handwriting, and I probably messed some up too. Hahaha! She finally got a hold of her daughter-in-law, and that was that. She did leave messages, and I knew I’d probably get calls back after I left the facility. Sure enough! I had a call come through, and I answered it.

“Hello? I got a call from this number…who is this?”

“Oh YES! Hello! Thank you so much for calling me back. I was helping Elsie make some phone calls. This is her son, correct?”


“No…I know her but I’m not her son. My name is Kevin. I am confused about this, but I’ll just let it go. Sorry I can’t help you.”

I started to laugh, but he hung up. “Okie dokie”, I whispered to myself as I drove down the road. The next day when I got there, I went to her room and told her about the strange call. She laughed and shook her head and said, “Oh honey! No, no…you called my therapist! Kevin is my therapist, silly!” Making it sound like I intentionally dialed him. I busted out laughing and just shook my head. She continued, “…and he’s a really nice looking man and just a sweetheart. You’re really nice and nice looking, too. I know you both have families and are married, but it would be a good match!” Hahahaha! I am laughing just writing this out. I love Elsie. We have had incredible conversations, and she is one prayer warrior! I always ask elderly folks for prayer when I am able to and they offer. They are a different generation for sure, let me tell you.

On the subject of wheelchairs. This is my favorite one! Meme’s room is a small hike from the dining room area with a few longer halls to walk. There are usually some stragglers in the hall trying to push themselves in their wheelchairs. Meme uses a walker, so my hands are generally free (other than carrying my giant 30oz coffee mug!). I usually always offer to help push someone to wherever their destination is. Sometimes people don’t want the help and they say, “Nah honey, I’m just cruisin’.” I told Meme it’s like picking up hitchhikers!

One particular morning, I offered to push the most adorable little lady’s chair for her. She said yes, and reached up with her super shaky hands as she offered to hold my huge coffee cup for me. Bless! I told her I could manage both. I didn’t want my coffee ending up all over her and me. As we were heading down the hall, we stopped to chat with the maintenance man. He was interacting with the sweet lady and Meme too, and we were all laughing about something. I started to push the chair again as I was trying balancing my mug under my arm.

All of the sudden, this sweet lady went flying up in the air and the maintenance man said “YIKES!” I realized I had just ran over his foot! He laughed it off, and she looked up at me and said, “Well HONEY…you’ve got to look where you’re going.” Obviously I can’t say I can successfully balance a coffee mug, push/steer a wheelchair and avoid feet at the same time. Go figure.

Meme and I laughed and laughed about that for days after. It’s these kinds of things that just make my world go round. I don’t know how, but I always manage to find myself in these types of situations. Absolutely hilarious.

I have more stories — they are always happening! I’ll be sure to mix some of the entertaining fun in with everything else I write about, too. Be blessed!! Shalom!

The Truman Show

Mahalo for coming back! I am thrilled you are here, and I want to speak peace to your storms in the name of Jesus!

Today, it was so strong on my heart to write about addictions. I use the Evernote app to collect topics for my blog seed garden, and “The Truman Show” was one of the seeds God planted there and I believe He will use for His glory and purposes.

With a show of hands (I’m raising mine!), who here knows how Satan has infiltrated Hollywood as a whole? I am not making a blanket statement and saying it’s ALL going to hell, but a lot of it is. So much of the multibillion dollar content is completely void of anything that looks like heaven on Earth. Would you agree? The kicker for Satan is (and he knows this) that God uses ALL things for His glory and works through things that would even seem like a lost cause. Because Hollywood and the people and the various land everything is filmed/created on wouldn’t even exist without Him. He allows Satan to be prince of the Earth and for anyone who chooses to align with hell to do so. God never stops working, however, and that does even include Hollywood.

I’ve recently been on a 90’s movie kick! I want to introduce my girls to some of the incredible “classics”. Hahaha! I guess to kids their age, they are considered classics. I have a working list of movies we want to watch with them and enjoy ourselves. The Truman Show was up last week, and they were absolutely smitten with good ‘ol 90’s acting and cinematography. It was great. We’ve watched several other movies too, and there’s more God is revealing!

For this particular post, I want to bring a very tangible example of how addiction presents itself. It was out of left field for me as well, so just stick with me here. After you read this, I would encourage you to go back and watch the movie with eyes to see and ears to hear HOPE and a FUTURE for you or a loved one or someone who you care about. Even if it’s someone in the streets or the store you’ve never met. Some hide their addictions well and some not so much. Pray shalom over everyone.

Breaking down the characters in the movie, it will be easier to see how each one presents a part in this analogy.

Truman Burbank is the main character. He was selected as one out of five unwanted pregnancies by Christof, the producer of The Truman Show. Truman was placed in a massive dome that was specifically built for this show. It has a sky, roads, buildings, bodies of water, trees and so on. It appears like a normal town. The town as Truman knows it is called Seahaven. He has a home, a wife, job, car and all the things anyone could need to be happy and live a normal life. He was raised there since he was born, and has never known anything different. He had parents, schoolmates, friends. All of these people are paid actors, and Truman has no idea he’s the star of the world’s most popular TV show. He’s on camera 24/7, and unbeknownst to him, he’s the world’s celebrity.

Christof is the mastermind behind this sick idea. He grew famously popular because of this show, but cares only about one thing: To keep Truman in the dome. There’s a scene where the camera is on Truman’s face, and Christof seems to “tenderly” put his hand on the screen as he watches him sleep. So creepy for real!

Lauren Garland also starts off as a paid actress working in the dome, Seahaven. She was placed there along with everyone else. What makes her stand out is she started to see immediately how sick and twisted this all was, and she started to attempt to tell Truman the truth. Seeing as every area of Seahaven are on audio/video cameras at all times, she could only get the message about the truth to him in pieces. Christof started catching on to this and saw how it would drive Truman to the truth of his life, and she was removed from the show and fired. During the movie, you will see Truman cutting out pictures in magazines of women’s faces. He was trying to piece together what she looked like, because her face was fading. There’s even a line by some of the show’s employees that, “We removed her and everything about her, but we can’t erase her from his memory.” Lauren goes on after she’s ousted from the show to protest and to speak on Truman’s behalf. The rest of the world doesn’t seem to care. They are absolutely enamored with the show and literally glued to their TVs. There are some who sneak into the dome and yell “You’re on TV, Truman!”, but Truman never understood. Lauren is the only one who never stops hoping and believing that Truman will one day find out what the truth is and leave the dome for a full and honest life.

Christof drove fear into him at an early age. He did this so when Truman got older, he would be afraid of adventure and wouldn’t find the dome’s edges and therefore the truth. Truman had a fascination with adventure, but was shot down by the actors in the dome — like his elementary school teacher, his “wife” even. He was being lied to at every turn. Christof also ousted Truman’s “dad”, because he started to grow sympathy for Truman. He was getting dangerously close to revealing the truth, and Christof knew if they didn’t get him off the show he would ruin it. So they faked his paid actor dad’s death at sea. Truman was a boy and in the boat when his dad fell into the water and drowned — all an act. This caused Truman to be terrified of the water, and that worked well for Christof’s purposes for his show.

Truman started to notice oddities about his life, and started to search for the truth. All while trying to piece together Lauren’s face with shreds of magazine pictures. Eventually, he knows. He doesn’t know how or why, but he KNOWS. Lauren watches him on live TV with tears and prayers for him. Christof and his army of employees start to throw everything in their power to stop him from leaving the dome or finding the edges. Truman even gets on a sailboat and starts to sail to wherever the boat takes him. He’s confused, exhausted, angry. Christof sees Truman is braving the waters for the first time, and starts to create waves, wind and rain on the water with the dome’s technology. He was trying to simulate a storm, like the one when Truman’s dad “dies”. This doesn’t stop Truman though. He’s whipped around, thrown into the wind and water as he holds on for dear life through his fear of the unknown. Even some of the show’s employees were gathering sympathy for him, and the whole world watched as Truman knocked on death’s door as he was submerged underwater. Christof tells the dome technicians to back off the storm controls and to bring the sun back out.

This moment in the movie is absolutely astounding! Especially when you watch it through fresh eyes of truth and how God can speak through even Hollywood. The sailboat’s bow eventually pierces the side of the dome. Naturally, Truman is baffled. He’s also satisfied that his searching wasn’t in vain, and he starts to see the full picture of his life in the sky blue sides of his cage. Seeing his enclosure for what it was is a monumental part of this movie! Christof, recognizing his time is short and his life’s work is about to go down, gets on a microphone and speaks to Truman from the fake clouds of the dome. He starts speaking to Truman. He does tell him he’s the producer of this show, and what it supposedly means to the world. Truman talks to him too, but keeps searching for the way out. He sees stairs, and walks up to where he sees a door that says “Exit”. A scene with a hopeful, tearful Lauren with her hands folded and over her mouth in what looks prayer comes on and she is saying “Go, Truman! Come out!”

Truman looks up into the fake clouds and says to Christof, “In case I don’t see you — Good Morning! Good Afternoon! And GOODNIGHT.” He walks through the door, out of his cage. Lauren rejoices, and others viewers do too. Some are sad that the show is coming to an end, but some don’t even care and immediately look for something else on TV. Christof takes his headset off, the one he used for giving commands for actor’ words, placement, etc. He’s done. Truman has walked away from his pseudo life, and there is nothing Christof can do about it.

I know you probably know where this is going at this point, and the correlation between a movie and what addiction looks like. Addiction of any kind, you name one. They all under the same hellish spirit of hopelessness through control. Lies. Deceit. Satan, represented by Christof, has always wanted to play God. He was removed from heaven for thinking He could be equal or above his creator. He also plays “god” in the lives of millions, if not billions of people. Addiction can look like many things, affects people in many ways and also affects those around a person who struggles with addiction in various ways. The truth, however, is that no matter how dire, hopeless, hellish, exhausting, urgent and devastating lives many look due to addiction — there is always a way out. There’s always a door that says “Exit”. It’s scary though, and that’s an understatement. Someone may be afraid to lose everything they have if they told someone about their struggle, and some people struggle out in the open and are begging for freedom. Jesus is that door. I am aware that those words “Jesus is the door” can sound like a broken record for someone struggling or someone who walks with someone who struggles. This is a lie from Satan, much like how Christof tried everything in his power to stop Truman from finding the door. The fact is, there is ALWAYS a door.

In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” He wouldn’t have said these things and it be empty promises. He is incapable of lying, because lies are from hell. So, this only shows us that these words are TRUE and powerful and full of life! Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of giving us a hope and a future. Many times this hope and this future look nothing like what we think – but it’s perfect for us, a gift from a Perfect, Sovereign God through His Son Jesus.

Now, who knows what Truman’s life looked like after he chose to exit his cage. In good movie writing, it leaves it up to the viewer to think about. He definitely had struggles when he got to the other side of the dome. The world can be a frightening place full of mystery and questioning. The truth is, though, is that him leaving that dome was real. When people walk away from their addictions, that is real. If people choose to go back to their vices, it doesn’t void the fact that that moment was very real when they walked away from the things they’re enslaved to. It is a process of falling down and getting back up. In my mind’s eye, I like to think of Lauren, his true friend, walking beside him as he learns how to live fully in the truth he never knew existed. That’s why recovery can be such a process! It’s like a little one learning to walk. Eventually with the steadfast love of God the Father and those people who are put in the lives of those who need them — they learn to run! To race! To WIN! That’s life abundantly overflowing, just like God promises. He’s the Great Redeemer of ALL things!

The best thing to do is to put aside our preconceived notions of what this process will look like. I can guarantee you it will look like night and day from what our finite minds can see. There is nothing to fear but everything to gain when seeing addiction for what it is. No matter what kind of addiction it is, it shrivels up and dies in the light of the Father.

I am speaking PEACE and SHALOM to you! Shalom means not just “peace”, but that all the pieces of one’s life are brought back together in the hands of the Master Designer of life. God did, after all, create it. And He loves it. He loves you and He’s beckoning to you or someone you know to knock at the door. It will open!

Love you all!

Well, HELLO Friend!

Bonjour, mon ami! I hope this finds you at peace, with whatever space you are in right now. I haven’t blogged in at least a few years. I still, on faith, kept renewing this page each year. There are many reasons for not only the writer’s block, but for the lack of motivation to write. We shall eventually get to all of that in an authentic way, the only way I know how to be now.

I am beyond excited, however, to be back here! I have missed interacting with you all this way. I got so much joy out of sharing what God was putting on my heart. He was speaking so much, and I am once again in a place to hear Him when I am listening. He never stopped working and speaking to me, and I am thrilled to have the GO AHEAD from Him to once again: write. I love it! Thank you, Lord.

Sharing some of my humorous moments was always a favorite thing of mine, too. I laugh at myself at some of the hilarious things I get myself into. Not to mention, the most bizarre things happen sometimes! You really cannot make some of this stuff up as the saying goes. I invite you to laugh with me at some of my most awkward, ridiculous moments.

I care about many topics, because I care about truth. God’s truth. I learn something new each day! I go to the Word of God, the Bible, to find out what God says in the most amazing guide book we have! Not only is Scripture perfectly incredible — it’s a living book! The Holy Spirit constantly reveals what things mean. I am so excited to continue walking with Him and learning more each day. I also invite you on that journey with me as I mature and grow in Christ.

I love each and every one of you! Even if I don’t know you. The reason I love you already is because I love God and you, my friend, are loved by Him.

See you again very soon!

Challenges Can Teach

PhotoEditor_20200217_192040144.jpgI hope everyone’s 2020 has started off great! I’ve heard that January was one of the longest “years” of this year. I can attest to that as well! Although the challenging parts of life cause a lot of resistance and kickback, a lot of times — our challenges refine us into wiser creatures with knowledge and a keen eye for future challenges and how to walk through them. Something of a mantra I have loved recently is: Hard doesn’t always mean bad.

As you all know, I keep it real. I’m going to give a little bit of a personal testimony in this post and get vulnerable with you on something I recently walked through. I hope it blesses you! God is always working, even when we don’t see it.

Back in December (5 days before Christmas, to be exact), my husband had a vasectomy. We have three gorgeous and amazing girls, and we both felt like our quiver was full, so we decided to go this permanent route for birth control. We’re very thankful and truly blessed with our three little chicks! His job doesn’t allow for any “light” work, and he doesn’t have a lot of paid time off. His 5 days of vacation per year includes “sick” time. So we needed to plan this procedure in a holiday time-off sweet spot. We needed to be able to maximize his time off with the already paid vacation days he would get for Christmas.

Well, about a week before his procedure, I literally felt a dark and weighty cloud come over me. My emotions, my everything felt muddied and cloudy. I felt it, so assessed that maybe I was just coming to terms with the finality of this procedure. That wasn’t really it though after taking a sober look into my heart and my mind. I honestly and truly was just having a giant pity party for myself and was being very self-centered. He was the one having the procedure done, but I was making it all about “me”.

Anyone with kids knows that Christmas isn’t exactly “chill”. Well, yours may be and that’s amazing. Good for you! Seriously. Our’s isn’t so much. Chasing the toddler, and mental energy going into the older ones as they’re asking a million questions about so many things. Making sure everyone says “Thank you!” for their gifts, and also…how about just the spending time with family and getting the quality time with your loved ones? There’s a lot that goes into. At least for us. With the daddy of the three having this procedure, I just knew he’d be “down for the count” and I started to get bitter about even thinking about it. (To be honest, even typing this out now seems really ridiculous and silly.) Even he was telling me that everything was going to be just fine. He had zero anxiety about any of it — not even the actual procedure! He was steady and calm and like a rock. I was the one being like the swirling wind who couldn’t find footing.

As you know, if you are or have been in a relationship, when a couple has arguments, fights or disputes about one thing — usually a plethora of other (mostly unrelated) “junk” finds it’s way coming out of yelling mouths and jumping in the yucky pile that’s building in the brawl. At least, that is how it is for us at times. Our arguments are much fewer and far between then they were before in our earlier years of marriage! Thank God for that.

I started picking little fights out of my bitterness and selfishness. The entire week or so leading up to this procedure. He had this done on a Friday, and that Thursday night before was one of the nastiest fights we’ve ever had in 16 years of marriage. About 3 hours of it. By the end, we just went to sleep because it was about 2 in the morning.

The next day, my amazing mom came to get the girls to keep them for us while we headed to the urologist. They also stayed the night with them. Such a blessing! I was kicking and screaming inside. One of my closest friends actually surprised me by coming by our house that morning, and it was perfect timing. And another amazing friend was texting me complete truth-arrows that hit my heart in the right spot. The essential part of having a healthy community! When our people can come and surround us with life and speak truth into our dark muddy thoughts. Taking what God says in His Word and making it alive and well in our situations. Letting the Holy Spirit guide words and conversation. I am so thankful for my people. So thankful for friends like them and many others who weren’t afraid to see my dark cloud and start showering it with truth and life right from the heart of God.

He had taken his Valium (prescribed in advance to take before getting to the snip-snip table), so I was driving us there. When we got in the car, I literally felt a wave of light (in wind form) wash over me and so much peace envelop me. It was almost like how we blow from our mouths to get dust off of a surface. I felt the darkness getting blown off of my emotions and my soul.

We got there, went right in, everything went perfectly. Peace. There was no anxiety, no straining, no worry. And I actually got to watch the entire thing! (I love medical stuff.) The doctor was so cool — giving descriptions of each move and everything he was doing down to putting on the titanium clamps and all. Fascinating!! I’ve told some folks that I watched it, and they cringe. I don’t know if you like that kind of stuff or not, but it really was interesting. If you’re into that. Haha!

So after we left the doctor’s office we went to Cava (a delicious Mediterranean place), got some dinner and took it home to eat so he could get on his frozen peas. Those things were his best friends for days. (Actually, about 3 weeks later I went to make dinner and almost used the pea pals. Gross! Threw those bags in the trash lest that mistake happen again!)

After we ate and watched a movie, we had one of the most life-giving, amazing and longest talks we’ve ever had. The polar opposite of our conversation the night before. It was healing and redemptive. Raw, honest and a little painful to stare at our shortcomings in the face regarding our marriage and ourselves just as two people. We have an incredible marriage, but there are always things to work on within ourselves.

I look back, in all seriousness, and think to myself: Wow. That was a whirlwind! But why? Why did it have to be? Frank ended up doing absolutely great. Never complained, not one time. He was a complete rock star with the entire process. I was the one with the nasty attitude and self-centered focus. Those were challenging days, very much so. As I have said, I look back at those dark days and I won’t forget what they can and will teach me for future challenges. We’ll never be rid of challenges until heaven. But what we can change is our response and our attitude and the choices we make in walking through them. So, those dark days were not wasted! Not at all.

And, funny story — just because. As you know, once you’ve had a vasectomy a “sample” must be provided back to the urology office about six weeks later to make sure that it is sperm-free. Well, I was the lucky one who got to take it in that day. I had the younger two girls with me. I walked up to the counter, sample in hand, and the ladies at the front went crazy over the girls. “Oh my GOODNESS how beautiful! Look at that red hair!! You going to try for a boy next??” I held up the cup, shook it and said “Nope! Hope not!”

I hope you were blessed by this. I know you, too, probably have something you’re walking through right now. Whether or not you “think” it should be a big deal isn’t the point. The point is that it is to you right now. Making the choice and steering your attitude and heart posture towards God will bring life. Even if it means laying your own opinions down. If you don’t know what it says and don’t really know anyone who does, find someone who will speak the truth to you. Just know that the right person will always always always point you to the Word of God so you can find it for yourself. Be blessed, all!!


An Anniversary Letter To The Bride In Me

February 21, 2004:


I cannot believe I am even writing this, but it has been FIFTEEN years since I became a married woman and Frank’s wife. 15 years! It’s true that time speeds up the older you get. There have been some really low lows and some really high highs during this time span. It’s only just begun! Compared to many inspirational couples out there, 15 years is just a drop in the bucket. But it’s our drop, our bucket and it’s our start!

I recently headed over to my mom and dad’s house. My beautiful winter-wonderland A-line dress has been stored in their attic since 2004. Who else stores stuff at their parent’s house? Haha! (Thanks, Mops and Pops!)

Since that unseasonally gorgeous day in February 2004, I have had 3 kids and many ups and downs with my weight. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know this. You’ve seen me extra-fluffy, mid-range fluffy and anything in between. In saying this, I wasn’t sure my size 6 dress that my 20-year-old self wore would fit this 35-year-old postpartum x3 body with an extra 15 years on it!

But it did fit. It was special because our oldest daughter (who’s 10 years old) was zipping it up for me and she said, “Mommy, you think it will zip? I don’t know…” I said to her, “Oh YES!! You do what you have to and zip this bad boy up!” She didn’t have to try too hard. It was so encouraging to be able to get back in that $600 dress. David’s Bridal got me good with it. It’s totally 2004! Fashion has evolved for sure, but for the time and for me as I became Frank’s wife and walked down that aisle to the Highland Cathedral–it was pure perfection. Bagpipes, anyone? Yes, please!

While most recently wearing it, I actually took a selfie with myself in my bridal portrait. It hangs on my parent’s wall along with my two beautiful sister’s bridal portraits. My sisters and I were so very privileged to have our dad marry all three of us on our special days. So very special! When you walk into their house, all three of us girls are right there on the left in our portraits and dresses. As I was taking it and looking at my 20-year-old face, I had such an overwhelming sense of thanksgiving for what God has given in His precious gift of marriage and the man He selected for me. I also looked in my eyes that looked back at me and thought, “Wow. You young bride, you. You really have no idea what you’re about to get into…”

My 35-year-old self is right. I didn’t. I just want to share some of my heart with you all on our anniversary. Everyone’s story is so uniquely them. This is our’s. I’m going to be very open and truthful with you all and quite vulnerable here, but that’s how I roll. It’s not worth reading if it’s a bunch of fluff and untruths to “look” like I have it all together. That would be a misconception. You’ve come to the right place if you want raw truth. Definitely keeping real, so consider this your fair warning! Haha.

A letter to myself. From my perspective 15 years down the married road. A letter to that eager 20-year-old:

Dear Bride,

Hey girl. Looking snazzy in your 2004 wedding dress. You’re beautiful. Everything is as you envisioned. From the Austrian crystals in your tiara to your shoes. As you took your long bath this morning, shaving all the things and such and pampering, you’re pondering the events that are about to unfold…and the love you have for this man.  You’re just hours away from committing yourself to him. He’s so incredibly meaty because of his values and his dreams and his relationship with the Lord. He’s not the cheap-o stuff you sometimes see floating around the dating pool. He’s a handsome one, huh? Well, speaking from this far down the road–he gets sexier every year and he only gets more and more handsome. Holy smokes! You’ve got a lot to look forward to. Just sayin’. He loves God, and he lives out his love for you. He’s a man’s man. He loves you enough to commit his life and loyalty to you…that’s something. You are a treasured daughter of God, and He gives GOOD gifts. Frank is a gift. He’s wrapped up a nice package of a tuxedo, and he’s waiting for you at the end of the aisle. He’s going to sing to you also–although you don’t know that yet.

He’s going to have a near impossible time keeping his eyes (and his hands) off of you at the reception, too. So werk werk werk it, girl. The BATTLE of not having sex before this day has now ended. THANK YOU, JESUS. Praise the LORD. I know your mind was in bed almost the entire day. It was a sprint to the finish line! You made it though. I’m proud of you. You both were obedient to what God says in His Word. That’s no small thing. But…I want to talk about the other stuff with you. All the love-making and amazing highs that will still happen through the years are just a portion of what you’re about to get into, you know. It’s a big thing–that’s what she said–but not the only thing. There are other fish to fry when it comes to marriage besides sex and making love. I know you’re having a hard time believing that right now.  So, listen up.

How about having to be the first one to say “I’m sorry” for starters. This is something you have no clue how hard it will be. It’ll be on the tip of your tongue a million times after a heated argument is simmering down, but Frank will be the one to usually say it first. Sometimes you do, but he’s a lot more mature than you are. You will push him to his physical limits in the anger department. I wish you’d learn to shut your mouth sometimes–especially in the next couple of years when you’re still really learning each other. You are both aware even now that you’re both very strong willed and strong in your personalities. There will be many huge fights that will happen. Many of them caused by your lack of biting your tongue. You won’t remember what many of the arguments are even about. You will always meet each other again, at square one. You’ll find each other again. And again. And again…after bent steering wheels and holes in the wall from a fist punch. If this were any other man, you may have driven him to actually punch you. Frank would never, even now, but your quick and careless tongue…was a lot like the fool in Proverbs. Yeesh. Your older version hasn’t perfected holding her tongue at 100% capacity just yet, but she’s lightyears ahead of where you’re standing now, sweet girl. 

It will be years before you really learn what “submit” means. I am still learning this, but again, am so much further than you are now. I’ve got a hint for you though, you hotheaded bride. Submit. It’s not a “dirty” word. It means accepting and bringing yourself under authority for your own good. You’re about to vow this to God, Frank and everyone else. You’re going to forget it quite often–or throw it to the wind. Either way, a wife submitting to her husband is a freeing thing to do. It’s for your own good because it’s living in obedience to God. He’s the Master marriage designer. Can’t pick and choose which parts of marriage you want to live by, honey. Going into a marriage isn’t like going to the grocery store and leaving the stuff you don’t want to buy on the shelf. It’s all or nothing. Just like when you accepted Christ as your Savior: All of you for all of Him. The laying down of your pride (and yourself) will be one of the hardest things you’re going to face though. Just a heads up, your older self hasn’t mastered this one yet, either. There are still those times (albeit fewer and further between from where you are now) when I am still straight up obstinant and disobedient and just ugly. 

Here’s a breath of fresh air though! It’s not a letter of doom and gloom, I promise. You’re going to do a lot of things right! You will build a strong home and a strong foundation with this man. You both will build your common interests, things you enjoy together. You’re going to love his cooking, too. He’s good now, but you wait a little further down the road. He’ll watch your shows with you and you with him. You’ll be each other’s anchor when various health stuff comes up. You both will be strong for each other. Life isn’t solely constructed of the “big” events. It’s made up of all those tiny little things that happen in our every day. You guys are going to be able to become one unit in pretty much every area. That takes time. I think it’s a lifetime pursuit of love for another that drives us to create a more intricate web around our commonalities.               

One of the biggest things I can say to you is that you’re loyal in your love. You’re loyal to him with your mind, soul, body. You haven’t strayed from your bed. You haven’t strayed with emotional affairs, either. Starts in the head before it gets in the bed. You’ve remembered this and tucked it away for reference. And your loyalty isn’t because of the lack of “opportunity”, either, but because of your love for him and your commitment to him as your husband and your vow before the Lord. You’ve had your eyes set on one man, and one man only. You love him fiercely. Your love for him is more firey than the fights of your early years. And that’s saying something. He will also be loyal to you. You’ve never doubted his undying love. You’ve never once had suspicions. You’re continuously thankful for this state of trust between you both, and you haven’t taken it for granted. You’ve learned to be vulnerable with him. To open your heart and let him see in. Even when you’ve wanted to “appear” strong, you’ve been able to learn how to be completely vulnerable with him when you feel anything but. You’ve done that right.                

You will keep your sense of humor alive! Frank doesn’t always strike one as “funny”, but he really is. In your dating life, you got to see it here and there. You both will do a pretty bang-up job of laughing together. He’s hilarious. Mostly because of his Frank-isms, but he’s also funny in many other regards as well. Especially at about 8-10 years in, laughter will lighten many a heavy weight in your lives together. It’s just getting better from where I stand now, so…yeah. It’s exciting!               

In the “kid” arena, you’re going to have three stunning daughters as far as I know. They’re all so different in their appearances and personalities. They are absolutely gorgeous. God has given you and Frank your ultimate Neopolitan ice cream! You have vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. A blonde, brunette and a redhead. You and Frank, so far, have taught them deep things about God and why they were created. You’ve instilled much in them thus far, and I pray that this later version of yourself along with their daddy continues to do this day by day, week by week, and year by year. They bring pure joy (on most occasions) and your hearts will be filled with much thankfulness and gratitude for the gift and blessing that they are in your lives. (You had fun “making” them, too.) Your first daughter was a “surprise”, but…come on. How “surprised” can you really be with all the “practicing” you’re gonna do? Let’s get real here.               

I want to end this letter to you, my 20-year-old version, in saying the most important thing to you: God will be so faithful to you and your family. So faithful. I can look back at things you don’t know are going to happen yet, and see God’s hand move miraculously countless times in your lives together. Things like God providing wisdom and finances for you both as you dig and scrape your way out of financial bondage. You guys will ask for wisdom on buying your first home. God provides it. You ask for opportunities for ways of making extra income. God provides. He’s faithful in your extended family and in those relationships. He provides peace. He provides joy! He will provide some incredible friends. He will provide some of the most extraordinary people to walk with you on your journey. How mightily blessed you are even now in the family and friend department! You’re going to ask for wisdom on how to love Frank well, and He provides. You’re going to learn how to respect him as your husband–something you find out that every husband (and man) on Earth craves. To be respected. You’re going to learn all kinds of things, and God is there every step of the way. You’re going to screw up more times than I care to admit even now, but you will learn from your mistakes and you and Frank will grow in your adoration and love toward one another like you can’t even imagine from where you are now, you young thang, you. And speaking from where I am now, I know God has been faithful before as I’m telling you and He will be faithful again and again even in my future and our next 15 years of marriage. He is SO good and never ending in His love, joy, peace, faithfulness and the list goes on…

Now, go have the most amazingly BLESSED 15 years ever. You go do it, girl!!


With Much Appreciation for Your Choice in Marriage to Frank, 

Your Future Self


February 2019:



The Forgotten Regrets

What seems like many eons ago (really, only just 6 years ago),  I worked at a general surgeon’s clinic here in Charlotte, NC. I was there for seven years total, but learned so much about myself. Dealing with patients, co-workers, circumstances, and even just the day-to-day. Insurance. Insurance calls. Deductibles and payments. Billing. Front desk. Filing. Phones. Medical records. Scheduling. Medical assisting from time to time. And, ETC. In all of it, I had my opportunities to chose. Chose what, exactly?

I felt that literally every day I was at work, I had the opportunity to select my mood and my attitude. I almost checked-in with a “yes” or a “no” on whether or not I’d be someone who was shining Jesus or someone who was just not. In other words, I let my flesh take over and do as it would which felt good temporarily but left me with an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Some days, I put my flesh down and gave God glory through my words and actions, and that felt GREAT. It was my choice though. Every day that I clocked in, I was someone who either had a positive outlook and actions or someone who was a Debbie Downer. I never was the Debbie Downer in the “Eeyore” sense of the word, but more in the sarcasm-with-a-sense-of-humor: which naturally fit more with my personality. I’m an upbeat person. I’m energetic. I’m ‘bubbly’ I guess you could say? Anyways–don’t let that particular personality type fool you for naturally positive. It still takes deciding to be genuine without cynicism and deciding to show Jesus. One can still be incredibly cynical and self-centered but “upbeat”. That was my “M.O.”, my modus operandi, during this season in my life.

There were many times I did shine God’s love. I chose to hold to Philippians 4:8. {Whatever is true, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, excellent and noble}. Gosh, those days felt INCREDIBLE. It was like my soul got a shot of crisp and lovely peace. It felt fresh. It felt right.

But there were also many times I just did not show any part of heaven whatsoever. Regrettably. Sometimes it was through the form of gossip, speculation, judgment. Self-centered motives. You know, office stuff. If you’ve ever been part of an “office”, that is. It’s almost like an actual farm. (Literally, that was one of the nicknames some co-workers and I called it! “The Farm”.) I was brutal in my gossip and slander at times. I nicknamed and name-called. Looking back even now and truly reflecting on those years: It was truly noteworthy and witty humor. At the expense of others. However, hilarious in heaven’s eyes? Or Earth’s? Which one is fleeting and which one actually matters? Well, it was toxic. Straight up poisonous to my soul. Being a gossip and a slanderer will eat you up from the inside out. And on days when I really got going, I felt so dirty and eaten up with sin. I knew I was wrong. I was so convicted.

But, I will say– there were also times of genuine, good fun and laughter in the midst of it all. I have many fond memories! I still laugh to myself thinking of some of them. I did have some of the world’s best co-workers, and I still keep in touch with a few of them even today.

But goodness, God is really digging up some of my history lately. I need to deal with it permanently. Sometimes our future growth is hindered when the “old” us hasn’t been completely put to death. The enemy of our souls knows when to bring up things from our past to slap us in the face and distract/hinder true growth and progress. I’m displaying my soul here. I hope you, too, can search your heart for any of those gnawing things that need to go to the gallows. If it comes to mind and we don’t deal with it, it’s basically like us telling Jesus that what He did on the cross wasn’t “strong” enough to forgive us of our past crapshoots. Right? It is NOT God’s original design for us to live with regrets. Regrets feel like lead tied to your ankles as you go down in the sea.

You know what I regret? I regret playing along with my flesh so many times while working there at that clinic. So many times, I justified why gossip was right (because “they” were so wrong) or why what I was doing with talking about others in their flaws was “OK”. I regret feeling like a victim at times. I regret the gossip and the slander and the speculation. I regret the office “politics”. I just regret not showing Jesus 100% of the time. The thing is, I knew that ‘everyone’ knew I was a Christ-follower. I didn’t make that hidden. I just look back even now {as painful as it is to reflect on reality} and think: WOW. My words. My actions. Did they say anything about Jesus? At all? Yeah, at times. At the easy times. But harder ones when rubber met with hot pavement? Nah. I don’t think so, to be honest (not for much of the time, that is). It’s regrettable. Seemingly, so much time lost. Now that I am looking back on this as a bad C-rated movie, I am asking God: Take this regret. REDEEM this time. What your Son did on the cross has already covered this and may I move on from here. I won’t carry these past-doings and burdens any longer!

One other instance I particularly remember was with a patient. This was a very sweet patient with no ill feelings that come to mind even now. Only a sweet, smiling face amidst her pain of scars and stitches. I remember her name was Gail. She had survived a few surgeries due to pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to many parts of her body. One of the bigger surgeries she had is called the Whipple. Look it up; it’s a pretty gnarly surgical procedure. One of the doctors I worked for was one that was sought out for being a world-renowned surgeon for this type of surgery and even a believer in Christ himself. Such an inspiration! He may have had his hard days that I could see in his eyes when I was asking him about a very large payment due before surgery or even after, but he didn’t waver or let his tongue slip in a direction that would pinpoint to something that was not Jesus. I saw exhaustion many a time in his eyes as he came in the office at 8am from a surgery that had lasted way longer than expected from the day before. We had to reschedule his “day” of office appointments quite often to accommodate his LONG days (and nights). Imagine all that rescheduling. For but one patient. Yes, but for one. That was his “M.O.”

Back to Gail. Gail was his “for one” kind of patient. Survived all kinds of odds. Was back at the office for all kinds of things from weird intestinal symptoms to infected stitches–at least once every week for weeks after the Whipple.

I remember one particular sunny late afternoon though. Our office closed at 5pm on the dot She had driven up probably about 4:59pm to visit our office. No doubt, she was hoping for someone to still be present so she could get something looked at. I remember someone driving her, because I remember her being at the passenger side of the car.

Everyone else had left the office.

I was literally the last person that day to leave our parking lot. I had some billing stuff to get done before the next day, and I got it done.

I went to my car, as usual, started it, drove towards the EXIT as I saw it that day. I saw nothing else but a huge EXIT sign on that parking lot. I wanted OUT of there that day.

I drove up to where I could take a right or a left to get on the road home. I remember stopping and rolling down my window when I saw a patient standing outside of their car. I recognized Gail. I exchanged a couple of short sentences and a few “upbeat” things with her. Rays of sunshine were shining through her hair from where it was setting through the trees. I still remember her face. She had a look of desperation-but-peace. If I could describe her face now, over 10 years later, I wouldn’t do it justice. BUT, let me try! It was a face of:

“I got here JUST in time. I am hurting. I am scared. I need help. I think I can be helped? My family thinks I can be helped? I’m tired. I think this is what is done fighting feels like. What do I need to do? Am I being irrational? Is there anyone here right now to help? Can YOU help?”

GOODNESS! I’ll never forget the look on her face as she stood by the silver car she came in. The sun was still shining through her hair to make it look kind of auburn-ish, like mine. She was weak, so she held on to the door of the car. The day was perfect though–the sun was beautiful. It was warm for November. I remember stopping my car and talking loudly to her through my opened window. I remember telling her I was sorry the “office was closed” and I would make a note to have Dr. _____ call her tomorrow. I sure did. I made a “note”. I didn’t take the time to get out of my car though. I didn’t take the extra minutes out of my “precious” day to have a real ‘face-to-face’ with this person. I just didn’t. Looking back now? I wished more than anything I would have. I don’t think her outcome would have changed. But mine–probably would have. I had the chance to show kindness and I opted out. Man. It hurts so much to relive this. She watched me drive away.

Gail passed away not two weeks after this encounter. I remember seeing it come through on the fax machine in the nurse’s station. I remember the punch in the gut it seemed like. I almost took it personally and saw her face on that warm afternoon in my mind’s eye. I had the opportunity to show kindness and compassion. Not that anything I could have done would have made her stay on Earth. No way! BUT…what if? What if she would have had something to impart that I needed to hear? She knew Jesus. That was evident in her walk–and her visits at our clinic. What if I would have taken those extra minutes and went the extra mile for her? If nothing else, just to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I guess this breaks my heart so much now because God has really grown and nurtured my compassion and kindness levels since that part of my life. I am not where I need to be, but will any of us ever be? Not here! But we can constantly grow and learn and glean more of heaven’s love and spread it all around.

So, those are my two big, ugly ‘forgotten’ regrets that God restored to memory so I could cast them off for good. I am not the same person as I was then. I daresay the same for you. If you’re struggling with past stuff, dig it up just to nail it up {on the cross}.

Witnessing History: In the Making. Washington, D.C. October 6, 2018

We were in Washington, DC this past weekend for our almost 10 year old’s birthday trip. She’ll officially be 10 on October 21, and we gave her the option of having a big party or a trip. Smart girl chose the trip! To DC. It was seriously the trip of a lifetime. We have three girls total, and were able to leave the youngest two with grandparents here in Charlotte, NC where we’re from. It was glorious for the big sister to have her mom, dad and grandfather (my father-in-law) all to herself for 3.5 days in an INCREDIBLE city! We were originally scheduled and booked to take our trip the middle part of September. Due to Hurricane Florence making her way across the East Coast and serious rain bands up into the Virginia/DC/Maryland area, we used much wisdom and decided to reschedule our trip. We believed God for the best in re-routing our well laid out plans. God provided an amazing price for 3 nights and 2 rooms in a luxury hotel through some friend’s family. It was a miracle! We saved hundreds of dollars. We are so thankful how God worked it all out on our behalf! And even in having to reschedule due to a hurricane, His blessings remained cemented in our “original” plans.

But beyond all of that, He had another plan for us. Almost like a mission of sorts; although, we had no idea when we called the reschedule.

Real quick, here’s a recap of America’s headlines the past few weeks (just in case you haven’t heard, which I doubt.) Judge Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee. He’s a conservative judge who stays close to our Constitution. (He’s also pro-life. Which, in my book, is one of the biggest things anyone in politics can be.) He was accused for sexual misconduct that happened years ago in their high school years by Professor Christine Blasey Ford. He denied all allegations and called it false. Ford was seen as a heroine for standing up for herself and speaking up. You can read all the interweb’s stuff for yourself and watch all the videos and news clips. You are welcome to come up with your own conclusion. Good luck, though. It’s dicey at best. It’s down-right-sweaty-underwear nasty. LOW blows. I’m not sure if something exactly like this has happened in our recent history as the United States–maybe? Don’t think so though. {…end of the ‘politically correct’ segment of this blog post. Keep reading at your own risk…}

Well! What’s to follow is what my heart perceives about it all. AND…what we got to witness for ourselves with our own eyes! What an honor. And all because we had to reschedule our trip from a storm. We did not plan or even REALIZE until that morning of October 6th that the vote of “YES” or “NO” was happening for Kavanaugh. We had so much going on in “real life” here in Charlotte and in “trip life” that it got lost. But there was no way we weren’t going to the Supreme Court House while we were in DC at THIS time. Are you kidding?! (We did leave right before the vote was announced in Kavanaugh’s favor. We didn’t know for sure his win was in the bag yet (although we sure did pray for it!), but we left regardless. Because, riots and protests. Wisdom said leave.) Here’s the thing: We prayed like we believed like it made a difference. We stood within feet of where the vote was taking place and prayed. All of our prayers make a difference no matter where we stand, but there’s something about standing in a place at a time. And in the midst of feeling like a minority. I can guarantee you that we were a minority in the crowd we were in on Saturday! A minority for not only our political standards, but our faith in the one true God. Yup–I have a sneaking suspicion based on what we saw–we were pretty much by ourselves.

I’m sure there were a handful of other folks similar to us, but I didn’t see ’em. Sure, I saw the “hell, fire and brimstone” folks. Those words they spew and throw-up on the passerby does NO good whatsoever. Those words of almost ‘hate’ in the name of ‘love’ drives the sword of doubt deeper into a lost soul. I can’t stand it. I think they’re trying to be Billy Grahams in his finest sound-bited moments: IT DOES NOT WORK. It just doesn’t. There’s nothing loving about it. Sure, what they’re saying is true, but it’s a CLANGING SYMBOL because there’s no love there. {See 1 Corinthians 13:1}. Billy Graham not only had LOVE in his words, but he had a tremendous anointing. Man cannot manufacture this without God’s design for their lives; if they do, it sounds like the ugliest of music. Anyways!! I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

The Supreme Court House in Washington on October 6, 2018–mid afternoon. As I mentioned, we had our almost-10-year with us because this was her birthday trip after all! I knew that she’d be exposed to the very unedited version of godlessness in the rawest and most uncaring-est form we can see in public. I knew she would see and hear things that are contradictory to how we teach her from God’s Word. I knew she’d see folks who are just mad. Mad at the world, mad at the government, the President. (If you don’t mind, I’m going to switch my ‘verbiage filter’ off for the remainder this post and just say what I saw and what I really feel about it…reliving this and having to think of “nicer” synonyms is exhausting!)

We stopped and talked to a guard that was standing by the Capitol Building, and he zeroed in on Layna, our daughter. He was so kind! He gave her stickers and told us that the crowd was gathering just behind the Capitol and that things were ‘heating up’. And to be careful.

Sho’nuff. As we walked up the sidewalk/walkway to the left of the Capitol, we were hurriedly passed by some pissed off women. Some men as well. There were a few though. Mostly seething, venomous and fanged women coming because of their hate for what ‘Kavanaugh’ was the face of. It’s not ONLY the face of someone who they see as a sexual offender, but he is conservative. They hate that, and you could feel the hell from their hearts about it. (He may have had his high school “shtuff”. I don’t know–do you though?! Were you in that room?) Besides the point. Kavanaugh and what he stands for and the weight his vote carries represents a huge threat to the gates of hell. Hell responded accordingly.

We saw costumes of all kinds. And the people watching was just about the best I’ve EVER seen! No vagina hats or outfits though, thank God. But these folks are the SAME people who wore the vagina paraphernalia in the “women’s” march some months back, I can assure you. As we walked up to the main scene: NBC news people, International news people, other big stations represented. There were huge cameras everywhere. There were sad, sad people everywhere. There were huge poster signs saying all kinds of things against Kavanaugh. One of the more abundant ones said: “#KavaNope”. There were loud shouts of accusations and lots of ‘words’ of agreement as Elizabeth Warren spoke and the crowd went wild every time she would spew her lighter fluid on the flickering flames. Other people started speaking as well. Standing back but just being in the midst of it…was something. I didn’t have a feeling of defeat or triumph. There was no feeling either way. There’s no winners here in this crowd. Of course, Kavanaugh winning the seat he did is HUGE. But…I’m talking about what it was like to stand amongst the crowd of venomous hate and accusatory tones. God was there, because He’s everywhere. He loves those who hate Him and who mean to slander and to kill anything that resembles His original meaning for this World–and this country. But we’re all only on this big ‘ol ball of mud for a short time, and eternity is–well, forever. Many of these people may never know the Lord, and that broke my heart. Still does re-living it. This was the ultimate display of the lack of God in people’s lives.

Let me hit on victimizing real quick, just because. I have a huge problem with it. HUGE. Ford may have had an encounter. With circa High School Kavanaugh? Who knows. With someone else? A LOT MORE LIKELY.

Ok, so here’s some different scenarios and the DANGER-*flash*-DANGER-*flash*-DAAANGER of victimizing:

False victim: “Help! I’m a victim!” {Reponse once investigated: “You’re a liar.”}

Real victim: “Help! I’m a victim!” {Reponse once investigated: “How do we know you’re telling the truth?”}

See? Crap like this creates an unsteady foundation for the TRULY victimized out there. NO doubt there are horrible people in this world meaning to do horrible harm. But when the society-shepherd cries wolf too many times–who will believe the TRUE victims? The very things like the #MeToo movements SHOOTS themselves as soon as they allow any false accusations in (because, numbers and hashtags, guys…) It immediately waters down what they’re trying to accomplish. It dilutes the purpose. I, and the world, are thinking…”You Too–what?” Sucks for those truly harmed. It really does. Also SUCKS for the people being blamed when they’re innocent. Scapegoat, anyone? “Guilty until proven innocent?” You can’t win with that foolery. You just can’t.

Back to Washington on October 6, 2018…

The air was physically so thick, one could have literally used a knife to cut it with it. There was such a clashing of heaven and hell–I could almost hear the warfare just above us/amongst us. A clashing of heaven’s sword in the battle of the Free World. Hell holds on dearly and the whispers of lies keeps the iron hard and quenched. It’s all there. The reason I keep saying this was an honor to be a part of is this: PRAYER. You (if you have relationship with Jesus Christ) and I, carry the Kingdom of God with us. Jesus said in Luke 17:21 that we carry the Kingdom of God if Jesus is in us. We carried the Kingdom onto that hellish ground on Saturday. I know there were MILLIONS of others praying for this historic vote. God saw and heard and He answered accordingly. Never think for one moment that your prayers don’t matter or they’re not heard. THAT’s a lie. They do!

Layna had many questions once we left that noisy and tumultuous spot. Like, why was there a lady right in the middle of the crowd, without a top on? “Why was she showing her boobies to the world?” “Why was everyone so mad?” “What is that costume supposed to be?” Lord have mercy. For a mom of a 10 year old, it wasn’t easy. But for the adult-Layna and the woman she’ll be one day–it was very good to see this. She’s already a Christ-follower, and for her to witness this all in real life was VERY good for her. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but she’ll be seeing this more and more as she grows. As will your kids if you have them. I’m not saying exposing them to this kind of stuff is always the way to go. This was the path of our trip, and God orchestrated literally every step–this was the right thing for us this day. There’s a reason we were there and she saw all of that. There’s a reason it was just us and her and we were able to immediately submerse her into GOD’S Truth about this whole thing. She saw it though, and I know as she ages and sees, unfortunately, more sadness from millions of people without the Lord–she’ll have this to think of and what we told her God says about it. And His heart for each one of those people. Even the lady showing her boobies to the world. He loves her, too. We have prayed specifically for her pretty much every day since Saturday.

Funny story, and then I’ll land this bad boy! After walking away from the Supreme Court where more and more people were starting to gather: We decided to sit down and rest and pray more right where the left side of the Capitol Building is. As we were praying out loud and people kept looking at us as they passed by: I saw two Indian ladies coming up the walkway. One was hobbling pretty bad with what appeared to be quite the gimpy leg. Bless!! I was sitting on the far right, and there was plenty of space someone could sit. Well, I closed my eyes for a quick minute as we continued to pray, and as soon as I opened my eyes: I saw the limping lady “coming in for a landing”. I thought she was going to literally land in my lap. Haha! She plopped down right beside me (like just inches away) and started staring at me. The lady with her looked annoyed, but this was the sweetest little lady ever! All I could gather from her very broken English was she was from Calcutta and she was “Whew!!! Tired!!” I tried to make more conversation and talk about how Frank makes killer Indian food (which he does! Yum!) and she seemed to appreciate it, but couldn’t understand anything besides the names of the Indian dishes I was mentioning. Haha! It was hilarious. She got up and hobbled off after a couple of minutes. That was that. I love randomness sometimes!

Thanks for staying with me on this very lengthy post! There was no way to condense it–I was all in on this one. I hope I did what we experienced even a little bit of justice via my words. The biggest heart-pondering of mine with this entire thing is this:


See below for a video that Layna took. This was from her perspective. Also, a few snapshots I got!

Supreme Court 3

Supreme Court 2

Supreme Court 1

My Need to Know as You Fight My Foe

Gideon. Quickly becoming one of my favorite stories in the Bible. There are so many reasons for this, and I’m going to do my best to write a few of them out in word form for you and to convey what’s on my heart about this incredible story. There’s more where this came from, but here’s what I got for now!

There’s something to be said when the angel of the Lord visits you and says: “The Lord is with you, oh mighty man of valor.” Especially when Gideon has all these retorts of why he’s not a mighty man and why the Lord isn’t actually there in this dire situation of an ever-encroaching enemy. He sounds so much like so many Christians today, actually! (Myself included at times, truth be told.) He thinks since he’s from a small tribe and seemingly insignificant compared to them, he’s got nothin’ on those other guys. He’s still someone who loves the Lord, but he sure doesn’t see himself full of valor. He probably thought: “You’re kidding, right?” Here’s what he said back to the angel:

“Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us to the hand of Midian.”

Let’s paraphrase this in 2018 verbiage: “PLEASE, sir. Stop RIGHT there. There is absolutely NO way God is with us in this hell-on-earth we’re enduring…why in the world would God bring us this far to just leave us hanging?”

Don’t let the title of this post be misleading. A lot of you already “know” the story of Gideon. (Well…you think you do.) And if you do, instead of being puffed up because you’re aware of how the story goes–ask the Lord for a new revelation on it instead of dead-ending in all of your humanly knowledge. Often times, our knowledge of something is like a guardrail that keeps us from the land-of-the-living versus the “well-traveled road”. The well-traveled road is for sure a safe bet to travel on, but…is it the road of truth or just the comfortable one? Most likely, in this day and time–the road of truth is NOT the “comfortable” one.

This Sunday, our church got a fantastic word from our pastor. Most of the message was based out of Judges 6, and how Gideon put limitations on himself based on…well, himself. And his army. Why he didn’t have enough manpower to fight the Midianites once his army was whittled down by the word of the Lord from 22,000 men to a mere 300 men and why he basically just wasn’t fit for the job. It’s a fascinating story: full of fleeces and unleavened bread and angels and armies. Of Gideon “just making sure” that his army-shrinking commandments were from God. Especially in Judges 6:36-40! My favorite: Of God’s awareness of the need-to-know state that we have. And His response to us. We’re so needy, aren’t we? Can’t really blame the dude though…I mean, let’s get real. He was basically called out from an angel while hiding out in a winepress, and all of the sudden he’s leading an army of 300 men against an army that is described as being like “locust in number”. Yeah. Don’t judge him too quickly! I have personally found and reluctantly admitted some similarities between “the early” Gideon and myself. I think you could probably too if you looked! There is literally something for everyone in this story if you go on Judges 6-8 treasure hunt!

God even proceeded this extreme caution of Gideon’s the night before the Midianites were defeated! God told him (paraphrased) “GET UP! Go down and look at the camp of guys you’re about to tear up–but…if you’re too afraid to go by yourself, take your servant.” Haha! I would personally be crapping my pants. So, taking a servant and still going down is an improvement. Anyways, God foresaw Gideon’s humanly state and gave him direction on how to STILL get stuff done, but how to side-step his fear with courage. I LOVE that.

The ultimate ‘wind in the sails moment’ in this ENTIRE story is undoubtedly Judges 7:13-15 where Gideon overhears one of his enemies telling another soldier about a dream he had that symbolized Gideon’s army kicking their butts. The Word says that Gideon immediately WORSHIPED after hearing this. Can you IMAGINE that amazing wind of HOPE he must’ve felt? He’s come all this way for all this time and asking all these questions of God…and here’s proof from a dream that one of his enemies had that this is all REAL TIME.

And when our curiosity is met with answers, we sometimes still need proof to move on to the next step–God provided it for Gideon when he asked. He literally did every time. God saw. Like Gideon, we too, can get in the thick of things while moving mountains and inching forward to take back the land that was promised to us. There were little nuggets and signs all along the way to Gideon that he was on the right track. But Gideon always always asked. It’s important for us to realize, too, that while we’re moving our own mountains in life–it’s ok to ask the Lord: “Hey God. Give me a sign. You still here? This is still You, right?” He’s not exhausted by these requests, trust me. The only thing we need to guard against is unbelief. {Unbelief is a hard substance that cracks when it’s in the molding process. Belief is moldable clay that can make beautiful things.}

Also, another thing I LOVE about this story is how Gideon made himself “milestones” when He did hear from the Lord. When He asked for confirmation that he was on the right track, and heard–he built alters to go back to and remember God’s faithfulness in His answers to him. What would our walks with the Lord look like if we had all our points of references marked when we TRULY heard from the Lord? Some of you may have all these moments written out, and I wanna be just like you when I grow up! Not to mention, the whole reason God whittled down the army’s numbers from 22,0000 to 300 is so we HAD to say: “That was the Lord!” There was no mistaken. When we have these “milestones” in our own lives, let’s remember what God has done and notate His goodness, protection and faithfulness over us.

The last huge nugget from this story that I have have for now is taking our own limitations off of God. He certainly doesn’t abide under our man-made ceilings. He’s trying to rip them off of us, and at the same time it seems we’re trying to build our roof over God. How ’bout we all agree right here and RIGHT now that this is asinine? He’s a limit-less God with a perfect plan. WE are humankind. We don’t come without our baggage of limitations. We seem to be married to our limitations sometimes, though. Let’s just not expect God to operate under our ceiling of limits! He won’t do it! He CAN’T do it. Have you thought about how big He is lately?

Welp, Fellow Gideons, that’s what I have for now. Still chewing on so many morsels from this table of goodness that is the Word of God. More to come later I am sure of it.

Happy Midianite-slaying to you!