Friday, May 28, 2010

Made Time to Meditate

When I was growing up I was always told I needed to have a quiet time and that I needed to meditate on God's Word, but no one ever taught me or led me through how to do it. And for someone who is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive) meditating on anything was a challenge. So, I figured if anyone reads this blog it will be an adult who knows or has the ability to focus, and I wanted to take this opportunity to lead you through how I meditate and spend time with God. You will need to be alone in the quiet for a period of time which is a precious gift I know, but I promise you this has blessed me and benefited me immensely. Let's begin:

Take deep breaths in and out slowly. Focus on the words you read. If you get distracted, refocus yourself to concentrate on your Father. Breathe in and out slowly 3 or 4 good times before beginning.


    Psalms 46:9-11

"He makes the wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire." – (Whatever stressful thing, whatever you are fighting, whatever is your burden – He can make it stop.)

10. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (When we still our minds and focus on Him, we can feel His presence without distraction. Keep breathing.)

11. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

MEDITATION: (Pay special attention to the words in italics, and read them slowly. Sometimes I have personalized the verses by using "me," "my" or "I.")

Ps 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Ps 27:7-9 Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.

Ps 77:11-13 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy.

Col 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your (my) hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And (I will) be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you (me) richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Ps 18 :16- 18 He reached down from on high and took hold of me (Picture this in your mind. He is reaching down and taking hold of you, His daughter); he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (There is air to breathe in the spacious place. There is peace, and He did it because He delights in you.)

Ps 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings." (You are the apple of His eye.)

Psalms 18:30- 32 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

Meditate on what are the names of God and thank Him for why He is each of those names. Examples are:

    Alpha, Omega, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Messiah, Friend,    Father, Lover of your soul


Psalms 102:1-3 "Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. For my days like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers."


Psalms 139:23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24. "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Psalms 25:16-18 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.

Psalms 103:13-14 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.



    Dt 30:19-20

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Mt 5:23-24 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Acts 3:19 "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." (Who could use some refreshing?)




James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

Ezekial 3:26-27 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, "This is what the Sovereing Lord says." Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

Psalms 16:7-8 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Romans 8:26 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."


Ps 17:6-8 I will call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Psalms 10:17,18 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."

Sit quietly, continue to breathe deeply and meditate on these questions. Do not be in a rush to answer them. When the Spirit lays a word on your heart that is the only word you should say out loud. You may finish the sentence, but DO NOT SAY ANYTHING MORE. Continue to breathe deeply focusing on God.

    "Lord, I thank you for _________."

    "Father God, you are so ________________."

    "Jesus, I'm sorry I ________________________________."

    "Lord, I lay down my ____________________________."

    "I trust You to _________________________________."

    "When I think of Your dying on the cross, I _________________________."

When you think of the cross, what one word comes to your mind: ____________.

Finish this sentence: "When I think of Your love for me, I feel _________________."

    "You are my _________________."

    "I need You/Your _____________________."

    "I am so thankful ____________________________."


Dt 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Personalized – I love you Lord, my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength.)

Psalms 48:10 Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.

1 Chronicles 16:25 For (You are) great Lord and most worthy of praise; (You) are to be feared above all gods.

Psalms 47:2 How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!

Ps 48:1 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

Ps 86:10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

Psalms 104:1-3 Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. (What an awesome God we serve!)

Psalms 108:3-5 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.

Psalms 145:3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Psalms 147:5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.



It's my prayer that you have had a personal experience with your Creator, the Lover of your soul and that you have drawn near to Him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is on the Brink of a New Chapter

I am on the brink of a new chapter in my life – graduate school. I'm taking my first class online. (HOLY COW! I'm voluntarily going back to school!) There are a couple of classes during the week of August I'd like to take and in October in addition to possibly an online class towards my M.A.C.E. (Master in Arts in Christian Education) with a focus on Women's ministry.

What do they call women who have gone to seminary and have earned their degree in order to be on staff in a Baptist church? I wonder.

I also wonder how difficult will the courses be. I wonder how will I be able to juggle a full-time job, family life, ministry and the Master's program. I know this isn't my plan because my plan NEVER included seminary or a Master's degree of any sort! I know this is God's plan. I am being obedient. I'm being submissive even when part of me just wants to run off screaming like a crazy lady. (Submission is a matter I've struggled with since before birth. Just ask my mom.)

 There's a quote I like that I've used since last summer when I heard it. "God doesn't always call the qualified, but He qualifies those He calls." I want to be equipped, qualified and called. I want to know what I need to know to minister to women effectively regardless of whether I get to earn a living doing it in the church.

I hate learning how to do new things at times (i.e. trying to find out how in the world the seminary website works, getting registered, how online classes work, etc.). I just want to automatically be comfortable and know how to use it and what to expect. You know, twitch my nose and voila'. I enjoy learning new applicable things that I can use and manipulate in my life. You'd think I'd outgrow some of that impatience, but alas, no.

 I want to do well, but it has been SOOOOO long since I've been in school or any sort. (I'm just laying out all my insecurities for God and everyone to see.)

 I know I'm just rambling, but I'm just putting down what comes to my mind.

I want a pen and paper, my textbook, and I want to get started. Erin is gone for two weeks, and I could really get a lot done. I hate waiting. Patience isn't one of my greatest attributes. (Have you ever thought or wondered if people who have no patience in waiting or also people who are less likely to procrastinate? I warned you that I was just writing what came in my pointed little head.)At any rate, this is where I am tonight not that anyone has to care or even read. It's just good mental therapy, mental health to get out and write it down. (That's why the most frequent gift I give someone is a journal.)

Good evening, reader.
My husband says he doesn't like standing on the edge of anything because it feels like he's being pulled over the edge. I totally get what he's saying now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Your Screws Are Loose

I love spending one-on-one time with each of my kids. I get to see them for who they are. I get to see their personalities when they aren't competing for my attention, and what I see, I love. One night while Erin was in the shower, Pearce and I were sitting on the sofa writing words. Okay, so I was writing words, and he was sounding them out. The letters he would write down didn't make words yet. In the process, Pearce did something goofy. What exactly I can't remember, but what was said next, I remember verbatim.

             "Did you know you have a few screws loose?" I asked thinking his five-year-old mind wouldn't
             get the meaning.             "I know," he said. Then leaning his head forward he said, "Could you tighten 'em up?"

 I started chuckling, and I acted like I was tightening them and made some odd noise because boys are all about motion and sound effects.
 Pearce looked at me and said, "No, it goes like this – brrrr." He made the sound of an electric drill, and he showed me how to hold my finger against his head. So I did as I was instructed, and then he turned his head so the screws were tightened on every side of his head.

He never missed a beat. (How could I not love this kid? I wish I could share this and so much more with his birth mother.) Have you ever thought somebody had a few screws loose? If you're reading this, you may be thinking, "Yeah, you" (meaning me).
 I encourage you to take the time to appreciate the difference in someone else. Our God is not a vanilla God nor did He make a vanilla world. Consider what their spiritual gift might be, their temperament, and their background. What makes them tick? When I'm investigating someone for a potential fraud case, I watch and I listen. I want to find out what makes them tick. When I take their statements I find out what their nervous ticks are, and they usually come out when they are lying. This one guy I interviewed had a nervous habit of picking his nose every time I would ask him questions about what happened to his car after he left it abandoned on the side of the road. That's just one example.

Appreciate the differences in sense of humor. It's okay to agree to disagree. Not everything is a competition. Breathe. We get so busy that we miss truly seeing the people around us, people in our own lives! Take time to get to know someone knew. God might have put them in your life for a very specific reason, a season or a lifetime. Figure it out. Invest in someone else outside your circle. Move beyond the boundaries you preset which often are not the boundaries God sets. So what if they think you are an odd duck? You're a grown adult. You know who you are and whose you are by now – don't you? Take a chance. I will tell you I was hurt one time very badly by a very dear and close friend. I was hurt so badly that I closed the door on all close relationships outside of my family and marriage. It has taken me years to allow others to see me for who I am without the veil we all wear from time-to-time. And truth be known, I do have a few screws loose. If I didn't, do you think I could really be a good mommy? If I didn't have a few screws loose, would I be able to accept others who are different from me (which is – HELLO!—everyone)? If I didn't have a few screws loose, would you ever read my stuff? I think not.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Has Been Pecked to Death by a Duck

"Mom. Mom."

I continue on with my work trying hard to focus on my immediate task at hand while my children have two different conversations with me at one time interrupting and talking over each other like they are Neanderthals without manners. Dealing with this situation is a real feat and chore since I'm ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive). For those who don't really understand ADHD, I was diagnosed when I was in seventh grade back in the 80s, and I cannot filter. Every bit of stimuli receives the same amount of importance as a gnat batting its wings in my ear. I can be easily over-stimulated, easily distracted because of the stimuli, and there are times when I don't complete what I start because I honestly forget about it. Then there are times when the stimuli is so much that I snap.

"Mom. Mom."

A girlfriend of mine says her kids jump on her last, white nerve. I can SOOOOO relate. Does this mean I don't love my kids? Heavens, no. Don't be ridiculous. I cannot imagine my life without my sweet Erin and my energetic, willful Pearce.

"Hey, Mom. Are you listening to me, Mom?"

"Do you see that I'm on the phone?" Why is it as soon as I'm on the phone people seem to need to talk to me immediately. "Someone better be dead, dying or the house better be on fire. There must be blood."

"Mom. Oh, mommy." In her best sing-song voice, "He's got a sharp object outside headed to your car. I'm not tattling. I'm just sayin'."

As my sister says, "There are just days it feels like they are pecking me to death like a duck."

"Momma, where are you?"

"I AM ON THE POT! FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, CAN I PLEASE HAVE A MOMENT TO MYSELF?" Why don't they bother their daddy when he goes to roost in the little boy's room?

"I was just going to tell you, 'I love you'."

Ugghh. Great. I feel like a heel, a horrible mom, but am I? We all get there at some point in time. If you say you don't, you need a reality check, or you need to share the drugs because you got some of the good stuff, dahlin'.

"Mom. Momma, my project and report is due tomorrow. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you." Tick. Tock. Tick. It's 9 PM.

Strange, my kids never call daddy. I have threatened to change my name to a symbol…formerly known as Mom.

But here's the bottom line. God chose me to be their mom for a reason which means that He knew I was ADHD and still thought I was the one for the job. AND if God has chosen me for a job, then He will equip me for that job and give me what I need to do it. He provides resources, energy, intelligence, wisdom and many other things when I need them and not a moment sooner. Just because we lose our mind on occasion does not make us a bad mom. Satan would like nothing better than to beat godly, growing moms down, and most of the time, we help him beat ourselves up. Let's not help him anymore, shall we?

Encourage your fellow sisters and girlfriends who are in this parenting gig alongside you. Reserve your judgments until you walk a mile to ten miles in their mules, clogs, or tennis shoes. Pray for one another. Love one another. Forgive one another and yourself. Be an open vessel that God can pour Himself into and work through. You can do this parenting thing. Just remember this as you charge full swing into summer with the kids being out of school and underfoot. Remember this when the kids are bored out of their minds and are picking fights with another. Remember to breathe. Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly. Repeat.

Love you, sisters!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lysol is my holy water

Have you ever noticed the things you want your children to share they don't, and the things you don't want them to share, they do? How is that? Why is that? A friend of mine calls his son "the carrier." Our children are little carriers of cooties and germs. They share with their friends and bring home new germs and cooties.
On more than one occasion one of my kids has been a carrier. One time in particular caused the spread of a terrible stomach virus. It was the kind that you need a trash can and a toilet at the same time. Patrick, my husband, was the first to go down as is the normal routine of things. I had him posted in our master bathroom. Erin went down next. Before she was three years old, the Rotovirus put her in the hospital twice and dehydrated her within one hour of the onset of symptoms. I put Erin in the ½ bath closest to the master bedroom. Then Pearce awoke with the same symptoms, and I had him in the kids bathroom. I remember kind of panicking because all three bathrooms were tied up. I didn't have a pot to pee in much less get sick in! I prayed that God would have grace and spare me this horrible illness, so I could tend to my family. At 2 AM in the morning, I'm running to the drugstore for a prescription the on-call doctor had called in.
I really hate stomach viruses. I don't know how truly effective Lysol products are, but when the love starts spreading in my house, I break out the Lysol wipes and wipe everything down. Then the Lysol spray becomes my holy water to fight off the fangs of the nasty beast of the stomach virus. For me, nothing is worse than this type of stomach bug.
 There are times in my life, in my career, in my marriage, and in my relationships that I wish I could clean up the mess I made with a Lysol wipe. I wish I could wipe away the negativity I had spread. I want to take out the infection of complacency that I have modeled. I want to kill the nasty words in which I have said that infected the air negatively. And while nothing can fix my mess-ups in life, there is One who wipes my slate clean. Though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). There are consequences for my actions or inactions, but thankfully, God doesn't hold my sin against me when I will stand before Him one day. My sin will be wiped away as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). Now that's clean. That is grace and redemption at its best. Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

“A Mother’s Knees”

This is a poem I wrote for my mom in May of 2000 before my dream of becoming a mom was realized.

Your mother is the one who comforts, cares for, feeds and nurtures you when you are young.
Your mother is the one who you look up to, love, and admire when you are a child.
Your mother is the one whose bones you use to sharpen your teeth when you are a teen struggling to find your own identity. Sorry about that, Mom!
Your mother is the one who is your biggest fan, your confidante, and your friend as you graduated into maturity, however long that took.

What make a woman into your mother?
It's not by blood or conditions, but it is the traits she exhibits that make her your mother.
Her brain – She is wise, intelligent, and insightful, according to Proverbs 31:26.
Her eyes – They see EVERYTHING! Does she really have eyes in the back of her head?
Her mouth – She uses her mouth to teach, instruct, and admonish. Proverbs 31:26
Her hands – They are soft and agile and a comfort when we are in pain. Proverbs 31:19
Her shoulders – She has broad shoulders so as to carry the heavy load of all our secrets and heartaches, not to mention the other stressors in her life.
Her heart – It cannot be contained in her body for it holds each child and spouse in their own compartment, and she doesn't hold any back for herself. How many times have we held her heart in our
    hands only to hurt her?
Her muscles – She is diligent, strong, and hard, working hard to protect her home and family. Proverbs 31:14-18
Her feet – She goes when and where she is needed. She goes to sporting events, school meetings, and to anything you're involved in.

But most importantly, it is her KNEES that make her your mother.

You see, your mother is on her bended knees every morning and every night in prayer for you.
Even though you don't deserve it, she's lifting you up to the Lord with a swollen heart, tearful eyes, and a bowed head because she knows that He is the only One who can love you more and protect you when you are out of her sight.
Thank you, Mom, for being a prayer warrior on my behalf. Thank you, God, for my mother and her knees.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is the Mom of a Girl

I am the mother of a sweet girl.

 When you ask most pregnant moms, "Do you want a boy or a girl?" Most respond, "I just want a healthy baby."

 Since I had a lot of time to pray for our first baby, I told God I wanted His will, but I really would like a girl the first go around. I thought my husband needed one. Little girls have a way of humbling a man.

 I also prayed that our baby would be an easy, laid-back baby. The first sign that God had answered this prayer was the fact that Erin was a little over a week late. She was comfortable where she was and was in no big hurry to come out and see the world. She's still in no big hurry. And as a baby, she was so easy and laid-back. My aunt and uncle paid to have a baby nurse who was similar to a "baby whisperer" to come and check our daughter our. When the nurse came, we visited in the den and were laughing and talking. She asked to see Erin, and she had been asleep the whole time in the bassinet next to my end of the sofa. The nurse stroked her back, and Erin didn't move. She rung a bell by Erin's ear, and Erin didn't budge. She took an open, safety pin and lightly scratched the bottom of Erin's foot, and Erin just moved her foot a little and continued to sleep. The nurse said she was one of the most laid-back babies she had ever seen. I woke Erin up, and when she came too and could see there was an audience she just grinned. She just oozed sweetness in her Feldman dresses, bonnets and little, gold ring and bracelet. Erin was late to walk because she was content with what she was given to play with, and early to talk. She was 18 months when she said, "Mommy, I see you." She has not stopped talking since which assures me we named her the right name.

 I know not every baby is as easy as she was because I had a niece who wasn't, but at some point in most little girls' lives they become sweet. Most have a tender heart with their feelings easily hurt. Baby girls who use to put on shows because they are the center of attention or because they know they are that cute change into little girls, into big girls, into tweens, and then teenagers. Somewhere along the way, our girls can lose that tenderness and lose their confidence.

 IF YOU ARE THE MOTHER OF A GIRL and you have issues with your self-worth, your self-esteem, your weight, your lack of tenderness, you can bet your daughter will to because you are her role model. The Word of God says He made us fearfully and wonderfully. That is how He sees each of us as His one-of-a-kind masterpiece. We need to teach our daughters that their worth, their value comes from God alone, and we need to show them what that looks like. It looks like someone who has confidence, who knows submitting to Him and the role He has given us is NOT less than someone else's. I remember my daughter in the second grade crying and telling me she was fat. I was shocked and my heart hurt for her. Some little girl had told she was fat, and it had hurt her feelings. That is when I started telling her about her worth. I explained she was still growing, and she wasn't fat. She was beautiful not only in her parents' sight, but she was precious in God's sight. This year one of her little friends turned mean and nasty, and Erin remembered what I had told her. She told the little girl that she didn't get her value from her and turned and walked away. I was so proud, and when she told me of what had happened, I encouraged her and told her again what the Bible says. Thank you, God, that Your Word is Living!

 My daughter is nine and in the third grade. I have friends whose daughters are in the fourth grade, and what I'm hearing is that popularity and mean girls start claiming their spots at these ages. More and more girls are becoming bullies. Their sweetness has fallen away. Their tenderness has rotten. What will become of these girls? What will become of the girls they bully? Don't think that your child will never bully or be bullied. Don't wear blinders and say, "Not my child." That is ignorance.

So how do we foster kindness in our daughters? How do we raise them to become godly young ladies with a sweet heart? I'm not there yet. I don't have all the answers, but this is what I'm trying. I'm talking to my daughter about the ways of godly girls and young women. I'm trying to live the life of a godly wife. I'm teaching her service. She helps to serve meals on Wednesday night at church. She learned to knit, so she can make a scarf for an orphan in Mongolia. And I love on her and encourage her every chance I get. I will also say having been a girl with a strong personality that a daddy's role in his daughter's life is immeasurable. They help to secure the value in that girl so she doesn't look for love and acceptance from another boy or man before she is ready.

As Dr. Dobson has said, "Raising kids isn't for sissies." All we can do is our best, and if we aren't spending valuable time with God receiving instruction from Him, then WE ARE NOT GIVING OUR KIDS OUR BEST! There is no more important job for me on the face of the planet than being Erin and Pearce's mom. And parents, we need to encourage one another, pray for one another. We need to be praying for our kids. Our kids need to hear us praying for them – This sends a message to them that they are important enough to be lifted up in prayer. We need to make sure that what they are listening to, reading and watching is something that is uplifting, encouraging, and positive. It's a lot of work to do this parenting thing even half-way right, but it's worth it. Keep up the good work, parents. Keep it up.