Thursday, March 27, 2014


My friend had a dream.  In her dream she opened her wallet and it was empty.  Everything in her wallet was gone.  There were no credit or debit cards.  Her driver's license was missing.  There were no coffee shop stamp cards.  Her money was gone.  Nothing.  Everything was missing.  After she told me about her dream I thought about it quite a bit.  I wanted to analyze interpret it.  I wondered what it could mean.  Did it really mean something or was it just one of those dreams we have and then forget about later?  Was the meaning about watch the spending--give it all away--fear of not having enough?

I am not sure if it meant any of those things.

But what I do know and what God whispered in my ear is that He wants us stripped free of all earthly things.  He wants us not bound to anything--not money, not the security of a debit or credit card, not the hope of a free coffee after getting our ten stamps, not to our family, not our past purchases or lists of things to get done.  But stripped down to nothing--empty of the world's expectations, the world's standards and values and the worlds viewpoint of what we should hold close to us.  Empty so HE can fill us up.

And then God reminded me of a vision that I had around Christmas time.  I was driving through Skagit County on a cloudy, grey, rainy day.  The trees around me were stripped of all their green.  They looked dead.  They looked empty.  The world around me looked bleak and dead and depressing.  There were no flowers, but dead blooms that needed pruning. The bushes were bare limbed plants.  And it was December--just weeks away from celebrating the birth of Jesus--the promise of eternal life.  The promise of a forgiven life.  A promise of light and new life.

And I looked around and I saw no evidence of new life--no promise of green or sun or new growth.  But God reminded me that He chose this time of the year for Jesus to be born---He was born at night, in a barn when the trees were bare and the air was cold and the skies were grey.  A time when the flowers were dead and absent. The only way to really know this promise is to empty ourselves and free ourselves of the world and all the things that hold us to what we deem important.

Where we want things to be in place--to know that we have what we "need"--to want to always have fresh flowers, to have green leaves on the branches--God doesn't see our lives like that.  He says empty yourselves.  When things seem dead and desolate, this is where God does His best work in us.

When the skies are dark
When the trees seem dead,
When there are no fresh flowers.
When no one if present.
When all seems stripped away.
And our reserves are empty.

God gives us life.
God gives us His life.
His Son.
His hope.

Empty ourselves
so He can fill us up.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Identity Crisis

In the book of Daniel, God shares the lives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  When they were brought to Babylon “the chief of staff renamed them with Babylon names.” (Daniel 1:7)  Their names were changed because he wanted them to become Babylonian. 

The name Daniel means “God is my judge” in Hebrew.  His name was changed to Belteshazzar.  Bel means “to protect his life”.  Bel also was called Marduk who was the chief Babylonian god.

The name Hananiah means “the Lord shows grace”.  Hananiah’s name was changed to Shadrach which meant “under the command of Aku (moon god)”.

The name Mishael means “who is like God”.  Mishael’s name was changed to Meshach which meant “who is like Aku”.

The name Azariah means “the Lord helps”.  Azariah name was changed to Abednego which meant “servant of Nego/nebu (the god of learning and writing)”. 

I think of the labels that I allowed to be attached me throughout the years.  Ugly. Dirty. Fat. Disgusting.  Unworthy.  Guilty.  The one who  does not belong.  Not good enough. 

These labels were given to me from traumas, events, from others, from unwise decisions and choices. I saw these labels so often that I began to believe these “new names” that were given to me.  I began to allow these names to dictate my thoughts, actions, and choices.  When God knit me together in my mother’s womb, he said I was his child.  He said that I was loved.  He said I was perfect.  But those names were changed.  The enemy tried his best to strip from me my birthright of the identity that God gave me before I was even born. I started to become what the enemy wanted me to believe about myself…so that I would not be able to complete the plans that God had for me. 

Labels are like having your name changed just as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah experienced.  But there is amazing…great…incredible news.  Our God given name can never be stripped from us.  It may feel like it.  It may appear that way.  We may look in the mirror and see an identity that is distorted, but God’s identity is woven through each cell of our body.  We are His children.  We are loved.  We are His.  That is who we are. 

Many of us may say, “you don’t know what I have done” or “you don’t know what’s been done to me” or “I am could never see myself that way”.  But let me tell you…someone who has rolled around in the mud and mire…one who has walked in the dark…one has sinned and been sinned against….You are His…I am His.  That is our identity.  The labels, the past, the things we hold on to every day…those are not from God.  God’s identity comes from pure, unconditional love.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We are not defeated.

I opened my eyes in the dark of my bedroom, covers piled high, and the silence of the early morning surrounding me.  Although the room was silent, my thoughts were loud and constant.  From the moment my eyes opened and the time my bedside clock alerted me to the thoughts raced.  I began to talk to God as I always do...but noticed that for the past few weeks...maybe even months my own thoughts interrupt.  My precious quiet time with the Lord in the quiet of my room is flooded with negative thoughts of defeat.  I wake up defeated.  I wake up already done...already to pull out of the game.  I drag through the day with defeat on my mind and defeat in my step.  This morning I did it again.  I was going to get up early and hop on my elliptical machine...but decided the warmth of my covers was more important.  So I woke up defeated.  Why didn't I get up I asked myself.  I am so lazy I told myself.  I got up...and walked in the bathroom...I looked in the mirror...instead of seeing me...I saw my friends who work out...who are fit and motivated...I saw them and their accomplishments...and then I saw myself...the one who doesn't exercise...who isn't fit...whose body isn't where she wants it.  I see the person who has dreams, but isn't doing any of them.  I see the job I don't really like and ask why I am there.  I see the things I think are not good.

I spend more time in prayer...I talk to God.  Because in the interruptions of my own thoughts, that what I do, talk to God.  I hear Him ask me to get on my knees and hear His voice.  So I get on my knees right there on the bathroom floor.  I have to bow down low so that I can hear.  I have to put my face on the ground so that I can hear.  God says that I right where the enemy wants me.  Defeated.  Defeated before I even start my day.  Defeated so I won't do the things God has called me to do.  Encourage.  Solace.  That's what God has called me to do.  How can I do that if I am defeated and discouraged?  God says that I am not too old...that I am right where He wants me.  That all I have to do is remember who has called me...who is my strength...who defines me...who says I am NOT defeated but that the enemy has already been defeated..that I am His.

I get up off of my knees and when I look in the mirror this time, I see what God wants me to do today.  He gives me some names of people I know...He wants me to pray for them...He wants me to encourage them.  So I do.  Not because I think I have something that is better, but because I have been in the mud and mire.  Because I have felt defeated.  Because I have been lost.  And God saved me.  God wants me to see through His eyes and not mine.

I may still "feel" with my emotions the "I am not good enough", but I see with my eyes that God say "I am good enough". We have to rise above the emotions and see through the lens of God's eyes.  Emotions go up and down.  God is always the same.  That is why we must keep our eyes on Jesus.  Earlier I told about a dream I had where Mother Teresa told me to keep my eyes on Jesus.  And it is in these times, I remember her words and her hand on my eyes...because that is why God gave me that dream.

God never changes.
Who we are to God never changes.
So I encourage you today to not give up on our God...because He never gives up on us.
I encourage you today that no matter what you thought when you woke up this morning...God is for you and not against you.
I encourage you to dive in to His Word...get on your knees...pray.
Chose God's thoughts today.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Redeemed. Restored. Rescued. Returned.


God does these incredible things.
God alone.
His love.
His grace.
His mercy.
His promise.
His Word.
God alone.
His hand reaches down...His peace wraps around us like a blanket.  

He redeems all who were lost.
     He restores all who were broken.
          He rescues all who were held captive.
               He returns all who were went the wrong way.

I remember hearing all of ears were fed these words....they came in by those who loved me...they registered in my thoughts...but as fast as they came in...they went out.  I heard them.  I believed them...for them and others but not me.  If you hear these words and these PROMISES...and you can't quite let them be words for you...
     Stop and read them again.
           Try to understand that they are for you and me....they really are.  Just let yourself believe them even for a minute.\
   Are you saying that God's Word isn't true...that God doesn't mean what He says,,,that you don't trust Him?  I know that is not what you want to think.  But how can we say those words aren't meant for us and believe the Bible at the same time?  
Redeemed you are.
Restored you are.
Rescued you are.
Returned you are.

Even if you don't believe it....I do.
Remember this is my past: Rape. Date Rape. Dated every boy. Two abortions. Made many many bad decisions.  Had my first daughter without being married.  Divorced.  Made an immoral decision that lost trust of many people. (And some of these things I did when I knew Jesus).   But I am Redeemed.   I am Restored.  I was Rescued.  My life was Returned.
I am a new person.
I couldn't believe it.
But I do.
I didn't want to believe it.
But I do.

I am free. 
If you need prayer...please leave a comment or private message me on facebook.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Do you flee to God or the other way?

Beth Moore gave her blogging community a homework assignment.

Go to her blog to see the full assignment (Beth Moore Living Proof Ministries.)

The gist of her assignment was to look at three different versions of Isaiah 30:15-18
choose the one that spoke to you the most
look up the work "threat" in the dictionary and state what is a threat in your life in this season
describe what the word fleeing looks like to you
compare 1Peter 5:8-10 and James 4:7 to the Isaiah scripture
And then write about it in the comments of her blog.

First, I love looking at different bible versions of the same scripture.  I get so much insight in to what God is conveying to us as believers of His Word.  And I love defining words and comparing them to my life or scripture gets me excited!

So here is my version of the assignment:

NLT, MSG, AMP (the three versions I compared)
Isaiah 30:15-18 AMP (the one I chose that spoke to me the most)
 15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not,16 And you said, No! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]! Therefore will they who pursue you be swift, [so swift that]17 One thousand of you will flee at the threat of one of them; at the threat of five you will flee till you are left like a beacon or a flagpole on the top of a mountain, and like a signal on a hill.18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

Threat:  an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage (
I know that I have experienced much in my life, many hurts, many poor choices, many traumas which now I see and hold on to as a gift.  My story is God’s gift so that I can be an instrument for Him.  At this season of my life as others are beginning to see the restored me, I feel the threat of not “feeling good enough”, believing I have wasted too much time and I can’t minister to others, and retreating to the quietness of my home instead of engaging in fellowship with others. The threat is in the damage to my Christ given identity.  The treat is the voice of the enemy that I combat each day.  The threat is in the “hurry up if you don’t do something you wasted your life” voice I hear.
Fleeing:  In my life fleeing has two looks for me:  One is to retreat to the four walls of my home and not engage in the world.  The other is to try to move things along in a hurried way so that I feel as if I did try, but failed…failed because I went ahead or beyond what I was suppose to do.  I give up, let go, forget the idea, create my own plan…the list goes on.
The insight that God gave me through this exercise is that in everyone’s life the threat of the enemy is there.  The threat looks different to different people.  For one it may be a person, to another being held captive by their past, for another fear of being exposed, another food or alcohol issues, poor decisions, traumas, etc.  The threat “damages” the path that God has for us.  The “threat” damages our identity, our value and our worth.
The “threat” can make us flee from God’s plan or we can press in to God and trust His plan. We can flee from our purpose or we can flee to God and know that His love, His hope, His path is the safe place.  Sometimes we flee back to the thing we are most comfortable in…which can be the destructive, hurt of our past…why not…it is what we know best.  And this is where the choice has to be made.  Because as James 4:7 says we must “humble ourselves before God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  God restores, redeems, and rescues.  I know.  I have been redeemed from the death grip of the enemy.  But I also know how easy it is to feel the “threat” of the enemy and “flee” back to my own way instead of first fleeing in to the arms of Jesus. 

If you would like to do this on my blog or add to Beth's that would be so fun!  Beth had us write it on a word document first and then copy and paste.

Or if you just want to tell me what is a "threat" in your life right now or something you are "fleeing" from, I would love to hear and pray for you.

Love you all,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Garbage Day

Monday is garbage day at my house.  All week we fill the outdoor garbage can with bags from the inside. We dump them in the plastic blue and brown cans...attach the lids.  On Monday mornings we go around the house and empty the garbage form the bathrooms and the last from the kitchen.  We pull the cans to the end of the driveway, set them at the curb, and wait.  We wait for a big truck to come to our neighborhood, grab our trash cans and dump them in the back of their truck.  They set the cans back down...empty.  They take the's gone.  Whatever I put in that garbage can is gone.  I bring the empty cans back up to the house to be filled up again.  Throw it away...Take it away...Fill it up again.

I love garbage day.  When the garbage person comes with their big truck and carries away my garbage...I know I will never see that garbage again.  It is gone.

During the day...During the week...our past...our life can seem to fill, be filled with garbage.  Word garbage. Anger garbage.  Hurt garbage.  Unforgiveness garbage.  Abandonment, rejection, lonely garbage.  We tell ourselves garbage.  We hear garbage.  We see garbage.

What can we do with all of this garbage?

We open our bibles and read...soak in...believe the Word of God.

The TRUTH penned in between the worn black leather bound book that I carry from room to holds hope.  It holds restoration.  It takes all of the garbage and tosses it away...and the mind, my heart is refilled with Him.

I sounds so simple.  I know that we can read the Word and not believe it.  I have been there.  I have taken that garbage right back and refilled my mind and heart with it.  But the more and more I let God be God and believe every word in the bible...I know that the only place to get rid of my garbage is to open my Bible and read and choose every day to believe it for me.

My challenge to you today is to let God take your garbage away for good.

You are worth it.

You have purpose...and you are loved.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My God Sized Dream(s)

GOD Sized Dreams
Dream God-sized Dreams
I am reading "Do What You Can" Plan 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better (an EBook) by Holly Gerth.  This book is about understanding your God Sized Dreams and taking one step at a time to work towards those dreams.

Today's post is to share my God Sized Dream(s).  My dream is to work full time with the non profit I founded (What Is Beautiful) so that with God I can encourage and minister to women that are held captive by their past, seek their identity in destructive areas, and desire restoration for their lives. Part of my God Sized Dream is to finish my book, create a small group, lead a book study, and whatever doors God opens the doors to.

This all seems so big to me and I can get overwhelmed, causing me stop dead in my tracks...not doing anything at all.  I begin to think of my age...46...I think I am too old and by the time things fall in to place it will be too late.  I begin to think I waited to long.  I begin to think that no one will care what I have to say.  I begin to get discouraged and then I don't do anything at all.  My book stays in the the file folder.  The edits stay on the paper. 

God doesn't see things the way I do.  I see limits.  God sees His plan.  I think it's too late.  God says it is never too late.  I see walls in front of me.  God sees open doors.  I see the impossible.  With God all things are possible. 

Holly Gerth says "do the next thing".  

Take action.

Do something small.

Then do that again and again and thing at a time. 

"God-sized dreams aren't really about size at all they are about embracing and pursuing the desires God has placed within your heart that perfectly fit who you are."  Holly Gerth  

So as 2013 begins, I lay my God sized dream out there...

Launch What Is Beautiful to reach the lost through encouragement and sharing my story of restoration.  Part of that dream is to finish the book I have started.  My dream is to do work in this ministry full time.

So there it God sized dream.

Step one.  Finish edits on chapter 2.  
Step two.  Share chapters one and two with 2 people for editing.
Step three.  Share my God sized dream and ask for prayer and mentoring.