Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am in the process of putting together a new compact home office and have made several trips lately to our local Walmart, especially to the office/school supplies aisle. And, because the new school year is almost here, this aisle is very popular right now, buzzing with parents and children with their lists in hand, stocking up on brand new school supplies.

I witnessed two separate incidences this week. They both gave me something to think about, something to smile about, and most importantly something to blog about.

As I rounded the corner and entered the aisle during one of my trips, I saw a lady standing in front of the calculators looking a bit dazed and confused. She seemed relieved to see another person and wasted no time in asking me for my help. I glanced down at my shirt to see if it was blue, thinking maybe she mistook me for an employee, but then quickly realized that she was desperate and didn’t care whether I was employee or not. She held two things in her hands: the LIST and a calculator. She told me she needed a five function calculator and asked me if I thought the one she had chosen would be ok. Glancing at her choice, I seriously doubted it so I asked her what kind of math her child would be taking, and she told me pre-algebra. Most of the packaging was labeled so I pointed out several for her to choose from. ( I feel certain she could have figured this out on her own, but remember, by the time I got to her she was dazed and confused.) I even got one down and handed it to her. She was very appreciative and thanked me for my help. As she replaced the calculator on the hanger, she looked at me and said, “I will have to wait until payday before I can make this purchase.”

The next incident just made me smile! This time I was walking out of the aisle and away from all calculators big and small. A man was helping what appeared to be his pre-teen daughter to decide which one she needed. I could tell (can‘t really explain why, but just knew) that he was trying very hard to impress her with his “calculator knowledge.” “Ok, it adds, that’s good”, he said as he held it close to his face and studied it. “Yes, and I see it subtracts, so that’s good too”. Trust me when I tell you he was not trying to be cute or funny. Seriously!

When my husband was in college (many, many moons ago) he needed to purchase a scientific calculator. I think I remember taking out a loan. Then just a few short years ago, my son and daughter also needed one of those fancy, smancy ones for high school. You know how you just KNOW when you go to purchase something and the product you need is chained down or locked up that it‘s not going to be cheap? Yea, well, it took a store manager, a key, and a serious chunk out of my bank account to purchase both of their calculators!

So, my recent calculator related incidences have left this inquiring mind wanting to know something. With technology advancing faster than the speed of sound, and knowing that the same t.v. and computer you could buy today would be smaller, faster, better, and cheaper before you could ever get it carted out of the store, hauled home, and installed, why for crying out loud are calculators still so expensive? I mean I know they can do practically everything except talk , but dadgummit even a computer and t.v. can do that, as well as, add, subtract, divide and multiply.


“Attention WalMart shoppers: A calculator purchasing seminar will take place in just ten minutes in the conference room. Our team of well qualified associates will be there to help walk you through the process of purchasing your new calculator, as well as, to answer any questions you may have. Financial aid will also be available. Hope you enjoy your day and thank you again for shopping your friendly Walmart store.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sunday morning, the pastor’s message was centered on Jesus feeding the multitudes, the story found in the book of Mark. It was a thought provoking message and he concluded the service by giving us 3 challenges for the week:

-To spend time alone with God
-To look for Him every day
-And to not worry or fret over the things we have yet to obtain

I later studied the scriptures further and found that in Mark chapter 6 where Jesus feeds the five thousand, the disciples wanted to go shopping. “Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?” (Mark 6: 37b) In Mark chapter 8 where Jesus feeds the four thousand, the disciples once again question whether or not either the bread itself or the amount available would be enough to satisfy. “From whence (where) can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?” (Mark 8:4) In both incidences, the disciples did not grasp what Jesus could do. (Not to mention that they obviously did not learn a lesson the first time around) There was THE PROVIDER standing in their presence, and still they could not see that what they already had was sufficient. They wanted more.

I realize just how many times I mimic the disciples’ behavior by focusing on what I do not have rather than on what I already have, not trusting God to satisfy and provide. It prompted me to take an inventory of the many ways that God has blessed me; reasons to be both thankful and satisfied. Here are just a few:

1. Driving to work today, I did not start out as I usually do by listening to my favorite Christian radio station. The CD that I had inserted the day before began playing. As soon as I had driven about three quarters of a mile, I heard God speaking to me: “Lynn, turn the radio on. I want to sing to you this morning. You can listen to the CD another time.” I did and He did. I cried myself to work as He serenaded me with love songs. I am THANKFUL that he is a tender God and gives me personalized care.

2. My husband called shortly after I got to work and shared with me the opportunity that he was given to witness to an employee, an individual who has made many wrong decisions and mistakes in their life. My husband has a unique gift of compassion for the down-trodden (those who would be snubbed and ridiculed by most) and has proven it over and over again. This is one of the many reasons that I am proud of and THANKFUL for him.

3. I am THANKFUL for the roof over my head and that my husband is a hard worker and has a job to pay for the roof and everything under it. With the shape of the economy right now, I am grateful that my house note is affordable and the threat of foreclosure is not looming over me every month.

4. I read a blog today. It was created by two parents for the sole purpose of updating family; friends; and anyone who would pray with them on the condition of their precious little girl. It also became an avenue to ask for specific prayer requests. There are hospitals all over the place filled with very sick children just like theirs who have lost their innocence and have been forced to learn about grown up things too quickly with little time or energy left to laugh, dream, play, plan, or imagine; as well as, distraught parents who feel helpless and afraid. I AM truly THANKFUL that my children were blessed with a healthy childhood.

5. There are also many homes filled with single parents doing the best they can to provided financially for their family while trying to be both mom and dad, and unlike my husband and myself, my children did not have to endure the divorcing of parents, and everything that goes along with it - before, during and after. And for this I am also THANKFUL.

6. I am THANKFUL; however, for my step parents. They have become an elaborate part of my life.

7. I am THANKFUL for everyone, including my parents and step-parents for comforting, encouraging, and lifting me up during this journey with my daughter. I would not have wanted to travel this road alone. I never feel alone.

8. At the beginning of this journey, I wanted to run and hide from it all. I am THANKFUL I did not dig the hole I wanted to dig, crawl in it, and cover myself up with sorrow, anger, bitterness, denial, embarrassment, and so much more that would have buried me and robbed me of the chance to see God face to face.

9. I am THANKFUL that He will be victorious and the victory Satan is enjoying through the destruction and chaos of another life is so very temporary.

10. And on a lighter note, I am THANKFUL for many simple things in my life. Here are some of the things I love: Antiques; coffee; pralines; autumn weather; weekends in New Orleans; T.J. Maxx; Whole Foods Supermarket (especially the pastry department, especially the pastry department when Steven Segall is standing in it);blogging; lavender scented soap; Christian fiction romance and mystery novels; contemporary Christian music; old movies; eating out; the Smokey Mountains and Dolly Parton's rags to riches story; chocolate; candles; amusement parks; Christmas; my ornament collection; giving an unexpected gift throughout the year (to my children especially); receiving unexpected gifts; a good and simple recipe; blue and white porcelain; purses; the silly nicknames we have for our pets; a storm (when I do not have to be out in it); re-arranging furniture and re-decorating; vacations; romantic comedies; and finally realizing that there are way too many things that I love and that make me happy to be able to list them all.

What are some things you have to be THANKFUL for?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


While riding around in the New Orleans and Metairie area, my husband and I have observed the many houses that are still under reconstruction. Many home owners are having their foundations raised or reinforced. Some of these folks have not yet recovered from Hurricane Katrina and others are preparing for the future. I can assure you they are in hopes that they never see another “Katrina” in their lifetime, but since we are not in control of these things, they are wisely planning ahead. They know that regardless of anything they could do structurally, it is ultimately the foundation that will help insure that their homes will survive another hurricane or flood of that nature.

My children grew up singing the little song about the wise man who built his house upon the rock and when the rains came tumbling down his house stood firm, but when the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rains came tumbling down, his house went, “SPLAT”! I can still picture them singing this in church and doing the hand signals that went along with it. I wonder if I could get them to sing it again for old times sake? PROBABLY NOT!!

Approximately eighteen years ago (wow, just as I typed that I can’t believe it has been that long), we had a couple come to our church who had children about the same age as ours: three and an infant. Their stay was temporary and too short as far as we were concerned. The dad was working on his doctorate degree in music and they were obligated to return to Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina. We quickly bonded with this family and treasured the three years that they were here.

They loved God and it showed in every aspect of their lives, including and especially in the raising of their children. As we watched and observed them, their parenting skills had a profound affect and influence on us. Here are just a few of the things we learned from this little family that God sent to us during three formidable years of our children‘s lives, things they left with us long after their return to South Carolina:

-The easiest part about raising children is loving them.
-One of the hardest parts is making them lovable to others.
-We love them before birth and just expect that others will
love them too, but this is not true.
-These parents insured that their children were loved and enjoyed by others.
-Bad behavior especially directed towards others was never
excusable or reinforced no matter the reason. They had
definite ideas about this and did not want their children to
grow up with the idea that it was ok to act or treat others
differently just because they were tired or not feeling well.
-Correction and discipline were consistent and done out of love and nothing more.
-They instilled in their children an unselfish attitude and directed them towards putting the needs of others first.

All of that said, to say this:

Thanks being to God who sent this family into our lives, my husband and I adopted these same values and ideas and strived to instill them into our children. It was important to us that they were loved by others. They grew up in Sunday school, learning about God and about His love. They knew He was a part of our lives everyday and not just reserved for Sunday worship. I like to think that for all the times we failed, we succeeded in so many more. I have no doubt that we were building a solid foundation for them so that when the storms of life came, the ones they would have no control over and the ones they would create for themselves because while using the free will God gave them they would choose wrongly, the foundation would be there, a place to go back to, a place to rebuild and start over. They would be able to dig out of the rubble around them and rebuild on the foundation that was laid for them so many years ago.

Whosever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. Luke 6: 47-48

So my hope for my son and daughter’s future is this:


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

YOKED (Part 3)

The Beth Moore Conference that I attended in April (the one I mentioned in my last blog entry) was my first. It was wonderful! She titled her message, “The Holiness of Wholeness”. The text she used was from I Thessalonians. She had a seven point outline: Seven ways to become whole. Point #2 was the role others have in our wholeness. We cannot become whole without other people in our lives, this is the way God made us. To shut down, clam up, isolate ourselves during challenging times removes us from accountability and from community. It causes apathy or lack of interest, encourages us to wallow in self pity or pride and robs others of being a help in times of need. We need a close “community” of faith. They are to be our encouragers. It will be OK with us when they tell us enough is enough, lift us up by our boot straps, and help us to get back on track. Beth referred to this as “getting in our business”. But, can they be our “yoke-mate”?

Here is what I have learned so far:

At the beginning of our journey, our yokes are strapped on, our wagons are loaded and we get to choose our yoke-mate. This is crucial because it will have an affect on how we handle the load, and how we deal with relationships along the way. It can possibly determine the outcome, but will definitely determine the shape we will be in at the end of our journey.

Sometimes we choose to carry our burdens alone. But the weight is too much for us. We experience spiritual, emotional, and physical weariness. It is just too heavy for us. We are tired, bent over, can’t see for the sweat dripping in our eyes, we stumble and fall taking others down with us, loose our way, become impatient, mindful of only the end or destination, become fearful, and doubt God’s presence in our lives. We tend to want to blame others or even God when things do not go the way we want them to. We can become angry, bitter, and full of self-pity. As Beth Moore paced the stage during the conference, she would on occasion ask us, “Am I wearing ya’ll slam out?” At the end of our journey, will we be a heaped up, tongue waging, wore slam out kind of tired? Or will we be boastful and full of self when things go the way we want them to and we haven‘t invited God on the journey?

On this journey, there will be curious onlookers: Those who will try to advise, judge (I wonder what they did to deserve this?), those who will laugh at or mock us because they get enjoyment in seeing others down (it is true, there are people who are like that), and then there are those who will just be glad it is you and not them.

Our spouses can be our greatest supporters, listeners, advisers, and prayer partners. They understand better than anyone because they are possibly on the same journey. But, can they be our yoke-mate?

We cannot carry our burdens alone.
We are not to let our “community” share the burden of our yoke.
We are not to allow our spouse to become our yoke-mate.

“Take my yoke…”
God wants to be one of the two.
He wants that privilege.

For Him, it is easy and light. He is gentle and meek. But, mainly because He wants to. He loves us that much.

My journey may be painful, unpleasant, and unwanted; but there has been unexplainable peace, joy, and contentment present in my life that is indescribable when I have allowed God to take the yoke. I have plowed full steam ahead feeling His presence along side me. It has been a time of growing, a time of closeness with my Father, a time of dependence, and an unbelievable opportunity to show Him to others.

Yoked together with God, the journey, as unpleasant as the circumstance may be, can be spectacular and the destination victorious. The End.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YOKED (Part 2)

The first weekend in April of this year, I drove in New Orleans for the first time since my husband has been working there for the past two years. He had always driven everywhere we went and I never ventured out alone on the days he was at work.

A friend and I went to a Beth Moore Living Proof Conference held in the arena on the Friday night and Saturday morning of April 3 and 4. We left on Thursday morning to insure enough time to shop before the conference. We were afraid that all day long on Friday and the entire afternoon on Saturday would not be adequate time. We had to think really hard to map out this plan!

Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel”, came to my mind several times throughout our three day jaunt. To say that I was a bundle of nerves driving through this city would be putting it mildly. There were many challenges that I am not accustomed to, such as the u-turns, the more than two lanes of traffic, the traffic, the exit-only ramps that lead you to no- mans land if you accidentally get stuck taking one of them. There are also many distractions: taxi cabs, trolley cars, horses, carriages, pedestrians….

The people who live and work there would like to run over people like me. And they nearly did, on one occasion anyway. They can put Indy race car drivers to shame with their speed and agility. Everyone is in a hurry. For them, point B is where it’s at. They are all over point B and will run over you getting there. Unfortunately, while they have become accustomed to the things I consider to be obstacles and distractions and can drive through them as if they were not there, they have also become accustomed to the things I consider to be worthy enough to slow down and look at. Because they live there and see them everyday, they take the old buildings and all the architecture, churches, restaurants, landscaping, schools, etc. for granted. For them it seems to be all about the destination, but what about the journey?

My daughter has and still is taking me on a journey that I do not want to be on, one that I never dreamed in a million years that I would ever be on. I have been harnessed. My wagon is loaded, actually over-loaded, now what? To be continued.

Monday, July 20, 2009

YOKED (Part 1)

There was no defining moment, not one single moment where I went from dealing with shock, disbelief, anger, grief, self-pity, hurt, and on and on and on to where I am today. Rather, there have been many things that have had to happen to get me to a place where I have accepted this journey as a growing experience. It has been a turning point in my life as far as my relationship with Christ. This is not to say that I have “arrived”. By no means do I feel that “all is well with the world“. I still struggle. I still hurt. I still get angry. I plan in the near future to document and share some of the emotions that I have experienced and my struggles with each one of them. But I have loved Him, longed for Him, depended on Him more than I ever have in my entire life. He allowed all of this and I am thankful.

The verses below are so familiar that I could have recited them by heart, but they had never spoken to me in the way that they did a few months ago. I had never needed them like I did at that moment. God used them to begin a change in me. He began chipping away some of the hurt, pain, and confusion from my heart.

Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 28-30

The Greek translation for yoke in this passage of scripture is Zeugos, meaning Team.

In other words, a yoke is a harness meant for more than just one. A yoke is meant for a team!!

I read about various yokes used on the oxen and here is what I learned: There are different kinds of yokes: The head yoke, the neck yoke, and the withers yoke. The head yoke is strapped behind the horns. The neck yoke is bow or u shaped and fits around the neck. It is also called the bow yoke. The withers yoke is placed in front of the withers (the highest point on the animal’s back). Regardless of the location, the head, neck, or withers, they are all strapped or harnessed to the oxen’s body. They are tools, or means by which to haul, drag, or pull. It is to the yoke that the wagon, plow, or other equipment is attached.

Here is the interesting part that I read, the part that really got me to thinking: The head yoke is the favored yoke by the farmers because it restricts the oxen’s head movement, forcing them to stand still. They are quieter with less fighting or resisting. This tells me that the oxen are less than eager to have this apparatus strapped to their bodies. They do not want yokes!

Life is a journey. Along the way we encounter trials and heartaches and they are unwanted. We WILL get to the destination or to the end of the trial, but it is what is in between that really matters - the journey! How are we going to get through it? Are we going to try to go alone or with the wrong team mate? Are we going to go from point A to point B fighting, kicking, and screaming, so tired that by the time we get to the end we are of no good to anyone, not to others, God, ourselves? Or are we going to allow God to carry the burden? This is what He wants to do!! Will we reach the end stronger, a better person because of it? To be continued...

Friday, July 17, 2009


I am in New Orleans on a little weekend stay-over with my husband and my 8 year old niece. The trip is more for her than anyone else. My brother and his wife are coming in tonight and we will be doing some fun things with her tomorrow, like going to the Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas, Imax, etc. There has been much shopping and many purchases made on our trip so far, and I think that’s what prompted me to have the dream I had last night.

On occasion, I have longed to be able to go back in time and have one more day with my children as babies or toddlers. I especially feel this way when I look through their baby albums. I realize just how fast that time went by and I miss all the sweetness of those day. As bad as I may ache to hold them or rock them one more time, I know that it is impossible. And then I am reminded once again that, through God, all things are possible. He fulfills my desire in the form of a dream. And last night I had one of those dreams.

My daughter was approximately 3 or 4 (in my dream). There was sooo much cuteness going on - her porcelain-like complexion, sea-blue eyes, and blond bouncy ringlets. We were on a little get-a-way and my dad, her granddad, was with us. She was insistent on buying toys or souvenirs and teasingly my dad asked her if she had any money. When she said no, he would tell her (again teasingly) that he would get it for her, but she would need to give him an IOU. This went back and forth between the two of them several times. At the end of my dream and in parting with my dad, I instructed her to give him a hug and to thank him for all the gifts.

She ran to him, threw her arms around his neck, squeezed tight, and in the squeaky little voice that I fondly remember said, “Thank you, pappaw for all the I.E.O.’s!”


Thursday, July 16, 2009


She is a faithful companion. She brought comfort to me during the darkest days of my journey. Very seldom did she then and does she now ever leave my side. (Of course this is probably in hopes of me accidentally dropping a morsel of food.) She is what I would imagine a perfect teenager to be like. She does not talk back, does not ask for money, does not drive, is not embarrassed to be seen in public with me, and does not care what everybody else is doing or that she is not wearing the latest fashion.

But throughout all those years of preparing my children for the real world by teaching them things like: not to talk with their mouths full, to say please and thank you, to respect their elders and never talk to strangers, never one time, not ever, did I have to say to one of them, “Do not lick yourself on the couch”!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


by Mark Harris

It’s only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I’ll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I want to know
Your walking in the truth
And if I never told you
I want you to know
As I watch you grow
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings
May passion be the wind
That lead you though your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories
It’s not living if you don’t reach for the sky
I’ll have tears as you take off
But I’ll cheer as you fly

This past May the graduation ceremony at our church included this song.

It seems like just yesterday that I celebrated my daughter’s graduation. Today, a little over three years later, as I reflect back, I need to ask her these questions:

Precious girl, why aren’t you walking in the truth?
What happened to your dreams?
Or your courage to do great things?
What happened to your passion and conviction?
Your strength?
The moments that were to make your life so sweet?
What happened?
What kind of memories are you making?

Please look up! Look up from your pit dwelling. REACH FOR THE SKY. It is with tears that I promise to cheer as you fly!

Friday, July 10, 2009


I try very hard not to read too much into everything she puts on the message board of her phone, face book, or myspace page, but this week I could not help but to wonder what she could have possibly meant by a statement like, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”.

Here is what a mother who just got home from spending the weekend with a daughter who has chosen to live her life in a way that will never honor and glorify God wants it to mean. Her lifestyle goes against everything she was taught and against everything she should do and could be. With every fiber of this mother’s being this is what I want it to mean:

Mom, I was the caterpillar - thinking this is it, this is all there is, nothing else. The bottom is as low as I can go. But over the weekend you showed me unconditional love, you did not condemn, you did not lecture, you did not beg, plead, or cry, or want to know why - you just loved me, not for who or what I have become, but for who I am: YOUR DAUGHTER. You made me feel worthy. I know I can break free and soar. Mom, everything is going to be OK. I am going to be OK!

Maybe it did mean all of this or maybe it was just simply in reference to a butterfly and a caterpillar and nothing more, but I think for the time being I will choose to believe that she wanted to convey this message to me.

Yes, this is what I choose to believe!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


(Constant - always present, ready, repeatedly, not changing, faithful, loyal)

I am so very thankful that God saw fit for me to grasp the importance of being constant.

For a long time, I could not face my daughter, her decisions, HER LIFE. I fled from all of it. God touch me with his mercy and grace and gave me some insight as to where I needed to be in my relationship with her by bringing this to my mind:

What would give one hope stranded in the middle of an ocean?
To see land.

What would give one hope stranded in the desert?
To see water.

What would give one hope stranded on a deserted island?
To see people.

It has taken much time and much prayer for me to get to where I am today in my relationship with her. I truly have had to work through all of this and there have been many dark and ugly days, but I hate to think about what I would have missed in this journey had it not been for God’s mercy and His grace in my life.

If not me, then who? Who would be her constant?

She is not standing on solid ground.

She is in a barren place and needs water (living water) to survive.

She is alone in a world where she does not belong, surrounded by enemies of God and friends of this world.

God, allow me to be the steady for her until she is standing on solid ground. Allow me to take nourishment to her until she can get it on her own, and please allow her to accept it and not reject it. Her life could depend on my faithfulness and frequency. God, she needs me, I need her, and we both need you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


On the first Sunday in May, my family, the four of us, went to church together for the first time in a long time. The pastor’s sermon was titled, “Upgrade your Friends.” After a few minutes into his message, he called someone up to the platform to give a personal testimony.

As the guest speaker’s story spilled out, he was able to offer a message of warning and a message of hope. He was on his way to a promising career as a professional football player, but he allowed the wrong friends to lead him into a life of drugs and alcohol and later into a life behind bars - a prison sentence for man slaughter. He warned of the dangers of having the wrong friends and conforming to be just like them. He compromised everything he had and everything he dreamed of to do just this. He shared with us that he grew up in church and had attended Sunday school from the time he was a little boy. He knew Christ; at least, he knew of Him.

My daughter could have joined him there on the platform.

She did not, but she COULD have. She could have told her story. Her entire future lay before her; the world at her feet, a blank canvas. She could have shared how the consequences of having the wrong friends caused her to leave a field of clover into a dry and barren desert. She could have captivated the congregation and moved them with her personal experience and heartache that would have pierced their hearts. She could have offered them a message of warning. She also attended Sunday school all of her life. She knows Christ.

The speaker shared with us that it was not until he finally turned everything over to God and allowed Him to fill his life, the one that once filled with self, the wrong friends, drugs, and alcohol that he could begin to offer hope to others.

My daughter could NOT have joined him there on the platform.
Maybe ONE DAY, but not this day.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Monday, July 6, 2009


I kept my 8 year old niece a few days ago. And among the one million and one things she talked about during the course of the day, from the backseat of my car and on the way to town, she got on the subject of tattoos. I will not try to remember how or why the subject came up, but it did. She shared with me some people she knew who had tattoos, the subject matter, and where they were located. Do tell!

I wanted to use this opportunity to say something to her, something profound, something that would be forever etched in her mind, something that she would never forget and would possibly change her life entirely. So I dug deep into my closet of wisdom and came up with this:

“ You know that tattoos hurt, don‘t you.”

She asked me if they numbed or deadened your skin while getting one. I told her, “No”. I went on to give her a vivid picture of every stick of the needle, the pain that would make her eyes water, and the insertion of dye that would forever change the color of her skin. I told her that as pretty and colorful as they were in the beginning, over the years they fade and become ugly. (I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, but was trying to recall something I had seen on television once). Nothing like a little scare tactic to make an impact. I was on a roll so I went on to tell her that if she ever decided to get one, to be prepared to do a lot of crying and screaming.

It worked! She told me that the only tattoo she would ever get would be the kind that sticks on and washes off.

I blew the smoke from my pistol, placed it back in the holster, and walked (or in my case, drove) away. We left this topic in the dust. She moved on to another one and we both moved on with our day. While sporting our new homemade bracelets, we went to hangout with the famous mouse at the famous pizza joint. ( I wonder if he has a tattoo?)

Maybe while in the process of “directing her path”, she directed mine.

“Avoid permanent reminders of pain and sorrow. When they come to stick, wash them away, hence, avoiding irreversible scarring.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My daughter to keep. Deliver her from evil. Rescue her from a destructive lifestyle. Restore her to her senses, and bring her home from the land of the enemy. Guide her into truth. Teach her to recognize deceptive ideas and thoughts. Maker her alert to the lies of the enemy, and teach her how to resist the devil by faith. Thank you for drawing my daughter with love and tenderness to yourself, even in her desert place. Show her that you are with her. You delight in her. Amid the clamor for her attention and affection, may she hear YOUR voice calling her and respond to your deep, deep love.

I wish I could take the credit for these prayers, but I cannot (At least not for writing them anyway). They were taken from a prayer card, “Praying for Prodigals”, by B.J. Reinhard. This card stays in my journal as a reminder for me to pray one or more of these twenty-one prayers for my daughter daily.

She asked me not so long ago to NEVER stop praying for her. WOW! I still do not think I have grasped what kind of awesome responsibility this is.

And to be perfectly honest, then I would have to admit that sometimes I fail miserably at my commitment. Before you judge me or think me terrible for not praying for my own child, let me assure you that Satan loves to deceive, dishearten, and depress. Most of us are only one crisis away from falling into his “lie- filled” trap. And in my weariness, I have been known to buy into the deception that my daughter is never going to “come home” and my prayers are not making a difference.

And then God restores my senses and guides me into truth. He allows me to recognize these deceptive ideas and thoughts and makes me alert to the lies. He draws me to him with his deep, deep love and tenderness. It is through the truth, a cheerful heart, and the hope that surpasses all understanding that He shows me that He is with me -- MY SOUL TO KEEP.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The blogs I read on a regular basis and some that I have read on occasion have made me laugh and cry and rethink my priorities, some have made me want to cook and eat bacon, to be better and to do better, while others have made me want to go find something in my house and turn it into something else. Most of them are written with the depth and ease that make me feel inadequate in the area of being able to transfer onto a document anything that is on my heart and in my head in such a way that would hold the interest of even one reader. I’m a little scared to be here. No I am a lot scared.

My family supports me and tells me that I can do this. This make me even more nervous because I immediately think about some of the American Idol contestants. You know the ones who stand before Simon Cowell like a deer in the headlights right after he tells them how treacherous it was. You agree with Simon and wonder what ever in a million years made these people think they could sing. And then they explain. Their family and friends have told them all their lives that with a voice like theirs they were all but destined for stardom. So, family of mine: Thanks for your vote of confidence, but I’ll not fall prey to your prejudice perspective.

What if no one cares what I have to say or I run out of things to say.

What if it takes up too much of my time and consumes my thoughts.

What if I can’t handle criticism.

What if I forget that God will direct those who are suppose to follow my journey here and popularity or lack of it becomes an issue with me and I forget to be myself.

What if my sense of humor sounds cheesy. Oh, God, please don’t let it be cheesy.

Now that I have nearly talked myself into backing out of this whole thing, let me move on to what I AM certain of.

- Gratitude for still having a sense of humor.

- A desire to reach out to others who may also be on a similar journey. I am walking a walk all the while living, learning, and loving as I go.

- I want to be the recipient of blessings as others share their wisdom and their journeys with me.

- For the past few years, the prayer chain for my daughter has grown and I cannot think of a better way to expand it even further.

- I am certain that even though I walk through the valley, God’s perfect love is casting out my fears. Even though I am caught in the middle of this great big storm in my life, I know that through the calm and through the storm, in every high and in every low God will never let go of me. I am confident. See it. See the light that is coming from my heart as I hold on, a glorious light beyond all compare. I know there will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes I want to know and praise God and

- Most importantly, I want to show Him to others.

(Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go”)