Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of 2009. I’ve spent the last few minutes re-reading some of my blog posts for the last few months. Ugh. Pretty ugly. But needed. Healing can’t come until it’s first brought to light.

I’ve been reading Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning. Yesterday’s devotion was incredible, and timely.

“That rough looking diamond is put upon the cutting wheel. He cuts it on all sides. It loses much—much that seemed costly to itself. The king is crowned, the diadem is put upon His head with trumpet’s joyful sound. A glittering ray flashes from that crown, and it beams from the very diamond that was so sorely troubled by the cutting wheel. Let faith and perseverance have their perfect work, for in that day when the crown is set upon the King’s head, one ray of glory will stream from you.”

The last few months I have felt like that diamond. Like pieces of me are being cut away. Pieces that seem precious and costly to me. But there is a purpose to the purging. There is a revealing that is taking place. A beauty that is being created. And who am I to question the artist?

The thing about diamonds… sometimes to the naked eye they seem perfect. But through the jewelers loupe subtle imperfections become visible. If there’s something in me that is keeping me from shining for Christ, then I want it gone. Cut it out, sand it down, polish it away. Even if it hurts.

This is the process I am currently in.

More from Spurgeon:

“See that creeping worm, how contemptible it’s appearance. It’s the beginning of a thing. Mark that insect with gorgeous wings, playing in the sunbeams, sipping at the flower bells, full of happiness and life. It’s the end of the thing. That caterpillar is you, until you’re wrapped up in the chrysalis of death. But when Christ appears you’ll be like Him, for you’ll see Him as He is.”

Today I am so thankful that “the end of a matter is better than its beginning” (ecc. 7:8)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh
and made His dwelling among us.

One of the highlights of Christmas is spending time with family and friends that live far away. My brother and his family are driving home to mom’s house today, and I can’t wait to see them!

Visits are great. We look forward to them every year and before you know it it’s time to say goodbye again.

2000 years ago God sent His Son- not to visit us but to dwell with us. Webster’s defines dwell as: to live or stay as a permanent resident.

I know you’ve heard it a million times before. But today think about it once again... the living God, the creator and sustainer of all things chose to leave the glory and splendor of Heaven so He could come and live with you and me.

In the business and chaos of this Holiday season stop with me for just a moment... Stop and enjoy His presence.

Can you hear Him? He whispers to you... over the ads on television, the barking shoppers, and the whining kids. Can you see Him? He’s right there beside you... stuck in traffic, in line at the checkout stand, in the messy house.

He didn’t come to visit. When our homes are clean, and fresh sheets are on the beds. He’s not here for the weekend. When the bows are handmade and the cookies are home baked. He’s here to dwell. To live... In the mess. In the chaos. In the imperfection.

And He loves every minute of it. Every minute of our perfectly imperfect lives. He loves it, because He loves being with you.

Emmanuel, God with us, here to dwell. Praise His name, Emmanuel!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

So.... I did it.

I decided it was time to make some changes in my life.
Step one: Say no!

Sounds easy enough. But saying no meant having a difficult conversation (which was actually quite healing). It meant stepping down... relinquishing my role... letting go of... and it was HARD!!!

But I did it. And now (after 1 whole week of insane guilt) I feel FREE!!!

Free to heal, free to think, free to process.

We can only pour out so long before the vessel runs dry. And then it is time to travel to the well and be filled again. So here I sit, beside the well, waiting.

In the meantime I will....


I'm not one to make New Years resolutions. But usually by this time every year I start anticipating the New Year.

About 10 years ago we started attending a church where the Pastor encouraged us to spend the first week of the New Year in prayer and fasting. He has since left the church, but it is a tradition I carry on. It's probably my favorite week out of the year.

Every year leading up to it it seems like God speaks a word or two into my spirit that will be the prayer focus of the next year. The last few weeks I've felt it beginning, but it wasn't until this last week that it all came together.

There is a Holy dissatisfaction in my soul. A longing for something I can't quite name. Mark Batterson figured it out for me and his new book, I'm sure, will be the theme of 2010 for me.

The book is called Primal and it's all about returning to the roots of Christianity. I'm reading his words with tears streaming down my face because finally someone has put into words the longing I've been wrestling with in my heart.

I talk to people everyday who are frustrated with "religion". It seems to me as if God is trying to re-awaken His children to a deeper passion than we've recently known.

Batterson writes: “The Holy Spirit reminded me of the raw spiritual intensity I once had. He revealed how calloused my heart had become. And I realized that I had somehow lost my soul while serving God. And it wrecked me. I realize that in many ways I had become a paid professional Christian.”

For weeks now these words have haunted me. It's time to return to that place.

So... no resolutions. Just a returning. To the Primal roots of our faith. Are you with me?

You can read the first chapter of Primal here:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flight or Fight

The “flight or fight response” is the biological response of animals to acute stress. It has also been used to describe human reactions to stress.

I fall in the flight category. Always have.

Sometimes fleeing a stressful situation is a good thing. For example: when I have an overwhelming desire to yell, scream and throw things at the people I share a home with I will retreat to the privacy of my bathroom and a tub filled with bubbles and warm water. Ahh! It’s a good thing. Or, when wrestling with a life altering decision and emotion is clouding judgment I go looking for trees and trails. I sit by quiet streams with the company of birds and my Father until His words fill my heart with peace.

But then there is the kind of flight that brings harm instead of healing. It’s the kind of fleeing that leads to dark places. Caves of doubt, rooms of loneliness. It’s the running that causes me to not answer phones or emails. That turns down dinner invitations. That makes eye contact with carpet and ceilings. It’s the flight response that leads me to show up late and leave early. Where the only trusted friends are my pillow and journal.

It’s lonely here. And quiet. And for a while… I welcome it. Life goes on without me, outside of this cave. And I don’t mind. Really I don’t…. for a while.

But after a while…

After a while I am reminded that quiet places are meant for moments, not months. And fleeing the stress of life should be immediately followed by running into the arms of someone who loves me. And caves are not meant to be dwelling places.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I have become a cynic.

And it’s ugly.

I’m not sure how or when it happened. But today it hit me like a bolt of lightning how bad it’s become. I’ve tried to find a better word to describe it. Something kinder and gentler than “cynic” but none of the watered down words can describe the hardness of my heart.

Cynic is a harsh word. It’s cold. Heartless. The definition will make you cringe.

Cyn-ic [sin-ik] –noun

  1. A person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view
  2. A person who shows or expresses a bitterly or sneeringly cynical attitude

Ugly isn’t it. And yet, that is what I have become.

The antonym for cynic is “believer” or “optimist”. And that is what I used to be. In fact my husband used to tell me I need to quit being so trusting of everyone. I always had compassion for everyone, believed the best in everyone, and was optimist that everything would work out just fine thank you.

So what happened? I’m not sure exactly. I could say that I’ve been hurt. It’s true. But I’ve been hurt before and kept believing the best. I could say I’ve been cheated. It’s true as well. But I’ve been cheated before and always been quick to forgive. I could say it’s because I’ve been disappointed. Another true statement. But disappointment is nothing new. My reaction is the only thing that has changed.

Perhaps the cause is unimportant. It is the solution I seek, not the cause.

My cynicism is a defense mechanism. It’s “safer” to be detached than to invite injury. When you believe the best in people you are almost guaranteed that you will be disappointed. If you expect to be disappointed… well, at least you knew it was coming.

The question that is haunting me is: “If my cynicism is protecting my heart from being hurt then why am I still hurting so much”.

It seems as if my logic has failed.

When we close ourselves off to others we miss out on the bad. But we also miss out on the good. We miss out on the disappointments, but we also miss out on the joy. We may miss out on some hurt, but we also miss out on the wonder.

I used to believe that people were by nature good, kind, and generous. Perhaps that is still true. Even if it isn’t, the God I serve IS good, kind, and generous. And He has created me to be like Him.

I confess to you the bitterness and unbelief in my heart. My heart has been closed off to people, but You are really the one I have sinned against. Create in me a clean heart and make me faithful again. Make me happy as You did when You saved me, make me want to obey! You, who have every right to be cynical towards me chose instead to extend mercy and grace. Help me to extend that same mercy and grace to others. Help me to love without limit. To have compassion once again. Help me to trust You with my heart, for only You are able to protect it. Amen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"Silence and solitude is fasting from people and noise for a prescribed time to connect with God and replenish the soul. The opposite of solitude is isolation, where someone is burned out and goes into survival mode by disappearing. Solitude is godly, isolation is deadly, and if we don’t enjoy the former we’ll wind up pursuing the latter." Mark Driscoll

I am guilty of isolation.

As a matter of fact, in the last few weeks I've been feeling overwhelmingly alone. And I know it's because of self imposed isolation.

So what's the difference between solitude and isolation?

Solitude seeks healing

Isolation seeks escape

Solitude welcomes

Isolation rejects

Solitude listens

Isolation ignores

Solitude submits

Isolation rebels

Solitudes refreshes

Isolation drains

Solitude focuses on the future

Isolation is consumed with the past

Solitude is godly

Isolation is deadly

Times of solitude are vital. They keep us connected to God. They strengthen us to connect with others. They refresh our souls.

One of the greatest strategies of war is divide and conquer. Even in the animal kingdom the one who is isolated from the herd is the one attacked by the hungry predator. It's the same with us. When we allow ourselves to live in isolation we become easy prey. We are easily discouraged, easily offended, easily wounded, easily picked off.

Connection is hard. Community is hard. But isolation is deadly.'s not worth the risk.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post. I haven’t really had anything else to ponder at 2 in the morning. I’ve been asking God for answers. I’m hoping for a letter to arrive in the mail.

Actually, maybe it did. But it wasn’t in the mail, it was in this book that sits on my desk. Today I cracked the pages and found myself caught up in a story about a man who loved a woman who was unfaithful to him. His name was Hosea, he took as his wife Gomer, the prostitute.

We normally don’t consider prostitutes to be suitable mates for a Prophet of God. It’s slightly unorthodox. But Hosea took his wife out of obedience to God. You see, God wanted to prove a point. He wanted us to know that He loves the prostitute. Loves her enough to purchase her. Loves her enough to marry her, bring her into his home, allow her to eat at his table.

The book of Hosea continues to describe the unfaithfulness of Israel, His bride. She has betrayed Him, been unfaithful to Him. And He is crying out to her, “return to Me”.

I can’t let you go.
I can’t give you up.
How could I possible destroy you?
I just can’t do it.
My feelings for you
are much too strong.
I won’t lose my temper
And destroy you again
I am the Holy God—
Not merely some human
And I won’t stay angry.
I, the Lord, will roar like a lion,
And my children will return,
trembling from the west,
They will come back,
fluttering like birds from Egypt
or like doves from Assyria.
Then I will bring them
back to their homes.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Hosea 11:8-11

My heart breaks as I read His words. I’m overwhelmed by His love for me, for us, His bride. His beloved prostitute.

The truth is, I have been unfaithful. I have betrayed Him. I have loved others beside Him. I have followed my own agenda, sought my own way, ignored His voice. And yet… and still… Still He loves me.

Am I still disillusioned by the church? Yes. Am I still hurting? Yes. But something has changed. I asked Him to show me what to do. His answer… Love the Bride.

“But God”, I argued, “the Bride is so unlovable.”
“More unlovable than a prostitute?” He asked.

We love because He first loved us. Without His love, it is impossible to love others. And so, today I am reminded of His love. His love for me. And because of His love for me, I can love His Bride.

Return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
You have rejected me,
But my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
without limit.
I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
and have roots like a tree.
your branches will spread
with the beauty
of an olive tree
and with the aroma
of Lebanon Forest.
You will rest in my shade
And your grain will grow.
You will blossom
Like a vineyard
And be famous as the wine
from Lebanon.
I will heal you and love you
without limit.
Hosea 14

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Confession...

I have to warn you... this is probably going to get ugly. In fact, if you are reading this a miracle has occurred. Because, you see, there are these thoughts in my head. Thoughts that I have absolutely no desire to share with anyone, and no plans to post. But thoughts that must leave my mind and be birthed in written form. Because until they are birthed they will continue to whisper to me in the middle of the night. And I’d reeeeallly like to sleep again. So here they are, the ugly thoughts…

I didn’t grow up in church. Unless you count Christmas and Easter. I don’t. I was 15 when I started “attending” church, as opposed to “visiting” church. Something happened. I fell in love.

With Jesus, you’re guessing. And you’re right. I feel head over heels, passionately, deeply in love with Jesus. But I also fell in love with the Church.

You see, when I started attending church my life was a mess. My parents had just divorced. My life was turned upside down. I was lost, and broken. And then I found this place where I was loved, and celebrated, and taught, and mentored, and accepted. It was… I can’t even find the word. It was LIFE. It was HOME.

To me loving Jesus and being a part of the Church went hand in hand. They were two sides of the same record. I was blessed to be a part of the Body. And I was honored to be of use to the Body.

I remember getting up at 6:00 on Sunday mornings to drive through the poorest neighborhoods filling up every car we could find with kids whose moms & dads were still sleeping off the activities of the night before. I remember standing under bridges eating lunch with the homeless who lived there, visiting hospitals to pray and hug and wait together with faces familiar to me.

Then there were hours spent around alters praying with friends, confessing sin and struggles to one another, words of encouragement shared, the joining of hands and hearts, the breaking of bread.

I. Loved. Church.

Church was a joy. But what was once a joy has become an obligation.

Jason Grey wrote in his new song “For the First Time Again”:

I’m jaded
From all that I have seen
I’m bitter
But I don’t want to be

Today, that is my reality. I’m jaded. I’m bitter. And I feel obligated.

Obligated to attend church. Expected to be at church. Compelled to serve in church. I feel as though, because I call myself a Christian, I am duty-bound to spend my Sunday mornings and evenings gathered with other Christians. And to be honest, I can’t find the purpose in it all.

I realize how cynical I sound. Believe me, I hate feeling like this. But this is my reality.

The questions are driving me crazy. Has the church lost its way? Or have I? Have I become too critical of the church? Are things really good, but I can’t see it because I am blinded by my bitterness? Is the problem really between me and the church or me and Jesus? Am I the problem? Are my expectations too high?

I just have this nagging thought that it isn’t supposed to be like this. That there’s more.

This morning I read an excerpt from Mark Batterson’s soon to be released book Primal. He writes: “The Holy Spirit reminded me of the raw spiritual intensity I once had. He revealed how calloused my heart had become. And I realized that I had somehow lost my soul while serving God. And it wrecked me. I realize that in many ways I had become a paid professional Christian.”

I have somehow lost my soul while serving God.

I have become a paid professional Christian.

What do you do with that? I have lost my soul, my joy, my wonder. It has been taken from me. By politics in the church, abuse of spiritual authority, gossip, backbiting, neglect. It has been swallowed up by cliques, social clubs, and status. By perverted teaching and false gospels. By scandals. By lies. By loneliness.

I still believe in the church. I still believe in the office of the pastor. In the call of God. But I hurt. And I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being hurt again. Afraid of trusting again.

And, ultimately, I think that is what this is about. This exercise in expressing these thoughts. It’s about forgiving. About letting go of the past. About learning to trust again. It’s about choosing to believe that while the church is a real, actual mess, it is still the tool of choice in God’s hand for reaching the world. It’s about choosing to believe that regardless of how stained and wrinkled the church has become, it is still His Bride. And I still believe He loves His Bride.

The Jason Gray song I quoted earlier… the next line of the song is: “I’m believing, won’t You help my unbelief”.

I am believing. I choose to believe there is hope. Hope for me. Hope for the Church. Hope for joy to return. But, God… won’t You please help my unbelief. Because my unbelief is big. Big enough that I feel as though I am drowning in it.
What was once a joy has become an obligation.
It's time for joy again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Goodbye friend...

My heart hurts today. A dear friend, and wonderful man took his final ride to be with his God. I know that death comes to all of us, but I'm surprised it came to him. He was invincible.

I wonder where they will have the memorial service. I don't think there's a church in NWA big enough to hold every life he touched. And what a legacy he leaves.

He could make you laugh with the best of them. But when your world was falling apart, he would walk with you through the pain.

He was a great man. I am fortunate to have known him.

Right after I received the news I read this... It has brought me comfort. I pray that if you are walking through a season of pain that it will also comfort you.

"Both pain and pleasure are meant to point us to the same reality; namely, that Jesus Christ is infinitely beautiful and so much more than enough for our every need. Living for Him, even suffering for Him, is worth every moment of affliction! Why? Because Jesus shows you such beauty in pain, because He is there and He is carrying us through." Joe Eaton

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alive Again

The first line of Matt Maher’s new song says “I woke up in darkness”. The first three words are my reality today. I woke up. The funny thing is… I didn’t know I was asleep.

Maybe it was a defense mechanism. Whatever the cause, I was sleeping. I had withdrawn from the world of sunshine to a place of darkness, a place of stillness, a place of quiet solitude.

Circumstances and situations piled on me suffocating me from the reality of life. Depression, sadness, anger and frustration blanketed me from the world of the living. In quietness I existed. Living, but not alive.

That’s when it happened. He called to me. I was lost so deep in my slumber that I didn’t hear His voice at first. Then He shouted. And the deafness that had overtaken me was broken. Light penetrated through the despair, and for the first time in a long time I breathed.

There is nothing so sweet as waking up, as breathing in and breathing out, as being alive, of being loved.

You can listen to Matt Maher's new song here.

I woke up in darkness surrounded by silence
Oh where, where have I gone?
I woke to reality losing its grip on me
Oh where, where have I gone?

‘Cause I can see the light before I see the sunrise

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

Late have I loved You
You waited for me
I searched for You
What took me so long?

I was looking outside
As if love would ever want to hide
I’m finding I was wrong

‘Cause I could feel the wind before it hits my skin

You called and you shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again, I’m alive again

‘Cause I want You, yes, I want You, I need You
And I’ll do whatever I have to just to get through
‘Cause I love You, yeah, I love You

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Attitude Adjustment

My week began with the realization of the fact that I had a stinky attitude. It had gotten bad enough that it was interfering with my life. So I finally decided it was time to address the issue.

I took it to God in prayer hoping for a nice motivational scripture or two and a clever action plan that I could put into effect to solve the spiritual slump I was experiencing.

Over the journey of the last week I have heard from God. But no "steps to success" were given to me.

Instead I was offered three simple invitations from my patient Father.

1. Drink from the Living Water~ allow Me to cleanse you, wash away the hurt and pain, and renew your soul.

2. Come away with Me~ be still, be with me, be alone in my Presence so you can hear my voice.

3. Let My Spirit lead you~ don't try so hard or plan so much, follow Me, enjoy Me, embrace each moment of adventure I have planned for you.

On Monday I came to God frustrated, tired, and broken. I wanted Him to give me a plan so I could fix myself. He didn't answer that prayer. Instead He simply invited me to lay it all down at His feet and be healed.

Today I sit on top of a mountain at New Life Ranch (appropriate don't you think). The leaves are turning amber and gold. The gentle breeze blows them and they dance. In the valley below a white steepled church sits beside a lazy stream. The skies are blue, the sun shines bright, and my heart sings!

For I am chosen. I am loved. I am His.
And that, for now and through all of eternity, is all I will ever need.

New Life Ranch

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Attitude Adjustment continues...

I tend to get stuck in a rut. Mark Batterson (Wild Goose Chase- you should read it) would say I'm in the Cage of Routine. You know, autopilot.

It's not that my life isn't exciting. It is. My job is amazing. My kids are awesome. My marriage is wonderful. I'm involved in some really cool ministry stuff. But, I'm bored. I'm in a routine. I'm stuck.

Every morning the alarm goes off at the same time, and I navigate through the next 18 hours or so without thinking. (yes, I'm averaging less than 6 hours of sleep a night, but that's for another post)

Nothing changes. Nothing excites me. Nothing brings joy.

And so.... my attitude stinks.

I'm supposed to have the same attitude of Jesus. His attitude was never stinky.

He was never really in a routine either. I mean, He did a lot of the same things from day to day. But, I don't see His daily existence as boring. Every day was an adventure. Why?

Because He was led, not by routine, but by the Spirit. Jesus wasn't bound by a list of things to accomplish, but by a Voice to follow. And in following that Voice, He found adventure. It's probably pretty hard to complain about things when you never know what miracle the next moment holds.

The thing about miracles though... is that you have to make room for them. Miracles are very rarely found in schedules and routines. They are found in unexpected places, unplanned conversations, and unintended circumstances.

Miracles occur when we stop to enjoy a sunset, dance in the rain, cry with a friend, bring groceries to a neighbor, finger paint with a child, cuddle with a loved one before a roaring fire. Miracles are found in the silence of solitude, the roar of laughter, the whisper of a contented sigh.

We were created not for routine, but for miracles. Not for schedules, but for moments. Moments that take our breath away and remind us of a Holy God.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More adjusting...

Jesus was a man.

I know, I know- you’re aware of this fact. But think about it for just a minute. Jesus was human.

He was…







So am I.

So what’s the difference between Jesus and me? A lot!

For one thing He never grumbled and complained about the circumstances He was in or the emotion He was feeling.

So what did He do when He was tired, or sad, or frustrated? He withdrew to a quite place to pray.

Imagine that… the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords required regular times of prayer and peace in God’s presence.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places
and prayed. Luke 5:16




and Prayed

If the Creator and Sustainer of all things needed quiet time in prayer, how much more so do I?

Today…. I will turn off the distractions. I will put aside the to do list. I will be quiet. I will pray. I will enjoy His presence.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Attitude Adjustment Begins here...

My mom moved recently. They downsized. Selling their almost 400 acres of rolling farm land and moving into a beautiful home nestled on 40 wooded acres. We were out there recently, the kids and I, and mom wanted to show me her newest discovery on the property. Two pear trees laden with fruit.
As the kids and I were admiring the trees one of the kids noticed the small pond near the fruit trees. It’s pretty nasty, for a pond. The water’s completely green. It even smells funky. I tuned out the conversation as Grandma patiently explained to the kids the reason for the ponds yuckiness.

I remember their old pond. It was a glorious pond, as far as ponds go. It was quite big. They had built a dock that we loved fishing off of. There was a small paddle boat that the kids (and grown-ups) loved to jump in and float lazily around the pond in. Then there were the non-human inhabitants of the pond. Fish galore… sunfish, catfish, and, on a good day, some pretty big bass. Geese and ducks were regular visitors to the pond. Year after year as they migrated south they would stop and spend a few weeks at the pond. The dogs loved it, the horses loved it, the deer were crazy about it. Like I said, it was a glorious pond.

But the pond at the new house… yuck. I would never dream of spending a relaxing afternoon along its banks. I’m sure there are animal inhabitants in the new pond. We haven’t seen many, but we’ve heard them. Frogs mostly. Not that there’s anything wrong with frogs…

Lately my attitude seems more like the scummy pond, than the big beautiful pond.

This morning I remembered something my mom said that day by the pear trees. She said the pond was yucky because it didn’t have a source of fresh water.
The pond at the farm was spring fed. The spring fed not only the pond, but the house and farm as well. It was the only source of fresh water on the nearly 400 acres. And it never once ran dry.
But the new pond had no spring. Nothing fresh was coming in. It just sat there. Collecting algae and scum.

Perhaps that’s my problem too. Maybe I need a good spring. Cool refreshing water pouring over my soul, washing away the scum and stink. Living Water found only in Christ Jesus.

Maybe then my attitude will begin to change and life will return to this stagnant soul.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I need an attitude adjustment...

Saturday I read a list of Chuck Swindoll’s Top 10 Leadership Lessons. It was a good list. Things that I’ve heard at countless conferences and leadership seminars. I quickly skimmed it then went about my day.

But I was distracted. There was a gentle voice in my head. “Did you read the list? Did you see #7?”

It was a typical Saturday, filled with many things to do, and the voice in my head was causing me to be distracted. I tried to ignore the voice and continue on throughout my day.

But the voice was persistent. Always soft, always gentle. But persistent. “Did you read this list? Did you see #7?”

“Yes Father, I read the list. No, I don’t remember #7.”

“Read it again”, the voice whispered.

#7. My attitude is more important than my actions


Well, yeah sure. Attitude is important Lord. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a million things to do.

I walked away from the list, and on to my “to do” list. But then I started noticing something. Another voice was interrupting my day. This voice wasn’t soft and gentle. This voice was harsh.

“Why can’t you pick up after yourself?”

“I’m so sick of having to cook dinner. No one appreciates it anyway.”

“I don’t have time for this.”

“I’m exhausted.”

“Can’t we have any peace and quiet around here?”

No, this voice wasn’t gentle. But it was persistent. And it made me sick. I didn’t want to hear what that voice had to say anymore. I wanted the other voice. I wanted my voice to sound like His.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my attitude since Saturday. What it is. What it should be. I know I need an attitude adjustment.

So this morning I decided to do what I always do when I’m stumped by a problem. I’d go to the Word of God and see what it has to say.

I was surprised to see there were only a very small handful of verses that popped up when I typed “attitude” into my favorite on-line Bible site. Surprised, but relieved. At least there wasn’t a lot to study. I’d read the verses, apply some truth and get back to my day.

I started reading and found that all the verses were in reference to some King’s attitude against the Israelites. Good, I’m off the hook, only 1 more verse then I can move on.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Phil. 2:5


What am I supposed to do with that?

I haven’t figured it out yet. But I have a feeling when I do; my voice will sound a bit more like His.

OK, Lord. Bring on the attitude adjustment. I'm ready. I think.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Wife's Guide to Understanding Fantasy Football

Step 1: Research

Before embarking upon the actual process of Fantasy Football there must be a period of research. This is similar to examination of the Fall Fashion edition of InStyle magazine. Before shopping for fall clothing it is important to know the most recent trends, styles, and hot colors for the upcoming season. In the same way extensive research must be made to determine who the hottest players are in the NFL and who is predicted to continue to be “hot” and who might possibly make it to the “consignment store” (otherwise known as second string).

Step 2: Draft

Drafting the perfect Fantasy Football team is like assembling the perfect outfit.

Quarterback—perfect jeans from the Gap

Wide Receiver—perfect handbag from Masons

Running back— perfect Jacket from Ann Taylor

Lineman—perfect tank from Old Navy

Tight end—perfect top from Khols

Kicker— perfect shoes from Bakers

Defense—perfect collection of accessories from Claries

Even though each individual item was purchased at a different store they now make up one complete outfit. In the same way, each player is drafted from a different team and now makes up one complete Fantasy Team.

Step 3: Compete

This is most comparable to a social function where women are put in close proximity with one another to compare their individual “perfect outfits”. Examples of this behavior may include:

Hey Susie! Love the earrings!

Thanks Becky, picked them up on clearance for $9.95 By the way those shoes are adorable.

You like? Got them in a BOGO sale!

In this instance clearly Susie has “won” the accessories category and scored points, while Becky won the shoe competition. After analyzing each part of individual outfits, the one with the most points wins. In the same way, when two Fantasy Teams compete against each other each individual member of the team can score “points” for their team. Ultimately, the team whose members contribute the most points wins that week.

Step 4: Declaring a Winner

The competition described in Step 3 continues each week and win/loss records are kept for each outfit/team. At the end of a prescribed length of time the highest scoring outfits/teams are matched against each other in the Playoffs. Play continues until an ultimate Champion Outfit/Team is declared.

Special circumstances:

Injury Reserved: this would be comparable to the hem coming out of your perfect black pants.
Injury- Out for Season: this would be comparable to spilling a bottle of bleach on your perfect black pants.

Illegal Roster: this would be comparable to showing up at the most important event of the season wearing the same outfit as someone else.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Road Called Hope

I travel a road called Hope
Although I do not know the way
I simply seek to follow it
Through each moment of my day

It winds over the mountaintops,
Beside the raging sea,
And through the darkest valley
This road leadeth me

It is not my destination
This road I travel on
It is simply my companion
As I seek my true Home

I have been known to leave this path
And travel my own way
Into the mud and mire
That beckons me to stay

And slowly I begin to sink
Into the great despair
Of whispered lies and subtle words
That tell me Hope’s not there

But then I hear a gentle voice
Calling on the wind
“Lift up your eyes, reach out your hand,
Travel with Hope again”

Suddenly I am lifted up
My feet on solid ground
The mud and mire washed away
I hear a brand new sound

It is a song that comes to me
A song sung by the road
“We are not there, my child, my love
But together we travel on”

And so I place my trust again
In this winding path I see
Knowing that with Hope
I will reach my destiny

And when we finally reach the end
Of this journey that we share
I’ll take the hand of the One
Who walked beside me there

And enter into a place
Where Hope lives ever more
My eyes will see, my voice will shout
“My Hope! My King! My Lord!”

Forever we will dance and sing
Together on the road
Suddenly transformed from brick
To its gleaming, royal gold

And one by one we’ll gather there
Sharing stories of the way
A road called Hope led us one by one
To a new and brighter day

Where darkness cannot touch us
And despair no longer cries
And Hope is seen in every smile
As we walk by Jesus’ side.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Stage

She was beautiful. Well dressed, stylish hair and handbag. Adoring husband on her arm, and perfectly poised children at her side.

But, stop and look a little bit closer. Beneath the makeup were tear stained eyes. And just moments before exiting her flawlessly detailed car tempers flared and words were thrown like darts at the perfectly poised children.

Look even closer and you'll see a heart that is empty and yet so full. Full of anger, bitterness and shame. And completely empty of peace.

Yes, she is beautiful. She has been given great gifts of beauty and poise. She has worked years to perfect the image of who she appears to be. But beneath the surface she is ugly. Beneath the polished exterior lies a heart that is bound and broken. And lying just beneath that phony smile is a desperate cry for help.

I am intimately acquainted with this woman. It is me. (I argued with God on the beautiful part, but He told me not to disagree with His opinion). I guess I should say; it was me. Oh, don’t get me wrong… that old girl likes to rear her ugly head from time to time, but for the most part she is dead. Thank God.

Because trying to be her is exhausting. Yet for years that is what my effort was poured into. I had to dress the part. Look the part. Act the part. But then I realized, it was just a part.

I’m a theatre junkie. Grew up on the stage. I’ve been cast in many parts. Its fun assuming the personality of a fictional character, getting into costume, grabbing your props and standing beneath the spotlight. And the best part… the moment right before the curtain closes for the last time. That moment when the audience rises to their feet and applauds with gusto. Ahh, theatre.

But life really shouldn’t imitate art. At least not to the degree that we assume a role every time we leave our house. Life should imitate life. Because after the curtain closes the actor leaves the bright glare of the spotlight. Costumes are returned to the costume department, props are returned to the prop master. And then they sit in front of a mirror and wipe away every trace of the character they just moments before portrayed. Hair is brushed, and usually pulled back in a pony tail, jeans and sneaker are put on, and they walk out the door of the auditorium into the real world.

And that is where you and I live, in the real world. Sure you can spend your time and energy trying to play the part of a “perfect” woman. Or you can spend your time an energy becoming a different sort of woman.

Long ago a question was asked. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” It’s a good question. One we would be hard pressed to answer today. Who can find a virtuous woman? Do we even know what a virtuous woman is?

Virtue- morally excellent, good, righteous, chaste
And in the context of Prov. 31:10- strength, might, substance

A virtuous woman is strong, she is good, she is a woman of substance. Not just a shell of perfection with nothing substantial inside. A virtuous woman is valuable. She is to be treasured, she is to be praised.

It’s not easy being a woman of virtue. It takes time, it takes effort. It requires diligence and perseverance. But it is worth every ounce of energy. Because when the final curtain closes, the virtuous woman will have no borrowed costume to return, no props to turn in, no mask to remove. She will simply stand in the spotlight. Poised, confident, and beautiful. And the reward she will receive will not be a standing ovation, but a simple invitation to come and join the One for whom she performs. And hand in hand, they will exit the stage and enter eternity.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


My daughter crawled into bed with me this morning. All 5 feet 4 inches of her. As she slept I was transported back nearly 15 years to the first time I laid in bed and watched her sleep. At that time just barley over 4 pounds, a tiny bundle of perfection. She still takes my breath away with her beauty.

I remember before I met her writing in my journal prayers for her future. I asked God to make her strong and confident. To give her a desire for Him. That she would bring joy to the lives of others and that she would know and serve her God with a single minded devotion.

It's funny how we often miss the answered prayers that are right in front of us. I spend so much time making sure her homework gets done, she gets fed on a regular basis, and that she gets taken to all her events that I forget to just stop and watch her sleep. To pause and see that the young woman before me is an answer to all of my prayers.

And so, this morning that is just what I did. I watched her sleep. And I was reminded that my God is faithful. That my God answers prayer. And my heart was overwhelmed by the beauty that was before me. Not just the beauty of a perfectly formed mouth, and thick dark lashes resting upon her cheek. But the beauty that comes from a soul who is passionate about loving God and loving every moment of life. The beauty of a girl who makes me laugh with complete abandonment. Who makes me feel full of love and joy and hope.

Fifteen years ago my heart was overwhelmed with thoughts of who she one day might be. Today my heart is overwhelmed with the realization of who she is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worth It

It’s gonna be worth it… when I see His face.
Worth the sleepless night of whispered prayer.
Worth doubt filled days and desperate cries.

It’s gonna be worth it… when I hear Him call my name.
Worth moments of questioning, trying to find His will.
Worth the wandering, trying to find my way.

It’s gonna be worth it… when I feel His hand in mine.
Worth the pain of broken dreams.
Worth the agony of defeat.

It’s gonna be worth it… when I see His smile.
Worth the misunderstandings, worth the judgment in their eyes.
Worth friendless days, and lonely nights.

It’s gonna be worth it… when eternity begins.
Worth trouble and persecution. Worth darkness and danger.
Worthy poverty and hunger. Worth sorrow and shame.

It’s gonna be worth it…

You’re gonna be worth it…

You’re gonna be worth it all…. Jesus!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My husband downloaded a new game recently. It’s a survivor trivia quiz. I was bored the other day and was playing it. One of the questions was:

You have stepped on quicksand. Should you:
Fight- quickly try to move back to safety
Be Still- remain as calm and still as possible and call for help.

I think our natural instinct would be to fight. If we are sinking we try to get out. But actually the more we move and try to fight the quicksand the faster it will pull us under.

A lot of my life feels like quicksand these days. I feel as though the ground around me is unstable and pulling me under. And in all honesty I’m not sure how I got here. Just a minute ago I was walking on solid ground and now I’m in a pit. I’ve been trying really hard to get out of this pit. And yet, here I am, fully immersed, and covered in mud.

It was at the point of exhaustion from fighting against the quicksand that I stopped to ask myself a question. Is fighting getting me anywhere? And so I stopped. I stopped fighting, and simply cried out… Help!

You see, I’ve been taught to fight. To take control, to take charge, to not let circumstances pull me down. I’ve been taught to be brave, to be courageous.

But in the pit, in the mire and mud courage whispered to me… stop. Be still. Quit fighting. Because I wasn’t standing on solid ground. And unless my feet are firmly planted on the Rock I cannot, dare not, fight.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalms 40:1&2

I am still in the pit. But I am no longer sinking. I am waiting patiently for the Lord. I am confident He has heard my cry. Soon, He will lift me out of here, and set my feet on a rock. And then I will take up my shield and my sword and I will fight. But until then, I will be still. I will trust. I will surrender.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Last night I watched the movie Julie & Julia. Great movie. Probably not good timing.

Yesterday in staff meeting we discussed chapter 9 of Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love. We spent a good hour hashing over what we want to do with our lives that will be of lasting value. Talked about what kind of a legacy we want to leave. Asked each other what fears are keeping us from pursuing those crazy God dreams.

Then I went to watch a movie about 2 ordinary women who through hard work, dedication, and a truck load of guts and craziness changed their lives in extraordinary ways.

Made for a very reflective evening. Made for prayers filled with lots of questions. For example:

1. What do You want me to do?
2. How do I learn to be content in all things and yet be consumed with crazy dreams?
3. What am I so afraid of?
4. Who am I, and why do You need me?
5. How can I do something that will be of lasting value to Your kingdom?

There wern't as many answers as there were questions. I've found that's just the way things are with God. But there were a few answers. Softly whispered and warmly wrapped around my soul.

I am His. He doesn't need me, but He desperaly wants me. Fear is good, it keeps me dependant on Him. And He simply wants me to... believe.

Believe Him. Take Him at His word. Obey His voice.

Once step. One moment. One breath. One choice.

Today I choose to do great things for God. I will not fund an orphanage, or interpret the Bible into a foreign language. I will not publish my first book, or speak to crowds in an ampitheatre. But I will do great things! I will love God. I will love those who are around me. I will listen for a still small voice. And I will choose to belive that whatever that voice tells me, I can and will do.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


My daughters love the Jonas Brothers. Not too surprising, a lot of young girls do. I like the JoBros myself. After all, they're good kids. They love God, live lives of integrity, and make good clean music. Of all the bands my girls could like, as a mom I love that they love the Jonas Brothers.

Personally, I've come to know lots about them. I know all of their names, how old they are, where they're from. I even know the words to most of their songs. But, I'm not obsessed or anything- not like my girls.

But that was before last week. Last week I took my girls to a Jonas concert. And can I just say-- AMAZING! I've been to hundreds of concerts in my life, but I have never experienced a show like that. The lights, the staging, the effects, the creativity. WOW!!

I can't seem to quit talking about it. for a week now I've told anyone who will listen how amazing the Jonas Brothers are. It's so bad I've been accused of being obsessed. And maybe I am. But if you would have seen it- if you would have experienced it- you would probably be obsessed too.

And isn't that how our relationship with Christ is? Oh, we may have heard of Him. Maybe we even admire Him. But, it's not until we see Him and experience Him for ourselves that we realize how amazing He really is. And once we're confronted with the wonder of who Jesus is how can we help but love Him, tell others about Him, and be obsessed with Him?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A walk down memory lane...

This week I got to deliver balloons to our office of the week winners at UAMS-- which is housed in what used to be the hospital where all 4 of my babies were born. it's been at least 5 years since I've so much as driven by there, much less been inside the building. As I pulled into the parking lot I was hit with wave after wave of memories from nearly 15 years ago.

I remembered June 6, 1994--rushing to the emergency room in fear that I was having a miscarriage only to be shocked to learn that we were carrying not one, but two babies. That night was the first of many trip to the hospital over the next 5 months. Multiple ultrasounds, extensive blood work, and visits for IV fluids because of weight loss and dehydration. The worst visit was October 31, 1994 when I was admitted for pre-term labor. At just 31 weeks gestation we were terrified, Not helping matters at all was the meanest nurse on the planet who told me to go home and stay in bed because if my babies were born this early "they would surely die".
Two days later my water broke and the only thought running through my head was "they are surely going to die".

Twenty four hours after that I saw for the first time the two most precious baby girls ever. Weighing in at just over 3 pounds each the question of whether they would live or die was still unanswered.

From November 3rd until mid December we all lived at the hospital. The twins in NICU. Jimmy and I in waiting rooms, the cafeteria, and the occasional unused hospital room. And those girls showed everyone. Not only did they survive-- they thrived.

And they still are. This fall they will turn 15. Now instead of worrying about their pulse ox levels, and apnea monitors we worry about getting drivers licences and how to handle boys.

During those weeks we lived in NICU I thought that season would never end. But it did, so quickly. James says that we learn to endure by having our faith tested. And that we must endure to become mature and complete.

I remember while I was pregnant telling God that I couldn't handle it if there were complication with my pregnancy. But, there were complications. My faith was tested. And I endured. Did I enjoy it? NO! Would I want to do it again? NO! Am I thankful for the fruit that was born of it? YES! Yes! A hundred times- Yes!

Today, I am so thankful-- for life, for miracles, for my baby girls, for the trials along the way, and for the God who never leaves my side.

Friday, July 3, 2009

To Do:
Sent: 7/3/2009 8:44am
To: Jesus
Subject: To Do List Review

Dear Jesus,

I was wonder if you had some time today to review my To Do list and tell me what you think. As you can see it's an impressively long list. I've even broken it down into categories to make it more efficient.

You'll see that there are categories for work, home, marriage, parenting, church ministry, women's ministry, girlfriends, etc. Each of these areas has it's own extensive list of things I'm responsible for. I'm trying really hard to be about the work of the Kingdom. I know you'll be impressed with all that I am doing.

If you don't mind, could you give my To Do list a quick look over? Is there anything missing? Have I forgotten something that would bless You? Really, I want to know. I truly do want to please You and make You proud.

Thanks for Your time. I look forward to hearing from You.

Your child,
Sent: 7/3/2009 8:45am
To: Keri
Subject: RE: To Do List Review

Dear Keri,

Thank you so much for inviting me to look at your to do list. You're right it is impressively long. I know you want to be used by Me to do great things for the Kingdom of God. I want that to. In fact, I knew long ago that you would want to do great things for Me. So I already left you a To Do list. Here it is:

Keri's New To Do List:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength

2. Love your neighbor as yourself

I hope you don't mind, but I deleted your list. Please try this one instead. I think you will find it equally as challenging as the one you wrote, but much more rewarding. Please let me know if you have any questions.

With all my Love,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

There and Back Again

This is a week of goodbyes. A chapter in my life is closing. It is a chapter that brought much joy to my life, and I am saddened to turn the page and see it end.

I've learned through the years that most of us don't look forward to endings, to goodbyes. I try to face them as little as possible. I'm one of those individuals who sits in the movie theatre watching the ending credits roll just to linger in the moment a little bit longer.

As much as we try to avoid "goodbyes" or "the ends" they still come. Sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. Sometimes slowly and with plenty of warning. Either way it is difficult to face.

Last night, as I was finally embracing the emotion that accompanies "the end" I was reminded of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies.

In this scene Bilbo Bagget, with great flare, puts the finishing touches on the story of his life in his book of adventure. Sadness fills my heart as I realize the story Bilbo is recording is drawing to a close. But then.... Frodo enters the scene. The book changes hands. A page is turned. A new story begins.

I've often thought that our story with Christ is like a Fairy Tale. It begins like most fairy tales do....Once upon a time I was lost and alone and afraid, then the Handsome Prince left his castle to come and rescue the damsel in distress. The thing that's different with this story is that there is no... The End.

If we are in Christ there is no goodbye. There is no ending to the story of our lives. Yes, the story may change. There will be twists and turns, adventure and peril, love and loss. But there will not be The End.

And so today I say goodbye, not forever, but for now. And I turn the page, pick up the pen and wait for a new adventure to unfold.

Crazy Love

We are reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan as a staff. One of the concepts that he raised in the book is that we should approach God as our Father. I’ve heard that many times before. But, for the last week or so I can’t get the thought out of my head about God as my Father. And I’ve wondered…. what does that really mean?

I started thinking about my kids. Especially when they were little. How they acted around me. I loved it when they would run up to me and grab my legs, just because they wanted to be near me. I loved how they wanted to tell me about everything, because there wasn’t any part of their life that they wanted to be separate from mine. I loved how they would call my name whenever they saw a spider, or the lights went out, or it thundered, because they knew that I would protect them and keep them safe.

I loved that they loved me. I loved that they needed me. I loved that they wanted me. I loved that they trusted me.

And I wonder, can God say those things about me.

Time changes everything and it definitely changed the way my kids act towards me. Teenagers now they are developing their own personalities, discovering their own opinions. Gone are the carefree days of loving and laughing. Now there are moments of eye rolling, whining, complaining, pulling away, keeping secrets, talking back, arguing, and doubting that my way is the best way.

Do they still love me? Sure.

Do they still need me? Yes. But don’t tell them that.

Do they still want me? Sometimes. Sometimes not so much.

Do they still trust me? Maybe, depending on the situation.

It’s made me question my actions towards my Father. In my relationship with Him do I act like a little child, or a teenager?

Am I willingly obedient, or willfully defiant?

Do I need His presence in my life? Or can I take care of myself?

Do I want Him always? Or just when I’m in over my head?

Do I trust Him when it requires me to step out in faith? Or just when His plans is easy and comfortable for me?

The truth is: God is my Father. Nothing can change that. The variable is: am I acting like His child?

Mark 10:14&15 Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.

Friday, June 19, 2009


It's strange how many of my life experiences are forever forgotten by my not so sharp memory. But there are certain memories that seem to never fade. They are as vivid today as they were the day they happened.

This morning I arrived to work about 5:30 as usual. The sun was just starting to come up. As I left my car and started heading to the door to the office I was aware of the fact that they birds were all up and busy. That's when I heard it. One small distant bird called out "Pretty Girl! Pretty Girl".

All of a sudden I was 7 years old again. Wearing a pink floral print swim suit, sitting at the patio table under an umbrella next to my Noni's pool eating lunch (a cheesy hotdog sandwich). When Noni said to me "Do you hear that, Keri? The birds are singing to you. Listen... they're saying 'pretty girl, pretty girl'."

And sure enough, I strained to listen and heard the clear voice of the Cardinal way up in the magnolia tree singing "pretty girl, pretty girl".

I know to most people the birds just chirp and tweet. But to this (no longer little) girl, they will always sing to me the song my grandmother taught me. Reminding me that in my Noni's eyes, and in God's eyes, I am indeed a "pretty girl".

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do more?

For the last 15 days I've been purposefully living without TV. It's been wonderfully refreshing. With the exception of The Next Food Network Star, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

I've felt the call to re-focus. To re-center on God and His Word.

For the past.... oh, 5 years or so, I've been praying and asking God to help me figure out what I need to cut out of my life. I've felt too busy to keep up with my "to do" list. I often make a list of my responsibilities and prayerfully consider what I can remove from that list. Usually the list stays the same and I continue to plug away at all my "duties" just hanging in there, hoping for a day to come along where I can get a break.

But, I'm beginning to think that my line of reasoning may be wrong. Maybe I'm not supposed to subtract things from my list, but instead add things to my list.

Allow me to explain.

I'm reading these incredible biographies about men and women who lived incredible lives doing incredible things for the Kingdom of God. Consistently I'm am seeing the same habits in each of their lives:

1. They spend ALOT of time in God's Word and in prayer. It is a necessity, not an afterthought to them. It is the highest priority in their lives.

2. They were always asking God what more they could do for Him.

I very rarely ask God what more I can do for Him because, quite frankly, I'm usually too tired to keep up with my current responsibilities. But I'm starting to think my focus has been wrong. Instead of praying "God what do you want me to quit doing?" Maybe I should be praying "God quicken my mortal body to do all that you have created me to do with energy and joy" (Rom. 8:11)

I think it just might work. In fact, I'm sure it will. Because I've been praying it for the last week, and I've felt more energized and excited about my daily routine than I ever have. I've also spent more time in God's Word in the last week then I have in the last month... OK, fine 3 months.

I think these "old timers" had it figured out. Lots of time in the Word, lots of time on Kingdom work. The first fuels the second.

Heb. 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

No TV Day 4

So, I can't sleep... It's because I can't watch TV. Really, it is. Every night I turn on the TV to something I'm not really interested in and it helps me fall asleep.
I think somewhere in my past I was able to fall asleep without the TV... I'm sure I was. But right now, I can't.
So... I'm a walking zombie. But, I will not cave. I will not turn on the TV. Eventually I will be able to sleep again. Right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Lifetime...

  • An 18 year old girl sends a text message while driving and instead of attending her graduation is life-flighted to the hospital where she spent 7 days in intensive care before losing her life.
  • A wife, mom, and grandmother succumbs to her long term fight with a terminal illness.
  • A father and husband driving home on his motorcycle after a long day is struck by a truck and will never see his wife and kids again.
  • A former classmate from high school goes to bed one night completely fine, and never wakes up.
  • A plane takes off on a routine flight from Rio to France, and disappears somewhere over the ocean. 228 families will never see their loved ones again.

With the exception of the victims of the plane crash I was acquainted with each of the above people who recently lost their lives. All of these stories happened within the last week.

Strange isn’t it? We live our lives every day never thinking about death. Yet in the last 5 days of my life I’ve been confronted with the reality of death over and over again.

“Lord remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Psalm 39:4&5

Life is so short. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I find myself questioning my motives; how am I spending my time, what am I investing in, am I using this life God gave me to fulfill His purposes or my own?

I don’t think that when I stand before Him He will be impressed by the fact that I never missed an episode of Lost or Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I don’t think He will ask me how much time I spent on Facebook, or how many You Tube videos I watched. I do think He will be interested in the people I loved, the times I gave sacrificially, the hope that I shared.

Today I am reminded of my mortality. But, it’s a reminder that is filled with hope. What a great honor that the King of Kings has entrusted me to carry His message of Good News, for however brief my time on this earth is. And then… to be with Him for all of eternity! Now that is reason to celebrate!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I'm feeling led to turn off the TV for the month of June. Crazy, I know.

Life has been hectic... which is normal with a husband, 4 kids, a full time job, and full time ministry. But, the last few months it's been more hectic than usual. I'm spent, drained, empty, rung out, used up, withered, wasted, ...... OK, you get the idea.

I've been praying for God to give me strength and energy, but it's been lacking. Not because God's not answering my prayer, but because I'm not obeying Him.

So, in an act of obedience, and in complete faith, I am turning off the TV for the month of June. And, I am convinced that I will be refreshed and renewed through this experiment. Not sure how yet, but none the less, I'm convinced it will happen.

I tried to talk myself out of posting this blog. Because if I post this, it becomes real. It's no longer a thought in my mind, but it is now a commitment on paper (well, cyber-paper, but still...). But I need this to be real. I need the accountability.

I'll keep you posted....

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I will be leaving the land of media!

Don't worry it's only temporary!

My hubby and I are running away for our anniversary. Even though our anniversary isn't for 3 more weeks, this is the only weekend in the next 2 months that we could get away.

Reservations have been made at my favorite restaurant, a room is reserved in our favorite hotel, grandma is in charge of the kids, and I don't have to be back to work until Tuesday! Ahh... the stress is leaving already!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Conviction from a 14 year old

So, my daughter, Allison, is job shadowing me today. We've had great fun... until just a few minutes ago.

She was reading over my shoulder and noticed a quote I have with my signature on my personal email account. It reads "Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, life is about learning to dance in the rain." She gave me a hard time because this morning while doing the weather I complained about the constant rain. Then she asked me... "why are you complaining so much about the rain when you have this on your email?" Great fun having to explain your shortcomings to a 14 year old who is apparently smarter than you.

Allison is right. I do complain about the rain a lot. But not just about the physical rain, I complain about the rain in my life. The trials, the frustrations, the inconveniences, and the heartbreaks. I complain about having to wait on God, having to trust God, having to step out in faith. I want God to make all the difficult parts of life disappear so that every day will be "sunny". But blue skies and sunshine teach us nothing about growing and trusting in God.

So, once again, I am humbled. And reminded that life really isn't about just hanging in there through the difficult times waiting for the storm to pass. Jesus said that He came to give us life more abundantly. And I truly believe we can have abundant life even in the midst of the storm, if we'll just take the time to dance.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Homeless to Harvard

I had the privilege of attending the Work Matters conference today. They had some amazing speakers; Tony Blair, John Maxwell, and many other well known experts in leadership. But there was one speaker who I think made the biggest impact on everyone in the room. Her name is Liz Murray.

Liz was raised in the inner city by drug addicted parents, by the time she was 15 she was homeless, living on the streets. Both of her parents died from AIDS. When Liz's mother died she decided to do something about her life. She enrolled in high school and graduated in 2 years (at the top of her class) all while still living on the streets.

After graduating high school Liz enrolled in Harvard. Yes, Harvard! She will graduate this June with a degree in psychology. She travels all over the world speaking to groups about how they too can change their lives. She mentors other teens and helps them to get off the streets and into school.

I could go on and on about her story, but I won't. If you're curious just put Google to use.

One thing Liz said that won't leave my mind is that we have to quit using the word later.

Each of us have things that we know we need to do. Whether it's making a phone call, submitting a resume, saying you're sorry, going back to school, writing that book, laying down the addiction, getting help for the problem. There's that underlying nagging in each of our hearts that usually gets answered with a quite "I'll do it later".

But what if there is no later. What if the opportunity passes us by. What if later is just an excuse we use to cover up the truth that we're just too scared to risk it.

So what if we quit saying later and started saying now?

What if?

Could we fail? Absolutely. But what if we succeed?

If Liz can go from homeless to Harvard then where could I go from where I am?

I guess the question is: Am I ready to quit saying later and take a leap of faith?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things I Hate About Being a Mom

I hate it when your son's teacher calls. It's never to tell you how brilliant and well behaved they are.

I hate having to look into tear filled eyes and hand down a harsh punishment, when all you really want to do is let them off the hook.

I hate watching their hearts break when they've been stabbed in the back by a friend and realizing that there is absolutely nothing you can do to make the pain go away.

I hate that moment when you catch a glimpse of your daughter applying her makeup and you know that she isn't playing dress up.

I hate hurts that can't be fixed with a band-aide or "that bubbly stuff".

I hate storms that take place in hearts instead of skies.

I hate lessons that must be learned without mom's help.

I hate letting go.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Yesterday morning the snooze button won and I was running late to work. I left the driveway in an hurry, knowing I'd have to make good time to not be late. The only problem was that I found myself in the midst of the thickest fog I've ever seen. I could barely see five feet in front of the van.

In frustration I cried out "Lord, please make this fog go away!" And was answered by a whispered, "Keri, you've been praying that prayer for a long time now".

The last few months of my life have been a fog. I'm unsure of what's ahead and can't see around the next curve. I've felt alone in the dark on a winding stretch of road with the fog pressing in around me leaving me no point of reference, no light to see by.

And my prayer has simply been "Lord, please make this fog go away".

But, in the car that morning driving through the unknown, I realized that my prayer shouldn't be "make it go away" but instead, "Lord, will you walk with me through this storm".

There is something frightening about being in a fog, but it can also be a sacred place. For it is in the midst of the fog that we cling closest to Jesus. It is when it is the darkest of night that the light becomes so important.

So while I'm still unsure of what's ahead, and I still can't see around the next curve, I do not travel alone. There is someone who walks beside me, holding my hand, teaching me to trust Him in the storm.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Walk Worthy

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph. 4:1-4 NAS

As a kid growing up I always wanted to be part of a team. The only problem with being part of a team is that each individual needs to have something to offer to help the team become better at whatever it is that it's trying to accomplish. For example, if you were to join the girls softball team it would be really helpful if, say, you weren't terrified of being hit by the ball, had the ability to run, and didn't mind a little thing called sweat. Since none of those things describe me I spent my one very long season of softball riding the bench, or when coach was feeling particularly generous, in left field picking dandelions.

Throughout the years I watched friends try out for this or that sport or activity always wondering what it would be like to join the group. It wasn't until High School that I finally found my niche. Quite be accident. My two best friends signed up for the freshman drama class. I was the shyest most awkward kid you've ever met. The last thing I wanted to do was get up on a stage. But, my inability to stand up to peer pressure landed me in Mr. Hall's 6th hour beginning drama class.

If I were to say that the first time I climbed the stairs to the stage to perform I felt the anointing of God and heard distant angels singing I'd be lying. I performed a 2 minute piece in about 45 seconds then made a bee-line to the ladies room to loose my lunch. It was the most terrifying experience of my life.

The next day I snuck into class and was hiding behind my desk with my nose buried in a book. Mr. Hall walked by, leaned over and whispered "I can see you're a real leader. And you have great talent. By the end of this year you'll be a pro."

What? Had he witnessed the same tragedy I had? Because there were many things that I knew I was. A "talented" "leader" I was most defiantly not!

Fast forward 4 years.... My senior year of high school was bitter sweet. Lots of goodbyes, lots to look forward to. The shy, awkward freshman was gone. And a somewhat competant, confident young lady stood in her place. I was an award winning debate champion. Director of many student plays. And one of the most respected leaders on our drama team. Mr. Hall saw something burried deep within me, and because he whispered those words to me that day, I spent the next four years determined to become who he said I could be.

There's someone else who has whispered words of encouragement to me. Someone who sees something burried deep within me. Someone who believes with all His heart that I have been created for greatness. He has called me to join His team. And although I feel like I have nothing to offer, He still picked me.

He has called me to follow Him. I am determined to be worthy of that call.