Monday, January 30, 2006

"It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever." Philip Adams

Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves." -- John 3:18-20 (MSG)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My son came home last evening. I could hear him upstairs singing in the shower. Before we went to bed we prayed as we usually do. He held my hands and lead our prayer. I thank God for the young man he's become. And tonight, I am rejoicing in my heart.
In my "other life" I work on an internal audit team. In reviewing some documents today, I issued the comment "items being carried forward without timely resolve." In accounting terms, this means that instead of researching and resolving an outstanding item, it is carried forward into subsequent accounting periods. Gee, how often are we guilty of this
in our personal lives? We just push the discomfort forward, refusing to accept responsibility of resolve.

I will be kind to my mother after I...
I will forgive my ex-girlfriend when she...
I will begin trusting God once I...
I will deal with my mother's alcoholism and its affects upon my love relationships as soon as...

How many times can you push an item forward until you are audited?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it! There's so much to live for!"
He said, "Like what?"
I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?"
I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
"Reformed Baptist Church of God."
I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation 1879 or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"
He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation 1915."
I said, "Die heretic scum," and pushed him off.

--Emo Philips

Monday, January 23, 2006

I want to take some time tonight to talk about what happened when I went through counseling. I think counseling is necessary for many of us and here's why.

There are things that happen in our lives...situations that we perceive within us to be harmful, hurtful. These things pile up and many of us feel anger and resentment at a subconscious level. Most of the time, we're not even aware of it. All we know is that something doesn't feel right. And, if you are like me, you don't want to be unkind to anyone, so you take that anger and resentment out on yourself. Oh, maybe you do this without even being aware you are doing it. You take short breaths in life, afraid to completely fill your lungs with the love and compassion you truly deserve...because you don't BELIEVE you deserve it.

The biggest area that is affected when we feel anger or resentment within is our capacity for "self-love." This can translate into damaged or plainly, poor self-esteem. Because of this we get romantically involved with the wrong people, we hang on to lousy jobs, we let go of our dreams too easily or we just mull about life and tell ourselves, "this is my lot...better do what I can to enjoy it." Like, how stupid is this?

But see, it is convenient to give up, to give in. And stupidly, we just continue to take this anger and pain out on ourselves. We find little glimpes of what is really troubling us when we're drunk or high or when calamity strikes our lives...we discover we are on the verge of breaking...but we never quite break...

What troubles me is that so many REALLY NEED TO GET HELP...but they are afraid to. They are afraid to "go digging" -- which is what counseling does. Well...I think good counseling can facilitate one to a greater self-awareness and as we become more self-aware, more truthful...we get to the bottom of what's troubling us. Many of us never slow down to really peel back the layers of our resentment or of our boredom with self and with life. We just plug away. We get comfortably "numb" as the Pink Floyd song says.

As the layers were peeled back during my counseling sessions...I realized something very important: I realized that I wanted to live. I wanted to live and more than anything, I wanted the real ME to live. That is the point to which counseling got me.

I needed to plug into a higher power to get me to the next level. I knew I wanted to live and I was self-aware enough to know that I did not want to repeat past mistakes. I needed to learn HOW TO LOVE again. And I needed to know THAT I AM LOVED. With that knowledge...with the knowledge that God is here, I could move forward, heal and begin to grow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The conference was terrific. I was able to spend face to face time with the small group hosts I serve and we really connected as women. We had lunch by a lake not too far from the church and some of us took a walk down by the water and prayed together.

The message at church this week was on Endurance. It really hit home for me. I wanted to share these 2 verses that stuck out:

"In everything we do we show that we are God's servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships and difficulties." 2 Cor. 6:4 (TEV)

"You know that such testing of your faith produces endurance. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete and you won't need anything." James 1:3-4 (GW)

I put an "ad" up to begin another small group last Friday. The group is for "Mothers Without or With Shared Custody" and so far there is only one member: me. :P But I am going to put it out there and we'll see if God brings anyone my way. My vision is to have the group meet every other Sunday at a Starbucks near my house at 9am. We will do studies on embracing God's promises, hope and, yes...ENDURANCE! Okay...we'll see what transpires!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tomorrow I will be attending a small group host conference. I hope to see most of the small group leaders whom I serve. (some have already told me they cannot attend) I typically just email them or talk with them on the phone. I cannot wait to meet and hug my lovely ladies!! I love them so!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"You ask me am I happy
Well as matter of fact
I can say that I'm ecstatic
'cause we all just made a pact
We've agreed to get together
Joined as children in Jah
When you're moving in the positive
Your destination is the brightest star..."


I wanted to clarify my last post - my son was spending the night at his father's. We are still sharing him.

I feel strange these "these days" I mean these past 13 months or so. A lot has changed in my life. Some situations have been so challenging yet God has carried me through them. I feel I have additional energy and patience. I have the fortitude and courage to ride things out. My trust in God and reliance on Him has been the difference. I cry, yet I do not feel lost. I hurt, yet I do not feel damaged. In each trial I am renewed and I come out stronger.

It has taken daily time with God, study of scripture, remaining in fellowship with other Christians (meaning: my small group!) and consistent worship each week to get me to this point. I'm so thankful I'm here.

You know I don't care if you're livin' in Jah, in Jehova, in Hosea, in, just GET HERE NOW!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Two kind scriptures assist me this evening:

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." - Matthew 5:4 (MSG)

(Jesus Said) "I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." -John 16:33 (MSG)

I have no choice...I make no choice but to trust in God. My son returns to his father's tonight and my heart goes with him. I read a quote once about motherhood and it went something like:

"When you become a mother, you spend the rest of your life watching your heart walk around outside your body."

And I know this to be true. But God is faithful to me and I spent the evening with my women's group. Tonight was our first "official" night and we did pretty well. A new lady joined us and she was a pleasant addition. We are now 4 ladies. Praise God! We studied Matthew 7 and lifted prayers for one another. I miss the other 2 ladies who cannot join us at this time.

I praise God this evening. I thank God for his tender mercies upon my life. I miss my son so much as I am writing this but I feel the peace of Christ and it is enough.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Psalm 63:1 (MSG)

You bet! The best thing about this week is that it is not LAST week! Amen! : )

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968 - He would have been 77 years old today.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Okay, like I made it through the weekend! Praise God! By the end of last week I was in true burn out and needed to rest. I am dealing with a few personal issues one of which I have shared here in my blog. My son's father.

I served at church on Saturday night and continued to pray my way through the weekend. I came home and crashed. I woke up and looked out my window. The moonlight was so bright in my room, it felt almost like sunlight on my face. I lay there in my bed, closing my eyes and could still feel the moonlight through my eyelids. God wanted to talk. So I lay there and listened. I listened to my heart and to my fears and lifted each one of them to God. I know you're here, Father God.

My son and his father met me at the church at 4:30 to meet the new mentor. I just prayed God would have his hand on the situation. I believe all went well and the young college aged man who will be my son's mentor was so kind. I'm going to continue to pray that we make it through this next season. We can only go up from here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

An oil painting of one of my favorite spots in Southern California. Peace to everyone this winter and much love too.
I spent most of last week praying hard on matters. I just felt attacked from every angle. From every sneaky angle. And I'm asking God to show me the course I should take, to show me His path for my life.

A woman from my office spoke with me yesterday morning. She asked if I could step into her office and when we sat down together she told me she'd seen me at church last weekend (our pastor asked us to all stand up and he introduced our team). She said she didn't realize I was involved in the singles ministry and she expressed her desire to join a small group, or possibly lead one.

My heart smiled. It may seem silly to some when I express this but to me, it felt like God was letting me know that He's here and He's using me now. I feel in my heart that He is using my life for His greater good but little confirmations such as these are wonderful surprises and give me the boosts I need to keep going.

I continue to pray for God to use me. To move through every inch of my life and take over and to take all from me that He has no use for or finds will harm me. It is tough to step back and wait but patience and trust in Him will serve me well. I feel there are more trials to come that will keep me from serving in ministry...

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I gazed again at the picture of that starfish. The ones I remember seeing were much thicker. And when I think back to that day I swam around the starfish, I remember my heart longed to remain in those waters forever. In fact, I never wanted to leave Mexico.

It was hard for me for a while to want to live in Southern California. There was nothing here for me but brokeness and reminders of bitter events. These days, things are so much better but this past week has been, plainly, rotten.

My son is considering moving back in with his father. I am a wreck. I prayed last night to God and thanked Him for the past few months my son has been here. Even if this is all the time I'll ever get with him, I told God that it is enough. Just this small bit of his life has been enough.

My heart is aching. I continue to praise God through these trials. Lord, hear my prayer:

Father, you are a just God
and you see the depths of my heart
and you know my son is good and that he loves you
protect my son from harm
protect my son from ill-guidance
allow myself and other godly persons to be a light unto him

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I feel blue tonight so I decided to upload this picture of a blue starfish. It's been a long time since I've seen a blue starfish but when I saw one similar to this - I was snorkeling around off the coast of Baja California. Starfish are just peaceful. I guess if a starfish can still be blue and can I !!

From Corinthians 12: 9-10 (the paraphrase...)

"And then (God) told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size--abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become!"
I am feeling vulnerable tonight. Things are going well for me pretty much. I am quite happy about being able to remain on as a volunteer with the singles team. I have been calling my small group leaders and chatting with them about their lives, their groups and an upcoming conference at our church. I feel so blessed to be able to share stories with these women, listen to how they are doing and to pray with them. It warms my heart each time. Each call or each lunch with them is special and precious to me. But it is times like these when the sneaky attacks begin.

My son's father is up in arms about the idea of a mentor for our son. I am praying on this situation. My son needs a godly man in his life. I respect his father for being his father but beyond that, we do not live by the same moral compass. I am uncertain how to handle this other than to pray.

I left my son's father nearly 14 years ago and he told me this week that he needs to "say a few things to me" in front of his counselor. (sigh) I am praying for patience, wisdom and protection for myself and my son.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I received confirmation from our pastor that, indeed, I must wait until I am farther along in my walk before applying for the on-staff position at my church. I believe if I'd had any other reply, I would have felt I'd somehow taken a "short cut" and I know how short cuts can harm us.

For just a moment I wondered, why did they ever have to ask me? What was the point in getting my hopes up? But the application begged a deeper question which I was not asking myself. Where am I truly at in my walk right now? Well, I'm walking...and I'm headed, I believe, in a good direction...but I would not describe myself as a "mature believer"...maturity will naturally take some time. The Holy Spirit has gifted me with discernment and I feel my love is strong. I would describe myself as someone who loves God with all her heart and wants to grow.

Our pastor had kind words for me. His support and faith in me are much appreciated. He said I definately still have a place on the team and may continue in my volunteer current role. This is a privilege and a blessing.

Meanwhile, there were some additional blessings in my life this weekend. My son will be connected very soon with a mentor. The church has found someone who is interested in coming alongside him. This is fantastic news and an answer to one of my new years prayers! Praise God!