Friday, March 10, 2017

What Have I Placed Above God?

I am following a Bible study plan and today we focused on 1 Samuel 5. 

It is so incredible how we can read a passage from the Bible and learn something new each time. I love being able to share in the perspectives and insight of others as I am reading through the Bible. There is so much I miss. So much that just gets by me...

Like in today's reading. I never really thought about relating the God's presence, in this case the ark, being in the company of the idols, Dagon, to His presence being the company of the idols I have in my heart.

It's funny how, as people, we all do the exact same thing.

It is so easy to see the sins of others, like Israel or Saul, when we read the Bible. It is easy to see them in the lives of others. Yet here we sit with planks in our own eyes.

Perhaps it that very plank that blinds us.

We all fall short and we all have idols that we have embraced. Whether we purposefully sought them out and created them, like Israel did with the golden calf, or they crept in slowly over time because we allowed the culture around us to influence our hearts, they are there.

It is easy to say "I don't have any idols", but is that really true?

An idol is something we worship, or "put ahead" of God.

We tell ourselves, "But, God is the head of my life, I don't worship anything else." It is always so much easier to remain blind to our own sin than admit it, face it, and change it. Change is often painful and it usually requires giving something up. Which, as humans, we aren't generally thrilled about.

So how do we know what our idols are?

--->We start by asking God to show us.<---

It may not be as blatant as bowing down and worshiping a golden calf. More often than not it is subtle. It can be disguised as a "goal", or a bent that seems to just be part of our "personality".

It can be something like obsessing about our bodies or the way we look. It can be a consuming longing to be better than others at something. Pridefully boasting in our children, or even ourselves, can be an idol.

We have to look at what is consuming our thoughts. What is driving our behavior? What are we fiercely clinging to that is causing more destruction than blessing?

It all comes down to our hearts. Surely, as with the ark, God dwells there among our idols. But, given enough time, if we let them go unchecked, our idols will grow, consuming more and more of our thoughts and hearts, until there is no room left for God.

My prayer is that the Lord would shine His light into the darkness of my heart mind, and show me those things that have become idols in my life. I pray that He would cast them down like the statues of dagon, and that He would be all that replaces them.

Be blessed my friends.

Friday, March 3, 2017

What Would Jesus Do?

Well, what would he do?

Over the years, as a Christian, I have been told many times that Jesus would never judge anyone. I have been told that He accepted everyone as they were, no questions asked. I have been told that He did not point out sin or heresy. That He only professed love and acceptance. 

It sounds good in theory. It looks good on paper. But is it truth?

We are warned not to accept everything we hear or every doctrine that is preached to us. We are told to test the spirit that comes to us to "teach" us. We are warned about false prophets and the twisting of the word of God in order to serve man's purpose.

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." - 1 John 4:1

2 Peter 2:1 warns of false prophets among the people, saying, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

We have to be very careful not to paint Jesus in any light apart from what is written in the word. We have to be careful not to tailor Him to our "liking" or set Him up as an idol; a god of our own making. 

How do we know the "truth" of who Christ was and is? We read the word. 

How do we know if what is being told to us is true? We compare it to the word.

"For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough." - 2 Corinthians 11:4

In 2 John we are given a very stern warning about straying from the teaching of Christ:

"Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works." - 2 John 9-11

In considering those things that have been spoken to me, those admonishments that I have been given, I have prayerfully spent time reflecting on these questions, reading and studying what is taught in the Bible. A few things stand out to me, the first of which is this...

Would Jesus point out sin or heresy?

This is a image of Jesus that is often forgotten, overlooked or even ignored.

We rightly acknowledge the examples of love and grace that Christ gave us but we tend to "forget" his many teachings and examples of intolerance of sin.

Jesus did not enter the temple and show love and fuzzy-warm-kindness to the money changers and sellers. He knocked over their tables; He drove them out. He publicly condemned their actions. He was intolerant of their sin and their corruption of the purpose of the temple.

"Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, 'The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!'" - Matthew 21:12-13

He did the same thing with the Pharisees. He pointed out their hypocrisy. He condemned the motives and attitudes of their hearts. He made a very public statement and example of their sins of pride, greed, self-indulgence and lawlessness. He even told them that they would not enter Heaven. (See: Matthew 23)

Yes, Jesus called out sin. 

Consider the Samaritan woman at the well...

"'Go and get your husband,' Jesus told her.

'I don’t have a husband,' the woman replied.

Jesus said, 'You’re right! You don’t have a husband for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!'" - John 4:16-18

Jesus did not shy away from her sin, instead He brought it out into the light. Why? So that she might repent of it. 

That's what He does. He calls out our sin so that we can be free from it. Tolerance of sin opens the door for sin to take root in our hearts and facilitates the spread of it's destruction to others. Likewise, we cannot keep it concealed. When sin is kept secret, in darkness, it continues to grow and fester. It consumes and destroys. 

He tells us that all things concealed will eventually be revealed. 

"For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all." - Luke 8:17

If we want to break the hold of sin in our lives, we must bring it out into the light. 

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even  expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, 'Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.'" - Ephesians 5:11-14

We must confess it. Then, we must repent of it.

"'Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.'" - James 5:16

He does not see us defined by our sin. He does not hold it over our heads to shame us. He does, however, point it out, so that we can be free from it. 

"But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." - 1 John 1:9

He did, and does, forgive sins when we repent of them. He doesn't just ask us to confess and repent of our life of sin, He asks us to turn from it. To the woman caught in the act of adultery, He said:

"'Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.'" - John 8:11

He did not come to give us a "FREE PASS" to live as we wish and be pardoned of it all. He came to show us how we should live.

He came to pay the price for our sin; to take our punishment. He offered His life for ours, so that we may be forgiven. 

We are not to ignore sin. If we are to help our brothers and sisters, instead of judging and condemning them as the Pharisees did, we must first deal with our own sin. 

"Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." - Matthew 7:5

This verse teaches us so much. A few things that struck me in this passage are:

1. We cannot judge anyone else for their sins because we are guilty of our own.
2. We must address the sin in our own lives.
3. We can help each other overcome sin.

To choose to embrace and justify any kind of sin is to mock His sacrifice. To continue our own sin and refuse to turn from it is to reject His work on the cross. To ignore the sin of a brother or sister is to leave them trapped in bondage and to, on some level, condone and even participate in their subsequent suffering and destruction.

We don't call out sin in judgement or to shame others, we reach out to them in love so that we may help them. 

Would Jesus judge?

The answer is yes. Yes He would. Yes He did. Yes He will.

His return is foretold in the book of Revelation and it includes judgement and wrath.

"Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a wine-press. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords." - Revelation 19:11-16

So what would Jesus have us do?

- He would have us not condemn another for their sins when we are guilty of sin ourselves.
- He would have us confess our sins, repent of them, and turn from them. 
- He would have us fight against sin, not tolerate it.
- He would have us encourage one another, and help each other overcome sin, in love.
- He would have us not just accept teachings at face value and not embrace something as "sound doctrine" just because it sounds "good". He would have us test it against the word.
- He would have us read the Bible regularly so that we would be able to tell the difference between truth and false teachings and heresy. 
- He would have us seek to serve one another instead of be elevated above one another.
- He would have us walk humbly rather than boast in ourselves, in our own goodness, in our superiority or our works.
- He would have us share the good news of love and hope with the world.

Yes, Jesus loves us... with an unparalleled love. Yes, He forgives our sin when we repent and turn from it. Nothing we have done/can do will cause Him to not love us. Which is why, in that great love, He wants to see us set free from our sins and no longer be slaves to them.

Lord, it is my desire to walk humbly in Your TRUTH. I pray, God, that you would shine Your light upon any ares of darkness within me. Show me any areas of sin in my life, that I might repent of them and turn from them. I pray that You would show me any false teachings/beliefs that I have embraced. I pray that You would stamp them out and pour in Your truth to replace them. Holy Spirit, guide me in truth, guard my mind from false doctrine. Give me strength of conviction to resist the beautiful lies of the enemy that would lead me astray and set my feet firmly on the the rock of truth. Help me to love and serve others as Christ did. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*I am not a "scholar". I don't have a degree in theology. This is just what I have learned from what I have read and my understanding and conviction on these points.

Bless and be blessed, my friends. <3

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Why Am I Here?

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is in life?

I have.

At various different stages in life I have wondered why I am here. I have wondered what I could possibly have to offer. I have doubted that there was anything in me or anything I could do that was of value to anyone else.

--- AND THEN GOD ---

As a child, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, all I could think of was simply being "grown up". To me that meant being free of all of the burdens, constraints, bullying, shame, rejection, judgement, and loneliness that I was experiencing. 

It meant the freedom to do whatever made me happy. The world lay ahead of me, the opportunities were endless. Happiness and freedom were on the horizon... but I still had no idea what I was going to do with my life. 

Sure, there were all kinds of fun adventures I wanted to go on, and amazing things I wanted to experience but as far as a career? As far as my own contribution? I was coming up empty.

I was told by so many people, over the years, that I was a "screw-up"; that I was "garbage"; that I would "never do well in school"; I would "never amount to anything"; I had "nothing of value in me". After a while, I genuinely believed it. So imagining a purpose for my life... it didn't seem possible.

When I became a mom, rather unexpectedly, that changed. Suddenly I had a purpose. There were little people that depended on me. Little eyes that looked at me with a love I was certain I did not deserve. I was constantly in awe of these precious little lives that came from mine. I wondered how such beautifully amazing little people could come from such a useless piece of trash.

Yet, as clearly and strongly as I felt "needed", for the first time in my life, I still felt like something was missing from me. I still felt so painfully inadequate, lost and worthless. My babies were so incredibly valuable to me, but I felt I had nothing to give back to them, let alone to offer to the world. 

Still, I knew that God loved me. I knew that He saw value in me. I just had NO idea why.

I took my first "Spiritual Gifts" questionnaire while my kids were still quite young. If you are wondering what in the world a "Spiritual Gifts" questionnaire is, it is pretty much a list of statements, about areas of talents and skills, that you rate low to high based on how they make you feel or how well you think you do in those areas, not entirely dissimilar to the "Career Guidance" questionnaires we took in high school. 

I scored painfully low in all of the areas except "Serving", "Giving" and "Missions". In areas like "Leadership" or "Ministry", I had 5 points each, simply because you couldn't rate anything lower than 1. I really believed that I was no where near qualified or worthy of any such position, so I could not even consider if I enjoyed any aspects of them or had any level of skill in those areas.

I looked at my list of "Gifts" and thought, "Everyone can serve, that isn't really much of a "gift". I have nothing to give, financially, materially or skill wise, no matter how much I would love to bless someone else. There is no way we can afford to go on mission trips."

Instead of feeling excited about those things that God had put in me, the things that make me who I am, I felt like I was lacking and yet again, a disappointing failure.

I longed so much to serve God and to bless others, but clearly, I had nothing of value to offer. Still.

But God, He knew what He was doing. He began to work in those three areas of my life. He began stirring up little fires in my heart. 

He showed me that serving was a gift. That it did bless others. That it was something that I could give. I could give of my time. I had a passion in my heart for helping others in any way I could and God showed me how to put that to work. If it meant stacking chairs at church, helping set up for outreach, cleaning up after events, helping people move or do yard/housework, it didn't matter what it looked like, I was so happy to be serving and finally having tangible worth.

He took my desire to travel and merged it with my passion for helping and gave me a dream, a vision and a hope for a future in missions. He put nations and people on our family's hearts and He has ordered our steps to guide us in His calling and prepare us for this part of His plan.

He has repeatedly pushed me outside of my comfort zone and stretched me in the areas where I thought I had no ability or skill. He has healed my wounds. He has replaced lies with His TRUTH. He has trained and equipped me for the work He has called me to do.

I no longer sit alone, aching for value, worth and purpose, and I am burdened with it and the work He has called me to, even the things that scare me, bring me so much joy. 

I am excited for the new adventures He has planned for me. I am so thankful for His design and the way He created me. There is no one exactly like me. There is no one that can steal my calling, His plan, my purpose or my identity because it rests safely in His hands.

The same is true for every single person in this world. We are all beautifully unique and designed to play our very own part in God's great masterpiece. No one can take that away. No one can be a "better" you. No one can do exactly what you were created to do in just the way you were designed to do it.

You are special. You are unique. You are loved. 

You have a purpose!

Be blessed my friends! <3

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


It all boils down to fear. Fear of failure, of rejection, of abandonment, of judgement...

Fear is a LIE can control us if we allow it to and it will rob us of the peace, love, joy and purpose that God intends for us.

I saw this posted on Facebook today. I don't know if anyone else can relate to this.

I am not sure that I would say this has been my greatest "fear", but rather that it has been the greatest lie that I have ever embraced about myself. That I am detestably flawed, utterly worthless and wholly unlikable, never mind lovable.

I have come a long way from where I started. God has done so much work in my heart and in my thoughts/beliefs about myself. Most days those lies don't enter my thoughts, but there are days where I still struggle to imagine my husband seeing any value in me and I can't for the life of me imagine how or why God loves me as much as He does.


I do finally believe that God loves me and that my husband doesn't hate me. ;) The poor man. Honestly, he works so hard to show me he loves me, but sometimes those old lies and past experiences rear their ugly head and in fear, I doubt the possibility. Not because of him, but because of those old false beliefs.

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but I refuse to let him gain any ground in my life, my relationships, my family or my purpose.

Satan is an a-hole and he can SUCK IT.

All of those little "flaws" we see in the mirror, they aren't flaws. They are the little bits and pieces of precisely what makes us perfectly unique.

Sure, we are all broken in different ways. We all have our weaknesses and destructive coping behaviors that we wrestle with, BUT that doesn't define who we were *created to be* and who God has called us to be.

Old wounds CAN be healed.
Destructive behaviors CAN be changed.
Lies CAN be replaced with TRUTH.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" - Matthew 19:26

Two years ago, my husband and I were asked to be part of the team to start up our church's new Recovery Program. At first, I couldn't see why they would ask me. What could I possibly have to offer? 

I am so thankful that God brought us to "Set Free" and introduced The Genesis Process into our lives. Without these tools and His help, I would still be buried under the rubble of lies and unable to see any value in my existence.

Since then, this has become my passion. Seeing people Set FREE. With Jesus, there is real healing, and there is true and lasting freedom.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." - John 8:36

If you struggle with fear, shame, self-worth, body image, old wounds, destructive behaviors... whatever it is, it is NOT too big or too terrible for God and you don't have to walk through it alone.

I am more than happy to be here for you. To walk with you, to support you, or even to just listen. 
Please, feel free to contact me on Facebook: 
or email me:

It may not seem possible today, but the TRUTH is, you are priceless, you are perfectly unique, you are LOVED.

Be blessed, my friends. <3

Saturday, February 25, 2017

God's Plan or My Will?

As I have been studying the story of Sampson, in the book of Judges in the Bible, I have found myself wondering...

How many times have I robbed myself of the fullness of God's incredible plan for me because I sought first my own selfish desires?

If I am being honest, there are times when I am not unlike a stubborn child, wanting what I want when I want it. Completely unwilling to relent or even wait. Flat out refusing to take "no" for an answer. In those moments, when I was asserting my independence and declaring the sovereignty of my own will and plans, what amazing things was I rejecting without even an inkling as to what they might be... What have I stubbornly chosen to miss out on?

As a mom, there have been so many times when my children have asked for something and I have told them "no" or "not now" because I knew that something better was in their future or that the timing was not quite right for them to be able to fully appreciate it.

When the kids were little, I'm talking toddler little, those exchanges would be accompanied by some form of pleading, pouting and possibly crying from the child. As they got older, their reactions transitioned from anger and world-crushing-devastation, to disappointment and pouting, and now that they are older they will often respond with acceptance. 

They have learned something along the way. They have learned that sometimes what they want in the moment isn't what they truly want. They know that waiting won't kill them. In fact, they have learned that when the right time comes they will be really excited when they finally get it, or they may no longer even want it because they have discovered something better. 

I wonder how many times God has been trying to give me something better or do something amazing in my life but, driven by my internal focus and the emotions I was feeling at the moment, I rejected what He was offering.

Even as an adult, it can be hard to let go of what I want. Sometimes, I feel like I am losing something or like I will be missing out on something. There are times when I even feel a fair amount of fear in letting go. It can be hard to see past the things I want, the things I think I need, or my great plans, in order to be able to submit to God's will and embrace the unknown until the time when I can finally clearly see the awesome plan that God has for me.

All I know is, that I don't want to do what Sampson did. 

I don't want to choose my, often disappointing, plans instead of God's incredible design for my life. I don't want the most powerful part of my testimony to be my death. I want my life to be the testimony of how one girl continued to choose to put her faith, her trust and her hope in God's hands, no matter how crazy, scary or foolish it seemed. I want to live out the fullness of my purpose according to His plan. I want to live for Him with reckless abandon and love greatly, just as He loves me. 

I want to set my will and my plans aside.
I want to embrace God's plan.
I want to surrender to His will.
I want to take the leaps of faith. 
I want to live the life I was created for.
I want to experience all that God has for me.

I don't want to waste time and I don't want regrets. I want to choose His plan. <3

"God's plans will always be greater and more beautiful than all your disappointments."

Be blessed, my friends.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Answered Prayers and Miracles.

Our God is a God of miracles and He is faithful to answer us when we seek Him in prayer.

Sometimes the answer to our prayers is "no". Y'all, I have wrestled more with God's "no"s than a two year old that wants a cookie. 

God: "No."

Me: "But whyyyyyyyy? I need this! What am I going to do? Please, please, pleaseeeeeeee...". 

Yup, I can be REALLY mature when God's will doesn't line up with my own.

We have been told "no" to some pretty big prayer requests over the years and we have had to reconcile the disappointment we felt with the truth that God's will and plan are perfect. His plans for us are far BETTER than our plans for ourselves. That doesn't make "no" easy, but it gives us hope and the faith to trust Him, even when we can't see a way.

That was where we were at with the house. We were fighting the fear of the unknown to be able to put our trust in God's plan.

We didn't know what we were going to do when we sold the house. We did know a few things.

1. The house needs w.o.r.k. to be ready to sell. Work costs money. We don't currently have the funds in the bank and we have no idea where we would get the funding we need to make the necessary repairs. Which in turn take time. Time we didn't have.

2. When we sat down and went over the numbers, what we owe vs. what we would likely sell the house for, there wasn't much if anything left to put in the bank when it was all said and done. We would probably be walking away with very little cash if any.

3. Rent is twice the cost of our mortgage payment which we cannot afford on our budget. So, given all of the information available to us, that would leave us squarely in the "homeless" category.

So what do we do? 

We trust.

Seven letters.

We trust.

And... We pray.

We have been praying for the last year that 2017 would be the year we would be "debt free". It is our dream to be able to free up our income to be used to bless others. We want to be able to help those in need. We want to support missions. We want to use what God has enabled us to earn to show others HIS love in a tangible way. 

Our debt consists of our mortgage, the money we owe the people that have helped us, and our student loans. Even though there are no credit cards, car loans or other debts, the debt we have adds up and it isn't a sum that we can pay off with our own income or resources in the next 10 months. 

I know, it sounds crazy to be praying for something that there is no way we could possibly do on our own, but then that is the point of prayer, isn't it? We are asking for God's help with something we cannot take care of on our own. We are praying BIG.

So, why not add keeping our home to the list of the "impossible"?

We started praying for a miracle that would allow us to stay in our home, and if that wasn't God's plan, we prayed that God would bring us a new one that we could afford.

Regardless of the outcome, we made the decision to trust that God was not taking us from struggle to worse. We have been camped on Jeremiah 29:11-13 for the last two years and we held on to that promise even tighter as our list date approached.

A funny thing happens when you trust God. He comes through. When we surrender our will to His, we get to see that His plans for us really are GOOD. 

One night as we were praying as a family...

God gave us a word. We had been praying for Him to bless the sale of our home, that it would sell for more than we could imagine, and that He would bring us a new home. God told us that He would bring us a new home, a home that has all of the special little features that we have always dreamed of. One that would be on land, by a creek or river, that would have enough rooms for each of our kids to have their own bedroom and hopefully more than one bathroom. ;) 


We would not be selling this home. He told us that He would be faithful to keep His promises, (the prophetic words that were spoken over our home just a handful of months ago), that this home is ours and that it would be a "lighthouse" for others. He showed us that this home will be a place of refuge and hope for people in need and a place to stay for missionaries when they are home. 

We were instantly filled with joy and excitement to see what God was going to do and this hope that He had given us built up our faith to truly believe that He really would do something amazing with this storm.

Enough backstory... Get to the NEWS!!!

Two weeks ago God did 3 things. 3 amazing, incredible, impossible to imagine things. 

God fulfilled His promises.

He fulfilled two promises with one HUGE blessing. First, He fulfilled the prophetic word given to us months ago by another person that God would bring us the money we owed so we could pay back the couples that had helped us. Second, He fulfilled His word to us that we would keep our home. 

Though the love and generosity of two very dear people, who we could never, ever thank enough, we were given the money to pay the back what we owed. Which in turn enabled us to keep our home. 

We were just so overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude to the people that loved us so much that they would give us such a great blessing and to God for His faithfulness and the goodness of His plans.

Last week, we repaid the two couples. It was such an incredibly amazing feeling to be able to do what we could never have done on our own. 

There are no words to adequately express how blessed and how thankful we are to have received this blessing.

While we were still marveling at how this all turned out, God went and did another impossible thing...

He made something we were told "could never happen"... happen! 

When we bought our home, we used a "First Time Home Buyers Program" that essentially paid our 20% down payment. It didn't accrue interest and we didn't have to make payments on it. We would simply pay it off when we sold/paid off the house. 

Well, (forgive all the back story, but I want to make sure I communicate just how crazy amazing God is), several years ago, my husband had some medical needs. Our insurance said the treatment would be pre-approved so we went ahead with it. It turned out that it didn't get approved. We were on the hook for the entire bill. 

He wasn't making much money at the time and we had no room in our budget to even make small payments. Every dime had to go toward basic necessities.

As a result, we received a notice of intent to garnish his wages to pay the bill. 

Like I said before, we had no room in our budget to cover a small payment, let alone what they were asking to take out of his check. 

He was already working full-time at a new job and with his health concerns, he couldn't just get a second job to try and cover it. The kids were younger and fully home schooled at the time. The cost of childcare so I could get a job would far outweigh the income I would bring in.

Long story short, we filed bankruptcy.

If you have ever filed bankruptcy you know the stigma that is attached to it. You know the judgment that others pass on you. You know the shame, the guilt, the disappointment, the self-judgement... It wasn't a decision we made lightly and it wasn't what we "wanted" to do. 

Unfortunately, at the time, we didn't see any other way to be able to continue to provide for our children. So we did what we felt we had to do.

We opted to keep our home, so we would still be responsible for our mortgage, the down payment loan, and our student loans.

Well, two days after we got to tell the people that helped us that we could pay them back, we got a message from our real estate agent telling us that, by some crazy miracle, that down payment loan had actually been discharged with our bankruptcy!

We no longer owed that money! We had equity in our home that we hadn't known about!

So not only were we able to keep our home, but...

In a matter of days, God erased $40,000 of debt!

As impossible as all of this seemed just a few months ago, God worked all things for good to answer our prayers in ways we could never have imagined or dreamed of.

I can't tell you how completely overwhelmed we are with gratitude, joy, hope and faith for the things yet to come.

Let me just say this...

Our God is a God of miracles and He is faithful to answer us when we seek Him in prayer.

No prayer is too big, no request is too great, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE with God. 

I hope that in sharing our testimony, you are encouraged to believe God for the things you need and even abundantly MORE. <3

Be blessed, y'all. <3

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Open Letter to The People Body Shaming Lady Gaga

I am... 


People, body shaming is NEVER okay!!!!


I do not understand all of the hate and judgement in this world.

It is disgusting that so many women, and men, can come together to "fight for women's rights" and at best turn a blind eye to the constant barrage of body shaming that women are facing in our culture. At worst, they are even participating in it. 

As a Health & Fitness professional, and a leader of women's Self-Esteem and Sexuality Restoration groups, I see the results of this kind of abuse all the time. This is something I am deeply, deeply passionate about. Body image and self-esteem are two things I have struggled greatly with and it is the cry of my heart to be able to help see women freed from the bondage of verbal, mental and emotional abuse in the areas of their bodies and their worth. 

In the past, when stories like this have surfaced in the media, I have not been silent on this topic and I won't be now.

I have thought a great deal about what I want to say, and it boils down to this...


*Please note the excessive use of exclamation marks. The purpose of which is to denote the intensity of the passion in my statement.


4 letters. That is all it takes.


There is a wise saying that has been passed down for generations...

There is a difference between honesty, (hard truths), and verbal abuse. I am saddened by the need for some people to tear other people down in order to "feel better" about themselves. I am sorry for whatever pain you suffered that makes you feel that the destruction and judgement of others is necessary for your own emotional healing. 

There are so many better, healthier, kinder, and frankly more effective ways to go about bolstering your self-esteem. 

What are you talking about?

Ah yes, I'm sorry. I just jumped right in with no explanation as to what I was talking about.

Lady Gaga. 

The Super Bowl Halftime show.

Body Shaming.

The insane and wholly inappropriate tirade of abusive comments about how "fat" she is and how "disgusting" her "stomach flab" was is not only grossly abusive it is ridiculous. 


First of all, who are you to judge or shame her for the way her body looks?

Second, what could you possibly hope to gain?

Personally, I think she looks FANTASTIC. She was physically active while singing and she sounded and looked great doing it. 

Can somebody explain to me how it was anyone's right to speak about her body in a negative way?

Yes. We have the "freedom of speech". BUT that does not cover or extend to verbal abuse, mental abuse or emotional abuse. All of which apply in this case. 

Making someone feel bad about themselves, ashamed of their body, and like something is wrong with them or not "good enough" about them is abuse. Period. The result of which can be lifelong and devastating.

This "body shaming" problem has become an epidemic in which participants take pride in the vile nature of their hateful remarks and even go so far as to boast about it. 


It is NOT okay.

For. Any. Reason.

Let me just say this...


Maybe one more time, just in case it was missed...


Be kind. 
Be encouraging. 
Use your words to motivate and inspire. 
Speak kindness. 
Speak healing. 
Speak LIFE. 

If you can't...

Do yourself and those around you a favor and please, don't speak.

To Lady Gaga and all the ladies out there that have been torn down for the amusement of others...

You are strong. 
You are beautiful. 
You are brave. 
You are perfectly unique. 
You are valuable. 
You are loved. 

Ignore the hate. It speaks infinitely more of the orator/commenter than it ever could of you.

Bless and be blessed, my friends.