God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

……Psalm 46:5

Have you ever felt like you were shattering into a thousand pieces?  Like you couldn’t pick up the pieces quickly enough and put yourself back together so that you could take the next step forward?

Have you ever felt so alone in your struggle that you just want to quit?  In this moment when you look into your future, does it seem impossible and hopeless?

Recently, Satan has been after me.  When Satan comes after us, it doesn’t just affect us.  It affects everyone around us.  Our spouses, our families, our friends, and even our co-workers are affected by this struggle.

We can rarely control these things in life…most of the time we are just trying to “survive them.” I definitely have felt that way a lot and have said often to my husband, “I am just trying to survive this.”

“I am just trying to survive this”

I don’t know what your this is, but I know that there is a verse in Psalm 46:5 that bolstered my strength and courage.  It made me feel hope.  It made me feel cared for and it shoved fear right out the door.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:

God shall help her, and that right early.

Psalm 46:5

Because it’s very hard to be afraid when you read a verse in God’s precious book that tells you HE IS IN THE MIDST OF YOU.  That because of HIM YOU WILL NOT BE MOVED.  And the one that brought tears to my eyes was GOD SHALL HELP HER.

Strength in God

I love the word SHALL in this verse.  It wasn’t a question of would He.  It was just a statement…God SHALL help Her!  Thank you Father!

Because we all need help!  And we all need to be courageous.  And Satan is always trying to break us, but we are unbreakable in Him.  When we seek Him in our every day lives.  Not just the bad days and not just the good days, but EVERYDAY.

God is who makes us unbreakable.  We can do nothing on our own.  Only He can help us!  Only He can keep us from being moved!  So spend some time with Him today and allow Him to make you unbreakable!

God is Who makes us Unbreakable!


Can God?

I am so thankful that God “speaks” to me through illustrations.  I learn best when I can mentally connect with the physical aspects of my life.  Recently, my husband and I were watching our new puppy Ryder play with our 2 year old dachshund Tucker.  Mind you, Tucker is almost 14 lbs, and Ryder is only 3.5 lbs.  They were having a good time pulling back and forth on the rope.  Of course, Tucker was winning and dragging Ryder all over the house.  I decided to go over and give Ryder a helping hand.

It was such a picture of life to me.  Tucker as an illustration of this world pulling and tugging at us and draining us of every last inch of tenacity and purpose we have in us.  Ryder was working with all of his strength to hold on, to cling to what he was trying to accomplish.

God brought to mind David and Goliath.  In the eyes of man, there was no way that David was going to win that fight.  And in his own strength he would have definitely lost.  It also made me chuckle to think of the devil laughing and thinking he is winning BUT GOD gets involved and He has the power to work things out regardless of how bleak things look, or how tired we are.  When we allow Him to work in our lives and use our circumstances, it’s absolutely AMAZING what our God is able to do on our behalf.

It also reminded me to not try to do things in my own strength.  To not wear myself out till I have nothing left, but instead rely on God’s strength.  Allow Him to strengthen me.   It reminded me to make spending time with Him a priority.  BECAUSE GOD CAN!  And He wants to work in our life and on our behalf.  He will help us resist temptation.  He will help us win when we just don’t see a way.  BECAUSE GOD CAN!

I can say this with confidence, because God has worked in my life over and over.  Many times from my human perspective it seemed impossible, BUT GOD got in there and worked out things that looked impossible.  He has fixed things that have seemed “unfix-able” from my human perspective.

So take a moment today and allow God to pull that rope for you and allow Him to knock satan down.  Don’t let this world and the problems of this life drag you all over because you are working in your own strength.  You will be amazed at what God can do on your behalf!  BECAUSE GOD CAN! Rest in Him.


Death of a Dream

How do you grieve the death of a “dream”? (Defined for this post as “to contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the case.” Thank you to Google search for this definition.)

Is there a certain amount of time, or “formula” to it? Is there a certain amount of days allotted for it?

NOPE! (I felt we needed a longer more emphatic answer then no…two letters just didn’t seem to suffice.)

Honestly some dreams we have take longer to grieve. Some dreams are deeply rooted into who we think we are.

I’ve grieved such dreams. (I promise, I’m not being dramatic or over the top here.) Haven’t we all? Some dreams you actually need to grieve. Some dreams deserve that. Some dreams you can’t move past until you do grieve them.

You see once you’ve properly grieved the death of that dream, you are able to move forward with God’s dream for you.

I’ve learned something recently. I’ve learned that I want God to define who I am because He’s WHOM I belong to and His definition of me is all that matters. (See post titled How do I define myself?)

You see once you’ve properly grieved the death of that dream, you are able to move forward with God’s dream for you.

And I’ve learned that His dreams and His plans are so much better for me and are far beyond what I think I’m capable of or worthy of, because His dreams for me are dreams of Him walking with me hand in hand while I follow His plan for my life.

And I’ve learned that when the Bible talks about giving you the desires of your heart, it is talking about how when I’m fully committed to His plan for me, His plans do become the desires of my heart. And I’ve learned that those plans leave me with more peace then I know what to do with, and more contentment then I’ve ever known.

They leave me feeling complete in Him. They leave me wanting more of Him. And they leave me dreaming for more of what He has planned for me.

And yes, sometimes these dreams are intimidating. And yes, sometimes I don’t feel competent, and I’m not. I can only fulfill these amazing dreams and accomplish these task when I’m walking closely to Him. And if I leave a crack between me and Jesus for the enemy to climb through, you can believe he will find it.

So to keep these dreams alive I must work diligently to walk as closely with Jesus as possible. I must check our relationship moment by moment to make sure there isn’t a crack of daylight between us. (Because let’s be honest Jesus isn’t the problem in this relationship, I am)

You see I don’t want to have to grieve these dreams He has for me. I want to dream along with God’s plans for my life and live in perfect peace and contentment.

How about you?

Light Affliction

Chronic health issues can be a challenge. Currently I have 6 different diagnosed diseases. What this means for me (and those in my life) is that I have good and bad days. This also means that my plans are constantly up in the air and those who are in my life deal with a lot of cancelled plans or rescheduling.

It’s been a particularly rough stretch since right after Thanksgiving. I have had something going on every day for weeks on end ranging from extreme fatigue which brings on migraines to chronic hives, which make my entire body swell including the inside of my throat, as well as my face which can become life threatening.

This is not only exhausting and discouraging for me, but also for my family and friends. (Especially my husband who is the one person that goes through each and every day with me – the good and the bad.)

The one thing that gets us through all of the ups and downs that my health brings, is Jesus. It’s such a blessing to be able to cry out to Him requesting help. It’s such a blessing to know that the Holy Spirit speaks on our behalf when we have groanings which cannot be uttered.

This verse has always really been an encouragement to me when I’m going through bad stretches whether health related or not. It helps me focus my perspective on what really matters. It reminds me that there are seasons to life and that the lessons learned through each season (good and bad) will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

It reminds me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus! It reminds me to keep my eyes fixed on the blessings God has brought into my life. (One of the biggest being those He has surrounded me with that help me through the tough seasons…especially my husband and family.) It reminds me that I do not have to look very far to find someone else who is going through something worse, and that I need to look for opportunities to reach out and encourage others. It reminds me to get my eyes off of myself and spend time in prayer for others. It reminds me that God is a good, good Father and that I can and should lean into Him. It reminds me to live moment by moment. It reminds me that I can face tomorrow because He lives.

Because He Lives
By: Gloria and William J. Gaither

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day, because He lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

And then one day, I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

You & Me

Several years ago, I bought this really cool sign that reads “You & Me”. I fell in love with it instantly.

You see just a few weeks before, I had a hysterectomy. It was so hard for my husband and I to think of a future without biological children.

Side note: the last thing we wanted to hear about at the time was adopting. We love adoption. My beautiful amazing little sister is adopted. I’d be completely and utterly lost without her. It’s a beautiful story that I would love her to share on here someday if she wants. Anyhow, when you are grieving a loss like that it was devastating to have people say….”Well you can adopt.” Honestly it made as much sense to me as someone telling a recent widow, “Well you can remarry.” Of course she can and maybe she will, but she doesn’t want to think about that right now. That doesn’t fix her grief. (Just in case anyone needs this information for future interactions with grieving humans.)

Back to my original thought process….oddly enough, I became obsessed with finding some kind of wall decor that expressed or new reality of family without children. (Furbabies excluded for the moment – sorry furbabies.)

Do you know how difficult it is to find family decor that does not include something about children? It’s as if in our society a family is not created until there are kids…and because this was something I was desperately having a hard time with myself, satan (not a grammatical error I refuse to capitilize that low life’s name) was using this lie to beat me up.

So when I found this sign, it was perfect! It described our family, “You & Me.”

As I lay here on our couch tonight, looking up at it I realized something even cooler about it. The & symbol is intertwined between the you and me. I love that because for David and I, we want God intertwined and woven into every aspect of our marriage.

Our goal is to have Him at the very center of all we do. (We fail at this, but God is always gracious to forgive us for our momentary lapses.)

And as I lay here tonight looking at this sign that I truly believe was a precious gift from God during a very difficult time, I realize that He also provided a very beautiful picture of Him in our marriage. Wrapped around us holding us together regardless of circumstances, or trials, health issues, or grief. God is weaved between us just like the & symbol in our sign. And now every time I look at that I am going to feel blessed and thankful and pray with all my heart that God is always at the center…the glue holding us together regardless of our circumstances or future. We want Him right where He belongs in our family…the very center of our hearts and our lives.

When God Says, “No”

There are times when we go to God in prayer and God quickly answers with, “Yes”, and other times we go to God “continually” (see Luke 18:5 for a Biblical definition to this word), and again, He says, “Yes.”

But then there are those times in our lives when we pray continually about a burden on our hearts either for ourselves, or someone we love, and He says “No.” It’s how we react in these times that show us where our relationship really is with Jesus. Does it draw us closer to Him, or push us farther away from Him? Do I throw a fit like a child in the store who didn’t get what they wanted?

I can think of examples of both in my life. And both examples were seasons of lessons learned. God laid it on my heart this month to share one of those with you, and I have been praying continually over how to do this as it’s a deeply personal story to share. I’ve actually sat down and written out several drafts of this and keep trashing them as they don’t truly convey what I want to share. I do not want to approach it as a story of pity, or poor us, or anything of the kind. It will probably take several posts for me to “tell” my story as it was over nine years of my life. But today, I just want to address what God has shown me about when He says, “No.”

This was a truly life changing season for me in my walk with the Lord. And I honestly look back with fondness over His healing hand and constant support. He truly carried me through this season, and I am so thankful for the way it changed not only my relationship with Him, but also pretty much every relationship around me as well.

As I have mentioned, my husband and I have been married for 11 years. He is truly my best friend and if you would have asked us 11 years ago what our life would have looked like 11 years in, we would have stated a picture that is much different than the actual reality of our lives today. You see 11 years ago, we planned on having children, and 9 years ago, we started trying to have children. However, God had a different plan for our lives and the long and short of it, is that He said very clearly, “No” to us having children.

We prayed in His will, and His answer was, “No.” It wasn’t what His plans for us included.

And that left us with a choice of how we were going to deal with that answer. Were we going to throw a fit because it wasn’t the answer we wanted, or were we going to trust God’s heart and allow Him to use this in our life. Of course this overly simplifies what we were going through. I mean, this makes it seem rather simple…of course we should accept it, and trust God’s heart., right? But the reality…well that’s much different isn’t it.

Of course, we weren’t in a perfect world, and there were a lot of other “things” going on during this LONG period of 9 years. We had several miscarriages during this time, my husband was a K-9 Police Officer and SWAT team member which brings it’s own stresses and strains, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the list could go on and on. You see those stresses and strains cannot be excuses to not properly deal with God’s “No’s” in our lives. (Although it would be nice if we could, right?)

“…those stresses and strains cannot be excuses to not properly deal with God’s

“No’s” in our lives.”

And honestly, every day, I did not deal with God’s “No” properly. Every month when my time would roll around and it was another “No”, sometimes God and I had some real frank and open dialogues about how unhappy I was with that response. Sometimes I would cry in anger, and sometimes it was just raw grief. I tried to be honest with myself and God with where I was in my reactions, and how I felt I deserved a yes. After all this was not a bad thing that I desired. In fact, He created me with this desire to be a mom. (Bargaining at it’s worst.) But honestly, the only thing I deserve is a life in hell. He reminded me that He had my best interest at heart. And that I needed to TRUST HIM!

“…the only thing I deserve is a life in hell.”

There were many, many things God used during this time including His Word (the Book of Psalm especially), my Church, my family, Christian Friends, Music and Christian books. All of them reminded me that He was a good, good Father and that I could trust His heart and His plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11 -14 became my goal. I wanted to trust His thoughts towards me, trust Him to draw me closer to Him during this season of my life. Because after all, it was just a season. (I am thankful that God doesn’t always tell us how long these seasons are going to be.)

And truly He did do that. I have more of this story that I want to share with you, but I wanted to take time tonight to just remind you that when God says No in your life, that there is a purpose to it. Our life here on this earth is not just about us and our happiness. (Although I do believe God wants us to find joy in the journey of life here on earth.)

A friend once explained it to me this way, “God is working on a giant cross stitch and all we can see from here on this earth is the bottom.” The bottom of a cross stitch can be very messy to look at, but that mess from the bottom is a beautiful picture when you can see the top. God has it under control.

Find joy in the journey, accept God’s “No’s” as opportunities to draw closer to Him and learn His heart. My relationship with Him is stronger for having to accept His “No” in my life. And I look at this season with joy in my heart now. It is impossible for the world to understand how we can be happy with the choices God has for our lives even when they are hard….use it as an opportunity to reach others for Christ. Use it as an opportunity to encourage other Christians. Use it…that’s what God wants us to do with the “No’s” in our lives.

Thank You Father God for the “No’s” in my life. Thank You for using them to draw us closer to You in our marriage and in our lives. You have been so very good to us. Not only have you saved us, but Father You have poured so many blessing in our lives. You have given us way more than we deserve.

“When God Has Another Plan” by the Greenes

Niagara Falls – Majesty

Psalm 96:6 – Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

This past weekend, my husband and I went on a road trip with my parents to go to a wedding. We rarely travel, so I had really been looking forward to this trip. Not only were we going to get to spend some time with family, we were also going to get to see friends we do not get to see often. And we were also going to get to experience something for the first time together…Niagara Falls.

The wedding was in New York and Niagara Falls was only 30 minutes or so out of our way. Since neither of us had been there before, we decided to make it a detour along the way home.

I love experiencing things with my husband, and there’s something extra special when we are both doing something or seeing something together for the first time. So I was pretty excited about this detour on our way home.

We were hoping for good weather, but the whole way from Rochester to Niagara Falls, it was raining and foggy. My mom started praying that the weather would clear. And sure enough God was good enough to answer her prayers. It was still cloudy, but the fog cleared and the rain stopped. (FYI: It started raining again as soon as we got back in the car.)

The anticipation walking to the viewing areas was killing me. I just couldn’t wait to see it. The closer we got the louder the roar became and the more excited I got. I just couldn’t wait to see this natural wonder that God created that people came from all over the world to see.

When we finally approached the falls, I was in awe (and these weren’t even the Horseshoe Falls yet). God has created many beautiful things in the world. But this was absolutely breathtaking to me. The leaves in the trees were all changing and the water was so crystal clear. It was gorgeous. There was one word in particular that kept going through my mind…MAJESTIC.

And then we went on further and got to see the American side of the Horseshoe Falls, and I was literally speachless. (Which my family and friends can tell you is a rare event.)

When I am viewing God’s creation I have a tendancy to talk to THE CREATOR. But this time, all I could say to Him over and over again was Holy, Holy, Holy. I was truly overwhelmed and my cup was overflowing. In the moment, I was thinking, “God, if this is how I feel about Your creation, I can’t imagine being in Your presence. Truly Your glory is beyond my human mind’s comprehension.”

After we got home, I decided to do a quick search in my Bible for the word majesty. The verses describing God’s Majesty were the ones that I found the most poignant.

A few of my favorites were:

Psalms 29:4 – The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. (This verse made me think of sound of the Falls.)

Psalm 93:1 – The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

My favorite verse was: Psalm 96:6 – Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

God knows that I am a very visual learner. I love when He gives me physical and visual reminders to make His Word even more dear and precious to me. Now every time I read about God’s majesty, strength and beauty in the, I am going to think of Niagara Falls.