October 16, 2016


When your heart is broken & didn't need to be
Choices that could have been avoided
...with just some thought of the ripples.
Ripples that forever change the future. 

Every choice is a ripple. 
Every ripple reaches far. 
Why must these ripples bring so much pain?
Is it possible for our ripples to bring healing?

My heart is broken. 
I've made choices that split it. 
Once close friends and the fissures grew. 
Death created a chasm. 

This brokenness feels so big. 
Too big for me to fix alone. 

Every choice is a ripple. 
Every ripple reaches far. 
Why must these ripples bring so much pain?
Is it possible for our ripples to bring healing?

My hope is that the ripples change. 
My hope is that they bring healing instead of pain. 
My hope is that these broken places can be knit together again. 
Not by me. Not by you. Only by Him. 

Forgiveness, will you be found in my ripples?  
Love, will you be found in my ripples?

To those who have hurt me & brought me this pain*: I pray one day you see your ripples & the pain they inflicted. I pray you find Him, His Truth & His love to be your healing balm...before the choice that can't be undone. 

*myself included

October 8, 2016

Election 2016 Angst

He has a documented history of speaking crassly about women. 
She has a documented history of lying. 
They are digging up 10 yr old videos of his crassness. 
Perhaps to distract from her recent lies. 
So the arguements go. 

I struggle with these 2 being our "best" options. Then I think about the Israelites, after entering the Promised Land, looking around and desiring what others had. They (the majority) wanted a King, I truly believe there were folks who did not want a King. Yet they all as one got what the majority asked for...Saul. 

That echoes the heartbeat of our culture today. We want equality of everything...so here we are. Our choices slim...the things we've asked for...or rather the majority has asked for. Equality...on the surface it sounds good. But when you start to do some digging into what that looks like, it is actually a very destructive word. 

Equality breeds entitlement. The kind of thinking that leads some of the we to cease striving to work hard, do well, learn more. While other we continue to work hard, do well, learn more so they can get ahead, a job promotion, pay off loans, willingly help others. Some of the we begin to expect the other we who work hard, do well, learn more to foot their bill too. Soon the other we, have nothing left to give, grow weary from working so hard & have no time left to learn more. 

It is happening all around us, daily. Look around...I don't want something that is not mine. I don't want this kind of equality. I don't what the majority is asking for...but I think I may not have a say (kind of like the 2 spies!) and it may be that the other we no longer matter. 

I find myself wondering just what God wants us to do, not what some of the we or the other we want. And if you are like me, you are probably spending more time thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it & very little time praying about it. 

Father, forgive me. Help me spend more time talking & listening to You. 

September 24, 2016

Diligent-a word study

Diligent: constant in effort to accomplish something, attentive and persistent indoing  anything; done or pursued with persevering attention, painstaking 
Synonyms: industrious, assidious, sedulous, infatigable, untiring, tireless, unremitting, earnest, studious, eager, conscientious, active, careful, constant, eager beaver,grind, laborious, oculied, pertinacious, steadfast, unflagging, persisting, hard-working
Antonyms: careless, disinterested, idle, ignorant, inactive, inattentive, indifferent, languid, lazy, lethargic, neglectful, negligent, thoughtless, tired, uncareful, unconcerned, unenthusiastic, unscrupulous, weary

I'd encourage you to look up the roots & definitions of the following words. Assidious, sedulous, pertinacious & steadfast at www.dictionary.com 
Very enlightening! Then share your thoughts below! 

What does it mean (to me) to be diligent? 
It means I am focused on the end game, the result, the finish line, the other person, the commitment I made. It means that when things are hard I persevere through it. It means I persist in what I've undertaken. I maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty or obstacles or discouragement (even broken human promises). It means I am fixed on my direction and firm in my actions. It means I am constant in my effort to accomplish what I set out to do. I am attentive, willing to work hard and hold on tenaciously to that purpose.*

**What does that look like in the context of seeking God? In my marriage? In my parenting? In my friendships?**

In the context of seeking God, it means I spend time in His Word, talking to Him, asking Him question and LISTENING to His answers, especially when they might not be what I want to hear or the answer comes in a way I didn't want. 
It means I place more value on what God says over my own desires. 
It means like a runner heading to the finish line, I stick close to Him whom I am chasing. 
It means that no matter how I may try to justify mypersonal  choices, God's Word is my guide. 
It means I don't twist His words to justify my actions. 
It means I take God's Word as a whole, knowing one verse doesn't negate another or that one verse taken from it's context (verses around it & the intended audience) can be warped. So I must do my homework. 
It means that regardless of anyone else's interpretation, I will always seek what God is saying and believe His words over those of amy man or woman. 
It means I am constant in my efforts to become more like Christ. 
And it means I will never "arrive" this side of heaven so I must hold my hands open willing to do the work God needs me to do to change me into Christlikeness. 
It means I am careful when listening to other voices (my own included). 
It means I am not swayed by what my heart wants. 

**questions I am still pondering. Would absolutely love to hear your thoughts! 

September 12, 2016

When the script falls apart...

"...the script just didn’t make sense in the midst of the chaos and clamor." Excerpt from Proverbs 31 devotion this morning. 

me: God...this was NOT how this story was to unfold. 

God: Trust me!

me: This place I am in...it's deep, it's dark, it's scary. I can't see through my tears, the sounds around me are piercing me, I am scared. I can't catch my breath.
God: Trust me! Keep your chin up...it helps you focus on me. I am right here with you, beside you, crying with you as you grieve. 

me: I just don't understand! THIS is not what we prayed for...How can this broken chaotic dark place bring glory to You? Lead others to You?

God: Trust me! I've got you...stop trying to pull your hand from Mine & let me guide you through this dark valley. Let me write this story. Child, I love you too much to leave you in the chaos. 

me: *stomping my feet & yanking harder* But God, I don't WANT to go this way! Its too scary. 

God: Trust me. *stops & just holds me...right here in the dark, scary place*

me: *sobbing into His chest* I don't know how to trust You here. I've never been here before. This isn't the story I wanted. 

God: I know & I've got you & I've got a greater story for you. Trust me. 

me: I'm trying...please be patient with me?

God: Always. I will sit here & hold you as long as you need me too. Just trust me. And please daughter, don't set up camp in this dark place. I don't ever want your eyes to become accustomed to this darkness. I want your eyes to behold the beauty that is My light  once again. 

me: *looking up toward His face* I can't see any light, right now. This darkness is so thick. If it weren't for Your arms around me I am not sure I'd know you were here. I can't see Your face. *curling up into His lap & reaching up to touchHis  cheek*

God: sweet child, lay down your head and rest. We will continue the journey together, I promise.

(9.28.16 a little of the backstory) This was my dialogue that day with God as I was attempting to process through the emotions of losing my 9 yo nephew suddenly, tragically, horrifically; and when we (I) believed with all of my heart that Jesus WAS GOING TO SHOW UP at that "tomb" and call Julian's name. For HIS GLORY! For the whole world to SEE that God is real! I am still struggling through this dialogue with God because I don't understand this answer that involves Julian being gone & our lives broken...shattered...one single choice that changed an entire family. Check out Julian's story here, if you haven't already.  And if you feel led, would you send a small gift to help the family with the unexpected expenses associated with the death of their child? Thanks for ease dropping on my conversation with God.

March 28, 2016

Easter....Part 3

A reflection as if I was present at the events from 2000 years ago...
Yesterday, was so amazing that I just never had time to write down my thoughts...

If you recall I spent Saturday locked inside my home, fear overtaking all the hope that I'd come to know through Jesus these last years. (See Easter...Part 2) After watching the events of Thursday & Friday unfold...the sheer horror of it all & I just could not understand. I had moments of recall to things Jesus had taught us, but in all honesty...that fear of being next to suffer like Jesus...it just overwhelmed my thoughts. 

So, I did what anyone who was afraid of the law would do....I locked myself inside the house. Others were with me. We were all scared! Scared of the unknown...scared because we witnessed our leader brutally beaten & killed then sealed inside a tomb surrounded by a legion of those Roman Centurions...scared because we believed we were next in line to be taken captive, tried unfairly & killed because we so openly followed Him.

Yesterday dawned a really beautiful morning. The sun was shining, but my heart was so full of darkness & heavy thoughts. There is a knock at the door...my heart leaps to my throat & is pounding. My stomach is in knots. And I cautiously went to the door. Time moving so slowly as I open the door. It was just some of the gals that followed Jesus...Mary Magdalene & friends. They are yammering on....slow down...I don't understand anything you are saying because you are all talking at once.

I can barely wrap my head around what they are trying to say...they went to the tomb to finish anointing the body because everything happened so quickly that we needed to get him off the cross  & into the tomb before the Sabbath. So these wonderful loving ladies headed out early this morning to finish the burial preparations. Something about an earthquake in the garden, angels, and the tomb was empty. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? There is NO WAY anyone was able to get into that tomb to steal His body...those Centurions would NEVER let that happen!!

A couple of the guys, Simon Peter & John, headed out quickly to the tomb to see for themselves. I stayed back because I was so consumed with fear and anxiety, I could not bring myself to go outside. The guys came back & Simon Peter said he went into the empty tomb and sure enough there were Jesus' burial cloths and the one that had been around His head was folded neatly separate from the other linen. What does that mean? I'm so confused by all of this.

Well....LAST NIGHT....oh...my..goodness.. the BEST THING ever happened and NOW I understand what Jesus had been teaching us! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We were sitting inside the locked house, when  2 of our friends came knocking...oh man there went my heart & stomach again...time slowing down as the knock occurs. Then they come in & tell us of an encounter along the Road to Emmaus. This guy came up to them & started asking them what they were talking about. It was getting late, so instead of letting this person continue on His way, they invited Him in to stay.

As they sat talking, this man took bread and broke it....just like Jesus did just a few short days ago. And that quickly the man disappeared and they beat feet here to Jerusalem. IT WAS JESUS! HE IS ALIVE! 

My head is spinning...as I listen to them share every detail of their walk & conversation with Jesus. Then in the blink of an eye-there was JESUS! He was standing inside our locked house with us. At first, I really thought that we all were seeing a ghost...but no. There were the wounds in His hands, His feet, His side. "Peace be with you."Do you have anything here to eat?" "This is what I told you wile I was till with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." I could not believe my eyes and my ears.

There was Jesus...alive...eating fish and I finally understand all He had taught us over the last 3 years. He never came to overthrow Rome...He came to save the whole world for all eternity.

I have no idea what today or tomorrow will hold for me now...but I know this....my life changed in one single moment. I will NEVER be the same again. Because Death was Arrested and my life began in that single moment...and I couldn't sit still inside that locked house anymore. I am a new person thanks to Jesus and the events of these last 3 days...my life is beginning now. I wonder what that is going to look like?

March 26, 2016

Easter...Part 2

It's Saturday. I'm waking up. Yesterday, surely was just a bad dream...a nightmare, right? Those awful events that flood my mind as I open my tired swollen eyes...they did. not. actually happen did they?

I reach full consciousness & reality sets in. My eyes...are swollen from crying. My body exhausted. My heart broken...because I realize that My friend Jesus is dead. My innocent friend...gone. And the memory of yesterday comes flooding in...I can't stop the deluge of thoughts...they are rampant and I just want them to stop. I want the pain to stop. But I am powerless.....  

He WAS innocent! Judas....how could you?!?! How could you turn on Jesus like that? Jesus who did nothing but love us, sure He corrected & rebuked us (& others) at times...but He always loved! ALWAYS! How could you...Judas....it's because of you that He's dead today! 

He is dead! It can't be...but it is. 
I watched as the arrested Him in the garden. And He healed that man's ear. 
I watched Him be dragged before Pilate & the crowd screaming for Barabas to be released. The thunderous "Crucify Him!" is ringing in my ears. Make. It. Stop. 
I watched Him beated, flogged, skin torn to the point that if I hadn't known it was Him I'd no longer recognize Him. 
I watched Him drag that cross to the hill. And a man step in to help Him carry it. 
I watched Him take those nails in his hands & feet. The sound of metal on metal...I don't know if I will ever be able to hear that sound again without cringing. 
I watched as they lifted that cross & dropped it into the ground. Oh...the agony. 
My friend...hung between criminals. HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED? I don't understand. The tears come again. My heart is crushed. 
I watched as He was mocked, his clothes gambled for, and yet...

His eyes...oh those eyes, that could penetrate to your deepest parts. They were still so full of love for all of us there: His friends, His family, His followers, the guards, the mockers, the religious leaders & the prisioners. When He asked God to forgive us, when He told that criminal on the cross he'd be with Him in paradise...THAT was LOVE. How?!? How can He love like that? 

I watched as the sky grew dark...eventhough it wasn't nighttime yet! I heard My friend cry out from that cross, asking God why He'd been forsaken. My heart broke! All He had taught us about God, His father & in this His darkest moment...God turned His back on Him. WHY?!? And then....3 words It. Is. Finished. And my friend Jesus...was dead. Along with all of my hopes, my dreams, and His promises...dead right there on that cross in front of me. 

I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!! I'm angry! So angry right now! 

I watched as they removed Jesus from that cross & placed Him in that tomb. A shred of thankfulness that my friend had a place to be buried. But that shred is quickly usurped by the disbelief, the anger, the...the...I don't even know what to call all these feelings raging inside of me right now. I've never felt anything like this before. 

I  watched and I did nothing. Nothing to help Him. Not one thing. My actions were on autopilot, I was in shock. Surely this would NOT actually happen. Surely He WOULD triumph...afterall, He IS innocent! I've NEVER seen Him do ANYTHING wrong. He was NOTHING like those criminals He hung between yesterday. 

Yesterday....it feels like a lifetime ago and yet mere minutes at the same time. IF I could rewind the clock 24 hrs...what could I do differently to change the outcome?!!? 

He. Is. Dead. And my hope for all that my friend Jesus was going to be is dying too. I don't know my purpose anymore. My heart is broken. I'm weeping again, tears I thought were dried up are pouring down my face as the images of yesterday that I watched just continually loop in my head. 

I'm just going to lock my door & not answer if anyone comes because I could be next. Fear is now my companion & I don't know how to stop it from overpowering me. 

Easter....Part 1

Today, I am reflecting & thinking about how much Jesus loves me....so much so that He willingly gave himself for me, took my punishment for my sin/my choices. 
I am attempting to put myself into the crowd that watched Him an innocent man be beaten, mocked & crucified. Who would I have been in that crowd? Would I have gone along with the crowd & called for His death? Would I deny Him? Would I lock myself in a room? Would I weep? Would I recognize that THIS IS THE SON OF GOD?

And the challenge in my feeble attempt is that I KNOW Sunday is coming....My Lord, Savior of all, is NO LONGER in the grave! My sins are forgiven, eternal death is beaten & the same power Jesus exerted when He ROSE from the dead...that power is IN me! 

Jesus loves YOU! He died for YOU! He chose YOU over heaven's perfection! Will YOU choose Him this Easter?
Not sure what that means? Message me...we can talk! Join me at Hopewell Christian Fellowship, Elverson tonight at 7pm or Sunday morning at 9am/11am. He is waiting for YOU with 2 free gifts: mercy, found at the cross & power to overcome the trouble of this world, found in the empty tomb. 

I hope to see you this weekend, but even more so...I hope we can be together for eternity!

October 10, 2015

Dreams...part 4

Start the story here: Dreams, Part 1

I am fragile. I am frail. I am stronger than I know possible.

Somewhere from the farthest corner of my mind, the words of a mother and a sister break through the darkness that threatens to engulf me..."We don't blame you. This wasn't your fault. Please don't blame yourself." And like that...one tiny flicker of hope not much bigger than the tip of blown out match... but it's there.

What will I choose to do in this moment? This one seemingly small significant decision that could change the life of one person...one shattered, broken, bruised person with a faith that seems broken beyond repair.

Night time comes and darkness falls both in the outside world and inside my head and my heart. The condemnation and the shame are trying so hard to snuff out that little spark of hope that rose inside earlier. Will I sleep tonight? Should I sleep tonight? After all, there is a family... a mother, a father, siblings and more...who will not sleep tonight.

A young son who may never wake again. How can I even dream of sleeping when I have caused so much pain to so many? Where has my flickering hope gone? Has the darkness snuffed it out for good? God are you here? I can't seem to see you...or feel you...or hear you.

I feel so alone. And yet my husband and son are right here with me. They hug me and their presence is meant to reassure me that I am not alone. And yet, inside...I feel this deep sense of isolation. No one will understand. Everyone will judge.

Sleep...please come and take me away from all this heartache. Jesus, I don't know if you can hear me or not. I don't know where you are right now in my life, but please Jesus-don't abandon that little boy that I hit with my big green pick up truck. Please God, I beg through tears...I honestly thought I had none left, where did these come from? Please God, be with him. Be with them. Don't let him die. I don't think I am strong enough to bear that blame, that agony of knowing I took the life of  a child.

I close my eyes as I lay down on my pillow. The scene plays out again in my mind. All of it. I think the image that haunts me in this moment is seeing his brown hair stuck in the piece surrounding the headlight. I just can't seem to move past that...his little 6 yo old was hit so hard by my big green pick up truck that his hair was embedded into the headlight.

How can he survive such a hard hit? I think of MY little 6 yo son. The vibrant energy that follows him everywhere her goes. The sparkle in his eyes when he looks at me. The sound of his laughter filling our home. I see him dancing in the living room and playing with our dogs. I hear him a beginning reader and thrill at the worlds that is opening up to him as he reads aloud.

And I wonder...what will change in the other home. The home my one small insignificant choice has changed. Will there be vibrant energy or emptiness? The sound of laughter or tears? Will there be dancing or mourning? Playing or crying? New beginnings or an end?

So many questions continue to swirl in my head as ever so slowly the images fade and sleep takes over. I don't remember dreaming that night. I wouldn't call my sleep rejuvenating. But more an unconsciousness that was void of all thought. And that felt good. Until the morning...

When reality came crashing down upon me once more. I woke, thinking surely the events of the day before were just a very bad dream...a nightmare. And then I began to remember that it indeed had happened. It was my reality now. I had hit a young boy while driving. I can never change that, take it back or get a do over. Did he survive the night? Will he survive today? I searched for my tiny flicker of hope, not sure it would be any where I could see. Because as bright as the sun was shining that morning, my heart and my mind felt like the dead of night...so dark and empty of all light.

And then, life went on as normal. My son, my dear sweet son, he needed to eat. He needed me and that tiny blown out match tip of hope surfaced...way off in the distance. I chose to keep my focus on that tiny speck of light knowing, hoping, no that's not it, wishing, yeah that's probably it....I chose to keep my focus on that tiny speck of light wishing it would move closer, because I had no energy to move toward it.

Everything that continued as normal in our home, brought with it wondering thoughts about the family whose life I changed. They weren't waking up and making breakfast in the kitchen after sleeping in their own beds. They were most likely tired and worn out having spent the night in a hospital waiting room. Every normal moment brought dark thoughts of self blame, condemnation and lies. Every normal moment was a fight to keep that tiny speck of light that seemed miles away from going out.

I knew if that light went out, I was a goner. I was fragile. I was frail. I was stronger than I knew. And that strength was about to be tested.

My son reminded me that he had swimming lessons, and that reminder came just a bit too late to ask for help. Any mother knows in their head, that when tragedy strikes you want to try to keep your young child's life as normal as possible. Yet my entire being was screaming at me....I don't want to drive EVER again. I NEVER want to sit behind the wheel of  a car and especially not my big green pick up truck.

And yet there stands my handsome son with his sparkling blue eyes looking expectantly at me, wondering why we hadn't left yet. Lord, I. can. NOT. do. this. I don't think HE (the big guy upstairs) understands just how broken I am inside. And yet I find myself gathering up our pool bag, my purse, the keys...and walking out the door.

I somehow find myself behind the wheel...trying to be brave in front of my son hoping I can protect him from just how big yesterday was. I don't want him to know just how shaken his mommy is...shaken to her very core. Her faith so fractured, she is afraid it might not survive. So with a very deep breath, I start the truck.

And a thought strikes me, WHAT IF he saw my big green truck coming as he was hit? That kind of sub-conscious torment would be awful. I shook. My head laying on the steering wheel, while the truck idled, struggling to remember that tiny detail in all I had seen. To no avail...try as I might I could not remember where he was looking when we collided.

I sat there. Frozen. Fear taking hold again. I reach for the key, I reach for the gearshift...which one will I choose. I am fragile. I am frail. Was I really stronger than I knew?

to be continued...