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A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: April 2012


What I Believe

I recently told someone something I have said thousands of times and it struck me later how what I said was a lie. 

We were discussing the fact someone we knew was going to be a doctor. 

I remarked that if I had been a doctor I would have to be a surgeon because while blood a guts didn't bother me, I didn't like people. 

I said this with a chuckle and thought it was pithy. I have even said it before, and never thought anything of it. 

What a lie! 

I may not have liked people before surrendering to Christ, but now the love I have for God and the love He sheds in my heart is moving me to love people. 

What happens when we realize we have believed something about ourselves that was not true? 

Does it prompt us to look at what we do believe more closely? It does me. 

So I decided to write out what I do believe. My personal creed if you will. I want to share it with you. 

I believe there is one God, eternal and Holy. 
I believe that God loves us, and has a plan and a purpose for every person. 
I believe that God’s love was proven on the day He sent His son Jesus to earth and again on the day He sacrificed Him on the cross for our sins. 
I believe that there is a divine way to live and it can be summed up like this: love God, love people. 
I believe that there is an active Spirit of God that dwells in us when we accept Christ and as we grow in intimacy with God, the Spirit of God grows in influence over our lives. 
I believe the word is infallible. It is the express heart of God. It is made for our instruction, our correction, and our spiritual education. 
I believe that if God said it, then I have to place His words above my opinions: even if they seem hard for me to live by. 
I believe the church is the body of Christ, made up of people. The actual 2 x 4s and steeple do not matter, the people do. There is nothing holy about a building, Jesus did not die for the wood and shingles. He died for you and me. 
I believe that in Christ we are the redeemed of God, joint heirs with Christ, now adopted into the family of God. Before salvation I was just a creation of God, now with Christ in my life I am a child of God. You cannot be a child without the adoption process of salvation. 
I believe salvation is simply this: 1. Admit there is no way for you to reach God because of sin. 2. Ask God to free you and forgive you of that sin. 3. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. This is salvation. 
I believe we are eternal beings and as such we will move on to either heaven or hell after death. Our destinations depend on our status as a family member. If you are in the Family of God, you go to Heaven, if you have rejected God and opted not to be adopted into His love, your destination is Hell. Your choice. 
I believe there is an enemy; his name is Satan or Lucifer. He is not all powerful, but he is out there. His tricks include three things: pride, lies, and hate. If we learn to humble ourselves before God, live in the truth of His light and walk in His love then there is nothing that can separate us from God, not even a defeated foe. 
I believe that we are called to sow. God’s love is in us, and there are others that need that love. We are called to take the truth of God and share it with the world: sowing into peoples’ lives the love of God so that He can water, increase and harvest the rewards: a bigger family. 
 I believe that God does not change, He is immutable and stays the same. Therefore He still heals, He still fills people with His spirit, He still does miracles and He still has plans for your life. 

I believe that you are reading this for a reason. I believe that this is the time you must examine what you believe and why you believe it. 

There is freedom in knowing that God is there, waiting for you to reach out for Him. He has been waiting for you. 

What do you believe?

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Sunday Reflections April 29, 2012

My friends, I am sorry, but today there will be no Sunday Reflection. As a matter of fact, I am not sure I will be able to do more than a few sentences now. I woke up with a migraine and since I did not prepare this yesterday, as is my custom, I cannot write now. 
As it is the light of the screen is torture and I can barely hold my head up. Please pray for me. If I feel better later, I will try to come back and do a Recap of the Week. 
Be blessed. 


Remembering with a Smile

She was a character, my mom. I wasn't raised by her, my parents divorced when I was four or five. My father remarried when I was eight, so I had a mom; who raised me for 9 years - I just wanted “my” mom too. 

When I was 17, I left home at the request of my parents, (we had a rough relationship and I was a handful) moved in with family 800 miles away, back to where it all began for me: Arkansas. I was born there, as were my parents; my family roots were there. 

I felt more at home there than I ever had in Texas as a kid, and I had not lived there for twelve years. While I was there, I went to my grandparents place on Lake Chicot. They had passed on, but I knew that my mom, the one I did not know, still owned it. 

I was a kid; fascinated by my past, wondering why my mom didn't want me, convinced my father drove her away, and not that she was just a flaky person with no sense of responsibility. So I dug. I dug through boxes in the garage; I dug through boxes in a car that was parked on the property. I even dug through the trash. 

I broke into my grandparents’ house. I climbed in the attic. I checked every drawer, ever closet, every chest. I stole family photographs, a quilt, some letters, even a gun that had belonged to my grandmother. These were my families’ things. They connected me to them in some tangible way. 

Later that night, after sharing my “finds” with my Aunt and Uncle, I discovered a number to the 7-98 Union dispatcher. I knew my mother was a welder, so I called and asked for her. Told them I needed to reach her, I was her daughter. The dispatcher commented they didn't know she had a daughter. Fifteen minutes later my mother called back. 

That first conversation was awkward. I had only seen this woman a handful of times growing up and though I knew the sound of her voice, it was strange talking to her. She wanted immediate intimacy that mothers and daughters have, and I wanted that, but did not feel it, so I could not fake it. It was years before we would get there. 

Still desperate for a connection to my mother, after having my first daughter, I asked her to move in with us. The next few years were a mixed bag. Getting to know the woman my mother was had moments of pain and joy. For a while I could focus on the joy. 

For a while, because I so desperately longed for a closeness that I had not had growing up I pretended that her exaggerations did not matter, her callous disregard of my sister, her daughter, didn’t matter, that her bad parenting advice was just her way of “helping”. I did not know how to handle her emotional outbursts when her guilt and grief over abandoning her girls got the better of her. She was an all or nothing, hot or cold person and I sometimes became overwhelmed by her emotional manipulations. 

Instead I focused on her sense of humor, and her love of adventure. She loved to just get in the car and go. I saw my first professional baseball game with her, as did my daughters, and every time I see baseball on TV now I think of her. 

In the last few years of my mom’s life, we had grown closer. It was a hard road, but we got there. My girls had a grandmother that loved them, though she was a mixed bag for them too. 

Then, she got sick. Hepatitis C. Normally, if you take care of yourself, follow a strict diet, take the treatment, you can live for years with HepC. My mom lived seven years after diagnosis. 

She was not a compliant person in life, and she was not a compliant person in her illness. She feared death, though she was saved (I think). She feared the actual physical part of dying. She was not a fan of pain, and after a chemo-immobilization for a liver tumor, she had what doctors refer to as phantom pain. 

Now, after years of being drug free, (she’d been an addict in those years I did not know her) she was popping her pain pills with too much frequency. She was not taking the other medications that would keep her healthy, and at 52 she slipped from normal to dementia to coma in less than a week. Her last words to me were “Don’t do this to me, don’t let me die.” Even at the end, my mom had a hard time with personal responsibility. 

That was nearly two years ago. I miss her. I miss the laugh that sounded just like mine; I miss the odd ball things she would say sometimes. I miss her getting super excited about spring training and cursing at the TV when the Cubbies where ahead of the Astros by a game and a half. 

I don’t know why I had to write about her today. I just felt like it was time. I loved the woman, though she made me feel like any moment could take us over the edge into Thelma and Louise territory. I guess I just needed to remember her, in this moment and instead of being angry at her for her weaknesses, I had to smile at her quirks. 

What is your mom like?

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Finding Yourself In Christ

The Lie You May Believe and The Truth of the Matter

The other day I heard someone say “you may never be called by God” and my heart broke. I wanted to cry "Foul"! 

This is someone who does not understand that God calls each and every one of us because He has a plan and purpose for every one of us. You may not be called to preach to a mega church, or called to a foreign mission field, but you have a calling on your life, you ARE called by God. 

Romans says this: (Message) 

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.” 

Your call may be as a homemaker and teaching others to be great homemakers. You may be called to parent special needs children, or be an evangelist. All are callings. 


Do not believe the lie you are not good enough. Do not give up on the dreams God has placed in your heart because “those He calls He equips!” 

There is none good, not one, save God alone! That is completely okay, because the Bible says that in our weakness He is strong. He uses our weakness to confound (confuse, bewilder, befuddle) the strong. When we are weak, His grace is sufficient and when we allow that grace to carry us through He is glorified. 

Paul said this in 2 Corinthians, (Message) 

“We don't just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.” 

So do not doubt that you are chosen. You are hand-picked. You have a purpose. God wants to use you right where you are so that He can prepare you for where He wants you to go. 

Everyone Starts Somewhere

Paul, before he was Paul was Saul: a man who was educated and well respected and a murderer. He was not the man who wrote two thirds of the bible on the Damascus road. He was a sinner, lost, having an encounter with Jesus, so that God could begin to equip him for where he would go later. 

You are no different from Paul. You were once lost on a road, heading in the wrong direction. Now let God take ahold of you. Be faithful where you are, and trust that God will direct the way you should go from here. 

Question: What is your dream?

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How Jeff Goins Kicked This Writer's Butt

Cover Art Copyright owned by Author
I have written before about my struggles with writing, about my insecurities with creating and you, my dear readers have been there every step of the way. So too has my “mentor”, Jeff Goins. 

As a frequent reader of his blog and follower on Twitter, I recently got asked by Jeff to read his upcoming eBook You are a Writer (So Start Acting like One) and I counted it a privilege to do so. 

You are a Writer (So Start Acting like One) took me an emotional and cerebral roller coaster. I have struggled with writing and since starting a blog I have waged an internal battle with myself over “issues” both large and small. 

This book is ingenious in its simplicity and profound in its insight into the writer's mind. Jeff Goins hits ever one of the issues I have ever had as a writer. I felt inspired, corrected, encouraged and empowered all at the same time. 

Moments in this book had me shouting out loud and after lesson’s like “Stop writing for accolades and start writing for passion”, or “kill the excuses and start writing” I have no reason to not develop my talent and share my gift with the world. 

Jeff Goins makes better writers because he gives us tools, he kicks our collective whiny butts and he speaks from experience. This is a must read for every writer! 

Jeff writes, “Without the Medici family, Michelangelo wouldn't have painted the Sistine Chapel.” Without Jeff Goins, I wouldn’t still be doing this “writing” thing. I would not be able to proudly, boldly, and truthfully say, “I am a writer”. 

For me, this book will join the ranks of Jon Acuff’s Quitter and Robert Masello's Robert’s Rules of Writing as one of the most influential self-help books of my life. 

The highlight for me is the personal inspirations I have drawn from You are a Writer (So Start Acting like One). Soon, this inspiration will be translated into changes here, in this blog, and I cannot wait to show you all I have learned. 

If you have a dream to write, or any other artistic and creative pursuit, this book is for you. Please, go to Amazon (affiliate site) and buy You are a Writer (So Start Acting like One)! 

To find out more about the author, visit or follow Jeff on Twitter at!/JeffGoins and to purchase his books go to DiscoverShopping.

Have you ever read a book that inspired you? 

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Living Limit Free!

Driving down the road the other day I encountered this speed sign. It was blank. I stopped and actually took this picture. It got me thinking, what limits us with our relationship with God? 

What keeps us from going full speed toward Him? 

For me, it was arrogance. A prideful belief that I was who I am and no one could change me. Take me or leave me, I am who I am and I am: an independent woman who knows my rights, who stands up for myself because the world was always trying to dump on me. That arrogance had me going toe to toe with believers and non-believers alike. No cashier at Wal-Mart was safe from my indignation, no praise and worship leader, no preacher safe from my wrath.

If I saw a wrong, if I was angry, if I felt threatened or intimidated, I immediately puffed up like an adder and struck. The vile poison I spread was strife and I did it so well I did not even realize the problem was me. 

I got offended if anyone tried to correct me and I certainly did not walk in love. I used the word of God as an arsenal to fire excuses and claim “freedom in Christ” as the basis for my right to be who I was and who I was stank! 

1 Peter 2:16-18 (NLT) says: For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. 

I would say “I am free in Christ” but I was letting old, ingrown, inbred habits and attitudes to shape my life and hold me back from what real freedom is. 

Real freedom in Christ is this: the ability and the joy in serving and loving your neighbors as yourself and loving God with your whole heart, mind and body.

So how do we shake off the “old man” that sin nature that spews poison into our lives and the lives of those around us and live in real freedom with no limits? 

1. Get in the Right Lane!

The first step is to move out of the wrong lane, the “me” lane, and get in the G.O.D. lane. Like the H.O.V. (high occupancy vehicles) lane on a highway the G.O.D. lane is for anyone to use if the conditions are met. 

When you stop taking control or dominion over your life and Give Over Dominion to GOD, then you are in the G.O.D. lane. How do you give over dominion? You repent. Turn from what you were doing, ask for forgiveness, and move forward in a new direction. Get in the Right Lane! 

2. Surrender Your License.

A license is a piece of paper that says you have been given the freedom to do something. Until now, your “license” has been used to drive your own life: to steer your own destiny. Give it up. Hand it over to the ultimate authority and let someone else drive you. (Yes, I am going to say it, and I apologize ahead of time) Let Jesus take the wheel. Not like the popular hit song, but really yield and surrender to God’s will and direction for your life. 

When we surrender, we now receive a new license. Not one to drive our own lives with, but one that grants exceptional freedom to trust. No matter how fast life is, trust that if you are surrendered, God has you on the right lane, at the right speed, and heading in the right direction. 

3. Enjoy the Ride!

I have always loved a good road trip. The freedom of an open road, the challenge of reading the map and enjoying the back roads when you are forced to take a detour are all appealing to me. Yet, a road trip by yourself is no fun. There is something indelibly necessary to a good road trip: a traveling partner.

Talking with someone, laughing, crying, arguing, and laughing again is part of the experience. God doesn’t want to be your limo driver, He doesn’t want to be your taxi driver, He wants to be on the ride with you. When God is driving, we can relax in the seat and really get to know Him. He is right there. Ask Him anything. He is right there, tell Him anything. Turn on the radio and lift up some praises to Him.

When God is driving, you can stick your smelly feet up on the dash, let one rip and He will still love you. He will still want to be on the trip with you. He wants you to enjoy the ride.

Now, when you see a road sign that has no speed limit, you can know that is meant for you. Let it remind you that God wants you to live a life with no limits.

My pride kept me from living limit free, what is stopping you?

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Self-Confidence vs. Real Confidence

Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Let’s talk about something that seems to be a real problem for a lot of people: confidence. 

Maybe the reason this is a problem for people is because we have believed a lie: confidence is all about believing in yourself. 

Real Confidence is Not About Us. 

We are broken and flawed creatures who in ourselves have nothing worthy. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of light, the Lord who is love. BUT GOD, who is flawless, and in whom is all our strength and hope, in Him we can have confidence. 

The respect and proper reverence of God (the fear of God) builds confidence! When we truly know that God is the author and the finisher of our faith; He holds the pen that writes our story, and when we worship Him in spirit and truth for His faithfulness to us, then we can know without a doubt that He is worthy of our trust in Him

Confidence (Noun) is defined as: full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing or certitude; assurance. 

Confidence is not something that is achieved overnight. 

Arnold in School. Photo credit unknown. 
Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a kid. He was skinny. He did not have the muscles that would one day make him famous. He had chicken legs and big ears. It wasn't until he began exercising and focusing on muscle development that things for him began to change. 

So how do we develop real confidence- the kind that is not found in us, but that relies on who God is in us and what He will do for us? 

                                   We fail. 

Not what you wanted to hear, I know, but until we realize we cannot do everything on our own, we won’t truly understand why we need God in the first place. 

If you are a parent you understand this. When your child is learning to walk, they fall, they scrap their knees: they fail. Your child figures out he cannot walk on his own yet. So your tiny little one holds onto your finger or sits in a walker. This builds their confidence. It brings them balance. We, God’s children, are no different. 

Proverbs 3:5 The Message (MSG) 

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst. Your wine vats will brim over. But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under his loving correction. It's the child he loves that God corrects; a father's delight is behind all this. 

When we are humbled then we look to God for His answers and His way, which are better than our ways and ideas. 

“There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, that way leads to death” Proverbs 14:12 

The Benefits of Confidence in God 

When we have confidence and trust in God, we free ourselves from anxiety and worry. These things are the opposite of faith. They cripple our relationships and stunt our growth, but if anxiety and worry are staples in your life, then other things like fear and lack, bitterness and envy are probably some of the things you deal with too. I know I do. 

Simple trust breaks the power of worry. Confidence in God to provide, to fight on your behalf, to give you direction, to bring you peace and a fruitful end, this is what God wants for you. 

God doesn't “need” you to have confidence in Him to exist. God is. What God wants is your trust because it helps you. It makes your life easier. It changes your circumstances. When we allow the Spirit of God to dwell in our everyday and we rely on Him, then we can rest and prosper. 

Isaiah 32:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT) 
16 Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. 17 And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest. 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says: “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” 


What is one way you can rely on the Lord today and begin trusting Him like never before? How do you build your confidence? 

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Failing Forward

Last night before I laid down my weary head around midnight, I planned out the following day, including a six a.m. wake up call. 

Six a.m. came, and went. I actually started to get up. My feet hit the floor for five seconds, but then, like a felled tree in a dense forest, I went crashing down again. With only six hours of sleep, I just could not get up. So I told myself. 

The fact is discipline is not easy. If it was, we would all be health nuts and run marathons. Nonetheless, I am called to be more disciplined and I have not been hitting the mark. 

I could get mad or become wrapped up in my failure, but a book I recently read (more on this book later this week) said “fail forward”. What a concept! Learn from your failure and let that propel you to your next “try”. 

So tomorrow, I am going to set the alarm for six, but tonight I am going to bed by ten. Lesson learned. Fail forward. 

Romans 8:1 says this: 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 

When we are Christians, there is freedom that comes from learning the difference between condemnation and conviction. 

Condemnation is the enemy trying to pronounce you guilty and beat you up when you are no longer guilty because your sins are forgiven and you are a child of God. Condemnation brings pain and brokenness. 

Conviction is a strong feeling of guilt or censure by the Spirit of God to bring repentance: to line you back up to the word of God and lovingly correct you. Conviction brings restoration and healing. 

Colossians 2:2 says this (AMP): 

[For my concern is] that their hearts may be [a]braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively [b]more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One). 

So how do we know if we are feeling condemned or conviction? 

We do three things: 

1. Examine the feeling: what is the source?
Are you feeling like you should bury yourself in a hole and not come out or are you feeling the need to repent and pray? The first is condemnation, the second is conviction. 

2. Categorize the feeling: Condemnation (death) or Conviction (life)
The Bible says in Deuteronomy that God has set before us life and death, and WE choose. WE CHOOSE! So choose life today. 

3. Fail Forward (learn from it and move on)
If you have felt condemnation, seek God. Ask Him to show you how His grace really works, and begin to walk in His favor. We are no longer a slave to the feeling of condemnation, but free in Christ. 

So when the alarm sounds, I will try again, and keep trying until I succeed. I will fail forward. Like a boxer, when the bell rings, I will come out swinging. When you fall, don’t be like the commercials and say “I can’t get up”, dust yourself off and try, try, try again! 

Tell us how you fail forward! Comment below.

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Rock Collecting

As a small kid I collected rocks: some for their color and some for their shape and some because I imagined some great person in history, once walked over this very stone, or some such non-sensible story I had concocted at the age of eight. Rocks have no power, they hold no mysteries. 

Scientists have studied them extensively and a rock is simply one of three things: compacted dirt, (sedimentary) igneous rock, (made up of solidified magma) or metamorphic rock (sedimentary and igneous rocks that have been under high pressure).

Yet, rocks can have purpose. They can be materials for building: like a foundation, a cornerstone, or bricks. Rocks can also be destructive, used like small missiles thrown to cause damage.

When the Pharisees brought the prostitute before Jesus and told Him the law says stone her. Jesus said “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

She was wrong, her sin was clear. The law was clearer, yet Jesus saw her worth. He saw her for who she was designed to be.

As each stone fell out of the hands of her accusers, she inched closer to her freedom. There is freedom in Christ: freedom from the law of sin and death. No matter who you are, or where you are in your life, Jesus holds your freedom.

His burden is easy, not heavy like the one you carry now.

Let the love of Christ take those stones that were meant for your harm. When those stones encounter Jesus, THE ROCK, the cornerstone, then they will break against Him, and you will be free to be healed, restored and changed forever.

Did you ever collect rocks? 

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Sunday Reflection April 22, 2012

This week was a crazy one for me. My daughter got surgery earlier in the week and the recovery has gone well. I will have to write about the whole experience one day, but right now, it is a little too fresh- it probably needs to marinate for a while. 

We started off the week on the blog with Oh Be Careful Big Mouths, and I had to heed my own advice several times this week. Then we took up Mountain Climbing! That was one of my favorites. We all have mountains, the question is, how do we face them? As a climber or a go around-er? 

Waiting is a skill I have yet to perfect. My patience is not where it needs to be. Learning to wait on God is something we all should learn because without this particular skill, we could end up in a real mess. 

I have been thinking about this next post for a while. Originally I wanted to call it "Why Carelessness has No Place in the Body", But instead called it "Why we are Called to Love" . I cannot stress enough the importance of this. 

This morning Joyce Meyer tweeted this: 
"Every believer has a ministry. It may not be a public one, but you've got a ministry to your children, your spouse, your family, to God." 
Put your hand to the plow and don't look back. Get to work walking out the love of Christ! It will change your world! 

After watching my 14 year old go through the pain of surgery, I began to think about pain: physical pain, yes, but mostly emotional and spiritual pain. Victim or Victor came from that pondering. You are more than an overcomer in Christ! You just need to change your perspective, and gear up! 

As a woman, I love telling the story of "how did you two meet"? I took it a little further and told you the story of "How I knew He was the One".  I love a good love story, and God wrote ours long before I did. 

So there are things that I have wanted to do with this blog for a while and I have not been able to for one reason or another. I want to change that. Soon there will be a little method to my madness and hopefully the structure will help you find posts on topics you want to hear about. 

SO... what do you want to hear about? Let me know by leaving a comment below. You could see your idea in a post soon. 

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How I Knew He Was the One

didn't date my husband. We were friends, and I knew he liked me. I was only 19 at the time, thought I knew everything, and I just knew he wasn't the one: until he was. 

Randy was a goofy looking guy with a bad mullet a few years past the days when mullets were cool and way too quiet. I on the other hand, am not shy; I laugh too loudly, and have never met a stranger I could not tell the most intimate details of my life to on a moment’s notice. This shy guy and I had lots of friends in common, but we never really interacted at all because, in my opinion, we were oil and water. 

I knew he liked me. That puppy-dog face he made when he thought I wasn't looking, or the tension in the room when I would talk about my “ex” were good giveaways. The other problem was, I was still wrapped up in my hurt about the one who got away. 

You know, the guy who I thought was the one: until he wasn't. I had been hurt and I did not want to cause that kind of pain to anyone else, so I decided I would not date anyone else; especially if they liked me. That would be too risky: for them and me. 

So Randy and I just hung out with friends. 

Randy’s best friend Jason warned him off, calling me “damaged goods” and telling Randy he thought I was just husband hunting. So I wasn't interested and Randy was warned off, yet, somehow, we were constantly drawn to each other. I began talking to him every time he was around, and when he returned to Christ for the Nations to finish out his year I let him write to me and call, all the while asserting that we could only be friends. 

At the time I was living next door to the church I was the praise and worship leader in, and I ran up an AT&T phone card bill because believe it or not, nearly 19 years ago there were very few people with cell phones and the only phone nearby was the one in the church office. 

After nearly two and a half months of talking, writing, and flirting- hey, I am only human- spring break had rolled around. Randy came home to visit once more. 

After a fun-filled week of working the three jobs it took to keep me in Ra-men noodles and bean burritos, and hanging out with Randy as much as I could, I began to feel like I had done exactly what I did not want to do: I had lead this guy on. 

We had zipped around town together in my little baby blue 1988 Yugo and he even ran my paper route with me to keep me company. I was feeling horrible, because deep down I did not feel the same way this guy did and I knew this would only hurt him. 

On the last day of spring break, I sat him down and told him, again, (it had become a mantra with me) that we could ONLY be friends. 

Then something strange happened. 

Randy made the longest speech he had ever made all at once, and he was assertive about it. 

He said, “I don’t care if I am 85 and you are 80, so long as you are in my life, and we are friends, then I will be happy.” Time stopped for me. 

He didn't declare his undying love or give me romance with flowers and fine dining, but he showed me his heart in that one sentence. I knew, without a doubt, that the sincerity in his face was because he did love me. Suddenly he became ten times cuter, and I did not mind the mullet so much. His eyes became bluer and I was a goner. 

He returned to Bible school, six hours away and I could not get this geeky, sweet and totally Godly guy, out of my head. 

A week later I called him and asked if we could try out a long distance thing. He immediately said yes. Three days later he told me he loved me, and I knew it was true. What was more is I loved him. When did that happen? Two days after that Randy asked me to marry him. 

We have had our problems. We have had our share of joys and sadness, heartaches and triumphs, but throughout it all we have had the power of his love to get us through. I say “his love”, because without that love, we would not even be here. Randy patterned his love after the way God loves us, selflessly. I love him because he first loved me. He continues to love me that way and that is how I knew he was the one, mullet and all.

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Victim or Victor?

For the last few days I have been in the hospital with my youngest child while she got surgery and recovered. We have been home since Wednesday, and she has experienced a lot of pain since then. It has me thinking, pain without purpose is torture and pain with purpose is like exercise: for our benefit. 

Try telling that to my 14 year old as she struggles through post op recovery: she does not want to hear it. It is true none the less. 

Spiritual and emotional pain is often harder to deal with than physical pain, but the premise is the same: deal with your pain because it has purpose. Heartache and pain can make us into one of two things: a victim or a victor. 

Jesus said that our sorrows will turn to joy and that our pain will be like a woman in labor. It will hurt for a while, but soon our joy will be complete and we will forget the severity of the pain in our rejoicing. 

The victim says “why does all this happen to me?” and “Why can’t I ever catch a break?” 

The victor says “Even if I never learn the “why” I will continue to move forward” and “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way”

Look, I have been a victim and I have been a victor. I know the difference. I choose to walk in victory every time! It is not easy. We are human after all. We fall down, scrap our knee, and we cry. There is no shame in that! 

It is when we stay down; because we fear falling again so much that we rather live from a position of flight rather than fight that we become the victim. 


How can you fight the battle if you have laid down in surrender? How can you stand in faith believing that God is fighting with and for you if you are crouched in fear? 

So, you stand up, now what? 

Do not think, that because you changed your stance that all the wrongs and injustices that have happened to you will suddenly be righted. Standing is a change in heart and attitude. God will see it. He will meet you where your faith is. Eventually though, He will want you to exercise your faith muscles and develop a strategy to defeat the enemy yourself. 

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 

No battle can be won without standing, watching, being mindful of who our enemy is, of who our leader is, and knowing that if God says we are more than conquerors than it is true. 

So when you are hurt, and it will happen, stand up and proclaim whose child you are, who has the victory, and when all else seems to fail: stand! God will see and fight alongside you! 

Refuse to be a victim and you will begin to learn how to stand in victory!

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Why We are Called to Love

Carelessness Has No Place in the Body of Christ

Christians cannot live carelessly. Living by happenstance and circumstance is not the way for us as believers. Jesus said that trouble (happenstance) will come in this world, but He had overcome the world.

Carelessness is really apathy, and Webster’s online defines apathy as “lack of feeling or emotion, lack of concern: indifference.”

Living a careless life, an indifferent life, is in direct conflict with God’s overall plan for us.

God’s Plan:

His plan is that no man should perish, that all would come to Him, and He needs us to actively show the love of Christ to the world so that the world would be drawn unto Him.

Matthew 5:14 says “You are the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid!”

Where there is light, there is no darkness. Where there is light there is life. Where there is light, the Father of lights is there. We are the City on a Hill; we are the light of the world. If we do not shine, if our light dims, darkness and death will fall. Dank death will rain down and what Jesus did on the cross would be for nothing.

Luke 1:9 says Christ came for this purpose: “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Our Purpose:

As Christ followers, we are supposed to carry on where Christ left off.

If we do not see the orphan, if we walk past the widow, if we do not feed the hungry and we do not share our cloak with someone who is cold, how can we say we walk and abide in the love of Christ?

We cannot stand by and watch the world perish. We must be more attentive and live with purpose, not carelessness and apathy.

Sister Teresa said this:

“Do not think that love - in order to be genuine - has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

We are supposed to get full of love, and grow mature fruit so that we can empty our lives and our love into other people. To do this is the law of Christ: Love one another!

Call to Action:

Has someone shown you genuine love before? Share how in the comments below. 

Now, find a way to pass that love along to someone new - who needs it just like you did – and who through that love will see Jesus in you.

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Waiting: Pit Stop or Serving Time?

Okay- I think everyone will admit to being in this place at one time or another. You rarely like it, probably do not appreciate it, and may even get frustrated by having to be there longer than you expected....

It is that waiting place.

That place where you know you have been praying about something, but have not heard a clear yes or no. That place where sometimes you may not even know what to pray for or how to pray. That place reveals your level of trust and fellowship with God.

Ouch. Close to home? It is for me.

Will you worship him even though it seems as if there is nothing happening? Will you be ready to move when he says go here, or stay there? Will you have you prayer life in order, your finances, and your family?

How many times have we missed the perfect will of God for our lives because of a lack of preparation? It comes down to what we do in this place called waiting.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Does this mean sit on our duff and do nothing? No.

Wait means serve- it is an active verb. If you do not think so, look at your waiter next time you go into a restaurant. As he/she waits on you, they are working.

They shall mount up with wings like eagles- soaring above the turbulence and getting a different perspective... a bird's eye view... to their life and the circumstances around them.

They shall run and not be weary- life is a marathon... Paul said to press toward the mark...he ran his race...will you run yours?

They shall walk and not faint- Wow- our walk with Jesus can be a hard one. He said we would be hated for his namesake, but that we are also able to do what he did and so much more thanks to the Holy Spirit. 

Our walk may be hard, but there is restoration and healing along the way. We will not faint (fall out of our walk) if we hold tight to his love and rest in his goodness.

This place called waiting- it should not be a place of frustration, but of preparation and dedication. 

Focus in on the prize- our Lord- and all the rest will fall into place. If your treasure is anywhere else, then this place called waiting will be a pit stop on the road to stagnation and apathy.

What have you been waiting for? 

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Mountains - To Climb or Not to Climb?

Big or small mountains are not fun to climb. Each of us has them- at one time or another- and every time we face a new one the challenge can seem insurmountable. 

I know that when I have looked back at some of the mountains I have faced in my life, one of two things go through my mind.

1- "I called THAT a mountain?" or 2- "I know that only God brought me through THAT!" 

If you are alive, and I would hope that if you are reading this it means you still have a pulse- you have faced mountains. You might be facing one now. I am just writing this to encourage you to be strong.

Easy to say right?

Well, I can honestly say- no- it is not easy. Intellectually and spiritually when facing a mountain we can feel insignificant or overwhelmed. I have been there. I know. Have I faced every mountain with faith, composer, dignity, strength, and determination? No- but I know it can be done, because my Lord said it can be.

"Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to thismountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done". Matthew 21:21

You might be thinking- 'Dayna- you don't know- my mountain is so big I can't even seem to get out of bed today'. This is the enemy and his name is depression.

Depression can be mild, (man I am bummed I did not get that job!) or it can be severe (thoughts of suicide, mood swings, uncontrolled malaise, and general apathy toward your situation and your world).

First Things First

First I have to say that if you feel like you are in severe depression- seek medical help. Your regular physician can diagnose and treat you. You do not have to seek out a therapist right away, but you should. If you are suicidal TELL SOMEONE NOW. Help is available. (more on this later)

Personally I have dealt with depression. I have had postpartum depression, clinical depression, and have had to commit my husband (several years ago) to a hospital. He was so severely depressed that thoughts of suicide were all-consuming for him. I have seen both sides. I know that when you are depressed you face a mountain with little if any ability to overcome by yourself. 

But it can be done.

Jeremiah 15:20I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you," declares the LORD.

God's whole plan for man after the fall of Adam and Eve was a plan of rescue. That is why He sent Jesus. To save us. This salvation is complete and it is permanent. Just because your circumstances have changed does not mean you are not loved just as much now as when God made this plan in the first place.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." [ Isaiah 49:8] I tell you, NOW is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.


Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed— not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence— continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of LIFE...

God is in the rescue business...daily.  


Because of His unending and undying love for us. The cry of your heart, as you face your mountain- whether or not you face it depressed- is for wholeness, healing, and salvation. 

These things God provides.

Good counsel in these times- these face the mountain and can I take the next step times- is imperative. 

If you attend a good church, seek help with your pastor. They are the sheep with bells on. They are on the fore-front of ministry and are down in the trenches with you. This is a great place to seek Biblical and (most importantly) Holy Spirit guidance for your life. 

If you don't have a good church, find one. If church is not something you think you can handle, get over yourself. We all need a family, and though flawed, a church family can add tremendous support when going through "it".

The Father said:

Psalm 32:8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

The psalmist said:

Psalm 73:24You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Glory. Sounds like standing on top of that Mountain doesn't it?

Facing mountains, especially if you feel you are facing one alone can be daunting. But you do not have to be alone. The Lord made you, called you to be His, and longs to love you through the biggest circumstances...all the way to glory.

If you have never prayed before, or if the closest you came to praying was at the dinner table, then talk to the Father now. That is all prayer is...talking to the Father.

"Father, you see where I am and all that I have done and been in my life. Forgive me for my short comings and bring me to life. Thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for Jesus. Amen"

You are now God's child, his son or daughter. If you are already His, and feel that the mountain is too big, remember there is NOTHING too big for God. When He is for us, who (or what) could possibly stand against us?

When you look at the greatness of the Father, and his sheer awesome ability to bring you out of any situation- mountains begin to look like mo-hills...

What kind of mountain are you facing right now?

If you liked this post read more about battling Depression God's way here. 

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