40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years

      This time seven years ago, I wrote a post entitled 33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years. Today, I turned 40 and decided to update what I listed then (in purple) and add seven more life lessons (although I'm sure I could think of more)! Polka dots and hot pink make me smile. (and ruffled sleeves and ankle boots) There are few sounds that bring as much joy as a baby belly laughing. (especially when it's your grandbaby) Marriage is hard work, but oh so worth it. (and gets sweeter with time) There is a huge difference between a job, a career and a calling. (and the magic happens when you can combine all three) When people say “enjoy these moments because they grow up so fast” they are not exaggerating one bit.  Kids literally grow up in the … [Read more...]

Transformed

I have chosen a word to live by each new year for several years. It is always a profound experience because most of the time the word I choose ends up having a completely different meaning to me by the end of the year than intended when I chose it. Last year, my one word was EMBRACE. I had started the year off with the intention of embracing whatever God had in store for me, not knowing or ever imagining the magnitude and depth of the valleys that I would need to embrace. Embracing felt like colliding into a brick wall repeatedly but having that word in the back of my mind helped me at least attempt to maintain focus on Jesus through it all. I started praying about my one word several weeks ago. I was spending a lot of time in prayer about other things as well as our family was being … [Read more...]

It’s All A Miracle

"I'm a nurse so I have to ask.  Why do you wear the medical ID bracelet?" An innocent question. A fairly simple answer. "I have a blood clotting disorder so I am on blood thinners....and I almost died of a pulmonary embolism in 2008". Her face paled.  She told me that one of her best friends had a pulmonary embolism two weeks after giving birth several years ago and had passed away. I am a miracle. Working as an Admissions Coordinator in a health care facility, I encounter all types of sad and dire health situations.  Terminal cancer, unexpected strokes that completely alter quality of life and other unfortunate circumstances. I contrast that with my work with teen moms.  The miracle of a new life.  The excruciating difficulty of watching moms make poor choices.  The amazing moments … [Read more...]

{day 12}Walk in Faith

Sweet Pea is taking her first tentative steps. She much prefers furniture walking-- holding on to the couch, a chair or even my leg-- to letting go and walking on her own.  When she realizes she is standing without support, she sits down.  As believers, we can become furniture walkers too. We say and think we are giving control to God but in reality we cling to the things that make us feel in control and secure. Sometimes, when we realize we aren't holding on to anything tangible we sit down too. In the pursuit of a clean heart, we must be willing to deal with our tendency toward unbelief. How many times does God have to come through for us before we let go of the furniture? We have this pseudo sense of control.  We fool ourselves into thinking we can handle situations in our own … [Read more...]

Living Faith, Dead Faith

Last week, in James chapter 1 we discovered three things that define a religion {faith walk} that is acceptable to God. keeping a tight rein on our tongue {James 1:26} caring for widows and orphans {the needy} in their distress {James 1:27a} keeping ourselves from being polluted by the world  {James 1:27b} Now for chapter 2. If I lived in Florida I would grow a grapefruit tree in my backyard.  I love grapefruit.  I would tend to the tree {however one tends to a grapefruit tree} and as a result I would expect the grapefruit tree to product luscious grapefruits that I could eat for breakfast and juice for whenever. Because grapefruit trees are designed to bear grapefruit. Likewise, I am a tree planted by the Living Water, expected to produce fruit in due season {Psalm 1:3} The … [Read more...]

The Monster

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues.  You can't separate them.  They're wedded.  ~Henry Miller I remember well the days that perfectionism consumed my life. I suppose I came by the desire quite naturally.  A father who demanded more than the best.  Raised by grandparents whose accomplishments lined the walls.  Perpetuating the "family hedge"...that no matter what was truly going on, we put our "best face" forward to the world. Every mistake I made was punctuated by the fact that I was, yet again, incapable of grasping the elusive perfection that seemed to come so easily for others. I carried this knee buckling burden into adulthood for many years.  Perfectionism twisted itself into a suffocating need for control at all … [Read more...]

Radically Changed

She was pretty. She was fast. She was fun. She was purple (Tungsten grey to be exact). She was an impulsive, reckless choice. She was part of my American dream. I really thought I had arrived, way back in May 2006, when the hubby and I purchased my pretty, fast, fun and purple Mustang with racing stripes.  I was rapidly climbing the corporate ladder and drowning out the call of the Holy Spirit by working harder, spending harder and "accomplishing" as much as I possibly could. It took a while but the Holy Spirit won.  Through the dark valleys of 2007 and 2008 and the roller coaster of following God's lead in 2009, He won.  I am so glad He did.  But, to be completely honest, I often find myself mentioning how much I miss my car. And after reading chapter one of Radical (Taking Back … [Read more...]

I am willing

I have long known one of the major areas God wanted me to minister in, I just didn't like it.  But ever since I wrote this post in October of last year God has been revealing His path for my life right now.  I didn't like it.  Until I surrendered to it.   Now I am truly in awe of what a mighty God we serve and what He can accomplish through our willingness to lay down our "likes" to be used for His glory. There are many stories in my life that God can use to illustrate His redemptive love.  Some I am more comfortable with sharing than others.  But the words (probably a paraphrase) of Beth Moore echo in my heart- God is not concerned with our comfort, He is concerned with our calling.  And in the last few weeks I have witnessed first hand the amazing power of God coupled with a willing … [Read more...]

Relationship Restoration

I just got off the phone with my dad. We talked about my brothers, his work, my family and church stuff.  We just chatted about anything and everything. So?  You talked to your dad on the phone.  Whoopie, right? Well, it is a big deal.  A miracle of God's restorative power kind of big deal. Until February of last year, my dad and I had not spoken in thirteen years. And every time we speak since I am amazed at what God can do when we choose to forgive and allow relationships to be restored. (Do I think that every relationship needs to be restored for true forgiveness to take place? No and my friend Brooke does a beautiful job of talking about that in greater detail here) Back in the fall of 2008, while I was recovering from the medical emergency that nearly took my life, I was … [Read more...]

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