Monday, September 27, 2010

The smartest "yes" I've ever said!

What does love look like?

I've learned that love isn't always pleasant, always pleasing, always fun. Love's sometimes hard. Really hard. Really, really hard. But love sticks even when the sticking doesn't feel like staying stuck... until the sticking stuck feels good again!

Today I am celebrating 25 years of stuckness with the man I said "I do" to and I'm loving that I did! Next to saying "yes" to Jesus, he's the smartest "yes" I've ever said! He's shown me love. Real love. The love that is patient and kind and doesn’t keep record of wrongs, that isn’t self-seeking, that always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and doesn’t (no matter what) ever fail.

How can I thank my man and my God enough for the blessing from that man of mine, because of the God that helps? I love him more today than I’ve ever loved him before. He is my rock in human skin. Solid. Strong. Sensitive. Sincere. Unwavering. He’s a man that doesn’t give up! He works hard. And constantly persists… even in the hardest of times! He’s the tenderest thing I know, and I love him for every tear of tenderness he sheds.

The question was: What does love look like?

Today, because of him, I know what love looks like. It's a picture of me and my man!

I love you, Tim Lee!
Next to Jesus, you're the smartest thing I ever did!

Click here to read another blog about my man: he's ten feet tall

Sunday, September 19, 2010


(If I were at the beach today, God, I'd draw this in the sand for You to see! I heart YOU! You are my everlasting Hero!)

This past Wednesday was a different day.

It was huge. But almost too big to talk about. It was one of those days when I was swept away by the GOoDness of God... and I could hardly live through the wonder of it.

Have you ever been so whoa-ed by God that your legs could hardly hold you up as you walked? You couldn't stand, you had to sit, because your legs had Jell-O-ed and become only mush? Your eyes could hardly keep from spilling from the feeling that had become liquidized? Your whole body shook from your new felt tenderness? Your voice was weak (almost only a mere whisper) and trembled while you talked? Your hands could hardly type because you couldn't hold them still? It was that kind of a day!!! Even toilet water dripping on my head (surprise ...leak upstairs!) couldn't mar my overwhelmation of my Savior! He's so GOoD! He's so into saving!

I mentioned the woe on my Facebook page and a guy friend commented with: "Girl, I wish I had one tenth of your Joy. He sure makes you happy."

To which I responded: "Yes, He sure does! More than anything else or anybody!!! Bless His heart, I need Him a lot... Actually, I need Him for everything all the time... and He is so sweet and so very, very faithful! He's GOoD, even when life's hard and it doesn't go as planned. He's exciting even when life's mean. I love Him for all that He does! He is my Hope in all things! I do love Him. And I am so awed that He loves me more. I don't deserve His GOoDness ever, but He's still GOoD to give it!  Pray for that Joy that you say you wish you had. He's got enough Joy for you too!!!!!! He's got an abundance... and always loves to share it with those that ask Him to."

It started with a text message that I received at 3:37 a.m. that morning. I was already awake and so quickly texted back, because my restless legs had me up and wouldn't let me sleep. Funny thing is, that's what woke my sister up (the leg thing). She couldn't sleep either. She has my same problem. She had checked her email, which prompted her texting. She simply asked me a question. I answered her. I didn't know its significance. I just thought it concern.

What I didn't know was that someone had emailed her about me. He said that God told him (with 2 scriptures) to do something that I didn't even know that he knew anything about. Basically, it was a huge answer to prayer! God knew the need. And so He provided... using the vessel and hands of one of His willing children.

Like I said, I didn't know in the wee hours of the morning what was going on. My sister didn't call me until 8 in the morning. I was painting my face, readying myself to go speak to some men at a prison. When she read the email to me, I started crying and couldn't even answer her. I don't mean tears rolled in streams down my face, I mean I sobbed and couldn't quit sobbing. We hung up, it was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to talk. My makeup was running off as quickly as I was putting it on. I kept reapplying. Finally, red-eyed, but fixed up enough to suit the day, I left for the prison. I was trying to compose myself and keep myself composed. I literally didn't think my legs would carry me through the fence and into the building that I was headed to. Miraculously they did. But I sat as soon as I got in.

My turn to speak was delayed due to a running-behind schedule. It gave me a little extra time to get myself straightened up. And yet, by the time I was called up front, again, I didn't think my legs would carry me.

I apologized to the guys. I told them that I'd have to sit, my legs were too wobbly to hold me. I had a microphone, but even then my voice was barely there. I had every eye captivated in the room.... shoulders leaning, ears straining to hear what was said.

I tried to share a little of my morning of my God that had so whoa-ed me with wonder. Several times I couldn't keep from crying. I'm not sure they ever could quite figure me out. But this I do know, they saw me in real-time, and saw me in total awe of my Savior. I suppose I didn't need to put everything into words. Sometimes actions speaker louder... and they saw the awe... they didn't need to hear me say it..

I told them of the God that saves... and the One that keeps on saving! I told them where my Hope is stayed, no matter the unstableness and instability around me. And I reminded them that regardless of our perception, God is not a Burger King where you drive up and place your order to "have it your way." He knows better than we do. Even if (and when) He doesn't answer our prayers like we'd like for Him to, He still knows best, He's still "for" us and not against, He still knows what He's doing... and He knows what we need even more than we think we do. Aren't we glad that no matter what "order" we place, that His will and His "order" (His plan and His purpose) are so much better than our own... better than anything we can think or imagine to ask of Him.

I've prayed often for those guys since I've left them. I didn't know if I made a lick of sense. I do know (though I didn't mean to) that I hopped from one thing to another. I know it was sporadic, off the cuff, no planned rhyme or reason. Like I said, though I didn't say what I had prepared to say, they did see my whoa-ing wonder. So my prayer has simply been this, that even if I didn't say anything at all worth hearing, help them to have seen the awe of You in me... and may (if they've not experienced it before), may they be praying and asking You to do that for them in their lives. And may You answer in the most whoa-ing of ways! May they, too, be woe-ed by Your wonder, stunned by Your saving, and overwhelmingly awed that the Creator of the Universe would do something for them like You do!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Aw... the memory made me want to cry!

I was sitting at ACA's ballgame last night (Go EAGLES! What a win!) and had dug a silk fan out of the bottom of my purse (my goodness, it was hot!). I'd been fanning awhile before I noticed (and remembered!) the engraved words that I had put on the fan when I ordered it several years ago. It said, "Your IN-side is showing OUT".... which reminded me of the time and why I had put it there.

I was teaching a Wednesday night ladies' bible class entitled: "Wearing: My “IN”sideOUT!". Woe, I learned so much during those 13 weeks. I realized just how very much our insides really are showing out. In our words and our actions. In our mannerisms, and our moods. In our secure, and our insecurities....

Wow, it made me want to go back there. I've got some free time this afternoon before getting ready to go out again. And I so plan to look through some of those lessons. It'll make me want to cry (I can feel it coming!). It'll make me miss it!  It'll make me want to go back and teach it again. It'll make me want to WRITE out (in more detail) the lessons. Like I said, I learned so much and it was so good and God blew my mind in what He taught me then that I've often felt compelled to try to record it for a book. Yet seriously, do you have any idea how hard that is? Or, how insecure I get when I attempt again at the writing?

Lord, help me. Lead me. Tell me. Compel me. Convict me. Convince me. Or not. And let me know of Your will and not mine. And if Your will is for me to write down what You've taught me, then... re-teach what you told me again and equip me and give me the drive and the determination and the stamina to do it. Move me! Use me for Your vessel in whatever You want done.

I guess nobody learns as much as the teacher does while she's preparing. Unless you've done it before, nobody knows it's intensity, it's woe, it's wonder, it's awe, it's overwhelmation. The times you want to cry because of God's tenderness. The laboring!!! The thinking. The meditation. The begging and pleading and asking and crying out in prayer. The asking of "what?" to teach on, and the "how?" to teach it. Asking for explanations, for parallels, for examples, for revelation, for clarity. It is a birthing in its own right. And I guess I still love all that God produced and so graciously blessed me with because of that labor. It's like a child of mine. (I put my whole heart in it.) And I miss my baby.

That sounds dumb.. calling it that. I debated whether to leave it. I almost erased it. A child? Seriously? Your baby? Give me a break!

Still.... I couldn't delete it. It may sound ridiculously dumb. Regardless, it's my feeling. :(  I want to cry..... because my God is that GOoD!

Thank You, Lord, for the things You've done! Thank You for all You continue to do! Thank You for Your woe-ing wonder! Thank You for thrilling me so... like You have so often! It's that same scripture all over again, "If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." Thank You for the delight of Your Word! and Your willingness to reveal it... one word, one step, one definition, one picture, one puzzle piece at a time! Life's always so FUN with You!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There really is a Kingdom!

Oh wow! Here is a picture a friend of mine posted on Facebook of her daughter's chorus group. I love that these singing angels get to attire themselves in such wonderful dresses! I LOVE these bevy of princesses, even without really knowing them!!! They are priceless to the Heavenly Kingdom, I know! And you know... it has got to be kind-of like the picture of how our Heavenly King sees us, His daughters! Dressed in royal robes... while still, for now, disguised in earthly clothes.... yet, not in His eyes.... not from His view!

Again, I so totally LOVE THIS!!!

No wonder we like to play dress-up as little girls. We're born for the Kingdom! There's something inside all of us from day #1 that just knows! It's in our bones. It's in our makeup. It's in our knowing. It's in our deepest inner being. We long to wear it... because it feels right when we do. We simply know deep down that we're supposed to! 

We're were made for a Kingdom! We are meant for a Kingdom. We were created for eternal and everlasting and happily-ever-afters. Real Live Happily-Ever-Afters!

There really is a King. There really is a Knight in Shining Armor riding on a white horse that will one day come for us. We really are princes and princesses if we've accepted the adoption that our Savior offers. There really is a Heavenly wonder with streets paved with gold and castles untold.

I really am a real-live daughter of a real-live King! I'm a princess... that longs one day to dress like one!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

If I don't... the rocks will have to!

I love to teach!

I love to teach!

I mean, I LOVE to teach!

It scares the boogiggers out of me. Yet, there's a fire that burns inside my bones that feels it must! that feels it has to!, that is dying to get out! Dying to tell it! Dying to scream it from the roof tops. Dying to tell it to my neighbors. Dying for an outlet somewhere. Hear me loud: I looooonnnngggng to teach!

I miss it when I'm not doing it.

Technically, you could say that I'm doing it now. But technically, I don't feel that I am. Right now I am teaching in two women's prisons, and soon to start a new group next week. But, to me, it's not the same. We have material to go by. Books to follow. Lessons already prepared, that we minutely follow.

That doesn't do it for me. That isn't what I was wired for. I long to use the Word alone for the material and manna we gather. It's harder for me to do it when the lesson plan is all mapped out. I can do it. But it leaves me lacking. It doesn't fulfill me. And right now I feel like I'm about to explode! I feel like I am about to b-u-r-s-t!

I love the dig! I love the hunt. I love shoveling and delving deeper and sifting each word. I love getting the magnifying glass out!  I love the discovery of it. The treasure that's found. I love what my Jesus will show me in the silence at home alone all by myself in my room.

Oh, I still do that. But there's no one to tell it to. Not like I'd like. No one to marvel with it over. No roof top to proclaim it from.

Lately the verse that echoes continually in my mind is the one found in Luke 19 where the whole crowd of disciples were joyfully praising God in loud voices for all that they had seen Him do. They praised Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!..." Some of the Pharisees in the crowd tried to get Jesus to stop them. That's when Jesus answered and said, ""I tell you," He replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out""  (19:40).

That's how I feel. If I keep quiet, if I stay silent, if my voice stays in stillness... the rocks will cry out. I feel I have-to cry out.... or the rocks will have to!

""But if I say, "I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name," His word is in my heart [my inner man, my mind, my will, my thinking, my appetites, my emotions, my passions] like a fire [a consuming fire], a fire shut up [restrained, closed up, withheld, stayed, detained, halted, stopped, retained] in my bones. I am weary [weary, impatient, grieved, faint, exhausted] of holding it in [seizing it, containing it, holding it back, restraining it, enduring it]; indeed, I cannot [am not able, don't have the power to, lack the strength to]" (Jer 20:9).

Oh, at the fire that burns to cry!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Prissy!!!

Me... and my sweetest oldest angel! Happy 20th Prissy! I LOVE YOU!!!

My two girls.. and the butterfly cupcakes that Sabrina made for her sister in honor of Faith! Prissy cried when she saw it!

"Mom, take the picture already!" :-) Aren't they SWEET!

My men!!!

We love you, too, Campbell!

Aww... they're the cutest!

Goodness, she's the kissiest girl I know!

Man... aren't these two that God gave me gorgeous!

Oh yeh... You better give yo mama a kiss!

They make my heart soar!

I'm not exactly sure what these girls are doing right here. "Girls, act normal."

Me and  my man! I LOVE HIM!!!
He's so very good to me!!!!! Better than I often deserve! I wouldn't trade him for anything!

Woe... he's taller than I realized he was. In real life, I usually feel just as tall as he is! :-/
For inquiring minds that want to know... I'm 5'3" to his 6'5".
I usually have 4 to 5 inch heels on. I kicked my shoes off here... and oops, it shows! It's my reminder to: Put your shoes on girl!!! Seriously, look at the puddle of my pants. Again, oopsie!

I wouldn't trade this man for all the gold in California!

We look mad here..... but I promise, we really weren't!

Life couldn't get better than this!

I am mightily blessed! And couldn't be a happier girl!

Tabor Lee, I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUU! (p.s. I wore my heels (5") for this pic, by the time I was taking the other pics, I had already kicked off the shoes)

We look frozen here. Tabor.... we should have smiled!

Sweet thangs!!!

More sweet thangs!!!

We do dearly love to laugh around here!

Sweet SWEET friends!!

Good-looking thangs!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thinking... Praying... Preparing... Wondering....

It's almost that time again. I'm getting ready to go talk to guys again in a men's prison...

Hmm... I always wonder what to say? What they expect? What'll teach? What'll reach? What'll stick? What will touch? What will show the wonder of God's love? What will make a lasting impression? What will make an eternal difference? What's needed?

Lord, give me the words!

I always want to go right back after I've gone. This time, it looks like I might get to.... if even for a moment. Tim (my husband) will hopefully this time go in two days behind me. I'll get to escort him in. He's never spoken to them before. Aww... how sweet! I feel honored to drag him into it!

I am privileged to work on a weekly basis with my girls. With them (in both Tutwiler and the Mont Women's Facility) I get two hours instead of the guy's one. It's a whole lot easier that way. Than popping in for a second without getting to know them first.

I've been enamored with Peter and John's words in Acts 4:20 lately, "For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." For after you've seen and heard Jesus... you cannot help but tell about it! It becomes a fire inside your bones. You cannot keep it from flaming out.

I also love the verse in that same chapter that says that the people around Peter and John "took note that these men (Peter and John) had been with Jesus."

I suppose if I had any prayer at all toward those guys in prison that I would want them to be able to take note, after they'd seen me, and notice that I had been with Jesus. As His vessel (the vehicle in which He choses to go in), I'd want the lasting impression of me left with them to be the Jesus that they can see in me! I want to be the "burning bush" that they see on fire, completely consumed in the wonder of her Lord, that (if they don't know Him already) He calls their name out of. I'd want them only to ponder the awe and majesty of Jesus after I'd left.

I want Jesus to teach me, so that I can teach. I want to be told, so that I can tell. I want to be shown, so that I can show. I want to know... so that I can make Him known! I want to be "one" crying out in the desert from the awe of her Savior... SO THAT THE ROCKS DON'T HAVE TO (Luke 19:40)!

"“When He [Jesus] saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the LABOR-ERS are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust LABOR-ERS into His harvest.”" Matt 9:36-38.

Lord, thank You, for the fields that You send me out to! Help me to love them and have compassion on them like You do! Aww.. the fields are white... I don't even know them, have never met them, but love them already because You've made me to. But who am I, You love them more than anyone ever could!

What do You want to use my voice to say to them?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Faith is not a period!

Faith is not a period. It's a space. It's a comma. It's sometimes an exclamation point. Sometimes a question mark. And always a dot dot dot.....

Faith waits. Faith anticipates. Faith doesn't give up.

Faith isn't believing in things we can see, but faith is still believing in things still yet unseen.

Faith persists. Faith perseveres. Faith does't disappear. Faith doesn't fail. Faith doesn't fade.

Faith hopes. Faith holds.

Faith? No matter what, always believes.

And of course, as Hebrews (11:1) defines it.... Faith, it "is BEING SURE of what you hope for and CERTAIN of what you don't see." 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Contemplating. Laboring. And chasing fantasies.

I am at home alone at the moment musing the wonder of my life. My man is out golfing. My oldest daughter out boating. My son football practicing. My youngest girl football team managing (in other words, giving water to those hot sweaty boys!). Me? I’ve been gleaning in the fields of God’s Book this morning and gathering manna from His Word. All in separate places and directions on this Labor Day holiday Monday weekday celebration.

What a wonder of a life I have.

All because of my Savior and what He does in it.

We've been so mightily and wonderfully blessed thus far in the 2010 year that we've been given. God has outshined Himself in our world in a myriad of places. He is so GOoD that it's hard to stand beneath His glory sometimes.

My oldest daughter has said to me more than once just lately that she thinks (and wonders why) our family is so favored.

I have to agree with her. I feel tremendously blessed! But I guess that that's simply how a child of God feels when they're trying to walk in their Father's shoes and He's allowing them to serve Him in His Kingdom. He's opening doors and tearing down walls and inviting us to labor in His fields. In places we'd never thought to before. To people we'd never have imagined.

I had a friend (that I've never yet met) write a post on Proverbs 12:11 which says, “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies lacks sense.”

The KJV words it this way: "He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain is void of understanding."

His point being that we often chase after our own "fantasies," rather than in pursuit in the "land" that God has appointed for us and called us to "work." We've all (those in my family) have been guilty of chasing such fantasies at one time or another. Vain things that is void of being able to fill! Toiling in "lands" that we weren't called to... but beckoned to, instead, by our enemy.

I'm a word-looker-upper... a definer... So, of course, I looked up (in the Hebrew) to see how the words in this verse was defined. Here goes:

"He that tilleth [works, labors over, tills, serves] his land [his territory, his specific plot of land, his piece of ground] shall be satisfied [satisified, satiated, filled, fulfilled, enriched, has in excess] with bread; but he that followeth [to follow, to be behind, to pursue, to run after, to chase, to aim eagerly to secure] vain [empty (vessels), worthless things, vain things] is void [in need of, lacking, in want of, destitute of] of understanding [mind, will, heart, soul, appetites, emotions, passions]."

We all (whether we realize it or not) are "tilling" the soil in some sort of land somewhere. The question is, where and what and who's soil are you tilling, laboring, serving, in? Your land (the land God has specifically and individually chosen for you) or somebody else's? The land God wants you in? Or the land of the enemy's? Fertile land? Or a vain one? A land that satiates and satisfies and fulfills? Or an empty one, one leaving you in need and in want, one leaving you lacking?

We often get caught up in the rat-race of chasing fantasties. There's nothing like it though when one realizes that chasing fantasties never truly satiates and satisfies. Our satisfaction and fulfillment comes from doing the “good work” that our Lord has “prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). No doubt, God is calling us to something! He's "prepared" work for us somewhere! Our own "land" awaits us working it. And when we pursue and put Him first, He puts His desires in our hearts.. and then, causes us to desire to do what He wants done.

“When He [Jesus] saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the LABOR-ERS are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust LABOR-ERS into His harvest.”" Matt 9:36-38.

What (or WHO?!?) are you “labor”ing for? And what are you reaping from all of your labor?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Someone's FOLLOWING you!

In today's Networked Technology we've got people "following" us on Twitter and MySpace and Facebook and so forth. Friends. People we know. People we don't. People we like. People we don't know why that they do.... 

But better than that. Today I was reminded of another somebodies' that are "following" us too.

We're being followed by Goodness and Mercy (Ps 23:6)! And not only are they following you, but they will be following you E V E R Y D A Y for the rest of your life!!!

It's that 'The Lord is my Shepherd' chapter!

In other words, back to that "I'm with Him!" picture... I'm not only with Him, but more importantly, He's with ME! And He's got GOODNESS and MERCY following me too!

We've got such a GOoD GOD! He's "WITH" us every where!!! He's so into His sheep! What a Savior (saving us from all that we need saving from!) that we serve! We've got such a WITH-US everywhere in everything God!

Goodness = good! happiness! benefit! bountiful! prosperous! BEST!

Mercy = grace! kindness! faithfulness! favor!

Follow = to be behind... to follow after earnestly... to pursue... to run after.... to chase.... to attend closely upon.... to aim to secure.... to pursue ardently..... to aim eagerly to secure.
How powerful is that!!! Even more.. IT'S TRUE!!! And all because of our God, our Father, our Jesus, our Lord and our Savior!!! A Shepherd that watches, loves, cares for, and tends to HIS sheep!