Saturday, July 14, 2018
During this time of my last setback...I have not been driving. Many things are taken away and some-
times I feel trapped.
I can't just drive to the local store. Other simple things like go to church.
This time has taught me many things. I have learned to ask my friends to help me in ways I never
thought I would struggle with. It was important I am around people and get out of the house. There
were times I struggled with just having enough strength to do the things I wanted to do. Friends and
family were there time and time again. It was a humbling time for me to ask for help. Help to go to
This is not the life I wanted. I was a very capable, structured, independent, strong woman. I came
from a long line of strong women. The generation before me lived through the depression. It was up
to these women to keep the family going and together. They worked in cotton fields. They fought
the state to keep their children when times were so hard. My grandmother was such a saint. This is a
wonderful gift but I did not understand the community and family dynamics that I had come from. I
expected to be able to handle anything and everything, no matter how difficult the situation on my
own. Distance was such a hinderance. I went home driving 9 hours with friends and a car load of
children. I miss many reunions of my family and my high school class. Moving away from family
and their support for years led me into a life of trying to be super woman. Four children, a wonderful
staff, players, media, and fans and everything I thought that went along with my responsibilities as a
wife, mother and a christian. Perfection was a big problem for me. Knowing I am going to fail has
been so liberating. I eventually realized I could not keep all the plates spinning.
Jesus had a life for me of relationships. Of two way relationships, give and receive. I love being
close to my sister and my cousins and my friends and my immediate family. My mom always wanted
this for me. Times changed, responsibilities lessened, my children grew up, my husband's profession
changed and I have been able to find a closeness that she desired for me again, since youth, with my
cousins, friends and the women I so love. My daughters are my very best of friends! I am so blessed
with each one of them. So different. So unique and lovely...
It has not been easy to learn to be dependent on friends, family and God. I was way to proud to ask.
But learning to receive is what Peter had to learn. He did not want Jesus to wash His feet. Jesus
came to serve not to be served.
It is important to serve others as Jesus did. But it is just as important to learn to humbly let others
serve you. I am not talking about taking advantage of others but for them to serve you. I think of
Joni Ereckson and those that serve her daily in a wheel chair. How humbling that must have been
for her at one time.
I have noticed there are things I can do when I don't have the strength, because of medication. One
is I learned to pray for others. I learned to pray for my family and friends. I learned to be an
There are some things I learned about my heart and my need for Jesus. There are times in our lives
when we are made weak. It is at those times when Jesus becomes most important. Or it has been
for me. I ask for His strength daily to get through my day.
I have noticed in times of not being able to just jump in the car...I would crave a certain food. I
would think I needed to buy something...
a pillow for my porch
some lettuce for salad
I need to take a walk
Get some work done
Give God glory
make things happen
I just needed to accomplish and finish a task. I realized...I was looking for significance. For safety.
What I really need at these times is not to go out and spend money. But to run to Jesus. It is an ache
that only He can fill. During these times, I simply say...
I NEED YOU JESUS...
I need your peace...
Your love and contentment..
Asking for what we need and Jesus meeting these needs is such a joy for Him. There is nothing in
this world that can make our lives complete like an honest, dependent, confessing, loving relationship
with Jesus and others.
When Jesus is filling our hearts there is a lavishing loving that overflows with in us to others. It is
not from a need for significance or completeness that we love others and serve them but it is from an
abundance of joy.
We woman need to understand it is not our strength but Jesus.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
IT IS FOR FREEDOM THAT WE ARE FREE!
Would you like to be a part....
Would you like to be a soldier...
Would you like to be about Gods purpose for your life...
I SURE WOULD!
Would it be for His glory...
Would you remember the gospel...
Christ died to set us free...
The GOSPEL is we are already free...
We are are forgiven...
We are righteous....
We are fully known, loved, and RIGHTEOUS...
WHAT more could we want but a personal relationship with Jesus, Father, Spirit and each other.
GO and make disciples. Set the captives FREE!
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
TAKE A RISK TODAY...
LOVE SOMEONE UNLOVEABLE....
LOVE SOMEONE DIFFERENT THAN YOU...
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
A different color, a different belief, a different family life, a different social life, a different work or none at all. Love the addict, see you are the same as them. You are them. Jesus came to know our struggles. He came to suffer as we do. He came to bring about no difference in male or female. In the sane and the insane. Rich or poor. Young and old. Right theology or not. Intelligent or down right dumb by our standards. None of us have all the right answers. None of us can fix ourselves or anybody else. LOVE The cripple by mind or heart or body or circumstance.
We are all the same...
Loving selflessly and out of the fullness of the love of God is not something we can force or make happen. It will come across as it is, insincere. All we can do is confess our lack of love and surround ourselves with people who love as Jesus does. It is the indwelling Spirit of Jesus. It is who God is. Repentance, turning from ourselves to the arms of Jesus brings love every time. You have a song to sing and you just have to go give it away.
CHANGE ME FIRST OH GOD!
PLEASE HEAR MY CRY.
WE NEED OUR SAVIOR TO SET US FREE!
LOVED BY GOD!
IT IS THE VERY ESSENCE OF WHO GOD IS!
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Our greatest desire can be directly linked to our greatest fear. The desire to be fully known and unconditionally loved. Man shares the fear of being rejected by God and others. We want to think we are better than we are. We want Gods glory. We think man and his approval can make us happy and whole. Others love was not intended to meet our deepest need but to be enjoyed. We fear being alone. The bible calls this the fear of man. We are to be in awe of the love, acceptance, grace and mercy...the very holiness of God. The bible says we are to fear God. Not man or any spiritual forces can separate us from His love. This is a fear of being amazed and captivated by the great beauty and power of God. Not a fear of guilt, shame and condemnation. These things were taken care of by Jesus on the cross.
I have dealt with the pain of thinking if God really knew me He might change His mind about me. That I might not receive the love and blessings of God now and eternally. This was part of the sickness. Christ suffered for my sin and to bring me to a beautiful relationship of honesty and faith in God. An assurance that He is with me even if it isn't as I had thought. This is faith.
It has been called a dance with God, Father, Son and Spirit. My suffering is real. God hates my suffering and cries many tears with us when we do. It produces many things in us the God loves. Both of these things are what we are promised. It is to know Jesus more fully through suffering and we will. The very life and death of Jesus is mine. His resurrection is also mine. His surrender, love and power is mine. This realization did not come easy but from God, His word, others and the precious Holy Spirit. He can use anything, even my psychosis to work His good pleasure in our hearts.
I have not fully come to the trust I strive for in Christ. This has been at the root of a lot of my pain and struggles. I wanted to be better than I really am. I saw my selfishness throughout my life. It is not putting myself down but loosing myself to be hidden in Him. It is about Jesus
I thought I had to be good to earn the love of others and by God. I wanted to do the right thing. This is the battle Paul fought. He was so oppressed by this thinking and warfare that he actually wanted to die. He came to know he was nothing. He knew nothing but Christ and Him crucified. The least of all sinners even. He counted his good works as rubbish. He strived to rest in what was already true about him and God. God in His mercy even gave Paul a thorn in the flesh to help with his pride of thinking about himself. We all are born selfish and thinking we know what is right. This has to die. Gods ways are not ours.
I have come to see that doing the right thing. Making the right sacrifices. Having the right theology. Doing a great ministry cannot produce a broken and contrite heart. If I do these things without love it is of no value.
I hate my mental illness. God hates it too. The way God has used it to bring me into this beautiful knowledge and experience of His wonder for me. Christ is in me the hope of glory. It is what Paul calls the great mystery. It is the battle we strive to rest in. The war has already been won. The work has already been done. We can relax, enjoy and delight in who we are as a child of the King. It is Christ in me, the hope of glory. The very Spirit of Jesus dwells in me. I am totally righteous with His perfect life given in my place. God does not see anything wrong with us when He gazes upon me but the precious finished work of His Son. I am already redeemed. I am already seated with Him in the heavens. Secure, loved no matter what I may fear. He who began a good work in us with complete it. We are to hold fast and firm to the faith that it is He who works in us to give us the strength, will to do His good pleasure.
So I need to die daily of any thinking I can earn anything from God. It is all of grace. The flesh in us wants to be strong, capable, have our own way, even be a good person for God. We want to earn grace and are fearful because we just can't. We are given precious gifts by God. We cannot earn these gifts. We can ask the Spirit for these gifts. He delights to give us the precious gifts of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience and kindness and gentleness and so much more. He has given us the precious Spirit and He is our seal. We have all we need. Our good, good Father knows what we need. He has given us the perfect gift.
Jesus is living in me. He is holding on to my heart. My broken and contrite heart is part of His plan for me and for the joy of the eternity of His Kingdom. I see my self-centeredness in all I do. We never have pure motives in this life. We are righteous and loved. We are in Him and Him in us by the Spirit. This is what Christ died for to live through us. It is all to the majesty and glorious riches of Christ my King. It is Him and His love that shines through my brokenness. I am but a vessel for the glory of God and His Sons righteousness. I cannot mess up His glory. He has promised to be my King and I am Gods child in spite of me and my selfish ambitions or pride.
We are beautiful. We are His. His work in us is so much more grand as He lavishes HIs love on us through the work of the SPIRT! From us to others. It is LOVE. It is GRACE. It is HIS GLORY!
We have a glorious and extravagant SAVIOR! JESUS!
God does not see our sin when He looks at us but the perfect holiness of God. We are growing in love and selflessness throughout our lives. It is the precious life of Jesus!
Friday, June 15, 2018
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.
Monday, May 14, 2018
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
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
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,