Monday, January 31, 2011


I love a play on words always have and the word doubt brings only one way to use it-even improperly doubt still means the same thing. When I say or read the word doubt I think of the legal meaning but even in that instance (beyond a reasonable doubt) it still means unsureness and uneasiness. It doesn't cut in any other way doubt only means doubt....funny there's no way to play on that word. So what do you see when you hear the word doubt? Do you see a picture or have an instance of doubt that you remember? I never associated this word with a picture, its not really a 'picture' sort of word. Except, I looked up pictures of doubt and many came up. I'm sure that most of you know the album covers of No Doubt (a band) came up several times, pictures of the band and etc. And pictures with the words "beyond a reasonable doubt" over a jury seating area were produced. And of course the posters of encouragement through doubt and uncertainty. Those all seem reasonable pictures of doubt, right? But I found another picture, one that caught my attention almost immediately when I was scrolling thru the images. The picture will follow but first I want you to know why I was drawn to this picture. I have been 'talking' (sort of) to a pastor lately because I am more than just somewhat depressed. I feel like I am swallowed by depression and anxiety, stress and on and on. And like a pastor is to fulfill, he has provided scriptures and a listening ear (sort of). Today, I sent him something new and after several times of re-writing to him how I felt, I answered my own question. You've done that right? Started with a question and by the end of the conversation you seem to answer your own question. Well that's what happened. I started with the "this is how I feel" and "I'm tired of it "and I can't figure it out" and "I want an answer". And by the end of my conversation, I came to this: "I have no doubt that God is good, I doubt that I will get to believe it again. I have no doubt that He can handle whatever I send toward Him (anger, questions, heavy heart), I doubt that I can handle the fear that goes along with the 'plan'. I don't doubt the peace He offers and gives, I fear not knowing that peace anytime soon again. Thats the truth of the matter doubt. Sad isn't it? That I think I'm doubting myself when I'm really doubting God." So what does doubt look like? James 1:6 says "...he must believe and not doubt because he who doubts is like a wave on the sea, blown and tossed like the wind." Not very encouraging, sorry that's not the meaning of using this scripture, it's to get the picture. Kind of looks like this picture doesn't it? Or does it? My doubt seems to be deeper than waves on the seas; or at least it does to me. The waves can be calmed they were calmed. The sea can be peaceful and its sound brings a peaceful feeling. My doubt is deeper and not waving or tossing, it is structured and confined and something that can not bring peace or be calmed. This is what doubt looks like- doesn't it? The word doubt does look like this in some fashion. Doubt means unsureness, uncertainty, unbelief. Doesn't this look like doubt? Bound to myself, standing alone in a desolate place on one foot, with my head lowered in defeat. Doesn't that picture scream the word doubt? If no other picture says doubt, this one simply does. Doubt is the one thing that I can not defeat, its the one thing that can control me with no way for me to get away from it, not even God. This is my doubt. What happened for this to become the picture of doubt for me? And will I ever not doubt and who is going to help? Jude 1:22 "Be merciful to those who doubt.." I have never read Jude and I just saw this on a search for the word doubt. But the section for this passage is named "A Call to Persevere" and its about saving those who have doubt and who are falling in the fire and the ability to 'snatch' them from the fire. Who is going to help me? I hoped to get answers immediately when I question God, but I'm not, not at all. When am I going to get out of this doubt? Again I wanted an answer and I'm not getting it. Why am I doubting? That I have an answer for. Because I can, I feel as though this is the answer to the why my family is going thru what we are going thru. But somewhere there is Someone who is merciful to me, merciful to know that at some time and some point in the far off future, the doubt will be gone. I just wish it was sooner rather than later. Maybe He will answer that request, maybe He knows I need to know when. But maybe not.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A 2nd Junior

Once again, I find myself at the beginning of a junior year of soccer. Starting off the season with evening workouts at open field, then try out week, and ultimately the waiting to see where my young player will land - varsity or jv. This spring is different tho, this spring is the beginning of a soccer season for my daughter, Jennifer, that is new and different. And this spring, I see her completely different, this year I see a young woman. I don't know exactly when she grew up, I couldn't even tell you what happened in the process of her growing up yet it happened. She grew from a brunette infant (yes brunette) to a spicy, hardheaded blonde who on occasion can be truly blonde. She has always been the more stable, more resilient, more sound minded, more reasonable of my 3 children and she is always my 'go to girl'. I can't explain her any other way than that, she is exactly all those words. She has something to say in all situations, usually with a smile or a smirk of smartness, but she finds the right thing to say at exactly the right moment. She is an expressive girl who is determined in a mission and flighty when you least expect it.

Jennifer never ceases to surprise or amaze me especially when I least expect it. This weekend at youth she spoke to the middle and high school groups on her life over the past 9 months. Something that I didn't find out about until Friday evening when Sydney, my youngest daughter, spilled the proverbial beans. Jennifer wanted it to be a surprise but it didn't quite work out the way she planned. So Sunday night, instead of going to my usual group meeting, I found myself, along with Lee, Sydney, and Danielle (a friend of the girls) standing in the front row of the youth meeting getting ready for worship (or a rock concert?). Jennifer didn't stand with us, she stood at the front of the stage - unafraid to worship God through the music with raised hands and closed eyes. Something I have not seen her do in our morning worship time. Then without delay Heath Caddell, the youth pastor, gave the students the usual announcements and then announced Jennifer. With her confident, nervous self she sat down on the stage and began to speak about herself and the things that happened from April 24th forward. A word to a group of youth friends that, I believe, knew that she was not well in the loss of her older brother and yet didn't pressure her to discuss her feelings. Jennifer, unfortunately, is a lot like me (sorry Sis it's true). She was unorganized and got off topic; she called her brother her best friend and his best friend her's too. She talked about being angry at God and finding comfort in other things. She talked about being the oldest and how to be strong, or not to be strong. She talked about being crushed and how she eventually heard God's voice. She talked about life. These are all the things that I heard as I am sure others did too. What they probably didn't hear were the unspoken words within the funny anticdotes as though she was having a conversation with someone other than a room full of people. I heard in those funny moments the multiple conversations that she had with Kaleb and now enjoys with Sydney. The flightly spontaneous jokes of her own amazement and giggle.

Jennifer is amazing in many ways, and many times over I have held onto something that I knew about her, that God has something special planned for her. I didn't know what but now I do. She told us she was nervous but she loved being able to speak about what God had brought her through and she told us that she knew that she was to be able to help someone else go through the same thing. Funny how when you least expect life to change you it does.
I love this 2nd Junior of mine, she is wise beyond her years, and loving beyond her heart. Her blue eyes sparkle even when her voice does not and she is the wisdom that she shouldn't be at 16 yrs of age. Proverbs 23:15 "My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right". I wonder why the Bible never says "daughter"? I know and understand that "sons" were the foundation of each family and most of the writers of the Bible being men and those leaders being men, spoke to their sons, but what about their daughters. I have 3 children, one who is with his God and 2 who are learning life without him as part of them. I know now, after Sunday evening, the Jennifer is the wise one, the one who speaks the truth and what is right. I know she is the heart that seeks God's living water and she is beaconing me and Lee to follow her. And yet there are very little times when I can find where "daughters" are wise in the Bible. I don't know or truly care why to be honest because at second glance at this verse it reads like this "my daughter, your heart is wise even though you may struggle, and my heart is glad even though you can not see it, and my spirit rejoices at the words you speak because they are right and true". I love this 2nd Junior of mine, she is forceful without force, she is lively without an additive and she speaks of life in the moment. I can not imagine my life without her and she is more part of this life and speaks of life more than I will ever understand, this from a Junior in High School. I wish I could redo my childrens' lives so I could take note of all their messages - don't you? So I ask, what are your daughters and sons trying to tell you? How are they getting through without you knowing? Are they seeing, hearing, and going though something that you don't understand? I bet there is something that you're missing, I know I did (and not once but twice - once with Kaleb and now with Jennifer - I wonder what Sydney will hold for me). So the slow down is what it is, the slow down to start hearing, paying attention, noticing, releasing and at the same time regathering of my childrens' wisdom.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

"Caught between a rock and a hard place" - I hate to say this but I love this saying! I think it truly speaks to life. The other one that I like which really has no meaning was "put want in one hand and s*** in the other and tell me which one wieghs more" - of course this one is just from my mother who used this saying to make a point. I like the the first statement much more! I mean think about it a rock and a hard place makes it sound like you really have yourself in a place that you can't get out of and you can't go back. Right? That's really what it means, when you get right down to it you don't want to go forward and you can't go back. And you find yourself inevitably between a rock and a hard place; somthing like the turtle in this picture. And since I'm on a 'saying' kick this "picture is worth a thousand words!" I wonder if he thought after he got over the log he would be home free, my guess, yes. And I'm guessing it took a lot of work, worry, struggling. scratching, tucking in, and wiggling before he got himslef out of that hardplace, or rock.

I have found myself in those places too; found myself between rocks and hardplaces and struggling to figure out what to do without being able to go back. And usually when I'm in those positions I tend to start reminising on how exactly I got myself into those places. How it happened that the rock that I moved out of only lead to a hardplace where I started wishing I could go back to the rock! I wouldn't call that poor decision making, I would call it misleading, of which I am very familiar. Why misleading? Because when I make a decision the result is brought about by the option of several choices. Misleading is truly the more correct description of finding myself between a rock and a hardplace because the decision, at that time, only offered one option. The option that I see, the only option that seems the way, and it is more than 100% of the time (if there is such a thing) misleading. And its usually at those time, the times when I finally get away from the rock and realize that the hardplace is ahead of me, that I probably need help. (Notice I wait until the last possible moment to ask.) I also tend to look to people, money, things, etc, to get the help and generally find no one to help. Psalms 18:41 "They cried for help, but there was no one to save them -". I'm not sure but I believe that this was in reference to the Isrealites trying to get out of Egypt and my personal laziness has delayed me in reading on in this passage. But it sounds like the Isrealites to ask for help of man and look for help when they were nothing more than slaves. (I have to say that the only thing I have really learned about the Isrealites is that they wanted someone else to lead them and they tend to whine a lot ~ hummm.) And yet, it was a man who God sent to lead them out of Egypt and it was right away from their rock into their hardplace (and for 40 yrs I might add!). I am in a hardplace and I'm trying to find that 'man' to lead me out of it and without misleading direction, this by the way is not working out to well for me, Moses hasn't showed up. So who am I looking for? And who do I get to help me out of this place?? Anyone...I'm open for suggestions at this point. Or am I? I don't want to be mislead, I do that for myself quite efficiently without someone else helping. Psalms 22:11 "Do not be far from me, trouble is near and there is no one to help." I love David, I just have to say that he could go from one sentence being angry and mad at God to the next breath praising Him and asking for His help. Isn't that what David is doing here? "There is no one to help", so if there is no one to help, no man to offer his assistance, support, confidence, direction, why would David ask God to stay near? What could He possibly do or offer at this point? And whould He even listen after the ramblings of angry words and dwendling faith? I know, as I'm sure you do, that He did help David. But I'm willing to bet that David didn't know whether or not God would help...but he had faith.
Between a rock and a hardplace. Maybe I'm suppose to be here for a while and stop looking for a way out. Maybe I'm just suppose to be...and find faith, again.

psalms 18:41; 22:11

2chron 14:11

Friday, January 7, 2011


How many times do you wish you had a new life? A different life? A new place, family, things? The proverbial "grass is greener" statement seems to ring true throughout all of our lives no matter what situation we are in or where were are living. Have you noticed that? Have you ever been in the 'perfect' situation, 'perfect' job, 'perfect' life, and see someone who has one thing, not 2 or 3, but one thing that makes their life to appear "better"? I have done that my whole life; literally my whole life. (Go ahead confess and say you have too.) I want whatever I know is impossible or improbable to obtain, always have and on many levels no matter how hard I attempt to ignore or avoid those 'desires' they seem to sneak in anyway. I begin to decipher how I can get that thing, how I can change my life to obtain that thing that I don't have, don't need, and in reality don't really want but have to have. I start working out in my head a long term plan to obtain that one thing that can make the impossible possible. No matter what I am going to get that thing and I'm going to plan the trip or road to get that thing, that one new thing.

I have, over the past months, wanted more than anything to have a new life, a new day every day, a new anything that will make my life more enjoyable, pleasing, anything, just something new. And I have planned, determined, re-routed, and changed some things in my current life to get to a new life....unfortunately without success. Even to the extent of making a resolution to write every day and in an attempt to write every day to spark a devotional daily to get 'closer' to God (whatever that means). A new thing. (Just a note...I'm 4 days behind, I don't know how well this is working out for me.) Again I'm struggling to find something new and get to a point of achieving it ... and quickly if at all possible. This morning, in an attempt to get to wherever I'm going quickly, I picked up my devotional to find something that would be inspiring! (Come on admit it thats what you look for too.) I didn't find it by the way. But I did find something new "I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that gentle before me and the children be able to endure." So in all honesty, how many of you have heard this before? Or any version of this? Anyone? So it's "new". Do any of you have any idea what this means or where to find it? I didn't and I'm guessing neither do you. (And truthfully I had to read this about 6 times before I went on.) First because I couldn't believe that this verse, or any version of it, was actually in the Bible. And second, I had no clue what it had to do with any type of devotional. It didn't spark my interest, it did spark doubt but remember I'm trying this new thing on an almost daily basis, so I read on, in total skepticism. I read the first paragraph and the questions were answered. The words were Joshua's to the Isrealites as they started back to the promised land...something 'new'. Joshua told the people he was leading that he was only going to lead as far as the cattle and children would go each day. And he said this because none of them he was leading, except for Caleb, had been this way before and they did not know how difficult the trip was going to be. The words kind of make sense now don't they.

I'm on a trip to a new life, believe it or not, I am, knowing it or not, I am, wanting it or not, I am. And I am trying to get thru it quickly, a true statement of me - run thru it and get to the end quickly to get my new thing! But I'm not being allowed, for lack of a better word, to go quickly. And each time I do move quickly, I get to go back and re-do...that's all just re-do. I don't know what lies ahead of me, I don't know what the land before me holds, but someone does. And He keeps trying to slow me down and have me go only as far as I can each day, only as far as the cattle and children could endure, that's how far He wants me to go to this new life. I am resisting by the way, just in case you aren't getting that, I am resisting the slowness. Why? Because it means that I have to face things I would rather not face. I have to address issues I would rather sweep under the rug. I have to believe things I would rather not accept. So I get to re-do and slow down. I don't know what my families new life holds, I don't really know if I want to know. But eventually I will get to the 'new', without loosing the things I went thru, without forgetting my 'old' life and without 'missing' the journey.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is There Something To Look Forward To?

I am always a forward looker (that can't be good english but oh well). I like to look forward to something that is coming up or what needs to happen by such and such date. And I know that there are some of you out there too. With that type of personality, I tend to be a procastinator! The wonderful art of delaying one project in the prospect of a different project coming to fruition much sooner....don't try to call it something else, its procastination. Except lately, I haven't had much to look forward to, I haven't even looked forward to riding any of my has been more of a job as opposed to something to look forward to. Something thats very odd for me, if you know me, its not really me to admit or say that about my horses.

That leads me to my question, is there something to look forward to? And if so, what? I am, by the way, open to any suggestions that may be out there lingering around. And my post from yesterday wasn't a 'looking' forward type thing to me it is a day by day thing something that I am, with all possible integrity, going to attempt to do every morning. That in and of itself is different that looking forward to something. So I still wonder if there is something to look forward to? Something that might spark a fire in my heart and spirit? Something to bring a light to my eyes and lightening of my life. Actually anything would be good at this point. And like my post from yesterday, I am still a couple days behind but I am attempting to stay devoted to a morning devotional time. And yesterday, yes yesterday, I started on January 1 for the devotional Streams in the Desert, sent to me by a friend of a friend last summer, and the year starts of with looking forward. I didn't honestly get it yesterday...more likely I didn't want to get it yesterday. I didn't want to know what there might be ahead for me and my family; and with that, I ignored the looking foward. I think that was the first problem because on January 2 the devotion was very lost to me,may more over my head than anything, so I went back to January 1 and re-read the brief scripture that was the base for the devotional.... Dueteronomy 11: 10-12. "The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eys of the lor you God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end." First, you should know that for the longest time I thought that Dueteronomy was like Book II of the Bible. And I had no idea what the story of the Isrealites really was, well except the one that is told on TV every year. Remember, my journey with God didn't really start for me until 3 years ago. Second, you should know that when I read this yesterday (3 days late) I just read it because I decided to start doing a devotional and that's the only reason. Today, I am looking for something to answer my question...anything really. So what do I have to look forward to? Well not much from my personal perspective, but remember I'm looking for anything at all. And the answer I have is no, that's my answer. But I believe somewhere in my spirit that yes there is; I don't know or want to know what that is right now. And truthfully I don't want to look forward to anything; again my personal perspective. And yet, 3 days late to open up my devotional, there is a looking forward. I don't know much about the Isrealite except the usual. They were in Egypt, they were sent a prophet, Moses, and they were led out of Egypt after several plagues on the Egyptians, they received the 10 commandments while they were worshipping a false idle, and it took forever (actually 40 yrs) to get to the 'promised land'. I didn't know that God had told them so many things, that He told them what to look forward to, that they were going to posses the land, that they were going to do it freely with Him ahead of them. I didn't know alot more than that, and whether you admit it or not, I bet you didn't either. He did exactly that, He told them they wouldn't have to toil in the promised land, that they would have something to look foward to that was going to be 'given' to them. Something to look forward to!

How does this relate to me? Well I don't know but my guess is this....God has a plan and it may take me forever to get to the plan but He has it and when I get there to the place that He wants me to be, things will be easier. Sounds good huh?! Well that is if I'm willing to see it for what it is and 'take' possession of it. Not so sure if I'm there. I think I'm still the metaphorical Egypt, the place where I am toiling to get things to come to fruition or lack thereof. The place in my life where no matter what I feel like I am struggling to believe in something, anything better. But somewhere, out there, is the place that God has waiting for me, the place that I can believe and trust Him. The place that is filled with rains from heaven. The place that I can look forward to, the 'something' to look forward to. So is there something to look forward to? I want to believe there is, and He says there is, even if I'm not making it there yet or even in the future anytime soon, it's still there....something to look forward to.

(I should say that I have been in the 'anything' before catagory and it's not all it's cracked up to be. So this is a caveat for those reading this that might not be believers. When I was looking for anything at all in my life, I found things that were exactly that - anything. And those out there supplying the anything prey on those of us looking for anything. So be careful, be skeptical of the anything that sounds good on the surface because it probably isn't the anything your are really looking for.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year..

Yes a New Year and why its in caps I have yet to figure out except that the english department at a college or university somewhere in the world decided that those words were to be used as 'proper nouns'. So much to the affect that at sometime in the past some author or artist drew the New Year Baby and Grandfather Time, my guess is to show a new start and the passing age of old times, simply put the past year. The affect has carried on for years now and this year I wonder if its even proper (by the way this is not an english class-just a tangent). Is a 'new year' a proper noun or just a collection of two words used as a phrase to describe something coming in the following sentence? My guess, and simply a guess, it is the latter. For example, 'New Years Resolution' (an I am aware that I did not put an apostrophe a proper english would prefer between the r and the s in years-that was on purpose); is 'New Years" the noun or "resolution"? Resolution is followed by the descriptive action that one decides to take in the coming year. That's why we say, 'my new years resolution is....' not 'my new year is.....' So then why do we capitalize New Year? What purpose does it have to capitalize it and make it stand out and not all year long? I believe it is to establish a new beginning for each of our lives, even tho truthfully very few of us set a new standard and stick to it, we put ourselves to the test of a new .... something.

I've personally never made a 'new years resolution', I am not one to try to make promises even tho I do and then fail at keeping them, I knew for me a 'resolution' was not the way to make me begin keeping a promise I knew I wouldn't keep. But, yesterday, and I'm not sure when, I came to a realization that I needed to attempt a promise to myself and this is it. I am, to all possibilities, going to attempt, not promise, to write here every day this year. The goal is not to write everyday but to have a devotional time with God everyday and write here what I believe God is trying to tell me through that devotional time. I'm not a prayer, its actually been a struggle to pray for me since April, but on some level I hope that this time writing will be my prayer time.

To Auld Lang Syne...which means in Scottish, to Old Long Ago, and the poem, yes poem, is not about forgetting but remembering those friends of the past and their friendships and life in our life. My new year's resolution... to take those times of the past, remember them forever and those in them, find a new promise in this year and heal those things which I am knowingly carrying forward with God's help. So there it is, 3 days late to start, and beginning badly, my resolution. What will yours be? And will it be reachable?