Love and Rest

I wake the same way every morning lately. 

My default mindset being, could yesterday have been better, maybe today will be. 

Blank page is bordered with “first thought”, a verse I read; but, I fail to remember the Book. 


This self analysis and prone to self condemnation is for the birds! I proclaim my daughter has taught me not to take myself so seriously; but, man I go right back to that place again! 

Little blips of things I’ve read and heard, absorbed from conversations are all opposing the other, making us look like a confused bunch of passive aggressive souls. 

“Are any of us ever good enough to be loved by Jesus or are we always good enough to be loved by him?”

Like a deep, deep gorge and a shaky bridge between two sides, that’s what it seems we’ve become, questioning the others’ side based on what we believe right or wrong, worthy enough or not at all. 

Who are we to know the heart of another? 

We scarcely know our own! 

Again, today I wake and consider my less than good enough behaviors.

 I question whether my feelings, my faith were strong enough and whether any of what I say I believe is true is believed enough consistently by me. 

We’ve decided, my staff and I to give a mother another chance. Her actions and behaviors had worn us all out; but, we will offer this morning a second chance. 

Work and faith intersect, I’m thinking now, no accident that God had my heart in tune with all of us, all of us a bunch of stumbling misfits. 

I sat amongst a circle of chairs one night. A question offered up, “Do you think you can live a sinful life once you’ve confessed that you believe in Jesus as your Savior?” 

Comments here and there about what you can and can’t do wrong and still be right.

 I was still, sort of trying to comprehend how we all had just heard of a harlot who was courageous and believed in God and how her story is nothing less than validation that we all are less than perfect on any given day. 

I believe we all stumble in many ways. 

Lord, help me admit my stumbling and your holding me back up rather than knocking and keeping down the one you haven’t yet to hold. 

Lately, I’ve been resting with a question, a timely one I believe, 

What is it that God desires most? Is it obedience or to be like Jesus, Christ-like? 

To correct or to love? 

I’m leaning strongly towards being like Jesus. I know him more, he knows me more. It’s relationship and with relationship over time my thoughts become like his thoughts, my ways more closely to his ways. 

That way, when I wake up with questions over my less than perfect ways, I’ll have open hands and heart to give thanks for more chances and to be given more grace and more mercy yet again. 

And I’ll close my hands before rising from bedside floor and squeeze tight that gift of redemption and I’ll walk today in peace and praise hoping others may notice and wonder, give me the chance to tell.  

Perhaps, an invitation to explain my decision to believe. 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Because, well, because mercy has been given me and has covered and covers a multitude of my wrongs. 

I am loved and free to love. 

Linking up here: http://barbieswihart.com/2017/05/his-promise-still-stands-glimpses-link-up.html

Greatest of Graces

So, when Jennie Montgomery, beautifully gracious reporter with WJBF calls you a writer, you take a moment and realize, 

Well, I suppose it’s true. 
To find yourself sitting in front of cameras when most of your life you’ve been afraid to be seen is almost inconceivable. 
Watch below as I am given the chance to talk about this special book! 
I pray God uses this book to assure other moms, to comfort and encourage. 
If there was anything I could do over it would be to not get all mumble mouthed when I talked about my children. 

I’d have said something more than blessed or wonderful. I’d have said “Thank you, God for choosing me to be Heather and Austin’s mama. For, I feel the gift of them is without doubt the greatest of graces I’ve known. ”
This book is so very good and I am so happy God taught me to be attentive to opportunities and made me, grew me, equipped me to be courageous enough to say “So long little chubby girl hiding behind your grandma, it is time to be the you I made you to be!”

Click here:

Motherhood Anthology

Falling Again

I am quiet and move slowly with my morning, considering the beauty of sunlight or the threat of storm. 


The air crisp or heavy might cause my notice. 

The sun made shadows yesterday morning, a design on the floor, leading to path towards the pool.

The rain, hard the night before and a cool damp breeze found my face. 


Fuschia petals had fallen making scattered and joyful places for my steps to follow. I stared long and longing, no one around to question my standing so long to consider the fallen rose. 

It was early and there were plans for breakfast. Then the day went long and off course by unexpected and accidental things. 

It was midnight when I remembered the fallen petals of the morning. 


And I found myself falling again, to the place that knows my knees. 

I wake today, and they’ve been swept from the walk. 

But, what an abundance of new bloom! 

I’ll not pluck one for new vases, I’ll leave them there, still and less prone to trampling. 

For tomorrow or this evening may perhaps bring a new storm. 

And I will remember to be still, for I know He is my God.  I know he knows. 

‭‭

Cease striving and know that I am God! Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭

Because I just read a beautiful post about prayer, I’m linking up here: https://i1.wp.com/mom-gene.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sunday-Thoughts-Button.jpeg?zoom=2&w=584

Back to Me 

There are two desks in my home. One looks out towards mama’s bird bath and the field across the road. I write there. It’s quiet and clean, serene and special. The story was written, “Angels and Teachers of Grace”. I am satisfied with its message.


The other desk is marked by paint. Walls covered in funky and beautiful, memories and paintings by my children.

 The solitude of my empty home calls me down the hall and I begin slightly half-hearted until I continue.

This is my pattern. 

Until I go from believing the ability has faded, the inspiration has waned to taking away and adding to, blending and stepping away for drink to return with new eyes. 

Then, I’m back there, me again. 

The place unexplainable, the place of what rests inside, in maybe a little hollowed out sort of cocoon, my soul is there, is found and is given its due.

Yesterday, I shared some thoughts I’d been thinking when our teacher asked for comments. Men and women glanced my way and, I believe wondered, “Is she different?” 

Dazed looks that I can’t decide are either, “Where does she come up with these thoughts?”  or “Who on earth thinks so much?”  or maybe “There she goes again, will she always have something to say?”

Empathy, noticing, feeling, understanding, contemplating, I was born for that. 

We discussed being in the “family of God”  and I offered up it can be difficult because of human nature to always get along and for people like me who truly prefer to be alone, for people who must be alone to sustain their souls and sense. 

No comments, just looks. 

This is why, I listened to the songs, in the way too cold because of the thermostat sanctuary, I prayed with open hands for all mentioned and then about three quarters of the way in,  I picked up my purse, my Bible and quietly left the building. 

Because, my soul craved to be alone and I followed its beckon.

And I listened and returned, to my place of peace. 

Art and words, free and freeing. 

“…to guide us to the path of peace.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:78-79‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My Soul, a Seeker

The pencil in my hand, a comfort. 

It is.

A halfhearted, less than purposeful and slightly abrupt prayer before reading, Lamentations, Chapter, 3.

Oh, my soul, You never let go.

Lamenting seems appropriate as I’ve dreamt of reminders again, the chapter is hard in the first verses. The lamented recalling harm, darkness and entrapment. 

Hard things are good if for no other reason at all than someone else’s understanding. 

Yes, worth its weight in gold is another’s understanding how long things are there, those wounds, understands the answer to when you might be able to get past it. 

The answer is always, “Never.”

The lamented understands and counters with hope and faith, has become a seeker of all things soul-filling. 

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! 

His mercies never cease. 

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:21-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The Lamentations never discounted, the faith, though, oh, the heart and soul of my faith! 

chronicling 

If I’d taken five minutes or a few more. 

I’d have within my reach, a planner, my journal, or whatever I might find. 

I might, although odd, talk into my phone as a record for later. 


But, time did not go at all in the way of taking time today, not at all. 

For things that matter

To me, at least. 

It’s half a day’s worth of hours later and it’s getting ready mode for next big day. 

No time for walk. 

Stretch, long and low and slow.  Slow, unwind, let heavy stuff flow down to less heavy. 

Downward dog, I notice, quite a whole lot like prayer. 

I remember, face down towards carpet, my husband showering with his 80’s music cushioned by door. 

Still, a serenade.

My cousin who is never, ever untrue, sent a message about my chapter  “Your words had depth, the most of all. You must continue.”

The weight of this, still so even now

very much significant. 

And a prayer, then a call. 

I’m sorry to say it wasn’t ’til later I realized the connection, 

Call, not text. 

“Wanna hear something funny?”

“Yes, actually that would be good.”

And it was, good…the call and the funny thing.

Sweet, unexpectedly sweet. 

Just before, momentarily by a prayer. 

Then, clarity mid-shower, early this morning …

oddest and most true of places…

Yes, this I should do. 

This, story I should tell. 

This is how I should. 

So, here I am again, over half a day since thoughts making sense and I’m sort of jealous over my obligations not allowing time to remember. 

Wondering how writers write. 

I’m touching up the bright coral on the nails  of my toes, prepping for fancy, casual work thing tomorrow. 

The Labrador watches and wonders, I believe…what’s all this other stuff that you do and why do you…? 

Me too, “Colton Dixon, me too.”

And I decide, at least, at least… 

I remember the best parts of day reminded by my downward pose and dog. 

Soon, very soon, there will be time and there will be more days worthy of 

chronicling.

Of keeping record of things finally making sense. 

Me Now

I wear bedroom slippers now, soft and gray, the kind you slip into and make the scruffy sound across the fluff of rug or hardwood. 


My husband says “pick your feet up” and I can’t decide if I’m old or tiny.

I grab the white robe, lightly patterned waffle texture and it’s mine morning and night. “Are you cold?” he asks.

“No.” I answer and don’t attempt to explain that it doesn’t matter anymore how frumpy I may be. I love my robe, it’s one of my things, sensory pleasing, comfortable against my skin, all wrapped up and at peace. 

My aunt used to wear her makeup to bed, fixed her hair before gardening, now my uncle sweetly fusses for her to shower when she’s been sewing all day and it’s about time for supper. 

She sews on and on, her fabrics feeling the touch of her aging hand.

 I love that woman, love that lostness in the thing she’s making, doing, it’s a not so fierce, 

More a pleasing independence, who she is.

I love that woman. 

Her now. 

Me now. 

I have a cousin, the same, fiercely honest and a master at getting lost in all things digging and planting. 

She is she, profoundly she.

She prays for me, I pray for her. 

A friend told my daughter last week, “Oh, your mama is stepping out, I wouldn’t be surprised what she might do.”

We all smiled. 

Today, the little girl who hid behind her grandma from the moodiness of boisterous grandpa and life will get to do something. 

Today, I tell myself just now, I will smile, unconcerned over the memory of a broken tooth that went unfixed because of time and money and life. 

Today, I will pray before filming a segment on a show hosted by a gracious and easy listening woman. 

I will follow God’s lead in my replies, because I will have prayed that God have his way with us both. 

Today, I’ll not worry about the appearance of knees, round and pale, showing for the world to see, because I love the dress, it’s me. 

I’ll stay where I’ve found is best and true, acknowledging God in these opportunities, the things I call treasures he has given me, a chapter in a book. 

The chance to talk about Him. How he undeniably is all amongst this thing! 

My chapter called, “Leaving Loved” submitted at the suggestion of someone I met while writing a story about her, then selected and I’m asked if I know of a non-profit that serves women and children. 

“Yes, I do, I work for one, it’s called Nurture Home.” Nurture Home 

And then, it’s selected. This is why I believe in taking steps towards possible opportunities. 

So, today I sit with coffee and a copy of “I Heart Mom” and I’ve prayed already and will be praying again. 

Thank you, Lord that I get to do this today and for whatever “this’s” come from here, from you, through you, 

for me now. 

The me I’m becoming, through you. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. 

“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11 NLT

This book, and these publishers, all a part of God’s plans for me, has stories of struggling, gracious and brave moms. 

There are stories of single parenting, of the loss of a child, of in vitro blessings and newborn blessings. 

The stories are authentic and are “every mama” stories. I encourage to consider purchasing one on Amazon for yourself, a mom or a friend. 

A portion of the proceeds will be divided between Nurture Home and another non-profit that works to keep young people safe. 

Thank you, Jesus for your grace towards me thus far. What a love, what a grace.
Learn more here about how God brought me to this place of now:

http://www.relevantpagespressllc.com/anthology

I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her story, also on Fox News website had me anticipating the answer and when I found the answer to “loving others”, the only comment that made sense was “awesome”. 

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/surprising-virtue-strongest-people-know/

No Wonder

No wonder I love this song. 

After having the lyrics, all day long on my mind, I found it, played it late as drive home, late after long day and realized why I loved it back then, preparing me for now. 

Beauty divine, life, a surprise. 

Does it ever catch your eye?

Believe. 

In case you wanna listen…

In an old man’s tears

A little girl’s smile

If it feels like a song

One that belongs

To you
Stop making sense

Your weakest defense

Just quiet your mind

Let the world unwind

See we’re not alone

He makes Himself known

In time

His own time
So breathe

Life will surprise you

Just Be

It’s what the world denies you

You see

The truth is all around you

Believe
We’re not alone

He makes Himself known

In time, His own time
Does it ever catch your eye

Blessing and Beauty Divine

I saw a canvas, the happiest tone of pink with what I believe may be poppies strewn across the surface. The paint, thick and creamy and a sporadic peppering of words like joy and in the corner was the page torn from a song book. 

This, I saw when visiting my sister after a long time, this canvas at the top of her stairs. I paused in the moment of gentle surprise of forgotten inspiration for my art.

I’ve got what my friend calls an “angel ministry”. I sit in my girl’s old bedroom and I sing in an empty house, lyrics of grace and peace, of gardens and of mercy and trust. 

I paint for hours. I am lost in the process of paint covered fingers and layering of color and expression. My angels are without facial features, I pray their figure brings a pleasing pause, a contemplation or comfort.

Like the pink canvas and I in my sister’s Savannah home. 

Little pages torn from old hymnals are the starting point to my pieces, just one of the many reasons lately I find myself singing praise.

I’m singing “praise God from whom all blessings flow.” a whole lot more, acknowledging His gift of grace. 

For he has heard my purposeful morning and intermittent recitation of the ancient prayer of a young man who felt he’d do well just to not be a burden. 

Every day, I pray in different form or fashion sometimes, thinking of  his expectation of nothing more than a life of hardship. 

I pray the words of Jabez “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” 

And God granted what he asked.  

I Chronicles 4: 10

And I have blessed, I have been given opportunities I never expected. God has enlarged my border, extended opportunities.

I decided not to be afraid and I surrendered it to Him. 

This is why I sing a song from pre-Pandora or Spotify days, a CD my daughter made for me and my son and I sang along to sometimes…” Does it ever catch your eye…beauty divine? 

Believe, life will surprise you. Believe.”

Brandon Heath 

Made Peaceable 

We have meetings to hear all the sides and to keep pushing to a place of simply able to coexist, sometimes. 

Such is the environment of working in or  calling a homeless shelter a home.

Different dilemmas and dynamics all get together after nearly falling apart and landing like the big fairy tale egg at our doorstep.  Mothers, women, daughters and sons, different paths scattered by different ways.

I dreaded a meeting; but, knew it had to be and we all gathered, three of us who do the work and an objective listener. 

The agenda set with a plan of issues to clarify, I walked up on the big porch of the historic home now a shelter, steps flanked by lush ferns to greet our families coming home. 

I had not planned to do so; but, I used my sometimes negative attitude and demeanor as an example…spoke of how I’m sometimes prone to  stomping in and taking charge, of correcting whatever might be wrong. 

“I’m guilty of that.” I said, of being all puffed up because the ferns on the porch didn’t get watered. 

The three of them smiled and for a minute or two, I believe simply called to mind things and attitudes they know were theirs. 

Sometime ago I heard a sermon on the Beatitudes. The radio preacher, essentially said that the proclamations in these verses are how we as Christians should live. 

“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”‭‭ Matthew 5:3-11

These days we’re living in everyone knows most of how another is feeling and believing. 

Bandwagon faith or fault finding. 

There’s a big mindset I believe, toward declaring oneself a “believer ” of everything. We set the tone for loving all, embracing, all.  I suppose erring on the side of not finding any error at all. 

Far be it from us to question or debate one’s belief over ours, we fear being called judgemental or condemning. 

It’s a delicate walk for the Christian who boldly cherishes God’s word.

 Cherishes it, truly. 

Especially, the red words. 

It’s going to continue I’m afraid, so we’ll need to learn to be peacemakers. 

Be more peaceable people. 

We’ll need courage to say what we believe and we’ll need to check our attitudes. 

We all stumble in many ways. One leans over, we lean too and there we go falling down that slippery slide of holier than they. 

I told a friend yesterday about sitting with someone whose ideas and beliefs are different from mine, talking about fathers and how we loved. We talked about family junk, favorites, keeping score and grief. 

We both knew.

We found common ground and that common ground path led to my sharing how I came to a place of acceptance in the very similar struggle we share. 

I told her about prayer and God and she listened to me share the things that keep me sane, grow my assurance of and faith in God. 

It was a pleasant exchange, unprompted. 

Pleasant, because it came from her inviting. Her struggle led to my sharing, her listening led me to continue. 

This is why I’m certain Jesus taught peacemaking as the way. 

Judgement, avoidance or questioning our differences would not have led to our warm goodbye. 

I said, “I’ll pray for you.” she said. 

“Please do.” 

Maybe we listen for invitations to share, not kick open the doors to demand a listen. 

Lots of people say “love wins” or is “the answer”.

I’m telling you, though, I believe it’s peace. 

I believe it’s peace, peace they will see. 

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee to share His Story. 

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/storms-raging-around-jesus-meets-right/