February 15, 2016

When the answer is No

I sit here in a pile of numb. Numbness from the sting of rejection. Rejection of not being qualified enough. Rejection of my dream. As I sit in this muck of numbness with tears streaming down my cheeks I still believe in His will. His perfect will. I know that He knows best. I know there’s a good reason. I also know that sometimes God’s no is hard to swallow. I accept it.  But it hurts.

In my mind, I had it all played out. I was going to leave the corporate world. I was going to leave behind the full time status. I envisioned the daily tasks of this new position. I was ecstatic at the idea of working part time. That meant more time for my family, volunteering, friends, for me. I had the financial plans all laid out to cover my cut in pay. I prayed. I asked others to follow, believe and pray with me. They encouraged me soundly. I interviewed well. Then I waited. I rather enjoyed the waiting part. The hard part of the interview was over, my dream was still alive and there was hope.

Then I got the call. The answer was no. We don’t have a job offer for you. We don’t feel you have the Development experience we need. But appreciate your time. They will post again because nobody met their needs. I could barely muster a thank you at the end of that call.

But I believe in God’s perfect will. Is it a coincidence that on the same day I had this ‘dream job interview’ I also had an interview at another agency with a similar mission? And they said, “When can you start?” before I even stepped out of the room? I think not. Is it a coincidence that a Manager in another department at my current employer reached out to ask if I would support their team? That will give me high visibility for other opportunities within? I think not.

God knows what He’s doing. And I trust His path over mine any day. Believe me, I’ve went down some wrong paths in my day. But every time I follow His way, He blesses and protects it. So, although I sit here in the sludge of rejection and numbness, I bring it to the feet of Jesus because He knows. He identifies. And He comforts. Soon these feelings will pass and I’ll be dreaming a new dream with Him. Father knows best.

September 23, 2015

It reminded me

I know you’re not supposed to boast about the times you do good unto others. And I don’t. But this isn’t about me. It’s about my amazing husband and face it, he just eats it up when I brag him up. And believe me; I need all the brownie points I can get with him.

Yesterday, we were standing in line to pay at the store and behind us was a dad with 2 children (one pry 12 and the other 2). It outwardly seemed that they were without much money, but the dad was so attentive to the toddler and both kids were well behaved. As I’m observing (my kids call it staring…whatever) them, my husband leans over and says, “Do you know them?” After informing him that I did not, his response was, “I feel led to pay for their diapers and wipes, but don’t know what to say to them.” My husband proceeds to ask the fellow if he can pay for his items. The man stammers over how to respond, but finally says, “Yes, but you don’t have to do that.”

As I watched the man I love perform this beautiful act of kindness, I had to fumble in my purse for my sunglasses because I didn’t want anyone to see the tears brimming in my eyes.  The cashier rang the items up, placed them in a bag and handed it to him. The man slowly walked around us, not knowing what to say or how to respond, but eventually said, “Thank you.”  My husband assured him it was no problem and I sputtered out God bless, as he passed by.

I watched that dad with his children walk by us, through the cashier lane, out the door and even halfway through the parking lot (okay, maybe my kids are right and I do stare), all the while weeping under my sunglasses with my cheek pressed against the arm of my husband. I wept as we unloaded the groceries in the truck. I continue to weep as we drove home. I had few words, but lots of emotion. My husband asked, “What are you thinking?” I told him I wasn’t thinking anything, I was feeling.

As I wiped the tears from my eyes and began to share with my husband, I expressed how proud I was of him. I told him that I’ve never been with anyone who’s done that and it moved me. I told him I was proud to stand next to him. How his act of kindness erased all the junk we’ve been going through lately because this moment surpassed all those (he was happy to hear that, because like me, he needs also needs brownie points). I mentioned how God stirred him to do something and he was obedient.  

Even as I write this, my eyes fill with tears yet again. Not only did I experience the emotions for my husband, but it also humbled me. It reminded me of the years that I was without and couldn’t provide even the basic needs for my children. It reminded me of memories past of basic survival. It reminded me of where I once was; of where God has brought me; of where God is taking me. It reminded me of the time several strangers’ donated household items to fill an empty 2 bedroom apartment that once only held a handful of clothes and blankets after leaving a homeless shelter. It reminded me that God had a made a way in my life. He has changed my life. He has moved in my life. It just made me so thankful to God for what He’s done and shown me in this life thus far.

I don’t know why this one simple act of kindness moved me in such a way, honestly I don’t care why. I just know that God is good and He will make a way. It reminded me….


September 18, 2015

Chapters of Mum

Mommy. Mama. Mum. Ma. All these ways to say the same thing…..Mom. Of all the titles I carry (Friend. Believer.  Co-Worker. Sister. Daughter) it’s the one title I thoroughly enjoy carrying. And it has also been one of the hardest.

Many people write about being a mom; the definition of a mom, their enjoyment of it, the struggles of it and/or what they love about their own mom.  I’ve personally experienced the highs and lows of being a mom…..haven’t all moms? Even through the struggles, the benefits have far outweighed any struggles I’ve encountered…..can’t all moms agree?

My definition of a mom didn’t start out with the joy I speak of today. I struggled with that title growing up as I fought to get my mom’s love and attention. My mother was not actively engaged or very nice, as she suffers from addiction. I felt abandoned. I had nobody to teach me how to be a woman or be an example of what a good mom was supposed to do or be like. *Today, I do not hold hatred or anger towards my mom because of this, I hold compassion towards her. That’s not to say that I didn’t have years of struggles because of our tattered relationship, I did. However, when I view her from a fellow human (sister), I see her pain and broken heart due to her own mom issues. My heart hurts for her and through God’s grace, I forgive her.*

Then I had multiple stepmothers, all whom I liked, but also abandoned me.  This could be a whole other post, for times sake, let's fast forward.

The next chapter in my book of ‘mother’ was that I became one, myself at a young age and unmarried. It revolutionized my path in life. Although, I was lost and confused about how to take care of this little being, I knew what real, unconditional love was …..as well as responsibility! After fumbling through 7 years of raising my son, I became a mother again. This time, I was married, a little older and wiser (a tad). I was also now a Christian and had a great support system surrounding me. Things were definitely different this time around (thank you, God!).

But, then, came an even harder chapter in my mothering book. I found myself as a single mom. With zero family, or friends around.  In a new town.  With no job. By this time, my life and definitely my mother skills were spiraling out of control as I was just trying to survive. I knew I had to do something, so I signed up for every counseling, home service and social work program I could find.  It’s ironic that I’d already been mothering for 11 years with a spouse, but it was when my children were half grown and I was parenting by myself that I really learned how to be a good mom. Community resource plug: I’m eternally grateful for those non-profit programs in the community that taught me so much. Consider giving your time and money to those agencies. They help!

My mother chapters didn’t end there though. As a matter of fact, I’ve found myself in the way of wearing a new mothering hat recently. I’m a stepmother. Honestly, this has probably been the most bittersweet of all hats to wear.  I love them and care for them as my own, but I’m not well-liked by some of them. So much so, that simply because I’m married to their father some won’t talk to him. Which just break my heart. However, going through another chapter of struggling as a (step)mom God has shown His face again. He has taught me, given me opportunities, grown me, strengthened me and helped me tighten up some nuts that had gotten loose from the shaky ride. I’m happy to report after year(s) of praying God is performing miracles in these circumstances as we speak (thank you, God!).             

I’m not sure if you’re seeing the stepping stones of “Mother” in my life, but God has prepared me for such a time as this. It makes me smile when I think I have learned all there is to know about a subject and even fool myself that I somehow have mastered it, and then you ‘get humbled’ by things getting shaken up. There’s always something more to learn, we’ve never fully arrived. God is not done with me yet.

Point is. The word mother rolling off my lips has gone from disdain to adoration. The story of motherhood ebbs and flows, but one thing remains constant……God has given them to me as a gift. I treasure each one of them, whether I birthed them or not and I enjoy the titles I have the privilege of carrying for them, whether it be Diane or Mum.


September 13, 2015

Be FerVent

I decided to remove all areas in which I served outside the home; at church, in the community, with friends, etc. For months leading up to that decision, I just didn’t have the same passion for it I once had.  I’d make excuses as to why I couldn’t attend, or find other things I needed to do instead most being legitimate. I didn’t know why at the time, I just chalked it up to being a newlywed with a new family to help raise, a home needing my attention because it was under construction and we were searching for a new church. In other words, I had other things to focus on. I just didn’t feel it was right to continue to be obligated to these areas of serving and not show up, so I informed each of them that I could not serve anymore for an undetermined amount of time and with no explanation. That was 5 months ago.

Lately, on FB, Instagram, or in person I’ve seen or heard stories of people serving. Serving the homeless, serving in a new ministry at church or at a local non-profit and my heart stirs and my eyes weep. I have a call…a passion…to serve people. It’s in every cell of blood that runs through my veins. I must serve other people. I don’t know why. I don’t care why. I just know God has given me a passion to serve others. I must do it.

I didn’t know why, at the time (5 months ago) I had lost that deep passion that God had implanted me. Until last night. As I was reading ‘Strategy 1: Your Passion’ in the newly published book, Fervent by Priscilla Schirer, my eyes were enlightened. Enlightened to what the enemy has stolen from me. My passion.

“Passion is what keeps you moving in the direction your best intentions want you to go. That’s why, if I were your enemy, I’d make stealing your passion of my primary goals. Because I know if I could dim your passion, I could significantly lower your resistance to temptation and discouragement.”

I realized as I read that, that I had allowed satan to rob me of my passion to serve others. Do you know how hard that is to swallow? That I allowed, yes, allowed that sneaky, tricky devil to John 10:10 me. He came in and stole my joy and my blessings from being obedient in serving others and ultimately God. But no more!! That snaky beast only got half way through his plan before I declared no more. He may have stolen, but he has not killed or destroyed it yet. I’m standing up and fighting back. I will not allow him to steal another minute or get to the point of killing the passion(s) in my life.

I can also say that although satan has John 10:10’d me, God has Romans8:28’d me. He took what satan meant for bad and turned it into good. In those 5 months of stepping away from all areas of serving, our family has found our ‘home’ church, I have new Christian friends (something I’ve prayed of for many years!), I have a closer walk to God-where I’d been feeling desert-like with Him, it’s now a river overflowing, and now I have clean slate full of possibilities of where He will call me to serve others. I’m excited about what’s to come and how God will use me as His vessel. And I’m even okay with swallowing the fact that I allowed satan to steal my passion. I’m human. It’s okay. I’ve learned from it.  And with God’s amazing grace and mercy, He’s forgiven me. And friends, He’ll even forgive YOU when you allow satan in to steal your passion, or anything else He tries to. Be alert. Fight the good fight. Put on your armor. Get on your knees. Be fervent!!


August 27, 2015

a bag of groceries...

My 14 year old daughter and I had to stop at the store for a few items after leaving my son’s house. He suggested a store I rarely frequent, but it was on our way home and I only needed a few items.

Upon entering the store, we were solicited by people standing at the door, asking if we’d buy groceries, place them in a bag and bring back to them. I inquired, “Who will be receiving these groceries?” When they responded with “the local shelters”, it was a no-brainer for me. I gladly accepted the invitation of purchasing a few cans of food to put in the plastic sack.

As my teen daughter and I are perusing over the canned fruits, my daughter exclaims, “Mom, nobody likes peaches, get the fruit cocktail.” As I’m declaring my love for peaches, she interrupts with “And Mom, don’t get the generic ones, they deserve name brands.” This was a proud mom moment for me. I don’t know where she learned that or what prompted to her say that. Was it because she heard that from me before? Or someone else? Or did it catch a memory from deep within her? I thought about it for a moment and decided it didn’t really matter where she’d learned it, but I was marveling in the fact that she knew it, said it and lived it. I could’ve gone into a whole spiel of generic vs. name brand products (we typically buy generic ourselves); instead I chose to affirm my daughter’s exclamations with “I couldn’t agree more. I remember receiving name brand; it was like we struck gold for the day.”

I could clearly see that I needed to allow my daughter to drive this bus. She needed to pick out the items and give them to the solicitors out front. And she did. She not only got one of everything on the short list provided, but two and a few extra things, as well. Another proud Mom moment.

After the cashier finished ringing up our items, I swiped my card and she says, “Ma’am, your card has been Declined.” Say what?!?! I assumed I typed the wrong pin # so I tried again. The same response was returned. Still wanting to pay for the groceries, I walked over to the ATM to try and retrieve cash, but for the third time I got the same declined response. After calling the bank and getting everything worked out (suspicious activity on my account, but that’s a whole other post), I was able to use my debit card to purchase the groceries….finally! So we grabbed the bags and handed them to the outside can collector on our way out the door.

My daughter or I haven’t talked another thing about donating the groceries, and quite frankly it hasn’t even crossed my mind. I didn’t gloat about it, talk about it, post it (to make it ‘official’) or even tell my husband because I thought it was no big deal. Until…..

In the wee hours of a still morning about a week later, the first post on my FB newsfeed was a local shelter praising the Lord for adonation that brought their bare shelves (literally) to brimming full. As I thumbed through the pictures my eyes started to water as I realized that the groceries my daughter and I donated were part of this praise report post.  I thought to myself, what a gift from the Lord, to actually see the fruits (pun intended) of our labor. There are many, many, many, many times that we don’t see the end results of our giving. God gave me the privilege to see the sea of white, tied-up grocery bags that filled the shelter’s cupboards to overflowing.

One picture in particular made me realize the magnitude of one person’s giving. If I’d have been the only one to give it would’ve never filled the shelves. But because several strangers who will probably never meet felt compelled at different times and locations and for whatever reason to fill a white grocery bag with a few canned goods, look at the outcome…..overflowing abundance!!

Experiencing this also made me reflect when I was on the receiving end of donated groceries. I realized it had been almost 10 years since I stood in waiting lines at such places crossing my fingers in hopes that I’d get enough food to make a meal for me and my two kids that night. It’s funny how a seemingly insignificant act of dropping a few canned goods in a grocery sack can lead to such feelings.

Now, I could’ve easily said forget it, left my items and walked out the door without looking back (in embarrassment) when my card was declined. Or the cashier could’ve politely asked me to move on, even through the irony of nobody else in line behind me (how odd is that in a popular grocery store). Or I could’ve walked by and ignored the man soliciting us for groceries. Or I could’ve simply said no. To which, I would’ve missed out on the gift God handed me. I didn’t realize at the time of haphazardly buying a bag of (name brand) groceries would speak to me as much as it did or quite possibly as much as it will the receiver of the goods. But God works like that.  
Living through Wild Abandon for Christ,

May 1, 2013

Cleaning out the junk in life can be messy

In order for something to be cleaned ‘up/out’ it usually

entails making a bigger mess than what you began with.

For instance, I’ve been cleaning out my bedroom closet because for the last year or so I’ve just been dumping items on the dresser, shelves and even on the floor. It got to the point of not being able to see the top of my dresser, receipts were getting mixed up with family photos and just the overall feeling of being unorganized was really starting to bug me.  So I decided it was time to dig in and do some spring cleaning. It’s been weeks now and my piled messes have overflowed from the closet to my bedroom floor. I can only do a little at a time and I’m separating old receipts from new ones and photos stuck in between bank statements. Therefore, I have several piles for each thing stack I’m going through, and a throw away pile, as well as a shred the evidence pile.

I’ve noticed that as I began this ‘venture’ to organize my bedroom closet God has also been doing a ‘venture’ to prioritize my life.

As I celebrated Holy Week, I cried out to God, “Create something new within me, Lord. Let me see something new about you….about me. Things are dormant in my life. Easter isn’t as special as it once was and quite frankly, you aren’t either, Lord. Reveal yourself to me in a new way.” And whew, what a ride it has been since then. Just like my bedroom closet, in the process of cleaning up the sins and stagnancy of my life it’s created a bigger mess. Since I breathed those words to God just 4 short weeks ago I found out some horrific news about my precious daughter that is almost too much to bear; I came down with an infection; I’ve been grieving the emotional wayward/loss of my nephew, which has left me angry, sad and empathetic; I broke up with my boyfriend, my best friend of numerous years has kicked me to the curb, my boss and I had our first misunderstanding, I received the cold shoulder from a co-worker who is also a dear friend, the possibility of a new position and even a move has come up, and I’ve felt led to start attending a new church.  I’m exhausted and filled with mixed emotions just writing all that out.

Although, it’s been a struggle the last few weeks I think it’s an answer to my prayer. I have been refreshed spiritually because of all the above and I’ve had to cling to Him like I never have before, to sometimes even get out of bed or to face people; whereas before I was self-reliant, independent and even a little prideful.  Like cleaning the dresser off, God has separated things into piles of throw it away, shred it, place in your memorabilia box or file it. The cleaning out process is never easy. It’s been a progression of relying on Christ to clean out the junk in my life, to get rid of the sin and start with a clean dresser top, then move to have clean shelves and after everything has fallen, sweep up the mess on the closet floor. It’s been hard to swallow truths about things that have happened….it’s been tough not to want to take revenge….it’s been most difficult to accept and truly repent of sins I didn’t even realize I had….it’s been a struggle to forgive others….and it’s been a challenge to say yes when God says no.  It’s just been plain hard!

However, I have the utmost faith that all these things are for a purpose. God is cleaning up a very messy woman to become better for Him. I’m glad and excited about the cleaning up process He’s been doing in my life, it shows He’s answering my prayers (not in the way I was hoping, but nonetheless He’s listening). Am I glad that these things have happened to me? I can answer that with a resounding NO!! But I also admit I can be quite stubborn and sometimes it takes shocking things like the above mentioned to get my attention. How I became so messy without even realizing it is probably the same way my closet got so messy without me even realizing it….one piece of paper at a time; one ugly thought at a time.  I’m human. I’m broken. I’m sinful. But God knows all this about me and He loves me, hears me, answers and is in the business of cleaning up!!

DISCOVERING: How to get rid of junk
BECOMING: Stronger in Christ!

April 5, 2013

You’ve lost your sparkle

My first day of feeling emotionally okay to face the world and then someone touches my arm and says, “You’ve lost your sparkle. Are you okay?”

Like everyone else walking the face of this earth, I’ve been hit with the hammer of real life troubles my entire life (abuse, rejection, betrayal, divorce, addiction, homeless, single parenting, etc.) but nothing prepared me for this hammer blow. There are no words to describe how my heart feels therefore it’s coming out in tears. There are so many people it affects and the gift (ha!) of empathy that Christ has given me can sometimes be too much to bear b/c I not only feel my heart, but I can feel what others are going through.  

The pain is unbearable and has interrupted my everyday life. My thoughts, my words, my feelings, my responsibilities, my actions. I will never be the same as I was before, nor will my family members. I don’t say this as a pity plea. I say it to be real and to shed light on something dark. There is freedom in truth. 

Not being the same again isn’t so bad.  I’ve been moved. Shifted in a way that has allowed me to know and see the truth. Shifted in a way that opens my eyes to the vulnerability of life, of making every moment count, of being aware, making time to truly listen when someone talks, clinging closer to the cross.
Although, this tragic event has happened to my family, I have much to be thankful for…..that it wasn’t worse than it was, that I was the one to take the call, that everyone can now receive healing and forgiveness, it explains behaviors and choices, realized I’m surrounded with more people than I knew that care about me, closer to Christ through all this.

In spite of what the devil wants to use to break us down, he’s sadly mistaken. The only reason we’re on our knees is because we’re praying to our Mighty God, not falling apart. By relying on THE ROCK I've been able to get through all the other hammer blows in life and this is no different. Together, we’re standing on the battle lines fully armored to fight for healing and salvation of those affected. And it’s quite okay to lose your sparkle because it’s only temporary.

BECOMING: Stronger and more sparkly