Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I am not going to bet around the bush. There is nothing more important to our lives in this season of the year then to take time out to educate yourself and use your right to vote. As Christians, if we don’t take the time to inform ourselves before we vote, then the enemy wins. If our voting style is going to be eenie meenie miney mo, then enemy wins again. If we buy into the lie our vote doesn’t really matter and do not bother to vote, the enemy wins as well. We as a nation need to start treating this responsibility and privilege with more respect.

I have to admit I have gone to the voting booth many times and come away ashamed of my lack of wisdom on who to elect. But I am sensing more and more that the people who we choose to govern over us will change the way we will be able to witness for the Lord in the days to come. I know that the climate is already getting tight. Do I want it to get tighter before it has to?

How important is the right to vote? We think that privilege will always be there when we want to use it. What if it wasn’t? Not in America, you say? Maybe not but what would we do if the unthinkable did happen? 

People from countries with no voice on anything are always amazed at our nation’s apathy about going to the poles. They say that if we had to live in the atmosphere they have had to experience for day to day, then we would run to the poles again. A dose of reality for each of us could be life changing for our nation.

I know in the end, God is in control no matter who is elected. And…even after the voting, we will need to continue to pray and intercede for those in authority so it will go well with us. But if we show God that we do not really care, then He may respond accordingly.

During these next few days before the elections, let’s pledge to pray, to get informed, to vote, and to encourage others to do the same. When you are deciding whom to choose…keep in mind the morals and biblical principles God has carefully instilled within you. Seek God’s wisdom as you study the platforms of each candidate. If you seek in faith, God will show you all you need to know.

I love this country and all our founding Fathers did to ensure freedom for all.  I feel privileged to have been born here and not some place where freedom is only for the few. Therefore, I do not want to take for granted the opportunities I have been given by not voting. If we will pray and seek His face, God will unfold the future and hope He has for America.

I pray you will join me at the polls on November 6th
May God bless the results.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breaks Can Be Blessings

 After I post this week, I will be headed for the beach! Hallelujah! 

For weeks now, some friends of mine and I have been planning a 4-Day writer’s retreat at Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach, SC. What a blessing! It has been a while since I have been off so I am excited to say the least. I have lofty plans for things I want to get accomplished.  In reality, I may not write much more then in the sand on my walks down the beach. My main goal is to rest mentally and be refreshed emotionally without the worries of a busy schedule. Beach walks have always done wonders for me.

These days it is seems much easier to go somewhere when the opportunity calls. However, just a few short years ago, I had little ones at my feet all the time and getting away for even 5 minutes was tough. I chose to be a stay at home mom while my children were very young. Although I love it, each day I found myself longing for a few moments where no demands were made on my time or my mind.

When my two children were past the point of naps, I would get a few moments when I marched them into their separate rooms and recited the rules:

“You have to stay in your room for the next hour. You don’t have to go to sleep but you do have to doing something that doesn’t create a lot of noise. No bathroom breaks so go now! I will tell you when you can come out.”

Maintaining the routine was a little tricky until they learned that what Mom said was going to be the law in the land. After they got into the habit though, it was not so difficult as they became accustom to entertaining themselves for the duration. Plus, periodically, I tried to reward their good behavior with something they enjoyed.

As my two children got older, I went back to working outside the home. At that point, it was not uncommon for me to fall into the recliner after work for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Since, the children were older, I would only have to announce my instructions down the hallway:

 “You better be dead or dying to bother me for the next 15 minutes.”

That was my signal to them I had had enough for the moment. They learned quickly that life went better for them, if they complied and gave me those few moments alone.

What I am trying to say here is…we all need time for ourselves during our day no matter where we are or what stage of life we are in. Sometimes, especially with children, we have to be ‘very creative’ in order to find a few moments to call our own. Each family has their own schedule of activities to work around. However, when we make time to rest our minds and refresh our emotions, we become better equipped to handle the rest of our day.

Can you bless yourself with a break today? Are there moments you could set aside to rest your mind and refresh your emotions? Think about it. If you can, try to set aside a few minutes each day or at least each week just for you. What a difference it can make in the productivity of your life. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Pearl Necklace

Do you have a pearl necklace hanging around in your jewelry box? If you do, I want you to get it out and try it on again. If you don’t, your imagination will do just fine. Now I would like to challenge you to look at the pearls hanging there in a new way. Let me explain.

After years of challenges, thoughts of disappointment in myself and moments of despair about the way my life had gone, I began to cry out to the Lord. I felt so defeated. I asked God if I would ever get to the place where I could really be use by Him again. I wondered because of the appearance of failure all around. I guess I had to learn these valuable lessons the hard way.

The Lord responded to my cry that day with the picture of a pearl necklace in my mind’s eye and began to speak gently to my spirit.

“You are troubled by the circumstances you have gone through in your life. Some of those circumstances were caused by your own unwise decisions and others were assignments of the enemy. But I have been with you through each and every one of them. And now I am working with you to help you see each of those lessons in a new way.

I designed this necklace especially for you. The pearls represent each situation you have experienced and overcome by My guidance and power. Just like the oyster suffers pain in growth, you have suffered pain in growth. The oyster covered his pain with something priceless. You have learned to cover your pain with something priceless as well…My Wisdom and Glory. Now I am lining up those pearls with a knot of grace between each one so that they will never fall in your lap again. As you learn to wear this necklace humble, I will use you greatly. At any given moment, I may ask you to give witness to one of the pearls. I will prompt you to explain how it came about and how I helped you through. This necklace, my child, is the key to your witness for the future.”

Over the years, I have felt like I have wasted time meditating on ‘what if’ I had made better decisions back then. Life would have been so different. Yet, I realized even if I had made wiser decisions, I would have eventually done something else that would have brought on a teachable moment for God.

I was going to go through training no matter what. If not with that decision, then there would have been another down the road shortly. We can’t avoid trouble forever. God designs our lives to be filled with instructional moments from a variety of sources because wisdom is gain in those precious times of distress.

Having this spiritual necklace reminds me that all is not lost and that God intends to use everything I go through for His glory. Even when I get off track, God makes the journey useful for me and for Him. Nothing is wasted and that brings me joy.

How about your pearls that came at a great price? Will you allow God to line them up and show you off? God is so proud of you and your accomplishments for Him, and your tenacity until the victory was won. You may feel at times that nothing ever goes right and that you have nothing to offer. Don’t despair! God is still planning on using you and your 'unseemly parts' to minister to many in the years to come. Wait and see.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Project Alert!

What projects lurk around your life
threatening to jump out
and intimidate you?

This week I have been sewing away on some cushion covers, which I had promised my daughter-in-law I would make. My son texted me last week with: How ‘bout them cushion covers. I texted him right back with: They’ll be in the mail next week. I am sad to say it had been 4 months since I had made the promise.

I have never made anything like cushion covers before so I felt a little intimidated and kept justifying the delay. The project required brushing up on rusty skills and mastering a few new ones. But the only way I was going to get the project done was to get it out and do it. Now, the added pressure of a deadline was good for motivation.

As I sewed along, I begin to ask myself why had I waited so long to finish this project. Mainly, I just kept thinking I would have more time on another day but more time on another day never came. As I kept on sewing, I began creatively envisioning what I needed to do to make the covers. Eventually, the thrill of seeing progress towards the finished product gently rose to the surface of my heart. I had gotten my mind off the excuses and on to the vision of completion. That was key. Now, my goal and the way to achieve it were clearly in focus.

Completing the cushion covers has had its rewards. First, a weight is taken off of my mind. Next, I did acquire more skill and a newfound confidence. Last but not least, the knowing that I was able to help my daughter in law turn her house into a beautiful home.

Our promises are so important. When we tell others we are going to do something, we need to make plans and set deadlines to do them. We hurt others and our credibility when we are not persistent to complete the task in a timely manner. Count the cost before you say “yes” or if possible, renegotiate the deadline. Being too busy is not really a good excuse for faltering on your word. People are depending on you.  (And as you can see, I am still tweaking this one.)

What has been distracting you from making time to finish what you have started? Have you made promises you need to keep? I challenge you to get a project out, make a deadline and start visualizing the finish line. At the end, I know you will be delighted with the benefits of completion.

Friday, October 5, 2012

He's Been Faithful!

Welcome Debbie Holman to Friday Friends! I met Debbie through a blogger friend of mine. I thought her testimony would be encouraging for those of you who are going through challenging situations right now.

Birthdays are suppose to be special, a day to celebrate. However, November 18, 1997 was not a birthday to be celebrated.  Not your usual, typical birthday. It was my birthday and the day my husband chose to announce to me he was leaving me for a sweetheart he had when he was in high school. No amount of begging or pleading would change his mind.

How would I explain this to my friends and church family! I was embarrassed, ashamed, and alone. How could I face them knowing what an active role my husband had taken in the church. Well, with much prayer and support from my mother, I went back to church. Offering to resign from leadership roles I held. No one wanted me to resign and I found my church family to be supportive.

Five weeks later on January 9, 1998, another devastating event happened in my life. My father died from complication from Alzheimer’s. What would I do now? The presence of my father was such a comfort to me. I was a daddy’s girl and I loved him very much!

What more could happen and how much did God expect me to endure? Losing my husband and father just five weeks apart was too much for one person to deal with. I would ask myself over and over:

  Where was God in all of this? Had He left me to deal with all of this alone?

One morning on my way to work, I put a CD in by one of my favorite singers, Babbie Mason. She was singing a song titled God Has Another Plan. I had never really listened to the words until that morning, when I listen to every word. In her song, she quotes Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil. To give you a future and a hope.

I played that song over and over on my way to work. Suddenly, it was as if a voice from within said to me:

“Debbie,trust me and have faith. I have a plan. For you are going through a storm now but
what a beautiful rainbow will follow the storm. I will carry you through this storm each and every day. I will give you hope and a future.”

If it had not been for this verse and my faith that God would provide that rainbow in the end of the storm, I could not have survived! He proved Himself faithful! Through all of these trials, I have become a stronger person and my faith has grown tremendously.

Now…When I hear of anyone I know going through storms in their life, I tell them:  

Look for the beautiful rainbow God has waiting for you 
after the storm.

Are you in the mist of a challenging situation? We all have trials and tribulations that come on suddenly and threaten to crush us. However, God promises us He will meet us there at the point of our need and carry us through until we can proclaim victory. Be encouraged. You are an Overcomer!