Wednesday, December 15, 2010


When I take those moments in life to stop and think about who I am, where I have come from, and where I am going, it is very easy to see the numerous places that I have missed the mark. Whatever the mark may be! It is all too tempting to see the “bad” me; to see the numerous places that I have failed to meet the expectations of friends, family, employers, myself, and God. But I want to look at things differently! I don’t want to look back and see my failures anymore! I want to look back and see my successes! I am tired of measuring myself by what I have not accomplished; by what I do not have.

How do I do that?

I don’t have some great prescribed, or even contrived, answer. Like most things in life, I think it must start with baby steps! Baby steps are hard for me! I like to start and finish and in one breath! So how do I baby-step something like this? After all, I am asking myself to see myself in a completely different way! My grandmother used to say, “Well, you’ve got to start somewhere, so you might as well just start!” How apropos! So where do I start?

Maybe a good place to start is to list out some of the things that I know God created me to do. Where am I at in these things? What has the Lord been able to use me for?

How about just thanking God for all of the things He created me to do! He made me with vision and purpose in mind! And He is God, creator of all things big and little. So, if He thinks I am worth having a destiny, then surely I am!

Over time, I have thought a lot about destiny! For a while I thought that my obsession was because I was just lost in this world. I kind of felt like the sheep who wandered away from the heard. Only I didn’t really feel like anyone was looking for me. I felt like I had to find my own way back to the flock. Maybe that is part of the blindness that comes with being a sheep. Over time, I have decided that I am not really that unique in wanting to know what God created me for. I think it is that most people have an innate desire or need to know that they were made for a reason! Jeremiah says both, “You were created in your mother’s womb with a purpose” and “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”. Well, shouldn’t we be asking, “What is that purpose? What are those plans?”

If I had to put into one word what I think my destiny is about, I would say “children.” I believe that the Lord created me for children! For a long time, I was happy taking care of other people’s children, but I didn’t really believe that I could be living out my destiny if I didn’t have children of my own. I still want…crave…to have children of my own one day, but I can see things a little more clearly now. I don’t know exactly what made this shift come, but I know it has something to do with understanding the heart of God as a Father a bit better! But now, I can live my day and declare that I am not only preparing for my destiny, but living my destiny each and every day!

The Lord created me to declare His truth, blessing, and love over children!

I don’t have to have children of my own to do this! I get to do it every day that I walk into my classroom, every time I baby-sit for friends, every time I hold my niece! I get to live out my destiny just by loving on babies!

I have a dear friend who is a Children's Pastor at a church. I used to work in the baby room and when recruiting helpers to assist, she would often say, “I just need someone to hold babies and love on them.” I used to get slightly offended by this. I loved taking care of the babies, but I just felt like this phrase was misleading. It made me feel like whoever the helper was, they would expect to just sit in a rocking chair and hold a baby and do the fun stuff, but I would have to change the diapers, stress over which child eats what and when, etc. I didn’t like that a place that requires so much work was introduced in such a casual way. Well, I was wrong! Schedules are important. Babies are much happier (and so are their adult friends) when they get fed on time, have clean underpants, and get a little nap or two in during the day! This is true! I knew they needed to be loved on, but I was seeing love in the aspect of meeting their physical needs. I always wanted to meet their spiritual needs as well, but I somehow put that as secondary to taking care of the basics. What I was wrong about was the value in having people present to just hold and love on each of these precious ones! We all need to know that we are loved! We all need to know that we are special enough for someone to take time to cuddle with us! We all need to know that we are welcome; not in the way! I think that far too often, we treat children in dismissive ways! I know I have been guilty!

The other night I was babysitting a 6 year old (Amy) and a 1 year old (Samantha). We went to a restaurant for dinner as a special treat. Amy was so excited about having a fun date that she would NOT stop talking!! Every other second she would say, “Oh and that reminds me of another story!” At one point in time her little six-year-old head was balancing the telling of 3 stories…simultaneously! Her little sister, Samantha, is fairly low maintenance. But being one-year-old, she requires some assistance in eating. I was trying to feed her and listen to story #203 and I all of a sudden felt my head get so overwhelmed that I just looked at Amy. In my head I thought, “Child, what do I need to do to make you stop talking for 5 minutes?” I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to convey…she was welcome to be with me. She was not in the way! I wanted her there…maybe a little less vocal…but I still wanted her to be with me! So, I took a second and what came out of my mouth was this… “Amy, I bless you as a story-teller! God has given you the gift of telling stories! He likes hearing you tell stories and so do I! But I need to give Samantha some attention now, and my ears need a little break. I need you to take a few minutes and eat your dinner. Can you please save your stories for a little while?”

You should have seen the excitement in her eyes! She had been exhorted as a story-teller instead of being told she was talking too much! When I told her, “God made you a story-teller”, she even agreed and said, “That’s right!” At the end of that little teaching moment (for myself as well as Amy) I felt really good about the way I handled things. I felt like I had remembered that Amy was created with a purpose…I don’t know that her purpose involves telling stories, but I do know that God gave her the desire and ability to recount details and communicate those things to other people! I want to bless her in that and encourage her, rather than leave her feeling like she is weak or less of a person because of her need and desire to talk a lot! That was a moment when I felt like I had lived out my destiny…to declare God’s truth, blessing, and love for children! How amazing to get to the end of the day and be able to say, “I have lived out my destiny for today!”

Monday, August 9, 2010


This is a small list of the many ways that God has brought healing into my life in this past year. WOW! How amazing is our God, that He is capable so much more that we know or see!

1. Delivered me from the belief that I am my provider.
2. Replaced a spirit of abandonment with security.
3. Healed me of chronic debilitating migraines! Oh yeah!!
4. Removed a spirit of fear...fear that tangled through me in ways I didn't even know...and replaced it with truth of my identity and the authority through Him.
5. Showed me the loving heart of a Father. How a Father loves, provides, disciplines, and embraces His child!
6. Delivered me from un-forgiveness. The Lord has given me the grace and mercy to forgive people who have hurt me and offended me - without even needing them to ask for my forgiveness. This was HUGE! I didn't really know how long the list was of people that I held offense again, until I was able to start forgiving some of the "big" ones.
7. Along with forgiveness, God has freed me to be able to pray for the blessing of His love and hope for my (physical) father. This was honestly the biggest thing that I think has ever happened to me! I haven't been able to pray for this for my father, primarily because I hadn't been able to set him free from the places he had wounded me.
8. God is teaching me how to cry! That may sound dumb to some, but I have never been very good at crying things out. Sometimes you just need to cry. There is something cleansing for the spirit in it. But I haven't been able to. My tendency has been to stop myself as soon as I start to cry. Then eventually there is so much built up that I just spend a good 10 minutes weeping and then crash once or twice a year. Even that 10 minute sob is very hard for me to get out!
9. I've been given a greater humility to acknowledge and ask for forgiveness for ways that I have injured others! This is pretty big, means not only admitting I was wrong, but also declaring that my words or actions hurt someone else.
10. The Lord has brought greater freedom from RA pain and debilitation. I can snap again! And I can clap! I love to just snap and clap away while I am worshiping, because I feel like it is a way of declaring the goodness of God!

Now I call that an awesome testimony! Thank you God, for the blessing of your love! Thank you for teaching me...showing me a greater measure of the love you have for me! Thank you for making me new each day! You amaze me!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I've been wanting to change my bio for my blog, but I just haven't done it! I even wrote something out, but then the computer got shut down before it got saved. I've really been thinking about what my blog says about me lately. Does it portray the image and stories I want to out-live me? The thing that really got me thinking about this was that I feel like I have changed a lot since I last updated my blog bio. It's still me, and the stories along the way are me. But is the introduction still who I am? I don't think so. I think there is a little more substance...a little more experience in life. And even with that, I still feel like I just began the journey of discovering who I am and what God created me for!

I don't have an updated version to post for now, but I think I'm going to be thinking about it a little harder. Maybe one day soon I'll actually get around to doing it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So the week is progressing! I got this wild rush of energy last night and moved all of the boxes that were stacked in the middle of the room to the perimeter. I can now see the floor! How exciting!!! As I was moving the boxes out of the way, I decided that I have WAY too many boxes of books and art supplies! Out of about 50 boxes, I think that only about 10 of them are something else! The problem here is that I am not in a "going through books and art supplies" kind of mood. Plus every time I get rid of art supplies I end up regretting it. Oh, and the books aren't going anywhere either! So, for now I will just have a room outlined by boxes! But it just feels so amazing to have a restful place to just stop and think! And to have the time, too! I am so grateful!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Peaceful finish to a VERY Busy Week

This week has been about the busiest of my life, I think! It was just down-right crazy! It was filled!

I moved yesterday and today into my new place. So of course the week was filled with packing and sorting and all that jazz. If that isn't stressful enough, I also got to deal with boy drama, car problems, five very heavy and emotional conversations, and just general day-to-day life stuff. I would like to say that I handled it all well and floated through the week without incident. That just wouldn't be true! I hate that I still haven't gotten to the point that I can keep one thing from running into another; resulting in greater stress! I just haven't made it that far yet! Progress has definitely been made and for that I am excited and thankful!

This afternoon I returned to the new home with my final load of stuff (except the cleaning stuff that will be getting used tomorrow). I walked into my room, looked at the stacks of boxes and chaos, and just started bawling! I think I just really needed to release the pressure that had built up from the week. I cried so hard that I ended up crashing for a few hours. Much needed rest finally arrived!

I woke up from a very hard sleep and got a wonderful blessing...a friend came over and helped me sort through some of the boxes for an hour or two. We got my bed set up and made, got some stuff arranged in the closet, and made a path for me to get from one side of the room to the other. I felt SO LOVED! It was so amazing to me how much that act meant! It kind-of makes me want to do the same for a friend when I get the chance! I can not begin to say how precious it was to me that she would do that! It wasn't an excessive amount of time, but it was probably the best thing that has happened to me this week...except maybe the morning another friend showed up at my house to help me pack and brought me a Starbucks!

I was just so moved to realize again just how much I really am loved, not only by people but even more-so by God! He knows just what I need and provides! Regardless of how I may feel sometimes, I am not in need. The only reason is because I know that God will provide. He only gives good gifts and he does not withhold good gifts! How amazing...and how true!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


There is something about moving that makes my body slow down and my mind speed up! Moving is listed as one of the top life stresses. I believe it! It isn't all bad, though!

I am preparing to move into yet another transitional home. There is a family from my church that offered to rent me a room in their home a few months ago. They have offered it in the past, but it wasn't the right timing for one reason or another. This time, we were both able to spend some time praying and seeking the heart of God in this. We all feel like it is a good move! I am excited about that! I can't wait to see how God grows our relationships and what other blessings He has in store!

The thing I am not so excited is that I will be sharing a bathroom with two teenage guys. That's right! Sharing a bathroom isn't a huge deal to me...after all I grew up with two sisters and have had several roommates! It's the "boy" part that I am afraid of! These guys are 18 and 19 and are renting the other room in the house that gets rented out. The bathroom is a common bathroom...shared by renters and guests. Is it silly to say I am a little (ok, a lot) afraid of boy cooties? I have several guy friends, and let's face it, the cleanest of guys (or girls for that matter) don't typically keep the bathroom up to Lynn-clean standards! I like the bathroom to be pretty much spotless!

Every morning I go through the same routine in my bathroom (which I don't have to share right now). I start off with a clean counter, plug my dryer in and blow-dry my hair. I then fold the cord up and hang my hairdryer while getting my curler plugged in. When I am done with that, I fold up the cord and hang the curler. I then brush my teeth and put away my teeth-brushing equipment and move on to any other primping that must be done. Before I leave my bathroom, the towel is neatly hanging on the rack, the bathmat is folded over the edge of the tub, and the shower curtain is pulled closed. The counter is wiped down and everything is put away. I like it to stay clean and clutter-free.

I can't expect other people to abide by my insanity. I know that! But I do get really frustrated when they don't! Just being honest here!

So, I am wondering...are these boys going to wipe down the counter after shaving? Are they going to shut the toilet seat? Are they going to put their bottle of shampoo back in the "right" spot after using it...or will they just leave it wherever? I've never shared a bathroom with single, adult men. I've shared bathrooms with married families that I have lived with and with children...and with other girls, of course! I am walking into new territory here! What should I expect?

On a lighter side (quite literally), I have gotten rid of more stuff! I think God has been breaking my tie to things slowly but surely! Each time I move, the stack of boxes gets shorter. I have let go of many things I never thought I would. And somehow, it doesn't bear the same sting that it did the first time I sent a load of stuff off to Goodwill! I take that as a blessing! I see that God is changing my dependence on things to a trust in Him! I am not yet at the point that I can relinquish all things, but it's happening!

I had a dream that I will try to write down in another post, but I feel like it is the heart of God being shown to me in this!

It is late and I am ready to turn in. Blessings, Friends! And thank you for taking your time to read what I have to write. It blesses me!
My Peace I Bring

My Peace I bring
My Peace I leave
That I may go to my Father

My Peace I bring
My Peace I leave
That I may got the my Father

Peace, Peace
Peace, Peace
Please be still in my Peace

Peace, Peace
Peace Peace
Please be still in my Peace

John 17:26-27
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. "

Monday, July 19, 2010

You Call

You call me Daughter
You call me Friend
You call me Lover
There is no end
To the love you have for me
The love you sing over me
You are my God

You call me Chosen
You call me Planned
You call me Destined
There is no end
To the love you have for me
The love you sing over me
You are my God

You are my Maker
You are my King
You are my Savior
My Everything
I kneel down before you
I fall at your feet
I worship you in awe

All I want
Is to praise your name
All I want
Is to see your face
I rise up to follow
And chase after you
I stand up because you call

You call me Daughter
You call me Friend
You call me Lover
There is no end
To the love you have for me
The love you sing over me.

The love have for me
The love you sing over me
You are my God
You are my God

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Changing Seasons

Have you ever stopped and asked God the question, "What would you like for my life to look like?"

I have been asking this question lately. I am pretty sure that I don't get it all, but I believe that God is so faithful to be answering me in ways I understand!

I am so excited about the things that are happening in my life right now! There is another new season! You know the feeling of the summer heat winding down and seeing the trees slowly change from bright greens to amber and rust? That is kind-of what I am feeling in my heart right now. The seasons are changing. They haven't completely turned yet, but the air is a little cooler, the colors aren't quite as intense, and the hope of the things coming is present!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Living in Obedience...or at least Trying. Part Two.

Where we left off…

In January, I finally decided that I could not keep running. The Lord was not changing what He had asked of me! The Lord was still urging me to see my security and provision in Him, not in the American Cancer Society! I turned in my resignation and left after almost 5 years of working for the same company. It was a bitter-sweet parting! I really did love the work I did. I was good at it. I made a difference in someone's life each and every day that I was there. Now, what was I leaving to? I had no clue! And I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was anything but frightened of what was to come!

Well, I was excited! I felt an overwhelming wave of peace as I finally stepped in obedience! I was antsy – in the good way – to see what God was going to do next! I started re-thinking all of the things I would “want” to do. I pretty much felt like a kid in a toy store! I could pull anything off of the shelf and it would be ok to make it mine. I wanted to use wisdom and discernment in this. I also thought this might be the time to jump into a completely new stream and swim for it!

But what? What did I want to do? What did I want my day to look like? What was I willing and able to put in for the result I wanted?

A LOT of options have run through my heart…

I could start a coffee shop and gluten-free or allergy friendly bakery. We could certainly use a few more of those around! (Says the person who would like to be able to walk into a bakery and actually buy something!)

The desire of school has been in my heart for a long time. I could apply to nursing school and get started on pre-requisites. Or I could get my training as a doula; something else I have wanted to do.

I could go back to being a nanny.

I could become a professional home organizer.

Wait…I could what? Organizer? Well, that’s what I have been doing for the last few months. And you know what??? I am passionate about it! Who knew?

Maybe God?

After weeks of sitting around and doing pretty much nothing…taking babysitting jobs here and there and spending a lot of time praying…and watching TV, I decided to post something on my church’s message board asking if there was anyone who was looking for someone to help them with organization…for pay of course. (Smiles and winks!) The next day I got an e-mail from a woman in our church who said she had just told her husband it was time to hire someone to come in and help out and then she opened my e-mail. Providence! I started working part-time as a personal assistant for her in March. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that my true talent lay in sorting, tossing, containing, and ultimately organizing 30 years of stuff that has accumulated for a home-schooling family of seven! I was on FIRE! Really…I knew that I liked to get things organized and finding a home for stray objects, but I had NO IDEA how much vision and passion I have for this! After three months, a schoolroom, kitchen, and multi-purpose space garage (food storage, sewing room, workshop, school and family paraphernalia storage, and play room); I feel like I have enough experience in this to say that God did something amazing! He took a like that was in me and turned it into life! And the really awesome part of the whole thing is that as we were quite literally fighting over throwing away math practice sheets from her fully-grown children, God was doing some AMAZING cleaning in my own heart!

I don’t have a whole lot of physical clutter. I once did. Now it’s mostly books, music, and sewing stuff. I have gone through everything of my last 31 years of life and tossed a LOT away! This was also a very spiritual experience for me. I found that I had emotional ties to a lot of things that really didn’t produce anything good in my life. They were just things…a lot of them were actually bad memories that I held on to. Now God was doing a very similar “moving out” cleaning in my heart!

You see, I see Jesus as my savior! He is the King of my heart! Holy Spirit is my very best friend and companion! He goes with me and sings the praises and love of God over me! He directs me and keeps my gaze on Jesus. But Father God? He and I haven’t traditionally walked all that close! I don’t trust Him. I’m getting there! And I trust Him a whole heck of a lot more today than I did three months ago…or six months ago when I left my job. My view of Father God has been one of a very mighty and powerful and huge man; almost like the pictures we see of Atlas holding up the world in mythology. But, rather than being allowed to do anything in my life with that power, my view of Father has been that He is chained up and weak. Despite the enormity of His stature, He really hasn’t had much allowance or power in my life.

Wow – that’s hard to confess! I love God, but I have really been missing the “Father” aspect of our mysterious Trinity.

Well, in this time of not working a regular 9 to 5 job, Father has taken up some residence! He has been capable of doing things in me that never would have happened if I didn’t have so much reflection time! As I was working many days, I would be sorting through someone else’s…mess…and God would show me where I had a similar mess in my heart! As I got the physical mess sorted out, cleaned up, and stored away appropriately; Father was sorting out, cleaning up, and storing away the things in my heart! I can’t explain it! It’s one of those amazing and mysterious things that happen when God has ownership of us!

In the last six months, I have come to not only see Father as powerful and strong (as opposed to chained and weak) but I have also come to welcome Him into my most private and silenced places…my past! I am reminded that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! The Father that is mighty and powerful…and ever so loving today was also mighty and powerful (and YES) ever so loving in the places in my past where enormous brokenness and pain still exist. He hasn’t changed! I have changed! And now, because I see Him as the good and loving Father that He is, He can walk back through those broken places and bring healing! I welcome His healing!

I have no idea if I will continue as an organizer. I loved it! Oh, by the way the job is over and I am once again unemployed. But, I am not afraid this time! The restoration that God has brought about in the last several months has been so amazing! I know that God has been my security AND my provision during the last few months…and I know He will continue to be!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I signed on the other day and it prompted me to go to the "new templates" that were available. I didn't select anything and I came to my blog and it was...well naked! So I then went back to the "new templates" and selected something...which I don't like! And now my blog is boring and ugly! It could be worse. At least it has color now. BUT I miss my butterflies!!!! Where did they go and how do I get them back??? I feel like blogger stole my identity! They thieved away my vision of what I want my page to be like and aren't offering very good options to replace it! Is anyone else having this problem...or is it just me?

Last Night

There is SO very much for me to write. See, writing is one of the primary ways that God gave me to communicate what is in my heart. But with that blessing and gift also come a responsibility that I do not maintain well. I find that when life is moving along at a steady but manageable pace I can write well and often. When life throws along the curve balls, however, I freeze! This is seen very much in my writing. It will stop for months at a time. There will be a few blips here and there where I am trying to make something happen and change, but by far my hands stay silent.

I am very much an "internal" processor. I told one of my close friends one day, "What can I say? I'm a PC, not a Mac." She thought it was cute, but something leaped in me to say that it was ok to be a PC...I just need to catch up to the PCs of today and get away from the 1970's giant processor that took all day to spit out one neat fact!

All of this said to say that I have been doing a lot of analyzing and processing without putting much out in the real world to say what's going on. As I mentioned in my most recent post, this year has been HUGE for me! On the surface it may seem like I have checked out, but oh man has furniture been moving around! My insides look entirely different...and the joy is that I know more is coming. I know that God will do what He wants with what I allow Him! I want to allow Him more!

So, as unexpected as last night was...I am so very thankful for all that happened! It would take me six hours and a 1000 page novel to really pour out everything that has taken place. I don't want to bore my readers or loose the true facts of what has happened so I am attempting to consolidate. Stories are important to me, as my dearest friends know. So this is a challenge!

The bottom line is that after the work that has been done over the last year and the victory of last night, God has more ownership in my life than I can ever remember Him having! There are things in my heart that have been my closest and most reliable companions that keep the Lord from really accomplishing all that He created me for! Things like fear, resentment, anger, bitterness, hatred, and the all-important unforgiveness. These spirits have been with me so long that I didn't even know how to really let go of them. They were nestled in places of my heart that I didn't even know could be accessed! Last night, God had the victory of pulling these things out of the depths of my being and replacing them with the truths that He has for me in their stead.

Here are some of the truths that were made known...that were realized in a new and fresh way last night.

1) I do not want to be a slave to fear! I am a mighty warrior for the Lord God Almighty. I no longer bow to fear, but stand with my head held high before my King, Jesus! It is done…fear no longer reigns!

2) Bitterness, anger, resentment, hatred, and unforgiveness are not my companions! They are death. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). These are some of his greatest weapons used, because we feel justified and somehow comforted in believing that we have rights to carry these. The truth of the Lord is that these weapons are bred from pride. Psalm 10:4 declares, "In his pride the wicked does not seek him (God); in all his thoughts there is no room for God." I don't like that this scripture applies to me. I like to set myself in the category of "righteous" not "wicked". I know however that my righteousness ONLY comes from the blood of Jesus! When I am walking along with my companions as the weapons of the enemy, I am not abiding in the righteousness of Christ. The Lord wants me to lay my pride down and trade in the weapons that the enemy has given me. His hearts desire is that I would know my righteousness - and that instead of allowing these tactics of the enemy to be my companions I would welcome His truth! In that truth, the fruit of Holy Spirit is bred; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See Galatians 5:6-23)

3) I need to welcome sorrow into my life to truly experience the Joy that Father desires for me! This may sound strange to some. I am not saying that we all need to gather around and conjure up a cry-fest and then afterward we will mysteriously find joy. What Father is showing me is that there are many places in my heart that have been shut off to feeling the grief and loss that I need to feel for true healing of those places to occur. It isn't until I experience the grief in my heart (sorrow) that I will really be set free of the bondage that occurs. The picture given to me about this was an ATM. Strange, yes...but it made sense to my heart! An ATM works on the principle of being able to take out what you have already put in. You can't take out what you don't have. And furthermore, you will only get interest on what you have invested! Several places in scripture discuss the Lord replacing our sorrow with His joy. One of my favorites is Psalm 30. The whole chapter is worth meditating over, but below are verses 5b and 11-12.

“Sorrow may last for a night, but His joy comes in the morning. You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”

So, last night I entered into a new place of freedom! Thank you Mighty Jesus! It isn't that these things just came to me and my thinking was changed. No! These things happened and my heart was changed! Somehow in the way that only God can do it, He conquered territory in my heart that I have never really been able to give Him by myself! He didn't steal it, either. He waited...and waited...and waited until I was ready to allow Him to move! He is so good! And He does all things well!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Living in Obedience...or at least Trying (Part One)

Life really is a journey; one that we can't always plan or predict. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Again in Proverbs 19:21 we read, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

I have made many plans in the last couple of years. I have even made them with the intent of following the paths that God lays out for me. Somehow these "plans" have not always been fulfilled the way I expected. This past year has been…well…I don’t know what to call it!
Here is the journey I have been on...the good, bad, pretty, and ugly! Through it I have learned a LOT and I know the learning is not over! I thank the Lord that despite the plans I make, His plans prevail!

In the spring of 2008, I began feeling like the Lord was opening the door for me to leave the job I was at...working as a Cancer Information Specialist with the American Cancer Society. I found a lot of satisfaction in my job, but I also bore a lot of sorrow that was not mine to carry! It was taking a toll on my health. I suffered chronic migraines, had restless sleep due to frequent job-related dreams, and the compassion that I typically had for people was growing thin. Several people in my life were noticing the effects that this job had on me and were counseling me to look for different work. I had a hard time doing that, because I felt like it was God who made a way for me to be there and I didn't know if what I was there for was complete. So, I started asking Him to let me know if it was time to move on.

I felt the movement of release from my job. But I didn't know what I was going to do! I thought about nursing school, completing a degree in Theology, or something else "school" related. Nothing seemed to "fit" at the moment. I continued along for quite a while in this place of my heart not really being in the day-to-day motions that I was living through. I was also dealing with a lot of health issues that really interfered with my ability to focus on anything outside of what was happening in the moment. I knew I was ready to leave, I just didn't know what to leave for!

In September, a prophetic word was spoken over me at church. I knew as soon as I heard it that the Lord was clarifying for me that not only was I ready to quit my job, He was ready for me to quit. That was pretty terrifying for me! After all, my job is the way I pay my bills, buy my food, and at the time much more important provided for medical expenses. My job was my security and my provision.

I went through that year at work, constantly feeling like I was in a place that I didn't belong. Work was fine. But underneath it all, in my heart of hearts, I knew I was disobeying the Lord. It was very hard to stomach! I was living in bondage, not freedom! And I will add, that the bondage I was in was because my view of what kept me safe was VERY skewed! Once again, I saw my job as my security and my provision. Without work, I would fall off the edge of a cliff and that would be the end! I was not going to quit my job until I had a clear picture of what it was I would be doing next. I told God this on multiple occasions. I even yelled at Him one night telling Him that what He was asking was unfair and that I WOULD NOT do what He was asking until I had another job! I sent out at least 60 resumes/applications throughout the year and got not one job offer! That had never happened to me, and I was taking it personally!

In the spring of 2009, now a year after all this began, I received another prophetic word, this one was very clear to the person delivering it as well as me; I was to quit my job. I couldn't do it! I didn't trust God enough to meet my every need. Despite the fact that during this time He had provided very inexpensive housing for me, provided a car, and surrounded me with people who would support me in the decision to leave. I could not bring myself to obey!

I started looking at options that would offer a "clause" to the leaving a job with no other job lined up and not having the savings needed to survive without work. As I mentioned, I had thought about going to a school of theology. I wanted more understanding of the heart of God and the destiny that He set in motion when He created me! I wanted to know what it was to live on the edge and trust that God will keep me from falling. So I applied to Bethel, a non-accredited school of Biblical Studies in California. I was VERY excited about going! I put my notice in at work and a wave of peace and release came over me. I had finally listened to the Lord...or had I? What had He been asking of me? Was it just about quitting my job? NO. It was about allowing Him to be my provision and my security.
These were two things that I just didn’t trust Him to be!

I found out just two weeks before I was going to move to California that I didn't get accepted to Bethel. I was heart-broken. That doesn't even begin to encompass what was happening in my heart! My plan had failed! I was now living in a temporary housing situation that was to end in a few weeks, had quit my job, and my heart was in the pit of rejection! I was terrified! What had God done? Why had He asked me to take the steps I had been taking? Why didn't I get accepted? What was I going to do now? These and many more questions swarmed in my head! I was so "lost" in this time that I had my doctor prescribe anti-depressants just so I could carry myself through each day. I couldn't think clearly, I couldn't feel clearly, and sometimes I couldn't breathe clearly!

When I found out I didn’t get accepted to Bethel, my supervisor at work told me that if I wanted to keep my job they would welcome me back. I just needed to make the decision within two days. A blessing.
Right? Well, the thing is that I KNOW that what the Lord had asked of me was to leave my job. That was ultimately my primary reason for applying to Bethel. It was the clause. If I left going to something, then I wasn't being irresponsible by leaving my job without another lined up. I knew the sense of relief and peace that came over me when I turned in my resignation. And I knew the excitement that was in my heart of getting to do something different than talking about cancer all day! I had experienced the first part of obedience and I didn't want to go back on that. On the flip-side of that truth, I also didn't feel like I could justify not taking my job back. It had been offered to me; without consequence of my intent to leave. I didn't feel like I could justify being jobless and living in someone's home as a guest, knowing that I could have done something to at least keep my job. The torment of making this decision (and in two days none-the-less) was horrific! I decided that 1) I could always quit again if I felt like I should and 2) they were about to go through lay-offs and if I got laid off instead of quitting I could at least have access to continued health care options. Whereas those are both valid thoughts, I am here to say that choosing to disobey the Lord just because we think we can justify it is wrong! It is still disobedience!

I kept my job and the following few months were some of the hardest and most difficult that I have ever experienced! They did go through lay-offs, but I kept my job. Some might declare this as a blessing.
I didn’t. I was still living in fear of what could happen if I obeyed the Lord and fear of what would happen if I didn't. That was the spiritual side. On the practical side...when many people are laid off, the workload feels much heavier to those that are left behind! I may have had a job, but I was miserable!

In January, I finally decided that I could not keep running. The Lord was not changing what He had asked of me! The Lord was still urging me to see my security and provision in Him, not in the American Cancer Society! I turned in my resignation and left after almost 5 years of working for the same company. It was a bitter-sweet parting! I really did love the work I did. I was good at it. I made a difference in someone's life each and every day that I was there. Now, what was I leaving to?
I had no clue! And I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was anything but frightened of what was to come!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Waiting Is Over!

As of yesterday, March 25 at 1:20 in the afternoon, I am officially an Aunty!!!

Oh, she is SO amazing! She was 6 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Meet Emily Kate Lawrence.

Marcie, my sister, is taking to being a Mommy like a natural! It is so precious to see her caring for her new baby! Unfortunately she had to have a cesarean section, but she is recovering well! She will probably be sore for a while and have to take it slow, but she seems to be doing great! Doesn't she just look so beautiful holding Emily?

And my Mother is on cloud nine! This is her first grand baby. She is absolutely smitten by this little girl! Then again, so am I!

Isn't she just a dream?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Waiting is hard to do

Patience has never been my thing. In fact, I am pretty notorious for just doing things myself that other's say they will do just to get the job done. Well, this doesn't work so well when waiting for a baby to arrive!

My niece is due any day now -- and I am having a hard time waiting! I want her to be here...yesterday! I just can't wait any longer! I am so excited that I am actually growing anxious!

I haven't slept well for the last two nights because all night long I am thinking that my phone is ringing to let me know that I need to get to the hospital. When I finally do fall asleep, do you know what I dream about? I dream about missing her birth. I actually had a dream the other day that my roommate saw me and told me how cute my niece was. She had gotten to see her and I didn't even know she had been born yet!

I am just so incredibly excited! I can't wait to post a picture of her and let everyone know that she has arrived safe and healthy and strong!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I spent the day taking care of odds and ends and relaxing. I also spent some time on the ever famous Facebook! I got reconnected with one of my good friends from high school, and of course that led to connecting to other old friends.

As I looked at the info pages, pictures, etc of these long lost relationships, I realized that I was starting to feel a little edgy. I saw some fun pictures back from "the day" and got a good laugh. I also started remembering some of the things that I had pushed way WAY back into the forgotten corners of my memory! Not all of high school was great for me. In fact, most of it just down right stunk!

Now, I'm looking through and seeing how this person has a beautiful family and this one had a great house. This one has an amazing career. Rather than feeling really happy for them, my immediate response to some of these people was - "Why didn't it work out that way for me? Why did they get...?"

Wow! I still have a lot of growing up to do! It's amazing how I can get jealous of people that I don't even really know anymore. Oh, how I wish that my heart was good enough to just be excited for other people without wishing that I could have what they have - or want something different than what I do have!

Lord, please continue to weed out the selfishness in me and teach me to be grateful for all of the blessings that I have! Show me ways to honor you and bless my friends and acquaintances. Father, thank you for continually meeting me where I am and showing me greater depths of your heart and your goodness! Thank you for always forgiving me for my accusations and judgements against others. You are a gracious and merciful God, and I will praise you all of my days!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Checking In

So I apparently only write on my blog about once a month now a days. So here is the catch up.

For the last year and a half I have been feeling like I was supposed to leave my job. I felt very strongly that the Lord was asking me to surrender my hold that I had. The more I meditated on this and asked God "why" the more understanding I had that it is because I place my trust and security in the provision of my job more than that of the Lord. So after much prayer and a fair amount of tears, I submitted my resignation and left on January 19. This was a HUGE step of faith for me! It took a lot of courage, but even more than that it took me trusting that God is my provider. I left without another job lined up and not really knowing what I want to do. I felt as though I was in a store and I could take anything off the shelf and it would be ok. But what???

I had thoughts of going back to nannying. I did this for years before I became a Cancer Information Specialist for the American Cancer Society. I love it! In fact, I feel like there is a piece of my God-destined purpose in caring for young children and families!

I contemplated getting certified as a doula. This is something that is right in line with my desires! I think of the opportunities I would have to love, care for, and support families as they prepare for the entrance and first weeks or months of their new child's life! Wow! I could sow some amazing blessings on families through that!

I dreamed of starting a Allergy Aware, Gluten-Free restaurant and coffee shop in the area where I live. After all, even as people become more aware of food allergies and health issues such as Celiac Disease, it can still be very difficult to eat out and get just what you want away from home. Oh to go to a place where I could order something more than a basic salad. I want to go where I can order a sandwich and KNOW that the bread is gluten-free and dairy free, that the meat doesn't have added preservatives, and that the dressings where made from as natural as it gets ingredients and everything is clearly labeled to let me know what potential allergens may be present! I still want to do this -- it just takes a lot more than I have right now!

I also thought of going back to school! School is always a good option in times of income deprivation and searching for that thing that you want to be when you grow up. Right? So, if I went back to school, what would I do? That's an easy one to answer! I would go to nursing school -- or at least to school to get the prereqs done while I apply and wait to get accepting into nursing school! What would I want to do with a nursing degree??? I would want to take care of babies! Oh yes, we are back to the babies! I can see myself years down the line as a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) delivering babies using natural childbirth methods or as a NNP (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner) caring for frail infants.

I promise I don't just have a bad case of the baby blues! I have always felt like the destiny that the Lord has for me has to do with babies and young children! When I was younger I couldn't wait to start babysitting! I would go around the neighborhood and befriend all of the families with small children and ask if there were ways I could help out. I was too young for most parents to want to leave their children alone with me to care for, but I didn't mind just hanging around and folding clothes, feeding a baby, changing diapers, sterilizing bottles -- whatever I noticed that needed to be done. I loved babysitting and dreaming of the day that I would have my own children to love on and care for. Twenty years has passed, but not too much has changed. Most of my friends have families of their own now - some of them I knew long before family came along and some I befriended because I was drawn to them during pregnancy or shortly after having their child(ren). I look around their houses when I am over and do little things that will bless them and maybe make their day a hint easier. I will love on their children, do some laundry, wash dishes, put away toys, etc. I still love babysitting (and yes, dreaming of the day that I will have my own children to love on and care for). But, the point here is that I can see beyond the wanting of my own children now. I can see that somehow caring for all of the hundreds of babies I have held and kissed isn't just about practicing to become a Mom. It is about sowing the blessings and love of the Father, God, into those He created and destined for great things!

So what am I actually doing with my time right now? Doing a lot of babysitting, a lot of praying, and a lot of trusting. It isn't easy! I have decided to hold off on starting a restaurant (smiles and winks) for a little while at least. I also decided that while still paying off the loans I took out for undergrad many moons ago I am not going to enter into greater debt of going back to school. Unless the Lord spoke to me from a blazing lightening bolt (or something just as obvious) I just don't think that it would honor Him in the way I would want it to right now. The doula training is still on the table! I would love to do it NOW - the biggest thing stopping me is affording the training and knowing what I would do to earn income while doing it and going through the apprenticing.

I have had some wonderful opportunities to love on (and get loved on by) some little friends over the last few weeks, though! Oh how I love it! There is just something so magnificent and special about being with our innocent ones who have so recently been in the creating hands of our amazing Maker! In a world that is so broken, there isn't anything that is quite so right!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yesterday was my 31st Birthday! I have always been a bit of a birthday princess. It's kind-of funny. I don't generally gravitate toward the party or want to be in the spot-light. But on my birthday, I want to be recognized as being special. It is one day each year that I celebrate being me!

Normally on my birthday I take the day off of work, sleep as late as I want to, and then slowly start my morning. About the time that I get hungry, I get myself ready and go out and buy breakfast - this is a big deal for those who don't know me. Then I spend the day going to stores I like and shopping or window shopping. I may have lunch with a friend. I may go sit at a park. I pretty much give myself license to not schedule anything! It's awesome!

This year, I did something different. Late Sunday night a friend called and asked if I could watch her son on Monday, because their babysitter was sick. I love taking care of him, so I said yes. It was a wonderful day! I got to play with a one-year-old! It doesn't get much better than that! Plus, my morning started out getting a text saying "Happy Birthday, Gorgeous" from a friend. The messages continued throughout the day! I got texts, phone calls, and facebook messages all day wishing me a happy birthday and wishing me blessings! It was just so wonderful that I can't even begin to describe how great it made me feel!

Thank you to everyone who messaged me in some way and wished me a happy birthday! I appreciate you celebrating my life with me! And for those of you friends who live near, my party is Saturday night - the more the merrier!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What's Going On?

It's been a while...ok a very long while...since I last wrote. I needed an even longer break than I thought! I may be making some changes to my blog, but I haven't quite decided what yet. I was challenged by some people in a writer's discipleship group that I was in to spend some time trying to re-define what I wanted my blog to be. One of them told me that it seems my purpose changed along the way, but I never recognized it. So, I have been thinking about that. I still don't know exactly what I want this to look like. I think that is part of what appeals to me about a blog - having a place where I can just let life happen! Sometimes I can be more consistent than others. Sometimes I can be more positive than others. That's just life!

So, here is an update of what has me consumed right now.

I moved at the end of December. I am living in the same city - on the other side. It feels like a different city all together! I am living with two girls that I met through a mutual friend. They are both Christians and go to a church-plant of the church that I go to. I have really enjoyed living with two other girls that are my age, in a similar place in life, and have a similar belief structure! It is wonderful. It is also nice that they are fun! Short comment here is that I like where I am living and the girls I am living with!

In January, I left my job. I had been there for almost 5 years. It was a touch decision - one that I have been weighing for over a year (actually about 19 months)! I knew it was right, but it was just really hard to leave! There are a lot of things about my job that drove me insane -- like having so stay tied to a telephone and desk and constantly being evaluated by metrics that I didn't feel really gave a true picture of the measure of the work being done! However there were also far more things about the job that I loved and that I really placed at the core of my identity -- helping people, offering hope, listening where there is pain, offering resources that may help, never giving up or quitting on someone who is in need. These are all things that made me want to stay regardless of how much the other things made me want to leave!

I finally decided to do it, though! Like I said, I knew it was the right thing. I knew that until I took that step I would not be content. I am very happy; very joyful, peaceful, and contented at the moment. Not to say that it isn't a little weird to not have a steady M-F, 8-5 job right now. It is! I have to be very careful about money and I can not be picky about what opportunities I take right now. I am pretty much taking every babysitting job that comes my way to make ends meet until I settle into the right thing. But I am good.

The other great joy of my life right now is that my sister is going to have her baby very soon! She is due in about 7 weeks! AHHHH!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! I don't think I have ever been so excited about anything in my life before! Is it actually possible to love someone you don't really know yet THIS much??? Oh I think it is - because I do! My heart has exploded in pink! Every time I hear the name Emily (that is my niece's name) my heart beats a little faster. I have been spending time looking at baby this and baby that. What's happening to me??? All I know is that my hands have this "Oh I gotta hold ya" feeling and she isn't even here yet!

One of my roommates is a baby nurse -- she takes care of newborns and sick babies in the hospital. I know a lot about newborns because of nannying and friends having babies, but there is something different about it being family. I have asked my roomie so many questions about getting ready and what to expect and when to go and ... that I think she is probably about ready to just throw some baby books my direction! As I'm writing this I am realizing that I think I might be a little nervous about this whole thing! For however nervous I am, I am just as excited!

That is my current life on a page. I'm sure there is more, but I'm going to leave it there for now!