Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Cost of Disobedience

I have had the privilege for the last month to participate in a Ladies' Bible Study with my mom and some really lovely women.  My mom had been talking for a long time about how she would love to participate in a study but that it was "for the younger women."  I made an "executive decision" that WE would participate.  I have hungered for the company of other women in Bible Study for many years but my own inadequacies have kept me from finding and attending one.  The study we have been engaged in, "He Speaks to Me" is by Priscilla Shirer, daughter of Rev. Tony Evans. Ms. Shirer is part of the Beth Moore "team" and she is a lovely, inspired teacher.  God indeed has been speaking to me. 

Because of my recent hospitalization and "other" "things" I was unable to finish this study with the ladies but am resolved to finish it on my own before our next session starts.  As I started today's lesson "Hungry for His Direction" I just knew this, if nothing else, was the reason the Almighty had brought me to this study.

I recently mentioned to a dear friend how I had observed that most people (in my opinion) have peaceful lives with moments or seasons of disruption.  In contrast, my life it (to me) has been a very stressful, difficult existence with short seasons of peace.  I know, I know, I'm slow to get it.  Thanks be to God, however, that when the light goes on, it's like a "CFL" bulb and it burns brightly.  God has revealed to me that the moments of peace we have had - that I have had - have come when I have completely surrendered and "sold out" to HIS direction. 

The scripture for today's lesson was from Isaiah 55:8-9.  The verses directly above it, however, are the verses that speak to me today.  Beginning in verse six: "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; Let the wicked forsake His way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord  and He WILL have mercy on him; and to our God for HE WILL abundantly pardon."  [Emphasis added].

God forgive my disobedience.  Pardon me abundantly.  Show me the way back to you, to your peace, to your will.  Heal me.  Thank you for what I know You WILL do as I hunger for You, for Your word, Your presence, Your peace and Your power.  Love me - love us, as only YOU can. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Learning . . .

Up early this morning.  Spent a long night praying, thinking, wondering.  This journey is indeed a tough one but along the way, as I am led by the Holy Spirit to be transparent, many, many things are being shared with me about why I am "here" in this place and all the many, many things that God may want me to learn while I am here.  One of those things is the impact of unforgiveness on the physical body - not to mention my relationship with the Almighty.  I had a dear friend (who I KNOW is NOT the bravest of souls) share with me what she had been learning through a one on one Bible Study about forgivness.  This beautiful woman, who has had a MOUNTAIN of stuff to forgive in her life, was led by the Holy Spirit to share with me and I would like to say that was the first I was hearing of THAT message but, alas, it's not.  This is a message that has been resounding with me for weeks - possibly months and one I believe I ignore possibly to my very peril.  One day at home I heard a woman share how an unforgiving, angry spirit had actually caused her to gain weight.  She had witnessed and was sharing how letting go of her anger and unforgiveness had actually caused a change in her weight.  Now - I'm not sure I understand THAT completely but I can tell you, honestly, I know when my heart started to break and even though I didn't think I was angry about the situation - maybe I am.  I know that there are a number of other hurts - intentional wounds that I have had difficulty letting go of and it seems that when something comes up involving one of those wounds, it's like the wound is opened all over again.  The wound that just never gets a chance to heal and I am back in the same place again.  Needing to forgive, not understanding "why" I was wounded, maligned or transgressed against. 

I realize that not all of the issues on this journey are solely related to an unforgiving spirit but I believe carrying the wounds are making it that much harder to get better.  I have been considering more and more if I should just chuck it all and allow those powers that be to declare me "disabled" but I just can't go there.  I'm not going to let what God is allowing to happen become the very thing that keeps me from doing what HE would have me do with it. 

I read that those who are able to minister to others have themselves gone through a LOT to be able to give that gift and dear ones, I have had the privilege already of being in a place where God has used what I went through - in my life, my marriage, as a parent, daughter or friend to encourage and edify another.  I wouldn't have missed that for anything.  Although it is hard to remember that when it feels as though there is a big grey blanket over my head, my heart is racing for no apparent reason and all I can think of are the wounds, I KNOW I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  I CAN and will give glory to God and I will keep learning.  To forgive. To love. To let go.  To heal . . . on the journey, For His Glory.  For My Good. A2

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grace. Mercy. Coffee

Like a lot of people, my first thought in the morning is "Just give me the coffee and no one gets hurt."  I have been indulging in the amazing healing elixir that I believe comes straight from the Heavens since I was, oh, four years old. Now, now, before you decide my precious Italian mother should get a good finger wagging, know this: "Kid coffee" in our house was warm milk with sugar and a splash of something vaguely reminiscent of what I NOW drink.  My mom's coffee was WAY different then - before we bought our own Kona or Columbia beans and ground them well.  Before we knew that "good" coffee actually had more than a tablespoon of grounds in a 10-cup pot.  Oh, well, live and learn.  I digress.

I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to take a journey and I am asking you, gentle reader, to take a journey with me.  I believe I am led to share with you my journey to, through and  hopefully out of depression, panic and anxiety disorder.  There are different opinions amongst my inner circle of trust as to when we actually "set out " on the journey but most in that circle know of it - at least in part as they are living the inadequacies of a physically and emotionally broken body. 

There is a lot to share and a lot I want to learn about all that God is allowing me to go through on this journey.  I feel a kinship with King David and Job  and understand truly what the Apostle Paul spoke about when he referred in the 2nd Letter to the Church at Corinth, Chapter 12, beginning in verse 7 to the thorn in his flesh that he had been given as a messenger from Satan - to keep him, essentially from getting "too big for his britches" about all the Good that Paul was allowed to be a part of.  Although Paul prayed (the scripture says that Paul BEGGED) for this "thorn" to be taken from Him, God, in verse 9 said to Paul each time "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me."  Oh, my friends - I know that God's grace is sufficient as I can look back and see that His grace and His mercy have covered me, The Bear, the Man Cubs, our Daughter in Love and all of those we are privileged to have on the Journey with us.

This morning in my quiet time, I was directed to Psalm 42.  While I know deer pants for water and my morning human screams for COFFEE, more than anything I need to NEED the Almighty as I know that God and God alone has the grace sufficient to see me through every step of this journey.  Lamentations 3:23 reminds us that God's mercies are renewed afresh every day.  There are days dear ones that I cannot do more than move from one sleeping place to another and I need someone to remind me to drink water.  Other days, my feet hit the floor and Satan says "Uh, oh, she's up!"  I have nothing to offer you other than what I have learned and what I am learning but this one thing I know: God does not leave us here helpless.  He can heal.  He will heal, in His way, in His time, for His glory.  And thankfully, along the way, the deer get water.  And we get Jesus, grace sufficient for the thorns, daily renewing mercies. And coffee. Love you. A2

Scripture Reference Courtesy of

Monday, May 21, 2012

We Got This

A week ago today, very early in the morning, my husband who had gone into work prior to the start of his watch, began to text and call me.  He needed to let me know that there was a family in crisis - the family of one of our officers and things did not look good.  One of our day shift officers had gone in to wake up his wife and she was not responsive and not breathing.  Despite immediately beginning CPR and activating 9-1-1, the officer's wife was still not responsive.  An hour later, the officer was told that emergency and hospital personnel had not been able to revive his wife. She was gone.  A Daughter of the King had taken her last watch; responded to the last call and she was Home. 

I only had the privilege to meet this young lady one time but, in a week, I can tell you, she was doing what she could - in spite of years of chronic illness and pain, to live out the directive of Proverbs 31.  In spite of her fragile, pain-filled body, she and her husband had adopted not one, not two, but FOUR special needs children who now range in age from four to nine, two boys and two girls.  Stacey had another child from a previous marriage at a young age and he is now 18 and the very loving big brother to these little ones.

One of the first things I found truly amazing was that when our Officer returned home to his little ones, he shared with them that Mommy had gone home to heaven to be with Jesus and he prayed with his children.  Wow!! First and foremost, he set them to right thinkin' about where their mommy was.

I arrived at their home and in spite of what I know is incomparable sadness, there was a peace in the children and their daddy.  They know who their momma was and they know where she is now.  The Word of God tells us that "He who began a Good work in you . . . HE is ABLE to complete it!" Stacey began an amazing work in the life of her oldest son, in her marriage and in the lives of those four precious little ones that she and her husband CHOSE in SPITE of her chronic illness and physical pain.  Debilitating, disabling pain.  But her life and her home and her children are all a testimony to what was important to her.

So, this if for you Miss Stacey - anointed Daughter of the King.  You and I and other LEO spouses know that for each of our LEOs, shifts end.  Sometimes, the end of the shift comes in a way we didn't expect and that was the case last week.  The end of your shift, darling Stacey, came quietly and unexpectedly but I want you to know ma'am - we got this.  Your last call came and you responded.  Take rest in the arms of Jesus, sweetie. We, the other Daughters of the King will take it from here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Not Even Embers

I love to garden.  Love the feeling that I somehow have even a small part in God's creation.  Fruit, veggies, plants, flowers.  Silk plants. (oh, wait, no part in those except the purchase).  Inasmuch as we live in the desert, my handsome hub tends to get a little overzealous with the watering and roses do NOT like overwatering.  We put in a new rose bush a few weeks ago with all kinds of promise and a week ago I went out and the stems and stalks were, well, rubbery.  Like asparagus when it has been over-steamed.   Yuck.  Multiple buds were just dying even before they opened. I tied up my precious plant and told the Hub "DO NOT WATER."  We're growing grass and other things and he can certainly water THAT stuff 'cuz the roses were plenty saturated.

So, all that being said  - three years ago, all that I thought my life would be, all the dreams that I had for myself, all that I thought God was directing me toward just, well, died.  Everything I thought was going to come to pass, any vision that I had for life was a pile of rubble.  Torched and hosed down without so much as an ember of the hope that had sustained me even through difficult days when our man-cubs and marriage were young and struggling.  This morning, as I am wont to do most days, I read the devotion from Proverbs 31 ( and learned that I am in the company of some fairly awesome women whose dreams had died.  I was reminded that God promises to give us beauty for ashes or, in my case, for dreams that have been so torched and drowned that not even an ember remains.  (I think my dreams had  become more like charcoal - capable of being reignited but otherwise, just a lifeless lump).   More than any other day over the past many (1,069 to be exact), I had hope.  A real reminder that God has not forgotten that He gave me dreams and desires and hopes and even if I don't know what He has planned for the pile of rubble I am right now, He DOES indeed have a plan.  He STILL has a purpose.  He still moves mountains and He can and WILL take the mess that is my life and allow me to be used for HIS glory.

Back to the roses - the rubbery, overwatered, dyin' on the vine roses.  The bush is drying out and after reading this morning's encouragement, I went out to water the budding seed that hopefully will be grass and there it was.  One, beautiful, soft peachy-pink rose with the most heavenly smell ever!  Only one but it was enough.  God - the Almighty - knows how to grow roses and He CERTAINLY knows how to grow me.  I am a broken, battered, scarred woman. Just ashes but today, there was an ember.  A small warmth that I know can and will be stoked back into a flame that shines the love of Jesus.  Beauty for ashes where not even an ember could be found.
With His love, for His Glory - A2

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Moan Ee Yah!

Yuck.  I hate respiratory issues.  My disdain for all things respiratory puzzles most when I tell them that I have worked in a Level 1 trauma center.  yep.  I did.  Loved it.  Fast paced, on your feet, running. The respiratory stuff, however, was never my favorite thing to contend with.  Cannot tell you why - just isn't.  Heaven knows, as a Mommy, I have wiped my share of booger noses.  Even before that, in the babysitting trenches, LOTS of drippy noses.  Yuck.  As if the issues with my poor broken body weren't enough, I now have pneumonia (pr. new moan ee yah - sort of like NYUKE LEE IR not NOOK YOU LAR - just threw that in)!
We have been surrounded by dirt since we moved to The Mission and when you're already in overwhelm, the lawn is the LAST thing on the priority list.  Till the dirt makes you ill and ya gotta get grass.  So the Bear Hub, the oldest Man Cub and my Big Bro moved some composed cow poopie and added it to the back yard.  The rather big back yard and lo, and behold, THAT dirt has nasty ickies in it.  The bacterial, cause-pneumonia-kind.  Now, I have NEW MOAN EE YAH! Coughing, blowing, coughing, wheezing, chest-crushing, blah blah blah.  HOWEVER - I have great docs and I KNOW I'm gonna get better.  I keep sayin' I'm far too busy to be sick.  I am, really.  What I am reminded of, however, is that God is still God.  Our needs are met and I have an amazing husband, parents and friends.  Soup, tea, "frozen sock therapy," antibiotics, cough medicine and popsicles.  All designed to help me get well.  I am thankful, as well, that God has surrounded me with a peace, in spite of this illness, that He is working things for my good and all I have to truly do is rely on Him.  and I am.  Respiratory things don't gross HIM out.  Boy, that makes me feel better.
Love you (cough cough) with HIS love, For HIS glory! A2

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I HATE scorpions.  hate 'em.  First sighting.  Laundry room.  Monday, April 23, 2012.  Time to call the bug ladies.  DIE EVIL SCORPIONS, DIE!!!!

nuff said.