Monday, March 30, 2009

No Condemnation

I have a devotion running on the Proverbs 31 Ministries site today. The title is "No Condemnation." No surprise that all day yesterday I battled the voices of doubt, fear, and sadness.

Over the weekend I travelled about 4 and 1/2 hours away from home to speak at a Women's Forum in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The event was better than I ever dreamed it could be. I was blessed. The women were blessed. I could feel the Lord's presence and His Words spilling from my mouth as I presented the message. I shared portions of my life and how good or bad, God brought purpose from each situation. I also shared how I've struggled with my self-image and self-esteem as well. And I still do! Now I know God is in control and that I am beautiful in His eyes and so special to Him. With that said, I have to battle daily for my natural tendancies not to take over. And it is a daily battle. When I left yesterday, I was on such a "God-High". I was so excited at how God worked in the hearts the women at the event. They ate up the message, they took Proverbs 31 books, magazines, and devotions home with them....they left hungry for more of Jesus and eager to grow in their walk with the Lord. And I made some great new friends too!!!!

Sunday morning I woke up late and we missed church. Feeling guilty over that was not the way I wanted to begin my day. I can't explain why, but for the remainder of the day I felt weepy, discouraged, and a loser. Condemning thoughts occupied my mind. Things like: "That was bad to oversleep. I caused the whole family to miss church." "I haven't exercised since wonder I'm not losing weight." "Jeff doesn't understand me today. He's probably thinking about all the things I've done wrong lately." "I'm worried about my mom." "Why do I feel like this today...yesterday was such a blessing and tomorrow I have a devotion running."

Then t hit me. And I should've been prepared for this attack. Why? Because the closer we are to God, the harder Satan fights to keep our eyes off of the Lord and on to our own weakness and flaws. Darnit, I fell for it again!

John 3:17 is one of my favorite verses. It says, "Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it." Jesus didn't come here, take my sins to the cross and die for me, so that I would feel all blue and pathetic. He came to save me. And in that, there is no condemnation.

Satan knows us all very well. And he'll use what he knows to lure us away from God. I may get caught off guard and slip and fall every now and then, but with God's help I stand back up, brush the dust off, and move forward in my walk with Him...replacing those condemning thoughts with the Truth.

In my devotion, I mentioned a "God Moment" I had once when I was feeling condemned and God showed up in my morning devotion. I'd love to hear your God Moments if you'd like to share. Or if you have any thoughts on what you do to stand strong when you feel defeated. Or just anything you'd like to share at all. I read every comment posted and I love to hear about your stories too.

Thanks for reading my thoughts today. This is the day the Lord has made. Let's all rejoice and be glad in it!

Happy Monday,

****Hey for those of you who have been praying for my mom...she has an appointment with a surgeon today. We think we know what he will recommend and the surgery needed to remove this part of her cancer could be difficult and life altering. Please pray for her. Pray for the enemy NOT to get a hold of her mind and that she is reminded often that the Lord will take care of her. I'm spending the night with her tonight. Thanks Y'all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Mom's Website

If you have the time or get the chance, go visit my Mama's CaringBridge website.

I'm visiting with her tonight. We are in our jammies watching American Idol :) And her pain is better! Praise God!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm Going to Rock Hill

Have you ever heard of Rock Hill? It's a small city in South Carolina. It's where my mom lives. And it's only about 35 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina where I live. I've decided to head south. I need a visit with my mom.

She says she doesn't need me there. I should tend to my husband and 4 kids and job. But there is nothing more important to me right now that spending time with "Mama". Funny, because I haven't called her "Mama" in many years. I've called her "MaMaw"....her grandma name. Not any more. I call her "Mama" again. Isn't that just how mothers are....don't want their babies to worry with them. But oh how I consider it a privilege. Especially faced with the fact that mine won't be around in ?????? years to come. Brings tears to my eyes.

She has lung cancer. Stage 4. That's bad enough. But then another Cancer showed up. How unfair is that???? The other cancer is very fast growing and requires major surgery. After this surgery, my mom will have a colostomy. She's devasted. A bag to hold her bodily waste. Oh Lord, provide her with the strength and the confidence to know that this doesn't mean she's lost her dignity. This part of the cancer happened so fast. Too fast. She's only 62 years old. And I need her.

I don't know how people deal with trials when they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I was telling my dad tonight that the one thing that brought me peace and comfort was that I KNEW for a fact where my mom stands in her faith. If she dies right now, she's with Jesus. I'm so glad I know that.

My oldest son just kissed me goodnight. I treasure that kiss. My mom's oldest child will kiss her goodnight tomorrow night. (I'm her oldest child.)

I'm going to Rock Hill.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Mind is Racing............

Slow Down!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, do you ever feel like that your mind is racing faster than you can keep up????? That's how I am tonight.

I'm up. I'm down. I'm excited. I'm depressed. I'm grateful. I'm mad. I'm loving life. I'm hating life. I have laundry to do. I need to go to the grocery store. I'm starting a new exercise routine tomorrow. I'm speaking at a conference next weekend. Dylan has his first scrimmage tomorrow. Hayden has his first track meet this week. I have boundaries to set. I'm worried about my mom. Blake is stressing over midterms. I want to lose weight. I need to get my hair cut. I have so much to do!!!!!!!!

Do you know what I mean? Just tonight I was telling my husband that my #1 temptation these days is just to sleep. If I'm sleeping I don't have to deal with life. Fortunately, God has wired me not to give into that temptation unless of course it's bedtime! But I think about it.

I'm praying tonight for peace. I'm claiming those familiar verses from Philippians 4:6-8. Paraphrased, Don't worry about anything but pray about everything and God's peace will come over you. I give it to God.

Hey, I saw a friend at church today that I haven't seen in probably 18 years. Patty, who I have taken dance with for half my childhood, we were on the dance team in high school together, and I just recently reconnected with on Facebook....I saw her at church today! She doesn't live here. We have a huge church. It totally made my day. She looked so beautiful. The highlight of my day.

Well, have a wonderful start to your week.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Me an "Older Woman"?

I was having a chat with my one of my co-workers and super great friends, Samantha. Now I just have to pause here and tell you, I just love this girl! We started working in the Proverbs 31 office at about the same time and our roles at work pair us up quite a bit. She is fun, compassionate, caring, sweet, loving, and such a beautiful reflection of Jesus. I feel like I've known her for years. I know I could share my deepest darkest secrets with her. We have a lot in common although we are 12 years apart in age. With that said, when I am with her I feel as young as she is. Also with that said, this 42 year old also turns to her 30 year old friend for guidance and advice. Why? Because I know she will give a me grounded godly honest return.

So, Samantha and I were talking. She was sharing her weekend with me when she told me that some older women in her church took her on a retreat. I thought for sure these were like the church founders, you know in their later years of life. I asked her how old they were. She said, "about 40 ish, maybe 42 or 45." "WHAT???? You call that older women? That means I'm an older woman!!!!" I cannot be an older woman, can I? I'm too young to be an older woman! Well, I guess to a 30 year old I am! My kids think I'm old too!

Honestly, this "older woman" thing doesn't bother me. I actually found it comical. Truth is, I don't feel like an older woman. I'm too immature to be older :) And I hope it always seems that way to me.

I just talked to my mom. She's received more bad news. I'm not quite ready to blog about it yet. Just if you are reading this, pray for her. Her name is Becky. Just scroll down a few posts and you'll see her. She too is not an older woman (62), but is being dealt some serious health realizations that most her age don't have to deal with. It's breaking my heart to watch her go through it. And all the while, she's worried about me. The irony of it all!

Hey, it's St. Patrick's Day! Did you wear green? I did. I had too! My daughter, Hayley Grace, insisted on it. I had no choice. It was wear green or get pinched!

Well, this older woman is getting ready to watch American Idol. Have a great day/night!

Much Love,


Friday, March 13, 2009

Love the Weekend

I left my mom's house this morning. Just like old times when I used to live at home, I overslept. Typically I wake up early, raring to go. But for the past 2 days I've been visiting with mom. It's the first visit I can remember that I didn't have kids with me. It was just me. It reminded me of when I was in high school and could just lay around the house, watch TV, and be the child! It was wonderful.

Of course, there were differences. Besides the fact that I'm not 17 anymore, the roles were a little reversed. I took care of mom. She was very sick. Although I didn't do a whole lot to make her feel better, I did keep her company. We had moments of conversation, laughter, and comfortable silence. I will treasure those 2 days for the rest of my life and hope to have more of them in the future.

I think I was so relaxed and enjoying my time with mom that sleeping in just seemed right. I woke up and saw the clock and jumped out of bed. Within 15 minutes I was on the road, back to Charlotte. My mother was still sleeping. I returned back to my regular, carpool, laundry, kids.....but also the weekend.

I love the weekend! Our weekends would probably seem boring to most. We are homebodies. I haven't seen my husband and kids for 2 days. I am ready for a weekend at home with my family, watching basketball, and hangin out. Quite a week and ready for the weekend.

While my emotions and feelings are all over the place, I am thankful for the simple pleasures that bring comfort. Time with my mother. Returning to my home sweet home. And the weekend. I love the weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Few Days Away

I left my husband and children.

Not forever....just for a few days. I decided to leave my home in Charlotte, NC and head about 35 minutes south to Rock Hill, SC to visit my mom. It was just too hard for me to stay away. She's been very sick and in a lot of pain. I'm so thankful to be here. I am just treasuring my time with her. Right now my mom, Princess (my dog), Maggie (her dog), and I are laying on the bed watching Oprah. Us girls are just chillin'! I don't remember the last time I just spent some quiet time "chillin" with my mom. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling!

As for mom, she's still in pain, but MUCH better. She has a PT scan tomorrow. I'm going to stay here until Friday morning.
Everyone at home (Jeff and kids) and everyone at work (LeAnn and company) were just so supportive for me to get away. I left 4 very active kids at home. My husband and his parents are all tag teaming to do my job (carpool, ortodontist, dance class, baseball practice, supper). And at work, Proverbs 31 Ministries, they insisted I come to see my mom. Nevermind the fact that means someone else has to fill in for me. Lynn even told me that everytime the phone rings at the office while I'm gone, she prays for my mom. How sweet is that???? I have been able to walk away from my normal life without a worry in the world so that I can focus on my beautiful mother. I am so grateful for that.
Life is precious that's for sure. And so are the people we get to share life with. Pictured above is a picture I took just today of me and my mom, who is so precious to me, especially now.

Monday, March 9, 2009


If you have visited my blog lately, then you noticed that my last post received many comments. At last glance, there were 171 comments. Not just comments, but prayers for my mother and me.

Have you ever had a friend do something that was just so selfless that it took your breath away? That is how I feel.

My friend Lysa ( wrote about my mother and asked her blog readers to pray for her and send me encouragement. Well, 171 comments later, I have 171 prayers and words of encouragement and verses sent my way. I could not read them all on my blog. I needed to print them out, so that's what I did.

I've been taking time in spurts to just read the precious words and prayers. It is overwhelming to me to think about all these people that I don't know who are taking the time to pray for my mom and pray for me. And why? Because Lysa asked them to as a favor to her. I just can't absorb the magnitude of this very selfless act. It's one thing to ask someone to pray, but also to comment to make sure I knew there were people praying. Lysa told me she just wanted the floodgates of Heaven to open up for my mom...prayers from all over being lifted up on her behalf. It takes my breath away.

My mom is not doing well today. She's been to the emergency room twice in the past 3 days. Now she is nauseaus and not eating much. I'm going to see her tomorrow afternoon. (Tuesday) She is still in a lot of pain. It seems that she goes to a different doctor each day and they all say something different. It's frustrating. And it's killing me seeing her in so much pain. Tonight I just broke down, feeling helpless. My heart aches for my mom and also for her husband. He loves her and is serving her just like Jesus would have it. And he doesn't know what else to do. He just wants her healed. He loves her so much. He also lost his son just last year. It's just hard.

Thank you so much if you have been praying. It means more to me than you could know. What a blessing. I believe in the power of prayer and I know that the strength I have today is a result of that. It renders me speechless. Thank you.

Much much love,


Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Real Life

In October, 2008, I found out my mother had stage 4 lung cancer. At the time I was just speechless. I'm not typically speechless. I just couldn't believe it. The sound of the "C" word just silenced me. My sister began crying, my step father gasped and the tears fell, my mother was crushed.....I was numb. No tears. No feelings. The doctor said, "with treatment she has 1 year to live...without it, about 6 months."

My mother began chemo in November, 2008. Her cancer was inoperable. It was incurable. that doesn't sound very good. I don't like it. She began chemo. It wasn't fun. It wasn't pretty.

The Good: But her body was responding. Thank God. She went through 2 rounds of chemo. Her body resoponded much better than we expected. Praise God. Her cancer slowed down.

The Bad: Mom has cancer in a totally different part of her body. You know, I was celebrating Mom's victory in one moment and fearing her next trial in the next. The newest cancer was in a totally different part of her body. And's malignent. Surgery is required.

The real is in a lot of pain. I'm thankful for all of the prayers being sent her way. I trust God in all of it. What else can you do?

I am overwhelmed by the love being shown by my friends. I must have the best friends ever. Thank you so much for loving me and my mom throughout our tough times. I love you!

Thank you so much for your prayers! It means the world to me! If you have any questions, let me know. Love you!



****Friends of Lysa visiting by way of her blog. Thank you so much for popping over here to pray for my mom. Your words are bringing good and much needed tears to my eyes. I love you for taking the time to comment and allowing God to use you in the lives of me and my momma! Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Marriage is love....

And love is:

not rude
not boastful
not prideful
never failing

Have you ever noticed that all that love is....well, it's things that don't come naturally to us. We have to work on these things. We have to decide to be and act on these things.

At my wedding, the preacher asked me and Jeff to love each other:

for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness, and in health
foresaking all others
as long as we both shall live.

Honestly, when I took the vows to do that, I really didn't think we would ever have to address the negative aspects of these vows. And we have. We didn't feel like it. We didn't deserve it. We both had good reason to walk away. But we didn't.

Only with God. Love. I love you. I choose to love you whether you deserve it or not. whether you have money or debt. whether you are well or ill. whether you are faithful or not. As long as I'm alive, I love you. I don't feel like it. I choose it. I choose it, because God makes it possible.

That's the way my husband has loved me and I hope the way he would say I have loved him. We promised. And I'm so glad we stayed together. We are so happy today.

Hey, if you have time, please visit, to read about my mom. She has cancer and I've posted an update there. Pray for her please. Her name is Becky.