answers, Encouragement, friends, God, Life, Love, People, promises, searching, seasons, Uncategorized

He Knows Me….

Today I sat and read scripture I have read many times before, but God in His grace and mercy allowed His presence to surround me and remind me of the truth, He knows me.  I assumed He had led me to these verses for someone else, so I promptly shared the verses with a sweet friend.  My thoughts were sincere, she needed to know that God created her uniquely and that He took time to make her who she is, and He is with her.  He is there when she looks and lives out her life exactly as He planned and He is there when she stumbles and finds herself face down in the pit that tripped her up.  I wanted her to be reminded of that because she is His child, He knows her thoughts, as scary as that might be, and He loves her.  He is “acquainted” with her ways.  There is nowhere she can go from His Spirit.  Such beautiful and comforting words.

Then as I pondered, who am I kidding, I chewed hard on all these words all morning.  While I know they were for her, I believe they were also for me.  A sweet reminder in this season of change, in this time of asking what He wants me to do next, in my searching for the direction I am to go.   I kept going back to one of the verses that kept ringing truth in my heart, “You ‘hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”  A memory floats around in my mind of one of my girls when they were small.  I see my husband and I walking with a three year old full of energy.  Curious about everything around her, unaware of the possible dangers or obstacles that may be in her path.  We stand on each side of her, watching where we are walking, scanning the area around us, clasping her tiny hands as she struggles to break free and run ahead.  We see an unfriendly dog and my husband instantly pushes her and myself behind him.  I pick her up and stand protected behind him, his arm and hand extended back to protect.  I am reminded that God is watching me, that He is looking ahead, He is scanning the area for any threats there may be, hemming me in when needed, laying His capable hand on me to protect and, yes, comfort from any fears that may arise.

We often think we can get so far from God that there is no way back.   We think, somehow we are capable of going to a place He cannot go to bring us back.  He pursues us, always.  You cannot hide from God.  He knows you.  He’s watching and knows the path you have been on and He is waiting for you to realize He is there, waiting for you to acknowledge Him and call out to Him.  To know that He knows and that He cares.  He won’t push in.  He waits for you to allow Him back into your life.

As you read these verses, take in the comfort and rest in the promise that He is watching and He knows you.  He has plans for you.  He is making a way for you.  He is protecting.  There is nowhere you can go from His Spirit!  Turn toward Him now and be wrapped in His embrace and let Him love on you.

Psalm 139:1-12

O Lord, you have search me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol (hell), you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you.

cancer, escape, friends, Laughter, Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Rock and Roll, Baby!

Last night something was confirmed about me that may surprise many of you. I am not a rocker. I know you are shocked and surprised. I’m not even a poser. (I had to look that term up, fyi) It was evident by my lack of knowledge about the music or words to the signature songs of the band. I spent more time entertained by the people in attendance than the actual concert. My husband and I were given tickets by sweet friends to a concert by The Black Jacket Symphony: A Night at the Opera and The Best of Queen. My big guy was very excited about hearing favorite songs of his younger years. I confess that I wondered what kind of opera the symphony would play. I honestly expected an orchestra. I was wrong! I am not completely in the dark, I do know who Queen is, but I didn’t realize it would be a real deal rock and roll night! You may not believe this, but I’ve never been to a rock concert. It’s true! I know I’ve surprised you again.

Parking was the first step to getting to our night of rocking and rolling….obviously not an easy task in downtown Mobile when a rock concert is about to happen! We finally parked in a church parking lot with a sign that said “Private Parking for…(and I’ll leave the church name out here just in case someone wants to report two rebellious fifty somethings!): Violators will be ticketed or towed at owners expense. I was a little anxious as we got out of the car and proudly walked toward the theatre, impressed by our night of living on the wild side. I secretly asked God to forgive us and please allow the car to still be there when the night was over!

As we entered the door of the Saenger I was asked to open my purse for security. I looked at my big guy and asked, “Are these people famous?” The security guy asked him if he had any weapons. He confessed to a pocket knife and suddenly the guys hands went up and said “You can’t enter with a weapon, sir.” I looked around at the other security people standing ready to pounce, beginning to wonder if the real Queen was in the house. My sweet husband informed me later that the lead singer died in 1985. He handed over his knife, it was obvious to me that it was worth the sacrifice to hear the band! We then walked to another security checkpoint and were scanned with a wand for any other concealed weapons. This didn’t make me feel comfortable about the obvious possibilities of events that could happen if there was this much concern for what people would carry into the concert hall! We finally got to our seats and waited. We were in the balcony, third row, dead center. Perfect view of the stage. I noted the massive speakers hanging from the ceiling, both sides angled right at us. This wasn’t going to be good. There was an atmosphere of excitement all around me. As I watched people, which I love to do, I realized the average age in the room was somewhere in the mid fifties. But the energy was more like a crowd of twenty somethings! I noted the lights, the instruments and party like atmosphere. Suddenly the lights went down and the band ran out. The crowd went crazy. The lead singer belted out lyrics and people were screaming. I looked hard at the singer trying to recognize him. I did not. But then a familiar tune came, Bohemian Rhapsody. I looked at my big guy and said “I know this!”, but my words were lost somewhere in the midst of the screaming crowd and the blasting music. He leaned down and I got as close to his ear as possible and I repeated my words. He smiled and nodded. I still don’t think heard me….but I saw the smile on his face as he took in the loud music and I knew he was having a good time. I found myself watching people more than the concert as they got lost in the music, reliving the moments of the 70’s and 80’s when they first heard the songs. People were standing and dancing, hands in the air and singing at the top of their lungs. These people knew every word. Then I heard a familiar beat….the crowd began to stomp, stomp, clap, stomp, stomp, clap. I looked at my man with shock, it was my high school senior class song! I found myself following along and singing “We will, we will, rock you”. I was no longer a fish out of water. A square peg in a round hole. I was a rocker! They sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites the Dust. I suddenly felt cool because I knew these songs. I didn’t know all the words, but I knew the songs. At the end of the night, my ears were numb and I honestly was glad to be headed home. I observed something as I left. It was 10:15pm and the crowd that had just been jamming out for two hours were leaving in an orderly manner, laughing and chatting as we exited the nearly 100 year old Saenger Theatre. Forty years ago, these same people would have been jumping up and down demanding an encore still full of youthful energy, demanding to be blown away by the rock band, Queen. We made it back to the church parking lot (along with many other concert attendees) and our car was still there and no ticket on the windshield. Prayer works! We drove home and I listened to my sweet man talk about the band and how good they were and how fun it was to hear some of his favorite songs. I listened and thought how thankful I was for the gift of tickets for us to enjoy a non -typical night out for this “square” chick, and to sit next to my man who has had such a difficult year. All I can say is…..rock on!


Isn’t it crazy how God will use things that are filtering through your life unassuming and unexpected.  It’s amazing to me how He will take the words of someone else and stir something up inside you that cannot even be explained out loud, only through the flying of fingers on a keyboard as you type out the thoughts and feelings building up inside like some long dormant volcano about to explode, spilling lava in every direction.  Today.  Today I happened upon one of my favorite writer and speaker’s excerpt from her new book.  You know, the teaser pages they attach to the advertisement.  As I read her words, I was immediately pulled into her life.  I understood exactly her words pouncing across the page “Nothing helps me hash things out like a blank Word document with a blinking cursor.”  I get it, Beth Moore.  I’m there.  The need to write causes a million words to swirl uncontrollably in my head until they form some wild tornado trying to find a place to make it’s mark.  It cannot be denied.

I’ve resisted.  I’ve closed my eyes to squeeze out the stories.  To erase the thoughts that need paper.  I cannot continue to write aimlessly.  It seems like a pipe dream always out of my reach.  Publication is some kind of validation for a writer.  Some reward for being good enough.  It is painful to long to write something incredibly profound and God honoring, only to find yourself reduced to writing in a journal that no one, hopefully, will ever read.

She expressed so perfectly a shared thought of how God can use a book to mark a life.  Maybe it is because I have been marked by the greatest book ever written, the Bible.  Maybe it is because my life has been changed by words from her Bible Studies and her books.  God uses phrases and sentences from random books to reach out and touch that raw place inside of us that needs changing.

She had read a book, 21 Great Leaders: Learn Their Lessons, Improve Your Influence authored by Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.  I find it amusing that she was undone by what she read in that book.  The questions asked were these: What is your dream?  What is your vision for the future?  How is it I am affected by these questions. What purpose does God have for allowing these two questions that Beth Moore read in a book a year ago to slap me in the back of the head as I read her words about those questions and how they rocked her world in this excerpt from her new book.  If that even makes sense to you….you and I are on the same wave link.    Beth Moore.  Wow.  She is the one Bible teacher, the one author, that has stirred up something in my heart so many times.  Maybe not her, necessarily, but God using her.  I want to have her ability to paint a picture so vividly that for just a moment, you think you are sitting across the table from her sipping iced tea and enjoying a great friend conversation.  And then I read her thoughts, and they resonate in my heart.  “What is your dream?  What is your vision for the future?”  Both wrenching questions that make me suddenly find it hard to breathe and try desparately to hold back the tears.  Why?  Because I only know the answer to one of the questions.  Why?  Because I am not even sure the answer I am thinking is even a possibility!    Even now, I am faltering as I write because I don’t even know what the point of this blog is at this point.

I know one thing for sure and that is I love the Lord.  After this many years of ups and downs, of struggles and victories, I haven’t lost interest in Him.  He’s so incredibly worth it.  He has and continues to rock my world.  He watches me closely just as a parent watches their child as they go through each season of life, standing ready to catch them if they fall, hold them if they cry and high-five them as they conquer!  Jesus is way bigger than I ever thought.  He shows me over and over that knowing Him is an incredible journey.  So whatever the answer is to those two questions, I’m sure He’ll give me a peep at some point.  I may be 54, I may feel like the time is lost for me to accomplish a dream, I may not be able to even imagine Him using me as a writer….but I will rest in the truth that He’ll show me when it is time.


My Interesting Experience at the 2009 Southern Christian Writer’s Conference….been sitting on this one!

I made it through those first moments of anxiety before opening the door to the building where the conference was being held!  When I was about to get out of the car,Lynnasked if I was okay, I said “No, I think I’m gonna cry, I’m scared!”  Of what, I wasn’t sure.  But he prayed for me and I could breathe normally again.  As I walked in, I took my sister’s advice and channeled her and Mom’s outgoing-easy-to-meet-people- personalities and I didn’t frown at everyone I came in contact with or remain speechless.  Now I won’t say I shook hands and passed out business cards to every poor soul that walked past me or sat near me.  I can’t even say that I initiated most of the conversations.  The part of me that likes to sit and size people up first still was strong.  But, I didn’t answer with just a yes or no, when asked questions.  I smiled a lot, because quite honestly I was thrilled to actually be at a writer’s conference.

Exciting moments:  Gilbert Morris spoke.  He’s nearly 80 and has written around 270 historical Christian novels, amusing in itself that an 80 year old man is the author of novels about  swooning females and handsom leading men who save the day, but his sense of humor stole the show…he was a hoot!  I took Angela Hunt’s class….awesome!  And the biggest moment was having a one-on-one conversation with Bucky Rosenbaum (Rick Warren and Beth Moore’s agent…yeah, I was freaking out on the inside).

I gleaned as much wisdom I could during the short conference, but most importantly I learned that I’m not so strange after all!  I met some strange little people among the writer-wanna-be’s that weekend.  People who really haven’t written all that much, don’t know if they really want to write, and quite honestly had some unusual things they had dreamed up to write about.  I sat in on a “break out group” the last night that was supposed to be a chat group on writing children’s books.  There were five of us in the room, given no format or idea of what we were supposed to be doing.  It was 9:15pm at this point.  Next to me sat a pretty young college student fromAuburn.  She was 19-ish, perhaps 20 (who knows!  they look so young these days!! :))  Across from me, engrossed in a conversation were two older ladies and then another red-neck (and I say this in the kindest way) looking lady to my right.  We were sort of spread out, a little awkward, just waiting.  The college student asked me if I wanted to write children’s books.  I nodded yes and gave her an awkward smimle.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, be a journalist, an English teacher or an astronaut.  Actually she didn’t say that, but she was a little giggly and scattered with her thoughts.  The ladies that had been engrossed in their own conversation, suddenly stopped and decided to initiate our “break out” group (at least I thought that was their thought process).  The first women, in her late fifties I’m guessing, suddenly said she had the answer to Hello Kitty.  I looked at her, trying very hard not to let my face show what I was thinking and trying hard not to laugh at her comment.  I said “Really, Hello Kitty.  cool.”  She never really made much sense after that, she rambled about finding this kitten coming out of the drain outside her house and that he was her baby, because once you feed a kitty with a bottle, they are like your own baby.  It seems she has written about this “kitty” and his many adventures.  Then she suddenly switched gears and began randomly talking about her horse and going out one morning and finding a tooth lodged in his neck.  The horse was okay, but she had the vet come out and remove the tooth.  It was canine. (Just in case you were wondering).  She and the lady next to her began discussing whether it was coyote or wolf.  I’m smiling, and cutting my eyes to my left and right at the redneck lady and the college student, wondering if they are feeling a little awkward.  They’re both nodding and smiling, as if they are totally into her conversation.  While I’m not paying attention, I realize the kitty lady is asking me a question.  “Have you written anything?” I said “Oh, me, well, yes,” I realize at this point all eyes are on me, “Um, well, I’ve been writing curriculum for Lifeway for the last year and I’ve written a children’s book that I’m trying to get published.”  The lady over to my right spoke up in a sort of loud, husky voice.  The kind that evokes the visual picture of a newscaster interviewing neighbors who live next to the house where a drug bust has just occurred and they look straight into the camera wearing an old t-shirt that says “Hell Yeah” on the front and never have all their teeth.  She tells me, “Well I haven’t written a lick in ten years pro’ly, but I think I got what it takes to write a kids book, I’ve raised 5 of the little rug rats!!  I figure I can get some idears and write a book and use the contacts I get while I’m here.  Whats your kiddy book about?  You been writin’ long?”   At this point I pulled my cell out of my pocket, innocently checking the time and praying Lynn will return my call so I can tell him to get his bootie to the conference and pick me up!  I am quite certain I have entered some other dimension and do not want to get lost in it!  I am sure I was losing ground on controlling my facial expressions and I could still feel the others staring at me waiting for me to continue.  So, I have to confess, I pretended that my phone vibrated and answered it “Yes, okay, I’ll be waiting out front”.  I gathered my things, but sat for a minute or two so as not to be rude.  I looked at the four faces staring intently at me, and as I tend to do when I’m nervous, I began to ramble “Yes ma’am, I’ve been writing since I was a teenager.  I was able to be on the school newspaper and magazine, as well as the yearbook staff despite our constant moving as I was growing up.  However, after failing English twice when I started college, I dropped out and decided that writing was not my career choice.  However, last year God opened the door for me to begin writing for Lifeway and I have written a children’s book that I am working on getting published.  It is about an 11 yr old girl named Hannah, who is inspired after hearing The Good Samaritan story one Sunday morning.  She decides to form her own club that helps people “no matter what the cost” and calls it The Good Samaritan Club.  It is basically about the forming of the club and then the search for their first mission.”  You could have heard a pin drop.  Then the kitty lady speaks up and says, “I’ve written about a rooster that gets kicked into another dimension by my horse and has all kinds of adventures.”  It was time for me to escape!  I said “Well my husband is probably downstairs waiting for me.  Good luck with your writing, nice to meet you” And I ran for my life!