Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beauty for Ashes~

Almost seven years ago I found out about the affair.  Five years ago yesterday I signed the final divorce papers.  I thought that my life had ended.  I had never experienced such devastation.  Never once did I ever see myself where I am today.  I am happy, more confident, stronger, thankful, and at peace.  Life has it's twists and turns, some of which we have no control over, and some we would never desire to happen.  I was listening to a song yesterday, and was thankful for the lyrics as they truly echoed how I feel.  "Lucky" (Jason Mraz, and Colbie Caillet) "I'm lucky to have been where I have been... Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed..."  I wouldn't wish where I have been on anyone, but truly I am lucky to be where I have been.  I wouldn't trade it for anything at all!  "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me " (2 Corinthians 12:9).  Thankful for the Lord in my life drawing me closer to Him, giving me His own strength to make it.  "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18).  I am thankful that He has drawn my sons to a closer walk with Him.  I am thankful that the part of me that I thought was dead, and would never find happiness is alive again.  I am thankful that I know that I can trust again.  I am thankful for Rob, and the last eight months that we have shared getting to know each other, and falling in love.  Of course there are scars that serve to remind me, but at least I know where that pain came from, and it is not where I am right now.  "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5: 6 - 7).  I am so thankful that the Lord takes all my pain, tears, hurt, all that I am, upon Himself and in return gives me His love, peace, hope, joy... All my junk, for all His good.  "To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified" (Isaiah 61: 3) Thank God for giving me His beauty for my ashes.  May where I have been, and where I have stayed, always motivate me to where I am now, and where I am going.  ♫ "I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend, lucky to have been where I have been, lucky to be coming home again.  ♫ Lucky we're in love in every way, lucky to have stayed where we have stayed, lucky to be coming home someday" ♪ 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Depression~

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad" (Proverbs 12:25). Having dealt with (battled!) depression myself for a number of years (it still rears it's UGLY head sometimes), I understand how consuming it can be. There are days when you think that you just can't handle it anymore; want to curl up in a dark corner and have it all stop (and I mean ALL!). After being on it for three years, I am happy to say that I have been completely off medicine for the last four years. (I am not ashamed to admit that I needed help.) It is not without some bad days, but they are bearable days, and some days in need of talking to my best friend(s) to help pull me out so that I don't sink farther into it. I am so thankful that Christ is in my life, and that He provides me the strength that I need, and lifts my head. There are so many people that are afraid to address it, afraid to talk about it, think that it is shameful, or disgraceful. It is real; just as real as if your eyesight was failing and you needed glasses, or if you had a heart condition and needed to take medicine. If you know someone, or are someone who suffers from this, please don't be afraid to talk about it! It is NOT shameful, it is NOT disgraceful... I don't think God would have used the word depression in His Word if it was not something that we would have to face.  Rest in Peace, Robin Williams.  

P.S.  If you have never had depression, or dealt with the awfulness that goes with it, you have no place judging the people that felt they had no hope, or other way out of the darkness going on inside of them.  It is real, it can be completely debilitating, and can completely consume oneself.  If you have depression, or know someone who suffers from it, please seek help, or be helpful! <3

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weakness~

We fight so hard to be strong... think that being weak is so bad... Well, I say that we (I) need to start changing our (my) thinking! Being weak, admitting that we can't do things on our own, and needing help, are all signs of strength. "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble (weakness)" (Psalm 46:1;). "And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather bast in my infirmities, that the power (STRENGTH) of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). "For we are glad when we are weak and You are strong..." (2 Corinthians 13:9a). It seems evident to me that when we are weak, He shows His strength in us. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). He commands us to be strong, not in our own strength, but in His. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). Ok, I'm done. Hope that encourages one of you today:)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

One Year Later~

May 18, 2014

 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

One year ago ~

A day of primping~ hair, nails, beautiful dress, tuxedo, flowers, borrowed car,  a little anxiety, and excitement, as two older teenagers meet up to go to the prom.  The time has come to go have dinner with the family, have some photos taken, and sendoff two special friends to have a fun time celebrating being seniors, and each other’s company.

A text from her at 11:45 “were good and on our way to the breakfast!”  A text from him at 12:15 “yep, I’m good” A knock on the door around 2am… I thought my boy forgot his keys.

A little rain, a very dark street, and a rear wheel drive car… The car hydroplaned and control was lost, just five miles from her front door, on the way to take her home. The car crashed; her side of the car taking the impact of a telephone pole… Both have suffered from this night in May.  Their lives forever changed.  The children we parents sent out never returned.

A mangled car, two ambulances, shock trauma, several surgeries for extensive injuries. Questions of why it wasn’t the other way around.

One year later~
The car is gone BUT… two older teens are alive, can share with you what happened, and both tell how God has used it to make them better people. Both are closer to Him and His Word now.  Both are ALIVE! Praise Him!

I still have a hard time with it all, but ultimately know that God is sovereign.  His ways are perfect.  I thank my God that He spared their lives, and that He is using this to bring glory and honor unto Himself.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Scars~

I have been thinking about wounds, healing, and scars. I recently shared with my son that he needed to address issues that are going on inside of him so that years from now, they don’t surface. Ironically, I have my own issues that have risen from an incident that took place on November 17th of 1987! A wound was created that day that has affected every aspect and area of my life… until now. A wound simply put, is an injury (harm or damage). In order for a scar to form, the injury has to be treated. After sharing with a dear soul, it was asked of me how my injury has affected life; my relationship with the Lord, to which I answered that it hadn’t. I was encouraged to write two lists. One on how it has affected me, one on how it has not. Needless to say the list on how it has not affected me is empty. Among other things, there has been bitterness, shame, anger, pain, and poor self-worth. The bitterness and anger I have carried has left a scar on my soul… The wound in my soul is interfering with my life. I have never treated the wound so I cannot really call it a scar, for if a wound goes untreated, it remains a wound. “Scar tissue is connective tissue that has contracted and become dense and fibrous. It replaces normal skin after an injury. They result from the biological process of wound repair in the tissues of the body. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process” (internet assistance). I need to address it so that that it can begin to scar, and heal properly. It has blackened part of my heart. This sin that was done against me, I choose to carry for all these years has shame, anger, guilt and so many other negative emotions. January 25, 2014 began a new chapter in my life! I am working on processing what has happened; have forgiven the person responsible for the violation, as well as myself for blaming myself all these years for something that I had no choice in. Finally, for the first time in my life, I am processing what happened to me, forgiving, embracing, and freeing myself of the past. For the first time in my life, I like who I am becoming, and I like me. I like Debbie. This is a huge step for me. Psalm 139: 15 states: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” I believe it. I am slowly getting to a place that I can talk about what happened, and it be just that, something that happened. I don’t want it to define who I am any longer. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7). I am thankful for the freedom there is in forgiveness. It gives me a greater picture of the freedom we have in Christ.  When Christ forgives, it is GONE. “‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10: 16-18).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kindled~

While I was stoking the fire up one morning, I was a little frustrated with one of the pieces of wood that was very difficult to catch fire. I put on my fireproof gloves and gathered in all the hot embers that had fallen to the sides back to the middle so that it could help to ignite the stubborn piece that was not catching. Thankfully, being in the middle of the fire, surrounded by the hot embers, and other burning logs, that stubborn piece caught a blaze. I kept tending to it so that it remained surrounded by wood that continued to burn, so that it too, would continue to burn, and provide warmth. 

My son experienced one of those pieces of wood that would not catch fire. He got so frustrated with it that he threw it out the front door into the snow. A few days later, I took the piece of wood that had been thrown out the front door, threw it in the fire and it caught. 

So today I decided to burn a fire to get rid of the smoke smell in my house. When I started the fire, it had a LOT of smoke! It was not going up the chimney, but coming out of every crack that it could, filling our home with smoke! 

Thinking about the Christian walk, and relating this wood burning to people, there are some people that have been taught their entire lives how to burn. It is natural for them. There are some people that have been taught and have fallen to the side. There are some people that have never heard, and when thrown in the fire, they don’t know what to do. They may be in the midst of the seasoned Christians and still not get it. The key is not to force them, but to surround them with seasoned, natural love, so that they feel the flame, and eventually catch themselves. I love the picture with the stubborn piece that my son threw out the door. When we give up on people and throw them out in the cold, we put out the ember of hope. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). As long as they stay in the midst, they will eventually catch. We have to be patient. 

 Some people are like seasoned wood that has sat and all the filth of the world has faded, some are like freshly cut wood, and need time. It will take them longer to catch the fire, but can and may. Today gave me another picture. There are some that stay in the midst of the fire, and just blow SMOKE!!! We need to be cautious of them. There are wolves in sheep clothing, and sometimes it is hard to see them; but when the fire is hot, the smoke really starts to reveal itself. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). 

 Ultimately each of us is accountable to keep the fire going, and to share it with others so that they too can burn bright. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). And in the end, we will be accountable to God for that. “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3: 13). The ones that have been taught, and have fallen away from the fire need to go back to the center of the fire. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” (Revelation 2:5).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Running~

January 24, 2014 You are running. To where, you do not even know. You are running from all you have ever known; running from the Truth. You belong to the King of King’s, “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine” (Isaiah 43:1). You will not be able to run forever. Please open your eyes and see that He loves you and desires you back in His care. You are on a destructive path, harming your body, mind, and spirit. It is only a matter of time before you crash into a brick wall and see the truth that is all around you. He won’t let you go. He loves you. You are His Princess. Trust Him, repent, and follow His ways. There is a way that seems right to a man and in the end it brings him death. I want you to keep running, but on the path towards the goal of the upward call in Christ Jesus. That is a race that will produce great rewards. No matter where you are, no matter what you have done, Christ loves you, and desires relationship with you. “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). January 26, 2014~ While you are running from God, remember this… We are not guaranteed tomorrow. “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4: 13-14). Turn today and follow Him once again! “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2: 4-5). Accidents happen every day. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Turn around today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Good Name~

January 8, 2014 

 A good name… what does that mean?  Good means: “morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious.” So how can one have a good name?  It is written through the pages of the Bible how important a good name is. "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1) "A good name is better than precious ointment..." (Ecclesiastes 7:1a) "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52).  I believe that in keeping with what you are taught, and hold most valuable you are making a name for yourself.  A good name holds more value and respect than material things.
Everyone is given a name at birth.  Your name is associated with your family, and everywhere you go, you represent your family.  I am sure you have heard as I have a parent say to their child: “Make me proud”, “remember who you are” or “know where you came from”, that is a parent telling you that you represent the family name, and do so with dignity.  As my boys get older, I find myself thinking about this more and more.  They represent me and all I have invested into them.  I pray they make me proud, but truly, that they honor me, and the morals and values I have invested by teaching and example.  There are times that they fail, and disappoint me, and prompts me to think about my own representation.  How is my name?  Am I representing in a way that honors?  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).  I fail.

As a Christian, everywhere I go, I represent the One who calls me by name.  I am a chosen child of God.  He loves me, and has invested His entire life (literally) into me.  As I think about my children representing me and not wanting them to shame me, I have to think about how I am representing my Father.  I have to be intentional about every moment of every day.  I have to follow what He instructs me in His word, and dwell on good things.  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4: 8-9).  That is the only way I can truly obtain a good name.  While the name is given to me, I have to work to keep it good.  The rewards are eternal! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1: 3-9).

How’s your name?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Commitment~

January 6, 2014

If you are married, go tell your spouse you love them! Things may be difficult right now, but it is a moment. Take a moment to remember why you are married in the first place.  Remember those butterflies in your stomach at the very thought of them; those feelings that you couldn't possibly spend enough time together. You made a commitment, keep it. This world is full of things that will try to destroy your union.  Don’t give in to the temptations tossed out there by the devil himself.  Whatever is going on right now is temporary… good or bad. Embrace the difficulties, for in them there are opportunities for growth and strength to the marriage.  If things are good, continue to pour into each other, for certain there will come challenges. 

Do not ever think it is ok to get chummy with a member of the opposite sex at work or anywhere else. It may begin innocently, but can be a great tool for the STUPID devil.  You may think: They are so easy to talk to… They understand my struggles… They “get me”… If you are single, and they are single, GO FOR IT!  If you have committed yourself in marriage: FORGET ABOUT IT!!  Believe it or not your spouse “Get’s you”~ You simply have to keep investing! If you have a bank account and don’t put any money into it, you are going to have NOTHING there to withdrawal. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). 

Enjoy the now- Don’t worry about the future.  Something will always be there to challenge the relationship, but if you dwell on that, it steals your joy today.  Don’t let anything rob you of the beauty that can be enjoyed today by worrying about tomorrow.  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).

God has placed a beautiful blessing in my life recently. I pray that I can keep my feet on the ground and my eyes focused on Christ, all while enjoying every moment I am afforded to.
I write all this with worry in myself- I so just want to enjoy what the Lord is doing!

You will show me the path of life;In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Friday, January 3, 2014

Enjoying the Journey~

December 27, 2013


"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Psalm 27: 14). "As we consider waiting on the Lord: The duty is ours, and we must mind it and make conscience of it, keep God's way and never turn out of it nor loiter in it, keep close, keep going but events are God's and we must refer ourselves to him for the disposal of them we must wait on the Lord, attend the motions of his providence, carefully observe them, and conscientiously accommodate ourselves to them. If we make conscience of keeping God's way, we may with cheerfulness wait on him and commit to him our way and we shall find him a good Master both to his working servants and to his waiting servants" (M. Henry). "Sometimes it’s OK to wait a little longer for something. Why rush if you don’t have to? Why not enjoy the journey?"(Thank you Papa Roy for your faithful devos)


I love it! So many times in our lives, God brings good things and we like it so much that we want to rush. Been there, done that, don't want to do that anymore. I am enjoying the journey!  

Respond, don't React~

As I struggle with the decisions others make that affect me, I have to remind myself not to react. I am so thankful for the Word of God that guides me on the right path. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). and one of my daily prayers "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24). I am also very thankful for friends that can talk sense into my head and tell me to "lay it down, give it to God, and get back to work".  People in our lives influence us, and those around us.  It is difficult when you once had a deep, meaningful relationship with an individual and they make choices now that hurt, and cut you to the core.  It is so important not to react to the hurt and rise above.