Sunday, December 6, 2009

$10 Challenge

It's an interesting thing to give to someone in need or undeserving. My friend, Louise has chosen to partake in the $10 Challenge and has challenged the rest of us to also. Bill Coffey started the challenge and you can follow the link to his site to read it fully.

At this time of year, there are many who give selflessly, thinking of others and not of themselves, others who give thinking only of themselves and still others who give because they have to (I'm thinking of store clerks who are harried at this time of year). What can I give willingly that might make a difference to someone's day? No matter if I can only afford a $1, what can I sacrifice to help someone else feel a little bit of the love of God at this time when we celebrate His Gift to us? $10 seems like a small thing, a tiny token, but it can change the life or at least day of someone we come across.

My Mom occasionally gives the store clerk a chocolate bar, what if we were more prepared and had little cards in our purses/wallets to give along with it with a note of encouragement and/or thanks for those people who work double-time this time of year? Whether you do a spur of the moment gift or put some forethought into it, please let me know what it is you did, pass along your ideas so others can share them.

God bless you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Assault of Grief

It is a strange thing to grieve, to need to grieve. It assaults you, comes in waves, attacks at inopportune moments and lasts for years. You cannot gauge or predict how long it will take to go through the grieving process. It varies from person to person and is not something to be ignored and brushed away. You can't brush it away in fact, because it will jump out when you least expect it, demanding attention and refusing to be set aside again. If we choose to resist facing it, it affects our mental health until we stop and look at it face to face.

I grieve. Some days more than others. Some things I take out in little pieces because I fear that to face it all at once would be more than I could bear, and yet there are times when it threatens to overwhelm me and I must find a space to breathe.

I have tried to resist grieving, to put it aside until a better time, but there truly is no better time. If we grieve in the moment of our pain, it is easier to own, easier to share. When we put it off, we are misunderstood, we lose the support of our immediate community. There is still support, but we must be willing to seek it because most will think we are "over it". The truth is that the thing that makes us grieve, also makes us who we are. It becomes a part of us, a part of who we are.

My grief has brought me to envy the sibling relationships of other people, to encourage them to appreciate every moment, every memory they make with their siblings, to not let insignificant things come between them. There are days when just hearing someone talk about their sister brings me to tears, days when I still, almost 4 years later, think to pick up the phone to call either my brother or my sister, only to remember they aren't there.

The truth is though, that I will forever carry them in my heart, that they will never be far from me unless I chose to let them go. If I refuse to talk about them, if I refuse to remember them or look at their pictures, then they will disappear. I will not allow them to disappear. I will tell their stories, and hopefully in the telling, they will live on and enable others to live past the moment of their pain.

Maybe, in our grief, we can help others walk the pathway of life in a better, truer way. It is one way that our pain can bring good out of bad.

It's another Blog Carnival Tuesday! This week's word is "Grief". To read other blogs on this word, click here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Stay or Go?

Today I was reading on BibleGateway for my devotional and came across these verses:

1 Peter 2:22-25 (Contemporary English Version)

22 Christ did not sin

or ever tell a lie.

23 Although he was abused,

he never tried to get even.

And when he suffered,

he made no threats.

Instead, he had faith in God,

who judges fairly.

24 Christ carried the burden

of our sins.

He was nailed to the cross,

so that we would stop sinning

and start living right.

By his cuts and bruises

you are healed.

25 You had wandered away

like sheep.

Now you have returned

to the one

who is your shepherd

and protector.

It made me stop to think. Sometimes we read verses like this and assume that because Jesus didn’t sin or complain or retaliate when He was abused that He did nothing. The truth of it is that there were many times that He just walked away – like when they tried to stone Him or push Him off the cliff. He allowed them to abuse and murder Him at His death because that was the plan all along and there was value in it. He doesn’t ask us to stay in abusive situations unless He has a plan that will bring about good in our lives and to His glory.

Is God asking you to stay where you are? Or are you choosing to remain in an abusive place out of a misconception that that is how Jesus insists it be done?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There have been some things in my life lately that have left me feeling alone, isolated; but God has brought back into my life an old friend who is able to help me see things more clearly. Then last night a friend caught me on Facebook and both have helped me realize that I truly am not alone, there are others who are going through the same experiences.

What I remembered last night while chatting online with my friend is that without community we truly do stand alone. The Bible encourages us to share one another's burden (Galatians 6:2) and yet our society tells us to keep our burdens to ourselves, to not bother others with our lives or our stories. Last night as my friend and I chatted she kept apologizing for bothering me with her stories, with her pain. I do the same thing, I bury my pain deep inside me and then wonder why I feel isolated from the world and my friends.

If we do not speak up, if we do not talk to others about all the things in our lives, good and bad, then we do not have community and it is our own fault for it. If I share with you only the good I make you a fairweather friend in my head, if I am willing to be vulnerable enough to share with you the negative in my life then I give you the opportunity to help me bear burdens, as the Bible asks us all to. When I keep silent, then I deprive you of that same opportunity.

A true community shares all of life, hiding nothing from itself. When we do not stand up for each other, care for each other and bear the burdens of our neighbours we have a superficial community that will not stand up for long against the trials of the world. It will fall apart and leave us without even the semblance of a safe place.

I encourage you to step outside of your fears, be vulnerable and share some of your fears and burdens with those in your community. If you feel completely isolated, chose one or two safe people to be vulnerable with (call a hotline if you need to!) and reach out to those around you, parents, siblings, coworkers, friends. It will change your life for the better.

I am participating in Blog Carnival. Today's word to write on is: Community. If you want to take part, or to read the amazing posts from fellow bloggers, please go here and immerse yourself in the wonder and the magic of being connected to an amazing community of thoughtful folk here in cyberland.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My siblings were born 6 years and 6 days apart. In fact, my baby brother was due on our big sister's birthday but he chose to wait 6 days and hence the 6 day difference. It tends to make this week a difficult one for me the past few years.

Birthdays are big for me. They are a time to celebrate life and love and family and I can still celebrate that for them, but not with them. Instead their birthdays have become a time to grieve and to remember that time with them is lost for now. It is a choice. I have chosen a time that it is okay for me to miss them terribly, that allows one day to be a painful one of intense memory and missing. To be sure I miss them intensely on other days, days that sneak up on me and hurt just because they are not here to be with, but on their birthdays I give myself permission to think about all the times we had and miss the times we will never have.

I started this when my brother died, his birthday is Nov 12 and I connect his death with the war that we all fight against Satan. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 to "Be self-controlled and alert. (because) Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Satan stalked my brother and won, that is the naked truth of it. I am joyful that just because Satan won the battle does not necessarily mean that my brother lost the war. I look forward to a time when I can see him again. Remembrance Day for me has evolved into a day when we remember those who fought/fight these earthly wars but it also extends a day longer and is a day when I remember my brother, the sacrifices he made along the way and the lesson he left behind to help us make wiser decisions along our way.

One of the reasons I chose to remember my siblings on their birthdays is because I chose to NOT ruin the holidays with grief over missing them and wishing they were with us. My sister died just a couple days before Christmas and I refuse to allow Christmas to be ruined by the grief that comes from remembering the way she died or how much I miss her. My children and her children deserve better.

We need to set aside a time for remembering, lest we forget. We need to remember all of those who have died in the course of life, for whatever reason, to learn from their life and mistakes, to follow our own path without dying in our grief.

I chose the week surrounding Remembrance Day to also remember my sister Angela and my brother Cory because their birthdays straddle it. Cory's birthday is becoming a day to celebrate who he was and what he meant to me, I am sure that with time, so will Angela's.

What day will you choose to make sure your loved ones are not forgotten? A day you give yourself permission to grieve and remember them?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silencing the tapes

I sang this weekend with a professional singer and the entire time I was practicing with her, I battled my "tapes" that were continually sounding off that I wasn't good enough, that I would ruin her performance, that I would mess it up and everyone would know that I really am not a good singer.

See, Friday night we met to practice. There was one other lady, also singing back-up for The Singer and we were learning new songs and learning harmonies to those songs. For this other lady, she has a college degree in music, it's simple for her to pick out a harmony and sing it - she loves to do that, it is one of her strengths and joys and she's good at it. I love to sing melody. I'm content to let someone else harmonize, I love to just sing it out. I can't do that as back-up singer - The Singer gets the melody, I have to learn a harmony. That's okay, I can learn it, and as I discovered this weekend, I can even pick one out that sounds pretty good. As we practiced together, The Singer chose the other lady to sing duet with her in a few parts and even to lead out on one of the songs. That helped set off my tapes of not being a good singer, and of sounding badly.

The point is, I did it, and I did it fairly well. I stretched myself beyond my own feelings of capability and came through. I wasn't perfect, I did mess up and miss a few things, but it still sounded good. I discovered that I can actually harmonize, I can do something different and still succeed. Most importantly, I learned that even when I can't turn off the tapes, I CAN fight past them and refuse to believe their lies.

See, the tapes this weekend were so huge that I even dreamed that THE singer had asked me to not sing with her. I was in tears trying to learn parts - not because it was hard but partly because of my fear and my ongoing tapes (and partly my exhausted emotional state). Sometimes the tapes don't give up. I have big dreams, I want to sing in a big way, to share a message, my testimony through song, to hopefully change lives with my story and music. In the past, I have allowed that dream to be trampled on and crushed and now that I have chosen to let it live again the tapes are louder, they are fighting to be heard, to kill this recently replenished dream. I am choosing to ignore the tapes. The longer I ignore them, the more I prove them to be untrue, the better able I will be to give that dream true life, to embrace the opportunities that come my way and hopefully, one day, see my dream come true. This time, I chose to NOT give up on it, to stretch and push until it comes to fruition.

I couldn't silence the tapes this weekend so I did the next best thing. I fought past them, I kept going despite them. Then, most importantly, I found a friend and confessed to her my need and my fears and I asked her to pray for me. I know that she did because I felt God's strength in my heart and my voice as I sang. Through the performance, I sang and I sang it right and the tapes were silenced. I didn't ruin the songs or the worship. God sustained me and gave me abilities that I didn't know or believe I had before. I praise Him because only He can carry me through. Only He gives me the strength and the ability to push past my fears and anxieties to succeed and accomplish something new and scary.

He is an amazing, mighty God and I am grateful that He is the one who carries me through.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last night, after climbing into bed, I had the perfect thought to share here today. However, of course, this morning it is gone. Sometimes my best thoughts are when I am lying down in bed, of course, it is at those moments when I don't have a pen & paper or computer to write them down and no real desire to get up to find one.

Sometimes life is like that. The best response to someone's comments come after we have walked away, the best comeback to an insult is thought of the next day. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes, however, when a response is necessary, a pause can be misinterpreted. This happened to me last night. I was on the phone with a friend and, as we were discussing a rather sensitive topic, I was being careful with my words. Unfortunately, she felt I was distracted or too tired and we left the conversation for another day. I was pretty tired, so perhaps that is okay. I can research my answers and give her a proper Biblical response when we meet again later this week.

It's okay to put a conversation on hold to a later time. It helps to organize thoughts and present them in a non-offensive way that may be more easily heard. Sometimes, it just changes your frame of mind. Sometimes we can't put off the conversation, but during those times we can be sure that God will present the answers and guide our words if we only ask Him to. We just need to use our discretion and wisdom in every situation.

God bless you today. May your words be a blessing to others as you open yourself up to serve Him today.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Speaking out

I shared my testimony at church yesterday. It was harder than I thought it would be, but at the same time it was freeing and exhilarating. God is such an amazing God. He calls us to tasks that we will be good at. He calls us to do things that He knows we will enjoy.

I have often felt that my story is of no value. I was wrong. Yesterday, people listened. Some of them heard a message they needed to hear, others left thinking and minds were opened to the dangers that face our children, our hearts. I pray that it brings healing to some and protection to others.

Some feel we should not speak about these things in church with children present, yet if we do not speak out, these things continue to happen. Just as we need to learn from the history of our world, we also need to learn from the history of the lives of those around us.

I feel God is calling me to share my story and I am eager to obey His word. Where He takes me from here, I am excited to find out.

God bless you today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I speak at church this morning. I am filled with conflicting emotions, nervousness, excitement, thankfulness, peace... I am going to give my testimony. It's been a dream I've had lately to begin sharing my story to hopefully help others find healing and escape from abuse and pain. In reality, my dream is to eventually use songs and speaking to share my story and draw others to discover their own journey of freedom, hope and peace.

It's been a long journey for me. A process that sometimes I wanted to give up on, but now I feel that God can finally cause good to come from the evil, as He promises to. I am excited to know that can happen, and that God is making it happen through me. A part of me feels like today is the dawn of a new era, a new chapter in my life.

I pray that I do not get in my own way. I pray that I will always remember that God is the driving force and giver of this ministry and that I am just a vehicle, vessel willing to be used by Him. I hope that is your prayer also.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I'm writing again, just not here. So, I am reminded to write here again.

I'm writing a sermon, of sorts. It's a testimony, sharing my life story and how God has saved me and worked in me to provide healing and salvation. It's not an easy story to write, much less share publicly, yet one I feel called to tell. It's interesting also because in the telling I realize how much God has healed my heart. It's a good feeling, it's good to know that the healing takes place even when we don't realize it is happening.

I speak on August 29. I'm nervous about it. I want people to hear how God can heal us in the midst of pain, but I also want them to hear the pain. It's abuse awareness Sabbath and I want them to become aware that abuse happens in the lives of those close to us and we don't realize. I want them to be inspired to DO something when they see something wrong happening. I could use your prayers. Mostly, I want God to speak and to have Him give the message that each person most needs to hear.

I'm rambling tonight, but wanted you to know I am still out here. I am working on life and living and will be back soon!

God bless you. May you hear His voice and the message He has for you today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Complete Honesty

1 Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,"
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
Psalm 32:1-2

Do I live my life in complete honesty? To say that I am in complete honesty is a bit like claiming to be perfect... yet, these verses are not saying I must be willing to be honest with myself, God and others so I can be forgiven and have my record cleared of guilt.

So, why do I feel fear at the idea of living in complete honesty? I know that it would be freeing, yet I feel fear at the thought, to be totally visible and vulnerable. Some of it even comes from the thought that if I am totally honest with myself and others that my sins will be clear and I will discover that I am not a nice or good person.

Lord, I want to live in complete honesty. I want my sins forgiven and set out of sight, to have my guilt cleared. Please help me to be completely honest with You, with myself and others, especially M. Help me to have Your wisdom when I need to be honest with others so that Your love shines through the truth that needs to be spoken. Amen

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My husband did a wonderful thing and sold his computer in order to buy a piano for our family, actually for my birthday present! I am delighted!! I have so enjoyed having a piano in the home for the last week and have been playing daily. Last night, I was even able to write the music for a new song I've written. It's amazing, actually. When we open our hearts to hear God and allow Him to give us gifts and talents, and put them to use, we are refreshed and invigorated by the gift He gives us.

Sometimes I have felt fear that God would give me something that would be difficult to do, or something I wouldn't WANT to do. Sometimes, like Moses, He calls us to do something we don't enjoy or don't feel good at. Truth was, God had prepared Moses for the task before him. Moses had been trained at the school of the Pharaohs and likely had speech classes, leadership lessons and God had taught him total reliance on Himself during his years of wilderness living. All Moses lacked was self-esteem. There even came a time when Moses did stand on his own and did not rely on Aaron to be his spokesperson.

The truth is that God doesn't call us to do something He hasn't prepared us for, or will give us the ability to do. He calls us to do something that He needs, something that He knows we will be good at and enjoy. I am enjoying the journey and I hope I remember the lesson that no matter where He leads, He has already prepared me for the task and knows I am the best person for the job. Truth is, I'll probably enjoy it too.

Are you enjoying your journey? Or are you fighting God's will in your life? Surrender to Him and discover how much more abundant your life can be.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Did It!!

For the last few weeks, I have been praying about where God is leading me, what He wants me to be doing, what His "call" is for me.

I have just returned home from 10 days at our church Camp Meeting. It is always a joy to me, something I look forward to every year, a week of spiritual refreshment filled with the opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new friends and just relax for a while.

This year, I was privileged to sing again. On the first Sabbath (Saturday) I sang 2 songs at the Concert in the Park - one of which was the song I wrote! It was an amazing experience!! I loved it. My song was well received and many people stopped to let me know they were blessed by it. On Monday, I was performed my first "full" concert - 1/2 hour of songs praising God. When I was done, I realized that God had given me my "call" a while back and I have just moved very slowly in accepting it. After my concert I returned to my tent, on a high, praising God for His gift to me, and wrote another song of praise to Him. Although, as I told my husband, M, on the way home, I feel like I am just a pencil for the words God gives me.

Where will this lead? I don't know. I only know that my call is to write my own songs and to sing to praise God and tell His story through my life. One day I pray that I will put out a CD, but one step at a time and all in God's time. My plan for now is to keep writing, to keep singing, to make myself available to sing wherever possible and to put together a concert that tells the story of my life and how God has carried me through every moment of it.

Have you heard your "calling"? Have you asked Him for it? When I finally understood what it was God wanted me to be doing it was a joy and a blessing that uplifted my soul. He will never put anything on us that will be a burden, He wants us to have an abundant life, in all its fullness.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Being Committed...

There is a saying, taught at Choices, that says "be committed to do what it takes to get what you want". It's a great saying and one I've been giving much thought to lately.

It's great to say "I'm committed to doing what it takes to get what I want", but it doesn't amount to much if you don't know what you want! I've been committed to doing what it takes, but recently had to sit down and figure out what that meant for me. Honestly, I didn't really know what I wanted, where I was going. I've been coasting along, doing what it takes to survive, but the truth is I don't want to just survive! I want to thrive, to succeed, to grow, to do more and be more....

I've been reading a couple of books by Ben Carson and have felt myself challenged to figure out what it is I want in life, to put in writing what I want to accomplish and how I want to live. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my life and since attending Choices I have rediscovered dreams I had let go of or buried many years ago and uncovered new ones that I hadn't dared to consider, but I had not taken that step beyond dreaming to actually making a plan to realize those dreams.

So, I set goals. I figured out what it would take to meet those goals and then I asked myself the question "am I willing to commit to doing THIS in order to have THAT?" I got specific with myself.

I am willing to commit to doing what it takes to have what I want. I just had to work it backwards so I knew what I wanted and how to get it.

What about you? What do you want? Do you know what it will take to get it? Are you willing to commit to doing that or is it too far beyond your reach, too much of a leap? Do you need to take baby steps, re-evaluating where you are in life and how much you are capable of doing until you can achieve the larger goal at the end? Do you need inspiration? I encourage and even challenge you to read the books by Ben Carson. See how he got where he is and be inspired to be the best you can be!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm feeling my age this weekend. LOL Along with the fact that my age keeps going on a rapid rise towards 40 (yikes!), I attended Parkview Adventist Academy's graduation this past weekend.

I had a delightful time, actually! Aside from the fact that we are all 20 years (give or take) older and a few of us were missing, relationships have changed and we bring along a gaggle of younger children, our old high school gang was (mostly) gathered together and enjoying a reunion of sorts. Two of our old group had children graduating from high school. ACH! I can't believe that enough time has passed for "our" children to passing into that age-old ceremony from childhood to adulthood. Wow. How many years have passed since we celebrated that end of an era, step into responsibility, freedom filled moment? For me, 19 years already. Enough years that, if I had married and had children young, my kids could have been up there today.

I don't wish my life to be different though. My life, my family is where God has chosen me to be, and there is no better place than that. It allows me to age slowly, gracefully? :) Allow me my fantasy. :)

It was a beautiful weekend, filled with remembrances of happy and sad times, relationships and life when we were young and fairly care-free. When we formed those lifelong friendships that transcend time and location to survive, whether we see each other once a year, once a month, once a decade, those friendships spring up and we are instantly bonded and having fun. It is something that I am grateful for.

Truth is, everywhere I go I have the opportunity to make lifelong, lasting friendships with people. When God puts us somewhere, He intends for us to use the desire and ability He gave us to interact with people, to impact their lives and to draw them to Him. There is one man from our long-ago group that especially did that for me. He heard the Spirit speak to him and listened. He sat down with me one day and made very clear to me how much God loved me. I felt God wrap His arms around me during the course of that conversation and that moment in time has saved my sanity, my life and my soul on many occasions.

What of you? Are you listening to that still, small voice? Are you sharing the light and love of Christ through your words and actions every day? You never know when that moment in time will be a life altering moment for someone else - or even for you one day.

God is an amazing God. I thank Him for the gift of relationships, for the gift of lifelong friendships and the ability to have memories of yesteryears to enjoy and to relive every now and then. I am thankful for this past weekend. What a delight to be able to walk down memory lane and come out with a smile on my face.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It has been a week of gifts for me.

I was gifted with the opportunity to spend some time with my nephews. My nephew, Jesse, was gifted with the blessing of a doctor who recognized a disguised bout of appendicitis and removed it before it exploded on the poor child. I was gifted with time spent alone with my other nephew, Colt. Charlie was gifted with a "new" bike and has quickly learned to ride it without training wheels! (Yay Charlie!) We were all gifted with time spent with family and friends. I was gifted with the opportunity to speak in church (my first sermon since Speech Class in College). I am gifted to have a concert at our church's upcoming camp meeting. I am gifted with friends. My neighbour gifted me with dozens of flowers to plant in my garden. I am gifted that I have the strength and energy to plant those flowers. I am gifted with helpful children that love to assist me in whatever I do. I am gifted with a man who is a loving father and husband. I was gifted with the opportunity to quietly, uninterruptedly visit with my mother.

Every now and then we need to stop and list our blessings, our gifts. It reminds us to accept them and to keep asking for them. As I spoke in church, if we do not go to God to ask for the gifts He so graciously holds for us, we cannot receive them. When we ask for what we want, we open the door to the possibility of receiving them. When we ask for, or claim, what God has already promised us, we open the door to possibilities beyond our imagination.

Today, I am thankful and because I am thankful, I am reminded to keep asking for what I want.

What do you want? Have you asked God for it? He's just waiting to give you good things!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abscesses of Sin

It's been too long since I've been on here. I apologize. I have been letting life get away with me.

I was speaking with a friend, W, recently and she was sharing with me that she was going in for dental surgery the next day to get rid of an abscess that she had been carrying around in her mouth since she was a young girl. When she was a child, she damaged a tooth and in the process of trying to repair it, unsuccessfully, and then doing a root canal and putting on a crown, they left a tiny piece of mercury in her gum. She has seen many dentists and complained many times of the continual mouth pain and it has remained hidden from sight. The Dentist who finally found the problem is apparently an expert in finding "hidden infections".

Mercury, as we now know, is a poison and is no longer used in filling cavities or dental repair work because of the long-term damage it causes. W has had health problems one on top of the other and worsening in recent years. Now it comes to light that this mercury could be the root of all those problems.

When the dentist went in to remove the abscess, he could not believe how large it was. It had even decayed some of her bone. Fortunately, the bone will grow back, but she will never get back the years of ill-health caused by this tiny piece of poison.

As we talked, it reminded me of how a tiny little sin, buried so deep that x-rays and even experts cannot find the problem, can ruin a life. It takes a special type of "doctor" to find and eliminate every sin in our lives, to restore our health to us. When we fail to remove every last remnant of sin, we continue to poison ourselves and keep us from true spiritual health.

It makes me ask the question "where have I failed to remove every trace of a sin?" For me personally, at least at this moment, it is in TV. God has asked me to stop watching it and for a while I did, but then I started with a harmless, entertaining movie, which lead to an evening where I was exhausted but instead of going to bed I turned on the TV, which lead to more evenings in front of the TV. I have decided to recommit to turning it off. To leaving it off. TV is a useful tool in the right circumstances, but for me, it is mercury left in my mouth for too many years.

I ask God to reveal to me any areas where I might have left a tiny bit of poison in my system and to take it out, clean out the abscess and heal me. How about you?

God bless you tonight!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I wrote a song yesterday. I've been feeling the pull for sometime, the call you might even say, but I've been putting it off. Truth is, it's not even my first song, but it's one I need music written for, yet, I find myself putting off calling my friend who writes music and sharing it with her. Why? What am I afraid of? I fear rejection. I fear she'll tell me it's just like every other song, it has no meaning, it is not good enough, not unique enough. More than that, I fear that if she writes the music and we perform it that others will think it is not good enough. Fear is not my friend today.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Why do I care so much what others are going to think of me? Why is this is so important to me that I am willing to risk not speaking out and suppressing my dreams and passions on the off chance that someone will not like it?

Fear speaks lies, and, as Choices teaches, it creates its own results. If I give in to fear, my song(s) will never be heard in public. If I choice to acknowledge it and move past it, then who knows what doors God could be opening for me? It may be small things, but sometimes a small thing to one person turns out to be a huge thing for someone else.

Thanks for listening. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I've been contemplating Isaiah 28:23-29 this morning. On first glance, it seems to be fairly non-teaching, just a text about farming and how farmers are taught wisely by God to know what to do with each crop and how to grow them. It's deeper than that though.

Jesus spoke about farming while He was here. Two instances in particular come to mind - Luke 8:4-15 when He teaches the parables of the seeds; and John 4:34-38 where He is speaking to the disciples about the "fields" being ready to harvest.

They tied together in my heart as I was reading this morning.

God prepares my heart to hear His word by plowing it, turning it over and loosening it up so that the seeds can take root, drink water and grow. When soil is hard and packed down, the seeds cannot penetrate the ground, the water runs off the top and seeds that do make it into the ground cannot grow easily.

Once the soil of my heart has been loosened, plowed up, then God can plant His seeds in me. The seeds can be almost anything - repentance, truth, justice, mercy, love, patience, faith, hope, joy, trust... the list goes on. Then He waters them, weeds them and tends to them to make sure they have the best growing opportunity. To ensure my heart has everything it needs to flourish and prosper under His care. He does not walk away and come back to see what grew, He carefully tends the fields until it is time for the harvest. Sometimes, the seeds don't "take". Sometimes weeds spring up and crowd out some of the seeds, but He doesn't give up on me. For the next growing season, He will plant the seeds again.

At the right time, when the fields are perfectly ripe, then He will come in and harvest the crop. After the harvest comes the threshing. Interestingly enough, Isaiah points out that each harvest is treated differently. black cumin & cumin are gently threshed with a light stick or a flail - they cannot be beaten harshly or it ruins the grain. Grain for bread (wheat, etc.) is threshed under wheels, but it too is not beaten "pulverized".

The promise is that He will not destroy me while He grows in me the good things that I need. He knows the differences between each of us and knows what each heart needs to grow and to be right with Him. We can trust our hearts to Him because He knows what we need and will never destroy or damage us. If we are wheat, we will be threshed under a wheel, if we are cumin, under a flail or light stick.

It is safe to let God do a good work in me. It may not be totally painless, but it is safe. I will come out on the other end without all the excess baggage or protective shell, free to live, love and serve Him. That is what I want. What about you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Goal planning

I am excited. I have made plans for singing this summer, I have new songs to learn and a program to put together. I'm excited about that. I am stretching my wings and soaring again.

Too often we get caught up in the day to day necessities for existence that we set our dreams aside, forgetting to focus on them and neglecting to work towards them. I need to change that. It's not working for me very well.

I recently purchased the book "7 Habits of Happy Kids" for my boys. We are all enjoying reading the stories. The first two habits - to make goals and to have a plan. What simple, yet highly helpful advice! C has made goals already. He wants to buy a new crane because his old one broke and he misses it. I'm not buying it out of a need to teach him to treat his toys with respect and take care of them, so he had to come up with a plan to buy it. He is now responsible for taking all our bottle recycling to the basement storage until we have enough to take to the bottle depot. He has to split the proceeds 50/50 with A so it may take a while to get enough collected, but he'll get there and he'll appreciate the crane more for it. I'm proud of him. As soon as there is a bottle or container in the kitchen, he runs it right down to the basement. I may have to do weekly bottle depot runs to make him feel like he's getting somewhere, but it's worth the extra effort on my part and it's giving him something to be responsible for and teaches him and me that he can be relied on.

He's teaching me a lesson too. How often do I want something, but neglect to plan for it? I'm planning for the summer now. I'm preparing for what I want. The sooner I begin practicing my songs, the better I will sing them before a crowd. Of course, it's not a sure thing and sometimes our plans go awry anyway, but if I don't plan, I won't succeed.

Are you setting goals and making plans to achieve them? I challenge you to write out your goals today, then pick at least one and make a plan to accomplish it. It's changed my outlook, and I bet it changes yours too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Taking Time

I took the day off yesterday. See, I haven't been feeling that great, unable to focus for long periods of time, tired, ill, generally blah. Most of us, when feeling that lousy would call in sick to work, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest and be fine by the next day. Unfortunately, I don't usually get that option - as most other stay-at-home Mom's can attest. It doesn't really matter how I feel, my job is there waiting for me, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get some breaks on weekends because I am blessed to have a husband who helps, but most of the time, it falls on my shoulders - without complaint, mind you, because I totally LOVE my job!! :)

Regardless, yesterday I "called in sick". I needed a day off. I did absolutely nothing. I slept in until 9:30, ate breakfast and went back to bed. I got up for lunch and went back to bed. I got up to make and eat supper and after the kids were asleep, went back to bed. I really enjoyed my day. M took care of the kids and they let me rest. They came to say "hi" occasionally, A especially came to make sure I was still there every now and then, but they enjoyed their "Daddy" day.

What did it teach me? It's okay if I am not available for every moment of the day, to mediate every dispute. It's okay for me to take care of myself too, it makes me better able to take care of those around me who rely on me every minute of every day. I also learned that my husband is good with the kids and I honour him when I walk away saying "I know you can do this. You are a good Dad and I trust you." There are other benefits.

Today, I am not feeling 100% better, but I am out of bed! ;) That's a good start. I can get things done, focus on something for longer than a few minutes and my family is none the worse for wear for my days absence. It's almost amazing that I can disappear for a while without everything falling apart.

At Choices they teach that we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Unfortunately, all too often I justify my inability to let go. I allow self-defeating behaviour to let me think that I am too necessary, that they can't get along without me. The truth is that, unless I take care of myself, I can cause damage to those I love the most. That I am better able to care for my children and my spouse when I am first refreshed and healthy.

I will be taking more days off in the future. Taking more time to myself when the opportunity arises, because I have learned that I am better for it and that my family is better for it. It will make me a better Wife and Mom and it will make my family a stronger unit.

It is a good lesson to have learned. I encourage you to make sure you are doing what you need to to take care of you. Not until you take care of yourself can you take care of the others in your life. You do them a favour when you are at your healthiest, happiest best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thanks to Recover Your Joy, I am pondering childhood messages this morning. As a child someone told me I talked too loud, so I made a decision to speak quieter - to the point that now people have trouble hearing me, especially my husband. I am making an effort to speak louder, and I often have to shrug off hurt feelings when he doesn't hear me or notice that I'm working on it. I also have to readjust to the feeling that I'm yelling when I speak louder.

It's hard to break those voices and habits that were formed as children. The voices speak louder than reality sometimes.

I need to be more aware of my reactions and feelings to be sure they are reasonable in the situation. It's annoying to not be able to hear someone - I also get frustrated when I can't hear someone very often, so it's reasonable that others would get frustrated with me.

It's all in perspective. To my head, I talk loudly, to others ears, I talk too softly. Reality is, there is a happy medium and I am searching for that space.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Psalm 103 (you can look it up at details the blessings in life, the ones that really matter, the ones that are constant and are offered to everyone. I am blessed because God loves me, because He saves me, because He rescues me. So are you. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we do or what mistakes we make along our pathway. What matters is that at some point we look up and say "Wow! You did that for me? Thank you." To take the gift that He is offering and to run with it, clinging to it because our very lives depend on it.

I was talking with a friend today who is struggling greatly, and yesterday I was sharing with another friend and both conversations reminded me that we have to keep our lives in perspective. The things that I have gone through in life are nothing compared to what others have gone through and sometimes what I have gone through are more than others can imagine. Yet, we each have suffered. We each have gone through things that are devastating and disastrous to us. Just because I have suffered greatly does not diminish what you have suffered and what you have suffered does not diminish what I have suffered. Each of us is affected differently by our own life experiences. We each respond in varying ways to the stimuli and stresses surrounding us. What drives one person to drugs or alcohol, another to success, another to suicide, another to isolation and fear, it can be the same trigger. But for the grace of God....

What's my point? God has it all under control. There is a purpose and a reason to everything. Sometimes we get to chose the battle we are to undergo, sometimes we are thrown into it by another persons actions. It doesn't matter how we get there, what matters is that when we are in the thick of it we are not alone. As a Christian family, we are to stand when our members are fighting. Truthfully, there is never a moment when a member is not fighting. If I am to be able to stand and fight beside you when you feel like you are sinking, I need to know that you are in the midst of a battle. If you are to fight for me, I must let you know that I am in the midst of a battle. Yet, even if we fail each other by not sharing the battle or not being willing or able to step up and fight beside each other, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be beside us to fight with us or for us. When I fall on my face in the mud, too weak to stand, then He is not hesitant (if I desire it) to cover me and fight for me, helping me rise when I have caught my breath.

5 ... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,
and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Hebrews 13:5, 6

How about you? Are you willing to stand by your friends, the people in your community to go to battle with and for them when they are in the midst of a trial? Will you remember to pray diligently for each other? I am recommitted today to fight battles for those whom God has set on my heart to fight for, to reach out to others in my community without judgment or criticism. I pray there are others willing to do the same for me.

God bless you. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Garden of our Hearts

I was gardening today. We know 2 people who are landscapers and they have inspired me. My neighbour gave me seeds yesterday letting me know that I need to get busy with them. I don't think she realizes how much of a green thumb I am NOT. :)

I decided to start by pulling weeds and cleaning out my flower beds. While I was digging the grass out of my flower beds I thought about how much God has to do that in our lives too. We have some beautiful grass that grows in one corner of the garden and as I looked at it, I decided it needed to be cut back and thinned out some before it took over the flowers growing nearby. Charlie wanted to know why I was cutting out grass that belonged in the garden and it gave me a golden opportunity to share with him that our bad feelings and thoughts are like that grass. It's okay to have your feelings and to experience them, but if we allow our anger, fear, and other emotions to overgrow into our good experiences and feelings, then we don't have a beautiful heart anymore. The same if I was to allow that grass to take over the garden. I wouldn't have a beautiful flower garden any longer, all I would have is a bed of tall grass. No matter how pretty it is, I like the flowers better than the grass.

I have been feeling out of sorts lately. I can chose to allow those feelings to overtake my heart and my actions, or I can change my state to breathe in freedom, patience and joy. Just making a move, taking an action, I have begun the process to give myself freedom to appreciate my life, the good and the bad. There will always be "grasses" that try to take over ever aspect of my heart, but I can chose to control it, to cut it back and keep it in the corner where it belongs. And, should it ever grow too fast out of my control, I can call in the Master Gardener and He will come care for me, cutting it out of my life and even removing it completely from my garden if I am willing for Him to do whatever is necessary for my own good.

I pray that you too will be willing to cut out the excess "grass" in your heart and, if it seems too much to bear, then I beg you to invite Jesus into your heart and your life to cut out those grasses for you.

God bless you today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Yesterday in church our pastor spoke on what it means to answer God's call and minister for Him. This a call that each and every person receives - God has a job or a place for everyone. Some are called to small roles, some are called to big roles, but everyone is called. How do we respond when we are called? Some respond with "No thanks, I'm too busy" or "I'm too good for that role, I want something bigger" or "I can't do that!" and the rest respond with "yes Lord, send me".

I want to be in the "Yes Lord, send me" group, no matter what He asks me to do. As Pastor H pointed out yesterday, serving God is a privilege, an honour, not a right. It does not make God owe me one just because I served where He called. Too many times we do the work God asks of us and then go around feeling like we deserve more from God than we get. I don't deserve any good thing, but God gives me good things because He loves me.

16Don't be fooled, my dear friends.
Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father
who created all the lights in the heavens.
He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing.
He wanted us to be his own special people,
and so he sent the true message to give us new birth.
James 1:17 (Contemporary English Version)

Having a purpose, a goal and a job is a good thing and is a gift. God has given me a calling and for that I am grateful, thankful that He has chosen me to help Him do His work. How do you react when God calls you and gives you a purpose?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I must apologize. I've a houseful of company and my posts will likely not return until Monday next week. Thanks for your patience, your reading and your words of encouragement.

See you Monday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows have dried thirsty land
He hideth my life in the depths of his love
And covers me there with his hand.
"He Hideth My Soul", by Eddy Arnold

This song came to my mind to comfort me today. There are times when I need to be hidden. When my soul is hurting and I need a place to hide then I can be assured that Jesus will just hide me. He will not only hide me but He will put me in a place surrounded by rocks, impenetrable by those who wish me harm and then He will cover me completely by His hand. His strong, powerful, invincible hand that will keep me warm and cared for while I am hiding. What an amazing God. What a powerful promise. When I am weary, worn, tried, tested, scared and just plain worn out then He will just hide me so I can rest and He will take care of me. When I feel at my rope's end, I don't have to tie a knot, I can cry out to Him who is greater than all things and He will carry me to a place where I will be safe and cover me there until I am ready to come out.

I am grateful to my God today. I am thankful that He will place me in the cleft and hide me there to protect me. So, on days when I feel out of control, worn out, tested beyond my limits, I can hide. I don't have to be and do everything, I can just rest in Him and then I find strength to do the minimal things, working by routine rather than by heart and that is OK.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To be Irreplaceable

Shortly after we married I was working as a legal assistant in a family office, doing divorce law. It taught me two things, 1. I hated family law and 2. I was never going to get a divorce, I would do everything in my power to have a marriage that lasts than go through or put my family through anything so nasty, demeaning and destructive. I did not enjoy that job for a myriad of reasons and even though initially my main job was working with the divorce lawyer, I also worked for an estate lawyer. I enjoyed the estate and litigation work. The other major problem was there had been a mis-communication in the hiring process that meant I was being paid about $500 less a month than I had anticipated. They assured me they would raise me up as I worked there longer and yet, at my first salary review, they told me that I was "not indispensable" and therefore was getting no raise at all. I quickly found another job, but based on that low payscale it took me about 5 years before I was making the same amount of money before I took that job - and I had to leave the legal field to do it.

When I try to make my own place, to create my own calling, then I fail myself and my God because I am trying to be God. When I seek to have an irreplaceable role, desiring it so strongly that I attempt to create my own, I may feel it is an irreplaceable role but the truth is that I will have created exactly the opposite - an unnecessary one. A calling, created by myself, is nothing less then a make-work project, and it is harder work than the work God calls us to do. See, when God calls us to work, He calls us into a partnership with Him, where He does the bulk of the heavy labour. When God calls us to a task, He enables, strengthens and supports us so we can accomplish it.

28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and
lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

When I fill the job, or answer the calling, that God has given me, then I am irreplaceble, or indispensable. Then I can accomplish more, reach more than when I step out on my own, trying desperately to fill a job meant for someone else.

Are you filling the role God has called you to or are you running from it, trying to create a place in the world for yourself that does not fit His plan for your life? I am so grateful that He has called me to where I am today. The calling has changed over the years along with the circumstances of my situation and my life and I am forever thankful that He is in charge of my life!

Monday, April 27, 2009


22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive.
Matthew 21:22

It is hard sometimes to remember to ask. I was visiting with some friends from Choices this past weekend and was sharing with them how much I would like to coach some time soon. There are some steps I need to take before I can do that and I cannot control how quickly some of those steps happen. So, I realized I have not prayed about this. I have not asked for God to open the doors so I can go, I had not actually gone to Him and said "this is something I want to do. If You want me to do it, please make it possible". So, last night I began praying for this. God can say "no", "not yet" or "yes". Either way, I am placing it in His hands. I will continue to do my part, but I am content to leaving it with Him. It's the best place for it.

I often want to do things myself. I want to be in control of all the details, the timing and everything else. Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself that God's timing is always perfect and best, even, or especially when, I would do it differently. I have experienced this many times. For example, I got pregnant with my youngest child the week I returned home from my sister's funeral. We had been asking for him for a full year prior to that and I must be honest that my first reaction was "Now?" I wouldn't trade my son for anything. A has been such a blessing in our lives and I know that God has a purpose for him, that God has a special plan for this child. A has a calling to serve God and do a great work for him. Maybe my family needed some good news desperately at that time. Maybe it was a sign that we had made the right decisions. Maybe a lot of things, I'm sure when I see Jesus He will share with me what was going on behind the scenes and why we waited a year to have A and then were given him at a terribly low point.

Sometimes when we ask for something, we don't get it right away. Sometimes we don't get it at all. The truth is that if we trust Jesus and put it all in His hands we will receive what is best for us, even if we cannot recognize that truth in the moment.

So, today I recommit to asking for what I want. Jeremiah 29:11 says:
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."

If I truly believe in God and have faith in Him, then I must trust that He wants what is best for me. He does know me. He does have great plans for me, He wants me to have hope and He wants to prosper me in all I do. Are you ready to ask for what you want? Are you afraid to ask for what you want? Can you accept a "no"? Start with something small(ish) or start with something big. Trust that God wants to give you Good things. He loves you. He wants you to ask Him for what you want. He will give you good gifts just because, but there are times when He can't say "yes" until you ask.

God bless you today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weathering the storms

6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 (KJV)

5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,
and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.

6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:5-6 (KJV)

Jesus is the vine in which we all abide. There is no other way to life, no other way to live. Unless we are attached to the vine, to the roots, we have no hope of survival.

We often expect that once a person makes the decision to follow Christ, then their life should flow smoothly and they should be protected from all the evils and ills that befall the rest of mankind. The truth is, that as long as we live on this earth, we cannot and will not be exempt from anything everyone else has to go through. If being a Christian meant we would never have to suffer again, then everyone would be a Christian because of the benefits.

A plant is not exempt from the weather that surrounds us. Here in Calgary, it is spring, yet we have already faced one blizzard this week and are looking at another coming in sometime today. We have trees beginning to bud and plants beginning to grow and bloom and they are facing the severe winds, blowing and drifting snow, freezing rain, yo-yo temperatures and all the other things that come with our volatile and unpredictable springs. The branches on those trees cannot escape the weather, rather, because they are securely attached to a deeply rooted, healthy tree they can withstand the storms that beset during its dormant times, its blooming times, and any other time. It doesn't change the storm, the trials or the troubles, it just has the strength to endure.

If I align myself with God and am grafted onto His strong trunk, then I can and will survive any storm. He will sustain me, feed me and hold on to me so I have nothing to fear as long as I stay attached to Him. The minute I chose to let go, then I face the destruction that storms can cause, breaking me from the tree and tossing me about until I am just firewood.

Will you cling to Him? Will you allow yourself to be grafted to His vine so that you can share in His strength? I pray that you do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I saw an article on TV the other evening that had me disbelieving my hearing. There was a lady talking about how to succeed, having goals and meeting them. She indicated that 90% of the people around us will do nothing but criticize, negate, condemn or otherwise negatively react when we share our dreams and goals. Her suggestion? To keep your goals a secret. To hide what you want to do or accomplish, to hide, really, who you are.

Now, I'm not a proponent of sharing your deepest thoughts or dreams with just anyone you meet, but I do strongly believe that we need to talk about the things that create passion within us. If we do not share our goals and dreams, we cannot hope to achieve them. Yes, there will be people who will laugh at you and provide many reasons for why you may or will not succeed, but if you are passionate enough, if you want it badly enough, you can take their comments, see a way around them or just dismiss them as being unreasonable. It is true that there will always be someone who will try to beat your dreams out of you, to discourage you from achieving your goals, but only you can choose how to respond - to let go of the dream or to be strengthened to pursue it.

Dreams are a huge part of who we are and who we become. When we let go of our dreams because someone else said we should, then we fail ourselves and become one of the living, walking dead. I've been there. I would far rather be bold and share my dreams so that I hold myself accountable for accomplishing them, than for hiding them in a box and taking them out to look at every now and then. If I hide them in a box, I cannot see that they will be accomplished.

Perhaps I misunderstood the context of the TV article. Perhaps I did not listen long enough to walk away with a true understanding of what she was trying to say, but I know that as I passed by I was distressed that people were being admonished to hide their deep desires, to refrain from sharing them with others. It felt, to me, that the suggestion was to put up walls and barriers between others and ourselves, at least where our goals are concerned.

Alternatively, today at church our pastor called us to step out, to make friends with others in our own community, to get to know people, to allow people to get to know us. Personally, I would rather be willing to share myself with others and to have them share with me than to hide away from them out of fear that they will criticize or condemn me for my goals and dreams.

What about you? Are you willing to share of yourself, confident enough in your dreams and goals that someone else's reaction will not sway you from pursuing them? Put yourself out there. Get to know the people around you and let them get to know you. If someone criticizes or otherwise is negative regarding what you desire for your life, then evaluate and move on. They aren't living your life, you are.

Friday, April 24, 2009


The other day, I had a delightful, relaxing, fun day for me. My husband, M, took the boys to the Supertrain show with his dad and I chose to stay home. I relaxed, read a book, talked to a friend, journalled, prayed, cleaned and cooked. Yet at the end of my afternoon I was anxious for company. Being lonely is something each of us faces and no matter how we can try to fill the void, when you need a friend nothing else will do.

Friendship is an interesting force. God created us to be together. Genesis 2:7-23 tells the story of how God created mankind and He says that was not good that man was alone. Wow. Man was never created to be alone, to travel alone. We were created to share this existence, to carry each others burdens, to be a part of each others lives. So many times we allow the happenings in our lives to isolate us, to keep us from others. The truth is that is not God's plan for us. His plan includes deep, intimate relationships. When He was on earth, Jesus never went without friends. He surrounded Himself with friends, 9 good friends and 3 close friends. He knows our need to be social and have friends.

I remember a day, shortly after we had married and moved to a new city, when I came home from work at a new job I hated, in a new city where we were close to no one and crawled into bed crying because I was just so lonely. I remember pouring my heart out to God, desperate for His help, asking for a friend - even just one. Shortly after that, the next day I believe, I came home from work to find my cat lying motionless and sick on the living room floor. I loved my cat, I had moved her halfway across the country, she was my friend, my confidante and I was terrified. I went through the people we had met at church wondering who I could call for a ride to the vet and, even though I didn't know them well, I called a couple who lived close to us. They were gracious enough to come immediately, drive us to the vet and wait for us to be done to bring us home. It was the start of a beautiful friendship that continues to this day. An answer to prayer. I have forever felt blessed by God to have given me such an immediate and obvious answer to prayer. I know, without a doubt, that God cares deeply about our friendships. When we call to Him, He will provide.

Are you lonely? Take it to God. Trust Him to provide a friend for you, to bring into your life someone you need and someone who needs you. He will not fail you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the
ood and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if
because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take
it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently,
this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that you should follow His steps:
22 “ Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return;
when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself
to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore
our sins in His own body on the tree, that we,
having died to sins, might live for righteousness—
by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:18-24

I had a "wow" moment with these words yesterday as they were read during our Bible study. We were talking about serving God where He has called us. Where He wants us, not where we have made a place for ourselves, or where others have expected us to serve, but to follow God's leading. Verse 21 jumped out at me.

But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently,
this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called,
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that you should follow His steps....

Wow. There is nothing else to be said. It does not matter what job or task I am called to, my calling will always be to suffer for doing good. There will always be someone somewhere willing to cause suffering when good is being accomplished. There will always be someone to shoot arrows and try to wound us. I need to expect that. I have an enemy who will do anything and everything to take me out, to destroy my spirit and my relationship with God. I must do my part to make sure he does not succeed.

That brings me to the question, what is my calling? Where does God want me to serve Him? I truly believe that my calling is in relationships. There are various ways I can serve God by strengthening my relationship with Him and others and other ways I can encourage others in their relationships with God and others. Is it any wonder, then, that the enemy has attacked my relationships with a vengeance? That he has tried to destroy me by destroying the relationships closest and dearest to me? It gives me a new perspective and increases my desire to serve my God and build my relationship with Him more everyday. To live my life abundantly in service to Him so that my days, and my sufferings, are not in vain.

What is your calling? What passions, what missions has He placed on your heart? Are you willing to follow Him, to answer that call?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I have been studying the book "Captivating", by John and Stasi Eldredge, with a delightful group of women who I have come to love and enjoy immensely. We're finishing the book today and as I reread the chapter last night preparing for this mornings meeting I was struck by the thought that God really does have a mission for me. He has called me to a great work, and whether that great work is something that seems small and insignificant to me and the world around me, or a work that is big and important in the eyes of our society, if He has called me to it, then it is a mighty work.

So many times I look at my life and my daily tasks and I think "Is this it? Is this really all I have to offer?" and the truth is that, Yes, this is all I have to offer because it is me and it is where God has asked me to be. If I am following Him, and I give my all no matter what I am doing, then I am enough. I do not need to offer more than I have been asked. Sometimes He calls us to rest and worship, sometimes He calls us to work all hours of the day but never does He leave us alone to do the work. When we follow His leading, His calling, He is there, side by side with us, to do His part in the work so nothing is lost or left undone.

Yesterday I wrote about being tired. I have often had a problem with allowing myself to rest. I hear the tapes going off in my head saying "you don't deserve to rest, you haven't finished everything yet" or "no one else will take care of it (you), you must get this done". Reality is that when I am that tired, I don't get anything done. I walk around, looking busy, but really accomplishing nothing and then I just feel worse about myself. I heard a sermon once about rest, and about how God calls us to work from rest, not rest from work. It makes total sense. The first thing God had Adam and Eve do was to take a day off. They were created on the 6th day and rested on the 7th and then told to continue that pattern. To rest and worship on the 7th day and to work from the 1st through 6th days. Rest, then work. It makes total sense. To continue that thought, the Bible says that the "evening and the morning were the first day"so we are to sleep first, and work second. (Genesis 1-4)

If I stop when God is calling me to rest, even if the dishes are undone, the living room is a mess, and company is coming, He will give me strength to either trust my friends to be non-judgmental, to ask for help or to give me the rest I need to do the work I need to do.

So, today I am going to consider that God is calling me to rest at this time of my life. To give me time to sort through all that has happened in the last 3 years. Maybe when I am rested I can tackle all those things that I feel passionate about. I am choosing to rest when God calls me to rest and to work when He calls me to work. I wonder, how will this change how I view life? How I feel and how much I get accomplished? How would it change life for you if you were to choose to take care of yourself and rest before you work?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (KJV)

I'm tired. It seems that I am nothing but tired. Of course, sleeping through the night would be very helpful. :)

My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 119:28 (NIV)

The Bible is full of places that show God understands our weariness, our sorrows and call us to lean on Him alone to carry us and give us rest. It is hard, though, to do just that. I often find in the midst of my exhaustion that I try to carry it all myself, to do it all on my own instead of turning to God for strength and support - not even because I want to, but rather because I am too tired to think of anything else. When I turn to Him and I rest in Him, then my soul is refreshed. He wants me to take care of myself though, He won't rescue me from my own follies of staying up late, or doing things that are unhealthy for me because He wants me to obey His laws of health given to help me.

So, I must evaluate myself and honestly look at my decisions to discover if I am tired because of my decisions or because of things beyond my control. I must be committed to do what it takes to have what I want, and what I want right now is to be rested so I can accomplish more in my day. That would be blessed.

Monday, April 20, 2009


God is amazing, isn't He? I was just telling my boys how awesome He is this morning. The parking lot just above the library we go to has the most amazing view of the mountains and today has a crystal clear, breathtaking skyline.

I took the opportunity to remind the boys that everything God created, He created for us. I told C that if he was the only person to enjoy a sunrise God would have created it just for him, and we should take joy in the beauty that surrounds us because it is God's special gift to us. It is an amazing thought, isn't it, that the beauty in this world does not serve any other purpose but to make our lives more enjoyable. What do you enjoy most? Do you realize that God created it just for you? That if you were the only one to love roses, He would have made roses for you?

Sometimes we forget to look at the beauty that surrounds us in music, relationships, nature and food. I must remember to open my eyes and take in the glory that surrounds me every minute of each day. To live, not survive. To live in thankfulness at the blessings of God and to see them all around me every day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Oh my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless His Holy Name!
Oh my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing.
Psalm 103:1-2 (Msg)

It is so easy to focus on the negative in life. We walk through our day and at the end we share the difficulties, the problems, the worries and oh, so often, we fail to remember the blessings in it. Yet, the days that we look at our day and remember the good things, the roses, or even just the rose buds, among the thorns.

Studies have shown that the negative, the bad things that happen to us are more easily remembered than the positives, the good things. Perhaps that is because we rehash the negatives, we replay them over and over in our heads, sometimes out of guilt and remorse or shame and sometimes to try to figure out what went wrong, what we could have done differently. Sometimes it is others who won't let us forgive our mistakes, but nevertheless, it is true that we remember the negative better and longer than we remember the positive.

Psalms 103-108 are strong pulls to remember the good things that happen in our lives. David implores us to remember what God has done, to put it into song, to
"Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works, be alert for signs of His presence. Remember the world of wonders He has made, His miracles, and the verdicts He's rendered...." Psalm 105:5,6 (Msg)

But David doesn't stop at asking us to do that, he doesn't leave it up to us. Rather, he immediately launches into detailing all the marvelous, miraculous things God had done for His people, as far back as Noah. He examples for us how to remember. He doesn't neglect the foolish things that God's people had done, he doesn't gloss over how Israel turned their back on God time and again, He shows how God's love has stayed constant even when they hurt Him and despised Him and rejected Him.

That gives us hope. Even though we are sinners, even though sometimes (most times!) we fail miserably in following God and obeying His commands, His love is constant, unfailing and merciful. That is not to say that there are not times when we must face the consequences of our actions, those are real and stay the same but God will never forsake us, never fail us when we call on Him to carry us.

Psalm 107 spoke to me this morning because it is so appropriate to our lives, and point at specific circumstances that we suffer. Some wandered in the desert, looking but not finding a good place to live; Some were locked in a dark cell, cruelly confined behind bars; Some of you were sick because you'd lived a bad life; Some of you set sail in big ships, you put out to sea to do business in faraway ports, storms tossed you until you didn't know which end was up; and in every case He got you out in the nick of time.

The truth is that no matter life's circumstances or shat we experience or suffer, God can and will get us out when we call on Him. Sadly we usually wait until we are desperate, until we have exhausted every other avenue of help and used up all our own will-power and then, hanging from the end of our rope, we cry out to God and He rescues us, just in the nick of time.

I admonish you this morning to cry out to God, to save you from the situation you are struggling with. Right now, this moment, He is waiting to hear your plea for salvation. He is calling you to Himself, begging you to let Him help you. Also, remember the blessings God has given you in your life. Reflect on what has happened, on what He has done for you. Write them down, give yourself a history to look back on when you begin to doubt God's love for you. His love is never-failing and I am positive you will find evidence of that in your life when you begin to look for it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2, NKJV

As I look back on my life, I am struck by the tragedies and abuses that happened throughout it's (fairly) short duration. Yet, at the same time, I am amazed that I still stand because there were times when it seemed impossible I would come out the other side unscathed. Truth is, I am not unscathed, but I do still stand, and for the most part, I stand strong..... even when I don't feel or want to be strong. My focus is on the fact that I have survived, and if I have survived all that then I can continue to survive.

Am I talking around the bush? Perhaps. You'll hear the details of much of my life story eventually, but today my focus is not on what happened but rather what didn't happen. What didn't happen is that I did not allow the pain and sorrow to crush or destroy me. I am still standing. I am still living. I am still surviving. Somedays I bow under the weight of the pain, but always I have a God that I can pass on the pain too and He carries me, laying me down to rest and giving me the strength to make it through another day, another week.

The strange thing is that I know in Whose strength I continue to go on. I know that He will never forsake me, never leave me and in that knowledge and strength I ought to be able to walk without fear of the future, yet... there are days when I succumb to the pain and fear that more will happen. Truth is I cannot stop anything that will happen in the future. What I can do is live my life abundantly, as God desires me to do. Will fearing that death will take another loved one stop them from dying? No. Will fearing that abuse will touch me or my family again stop it from happening? No. I am not sufficient protection while we live in this sinful world and I must do my best to protect by education - not only in what situations to avoid or run from, but also when to speak out after the fact. Most importantly, if the only thing I teach my children and share with my friends is to trust God when times are good or when the whole world crashes around them, I have taught them the most valuable survival tool there is.

I would not have survived without God. I know that without a doubt. I can look back at specific moments and say "that is where He saved my life". There are other times I am sure, but I can identify two or three of them without even thinking about it. So. What is my point? I live in fear or more pain, more suffering, more sorrow and I am ashamed of it. God is my strength and on this side of heaven I know that pain will happen. There is no escaping it for anyone. Each of us experiences that pain, delivered in different methods, but always it is present.

If He walks with me, if He sustains me, I truly have nothing to fear. The worst has happened and I still stand, I have no cause to doubt His goodness or His plan for my life. Today, I commit to living my life in joy and thankfulness for the gifts I have received and for the salvation I have received. When the fear comes, I commit to giving it to God to deal with and walking away from it wisely and within His plan for me. What about you? Can you trust God to safely walk you through anything you might have to face?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Welcome to my new blog. It's a new venture and one I hope will be as interesting to those reading as it will be to me writing. I'm taking a step of faith but it promises to be a good adventure.

Why "Sarah Singing"? I sing. I love to sing. I have even composed some of my own songs, not that anyone outside of my children and husband have heard them, but I have done it and I have to say that I think they are pretty good - and my children agree! LOL When I sing I feel empowered, free and in the presence of God. It is a powerful tool in my life. My husband and I often discuss our differences in musical choices - he leans towards classical and orchestral music while for me I need the words. For me, a truly good classical/orchestral piece puts words into my head, he finds words distracting. It's interesting how the same song can bring totally different messages to people, or be powerful for one and annoying for the other.

I'm rambling now. Much of my thoughts come out that way. Please bear with me as I journey here. I'll work on less rambling and more productive thinking another day. Today it is just enough that I have finally taken this step. I feared blogging. I had to really consider why that was and then I realized that I'd be putting my words 'out there'. Opening myself up to criticism and then I might not be accepted, appreciated, enjoyed or even read. Of course the other side of it was that I'd be opening myself up, period. It's a daunting thought, really, and then I realized that if I ever want to be published I need to face that. A person cannot write without exposing themselves to the world. I have a story to tell, a witness to bear and I cannot do that sitting silently and inactively on the sidelines.

I'll write more later. This is just my beginning. My goal is to write every day, so, I shall see you tomorrow, sometime. I make no guarantees about when I'll get to write, just that I will.

God bless you. Thanks for being willing to share my journey with me.