What was it like?

"Just look into the camera when you're ready."  
I had been over the dialog a thousand times in my head. I knew what I held in my heart to say. Suddenly all of the words blurred together and it was…

Beauty In Ashes

There is a bittersweet washing that comes over me as I glance in the rearview mirror of my life. I see the broken moments. I feel the fallings and failings. I hear the wounding words both spoken to me and those that have come carelessly out of my mouth. I gaze daily upon my need for the grace that my merciful God has poured over me and into me and continues to do so, even today. 
It's funny, looking back, the things we can see now that we couldn't understand at the moment. Dreams we thought were dead in the water, brought to life with purpose. Pain that seemed so wasteful and thieving, He now declares useful and purposeful. 
My heart has always wanted to be used by God. I have always felt that regardless of what I may go through or experience in this life, as long as He used it for a purpose, I would be ok.  He has proven so very faithful to do this. 
There is much to my story. Too much to go into in this post. I want to share some of it with you, in hopes that it will encourage you to remember that He is a God of mercy and grace, and it matters not where you have been or what you have done. He has the final say. Man can and will say, what they will. BUT GOD has the final word, sees the heart, and writes the plan over your life. 
I sat in the choir room that last day of my senior year. Pregnant, having kissed all of my music scholarships goodbye, my opportunities to attend prestigious New York music schools were flushed down the toilet. My director announced her farewells to the seniors, "Some of you will go on to lead choirs and bands, teach music, and record... and some of you will just be singing lullabies..." she glanced in my direction.  My heart sunk. I knew that I had chosen to seek fulfillment for my brokenness in things that led to the destruction of dreams and separation in my relationship with God.  
I knew that this had cost me a future I'd dreamed of since I was a small child. I spent hours listening to artists, working on my vocal technique. I dreamt of attending the Grammy and Dove awards, not even winning, mind you- just attending! I ached as I sat in the choir room that day, watching, as those dreams slipped through my fingers and into nothingness. 
Determined, I pointed my feet in the direction of God, himself.  He began healing my heart and renewing my mind as I surrendered to Him. As I slowly navigated through painful valleys, He showed me that He in my life was the greatest dream. 

Divots in the Driveway

Thrilled with his new bike, he focused on pedaling down the driveway. Other than an occasional, “Watch dis, mommy!” 

 I was pretty much just an object in the background of his mind. Back and forth on the gravel…

Babies and the Beach

Hot sun warmed the sand as waves crashed gently on the shore. Gracie happily played with her new friend in the surf, giggling as they jumped over the waves. Excitedly, she continually announced with each incoming wave, “Here comes a…

Trust, horses and us.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” 

Proverbs 3:5-6 

For years, this verse graced the bottom of every…

Chosen

Tears flow in abundance as I sit in deepest gratitude for all God has blessed me with.  I have been given a beautiful treachery that has held hands with blessing while walking through this life. He and I have…

Jam, Being Chosen, Coffee and Bearing Fruit

“You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit- Fruit that will last.” 

John 15:16 (Read John 15- worth your time!)

I love the taste of raspberry jam on toast in the morning…

Dependence Day

“Independence day was the day that we declared our dependence on God…” 

Mom has been gone for over two years now, but many of her words still resonate in my heart every day. 

On a day where…

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Shine Your Light

“Let your light shine before men… So they will glorify your Father in Heaven.”

Matthew 5:16 NASB (emphasis, mine)

Glancing around, I watched the congregation as they began worshipping.

“Many are perishing among you…”

“What? Lord……