Sunday, December 19, 2010

My daddy. He doesn't recognize me anymore.  I looked into his eyes and knew he was confused about who was looking back at him.  He heard my voice and called out my name, "Deb!" I went to him and touched his delicate, bruised hand that was covered with a band aid from his fall. He recognized my voice but when he looked at me all he saw was a grown woman staring at him, not his little girl. Confusion gave way to sadness.
Growing older is an oddity. My eyes (and my mind) are not as sharp as they used to be and gravity is causing everything to slide south! But instead of a mid-life crises, I am experiencing a mid-life awakening. The beauty of watching my children turn into young adults I am proud of. The resposibility of taking care of my parents as much as I can from a distance, and celebrating twenty-five years of marriage to a boy I had a crush on from church back in high school. I can face all these changes in my life when I trust every step of this journey to be taken with my Lord and Savior. For trusting is not a destination but a life long pursuit that will bring great joy along the way. Trusting that no matter how difficult this journey may be, God has purpose in the pain, the laughter, and yes, in growing old.
No matter how old I get, I will always be Daddy's little girl. There are a few things in life that don't change!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in everything you do and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Precious Present

  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.....
Decorating the tree is  equivalent to opening a treasure chest of yesterdays.
As I placed each ornament on the tree, my hand touched a memory that took me back to an earlier time; our first Christmas together, the baby’s first Christmas, ornaments from places we visited. 
At Christmas we tend to look back, become nostalgic, sometimes sad. Our thoughts can also jump to the future with worry and uncertainty. In all this we can miss today, the gift God gives us this present day. Yesterday is behind us, tomorrow will take care of itself. Today is a gift. When I was a teenager, I was given the gift of a book The Precious Present. I pull this book off my shelf this time of year to remind myself where I need to be. There is a beautiful line in it that reads:
 “The present is who you are
 just the way you are....
right now.
And it is precious. 
You are precious.” 
Christ is also our Precious Present for He is our gift today and for all our days through eternity.  This Christmas I hope you will unwrap God’s gifts to you through your faith in Jesus Christ. And may the Peace of Christ reign in your heart today. In the true sense of the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, may you have completeness and a quietness of the soul.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:7-9
Grace and Peace this present day,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Listen To Dead People

The first of December and all through the house, you can see signs of Christmas. Time to pull out the decorations and try to get into the seasonal cheer. For me, it starts with my Christmas music.
  Many, many years ago, one Christmas when my husband and I were first married, I pulled out all my favorite Christmas albums, Elvis, The Carpenters, Jack Benny, it went on and on. Because Christmas is my favorite time of year, I had all the old classics.
   As we were decorating the house, my husband asked me, "Why do we just have dead people music?"
"I don't know", I said.
So he goes out and buys the latest, hottest Christmas album, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Once Upon a Christmas."
I tried to like it... but it was, well, new.... and those people weren't dead yet. It just didn't have the same meaning.
 It is interesting to me how nostalgic we become as we get older. Christmas becomes a time of looking back, clinging to some comfort we might have had as a child. Those old familiar songs take me back to a seemingly simpler time, when Christmas was magical and the mystery of it all brought unspeakable joy.   
 Today as I write this, I have my nonstop Christmas music playing. It's the best from the 40's to the 60's. I guess it makes me nostalgic, or weird. But I like the old stuff. 
So, Kenny Rogers dead yet?

My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psam 28:7

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feeling Lonely?

No one who knew Linda could see it. She always had a smile on her face and hands and feet that kept busy with her home, family, and volunteer work. But there was a loneliness deep within that no social gathering or crowded shopping mall could relieve.
Sound familiar? Do you ever have those moments?
Loneliness is a mood not a permanent situation. It is a snapshot of the moment.
It is normal.
You are normal.
This kind of loneliness comes from a lack of connecting on a deeper level with those around us. It is a longing to get past the superficial and penetrate the soul.
A sure fire remedy to get reconnected is to get outside of  oneself and do something for someone else. Jesus said, “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.” John 15:12 
But when that pendulum swings the other way, be careful. Sometimes in our quest for happiness we seek to fill every moment in our lives with something. 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Sometimes God might be using quiet moments alone to speak to us.
Even in our loneliness, we are never alone.
Right now, you are not alone.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dust Collectors

It’s time to clean out the clutter I have collected all year to make way for more clutter we will receive during the giving season. I find it odd that I will be throwing away or giving away those items that, at some point in time, I thought were so important or I paid good money for! When I was newly married my plan was to get a diamond anniversary ring for my fifth wedding anniversary. Five years went by, then ten, and twenty. At some point along the way that ring became very unimportant to me. The treasures I find dear to me now are no longer trinkets. They have been replaced with relationships and memories.
While Jesus walked this earth, the treasures He held as important were people and matters of the heart, loving one another.
I ask myself this question; What really fills me up with peace, joy, and contentment? Is it items that collect dust or the sound of laughter in my home? Is it the very home I live in or the sound of my husbands whistling, the touch of a soft hand?
All the trinkets we can collect while here on earth can take time away from all the treasures we should be storing up in heaven.
I think I will start with my closet.....

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:18-20

Monday, October 25, 2010

We Are Not Home Yet!

I attended the Women of Faith conference this past weekend. Looking out over a sea of faces, I realized each woman there had her own story, her own share of troubles. Equal to the bonding of souls I witnessed, was the brokenness of hearts.

“In this world you will have trouble.....”

 I am reminded  of all the suffering the Israelites went through between their release from slavery and arriving in the Promise Land. Although God was with them, they had their share of trouble. He had to keep reminding them they could trust Him along the journey.

Like the Israelites, I have been saved, I am no longer a slave to sin, but I have not yet reached my Promised Land. So there will be suffering and longing for peace while I am on this journey. This journey which will take a lifetime to get me to my final destination.

How is God calling you and me to trust Him along the way?
To finish the scripture I began, In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16: 32-33

Monday, October 11, 2010


I was having a party and I was the only one invited. It was my pity party. Knee deep in what I call the funky mood, sometimes I may get too comfortable there. I was finding no peace in all situations around me. Couple that with just being a woman with hormones -- dangerous combination.
A reality of life is that typically things don't run smoothly and that is when our moodiness can set in. When we allow circumstances, usually beyond our control, to zap our joy, time and energy. But even when circumstances are beyond our control, God is still completely in control. He gives us several ways to cope with our female moodiness. It's called  P.M.S. -- positive mood solution. One positive mood solution is the Holy Spirit. He gives us the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace........ remember? When we let the Holy Spirit control our lives, we will better be able to manage our moods, through prayer, talking to Him and telling Him everything.
Another P.M.S. God gives us is the sisterhood. They are our sisters in Christ around us. The girlfriends we can be ourselves with and they love us anyway. After we go to the Throne, we can go to the phone. It's great to have a friend we can share our moods with and sometimes that's all it takes to snap us out of it.
Give God your moodiness then start your own sisterhood club.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point our anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taking Care of My Husband

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
 Romans 12:1-3
My husband has gotten the news that his cholesterol is high and his diet must change. It has been suggested to him to cut out as much animal products as possible. Being the good wife that I am, I google low cholesterol  menus and make everything from scratch. I must confess at times I want to say, “Honey, just get back on your medicine and let’s go have a steak”. But instead, I bear my cute apron, work tirelessly in the kitchen and still manage to look like June Cleaver. (Not really, except for the apron part). 
I lay in bed at night with my tummy growling and I dream I am withering away. So as my husband works diligently at the office to make a living for this family.... I sneak off to Chik-Fil-A and chow down!! Oh, the sweet savor of the #1 combo meal, on wheat buns of course!
Back to reality. This is not a food blogsite, however, I must share with you this amazing Country style gravy recipe. Ya’ll, it is really tasty!
2 c hot water
3 T soy sauce
1 T onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c cashews
1 T yeast
1 T corn starch

Waiting on God

I am not a fan of waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on the road while construction crews work, or even waiting on God to answer important prayer. Waiting forces me to not move forward. In this fast- paced world we live in, we have developed the philosophy that to not move is to not be productive. Therefore, I subconsciously feel God is not being productive in my life because my urgent prayers are not “moving forward”. I confess this line of reasoning is not equal to the Christian maturity I had hoped to achieve at this point in my walk of faith. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians,  when we are in our weakest state, his power is made perfect. Ironically, when I am in my weakest state, I feel just the opposite. That God is not working in my life. I know this is not true, and yet I can still feel this way.
When we are feeling great about our lives, wonderful things are happening, all is right with our little world,  we lean on our heavenly Father the least.... and the enemy attacks.
Feeling weak, helpless, impatient, we come before the Lord and wait on Him for our strength, direction, and patience. This is when our faith grows deeper and we can be used for His kingdom in a mighty way.
Are you feeling weak, helpless, or impatient as you wait on the Lord? Thank Him for this pathway to receive His power at work in you.

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 The Message

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mission Trip to Tuxtla

Returning home last Sunday, my feet hit the ground of  Bush Intercontinental Airport with gratefulness, but my heart was left behind in Tuxtla-Gutierrez. We served as a medical/dental clinic the first three days in the home-church of Pastor Carlos, his wife Nellie, and their three beautiful children. Their home was a cinder block, cement floor building no larger than the three car garage we put our two cars in. I admit I was shocked by the living conditions so primitive to our way of life, until I saw the rest of the neighborhood and realized their home was a palace and a safe haven.

My dental hygiene equipment consisted of one scaler and a disposable mirror, a cup of water for rinsing their mouth, a bucket for them to spit in, ( when the bucket got half-way full, we poured it outside) and a flashlight I had my translator hold.
The community was waiting for us when we arrived and by the end of day, we were turning people away. These people never had their teeth cleaned before in their lives. You can’t begin to imagine what I saw, yet they were so gracious and thankful for my service.

Two days were spent in the orphanage. Each child there had a heartbreaking story of their own. The doctor working with us on this trip, Saul,  shared with the children that they were not a mistake. That God is their Father and He loves them and has a plan for each of them. This made a huge impact in their lives because Saul was once an orphan himself and he rose above it to share the hope he had found through Jesus Christ.
It took faith for me to go, it took the hope found in Jesus Christ to encourage those around me, but the best part of all, was the overwhelming love I received, giving back to me a thousand times more than what I gave.
There are three things that will endure; faith, hope, and love.... and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane

I’m leaving today on a medical mission trip to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. I can think of a thousand reasons to talk myself out of this trip; I hate to fly, I do not know anyone else going, will they have International Delight French Vanilla coffee cream for my coffee?
But there is one compelling reason I can not shake: God is offering me an opportunity to do this for Him. He is calling me to trust Him.  He is taking me out of my comfort zone and into total reliance on Him.
Being out of our comfort zone isn’t ....... comfortable, is it?  But that is where His refining fire can polish us to reflect His image. We mature most in our faith journey when we are not in control, when we totally depend on God to take us to the next step. 
So, I am asking for God’s refining fire to make me shine, faith to take that step onto the plane, courage to speak my southern-twangy broken Spanish.
You can pray for me also, to be His hands while I treat patients, to be His feet when I walk into that orphanage.
When I return, I promise to give a full report and encourage you to take the step out of your comfort zone and do something AMAZING for God!!!
For everyone will be tested with fire. Mark 9:49

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Developing Personal Quiet Time With God

Where do I find the time for bible study?The kids are up at the crack of dawn, I send them to school, rush to do the work I do, then there is the grocery store, prepare dinner, help the kids with homework, get them ready for bed. I’m exhausted by the end of the day!

As women we live a fast pace life running from one thing to another. We almost feel guilty if we sit and take time for ourselves. Ladies-- personal quiet time with God, will be the  most well spent time in our day. If we prioritize our day by putting God first, he will give us the time to complete what needs to be done for that day. After all, the Creator designed how many hours should be in one day. I know God is not saying “Girl, you are way too busy for studying my Word. Don’t worry about it, take care of all that other stuff first!”  
How important is daily quiet time?
It’s time away. Away from the busyness of life. The children, phone, laundry, work, errand running, the list goes on and on. It’s just you and the One longing to be your best friend. It is intimate time worshipping Him.

 Find a place and a time that is free of distraction. All you need is a pen, paper and your Bible.
The habit  of putting Christ first every day will change your mood, relationships, and affect all those within your care.
The Word
by Sara Groves
I've done every devotional
Been every place emotional
Trying to hear a new word from God
And I think it's very odd
That while I attempt to help myself
My Bible sits upon my shelf
With every promise I could ever need

And the Word was
And the Word is
And the Word will be

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Someone Is Watching You

Trying on clothes in a department store, I begin  looking at myself in one of those three-way full-length mirrors. Staring at a side of me I do not normally see, I say to myself, “Is this what I really look like?” 

I often wonder what others see when they look at me. Do they see me living out the life of who I say I am, or is there another side of me I do not notice that others do? I think of Job. He feared God and stayed away from evil, a blameless man of complete integrity. (Job 1:1) I want to be like that.

Are you and I who we say we are: children of the living God? Not just when we think people are watching, but also in those times where we are being observed inconspicuously, such as in our homes with the ones we say we love the most. As children get older, they watch for authenticity in their parents. They watch how we act in church versus at home. My children watch how I handle adversity. Do I go to the phone and complain to my friends, or the throne and seek guidance from my heavenly Father? We never get too old to be setting good examples. I know a handful of amazing women in their eighties who have seen it all and yet shine Christ’s light through their well-worn eyes. I want to be like that.

Someone is watching you. What are they seeing?

Lord, let me be genuine in my walk. Help me to glorify you with every heartbeat, and to always remember that someone is watching me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Junk in the Trunk

  I received a message through my e-mail that someone I used to know from school wants to be my “friend” on Facebook. The only recollection I have of this girl was that she called me a bad name on the playground in fourth grade. That is the only thing I can remember about her! Did we ever talk to one another in junior high or high school? I may forget what happened yesterday, but I can tell you down to the last detail what happened on that playground over 35 years ago!
 Do you ever have trouble letting go of something from your past? A grudge perhaps, maybe it’s past sins (either yours or someone else’s) that you think you just can’t let go of. Holding on to the  baggage of yesterday will never help you move forward in your life. It’s a waste of time to keep going back there!
 Your yesterdays may be filled with baggage that is much more serious than a Facebook stalker. Its memory may wake you up at night. It could be why you are taking medication, seeing a therapist, or even refusing to leave your home. It can keep you in bondage that can be suffocating.
The Apostle Paul explains it so well when he says, “Forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. “  You can never look forward in your life if you are constantly looking back! It doesn’t make you stronger and it won’t heal you. Don’t buy into the lie from the Enemy that forgiving yourself or others makes you weak. On the contrary, only those who can fall into Christ’s grace and mercy can be strong enough to forgive! When you allow the One who forgave you of all your sins, to work and move in your heart to let go of the past, it will be the most freeing experience you can ever imagine.
There is true beauty in a woman who can love enough to forgive.  

 What are you holding on to today that you just need to give to God?
Give your ‘junk in the trunk’ to Him, He knows what to do with it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does Jesus Have A Southern Accent?

The old dinner table had all the fixings: fried chicken, buttery mashed potatoes, green beans, and the sweetest tea you have ever sipped. Prayer was said, and we would commence to eating. My grandmother would hover over the table watching everyone, making sure we all had our fill.
This was a weekly occurrence in my childhood following the eleven o’clock service at Calder Baptist Church on Sunday mornings. The South is known for strong family ties, Baptist revivals, and sweet tea on a hot summer day.

Time and age have given me a great pride for my southern roots. There seems a love for Jesus here that connects us together. It’s not uncommon to share your faith in everyday circumstances; while shopping at the grocery store, I passed a friend with a cart full. She stopped long enough to tell me of a friend of hers whose father passed away suddenly and she was cooking a meal for that grieving family. I thanked her for telling me and said I would be praying. And I did just that.

On the rare occasion I have left the South, upon my return, I always feel like Jesus is welcoming me home. Yes, he lives in the South with me. He sits on the front porch with me, loves old gospel music and does not make fun of my twang. 
Jesus may be everywhere it’s true, but in my heart, he has a southern accent too.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest; 
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast."
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say by John B. Dykes

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Before Summer Ends

I was reading an article by Kim Talbert, where she reminded me that my thoughts and actions determine the quality of my life more than physical circumstances. I want to savor each day that God gives me with a healthy perspective. So, it seems fitting that before summer ends, I have just a few more things on my list I want to do. The list below reflects some of Kim Talbert's suggestions as well as my own.

Catch a fire fly * Make home made ice cream * Gaze at a starry night * Thank God every morning he gives  you * Pray for others * Go to church * Read a good book * Nap in a hammock * Tell your family you love them every day  * Think positive even when you don't feel like it * Remember life is not all about you * Forgive * Wear sunscreen * Say your prayers * Turn off the television and sit outside * Love deeply * Behave as if God is watching (He is) * Smile at strangers * Cut fresh flowers * Keep faith in hard times * Relax * Take a walk * Live everyday as if it were your last.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Art of Relaxation

Relaxation. I’m desperately honing my skills at it as I lie here on the beach. Closing my eyes, I listen to the sound of seagulls squawking as they walk up and down the beach in hopes of finding someone’s leftovers. The ocean is magnificent, churning and foaming, roaring continually with all its might. The wind hitting my face, I can smell and taste the saltiness of the ocean.
It’s unfortunate that I can’t stay in this tranquility for long before endless mind chatter invades my peace.
“Be still and know that I am God” comes to mind. I take a deep breath in and release it slowly, trying to focus on the beauty of God’s creation, his majesty and sovereignty over the ocean. A healthy looking young woman walks by and suddenly I am thinking I should exercise more.
A state of wanting and wandering instead of being.
I look over at my husband in hopes that he would inspire me to relax.
He’s checking his e-mail.
[heavy sigh]
I’m going to put this pen down now and enjoy this perfect moment.....even if it kills me.

You rule the
oceans.You subdue their storm-tossed waves. Psalm 89:9

Monday, July 12, 2010


Rummaging through a box of old books and family Bibles, I found my grandparents sign-in book for their wedding. It was 1925. I noticed my grandmother's parents didn’t sign the book- were they there? Did they approve of the marriage? I wondered if she wore a simple gown. How did they meet? I then found  this picture of my great-grandmother holding my dad as a baby. At the bottom of the box was a smaller white box, which transported me thirty-six years later. Scribbled on top was my grandfather's name and the year he died. I opened it to find all the cards sent to the family upon his death. In the span of five minutes, I traveled about eighty-five years back in time, wondering about lives of people I never met. How their finding each other brought births that brought more relationships together.
What looks like chance encounters to us are all part of God’s amazing design. Our family relationships are like threads woven in the fabric of a blanket, each connecting to the other to create a pattern. That pattern is our legacy. I thank God for the pattern of my “family blanket”. The love and reverence for our Father that has been past down from one generation to another.
It’s never too late to make your family blanket pattern beautiful. Start instilling a legacy of His love today that will last past your lifetime.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

Monday, July 5, 2010


She suffered with a type of cancer that could have been fatal. It wasn’t a disease that was attacking her body, but her marriage. She woke every morning surrounded by the weight of a heavy darkness that was coming from within her heart. She knew her marriage was dying. Like cancer, it was eating away at her very being. In despair, she would fall to her knees and beg God to take this from her. In those moments of complete surrender, He reminded her of the sacrifice He made for her, forgiving her of her sins, and that she was called to do the same.
Forgiveness is not an emotion and she certainly did not feel like giving it, but forgiveness is a command from God. It was something she could not do on her own, only by the power of the Holy Spirit. She realized that if she chose to nurse bitterness, it would shut down any healing that needed to occur in her marriage, and eventually would eat away at her from the inside out.
Forgiving brings peace and peace was just the medicine her marriage needed.
What grudge might you be holding on to that is not allowing peace and healing in your life?

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25 NLT

Prayer: Father God, help us to let go of a hurtful past and forgive others like you have forgiven us. Amen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Calling All Middle-Aged White Rapper Moms!

Christian Women Online

Toby Mac plays on the radio and I start my version of a forty-seven year old white rapping mom. My son pleads for me to stop. What?! Am I not allowed to be silly? Too bad, it’s in the blood. My ninety- something year old grandmother used to do the hula for us and shake like Elvis. She also use to speak her mind whenever and wherever she saw a “long- haired hippie”. Just for fun, she used to stick her tongue out of her toothless mouth at other drivers while at an intersection. I don’t condone this behavior now, for fear of being shot, but she did love being silly. It seems I inherited it!

Laughter is great medicine for the body and soul. All throughout the Bible is recorded times of singing, dancing, and laughing with shouts of joy! When my husband and I were going through a particularly difficult time in our young married life, it was suggested to us to find something to laugh about together daily. We took this seriously and it really worked! It doesn’t make problems go away, but for a moment it buffers any hurt or fear you may be experiencing. It’s okay to be silly.

I saw a woman today in her sixties and she was toting a hot pink and turquoise bag that read take a giggle break. How true it is! I think it's even more crucial as we get older to hold this philosophy. if not, we take life way too seriously! That's no fun.

How do you find ways to be silly? What makes you cock your head back, wet your pants, laugh 'til you cry? Am I alone here? Are there any other middle- aged white rapper moms?

Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we'll skip and dance all th

e day long. Make up for the bad times with some good times; we've seen enough evil to last a lifetime. Psalm 90:11 The


Friday, June 11, 2010

How Is Your Vision Today?

My teenage son and I were going for a walk one breezy summer morning. He was telling me about something that was fascinating to him and I was smiling and nodding my head, but my mind was wandering off to all the things I needed to do. As if what was really important was not what was happening at that moment.
Sometimes I can be blinded from today because of my focus on tomorrow.
When our vision becomes so focused on the future moments; major decisions to be made, an illness we are facing, or a goal we are trying to achieve, even just our “to do” list, it can actually blind us to the purpose God is giving us in our everyday life, in the here and now, the day to day routine that can seem mundane and unimportant. With everyday, God is preparing us for what lies down the road. There is preparation in the now for what will happen later. What really matters is how we handle this day. Can you see His purpose in this day? It may be to glorify Him through your interaction with your family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. To show patience and kindness.
To view our lives with "holy perspective", as a life lived in balance, usually requires a “seasoned faith journey”. Our vision, through the lens of our faith, focuses our view on God’s greater purpose in the ins and outs of everyday life.
Psalm 118:24 - The psalmist states that this is the Lords day, and we should be glad! We should be, but sometimes we’re not.

How do you view your everyday life?Take the time today to be aware of your surroundings. The comfort of your chair, the sound of birds outside, the smell of fresh cut grass, the taste of homemade ice cream. Find something to cause you to bust a gut with laughter! Show love to those God has placed in your path.
What really matters is seeking purpose in today.