Monday, May 15, 2017

Worthy Words

The mom in me has been struggling a little with her words.  They have been too sharpe, too many, too demanding, too negative and evan accompanied with 'a look.'  All to say last night I was putting my girls to bed with a terrible headache and failed to meet my little girls fears with love.

I didn't take care to imagine the monster awaiting my absence in the closet.  OR bother to defend the noises creeping in through the windows from the street.  She was scared and i was like "get over it."
I told her the typical mommy rushed response, 'there are no monster in the closet and there is no one outside so go to bed, goodnight." I proceeded to close the door as I mumbled something about checking on her later so as to drown out other words being said. There. Job done.

I laid my throbbing head down and heard myself ask "now what about what just happened are you proud to pass on as a legacy..?" I frowned wondering if I needed to listen to this voice but before I could decide my nervous system took charge.  I was up and retracing my steps when I agreeingly told the voice inside my head that I could indeed give 5 min.

When I bent low beside her bed I saw her glimmering chocolate eyes.  I stroked her face hoping my fingers were telling a story my lips could not.  I gave her 5 min and I tiptoed back out.

I like this memory not because of what I've just told but because of what later was provided....

I woke early the next morning and continued to reading through proverbs.  When I arrived at vs. 20-21... "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart."  I began recalling all the times in Proverbs we see the father command the son to listen.  Listen, listen, listen.  The over occurrence of the word listen caused me to question if my words have been worthy enough to listen to.  Let alone to keep within a heart.

I read over and over and over this particular verse until I heard my Father whisper... 'today have worthy words.'

I cannot change the past but I can move forward in what my father provides for me. And today it was ....have worthy words.

I love being a mom and  I'm sure you do too.  But we can all use a little encouragement.  So today I encourage you to use worthy words!

Extra study... Pr 12:18; there is a key word 'wise' used in this verse.  To unlock its meaning see verse Pr 10:19

Extra note... Moms study the book of Proverbs!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Upholding Righteousness

Living overseas in any type of culture is difficult.   It’s difficult because it feels like it contaminates your culture.  It challenges your way of doing things. 

What is culture?
Culture is how a people group feel it is normal to act.
Our culture seeps out of us in our language, table manners, parenting, marriages, friendships, driving, housing, bureaucracy, spending I could go on.  There are quite a few obvious cultural differences but there are 1,000 more unobvious differences as well and to be honest the ones that are unobvious are the hardest to wrestle with.  Every single country, continent and people group have their own culture.  When we start mixing this it can become very frustrating and also very scary.

A few days ago I found myself frustrated by my kids and their new “attitudes” since moving here to Portugal.  The language here is harsh and loud and it seems sometimes like its seeping into them.  For example, a simple question to pass the salt sounds like your demanding and demeaning. Where the 
American in me wants to say “sorry but if you don’t mind 

If you would like to read the rest of this post please join me at

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


This is a journal entry from a few months ago that I came across this morning as I was thinking of a friend who is hurting.  I just had to write it....

Ever since I was a little girl I have reached out my hand to hold the hand of Jesus.  I remember the first time like it was yesterday.  I was lying in bed, scared or sad about something maybe overwhelmed by the punches life can throw at you, when faith spurred my heart to reach out my hand.  I remember feeling the hand of Jesus, the gentle pressure as he squeezed my hand.  30 years later I still do this, but last night was different.  As I reached out my hand and felt the familiar gentle squeeze, I couldn't withhold my most longed for request.  "Jesus," I said.  "when will you take me home, so I can actually hold your hand.  When will my faith be made sight?" His voice was soft as it traveled through my ear...'I understand, but it won't make it more real just because you see it.'

He replayed for me the day before when I had lost my sight.  I had a bad scratch in one of my eyes and every few minuets my eyes would uncontrollably close and water.  I was making lunch for the girls when suddenly my eyes shut to water and there was no control to open them.  I had a mango in my hand and continued to cut with no sight but only feel, faith and fitness. Minuets later I regained my sight and saw that I had cut the mango perfectly.  {which is quiet difficult, you have to see the line of the seed in order to cut right along its edge}

Laying in bed reliving this picture, I was muling over the implication of the symbolism.  You know, that the mango in my hand was not there because I could see it, but because I could feel it.  The cuts that were made were not made out of scientific nerve connection from my eyes to my hands, they were made from faith. And the fact that once seen, the mango was cut perfectly, is the example that walking this earth by faith makes us fit to fulfill duties that even when unseen pan out beautifully.

I laid in bed and realized what He wanted me to understand.  One day I will pass from the life of faith to the life of sight.  This will be a big change, but what won't change is what/who and how He is.  This will remain the same.

So I held His hand a little tighter.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Last week Fletcher began showing very strange symptoms.  Aches in his joints followed by swelling followed by bruising and then the inability to walk.  After a day of not walking we took him to the hospital.

They diagnosed him with HSP Henoch-Schonlein Purpura.

After three days of being in the hospital Fletcher began to get a little homesick.  We were packed in the middle of four other beds and were the first ones to wake.  The early morning light was just breaking through the window when I heard Fletchers sweet voice whisper, "Mom?  I want to go home." My mommy heart began to break as I explained what he didn't want to hear.  I tell him that the disease he has is too dangerous to go home with right now; that it can attack the organs, mainly the heart and the brain.

Then he asks, "why?"

"Why would God do that?"  I ask him if he knows what prayer is and why it's a treasured habit. I tell him that 1,000 people are praying for him; that 1,000 people are talking with God just because he's sick.  I tell him that probably not all those people know God or even believe in Him and that for the first time they might think to themselves, "well, I suppose there could be a God, and for Fletcher I am willing to believe.  And they pray."  I ask, "isn't it worth being sick for just a few people to talk with God for the first time?"

I watch his warm smile grow.  It's the smile of sacrifice and pain, but illuminating the joy of seeing the eternal.  His head bobs with a childlike nod and I know he is willing.  He asks me what I think God is doing right now; and I don't even have to quietly ask before I speak.  I gently place my hands over his heart and brain.  I tell him, "I think God is holding His hands over your heart and brain and telling the disease to run course."

He struggles to sit himself back into his bed but leans back with more ease.  The look on his face speaks of a new character trait within himself.  For he has tasted of the struggle life can offer but now he pursues in faith.

Walking around the house with him now I see the very essence of perseverance.  Where life has knocked you down so far you walk disabled.  But you see.  You see the strength in which you get up again and walk.  What the destroyer of life doesn't know is that when he beats us so far down we are actually at the center of God.  Where His endless power of life is.  And that is where the perseverer gets up.

In the four days Fletcher could not walk my heart was tempted to fear.  But I could not.  Because I have seen the center of God.  The center of God that uses His everlasting, life sustaining power to perfect every work that befalls me.  And I am left only with, the power to hope.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“…And her name must mean song”

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  It was cold and rainy, the middle of winter, and my mind was wondering.  Thinking how great it would be to have a little girl that would play dress up with Kaleah.  She would be her sidekick the way Fletcher and Khoen are to each other. 

In that moment the name came to me.  It came to me the way a memory comes to you after you smell something familiar.  It was so easy, so natural and so perfect.  I was going to name my next daughter Lynnlee. 

The name comes after the 2 most important women in my life; my mother and my sister. 
Lynn for my sister, who so honorably saves the lives of hundreds of babies a year.  Who has sacrificed so much to help those who have no chance at life.   Not to mention she has been MY sidekick for as long as I can remember. 
Lee for my mother, who is a spiritual pillar of wisdom and prayer.  I know very few women who walk with the Lord the way she does. 
I felt proud of this namesake.  To pass down the legend of 2 women I think the world of. 

On a hot dry day in June we realized that the possibility of another little girl had became a reality; the miracle of life that comes from love unending. 

From the beginning she had to be strong, from the beginning she had to trust in the Lord.  Perfect for the name I had for her; Lynn~ my strong sister that faces death everyday and defies it when the Lord grants.  Lee~ for my mother that trusts in the pillar of the Lord and prays without ceasing. 

Death chased this little girl through more than half of the pregnancy and the living God granted her life.  Over 1,000 people prayed for her on a regular basis.
We found out we were having a girl (I know sorry), which we have never done before.  We had already been calling her Lynnlee.  My sister was coming to visit 10 days before she was due and I thought this would be perfec.t.  After all, isn’t the 4th supposed to be early? The doctors had thought with all the complications she would come early.  I could actually present her to my sister and honor her with the name. 


The Lord had other plans.  Not only did she not arrive while my sister was here but then only a few days before she was due to be here, God came to me in a dream. 

He spoke to me in the dream and said “You must not name her Lynnlee.  Her name must mean song.”  Then I saw the name and He spoke it over me.  I woke up a bit frazzled and the name vanished from my mind.  Just like that it was gone, all but the first 2 letters: S O.  I have no idea what the protocol is in having dreams from the Lord.  It has never happened to me before.  I desperately tried to go back to sleep and I asked the Lord to give me the dream again.  After all, this seemed very important to Him.  But, the dream never came back. 

I told Troy about the dream the next day and we spent days praying for confirmation and leading from the Lord. 

Although I couldn’t remember the exact name God had said there were 2 things I did remember.  He was VERY specific that her name should NOT be Lynnlee and that it MUST mean song.  I did see the name and I remembered that the name began with the letters S O. 

I have to admit it took me a few days to fully surrender my heart.  I knew it had been God that spoke to me.  But I also just really loved the name Lynnlee.  In the end I knew that I had 2 options.  I could obey the living God that comes to petty servants like me in a dream, or, I could shrug off the dream and call it just another dream in order to continue on with one of my own dreams.  Passing down a namesake.  I chose to obey, because in the end I would rather my daughter know that her mommy trusted and obeyed God rather than pursue her own desires. 

I began to stress (just a little) not knowing what we were going to be naming our baby only 4 days before she was here.  I didn’t know why this was so important to God.  Why did He care so much what her name was and why would it be so important that her name mean song?  It didn’t make sense to me.  Granted all of our kids’ names hold deep meaning.  Khoen Lamech, the priest that weeps for his people.  Fletcher Townsend, one that thinks deeply over life and is named after Walt Townsend, Troy’s mentor. Kaleah Pearl, beauty of our God often comes through the refining of great pain. 

I spent days talking to the Lord about this and He brought a picture to my mind.  In heaven there are angels and elders singing.  Constantly.  Singing.  Praise is very close to Gods heart.  I think that is information I have always taken for granted.  I have seen it a number of times in the bible.  We sing religiously in church.  However, I had yet to think of how this makes God feel. 

He had intervened so many times in this little baby’s life and I had not even laid eyes on her yet.  He had granted miracles on her behalf.  And was drawing numerous people to Himself through prayer in desire to communicate with His people and be in deep fellowship over a life that had only barley begun.

THESE are grounds for singing.  

So Troy and I began looking for names that meant song and possibly start with SO. 
We found it. 
Sora.  Meaning songbird. 
Sophia.  Meaning Wisdom.

It didn’t hit me like I thought it was going to.  I wasn’t so enthralled by it the first time I read it.  It didn’t roll off my tongue or make my ears perk the way other names do.  I have to admit I wasn’t sold on it at first.  I needed to pray.

I laid awake many nights praying about this name for her and one night it was there.  The reason.   She is to be one that sings the song of her God; the song of praise, the song of life, the song of redemption, the song of wisdom.   And I’ll tell you what does enthrall me, My God.  What does roll off my tongue, His Names.  There is nothing that makes my ears perk like the sound of His voice.  For this reason I committed to naming my daughter Sora Sophia. 

She shall be my little songbird and together we will sing unto the Lord, forever and ever.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Adonai; My master leads

Tonight was just like any other night.  I first lay down my little girl that I never dreamed I'd have.  Though she is light in my arms I know she is larger then life.  As I lay her down my fingers gentely glid over the scrape that proves this.  She had been climbing a rope wall so to be as high as her brothers adventures; when she fell.  She only pointed to the wound and then quickly signed "please" so that I will let her loose to keep up with the adventure.  An adventure probably not fit for a girl with no words.  But I know, her mother knows; she was made to keep up.

 As I tip toe from her room and move to the next I am aware of a Joy, a Peace that has reenterd my heart. It is the Peace and Joy that I had been longing for all day but He knew this moment was the moment I needed it most.

 I walk into the boys' room, it is dimly lit and ready for story time. I see them both curled up on their respective beds waiting for stories.  We then all pile onto the story sofa and read a few books.  And probably one extra beacuse I am sensitive to the day.  Today was one of those days.  It's the day the baby inside my belly decides to grow and steal away all my energy.  The energy I use to train and instruct my other three kids.  It's the day that no matter what I am telling my kids, I am definitely not listening to my own words.   To say the least this was not my favorite day. But tucking the boys into bed now, I see.
I see why the Lord; The Adonai, my leading master, led me in peace in this moment and not another.  It is the Peace that leads me to the bedside of the boy I was most impatient with, Fletcher....

I take this moment, this quiet peaceful moment, to snuggle as close to him as I can.  I cup his sweet little face in my hands and look in those deep eyes and I tell him how much I love him. I tell him I'm sorry I wasn't as patient as I should have been.  I tell him that he can never loose my love. I hope in my heart that he will not loose faith in me, when I couldn't or didn't provide for him what he needed in the moment he needed it.  He breaths a deep sigh and gives me an extra kiss.  I close the door tightly behind me.

 I feel Jesus' hands cup around my cheeks.  The cheeks becomming hot with tears.  In a whisper He says 'I am sorry you had to wait all day for this peace, but I wanted to give it to you in this moment.  I wanted you to see that I always take your face in my hands, the way you did with Fletcher and after a hard day I tell you I love you.  Because it is the most important thing to know.'  I breath a deep sigh and melt in His hands no longer feeling like the failure I know I can be.

"The Lord bless you and turn His face toward you and give you peace."  Numbers 6:26


Monday, October 29, 2012

I come

I had one of those days today where I found myself sitting at the table praying to the Lord.

Lord I come to you today with so much on my mind and so many, well thoughts..
              Thoughts about...
Tonya, emails, sweeping/mopping, Sarah, Michelle, Dinner tonight, meal planning, dinner tomorrow night with friends, reading, unpacking my groceries, parenting my little ones, Rachel, Erika, Kristi, Praying...Future, past, mine, yours.

This is all I wan to do; Abide.  Rest in You.  I believe I am.  Resting in You.  But what does that look like when my load feels so heavy?

You are the Vine and I the branch.  If I am clinging to You then all that I bear is Your fruit.  But sometimes it feels like my fruit is so heavy that it might cause me to snap.  But I don't want to be a branch weighed down and broken by good fruit.

So, I gently begin to pluck off my fruit that You have given me and I lay it at Your feet,  This is my offering to You.

Heb 13:15 Through Jesus let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of our lips that confess His Name.

In this offering receive this praise:  That I magnify Your name o God, that You would bring fourth fruit from all I do.  Because I am in You and You are in me.
we abide

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do no-thing.

As fruit is taken from my branch the Vine strengthens me and I am readied.  Readied because when we abide there is never rest from fruit.

May you abide in God our Father and unload your fruit to make room for the new.