A Letter To Michael

I know I already gave birth to you.

I know your birth was too soon. Since Dec 18th I know that I will get to hold you in my arms someday.

This weekend would have been the time I would have brought you into this world and cradled you close. Your due date was July 15th (give or take a few, I am sure). I would have counted every finger and toe. I would have kissed your cheeks. I would have marvelled at every movement and sound from you.

But my arms are empty and Heaven seems too far away today.

Your birth had a purpose that I am still waiting for. I know the purpose and the blessing that comes with it.

Life as I know it now is full of much more hope because of you. I love deeper, bigger and wider.

You are loved and I know that you know this the best out of anyone because you reside with Love now.

Happy “unofficial” birthday dear one!

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Legacy: kindness?

Something heavy on my heart are the power of words. With my job, too often I see kids walk through our doors beat up from the words and actions of adults in their life. Kids come in with heads hung low or hiding deep wounds made by someone’s tongue.

Choose your words wisely. Your words can either help someone or hinder them. The same can be said about yourself.

The words one hears; the words spoken over someone, to someone, and about someone all become a part of the individual who is being spoken to. If these words are damaging, unfortunately it becomes a part of them.

Parents and family members, if you are trash talking another person that is related to your children, keep in mind that you are hurting your children. Your temporary pleasure of acting out in anger is not worth the abuse on your children’s heart and soul.

Be kind.

Speak kindly.

Choose to love. Stop the words of hate from exiting your mouth.

Be better.

Do better.

You were made to live in a way that helps and blesses others, especially your children, who are here to carry the legacy you leave behind.

What will your legacy be?

Warrior

Dear heart, arise and lift your head up.

Do you have the courage to face the day even amidst your darkest hour? When the battle is thick and a cloud of darkness is all you can see surrounding you, will you choose to be brave and press on?

The Lord, like a fierce lion is in pursuit. He sees you and your eyes lock. In His eyes you see victory and a love so fierce that fills your soul to continue pressing on through each assailant. In that instant, a light bursts forth ahead piercing the darkness.

Mighty God, the Lion of Judah, smashes every assailant in your path. He leads you to victory. His roar makes the whole earth tremble. Justice has just been dealt. Laughter echoes into the valleys. The waters and bubbling brooks dance with joy.

He lifts you up. You stand triumphant looking upon your enemies, every foe has been laid low. New breath fills your lungs.

Every ounce of blood and every fallen tear has been worth the journey to get here.

His roar brings victory. His breath restores life. His laughter scatters the rest of your enemies.

He has made you victorious!

The Road To Magnolia Glen

Adventure, risks, murder, hope, and love. The Road to Magnolia Glen is a joyful read. Filled with suspense and hope from beginning to end, this fiction story will be sure to provide an enjoyable escape from life.

Pam Hillman intertwined characters and histories to bring together a great story. The love of God is gently woven into the pages portrayed mostly through the characters courageous acts to help strangers, brothers and families. A love story blooms from tragedy. Good triumphs over evil.

Overall, the book is enjoyable because it is a relaxing read. Was the story predictable? Yes, but at the same time I wanted to read more to find out if any twists or turns had occurred within the plot. Do you fall in love with the characters? Yes and ultimately you desire to have the stubborness from Quinn and Kiera bring them together in the end. I would continue reading this series after reviewing The Road To Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

Better Had You

Recently I have entered into an interesting season contending for breakthrough. As an intercessor some seasons can be more intense than others. A week ago words flooded my mind as I put pen to paper. The words were from the perspective of the individual(s) I had been praying for.

This is not what I normally share but perhaps you may feel led to pray for the thousands just like this. Rise up and foster, adopt and step up to love kids in abusive situations.

“Your words hit me like a ton of bricks in my gut. Your neglect and words beat me until I can no longer breathe.

Better had you hit me with your fists. Better had you slammed my head into the door. At least with those bruises others who could save me would see. Better had you given me welts on my skin so that teachers, pastors, counselors and friends could document my pain. If you had only hit me physically, I would already be safe at my loving home.

But you choose to injure my heart and torture my soul. By your words and neglect you leave me for dead. I have to live by myself surrounded by wolves hoping I can stay safe enough where I am.

I am so close to safety. I am so near to love. Every chance you get it gives you pleasure to rob me of those two gifts.

Why won’t you let me go?”

It is a sad reality if one is wishing to be beat in hopes of someone noticing other forms of abuse.

To all those suffering like this we call you safely home. We call you into arms ready to love and care for you. You are loved.

In The Thick Of It

Are you waiting for promises?

The more I learn about perseverance the more I realize how much work goes into seeing promises come to fruition. If you are expecting a promise to just magically appear without any struggle or waiting period, you will be full of disappointment. Promises do not come without a battle. The bigger the promise the bigger the battle. On the same note the bigger the promise the bigger the victory will be.

While you are in the thick of it remember that God is faithful.

Expect a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. Anything worth having does not come easy. It will come with risks and challenges.

In my past I used to feel so defeated when month after month victory seemed so out of reach. Instead of seeing how close victory was I either complained, felt sorry for myself or put on pride and told God, “I got this now because obviously you are not doing anything.”

Lord, forgive me for those times! I could have chosen praise rather than believing the lie of defeat. I could have stood my ground. I could have laughed in the face of the enemy.

But that was the past.

Today I choose to stand my ground.

Today I choose joy.

Today I choose to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord.

Today I laugh in the face of the enemy.

I continue to laugh as he flees.

I laugh my way into victory!

The Step Or Bonus

You are important.

You matter.

As a Stepmom Mother’s day is a strange day. It is filled with tension and love. By Monday I feel like I can take a deep breath and finally relax after Sunday is complete.

If you are a fellow Stepmom you know that some may acknowledge your role while others will not. Some of you desperately need and want to be accepted if it is a simple, “Thank you”.

This year Mother’s day is difficult for other reasons for me. Some reasons I will not share in this post but will reserve for another time.

I do not need a day like Mother’s day. I am blessed knowing that I am important and valued by those that matter most to me. I am often celebrated multiple times a year. I am blessed!

But the day does lead to other struggles and I would be happy to skip the day all together.

It will be the 3rd year without my Mom here. Even though the Lord has removed the deep grief I used to live with, the day is filled with a twinge of sadness. I am so blessed to have others in my life who love me like a daughter and I know that my Mom would be happy for these beautiful ones who cherish me so.

The day also brings an awkwardness as my daughter struggles. My desire is for her to love and cherish her Mom. As she grapples and struggles through her situation it is difficult to see her be put into situations that she never should have to be put in. She is a model of bravery and courage as she battles to love everyone even at the expense of her heart from one side.

Finally as Mother’s day approaches I grieve my baby. I should have been 30 weeks pregnant.

It was going to be a celebration of this beautiful miracle. Life should have been moving and growing within me as my family of 3 anticipated the arrival of number 4 this summer.

Despite the struggles I have new hope, and have found joy in letting go. I look forward to what is to come this year. In fact, the more I spend time allowing Jesus to heal my mind, body & soul, the more I laugh at what the enemy has attempted to destroy. It is payback year and the dues must be paid. Justice and victory are coming.

For those of you struggling with similar things I encourage you to know that God hears every hearts cry. He sees every tear that falls. He is for you and your family whether you are acknowledged for loving and caring for your kids or not. Whether you are a Foster Mom, Stepmom (bonus Mom), Adoptive Mom, or Grandma who has taken on the role of Mom- you are seen, known, and valued. Your kids need you. The enemy will try to tell you otherwise and others will jump on that bandwagon but it will never change the truth.

You are important.

You are valued.

You matter.

Keep loving no matter who tries to stop you.

Stand Your Ground

Lately I keep being reminded to stand my ground. Every time I cannot help but think of The Princess Bride. You know the scene I am talking about:

“I am the dread pirate Roberts. There will be no survivors…”

Only it sounds like, ” I am the dwread piwate woberts.” I smile every time I think about it which is probably one of the reasons why I keep being reminded to stand my ground.

There is much to be said when you can laugh in the face of your circumstances because you know victory is on the horizon. Victory does not come without a battle. Opposition will come and there will be moments that stretch you and break your heart.

Stand your ground.

When the darkness surrounds you and the ones that you love, it can get easy to lose focus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Do not look to the right or to the left. The enemy is a liar and a cheat. He takes cheap shots. He does not play by the rules.

But God is bigger, grander, and the ultimate judge.

God has already had the final word.

Don’t Be Boring

I have never wanted to live a boring life.

Boring is over-rated. Boring does not leave a legacy that births revivals and love. Boring changes nothing. Boring leaves stagnant waste and leaves people questioning purpose rather than living abundantly in love.

I would rather live my life having given every breath to speak words of truth & love.

I would rather die knowing I chose an adventurous life with Jesus and gave my all to him. Are dead people rising from the dead? Are you seeing the light return in the eyes of those you spend time with even in the line in the grocery store?

When impossible becomes normal and the possible becomes mundane that is when you know you are truly living. It is exhilarating.

Don’t be boring.

Be different.

Choose the Jesus adventure & you will realize that in surrender you gain an epic life.

Facing Victory

When one waits for a miracle to come to pass in what direction does that individual stand?

One stands facing towards victory no matter what opposition may come.

It can be too easy to dwell on the current circumstances where it can seem like nothing is changing. At some point it may even feel as if one has moved backwards rather than forward.

.

If this is where you are, stand facing victory.

This means you choose hope. On the days where it is hard to keep going, you expect victory to come whether there is anything significant to suggest otherwise. You get to choose to look at life through the lens of faith.

Stand facing victory.

Expect victory.

Do not look back (unless it is a joyful reflection). Do not dwell on that which does not increase your hope.

Victory is coming.

Victory is something the enemy can never touch unless you decide to hand it over to him (#can’ttouchthis).

Victory is here.