Thursday, November 12, 2009


Joel 1:4
"What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locus has left the crepping locust has eaten' and what the creeping locust has left the stripping locust has eaten"

Many times in our lives we experience events that feel as if locust have come in and stipped us bare. They have swarmed in to our lives and stripped us bare of strength, pride, demands, self centeredness and sometimes our hopes and dreams. Whether it is infertility, cancer, rape, divorce, faileD adoption, broken friendships and other heartbreaks, the locust experiences in our lives seemingly destroy us. But there is a HOPE, A SAVIOR, A KING, that comes in and rescues us from all of the pain and heartbreak this world deals out. Joel 2:25 "Then the LORD says, I will restored to you, make up to you the years that that swarming locust have eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust have taken away." Even in heartache and that is hope and healing through the power and the grace of Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bugs in the Fruit

Amos walked amongst the sycamore trees, exaiming each piece of fruit carefully. Every noow and then he would reach up and pick a piece of fruit, take out his small knife and cut out a hole. He waited just a second, soon bugs were scurring and flying out of the fruit. Once the bugs were out he gentley placed the fruit in his basket. He placed the basket in the barn and waited for four short days until the fruit was at its peak of perfection. He gathered the ripened fruit up and took his prized collection to the market where it was sold in high demand.

In order for the sycamore fruit to reach the perfect state of ripeness, bugs have to live in the fruit. Once the fruit grows close to its ripe stage, the farmer will cut a small hole in the fruit to allow the bugs to escape allowing there to be just enough roon left for the piece of fruit to come to complete ripeness. As you look at this farming analogy, just think about how this can apply to your own life. Why does God allow "bugs" in your life? What "bugs" in your life do you need allow the ultimate "Gardener" to remove so you can fully ripen?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Putting on my Big Girl Britches!

My teenie, tiny daughter laid in her incubator with all types and colors of tubes and wires coming out of her little body. A nurse came in the room and lifted the lid of the incubator. She asked me if I wanted to leave the room as she was about to do yet another painful procedure to my daughter. I simply looked at her and said, "I am fine, I wore my big girl britches today."

My daughter was born 10 weeks early and at just 2 lbs 14 ounces spent the first eight weeks of her life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). She had all sorts of wires and tubes coming out of her. Some to monitor her heartbeat, some to measure her breathing, some were there to give her nutrition and still others were there to give her medicine to prevent infection. Every few days a nurse would have to come in and remove her IV and then reinsert them in newer, stronger veins. I was up at the hospital, looking and praying over my daughter when the nurse came in and was ready to change out her IV. As the nurse was telling me that I could go in the other room instead of being there to watch my daughter get poked and prodded mind went back to earlier that morning.

I had awoken early that morning in order to spend some time with the Lord, before heading up to the NICU. As I read through the book of Psalms, I came across Psalms 18:1-3. "I love you O Lord, my strength." The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised"! At the moment that I was not sure I could handle watching my sweet daughter cry in pain over having another IV inserted into her tiny arm, God reminded me that He was my strength, He was my refuge, He was my rock. I then was able to turn to the nurse and say, "No, I will stay with my daughter, I wore my big girl britches today". With a slight giggle from the nurse, a deep breath from me and a high pitched cry from my daughter, the nurse uninserted one IV and reinserted another IV into my brave, precious daughters arm.

Life lesson from Bear the dog

Just when you think and other people think you don't have it in you to survive a challenge of this magnitude...out of the blue God gives you a great big dose of guts and you just handle it. And sometimes you surprise yourself and those around you, that God has given you "the stuff" you need to get through it. The best way I can describe how I was able to muster up the strength and courage to endure this is to tell a little story.

When I was in college I worked at this amazing camp called, Marietta Baptist Camp. During most of the summers that I can remember there were two dogs that lived up there, a cute little Border Collie ( I think named Molly) and a Rottwieler/basset hound mix, named Bear. Bear had the body of a Rottweiler and the legs of a Basset Hound. His big skill was to find the quietest, coolest place and sleep all day. I loved Bear the most of the dogs because the cute collie got all the love and everyone said Bear stunk. So through the years as a camper and a counselor I would give Bear some love and extra hugs, not knowing that the love I gave to him would be repayed to me in a most unexpected way. My last year working at Camp Marietta, I was the Camp Program Director. One of our jobs was to walk around camp each night and check cabins. Each night Bear would walk with me, but would only get to about two cabins and then he would find a soft spot and go to sleep. One night when I was walking back to the Guest House (where we stayed), I heard some dogs barking but did not see anything, all I saw was Bear coming over to me. Just then I looked up and here came three "feral" dogs. In an instant Bear turned from couch potato to a cage fighter. The hair on his back stood up and he growled like a true Rottweiler. As the group of dogs tried to come up to me, Bear blocked them with his body and snapped and growled feriously at them. Knowing they had met their match, the dogs ran off. Bear turned to me I gave him a big hug and got a slobbery kiss in return. He then trodded up to the Camp office porch and laid down and went to sleep. Bear did what was in him, but he never knew he had.

We are made to worship

"We were created to worship. And if we refuse or neglect to worship God, we will worship something else or something less."

"Worship is the time and place that we assign for deliberat attentivness to God-not because he is confined to time and place but because our self-importance is so insidiously relentless that if we don't deliberaely interrupt ourselves regularly, we have no chance to attending to Him at all at other times and in other places."

"Ah, Jesus fountain of life, make me drink a cup of living water from you so that, having tasted you, I will thirst eternally for nothing but You."

"Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of Thee, let my first impulse be to worship Thee, let my firsts speech be Thy name let my first action be to kneel befor Thee in perayer.

I love the book of Psalms and how it focuses on worship. I had a friend once told me that my job as a Christian mother is to create and nuture my child into a woshipper of Christ (thanks Jill!). That is my desire as the mother of Ava is to raise her to love and commit her life to Christ...hopefully at an early age. Laundry can wait, dinner can be ordered in, dusting and vacuuming can be done once she is asleep. During her waking hours, my job is to read scripture to her, play with her, listen to Christian music and mold and make her into a Godly woman. One Psalm that I love is Psalm 145:4 and 7, "One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts, They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness." I love this verse because it is such a picture of my life and my heritage of faith. I look back and I am so blessed that I have great-grandparents, grandparents and parents that love and serve the Lord with their lives. I can only pray that I can pass on the love of Christ on to Ava!

Another Psalm that I love is Psalm 13. Beside this Psalm in my Bible is May 2008. The reason, I love this passage is that this Psalm was a life line for me during the time when Adam and I were going through infertility treatments. Back in May 2008, I had just finished the first IUI treatment after a year of medication, ultrasounds and blood draws. I was at one of my best friends baby shower and the doctor called to tell me that the treatment did not work! First of all, I should not have answered the phone. But when I did I really thought I was having a panic attack, I couldn't breath and felt out of control. I am blessed with amazing friends that loved me, hugged me, cried with me, even during her own baby shower (thanks Kristen!)! I left the shower and went home and fell at the feet of the Lord crying in desperation! I turned to Psalm 13, and read it over and over again because it seemed to express the words that I could not form myself. The last verse of Psalm 13 is "I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me." I underlined that verse and claimed it, even before I became pregnant and blessed with Ava. Just one month later, we became pregnant and right now as I write this, my angel Ava is sitting in her bouncey seat right beside me.

Its all about the Journey

"If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necesary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables, or unanswered questions, engimas, incomprehensibles, and most of all things unfair" Madame Jeanne Guyon quote from Amazing Collections.

In the Women's Bible Study I attend, I had the pleasure to the book of Job. Not the most exciting book to read but very eye openning. During the book study I came across the quote above and just loved it. The Christian life is truely a journey. There are highs, and lows, twists and turns, screeching halts and pressing of the gas pedal. It is a journey that I think if we knew what we would face along the way we would not have chosen that path, but once at the end of the path we look back see that we are stronger, faster, more secure, more loving, humble and may I say refined. As I studied the book of Job, I could not help but think back on my "Job-like" times in my life. I think back to when I was in 4th grade and I could not figure out why I was so stupid. I think about in high school when at cheerleading camp, four girls tried out to cheer at the Macey's Day parade and only three got it, I was the fourth girl. I think back to college falling in love and planning a future with someone who in the end, told me I just wasnt good enough or godly enough for him and broke up with an email. I then think about being on church staff for the first time and being hit on by the minister that was suppose to be mentoring me. I think about December 2004 when my family's world was rocked with the most heart wrenching, faith challenging time in our lives, when God chose to take Tucker home to be with Him. Then most recently I think about the year and half we struggled to concieve a child, the weeks on bed rest and the two months our precious baby being in the NICU. Would I have chosen those paths, absolutley not! Am I glad I took these paths yes.

Yet, I am lucky, God has shown me a glimpse of His plan in allowing me to see why I had to go through these struggles. Because I had a learning disability in fourth grade, it made me a more patient and understanding teacher. As for the Macey's Day parade, that year New York had a record snow, on the day of the parade.brrrrrrrrrrr! Why did that guy I was so in love with not want me... because God had already created and was preparing the most wonderful man in the world for me to marry and be the father of my child. (I love you Adam). Just recently, a friend of mine had a miscarraige and I was able to both sympathize and empathize with her. And just this past Thursday God gave me a glimpse of why I had to endure infertility. A lady in my Bible study has a daughter who is my age and is experiencing a similar situation as I did. Will we ever truely know why God gives us trials and tribulations, I dont know, but what I do know is that "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."