On days where we have the gift of sleeping in I secretly (not-so-secret anymore) wish that my bedroom had a coffee maker so that I could have time alone with Jesus longer. I have found myself some mornings holding my breath as I get my journal and Bible with the hope that no one knows I’m awake. The instant there is any thought I might be awake, it is over. I might as well give up any time to myself. Writing this now makes me laugh! If you had told me a year ago that my life would be what it is now, I think I would have shaken my head and laughed in your face. But today I am laughing because the life I live is blessed so big. I have yearned for what I have now without even recognizing that it was what would fill the loneliness. I would never want to complain about being wanted and needed the way that I am now. I would never want to complain that my name is yelled across the house when I’m praying and trying to listen to God’s gentle voice. Everytime irritation may come, I remind myself that it is a huge gift to be valued so highly by young ones. If you’re a Mom or stepping up as one in any capacity, remember that is why you aren’t left alone. Your value is great! It is communicated in the breakdowns, the tears, the hugs, the cacophonous banter, the laughter and their constant need to have you be involved in EVERY part of their lives. Do we need to know what so-and-so wore to class? No. Do we need to know what happens in the bathroom or how big a booger was? No. But they want us involved in it all because that is how much they desire us to be apart. Meanwhile, I still tip toe and be as quiet as I can just for a few more moments to recharge. I’m still brainstorming a way to have the space for a coffee maker in my room because… Once I step out of bed, it’s over. 🤣
Messy hair days, rolling out of bed to start the day. The devil must pay today. My focus has been payback to the devil because it is the only way I can walk through mud and muck in a culture that enables, fosters and excuses awful abuse. Exhaustion can often set in because this holy work is 24/7. I often have to believe that my enemies are more tired than I am. When I look from my perspective it is so dark and the hurt is too much.
When I set my feet down on the ground and take His perspective, borrowing His eyes, I see those I love, free and full of joy. The pain is a tool to their healing, molding, cleansing and strengthening them as they become a weapon against the very forces that tried to destroy them.
Early mornings turn into a fuse to build a holy fire that cannot be quenched. Coffee becomes a sweet blessing. Time together is precious whether it’s 5 hours or 5 minutes. There are so many things to be grateful for during this season. Give yourself permission to cry if you need, grieve and then release it. But always come back around full-circle to the truth that you are loved deeply and God fights for you. Don’t forget who He has given to you to bless your life. They are the treasure amidst the storm.
Who can you thank or shout-out today? Who has walked with you through thick and thin?
My husband is my greatest partner as we destroy what the darkness has attempted to do in our family. He deserves a big shout-out today. Thank you Husband!
I saw my paint brushes drying next to my coffee station the other day and felt pure joy! The simple things in life have given my heart somersaults. The recent months have brought about extreme changes. There is a stretching period where life attempts to find a balance.
Laughter has filled silent halls, bouncing from one wall to the next. Loneliness has left. Healing drips from Heaven.
This is life despite the challenges, the pain and the ache. Beauty intertwines like vines amidst the mess as tears fall and laughter fills deep bellies. Nothing can stop what God has begun. He brings us freedom and victory so that we no longer have to live life bound up and stuck in the mud.
Each day presents new opportunities for adventures and new memories to cover the painful ones.
Painting frees my creative soul as colors dance on the canvas. Jesus comes to join me and I get to enjoy His peace as I sip on fresh brewed coffee. These times with my brush and paints are far less than before but I love and cherish the moments I do get to have.
As life unfolds continuously I am grateful. I am grateful for a God who provides miraculously. When I say that He pays my paycheck I am not joking. Without His provision the past 4-5 months we wouldn’t have made it. Each month grows a deeper trust as God always comes through with supernatural provision from surprising sources. I have learned to celebrate and find joy in obedience and faithfulness knowing He is always there to take care of us.
Dear Reader, what is it that you need? What are some things you do that bring you joy and give your heart somersaults?
Thank you for being here and supporting my journey!
Life right now has my time and routine in a strange new normal. I have been working on some behind the scenes work which is why my public posts recently have been few and far between. New blessings have entered my life and I’m doing my best to catch up to life even though there are moments in quarantine that feel like slow motion. I have had moments of working through extreme loss. In those moments I have allowed Jesus to come and heal those areas. In a parallel moment I have also been embracing extreme blessings. These blessings are beyond compare and I cannot wait to share the many dreams that are coming true this year! (Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some announcements) Life is overwhelming me currently. There are moments of heartbreak but I become so overwhelmed by Love. These are the moments when I try to catch my breathe only to start crying with gratefulness and awe. God is so good! He is so caring… So loving! I am continually overwhelmed by Love.
Today I needed a change of scenery. I spent some great time in my art studio. When I begin to create in this space I often lose track of time. I get swept up in colors, ideas and feel so alive. Joyful worship. When I create I feel close to God. This place becomes a sacred space. New breath enters my lungs. I can hear the birds chirping. Laughter drifts through the window from the neighbor kids. I step into the sun as I add a burst of blue paint. Joy spills from my soul onto this canvas. I am so grateful for this time. Even though life has stalled and the time frame is uncertain when it will return to “normal”, I have come to a place of acceptance. I accept this slowed pace and the closeness of my family. The time spent in the depths of God’s heart is irreplaceable, where I have no time-frame and no place to go. I can sit with Him all day if I want to or I can paint with Him. This is the new normal that I don’t want to change. What a gift it is. This is what I choose to focus on… God’s goodness and more of Him in my life. ❤️
There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.
In these moments of serenity I see my God going before me. He sits with me by still waters. He prepares a table amidst my enemies. One word from his lips quiets the accuser.
There is a steady heartbeat I hear.
I know many of us have had a year of heartache and trials. Many have endured through injustices while others have whispered dreams out into the open, hoping this year would be the year of unfolding.
It is the time of year where people wind down. Some cannot wait for the year to end. Others are indifferent or thankful for what is.
Every moment matters to God. There is not one second lost on our behalf or on the behalf of those we love. Now is not the time to settle in or give up. God is a miracle worker and not one moment is forgotten in his hand. These last few weeks are of high importance to him as he works on our dreams and whispered prayers. Or perhaps words have barely formed from our lips as we have wept. God has seen every tear and knows what is written on our heart.
Let us not give up what has yet to happen in 2019. Let us enjoy our favorite holiday beverage (coffee anyone?), sit back and see what God will do. As we pray, as we go to the front lines of intercession, the Lord has made a table amidst it all for us. He has done this for us to learn to enjoy and walk in the victory that is ours even if we have yet to see it.
As this year winds down, enjoy it. Walk from victory into 2020.
There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.
Five years ago my Mom breathed her last breath here on Earth to make her journey home to Heaven. Those who have walked a similar journey understand the longing for that person. Some days Heaven feels far.
Many have followed the journey the past five years and I am grateful for you. Today, I am opening myself up a bit. I miss my Mom dearly but I have hope and joy. Please read my raw processing of the fifth year anniversary of her passing:
All I want is to experience a piece of Heaven with you today. I see you, you’re young and radiant. I thought you were beautiful as I grew up but today you radiate the light from the son and you’re breathtaking. You even smell good. I never saw you so healthy and your hair so thick. Aunt Shorty is smiling as she stands by your side. Michael is in your arms and your other grandkids are running around your legs giggling. My oldest sibling cannot wait to meet the rest of us as I see them waiting with excitement for our homecoming. The joy is indescribable!
Just a piece of Heaven.
To my Dad who saw your slow death from the beginning and battled on your behalf, will a piece of you come visit him in his dreams tonight? Just a piece of Heaven, a glance of your eye and your smile that radiates such love. Just a bit of your presence to touch the ache and bring a little more peace than before.
Just a piece of Heaven and I can tell you face to face how so many of your prayers for me have been answered. The horors of your childhood, a piece somehow did not elude me and it tore your heart to pieces. If only you could see me today and know I’m free, healed and whole. I know now that you prayed dreams and hopes would somehow be restored and the joyful spark would return to my eyes. Just a piece of Heaven is all I ask today, so that we could laugh a bit more over coffee. I could give you a hug and you could see the dreams that are unfolding in my life.
Just a piece of heaven, it is all I ask for my siblings who miss you too. You could be with all of your grandkids, some of whom you could kiss for the first time. Swingset swinging, going down slides, dancing, and laughing together even for a moment.
The aroma of homemade banana bread fills my home. It brings back memories of my Mom. I sing and dance in my kitchen as I whip up my own recipe. My eyes get misty as I remember her. As much as my Mom taught me how to follow recipes we never really stuck to it much.
I remember how we would get distracted talking or letting someone in our home in the middle of baking. When this happened it usually resulted with us forgetting an ingredient. I still laugh about the time we forgot to put sugar into our pumpkin pie. I tried pouring sugar over every bite but it still tasted awful.
I can laugh at these memories. I look back fondly on those moments where I know my Mom poured all of her love into me. It has caused me to reflect and ponder the legacy I am leaving behind. Will people remember my love?
As Easter approaches I miss her. When I see dandelions in full bloom I pick them and place them in a small vase because as a child I knew my Mom would put them on display. My Mom was able to recognize my gift of “weeds” as a treasure.
If my Mom loved me like this then how much greater does Jesus? I am in awe of this truth. He sees my weeds and makes it beautiful. He turns my mourning into joy. He waters a beautiful garden with every tear. He is faithful.
As I bake in my kitchen in my beautiful home, a tear may fall but a tender smile remains knowing the gift my Mom was. Not all Mom’s are able to show a small portion of Gods heart towards their children. I realize this precious gift that was given to me was intended for me to also give away.
Today you would have been 5 months old. A year ago you made your grand entrance into heaven instead. I will never understand why you had to go so soon. I will never understand why out of nowhere you came and out of nowhere you left. You were a gift that sparked new hope. Because of you a promise came.
In the E.R. I remember breathing through the rolls of cramps asking God to save you. Despite the pain. Despite not receiving the care I went there for. Despite sitting in a plastic chair amidst strangers. Despite losing you in the bathroom I still had hope.
All I did was praise. In those moments of both physical and emotional pain I focused on prayer & worship. At this point I had already lost you and the pains kept coming. I had not been given any medicine so I just breathed through and began to sing quietly under my breath. Somehow, deep down I knew God would turn all things to good and be glorified in all this. So I sang for God to be glorified. I sang the truth of who He was because He was the only constant and unchanging thing in my life. He still is.
It has been a year. Since then I have run after the enemy in pursuit of justice. I have been prayed for almost every month. Issues I’ve had for over 20 years gone because of prayer. My faith has grown. In the Philippines I prayed for many wombs to open and for babies to come. I expect to see babies in those ladies arms.
The enemy can try to steal and try to keep what’s ours but only for the length of time that we are believing lies about our inheritance. Once you realize who you are and whose you are there is no stopping you from storming enemy camp and claiming what is yours.
But goodness, this past year has been intense! The past 3 months have been the most intense of all. Waiting for a promise (or 2 or 3) is not an easy feat. There will always be a battle before your victory. I also believe that because of you my dear angel child in heaven, that my faith grew in order to claim new territory for our family. As I have done this I have realized how important it is to remain steadfast because claiming new territory can awaken dragons intended to cause delays or destruction. That new territory is worth a lot otherwise it would be easy.
Today I choose to celebrate you my dear child. I choose to praise through the tears. I choose to sing like I did in the E.R. God has not changed. He never will. He is still the miracle worker. He is still the way maker. And He is still the promise keeper.
When did our lives become so busy and self-consuming?
The other day a longing came over me for the pure joy over simple things.
Everyday we miss extravagant happenings and miracles. Because of technology, our blessed country full of provisions and our selfish culture, we lose sight of beautiful things everyday. We can get caught up in our crazy world that we forget to live with a grateful heart.
Have you ever given a present to a child only to have them be more excited over the box or bow? We act disappointed when the gift is rejected over a free box or five cent bow.
It is time to get excited again over boxes and bows.
When was the last time that you noticed the little kid on your street laughing? Have you noticed the color of the sky on your way home? Did you realize that your spouse looked at you like you were the only one in the room? Did you notice the view from your house that you see everyday yet finally stopped to breathe in the beauty of it all?
Life is beautiful. The simple things are astounding. The simple things are miraculous because no matter what may be going on those simple things remind us of the goodness of God. Your circumstances will never change the goodness of God. He never changes. He is faithful, loving and mighty.
Breathe in the crisp night air amidst the sparkling sky. Laugh at the cheesy joke. Hold your spouse’s hand and memorize the way they look at you. Slowly sip that hot cup of coffee. No matter what may be going on in your life, these simple things are your boxes and bows.
God is waiting for you. He is amidst the simple things.