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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holidays and Thankful

November 28, 2010

The holiday season has begun for 2010! Thanksgiving was a time of reflection, fun, and new ways to celebrate. I woke up early on Thanksgiving morning and had some quite time sitting on my deck looking at the tree that 2 years ago our family made our Christmas card in front of. The bottom of our card that year said one word…the word that would keep me steady in the days ahead…Peace. This Thanksgiving was not one with tears but my mind would often drift to different Thanksgivings with Joe and how we celebrated in days past. We would usually work together in the kitchen cooking and share special moments…just the two of us. This year Price was the only child home as Austin and Laura were in New York celebrating Laura’s 30th birthday. Mallory and Rob were in Houston but met us at the Texas vs. TAMU game. My sister and her family were in so Price and I went to my parent’s home. Melissa and I put together a Thanksgiving meal that would have made mom proud if she was well. Our mom taught us well and I am thankful for that. Later in the afternoon Price and I left for Austin TX for the big game. Price was our host on the UT campus and took us to a tale gate party before the game. Price is a Jr. at UT and Mallory and Rob both graduated from TAMU so the game was lots of fun. I think I smiled the whole time enjoying my kids and often thought of how much Joe would have enjoyed the event. He was a huge UT fan. But at the end of the day, Texas couldn’t hold the Aggies….oh well…next year. It was a good holiday but I will admit that there were a few tears as I decorated my home for Christmas…Joe and I always worked together and it was such a fun day as we transformed our home into a winter wonderland.

As we went around the table saying what we are thankful for, I commented that this year I was so thankful for grace…I don’t mean that as a trite phrase. His grace, the power to do something we cannot do ourselves and His undeserved gifts have held me together this past year and kept me smiling. Truly, “His grace is sufficient” and I have discovered the truth of that passage in II Cor.12: 9 I don’t just believe it…I know it. Often times we have no experience to back up what we
believe…I am thankful for the opportunity to not just believe but the life experience I have to know. I know the experience with His grace will serve me well in the days ahead. I will be much more willing to step into unknown things knowing His grace will be sufficient. I am so thankful for all the special gifts God has given me this year…thankful for a surprise relationship with a very kind and understanding man in California and thankful for the gifts God has given to me and the kids to help us thru a difficult season. I know God will reward them for being kind to a widow and her children. His grace has enabled me to keep going and I am thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

True Confessions

November 21, 2010

I have come to value silence and just being with God. We live in such a busy society and it is easy to be constantly listening to something. My life now gives me more time to think and process…but I have a box I now file more things in than I ever had before. It is my “I don’t understand” box. I attended some meetings this week and went to hear a man that has a healing ministry. There were incredible testimonies of people healed and I actually witnessed some healings. I have no doubt that God heals. But I must confess I had a moment of frustration pondering yesterday with God. God could have healed Joe but that did not happen. I have to admit I slammed a door at my house so hard I am amazed it didn’t break. I don’t like the fact that Joe didn’t get healed and I certainly don’t understand but I have chosen to still trust God. WE have no choice in how circumstances come to us in this life…we only have a choice in how we respond. But I also think God is glorified in emotional healing just as much in physical healing. And I personally value people that have overcome in circumstances and have been broken and have allowed God to heal them.
I have thought a lot about Proverbs 3:5 a lot recently. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” When you lean on something that isn’t stable or strong, you fall. Our understanding apparently isn’t all that important to God. Trusting him is more important. So why do we often times spend so much energy in trying to understand things? I think our society values education and understanding way too much. Those things do not give value to a person…they are just man made accomplishments. God values things that our society often does not…like brokenness. Far too often religious people want things to simply look good verses valuing someone who has been broken and totally dependant on God. Brokenness is a valuable virtue. God also values being conformed to His image and our character and those usually develop the fastest in trials and tribulations if we surrender to Him. That’s how things can work together for our good. I don’t have to like all situations I encounter but what happens next in my life depends on my commitment to God and His ways in all circumstances of life. So I have decided to get a bigger, “I don’t understand” box and keep filing things away and trusting. I seem to have more fun in life that way. I wouldn’t trade for the experience of walking with God and trusting and I can’t wait to see what He is going to do with my little life.

Filing away,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Value of Process

November 18th, 2010

Two years ago a good friend asked me to help her train to do a ½ marathon. She hates exercise but wanted to do it and knew I liked exercise. I had never done one but I love a challenge and it sounded like a good adventure. Much has happened since that marathon….My friend has gone thru a difficult challenge and my life has totally changed since the 2008 Rock n Roll Marathon. In 2008 Joe cheered us on and met us every few miles to encourage us. The good news is that we completed this ½ marathon 26 minutes quicker than we did 2 years ago…we have both walked thru difficulty and we have prospered! Life is very much like a marathon at times. It is so important that you pace yourself through out so you can endure in the long haul. I loved being immersed in the sea of humanity as we participated in the event this past weekend. Over 30,000 people participated in it from all over the world. I was just one small part of the event that is a benefit for cancer but every little bit counts. Marathons push people beyond what they think they can do but the big reward is not the event itself but the process to get to the event. I trained for over 100 hours to participate in the event that took me 3:34 to complete. Process is so important in the natural and spiritual.

Anyone can read and quote scripture but that doesn’t impress me. It is those people that live it and those that live it when it isn’t easy that impress me. Process in the spiritual shapes our character and it takes time to build good character. We must embrace the privilege of process. Bill Johnson says, “Process is faithful management of what we have been given.” Do you pray for an escape when things get tough or do you embrace the process? Embracing the process means extracting all you can instead of praying “just get me out of this.” I had someone come to me today with a problem. I wasn’t so interested in helping her get out of it but in helping her discover what needed to change in her…that way there was learning in the crisis regardless of the outcome. She learned to forgive someone that really hurt her, she learned to look to God to heal her heart and she learned some other valuable lessons. That is the value of process, not quick deliverance from the problem. We need to be a people that value process because that is what makes us rich. Personally I don’t want to waste one minute of the grief process. I may not like it but I am not going to waste it as I know it will change me as I embrace it. I received the best compliment the other day when someone said, “You have changed. You are different.” My next thought was, “thank God.”

I read Psalm 25:4 and 5 today and loved it. It says, “Show me your ways o Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me. For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (NIV) God shows us His ways in process, he will guide us in truth because he is a God of truth and we are anchored because of hope.

Enjoying the process,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rocking and Rolling!

Ok….I think I have lost my mind and need someone to help me find it! I have been training to do a ½ marathon since August and it is the Sunday. Now why on earth would a person in their right mind want to pay money to spend the morning in the rain and cold??? I am really hoping the weather men in San Antonio are not right in their forecast! Oh well….I will just show up and hang on…it is what I do best in life…roll with what is thrown at you and figure out a way to have fun. It is a benefit for cancer so it makes it all worth it. Two years ago was my first time to do a marathon and it was this one. Joe was there every few miles cheering me on and was so proud of me. I will miss that this race. Even if it rains it will be ok…it has been the process and the training that has been fun as I have walked with Nina and we have processed our lives, made ourselves go much further than we normally would, laughed many hours and gotten in better shape. Trials and hardships are much the same way as training for a marathon…you breathe, focus, find joy, process with God and people that love you. As you determine to push thru them you see that you are capable of more than you think and you grow in your inner man.

CWJC graduation went really well the other night. To hear the testimonies and see the transformation of the ladies was wonderful. God out did himself this semester. It has been action packed in many ways but a great blessing. It has been stellar in many ways. Nine girls got saved, we baptized seven and have seen visible change on their faces and in their lives. I love walking and working with God. There is nothing like it….seeing people has he sees them, believing in them and helping them discover their potential and value.

Rocking and Rolling this weekend!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Graduation is coming!

Since I wrote last I have been working on graduation for my Fall semester, baptized 7 girls last Friday, been training for a half marathon that will happen this next weekend and have been entertaining my kids. Price came in last Friday with several weeks of laundry so that kept me busy! He went hunting with Rob. Mallory and I had a good visit and then went to San Antonio to meet with some of her friends. Tomorrow will be the graduation of our 23rd class at CWJC and we will officially have 250 graduates after tomorrow night! If you want to come it will be at 7:00 at Impact Christian Fellowship at 2031 Goat Creek Rd. in Kerrville. I better rest up...hope to write more after that!