Just a glimpse of me...

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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

30 January 2012


I am a HOPELESS romantic (emphasis on the cap's)... to the point that hearing the lyrics of a song can bring me back to the anguish I felt at the age of 13 - when my parents resigned from our little country church in NC to move to another church in Peoria, IL. The realization that the neighbor boy would never "find me" and fall in love with me as I loved him was devastating! My love for him was... pure... true... a forever love... an until-death-do-us-part love. My life had been planned out around him - raising our kids in our little church, maybe working with the youth groups as both of our parents had - the list went on. The fact that I was in the 8th grade & he was in 10th grade did not diminish the pain that consumed me that day. I climbed to the top of the backyard tree & sobbed for -- what felt like hours.

Our family moved to Illinois. And, I have to admit, it took more than just a few years to completely let go of the dream to be loved by that boy. But, time has a way of healing wounds. And, time has a way of bringing new things & new people into our lives. Life moved on. And I hate to admit it but, that experience when I was 13 was not the last time I felt like a puddle of gelatinous mud at the end of a relationship with someone whom I had "known" would be the one. Oh how trite! Why must I be so "textbook classic" for "girls", I often asked myself.

The song that reminded me of that feeling today... and other similar times in my "romantic" life... 

"Will Someone Ever Look at Me That Way? ~ from the movie, "Yentl" sung by none other than Barbra Streisand. 

And a few of the lyrics... "now I see how love completely occupies a pair of eyes..." and "will I ever live to see the day... that he will turn around and look at me that way?" Ah... young love for young girls! 

Will Someone Ever Look At Me That Way?  Buy "Will Someone Ever Look At Me That Way" on: Android MarketAmazonMP3iTunes 

How often have I let my "feelings" be my reality? How easy is it for me to be overwhelmed with emotion & feelings and only see one reality? No matter how many times I was told as a young girl that things would work out for me, I never seemed to "feel" that way when I faced disappointments. Were my feelings my reality?

One thing about being an adult is... you have experienced a LOT of years & heartaches & disappointments. But, I've also seen those disappointments open doors for other opportunities. I've learned lessons that have helped me to avoid mistakes & poor choices in the future. I've been an example to others - albeit in the what-not-to-do category more often than not. I've seen burning ruble make way for new growth, life, and beauty!

When I was young - back in that little North Carolina country church - we sang from a hymnal. A song I remember was called "Trust & Obey". What a wonderful concept to be introduced to me at such a young age -- trusting in God for the BEST while obeying His guidelines found in the Bible. The song wasn't See, Trust & Obey! It's not always easy to trust God & obey His Word when the future seems unclear. But, it has proved true in my life and the lives of countless others who've embraced the promises found in the Bible. And, I believe that it will prove true in my life to come. 

Now that I'm not... exactly... young... 

Are my feelings my reality? They could be and can be -- but, only if I allow them to be. Not only did God write my love story in a wonderful way - better than what I could have imagined... but, I daily seek to allow Him to write my entire life story!

In the words of Christ: "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." John 14:1

29 January 2012

Guest Blog - Real Housewives of Galilee

Please take a look at my dear friend's blog...  I trust it will bless your heart, as it blessed mine!  Thanks Kimberly Majeski for sharing your heart in word... and sharing your heart through your actions too!

Real Housewives of Galilee

In my view of things -- girlfriends make the world a better place!  And, to be blessed with "sister-friends" with whom you can share your heart & with whom you share your love of and belief in Christ ... is the BEST of ALL!  

Here's one of my other dear "sister-friends" who walks my journey with me.  Together we encourage each other in the tough times & inspire each other to grow in the strong times.  What a blessing to serve God & share our love of God with each other.  Girlfriends rock!

"Here's the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home." 
Luke 16:9

I'm blessed with many girlfriends with whom I will share that eternal home!

Rejuvenate Women's Retreat

Winter blues... something I know all too much about on a personal level.  Do, I let it ruin my life?  DEFINITELY NOT!!  Girlfriends make a huge difference in my life... especially in my "winter blues" months!

Ladies, join me at this!!!
And, this March 2nd & 3rd, I'm going to be rested & rejuvenated (and pampered) at Madison Park Church's Women's Ministries winter retreat! It's going to be a fantastic time with the girls!! Get all the information below.

Rejuvenate Women's Retreat

If you are in the area, join the fun. Register at http://www.madisonparkchurch.org/news/winterretreat

RSVP on their Facebook Event Page at http://on.fb.me/Rejuvenate2012

Like the song lyrics say, "Girls just wanna have fun!!

24 January 2012

Just one of my "Jobs"

This is what I do in my "spare time"...

Communications for...

Women's Ministries at Madison Park Church of God - Anderson, Indiana

I love connecting people AND connecting with people :D 

Here's one of our weekly notes:
Wellness of Mind, Body & Spirit

You can sign up to receive these notes by filling in a few blanks at http://www.madisonparkchurch.org/ministries/womensmin

Connect with each other & with MPC Women's Ministries in the following ways:

20 January 2012

I Got Grabbed Today...

Sometimes... things just GRAB me!

It can be a shadow cast by the setting sun...

or the smell in the air from a flower or a spring shower...

or the sound of brook rolling over stones on it's way...

or the whispered sigh of a person passing me on the street... 

or the reflection in a pool of water...

or the lyrics of a poem or song...

This morning it was the lyrics of a song - the beginning line of one of the songs being sung by John Tibbs in the Crossroads services at Madison Park Church this weekend. The song is "Christ is Risen," (sung by Matt Maher). The opening line speaks to all of us...

"Let no one caught in sin remain inside the light of inward shame. We fix our eyes upon the cross & run to Him who showed great love... and bled for us... "

WOW! (I use that word a lot... but, seriously, WOW!) Let not ONE of us wallow in self-pity & shame... but claim the restoration & healing from our God!  Turn from the past.  Embrace the hope of a bright future.

"For God, in all His fullness, was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him, God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross." Colossians 1:19-20

Taken at Miller Chapel, School of Theology,
Anderson University - Anderson, IN

14 January 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted

I was richly blessed to be a part of the memorial service honoring the 81-year life of my Uncle Bob from Middletown, OH. Uncle Bob had a sweet spirit and an infectious laugh & smile. His eyes smiled when he talked.  He was married for 53+ years to my dad's sister, Iona.  They loved & served the Lord in such a way that people who observed them truly desired to "have what they had".

I have many fond memories of my Uncle Bob & Aunt Iona from my childhood. My family stopped in Middletown EVERY year before & after Anderson Campmeeting. Their daughter (my cousin, Becky) was a treasured friend from as early as I can remember.  She inherited the gentle spirit and the same infectious laugh & smile of her father.

13 January 2012

All I Really Need Today...

I don't want to get dressed & go anywhere today. It looks like a snow globe out of my window! I want to stay inside all by myself. I want to settle down with a nice cup of hot cocoa & listen to music or watch a mindless romantic comedy by a roaring fireplace. And, I don't really feel like making dinner for anyone (including me!).

Sometimes the simple things feel like all we really need on a given day. Other days, the simple things don't feel like enough!

My proclamation for today & for every day is that... HE IS ALL I NEED! God said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." Paul replied, "So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:19. I'm weak a lot -- especially in the winter months. I can take all the help I can get. Thanks God!

Paul also said in Philippians 4:19, "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."

Someone who can create a living snow globe outside of my window one day & paint a breath-taking sunset on another day, is there reminding me daily of all of his glorious riches & gifts to us. His glorious riches are abundant. All we need to do is open our eyes.

My words to God... "O Lord, let me echo YOUR Word in my heart. Let those words be played out in the story of my life!"

Some days I want to stay in but, I also know that I really need community. I know I need to be in communion with God & his bride (the church). Are you a part of a weekly worship gathering? I am. It's a commitment I've made regardless of how I actually "feel" on any given Sunday. I'm looking forward to this coming Sunday at Madison Park Church. 

What will God think? Will He find my worship sweet? As told in John 4:23-24, "if we worship Him in spirit & truth, we offer true worship - the kind for which He longs." And, I can tell you, in the winter months, if I'm going to be truthful with God, I'm going to have to admit to Him that I struggle with being out & about. But, my obedience is part of my worship. And, He always honors that.  

Worship is between YOU and God. No one can worship for you. No one else can show God what His worth to you is. But, we can't worship just on our own. God desires us to be in community... God has given us all we need and, often those needs are met through community with other children of God. 

But for the moment, I shall enjoy the quiet peaceful home... I shall sit by the fire... I shall trust in the protection of God's angels... I shall seek to know Him better in the quietness...

All of this... knowing that God will give me the nudge that I need on Sunday to meet in His house and on other days to do what He needs me to do out in His world.

And I will reflect, each day, upon the words of God shared by the Psalmist in Psalm 46:10, 
"Be still & know that I am God." 
In the winter months, I'm good at being still :)

(written 01/13/12)

Shared with the #1000Gifts Community with Ann Voskamp... 

12 January 2012

I long to accomplish a great and noble task...

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it's my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
Helen Keller

Wow!  I mean, WOW!  I totally relate to that quote!  I grew up with a very poor self-image.  It's been something with which I've struggled for my entire life.  The skinny, gangly young girl has become the middle-aged not-so-fit woman.  The young child who heard over & over from a loved one that no one would ever like her if they really knew her has truly found complete acceptance & love from the One who created the universe... and LIFE!  The over-achiever compensating for feelings of insufficiency has mellowed over the years - but, still rears it's ugly head from time to time. I had the same dreams of almost every young girl - to become someone important, someone of influence. 

What my head knows & what my heart knows still continues to be compromised by the thoughts & feelings of "what if..." 

What if I'd become famous? Would I have made a more profound affect on this earth's inhabitants?  Would I have been able to bring more to the knowlege of Christ? 
What if I'd been wealthy? Would that have made it easier for me to spread God's news or would I have "sold my soul" for the comforts & influential friends of the rich?
What if I'd been incredibly smart or creative?  Would I have found a way to create something that would share the truth of God with more people?

Life is full of questions. 

This is a great reminder to me of where my value lies.
Life isn't always full of all the answers. 

But, I've learned, in the struggle, that some day all things will be brought to light. I have learned that in the struggle one becomes stronger. I have learned that what God gave me is enough to do what He needs me to do.  No one is equipped better than ME to do what only I can do for Him.

I am encouraged by the feelings in my heart, by the words in the Bible, by the small, still voice within my soul...

... that it's my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

(written 1/12/12)