Friday, December 31, 2010


I sat next to my Dad last night on our couch in my living room. It was his rehearsal dinner for his wedding. Everybody was visiting with each other and I thought it I would steal a few moments with him.

We talked about how he was feeling, how tired we were, and what all had to be done to still get ready for the wedding today. The conversation was "bittersweet" as I thought how precious my few moments with him were.

Just over a year ago I sat on a couch with him in a family room in a hospice facility. My Mom had literally just died and we were waiting for the funeral home to arrive. Our conversation was quiet as we talked about everything we had to do to get ready for a funeral.

I have had a lot of feelings lately that have been difficult. I have been so excited for my Dad to get married as the woman he married is a wonderful Godly woman who loves my Dad tenderly. My prayer over the past few months has been that their relationship would honor God above everything else. I can honestly say that it does.

The difficult part lies in the grief that I still feel. Grief is amazing at times because it is necessary, natural, numbing, and sometimes dreadful. There is however, grace in grieving. Grace shows grief as necessary. Grace enables grief to occur naturally. Grace brings you through the numbness. Grace allows you to live through the dreadful.

The best part of this past year is the appreciation God has given me for His grace toward us. I have experienced His love in a fresh new way. He has allowed me to literally feel the prayers of others. He has shown me I need to love others better. He continues to reveal my insufficiency, self-righteousness, and laziness. He always gives me the answer which is Him.

So the wedding was incredibly beautiful. Two families have met to join. The family time has been precious. It has been the fastest year of my life. I think we are all going to sleep well tonight. We have another year in front of us to go through the things of life that are bitter and those that are sweet. No matter what, God will give us the grace. God is necessary. God is life. To God be the glory.

May you savor the precious moments God allows and experience His grace when those moments are bitter and when those moments are sweet.

Happy New Year.
Love because of Christ

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I was cleaning the toilet a couple of weeks ago and was praying while I was cleaning. Sounds strange I know, but I had someone on my mind and I was praying for them. In their particular struggle I was thinking about why it was so difficult for them to deal with their situation. I prayed and asked God that He would help them to deny them-self.

Clear as day, in the middle of my sentence, before I could even finish it, "Cami do you deny yourself?" No I don't. Isn't that the problem with sin? It is all about us. We do not deny ourselves everyday. Instead our sin denies God everyday. I deny God everyday.

I have talked many times of my "running" or attempts at running. I actually enjoy it even though it is hard and causes pain. Sometimes I want to quit in the middle of the run. Yet I keep on running over and over again. I know that my run will end soon. I know that my running has benefits and does bring joy.

Paul talks repeatedly in the Bible about "running the race." He perseveres through many trials we cannot even imagine, yet he does not boast about his faith. He is always Christ focused and Christ centered in the things he says even though he struggles with his flesh. Paul didn't have self-help books, Paul didn't even have the Bible to direct him in living a Christ centered life. All he had was Christ's life.

So much of our "faith" is based on ourselves. As I was thinking "how do I deny myself," and not commit sin, I came to realize it wasn't about me at all. I can't "deny" myself on my own. There isn't a magic formula to not sin, just like there isn't a magic formula to run. It is just continual focusing on Christ. He is the goal. Living for Him and following the teachings of Christ is what I am suppose to do. In that, if I am following Christ, I am denying myself. Just as my sin denies God everyday, I can deny my sin by looking to Christ and not myself. My faith isn't about me. It is about Christ. He is central. He made me acceptable to God.

One of the scriptures I have been reading over and over lately is Colossians 2:15-23. It is about the preeminence of Christ. Every time I read it tells me who Christ is and what I believe. If my faith is about anything else besides Christ, it isn't faith. That
is the race I am trying to run.

I actually enjoy it even though it is hard and causes pain. Sometimes I want to quit. Yet I keep running over and over again. I know that my run will end soon. I know that my running has benefits and does bring joy.

But my run is for God's glory. My run is for worship of Christ.

And that is something I never want to deny.

I pray that your running will bring joy to God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Treason is the serious act/acts of betrayal against one's sovereign.

Do you commit treason?

So I have a piece of kidney stone that I am still waiting to pass. It has been stuck in my ureter for almost a month now. Fortunately it is not excruciating like the first one, just more of a nuisance from time to time. The crazy thing is it is only like an inch from my bladder so with the amount of fluids I take in everyday, it should have been flushed out by now. Apparently it's comfortable.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about making war on sin. I have been trying to make war on my sins. Areas of my life that I desperately need to turn over to God and allow Him to sanctify. One of my areas is self discipline. The problem with my self discipline is obviously my "self". Self always gets in the way. Self spills into other areas of my relationship with
God. Self spills over into my relationships with my husband and children. Self spills over onto myself and then I become "self"ish.

Ashlie taught Bible study two weeks ago and talked about sin. I have been also listening to a couple of sermons where the focus has been sin. So I am listening because we all have a problem with sin. Becoming who God created us to be is difficult and even discouraging sometimes because we know we won't be complete until the very end. So we have to wait. What are we doing while we are waiting? Are we comfortable?

Adam and Eve made a trade. I guess we could say they committed treason. They betrayed God in the garden. They betrayed their Sovereign. In the majority of countries in this world treason is punished by death. So is ours. Fortunately for Adam and Eve, God also extended His mercy and grace to them that same day as well. As He does with us.

Do we really take our sin seriously? It is something that has been there or is there that we are comfortable with? Is it something that is just a "little" nuisance? Is it something that should be flushed out?

My stone has been a daily reminder to me of sin. It is something that was never meant to be in my body. But it is also a glorious reminder of God's creation. How awesome our bodies are. How they are intricately and mysteriously made. How even my body knows when there is a foreign substance in it, it makes war on it to get rid of it. How God's design is perfect, even in a fallen world. How He is Sovereign.

I don't want to commit serious acts of betrayal against my Sovereign. Not that any of us do. But I know I am taking the "self" out and asking for God to help discipline me. Because my sin is more than just a nuisance and I should be more than uncomfortable with it. Sin is so excruciating to God that someone has to pay for our treason.

Complete in the end. Mercy and grace. Perfect design. Jesus Christ.

Read 1 Peter 1:5-11.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I go every week and eat lunch with Nia and JJ at school. It's loud, messy, and germ-y, but I love visiting with Nia and JJ and looking at all of the other little toothless smiles at their tables. Fortunately Nia and JJ still like me to hug and kiss on them even in public in front of their friends. I also manage to get a few wipes of their mouths every now and then, with my spit and finger of course.

Last week half way through lunch, JJ looked at me and said, "thank you for coming to eat lunch with me Momma." I felt like Mrs. America. I go and eat lunch with them just because I love them. The fact that he was grateful, for an instant, for the time we had together was precious. He was thankful because he loves me back. What a perfect, brief picture of how our relationship with God is suppose to be.

We started Bible Study last week (we meet again today if you want to come) and Ashlie, our leader, started at the beginning, literally. She talked about creation and how God spent all the days before man creating the world just for man. God created everything for our contentment. We were created to be content. We were created to only need Him. Adam and Eve had absolutely everything. Work was joyful. The garden was perfect. They had the very presence of God with them. He walked with them. He conversed with them. They had no needs. They had no wants. Or they should have had no wants.

Then they went outside of God's design.

I wrote a quote of Ashlie's down from last week that has stuck with me. She said, "anythingoutside of God's design is flawed, it is just stuff we lust after." Eve lusted after the knowledge of good and evil. Adam sat back, watched, and then lusted as well. I cannot imagine being in the very presence of the Holy God everyday and wanting something else.

But I am in His presence.
I still want something else.
I am flawed.

So as a person who has surrendered my life to Christ, I have to live each day in God's design. I have to seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1) I have to set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Col 3:2). I have to learn to be content and not lust for things outside of God's design. I have to learn how to overcome my flaws while living in a flawed world.

Thank God He gave me Christ.

I was listening to a sermon today by Matt Chandler. He was talking about how so many "Christians" are content living their flawed lives in a flawed world. He asked "why don't we make war on our sin?" Why do we not take it seriously? Why do we give into the lusts of this world? It is all so short.

So I am challenged. I am challenged in my flaws, in my sin, to live for Christ. I have everything I could ever need to be content in my relationship with God. I have the Holy Spirit's presence. I have God's Word. I have the power of prayer through God. I have the fellowship of other people who live for Christ. I have the ability to make war on sin. I have hope.

I go and eat lunch with my kids because I love them.....
JJ was thankful because he loves me back......

And in that, there is no flaw.

May you find contentment in God, live inside His design, and make war on sin.

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built
up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in
thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Sometimes our legs get knocked out from underneath us and we land on our butt. It takes a while to figure out how to get back on our feet. God may have us there for a time, or He may decide to help us stand back up right away. It hurts when we land, it hurts even more trying to stand. Either way, being on our butt, or on our feet, we cannot do it alone.

Having my kidney stones knocked me on my butt, both literally and figuratively. Getting blindsided by pain is no way to start a Monday. Then of course, the rest of that week went downhill from there. By that Friday, the 13th mind you, (I'm really not superstitious) I was left with a 10 inch plastic stint in my ureter, pain, another large stone still in my kidney, and an assortment of other by products of surgery that I will spare you the details on. That Friday the only thing I could really do was take a shower and then rest because I was exhausted.

As if I hadn't done enough butt sitting that week, the figurative set in---my guilt.

I know all the phases of grieving and I have seemed to experience them differently. I didn't think I would go through the guilt phase of grieving. But here I am. I am not really a crier but have been crying almost everyday for the past few weeks. God really gave me a glimpse of how sick my Mom felt and opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn't understand. So the onslaught of "I wish I would have done this... or I wish I could say that..." began.

Guilt is a horrible thing because it is a response to something that can never be changed. It makes it hard to stand. It breeds into other areas of our life as well. It cripples us and makes us ineffective. It can even take us from sitting on our butt, to lying flat on our back.

So my guilt spilled over into my relationship with God. Since I was already feeling defeated in grief, let's attack what can enable me to stand. We all know that the main part of a relationship is spending time with somebody. How God desires time with us. We usually put our "time" with God into a small window of our day. We feel like we have to read our Bible, pray using some acrostic, maybe journal a few thoughts, and close it up to mark it off our "to do" list. Some days we get so hurried that we don't even spend time with God, but hey He is so forgiving so we will start over again tomorrow and make it right. Right?

I am so thankful that God ended that attack quickly. He told me the only way He wants me lying flat on my back is in worship and humility with Him, not in guilt. So He stood me up.

Why is my time with God locked into a timeframe everyday? Why do I feel like I have to set in place these motions each morning? Why does it end there? Why is it on my "to do" list? Is that worship? Is that a relationship?

God wants all our time. He wants all of us. He asked me why am I not praying without ceasing? Why do I say "amen" in the morning and leave it there? Why am I not picking up my Bible throughout the day reading scripture? Why do I not pray every time I think about something or someone? If I really want Him to continue to sanctify me, why am I limiting it to a set time each day. After all, we don't grow and change as humans only 20 to 30 minutes a day, we do it all day long. He wants us to get use to standing in worship or lying prostrate in worship of Him all day now. Because that is what we will be doing in eternity.

When God knocks you on your butt :) it is my prayer that you will spend all day, everyday getting to know Him and trying to stand. And if you can't stand, spend all day, everyday lying prostrate in humility and worship. That your quiet time would change to your quiet day. That reading our Bibles and praying would be so ingrained in our life that we would never view it as a separate time of our day. It is who we are. It is what we do. It is life.

He already knows us.......let's not limit our knowing Him.....because He is limitless.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A week ago today I accomplished a huge challenge. I did my first sprint triathlon. Yes, I'll pat myself on the back.
I trained.
I even prayed.
I freaked out.
I wanted to back out.
But I didn't.
I finished. Not too badly either.
But apparently I didn't hydrate..............

I always look at trials and even good things in my life and ask myself what does God want me to learn from this? Through stress, illness, moving, job changes, births, deaths, miscarriage, fear, anxiety, joy, happiness, complacency, and peace, I always expect a lesson from God. I had come to peace this past month as I grieve my Mom that there wasn't a lesson for me to be learned. That was hard to accept. I kept waiting for God to show me the message or the lesson He was trying to teach me through the death of my Mom. I think if He said, "Oh here Cami, see this is what I want to teach you through this," it would somehow make it easier for me to grieve. Instead a few weeks ago, I heard, "there is nothing for you here except to grieve, it was her time to go, it wasn't about you, it was about Me and her." So I just kind of blocked it out and focused on my feat of triathlon coming in the near future. I had something to accomplish. Except I didn't hydrate.

I woke up the day after my triathlon and felt puny. I had felt good all day Sunday and even mowed the lawn after the race. Yes,
I was super woman. Monday at 7:30 a.m. I was in the fetal position on the couch, calling Daniel and my neighbors, sweating, shaking, crying, praying I would pass out, and vomiting. Every move was excrutiating. My first thought was if this is just a muscle spasm from the race, then I am a huge wimp. But a few hours later, after urgent care, CT scan, 2 trips to the ER, percocet, 4 bags of fluid, and many prescriptions, I had been stoned. Kidney stoned---and percocet stoned. A tale of two stones. One lodged in my ureter above my bladder, one significant stone still lodged happily in my kidney waiting to slide down my ureter.

I spent last week in and out of la-la land. Many times my pain broke through the percocet, which, by the way is nasty stuff. I was blessed to have my husband who rearranged his life to help me, my Mother-in-law sit with me and hand me prescriptions, and angels of neighbors and friends who took my kids without a thought, brought food, and drove me to appointments and even surgery. My surgery was Thursday the 12th. Exactly 8 months to the day my Mom died. Yeah, that wasn't on my mind at all. I kept reminding myself that God was in control and this isn't about me. But it was. Because I didn't hydrate.

My stones are more than likely due to dehydration. I am a poor hydrater. I don't drink anything really except tea occasionally and water. I don't drink caffeine or sodas, but I don't drink enough of what I should---water. Through my training this summer in the high heat indexes, I haven't been hydrating properly. That is what we are assuming. I am healthy and do not really have any other factors that would contribute to kidney stones.

How crucial water is to our lives. We cannot live without it. It replenishes. It refreshes. It restores. It heals. Water is life.

So my lesson is learned. God gave me one this week. Maybe it was because I had so desired one. Maybe it was because He
was reminding me He was in control. Maybe it was because He doesn't want me to grieve without Him. Maybe it was because
I wasn't hydrating on the Living Water. Maybe it was the only way he could remind me that I need Him. I need to be replenished. I need to be refreshed. I need to be restored. I need to be healed. I need Life. He is the Water. He is the Life.

I have a new found respect for pain. I have a new understanding of suffering. I have a new found hope of healing.

May we always hydrate. When God doesn't have a lesson for us, let us always be there drinking Him in and waiting for what
He has yet to bring.
John 14:6

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I started running about 6 years ago. It was and still is hard for me. When I started I could barely run to the end of the street. I remember how thrilled I was when I could run a whole mile. I had always exercised my whole life, but it consisted of speed walking and stair stepping. Running (or jogging in my case) has been a mental and physical feat that I still battle with. So you can imagine last fall I was ecstatic to be running 10 miles at a time. I was training to do the Thanksgiving Day half marathon. But running went on the back-burner when my Mom got worse and then died in December.

I didn't run for 4 months.

Every time I tried to run, I had to stop. It was really hard. I couldn't figure out why my body was so tired. Duh! I knew that mentally grief had overrun me. I was forgetting things, (still am) couldn't think of words, and then some things just didn't seem that important to me. I went from sleeping really good and being exhausted during the day to not sleeping well at all. Now I fluctuate between the two. I thought that I was doing good with the whole sadness issue only to find myself struggling with it more. It wasn't until last month at a routine check-up that my doctor asked me if I had experienced any stress lately when I was asking her about some issues I had, when I put two and two together. My body didn't want to run.

That made me mad.

Something I had worked so hard and and had set goals for I was struggling with. Big deal right? For me it is a stress reliever. It is something that challenges me. It is something I feel I can accomplish. It is something I can set goals for. I, I, I,----me, me, me. Here I am walking nearly every run.

A few weeks ago I was running on a Wednesday morning. I was determined to do my 6 miles and not stop no matter what. I ran up a long hill in our subdivision and then slowed down. I was still running but at a snail's pace. I always joke that people must see me and wonder how a person can run so slow. And then, even in my snail's pace, my legs were hurting so bad. I refused to walk. Then I felt like God was asking me why I run? What is wrong with having to walk sometimes? Is this a big deal? What is better for me? To grieve like I need to or to run like I want to? So I stopped my snail's pace and walked. Then the most beautiful fragrance hit me. We have a long row of magnolia trees planted towards the back of the neighborhood and the blooms were just starting to open up. It was so sweet I had to stand and just smell. The perfume was perfect. The blooms were beautiful. I knew that if I had still been running I wouldn't have smelled them or seen them.

The rest of my walk was perfect. I spent the time praying. I thanked God for my legs. I thanked Him that I could walk. I thanked Him that I could run. I thanked Him for the fragrance of the magnolias. I thanked Him for His creation. I thanked Him for grief. I thanked Him for speaking to me.

I have learned that grief is a terrible thing to waste. It is hard and it is getting harder. I feel like I am just now climbing up the grief hill. I am not afraid of the pinnacle though. I also so know I can't do it without God. I know too that He grieves with me. Sometimes I will be able to run and sometimes I'll just have to walk. Both are good. Either way it isn't about me.

Whether I walk or I run, my desire is that my life is a sweet, pleasing fragrance to God.

So I run because I enjoy it. I set goals because I can. I walk to slow my life. I grieve because He enables me. All of this He allows me to do for the time being. Because acting spoiled makes me miss the aroma of His Spirit--which is always there for me.

So if you see me running, good. If you see me walking, even better. If you see me running fast, it probably isn't me :) If you see me crying when I am running, I am just talented. Sooooo.....

May we smell the magnolia's before we are too tired. May we be the magnolia's to God through our gratefulness in Christ's sacrifice. Always sweet, always fragrant, always blooming......whether running or walking.

Love Cami

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I use to hear people say that God spoke to them. When I was little I often wondered what that was like. How did they know it was God? When did it happen? When would God speak to me? How could I be sure it was Him? How did He "speak"?

What is amazing is I can look back over my relationship with Christ and pinpoint times when He spoke to me. Sometimes it was raging loud, sometimes more subtle, but I can definitely see them in my past and I desire so much more speaking in my future. I will give you an example. Last spring I was running one night and I was doing my 3 mile route which takes me down my parent's street. I think it was in June and my Mom had already been diagnosed with her blood disease. When I ran down their cul-de-sac, God impressed upon my heart that He was going to take my Mom. I started crying, but my prayer at that moment was that He was in control and I wanted what He wanted. He also showed me how to love her--she was difficult to love--but He made it so clear how He loved her and He gave me peace with some issues I had been dealing with for a long time. I didn't know that God was going to take her in the next 6 months, I was thinking within one to two years, but He prepared me in a way I didn't deserve.

But what I was really thinking about this morning were the times when God was silent. I was listening to a sermon by Matt Chandler and he was talking about the wells we dig. We dig for things that are not God. We come back up thirsty. We come back up empty. We have everything in life, physically. By the rest of the world's standards, we are rich. We are rich anyways. So why do we feel so dry?

There was a time in my life when I didn't hear God speak. I had a relationship with Him, but I didn't want to hear Him speak. I didn't read my Bible for almost a whole year. I was pretty legalistic about reading it too. I still went to church, but I didn't want to go. I still tithed, but my heart was grudging. I wasn't in any active sin. I wasn't in any disobedience. I still loved God. I had a wall up. I was dry. At the time I didn't know why. I do now but that is a whole other blog.

I'll never forget coming out of that dryness. God overwhelmed me one morning on my way to work (I was in college). He reminded me that He was Sovereign. That no matter where I was or how dry I was, He was there. The dryness I had was to teach me as well. No matter how many walls I had up, He was still using them in my relationship with Him. It was okay to be dry, because when I became thirsty, His quench was going to be so sweet.

I suppose that is why I desire sanctification so much. I can truly look back in my relationship with Him and see how He has worked and it makes me want Him to work more. There have been other "dry" spells but they have been short lived and fewer and far between. I want to hear His voice. I want Him to speak to me even though I do not deserve it. He has truly revealed to me how much He loves me in the past 6 years, or I guess I have just started to realize it.

I don't know why this was on my heart this morning. Somebody reading this is dry. It is okay. Pray that God will make you thirsty for Him. Pray that your dryness will be short lived. Pray that God will show you the wells you are digging. Pray that His "quench" will come soon.

God is sovereign over our dryness.

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1:15-20

Love Cami

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Really the only great recipe I have is an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It isn't even my own. Someone gave it to me. I also haven't perfected it yet. My cookies seem to get harder as the days go on instead of remaining soft and gooey. I'm experimenting with it though.Because I want to have the best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, since it is one of the few things I actually make from scratch.

So the Pioneer Woman I am not. Have you seen her website? She is an amazing woman. She runs a cattle ranch, home-schools four kids,cooks homemade (from scratch) recipes for every meal, dabbles in photography, renovates her home, and keeps track of her massive sponsored website. I can't even get my dachshund puppy 100% housebroken!!

I tend to tip towards the Peggy Bundy end of the mother spectrum. Well, I'm not that bad, at least cosmetically.

I have had the privilege of praying for two women I met last weekend at Calvary Refuge Center. One was more Peggy Bundy, one was more Pioneer Woman. April was a washed out woman that was a mother of two. She was exasperated with her children and she exasperated them as well. Her kids were the age of mine. I sat with them during dinner and kept my questions basic because I feared April would chuck her food tray at me if I pressed too hard. Chronic pain she had, no job, not enough of her pain meds, and two precious children who were behind in school and society. I wanted to take them home. I wanted to make them mine. But I can't and I am not suppose to. So I have prayed that God would protect them, provide for them, and send someone to love all three of them. They are His to fix and grow and He has blessed me with the imprint they made on my life--just from the whole hour I spent with them.

The other woman was Danette. A continuous recovering alcoholic. Already had a job she was starting the next day. Grown, successful children. She couldn't wait to get back on her feet. She was working hard cleaning the kitchen. She told me about her faith. Her struggle with alcohol, her demon. The fact that she was a lousy drunk. She took full responsibility for her life. She was at the homeless shelter because she got herself into the mess she was in and she wasn't going to dump it on her family. She was accountable. She was headstrong. She is going to be successful again. She said she wasn't embarrassed to be drunk, so she certainly wasn't going to be embarrassed being sober and talking about Jesus. What attracted me to her was that she came up and loved on April's children when they were eating. She had only known them a few days but she loved on them, and they on her. Danette was honest and amazing. God is using her. I am blessed by the imprint she made on my life--just from the whole 20 minutes I spent with her.

I have been struggling with self-discipline lately. In many aspects of my life. Maybe I'm internally rebelling against my OCD nature :) Maybe in my desire for sanctification, I have tried to sanctify myself. Maybe God is showing me more and more and more and more where I have sin. It is probably a combination. However, I have been reading Romans, again, and chapter 8 is all about life through the Spirit. Paul talks about the sinful mind and how if we are controlled by our sinful nature we cannot please God. If we have Christ, our body is dead because of sin but alive because of righteousness. If we live in accordance with the Spirit, we will have our minds set on what the Spirit desires. Our life with the Spirit comes from Christ's death. We shouldn't be slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness. I need to drop myself. I need to let God continue to discipline and refine me. I want to let the Spirit fill me. I want to be a slave to righteousness. I pray that my sinful nature will be less and less as He gives me the ability to live according to Him.

I am thankful that God has given me a spectrum of women to learn from. Whether it is a TV icon, a master of the home, a woman without a home, or a woman heading towards home, God has shown me that He wants to continue to progress us towards Him. That should be all I desire. That is all I desire. The work He has for me is becoming more like Him. It is making sure my husband and children have a desire to be more like Him. It is opening my home to allow others to be here and learn more about Him.

And......maybe the cookies and dachshund will fall into place as well.

May you be an "April" in life in terms of you needing God and may you be a "Danette" in life in terms of pursuing Him. Either way, may yourself be accountable and a slave to righteousness.

Monday, April 19, 2010


This was written on April 12th--just realized I didn't post it--

I am so glad spring is here. I didn't realize how much I needed spring until it finally arrived. Fall is usually my favorite season, but last fall seems so far away and winter was so long. Spring--has arrived. With it, all things become new.

My Mom died four months ago today. It seems so far away yet it also seems so fresh. The past few months have been really hard for me. I am a terrible communicator of my feelings. I do not like to cry or talk about things that bother me. Most of the time I try to sort them out on my own, which is not always healthy. This is all new to me so I am taking it as it comes. I know all the steps of the grieving process but it is different when you are the one going through it. It has been hard.

Easter was different for me this year. In years past I have spent a lot of time reflecting either on the crucifixion or the resurrection of Christ. This year the time in between affected me the most. I guess it is because I have lost someone close to me so I really reflected on what each loved one of Christ felt. I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to lose your Christ, your Savior, your Messiah, your Completer. I thought about Mary who lost her son. I thought about Peter who denied his Rabbi. I thought about Mary Magdalene who lost her Savior. I thought about the disciples who lost all hope. I wonder what the darkness of those few days felt like for them. They didn't have the resurrection to look forward to because they weren't looking for it. I cannot even imagine how hard it was for them. They didn't even know that they were waiting for something. They didn't realize that after the fall, their spring was going to arrive.

I am so glad that I do not have to wait for a resurrection.
I am so blessed that I won't lose my Savior.
I have hope.

That resurrection morning was glorious. Each time Christ appeared was like spring arriving. He made all things new, He makes all things new. A mother had her Son. Peter had reconciliation. Mary had her Savior. The disciples had their hope. A few days of darkness would never exist again.

I know there are a lot of hard things in our lives. I know of precious people to me that are going through hard things right now. Hard times last a long time. I am so glad that we have hope in Christ that He will reconcile us to Him during our hard times.

No matter what your "hard" time is, may you remember that you have
The Son,
The Christ,
The Savior,
The Messiah,
The Rabbi,
The Completer.

May you find your spring in Him even when the fall seems long and hard.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Two weeks ago in Bible Study we talked about Luke 7:36-50 which is "A Sinful Woman Forgiven." I have been chewing on this passage for two weeks now. I am still trying to understand how God is speaking to me. The one question that keeps coming in my mind is

"Are you dumping your faith?"

Let me explain. Not dumping as in ditching, but dumping as pouring. This is a beautiful passage about a woman who ventures into a Pharisee's house who happens to be serving Christ dinner. Except that Pharisee isn't really serving Christ. He didn't wash his feet when He came in, he didn't give Him the custom kiss of greeting, nor did he anoint Christ with oil on His forehead. The funny thing is, the Pharisee calls Jesus "teacher" when Jesus addresses the comments made about the "sinful" woman. The Pharisee (named Simon) would not usually have any contact with sinners and was abhorred that this woman was there at the feet of Jesus and abhorred that Jesus would have contact with such a sinful person. Apparently the woman had a reputation.

This woman is brave. She enters a house where she is not welcome. She knows there could be consequences. She also knows that Jesus is there. Jesus has not yet claimed to be the Christ, Son of God. She comes in, kisses and wets His feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair, and dumps a an alabaster jar of ointment on His feet. The jar of alabaster ointment was probably the most expensive thing she owned. She never says anything to Christ, never asks for forgiveness, never verbally repents of any sin, never asks for salvation. She doesn't have to.

Jesus looks at her the whole time He is addressing Simon's thoughts. I wonder what His face looked like as He looked at her. He tells her that her sins are forgiven and that her faith has saved her. I wonder what the woman's face looked like when He said that. I wonder what Simon's face looked like when He said that.

I wondered if I could have been like the woman who was the "sinner."
I wondered if I could have been like the Pharisee named Simon.

Regardless, both desperately needed Christ.

So I have been thinking for two weeks now if I dump my faith out at the feet of Jesus? Do I dump my faith out as a testimony to others? Do I dump my faith out on others? Or do I live in my own dump?

I love that God continuously shows me where I am at, and where I need to go, and where I need to be. I love that the woman never had to say anything to Jesus and that He didn't have to say anything for her to know that He was the Christ. I love that she showed that her faith was her most prized possession by giving her most prized possession. I love that she wasn't afraid to dump herself out. I love that she was redeemed before Christ died on the cross. I love that God used a sinful woman to teach a Pharisee of his sin. I love that I don't have to worry if whether or not I would have been the woman or the Pharisee,
because I am already redeemed by The Christ, The Son of God.

May we dump ourselves at the feet of Christ, kiss His feet, cry over our sin, and surrender our faith to Him.

"And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." v. 48
"And then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." v. 50

Monday, March 15, 2010


I love to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. On a good fall or spring afternoon, even on a hot summer day it feels good to tilt my face to feel the sun. Here in GA, we haven't really seen the sun since, well..... August. We have had a few days here and there when the sun has shown and it really makes a difference. I hear everybody say how much they miss the sun lately. It is amazing how the absence of the sun affects us all so much! This morning I was out pruning some bushes and my crepe myrtle and was so wishing I could tilt my face up to feel the sun. Maybe tomorrow. At least it is something to look forward to---a little sunshine!

Ashlie started Bible Study last week asking us to define glory in reference to God. We said things like "recognition, essence, praise, and adoration." She said it is one of those "churchy" words we use sometimes that is hard to pinpoint the exact meaning even though we get it in our head. She gave us two definitions, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. Glory is mainly used as a verb in the OT as "kabad." In reference to God it means to be heavy or weighty. It is God revealing who He is, His heaviness, His presence. It is used 106 times this way in the OT. In the NT, glory is used as a noun "doxa" in view, opinion, magnificence, and preeminence of Christ. It is used 150 times in the NT in this way. So how does this glory work in our sanctification?

We always say things like "give God the glory" or "to God be the glory" or "glorify Him." God already has the glory. He is the glory. What can we give Him? Ashlie reminded us that we represented God's glory before the fall of man. We were made in His image. Now that we have sinned, we have lost it. We distorted it in us. He still has it but the only way we can share in it, reveal it, is through our relationship with Christ. The precious righteousness He gives us when we surrender to Him reveals Himself to others. It is nothing we can do on our own because of our darkness, but it is His glory that shines as He is changing us to be more like Him, the way we were meant to be.

My sweet sister gave me some precious words last week. After she read my post she reminded me of something I need in my relationship with Christ. She told me to read John 13:1-15. It is the passage where Christ washes His disciples feet before Judas betrays Him. When Christ gets to Peter, Peter tells Him, "You shall never wash my feet." (v.8) He didn't understand the humility in Christ. My sister reminded me that even though this passage teaches me how to serve others, I must also remember that Christ wants to wash my feet. That I need to sit in His presence and bask in His glory. That I love Him because He first loved me. I want so badly to remove the rust from the bucket and be sanctified I get focused on doing, doing, doing. I forget that God wants to polish me. That I don't "need" to do anything. Sometimes He wants me to be still and sit at His feet. He makes me shiny. That is why He has me quiet and wants me to rest.
Thanks sis for seeing things I forget.

The glory we have is given to us by God. We need to reflect Him and give it back. We need His glory to overcome our darkness.

Tilt your face to feel the warmth of the Son.
There are a lot of days we don't see the Son.
There are a lot of people who are missing the Son lately.
The Son really makes a difference.
It is amazing how the absence of the Son affects us all so much.
Don't wait until tomorrow. Bask in His glory today.

I pray that you will feel they heaviness, weightiness, presence, view, magnificence, and preeminence of God's glory.
It is His. It is Him. He is the Son.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26. Aaron's blessing given to Moses by God.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Saturday night JJ fell asleep on the couch. He had played outside almost the entire day. He was wiped. We woke him up and made him go upstairs to get ready for bed. I was waiting for him on his bed when he came out of the bathroom. I said "JJ brush your teeth." He paused and walked to the sink and just stood there. I said "what's wrong?" He said "I don't have a toothbrush." By the look on my face, he knew he'd been had!!
"Why don't you have a toothbrush?" Silence. "Where is your toothbrush?" Silence. My voice rising, "How long have you not had your toothbrush?" Silence. Me becoming ballistic, "Did you leave your toothbrush at your friend's house when you slept over there LAST weekend?" Slow head nod yes. "SO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN'T BRUSHED YOUR TEETH FOR A WEEK? DO WE NOT HAVE A PLETHORA (yes I said plethora) OF TOOTHBRUSHES UNDER THE SINK?" Slow head nod yes. "WHY DID YOU NOT GET ONE OF THOSE? DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T BRUSH YOUR TEETH? CAVITIES!!

Of course at this point I was so beside myself that I had to leave the room. This was after he had gotten up at 8 a.m. Sat morning, played for two hours before we left the house, and then informed me he was hungry because he had forgotten to eat breakfast. This was after I drove the child back up to school Thursday night to get his homework out of his desk because he had left it there for the third time. So I had a Mommy moment Saturday night.

JJ is six.

So after I tucked him and got myself settled into bed, I laid there thinking about the whole situation. Why did I get so aggravated at him? After all, it is not like he was disobedient. Forgetting homework, breakfast, teeth brushing, is not a sin. It just isn't important to him. He is six. All he wants to do is play. He will deal with his grades, hunger, and cavities when he wants to. When he isn't playing. When someone tells him too.
Because he is six.
That is why I was so aggravated. These things seem so little to him now, but they are important to his life. I want him to understand that he is responsible, he is accountable for everything he does in life. I want him to realize that skipping small stuff, leads to bigger stuff. That there are consequences. Even though these things may not seem important to him and only important to me, they should be important to him. I had this discussion with JJ after the fact. I want him to listen. I want him to understand. This is part of growing up, even though he is only six.

Sunday God whacked me over the head with the whole situation. He reminded me that I am just like JJ. That there are so many "little" things I skip in my relationship with Him because I am too busy "playing" life. I let the "me" distract me. God reminded me of my accountability to Him. He reminded me of what I skip because it doesn't seem important at the time. He reminded me that in my relationship with Him, sometimes I am only six. That's a long way from being galvanized!!!!

I want Christ to rule every thought, action, and piece of my heart. I want to be a Godly wife. I want to be a Godly example for Nia and JJ. I want to be accountable and take captive everything to God. I am humbled how God uses my teaching moments (or ballistic moments) with my kids to teach me. It reminds me how unworthy I am to have Him as my parent.

I pray that we wouldn't let this world distract us. I pray that we would do our "homework." I pray that we wouldn't ignore our hunger for God's Word. I pray that we would continually "brush our teeth" so we can remove everything that isn't suppose to be there to allow the only One that is.

May you grow beyond "six" in your relationship with God.

....But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap
leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:22

Monday, March 1, 2010


My life is quiet right now. Even in the midst of jobs, housework, school, soccer practice, cleaning, shopping, bill paying; it is quiet. It is a mental quiet. A spiritual quiet. A sorrowful quiet. There are days when I don't want to read my Bible. There are days when I wish I could just sit and do nothing. There are days when I have so many things to pray about I can't keep them straight. There are days when I try to occupy myself with different things so that there is no time for me to think or be sad. I keep waiting for God to give me a revelation as to what He is doing in my life.
For now, it is all quiet.

I have never lost someone as close to me as my Mom. There is a quiet void where she once occupied so much of my life. I find myself thinking about so many different things. Things I wish I would have done different. Things I wish I could do now like talk to her on the phone, bring her a Starbucks, or a frozen coke from Burger King. The past few weeks have gotten increasingly harder for me. I know this is all part of grief. I am learning as I go. That is why I think God has told me to be quiet.

We talked about a lot in Bible Study last week. Ashlie taught out of 1 Corinthians 10:23- 11:1. This section in my Bible is titled "Do all to the glory of God." We talked about the law, what was permissible, the struggle of the Corinthians, why Paul was writing this letter, and the struggle of the unbelievers of that time. The focus of the Bible study, however, was that we are the extension of Christ. Everything we do should be not only for the glory of God but for the constructing of other's in their Christianity. Our job is to edify Christ by building up somebody else's spiritual life. As Ashlie put it, "We are the tool in other people's sanctification."

So much of what I do or do not do is selfishness. I constantly pray that God would peel off whatever He doesn't want of me. What I realized this past week is that even in my desire for my sanctification, I have become selfish. The things I do or do not do for other people revolves around me. God is really convicting me of that in the mourning of my Mom. Verse 33 says that we are "not suppose to seek our own advantage, but the advantage of many, that they may be saved." I laid in bed last night thinking "was I edifying to God in my relationship with my Mom? Did I help her in her sanctification?" I do not know the answer to that nor can I change anything now that it is all past. I do however want to be a tool in other people's sanctification. I don't want it to be all about me.
So God has presented me with a lot to ponder in my quietness. That is good, because I am learning as I go.

God has incredible ways He wants to use us in the lives of others. I pray that we will ask Him if we are edifying Him. I hope that we will reflect on our relationships with our spouses, children, pastors, friends, neighbors and wonder if we are building them up in their sanctification. I hope we will find the quiet even if it is in the midst of chaos, sorrow, and void. I hope we will be okay with that quiet. That is when we learn.

"Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." 1 Corinthians 10:24

Monday, February 22, 2010


Last night I met Donna. She was at the homeless shelter our church has the privilege of serving one Sunday a month. The moment I saw her I had a sharp pain in my chest. She reminded me of my Mom. Not that my Mom was ever homeless, but there was something about her that stabbed me. I couldn't wrap my mind around it until we were almost home. I have thought about Donna all day. My Mom too, of course.

I sat with Donna while she ate and talked to her. I learned a lot about her. She had been homeless for 3 years. Disabled for 9. She was beat up 5 days ago. She is on her fourth shopping cart in 3 months. They cost $35.99. It costs almost $60.00 a month to ride MARTA and they keep cutting bus routes. She misses the bus frequently because she cannot walk without her cart and her bags are too heavy to carry. Her glasses are missing a nosepiece and Walmart won't fix it for her because she didn't buy them there. She didn't buy her glasses at all, the Lions club provided them for her.....9 years ago. She has children but doesn't want anything to do with her family. Her dream would be to get back on her feet and buy a $50,000 house. She wants to get out of town, even though she has lived here for 30 years.

Donna was unkempt, disheveled, unhappy, and not at rest. She was not at rest. That's why she reminded me of my Mom.

Our last Bible Study was literally a Godsend. Ashlie talked about rest. Not the "I want to take a nap" kind of rest, but the "cease and desist" kind of rest. We learned that in Genesis 2:2, when God rested it was the verb "Shabath," which is where we get our Sabbath. God didn't rest because He was tired. God never tires. He rested because He was done, completed, and it was good. He got to marvel in His creation. We also learned about "nuwach" which is the kind of rest talked about in Exodus 33:14 that means to settle down or remain. Then there is the "anapauo" which means to pause in the midst of something. In Matthew 11:28 when Jesus says "come to me all who are burdened, and I will give you rest," He literally means "come to me in the midst and I will permit you to recover, pause, and collect you strength." Finally, there is the "katapausis" which means to rest and calm of the eternal kind. The kind of rest when we get to Heaven.

My Mom was never at rest. Even though she slept a lot, she never seemed rested. The last 8 months of her life she had a lot of turmoil. Even before that, I do not remember my Mom ever really being rested. We had a lot of conversations about finding peace. About letting her turmoil go. She had faith. She had a relationship with Christ. She just never sought rest from Him. She let herself get in the way of what God wanted to give her. It was easier for her to hold onto her turmoil and unhappiness than it was for her to "pause" in the midst and be restored. It is always easier for us to let ourselves get in the way. That way we still have what we think is control. Fortunately for my Mom, she now has the "katapausis." She doesn't have to even ask for it. :)

I'm tired. We all are. We need strength for our souls. We need to cease and desist. We need to be done. We need to be complete.

I didn't say goodbye to Donna. I couldn't. I didn't know what to say to her in her turmoil at that moment. I was just so sad. Now I know what I should have said. I should have told her to ask God for her rest. She can only get it from Him. I should have told her not to let the turmoil of her life get in the way of worshiping God the way He intended her to. I should have given her Matthew 11:28, the precious words of Jesus.

It is my prayer that we would pause and go to Jesus as He asks us to. He is our rest. He is our completion.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I am a procrastinator. I know it too. I do not do much about it, hence the procrastination. Sometimes think it is because I know I work under pressure. Sometimes it is sheer laziness. Sometimes it is because I do not want to do whatever it is. Lately it is because I forget. My mind has been a little taxed. Regardless, I am the procrastinator. Me and nobody else.

It always amazes me how I get in my own way. If you think about it, every problem or shortfall we have, ultimately is of ourselves. As much as we would like to blame somebody or something else, we are the ones responsible for our actions, reactions, thoughts, etc. The cure for my procrastination is simple. Don't procrastinate. Unfortunately, I don't want to work on my procrastination, because I'll do it later.
I am my own roadblock.

Bible study last week had nothing to do with procrastination, but it had to do with judging. Ashlie taught out of Matthew Ch. 7:1-6 which is Jesus telling his audience not to judge. Easy enough? Not so much. The word for judging is "krino" which is used in scripture in relation to three definitions. The first is to make a decision (Titus 3:12), the second is to judge by court (John 18:31), and the third is to expose a man's heart (1 Cor. 4:5, John 7:24). In Matthew 7, Christ is referring to the third definition. He is telling us not to judge someone's heart/character based on their actions. He is telling us not to worry about what someone else is doing, because we have enough of ourselves to worry about. A person's actions are based on their heart, but the intentions of their heart are not ours to be known. They are God's. (summary from Ashlie's Bible study)

I judge because of my heart, because of the disobedience in my heart. Maybe if I look at someone else's disobedience or what I perceive to be their disobedience, then maybe I'm not so bad after all. Maybe my judging is in response to my jealousy of someone else. Maybe it is because I just think I'm right and they are wrong. Maybe it is because I can be self-righteous. Maybe it is all of the above.

I think what struck me most about the Bible study last week, that I will continue to use as a filter in my life, is that judging is a roadblock in my sanctification. If God is growing me on the road to holiness, I need to always ask myself, is this a roadblock? If it is, it is me, and that is what I need to ask God to shed me of. I don't want to pass judgment on anybody else. I am so weak. I fail daily. I do not even deserve to compare myself or look upon someone else. My darkness is brought to light by God. God deals with each of our own darkness. Thank goodness, because we can't handle the darkness.

I hope the only decision we make will be to seek God. I pray that we will leave the judging to Him. I pray that we will see our roadblocks and ask God to make them into construction zones. I pray that God will make light on our road to holiness by revealing the disobedience in our hearts.

Monday, February 1, 2010


"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48

I have nothing on the windows on the back of my house. First floor only, of course. I like to look straight out the windows.
There is really not a house directly behind us and I figure since everybody else has blinds, why bother, they keep theirs
closed. Not like anybody is going to be seeing me run around in my skivvies.

So for the past year, there is this cardinal that drives himself into my back windows every morning. He is very loud.
He rams into our glass back door, picture window, and then goes down to our basement door to hit that glass.
For almost a whole year. Even on cold mornings. Repeatedly. Frankly we are amazed that the crazy bird is still
alive. He never looks dazed or confused. He is very deliberate at his attack. The only thing we can figure out
is that my windows are so perfectly clean (not) that he sees himself and thinks it is another bird and is trying to
defend his territory. Or he thinks my decorating abilities super-cede all other houses around here and he wants
to come live in our blissful home.

Bible study started last week at my house and Ashlie is leading it again. She is teaching about sanctification.
As I was praying about my blog, one of the things God confirmed was that I had a whole lot to learn about
sanctification, and He was about to teach me even more through an amazing teacher. Crazy enough, I knew
Ashlie was going to teach about sanctification before she introduced it last Tuesday. Love how God works.

We defined sanctification as a state of growing in divine grace, the process of being made holy by God,
resulting in a changed lifestyle. Holiness is the goal. Perfection is the end result. Perfection will never
be achieved until we are in Heaven with Christ, but that is the goal. Ashlie talked about how we are
constantly bombarded with the world by Satan to fill a craving or cravings we have to keep us from being
filled by God. Romans 6 talks about being slaves to righteousness, but verse 16 says that we are slaves
to the one we obey, either sin, which leads to death, or obedience, which leads to righteousness.

Which brings me back to the cardinal. Day after day, we drive ourselves into windows. Why do we repeat
the same sins over and over again? Six years ago I started praying that God would peel off my flesh so there
is less of me and more of Him. Six years later, I am still praying that prayer because my flesh was deeper
than I could ever imagine. Some of my flesh issues are exactly the same ones I have been dealing with.
Some have been peeled, only to reveal a deeper root.

Some of us haven't even began to be peeled.
Some of us are banging our heads against windows trying to solve things ourselves.

The window is clear. The answer is through it. The window is open. Let's stop running into it. Because
ultimately, like the cardinal, sometimes all we see is ourselves. If the bird couldn't see himself, he would
stop running into the window.

It is my prayer that we would have the desire to be made holy. That we would let Christ's righteousness
fill our craving. That we wouldn't run into the windows of this world, but continue on to the goal of perfection
that Christ desires and calls us to. That we would constantly be filled with the Word of God......

May the only thing we would drive ourselves into would be HIM, His WORD, His LIFE...... constantly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm a rusty bucket

I've never been a blogger. I don't really read a lot of other blogs, usually just to catch up on a person. Last fall I started sending out email summaries of Bible studies that are led by my awesome friend. I had a couple of people ask me if I had a blog. I thought then I would never do one. So I prayed over it. Yes I prayed over a blog. God revealed to me that I have had so much to talk about, this would be the best way to do it. I am not an emotional person. I do not talk about my feelings. I can however, write them better than any other expression. So here they are. I guess this is my online journal. If no one reads it, that's okay.

About five years ago God really started working on my faith. It had always been there, but it was me and not Him. He revealed to me how I am like a rusty bucket. I won't ever be totally shiny like a galvanized one until I'm perfected in Heaven. But He is slowly cleaning out the rust. In Biblical terms, it is sanctification. First you are justified by Christ, which is your salvation. Then He sanctifies you. But it is not that easy. I have been a Christian for most of my life. Sanctification started about 5 to 6 years ago. Why then? That is when He thought I was ready, and when I realized how rusty I really was.

This is just my beginning.....

May your rustiness make you realize your need to be galvanized.