Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Follow You

I've heard this song on the radio for a few months now. And today these words really stood out as I was listening...... "faith without works is dead". It helped me put some things in perspective. I sometimes get sucked into the World of Powhatan as I call it. This little bubble of a community that I live in. I dwell on the big fish in the little pond. I get frustrated with things that I disagree with and put myself on pedestals that I don't belong on. And get angry with those who think they're better than me. Listening to this song made me realize that God made me for a purpose.... His purpose. And where part of that purpose keeps me in Powhatan, another part beckons me somewhere else, some day, as I evolve and listen to God's voice and direction. I can not deny my deep desire to help babies and children in need. Please pray for me as God develops and prepares me for His purpose and His mission.
Now that's exciting!!
And here's the song I was talking about.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"The Child Catchers"

Stories like this break my heart...."The Child Catchers". The street children in South Africa are called "debris". They're raped and abused. The Durban Police are collecting them and dumping them outside of the city in an effort to clean up the streets before the World Cup. This is outrageous!! I think about what Jesus said in Matthew 18:1-8 (The Message):

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, "Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?"

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. "But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse—and it's doomsday to you if you do.
"If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You're better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell. (emphasis mine)

Jesus was B.A.!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

At Any Cost

As a parent, I am proud of my children's accomplishments and of them making the right choices. I think I feel like my identity is somehow intertwined in them. I think most Mom's feel that way. I watch them grow, and the time goes by so fast. When they were young, I looked forward to each stage as they got older and grew bigger. But somewhere around the ninth grade, I realize that I only have a few years left with them. A few years to instill in them the important things in life, to develop their character, to send them out into the big, big world. One day, you realize that your job as a parent has changed, and you have to take on a different of letting go and clinging to the promise that God is in control. I've heard it said that being a Mom is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body, and that is so true. My oldest daughter, Jessi, has talked about being a Missionary since she was in 9th grade, and now she' is getting ready to do exactly what she feels God has called her to do.

Here's a note she wrote on Facebook:

At any cost for You my King...

So I was ready. I was ready to devote myself to four years worth of International Ministry Education at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Yeah, I want to be a full time missionary but felt like school was the better option at the time. I put mission work on my to do list and pushed on with school. I felt like getting an education was going to get me on the mission field. I had so many things happen in that time period that made me want to run and to just let myself be consumed by anything other than God's plan for me. What I wanted or thought was good for me was the total opposite of what God wanted for me.

God put a smacking halt on my plans and reminded me that He is bigger then college. He put amazing people in my life who have only confirmed that God's calling me to bigger things and bigger places. Especially a friend who looked me dead in the eyes and said you are called to be a missionary, and you can't learn that in a classroom, you need to go out into the field. HELLO confirmation! And by bigger I mean continents bigger (=

I was sitting in my friend's car the other day and just praising God because He is the one who has it all figured out. All I have to do is just listen and no matter what He is going to take care of me. I haven't been in that place in such a long time. I haven't lost control of my life in a really long time because I always felt like I could let God be God later...but right in that moment I had to be in control of my life. I was so wrong, because being out of control and letting God be in control has led me to South Africa. He has shown me that my passion is for the least of these...and I will get to college eventually but right now my heart belongs in the Mission Field.

There is a fire in my bones uncontainable and it's causing me to burn, causing me to burn for you...

To my Mom, Jackie, Nate, Cierra, Marc, and Anna...thank you. I love you, God has used you for so much in my life the last few months and you are truly a blessing

You can follow Jessi, Marc, Cierra and Nate at "South Africa Support" on Facebook

Thursday, March 25, 2010

She Speaks ~ Proverbs 31

There is a writers conference called "She Speaks". My friend Lisa went to it a few years ago and can't stop talking about it! So I'm entering a contest, "The She Speaks Scholarship Contest", in hopes of winning! The conference is July 30-August 1, 2010 in Concord, NC. I would love to attend it, to become a better writer, a better speaker, to chase my dream of completing my book "Their Stories"... and, well, here's a story about it...

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
Proverbs 31:10-31

About 10 years ago, a friend introduced me to this story in Proverbs. A story about the "perfect women", a "10" , something to strive for... and the bar is set high! It makes me think about an article I once read that broke down the jobs of a "house wife":

cleaner. cook. waitress. washer. nurse. taxi. banker. psychiatrist. hair dresser. dog. walker. personal shopper. teacher. accountant. lawyer......well, you get the picture.

For a long time, I thought this was an impossible task. But as I look back over God's word, I realize that through Him, all things are possible! And maybe it's not a checklist that God has given me.
Over the past several years,
God has refined me.
Through a series of choices that lead me to where I am now,
God has refined me.
When I had given up on myself,
God never gave up.
He picked me up, and showed me the way.
At the bottom of my brokenness,
He used me to reach others.
He used my story,
as an artist, as a nurse, as a mother, as a friend.
We all have a story to tell, the story of our lives, our circumstances, our successes, our failures,
what made us the person we are today.
God wants to use those stories.

The Proverbs 31 women is in me.
She's in all of us.
She is the person God wants to use.
He wants to use her story, for His glory.

As many of you know, I have wanted to write about the stories of these women. What made them the women they are today, the women God wants them to be. I'm so excited about the possibility of attending "She Speaks"!!! Stay tuned to see what happens next.........

Thursday, March 18, 2010


As a Nurse and advocate for human beings, I gotta say this story made me cry, get mad and want to DO something about situations like this. It's a helpless feeling though when the Government of this country is doing this to their own people... please read this... there are ways that we can help.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why We Do What We Do

My friend Anne Merry posted this video on her Facebook wall.... saying "To my NICU friends...the reason why we do what we do. To my friends and family...this is what we do." and I just want to say "Thanks Anne!"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soak This In........

From "God Calling" by A.J. Russell
March 15
Your Cross Is You
Remember, you are only an instrument. Not yours to decide how or when or where you act. I plan all that. Make yourself very fit to do My work. All that hinders your activity must be cured.

Mine is the Cross on which the burdens of the world are laid. How foolish is any one of My disciples who seeks to bear his own burdens, when there is only one place for them- My Cross.

It is like a weary man on a hot and dusty road, bearing a heavy load, when all plans have been made for its carriage. The road, the scenery, flowers, beauty around--all are lost.

But, My children, you may think I did say, "Take up your cross daily, and follow Me."

Yes, but the cross given to each one of you is only a cross provided on which you can crucify the self of yours that hinders progress and Joy, and prevents the flow through your being of My invigorating Life and Spirit.

Listen to Me, love Me, joy in Me. Rejoice.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Got to thinking about something this morning..... I feel like I've gone home when I go to church. I have felt this feeling for a while. I think I first felt this feeling when I started helping out at PCC (Powhatan Community Church).

I was invited to a Production Meeting by my friend Beth, at 7am one Tuesday morning at The County Seat (that's a local restaurant near my house). I got there not expecting to see so many people. All of these people dedicated to what God is doing through PCC. That first week I sat and listened, tried to take it all in, tried to understand what was going on, and how I could possibly fit into the madness. You see, when you get about 15 or so creative people together with multiple cups of coffee each, you get a crazy kind of way! Imagine an idea being shouted out, and then someone would add something else to it, and the ball would get rolling until it was......SQUASHED! Then we were back to where we started. But this creative table is a safe one, no idea is a bad idea, so it really opens up the door for a lot of creative brainstorming. And by the end of our hour and a half together, we have planned our service.

So, I found my place, I accidently fell into the "Set Design" leadership roll. It happen without me even knowing it. I had an idea about some rocks for a service and the next thing I know I was making these rocks and showing up on Sunday to set them up.

That was the beginning of rapid growth, molding, chiseling, refining and change for me.

That Sunday changed me. I had sat in those seats in the auditorium for 3 years or so, I had laughed and cried and re-discovered what it meant to really worship a loving God. It was all good, but I was unsettled, and I felt the nudge...

God was saying "Go on, it's ok, this time won't be like last time. This time you're actually to the end of yourself my precious child. This time your doing it for ME. Listen to what I say, I've got you, you don't have to worry about this"

That Sunday was the beginning of "home" for me. I feel like I am at home when I go to church. And when I say church I don't mean the building, I mean the people in it. The people I serve next to, the people I worship with, and the God I serve.

So, this first Sunday in our new building was so special to me. As I stood there on stage looking around, I realized this was one step closer to my real home. And as I raised my hands and my voice with my brothers and sisters, I realized that this is what heaven is gonna be like, and these are the people I get to spend eternity with, singing and worshiping God, everyday!! WOW!! No wonder it feels like home!

Powhatan Community Church...... what you do MATTERS!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skunk Fail

So my dog, Jake, is 14 years old....which is 98 in human years ;)

He has a hard time hearing and seeing, and tends to do what we in the medical field call "sun downing". That's when the patients with Dementia and Alzheimer's tend to wander around anxiously after the sun goes down. Well, Jake tends to sundown most nights somewhere between 1130pm and 1am. So, I had just dosed off about 1130pm and he starts.... as usual, I got up and let him out. Maddie, his partner in crime, went with him. Next thing you know, they are at the back door wanting to come in. I'm thinking "yeah, I don't have to sleep on
the couch for the next hour waiting for them to come back in".

Oh, in case you didn't know (but probably do since the 2 people that read my blog actually know me fairly well), we live on 10 acres, in the woods, in a rural area outside of Richmond, Virginia.

So, the dogs are at the back door, which is weird because I let them out the front door. I let them in and then this awful smell hits me! I thought at first my house was burning down from a chemical fire. It smelled like sulfur mixed with burning rubber and the smell of urine that was super concentrated and half dried up.....uuuccckkkk! I thought there must be some sort of chemical fire under the house... the previous owners left a meth lab there and the stuff ignited.... or my husband left the bonfire of twigs burning and now the cars were engulfed in flames.... but no, it was the dogs!!

Then it occurred to me, they had been skunked!!!! Where did the skunk come from, and is this some sort of sick joke? The smell permeated through the house, it was so bad that we had to sleep with the doors shut and blankets against the cracks to keep it out of the room. That was the worst smell I have ever smelt (is that a word?).

So my goal now is to de-skunk them with some concoction of peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent! Sounds like a chemistry experiment.... we'll see what happens.

That's Jake at the top , and that's Maddie in the blanket with Jessi, BEFORE the skunk fail.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wild Flower

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it?

The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Matthew 5:27-34

Monday, March 1, 2010


God is not someone I schedule into my life....

"Ok, God, here's my schedule for the week, this is when I have time for you and I really need you to show up:

I can fit you in before I get the kids ready for school, but only for about 10 minutes. I need you to show up for small group at my house that evening around 7pm too.

Tuesday: My 7am meeting for church counts as my quite time. And if we sit down for a family dinner tonight, we'll say a quick prayer to you before we eat. Thanks for coming :)

Wednesday: I'm hoping to read another chapter in my book (it's about You ;) )

Thursday: I'll be praying in the car this morning and listening to the local Christian radio station. Oh, yeah and it would be great for you to show up at soccer tonight, Alec really needs to do well in his game.

Friday: Should have time this morning for you, if I don't oversleep, again. And yeah, I'll probably be giving you a shout out later in the afternoon to just get me through the rest of the day. It's been an exhausting week! And well, you know I work all weekend, so I'll see you on Monday. "

Does that sound familiar? We might not verbalize it, but that's how it goes.

I think we ALL need a schedule make-over!!! I know I do!

The most profound weapon of the enemy is our time. We live in such a fast paced, technology driven, ADD world. And unfortunately, we are forced into some of the schedules just by way of survival.

The answer: I'm open to suggestions........

But here's something to think about.......

Luke 9:57-62 (The Message)

57On the road someone asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said.

58Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know."

Jesus said to another, "Follow me."

59He said, "Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father's funeral."

60Jesus refused. "First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!"

61Then another said, "I'm ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home."

62Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."