Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

Wedding rings

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

What If?

I keep asking myself the question, What if I lived my life as if I believed everything the Bible said is really true? What would THAT look like? I actually do believe that, but I know that through the years of life’s experiences I have unwittingly allowed little lies to creep in or built up protective walls to defend myself that can also be a barrier to real truth. Life seems to have brought one trial after another the last several years and this week dropped another bombshell. My initial reaction was not a calm reflection of the truth I …

God Isn’t Done with Me Yet

To pick one moment and say, “that, that right there was when God wrecked me,” is hard to pinpoint. It wasn’t the moment our 6 month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t the moment my husband deployed, or the moments I thought he would never return. It was a gradual build up, a gutting of everything I held dear before the final sweep of the wrecking ball knocked through my walls. Our first child was born during the week before finals of my second to last semester of grad school. I was on track for the life I’d …

Wilting

“I’m wilting.”Two words I recently told a friend.  They were out of my mouth before I even had a chance to realize what I was saying.  But after the words were out, I couldn’t quit thinking about the state I was in. I was wilting. Wilting: to become limp through heat, loss of water, or disease; to droop Yes, I was wilting…I was becoming limp through heat– certain trials I was up against had proved to be very hot; through loss of water– I was looking inward to myself rather than looking at Jesus, the very source of Living Water; …

His Faithfulness Remains

I have had the unfortunate opportunity to endure not one, but two, exceptionally difficult ministry experiences. The first one involved me directly while I was working on a small ministry team at a large church. The details aren’t important, but it devastated me at the time. It didn’t change my view of who God was, but it was disheartening to see a ministry leader behave in very ungodly ways that were destructive to me and many others. Eventually I healed, but I didn’t realize that first event was preparing me for things to come. The next ministry falling out also …

The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Love & Sacrifice

Love. We’ve been hurt by it and we’ve been blessed by it. People have even died for it. Love evokes a passion from within us. However, for a lot of us love can be so confusing. How can one fall in love and then years later fall out of love? How does that work? Is love really so frivolous? Is love really that unreliable? Despite the passion that lives in that one little word, we have managed to water it down. Love has become this abstract concept that our culture distorts for its own purposes. In fact, love has become …

From Grace to Gratitude

Have you ever had a word from the Lord? I mean a literal word. As I was reading my Bible and several of my devotion books, the Lord kept showing me this one word. It seemed to keep popping out of the page into my face. That word was “gratitude”. And like most words I had to stop and think about what the word meant. Well, of course I know that it means being grateful or thankful. But I wanted to know more. What was it again; a feeling or expression of being thankful or appreciative. Hmmm, so being grateful …

His Way is Better

My life is not at all what I thought it would be, and nowhere close to what I “hoped” it would be when I was growing up. I don’t say that regretfully. The Lord has shown me so many times that my thoughts are not His thoughts and His ways are not my ways. Praise the Lord for that! Sometimes in life, we end up being most grateful for the things in life that at that time we hated the most. I look back over my life and see fingerprints of God all over it. Places I lived, people I …

You Were…. But Now You’re NEW

Renewed – to begin again, to make effective for an additional period. Wow, when we look at the dictionary definition of “Renewed” we probably all wish we could be that or do that. I am sure our minds go immediately to moments in life that we wish we could “do over”. Of course that’s where the enemy wants to take us…to the moments in life that we were at our worst. But the truth is apart from Jesus we are the worst. Thank you Jesus because of the cross, because of the blood shed on Calvary, because of his pain …

Here I am send me

There was a time in my life when I felt I just wasn’t good enough for God to use. No matter how hard I tried I just kept messing up. I had read books, done recovery, and had friends I talked to about it, but despite my best effort I continued to screw up. At one point I went to a friend from church for accountability and help in this particular area, but instead I received condemnation. I knew what I was doing was wrong, that wasn’t the issue. I wanted help to be victorious over this thing, instead I …

Grace Expectations

No human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. This is something I’ve learned over my life. We often put so much pressure on our husbands, children, friends and family to fill a void in our lives, to be a certain way, or to be who we think they should be so they can meet our needs and our expectations.  Whether we are aware we do this or if we do this unknowingly, it’s wrong. Let me say it again, no human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. It is Jesus’ job to fill that part of our soul …