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October 2018
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July 2019

Silence the Voices

My Daddy...he was my hero and he has been with his Heavenly Father since 1984 but not a day goes by that something does not remind me of him. His nickname for me was Cinderella. That nickname ended up being very appropriate as Cinderella and I both had painful childhoods, but ended up marrying our Prince. Beauty from the ashes!

As a child my Dad nurtured my artistic talents and I remember loving the scents of crayons, clay and pencils. It was always the place where I could drown out the pain and drown out the noise. The song, "You Say" by Lauren Daigle for me has been such a reminder that even if not one other person sees my worth...I am loved, I am strong, I am enough and I am deeply loved by the One who loves me despite my flaws. My desire in this season of my life is to allow His love and who He says I am to be enough. 

My heart, my vulnerability, my sensitivity, my creativity are a big part of who I am. It is how my Heavenly Father has wired me. There are days and times when I have to fight the voices in my head that tell me I don't measure up. There are times when the pain of being invisible hurt more than I am willing to admit, but through it all He loves me even when I can't feel a thing. He assures me I am strong when when I feel weak. He holds me during those times I feel invisible and always I can trust I belong to Him. 

My worth and my identity are found in Christ alone. This morning the reminder in church that we all mess up, at times we will be hypocrites, but we are a work in progress. Jesus rescued me from the pit, cleaned me up and daily He chisels away the parts of me that don't bear resemblance to the woman He needs me to be. I am thankful for His love, for His mercies that are new every morning and most of all for being held by the One who knows my heart and  enables me to believe I am who He says I am.

Be The Gift

We started a landscaping project this week as our front bed and back yard needed to have some plants added and others removed. As I pulled a few plants out of the ground that had not rooted it made me realize when we are not rooted in Christ how our lives will not reflect that He lives in us. In John 15:5-8 Jesus tells us" I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit."

I have been writing a gratitude list for years now after having read the boo, "One Thousand Gifts"  by Ann Voscamp. Some days there are lots more than 5 things to be grateful for and other days it can be a stretch to find those 5.  It's easy to have a happy heart when all is right in our world, but when the heartache and struggles come it is what we do we that that reflects if we truly believe God is Who He says He is. As I have watched several friends deal with cancer over these past few months it has been a blessing to see one young woman whose husband is facing his own battle with cancer reach out to another young woman who is fighting her own battle with cancer...God is using both of them to be a gift to one another despite their own pain  right now. In helping other heal, sometimes we ourselves are healed ...maybe, not physically, but just knowing in some small way we have made a difference.

Our world is often a dark place...but we can be light in the day at a brave kind gesture at a time. Kindness matters. Respect matters and Love makes all the difference. What if we really cared for the people God has brought and continues to bring in our lives? What if we really engaged in listening to their hearts, giving them the gift of our time and our love? God calls us into communion with Him and with each other. What if we really were the gift to someone else and helped them to be able to write down 5 things they were grateful for at the end of the day?What if we truly believed we are called to bear His fruit here on earth? Fullsizeoutput_71d



Run Your Own Race

Depp down in our souls I believe we all know we are made for so much more. More than what we are doing. In the present moment and often at the stage of life I am in I sometimes think I have not played our my part as well as I should have. This past year I have been part of a Bible Study that meets regularly on Wednesday mornings and it truly has been a blessing in my life. As I have heard some of the women stories I realize how far God's reach has been in all of our lives. The reality is no matter what stage of life we are in God is always calling us to grow deeper into Him. 

Things...material possessions, wealth, and even success  will never satisfy us. A former pastor of mine used to say, "there is an empty hole in each of us that only God can fill." I believe He sets the longings in our hearts and sets eternity in our hearts as well. When we have been entrusted with wealth or with success we should use it to help others who might not be so fortunate. I will never forget a time in our lives when Bob had lost his job, we had pretty much depleted our savings and God showed up in a big way through people at our church who paid the mortgage payment on our home and for us were truly the hands and feet of Jesus. It was hard to accept this generosity, but because we did God blessed us in that a few days later Bob got a new job. 

As a young mother in the process of creating what I thought would be the "perfect family" I lost myself in the process. My dreams, my hopes, and  my passions were placed on a shelf as I felt the needs of everyone else were more important than mine. I wasted a lot of time in my life chasing the approval of others, trying to fit in, but the only things it did was leave me feeling "empty." The other day one of my high school classmates posted a question on Facebook, "what were you good at in high school?" I transferred to the high school I graduated from in my Junior year of high school after having spent all the years prior in private school. I hated those last two years for so many reasons...but what I was good at was trying to be invisible. 

Being invisible, striving for perfection and seeking peace had started in my early years. My parents had their own issues, a son who was always causing upheavals and I knew I just needed to be the "good child." When we lose ourselves and live according to what the world tells us we need to be, we often lose the identity God desires us to have. We allow the thoughts and opinions others have of us tell us who we are. Our dreams, our hopes, and our passions die as well. 

Many years later after becoming a Life Coach I began to realize how the dreams in my heart and in yours are placed there by a loving God.. He first calls us to Himself, and then to display Him in every way to a world that desperately needs to see His image reflected. Our part in His plan is not to stay stuck, but to Trust and Obey. I have learned not to apologize any longer for how God wired me and I pray I will never have to apologize to God for not using the gifts He has blessed me with.

We have to give him the threads of our lives. When I assemble I quilt I first decide on a pattern, then choose the fabrics, cut the fabric and then sew it together. When we give God the dreams He has planted in our hearts, when we give Him our stories, our families, our friends, all that we have and all that we are...He will begin use all that we surrender for His greater purposes. 

Our stories are a part of who we are. None of it is wasted in God's eyes. I love this quote by Brennan Manning: "In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive our community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor can it become a gift for others...HOPE knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted." 

Our ordinary everyday lives can be the place where God meets us and where we will experience our greatest success.


Life Is A Journey

Life with all its twists and often, we just need to be still and remember He is God and we are not. As a wife, as a mother, and now as a Gram to 7 grandchildren I want to fix the hurts, bring a smile to someone's face, to repair a relationship, and most of all to help them know they are loved. But, then I remember it is through the trials that we all grow. Sometimes, even though we may desire to restore a relationship, maybe God sees the bigger picture and knows that hearts need to be changed before that can happen. Or maybe, as much as we can desire a relationship the people on the other side have erected walls that love can't penetrate through. So, I have learned to be still and trust that EVEN IF...nothing changes...even when hurts can't be fixed on my time table that He is God. His plans are always to bless me and not to hurt me. His plans are always to give me  hope and a future. But I will first have to be still and to listen. To seek Him and not the things I desire with all of my heart. 

This is one of my original is an 11x14 acrylic abstract painting on abstract heart as a reminder that faith can move mountains. For more of my original work check Hands to Heart Art on Facebook.