Becoming - The Journey of God's Princess

This blog was created for women on the journey of becoming what God created them to be. It is meant to be an encouragement to those who visit. It is filled with the thoughts pondered by a Pastor's wife who is captivated by the love of God and rests daily in His infinate grace. It is filled with devotionals, short stories, poetry and other creative writing and thoughts about my journey to God.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Caleb Levi Riddle

How precious was your tiny life
Created by God divine
Handed down as a gift of His
to bless this life of mine
So short the time I had with you
here upon this earth
So sad to say tears of grief
were shed upon your birth
What should have been a joyous thing
met with excited smiles
Seemed a journey in the shadows
that lasted many miles
Your spirit had gone to be with God
before I held you, dear
So instead of smiles and joy
I greeted you with tears
I can not know the reason
your time here was so brief
But take comfort in the knowledge
that you will never know such grief
Your days will long be filled
with angel's songs so sweet
And you'll have a chance before I do
with all the saints to meet
I imagine you will dance
in the inner courts of praise
And sing your songs of joy
with tiny hands raised
You are so loved by all of us
that remain still here
We can not wait to meet you
when we finally get there
For now I say good-bye
for but a brief time
And thank you for the blessing
you are to this life of mine.

Just for giggles: sometimes I wish I were young again

Yesterday I was standing in the laundry room folding all my childrens clothes that I had washed again because they didn't want to hang them up. Anna came running into the room obviously delighted with a huge smile beaming.
"Mom, Look!" she exclaimed.
I looked up to see her in a pair of jeans and a tye-dyed t-shirt - I'm thinking 'Ok what am I supposed to be looking at - what am I not seeing?'
She went on excitedly, "Look mom, they fit!" she said slapping her leg - I was thinking they were the jeans that just the week before were too small for her.
"They look nice - those are the jeans that were too small, right?"I asked.
With a smile, a giggle and a slap to the leg she said "Nah mom, these are the ones that were TOO BIG! They're a size 10! I'm a size 10 mom!"
"WOW, baby girl they look great," I said matching her enthusiasm.
As quickly as she had bounded into the room she left to find you dad and tell her news.
I had to stop and laugh - giggle, be young again and meet going up a size in clothing with that kind of excitement and enthusiasm.
"Yes!!! I'm finally a size 14, finally outgrew those size 12 I was wearing for a year!!!" ---- Strange how things reverse when we age, we instead cringe at the thought of buying a bigger size of clothes being deceived by the lies of the enemy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Verse for the day: November 29th

Psalm 119:146 As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. (NLT)

I came across this verse this morning in my bible study time. As the day unfolds, and life comes full force at you - when you begin to feel overwhelmed, stressed or under pressure (for mom's the last two are especially true when your fighting to get home school done when all they want is to play...or when you've broken up the 100th fight in 30 minutes.) remember God's word, recall it and speak it. For there is joy and peace in the promises that our Father has given us. In His word we find abundant life and endless joy even in the midst of trials and stress.

Thank you Father for your word that causes me to focus on you
that brings to remembrance your goodness and mercy, that causes
me to see the blessings you have given me. Thank you for your
Word that causes me to look to you instead of focusing on the
circumstances that surround me - For true joy is ONLY found in you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brillian Fall Colors

I LOVE it when God paints creation in so many beautiful, breath-taking colors!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


This Thanksgiving I would have been nearing my 20th week. I would have been feeling the movements of life within me and would have been laying awake at night praying over that tiny form just as I have done with my other four children. Instead the past three weeks have been filled with listless, lonely nights with sleep just beyond my reach. Even in sheer exhaustion as I lay down my chest seems to clamp within a vice and my heart races to an unbearable rate. I beg for focus but seem so far from God - my Comforter. I feel as David felt - "How long will you stay hidden from me?" - though I know he is right there. I try to be silent and still - waiting; but many nights find me wandering from bed to bed praying over my sleeping family. I have even gathered my sleeping itty-bittys (Rachel and Justin) into my arms just to breathe them in and rock them or leaned closely to Anna and Chase (who are now too big for me to pick up without rousing them from sleep) just to trace their brow and kiss their forehead. I never could have imagined the magnitude of such loss or how my arms would ache so bad to hold Caleb, to kiss his fuzzy little baby head, to hold him close to nurse, or to rock him to sleep in the silent of night. My heart absolutely aches at the realization that I will not see his first steps or ever hear his laughter (what would that have sounded like anyway), or see his eyes look into mine with unconditional love, or see him grow up.

I know God's goodness - I've experience His mercy - stood washed in His grace - been rocked asleep in His arms - and heard His whispered love. I do not doubt He has gathered and counted every tear. I know that Caleb is experiencing perfect love - a love not fully experienced here on earth because we are sullied by sin and walk in wretched humanity unable to experience such love in its absolute fullness. I believe with all my heart that God whispers our love for Caleb to him and has told him that we will soon be together. However, in my humanity I am weak and broken - and my heart is in agony and the recovery is slow. I feel poured out and broken before my Father, laying on His alter.

I did not choose this loss - it was written in my story before time began by a Just and Loving God. It is simply a part of my journey to my "expected end" that is promised in scripture - the purpose and end God has planned for me. My choice was and still remains: will I surrender this life to God's will - will I invite Him and allow Him to work in me and through me to make my life a tapestry woven of the finer things of God - the end product being a completed work of God - a reflection of Him to whom I belong. Yes....though I be weak I will depend on His strenght as I surrender.

I did not chose this loss - for if it had been my plan I would be welcoming a healthy baby into the world - but then my plan would have meant omitting God and the blessings of Him who gives and takes away. The truth remains though that we have no choice in life or death - God has numbered our days, has set our path. Our choice is what we do with this free will, this life that has been given each of us. I am called to trust that which I can not see, to trust that all this works for my good because of whom I believe in. I am called to fall back on the arms that held me before time and that will welcome me home some day.

I have come to see how truly unworthy I am of God's love. In my selfish humanity I would not choose this loss. However, because of my once unredeemed state and because of His great love for me - God chose His loss that it would become my greatest gain. While we as parents pray for protection and recovery of our children, while we beg for the miracle of life to be sustained, while we cling to them as though we could influence providence, add one day to their life, or save them from even one sorrow - My God sent is only son into the frame of sinful humanity. To walk on this cursed ground in the weakened flesh of man, to be tempted, taunted, tortured, and killed by the sinful creation. He willingly set into motion a plan that would in the end break His holy heart for an unholy, unworthy, created being - ME - a sinner worthy only of judgment and the death. On the day that they crucified my Lord it is said that the sky turned black at noon and that the earth rocked and rumbled and split wide open - Creation cried out as Abba's heart broke that mine might be restored.

So who am I to question this loss I did not choose - this child I was asked to return to the one who created him in the first place and who blessed us with him for a short time? Should I not praise, even in this broken state? Who am I to question the Creator who answered so many prayers during the pregnancy - worked so many miracles - allowed me to utter His testimonies of goodness?

Grace allowed me to see my son's tiny form on ultrasound, to hear his heartbeat to the cadence of unknown angels songs. Love descended as a blanket from above in nights as I prayed over Caleb. Peace is like a hushed breeze around me as I walk this valley of suffering and as we walked through the shadow of death to emerge with praises. Mercy has delivered me from the arrows of the enemy. My Father's hands have lovingly gathered my tears and counted every one a precious offering. My Father's arms have wrapped around Brent and I and held us closely causing us to fall more in love with Him and more deeply and intimately in love with each other.

I will praise in this hour of suffering for beautiful things have been shown me.

I go to church on Sunday mornings and the praise music begins and this broken heart held together so gingerly shatters once more on the alter of praise as I am brought to remembrance of this great God who chose to sacrifice His only son for me. I come face to face with this Grace, this Love, this Mercy that has become so personal to me and that was given at such a chosen loss of my God. I who am unworthy am ushered into inner courts, into the holy of holies to praise before the alter, at the feet of the King. At times I can't even breathe, my tears fall in waves, I hold tightly the pew afraid to trust my own legs to support myself. My soul feels like it will burst. I am unworthy even to whisper His name. Yet here He invites me in to worship and in offering up this praise He sends healing waters to my heart. He sends visions of my son in the midst of the crowd of saints in the heavenly courts of praise raising tiny baby arms up to the Lord with smiles and laughter. Uninhibited, freely praising - giggling, dancing up and down in pure undiluted excitement.

I am not worthy of such honor and yet He has chosen to give it to me.

I am enthralled by this King, in love with this Savior, captivated by this Father, consumed by this God.

Thank you, O Abba for choosing your loss that it would be my greatest gain. Thank you, Lord, that you can take the loss I would not have chosen and the pain of that loss and make it more beautiful because of your presence in it. Take this life of mine, and use it according to your plan. I choose, O God, to give you alone the glory in my joy and in my suffering. If left to my own choices in this frail humanity I will always fall short of your blessed plan for my life. But I have confidence in the One who called me that you have laid my path and I leave my choices in your hand for your direction. I am surrendered. Amen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get Rid of the Junk

As you read this scripture ask God to open your heart to His word and to make you able to receive that which he has for you - it may be a little hard to swallow.

Psalm 119:37-40 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in your ways (or give me life in your word NLT). Establish your word to your servant, who is devoted to fearing you. Turn away my reproach which I dread, For your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your laws, Revive me in your righteousness. (NKJV)

I began this morning with my bible studies and this verse struck me. "Turn my eyes from look at worthless things and give me LIFE in YOUR WORD".

How many "worthless things", I began to wonder, have I let slip into my life and distract me from my mission - that ordained by God task at hand - the work I am called to?

How many seemingly small things distract me from His precepts or laws and keep me focused on a task that is menial and has no eternal value. And if these things were distracting me what was my cost in this world?

So, as God does, he began to show me areas of worthlessness that creep into our lives, some of these I struggle with, some you may struggle with...this list is general and by no means complete.

(1) Your job and the acquisition of worldly things.
Have you allowed your job to consume most of your time?
Is it to provide and be satisfied or has it become more, do you have to work
more hours or longer hours to pay for all your stuff?

(Did you fall into the trap of instant gratification, this is so easy to do. Have you justified it because the kids need new clothes, we have to have this vehicle, a bigger house would be nice, that game system or newest electronic would make life easier, etc.)

(2) The pursuit of too many activities.
This can be all things, church related, school related, work related, hobbies, sports, etc. Anything that consumes your time to spend with the Lord and make more worthwhile the relationships in your life.
Is there anything you can cut out?

(Have you justified it as my children need this activity to be well-rounded it will develop character, I don't want my children left out. Or I need this time alone. Or I know I'm really busy but it's all church stuff it's all for the Lord - Do not get me wrong or get the wrong idea - I am all for church activities that cause us to grow in the Lord. However, if these activities are pressing out personal time with the Lord they become empty. They are only fulfilling and worthwhile when God is involved and leading you. They will only bless you with God involved - otherwise they are empty acts.)

(3) Housework. I know, right, but for some of us having things in order and always caught up give us a since of accomplishment, and they are often times a way to control our environment.

Does the drive to perfection in your environment crowd out time for God and those you love?

(will you fold the laundry, sweep the floor, vacuum, etc. in order to keep it all nice when the Holy Spirit is calling for alone time, will you do these things even if you know you need to invest in relationships of those in your family and justify it that there will be time later)

(4) Television.

Do you set aside time to watch your favorite television show no matter what?
even if it means no study for the Lord?

(Do you justify it as a time to relax....)

(5) The computer/cellphone/facebook, etc.

Do these things eat up large chunks of your times, distracting you from those around you and your time with the Lord?

Worthless things - ANYTHING that distracts us from God and from those things with kingdom and eternal significance. Remember ladies the enemy comes to seek, steal, and destroy. He wants your time and relationship with God first and foremost, once he distract you from this all the other areas are left wide open. He then goes for the marriage relationship between husband and wife: breaking down communication, causing conflict and misunderstanding, bringing in diverse temptations. Then are the internal relationships. He wants mothers to neglect personal time with their children by substituting it with activities and busyness so there is no real personal, devoted time - Do you really know your child's heart? When is the last time they invited you into their world? When was the last time you stopped what you were doing just to look them in the eye and really hear from your heart what they were saying to you - invested in them personally?

Worthless things - time eaters - the distractions and deceptions of the world/the enemy.

Worthless things - things that appear valuable, necessary or require justification; while devaluing those things of highest importance.

O, Lord, today bring me to my knees. Cause me to see you. This life that is common I lay on your alter. Show me the worthless things I have allowed to creep into my life. Lord, I acknowledge that I am prone to wonder, that I am easily distracted. Lord, I need your strenght. Show me these worthless things and help me to control them, to leave them behind - to place you and the things of eternal significance in front. Thank you Lord for your help. - Amen

Ladies, God has intended great things in each of our lives. I pray that the "worthless" things don't pile up, turning our focus from that which is truly important. Redeem the time! Let's clean house today - pack up those worthless things! Let's put God first, then our jobs, our acquisitions, our activities/hobbies, will fall into proper perspective no longer having bloated importance.

Redeem the time!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Worlds

There are places with hope
Where darkness resides
Where demons ever dance
And two worlds collide
There sits empty souls
Beside a well gone dry
Their worlds have shattered
Do you hear the mournful cry?
They gather in the shadows
Of a great and mighty steaple
A building of bright cold stone
Where are God’s people?
Their ears have turned away
From the hurting one
Their eyes have looked down
From the Holy Son
They’ve found a standard new
Become satisfied
Unaware of battles fierce
In the darkness where two worlds collide
Their hands have ceased the work
Their feet no longer dance
The harvest goes untended
And souls hang in balance
O, what blood has been counted
To their earthly charge
Because they became confounded
By this world so large?
Turn, O People, back to heaven
Seek the face of your God!
Hear the cries of your brothers
Reaching up from where the demons trod!
Speak the word that brings redemption,
Set the captives free!
Bring the light into the darkness
So they can see eternity!
Go to the place where demons dance
In the power of the crucified
See the demons begin to run
As two worlds collide!

King's Portion

I’ve given you kings portion – the bounty of my hand
And established your vineyard - in a beautiful land
I provided a tree – along the dusty road
Then gave you a well – where living waters overflowed
In the Valley of Bacca – marked with suffering
I led you to a cool stream – to find refreshing
In the land of the shadows – where fears overtook
I heard your and cry and answered – held you as you shook
On the rocky roads of battle – up the mountain steep
I have promised to hold you – and in my hands to keep
In the midst of this war – when the enemy will come
I’ll provide you the victory – your battle will be won
I’ve called on your spirit – I’ve asked you to take part
Because you offered up your life – and opened your heart
You sought out my face – you counted up the cost
You know to have your life – the old one must be lost
So along this broken road – in this fallen place
I’ve promised to provide – endurance for this race
When you grow faint – from the battle long
I’ll whisper in your ear – the victor’s song
I’ve given you kings portion – the bounty of my hand
I’ve established your vineyard - in a beautiful land


Rejoice, before your eyes is born
A Holy King in lowly form
To carry away our iniquities
To a bent and ugly tree
To heal our hearts and save our souls
To fill our lives and make us whole
Rejoice, Rejoice with heaven’s choir
We’ve been redeemed from hell’s hot fire
By a savior sweet and kind
Who came to save all mankind
Blood was shed , but not our own
It came from Heaven’s holy throne
Bow down my brother bent and low
Be thankful now for mercy’s flow
Rejoice, Rejoice this very hour
We’ve been redeemed by God’s great power

The Inn Keeper

Stop that racket, Stop right now!
I’m coming please don’t have a cow!
O my, O my your big enough too
Say little one, when are you due?
What?! You say tonight?!
I think that you may just be right
I have no rooms, no rooms to rent
I’m all booked up, they’ve all been lent
The best that I could possible do
Is to offer my stable there to you
It’s dry and clean – my boys make sure
To muck the stables and clean the floor
Your welcome there, we put fresh hay
In the stalls just today
Here’s some cloth to keep you warm
Then there’s the animals on the farm
I’m sorry to offer such mean estate
But then again you’ve come so late
There are so many here tonight
I’ve over run it’s quite a sight
So go on now it’s in the back
I’m tired and must hit the sack
Hope all goes well, good night, good rest
I wish you peace and all the best.

Morning Prayer

O father you know I struggle in this daily life of mine
To study your word, do your work, make wise use of my time
You know my ancient enemy sits curled in striking pose
Always in my pathway and right before my toes
O, Father you know my struggles within and battles without
And though I hold tightly to you, sometimes I look down in doubt
O, Father as I step out today let my stride be confident
Let me cling to the hand of the man that was heaven sent
Your word says you order the steps of righteous men
So, Father, set mine today before my work begins
Father, I can not walk this pathway all on my own
For my adversary stalks me to watch when I’m alone
So hide me in your shadow and walk with me still
As I seek your holy face and try to do your will
And Father if I should slip today – Lord, help me take your hand
Help me regain my footing – help me get up and stand
Thank you Lord for mercy, much of it I need
Thank you Lord for salvation and the sower of that seed
Thank you Lord for righteous men whose knees are always bent
Whose faithful prayers are echoed as heavenward they’re sent
Thank you for your faithfulness – redeeming me in sin
Thank you for your cleansing power that cleans without and within
So, Father as I begin today and off to battle go
Help me, Lord, to live my life a reflection of the God I know.

The Valley of the Shattered Souls of Men

I walked through the valley of the shattered souls of men
And then I realized I once was one of them
They cried out for mercy, cried out for healing
Moaned in agony and screamed about their feelings
They sat in groups of blame to pass along the pain
And clothed themselves in garments heavy with shame
The entertained depression had lunch with self-hate
Shared secrets with Sir Criticism and all of his mates
They wallowed in self-pity and vowed off victory
Claimed they sought deliverance yet refused to be set free
The irony of the valley lies in it’s midst
A river flowing freely right down the center of it
And all these desperate souls camped along the shore
Never understanding what it was even for
Like the Pool of Siloam, healing ran within the stream
The blood of Christ flows freely seeking to redeem
I walked through the Valley of the Shattered Souls of Men
And realized the message I had to get to them
Healing comes in ways most would never see
Gentle, peaceful streams that pass by quietly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sacrifice of Praise

I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people, In the courts of the Lord's house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. PRAISE THE LORD! Psalm 119:17-19

I have come to understand this verse in a whole new way since burying Caleb on November 5th. It was my deepest desire to be back in church, to be surrounded by God's people, to worship him. Nothing, however, prepared me for the profound effect that the worship time would have on me.

If I have learned nothing else through this pregnancy and this physical loss of a child it is the grace of God. I have seen this first hand and have been changed by it. I can testify of His goodness - because it is real to me, tangible, I lived it and experienced it - I saw it in the physical and in the spiritual. I can with a clear conscience say I am not angry with God and I don't even question his will in all this. That being said, the pain is still sharp and real, and in this world I can't understand His will. I can not see what He is working in my life - my prayer is that my life is more beautiful because of Him in it, that I have lived and continue to live in such a way as to reflect the God I have come to know more intimately and personally through this trial - That I give him glory and honor which are due him.

However, when the praise music begins and I begin to pray and to sing something happens. As I sing about God's goodness, I praise Him for all that He truly is - as I stand face to face with those realities in the courts of the God most high something happens. All that pain, all that loss, all that ache comes rushing back. My breath catches in my throat, my heart feels squeezed, my eyes fill up and I struggle to keep composure. I struggle with the desire to run up to the alter and lay down weeping before a God that means so much to me that He has given so much that I simply do not deserve.

My praise has become a sacrifice - it hurts, it costs me my comfort - it is no longer all feel-good, fluff. For the first time in my life, I think, I fully realize the impact of grace, the beautifully tragic gift that was laid out for someone who is totally unworthy and will never be worthy. My pain, my loss, my dreams, those things I prayed for that will not be in this earth - all that falls away and I am overwhelmed, consumed.

A sacrifice of praise is the choice in the midst of your pain, suffering, turmoil, heartache, brokenness to come into the House of the Lord and offer up what you know to be true (praise of who He is, thankfulness for what He has done and what He is) even when it sometimes feels so distant.

The sacrifice is costly - it means to do it when you don't feel like it, when it would be easier to stay out of the courts of praise because the pain is so sharp and your throat closes up, your eyes overflow, and you feel again that intense breaking of your heart, your shattered dreams and aching soul.

This choice causes you to look directly on Christ - in all His glory and sacrifice - causes your heart to acknowledge the grace of God that is being lavishly poured out upon you. In the midst of this praise God brings you close to him and begins to comfort and heal you. He gathers you in His arms, wipes away the tears, and whispers his love: "My daughter, you are precious. This pain will come to pass, and in it will be something more beautiful. My heart aches with you, for you, but remember I am able to deliver you...I've loved you since before time began, known you by name and numbered your days and set your path - I can see the end..."

Through the sacrifice we are made more beautiful and we see the spiritual made manifest in this physical world. We are consumed by His love, grace, and mercy - and we are forever changed by the encounter.

I know this time of praise may be hard for a long time to come. The physical world takes time to heal. I am so thankful, for being able to enter the gates of thanksgiving, to come into the Courts of God most High and to lift praises - even if they come from a broken wounded heart that simply doesn't understand.

Untitled Poem

I come to give my sacrafice
here it is my offering
It's all I am,
It's all I bring
This broken life
I lay down
I do not have any gold
or crown
This aching heart
longs to sings
Again of the joy
your love brings
But in your presence
in your grace
here in your house -
in this place
O, Lord, the pain
it is so sharp
That pierces through
this broken heart
And in this broken praise
it finds release
And there it finds your
endless peace
I stumbled, broken into
your house, O Lord,
to be made whole
by your word
I've come to pay to
you my vow
Here in your presence
I humbly bow
With broken heart
I've come to praise
With aching soul
my voice I raise
I know in you all
things are for good
But in this life
it's not always understood
So, Lord, take this
broken heart;
this life you gave
me from the start
This life is yours
and all I am
Please shape me
according to your plan

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Full Hands - and lovin' it...

On Monday of this week I took the kids with me to pick up turkeys for the Thanksgiving baskets we would be handing out at church. We grabbed a cart and took off - all five us.

As usual we got stares from numerous people no doubt wondering why my children were not in school (we home school) and what insanity had driven me to bring all four (ages from 9 down to 2) out into a grocery store.

Passing an older couple they said, "Boy you have your hands full". This is not an unusual comment - in fact I hear it very often.

However, since the loss of Caleb - it has gained a new signifigance.

I was told at the age of 19 after being diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus) and several "sister diseases" including Grave's Disease which they treated with I-131 radiation therepy resulting in Hypothyroid, that I would never be able to have children.

However, at the age of 21: after desperate prayers to God - my heart's disire was answered and I entered the magnifigant life-changing season of motherhood. Following the birth of Anna (born 4 1/2 weeks early - she was due mid-may and born mid April) I have had three more healthy babies - Chase "Rocky", Justin, and Rachel.

My hands would have been empty had it not been for the love, mercy and grace of Abba Father!

And though my arms are empty right now from the loss Caleb....I am grateful my hands are full.

This day I looked with a smile and said, "Yes, my hands are full...but I would rather they be full than to have had them left empty. My children are a blessing, and they are good kids."

The older lady smiled - a gently recognition of the truth - a mother's heart is happiest when her hands are full! Too quickly this season passes and we must find things to fill our hands while we watch our children venture into lives of their own and we wait for the seaons of grandparenthood.

Let me never take for granted these precious days for I know not how many days God has numbered for my life or the lives of those I love.

Out of the mouths of children....

When my children open their mouth I never know what will come spilling out - but what ever it is that comes out it is honest, it is the thought on their mind, it is without reservation or social restraint. Sometimes I brace myself and sometimes I am caught off guard. At times the most magnificent truths of who God is spill out of those tiny mouths straight from a heart that just takes God for who he truly is.

However, this was not the case yesterday.

I went with my four children to pick out new glasses for y new prescription. There was not a large selection, and being distracted by four darting children picking up frames in four different directions. It also doesn't help that I am legally blind without my glasses and already at an unfair advantage. I mean when they say, "look in the mirror and tell me what you think", I am standing there wondering if they could please remove the obstacle of the shelf so that I can get nose to nose with the mirror so I might I actually SEE my reflection in the mirror.

So needless to say, I fell on the mercy of the person helping me. I was truly hoping that her opinion would be good and that I would walk out with a new pair of classy, stylish, young looking glasses. I don't think she fully appreciated the disadvantage I truly was at - or else she got some kind of enjoyment out of making me look like a mousy woman.

At home a put my new glasses on and went to look in the mirror - different was all I could think. I was wishing that the new prescription didn't make the image so crisp and clear.

I stepped out and my oldest son - who loves me dearly and tells me often I am beautiful - greeted me with a comment I was not prepared for.

"Mom, you look like that girl - you know mom the one with the short brown hair and turtle-neck - you know mom, what is her name."

I'm thinking "What girl!"

"You know mom, Scooby-Doo's friend - that one that wears the skirt and orange shirt, that finds all the clues - AHHHHH!! mom, what's her name?! - - - Oh, I know!
Velma - you look just like Velma!"

Great! My life's aspiration come true! I now look like Velma! Not Daphne, VELMA!

Later when Brent came home Chase wanted him and I to model our new glasses.

His reaction shows you what becoming an adult means - we are forever held in restraint by social protocol.

Raised eyebrow, silent as the socially appropriate reaction is formed, then, "They're different, a different style....I mean they're nice - (then hesitantly) So, do you like them?"

Have to laugh - thank you God for these moments of time!!! At least some humor was brought in.

Thank you God for family!

Don't Waste the Pain, David Lyons & Linda Lyons-Richardson

Strap in for a emotional and spiritual ride as you are invited into the personal journeys of pain and discovery of a brother and sister and their respective families.

This book arrived on my doorstep 7 days after burying my youngest son, Caleb Levi born at 4 months. It truly was a poignant, heart-rending book. At times I felt as though a vice-clamp was around my heart and I could not breathe as I recognized the raw emotions of the pain they felt and the peace that followed at crying out to Christ. I can certainly relate to the heartbreaking prayers of a mother and the soul shattering ache when I lost my son. Though spiritual sight supersedes physical and offers a more beautiful picture - letting go of a child after endless prayers for a miracle is a terrible lonely pain. How wonderful to know that God is in control and though the physical hurts - there is peace in knowing where our loved ones go and beauty in the knowledge of the presence of grace in our lives. I barely could read the letter that they read upon having to meet with physicians about removing life-support as it so closely resembled one of my last prayers for Caleb - "Father he was yours from the beginning of time, never mine, I surrender my life to your plan, and his life to you. You are the sustainer - the one who gives and takes away - I only ask Lord that you strengthen me, comfort me, and whisper words of love to me because I know Lord if he goes to be with you that my heart will shatter and my soul will ache, and my arms will long to hold him - Prepare me for your will, Lord that you may be glorified..."

I can not begin to imagine the struggle of Linda, but I appreciate the openness and rawness of her emotions. She holds nothing back from the reader as she generously opens her personal journals. The reader is invited into the war zone - to see first hand the battle of truth and the enemy as she struggles to stay focused on Christ and His provision and divine purpose for her life. This battle is truly a battle each christian must face though the attack of the enemy is very different for each of and each of us has a different battle field: for some it is health, others family or financial, but the battle is the same. A battle for what we will hold as truth -will we allow our suffering to strengthen our faith and make our lives more beautiful through the storm or will we surrender the victory and accept defeat in the form of depression, loss, despair, and desperation of lost hope.

This book shows in clearness that God refines us into something more beautiful so that emerging from the storm, walking in the shadow of death, or climbing/descending a treacherous rocky mountainside we can give glory to the one who gives and takes away, who sustains us, and who says "Do Not Fear for I am able to deliver you, and to show you things that you have not known."

If you know someone going through a trial, or someone emerging from a storm, someone in great suffering of heart this is an excellent book of the affirmation of God's grace and mercy toward his children.

Thank you, David and Linda for allowing us to see God's work in your lives.

Thank you NavPress for this review copy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Journey

This journey I've been called to has been a winding road
Sometimes I've thought I could no longer bear the load
I've come to see my Savior in all His glory and His grace
when on my knees before him, I fell upon my face.
This earthly vessel's been battered by my circumstance
I've lost my song and joy, lost my heart for dance
I've doubted just as Thomas, who wanted to believe
but found his heart wavered and it was easy to deceive
I've wrestled with the enemy in deep dark nights
Been wounded in the battle lost many of my fights
My heart has been broken, shattered on the ground
My life lain open for all those around
Many times I struggled on this earthly path
to withstand the enemy in all of his wrath
I've stumbled on the slippery slopes of my fleshly pride
and hidden from the truth when I've believed what Satan implied
But in the midst of me - imperfect though I am
Came the cleansing waters that wash as no one can
That brilliant scarlet flood that cleanses every soul
Sets the captive free and makes the broken whole
And in my darkest hour, desperate for peace
I've experienced grace and its sweet release
Surrendered now I travel on this journey long
with salvation as my banner and mercy as my song
In myself I fail, there is no chance of victory
On my own I can not enter Heavens sweet eternity
But surrendered to my Savior - given to his will
My feet are steadied, this anxious heart made still
These things that are so hopeless, suddenly turn bright
When my Savior is there to shine His holy light
So all I give to him, who gave his all for me
Together we'll finish this spiritual journey

Created for a Purpose


The following is an email I sent to a dear daughter of the king. However, when I logged onto my email after bible study tonight it showed up as an unsent draft. Maybe this was meant for others as well, maybe God was speaking a truth to me. So here it is...something so simple, a message lost sometimes in the loudness of the world, hidden under our daily cares, forgotten in our rush to complete our tasks at hand. We all need to be reminded from time to time how very precious we are to Abba Father. Though this was written for someone in particular - I think it was also meant for others and myself - why else would God have not allowed the email to go through the first time (nothing in life is by happenstance but by divine appointment).

We are each created for such a day as this - to do our Father's bidding. I only say or write what is in my heart - I have learned in my years that my life must be surrendered to the One who created me and knew me before time began, who knit me together, placed me in my mother's womb and set my days - just as he has done for you.

Always remember that you - a daughter of the king - are the crowning jewel of his creation - created for a purpose.

My loss is only physical - the spiritual side is so beautiful it can not be put into words. I rejoice daily in the time I had with Caleb Levi and I am ever thankful for the four children that are living (Anna Grace - 9, Chase "Rocky" Ryan - 7, Justin Wyatt, Jay - 3 and Rachel Elisabeth "RaeBird" - 2). I was four months pregnant with Caleb when a hemorrhage that I had developed at 4 weeks became worse and the bleeding blocked Caleb's blood supply. God answered many prayers during that pregnancy - he showed my husband and I many spiritual truths and we are forever changed because of our encounter with His grace.

Never forget that you are the crowning jewel - God saw woman and for the first time in the creation story said the words It is very good (not just it is good). Your life and the things in it are never by chance. Even our pain is beautiful when we allow God to use it.

Many nights during my pregnancy as a lay in bed hurting from the hemorrhage, tired from the blood loss, frustrated at the unknown - I prayed that God let me see the cross - that He support me with his strong arm - that he give me spiritual sight that overlooked the physical. Nothing in this physical world changed but my perception, my focus, my reality became that of the spiritual (this is the truth of the spiritual: it is not seen by human sight but by faith, it is comforting, beautiful, and peace that is incomprehensible). The enemy would whisper lies and Holy Spirit would whisper life sustaining, faith altering truths.

I do not know what the enemy has whispered to you - what life has done to you, what things you wrestle with I only know that God has said you are His daughter, you are more precious than rubies, more beautiful than anything on this earth, capable of all things in His strength, valuable above any earthly thing - created for a purpose. Even your heartaches, mistakes, pain, disappointments, broken dreams, broken heart, hurting spirit are made beautiful in His hands.

Ladies, we are each priceless, valuable, and loved beyond measure. Let Abba Father scoop you up in His strong arms and lift you high in the air and twirl you around. Look deeply into His laughing eyes, drink up this delightful love. Let laughter spill from your soul. Be filled. Be freed. Be Beautiful!

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. --

Posted By Abbie to Daughter's of Jehovah at 11/15/2010 07:10:00 PM

Water walking Faith

Matthew 14:28 "Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.."

This is a familiar passage. The apostles were out in the boat and a storm came up suddenly and fiercely. The waves raged against the ship and threatened to break it apart. The apostles, frightened by what they saw, struggled to correct the situation. The winds hissed the lies of the enemy...."overboard, overboard, it's hopeless, it's hopeless..." Here they were surrounded by the darkness of night, their tiny vessel battered by tumultuous waves, the sails battered and ripped by the wind - without escape, seemingly without hope.

Then calmly, walking in the midst of the storm - on the tossing waves was a figure. "Is this a dream - is it a ghost - what is this that comes toward us - an angel of death???" The fear, the worry, the unknown - all in the form of questions.
And then the voice - "Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid"
That calm steady voice. So very quiet it could have been missed amidst the rage of the storm, it could have been lost in the hiss of the wind, could have been drowned out by the pounding waves. But it is that voice that pierces all darkness, cuts through all distraction. It is that voice that demands an audience, complete attention - it can not be ignored. It demands action - will you stop to listen?
I have come to love this passage of scripture over the past year as God has brought so much to me in these 12 months. He has taught me the truth of water walking faith. You see I knew this story...I had a head knowledge of it...I believed it to be true - but when was I ever going to be out on the water to walk upon it?

Simply a Sunday school story miracle.

What a deception of the enemy!

Water walking faith happens all the time, are you ready for it?

Water walking faith, however, has a cost. You must be willing to accept the storm to
see the miracle. You must be willing to look only at God to trade in the physical for the spiritual. To trust what you don't see, can't explain, know in this physical world is impossible and believe in the one who said "Fear Not".

I love Peter's response when he hears that familiar voice - the voice of the one he has come to trust as Savior, Messiah, Master, and Teacher. The one he has heard call the dead to rise, the blind to see, the possessed to be set free. The one he has heard pray and talk with Father God.

"Lord, If it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.."

For me it came, all to often, in a question like this - and I believe this is the way many of us have phrased it: "Lord, my world is falling apart, my heart is shattered....IF you are here call me - show me a miracle"
But look closely at Peter's request. He did not ask for a miracle, he did not even ask that the storm be calmed. He asked for Jesus to bid him to come to him on the water. THROUGH the storm, in the midst of the turmoil. He wanted Jesus to bid him come into his presence. He knew something so many of us forget, or never fully learn, or somehow don't grasp - He Knew where safety was. Safety was not in that earthly vessel, it was only in the presence, the company, at the feet of, in the arms of JESUS. No where else.

My request has become: "Father, here it is - my life, all that I am, just as I am - use me: help my sight be on you and you alone."
As we continue this we see that Jesus responds to Peter with firmness and authority in verse 29 - One simple word, "COME"
Come: step out, a simple command. you hear it? An invitation of Jesus into the safety of his arms.

Please note that the storm has not stilled. Very likely the others are a mixed group: some terrified still, others staring in disbelief as the events unfold. The winds still rage, the waves still pound - - - the enemy still attacks with his lies: "it is hopeless, it is hopeless, give up, there is no salvation"
But there in the midst is the truth "FEAR NOT, IT IS I - the I Am, the Alpha and Omega, The Strong Tower - FEAR NOT I am able to deliver you - I love you, you are mine!"

Peter stepped out in the midst of that storm - eyes on Jesus. One foot after the other, walking on water. All is well even in the midst of the raging storm because all he could see was Jesus' face, all he looked at was that out stretched arm - all he listened for was that calm, quiet, authoritative voice.
But the enemy was still there whispering. And Peter saw the crashing waves, he saw that his feet were on uncertain ground that rolled and shifted and threatened to upturn him. He looked away.

In verse 30 we see him sink.

Then the miracle of grace comes in - He cried out and Jesus lifted him up.
Thank you Lord for that grace! "Why did you doubt?" Jesus asked.
So it is still - why did you doubt, why do you worry - you are my child, I love you and know you and have set forth your days, I have good thoughts toward you - plans for an expected end.


Why?? - because we are weak, we are of this physical world - because our faith falters, and we long to be in control.

Through this year God has shown me spiritual things that are more beautiful than anything this world has to offer. However, it has come at the cost of my being in control. Some say this should be easy - but I ask each of you to look closely at your heart, seek that which is hidden. Is is not our tendency to try to fix things, cope with things, be the strong one.

In my darkest hours as the enemy whispered his lies of defeat I cried out to Jesus to show me the cross, to extend his hand, to comfort my heart. In my times of doubt I have learned to ask for His perfect strength, His understanding, His peace.
My earthly vessel is weak and battered. It shatters easily when the waves of life beat upon it. This road I walk shifts beneath my feet and I stumble. Sometimes this world I know falls around me, and the things I thought were in my control slip through my hands like sand. These dreams I cherish sometimes never come true, these hopes I treasure sometimes are stolen or broken. These things I strive for sometimes do not happen. These prayers I whisper are not always answered the way I want.
Yet it is all beautiful - and perfect - and calm.

Water walking faith is trading in this physical sight for things unseen - it is looking to Jesus and through him it is being given spiritual sight of things more beautiful and precious, things hoped for, believed in and things to come. It is grace in its purest form.

Water walking faith means in the midst of the storm you accept it for what it is - a storm that will pass - and look to what will be - The perfect will of God.
This is no easy thing, there are times we will begin to sink. But this is our hope - "IT IS I" will immediately pull us out of the crashing waves when we cry out.
My darkest hours were still dark, my pain was and is still very much real. But in those hours when the enemy whispered and in those hours when my world shifted, and in those hours when my hopes shattered - I was allowed to see the cross and Jesus said "COME".

Our circumstances and storms may not change - that is not what water walking faith is. It is just that our focus, like Peter's, changes from the storm to the Sustainer, from the lies to the Truth, from the bondage to the Freedom, from the Fear to the Peace-giver, from the shifting ground of life to the Solid Rock of Christ.

When he bids you come - step out. Surrender and walk upon the water. Invite Jesus to take your life and make it calm in the midst of the storm.
If we began to live out water walking faith a revival would sweep our nation. For you can not walk into grace and experience water walking faith and not be changed.
Surrender your life - all that you are - to Christ. Be as Peter and ask that He bid you out into the water.


On October 26th we went to our regular OB check up expecting that all was well with Caleb. Dr. Mason listened for the heartbeat and found none - encouragingly he patted my hand and told me that sometimes babies turn and it is difficult to hear the heartbeat with the Doppler. So they got the ultrasound machine. As I lay there that day watching his expression change my heart went numb. No heartbeat, Caleb had passed away. I felt my world crash around me and could barely hear the next things that Dr. Mason said - I called Brent and he came in with all our children in tow.
The next week passed in a blur of heartache and questions - and how do you answer the questions of your children when your very own heart is reeling in shock. I felt so separated from reality - begging for a Lazarus miracle and receiving a small answer: "Surrender it all to me, I will take care of you - this seems like it will overwhelm you, but just as I stilled the wind for my disciples I will still this too, surrender".

What a difficult thing to do - human nature cries out for answers, demands control, wants stability, needs things fixed. God however wants us to be fully reliant on him, to give up the need for control, to accept the broken - knowing that in our brokenness He is making something more beautiful in the end. The key is letting him have the brokenness and not asking what he's making but fully trusting that it will be better and blessed.
I think I cried enough tears to fill a river, yet my comfort is those tears were lovingly counted by my Father.

Peace comes in that surrender - a strange peace that I am unable to put into words. God did not remove my heartache, he did not stop my pain, he did not stop my tears. He just wrapped me up in his love, wrapped my family up in his love. And we are changed because of this surrender, because of this encounter with His love, His grace, His provision. Our eyes were opened to spiritual things so beautiful that we shall never be the same. What the enemy would have as tragedy our family sees as victory, what the enemy would use to drive a wedge between husband and wife have driven us all the closer together as we leaned into our Lord, our Refuge, or Strength and Strongtower.

My Father's words to Jeremiah so many years ago echoed in my heart.."Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth I sanctified you..." (Jeremiah 1:5), and again in Psalms David recounts the same knowledge. Caleb was known and loved by God. He was given as a heritage and blessing to Brent and I and our children - Anna Grace, Chase Ryan, Justin Wyatt, and Rachel Elisabeth. Caleb's days from conception where written out by God, numbered by His hand just as each one of our days are. His life was sanctified - set aside, special and valued - by God. He was created for an expected end (as the scriptures say each of us are). In what the world sees as a tragedy I see such blessing. I am continually overwhelmed by God's provision. we prayed to see Caleb - God gave us a clear ultrasound just 3 weeks before his death. We watched as he waved his arms and kicked his feet to the beat of his beautiful heart. Then God granted us delivery in the hospital where we were able to see his perfectly formed body.
Through this entire pregnancy God has faithfully answered our prayers, strengthened us in our weakness, comforted us when we were fearful, given us words to comfort our children, and filled our hearts with overflowing love for God.

Life is beautiful, real and precious! I am ever thankful to God for this life that changed our family. Though he will be greatly missed I am so thankful God saw fit to allow him here for the time that he was here.

Today, we were surrounded by our spiritual family - our church family. They grieved with us and comforted each one of us in ways that others have not. They have stood by us throughout this, and lifted faithful, beautiful prayers on our behalf to God. I can never say enough to this family God has provided us in way of thanks. Through this God has shown me how very special our spiritual families truly are - for we are joined by a common God in a miraculous love.

Caleb Levi Riddle
Born November 2, 2010
12:26 am
3 1/2 inches long
8 ounces
Titus Memorial Hospital
Little Brother to: Anna Grace (Sissy), Chase Ryan (Rocky), Justin Wyatt (Jay), and Rachel Elisabeth (Rae Bird)
Son of Brent Ryan and Abbie Day

NEVER the less

While working on the devotional "One Desperate Hour" and praying over that verse another truth stopped me in my tracks: just one long word tucked into the middle of that verse: the word "nevertheless"
You see the first part of that prayer was Jesus realizing the weakness of his flesh, crying out in his most desperate hour to a Holy Father to strengthen this weak, wounded flesh of humanity.
Then it changes "nevertheless"....the pivotal words. The words that are followed by an absolute surrender, an absolute acknowledgment of who God is, a time of allowing His will to consume and control the situation and the outlook.
However in those words are a mountain of truth. Something caused Jesus to see the outcome, the fruit was worth the journey. The blessing out-weighed the suffering. The beauty would be worth the betrayals, beating, blood, and brokenness. The benefits out numbered the cost.

I am the Never the Less! I am the one Jesus saw in that instant and so are you. He saw us each as we are before we are formed in our mother's wombs. He saw us each as we are in our suffering of sin. He saw us each as we are in Him, made righteousness and beautiful because of the offering of His life for our atonement, our redemption.
I am Never the Less because Jesus went to the cross, because he surrendered to God's will...because he chose to stay in this flesh to become a sinless offering for all humanity. I am Never the Less but always the more.
Never the Less: always the victor, always the head, always with hope, always redeemed, always set free, always counted precious and set apart, always known by name, always remembered, always held in His hand....never to be Less again!
I am Never the Less because I know the I AM!

One Desperate Hour

He knelt in prayer, The Lamb of God, The Truth, The Alpha and Omega, The Son of God. He knelt in prayer, broken hearted, poured out, in agony, crying out to God the Father. In agony of soul, in war against this weak flesh of humanity. Jesus knelt in prayer before the Father with full knowledge of what was to come. Jesus knelt in prayer looking into the heaven he left - the perfect union of fellowship with God the Father. He had already given up a throne to walk in the weak, wounded, sinful flesh, stained from the fall. He'd felt the attacks of Satan's lies. He'd felt the heartbreak of the loss of loved ones and wept. He'd felt the sting of rejection of friends and family of his hometown. He'd seen the disappointment in the eyes of those who did not get the answers that they wanted from him. He would soon be betrayed by one of his twelve, someone he had invested time and love in, someone he'd shared fellowship with, dined with and taught the truth of God to. He would be denied by one of his closest friends. He would be left alone to face arrest by those he trusted most. He would be thrown into a filthy prison with the vilest offenders and those without conscience. He would be beaten beyond recognition. He would take lashes one short of the death blow that would leave his back open and raw. He would be cursed, forsaken, spit upon, and condemned by the very ones he came to save. He would suffer humiliation and be nailed to a cross for all to see. He would suffer the a moment of broken fellowship with God the Father as he took on the sins of all humanity.
In this - his most desperate hour - his flesh cried out "IT IS TO MUCH!", his flesh cried out "Leave them be, walk away....."
Jesus knew this human frame, this flesh, this free will was weak, wounded from the fall of Adam and could not stand alone.
In this - most desperate hour - Jesus cried out "Father, if is Your will, let this cup pass from me;
nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42)

In this most desperate hour Jesus understood His flesh, and His fleshly free-will needed to be surrendered to God (it needed to be nailed to cross before he could be nailed to the cross). And at the moment of surrender the scripture says that an angel was sent to strengthen Jesus.

Surrender to God = Strengthened by His Hand!

In our most desperate hour, our hour of anguish, when no answers seem to fit we must surrender it ALL to the Lord. We must ask HIS will to be done. We must step back. In that most desperate hour God will answer and He will supply the strength we need for the hour.

Surrender to God and be strengthened by His hand....let His will be worked out and he will hold you through the fire...Let His will be manifest in your life and He will bless you...Let His will consume you and he will make something more beautiful.

Christ still had the cross to face after that prayer but his focus changed. In Luke you will see that after being strengthened that Jesus returned to a more earnest prayer. In John we are given a more in depth description of this prayer. Jesus' focus was not on the desperate hour - the anguish of the moment - the thing that seemed impossible. That all remained the same. His focus was turned on those he loved, the reason for the mission.

Our circumstance may not change, the thing that brought us to our most desperate hour of prayer may not be immediately removed, but how we see it will change and our attitude about it will change. We can have faith that in our most desperate hour because we have surrendered to HIS WILL all things will work together for good and we will have peace to walk in the valley of desperation because of who walks beside us - because of who bears us up - because of who carries and comforts us.

In our most desperate hour He has promised not to leave us.

In your most desperate hour surrender to God, fall headlong into His arms and allow Him to work in you and through you. Experience victory!

Journal from the Heart

This will most likely be one of my longest post and most personal on the site ever. Please bear with me as I feel that it is of the utmost importance to testify of God’s grace and goodness and his sufficient supply in the times of our needs and trials. As most of you know I am experiencing some problems with this pregnancy and it has brought me to the cross more than once. I could wait to see the outcome then testify of God’s goodness, yet that is not what God is calling me to do. Paul did not wait until his freedom of circumstances, his deliverance from jail or trails to speak of the goodness of God – Elohim (The Lord of Lords). This is my most difficult as the subject is so new and raw in my own heart and as I am still in the midst of this storm – yet God has begun a transformation that is beautiful. I trust completely in his will and know that his ways are far above my own. I believe that every life is not without purpose – from the very moment of conception – that moment when it is placed in your womb before you even know it. That life is not without significance and purpose. For me to see it any other any other way would be to negate the very word of God that states from beginning to end this very thing : He knew us before he placed us, he knit together our inner most parts, he ordained us, set us apart, numbered our days, laid out a plan for our lives, and gave us a certain end! This means from the very moment we are placed our life is important and begins to have an effect on this very world. We become a testimony of God. So let me share with you my journal. I do not know the reason other than to let you all know that “The Right Christian thing to do” flew out the window and ONLY a personal relationship with Christ is the anchor - - - all the church, all the “right” words, all the scripture quoting, all the songs - - - they do nothing. Only that relationship that faith in Elohim makes the difference. Faith has become more for me than a word, a work - it is my reality – for it is these things that I can not see that have made this present trial bearable, it has kept me from being overwhelmed by fear and doubt. Faith is truly rejecting this reality for the reality of the cross and this being done the circumstance does not change but the view does!
I have started this a few days late but none the-less here it is – my testimony of the goodness of God in my life. On Sunday (6 days ago) Brent and I headed to the ER as a cramped and bled. Brent prayed over our child as we drove down the highway, both us clung to the promises of our God. Repeating that we walk by faith not my sight and that which God has promised he is able to deliver. When the doctor came back with a negative report I sat stunned unable to react. “Good HCG, visable yolk sac and gestational sac – NO BABY….Could be that you have already miscarried and the baby is already absorbed or could be that it is just too early”. The bleeding and cramping had stopped, but what to do with this information. On our way home we decided again that we would cling to God’s promises. We began to rejoice that our reality was not the report of man, but it was the promises of God (the things we can not see). The next morning we both awoke rejoicing in the promises of God almighty. It was this day we called our baby Caleb Levi. Calab because when he was old he still said “give me my mountain” and Levi for the keepers of God’s law.
This morning I rolled over to a sudden tremendous gush of blood and clots. This was followed very quickly by the onset of labor like pains that immediately brought tears. I called Brooxie and then Marni who came to set with the children. Again, numbness came over me – was this it? Would this be good-bye to our child? My spirit strove against my flesh and the overwhelming fear and darkness of the enemy. “Your reality child is not this which you see and feel – it is Jesus Christ – You MUST focus on Jesus Christ or you will be overwhelmed by the fear and the darkness of the enemy”.
So silently as pain pulled at my body I repeated to myself: “ You are my strong tower, you are by help in this trial, you are my strength, you are my courage – I will not question your ways that are greater than mine no matter what – I will not questions your ways – increase my faith Lord, nor will I surrender readily that which you have given to me over to the enemy. You alone are able to give and take. You are able to deliver me – I trust you will to be worked out completely for your glory, what ever it be – I walk by faith and faith requires only that I focus on the cross…. You are my strong tower……”
Again, Brent and I prayed over our child claiming scriptures over him and the promise that God is able. This time the pain and bleeding did not stop instead it increased. But this time on the sonogram was a strong beating heart – a healthy baby!!! Blood work good – bleeding coming from where the pregnancy or placenta had tried to attach. If it stops and attaches all is well – follow up in a week.
I think that I have cried more today than in my life. But God has whispered into my ear that he would lead me into green pastures – these are the prayer and comfort of my church family. The still waters have been the comfort and refreshment of God’s word.
I have come to understand in a new way the phrase “the valley of the shadow of death” found in Psalm 23. As I traverse this valley of suffering my heart goes from breaking to rejoicing. You see death is just that a “shadow” – that which was and that which could have or might have been. A Shadow much like the one created by the sun as it hits one side of your body casting a image of you. You can step on your own shadow, but you can never walk from your toe to your head nor catch up to your own shadow. Yet someone else can walk through your shadow, stand in your shadow. You feel nothing as they pass through the shadow because it is merely a gauzy reflection of you. But for the person walking through this shadowy valley our emotions well up as tide within us and threaten to overtake us as we consider what could have been and what was.
I am in this valley of uncertain times – but I have found the meaning of comfort of God’s rod and staff. You see God does not want us focused on the shadow – death may or may not come – our certaintity I this only that if the shadow does not fade then the life is still there and when it does fade it fades into the Son of Eternity – the brightness of heaven’s light. Our time is here and now this present moment. I have found that this is the place of faith refinement. A place our sight can be changed from here and now to the sight of faith. A place where we are each called to at sometime and we are faced with this charge: “Choose ye this day whom you will serve – the God of your fathers or the god of this world (the enemy), What reality will be yours? – The reality of God’s promise or the reality of the Father’s of lies and shadows and fears? Will you put o the whole armor of God and having done so will you stand? Will you stay in your bean field faced with your Goliath and having done all stand?”

We made it to the OB appointment. There again was our baby – healthy beating heart! The negative the uterus is filled with clots, BUT here again the miracle and provisions of GOD!!! The clots are above and around the baby outside the sac. They are not near the placenta that is very well attached. The bleed is above the baby!!
God's hand clearly over our child, clearly protecting him! Overwhelmed at God’s goodness I proclaimed it there “THAT IS THE GREATNESS OF MY GOD” MY God – the one I serve the one that heard My prayers – the one that loves ME!!! Tears flowed down my face – I do not know if the doctor thought I was crazy or not. I listened as he repeated the rest – blood work weekly, 50/50 chance of survival, sonograms weekly, rest and take it easy, must monitor the clots and make sure they are dissolving and coming out, bleed will hopefully heal on its own.
On the way home more prayer and proclamation of God’s promises.
This week my church family has done what it does always – freely given of itself to the service of others. They have been my green pastures. They have faithfully lifted up our family in prayers. They have brought meals every day – a blessing much needed in this first week of adjustment. They have spoken words of affirmation. They have showered us with love and comfort – only God could have planned it this way!
Our family has drawn together in prayer and God’s word has strengthened us .
Every once in a while I am drawn back to the statement 50/50, but God has given me this – we are each only guaranteed a this moment. We each have only a 50/50 chance to make it through this day. For our days are numbered by our God and he alone holds the time for each of us. So this day I will choose the reality of faith – things which I can not see, I will rest in promises breathed in the living Word of God, I will cling to the cross, I will choose this day to surrender to His will for His purpose, to rejoice in this present provision that he has given us. I will choose to give testimony of His Goodness and to be thankful in this.