Sunday, November 14, 2010


We are fortunate to have our backyard completely fenced in, so all I have to do is open the door to let our dog, Toby out. He has full reign of the yard, and if I forget about him for awhile, I don't have to worry if he has wandered off or not.
Our back yard is surrounded by many oak trees where an enormous amount of squirrels like to make their homes. Due to that fact, our back yard is a playground for the squirrels where often times you will find them digging, climbing and scampering along the top of the fence. Toby, on the other hand doesn't find their behavior amusing, but rather annoying and challenging. Many days, you will find Toby wimpering and crying at the back door as he longingly waits for me to open the door so that he can chase and hopefully catch one of these hairy creatures. Luckily the squirrels always seem to outrun and outsmart our beloved Toby, but the challenge is always set before him and he never throws in the towel.
One day as I passed the window of the french doors, Toby caught my attention. There at the foot of our crepe myrtle tree, sat Toby. Staring intently up into the tree, he sat motionless as if waiting for a show to begin. I stopped for a moment to assess the situation, when I realized that he was waiting.....waiting for the squirrel to come down out of that tree! For nine long years, Toby has been chasing the same squirrels and only one time, that I'm aware of, has he even come close to catching one. But that doesn't deter, frustrate, or discourage him. He never gives up! He chases those squirrels with the same passion and enthusiasm EVERY time the back door opens and at times, even sits under a tree and waits on them.
It was at that moment that God spoke a word of truth into my spirit. How many times do I seek God for an answer or direction or simply just His presence and get discouraged when I don't see or feel the results that I want? When that happens I usually give up, throw in the towel and move on thinking that God doesn't want to talk to me, sit with me or move on my behalf. I usually lose my enthusiasm and passion and chalk it up to some sin I must have in my life or some inadequacy that I must possess. From the life of a dog, God showed me that I must push through and show some patience and expectation. I must not give up so quickly, but rather sit and wait patiently for the Lord. In an age of microwave, drive-thru Christianity, we have lost our ability to wait on the Lord. We expect to set the timer, push the button, hit the start key, and expect God to show up. As if we are the ones in control, waiting for the jeanie from our magic bottle to appear and grant our three wishes. What arrogance! WE are the created ones, serving an Omniscient, All-knowing God of the Universe. WE need to wait on Him, not vice-versa. When we humble ourselves, come down off our high horse, bow in His presence without our own agenda, it is THEN that He shows up and not one minute sooner!
Who knew that my dog would teach me such a valuable spiritual lesson?

They that WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint, they shall mount up with wings as eagles.
Isaiah 40:31

Monday, September 6, 2010

Never Forget Where You Came From

Thirty-one years ago, my family and I moved to Florida from Pennsylvania. I was 15 years old at the time. I didn't adjust to the move very well. I spent the last three years of high school as a very lonely and depressed teenager.
Something amazing happened in the midst of all the loneliness and depression though. I was invited to attend church with a girl who had just moved in, down the street from me. It was in that little Assemblies of God church that I heard about a God who loved me, accepted me, and died for my sins. That, in and of itself, was not a new revelation to me. After all, I had attended church my whole life. First in a Catholic church, until some of their beliefs and practices upset my Mother. Then somewhere around the time I was in second grade, we started attending a small Presbyterian church, where most of my childhood memories are centered around. In that little Presbyterian church, I learned of God and Jesus, and of a cross and a resurrection. I heard all the popular children's Sunday School stories, like David and Goliath and Daniel in the lion's den. I learned and memorized many songs from the hymnal that was stored in the back of each pew. As I grew older, I even attended the Youth Group that was held each Sunday afternoon at the Minister's home. I thought, since I had attended church all my life, that I knew everything I needed to know about church and God.
But as I sat in that A/G church in Florida, I was taught something that I had never heard before. That the God of the universe loved me so much that He wanted to have a personal relationship with me! That revelation transformed and continues to transform my life to this day. That lost, lonely and depressed girl became complete and whole through the love of her Heavenly Father.
Fast forward thirty-one years, which brings us to today. After all these years, I was able to revisit that little Presbyterian church where it all started for me. I walked on the wood floor that made the same creaking sound as it did many years ago. I sat in the same wood pew that once held my fidgety little body. I browsed the same hymnal that I once held as we sang songs that I did not fully understand their meaning. I admired the same stained-glass windows that brought such comfort to me as a child, with images of my wonderful Jesus. Revisiting this church, and remembering where I came from was very therapeutic and fulfilling for me. It stands as a marker in my life. One that reminds me of not only my roots, but of the fact that God has had his hand of mercy and grace on me from the beginning. Even when I didn't fully understand who He was or how He fit into my life.
Now everytime I sing an "old hymn", memories of that Presbyterian church flood my mind and I an overwhelmed with a sense of awe and graditude for a God who knew me and loved me from the very start.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Missions Trip to Ecuador

I took my third missions trip and headed to the country of Ecuador. This may sound like a trivial task but in reality, it was a huge monumental accomplishment in my life. Fear tends to hold me back from even the shortest of road trips within the United States, so to travel outside of the country is nothing short of miraculous. Each time I go, I step through the fear that nearly paralyzes me, and hold onto the faith that I know that God is directing every step that I take.

Once on the ground in Ecuador, we were immediately confronted with the poverty and hopelessness that is so prevalent outside of the United States. As we were loading our baggage onto the bus, a little girl not more than 6 or 7 years old, stepped right into the middle of our group. As we continued our task of luggage placement and chatting with our assigned missionary couple, the little girl continued to move among us softly mumbling something in her native language. Without acknowledging her, I quickly surveyed the perimeter, looking for any sign of adult supervision for this child. I found none. Soon after boarding the bus, someone from our group bravely posed the question to our missionary guides, "Who was that little girl?" The answer was as hard to swallow as the experience itself. In a city of two million people, children are forced to beg for a myriad of different reasons, none of which I want to accept or even contemplate. We were left to wonder what situation this particular girl was living in, but the fact that she could be homeless and left on her own with no family, was absolutely astounding to me.

After that first eye-opening experience, my heart continued to take in the sights and sounds of a country thousands of miles away from mine. Words can not adequately express what I saw or experienced during my week in Ecuador. It has a natural beauty that only God could have created, but it also exudes a heavy hopelessness that was expressed in the many faces that were flashed before me.

What did we do while we were there? We helped to build a church. We worked with rebar, wood and cement. We met fellow believers in Christ, who not only worked along side us, but also expressed love and appreciation to those of us who traveled a long way to lend a helping hand. We experienced a culture so profoundly different than ours, and yet in the process, our hearts and lives were changed forever.

What did I learn on this trip? I learned that we are a blessed people. I learned to stop taking things like food, cars and air-conditioning for granted. I learned to love and appreciate the family and friends that are in my life, because you never know when they could be taken away from you. The greatest thing I learned is that by walking through the greatest fear in your life, you can experience the greatest joy in your life!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The journey begins.

I am a Mom, a wife, a daughter, and a sister, but somehow over the years, none of those titles ever answered the deep gnawing question that seems to burn deep inside each one of us. Why am I here and what is my true purpose in this life? We are each on a journey and it is my desire to share some insights, reflections and personal experiences on my own journey.
I sought to find answers early on in my life and at the age of 16, my real, purpose-filled journey began. A journey that continues today, and one that grows more exciting and satisfying with each passing day. I am not in control of my journey, but rather, relinquish all control to one that is far more capable of guiding and directing my journey. I simply need to follow the path that is laid out before me, which I must admit, isn't always easy.
I pray that you join me on my journey, as I record the ups and downs, the joys and the sorrows of this thing called "life".
Let the journey begin.....