A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bring Back What Was Lost

If I told you that you can live life slow and enjoy company on a Sunday, would you believe me?

If I told you there was a way to have Sunday dinner and invite a few friends over with out worrying about every little detail of the house being clean, would you invite people over and enjoy their fellowship?

If I told you, you could bring back the traditions and recipes, the routines and the way of life that was had years ago by our Grandparents, would you find a way to restore what was lost?

Do you know what we have lost over the years? Do you know what we are losing?

Those ways may seem old fashioned, out of date, but are they really? Look back and see how strong the structure of God and family were.....How strong this country once was because of that foundation and structure. When God started to be pushed out and families started to fall apart, so didn't the communities which began the break down of this nation. Don't believe me? Go back and look at history, it does not lie.

Can I tell you that I believe technology is a (not so necessary) evil........

When God communicates, He tugs and pulls on heart strings. Speaks over and over the very thoughts you have in your head until you get it. Until you hear Him. I've heard Him tell me in the past not to worry so much about a perfect house, invite people over anyway. They are not there to visit your house. They are there to fellowship with you. Does that mean you shouldn't tidy up? Of course you should, but not to the point that people feel like they are visiting  a glass house.

Can I tell you about my Great Grandmother who always had the table set with her very best china. "You never know who might come knocking at your door."  Even if it was just coffee and biscuits, she always had something to offer you. And by the way I used to love to put her homemade jelly on those biscuits........

When did we stop knocking on people's doors on a Sunday afternoon? Or any day for that matter?

It's heartbreaking to me how we have lost so much over the years. All because we are too busy. All because texting and FaceBooking have become our means of fellowship. All because we don't want to entertain the thought of someone coming in our home to see that people actually do live here and they are normal everyday people with the socks under the couch just like you and me.

Do you want to know how to restore America? It's not as hard as you think. No, you don't have to break out your Grandmother's best china. Although you could if you wanted to.  It starts around the dinner table. Start making your meals from scratch. You don't have to be perfect at it. Everybody had to start somewhere. Sit with your family, Pray with your family. Enjoy a good wholesome meal with your family. Strong families are the ones that communicate. No better way to communicate than around the dinner table filled with food!

America needs God first and foremost. But America also needs her families put back together again. God can put your family back together again.

Then after you have practiced up by fellow-shipping with your family, Try inviting a few friends over for Sunday dinner after church.

Leave the Door Open. My family and I started Open Door Sunday at our home a few years ago. It's been changed and rearranged over and over until we discovered what works best. We started strong with family, but then suddenly realized that we weren't getting any new faces and Me, I was pregnant and there were days it was just too hard. So we took a break for a while and then Opened our door back up. Every third Sunday we invite some friends  from church to come over and fellowship. Yes we still get together with family but, mostly on Holidays. And then there are those random occasions we just invite people over no matter what day it is.

Restoring what we lost means restoring God back to His rightful spot. He will restore your family. Then we restore our fellowship with our neighbors. Invite them over. Build a strong community.  Lean on each other. Put the texting and FB away while you are visiting. Let them know they are important to you!

And as you become better at opening your door ask your Grandparents and other relatives about old recipes and traditions. They need to be written down. We need to stop losing our past because their future depends on it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little boy and his dog

Some days life pulls the rug out from under you...Knocks the wind out of your sail......And then the night comes heavy and you feel you can't breathe with all the weight of the world heavy on your chest....

Little man took a hard blow yesterday. Found out that sometimes life is just too short. And oh if we could have a do over, I believe we would all go back and do some things differently.

And yet again so many times we may not get second chances........

Big brother sends him home trying to protect little man from what's about to take place. Some things you just shouldn't see no matter what.

Little man comes in the door unaware his little dog won't be following him to take the garbage out anymore. Won't be riding on the back of the mule the way she always had.....And my heart is beating fast. He asks me why he had to come home. One look in my eyes and he knew his little world was about to cave in around him. I held him real close trying to absorb the tears. Told him it was best she didn't suffer.

And how do you go about telling a little boy "everything will be okay" when he just lost his best friend? I tell him, "remember her happy".....He nods his head and agrees that's how he sees her.

I take him up to the shop, his Daddy comes out of the office calls him here and pulls him close. Little boy trying to be a man in front of his Dad, but the tears just don't stop. Daddy tells him the lessons to be learned by losing.....Most times those lessons are the hardest ones to learn, but they are the ones that make us stronger.....The ones that make us real and touchable. Ones that help us to encourage others in the future. Lessons that teach us to be careful, not only with pets but even more importantly with little baby sisters as well.

Big brother gives him a hug tells him he's been there more times than he can count, comes back home with us so he can help put his little dog to rest.

And yet there are blessings that come out of tragedy....

The Blessing of a close knit family reveals itself through death. Brothers and sisters they will quarrel, but when life gets hard, oh how beautiful it is to see them rally around the one that's hurt. To watch the love of a Daddy encompass his son and to hear him speak tender words in quiet ways to reassure him we are all here to help him through this.

Not too long ago little man had helped a family friend bury his dog that had died in a tragic accident. Little man stayed strong and helped dig the grave.....

Little man's heart overwhelms me........Little man has been shining very bright lately......And I ache because just maybe he has been shining this bright all along and I'm just now beginning to notice.......Mama is still learning life lessons too....Just life lessons of a different kind.

On the bright side, I see a puppy in our future!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ship Wrecked

I've been questioned about my Faith...... been asked how I know when God shows up. And do I really hear him talking?

God shows up when you show faith.....Faith shows up when you show trust.....Trust shows up when you see Truth....And Truth shows up when you read His word.....

I have a conscience inside my head that seems to be running as my compass. With out that compass I'd be shipwrecked. The Captain captivated my heart and has been teaching me all about this sin soaked world and how to navigate the storms of this life for 20 years now.

And yes beloved, I had those over board moments when I thought I be lost at sea. When the waves seemed too overwhelming for this girl's heart to bare......

But He always seems to have a life vest right there waiting for me. He pulls me back on board, dries me off, calms me down and somehow I'm able to navigate through with Him at the helm.

I'm amazed when I see all the ways God shows up........

He showed up in my kids all last week.....Showed up and showed out......Two of my children went to Global Youth last week and came home captivated......Came home knowing with out a doubt That Christ lives in the very intimate places of their hearts. He grabbed hold, moved some stuff around threw some stuff out and made more room for His navigational equipment. He made room and filled their hearts with more of His love. And oh how I love to see them so filled up that they are about ready to explode!

Showed up in little man.....When I thought I was the one teaching him all about loving others as you would love yourself.....He pipes up and says, "But Mama I love you more than I love myself." As this Mama's heart swells to the point of feeling like it's going to burst......I was the one that actually needed to learn the lesson and little man was the one God used to teach me again. Little man's heart is huge! I've seen him worry about loved ones when he was unsure of their future. I've been there when he needed to talk about important God things.......I've tried to answer questions that were too smart for me to answer.......And at the age of 9 he gets it!

Butterfly girl sits in a bean bag chair, feet propped up, bible open.......If there ever was a better place to put your nose,I have yet to find it......and she amazes me with her love for reading and the Bible is at the top of her list.

This Mama sounds proud and maybe to a certain extent that might be true......But I am more humbled by God moving in and stirring their hearts......It's not about me or my man.....It's all about God. And he gets the glory. He gets the honor. He gets the praise.....

He is the moral compass guiding our family's ship. With out Him we would all be Shipwrecked!

You wanna know about my faith?.......Faith is in the fruit that we bare. Faith is in the hard times when we put our trust in the one true God and even though we are hanging on by what it seems is just a thread, He's tugging the string and reeling us back in.

Faith is knowing that with out Him I would of stayed the same......I would of stayed ship wrecked.....And Beloved if you knew me then and compare me to now, you would know with out a doubt that there is A GOOD, LOVING and GRACIOUS GOD.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Beauty of Truth

 These ancient old steps and paths have seen many travelers from all walks of life. Shaded by 200 year old pine and oak trees. Their paths seem so dauntingly dark from a distance and yet the closer you get to them the more the light  reveals each step.
Reminds me so much of this life. How we look at our paths and wonder how can we navigate in such darkness. And sometimes we find darkness and stay and beg for the light to show us the way.
If there is a Christ dwelling then He is your light source. And the closer you walk with Him, the more light He shines on your path. Yes sometimes we sit in the dark places and spaces of this life and we ask why? Those are the times that we either draw closer or pull further away.

What are God's desires? He desires you. He desires that you choose Him. And most times the only moments we find the time to talk to Him is when anger or fear sets in. Can I tell you something Beloved, He wants to hear from you in all the ways, all the small ways of your life. Even in the ways that you think would never really matter, they truly matter to Him.

Reading the Book of Hosea this morning.....In that book you will find a loving, forgiving, merciful God....But you will also find a jealously, seeking loyalty kind of God. Who like every loving Father disciplines His children because He wants to see them walk the paths of life in the light.

His love and devotion prove true and He will allow nothing to destroy what has been established and He will do everything to preserve it......In the end of this Book His Loyalty wins the hearts of His people and they come to their senses giving Him the love He so fervently desires.

And when you walk out into the open and your path reveals life....Oh the Beauty of TRUTH shall be revealed.

Your path may seem dark right now, but God wants your undivided attention. He wants you to trust that He is the light to see you through to the other side. And Beloved, you just may be overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. The destination you were so fearful of was just a path you needed to take to get that much closer to a Loyal, Jealous, Loving, Merciful and Gracious God.....

The beauty of TRUTH is at the end of the well lit path.

'You are my People!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!' Hosea 2:23

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

God Bless this Mess

Mama friend stops by to pick up farm fresh eggs. I run to the pantry as she walks into my kitchen, sink all filled with dishes, counter tops all grimy. I smile and ask her how her day is going....She smiles back, tells me it could be better.

I laugh and I invite her to look around, because my days aren't perfect. She asks about our schoolroom, I bring her back through, past the couch filled with folded up clothes and towels. I pray she looks down so she won't trip on my 3 year old's toys scattered about.

We come back to the kitchen and we agree that there never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done. My flower girls sits at the table I glance over to discover she has opened 4 yogurt cups all at once. I look at my Mama friend as I shake my head.

All my days aren't perfect.

And some how I believe we can minister through the mess.

She walks out the back door big smile of relief. I ask her "Doesn't it make you feel good to know that your not alone in this Mama journey?"

And she says "You know, it's really refreshing to see that someone else is not perfect just like me."

I tell her, "This is life"..............

And how many of us want the Better Homes and Garden picture in the magazine to be what our home should look like?

How many of us lose our way?  How many of us forget why we are here because we obsess over what is not real?

My house isn't always messy. There are days when everything just seems to fall into place. Laundry all folded and put away. Dish washer humming, Ice tea brewing, Washing machine sloshing and supper all baking in the oven. Those next to perfect days, they do happen.......But just as real as they are, the not so good days are just as real.

What matters is that we are real and tangible to the moldable little souls that call us Mama. You must ask yourself.....When you were a child, what do you remember the most? A Mama who never had time for you because she was too busy making her Home into a perfect Better Homes and Garden photo? Or a Mama that took time to be with her children and let some things slide through out her day?..... I don't know about you but, I remember time spent with Mama

We can always wake up striving to be that Mama that God wants us to be. I truly don't think God cares about the photo perfect Home in the magazine half as much as He cares about you and I being the best Mama we can be to those God given blessings down the hall.

God Bless this mess cuz every day life happens here. And we all know life is not perfect this side of heaven.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lay Your Bible On The Table

The book lays open through out the day. When ever I get the chance and I'm passing through a room I stop, I sit and I soak in nutrients for my soul.

With my busy life and a teething baby it's hard to have a strict schedule. So I do the best I can and leave it open on the table in the kitchen or I bring it to the living room to catch a glimpse while I rock my baby.

If you want your children to have passion, let them see you read with passion. Let them know that you are willing to try anything just to get some Bible time in. Let them see how important it is to you.....how important Christ is to you.

Children are like mirrors...they image who they spend most of their time with. And Mama I believe whether you stay at home or you work out of the home, BE THAT MIRROR! As much as you can.....Even as tired as you are, they need to see what truly matters to you......They will see what matters to you.

There is no other way to stay grounded, filled up, replenished........If you try and live life with out Him, eventually you will crash and burn. 

Give everything over to Him. Lay it at His feet. Let him be in charge. The one that keeps your emotions in check and your heart guarded. You need Him Mama. I need Him........

And don't we all become rushed and we can't seem to find the time. May I make a suggestion?

Lay your Bible on the table. Any where in a central location. Leave it open. And when you pass it by, it's okay to stop every once in a while and soak in a few verses. It truly is better than nothing at all.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random Ramblings?

There are many things that one can do to walk further away from Christ...Here are a few that come to mind.

1. Live like you have already arrived on the wisdom train.
 For when you feel you have finally arrived, it is then that you have just begun. Always remember you will never run out of room to learn and grow! If you find that trouble always seems to follow you. You must ask the question...Who am I following?

2. Live like you are the supreme Judge of all who may cross your path.
 We are all far from perfect.....I love the way "The Message" reveals this verse-
Matthew 7: 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
I often wonder about people that always place blame on others and never take the blame for themselves.... The ones that never do anything wrong.....I'm leery of them. Can they really be that perfect? Can they really never have any part in the wrong that's being done?

3. Live like you were never given GRACE.
To Show Jesus and His undeniable LOVE....We must learn GRACE. Grace does not come shouting...Grace comes gently but, firmly holding those in need, accountable in such a way that they see GRACE attainable.

An Beloved when you find yourself doubting and your head is spinning with all that makes you dizzy.....Dig deep and pull up faith. For blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe. Doubting is healthy, because doubting makes us curiously dig for facts. Makes us seek His face. And the more we seek His face the more we will find TRUTH. The more you will find Him in all the places and spaces that you once thought were filled with doubt. 

Be still and know that HE is GOD......When we are still, God MOVES in and stirs our hearts. He takes all that is broken and redeems the shattered pieces. He builds this beautiful mosaic and lets His light shine through the shards........Oh Beloved can't you just see your stained glass window?

Walking closer to Christ means: Always live knowing you have room to GROW. Live without Judgement, If you are with out sin you may cast the first stone. Live with Grace over flowing. Truly Understand what it cost for Him to give you GRACE. Be still and seek His face and the doubt will have no room to take up residence in your heart........

I write what's on my heart and many times I don't know why God has placed in me the passion to share things that may seem totally random to me But, I have to have faith that what I write is never random to Him!

May God bless your walk with Christ as you and I continue to grow and press on........ 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lessons on the Farm

I can't say that I grew up on a farm......

But what I can say is that I grew up in a one red light town with rabbits caged in hutches out in my back yard. Mama had a garden full of Swiss chard and there were black berries as big as our thumbs out behind the old garage that no longer stands.

I can tell you that I spent many a weekend riding hay wagons and walking dirt roads. And my sister and I just couldn't get enough of chasing them old Muscovy Ducks up on my Grandmother's farm.

We would walk the pasture afraid of that old bull Because Uncle Ponch and Uncle Dave would tell us stories of how that old bull charges at the sight of red. And me? My favorite pair of jeans were red bell bottoms. I wore them all the time.

Daddy had a tractor named Susie and she would pull a creaky old manure spreader turned wood wagon behind her up oak hill every Saturday. The 50 acre lot needed clearing and we needed fire wood for the winter.

Living in the Country taught me hard work and responsibility.  Taught me about life and death.

I learned never to go near an untamed bull with red bell bottom pants. To stay clear of an electric fence, because girls with long hair can get tangled up trying to crawl under.

I learned the simple life was and is the better life.

I learned that chasing Muscovy ducks can get you in a world of trouble!

Picking wild berries and Black eyed Susans just seem to go together. You can't pick one with out the other.

I learned that old dogs named Woody, really aren't that scary.........really.

I learned that the heat from a wood stove is like no other. So worth all those hours piling wood down cellar. I even learned that you can create happy memories doing something you really never cared doing.

I learned that small town churches can plant seeds. And that those churches should never close their doors because some seeds can lay dormant for a while before they start to grow and produce fruit......I was one of those dormant seeds......

I learned all about playing in creeks and catching minnows. That staying outside was a given. My Mama had to beg us girls to come in.

I learned that there is world of things to do outside if you just unleash your God given imagination. Oh how I long for the kids of this generation to live what we have lived.

I learned that Farms are only as dirty as their farmer. That Raw milk isn't scary. And Fresh eggs are beautiful. I learned that being self sufficient is knowing stability.

I could go on and on........And maybe I will just have to say......

To be continued...........

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I've been unplugged and pulled out of the internet loop for a little over a week and I must tell you I really didn't mind......
I can't say that I got a lot accomplished in the way of house hold chores......But what I can say is that I had more time to look out and look up......
The other night I ran out the door to catch a glimpse of this Glory hole. And never once did I think of looking where the light was beaming like a spot light, but Flower girl did. She followed the beams of light all the way to the other side of the sky...

"Look Mama!" she yelled. "A Wainbow! Two of dem!" {She is 3 and who am I to correct her sweet little way of mutilating the English language?}  And I swear this picture promise never gets old. No matter how many you see or what age you are.....Don't we always find ourselves saying with excitement, "Look there's a rainbow!"

What I've learned while being unplugged for over a week is that I managed just fine. My heart actually doesn't feel quite as heavy and my mind not so cluttered. My focus was on the people and things that should always take priority in my life.

What I've learned is that I should unplug more often. Because being virtual can never take the place of being REAL......And I'm all about being REAL.

What I've learned is that I haven't been looking out and up near as much as I should. And it makes me wonder.....What have I been missing all the while I've been plugged in? I recently wrote a blog about staying connected and not leaving this virtual world anytime soon. While I still feel that I have a place here, I believe my place here has definitely been defined. And surely I believe that even this needs a time schedule. Time allotted for quiet thoughts and new discoveries I want so desperately to share with you.

But never should this being "plugged in" trump being UNPLUGGED. So my challenge is for you and I... if we stop by this place or any other virtual pad and we haven't put our priorities in their rightful places.....Please let us take the time and get them taken care of before we explore any further.

I promise we will feel so much better when we do......

I also must tell you that it was not only our internet that has been down but our T.V. as well. Do you know what we did? We all sat in the living room and talked, laughed, giggled and shared our day away. I know it sounds so simple and maybe even a little hum drum but, I believe sometimes...most times simple is what we desperately need!

Do I believe that being UNPLUGGED this week was a coincidence? Nope not at all! I believe God needed to show me a few places in my life that needed to be UNPLUGGED and a few places that needed to be rerouted and redirected. Have I ever told you that this sin soaked Mama is always learning?