Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chains of a Different Kind

(To those of you who are following my story with Greg, my former homeless friend, I feel the need to share the rest of the story and asking you to please keep praying for Greg with me. He is a struggling Christian. You have to remember, that he has lived a completely different life from most of us for the last 46 years, a life of drugs, alcohol and prison time. He is now a christian but this is a completely new and different way of living. He wants this new life, but is struggling. He is still somewhat in chains. I love Greg and he is my brother in Christ. This is the post I wrote 6 months ago but never posted. Now I do. . .)

September 24, 2011, twelve weeks after I met Greg, 5 1/2 weeks after being saved, Greg was arrested for public intoxication. Four days later, I sat on the park bench again with Greg. He told me the day before that there had been an argument between him and the Subway worker across the street. They had been letting him come in every now and then to get a free drink and occasionally a free sandwich.

Greg became bored this Saturday night and had started drinking in the shed he was sleeping in. He then wanted to get out and be downtown on the square to breathe fresh air, so walked there. He thought the girl working in the Subway was telling rumors on him and he went to ask her about this. Confrontation is probably a better word here. She told me one story and Greg told me another. He admitted that he had been drinking and probably said some things he shouldn't. The manager made him leave and banned him from their property for the next two years. Greg went back to the park. The police were called and they came down to talk with Greg. They saw he was drunk, and arrested him. He sat in jail for 5 hours and has had a $200 fine to pay. 

While he and I were on the park bench after this incident, we had a long talk.

I knew he was a drinker, I knew all about his past. But this day was the first time he said has was an alcoholic. I suspected, but heard it out loud from him for the first time this day.

I know Greg is not a saint, I know he has had 46 years of living in a different world than mine. I know he wasn't just going to leap over into mine all at once. It is huge that he and I are even friends with such drastic worlds between us. I still believe God brought us together. I believe that Greg is saved. I also believe that he has a lot of baggage from the other world as well as bad habits and it is going to take time and grace and power of God to help Greg let go of the alcohol and all that brings with it. I believe he needs me to still be there as a friend who will not judge him, and yet hold him accountable and steer his thinking towards the Christian world he stepped into on the day of August 23, 2011. My husband is right there also as a friend to Greg and helping to hold him accountable.

I am sure when we believers stepped into that new world we were not perfect and messed up. We still do.  We need grace and so does he. We might not have gotten arrested, but is it any different in God's eyes? If we want to look at how big his mistakes are, we also need to recognize how big it was of Greg to take that step into the believer's world from his, an ex-con, one who spent much time in prison, who spent his days with hardened people. It was huge for Greg to step over. It was huge for Greg to come to my large church and be baptized in front of all those people, knowing they knew who he was and was homeless. It is huge that he and I can sit next to each other, forming a friendship like we have. All this only from God. That's why I know there is hope for Greg. God is in this picture. I told Greg we just need to keep praying, calling out to God for help and strength, but he also had to step out and do his part too. This is where he struggles but knows that it is right.

Greg was going to two different churches on Wednesday mornings for bible study. He was going to church on Sunday mornings. He was volunteering twice a week at the Hope House. But for now, he has stopped. What he needs is to be discipled by strong Christian men. He needs to be kept busier. But he has to want to do this on his own.

I am not an alcoholic so I cannot understand the hold it has on one. I know that it is hard. But I know that my God can break it. Greg has to want it bad enough. He may have to feel really bad before it gets better. Greg told me yesterday (May 30, 2012), that He loves God with all his heart, that these chains don't change that fact.  "I've just got to take it one day at a time.  I'm tryin', I'm really tryin, don't give up on me", he said.  I'll never give up on him.  This is where Greg needs prayer.  Prayer that God will break the chains of addiction and for Greg to be set free. With God, anything is possible! Do you believe this? If you do, I am asking you to commit Greg to prayer for this very thing. The chains holding him to Hell are gone. But the chains of alcoholism still has a hold. Undending love, amazing grace. . .this is what Greg needs now. I can't wait for the day I can write you all and tell you that Greg speaks these words with confidence. . .
"My chains are gone, I've been set free"

can you just imagine the testimony?!

 I have seen Greg try so hard. I have seen Greg make wonderful changes and grow. I have seen conviction and repentance. Greg is still my friend and I still love him and always will. Pray he reaches out for the help he needs and for the chains to be completely broken. Pray for him to be set completely free.
Thank you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grace in the Dentist Office

I found myself sitting in the waiting room of the dentist office while my son was in the back getting work done.  I had taken a book to read to pass the time, but I kept getting distracted by the people coming in.  The first one was a man who appeared to be in his early thirties.  He was sporting a bright purple Mohawk on his head with multiple piercings on his face.  I couldn’t help it. . .I stared. . .for just a second or two.  Then in came a teen age boy with his mother.  He was deaf.  They sat in the corner and seemed to be arguing. . .in sign language.  I couldn’t help it. . .I stared. . . for just a second or two. . .it fascinated me.  Then in came a young couple.  She was VERY pregnant.  I noticed no wedding band on her finger.  What I really noticed was her dirty feet and nails slipped into flip flops.  I couldn’t help it. . .I stared. . .for just a second or two. 

I wondered about each one of them and what their story was.  All kinds of scenarios went through my mind.  It’s so easy to put a story with an outer appearance and yet I’ve learned from my interviewing the homeless, that what is on the inside does not always match the outside.  The Lord knew this. . .I believe this is why we read in His Word. . . “For man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”  I quote this verse many times when talking about the homeless.  And yet, this day in the dentist office, I found myself staring, on the brink of judging.  And then I looked down at the book in my lap.  Guess what the title of it was?  “Why Jesus” by Ravi Zacharius.

Why Jesus?  Because he loves the purple Mohawks, the dirty feet, the argumentative teen. . .and me.  Why Jesus?  Because He gave His life to give us the ultimate gift. . .Grace.  I know of no other who gives grace and teaches us to give the same as He. 

Grace. . .an undeserved gift.  A gift I ask people to give to the “least of these.”  Was I issuing grace by staring and letting my mind wander?  Was I a messenger giving good news?  Not this day.  As I let my mind wander, one by one, each one in the waiting room was called to the back.  I found myself alone again.  I don’t know if I messed up this day or not, but as I was starting to beat myself up about staying quiet I was reminded,  I’ve been set free, I was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see, this wretch was saved for ever and ever.  I don’t know where those people stand, if they will be at the banquet table or not.  So I prayed for each one, that if they are not now, they will be found, sight to be opened, and grace given to set them free. 

The purple Mohawk was very friendly and had a great smile.  The dirty feet and arguing deaf boy sweetly smiled at me too before leaving.  I smiled back.  Did they issue grace?  They might not have realized it, but I felt like I had received it.

Grace is such a powerful thing. It can float around a room and you think you know where it will land and then it lands right on you. My son left the office this day with cleaner teeth and I left with a more grace filled soul.  Three people touched me, though they never knew it.  I won’t waste it.  I will pass it on.  Oh amazing grace, how sweet the sound, how sweet the touch!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Remembering With A Grateful Heart

Week-end Blessings. . .
(remembering back)

  our American Flag

  men and women in uniforms;
(my husbands grandfather in WW1)
(my Dad in WW2)
(my husband's father in WW2)
(my husband 38 years ago)
  proud of husband for saving man's life on this day

  dog tags safely home

Thank you to our soldiers, past and present!

 Enjoy your Memorial Day week-end everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Don't Wait For the Big Fish

*NOTE:  If someone thinks they recognize themselves in this post, please know that I love you and I understand that if you have not gotten to know "the least of these" as I have, if you have not befriended the ones I have, I can understand where you are coming from, but my heart's desire is to show that these people are ones Christ loves and died on the cross for just as He did for you and me.  They just may either do not know or understand this yet, or their timing to this realization is different than ours because their lives and circumstances are different from ours. The purpose of my homeless stories is to change the general public's perception of them, looking past the obvious and seeing them through the eyes of Jesus.  Jesus has allowed me this priveledge and I have seen in their eyes what many miss because they do not get close enough.  These people have blessed me and my eyes have opened wider and my heart more open and I feel I have an even more understanding of what unconditional love really is.
That is a gift I want to share *

The longer I am in the Blanket Ministry, the more negative comments I hear about this population of homeless from the general public and ones carrying their bibles.  One such conversation came up about how the homeless are now getting free cell phones with free minutes. The group seemed horrified and talking about how their tax dollars were paying for this.  They couldn’t believe these people would get free phones, almost with a “how dare they” tone and with the thoughts, “We are paying for those, while they sit there doing nothing.”  I couldn't help but bite the inside of my mouth to keep the tears from falling.

All I could think of was how these people who live with all of their needs met in abundance, seem to at times take lightly the plight of those less fortunate.  These individuals are good people, yet sometimes it seems they, like many others, have isolated themselves from a part of life that seems unfair or distant from what they are used to.  Are they REALLY being put out by the homeless being given a free phone, a small thing that helps them in a big way, some of these people not getting three meals a day, have no roof over their heads, no driveway let alone a car, no vacations, just trying to survive on the streets where people shun them? These phones allow them to make and receive calls about jobs, it allows them to talk to family they otherwise would not get to talk to.  It allows them to call places so they don’t have to walk so much in their thread bare shoes. 

The people with the Bibles would like to say, “They need to get up and get a job and pay for their own phone.”  I am always reminded of the quote, “Don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  Have the bible carrying people been addicted to something, do they have mental illness, are they sick with something and have medical bills they can’t pay or have they lost a job and lost everything because of it? Have they been suicidal, have they been beaten up by ones who should have cared for them, do they have self –esteem down near the 0 level, are they depressed to the point of not knowing how to move on?

I look at the bibles in their hands and I think of how it tells us to be like Christ.  What is Christ like?  Gaze into His face and you will see love, kindness, and compassion. Remember the story of Jonah?  God had compassion on the people of Nineveh and wanted Jonah to help them.  But Jonah ran.  Jonah did not have compassion on the people.  And Jonah was swallowed by a great fish.  I smiled as I thought how the negative people would react if God sent a big fish to swallow them until they became more like God, learning what He wanted them to learn. 

I become upset with these comments because I thought how self-rightous they sound, and they should know better. And then I was out in my yard one day working and pondering about this when the Lord reminded me that at one time I had a self-righteous attitude.  I didn't know I did at the time, but looking back I can see now that when my boys were young, when they were so good and obedient and happy and respectful, that when my husband and I saw other children being disrespectful and downright disobedient, being mean to their parents and other adults, with the parents acting so exasperated, my husband would always say in my presence only, "Parenting is not rocket science.  Why don't they just do this or that?" (Father, forgive us!) Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball you don't see coming.  When our nearly perfect child, who we loved and adored turned 18, he became a prodigal.  Parenting apparently has some lessons we missed out on.  Or it could be that our son's independent self will kicked in and he decided to do his own thing.

My point is there is a lesson here in self-righteousness. I believe we all have been guilty of this sin at one time or another.  So I pray I always give grace in those mouth-biting, teary eyed situations where I hear the self-righteous conversations because I know they do not realize they are being that way, just like my husband and I did not know we were being that way all those years ago.    

I was in a way, swallowed by the big fish. It took having a heart wrenching situation to make me see how I my thoughts had been towards these other parents and it gave me empathy for them. I pray that it doesn't take something big and stinky for the ones who make negative remarks about the homeless to see the error of their ways.  I pray the message of this book will help them to see what God sees and they in turn will have more empathy and understanding and compassion towards ones who live on the streets.  May we all learn the lessons God has for us. And I pray we learn without sitting in the belly of the big fish.  I pray that the hands that hold their bibles in one hand will not use their other to point fingers at groups of people, talking in disgusting tones with accusations.  I pray we use what God has given us to come up with solutions to help others, and at the very least, pray for them, and if we come into their presence to hold out our hands to them and offer them a genuine, sincere smile. . .and maybe even a sandwich.

Jesus told us to love our neighbors.  And then He was asked, “Who is our neighbor”.  Don’t just look at the people who live next door to you.  You look to your neighbors in your community, whether they be atheists, convicts, homosexuals, homeless, tattooed filled bodies, guys with pants hanging down and hoodies on their bodies. . .and yes, even the former convicted sex offender.  Everyone needs that loving smile,  everyone needs a Christ like touch, a kind word, to feel the unconditional love of Christ. They need to hear the Good News. And who better to offer this than one who has received that love in their heart.

Our Christ like love towards one of the “least of these” or any others just might be the very thing God is waiting for to use on someone to change them. . .and I’m not just talking about our “neighbor”.
Colossians 3:12-17

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the work of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

linking with

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Talents for Therapy

from our Prodigal book. . .(Christopher is our younger son, Tim is our first son who became the prodigal, Keith is my husband. . .the subject. . .talents and how we use them. . .or in this case, how our son Christopher used his. . .

 Keith's Voice

There is symmetry to Christopher's life that is subtle in nature, yet remarkable in how he finds ways to express what he is feeling.  He has always been very observant of the world around him as demonstrated in the playful make believe adventures he generated growing up.  At an early age he discovered art and we often found him sitting for hours drawing and creating characters from his imagination and at times reproducing characters from stories and high adventures he read about or visualized from movies or television programs.

Christopher began to thrive in the environment of art as he discovered a world where he became the decision maker.  With each piece of work, his confidence grew, with each approving gesture from us and everyone who saw his work, his belief in his abilities became stronger.  At an early age the quality of his work was far beyond what his grade level would dictate. 

I believe his art became his way of coping with what was happening with his brother and within our family.  For hours, he would sit and draw until he had the exact image he was looking for.  Artists by nature tend to be either very hyper, or very reserved and Christopher was no exception to this rule.  As his depressed feeling began to take hold...it also brought to the surface the creative insights that God gave to him.  I believe this was a special gift he was allowed to have for God knew just how special a young man Christopher was going to become when we were allowed to bring him into this world.  He also knew something we did not...that a difficult time would penetrate our world and he would need something to grasp ahold of to help him through those dark days.   Art allowed him to become someone other than who he was...gave him the heart of a lion to fill the void inside the sadness of heart he most certainly was experiencing.  With each character, he became someone who was strong and brave...giving him that spirit of knighthood he needed to fathom the depths of the despair that threatened to overcome his world. 

As his dad, it grieved me deeply to see him suffrer the way that he did, yet at the same time I was never more proud of a young man as I was of Christopher.  All the prayers...all the talks...all the venting...certainly contributed to him getting throught a difficult time, but, it was the gift of art that God so inspiringly gave to him that carried him where we could not.


Mom's voice. . .
Prodigalism doesn't just affect the one who leaves, more often than not, the pain is left behind and for a 13 year old boy who thought the world of his older brother, he didn't understand what had happened.  His grown parents didn't understand, how could he? After Christopher was long out of his depression, he printed these pictures and explained them to me.  What I saw as dark and menacing in some of the pictures a couple of years ago, now I see something totally different.  They show a boy who was troubled, depressed and he reached out to the One he knew could help him from this dark period of his life. He was able to let out his feelings and deal with them in a positive way onto paper using pencils, ink, and colors. The more he thought and prayed, the better he became in his spirit and in his art. Here are just a few of the ones Christopher drew during this time at the ages of 14-15.  He titled them. . .

Pain and Agony

Reaching out to Him

My Chains are Gone

He who strengthens me

The Holy Spirit

Stand Out. . .in the world but not of the World

Warrior in Christ

Christopher is whole and happy.  He is 19 and going for a double major in Religious Studies and Art.
Thank you Father!

How are you using the gifts God gave you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bow the Knee ~ PART 2

*If you have not read Part 1 of this post, please go here and read, then come back here. . .

(Keith's voice)

That night the first indication of just how inadequate I was. . .indeed we were. . .in fighting this war became evident.  It wasn't long before I began the connection between what my grandparents had done, long before I was born, and what Kris and I were facing now.  Those connections came slowly. . .and reluctantly. . .but as each day played itself out, they became clearer.

I've never been at ease when it comes to revealing personal feelings or sharing personal convictions.  Kris has long endured that lack of bonding in our lives.  I can't explain it away, nor can I excuse it. . .it's just the  way I've always been.  Personal relationships are just that. . .personal. . . even with Christ.  I've always felt at ease with those internal relationships and at times I would get angry when Kris would interject her feelings toward me about that subject. . .prying and cajoling. . .needing me to share with her how I felt personally and sharing those things with her intimately.  It wasn't easy. . .and I had to be patient and was not always successful doing so.  It was a personal war of sorts.  It wasn't that I didn't want to share those things with her. . .It's just that her idea of how to do it and my idea of how to do it didn't always mesh.  Down deep she knew who I was and understood that there was a sincere conviction and never doubted that I had a personal relationship with Christ.  At times we would talk basic theology and she always enjoyed those moments as did I, but she needed more. . .wanted more.  It was a personal war I struggled with. . .and still do even now.  I tended to show by example as best as I could, and was never good at sharing with the touchy feely emotional things.

I suppose that is why I struggled with our son's situation in the beginning as I was a fixer. . .a doer. . .if something was broke, I repaired it.  I couldn't fix this.  No amount of words. . .no amount of patching. . .no amount of fighting could fix this.  There had to be another way.

I began to do what my grandparents had done, often in the evening, not unlike Kris walking into her prayer closet for a close communion with God.  I would kneel beside our son's old bed in his now vacant room and pray for his safety. . .for his return to normalcy. . .for God not to abandon him or his purpose for his life because our old Tim was still there. . .just lost and muffled by the confusion in his life.

I began to let go of the anger and fear. . .it wasn't completely gone, but it was beginning to subside as I began to better understand what was required to fight this war.  One evening, that nightmare I call "The Warning" began to creep back into my thoughts and it became more and more apparent the events of that dream were far too real to have been simply a dream.  We saw how Tim's life was heading toward mediocrity at best. . .disaster at worst. . .and it was then I began to understand that we were in a war. . .a war for Tim's life. . .for his future. . .for our family.  Satan was attacking us, I had no doubt, to what end I was uncertain.  The measure of the seriousness of the situation not totally poured out just yet, but it was clear, our enemy was fighting this war in a serious manner using dangerous weapons, and like in the nightmare when I was shoved aside, I knew I was not capable of fighting this war alone, nor were the weapons I was fighting with. . .fear, anger, anguish. . .adequate to win.  That evening I prayed a prayer I have never prayed before. . .but the words just flowed from my heart.  I asked God to fight this war for us, to surround Tim and our family with his soldier angels. . .swords drawn in our defense. . .denying access to Satan and his army of darkness.

The next day, I knew I had to involve Kris in this battle plan and when I returned home from work, we sat down and I explained to her what had happened.  She immediately responded with enthusiasm, and together, right then, we knelt beside our bed and began fighting this war in earnest. . .beseeching God as our General. . .humbling ourselves to His will in our son's life. . .requesting for battle hardened angels to stand with us. . .swords drawn. . .battle lines declared.  Even though the war was destined for a long siege. . .we arose to our feet in victory.  We have made it a habit to continue this regularly including our younger son and others in those solemn requests for intervention.

This war is being fought on two fronts. . . Tim's and our own personal fears and self doubts.  But, where there was despair. . .there is now hope, anger. . .there is now compassion, frustration. . .there is now, understanding.  The war is not over.  There is much for us to learn, much for us to humble ourselve for, but. . .the outcome is in God's hands. . .not ours.  If He chooses to use us as warriors in these battles. . .we can have no doubt its outcome.


Did I mention Keith is my hero?

"Come, let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."
Psalm 95:6  

After 25 years on bended knee the longings and sighings of my heart were answered with a yes.  The answer was "wait" for those 25 years.  And then came "yes".  I don't question the timing for I believe His timing is best.  He was teaching me during those 25 years things like patience, committment, unconditonal love, grace, and that my fullfillment should be in Him, my Savior, not another person.  And I am at peace now waiting for another longing. . .I believe I am in the "wait" stages again, and wait I will.  I believe. . .I trust. . .and with my husband now at my side, in the presence of the King, we bow the knee together.

This picture was drawn by our younger son who was hurting right along with us during the dark days.  He was 15 at the time and he added the verse Ephesians 6:10-17 with it.  He was leaning on the Lord just as we were and still is.  He is now 19 and at Western Kentucky University studying Religious Studies and Art.  He is waiting patiently too.

"Be strong, in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteouseness in place, and with your feet filled with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17

I have always been a strong believer in prayer but not until I heard this song, did I practice the bowing of the knee.  When I humble myself in that position, His presence is so strong, I feel if I reached out, I would actually feel the hem of his garment. I get goosebumps every time! This is the song that led me to my knees over 20 years ago in the closet. . .a practice I still carry on and now my husband does beside me. Click the link below and enjoy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bow the Knee ~ Part 1

I wrote a book about our journey through prodigalism. . .this chapter is more about my husband and myself and we wanted to share at this time hoping it will encourage someone out there in however God chooses to do so. . .and to God be the glory!

"All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
My sighing is not hidden from you."
Psalm 38:9

My husband Keith has been a Christian since he was nine years old and as I've said before is a wonderful man, husband and father.  He is also a quiet man who keeps a lot to himself.  This used to frustrate me so earlier in our marriage because I would want him to be more vocal about his Christianity and it just wasn't him.  I didn't expect him to be an evangelist; I just wanted that spiritual intimacy to be so strong between us, as husband and wife.

My mother would always say regarding Keith, "Still waters run deep."  This was a perfect quote describing him.  Keith is a wonderful writer and his deepest thoughts come through in his writings.  I felt once I started reading these, I started to understand him a little better.  My reading in the Bible where it told me my role as wife was to respect him also helped.  It doesn't say that I had to understand him or to always agree with him but I was to respect him, and he was worthy in so many ways of respect.  Because I loved him so and was seeing how deep his soul really was, it became easier for me to let go of my longing.  I had longed for Keith to pray with me and be passionate about it but this had not been something he was comfortable doing out loud.  Once in awhile we would pray together but it was not the norm for us.  I prayed for God to work in him and also in me to accept and love him even if we never had this one part that I so wanted.  God was helping me to let go of it.  I had not always been patient about this, but as I grew older and desired to become more mature in my walk with the Lord, I became much more comfortable with things the way they were.

When our prodigal son left us, it shattered my husband Keith as it did me.  He struggled mostly in his quiet way until one day, he came home from work and said he HAD to talk with me about something.

As you read the rest from my sweet husband, notice the awesome faithfulness and goodness the Lord brought to me and to him through this very difficult time.  *note. . .this was into our 25th year of marriage, 5 years ago*
Keith's Voice
War is never pretty, always difficult and costly, and in many cases the victor is as vanquished as the loser, once it's all said and done.  Yet, there are times when those battles must be fought.  Fighting an unexpected war when unprepared complicates matters immensely.  Fighting them without allies is almost impossible.

During the depth of our despair as our son began his spiraling detour in life, I recalled how my grandmother told me about how she and my grandfather would humble themselves everyday and pray for the safety of their only child...my dad.  You see, he was in harms way having been sent overseas to the South Pacific during World War Two, and numerous times found himself engaged in situations where he could have easily been killed...and indeed almost was on several occasions.  My grandparents could not be there to protect him, nor even if they could have been there, they were not strong enough to do so.  They instead turned to the one who could.  Every morning and every eveing, they humbled themsleves and knelt on tired knees, bowing their head in reverance and asked God to deliver my dad from the evil that surrounded him.  God honored their prayers.

As I recalled their story, and the nightmare I had dreamed of our son years ago, I began to understand that God did not want, nor did he intend for us to fight certain battles on our own.  We're just not strong enough.  The lives of our two boys and indeed our family, were at stake and we found ourselves thrust into a war with far reaching consequences. . .consequences that we could never know the depths of.  No matter how much we wanted to or were willing to fight the battles of this war, we could never win on our own.

When our prodigal began his downward turn,we were thrust into a war of a different kind. . .one that was unexpected. . .one in which we were unprepared.  The weapons of war we began these battles with were anger, frustration, bewilderment, fear, anguish, and fatigue.  Our battle lines were drawn for us and we were constantly reacting to a different situation almost every day.  Our battle plan was confrontation. . .our results were defeat.  We needed a general who commanded a strong army to fight this war for us.

One evening I could not sleep as the weight of my son's dilemma pressed heavy against my heart and I found myself sitting on the couch in the wee hours of the morning with head in hands trying to make sense of what was happening.  Tears began to drop one by one running down my arm, dripping on the carpet.  A sense of despair began to collapse in around me as it seemed our son was driving himself into a life of chaos and mediocrity. . .far below what he could achieve. . .far less than what we believed capable of him. . .far away from the Godly upbringing we endowed upon him.

That night the first indication of just how inadequate I was. . .indeed we were. . .in fighting this war became evident. It wasn't long before I began the connection between what my grandparents had done, long before I was born, and what Kris and I were facing now. Those connections came slowly. . .and reluctantly. . .but as each day played itself out, they became clearer.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of this chapter in my next post...Part 2...and see how God answered my 25 year longing...also see a piece of artwork by younger son who bows to his Heavenly Father and used his artistic talent as therapy during that time.  And then hear a beautiful piece at the end, the one that led me to the practice of bowed knees over 20 years ago.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Very Special Lady

As I sat in my ABF class one Sunday morning listening to my teacher speak about David, emotions, doing the right thing, laying prostrate on the ground, I couldn’t help but think of a modern day story about a very special lady…one who, as a young lady, thought her life would live out as the fairy tale stories she watched on the big screen in her day.

Because of people in her life who made bad choices, took wrong turns, and some living in their own sin, one making a very right choice to go across the seas with a missionary group, another taken away because of circumstances, everyone in her family ended up gone for one reason or another. She spiraled downward into a deep well of depression that lasted for years. Doctors put her on anti-depressants which she remained on for years. Her loved ones were gone for years. This lady ended up in a mental institution several times with doctors never “curing” her. She always returned home bad off as ever before. Not quite the fairy tale she expected.

People perceived her as weak because she was down and couldn’t seem to get up. This lady had been a Christian for years, but she allowed her emotions to get the best of her. The devil thought he could get her to give up by falling completely into this well of emotions.

But one evening, as this lady realized everything was gone in her life, she fell prostrate to her bedroom floor where she surrendered; fully surrendered her whole entire being, her entire family, everything! She even surrendered her emotions to do only what the Lord would have her to do. There was no earthquake, no great lightning, no emotional response. She got up and lived obediently to her Heavenly Father and slowly but surely, she became healed of the emotional illness the enemy tried to drown her in. She became strong, she got off her anti-depressants she had been on for years, never to go back on them again. Slowly, her family came back, a son after 14 years, a daughter after 9 years.

This lady is not weak. It took a great strength for her to not give up. It took a great inner strength in the midst of her turmoil and pain and aloneness, to go prostrate on that floor and say, “Jesus, I’m 100% yours and everything I have I completely surrender. She didn’t know what God’s plans were for her. She didn’t know what answers would come if any. But she trusted her God with all of her being.

This lady has become a dearly loved woman over the last 30 some years to so many people, helping, giving, and loving them with a Christ-like love, many calling her mom.

As of today she still thinks she is weak, but she knows what strength is in her is from the Lord. She gives him all the glory. She IS strong. She has shown the strength of a warrior. The enemy, strong in his tactics could not defeat her. She fought, she fell prostrate, she arose with a strength from the Lord she didn’t even recognize herself and together they claimed victory over this life and her family.

To this day, this lady thinks she has no legacy to leave. Oh, but she is so wrong! She will leave a legacy of great strength, faith, and love that only comes from the Father.

Because of her faith decision that night on the bedroom floor, my children grew up with a healed, whole, loving, and fun grandmother. You see, this special lady is my mother.

As she would and always says, To God be the glory!
A happy ending after all!

Thank you Mom for the legacy of prostate praying, strength in the Lord, obedience, faith, and
your unconditional love.
I love you with all my heart!
Happy Mother's Day!

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25

linking with

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh, How I Prayed. . .

My mother in law passed away recently
so in the car we went
Mom, Dad, and Prodigal
ten hours on the road together
Oh, how I prayed. . .remember

Passing under the Memphis Bridge
passing corn fields and rice fields
the Ozark Mountains and Oklahom Prairies
700 miles. . .Oh how I prayed. . .remember

Him playing on grandma's piano
playing with the cousin's children
eating at aunt and uncle's table
and Oh, how I prayed. . .remember

Seeing dark haired grandma in the beautiful rose casket
family all around
tears falling, hugs all around, comfort being given
Oh, how I prayed. . .remember

Watching him stir rice krispie treats with white haired grandma
all of us telling stories from long ago
he sitting on the front steps playing his guitar
Oh, how I prayed. . .remember

Few words were spoken
but hugs were given and prayers were prayed
small conversations here and there and
Oh, how I prayed. . .remember

700 miles back, ten hours in the car
he and I exchanging front and back seats
he listening to his music and me. . .
Oh how I prayed. . .remember

Did he, you ask?
Does he remember the love of a good family?
Does he remember the grace and mercy he received from the Father?
Does he remember making Jesus his Savior?
Does he remember the dad who taught him all the "guy"things?
Does he remember the love of his mother over the last 24 years?
I wait patiently on the Lord for my trust is in Him and I will choose joy.
Only He and the prodigal know for now
and Oh, how I continue to pray
as only a mother can.

"Our loved ones may spurn our appeals, reject our message,
oppose our arguments, despise our persons---
but they are helpless against our prayers."
J. Sidlow Baxter

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Do you pray for someone special to come home?
I have a running list in my prayer journal.  If you would like, I'll pray along with you for yours.