Sunday, November 16, 2014

The God Question

I don't know if you read the headlines-but this week a comet made news. Scientists were able to discover sound from a it was beautiful!
Birds sing.
Cattle bellow.
Cats meow.
Dogs bark.
Bugs...make bug noises...
Wolves howl.
Leaves rustle.
Brooks bubble.
Rain patters.
Wind whistles.
Waves crash.

All of the sounds in nature sing.
They sing about the One that created them.
I wonder if we had ears to hear...what would they be saying?



" The heavens declare the glory of God' and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."  ~Psalm 19:1-3

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Woman's Hurdles...

Competition and Comparison ... the 2 things ALL women struggle with. We want to be perfect. Gals, we are killing ourselves and those around us. 

As we look into the topic of "sadness" in the Jennie Allen study this week--boy-oh-boy does this message hit home. 

We get 
because we
with others...

because we must preserve
false sense of 


we. are. stuck. in. it...and it is choking the life out of 
-our children
-our husband 
-our friends
-our churches
the list could be endless...
not to mention--it is choking the life out of us.
dreams. unfulfilled.
so we lash out...
because we don't know how to love.

Oh, God...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Feeling Overwhelmed

tiny.little. word.
oceans. of. feelings.
" Is it possible we have complicated our lives until there is no room for Him and no space to hear the plans He has for us?" ~Jennie Allen
Our lives get really busy totally out of control.

We run like the wind! Our schedules are so full that one little minor mishap and the house of cards collapses. American moms are crazy absolutely insane by juggling a mountain of things at once. Sports schedules-school schedules-church responsibilities-social responsibilities-relationship building--laundry-taxi service-cleaning-cooking...and all with a smile. (snarl)

What if---I said 'no' to the mountain of things that put such pressure on me and begin to
about where God wants me.
What is my purpose here in this big world?
What am I called to do?
What is wasting my precious time?
What if I am missing out on the very thing God wants from me because I said 'yes' to a bunch of dumb stuff?

So-I challenged our group to a week long technology fast...YUP...ouch. That hurts. The goal other than self torture???...taking time to hear from God...and taking time to talk to God. I had a very interesting week.

So, this morning I opened my devotional and was 
by God.

November 3rd am  Morning and Evening devotion by Charles Spurgeon...without the old english!

"...behold, he prays." 
~Acts 9:11

"Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. So often a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in heaven. "You put my tears into your bottle" implies that they are caught as the flow. The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be completely understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but 'prayer is the falling of a tear.'. Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are part of the music of Jehovah's court, and are numbered with "the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high"; Don't think that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob's ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and climb its starry rounds. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it. "He does not forget the cry of the humble." True, He doesn't regard high looks and lofty words; He doesn't care for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He doesn't listen to the swell of martial music; He doesn't regard the triumph and the pride of man; but wherever there is a heart big with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a remorseful sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open; He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there will be a precious fragrance spring up from it.
'Faith asks no signal from the skies, 
To show that prayers accepted rise,
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.'

And Charles-I would rather be overwhelmed
by The God that hears my prayers
than a calendar
that rules me.
God, overwhelm me with your presence.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Personal Letter About Fear

What if God wrote a personal letter to you concerning your fears? What would it say? Today in the "Stuck" study by Jennie Allen, I was challenged by that very thought. Here is the assignment straight from the page...

Imagine God wrote you a personal letter concerning your fear. How would He say your fear limits you? Does He see you? Is He taking care of you and those you love? Does He want you to have freedom from these thoughts and insecurities? Now-write that letter, incorporating the scriptures we have studied this week."

Scriptures that were focused on this week:
Matthew 6:25-34
2 Corinthians 10:5
Galations 1:10
Isaiah 55:8-9
Isaiah 2:2, 17-18, 22
I Peter 2:24
Psalm 23:1,4,6
and here is what my response was...

My Beloved Sheryl,
     Trust me. Trust in the provisions that I have made thru Christ. Let me settle your heart-turn your eyes on My Son and know what experiencing life--abundant life--really looks like. I have got your back -I always have...and I am holding you so close. Don't you feel me? Don't you see me? Can you hear me singing My song over you? The fear and unbelief are robbing you of the joy of your salvation in my Son. Your fears are washed away-just as completely as I have washed those crimson red sins off of your record. Your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life-never to be erased. Believe Me...Trust Me when I tell you that is all it takes. 
     I see you in your parenting and I am blessed by your light that shines...but,those 3 children are all mine. I knit them together in your womb--I gifted them with sharp minds and talents that they are learning to use for My glory. I purposed them for My pleasure. Now in faith--let them go-so I can bring them to new levels of trusting Me. Let them go so they can see Me so that they can know me fully. Honey, this is not going to be an easy road. This will be painful because they have lessons to learn that only I can teach them. Trust me completely because I know how to perfect them into my image.
     Spend your thought life fixed on me, Sweet one. I can tell you are weary of trying to plan, fix, prepare and polish everything-- from what you say-- to what you are wearing yourself were never meant to carry that burden...that is weight that you were never meant to bear...just to be accepted. Sheryl, you ARE accepted in the Beloved. You don't have to blend in-you don't have to stick out...all I ever wanted was for you to rest in My love for you. Let it all go-- empty your hands of those idols you fix your mind on so you can feel Me holding you. 
     Oh, how I long for you to just BE YOU...and for YOU to be with ME. I created you and gifted you in so many ways-Run, sweet child--RUN FREE-LIVE WELL-LOVE STRONG and NEVER be ashamed of the way I have created you. Those voices that condemn you are not from Me. Those are from a defeated enemy and they can not consume you if you are consumed with me.
     I have huge changes ahead for you and your family. You have a choice-to embrace the changes with joy or return to your spin cycle. Sheryl, take ALL of your thoughts captive so you see me at work. You are MY servant-you only have to please ME-I am the one who healed you and made you righteous.
     My greatest joy is having My Holy Spirit living inside of you. I love talking with you--hearing about your day--watching you take baby steps into My arms. I love watching you be My hands and feet to people who don't know Me yet. One day they will--because I am the one that is calling them--writing My Word on their hearts through the Spirit that is strong enough to save. That is my job. Your job is to be obedient to My word. Pray about it and then worship while you watch me work it all out.
     You are my simple, sweet, messy, imperfect vessel and I my heart sings over you because I delight to work in you. That is what I planned before time...Christ IN YOU. 
     You are Loved here on this big earth that I have placed you on... and I love you so much that I will spend eternity with you. Never doubt that. I am walking ahead of you. I need you to follow and to trust Me. I need you to need Me in the process. 
     One day I am going to call you home and your faith will be your sight. Until heaven is your reality, I want you to know that every time you pick up My Word-I am there speaking. Every time you see someone in need--You are seeing My heart. Every time you serve--I am your hands. Every time your heart breaks--I am The One mending. Every tear you cry--I am your Comforter. Every time you are afraid--I am your Defender. Every time you are confused--I will be your Wisdom. I am your everything.
     I. Love. You.

      Maybe he wrote that for you today, too.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


do? you? trust? God?

do. you. believe. it?
Oh-we seek him alright...
Oh-we know he hears...
but one thing nags on us.'s the delivery part.
Is God strong enough to deliver us
from our fears.
Is He?!
We like our fears.
They keep us safe.
Our fears are our idols.

Just gonna throw out a thought to you all...
Sometimes I think what we fear as Christian women the most is
knowing that God is Sovereign.

The idea of a Sovereign God is scary.
Because if He is Sovereign.
Then I am not in control.
And not being in control.
creates fear.
I think we all struggle with Sovereignty.
If we had that topic figured out
...we wouldn't worry so much
now would we?
Face it-we know we aren't in control.
can't control our eating
can't control our spending
can't control our children or their choices
can't control our husbands
can't control our health
can't control our emotions
can't control our job
can't control friendships
can't control our drives
can't control our heart
can't control death
can't control our church
can't control our thoughts
can't control our tongues
can't control the world
...and we can't control God
and we live scared to death of truly living.
So we sit and
We freak out because we can't control our lives and we are terrified that somehow
God might not come through for us.
Laying awake at night in dread
and wasting our day in anxiety.
JOY vaporizes.
Idols do that, don't they?
You were never meant to control the path of your lives or the lives of others-for crying out loud!
that. is. God's. job.
You were never created to carry that kind of burden.
Jesus. carried. it. for. you.
You were meant to be under the control of the
Holy Spirit.
You were meant for so much more than wasting your life in fear.
There is beauty in trusting in a
There is rest. sweet. release.JOY

>totally. in. control.
>totally aware of what it is going to take to deal with my stuff.
>totally able to deliver me from my trial 
carry me through
 >totally ever present in every situation

Oh, for a heart to know The Sovereign.

 I don't have to let my fears dictate my identity.
Jesus died
to give me the faith
to believe
that He is strong
enough to hold me
no matter what comes my way.
So today-I run into his arms.
Unashamed and free to shed my fears
and a few tears...
and pick up faith.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dying Beautifully

only. God. can. make.death. a. beautiful. thing.
God's creation truly shouts His praises.

Keri and I went shopping the other day. On our way home a storm was gathering in the east... which is SO not typical-usually it comes from the west.
The sun was just right and the colors became like fire against the dark sky...
And it hit me.
These trees are dying.
Each one is giving off a different color.
But the changes reflect the fact that they are dying.
And all I can think about is the study that I am in right now.
"Stuck" by Jennie Allen 

The whole entire study is about learning to
to my MYSELF


I marvel at the autumn leaves...
I enjoy the changing of the seasons...
I celebrate the harvest
But do I strive to willingly lay myself at the Cross and marvel at the new creation 
that God wants me to be?
...or do I hold on to all of my baggage thinking it keeps me safe?
Do I joyfully die to the things that are holding me back in my walk with Christ?
...or do I assume that God is trying to steal my joy by telling me to let it go?
Do I embrace the pruning in my life so God can
bring about a bountiful harvest?
...or do I resist change and become bitter ?

That phrase kept fading in and out of my head as we drove home from shopping that day.
And then it began to rain...
and God in His matchless Grace
Showed me in living color-
the beauty of dying.

When He sees 
 His Beloved Daughter 
crying out 
from the depth of strongholds
 to be delivered...
when she puts her trust in Christ
to be delivered...
when she dies so that she can live...
What does God see??

He sees His Beautiful Bride!
not because of anything she has done.
but because of
and make this wayward
a beloved daughter.


I am in CHRIST.

how. can. i. hold. back. from.
so. great. a. love??

In the process of change...the process of dying... He makes Himself more beautiful.
And in dying, I learn to live in Him.
So-today-I pick up my cross-and I lay myself at His feet
and learn how to die. to die to myself
(thanks to a very sweet girl for letting me use her pic from Golls woods!)
God give me the wisdom to extend grace to others who are dying all around me.God give me the eyes to not judge what beautiful work you are doing in them.God give each one of us a heart to embrace the beauty of living for you and dying to ourselves.Jesus, help me to walk this road of dying to myself so that you can live fully in me.Forgive me for fighting the changes that will bring me freedom. Help me to honor you by laying my will aside so that You alone are made glorious.You are beautiful to me.Amen.

Die Another Day by Brian Free and Assurance

Friday, October 3, 2014


The summer flew by and the amount of canning/cooking and general chaos that occurs in our kitchen can be a tad much on some days. Typically, I wash my windows ever couple of months or so...but canning season just gets me behind....I am sure that they were cleaned sometime this spring... is now October?!?  

So-one morning this week I woke up after a long night of canning and stumbled out into the kitchen...and the light hit the window just right...just enough for me to get grossed out. 


If you have been in my house as a guest you can assume that I am a neat freak...if you have been in my house on a normal day--you would see a different spectacle.

So-to impress ya....

Ah, I will have a candle burning!!!! (to mask the smell from the ridiculously stinky chore jeans that are fermenting somewhere...)

The floors will be swept!!!  (to pick up the trails of cow pies, crud and general farm dirt from 3 farm boys & 2 farm girls and the 50 toes that wear dirty socks...not to mention our dear puppy Louise.)

The dust is off of the furniture!!! (it's actually NOT normal suburban dust-- but rather a protective covering of barn bedding that wafted in--because I left the windows open when they hauled manure from the

The dishes are done!!! (actually-they just got stuffed into the dishwasher 5 minutes before you arrived-and everything was dried on cause it sat on the counter overnight...or longer.)

The bathroom is spotless!!! (um...3 boys and a hired guy...enough said.)

I'm not joking--the struggle is real.

So it is with each one of us--the storefront looks pretty good. I am sure yours does too.
But when it comes right down to the nitty gritty--there is not a whole lot that is desirable if you look close enough.
We all do it.
We have Facebook to polish and protect an image. 

But underneath all of the smiles-all of the laughter--candles, caked on make-up and cleaning spray--all of the Sunday morning formalities-lays a broken and wounded soul that is in desperate need of 

My window looked fine until the morning light hit it just right...

poof. no more pretending.

...and when His light hits our hearts just right...well...poof. no. more. pretending.

What would life look like if we began the journey of
Living a REAL life.
really broken--really forgiven

Clean up jobs. 
being. really. broken.
being. real. with. ourselves.
being. real. with. others.

God is working to show us where we fix our eyes on ourselves and not on HIM. Grace is a bloody yet beautiful thing.

"In Christ's death I found grace. Grace to be a sinner. Grace to not measure up. Grace for people around me to disappoint me. Grace for my kids and my husband to be human. It is important we understand the reason why we can be imperfect. We don't have to try to measure up or pretend because God rescued us from that impossible pursuit through the blood of Christ. Those of us who have been rescued by God have nothing to prove. We can call sin what it is because our sin has been paid for, cared for. We rest in who we are and what God has accomplished for us...Grace frees me from having to measure up to the impossible standard, while at the same time, grace motivates me to run from sin and obey God.
~ Stuck by Jennie Allen (pg.25)

So where do we go from here.
I know I am broke.
I know I can't fix myself.
No matter how clean my kitchen window can get-tomorrow it will get dirty again.
No matter how many times you try to keep it together it will fall apart.
So-where do we go from here?
We embrace our brokenness--surrender it to the healing power of Jesus Christ--and watch how 
GRACE. SWEET GRACE. transforms.

Instead of striving for perfection in our lives..
ah-resting in HIS perfection in my place.
Instead of pursuing the illusive golden key to happiness...
ah-be filled with HIS JOY.
Instead of complaining about my circumstances...
ah-praise HIM for my blessings
Instead of striving for the good life...
ah-sweet surrender to the One who gives eternal life.

Living a wounded life is no life at all.
Surrendering produces 
 rest- peace- joy-
that you have needed
for oh-so-long

--the shame 
--the depression
--the hurt
--the anger
--the relationships
--the pride
--the fear
--the loneliness
--the discontentment
--the loss
--the sadness
--the future
lay them down
for something far better.
Grace is a Person.

In surrendering-you will find that Jesus Christ is more than enough to heal the wounds.

Somehow surrender works a lot like Windex. I washed my kitchen window...and today-I can see more clearly. I get a bigger picture...and I get changed. 

May God fill you with HIS GRACE as you come before Him with your broken places...completely.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Calmer of the Storm

Breathe.deep. This is going to be an incredible journey together!
" To be known and accepted are the two most fundamental needs a human has." ~Jennie Allen

Jesus is not going to BAIL us out from our issues....but to BIND us to Himself as he walks us through the mess. 

We. need. Jesus.desperately.
to. hold. us. tightly.
to. not. let. go.
to. heal.
to. be. whole.

" When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."
~ Psalm 61:2

Either we have been in one...
We are going through one...
or we are going to be in one soon.
We are human and as humans we live in a world of pain that leaves us battered, bruised and scarred.
The good-the bad-and the just plain ugly.
I have them.
You have them.

The point of this study is to put the Gospel of Jesus Christ in perspective. That God is on the Throne.... and when we see what God has to say about Himself in His word--we can see our sufferings through His eyes.

" Teach me Lord
to have faith 
in what your bringing me
will change my life
and bring you glory.
There on the storm
I am learning to let go
of the will 
that I so long to control.
There may I be
in your arms eternally.
I thank you Lord
You are the
Calmer of the Storm."
~chorus to this amazing Downhere