Thursday, November 27, 2008


Okay, I have a confession. I haven't been very thankful lately...and I've been in a pretty crummy mood. I could go into all the reasons why life has been a little stinky lately, but that really isn't the point. Honestly, I've done that enough. And that dirty dog, the devil, has been replaying it all for me again and again. Sorry sucker. He's been stealing my joy. No wonder Scripture calls him a thief and a liar.

So, this morning, Thanksgiving morn, I woke up and spent time being grateful to the Giver of all good gifts. First I confessed to my Sweet Savior that I have not been looking much like Him lately, especially on the inside...even if I tried to make the outside look and act right. I'm glad He sees that yucky stuff on the inside, too, though. I didn't have to worry about Him being surprised or shocked when I told Him what a jerk I've been lately. Not with what came out of my mouth, but with the running dialogue in my head.

Then, I thanked Him one by one for my sweet blessings.

For sisters- for Kitty, Penny and Amy - all unique, all special, all mine. And praise God, we are all still here. Seems we've suffered too much loss in our lives the last few years, so I thanked Him for keeping my dad, my step mom, my sisters and our families in tact for the holidays.

For jobs - I'm just grateful that Jimmy and I know that we will be getting paychecks. Not everyone has that assurance, so I prayed for those who don't.

For my country - I thanked Him for allowing me to live in a country where His Word can still be taught and for those who defend it. For young men like Cody Hanson and Mike Brown and the countless others like them who sacrifice their Thanksgiving with family so that we can all celebrate our blessings and our freedom, and so that others might know the same privilege.

For my staff - One by one, name by name, family by family. Each one is precious to me...and make such a difference in the lives of children. I prayed blessings on them and expressed my gratitude for the humbling opportunity to serve them.

For my board - Eight great guys with families and lives outside of the schools they serve. I prayed for each of their families and thanked God for the humbling experience of working along side them and learning so much from them.

For my home - small by any standard, but also cozy and easier to clean than if it were doubled in size! I thanked Him for comfortable surroundings, sentimental mementos, irreplaceable memories.

For my in-laws- A mother and father, sister and nieces, who are as dear to me as if we shared the same blood. So grateful for those precious relationships. I thanked Him for allowing me this incredible privilege and blessing.

For my church, our youth, our ladies so faithful to studying His Word - My brothers and sisters in Christ who have supported me through some of my darkest times and celebrated with me in times of joy. I cannot imagine who I would be without that body of believers. Who would have ever thought God could use this wretch in a shared ministry with my husband? Wow. I thanked Him for using His church to change my life and for allowing me to serve alongside so many that look like Him to me.

For friends - Too many to name here, but in particular, Melissa who is doing so much in service to children, Gina who has been with me through thick and thin for over 30 years, Diana - my listening and advising mentor, Casey - the one I desire to mentor in some small way, who I laugh with and grow with. These three dear ones probably know more of my junk than they really want to, and I thanked God that they love me anyway and I prayed for each of them in their unique situations.

For my beautiful girls - I thanked Him for choosing - of all the women of the world - to be Chelsea and McKenna's Mom. I thanked Him for guidance, for laughter, for tender moments, for love that is beyond me, for two distinct individuals with such unique attributes and characteristics and a bond that runs so deep.

For my husband - I thanked Him for writing a love story beyond this princess's dreams and for allowing Jimmy and I to be the exclamation point at the end of the story!!!...for giving me a spiritual leader for my girls and I, for a man who appreciates and loves me - and isn't afraid or ashamed to show it, for a guy that makes me laugh, and a love that continues to grow. Oh, and I thanked Him that Jimmy is really good with Christmas lights and lawn work - I know that made Him smile.

As you can imagine, by the time I went through that and many other things, like Siesta and blogworld friends, an infallible Word that sustains me, venti peppermint mochas, and learning from the likes of Beth Moore and Max Lucado, and on and on and on, I realized a couple of things. I was sorrier than before that I had been having such a bad attitude, but I was also ticked off that I had allowed Satan to steal my joy...and my strength.

So the Word for the day...Nehemiah 8:10 "Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sitting in an airport...

I'm sitting in airport in San Antonio, TX. It is kind of cool because there is a long walkway/hallway that goes from security check in to the gates and there are rocking chairs along the walls. Nice respite from the yucky chairs at the gate.

I'm always fascinated when I fly. I love to people watch and in this high tech age in which we live it is always interesting to overhear other cell phone conversations. No I'm not eavesdropping...they just talk loud. So far today, I've overheard someone giving a directive to an office manager to drop the hammer on a receptionist who is really botching things up; someone making a business appointment with "Joe Don" Somethingorother (must be a Southern boy, don't ya think!?); a lady heading to Iraq - not military, but private contractor of some kind; a mom connecting with her child - oh, that was me - never mind that one; ANOTHER mom checking in with her babysitter; and the list goes on. Nothing earth shattering or even very funny or interesting for that matter, but I have watched literally hundreds of people either coming or going and I think, "Wow. Where are ALL these people going?" It's kind of like when I take off and am stuck in traffic or at a mall with a bajillion people and I think, "Don't you people ever WORK?" Then I realize I'm not either. Oops. Still strange though. Well, have to go board now. I have more conversations to overhear!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keeping it Real

I was recently hit square between the eyes with an accusation that hasn't come my way in a very long time...But it still makes me sick at my stomach, and hot - you know the "even my ears are hot" hot. The words weren't really not slung, but the concept was heavy in the air. "YOU ARE A FAKE." Oh, I had plenty to say, plenty to use to defend myself against the accusations of being unsupportive, unkind, unprofessional. But the defense would have been given somewhat in a sound proof booth because the accuser had long since stopped listening. And the outcome of the situation would have stayed the same. So why give it a second thought?

Why not just let it roll off my back? That is what my colleagues in similar positions would advise me to do I feel sure. Why not just consider the words in context of the situation and in relation to the history of this person? Well, because SHE really wasn't the issue. The issue with her was resolved.

The reason I couldn't just "blow it off"? It's because it is one of my greatest fears. Again, not really in the context of the situation in which it was accused, but rather as a general statement of life. Duplicity. Hypocrisy. Fake. Imposter. Being one thing one place and a different thing somewhere else. Dear God, please don't let it be so.

If there is one thing I crave desperately is consistency. I want to model for my precious daughters what it is to be a woman of God in every aspect of their lives. If I am not who I claim to be with them then I might as well not be at all...yes, at all. Motherhood is such an incredibly challenging role, isn't it? I think my sweet girls can live with me failing. They know I'm human. But what if I am a Godly woman in the outside world, but then I close my front door and become someone else. What we have is a potential foothold, a sin. Can you say 'trainwreck'?

So I am allowing some time for some reflection and correction if needed. I'm so grateful to serve a God who doesn't require us to have it all together to come to the foot of the Cross. I want to have a teachable heart and even in opposition be open to hear from the Holy Spirit.

One of the things the Lord has directed me to is one of my all-time favorite poems, IF by Rudyard Kipling. I hope it encourages you. Keeping it real-

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a day! God has been so very good...not that He ever ISN'T - It's just that today I desperately needed His encouragement. Did you read that wrenching entry at about 4 o'clock this morning? I woke up at 1:30. So, if this entry makes NO will understand why! Anyway, not only was I awake, I was desperate. I have been listening/watching too much media. I guess I got caught up in all the campaign hype. And in reality, this is definitely serious business. But, seriously, I think I turned into Chicken Little in the middle of the night.

The previous entry was just me being raw before the Lord. But let me share with you how He answered my prayers for encouragement and strength.

All day, He spoke encouragement and peace into my spirit. Innumerable songs praised His Sovereignty. When I began to dwell on the thoughts that disturb me so about this election (no-not race or economics, but the things that clearly fly in the face of God's Word), I would pray and feel the peace of His immediate presence.
"Darlin', I'm still on My throne, you know." "
"Guess what? I'm not surprised, nor am I worried."
"You need to let Me be God. Okay, Darlin'?"
"This is just one event, darlin', on a Kingdom calendar you can't see...But it's okay. I see it. I even planned it."
"I know you are afraid. But I'm here with you...I promise."
"I am the Ancient of Days. ; ) I KNOW how everyone voted...and the promptings of their hearts that you don't know."
"Darlin', you are my child. Do you think I would let harm come to you? Let's do a little review, sweet girl." And we did.

(Did you notice how often He calls me darlin'? He is so tender. )

Do you get the point of that constant dialogue? He was working overtime with me today. And somehow in the midst of keeping the sun in the sky and the earth on its axis, He spent A LOT of time with me today. I know this is very me focused, but that's exactly what I needed today from Him. I hope you have those days, too. Aren't they sweet? When even though it's a busy day with all of life's distractions, He is RIGHT THERE every time you turn around. May you find peace today, my precious child of God. You are going to be okay. No matter what happens in this election. I know. I know you will be more than just okay...Shhh...don't tell, but I've read the last chapter. AND...I've spent some time with the Author. He told me how it all ends. It's good, trust me.

Prayer for our Nation

Dearest Father,
I know it is no accident that I am up at 3 a.m. on election day. My heart is heavy, Father, and You know it is because I am listening to the cacophony of the media regarding this historic election day. How can this be? This "Nation under God"? How can we seem so ready to plunge down a path so contrary to Your Word, Your teachings, Your Love? God, I don't feel very eloquent or humorous or cute right now. Just desperate. When it all comes down, God, may You have the victory this day.

Father, I confess to You my own sin of selfishness in times of abundance and in times of scarcity. Help me, Father, to understand my duty to serve those less fortunate than I. Help me to fulfill that role rather than expecting my governement to do that. Change me, Father, again and again to become more like the precious Christ. Forgive me for not being bolder in my proclamation that we must cling to You and You alone. I am but one small voice crying out for forgiveness for this nation, God, but I know You hear all the others who join with me in saying that all life is a gift from You and only You. Forgive us for denying that truth with our treatment of the unborn.

I know others, even those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ do not agree with me. May You have mercy on them and reveal Your truth to them. I remember, Father, being able to defend such an unrighteous act. Thank You for showing me the Truth. Please continue to fill me with Your truth and humility in understanding that we aren't all on the same timetable of growth. And, Father, allow me eyes to see every situation, every issue through Your eyes, not my own. For even in these things that I believe You have impressed upon my heart, God, if I am wrong, show me.

Lord God, I pray for the voters of this nation who are seeking hope in promises of men rather than the truth of Your Word. I pray Your blessings on this land and on her leaders...whomever they may be at the end of this day, not because we are deserving, but because we need You so incredibly. May Your Spirit fall afresh today. God, You are mighty to save. Come, have Your way this day so that Your victory can be proclaimed and all glory given to You.

Thank You , Father, for Your presence, for meeting me here, in my time of need. I needed an infusion of courage and hope. Thank You for hearing my cry and renewing my hope and strength once more. I will wait upon You , my Sovereign King. Thank You, thank You. I love You.
In the Most Precious Name of my Jesus,