Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Muddling.


I wish there was a point at the end of a particular life season where we could place a well-defined bow around it and set it on the mantle for all to admire.  Lessons learned could be neatly displayed, not only to be seen, but gleaned from... nuggets of truth for any onlooker.  It doesn't always happen that way.  But if it did, it would be easier to publish my thoughts.

Writing is scary.  Posting your innermost thoughts is scary.  Making mistakes is scary.

So my idea of a writing timeline is to wait until a particular season comes to an end and then put the proverbial bow on it and gift it to someone who needs one, a bow that is, of their own.

I wish.

It is one of my heartfelt desires to have meaningful words that resonate with, refresh, maybe even revive another soul. To write without purpose seems a waste of time.  But it's not.  I've come to realize that all writing is purposeful and the words we share, and ultimately leave behind, are powerful.  They have the ability to bring life and death. Scripture says there's power in the tongue.  So there must be power in the thoughts we release through pen and paper or digital means. 

So here I am.  Ready to share.  With no bow on my season. 

I don't have all the answers, but I'm willing to talk about it while I muddle through it.  Maybe you're in a season.  A funk.  A frightening journey. An empty space.  Maybe we could muddle together? Now that I think about it, isn't that ultimately what it's all about? The "together"?  Well then...

Muddling coming soon. 



Friday, August 21, 2015

Building My Castle.















The winds, they come.  The waves, they peak.
The shores, they wash away.
But even so, I know, I know, I build it anyway.
For crystals fine with amber glow, the beauty pulls me in
For I've not seen such tenderness with every grain of sand.

One tiny speck of powder that glistens in the night;
You'd think it held no power, no purpose or no might.
For at the perfect moment, the sea will swell with pride
And rush to shore with no remorse for swallowing my prize.

I used to be afraid of what would happen if I built.
Would my castle, shaped with love, ever truly count?
For every moment, each detail, so intricately placed
My heart sees beauty in the build-ing, knowing what I face.

But for the joy set before me, the quest for loving deep,
No soul can know how deep the love of Him who beckons me.
To build my castle in the sand for only Him to see
So He can wash upon the shore of this, my offering.

So many deeds, my works, my faith, my fears and even failures
Are often overlooked by some. To Him they are the placements
Of each and every granule that would represent a gift
Born of my heart to make Him proud, His name for me to bless.

Not all will see my castle.  Not all will know my toil.
Not all will know my heartache or the burden I have borne.
Except the sea that knows my God.  It waits for His command.
And with great pleasure He directs, " Waves! Lift up your hands!"
They reach for my small treasure, not to knock it down,
But spread the love of "building up" to everyone around.

So take my castle, One I love
For you own all my sand.
And may I build, oh make me build,
With what is in my hand.

"We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall.  The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work." -Nehemiah 4:6 MSG



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Death of a Dream.

Last October, my dad and my father-in-law both became ill in the same season. Both dads needed my husband and I.  Both dads lived some distance away.  Both dads lived alone.  It was clear that there would need to be a shift in our priorities in this turn of events.  Our dads would both need to be cared for but B and I also had full-time jobs.  And for me, it wasn't just any job.  It was ministry.  And ministry isn't 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.  Ministry is 24/7.  And I was in for quite a ride.

For most of my adult life, I've loved ministry, served in ministry, and longed to do ministry full time. I'm crazy about the church...local and global. I love the people. I love team work. I love life change and the miracle of witnessing it. 

For the past seven years, I've been on staff at the most amazing church. From the moment I signed on, it has been a thrill to see God work in my life and the lives of so many that I love. Friendships run deep. My ties are strong and I have never regretted my decision to do full-time ministry. I'm called to it. Equipped for it. Even graced for and appointed to it. 

See, ministry is all I ever wanted to do. So the thought of letting go of it was heart-wrenching. So I didn't. I hung on with all the strength I could muster up. No one would be able to pry my tightly-gripped fingers from the thing I loved so much. Until the Lord spoke to me that it was time to release my grip. 

Are you kidding? This is what I know! I'm called to this! I love what I do and I love the people I do it with. I fought and I fought hard! Surely there was another solution. But none came. And the day I walked away from all I'd ever dreamed of was total heartbreak. Total heartbreak. 

There's no pretty bow yet. It's been five months and I'm still searching. We lost my father-in-law 2 weeks after I resigned from my job. Grief in our home was heavy but we are so grateful that our PawPaw is with Jesus. My dad has continued to improve month after month and is doing well. In the meantime, I'm learning how to navigate this new space. 

I have no doubt that a new dream will come. But this one...it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not HIS place in my heart, but definitely a special one. For now, I am focusing on my "determined purpose" which is to know Him more. It's the best place to let one dream end and another begin because I know for a fact that no seed has been planted in vain. I know that God has invested His own blood, sweat and tears (literally) into my life and His Word promises hope and a future because I love Him and I'm called according to His purpose. I can choose to stay on top of the mountain that I've spent the last several years climbing and enjoy it all for myself. Or I can head back down to the valley, jump back into the trenches and climb again. So for now I'm going to decompress and readjust to the altitude, surround myself with fellow climbers and wait. For a new assignment. For a new dream.


 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Six Year Gap.

Yes, six years have gone by since my last blog post! And in my defense, in light of eternity that's not really a long time. In fact, it's barely the blink of an eye! And that's exactly how it feels. So much has changed in six years! My family has grown exponentially and at the speed of light. I have six grandbabies that call me GiGi. I only contributed two boys to the universe and I have already reaped two beautiful daughters-in-love, four granddaughters and two grandsons. And what a gift they all are!

It took about 147 shots of this craziness to get a remote amount of cooperation for the final cut!




We're missing the newest baby girl in this pic but it's like herding cats to take a picture with a gaggle of gbabies! No recent do-overs!


We'll squeeze the latest child in soon enough. But in the meantime, look at this sweetness:














I'm still crazy about my family, my friends and my Jesus. Only now there's more to love! I'm going to try and do a better job of writing down my thoughts, pondering more things in my heart and sharing what I've gleaned from God's goodness. Hopefully it won't be another six years!

P.S.  Cancer Free!

 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Update on God's Faithfulness!

Hey Blog Buddies!

I have been so busy lately that I have neglected my blog posting! Just wanted to say thanks for praying faithfully! I had my last chemo treatment yesterday...can you believe it?! I have one more tough week to get through and then I'm home free! Radiation is next, but I hear that's a breeze after going through chemo. My hair is already starting to grow back...that's a good sign!

Many of you have been praying for our GLO Conference that we had for the women of our church and community and it was fabulous. The week leading up to GLO was also my typically rough week after treatment and I had some concerns about getting through all the preparations and then being well enough to actually attend. But God came through and answered all of your sweet prayers beautifully! It was a crazy, jam-packed week and I made it! I had the privilege of sharing my recent journey with our ladies and it was such an honor to meet some of the girls that are going through the same thing. We spoke to our girls about glorifying God or "GLO-ing" in their everyday lives...even when it seems like they are facing what seems like insurmountable "limitations". God can use every situation and circumstance for His glory and I know that full well!

I've posted some pictures of our conference for you to see the way God answered our prayers. When I was first diagnosed in October, my first petition was that I would be able to complete the task that God had set before me...and then be there to participate in it. God was faithful and I never missed a moment, but I couldn't have done it without the amazing JANES leadership team & volunteers...& the ever supportive BAF staff... AND the faithful prayers that went up on my behalf. Thank you sweet friends!

Love you all!








Monday, February 2, 2009

That's What Friends Are For...



This has been an incredibly amazing week and because of my sweet friends, I have some of the most precious moments that will be forever etched in my mind and on my heart.

I began to lose my hair several days ago, which meant that this past weekend would be the first time that I would sing before my church family wearing a hat around my balding head. So our band and all the production team, backstage, on stage and in the house, wore hats. It was a weekend that I will never forget.

We sang "I Am Free" and all week long, as I studied my music, God continued to gently remind me that no matter my physical condition, my spirit is free. So if I could encourage you in anything it is this: we're free. Because of the cross, we're free. Nothing can chain my spirit and keep me from serving Jesus. I will until the day He calls me home. And when He does...I will run to Him.

For now, I am incredibly blessed and that's the only way I know how to articulate it. I am surrounded by the sweetest friendships a girl could ever hope to have and I just want you to know that I consider you to be an extravagant outpouring of God's grace in my life. And His timing couldn't be better!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

About That Last Post...

Let's just say that chemo hurts and no one told me about that. I heard things like, "you'll have 'crash' days", and "you'll feel tired or worn out", and "you might get sick but they have meds for that", and "it's hard but you'll get through it". I never anticipated the pain...in your bones...in your muscles and joints...and the headaches, wow. Unbelievable...and I was completely unprepared for it. I have been in bed most of the week and today I'm finally beginning to feel like my old self again.

I had to let go of some things this week and that was hard. My goal has been to keep doing what I love doing and this week, all of that went out the window. So I'm in this place where each day is no longer etched out with an agenda...deedee's agenda. Only God knows what tomorrow holds. And even though that's the way it ought to be, I love having a plan. I love knowing what's around the corner. And I'm guessing I'm about to learn to face life with a little less certainty. It won't be easy for this predictably routine girl, but I am learning such cool things about my Father...and that has been the goal all along: to know Him more.

This is an excerpt from my devo today with my BFF, Oswald Chambers.(He totally gets me!):

"As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him-to give God 'elbow room.' We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses....Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him...Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides."

Thanks for praying...it is truly my source of strength. And when I was too exhausted to read one more passage of scripture, your sweet comments, emails & text messages saved the day. I'm crazy about you!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Down, Three to Go!

Hey Blog Buddies,

Thank you for praying! Today was my first chemo treatment and it went great. I had none of the side effects that could potentially happen and even the drugs that should've caused me to be sleepy did not take effect. I got to catch up on women's ministry stuff, text and email, visit with friends and open gifts! It was not what I had pictured for my first chemo day! We celebrated at Hester's Cafe afterwards!

My sweet BAF friends sent the biggest care package you've ever seen. I got pajamas from Victoria's Secrets (oo la la), bath & body wash, perfume, lipstuff, starbucks gift card & mug, itunes gift card, a scarf, a gift certificate to Woodhouse Spa, a pillow, a soft, fuzzy blanket for chemo days, a book from sweet Sunny, & Aaron made me a DVD of good movies! And the best part was a gift bag overflowing with cards and letters that everyone wrote to me. It was the most precious gift.

In the chemo room, there were recliners lining the wall, set up in a circle around the room. You got to pick your own recliner.(I know...the perks of having cancer!) I looked around and noticed there were no friends there my age..and they were all asleep! So fortunately, my friends Mandy and Monica hung out with me and livened up the place a bit. Byron was worried that we were being a distraction, but not possible. My chemo buddies were sawing logs! And snoring! They had no clue that there was a party going on!!!

So thank you all for your prayers, your support and your encouraging words that fill my inbox everyday. I love you all and I am so grateful for you. Your friendship has truly made this journey much sweeter.


Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Gonna Need Some Cute HAIR!!!

Well, the verdict is in and after much testing, it looks like chemo will be the drug of choice. It's not the path I would have chosen for myself, but I can't even begin to explain the peace I have. I know that your prayers that have gone up on my behalf have been a sweet aroma to our Father and they are going to be answered in a glorious display of His splendor. And I can't wait!

In the meantime, I have a prescription for a "cranial prosthesis"! Isn't that the funniest thing you've ever heard?!!! I will be looking for me some cute HAIR this week!

Thanks for letting me share my journey...what great therapy! You have been such a blessing to me and your faithfulness to pray inspires me so. Many of you I have never even met and it's as though we have been friends for years. God is such a creative genius! Isn't it fascinating that we are made in His image? Oh, I love Him so.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas Blog Buddies! And what a whirlwind it has been! Yesterday, we did 5 back-to-back Christmas Eve services that were incredible. It was a light-show spectacular and one of the most awe-inspiring worship settings BAF has ever created. And what was really cool was the display of God's glory that filled the sanctuary as each and every team member used their gifts and talents to help create an experience that truly magnified the Lord. It is absolutely amazing to watch God use His people in such creative ways. He is genius!

I pray that you all have had a very blessed Christmas! And I want you to know how grateful I am to each of you who have prayed for me and with me in these last several weeks. God has been faithful and your prayers have definitely been felt. Even with major surgery, God has allowed me to be a part of all the wonderful things I had hoped not to miss. I will keep you posted, but for now, please know that you are some of the sweetest "flakes" in my snowglobe and I treasure each and every one of you!