It Is Time

I’d like to ask our modern culture and our “evolved” Christian believers, when did we get to the place where Truth cannot be spoken for fear of offenses and Sin cannot be confirmed for fear of judgement? If we are a follower of Christ, Truth is absolute and irrevocable, and sin is sin, not “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.” It just is, because God deems it so.

When did we get to the point where we care more that we not offend someone than we do about their very souls? When did we get to the point where we work so hard to preach grace that we forsake the reality of sin, hell and an eternal death? If we read the Bible, from the front cover to the very last page, God is so very clear.

We’ve come to the place where we’d rather argue, too often quite hatefully, with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the possible offenses taken or not taken over an issue rather than the merits of truth. We’d rather drum up dissension over the intentions of someone’s words rather than seek His Word for His truth on the subject at hand. We’d rather slash the hearts of our fellow kinsmen, and in turn, wound those who are listening and trying to find their own answers, rather than speak with love AND truth and let the Holy Spirit bring forth His conviction and mercy.

It sounds too much like the arguments of old when men and women would argue over the color of the pews and the length of the choir robes while their babies were battling issues of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It smells too much like the wayward youth of decades past who fought so hard for their independence and their owns rights that they forsook the ancient boundaries set before them to show them the only way. It looks too much like the sly dealings of darkness who always brings forth confusion, contention and chaos in order to distract, disengage and devour those who are most vulnerable and afraid.

Wake up, Church. Lift up your eyes. Look upon the One whom we have pierced! Gaze upon His torn flesh, His stripes, His pierced hands and feet. He was wounded for OUR transgressions! He was bruised for OUR iniquities! It was not for someone else. It was for our own prideful stance. It was for our own arrogant words. Not a one of us is not guilty. Not a one of us is worthy of the mercy and grace He gives.

It is time for us to stop claiming our own opinions and laments as Gospel. It is time we stop doing what is right in our own eyes. Lives are at stake. The innocent lie within the balance.

It is time we all repent. Moses stood between the children of Israel and God’s burning wrath. Moses stood between the children of Israel and the armies of Pharaoh. Moses cried out to God for their lives to be saved. Moses was their hero. Yet, he could never have brought them to freedom had they not listen, followed and obeyed him! He was not God, but He did show them God, and they chose to receive.

Whose hero will we be?

Whom will we follow?

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Sometimes, My Heart Just Grieves

I’ve had several conversations over the past few week with friends who are going through incredibly tough seasons of life, and, as I think back through them all, my heart just feels heavy tonight. Many days, these conversations cause me to seek good, practical advice, Godly wisdom and a lot of scripture to encourage, admonish and uplift their weary hearts. Often, these stories told cause my spirit to rise up in righteous indignation over injustices done. I encourage them to fight, to never give up, to seek God, as well as, to seek their personal well being at all cost.

Yet, sometimes, like this evening, my heart just grieves over their losses and their pain. I wish I had a magical wand that could, somehow, make all the heartache, fear, doubt and turmoil just disappear. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

If you’ve not experienced sorrow yet in your life, well, just keep on living, because it will come. If I can give you a piece of advice, both for those going through the trial and for those who are listening to the story, find someone to lean on. Don’t ever try to carry your burdens (or theirs) alone. You aren’t meant to.

Especially, for those of us who call ourselves a Christian. God never set up the Body of Christ for you to walk through this life experiencing all the brokenness it can bring and travel that painful journey alone. Find yourself a good church family, a wise pastor, spiritual leaders, and pour your heart out. Let them pray for you. Allow someone to come alongside you and help carry those burdens!

If you’re the one always walking alongside helping to carry the weight, you’ve got to learn to lean as well. You can’t always lean on those hurting, because they may not be ready to help carry you; however, you can find someone stronger than you to lend a helping hand. You’re not Superman! (Sorry to bust your bubble!)

Learn to lean. It’ll help you stand stronger.

Learn to release tears. They will wash your soul and help you to breathe deeper.

Learn to grieve. It’ll help your heart be real.

Learn to take a hand. It’ll help you to walk steady on that road to eternity.

Video is not mine. Simple YouTube search.

Video is not mine. Simple YouTube search.

Listen to both and be encouraged today. 💗

Just say, “NO!”

SOMETIMES, we just need to learn to say, “NO!”

We heard this statement many times on television through those anti-drug commercials of the 80’s. We heard it month after month, encouraging all to not give into the enticing voices of culture and drug dealers who would lie and say, “Just a little won’t hurt you!”

Yet, we seem to have moved further and further from the totality of this sentiment as we’ve become a “tolerant society” that seems more bent on pushing one agenda or another rather than actually saying, “No” to many things to which we need. We seem to have risen to a new level of “tolerance” where every cultural opinion must be agreed to, or we risk being called a racist, fascist or just simply a bigot. As I’ve stated before, just because I disagree with you does not mean I hate you.

I disagree with my husband at times; yet, he is my best friend, my confidante and my love. I disagree with my children, especially when their decisions will put them in dangerous situations; yet, I love them so much, I’d lay my life down for them. My loyalty may not run as deep for you or for those with whom I disagree and do not know personally, but it does not mean I harbor hate within my heart simply because of my disagreement.

Yet, because of my own experiences, life choices and personal convictions, you and I may not agree on all things. Ya know what? That is completely ok! You may live your life quite differently than mine, and that’s ok, too. That’s actually part of living, and that part of being an individual and having your own choices.

Being of different opinions is okay, too. However, when those opinions begin infringing upon someone else’s personal wellbeing, there should be a wake up call. When those agendas or disagreements come with an expectation of agreement and are followed with a demand of approval or a threat of consequences if not adhered, then, a separation and distance should be put into place for those involved.

Sometimes, we just need to find the courage to say, “No,” and stick to our decision. Sometimes, we need to find our backbone and settle into the boundaries we have set for a dangerous relationship or a rebellious child or a consistently wounding acquaintance and resolve to leave it there. Sometimes, we need to cut the ties with that toxic person in our life with whom only turmoil and chaos resides.

Sometimes, for our own sanity, peace of mind and personal wellbeing, we must look at the “appointment book” of our life and reply to their request,

“No, Thursday’s out. … Yeah, Friday’s out, too. … How about never – is never good for you?”

Fight. Win. Share Your Story.

I found this pictured quote posted the other day, and it seems I’ve shared it a gazillion times this week. It’s such a simple statement; yet, it seems so profound. Everyone of us, whether you’d like to admit it or not, has someone within reach who has walked the new and painful paths we must face throughout life, often times, that person is even within your orbit of living.

Whether it be sickness, terminal illness, relationship heartbreak, job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, tragedy, or whatever, there is someone out there who can relate. Especially now, with as much access we all have in cyberspace, the ability to reach out to someone who at the very least has a slight understanding, is exponential. There are resources upon resources to find knowledge, personal experience testimonies and short groups for any every dilemma one might face.

In many ways, it seems to be easier now than any other time in history to overcome what dilemmas and trials might come. Yet, our suicide and trauma rates seem to be higher than any other time in history. I have a theory to this, and please forgive me, I’m not an expert, and I’m definitely not trying to trivialize any pain or conflict you may have experienced in a particular scenario. However, I do hope this theory will resonate: more often than not, we hav become a society that focuses too much on “me and mine,” rather than, realizing there is a whole new generation coming behind us who need the wisdom, the testimonies, the experience and the legacy of both failures and achievements that we can give.

Understand, I am not stating this from of “high and mighty judgment,” never realizing the pain of depression, sorrow or suicidal thoughts or tendencies. I have been to low points in my life that I’d rather not share in this current post. I have

If it had not been for the grace of God, the prayers of those who knew and loved me, and the self-fortitude and remembrance in my own heart and mind of my higher calling and purpose, I assure you, I wouldn’t be writing this today, and you could be visiting me in the cemetery on a sunny day.

I can attest to the truth of this quote. You come through those hellish nights, and you persevere through those grueling, sun-scorched days of pain in order to help someone else along the way. Or at least, you should, because it is through your testimony of grace and endurance that someone else can find their strength to hope for a brighter tomorrow.

So, push on, broken one. Hum until you sing again. Struggle until you find your fight. Strive until you thrive. For there is some lost soul searching in the dark for just one clear footstep to help lead them out beyond the storm.

Grief: It is a Process of Pain

One of the best articles I’ve read lately in grief is this one. If you are grieving due to anything other than a physical loss, such as divorce, abuse, neglect or estrangement, this article may not bring much healing to you, because your circumstances yield a much different needed response. However, if you’ve lost a loved one, and you’re walking through this painful journey, you may find some comfort and encouragement as you read through this widow’s pages.

17 Years … Have We Forgotten?

Written yesterday, on the 17th Anniversary of 9/11…

Consumed with memories today…

I will never forget the feelings as I sat on the bed in a hotel room in Cleveland, Tn, on this day 17 years ago. We were in town for a funeral, and I was holding JGrizz in my arms. He was only one month old. My mother knocked on my door to tell me what happened, and I didn’t believe her until I turned on the news. I sat in disbelief, shock, fear and grief as I watched all of the events play out. It felt like a nightmare, a terrible, never-ending bad dream.

How could this be happening in our nation, America, the home of the free and the brave? It was so overwhelming; it was almost hard to breathe. We went to The Blue Hole (a beautiful rock filled area on the Ocoee River) later that day just to try to collect our thoughts and the gravity of what this horror meant for our country.

Then, just days later, I watched with pride, honor and respect as men and women began pulling together as communities, people of all races, backgrounds and walks of life began looking past themselves to something bigger: the rebuilding, the protection, and the defense of a beautiful nation. Firefighters, police officers, welders, construction workers and so many others would come in droves from all over the country, on the backs of big rigs, stop at red lights in NY and be cheered on by the business men and women who were waiting to cross the streets to try to carry on a “new normal” workday. The builders rebuilt and mended the broken walls while the New Yorkers tried to make some semblance of understanding of their, now, broken city. Hope was slowly seeping into every crevice, chasing away the shadows, as love ones were pulled from the ruble, as small miracles were found along the way.

Everyone went the extra mile, wanting to leave no one behind. Everyone worked hand in hand, side by side, to restore the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness upon which this nation was founded. Bravery, chivalry and just sheer, raw, unapologetic guts and strength were applauded that day and each day thereafter.

It was a horrific tragedy, an unimaginable crisis that brought this nation together that year, because the pain, destruction and new purpose for healing was bigger than any trivial opinion, any mindless political jargon, and any petty argument brought about by boredom and self-exhalation. Let us NEVER FORGET what happened that day and the days, months, and years that followed. Let us never be so consumed with the frivolous manic speeches of today’s media and the inessential accusations and fallacies that it takes this kind of world shaking for God to once again get our attention as a nation.

Pray now, church.

Let us NEVER FORGET.

*I do my own not possess either of these pics. Found in a simple google search.*

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Thanks to all of YOU who have read, inspired and encouraged me over the past four years! You are who make this blog interesting and worthwhile. These last four years have been a blast, and I look forward to many more! 😊💗

Motherhood Would Be Easy If Not For This

This. If you are a mother who still has children at home, you need to read this. Especially if you have littles in your home, this is a must read. I promise, you will feel strength once you’re done. Jennifer Batchelor, the author, has an amazing way of bringing grace right to our hearts.

My favorite quote is, “I’ve yet to find a hack for parenting, though. There is only the slow, long, daily work of getting to know each child as an individual, and then tailoring your methods to meet them where they are.” She is so very right. When we get to tailor our lives to some other mother, or create in our child the responses we see another child has, we are destined for failure. We must find grace for the moment and remember, we all go through seasons in this life. We just have to learn to thrive in them rather than just survive.

What she shared is so very true. We must learn to lean into our hard. Reading her post led me back to a blog I’ve read so many times. This person has taught me the art of leaning so well; although, I’ve never met her in person, and now, she has simply left a beautiful legacy for us to read and remember. Kara Tippetts shared her heart time and again through this blog as she braved the struggles of cancer that wracked her body with pain, fear and doubt; yet, she came forth triumphant and victorious. She opened her heart through her writings so honestly and with such vulnerability that I stand in amazement time and again. I encourage you to read, Braving Broken to start. Her story still challenges me to find that grace everyday and live it to the fullest. 💗

Embrace Your Grace

I received this wall art for Christmas, and it made me cry (For those of you who know me, yeah, I know that’s a shocker! 😂) This meant so much to me at this time, because my husband and I had just had a conversation a few weeks ago about this very thing, and I was trying to believe in my heart what my head knows to be true of this statement.

If you don’t know me (which, just read a few past blogs tagged “family,” and you’ll quickly understand), you may not know that my family is my world. That old adage, “God, Family, Country?” …yeah, that just about sums me up. I love my family, and I love spending time with them. It doesn’t really matter what we do. Yet, there are times, when I feel like I need to be a better mom for them. No, honestly, I feel like I need to be “Supermom,” and as much as I counsel other moms that this is a farce, and they should never try to live up to this fantasy, sometimes, I find myself falling into the mind trap as well.

A few weeks ago, that was the problem. I was feeling overwhelmed with a “to do” list and piles of clean laundry to be fold, and a ton of other “musts” to be accomplished. I was feeling down and out, because I “didn’t have time” to fix meals for our family, keep us on a good, healthy schedule, fix the boys’ lunches, keep the house “spit-spot” clean, and follow all the expectations that a “good mother” should follow. I was feeling like I don’t do enough for my little family, and I was unloading on my husband. He listened…and listened…cuz, he’s such a good man.😉

We got through the junk, and we talked about improvements that were actually needed, and then he put his arms around me and just hugged me. He said, “I love you. You’re a great mom to our boys, and I wouldn’t want any other woman as my wife.” Then, he gave me this piece for Christmas. … you see, now, the reason for all the tears? (Yeah, I told you he was great!) 😉

I told you this story to tell you this: if you’re a mom, and you’re struggling today with feeling overwhelmed, insignificant, less than, lonely, etc., there is hope. Don’t allow the “Pinterest Moms” and “Facebook Supermoms” of this world to bring you down with expectations and burdens that you were never meant to carry. Recognize that God wouldn’t have put you in the family you’re in and wouldn’t have made you the mom of the kids you have if He wasn’t going to equip you and help you to be who He’s called you to be!

Will you need to re-evaluate your priorities, agendas and goals from time to time? Yes. Do you need to make sure you’re keeping “the main thing the main thing?” Yes. Will you need to step back from failures and mistakes, forgive yourself, ask for forgiveness from others, and start anew? Yes. And will there be needed improvements along the way? Oh. My. Goodness. YES AND AMEN!!

However, if you’re never doing these things, you’ll never grow, and your family will never be challenged to be more. A beautiful garden never becomes truly beautiful unless it has a season of pruning.

Just remember, you have to find your own niche here in this world of “motherhood.” You have to do what’s truly best for you, your husband (if married), and your children. What works amazing for one family might just bring down disaster in another. What would never work for your family might work perfectly for mine.

None of us are clones, and God never intended us to be! Can we learn from each other? Yes. However, every family must seek God to find what is His best and become just that!!

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Friday’s Friends #30

Today is FRIDAY!! Whoo-hoo! 🎉 That means it’s time to share a new “friend” with you.

I just found this sweet blog yesterday, and I thought it was perfect timing for today’s weekly event. My apologies for not having it posted at 11:00 this morning. I got distracted by a few things that had to be done, and I’m just getting back on here. 😜

Hanna has a great outlook on faith and hope, and I especially liked one of her more recent posts of how God is helping her to grow and strengthen spiritually, emotionally and mentally. She has a lot of wisdom for a young lady, and she’s learning more day by day. I do hope you’ll visit her site today, and I hope you’ll find encouragement as I did.