Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Guided Tour

There are days when I feel as though I have been in the valley for so long that I can barely remember how life looks from the mountaintop. Those days are long...full of self-pity, doubt, defeat, darkness. On those days, the valley looks dank and desolate. I feel trapped, suffocating in the narrow, air-tight valley. I feel bound by the steep hills and mountains, which close me in on every side. The valley seems to stretch on forever, offering no escape. I long for the openness and the light that the mountaintop offers. I yearn to take deep, lasting breaths of the fresh, mountain air. Often, I have found that I feel closer to God on the mountaintop. It's easy to offer God praise, honor and glory when there is nothing to hinder my view. More often though, I find myself crying out to God, asking for help. Help to escape the darkness. Help to find brighter days in the comfort of the open air, in the warmth of the sun. There have been times when God has offered me just that kind of help, lifting me up and out of the valley, as only He can. There are also times, such as this, when God chooses to walk along with me. He lends me His eyes, helping me to find the beauty in the valley.

While the mountaintop offers beautiful, breathtaking, majestic views...the valley holds its own special kind of beauty. As we walk along the floor of the valley, He points out the fertile soil, ripe with beautiful flowers. Flowers that God has created for me to enjoy. Flowers that are much smaller, their beauty much less significant, when viewed from the mountaintop...if able to view them at all. As we walk along, I breathe in the fragrant air, which suddenly doesn't seem quite so suffocating. While looking around me, I notice how quiet and isolated the valley is, providing the perfect landscape for an intimate walk with God. It no longer seems inescapable, unending, all-consuming. He has chosen to meet me in this valley, not to carry me straight to the mountaintop, but to point out all of the gifts He has for me on the valley floor. As the riverbed recedes and the waters begin to evaporate, rather than finding myself parched and dry, I realize now, that God has met me here to quench my thirst, providing me with just enough strength to continue on. I begin to see just how much I would be missing out on, if I were still on top of the mountain. There is so much richness to be found here, if only I allow Him to take me by the hand, revealing His purpose for me in this valley experience. While it seems we can see forever on the mountaintop, from the valley floor I realize just how limited that view can be. I know there are things I am seeing here that would never come into focus from so far above, things that can only be seen through God's eyes. Every morning I ask God for more of Him and less of me. I don't want to miss anything He wants to show me on this guided tour of the valley.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Planting the Seed.

Nothing in this world has ever been more important to me than sharing God's word with my children.
In fact, many years ago, when I had re-entered the "church going" world, I became very involved in not only educating my children, but volunteering in Sunday school classes, youth group and eventually taking over the entire program as Superintendent.
I remember back then not really knowing what I was doing exactly, but knowing I not only wanted my kids to learn God's word, but KNOW it, live by it, and love it.
I didn't just want to teach them, I wanted them to want me to teach them and I wanted them to enjoy it.

I dug in deep and honestly, I wasn't exactly sure where to start, but I prayed for God's guidance and it came to me.
When I was in Sunday school, I hated attending. It was boring, outdated, and felt a little too much like "regular school".
I didn't want that for my kids or anyone else's kids because, quite frankly, God is anything but boring.
I wanted the kids to be fascinated.

And so, I researched and researched and had to re-learn stories and moments in the Bible and tried to find interesting ways to teach the kids. (more on how I did it later)
The key was me knowing what I was teaching them and loving what I was teaching.
Quite frankly, it had been SO many years since I had really lifted my Bible from my shelf and I was sketchy at best on my Biblical facts and I suddenly had so many souls resting on my knowledge and guidance and I needed help.
Lots of help.

I turned to the internet and it required me to study like I have never studied before.
I put an amazing amount of time into not only teaching myself again about God, but then turned it into lessons that not only kept the kids coming back for more, but led to our church's children's ministry growing and growing.
In just one year, we tripled in size.
God is amazing.

I took a few years off from teaching to focus on my family and our healing from some difficult trials, but now I am being called back to teaching,
back to nurturing my soul again, which is just what I need.

This time around, I will be using an awesome website I just found called OneVerse to help me.
It's amazing. It's as if God placed it right at my fingertips at just the moment He called on me for action.
OneVerse has something called KidsDiscover, which is a FREE interactive parent resource for Bible story telling. (see what I mean about it being just what I needed???) It's meant to help parents to be able to better share the Bible with their children in an interesting and informative manner, but I am 100% certain it will also help me to be a better teacher to the 2nd & 3rd graders that I will be teaching as well.

I'll be honest, when I was considering going back to teaching, the thought of taking on a big bunch of 7-9 year old boys & girls was daunting, to say the least. Now, I am feeling so much more confident in my knowledge and I'm certain that God had everything to do with making certain I had all the resources I needed to make me a successful teacher this year.

I can not wait for rally day next week.
I will begin sowing the seeds and harvesting the rewards in no time,
His time.
And what a wonderful blessing it will be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This morning, as I was beginning my morning devotions in prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to guide my way through this day, I had the image of footprints. I love the very popular ‘Footprints’ poem that I know you must all be familiar with. However, this particular image of footprints did not bring me to the poem and its’ well known meaning. It is true that Jesus is most definitely helping to carry me through this dark and difficult time in my life, which would mean that often there would be just one set of footprints in my line of vision. Today, as I prayed, I could see myself taking each careful step through the day, purposefully seeking to match the footprints laid out before me. At times these steps are easy to take, my feet just naturally fall into the prints while, at other times, I must stop and catch myself from falling out of step. During the pause, I am able to seek counsel and direction, before mindlessly trudging ahead into uncharted territory. At other times I get so caught up in the journey I don’t stop to take these necessary pauses, which results in my day landing far off course. At least, far from the course that God has planned for me. I praise Him and thank Him for His mercy and grace, as He waits expectantly for me to, once again, look toward Him to guide my steps. More often than not lately, my steps would not make my old marching band proud, let alone my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In recent days I have found myself stuck in the muddled footprints of fear and anxiety, only to blindly leap into a huge puddle of mistrust and disobedience. It’s true I am quick to confess these sins as I cry out to God, but just as quick to fall back into them. As I once again confessed my fears and anxieties to God today, He led me to this passage from 1 John 1: 5-6:

“This is the message we have from him and declare to you, God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But it we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

What a glorious way to begin my day, with this reminder that there truly is no darkness with God. He goes before me, lighting my way, patiently waiting for me to invite Him into my day. When I do so, I deny myself and my own selfish, destructive path, and follow in His perfect, blameless footprints.

God bless you all my friends!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sometimes we just need a reminder...

Faith is all about trust and to be trusting requires courage to believe.
And, if you find your faith, believing is knowing....

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7-8)

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

I placed my trust in the Lord. I held on to my faith and His strength saw me through the most trying of days in my life...
My God is an awesome God.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Be Still...

I haven't been around here in quite a while to do a post but God has put this on my heart to share. My husband and I are working out a big decision for our family right now, which consists of the two of us and our 5-month old son, Benjamin. As we continue to pray, study God’s Word and seek His will in our decisions….these words have been such a wonderful comfort to me.

Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses, which can be found in many places throughout our home. We have a gorgeous print with this Scripture on it that my husband bought me for our wedding. He really surprised me with it too but I will have to come back another day with that story and a picture of our print. There are many times when I really do have to just sit back and ‘be still’, so it is a welcome reminder as I stroll through the apartment and see these words in different places. As we continue along in the process of our ‘big decision’ these words have become even more important to me as I seek to discern God’s will in all of this. I just need to be still and know that He is God! Let me tell you, does that ever take a load off…I don’t have to figure it all out, He’s already done that work. He has gone before us and prepared the way and I only have to trust and obey Him! How incredibly awesome is that?

It sounds pretty easy when I put it like that, doesn’t it? However, this isn’t a very small thing we are contemplating here and our home has been filled with a spirit of anxiety, fear, doubt, sadness and worry. I think we are moving past most of that and have reached a spirit of acceptance, trust and obedience. We have immersed ourselves in prayer, study and many deep discussions. Throughout the course of my studying and seeking God’s Word, the following verses really spoke to me and I wanted to share them with you here.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.

Hebrews 13:6 So that with good courage we say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you.

John 15:7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

It is my prayer that God is blessing all of you in the little and big decisions that you make for yourselves and for your families every day!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sometimes We All Just Need To Hear Him

Jesus said,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mt 5.3-12)

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Hey folks and fellow bloggers, I just wanted to let you know I am giving away a t-shirt and donating $.25 for every comment that I get on this post... The families story is incredible and I am super pumped to be able to help out in some way.


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