Even If

I left church early today, before the preaching even started. Not because I didn’t want to hear the message. We are in the middle of a series of message based on the book Home Run by Kevin Myers. Wait, that isn’t quite accurate. The messages aren’t based on the book. My pastor is showing a video series of Pastor Myers preaching the messages he used in this book. (We are also reading the book for a leadership series. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it.) I didn’t leave because I have a ton of homework to do. Though I do, and now that I think of it, if I am going to be writing I probably should be writing something about Jane Austen’s word choices in Pride and Prejudice. Good thing I like that book, because with the way I am struggling with that, if I didn’t like it I’d be ready to tear the pages out one by one to use as heating fuel this winter. I didn’t even leave because the temperature was too hot or too cold, because the sound was too loud or too quiet, or even because the people sitting nearest to me were completely annoying. (Considering those people were my husband and son, returning home would not have been the best way to rid myself of the annoyance if they were annoying, which they were not.)

No, I left because my body betrayed me.

I have a lot of physical issues. Over the past 3 years, I’ve talked about them on this blog. Some of them, anyway. Some of the issues are too embarrassing to name out loud. I know I don’t deal with a terminal illness. But I do deal with near constant pain and with issues that, well, are not expected of someone my age. Normally, when one of those issues rears its ugly little head at church, I know it is because there is something in the message that will really affect my life, something I need to hear that is going to have a profound impact on me. That makes me glad my pastor puts his messages on our church website, normally by Monday morning, so I can still listen to it. If satan wants to keep me from hearing what God has to say, I certainly do not want to give him the satisfaction!

There are times, though, when I am so frustrated it is hard to stay upbeat about it. Today I want to cry. My first instinct when I pulled out of the church parking lot was to pull into a fast food drive-thru and order chicken nuggets. I’m upset, and food will take away that feeling, right? Sure, for a moment or two. Until the food is gone, my tummy is aching from being so full, and my family looks at me strangely for not eating a meal with them. And then I step on the scale and see that I’ve gained even more weight. Lost 115 pounds with weight loss surgery 3 ½ years ago; I’ve gained back 60 of that. Part of the gain is because the near constant pain makes it very difficult to exercise. Most, however, is because I still have the emotional eating response. I celebrate with food, and I wallow in food. Neither is a good thing to do. Though my van was pointed toward that grinning redhead and her cue little pigtails, I prayed for strength to avoid pulling into her drive thru. That was the only fast food place directly between the church parking lot and my driveway, though I know me—if the urge is there, I will drive across to satisfy it. I prayed and prayed and prayed that I would not give in to the temptation for food I really did not need. And I thanked God when I got home empty handed.

I don’t know why this has happened to me. It’s not something I think I will ever understand. I’ve prayed for healing. I know others—family, friends, friends of family, family of friends—who have prayed for my healing. And yet God seems to be saying no. He could say yes later. I was going to say, “He could change His mind and say yes later,” but I don’t believe God changes His mind. If in six months I can move pain-free and all the dead and damaged nerves in my back are suddenly fully restored, it’s not because God changed his mind; it’s because He planned from the start for my healing to happen at that moment. I don’t think it’s going to. I think the “healing” He has in mind for me is not a physical one so much as a mental one. I think God wants me to be OK with my life is it, to understand that this is the plan He had for me and to adjust my desires and expectations to match. Not an easy thing, let me tell you. But I believe that is what He has been telling me.

That’s not to say I am giving up on the physical healing. I won’t stop asking. And if God offers it, I doubt that I will say no! But if that physical healing doesn’t happen, I am going to love Him anyway. Because I know He loves me.


New Year, New Heart


Create in me a clean hear, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

It’s a new year.  Resolutions are flying all over, with people taking this opportunity to try to better themselves. 

I’ve made resolutions in the past.  I’ve not been good at keeping them.  Usually by the middle of January the good intentions of my resolution have flown out the window.  I think the longest I’ve ever stuck with one is through my birthday, in mid-February. 

That is why I have decided to not start of 2014 with a resolution.  I want a better life.  I want to be thinner, to make better choices, to be calmer, to be healthier, to be more content than I was in 2013.  But resolving to be isn’t going to helping.  Even taking action toward those things won’t change them.  Not unless I understand the motivations behind them.  So I have decided to start of this beautiful New Year with a prayer.

My prayer for this year comes right from the Bible, from the heart of King David.  Funny how a man who lived thousands of years ago could write the words that so accurately describe my heart today….  The words are recorded in Psalm chapter 51.

Verse 3: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”  I am far from perfect.  I make mistakes on a daily basis, mistakes I cannot hide from.  Mistakes I no longer want to hide from.  Lord, I know my anger and my attitudes are wrong.  I see it, and I give it to You.  Take this from me and turn it into something You can use for Your good.

Verse 10-12: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit.”  Cleanse my heart, Lord.  I want it to be filled only with love—love for You and for all of the wonderful things You have created.  I know I have messed up, but please don’t give up on me.  Don’t push me away.  I ask Your forgiveness for the times I have pushed You away.  Being with You is the sweetest joy, and I want more of that joy in my life.  I can feel You here now, in this moment.  I pray that I feel this sweetness and joy every moment, only a little stronger each day.

I love You, Lord.  I love You so much that the thought of hurting You, of disappointing You saddens me.  This New Year, 2014, Lord, I am dedicating it to YOU.  Everything I do is for You, for Your glory. 


It’s been a while since I have updated this blog.  If you are a regular reader, you already know that!  At least, I hope you have noticed that I’ve been gone for a while….

Anyway, there are a lot of reasons that I haven’t been here in a while.  One of those reasons is because I have been busy writing a couple of novels.  The first one, MIRACLE PLAY, has been sent off to the publisher!  It will be available for sale on April 5, 2012.  I am real excited about this book.   I recently told a friend that the fifth novel is just as exciting as the first.  “It’s kind of like the feeling of having a new baby, only without the morning sickness, swelling, and pain.”

This time around, I’ve done something that I never have before–I made a trailer for the book.  I’ve thought about doing it before, just have not actually taken the time to do it.  My trailer is available on YouTube.  I’ve added it here so you can find it easily.  Please let me know what you think of it.  You can can share your feelings on the trailer and book here or right on YouTube.  Either way, I am eager to hear what you have to say.

Song Challenge, Day Twenty

A song you listen to when you are angry….

Wow. Some of these topics are very easy. Others really require a bit of thought!

I suppose it all depends on how angry I am! In the last couple of months, I’ve started listening to praise music when I am angry. It is so hard to remain angry when singing songs of love to God. When I am real angry, I need something more than that. I need a song that is full of God’s love, but I also need something where I can really just SHOUT OUT the words. Never been much into head-banging music, but it sure helps when I am angry! And this is the perfect song for it.

The song is “It Is Well” by Kutless. This is a rock band version of the old hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.” The terms “hymn” and “rock band” don’t seem to go together. But this song shows that the two can work. I love it!!! In a way, it is an angry version. To me, it is like the band is shouting at the devil “do your worst, but everything is good with me because I have Jesus on my side!”

Yeah, there is nothing like beating up on the devil when I am feeling angry and down!!

Song Challenge, Day Nineteen

A song from your favorite album….

I thought about this one for a while, but I think I know it! And I’ll be it will surprise a lot of people which song I picked. More to the point, it will probably surprise people to know what I think of as my favorite album.

It’s an old one, I suppose. All depends on what you think of as old! The album was released in 1988. (Yes, I had to look it up to be sure that I had the right release date!) It was probably two years later that I got my hands on a copy of it. I think I nearly wore out the cassette tape listening to it so much. When I found a CD in a used music store once, I was so excited. Not that I have it anymore. I don’t know what I ever did with it, but it’s not on my shelf. I wish it was. It’s full of songs that I love to dance to, and a few awesome love songs.

One of those love songs (a sad, sappy one of course!) is the one I want to share with you right now. You think you know what song I am taling about? I bet you don’t! I’ll bet you saw the date and assumed I was talking about a New Kids on the Block song. Nope! Close, but that’s not it. The song from my favorite album that I want to share with you is “All This Time” by Tiffany.

Now that you know Tiffany’s album Hold an Old Friend’s Hand is my favorite, I have to ask you this—what is your favorite album? What song from that album do you like the best?

All This TimeHold an Old Friend's HandTiffany

You Wouldn’t Cry




God has done it again!  He has this way of knowing what my heart needs to hear and when my heart needs is!

I’ve been considering submitting an essay about my miscarriage to a publisher who is working on a devotional book for dealing with miscarriage and infertility.  I just haven’t been able to sit down and write it yet.  It’s been six years, but I still carry so much pain and hurt and anger about that.  No matter how I try to let it go, it still seems to be there.

Right now I am reading a book by Mandisa called IDOLEYES: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat, and Fame.  I decided to read the book because she is so upfront about her struggles with food addiction.  It’s nice to see someone my age going through the same thing I am and to be able to learn from her.  Because of that book, I’ve been listening to her music on YouTube.  When I came across this song, I couldn’t stop the tears.  I felt like my little girl was talking to me through these lyrics.

God knew that I needed to hear this.  He knew that I needed to hear from Rylee in order for me to be able to write this essay.  And He used this beautiful song to allow her to speak to me.

Book Videos – The Writings of Robert G. Pielke

Book Videos – The Writings of Robert G. Pielke.

I just finished reading NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM: THE VISITOR by Robert G. Pielks and all I can say is WOW!  In all honesty, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read this book.  I agreed to only because a friend asked me to review it.  I couldn’t put it down!

My review will be up in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, take a look at the trailers for is on this website.  If you are a history buff or a sci-fi freak, you will love this book.


I grew up hearing the old hymn I Surrender All.  Youu know what song I mean, don’t you?  “All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give.”  My dad used to have this cassette from a comedy troupe—I think tthey were The Whitehouse Players or something like that—and they did this skit based on that song.  The congregation was singing the song when God spoke to several people individually about things in their lives that they might need to surrender to Him—like a car or a boyfriend.  It was a very cute skit, and made it nearly impossible for me to sing the hymn without giggling.

Then about three years ago, I heard a song with the same name but different lyrics.  It is sung by Clay Crosse and is one of the most touching songs I have heard in a long time.  (The version below is the only one I was able to find on YouTube; sorry Clay isn’t singing it.)  This song quickly became my prayer.

The thing is, I have become more like the people in the skit, hanging on to the things in my life that I love instead of fully giving myself over to God.  Some days, I really feel like a failure about that.  

What I have come to believe is that when it comes to my Christian walk, surrender is not a one-and-done thing.  The devil is smart—he knows my weaknesses and he knows how to use them against me.  I can’t allow him to win by thinking “I gave that to God once, and He gave it back to me.” 

God didn’t give it back; I took it back.

Surrender has to be a conscious, daily decision.  I have to remember to tell God, “Here, Take this.  It’s Yours.  I don’t want it.  Give me the strength today to not take this back.”  Sometimes I have to do it several times a day.  There are days when I think God probably gets tired of all my give and take where some of my issues are concerned.

In the end, though, I know that what I want most in life is to be used by God.  Every talent I have is a gift from Him, and it is wasted if I don’t use it for His glory.

Lord, if all I have is all that You desire, I surrender all.