Friday, June 15, 2018

Honoring my Dad.

My dad was a paratrooper.  He was a risk taker.  Fearless as he traded uniforms with his captain and was the first out of the fighting airplane.  The captain was too fearful to jump.  Many had to be pushed out.  He was in World War II.  He built a shoe business out of nothing.  I remember him being a milk man.  A TV repair man with no prior knowledge at all.  He was a building inspector.   My son reminds me so much of my dad.  He is such a neat son to his dad.  Happy Fathers Day Danny.  Lee and my dad are masters at fixing anything.  My daughter was to me as my sister was to my dad.  Flying in an airplane is at the top of my bucket list.  I have loved flying as a coaches wife and parasailing when I was a young thing.

My dad got mentally ill about the same time I did.  Our ages were similar.  It was said that this doesn't usually happen so late in life.  I was about 42.  So was he.

Thinking back on his memory today I remember him teaching me lots of things.  He taught me to skate even though  he could not skate himself.  I didn't know that at the time.  We dug underground steams in a lot of the house he built.  No one would buy the lots so he got them at a good price.  He would build one house, sell it and them make a profit.  He did this so many times he paid for our home.  I was the only girl I knew with a swimming pool.  It was lovely in the day.  This was my inheritance from him and mom.  I treasured it so.  I never lived there after my parents died. My children didn't want it.   I did sell our home.

Mental illness moved dad to his safety zone.  His work was limited.  He would sit for hours on end at the kitchen table,  thumping his fingers on the table and having a head full of paranoia. I wonder if he was drowning out the voices.  Maybe having a bored mind was the reason.. It was so hard for my mother.  She finally gave the store to my sister.  Her inheritance and it provided well for her and her children.  She cared for both my parents when I could not.  During those years of isolation it changed my dad, our relationship and his life.  But not my love for him or for me.  Some of the sweetest times I had with my dad was sitting on his bed asking him to tell me the stories of his life one more time.

I have been where my dad was.  Isolated and in my comfort zone.  My world got so small at one time I sat on the computer day after day.  

These thoughts came together to me yesterday.  Of our we limit Gods work in our life as we draw back to what is familiar and give up living out of fear.  I often prayed that God would redeem the years the locus have eaten.  He has and is.  People have shared with me things we did during these years of being in such deep psychosis.  I hardly remember but that is a good thing I guess.

So the last years I have been able to function, serve and love in the midst of the psychosis.  My family has seen me spend time just sitting on my porch and I do.  Too much.  I would love for them to remember how God moved me out and taught me so much during these years.  It seems I have been sick, moving to wellness then back to sickness again.  Would you pray the cycle is broken with me.

I never thought mental illness could be my enemy personally.  I was such a doer and a being person.  Years of searching for God in my isolation.  Having it all together was a burden I was not meant to carry.  I miss the younger years with my dad.  Mental illness is such a sad thing.  I pray for the 3rd and 4th generation that these patterns might be broken.  The way we deal with life.

So I honor my dad.  I am having more of a life and more freedom than I ever thought I could have.  I have a family who knows more.  I have more children and more friends and a good church body.  My dad was so limited by these things.  Many days he went from home to the shoe store and that was it.  It was his comfort zone.   I think we are further along than he was in his generation.   I wept this morning as it was just too much for me.  The voices are now better.  Sometimes we just need a good cry.  I have so much joy and thankfulness for the kind man my dad was.  The times we shared and the life he gave me.

It is my home I will end my life as dad and I began ours.  A risk taker.  A lover of God and people.  To reach for joy in the midst of this fallen world.  To see the good and trusting God in the midst of it all.

My dad was a man of his word.  He kept his comment to my mom for better or for worse.  They were together until death did they part.  My dad smoked until his last days.  He liked a good beer.  He was a church goer.  His pastors always had new shoes.  He enjoyed his family and I do mine.  I want to move out more than I am right now.  My daughter and her friends and mine have pulled me out of my comfort zone.  They have helped me keep up my home.  My fears have been such a pull these last couple of weeks grieves me.  So thankful to you and those who have prayed and helped me break the chains that bind me.  I am not giving up.  Surrendered more and more pain in this last psychosis than ever before.  So desperate and so loved by you, God and others make it worth it all.  This has been my quickest recovery ever.  I am no giant.  But I have had many in my past to fight.  I am not strong but the love of God and my friends and family in my weakness is a beautiful humbling thing I never expected and didn't comes easy for me.

Thank you for washing my feet.  My dad was a great shoe salesman.  He met no stranger.  I am so thankful this Fathers Day for the man my dad was to me and my sister.  To a community he loved so very much.

Deborah Ford

Monday, May 14, 2018

Happy Mothers Day to all women, young and old, all year long

This has been one of the most beautiful Mothers Days I have ever experienced.  I have such joy in being a mother to my four children.  It is one of the greatest gifts the Father has ever given me.  It has been a desire of my heart that I have been blessed in such a wonderful way.  I think we all feel we have failed as a mother or a daughter to our mother.  Once we see the our children are on loan to us by God.  That He is partnering with us as a partner the pressure of parenting is so lessen we get to enjoy our family and our God in ways that bring such joy to the precious opportunity and blessing God has given us.

Not every woman is a mother by birth the birth of their child.  Some God has given them the gift of adoption.  There are also special people who are single that He has given them children to love through friends that need help in their parenting.  I have some special people who loved my children and helped me love them.  It was the sweetness of my loving Father.  He loves my children more than I ever could.

We as a body of christ are in one family.  It is our joy to help each other raise these children for the glory of God and His kingdom.  What a beautiful picture we have as we unite together in this practical picture that God has given us of His family.  This is the gospel.  We are adopted into this family that God loves with all His heart.  He is our Abba.

So happy Mothers Day to every woman out there.  I want to encourage you ladies who long for children of your own.  They are there and there are woman who would love, love, love for you to come along side them in parenting.  Be encouraged.  Take a little love into a woman's need for it with her children.  You will bless her more than you can imagine.  I am one of those woman.  I am so blessed by those who came into our home and loved my children when I was sick.  Like my husbands sister.  My sister.  Woman who were there for my children and me when I was overwhelmed by my responsibilities  as a head coaches wife.  Some of these woman are still in my life loving us.  I miss those who have moved on into this world but they are still give me great joy in our lifelong friendships.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

My Heart is in the Palm of His Hands

We are the child of the living King
We are clothed in His precious Sons perfect life.
We are righteous and forgiven.
We are loved

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Do you want to do something great for God?

How many times have you thought...I want to do something great for God?  I have...I remember many years ago.  The Promise Keeper movement had started.  I met with a friend.  The secretary of my Pastor, at the time.  We were living in Arkansas.  My family and I attended a mega church.  They did and do great things for God.

When the invitation came, one Sunday night.  My co-writer, Martha and I went down to the alter.  We dedicated ourselves to ministry.  It has been amazing how God brought that about, as Martha and I have been writing for Whispers and Desperate Delight together for years.  I would not be writing this blog today without her.

During the meeting with my other friend.  The pastors secretary.  We talked about doing a Promise Keeper for women.  I was so on fire for Jesus.  I wanted to tell the world about the gospel.  We did have a great gathering during that time.  People repented and the gospel was preached.  But I was wanting something greater.

Thinking back.  I wanted a stadium full of women.  With different lady christian speakers.  I hoped for a grand movement all across the country.  We frequently prayed for revival at our church.  Our pastor was awesome.  I learned to think big and to pray in faith, while attending that great church. This is a good thing.  I am not discouraging great things for God but to encourage you, right where you are.  You can be used by God today.

The meeting did not turn out as we expected.  My pastors secretary and I realized it was not the time for us to have such a ministry.

That did not stop my zeal or my vision.  I bought it to South Carolina with me.  I have had thoughts of doing great things for God with  my girls.  That we would write a book.  It seems everyone wants to write a book.  Lots and lots of people have written books.

In my dreams, my girls and I would give our stories of Gods faithfulness to our family.  I did write a small devotional book.  Do some public speaking.  But neither of these visions have come true.  I realized I could keep waiting to do something big for God.  But tomorrow, may never come.

Understanding the heart of the gospel is not, what I can do for God, but what God, in Christ, has done for me.  I  have rest in the finished work of Christ for me, more and more.  This life is a struggle and a rest.  A struggle and a rest.  Paul compares it to giving childbirth.  Waiting for our redemption.   It is in this realization ...I just cannot be quiet about Jesus.

Don't wait to be the perfect christian...there are none
Don't wait until there are no struggles
Don't wait for there to be this great opportunity knocking at your door.
Don't wait for you circumstances to be what you think they should be.
Don't wait for tomorrow.
Enjoy God in the process!

Speak truth, wait on Jesus to work, feel compassion, encourage and look for the opportunity you have today.  Look for how you can meet the need of the person you are with at the moment.

God will bring into your life today.  Go into this world, any way you can and pray for God to send who He will for you to encourage and guide.  For you to speak life to them.  A dying, busy, preoccupied, worried, anxious world.  I remember a time I could not get out.  God brought people to mind.  I wrote emails, cards, made phone calls.  Seek to be bold and adventurous.  Be creative and ask Jesus to be creative through you.  To love the  unloveable in such a way.  Others will know something is different.  They will ask you, "what is your hope" in many different ways.  Be ready to give an answer.  Christ.

A couple of months ago, I began to surrender my days to Jesus.  I would ask Him and the Father for surprises.  I began to see the stress of peoples lives in their faces.  I wanted to encourage them.

I remember talking to a young girl, as she checked out my purchase, in a local store.  She had such a sad look on her face.  I began a conversation with her.  Telling her how much I appreciated what she did.  How long would it be before she got off work.   Whether she was having a long day or not.  Then I looked into her eyes.  It was as though I knew she loved Jesus.  I ask her.  Do you love Jesus?   She said, yes.

The young girl remarked.  I am just here waiting for Jesus to use me.  To show me, what He wants me to do.  I was so excited to tell her, " you are doing it".  Don't wait for that big opportunity to be used by God.  God is using you right where you are.  As you give a smile, great service and the love of Christ to those, right now, right here.  You are doing something great for Jesus.

I still remember the smile on her face and the tears that came to her eyes.  She gave me and a hug and  said really?

I said yes, absolutely.
Don't wait until tomorrow.

Give Jesus to the people you come in contact with today,
right where you are,
right here,
right now,

Saturday, January 20, 2018

God knocks down rescue you and me



Gods ways are not our ways...

Have you heard the word before, surrender?  Wondering what it truly meant?

Have you thought...God is on my side.  I know He wants what I want?

Have you wanted a good marriage?  Obedient children?  To be rid of a sin you couldn't quiet get under control.  No matter how hard you tried?  A good job and an orderly home?

Have you wanted good health but yet the pain persisted?

Have you felt all alone in your struggles?

Have you wanted to know God more but yet He seemed unreachable in your present circumstances.

Have you prayed to be a good wife and mother?  Knowing all the while you were failing?

Have you yearned to be the best christian you could be?  But saw nothing but failure?


God is not only there for you when you are victorious but HE IS THERE FOR THE STRUGGLER!


I remember learning to surrender. But honestly I thought God wanted what I wanted.   I really did not understand that Gods ways were not my ways.  He was not as interested in me having the things I desired as much as the process of trusting Him, right where I was.  That what I need to do was to relinquish my matter how good they seemed.

Paul ask three times that the thorn in his flesh be removed.  God was not moved.  He told Paul His grace was sufficient.  God used many things, including Paul's suffering to the point of death.  For Paul to trust in Jesus and not Himself.

People, even the disciples were looking for a Savior.  They thought it was in Jesus until, he suffered and died on the cross.  Things did not happen as they expect.  Gods ways are not our ways.

Jesus left His comfort, joy and delight in the completely satisfying intimacy with the Father and Spirit for a great joy and a calling.  To come and rescue you and me from Satan's hold on us and from our flesh.  The selfish desires we have.

Although my desires were good.  They were all about me.  My motives for wanting a good thing, that God perhaps even wanted, were wrong.  All wrong.  God has given me my desires but in His timing and in His ways.  I love my husband and have a great family.

I have learned to relinquish my rights.  My rights to have things, even good things, my way.  God has given me the desires of my heart.  But I had wrong motives for wanting good things.  My trust is in Jesus now not in myself.  I had to be willing to surrender to my loving Father and accept His will for me.

Jesus did this as He prayed not my will but yours oh Father.

Suppose God is more interested in the process than giving you what you think you need.  I was finding my identity in these things I have listed above.  It was about my glory and not His.  I wanted God and others to think well of me.  As a public figure I wanted to stand for God.  Not realizing that it was a reputation I could not fill on my own.

We are told that the day of evil will come.  We are being freed from these selfish, even good, desires into a life of trusting God.  Living by faith.  Satan has blinded us.  The Spirit has come as our helper.  Jesus said He must go to send us the Spirit.

When we sin, we are going into a direction of our own. Trusting in ourselves and our works.  Not the finished work of Jesus.  Repentance is a turning from going to us as god of our lives,  until we confess these acts and thought of pride to God.  He draws us and brings us to repentance.  We cannot bring ourselves to this broken place of trust in God.  But we do cooperate with what God is doing.  We can ask for the gift of repentance.


God tore down the walls between heaven and earth.  The curtain was torn that separates us from God.  The Father delivered His most precious gift to earth to tare down our walls of separation from Him and ultimately others. He broke through Satan's hold on us to free us to have intimacy with Him.  We protect ourselves by building walls of self protection from Him and the people in our lives.  Jesus was truthful, vulnerable and humble.  We are able to go to that place of beauty with Him and a dying world.  To tell of His greatness and wonder.  To open our hearts to His Spirit.  To let others see our weakness and His strength.  To give them the hope that we have in Jesus.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


This year has been a special year, as my husband had been honored and chosen for the National Coaches Award.  This was such a fun and yet humbling experience as we were hosted in New York, Atlanta and at Clemson.   We meet some of the greatest winning coaches and players.  We met many of their wives.  It was one event after another since Thanksgiving.

I predecided I would enjoy these events and all that they offered before even going.  It was a grace thing that gave me the faith to do this.

Remembering the past years of Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas... they were followed by a downward spiral.  A depression even.  These holidays required such energy and excitement and then BOOM things were over just as quick as the New Year that followed.

I wonder if we press ourselves into New Years resolutions...into being and having a better year in the coming year.  Just to help dig ourselves out of the let down that sometimes follow Christmas.

By chance have you had a let down after the holidays?  The friends and family are gone and life is back to normal.  Eventhough I had a temptation for this pattern to follow this year and the wonderful times we had...I realized that by the grace of God.  I could not only experience them with great joy.  But I could maintain joy in my life in the afterwards.

Every morning I wake and I give my day to the Lord.  I ask for His heart, mind, Spirit and surrender.  I ask Him for surprises and guess what!  I get them.  Sometimes faster than I can keep up physically, really.

I have seen that Christmas is not just once a year, but that our Lord loves to keep giving good gifts.  If He would give us His Spirit what good thing would He keep from us, His children.
It seems to me the world is starving for Jesus and encouragement.  I love to give it.  So I have great expectancy that God will bring people in my life for me to encourage and build up in the faith.

I don't plan my day, apart from Him, and fight when there is interruptions.  I have come to know that Jesus is the one interrupting and it is for living the life He has promised.

It is such a joy to come in contact with people through out my day.  I remember a young lady at the dollar store.  I greeted her with how are you.  I appreciate what you do.  I said your smile makes me wonder if you love Jesus.  She said yes I do.  I have waited so long for Him to show me what He wants me to do.  I replied sweetheart, you are doing it.  Give Jesus to others right where you are.  I told her of my prayer and I said you are one of those surprises today.

She teared up and said really?  I said absolutely.  Don't wait for something big to happen.  Live today, in the moments that Jesus gives you.

I use to think writing a book, a blog or speaking to a stadium of women was my calling.  I have learned Jesus was interested more in individuals.  He spoke to the multitudes but even then, He was interested in the person.  Learning to live in the place Jesus has me today has been eye opening for me.  I don't wait for great opportunities to come along some day.  I am having the time of my life living and enjoying others and Jesus today.

We are told whether we eat or drink or whatever we do to do it for the glory of God.  I think of the mother with a house full of little ones.  Maybe the everyday chores seem to have beaten her down.  Does she see that she gives God glory in serving her family.  That there is an eternal glory being given and will be given for Jesus and the Father? That she will share not only in the eternal glory of Jesus but find joy in her present circumstances.  There is nothing too small to be done for Jesus.   I want to encourage her to keep her eyes on Jesus and ask for His strength and joy.

I want to tell women, to serve their husband as unto the Lord.  To love others with the love of Jesus. In investing in your children or the children of others, you are building the kingdom.   Expect great surprises from Jesus as we surrender our Lord of Lords.  I want to even speak to the single woman...Take a nap.  Sit at the feet of Jesus and receive the love God has for you and give it away.  Serve widows and love the poor but remember it is Jesus our hearts long for.  Don't be afraid to ask for more of His Spirit and to give Him more of you, your heart.  Only then can you give it away with great joy!

This is how Christmas does not stop, but we, like Jesus, we move into the lives and hearts of others.






Sunday, December 31, 2017

Man's Best Friend?

Jesus promises to be closer than a brother.  He promises to be our friend.

I want a dog. I love that animal...mans best friend. But I am amazed at how it seems we trade real relationships for media and now everyone has to have their therapy dog. I am not against social media or having a pet. As I said I want one too. But as I inquired about having one of these type dogs, they are hundreds of dollars. I hope to get one through my dr.  Will you pray this happens.  People will not go anywhere without their dog. They were all over New York and Atlanta as we went to have my husband honored at these event.  We were at beautiful hotels and these people carried and and leached their little fellows.

 I even think of security blankets. I have a blanket that reminds me of the righteousness of Christ. I guess it does comfort me.  I saw a lady with her pillow and blanket.  I have friends who take their blankets everywhere they go overnight.  Not a bad Idea I thought.  I love my blanket.

As I have been at these wonderful events honoring my husband, family and Clemson I have been so prompted to speak to people who come into my path a word of encouragement. It is amazing the blank look people have as they are focused on getting where they have to go.  Once I speak and am interested in the person and what they are doing.  I see amazing things happen to these people.  The love of Christ comes to them from me and such joy and smiles come over their faces.
I think we all are looking to this world for the things Jesus was meant to give us, like comfort, security, identity, love. Once again I say these are not bad things. 
I was even talking to a coaches wife last night at diner. We were discussing how women look for their husbands to meet their need of identity. Only Jesus can give us these things offered to us in the gospel. I shared with my  new friend,  how doing this sucks the life out of your husband and your marriage.   To look to your spouse and expect him or her to meet the deepest need you are trying to fill will only leave you desiring more.

I think of the woman at the well.  Jesus knew all about her.  She was trying to meet her need for love and identity in having a husband.  Jesus told her that if she drank the water He offered she would thrust no more.  We all long to be known and to be loved.  This woman was told by Jesus to tell others.  He knows me and you completely.  He is our living water and so is His WORD.  He is the WORD.  We can have intimacy in our relationships, but we are too busy and too protected to let others into our struggles and our stories where it relationship is found.

Love, acceptance, comfort, security, identity  are to be received by us from Christ, by His Spirit. As the 2018 year approaches I want to allow more room in my heart to experience and receive more of Christ in my heart. To return to my first Love. Our children nor our husbands, nor our families are meant to be first. Jesus tells us that we are to love him more than our father and mother.
Only when we can find out true identity in Christ and allow Him to more and more fill the spaces of our heart can we love others selfishly. When we find personal relationship, acceptance and love that we long for in Jesus is when...Only then, can we begin to love God with our whole heart and others as ourselves.
We are told not to love the creation more than the Creator. We love because He first loved us. I pray for His life and love and surrender to be mine.  For His Holy Spirit to continue to make His home my heart.

Who is your best friend?