"I've found that when life's brush obscures my view with gloomy strokes that seem to mar the scene, God's hand appears and gives to sunless hue and dreary skies a more majestic sheen." Gustafson

08 September 2008

Inching torward freedom...

My heart is elated! I'm inching toward freedom...and tonight was the first (public) step of moving forward. With God's help, counseling has been the gateway that has gotten me to this place. So the class/book is, Journey to Freedom: Your Start to a Lifetime of Hope, Health, and Happiness. I feel like I'm on the brink of finally learning what it will be like to live fully.....as me.

24 August 2008

Sage words

These are the words that God has spoken to me through the sages in my life this week.

There is NO shame in brokenness; Satan only destroys; God creates; There's a part of me that's missing, it's under the wreckage. Be fully alive! Feel my feelings. God fixes broken things. The problem is my view of God, not my ruins. Either join God's story or be crushed by it. God wants to rebuild, redeem and restore ME!

Enough said...

20 July 2008

A stroll on the Natchez bridge....

Somehow, family time goes so much smoother when there's no plan; no agenda. We welcomed CNB home after a few days out on the road and spent the evening just being together. Dinner consisted of a good ole cheap meal from Moe's, proceeded by a drive in the country. The landscape and beauty of the countryside out on Old Hillsboro Rd and Del Rio Pike is incredible. CNB wanted to scope it out so he can take his "new" scooter for a drive out in the country this week. It's been awhile since we drove the Natchez bridge so we made the "trek" up to the top to show BEB and then got out and walked around for a bit. The view of the sunset and heavens was absolutely gorgeous! It was a delightful evening....I cherish moments with my VIPs.

19 July 2008


Today I lived with purpose. Today I had a vision.

I'm reading a book called "Chazown" meaning vision and God is using it in a mighty to reveal my giftings, passion and purpose. I started my day making a list of very specific mini-goals that align with my core values and spiritual gifts. Living on purpose with these goals has made such a difference today. On "normal" days, I find myself wandering and distracted. Unmotivated and lazy. Knowing what I "need to do" but lacking direction and dedication to get there. It's really helped me to put in writing my giftings so I can focus specifically on using them to the fullest for God's glory. I even wrote out a mission statement for my life!! It's amazing how focused I felt today just with having a plan and not my typical list of to-dos to get me through.

If you're interested in the book, check-out this link: http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781590525470

09 June 2008


Abba, Daddy ~

You took me in and saved me from a life of darkness and despair.
You clothed me with righteousness and gave me the bread of life.
You granted me a home and a place of honor in Your heart.
I shutter to think where I would be if You hadn't rescued my very life.
I was created to be with You forever.
Help me fight this desire to find my earthly "family" - the very ones
who cause me much pain and are against me.
Open my heart to embrace the home within You.

"Mercy triumphs over judgment."
-James 2:13

06 June 2008

Vintage for my soul

It's been a full, wonderfully long week filled with sadness, joy, ponderings and stirrings in my heart. I did something yesterday I rarely, if ever, do. I took a guilt-free hour to wander around quaint little antique shops in downtown Franklin. The vintage findings and sights were refreshing for my soul. I picked up three beautiful pieces that brought me inspiration. Something else I rarely do....I actually purchased the items for mere joy and pleasure.
Finding #1 - A turquoise maraco/shaker (sp?) with bright flowers caught my attention. Perfect for BEB's instrument collection!
Finding #2 - This particular cross, with glass inlaid, struck me because you could see your reflection perfectly in it. A beautiful symbol of how we are to reflect Christ. It was made for the wall in our dining room.
Finding #3 - I love toile, it doesn't matter what color! In a boutique section, I found this simple black & beige toile pillow. A perfect accent piece for the old, brown rocking chair CNB has had since he was a tot.
I'm grateful for the little money that comes in from here and there to be able to make such purchases.

11 April 2008

Facing the GIANTS of fear

So I would HAVE to say that my life has completely changed since I watched the movie "Facing the Giants" a few weekends back. God has used the message in that movie to really open my eyes to the oh-so-many fears I have (many without even realizing it). It has been so COOL to see God move me from my usual defeated self to ACTION! I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old so while I know that was a very true and real decision, I've never had a conversion story. I've never been able to look back on my life and really see a difference as far as my walk with Jesus. But, in the last few weeks, I feel like a NEW woman! So many phrases from the movie (like a chant song!) keep playing over and over in my mind. "Don't quit, don't give up at a certain point when you know you can go further. Give me more." "Don't quit 'til you got nothing left. Your very best! Your very best!" "Give God our very best in every area." "If we win, we praise Him. If we lose, we praise Him." "Don't be afraid. Just face your fear!" "You can't be afraid of failure." "Stay sharp, stay focused, have fun and honor God." "As long as we honor God, NOTHING is impossible." "Do not lose heart, do not stop fighting." "Do the best you can and leave the results up to God." "God chooses to work in our lives because He's good; because He loves us."

Jesus is meeting me where I am and has changed my heart!

09 March 2008

Something to ponder

I read these phrases today in a book called "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper and they've been whirling around in my mind and stirring in my heart ever since. "We are more American than we are Christian. We seek more comfort, more fun, more stuff, etc." (This is me speaking!) If we truly live as Christ followers, then we would take risks, seek to give our lives away for others, deny ourselves and choose to live simple lives. In regards to stuff, Piper writes "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." As stewards of all that Christ gives, we should desire less and thus be able to live more abundantly with what we do have and what we are given for the glory of God.
Oh Jesus, I want to live like this!

23 February 2008

Attack of the germies

As we all know, tis the season for sickness. Well, IT decided to invade our home almost two weeks ago. BEB went down first with a nasty ear infection and major throat & nose congestion and then IT slammed CNB last Friday and had him down all last weekend. I was the next recipient and spent all week in bed. We've never had it all at once so it was quite a treat! Thank goodness for the amazing support from Mimi & Papa. They graciously kept the kids (Scout & BEB) while we recooperated a few days. Wednesday night, while at my worst, I think I somehow uttered a request to BEB to say a prayer for Mommy. We're teaching her how to pray for others and it's priceless to hear what comes out of her little mouth. She immediately said a prayer something like this (I was so caught up in her words and in the moment that I didn't catch it all!) "Dear God, we just pray for Mommy's life. Pray that you what make her feel better and we pray for Uncle Jordie, Aunt Stevie, Nana, Bell, Jordie and Stevie." Right after she prayed, she said "Now you feel better Mommy!" with a huge smile. I thanked her for her sweet prayer not thinking much about the healing part of it, struggled to get out of the chair to go tuck her in bed and quickly realized that I really did feel better. It was instantly after she prayed that the pressure in my head subsided, I had a smile on my face so large and I honestly felt the sickness lifting. I praise God for her mustard seed-like faith.

25 January 2008

The Angels are Singing!

Today is a day of rejoicing! A precious baby boy was born today. But not in the typical fashion. He has spent the last 9 months in the womb (referred to as the hotel) of my dear boss' wife's tummy (I'll refer to her as NA). NA is the mother of two pre-teen boys, a counselor, an artist, a soccer mom, wife and beloved friend. She has dreams and desires of her own but at the age of 49, felt God stirring in her heart to offer her womb to her dear friends who weren't able to conceive another child. The doctors gave her the go ahead and implanted a few eggs. One fought hard to make it and after much prayer and many months of waiting for baby boy to arrive, the day has finally come!! NA is truly an example of Christ. She has given of herself in so many ways, exemplified Christ's example to deny self for God's glory and blessed this precious family. I am forever moved by her life of faith and trust in Jesus.
The angels are singing today!

20 January 2008

The nest is so safe

It's safe and warm...
Mama nestles me under her wings,
Daddy protects and provides.
He is strong and valiant.
She is constant and nurturing.
I grow and watch others soar above me,
My heart wants to do the same.
There is hope outside the nest.
It's my turn to fly now.
My nature is to stay in fear;
it's too risky.
I'd rather live in the familiar.
God give me courage to fly!

BEB the ripper!

It's a known fact that BEB LOVES to rip things. Paper, books, receipts, whatever she can get her little hands on. We've named her "BEB the ripper" (it sounds better when you say her first name!). She's heard us call her that for months now and has (obviously) been storing it away in that brilliant mind of hers. She doesn't forget a thing! Our guess is that she loves the sound it makes!!
Back-up two days....I gave BEB a pretty toile gift bag to play with and she has had it filled with Little People and toys ever since. This morning, while playing on the couch, she finally realized that the bag had the potential to rip. She started slowly and then let 'er rip! I was reminding her the whole rip down that we couldn't put it back together. She looked up at me with a smirky smile and said enthusiastically "BEB THE RIPPER!!!"

17 January 2008

Daddy the "Male" Man

The other morning, BEB and I were enjoying breakfast together and somehow got on the subject of females vs. males. I was explaining the difference between them saying "Mommy is a lady so she's a female; BEB's a little girl, which means she's also a female." And then I went on to explain that Daddy's a male because he's a man and Scout (our doggie) is a boy dog so he's a male. She replied with, "Ohhhhh, ok. (PAUSE) Daddy's a male man!" Makes perfect since to her!!!

A bible verse meets The Beatles

What do these two things have in common? Well leave it to our little lady to make the connection. We were at a dear friend's house last night and BEB and her son were playing together. The mom and son were in the middle of reciting a bible verse and when the son said John 14:7 (I don't exactly remember the verse, I just remember it was in the book of John!), BEB chimed in and said "John, Paul, George & Ringo!!!" CNB and I just cracked up! She knows her Beatles!! :)

11 January 2008

Tornadoes, Wal-Mart & a lady named Karen

Yesterday was by far the closest I've ever come to realizing my life could be over in an instant. It was a stormy day here in Middle Tennessee and I decided (for whatever reason) to brave the storms and run some errands for work after lunch. I went to a few places, getting drenched in between, made a pit-stop at Starbucks (of course!) and then found myself at Wal-Mart. A little voice told me to head back to the office but I figured while I was out....and so goes the story.
I made my way around the store and while I was in the grocery section picking out paper towels, CNB called my cell. He proceeded to tell me to head home immediately (he thought I was at work, which is only about 5 minutes from our house)because there was a tornado watch in effect for the Cool Springs area. At the same time, we got disconnected and a voice came over the intercom instructing shoppers to move to the center of the store ASAP! I left my buggy and briskly walked (which is usually my normal walk!) to the clothing department. The rain was pounding on the roof harder and harder. There we all congregated anticipating what would come next. No one seemed to be panicking, most people were just chatting and carrying on. I was able to get through to CNB and tell him the update on the situation. It was then, when I said "I love you" as I was hanging up that the overwhelming thought and fear hit me, this could be the last time I might ever be able to talk to my husband. I stood there, not knowing a soul, longing to be home with my precious family. CNB was at work, I was stranded at Wal-Mart (the place that shouts "Everyday matters!") and our little one was at home with the grandparents. I was praying inwardly for protection and so focused on the fear in my heart. I kept looking up at the skylights over head, fearing the worst.
At that time, a lady came up and said "excuse me" as she passed behind me and a rack of clothes. Then, something happened that I'll NEVER forget. She turned back around, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Are you a Christian?" Without hesitation, I said "Yes" and she immediately grabbed my hands and said "Let's pray." For the next 10 minutes or so, right in the middle of a group of people and over the announcer's voice shouting "Code Black, Code Black", we prayed fervently for the storm. For Jesus to calm the storm, to calm our hearts, to protect our lives and reveal Himself to those who need His love. She just kept praying boldly and with a strong voice "Peace" "Your Peace Jesus" "You spoke and the winds and the seas stopped" and on and on. It was so powerful. Amidst the tears, I was able to pray a few meager words but I was just so in awe of God's hand upon us. As we kept praying and beseeching God to spare our lives, the rain became lighter and lighter. The storm blew over. We never lost electricity, we didn't have to get on our hands and knees and hunker down and (Praise God!) the tornado never hit.
A few more minutes passed and we were told to proceed with our shopping like nothing ever happened. As quickly as the storm came up, it "mysteriously" disappeared. I'm confident that God sent Karen to Wal-Mart for me. We ended up talking for awhile after the scare and I learned some things. She was leaving a another store about 5 minutes down the road from Wal-Mart when she noticed the sky was turning green. She just kept hearing God tell her to go to Wal-Mart to seek shelter. That's not at all what she wanted to do, but obeyed. She came into the store and purposefully looked into people's eyes trying to find someone who believed. The Lord led her to me. She explained that she and her family moved to Nashville after Katrina destroyed their home in LA back in '05 (her husband is there now rebuilding). She also told me a story about her experience in a tornado back in Minnesota earlier in her life that God had saved her from.
Karen is a woman of strong faith. She was looking outwardly in the midst of a frightening time. She boldly said that Christians are supposed to rise up in times like these and call out to our good God. God reminded me of my calling to set an example in scary and uncertain times instead of focusing so much on myself.
I was also reminded on the way home about a statement we learned at church last weekend. Our teaching pastor asked us to carry this saying in our hearts during our week, "The good hand of our God is upon us!" I just kept saying that as I drove away, praising God for saving me. I hugged my family much tighter last night, knowing that the outcome of my day could've looked so differently. My heart is heavy for the people in Alabama and Mississippi who were effected by the devastating tornadoes that hit yesterday. I'm so grateful...