Monday, September 29, 2008


This past week has been a little difficult for me. I had experienced something on my birthday that made me feel like I had let God down. I know that I am faulty, but I also know that God wants to forgive me and move on. I heard somewhere that God forgives all of our sins and he puts them in a lake. He then posts up a sign that says "No Fishing!" Well, I went fishing alright and while I went fishing for what was bothering me, I also caught some old ones I left behind years ago. Why do we do that? I guess while we are down we mind as well remember other things right? Well, He does not remember them so we shouldn't either. At the time though, no one could tell me that.

I had to pick up some medication for Maddy on Saturday from Dandurand Drugstore. Everytime we pull up here (we only make this run 3 times a year), Maddy's eyes light up. "Oh, I like this store!" she says. Maybe because it has "cute" and pretty expensive toys there. I am sure she is not excited to pick up her medicine. I quickly let her know I am not spending money here except for her medicine. She goes off and looks at the toys. When I walk over I notice a basket of silly looking stuffed animals. "I like these" she says to me. I said "yeah, they are called Ugly Dolls and we can make those, not pay 10 bucks for them." She was super excited at the thought of making something and she put it down.

On the way home I stopped by Goodwill and picked up an assortment of fabric for VERY cheap. I told Maddy that since I had to babysit that night we could make the dolls after church the next day. She agreed and began sketching her "Ugly Dolls."

That night after I was done babysitting and Maddy had fallen asleep, I decided to make her one and surprise her. I knew Maddy would love it so I began sewing (by hand) away. I felt like a child making something for their mother. I was pleased with my finished result and turned the lamp off.

When we woke up Sunday, I showed Maddy the doll. Her voice was so gentle and soft. "Oh, I love it mommy, thank you! You did a good job!" she (being proud of her mommy) says. We then began to talk about why it is called the "Ugly Doll." I wrote the word "ugly" down on some paper and began to make words out of the letters. We figured that "G.L.Y." could stand for "God Loves You." Maddy asked me what "U" could stand for and I said "Unchanging." We wrote out the words "Unchanging God Loves You" and we were excited! Not only did we create our own doll but God showed us how he can help us make good out of what seems to be "ugly."

At church this morning I was taking on the burden of what I had gone through on my birthday. As God would have it, the service was titled "Peace". It told of a testimony of girl at church who had began "cutting" herself for temporary relief of struggles. It showed how she had hit rock bottom and began to lean on the Lord. During that time the preacher was saying, "no matter what you have done to someone or what they have done to you, Jesus is the only one who can give you peace." He then said turn to the person to your left or to your right and tell them "you are forgiven." I turned to my right and told the girl "you are forgiven" and she told me. The testimony continued and I began to weep silently. I wept over how unclean my heart was and how I was not worthy of being loved. The Lord reminded me of the "U.G.L.Y. doll" and I wept more. I could have rambled on but the Lord intervened. The girl that was on my right sat in the seat next to me and said, "I just want you to know the second I sat next to you I noticed Gods spirit all over you. I could just feel it. You are going to be used so much. I just want you to know." I was weeping and I all I could say was "thank you." Later I found out that that was her (Ashleys) first time visiting the church and speaking out in faith. She had never done that before. What faith that was, for me to see!

After coming home I told Maddy how happy I was that we found "Unchanging God Loves You" out of "ugly." I also told her that if anyone calls her ugly again, that was alright. She could just smile at how God sees love through the ugly. We all have it. We can deny it or own up to it. Our hearts are not always pure, clean, or beautiful. I have learned that going "fishing" for our sins and old ones don't solve anything either. I don't always "get it", but I am learning that their is beauty is out of ugly.

"I desire a heart like you Lord. I cannot look at my own strength to get me through. Help me to have a heart like you. In your beautiful, precious, and holy name-Amen."

"The enemys angel did his best to get me down, what he in fact did was push me to my knees...My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." 2 Corinthians 12 (The Message)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"What's sabotage mean?"

I have been praying lately that I would be a good example of godliness to Madelyn. I feel that since last summer when I was on a high dosage of prednisone (steroids), it has been hard for me to find my "old" self. The old self that prayed for long lengths of time, boldly told people what God says, and was in the Word nonstop. Who I am now is someone trying to peel myself away from the things I clung to during my "mind altering" drug. I could not find God. I cried all the time because I thought he had left me.

Since then I have beaten myself up over why I let myself get this way. I got so down about how I have changed since last summer and I know that in between that time frame I made Madelyn turn her back.

I am training for a hill run in November. I asked Maddy to go with me to Sedgwick County Park so I can train on the "sledding hill." I knew I could run up and down that a couple of times for a good work out. When we pulled up she asked me right away, "do they have stickers?" Not the cute ones that stick to your shirt, the ones that stick to your feet. I knew she was not going to like this. I encouraged her to hop in the grass to avoid getting stuck, because immediately they stuck to me. We ventured up the hill and she counted as I ran up and down. After the 3rd time, I was thirsty and forgot that I left my water bottle at the bottom of the hill. I asked her to get it for me. With hesitation and my guilt of how dry my mouth was, she skiddishly hopped down to get it. When she came back up she was so happy. I told her how proud I was of her for going down there. She said, "I sang to God and told Him, He was my Savior and my God and I wasn't scared." That moment was defining for me. It showed me that Maddy knows where her help comes from.

This morning I decided not to go to church. We have had the busiest week that I wanted time for us to enjoy our home and each other. I told Maddy we were going to clean up some and get some groceries. I had a 3pm class today, so I wanted to get moving. When she was brushing her hair she asked me, "what's sabotage mean?" I told her, "it means to get revenge or tear apart something on purpose with a hateful heart." Then I asked her, "why do you ask?" She told me she thought about it from the song on Rockband. I explained to her that Rockband doesn't have many songs that I like her to sing because of that reason. I did, however, take full advantage of getting on the subject of how the enemy wants to sabotage people and their relationships with God. She then told me, "when we go to Wal-mart I am going to tell them what that song means." We talked about different kinds of songs and then Maddy put her head down and looked sad. "What is wrong?" I asked. She continued to tell me how kids in her class call her ugly. I told her that was another reason why the enemy wants her to feel bad. He wants to sabotage the way she feels about herself, friends, and eventually God. We had the best conversation and I did a little skit showing Maddy how Jesus can enter her life if she follows and is in the Word, and how the enemy can if she is not. We hugged each other and left the house with HOPE. That is what God wants. He wants us to have hope. When we talk about Him, give Him glory, and most importantly in our hearts. In the car we talked about how else we can hear from God. We can ask him to reveal himself in our dreams. Maddy said, "He also can talk to us through our art. In school I drew a picture of two angels and they were guarding a jail. In the jail was the devil and he could not leave. God was standing right in front of the jail too." This lead us into more conversation about the end times. I felt so overwhelmed about how although we did not go to church, I was filled. I felt God had answered so many thoughts of "what I had not done or what else can I do." He showed me that what was planted in Maddy has not left. He has also been showing me through this, is that sabotage is what the enemy wants. I was (with Gods wisdom) answering my own questions when explaining sabotage to Maddy. The enemy doesn't want you to feel like you have friends, he doesn't want you to feel like you are special to God, and He wants you to doubt God is with you. I always knew this but now I really know. When you teach your child God's love, ways, and teachings, they teach you. It is God's hand and love that speak through them. Not only did Maddy learn something so did I. Thank you Jesus!

"Point your kids in the right direction-when they are old they won't be lost." Prov. 22:6 (The Message)

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today has arrived. The day I have been dreading for the past year. This is the day my "Babe" had to leave. He is off to serve his country. Even though at times he doesn't feel like he is making a difference, he is and I admire him.
I work and serve for military moms and dads everyday. It is so hard to see these parents tell their children "bye" as they are off for 4 to 6 month TDY's. The children have no idea that when we tell them mommy and daddy went to work, that means a 120 day away work.
Our day has come. It was one of the sweetest good-byes we've had. God has weaved us together so tight this past year that I am truly honored to be called his wife. He is my lover, my husband, and my best friend.
A couple of weeks ago I remember laying in bed and thinking about all of the things that were "changing." I am about to lose a couple of children in my classroom that I have had for a year. That hurts. I have somewhat helped "raise" them like my own. I have to say "good-bye." We are about to lose really good friends to a move. I know God has blessed this and it is so awesome but once again I have to say "good-bye." The day is coming where I have to let Babe go for 120 days. We will have to say "good-bye." I prayed to God and shared all of the "change" that seems to be taking place. He shared with me all of the change that comes after it. Good change. Change isn't necessarily for us. I have absolutely no power to stop any of this that is taking place. The children will need to grow-they have to go. My friends need to grow-they have to go. Babe is going to grow-he has to go.
This morning we dropped Babe off at 4:30. We held each other in silence and allowed our 2 beating hearts to speak. I will cherish that moment. Maddy kissed and hugged her daddy with no tears. Her expression spoke it all, "I love you and I will see you soon."
After a nap this morning and taking Maddy to school, I went for a run. I was listening to worship music and Third Day's "Call my Name" came on. It was a reminder that I am not alone, I have someone here, and I can call on Him anytime. That is hope and it gives me peace.
As I pulled into work I noticed the parking lot was covered in black birds. I have never seen that many birds up close before. I was watching them as I drove towards them. They flew up into the air so beautifully. I began to laugh out loud with a lump in my throat, trying not to cry. God had showed up. He saves those "small" things for you. When change seems to happen whether it looks good or bad, there is always something to follow it. Sometimes it is hard to see it that at the time but it is coming. Good change. God promises that.
How interesting that "change" is happening as the season is changing.
I will miss my Babe so much. We have been enjoying renting 80's movies, playing Rockband, drinking coffee together, and "cuddle wuddles" (yeah I said it-we baby talk). But when he comes back another season will have arrived and change was a good thing.

"A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance"-Ecclesiastes 3:4
Do you see how God is saying what good comes after what seems to be sad? Thank you Jesus for change!