hope sign

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Be The Iron For Someone

Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and 
watch your life fall to pieces.
-Proverbs 13:20 MSG

My Grandmother 
Since the beginning of Summer, our church has had a Women Empowered Bible Study every other Thursday Morning.  It has been a wonderful time of fellowship and learning from each other.  In our efforts to not overwhelm our ladies, we put a starting date and ending date on this particular Bible Study. 
Today is our last one for the year.

Throughout these weeks of study, we have learned about strength...Biblical strength, physical, emotional, professional and etc.  I love getting into the WORD and discovering the heart of God.  But something else happened in these one hour bi-weekly meetings.  We have discovered the wisdom and strength in each other.  

Pastor Lorraine (my Mom) and I took turns leading the Bible Study but we didn't do all the talking.  Each lady has had the opportunity to share (each week) her heart and give nuggets of encouragement and wisdom to the rest of us.  One day last month, our study time went over by almost an hour.  We were ministering to each other and loving on the hurt ones.  It was a God moment for all of us.

I love our ladies at CTK.  We come from all walks of life, different social and economic backgrounds.  Some have pastored, others are pastoring, some from broken homes, pastor kids, farmer kids, kids of the streets...no matter what,

Each of us have value.  Iron sharpening iron.  These ladies have so much wisdom and love.  I am thankful that I get to be a part of this group.  Praying for each other, encouraging with lots of laughter, coffee and muffins.  Very seldom does any lady come in and make her own coffee.  Usually, another lady in the group, gets up, hugs her and pours her a cup of coffee...Servants hearts here.  

It all started with one lady...the first lady of CTK.  By her example, we have learned to serve, study, pray, encourage, share, laugh, love, cry with each other, the power of a touch, a hug, a smile.  She has shared her stories (good and bad), her heart, struggles but most of all, she has and continues to share Jesus with us.  We are very thankful for our Pastor, Lorraine Estep.  Yes, she is my mom.  I want to be more like her than I already am. 

Me and my Mommy

Me, Mom and Daddy

The scripture says, To become wise, you have to walk with the wise...makes sense to me.  That is what the Women Empowered Bible Study Class has been for me.  Gleaning from the fields of these wise women.  Seeing how God has brought them through.  

Let me encourage you today, find someone to fellowship with.  Someone who will encourage you to dig deeper into the WORD.  Someone who ignites the desire to find strength in GOD.  And then be the iron for someone else.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My baby girl comes home on Saturday and I can't wait!!!  So here is to Kelcie, the baby of the family.

Mommy & Kelcie...I love this picture

Kelcie last thanksgiving (2013)

Mommy & Kelcie catching snowflake
Christmas Eve 2013

Daddy & Kelcie at Emily's Wedding

This just captures my baby girls pure beauty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Logistics...not a fun word for most.  Most of us just want to show up and wing it without giving the, "how can we accomplish this" or "what does this truly entail", another thought.  

Yesterday, I was at my son and daughter in law's house.  I was putting the baby furniture together, for hours.  The crib went pretty well, no big mistakes but the dresser is another story. 

First, let me start by saying, THANK GOD FOR POWER SCREWDRIVERS!!  I cannot imagine having to hand turn all those screws that came with Baby Bo's dresser.  Not to mention when I had to unscrew so many and then put it all back together again.  

Now, on to my story.  I recall telling Scovia that we should read all the directions before we started but I did not take my own advice.  I was so careful to look at the diagrams and make sure I had the right pieces and look what was right/left, front/back...or so I thought.  

Half way through, as I am putting the box of the dresser together, I notice that all but one bracket is in the wrong place...that is 24 screws that I have to undo, move, realign and then screw into the right place...all without ruining the work that has already been done.  AHHHHH!!!  My daughter in law is so patient with me.  She just smiles and keeps on helping me.  After I correct all my mistakes with the box, Scovia says, "Mom, do you want something to drink?"  I am so thankful for her.  She heads downstairs to get me a diet coke and I continue on to the next step...add box to base and then add dresser top.  Easy peasy, right, DONE.  I am so proud.  It's really looking like a dresser.  I am beaming with pride.  

Time to make the drawers.  I get right to it.  Scovia is right by my side and Jake comes in to help.  He says, "two of these are backwards."  "WHAT!!?"  I thought I had been so careful.  So, I take the two apart and correct my mistakes.  Now the drawers look great and Jake takes it over to the dresser to make sure everything fits.  "Mom, um, I think something is wrong."  My heart falls and now I am starting to get upset with this boy coming in here trying to point out all my imperfections.  I had put the box of the dresser on UPSIDE DOWN!!!!  That means, the dresser lid has to come off, the base has to come off, everything has to be flipped and reattached and I AM TIRED!  Jake looks at me and smiles.  I apologize to them and get right back to work fixing my mistakes.  

Yup, this is how I felt...not a smile in sight.

Finally, all the drawers go in without any problems.  We are looking at our work with pride and then I notice it...The dresser top is on backwards.  I holler out, "You've got to be kidding me!!!!"  They both look at me like I am a crazy women.  I tell them what I did.  

In the trying to get things done quickly, I forgot to check how the drawers would go into the box, so I put it on upside down...I put the dresser lid on backwards because I had handled it so much, I didn't pay attention to the details.  Logistics got me!!!  

Ain't nobody got time for that!!!

We sometimes are so familiar with something that we miss the most important details...like, the finished side is the front.  We do that with people, with work, with God.  We become so familiar that we miss what makes it special.  

You see the logistics of how to put the dresser together, the order of operations, the directions, if followed makes short work of the job.  If you miss a step, get out of order, or only do it halfway, the job is much harder and takes twice as long (if your lucky).  

I truly don't understand why some things have to be done but if I skip that step, nothing works like it should and the outcome is a little odd.  Even with the dresser top on wrong, it didn't hurt anything really but it looked strange.  So, I follow the directions of the one who created it and BOOM, it not only looks good but it works perfectly.  

How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
    so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
    train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
    all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
    than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
    I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
    I won’t forget a word of it.
-Psalm 119: 9-16 MSG

We have a perfect book of directions, logistics, order of operations...THE WORD.  Pay attention to the details...what makes it special...you will benefit from it (We all do).  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holes..Memories...New Life

Everywhere I look, there are holes.  

Where there used to be a bed, now just stuff that was under the bed.

Where the dresser stood proud in the corner of the room...just the stuff that had made it's way behind the dresser.

No baby noises or the sound of water running in the downstairs bathroom.

I listen, expecting to hear something...nothing happens.  

The dining room table is covered with the things that were in the curved glass china cabinet, the office is covered with books and boxes that didn't make the move...well, truthfully, most of it is our junk, not Jake and Scovia's.  

I can sit and keep writing sad, depressing, lonely thoughts or I can see this as an opportunity.  

It's time to clean up the mess and repurpose some rooms and things.  If I allow myself, my mind can go crazy with possibilities.  Play room for the grandsons, redecorated guest room and bathroom with a guest sitting room/study...I can go on and on.  

It's all in my perspective and attitude.  Yes, this is an adjustment.  I keep waiting for the kids to come home from somewhere.  I don't even know if I know how to cook dinner for two, it's been 25 years.  One thing I do know, I will adjust to this new life of an empty nest...eventually.  

Our growing family...I was pregnant with Juliana

Me, Bo, Jake (Juliana in my belly)


Life changes and I look forward to what the future holds but I am so thankful for these days.  

Juliana and Aaron and their boys

Jake and Scovia and Baby Bo

My baby, Kelcie

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shiftings, Battles, Poor of Sight...LOOK UP!!

Oh, to be who you created me to be.
To walk the path, you set before me.
To love all your creation.
To serve with a heart of compassion.

This is my prayer this morning.  Stirring in my soul.  I know God is in control.

Even as life shifts and changes around me...God is in control.  

When I hold onto things that have the potential to destroy me and those around me, I limit God's ability to use me.  

He has filled me to overflowing, but instead of giving, I hoard it unto myself. God cannot continue to fill me and use me because I am all full and used up. Things that He blessed me with, to bless others, are now rotting in my store houses and barns because of my refusal to give.  Have you ever been there? Are you there now?  Living in fear that someone might come and try to take God's blessing away from you.  So we hold onto what wasn't meant for us so tightly that what God has for us, we cannot grasp...our hands are already full.  

Pour yourself out and let God refill you with Himself.  

His plans for us are so much greater than anything we could ever imagine.  Just because the battle is hard today, doesn't mean that all is lost.  We go through many seasons and guess what...seasons change.  It doesn't surprise God when we struggle or battle...He knows and He is in control.  God frees us up by taking on the responsibility to bless and provide for us.  

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

In the middle of the battle, it's hard to see God.  The battle is dusty, distracting, exhausting and hard, I know.  So we struggle through very tired eyes for the backup, for a glimpse of hope but because we are weary and poor of sight, we cannot see anyone on our side.  We are looking to our left and right.  We are looking ahead and behind.  We are looking from side to side and all around, causing ourselves to become dizzy and disoriented...LOOK UP!! Our help is up!!

 I will lift up mine eyes 

unto the hills, 

from whence cometh my help.

 My help cometh from the Lord
which made heaven and earth.
-Psalm 121:1-2 KJV

The LORD didn't promise to keep us from the battle.  He didn't promise that life would be easy.  He gave us many examples in His WORD of just the opposite.  Battles have been a part of humanity since the beginning of time.  But He did promise to be with us, love us, guide us, comfort us, deliver us, walk with us...even death is just a shadow, when you are a child of GOD.  A shadow cannot hurt us.