Sunday, February 27, 2011

new mercy

Frustration, pain, disappointment, hurt.
Dishonesty creates hard things.

Weary head rests upon midnight pillow.
I thank God for this trouble. I know it is good.

Trust chipped, tears flood.
The Lord redeems what was meant for evil.
His love covers.
His compassion abounds.

A new dawn births new mercy.
Young, softened heart speaks godly sorrows.

Craving comfort, Spirit's consolation.
Brought back to rightness by Love's sovereignty, rapids flow;
Pours down tender, bairn cheeks.

Thankful in all things, goodness surely follows.

I am grateful, once again, for hard things.

In expectancy, I will wait for Him to repair damaged things.
Love's Mighty Redeemer, restores all.

Holy thanksgiving creates holy abundance.

What was devised for evil, God devises for good, in order to save and bring forth new life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I realize I have a problem.

This is always the first step in overcoming. 
Realizing. The verb. The first action.

To realize some thing is to grasp or understand clearly, to make real; give reality to; to bring vividly to the mind. A problem, any thing, matter, person, etc., that is difficult to deal with, solve, or overcome.

My problem, also a verb.

Binge eating.

Too, I realize I have parked myself in this first step for a very long time now, coupled with perpetual cycles in leaving the lot of "realizing my problem", moving into the lot of "controlling my problem", only to find I've stalled again, then undoubtedly towed back to the first.

My difficult to deal with and definitely difficult to overcome problem has set up residence in my life for far too long.

This should not be.

1 John 5:4 says, "For whatever is born of God "overcomes" the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." 

The Bible testifies that I am an overcomer.
By faith, through the precious blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I have power to overcome.
This is more than exciting.

So why has it been so difficult to overcome my problem?

I am, by nature, an inconsistent perfectionist.
An "all-or-nothing" kinda gal.
The IP that I fight is irritated by it's own oxy-moron.

Not only in my eating habits but, other areas of my life evidenced this contradicting characteristic.

There have been days when my energy and desire for a perfect home kicks in, only to find trailing behind, days when all is fine to let it go. My body too. Hours upon hours of cardio overload and self-deprivation with staunch food choices most always ushers days of poor habits, self-justifying excuses, and eating binges.

Self loathing, unworthiness and guilt form plaque on my spirit.
Left only to my miserable self time and again, ashamed, desolate.

For decades I thought being perfect was everything.
Led by powerful deception, I chased after this.
The perfect everything.

Perfect self, perfect home, perfect marriage, perfect children. 
Even a perfect walk with Jesus.

My overzealous stride strives to do. To make it happen.  In my own strength I can push. I can accomplish. I can succeed.  
This goes only so far.
I hit a wall at the same speed.


Succeed does not equal overcome. Especially in my case of binge eating. In trying to have perfect,  I have exhausted myself.

But, my Savior's constant love pursues, whispers.
Be still. Be led. Be satisfied.

Paul tells me that in my weakness God is made strong.

Weak = Not in control.
This is scary.

What will become of me? Who will I be? What will happen if I give this up?

Does He tire of my selfishness, my lack, my excuses?
I know I do.

With abounding compassion and mercy, God is willing to forgive. He has covered my multitude of snacking, binge eating, gluttonyForgiven nights of empty boxes and crumpled bags. I see myself careless to presume upon His grace; a deeper problem to my problem. Beyond the Cheese-Its, the Oreos, mini pretzels, and bags of M&M's (or any chocolate, for that matter), I see my response.


Lies have closed my ears and calloused my heart.
I have been led astray.

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12.

In my plan to not be mastered (controlled), I have become mastered.

My heart cries out, "O, wretched woman am I!" 
No longer for my binging, but for my continuous rebellion, unbelieving mind, my broken commitment and willful desire to satisfy me.

In my own strength, I am unable to overcome such folly.
But, my true Master is the Lord, Christ Jesus, therefore, I am not overcome by my folly.
I am encouraged.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

His grace touches my eyes. I see an inconsistent perfectionist. Surely, this is better than the full-fledged perfectionist I once was. Not nearly His finished work, but, there is fruit, all to His praises, His glory! I have learned to accept that the perfection worth having is in God's timing, by His making -- not mine.

Today, I believe I am never left only to my miserable self; I am firmly held in the loving hands of an extravagant God who patiently, precisely whittles away at my imperfect heart.

Today, I can be confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (1 Philippians 1:6)

And when the willing heart is made still before the Master Pruner and Gardener, all is well.
Thank You Abba.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Cold nights are best where two warm hearts commune, 
Intertwined submission and Love's fire resounds.  
His holy marriage bed is blessed with goodness.

I reach through still darkness, hand gently settles upon your back.
Warm strength secures my rest.
Planted firm in Gods plan, Grace whispers Love's message in my ear.

I hear it.
I feel it.
I know it.

Quiet countenance remains.

Steadfast and confident, renewed by the Master's sweet kiss, 
Mercy rains down, 

My heart prepares humble words of gratitude, 
Fragile and pure spread across my palms.
Raised up in trust and sweetest praise, 
He takes them, they are His,
Grace abounds.

He makes new, the days of sorrow and pain; our struggle is His refine.
His breath restores years eaten by locusts- 
His promise, covenant divine.
We enter in.

Peace replaced, broken rebuilt, Love's foundation the rock for three souls. 
Long-suffering, your example, Faithful, your tender offering,
Made perfect by the Potter's hand.

I rest in your quiet presence, 
Slow breath and silent night, 
Good husband, my blessing, my honor- simply a privileged wife. 

I am led into kindness by the hand of sweet Jesus, 
Wrapped in peace,
Here, is my home.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's been nearly 12 months since we received the results of Rick's abnormal white blood cell count, 10 weeks since he left PICC line and IVs at City of Hope. 

How is it that a man discovers, battles and recovers from stage 4 blood cancer in under a year?
Only minor residue is currently present of this enemy attack.
Where there is a head without hair, there is peace and gratitude that covers.
A few extra Rx supportive of immune system remain where new stem cells have knocked out need for blood pressure medication.
Monthly follow-ups assessing recovery.

I never thought, to go through something that is meant to terrify, would reward so greatly.
The goal was remission, healing.
It always is.
But, what happens when a man walks away from a war with mortality, and 
is more alive than before he entered battle?

Grace abounds.

I've heard stories of soldiers who've come home, after standing face to face with the enemy. It's hard to forget. It's
impossible to forget. This head-on collision with death threats and terror seep deep into the earth of the soul. 
Like war, cancer lives to destroy body, mind and hope.
Is it possible to walk away and only [remember]  the miracles, the goodness, the blessing of it all?

Rick is more than a cancer patient in remission. He is also a heart 
patient in the hands of the Greatest Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we prayed and prayed and still pray for complete healing, this is what continues. The renewing grace of a willing heart. A heart of flesh, a softer, more tender heart, molding to the will of the Creator.
The evidence of this heart surgery supersedes all things cancer attempts to destroy in our home. Each of us, a family of heart
patients under the lancet of the LORD, look forward, not back, living in today, with more love, more peace, more gratitude, and more purpose knowing more than ever, our only hope is Jesus.

Exodus 14:14 says, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Stillness in the storm.

Today, life is calmer.
Rick's last follow-up appointment, January 27, went well. Blood levels on track, with a favorable 5 lb. weight gain. His "100th day" soon approaches. This means new assessments. Dr. Nade has ordered a PT Scan for the end of February. We are praying for clear results-continued remission. He is doing better than ever, Praise God! I testify to this with amazement and joy! His energy and strength allow for business, family time, exercise and church commitments. Also, looking forward to a family trip to New York this summer. God is so good!

I take rest in the calm He provides today.

But, my mind thinks hard on those around us who are fighting similar battles. Some not fairing as easily. My heart cries for the mother whose beautiful little girl fights for her last days, for the mourning children and adoring husband of the sick young mother and wife left behind.

How is it that one man has victory over disease and another doesn't?

I ask God this often. Why has He given me peace? Why has He allowed my husband to be healed? Why has He blessed my familythis way?

Rick came home today talking about an interview he listened to on the radio. About a pastor who recently led a Christian missionary team to Egypt. In the midst of the political protests and riots, the tour guide cocked his ooze as he desperately scrambled to get his group to safety. The team was led to the airport where thousands of people, including American citizens, piling and pushing, elbowing their way through, racing for flights [unavailable].  Lost in all of the media scramble is one of the most frightening major reasons for these riots: Christian Persecution. I contrast this with Skyler's recent mission trip to Haiti. A foreigner in a foreign land amongst tens of thousands of Haitians crowding the streets. The day of the one year anniversary of Haiti's devastating quake was profoundly celebrated with dancing and singing by the people, all for the glory of Jesus Christ.

How is it that one man faces persecution and death in warfare while another receives blessing of joy and revival?

Regardless of the person, place or thing, His explanation rings the same to me: "Its not about you. Or your family. Or the others, those suffering, mourning, even rejoicing. Just as it's not about the wars, the riots or the cancer. Search deeper-- It's about My glory, My plan. It's about My Son."

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Jesus Christ." Rom. 8:28, Eph. 1:9
Every life, every circumstance, divinely purposed.

For the first time in my life, peace replaces fear. I find peace in learning to understand and embrace that suffering if part of living,
part of growing. A very big part. An very important part.

We don't know what tomorrow has for us, but we do know who we can count on today for our tomorrows--the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.


The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
   they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD


Love is all over the place.

Advertised on t-shirts and school notebooks, trendy wall art, and silk screened sweatpants. Colorfully inked on greeting cards and tattoos, penned in a plethora of magazines and on high top tennis shoes.  I own more than a few things with thisworld-renowned word, yet, I am beginning to realize just how little I know of True Love. Too often exploited, underrated and confused, the word "love" comes in allshapes and styles, designs "Just for you".

I've always craved more love in my life,-- who doesn't?-- so I saturated my environment with an air freshener calledLOVE.

Love songs, 
Love plaques,
Love stories,
Love emblems,
and the Love list goes on... 

More than ever, I am beginning to see, through many surface attempts, to grasp True Love, I must know the love of God. I must know Jesus. I've begun a journey into the deep layers of this mysterious love, basking in His affectionate Scriptures, praying and waiting to discover God's invaluable treasure. As I ponder Love's descriptive list, the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23*, I immediately recognize the Spirit's sweetness of godly tenderness to be one of my greatest lack in terms of Love's collection of righteous attributes.

So, I began to ask God for more gentleness.

I was a very sensitive little girl. I am a sensitive grown woman. In this, I have always longed to be loved with T.L.C. (Tender Loving Care). As a child, I was loved with care. Fresh home-cooked meals where grace were said, family gatherings and laughter, clean sheets on beds. Thankfully yes, I was cared for, my needs sacrificially met. But, something was missing, something replaced. During hard times -- more than my share -- I was loved with a different T.L.C. (Tough Loving Care).

Hardened hearts 

Speaking love, 
Showing love, 
Demanding love,
Withholding love.

My own sensitive heart learned to love like this too.

I've used this word "love" uncountable times without right understanding- my ignorant approach.
I've shown love with motive selfishly my own, I shamefully admit. 
I've also demanded it, receiving at best, temporary enchantment, left empty, scorned.
I've used it as reward and even withheld it as to punish.

For far too long, I've tried to love others and myself with this kind of love

Striving good works  
Self-worth seeking deeds,
Shallow words of empty promises, constraining heart strings.
Dried up by my own unmet expectations. Left alone by those of others.

One day long ago, when I first heard that God loved me, I decided to love Him too. His Book of promises filled me with hope and purpose. Sadly, I've lived most of my life believing God's love to be that of mine.

I read His "Tender" as "Tough", conditional and slightly contrived.

I'm beginning to see a different way -- the only way to love. I must lay down my love to Jesus, and let Him fill my cup. The truth is, His love is like no other. It can't just be planted in my head, depicted on the big screen or acted out, like Shakespeare said. It must be received from the Master Gardener, the tender of my soul, planted deeply and watered often by the drenching of His Word.

I no longer pray for more gentleness. I simply pray for more love.

More truth in love.
More grace in love.
More abiding in love.

More Jesus.

For Love's sweet taste of gentleness is found only on the vine,
ripened through it's abounding source, True Love Divine.

Those who abide not in Jesus Christ, but in the world and it's manufactured ways, may flourish for awhile in outward projection and religious displays; yet, eventually come to nothing, but an artificial production of this holy affection, whose Name beholds abundant life, the Author, Love's Perfection.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me." John 15:1-2
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.