If My Scars Could Talk

We’ve been doing a series at my church called the doctrine of sex. My first thought was, “Whoa, we shouldn’t be talking about the “S” word in the church of all places.” However, the church is the place where God’s truth, in the midst of a perverse world, is supposed to be proclaimed. The question became, “Why aren’t more churches coming against the tide?”
For me, this sermon serious began to stir up a lot of emotion. It would have been easy for me to sit with my head held up high while holding my husband’s hand, pretending we have had the perfect marriage. I wish we could say we fell head over heels in love, kept ourselves pure for just for this special time in history, bought a house with a white picket fence and raised our children and lived happily ever after.
However, my scars proclaim a different story.
You see, I started off my marriage journey broken; I started my journey of mothering broken.
BUT! God restored me. He saw me. He knew me.
“I will lift my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Isreal shall neither slumber  nor sleep.” Psalm 121: 1-4
In the deep pit of unworthiness…
 He showed me that I was loved beyond measure and even though I’d given myself away to others and was shattered into a thousand pieces. He would be the one to make me whole again. My mind could be free of all the visions that a young child should not have seen. My mind could be free of all the depravity. My ears could be silenced from lies that were told to me.
In the clutches of an identity crisis…
I found that my identity could be secure in Christ. I was not dirty and used up because grown men wanted to make me feel that way. I was not cowardly because I wanted to protect those around me from harm, which meant I would say nothing. I was a child who wanted to be secure and loved by someone. I needed a safe place to run, but I could not find one. Even in that dark place, I was seen by God in the dark corner of my soul. He would be the one to raise me out of that pit and give me His name. I would be declared righteous. I would know longer have to search for a name because my Lord would call me: chosen, righteous, redeemed, saint, beloved, whole, complete, and His.
In the shackles of unforgiveness…
I found the grace to forgive. I had to release so my God could heal. By me walking around with festering wounds, I was letting the poison ooze onto every area of my life. I was bitter. I was angry; however, I knew I could not stay in that place. The desire of freedom was too strong. I wanted to be free. I wanted a strong marriage. I wanted to start a new healthy branch on my family tree. I had to turn to the One who would make all things new. I had to turn to the One who would cause good to come from the bad. I had to turn to the One who could transform hearts and take the consuming thoughts captive. He causes the weak to be strong. He is a refuge.
My friend, let my life be a living testimony to you. God sees your pain. He wants to reach down deep and heal those open wounds. Don’t be ashamed to seek help if you need it. One day you will be able to look down at your beautiful scar, and it will shout praises to God.
 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confessions. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” Heb. 4: 14-16.

I am linked up at Live Free Thursdsay with Suzie Eller. Come check it out!

Confident, Who Me? (revisted)

Looking back over my life, I would never describe myself as a woman with confidence. However, as the years have gone by the Lord has taken me through various trails and victories, my confidence has increased and is increasing immensely. Along the way (and depending on the day:), I had to realize  my confidence wasn’t based off the things I do. It was solely based off my relationship with Jesus and who He is in my life.

Here is what has to say about the word confident: 1. Having strong belief or full assurance; sure: confident of fulfillment. 2. Sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness. 3. Excessively bold; presumptuous. Did you catch that?

Having no uncertainty about one’s own ability.

Personally, I’ve had plenty of uncertainties about my own abilities, and this often led to struggles with my self-confidence; furthermore, In the midst of all those uncertainties, I would forget to turn to God for direction and strength; instead I would let the lies of this world shape who I wanted to be. Let’s take a look at what the world describes as a confident woman:

She pushes her way through life with her head erected high not letting anything, so it seems, get in her way. She appears to have it all together. Everything on her life’s list seems to be checked off. She seems fulfilled. The outer appearance is in check, especially when comparing herself to other women. She is bold and presumptuous, even at the expense of other people’s feelings. She doesn’t need to summit to anyone because she is her own person and has a mind of her own (I wanted to be this woman).

Now let’s look at the confident woman of God. She too has her head held high, but not because she thinks she’s all that, but because she knows the One true giver of all things. She is clothed in the splendor of her Lord. She doesn’t have to judge others because she knows from what she has been forgiven. She is busy going about the work that has been given to her. She knows where her source of energy comes from. She can willingly submit to the authority around her because she knows God is the ultimate authority in her life. She can lay her head down each night knowing she has served well, loved well, and given all to the glory of the Lord (I want to be this woman).

Believe me when I say… It is a battle. Also, I can say with confidence, I am a work in progress, as I am sure we all are. However, let us all pursue God in a way that we too will be able to stand with our heads held high. And not because of any great accomplishments we have done, but because of who Christ is in our lives. May we have full assurance that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). As we grow in this true confidence, may others begin to see women who are radiating the reflection of God’s glory.

For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.  Prov. 3:26

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.
 Prov. 14:26

Thank you so much for loving us……

I don’t even know where to begin. Aug. has come and gone, and it has been quite the month for the Crosby’s. We have so much to be thankful for. The celebrations seemed as if they were never ending during this month; however, I could not have done it without many hands and the willingness of others to help bring about celebration, joy, and jubilee to our family…

First, my husband celebrated his 50th birthday. What better way to celebrate than to go the the lake for a day of swimming, jet skiing, and eating s’mores by the camp fire; however, we had no idea that the lake was going to be nearly dried up and it would practically take carrying the jet skis past the deep mud to get it into deeper waters. We had no idea that getting rained on would be considered a blessing to cool us off from the hot blazing sun because we had no shade. Thank you to my friends who stuck with us on this day of uncertainty so that in the end it turned out to be day that my husband would remember for a long time.

Friends that are family…

Second, baby shower for my daughter-n-love. It was such a sweet time. A big thank you to all who came and showered her with gifts and love. It was kind of surreal to me, because those who know me well know how long I’ve been anticipating becoming a grandmother.The day was finally here! All my many prayers for a new legacy and deep firm roots in my family were continuing to be established through my first born son. Not only was I being blessed with a new grandbaby, I was also blessed with my precious granddaughter, Sawyer. Bonus! God is good!

Children are a blessing from the Lord and so are good friends..

Finally, this one is bittersweet. I was amazed at all who showed up to help celebrate and send Meranda off to college. We even had family come in from Detroit:) The day started off with rain, but with a lot of pleading and tearful prayers-all mine… ( Yes, the main reason was I didn’t know how I was going to squeeze 70 people into my house 🙂 The weather cleared up and it was tons of fun. Thank you, Jesus! So many of you helped shape my daughter into the woman she is today. As she steps out into the world, she will carry the kind words of encouragement, the love of many, and her faith in Jesus that has been enriched and strenghted because of you. As her mom, I am truly grateful.

A friend loves at all times….

As you can see so much to be thankful for. The cherry on the top was after, Evaleigh Denise Crosby, was born to Anthony and Emily on Aug. 19th. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend everyday at the hospital with the happy couple, and I was able to travel home with them and spend 8 days loving on my grandbabies. Oh, Jesus, I don’t deserve any of this; however, I am thankful that through Your grace You see fit to bless me anyway.

Mother’s Day Blog!

My son, Anthony, and I wrote this. The first part is his, and I wrote the second part:)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. – 2 Tim. 1:5

The Apostle Paul opens this letter to his young disciple, pastor, and friend Timothy, He starts with a moment of thanksgiving for Timothy’s sincere faith. He thanks the Lord for Timothy and his call to serve God’s people. He’s encouraged by Timothy’s faith and states that this faith also dwelt in His mother and Grandmother. What an amazing thing for Paul to stop and thank God for! Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s mother and grandmother respectively) are mentioned in the Bible…for being mother’s of faith! This should also encourage us as parents as we see the importance and value God puts on motherhood in this text. And as Timothy heard this, I’m sure he remembered back to the times when his mother would always seek to point him back to the arms of the Lord. And I’m sure he himself was thankful for this. As I look back at my own story, I can relate to this emotion. I look back at my own mother who always sought to lead her children back to the redemptive story of God. I remember when she did this with a great smile on her face, as she would see her kids become leaders in the church, read their bibles, get baptized etc. But I also remember the times when the fruits of her faithfulness weren’t so evident. I remember the times when things got so hard and frustrating, she would have to go upstairs, and lock herself in her room for a bit. I’m not sure what went on behind those doors, but I’m sure it involved a lot of tears and a lot of prayer. However, what I remember most was her coming out of her room, going back to her kids, and still reminding them of the cross. She endured. All that said, I know she would not stand and take all of credit for that endurance. I know she was able to show her five kids this sincere faith because she knows that she herself is the daughter of the one who gives the faith, strength, and ability to do anything. She knows it takes being loved by a perfect parent to strive to be a mother with this genuine desire. She knows all she’s called to do is point us back to God and He’ll be in control of the rest. This open handed, on my knees, faith I’ve seen in my mom throughout the years still encourages me as a husband, father, and pastor today. I’m thankful she didn’t give up. I’m thankful she didn’t say “what’s the point.” I’m thankful she never truly forgot her identity. Because like Timothy, I am excited get to serve the Lord through the sincere faith first shown to me in my home.

Pastor Anthony Crosby-Family Ministries Pastor 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. – 2 Tim. 1:5 
As a mom of 5 young children, when I first read this it brought up mixed emotions. The first one was fear of my inability to raise these children I had been given…not to mention, raising them in the Lord. However, the next emotion was hope. I was filled up with hope that it was possible to teach my children the truths of God’s word, and they could be called to follow Him for themselves one day. From the time I accepted Christ into my heart, I’ve (along with my husband) had this deep desire to pass on a new heritage of faith to my children and the next generation. The good news I discovered over the years came in the fact that there wasn’t anything I could do to produce this life of faith myself or my children. It was/is all about an abiding relationship with the Lord. He alone could do the required work. You see, it was in spite of me. All It could do was trust, seek and rely on the fact that my God could do whatever work needed to be done…but to our flesh, that is not the sound advice we want to hear. We seek quick solutions. We want the a,b,c’s on how to do things. However we need to know with all of our hearrts that we alone can’t do it, but our God can! Here’s a couple of things He’s showed me along the way.
Ask….”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God..” (James 1:5). As I’ve stated, we can’t do it without Him. Ask God to begin the process. I had no clue how to raise children in the Lord, but I had a desire to know my God more through His word. I believe God knows and hears the desires of our hearts, so when we ask Him to begin the process of starting a new legacy in our family. He can start right where you are. He can start with you. Pray! Pray! Pray! It works!
Be the example…Now, I am not talking about perfection. I am talking about letting your children see your relationship with Christ lived out in the open. They don’t need to see a perfect mom. They need to see a mom in a genuine relationship with her Lord. Let them see it lived out in the daily life. Let them see that you live in your Heavenly Father’s grace and mercy each and everyday, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let them see that you believe that your God is big enough, wise enough, rich enough to supply all your needs.
I know there are others who join me in the unique season I am in right now. I am a grandma while at the same time still raising a young son. I’ve also seen first hand how my God can take a life that is utterly broken and lost and make it whole. I’ve seen how He can hear the prayers of a mother crying in a closet and take and guide her every step of the way. My prayers for the next generation are really still the same. I pray my children will seek hard after the Lord. I pray all my grandchildren and generations to come will be rooted and grounded in the love of Chirst. I pray they will know His love that surpasses all understanding.
My sisters, you can believe without wavering….trusting and knowing God will use every detail of your life to bring about His purposes for you and your family. Nothing is wasted. Who knows, maybe God is using you to raise up a “Timothy” right now.
Denise Crosby

Change of Plans

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope..Jer. 29:11

Are you ok with your plans being interrupted? How would you handle your child getting sick the night before a big event you’ve been planning for months? What if your car won’t start the minute you need to rush off somewhere? Or, it can be something bigger  like you’ve had your life all mapped out…the career, the husband, the children. But then you have a chronic illness that is affecting your life in ways that you never dreamed of. Maybe you never expected to be divorced and a single mom. Maybe you just thought this season of life would be easier.
I wish I could sit here and tell you I have this area mastered. I wish I could say I walk in stride with every twist and turn. I wish I could be more like Abraham when He found out He was to pack all He had and move the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:1-5). I tend to relate more to the disciples when their teacher, messiah, and leader had been killed on the cross. This wasn’t part of their plan. They were confused.
However, God had a plan.
I remember being stationed in Beaufort, SC. My husband had received orders for us to move to Virginia City. I was so excited at the thought of staying on the East Coast. I would be within driving distance of my extended family. We would still be living by the ocean. I had every detail of this move already mapped out in my mind. Then, one day the news came hard….change of plans we were moving out West. And mind you, not by the coast, either. We were moving to the mountains of Coleville, Ca. I think I grieved on the couch for a week, or two.
You see, I was familiar with this part of the country. I was raised about 50 miles from that area. I met my husband in that area. However, I left a lot of brokenness and pain in that area. We as a couple left a lot of broken, fragmented pieces in that area. I did not want to go back.
I am glad my God sees the big picture.
Well, it has been 14 years since we made the move back to the West. And guess what? I survived! Big things have taken place in my life and the life of my family simply because we were right where we needed to be.
Here and now as I sit, I wish, again, I could say I don’t get upset with the change of plans. I still tend to get my hopes set so high that when life is interrupted I have to take a bit to regain my focus. I wish I could say I have it all figured out. But the good news is I don’t have to have it all figured out. Maybe that is the problem? I need to release the grip of control over every situation and be more open to what my God may be doing and accomplishing in every twist and turn in my life.
My friends, what is your response when life interruptions take place? Have you come to a place where you believe that God is in control of every aspect of your life and through the blood of Christ you have been given a new life? Every detail of our lives is being used to transform us into what He would have us to be. Some things that happen in our lives don’t make much sense in our limited thinking. And the truth is, we would try to avoid the pain and heartache that life can bring, if we had a choice. However, the very pain we would avoid is used to bring about the greatest healing in our lives. God is working in the midst. Trust Him to do the work.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

Did I leave the door open?

My heart’s prayer: Lord, You spoke, acted, and did an amazing work in my life. I need you at this very moment. Make me into what you say I should be. Mold me. Even in this time of weakness, may I show your strength. Do what you say you’ll do. I love you. I trust you. I need you.
All of a sudden everything around me was changing. This should have been nothing new to me since I lived as a military wife for over 15 years, which meant there were certainly a lot of uprooting and uncertainties that came with that lifestyle. Why were things spinning out of control now?
I have always been a person who often sought to do what was right (well, after I was transformed by the blood of Christ of course). And I must add, I never did this perfectly. I never could. I never tried (well, not all the time:) I experienced many failures along the way, I believe my God used everyone of them-nothing is wasted; However, my desire has always been to be completely consumed and used by God, even if that meant fighting a massive battle of insecurities and hard trails.
So again I ask…why was this time different? I thought I was doing ok. I was dealing with the death of my step-dad (who was like a father to me) pretty well. I was doing my best to work through the emotions and transitions of leaving a church home and family that I had known and served with for over 13 yrs. My children were transitioning into adulthood….marriage, college, starting lives on their own; however, I still had a young one to raise. Furthermore, still more transitioning was taking place. I stepped down from a ministry that I truly thought I would be in for life. Everything was changing.
Then the day came, I remember it as if it were yesterday, because everything inside me seemed to shift at the very moment…I had a sudden chest pain., which quickly started to open up an array of tests for my heart. Sitting in the doctors office during many appointments all I could think of was..why is this happening now? My son is getting married. My husband and I  are fixing to renew our wedding vows and celebrate 25 years together. These were happy times. But the underlining fear of the unknown was having a great work in me. My body was getting emotionally and physically fatigued, but I was having a hard time showing any weakness. My inner body was winning the battle. I started to have anxiety attacks. I didn’t even know what was going on. I thought this is it, I am having a heart attack right here in the middle of Costco. Normal life was becoming more and more difficult. Was I going crazy? I know there is someone reading this that can relate to the feelings that seemed to be suffocating me. 
On a brighter note, my heart checked out fine.
How did I get to this point? Did I leave a door open for satan to come in and reap havoc on my life? I know he takes pleasure in these moments. He is roaming around seeking whom he can devour. And from the beginning of creation his tactics haven’t changed one bit. He was quickly telling me I was of no use anymore. My faith was as good as worthless, and he told me I was a failure and a disappointment. I began to believe these lies for a short while, and I mean a short while. I know who my God is, and I know His voice. I know that He does not condemn. I know that He does not bring a spirit of fear, but that of peace. I know that even in the darkest moment that those moments are as bright as day to my Lord. He sees me and He holds me and surrounds me with His goodness.
The truth is:
I am found righteous in Christ
I am redeemed
I am chosen
I have power 
I am strong, even when I feel weak
I am loved no matter what, even in my darkest hour
I don’t have to do this in my own strength
Even though I was knocked down, I will get back up and continue the race with endurance. I feel like I am limping at times, but I continue to not rely on my own power and strength, but I seek and rely on the power and strength that has already been given to me by the blood of Jesus. Greater is He who is in me.
I know so many of you can relate to what I am going through, because I have walk along side some of you in your pain and struggles. I have a deeper understanding. God gives us trails and sufferings so we can in turn comfort those who may be going through the same kind of pain. Thank you to all of you who have spoke such an encouragement into my life. Thank you for opening up to me and sharing your journey with me.
It is in our time of weakness that we need God the most. It is so easy to try to feel the need to live up to some kind of standard and make others around get the impression that you got it altogether. I personally love a person who can be real and easily admit their dependency upon their Savior. This is real life abiding. This is where the real transformation takes place.  And, guess what? Jesus already won the battle, so we will walk this journey together….
 I will press on.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“Therefore, I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:26

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

Life Interrupted


One day it seemed like normal wasn’t good enough. Life as I had known it was about to change. I had a deep desire for something deeper, but I didn’t know what that something was. Now I know. Many years have passed now, and I am still having my life interrupted. I am changing. I am working through a process (sanctification). I am learning to trust more. I am learning to let go of things. I am continually taken to a place of utter dependence. Jesus!

Jesus chose to interrupt my life, and I am so glad He did. Maybe Jesus is interrupting your life at this very moment…..


 My Testimony

I will just jump right into it. When I was 5 years old my mom fell in love with a married man. The two of them decided to leave behind their spouses to run away with each other. As far back as I can remember, this is how my life began. We moved from town to town not really calling any place home, even back then I guess I was longing for some sense of belonging. My mom and step-dad have a bi-racial relationship; growing up this was no big deal, but I guess later in life this lead me to search for an identity.

Who was I?

I didn’t get reunited with my bio-dad until 10 years later. He lived in the South. I didn’t find any sense of belonging there. And I wasn’t like most of the kids I was raised up with, so I didn’t feel I belonged there either. Where did I belong?

Here begins my quest to fill that longing. I decided to turn to everything I thought would satisfy that need: alcohol, sex, stealing. I think you get the idea. When all this was not working, I thought having a baby of my own to love and cherish would be the right thing to do, so I sought out to get pregnant, which lead to my relationship with my husband. I don’t think I have to tell you it didn’t take long for this plan to fall apart. At the time, I begin to feel like all my choices in life were exhausted. This was my life so I needed to deal with it. I was hopeless.

The turning point: Well, one day things began to change. I was not looking for a Savior, but one came looking for me. I was driving home from “Reno” after a long night of partying with a girlfriend, even though I shouldn’t have been on the road. I lived two hours away. I really don’t have the words to describe what happened next. I was driving through a traffic light when things went blurry. I thought the light was green, but the next thing I knew lights and horns were blaring all around me. In that quick moment, I saw my life flashing before my eyes. I thought my life was over at that point. All I could do was close my eyes. The next thing I knew I was through the light shocked and amazed sitting on the side of the road. My life had been spared! Little did I know I was on a journey to a new life. That night was the first time I began to question life in this kind of way. What was I doing with my life? There had to be more.

I still didn’t know what any of this meant. All I know is I started to have this feeling that something was missing in my life. God started to pursue me in different ways: I came home one day and found a bible on my doorstep; I stared to notice that something was different in this mom who would often roam around our neighborhood with her children. She was actually happy and full of peace! Everything I was longing for. SHE WAS A CHRISTIAN! (Remember, someone is always watching).

Then one day…………these words came out of my mouth, “I am going down to the church chapel service (my husband was active duty in the Marine Corps). My husband about fell over in his chair. He said,” You the person with the foul mouth, the person who looked forward to every weekend just so you could go out and get drunk, the person who was always so angry that you would put holes in walls.” All I could do was sit in the chair and cry. He finally ended with, “Fine, don’t be coming home trying to get me to believe any of that crazy stuff” (Little did he know what the future had in store for him…smile).

Sunday came and it was time to head down to the chapel. When I got in the parking lot the first thought that ran though my mind was.. “What in the world are you doing?” As I was walking up to the door I noticed there was no one walking in. I was late! I went to turn around and go back to my car, when a hand reached out and touched my shoulders. It was the Chaplin himself. He asked, “Where are you going?” I said, “I don’t belong here, so I was leaving.” He slowly turned me around and walked me through the doors.

And here is the short ending, I have never turned back. I found everything I was looking for in Jesus Christ. I found the identity I was looking for. I found the peace that I didn’t even know existed. My life was forever changed. I had been blind up until the point I asked Jesus to come into my life, and now I see.

There was a lot of growth that needed to take place. And guess what? Many years later, that growth is still a work in progress. However, with confidence I can say, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ that lives in me. The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who died and gave Himself for me.”
Gal. 2:20

A Transformed Life

When bad things happen

I can’t sit here and say that I totally understand why bad things happen- national disasters, illness, death, heartache and pain. However I do seek to know my God…And I know He loves me with an everlasting love. I KNOW He is in control of all things, and He works all things out for the good.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

I live in a broken, fallen world. However, does that mean I cannot walk in the victory that Christ has already secured for me? Of course I can! I can choose to let the circumstances have work in my life. Even though my body is getting old, and my earth is groaning with birth pains. God is still active alive and working in the midst.

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:22-23

I can walk in the fact that the Spirit intercedes on my behalf. That reassurance lets me know it’s ok to fall sometimes. It’s ok if I don’t do things perfectly. It lets me know that if and when I do fall, I can get back up each and every time. I can walk one step at a time. Some days I will feel like taking giant leaps, and then other days I will walk each step minute by minute.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

I can walk in authenticity…letting others in. I don’t have to put on a mask and fake like everything is ok. I found the definition of the greek word “hypocrite”..hypokrites, which means- play for actor stage player where mask to hide their true self. Exposure is no fun; however, true genuine work and healing can take place when there is realness. Infact, others that have walk the same journey can be of great comfort.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

I can continue on a journey of a transformed life. I can also know that I can find my resting place in Christ, a place where only He can minister to me. Sometimes, the simple question is, do I continue down the same path that leads to destruction, or do I run to the one who knows me like no other and let Him begin His healing work in me?

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

Like I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t totally have this all figured out. Recently, I had to walk through the final days of my step-dad, who was like a father to me. As almost two months have gone by, I am still walking through the process of it all. I am learning that it is just that… a process. The follow things I wrote were just that …me processing. I pray that if anyone else is going through a season of grief that this will point you in the direction of Christ and His love for you. I pray for you to take comfort in the simple fact that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the end. (Phil. 1:6) And, please seek help if need be. There are trusted friends, mentors, counselors that I am sure would love to walk this journey with you. If you let me know, I would love to be praying for you. There is power in prayer!

I found great comfort in this verse: 

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:1

The Simple Things

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Our family had just finished up our one week fun-filled vacation, which included 3 days at Disneyland, 2 days at the ocean and two days of travel. Due to a limited budget, we had to be very creative in how we were going to do this money wise. We decided to pull our travel trailer, which would allow us to stay at cheaper rates via a campground, compared to a hotel. I made a food menu and packed all the meals for each night. And because the five of us could not fit into our 28 foot trailer, we had to bring a tent. Did I mention it was the beginning of December?

Is that roughing it or what?

In my spoiled-american way of thinking, I was roughing it (Please don’t think any less of me). I didn’t have the nice fine hotels that I saw other tourist getting dropped off at as we rode the shuttle back to our campground. I didn’t have the cash, and I wasn’t willing to use credit cards to purchase the over-priced food and souvenirs I saw others around me buying. Not us, we headed back to our campsite to eat our sandwiches. Did I mention I didn’t even have running water in the trailer? The waterline broke the first night in the trailer, which meant I had to cook outside and go out and “fetch” the water every time we needed it. How about this, while my son was sleeping in the tent, someone came in while he was sleeping and stole his Verizon pad and his ipod, not to mention, my husband’s bike. Now I know you really are going to feel sorry for me. The neighboring RV’s around us were luxurious and had multiple slide outs, while our travel trailer only had one slide out. I know I sound pretty sickening…

Bear with me….I come around to my senses…

How did I get to this place where I rated the value of my life on what my materials consisted of? Is the degree of my worth, or that of my family, based off the assets we walk around with? As I began to refocus my thinking, I began to see the joy in the mist of the simplicity of life (And, I know maybe not even what some would call simplicity). We were forced to lay aside all the electronics and simply listen to each other. My third son quickly discovered that I was the Yahtzee champion of the world. I didn’t rely on Facebook updates and Instagram pics to keep me entertained. We got to spend every evening while we where at Disneyland watching the fireworks boom over our heads. We spent the evenings sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. I was living in the simple moment of life realizing that time was going by way too fast.

Nobody, at first glance, probably walked by our “homestead” at the campground and said, Wow! Look at the nice luscious trailer! But if only they could see the precious memories that were being made inside, that life isn’t measured by how much money is in the bank or what kind of “big people toys” one owns. I needed a good shaking and a wake up call. I’m embarrassed of were I was letting my thoughts take me. However, I know I am not alone. We are all so consumed with so much. And if we stopped to slow down long enough, I think we would see that we are focusing on the wrong things.

What are your thoughts and lifestyle saying about you? Where is your focus?

Blog post: What is Your Lifestyle Saying?

Motherhood: What I Learned

My husband and I have some pretty amazing children. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a mom now for over 24 years. I had no idea what this motherhood thing was all about. But my journey was sure filled with twist and turns around every corner. And in the end, I came out stronger, even with every scrap and bruise. He was transforming me. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

There will be days when you’re so tired, you feel like you’re going to break. But you don’t. Infact, one day you will look back and see you actually grew and where stronger than you thought.

You will do anything to protect your child. Let’s just call this attitude, Mama Bear.

Your heart grows with each child. It doesn’t matter whether you have 1 or 10.

You will often feel like you are failing and ruining your kids. (Did I say, OFTEN?)

Daily, you get to teach your children about grace and forgiveness through your own life as you seek to work imperfectly by God’s grace. And there will be plenty of moments of seeking to extend grace and to seek forgiveness.

There will be days you feel like giving up……claiming God chose the wrong woman for this job…Than a good day comes and you realize you’re right where God wants you to be.

You learn that a loving, committed relationship with your husband matters. 

You get to a point where you realize you can’t do this mothering on your own. You need God’s strength and wisdom daily. And the connection that other “mommy friends” and “older women” bring.

You learn that walking by example goes a lot further than just spouting out a bunch of rules.

You realize you aren’t the same anymore. You are changing and growing and maturing along the way. Every decision you make impacts the life of your child.

As your children continue to grow up, you learn that you can’t be their “Savior”. Your child needs the have their own faith and walk with Christ.

You learn quickly that you can’t protect them from everything. And one day you will have to release them into the world. You will wonder if you taught them enough. You didn’t! But God is continuing His work in them. Our prayer can be that they would know and believe in Jesus with their whole heart and strength.

A mother’s faith is what unlocks the treasure of mothering. I’ve had many different emotions throughout my years of mothering. It’s through my faith that I am doing something far greater than I can ever accomplish on my own, this gives me great joy! I have been given the special privilege of raising God’s child….He chose me!…He chose you!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1