Friday, September 27, 2013

Letting Him

"I lift my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2
"I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I love Fall!

That is all. :) Well, and fall leaves and trees, lots of them. Our new-to-us home has 7 big trees. This brings me great joy! God knew. And, what's more, He made one of those seven trees an orange tree and one of them a pecan. More than I could ask or imagine. Truly. It is a joyful thing to sit in the school room or sit on my bed and look out the window, watch the squirrels and praise His name. Love that God loves us so much and that He is in all the details!
*Photo credit: Pinterest "Trees" section.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Standing Here ...

... and it's a peaceful, anticipating, excitement kind of place. Don't know how God will do His thing, but I know He will and there is great rest in that thought. Anxiety washed away. Yep. And, just so there is no mistake, let me make myself clear: I am expecting the miraculous! Not to be mistaken with prosperity theology or what Debra wants. That's a long wish list for days I want to sit around and eat Bon-Bon's and fantasize. I'm trusting God for what He said He would do. What He has ordained. What He finds to be important for our lives and what He calls "more than we can ask or imagine" ... and then some! How that miraculous plays out, God's thing. My thing, praise His Holy Name!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not Stuck I am tattooing that to my forehead. Better yet, I might write it in sharpie marker down my legs because I see them more often than my forehead. Here's the deal. I think I know the way a thing is going to play out. I know the ending. God has told me. (Isaiah 46:10) But, it doesn't or isn't happening in the way I think. Half the time not in the timing I think. Sometimes, it looks like it's smooth sailing and suddenly, no wind to blow the sails, or a storm and the course seems to change. Confusion. Helplessness. Blame. Tears.
So, what happens when my flesh, my will, my attitude, my feelings get in the way of fact? I remind myself God is not surprised by what's happening. Never surprised. I remind myself of the truth. God doesn't lie. (Numbers 23:19) God never fails.  I stand back up. I ask friends to pray with me. I remember His amazing faithfulness. Truth is, we are not stuck. We wait on Him. It's worth the effort. Always. 
"Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him ... " Job 13:15a

Monday, September 23, 2013


"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18 ASV

I love the glimpses and pictures and stories and events and big happenings and small happenings and sweet whispers that God gives us of His glory on this earth. I love to watch His perfect timing come to fruition and see it all make sense, like puzzle pieces. Looking forward, with joy, at knowing Him fully on that day. For now, I am on my knees, humbled before our great, great God! 
*PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberli Brackett. One of the beautiful faces rescued from slavery at Touch A Life in Ghana, Africa 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

10,000 Reasons

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes


You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find


And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His Holy Name
 Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name
* Song "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mother Teresa

Such wisdom. What an understanding of grace and love. I love this woman. I love her story. I love how God did amazing things through her and her humility and willingness to be obedient. We've read her biography twice, at least, and I am inspired every time. She understood what "loving like Jesus does" really looked like. She wasn't perfect. None of us are. She struggled. She cried, I am certain. She was angry, I am certain. However, she was prayerful and she knew beyond a doubt that God worked amazing miracles. He did. He still does. He is just waiting on us to jump on the band wagon. Mother Teresa was focused and on a mission from God. She wasn't trying to do something big. She started with one. Where she was. With what she could do. And, God, He turned her few loaves and fishes into a mighty and far-reaching ministry. Yep. Love Mother Teresa.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Station Break ...

We have had the distinct privilege of loving on some precious teenagers who we know God placed in our path for this particular moment in time. Three kids, two families, different scenario's. All important to God. It has been a real treat and a challenge, all good things. I have had to really put this quote into practice, especially the latter half, in answering questions, being supportive, dealing with such brokenness and  explaining this uglier side of life to our children. It can make you angry and break your heart all in the same moment. I have never been so thankful for the unbelievable wisdom and grace my sweet Mother lived in her season of single-parenting and as a parent in general. I am watching the consequences of selfish parenting. I think what breaks my heart even more is how desperately two of these sweet teenagers want a "real" relationship with their mom. And, how much the third one wants to be noticed and important. I am not missing the lesson in it for me. It is humbling to see where I must be more intentional and vigilant in expressing my love to and constantly speaking life over my children. Every day. Every moment. I am thankful for the Lord trusting us with these sweet children's hearts for this period of time we will be able to help them. I am even more thankful the Lord entrusted us to parent our own three beautiful girls. Prayerful we are making a difference, a lasting impact for the Kingdom. Knowing that God loves all of them even more than we do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Curve Balls

Oh my gracious! Isn't it the truth! Okay, so I know my posts aren't ultra creative this week because I am covered in boxes and sending my creativity in another direction. But, when I saw this tonight on FB (yes, we all need a bit of a mental break by the end of the day), it just made me want to stand up and cheer. Because, seriously, this year has had some stuff. Shocking. Unexpected. Unbelievable. Serious curveballs. And, I can truly say that without the Lord, we wouldn't be making it. There are still giants in this land that need conquered and I got out my bat! :) Of course, the Lord goes before us and we are unafraid. Anticipating!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eating Cookies!

We are surrounded by boxes. Working to be creative. Making lists. Cleaning and LOVING our new home. Giddy with excitement at all God has planned and, I, personally, am working to be sweet given crazy ranting hormonal episodes of which I have limited control. :( Suffice it to say, my precious family are loving this wife and Momma through it ... and eating LOTS of cookies! Blessed!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

 Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

 Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
* Lyrics to "Oceans" by Hillsong United.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Starbuck's Anyone?

Moving! New season. Whoop! Unpacking. Organizing. Rejoicing! Phew! If anyone should feel so inclined to hit up the Starbuck's, I'd love a "Venti Iced Tea Lemonade with Green Tea, Sweetened." :) Oh, and since it is Fall, a pumpkin scone would greatly be appreciated!

Friday, September 13, 2013


I've been waiting for the perfect day to post these cutie guys and today is the today. We're moving! Tonight we'll sleep in real beds. Tonight our food will be at a constant temperature in the refrigerator that is not changed by the humidity outside. Tonight we are anticipating the miraculous and watching it come to pass. Tonight we will be surrounded by boxes, some packed and some unpacked. And, tonight we'll sleep well after spending today celebrating the beginning of our new season. Have I mentioned I am SO EXCITED!! Watching God unfold His plans is nothing short of awe-inspiring. :) It's Friday people, and we are celebrating!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Smiling Sheep

Yep! That's us. Today's the day we become home owners again. Today's the day our new season begins. We are no longer RV residents. We now live in more than 400 square feet and, essentially, one room. :) Praise the Lord! And, praising Him, too, for all the ways He has planned to love on others through us in this house, in this season. We are giddy with anticipation!
Things we'll miss about RV life: Extreme togetherness! Space is great, however, I have loved the being together part of this life, too. We all agree. Crazy, huh? Makes me smile a lot. :) And, constant access to the swimming pool.
Things we're looking forward to: A dishwasher. A refrigerator that will hold more than two or three days of food and will keep ice cream frozen solid. A larger pantry, which will allow for more cooking, less trips to the grocery store and improved food budget management. Space to create and spread out and do homeschool. Re-discovering what is in all those boxes we packed three years ago. No more Laundromat. Praise Jesus! And, a bathtub (something we didn't have), located in more than one very, very small bathroom. :)
It's been an amazingly blessed three years. Looking forward to all God has planned in this now time! And as Shannon at FPFG recently said, "Pray .... because it feels really important and we don't ever want our inherent brattiness to get in the way of obedience. This opportunity is a gift."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Only Source

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 (NIV)

Sunday, the teaching focused on the One True Source of Life. About how Adam and Eve disconnected from it in the garden. And, people have been searching, disconnecting or flat out giving up since then. God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a choice. No robots here. And, sadly, we keep making the selfish, death choice. And, oh the carnage. Church is not the source of life. Activities. Behavior. "Good, right living." Performance. None of these are the source of life and they aren't going to get us anywhere. Jesus is the source. The only source. Period. He is the source of life, there is no other. The end.

I loved this picture. Jesus IS the Tree of Life, not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. You know, that's that tree where people jump from branch to branch thinking things will change. Looking for life that isn't there. Making their own rules. Seeking their own solution. It's fiction. Just a counterfeit. The next best thing. What the world sees as the answer. Might be fun for a while, but it doesn't last long.

Truth is, it's time to make the big leap to the other tree!! The Tree of Life. Surrender. Let Him love you. Love Him back. Follow His ways. Listen to Him speak and direct. He's not about "rules," He's about life. That was His plan all along. Inhale His breath. This is where real life is. Fun. All out craziness. Joy. Peace. Life to the FULL. Trust Him. It's the right choice. It's the best choice and it's totally contrary to the world. Yep, breath. Love that!

Jesus came to give us life, abundance and more than we could ask or imagine. I'm not talking prosperity theology here, I'm talking LIFE. Why wouldn't you give it all up to Him?

*Want some truth and resources on The Source, check out Alan Smith or Bob Hamp. Good solid teaching.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


"This is the church. This is the steeple. Open it wide and there's all the people."
Just a little ditty we said in VBS while we did the hand motions. We felt really clever how it ended with all your fingers wiggling. I have to say that my whole picture of Jesus and the church has changed dramatically. Keeps changing dramatically as I grow up. It's a big mix of things I've unlearned that weren't correct, things I'm still learning and things I love that are eternally true.
We went to church Sunday morning in a bar. This particular church met there for 4 years. They celebrated their 10th anniversary by going back to where they started. Did I mention it was a bar? I'll admit, it still smelled a bit like smoke from the night before. We sat on barstools. The praise and worship band were where a country and western band would've been. And what's more, Mark Chestnut was going to follow-up church with a concert, sponsored by the church, where all proceeds were going to stop human trafficking. It was probably one of the most Holy Spirit led services I have been a part of in a good long time. I wept like a baby. Tears I couldn't contain, though I tried.
It occurred to me, again, sitting in the bar, that the church is not the building. Just like the church is not the source. Jesus is the source of life. And, people, it is life to the FULL! Don't get me wrong, the church IS the Bride of Christ. We are the Bride of Christ. We are called to be a part of the body. To work together as a body. All different parts. All one purpose. As my Paw-Paw used to say, "Can't get to Heaven unless you take someone with you."

I'm continuing to think differently about church. Thank God!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Crazy, Peace

Peace and crazy. Two words you wouldn't necessarily put together in one sentence. Unless, that is, you are following God's directive and then it does. We were presented with a B.I.G. decision last Friday. The solution would've solved a large problem and would have created others, although shorter term, still problems. We put it on paper. It was a painful choice, but sometimes choices God has us make are painful. And, we must trust Him to fill in the blanks. On the other hand, it was potentially a decision that was out there to really test our faith in the wait.
Would we step forward or trust and wait? Would we act out of flesh because we're really ready for a solution to this issue or would we wait on Him. We've stepped out in flesh before. We didn't want to do that again. So, we prayed and went to bed. Woke up with good questions we hadn't considered the night before. Went back to the put the new information on paper and discovered a few errors we'd made the day before. So, we asked God if He would answer by Monday, at the latest, and placed it in His hands again.
There are times when I want God to do something and it would be so incredibly awesome if He'd do it now and my way. Then an opportunity presents itself. Said opportunity "looks" like it could be an answer, although aspects of it don't feel so good. Lacking in complete peace. But ... so, rather than be impulsive, as one has been before, you've learned to sleep on it and pray about it.

And God ... He is faithful. He answered us by closing the door we almost impulsively walked through and He even did it before Monday. Thankful!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Sister

This is my baby sister. My only sister. She, as you can see from the photo, does NOT like her picture taken. She doesn't like me to post about her or her kiddo's on FB or the blog or anywhere else for that matter, but ... you know when something's gotta be said, it's gotta be said! :) Sorry T.
I have friends with sisters and they don't like them very much. I have friends with sisters and they LOVE their sisters. I have friends who wish they had sisters. I have friends I feel like are my sisters and they are absolute gifts from above. My Mom always referred to them as my "people." That, in fact, is one of the last things she said to me, "But Debra, you have people." And, praise the Lord, that is true. But, I only have one sister I was born to be attached to forever and I, my friends, am rich because of it.
She is smart (super-smart), funny, way ridiculous fun to be with, never a wall-flower, witty, clever and, in most ways, we are opposite, but in the ways that matter, we are the same. We've had a few large bumps in our road and we make different choices in many life situations. But, I love her fiercely and she loves me back. And, I wouldn't trade her and my love for her for anything. Nope, nothing. Hear that little sister?! :)
I am beyond thankful that God gave me a sister. I just thought it should be said. :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013


My sweet Momma has been in heaven almost 6 months now. 6 months. I can't even fathom it some days. A lot of days. Especially days when I want to call her, which is pretty much every day. I miss her in ways words can't express. I'm feeling like the bird in the middle. I don't want to be nice. I don't want to be around anyone else's Mother, no offense. I don't want to do things I would do with her with anyone else. It hurts me to think of it. Bad. I don't want to share. I don't want to join in some days. I.just.don't. I suppose that is what grief looks like. And, like she and I discussed hundreds of times, this whole.entire.first.year, I get a buy. It's the same kind of understanding I would and have given to other people and it's what I desperately desire myself. Just let me do it how I can cope the best and give me grace in the mean time. I'm hurting and it may not look like it on the outside, but tears stream on the inside. Especially with all that is changing right now that she was a part of, would have been in the middle of, that I want her, and only her, to help with. So, when you see me, smile, hug me when you see I need it, give me space if I don't respond and don't try to help me for Pete's sake, unless I ask. I'm trying. Grief is a hard thing.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

Friday, September 6, 2013


Last weekend was Labor Day Weekend and as I type that I am thinking it was labeled correctly. A friend texted me what I was humbled and awed by (because I posted that on FB) and this was my reply:
Just an amazing, awe-inspiring, humbling 'cause my attitude got addressed BIG time and God's revealing some of His plans for us here kind of weekend. Loving on some broken kids hearts here at the park. I want to adopt all 3 of them. Wading through my crappy, menopausal (TMI, sorry), not trusting Him, bad mood/attitude. And, He is so gracious. Balled all through church this morning because God is just sooooo BIG. And, He's showing me lots of "He must increase and I must decrease." ... It's good and humbling and growing TONS and stretching and goodbye curses, you know Goliath's brothers, trying to hang around and lots of great googly-moogly, really.
I asked and He's answering. No words by how happy that makes me, even if I don't want to hear the answers some of the time. Even if it means raking off some more fleshy gunk. There is much He is doing over here. Much in my heart. Much in our lives. Much. And, He is revealing much. I love it. It's awesome. It's painful at times. It's growing and stretching and surrender and trust and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Small Sampling ...

... of what can be found on the hubs phone photo gallery, downloaded of course. Have I mentioned lately that I adore this man and am so beyond thankful God gave me him to do life with?!

Love these three ... HUGE!

Father/Daughter Guided Fishing Trip last year.

Niece's CRAZY hair idea. Loved it!

What was left of a rattler he killed ... he removed the rattle. Ick!

Head board idea and I'm kinda liking it. :)

Seat on plane to London, England.

Castle in London. Rough work trip, eh?!

One of our creative chicks invention at the storage unit.

Mountains. Work trip in Colorado or Utah, can't recall which.

Can't miss a golf course photo op. It's a requirement!

Look at this sunset!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Yes. Yes. Yes. And, amen. And, yes. Did I say that? I'll say it again ... YES!!! I cannot start this post without stating I am guilty as charged on many accounts. Repenting. We live in a world where people communicate by electronics only and it is just WRONG. It is satan's tool for messing up communication, messing up relationships, stealing joy, stealing activity and just plain stealing. There, I said it. Let me also say that social media and electronic communication has its place, but all in good measure and used with wisdom. We are raising a society of kids that do not make eye contact with any one person. Just a rectangle that fits in their hands. Real, true, deep relationships are not built that way. People are not who they really are and life doesn't genuinely look like what is written or posted or photographed on FaceBook or Instagram or whatever other media program one might choose.
Jesus said, "I come to give life and life to the full." He was into relationships. He was a face-to-face kind of guy. He sat with people. He ate with people. He gave them His focused, full, undivided attention. I would even be willing to bet He would've written letters and thank you notes (sadly a lost art these days), after all the Bible is a large grouping of letters inspired and Divinely Purposed by Him.
We are stepping off the media ladder. It's time to set limits, break habits and establish real life-giving, life-producing routines. We won't have a t.v. for a couple of weeks and that's fine with me. We will have space to move about, play, be creative, create, use our God-given imagination and I, for one, can.not.wait! Bring on the conversation!
*Editor's Note: I did find this photo on FB. :( And, I think that little nugget solidifies my resolve even more.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wash Me Clean

I'm making dinner. The hubs and kids are at the pool. I am listening to my Playlist on iTunes. And, I am broken. Weeping before a Holy God. My mind wanders through the places it is led. Some places I don't like. Places I feel inclined to judge. Lots of things. Someone's behavior choices. Another's lack of appropriate choices. Angry at the kids caught in the crossfire. I see the destruction. Hearts broken and bleeding and trying to fake it. I’m angry I'm not making better choices, setting a better example. Especially with my words. Ugly words. Angry at the times I see myself being okay with "common," instead of standing against it and walking in God's "normal."  Getting frustrated because I can’t force people to see it that way. Why am I not making what is important, important. And, what is important? To act justly. To love mercy. To walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)
I find myself fighting the lie that it has to be done "my" way or it's not right. And, the Lord gently shows me how "my" way isn't necessarily the only way or the right way and my job is to pray others to and through what He has planned.

I am overwhelmed by the ugliness of this world. I want to be a big mother hen and pull my kids and, some days my husband, close and protect them from all that is evil. But God ... He jumped right in the middle. He loved people. Where they were. He was not changed, never changed by the world He was in. He never waivered, never compromised, never judged sinners because sinners' sin. It's their job. He just loved. He talked to the Father and trusted Him and His plan. He breathed His Heavenly Father and spilled Him on everyone He met and in everything He did. He walked forward to the cross with us in mind. He loved. He loves me. And, because He loves me, I have no excuse not to love, forgive, serve and love some more.

God help me. To look fully to You for every-last-stinking-small-insignificant-thing to every huge-brawling-going-to-drown-me-thing. That’s where I want to be … on my knees, always, talking with the Most Holy God.

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
- Psalm 51:7 (NIV)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not Common

I'll be honest, here is where I am with this. Here is my petition to God. Lord, show me where I have given up what is "normal" for what is "common." And, where am I allowing it in my life and in the lives of my children. The whole phrase struck me in January when we were listening to Jimmy Evans. He said there are many, many, many things in this world that are "common," but they are absolutely not "normal" regardless of whether we accept them as that way or not. Wow. Really. Just wow.

I looked up those words in my trusty 1828 Webster's Dictionary.

NORMAL: According to a rule or principle.

COMMON: Belonging equally to more than one, or to many indefinitely; as life and sense are common to man and beast; the common privileges of citizens; the common wants of man; belonging to the public, having no separate owner; general; serving for the use of all; public; usual; ordinary; of no rank or superior excellence. Applied to things, it signifies, not distinguished by excellence or superiority.
Uhmmm, "common," no thank you. I want "normal." I want God's normal. And, what's more, as believers "normal" is not a secret. It's spelled out in the Bible. It's called God's will for us and it is no mystery. Humbled. Seeking His face for the places we have substituted what is common in the eyes of the world, what is accepted as normal, but really isn't. 
See, Jesus wasn't a boring guy. He laughed. He lived. He loved. He didn't lack. He didn't compare. He never, ever, ever compromised. And, His favorite place to be was smack in the middle of sinners showing them the way. People were absolutely drawn to Him. People absolutely still are drawn to Him, by Him. Why follow a guy who is plain vanilla? Jesus rocked it and He rocked it with those of us ... me ... who need Him. No compromising. No "common." Only "normal." God's way. Oh, Lord, help me to live this way.
"He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A New Season

We have prayed a long time, like more-than-four years of a long time, for our next new season. For God's promises to begin to come to fruition. Our friends have prayed with us. People we don't even know well have prayed with us. And, truth be told, we hoped and prayed and dreamed and wished our new season would start back in Fort Worth, where our heart family are, where our heart church is, where everything is familiar, where our children were born. It even looked like a remote possibility. But God ... He has another plan. It's a good plan. One that is meant to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
I'm fairly certain part of our promises coming to fruition began when our prayer changed to, "Lord move us back to our idea of 'home' please or change our heart for here." Surrender. God's timing is perfect and in hindsight much of what we've walked through, particularly since last October, and what we continue to walk forward in, is beginning to make God-sense to us. He's good like that.
This house marks the end of our now season. It's our next home and we'll be in it in a few short weeks. Hal-le-lu-jah! And, I'll be honest folks, it's more than I could ask or imagine. Humbled and trembling before our mighty and awesome God!
The exciting part is watching His hand unfold crazy things ONLY He could do. No, the Lord's arm is NOT too short (Numbers 11:23, Isaiah 59:1), although I forget that sometimes in the midst of emotions, feelings (that are not fact) and the chaos called living on this earth. There are so many things involved with this move that only He can orchestrate, fix, calm, take care of, reveal, maneuver. Really. Makes me all tingly inside to see how He will do it!
"I asked the Lord for help and He answered me. He saved me from all that I feared." -Psalm 34:4 (NCV)