Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Rise and Fall of the GENTLEman

At a highschool volleyball game, I recently struggled into the building with bags on one shoulder and my very heavy 20month old son on my hip. No one opened the door for me, though very capable young men were there to do it. Then as I stepped foot into the hall way, there was water on the floor where the band members were having a water fight. I was in flip-flops and the second my cute little flops met the dirty water on the floor, my feet slipped out from under me. I landed on top of my son. Praise God we were okay. It was definitely not my most graceful moment. None of the boys came to help me up. They just stopped for a moment and stared then went on with their games. One little girl shyly helped this embarrassed, upset, scared mom off the floor. She gathered the contents of my bags and helped me up. I was so saddened my the lack of concern these young boys had for me and my child. Where is the GENTLEman?

In my grief over the rise and fall of the GENTLEman, I remembered a scenario of just the opposite. On my way into McDonald's with my flock of little chicks and all their stuff, a young highschool boy waited for me to get to the door. He opened the door and smiled very graciously to me. I almost cried that he was so considerate and attentive to this momma who definitely needed help dragging my crew to the much anticipated play date. I found him with all his friends and told him how proud his mother would have been.

The following poem was written after much pondering. How could I impact the raising of my children to be considerate, compassionate and compelled to assist one in need.

The rise and fall of a GENTLEman
Often lies in the woman's hand.
As a little boy, this "little man"
Was taught by his mother to extend his hand.
In his heart he knew this was right
To be gentle even though he was strong with might.
As he grew, so did his heart to serve
In him a desire to be needed by a "little her".
This "GENTLEman" in the making
Offered to open the door,
To pullout a seat,
But this "little her" was determined
I don't need your help like women before.
In this simple rejection
The "GENTLEman" was defeated.
"Little her" is it worth, "I can do it myself"?
To have a generation of GENTLEmen left in the sand
Of "No thanks I'd rather stand".
So, mother of a "little man" and
Mother of a "little her"
Teach them the gift to serve
And the blessing of being served.
There once was a teacher
You may have heard.
He went out of His way
His followers thought it absurd!
There was a "little her" who sat at a well
The life she was living was sinful hell.
He told her of living water and offered her a drink
Her thirst so unforgettable,
This drink was it a welcomed truth or just a fable?
This "little her" could have said, "No thanks, I enjoy the alone"
But instead she said, "I will drink and take this message home."
A life changed, greatly impacted
By a GENTLEman who acted.
A simple gesture of opening a door
Or choosing the lesser seat on the floor
Tells a "little her" that she is precious and adored
Not by just a stranger but by the LORD!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is in a name??

My love language is "words of encouragement". In my file cabinet I have a folder labeled ENCOURAGEMENT. It is stuffed full of letters I've collected over the years sent by many of you. When I am feeling down or discouraged, I will open that folder up and instant sunshine fills my life again.

As a mother, I am constantly looking for ways to encourage my children. Discouragement is POWERFUL, especially in the life of a child. At the beginning of Second grade, Masie's teacher gave an assignment for the parents, "What is in a name?". The parents had to write a letter to the child as to why they chose the child's name and what the name means. My goal in this post is to ENCOURAGE you to do the same. Masie has re-read this letter many times and I am confident she will come back to it in years to come. Begin building an "ENCOURAGEMENT" file for each of your children. Collect notes from teachers, friends or document experiences where you have seen your child stand out. Regardless if you have children or not, I dare you to on purpose look for a child/teenager doing something right. Send them a note, give them a pat on the back or whisper in their ear "extraordinary actions make extraordinary people". Let's not just complain about "kids today" but lets find ways to celebrate them.


Dear Mason Kate,

When we chose your name, Mommy and Daddy knew nothing about you. The color of your hair, the sound of your voice or your personality were all mysteries to us. One fall chilly evening, around a fire pit in our backyard, over steaming cups of coffee, daddy shared his favorite name: Mason Kate. Once he spoke those words, an excitement began to build in my heart. I knew that in a few short months I would meet the one and only Mason Kate.

Did you know that Mason means=works with stone? Little did we know that you would be an avid collector of stones, crystals and fossils. I might even say you are a tiny bit obsessed with stones:) I believe your name also represents the ROCK solid foundation of God's Word. I believe that you, Mason, will work with the stones of God's truth. You will be part of building God's church with these stones every where you go...even as a child.

God is going to use you build strength and truth into the lives of people but you must hide God's Word in your heart. This is the key to a ROCK solid foundation that will guide every decision you will make. You will bring God's sweet presence into the lives of many who's hearts are stone cold and resistant to a relationship with God. You, Mason, must guard your heart from bitterness, jealousy and rage. These things harden our hearts towards God. These things will poison a heart and the earlier they are welcomed into your hearts home the bigger the barrier between you and God. As you have seen dad toss stones from our garden's soil, you to must toss the ugly stones from your life. Make this a habit now while you are young.

Your middle name, Kate, means PURE. "Blessed are the PURE in heart for they will see God". My prayer for you is that in your childhood, your thoughts and actions would remain pure, which will GREATLY impact your ability for purity in adulthood. As your parents, we will do anything we can to help guard the precious gift of purity you have. We will be careful of what you see, hear and's our job. May you always know how much God loves you. He is always quick to forgive and answer us when we call out to Him. We are promised a way out when led into temptation.

Mason Kate, we are ALWAYS for you.


Your one, only, handpicked by God parents!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Katelyn Mae-It's her Birthday

Katelyn Mae is FOUR today

How blessed we are that

God sent her our way

September 12th, 2006

Not a drop of rain was in the weather mix

Drought was upon our land,

Rich soil turned to sand

On September 12th in a birthing room,

a little girl was born at almost noon.

With her delicate features, tears ran down my face

Out the window rain drops began to fall at tremendous pace.

God whispered a promise :

As rain refreshed the earth in drought

This child will refresh our lives, restore our souls

Sweet Katelyn Mae has fulfilled this without a doubt.

It is a curious thing to watch a child grow up.

From nursing and cooing

To snotty noses and ah ah chooing

Learning to crawl, to toddle a bit

I watch my four year old cartwheel and skip.

What glorious plans are in store

For our Katelyn Mae -even at four.

Is it possible to keep her at my knee

To tickle and giggle and curl her up next to me.

I know that one day she will be grown

A wife, children, a home of her own.

However, until that season

I will take the time to play, instruct and reason

Sing loudly, instruct gently and pray with out ceasing.

Lord, today on Katelyn's first day of four

Use me to introduce your Love like never before.

Prepare Katelyn's heart to make You her home.

Keep my feet home more often,

Let not these childhood moments be stolen or forgotten.

If and when the day gets dark

Let me remember the promise you brought

When Katelyn Mae was born

Restoration, refreshment,

Gentle words whisperd,

Her heart for reconciliation is not the norm.

Use her Lord as a lover of peace

May she impact all she meets with mercy

Even if it's in Greece!

Use her to fulfill your promise of refreshment

For the plans for Katelyn Mae are heaven sent.

Happy Birthday Kitten Kat Katie!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HIS sheep am i

Below is an excerpt from my quiet time this morning. It is an earnest cry of my heart to be found faithful.

The Good Shepherd:

Shouldn't Shepherds feed their sheep?

Destruction is certain for those who feed themselves but let their flocks go hungry.
The Good Shepherd, searches for the lost, tends to the sick, broken and bound. Ezekiel 34

FORGIVE me Lord for feeding myself, for getting fat and full
For sitting so comfortable.

YOU are The Good Shepherd and i am your sheep.
I can delight in your promises.
Your ways are not hard to keep.
Show me Lord your heart for your flock.
Teach me to fight and protect them from
The enemy who scoffs and mocks.

YOU are The Good Shepherd - Your sheep am i.
YOU searched for me when i was lost and alone.
YOU mended my heart and brought me into Your home.
YOU are The Good Shepherd who knows my name.
YOU will teach me your ways so i may shepherd the same.

Who are the sheep YOU are bringing to me?

Find me faithful to teach them to sing.
Find me faithful to teach them Holy toil.
Find me faithful to show them how to cultivate rich soil.

YOU are The Good Shepherd.
YOU are my King.
The sound of your voice I know
All i am, to YOU i bring.

Hope for restoration sounds too good to be true.
May I not grow weary in bringing this flock back to YOU.
YOU will lead me.
YOU will be my guide.
For i am Your sheep
Who walks by The Good Shepherd's side.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From The Heart Of A Child

As Ryan tucked the girls in tonight, he prayed a simple prayer over our 3 yr old, Katelyn. He asked God to protect her from the dangers in this world. Masie responded, "Dad, do you know what the most dangerous thing in the world is? It is following the path made by sinners".

Chew on that one for a while!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching Up!

Well, Summer is in full swing at our house. School is out. As a mother with outside commitments, the change in schedule has had its challenges. Ryan and I tag team the kiddos- when he's home I work, when I work he's home. Thank goodness this is only for a short season. It's hard to have a good solid relationship when you see each other in passing. The great thing about Ryan is that he knows I can't function successfully without time with him. This morning before work our day started with coffee on the front porch just as the sun was starting to rise. Not a bad start to a Friday.

Our daughter, Katelyn learned how to swim without floaties last week. It is amazing that it only took a few short lessons with Ryan before she got the hang of it. It was so clear to me the influence this man has in the lives of our children. I am so glad that he taught her to swim. It built such huge trust between Katelyn and Ryan. She learned that when daddy says, "I've got you", he really does. Her confidence and smile just beam from her like the rays of sunshine we've been blessed with.

Masie was baptised this month. Ryan and I waited about a year after she "believed the free gift of grace and forgiveness" was for her. There are two things that indicated to us an authentic personal relationship with Jesus - the first was unprompted repentance. Not just, "Don't come out of the room until you tell me you are sorry". I have been so blessed when my 7 yr old on her own approaches me with a repentant heart over a sin she has committed against me or another. I can't imagine how precious this is in the sight of the Lord. The other sign of her own walk with God, is her willingness to obey His voice. Many times, Masie has acted on "promptings"...speaking a blessing to someone, coloring a picture for a co-worker of mine going through a tough time, passing along a scripture, spending her toothfairy money on gumballs for everyone but herself. We have witnessed amazing growth, maturity and love in this child's life. It was with great pride and honor that Ryan baptised her with many others at our church picnic.

Our son Gunner, is 18 months old now. Time goes so quickly. This lil dude has amazing blue eyes and it is a good thing! He would get a lot more spankings if those eyes didn't pierce your soul every time you looked into them. He is a very mechanical child, not interested AT ALL in anything resembling a toy. He wants ballpoint pens to disassemble, remote controls to remove the batteries, water spickits to turn on and off, dog water bowls to stand in, tractor rides with Poppy, TV to turn on and off, toilets to flush who knows what, cabinets to hide his shoes in...anything but TOYS. He is funny, full of personality, a total flirt and has stolen our hearts. How is it that he knows how to be tough? How did he learn so quickly that pulling Katelyn's hair is a quick way to annoy and harm his sister? How does he know when to raid the doll house and throw all the doll furniture out of its tiny home? Gunner has made our life very interesting, tons of fun and a little exhausting to keep up with.

Recently, I got news of being accepted to attend a "Writers and Speakers" conference in Colorado. I am so excited to see how God uses this conference to give me vision for my future, encouragement for the day and strength for great improvements. Sally Clarkson will be leading it in her home. There will be 30 other women attending the conference. I've been praying for the person that I get to room with. Leaving your children for any length of time can be tough - even exhausting just working out the logistics. I know God has a plan and that His fingerprints can be found in the details (just look around). I am looking to prepare for the conference by cleaning house spiritually. Taking inventory so to speak of unconfessed sin, unproductive habits, and what is God saying to me through His Word. I am looking forward to sharing this with you in the next few weeks.

Summer always has a way of flying by. May we not let time pass too quickly through our busy hands. Take time to play, to take a nap, to finish a project, to read a book. My goal for tomorrow is that I would be intentional at least once to ask each child, "want to play".


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day: America's Most Expensive Vacation

As I was looking for a picture to describe my prayers for our Nation this one captured it the best...reunion.

There have been several "AWE" moments in my life time where it becomes very apparent to me how costly freedom is. The first was September 11th. I will never forget where I was when I heard the news. My country under attack. Do you remember how it felt to feel so completely vulnerable? So unsure of the future? I remember laying in bed that night wondering what if something terrible happened to our country while I slept. How different Sept. 12 was going to be. A fear pierced tender places in my soul that I didn't even know existed.

The day after 9-11, my cousin signed up to defend and protect his country. Growing up, I remember playing war with him, all his childhood camo gear, his "hide outs" from the enemy (me). He told me, "All I ever wanted to be was a soldier". He served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. He has earned 2 purple hearts. His future is forever changed because he rose to the occasion. I went to sleep 9-11 wondering if I would wake to another attack and he went to sleep preparing to attack. Do you remember 9-11? For his sake I wish you would.

Several years ago, I came across an article in Texas Monthly featuring a friend from high school. He was a paratrooper. I'd never heard of that branch of service before. They are the guys that jump from airplanes in the middle of the night and rescue our soldiers, his brothers. In his article, he reflected on the places his boots had taken him and how serene it was when his service time was up. How strange it must have been to pack those boots away. How does one return? How does one man or woman survive war even if they come away without a scrape? Reading that article, moved me. It moved me from being a safe, self absorbed and oblivious stay at home mom to being ever conscious of the gift freedom is.

Several "AWE" moments of freedom I have encountered have to do with the wives here at home. On Mother's Day, a few years ago, I was having breakfast at Jim's with my family. Sitting at a table not too far from us was a young mom of three little girls. They were all dressed lovely and eating so nicely together. My husband picked up the tap for her breakfast. She came to us in tears. Her husband had been deployed and she was here in San Antonio alone. There was no one to pat her on the back. No one to observe her daily sacrifices on the behalf of her husband, children and her country. There is a cost for freedom.

Laying in bed one night, I was reflecting on this cost. I was deeply moved over the war. How many days went by with out even acknowledging that our country was even at war? I was overwhelmed and deeply grieved at the thought of the soldiers returning home with war so intimately ingrained in them. Their return home from seeing and experiencing the gruesome, heart breaking victories and defeats. Was it possible to sit down at the dinner table and freely converse? Was it possible for them to sleep in their own beds and not feel like aliens in their own country? How do these soldiers return to work, pay their mortgage and deal with the everyday? I remember begging God for miracles. Not just that God would save physically but that He would restore them spiritually.

For my cousin, high school friend, soldiers now and soldiers then-

They have all paid dearly for a holiday we celebrate only yearly.

Our politians may take a vacation

But tonight I shed tears for our nation.

Mothers who's sons have not returned

Children who's father they yearn.

Heal us Lord. Ignite passion in our land.

We beg you Lord, for without You our Nation will not stand.

Thanks we give You. Let Freedom Ring.

It will be a miracle for a Soldier's return without war's sting.

It is for Freedom, the Soldier's have stood up and fought.

Forgive us of our selfishness when we have thanked their families not.

Let us extend our hand, offer to babysit at least.

Only You can slay this war's beast.

With a sling and stone You've brought giants down.

Keep our enemies far don't let our Nation drown.

We call out to You in our time of need.

Let our leaders run to You at brake neck speed.

Allow us as a country, one household to another

Stand in the gap - strengthen our brothers.

May we stand firm as citizens of the best Nation united.


Show us how to mark out a strait path.

Let us grow Godly and divert Your wrath.

One Nation under God...the simplicity is true

Our Nation doesn't have a prayer if we don't walk with You.

This Memorial Day, in honor of Soldiers lost

We close our eyes tonight, safely do we sleep at Freedom's cost.

No payment here on earth can say thank you enough

But let us unite as the going gets tough.

Wasted their lives - let this never be

For it was for freedom-for you and for me.

May the Lord be close to the broken hearted and faithful to deliver those crushed in spirit. To the wives here in America holding down the fort - I say thank you. May you have peace that surpasses all understanding, may your burden be miraculously light and may time pass quickly. To the parents of soldiers past and present - I hope I never know the weight each of you carry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

God Bless America!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Dear Readers, please listen to the advise given to me by a special woman who knows more grief than anyone should in this life time.

"There is never any thing your child can do that can't be forgiven. Don't give up on them!"

Lord, words I do not have
Prayers I know not how to pray
Answers to hard questions I don't know what to say
Heaven is a long time to wait
To see the one's we love at Heaven's gate.
In the mean time, until that glorious day comes
Renew. Revive. Reveal. Relieve.
Give this woman strength and courage to face another day
To ask for your guidance along the way
Show her what healing looks like
She longs to encourage others but isn't ready for the mike
Send her chosen people who will walk her to You
Only you know how to see her through
Free her from sorrow, deliver her from strife
You are her God, she is your girl
I know your hand is extended
May she take it and twirl
Dance over her. Sing her a new song.
When compared to eternity, time on earth isn't forever
Reunion won't be long....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Positive Parents Polka

Positive Parents Polka to the Rythem of Praise

If moma ain't happy ain't nobody happy! We as women are the thermometers in our home. If we are comfortable and inviting than the home is comfortable and inviting. If we are fussy, grumpy and bossy then our children will be the same. If we were are irritable at work we are likely to be irritable at home. If we are angry on the highway then we are likely to be angry at home. The black cloud will not go away on it's own.

This is the day the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Rejoice and be glad is a decision, an act of your will.

We have to make an exchange in our thoughts – the prescription for the grumpies is praise. We have to make and exchange.

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice, in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident in all you do. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, what ever is true, whatever, is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things.
We have to take our thoughts captive and replace them. We can't allow the dumpster of our mind to fill with negative, destructive thoughts and not expect the stink to fill the nostrils of those we love.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to build a relationship with a sweet physician. She has two older girls and I pick her brain all the time regarding being the mom of two very different girls. As she was reflecting, she told me to use the video camera often because they grow up so quickly. As a side comment, almost to herself, she said,”looking back, I wasn't smiling in any of the videos”.

It is so easy to drown in the drudgery of everyday. There will always be messes, the toilet will always need to be cleaned, laundry will always be your enemy...but your children are only children once.

One of our favorite books is, My Moma Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray. Following is a quick preview,

"My moma had a dancing heart and she shared that heart with me. With a grin and a giggle, a hug and a whistle, we'd slap our knees and Mama would say: "Bless the world it feels like a tip-tapping song-singing finger-snapping kind of day. Let's celebrate!" And so we did."

Do you know what happens when a positive parent dances? The people in their lives can't help but to dance too.

Jeremiah 31:12-13 Their life will be like a watered garden and all their sorrows will be gone. The young women will dance for joy and the men -old and young- will join in the celebration.

God has purpose for our polka...
Psalm 145 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your might acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
One generation will commend your works to another.

It is possible, Masie, will tuck her daughter in one night and say “God taught my moma to dance. She taught me to dance. And now my darling, I will teach you to dance".

You are what you think. You reap what you sow. If you plant an apple seed you will not produce oranges. If you plant bitterness you will reap bitterness. We have to take our negative, poisonous thoughts and replace them with thoughts of things pure, lovely and worthy of praise.

This video is a great example of practicing Philippians 4:8 (dance lessons)

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Many Blessings as you begin your week - may you fill your mind with things worthy of praise!

I love my God! I love my life! I love my husband! My Masie! My Katie! My Gunner! I love my job! I love the people I get to work with and for! I love my parents! I love their parents! I love my garden! I love my paid for car! I love my dogs! I love my Innocence Preserve! I love my Crossfit crew! I love my church! I love my Monday - my start fresh day! I love my health! I love my laugh! I love my bed head in the mornings! I love my Starbucks! I love get the picture:)

Date Night

Date Night - a highly coveted, often talked about, rarely scheduled and crucial to any relationship.
Last night, Ryan and I joined several other couples for a fantastic dinner at Fralo's in Leon Springs. We ordered the Pesto Chicken for an appetizer - we loved it! We ordered the Mediterranean Pizza (you can get the crust gluten free but we forgot to ask for that:). Since we were feeling a little spunky we ordered our pizza it with anchovies. I loved it but Ryan thought them to be too salty. The atmosphere was casual, the weather wasn't too hot, the music was current and not too loud. The overall feel of the place was "hip" felt cool no matter your age. The oak trees provided breeze and shade. We were a rowdy bunch and had the freedom to be.
Laughter is a powerful gift. Often, I find myself too serious, too deep and missing out on opportunities to laugh. Well, last night, I laughed until my abs were sore. I think I was just finally relaxed enough from a stressful week to let go a little. It helps that the crew we were with last night exude happiness in their own lives and each have such solid marriages.
Ryan and I have been really growing in the area of communication. I don't know about you but this is a really tricky area to master. I am so a talker and he is so a processor. This week, Ryan was intentional to sit on the couch with me and allow me to go through the details of my day, voice my frustrations and road blocks that are in the way of my personal goals. He allowed me the opportunity to be real, vulnerable and completely a woman. I can't tell you how much lighter and loved I felt after just a few minutes of having his undivided attention. God totally knew what He was doing hand picking this man for me. I do need a listener and a fixer. Ryan can make decisions easily because he sees things so black and white. I on the other hand have way too many emotions to process through before I can remotely see light at the end of the tunnel. So, when I need a short cut, I always go to him. He gets to the point and has a way of bringing me along in a gentle way.
It is so on our radar to make "date night" a regular part of our week. We do have 3 small children and just getting away is never easy. We want our marriage to continue to grow, flourish, thrive. We can't count on the blast we had together on our date last night to sustain us for the long haul. We have to keep adding wood to the fire to keep the flames of our relationship burning. We will make "couch time" precious, sunrise coffee on the front porch regular and wine by the creek often.
Date Night is an idea that is lovely and true
With out it, we find our self burned out and blue.
Show us how to find time to play
Flirt and be crazy in love with each passing day.
In our old age, with decades in the past
Date Night will surely make our love last.
Teach me to plan, to pursue this godly man
To laugh out loud and have him catch me if he can.
I am his beloved and he is my dude
May I speak gently, not so often and never rude.
Teach us to love, to dance each dance
To sit the next season out - not a chance.
Fan the flames, get the fire hot
For no other, we are not.
Share with me your favorite spots around town.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feathers From My Nest

Several years ago, at a local bookstore, I found myself curled up in a corner with tears streaming down my face. I stumbled upon the book, Feather's From My Nest, by Beth Moore. At the time, Masie Kate (pictured) was three and my only child.

This book was Beth's (like I know her:) way of documenting the childhood of her daughters, feathers each of them left behind as they flew from one season to the next. This was one of the first books God used to paint a picture of how quickly time would pass and how fleeting childhood would be for this precious girl.

Now, Masie is 7 and the big sister of Katelyn and Gunner. I just wonder what feathers I will collect from their childhood when childhood has come and gone. I choose to post this picture of Masie in her "Magic Skates" because in this season they are the love of her life (plus I crack up everytime I look at it:). We call them "Magic Skates" due to the fact that when Masie slips her dirty country feet into them she becomes the ultimate servant. She unloads the dishwasher quicker, is eager to assit in cooking and setting the table. We have wood floors downstairs and she zips, zags and figure-eights in a noisy enthusiastic childish parade. However, noisy and sometimes annoying these skates are, how long will they be called her beloved? She no longer needs my hand to hold skating from one object to the next. She no longer falls every few feet. I am just curious how much longer before I pack these skates away because her childhood love has been replaced with adolescent interests. Until then, skate on Masie. One day my prayer is that she reflects fondly of the days when her mother allowed her Magic Skates to participate in the day to day.
Feathers from my nest
Which moments will I treasure the best?
Masie is almost eight
No longer needing my hand to roller skate
Help me Lord to be patient and kind
Enduring the ruckus, help me not to mind.
Show me how to collect and keep
The feathers of her childhood nice and neat.
Memories are made with each passing day
Help me to love more deeply and not be too busy to play.
Feathers from my nest
I choose to treasure this day amongst the rest.
Show me to train, to patiently pursue
This precious child,
Who holds onto me but one day will cling to You.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shining as Stars

It has been said, "You can not give what you do not have". Tonight I have a few moments to write, I have much in my heart to pass along but I can't. I have not had time with the Lord in a few days. So if it is okay with you, I am going to share what God confirmed and inspired me with tonight.

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of starting my work week in prayer with two of my coworkers. We asked God to encourage and strengthen our staff, continue to fan the flames of passion for the hospice services we provide and represent and that we would SHINE in each of our accounts. When I prayed the word SHINE, I was asking that God would some how use us to bring His light into the "everyday" world of the people we come across. That our attitudes, smiles and love for life would somehow bless the hospitals we walk into, the doctor's offices we stop by and all the people in between.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you SHINE like the stars in the universe...

These two Scriptures I just happened to come across. I just love how God confirmed the word "SHINE". He really does have a plan for us (me and you) to stand out, to draw attention to Him by our attitudes and actions.

So it is my prayer for tomorrow as I will be out in the field with work and as I begin my day with my children that I would stand out, choose a happy heart and pass along the deep joy I have in the Lord. May you also be encouraged to SHINE for Him where ever He takes you.

S - Spend time with Him
H - Help others do the same
I - I WILL rejoice and be glad in Him (it is a choice)
N- Notice the faces of people and speak a blessing
E- Engage in the interests of others

Saturday, May 1, 2010


To all the mom's who attended the "Positive Parenting" talk today I want to tell you that I am praying for you! It was not by chance that our path crossed this morning. God has called You out in the most loving, non-condemning way. He wants to free you from guilt, shame and bring great sources of encouragement to your lives.


As these precious moms tuck their children in tonight and for the mother who wants to but can't, I ask that You would bless them with hope for tomorrow. I praise You that You are a God of second chances - You are so free and willing for us to have a "do over". Father, I ask that as these women lay their heads on their pillows tonight, they would rest well knowing that You came along side them today. Stir hope into their hearts. When they rise and greet their families in the morning, may You put a new song in their hearts. I ask Father, that You would allow the seeds of truth that were planted today take root. I ask that the cares of their world would not snatch the hope that You loving sowed into our lives today. Though, I didn't get to hug or meet each woman in that room today, I treasure that they are intimately known by You. Continue to light their step as they attempt to reach the hearts of their children.

Blessings to each of you!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pedicures and Pep Talks

Today started off great. I was able to rise early and start my day with seeking God. After yesterday's post I felt a little weary maybe even unsure. However, I am more settled than ever that when God gives us something to say that will edify Himself and others (even if you have to swallow your pride) you better say it. Check out Sally Clarkson's post today, "Your Message Defines You". God continues to use the WHOLEHEART Ministry to equip me to minister to others.

Well if it is possible to linger too long over your Bible and a pot of coffee I succeeded. Before I knew it I was late getting the kids up for school, forgot to pack lunches, couldn't find Masie's school shoes (which are part of her uniform), made boiled eggs for breakfast that they had to eat on the way and stunk up my car, spilled grape juice and coffee on my white pants after I was far from home, had to ask forgiveness a thousand times between 7:30 and 9:00! I had to stop mid-morning and buy a new pair shoes...the heels had worn off my favorite shoes and every time I took a step I "clinked" down long hospital hallways...bought another pair of pants while I was at it so I wasn't covered in evidence that I'd had better mornings. My afternoon wasn't much better but I will spare you my tears....

After picking the girls up from a sweet friend, Masie wanted it to be girls night and have pancakes, pedicures and pajama night. Do you think I felt like having a girls night or was I fantasizing my children fast asleep ASAP so I could finally chill???

May 1st I was invite to give a talk at a Mug and Muffin at Community Bible Church. When I asked what they wanted me to talk about she said, "Positive Parenting". I almost choked! Do you not know that the grandparents of my children have removed every wooden spoon in my home:) As I hesitated, God whispered, "positive parenting not perfect parenting". Shortly after saying yes, I was in the garden and God gave me a few "positive parenting points that all start with "P". Tonight as I was about to unleash the not so positive-everybody get in bed now-parenting, I realized what Masie requested all started with the letter "p". Sounds silly but I felt the calming of God's presence.

So, I lite candles for my 7 and my 3 yr old, put on Joel Clarkson's Piano CD, and filled my jacuzzi tub to the top! You would have thought it was Christmas. I let Masie carry out her idea of pajamas and pedicures...she laid out my pj's, went through the trouble of setting the pedicure station with a nice towel and all my pedicure stuff (that is usually off limits) and used a very grown up voice to announce, "Mrs. Buck, welcome to Masie's Magic Salon". She gave Katelyn the job of rubbing lotion on my hands and feet while Masie trimmed my fingernails and scrubbed my heels (she said they really need it:). In the middle of their excitement to serve me, I was overwhelmed how God was using these little girls to calm my weary soul. I honestly was having a hard time shaking something I was fretting about in my mind and Masie said, "Mom, if there is anything you want to share with me I will listen." Wow! I shared a bite size piece of my issue and she gave profound advise.

When you give you get. I thought I was ''SACRIFICING" my CHILL time to do something for the girls when the reality is, they went out of their way to serve me. I know for sure that you can never be too young to be used by God!

When I tucked the girls in (at 9:00), they were yelling from their beds - you are the best mom ever, I love you, this was the best night of my life.

Instead of getting on the computer, I opened my Bible. I prayed- hit me with Your best shot - I am looking for You. I opened to the following Scripture: Psalm 141:8-10 For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me DEFENSELESS. Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, and from the snares of those who do iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, WHILE I PASS BY SAFELY.

Pedicures and a Pep-talk
I love that you prompted me not to balk
Bless the hands that rubbed my feet
I tucked her tightly under the sheet
Bless the little girl who took such delight
In turning my mood from heavy to light
Bless You Lord for the "pep-talk"
You encouraged me to keep my eyes on You,
You promised that You would defend me and see me through
You assured me that plans against me would fall against them
And safely I will pass as I cling to Your hem.

How blessed I am to be "positively parented by THE perfect parent".

Monday, April 12, 2010


Before you read the "Wayward Wife" post, let me be clear. I am not a Wayward Wife - yet it is clear to me that I can't take credit for that. I am born a sinner. It is easier for me to be selfish than it is to serve. It is easier for me to get angry than it is for me to calm down and choose peace. Scripture says, An understanding wife is a gift from the Lord - not Oprah, not yo mamma or your girlfriends. It is in God alone that I give credit to my pursuit to live a life pleasing to Him first - all the while my guy gets the benefit.

However, I would be a FOOL and so would you if you thought you could casually walk through this life -unarmed- and not take some hits. As our pastor said this weekend, so many people say, "I don't know how I ended up 50k in debt" or "I don't know how I got to be 75 lbs overweight" or "I don't know how the affair happened". His answer is - YES YOU DO! We have a protective Heavenly Father who is faithful to send warning signs that danger is ahead. That is all the "Wayward Wife" post is in my life. Red flags that danger is ahead... I could stubbornly keep going or STOP-heed the warnings and take another route.

Before I ever posted, Ryan and I sat down and read through it together. He was in full agreement that those warning signs are not just for our marriage but maybe for yours too. So those of you who think I am a saint, without struggle or fault, you are wrong. I crave being right with God. So without a doubt, shame or apology I share my thoughts and deep conviction regarding the Wayward Wife. Knowing that it is by walking with Him that my chances of ending up as one lessen.

In the words of Dr. Suess in "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" the following excerpt expresses my philosophy the best.

"You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street."

My 7 yr old daughter after reading that page says, "That reminds me of Jesus. Some streets in my life are His and some streets belong to Satan. I have the Holy Spirit and He gets to help me choose the streets that belong to Jesus".

Join me in being fiercely protective of your marriage. Put together a game plan as to how you are going to this. Wake up! Choose this day to acknowledge that NO ONE is going to fight for your marriage but you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wayward Wife...

As I sit to write
I beg You for more insight
Days of pondering -
Has lead to weeks of wondering
Are the Ways of the Wayward Wife
Able to disrupt and ruin my God fulfilling life?
Desperate I come, at break neck pace I run.
Requesting wisdom to be not
Wayward but Wise...You are my only shot.
Use me Lord, to bring this topic to light
To all who read bless them Lord with a path of life
May they delight in being a FAR from wayward wife
Hold on readers, the following is going to be a little painful but true
His eye is on His sparrow - His love for us will walk us through

Proverbs 2:16 Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the WAYWARD WIFE with her seductive WORDS, who has left the partner of her YOUTH, and ignored the covenant she made before God.
Wayward- Given to or marked by willful, often perverse deviation from what is desired, expected, or required in order to gratify one's own impulses or inclinations

With fear and trembling I read this verse in my quiet time several weeks ago. I have yet to meet a bride on their wedding day, who envisions herself as the soon to be "wayward wife" - given to willful, often perverse deviation from what is desired or expected.

For the last seven years, I have been happily protected within the four walls of my castle raising our little family and wholeheartedly serving my prince. My primary role in our family was manager of our time with my husband Ryan. With his crazy schedule, I chose to drop it all when "daddy" was home. I did not answer the phone, play dates were scheduled on other days and the housework waited. I remember during this time, my husband was in school. I was proud to get up before him, fix breakfast tacos to take on the road and fix a "man"wich for his lunch. One wife told me, I am so sick of hearing about the huge sandwiches you fix for your dude; It brought me great pleasure to serve this man, to make him feel loved publicly without being physically at his side, for him to know that he was the center of our kingdom and his returning to the castle was the highlight of all our lives.

Last Summer, Ryan was sharing with me some of his career goals and his hopes for our family. In the short term, Ryan was going to take a paycut and not work so much in his VERY stressful, under-appreciated current position. I told him I was willing to help financially and support him in any way I could. On my way to an interview with my old boss, I was terrified. It was crossing my mind that I am selling out on my family. I begged God to show me that this was right for us. The Lord whispered to me that He was at work in our lives. I can trust Him. In this season, "helper" to Ryan just looks different. I asked Him to blow the door open or slam it shut! When I asked if they were open to having me part time as a Hospice Community Liaison, they completely embraced the idea. When they shared the salary and commission structure with me it was way above and beyond what Ryan and I discussed. So life as a working mother and wife began in September.

In the fortified walls of my castle, immersed in children's stories, teaching my children the yes maam's and no maam's of life and wiping the precious tears of my babies - I was blissfully blind that there was a world out there that wanted my family. A world that was envious and bent on taking from us what 13 years of dedication and devotion built. I will try to explain...

In the last 8 months, I have had to look and look again at the woman who looks me in the mirror every morning. I am in a field that I believe in and have lots of opportunities to share my faith with others. I get to use my love for communication daily. I get to wear lipstick and high heels - what more could a woman ask for?? Looking back, lipstick and high heels have been the beginning of a dangerous journey. Girlfriends - don't get mad at me-I am not saying to not wear lipstick and high heels! It is just that for the first time in a long time, I started spending a lot more time planning what I am going to wear (new suits, new shoes, new haircut, new color, new accessories). I remember returning from my interview and calling my mom with great excitement....what am I going to wear???? This really irritated Ryan. He could not express it in words but he expressed it in silence. He did not complement, he did not ask - he just sighed. Not that appearance did not matter as a stay at home mom but their wasn't a stage to walk on every morning and a multitude to be seen by. Am I really saying this?? So the dress rehearsal and time in the mirror continued.

Another thing that I have discovered about myself is that I, like dynamite, do not burn half way. I am all or nothing and always have been. A sleeping dragon of drive woke within me. The desire to be recognized by hard work and be rewarded because of it began to overstep it's part-time limitations. Again, Ryan did not compliment this, he did not ask-the quieter he got, the louder his disapproval became. Yet, I continued to say yes world, you can count on me. School Valentines parties can wait, the dinner table can have one less chair filled cause I have one more account to make.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

The most humbling experience of my life thus far, is that I can not be in the world and not of it apart from God. My love language is words of encouragement. As food nourishes our bodies, as water dismisses the wilting of a plant - a positive word spoken into my life fuels my soul. I love the comment section of my blog- I can't tell you how many times I have come to my blog with the intention to write but spend my time rereading the comments left by many of you instead. They are not why I write but oh how you have blessed me with your response. I was so bummed last night when I happened to see a new comment on an old post and it was in another language! God has such a sense of humor. I have a feeling, the Lord is cleaning this house of mine and knows praise of any kind in this season will only fuel the dragon of my pride. In 13 years of marriage, the only praise from a man regarding appearance has been my husband. He is a man of few words - so with every compliment he has paid me I have treasured them. They are in no way cheap words of appeasement. It's funny, the times I least suspect a praise (in the garden, dirt under my fingernails, no makeup, grungy work clothes) are the moments that have taken his breath away. I believe that God and my husband are not the only ones who know how to fill this love tank of mine. As I checked into why a few comments were unreadable with symbols or foreign text - they were really spam (sites that led to horrific places). Point proven-when God is at work expect an enemy to be alive and active as well.

You and I have an enemy who is not powerful but strategic in his plan to destroy us and all we love. The Bible refers to him as a roaring lion - why are we surprised at his appetite? It is not enough for him to nibble on our big toe-he is not satisfied until he has devoured through division all we care about. In the last 8 months he has used the praises of men to throw up on me and feed me at the same time. Risky conversations, compromising situations and ungodly chatter threaten my very existence. It is no wonder at reading this particular verse that I sat in fear of the Lord and have not moved since then...

Prov. 2:16 Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.

"Wisdom will save you"... Because God is the parent He is, He has counseled me with wisdom - Given me a way out of a wayward route!
The Way of Wisdom: salvation from the adulteress or from becoming one:

1. Start with the mirror. I will choose to wear modest, professional clothing. Attire that honors God and pleases my husband. Ask myself, "Would this cause guy or girl to look at me in a less than sisterly way?"

2. Be all or nothing for the Kingdom of God not the reputation and promotion of Stacy! Pride is dangerous. The more you feed it the more you need it. My company hired me part-time. They embraced my family and the significant irreplaceable role I play in the life of my home. Even as an employee, there is no reason why I can not make the king of the castle top priority in my life. It worked for 13 years in building an amazing marriage - if it ain't broke don't fix it! There is something to breathing life in your home with your presence. This will go a long way in building trust with my husband that my heart is not divided between work and home...because I love my husband home, I work (a small number of hrs a week-nothing more).

3. "the wayward wife with her seductive WORDS"...a wise woman is known by her gentle and godly speech. I will limit my personal conversations with men other than my husband. EVERY woman I have counseled in the last ten years that has ended up on the wayward side started with an "innocent" conversation that led to intimate friendship, that led to devastated places. This my friend is why in our household we are not on "facebook" and other networking sites. We share our email address and have a joint checking account. Open policy is our policy. There are some forgiven doors in my life that are not meant to be opened - EVER. Sure I don't have to accept someone as a "friend" - I can deny access to these networking sites - but will I? Curiosity is a cute crippling little thing that I choose to not contend with. I "bet the farm" that God can increase my "networking" with out uninvited guests in my home. Again, I will use my words to encourage one another, lift the downhearted and breathe life into the people God brings my way.

4. Wayward Path is usually not walked alone. I will continue to not have professional lunches or meetings that require me to be in "private" alone settings. If I have an appointment with a man it will be in the presence of many. I have seen God give me lots of opportunities to live out this standard. On the other hand, unfortunately, there have been a few situations that have caught me off guard. If the military knew where every IED roadside bomb was hidden, there would not be soldiers' lives gone or limbs missing. If they had an area where they suspected these destructive devices they would not choose to go that road without a plan or go down it at all. There are a few "known" danger zones that have "shady" characters that I will "bet the farm" that I do not have to visit in order to succeed in my job. Thank you to my professional mentors, jr and kb, who coach me through these zones and are helping me find balance with work and family and to my spiritual mentors (ll, super d, gm) that love me enough to speak the truth, allow me to be honest in a safe setting and constantly direct me to the loving arms of Jesus. Proverbs "Victory is won in the presence of many counselors".
5. "who has left the husband of her youth..." those are the saddest words I have ever read! Ryan IS the husband of my youth literally. I met him this month 14 yrs ago as a senior in high school. I will never forget the first day I met him. I walked into a youth group (waiting for lightening to strike) and was introduced to a total STUD - bleached hair, earrings, buff, cool and a Christian. If that is what Christians look like than I will come back next week. Weeks turned into months and one night my life changed forever. I was invited to the youth pastor's home with a few others and in walks Ryan. I tried to play off the fact that my face turned bright red, my heart was pounding. At the end of the night trying to be cool - I was asked, "if tonight were my last night here on earth do I know where I would spend eternity?" I remember thinking (maybe even saying) if they knew half the things I had done there is no way they would have let me in the house much less sit next to me! If God knows everything then what would He want with a chic like me??? That night I was sold on Christianity because of a verse, "If any man was in Christ he is a NEW creation - the old is gone and the new has come 2 Cor 5:17". My "coolness" cover was blown. I was desperate to be forgiven -to be given a new start. With Ryan at my side, God picked me up and set me apart that night. He used Ryan to live out this scripture - not once in 14 yrs has he asked about my past. He believes in miracles and on that spring precious evening, God created a new heart in a young girl. Ryan mentored me. He had a list of characteristics he wanted in a wife in his wallet. Every once in a while during high school and college he pulled that list out and prayed for her. Amazing that before he knew my name he prayed me through the darkest years of my life. He believed in me from the very beginning that God had a plan for my life that we would be used in a MIGHTY way for the Kingdom of God. I had just turned 19 when I said "I do" to this man. He gave the following scripture to me shortly after we were married, "Do not say, I am a youth, because everywhere I send you , you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak Jeremiah 1:7" At 32, I still hold tightly to that verse. I am incredibly attracted to this God seeking, hard working, melt over his children man. I do not crave his words but linger on them. He is the husband of my youth and will be the husband of my old age. I cannot fathom life with out him - but the enemy is always on the prowl.

It is not just enough to have the "intention" of remaining faithful to your spouse and your children. You have to decide -day by day, temptation by temptation to love someone other than "Self."

Our pastor confirmed everything the Lord was doing in my life with the following:

Proverbs 3:5-7
TRUST (give the benefit of the doubt) in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways (wayward or not) acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and TURN (RUN) away from evil.

The choices you make today lead to paths that always have predictable endings.

May the Lord use my heading the "danger ahead warnings" for a divine destiny of intervention in the lives of many.

SOLD OUT for Him -


Monday, March 1, 2010

From the Racetrack to the Scenic Route

In April it will have been a whole year since I last posted! Time seems to have rolled past me the way an ocean wave hits the shore - there one second and gone the next. Honestly, I will not try to catch you up on what has been going on in my life I will just fill you in on the current. I must warn you - I haven't written in so long that the sound of the keys of my computer tapping are blessing me so and the ideas that are running through my head are many so no telling how long this entry will go:)

For the last three years, I have been attending the Wholeheart Conference in Dallas for moms. The everyday life of a mother can sometimes be like that of a racecar track -wake the kids, feed the kids, groom the kids, school the kids, feed the kids, clean the kids, play with the kids, feed the kids, bedtime with the kids then repeat. Each year I roll into the conference weary and roll out ready. I just love that the Lord will cause a mandatory detour of racetrack parenting to scenic parenting. The Lord was faithful to use the Clarkson family to encourage the off road experience of making lasting memories, fullfilling moments and tiny details count in the precious lives of my children. How often have I seen them as speed bumps-little people slowing me down or getting in the way of the seemingly import tasks at hand.

The Lord was faithful to parent me this weekend. I know he took my hand and took me the scenic route -reminding me that He is at the wheel. He showed me from His word (psalm 145) what His parenting looks like and that I am to model that. As a parent to Stacy Buck, He is merciful and compassionate, slooow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love towards me. As a parent to Stacy, He is good to each of His children - none is greater than the other. As a parent to Stacy, He always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all He does. As a parent, He helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. My Father received me this weekend bent beneath the load of giving all I have in too many directions. He was faithful to lift it (my discouragement as a mom) off my shoulders and show me a different route to parenting successfuly in His shadow.

On the first night, Sally Clarkson, shared a wonderful message about rest. One of the most precious scriptures she shared with us from the whole weekend was, "Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2" The Lord calmed me down, showed me How much He loves me and that I am still the parent He handpicked for precious Masie, Katelyn and Gunner.

When the conference was offically over, some girls and I had coffee in our hotel room and the Lord met us there. Following is a scripture that He gave us and I see it as the road map to success this year as a wife, mother, daughter, employee...Hebrews 12:12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Marking out a straight path for my feet begins with spending time at Jesus' feet. A straight path for my parenting isn't going to come from the next parenting book but reflecting and looking at the way Jesus has parented me. Not once has He demanded with a very ugly face in a scary voice for me to COME HERE CAUSE I SAID SO! A straight path for me as a wife is to plan time - to make a decision early in my day-to make time for my husband. A straight path for me as an employee is give it all I got while they have me but when the day is done-I am done. There has never in my 13years of married life been so much competetion for my family.

My precious little nest, filled with tiny little beaks

Won't always be noisy but oneday quiet and meek.

These little chicks won't always demand from the hen

cause one day they will fly not wanting back in.

Until the day comes when their wings take flight

I will no longer drive the racetrack but gently tuck them in at night.

No longer will the daily grind be so dingy and glum

I will sing and dance, draw and play - blow the biggest bubble w a package of gum!

My precious little flock - covered with the softest of down,

The thought of you removes any frown.

You are my darlings, and I am your hen

When you come - I will always let you in.

Your feathers are growing - the colors of your personalities are showing

No longer will my day go round and round

Praise God for the scenic loop I've found.


p.s. I returned home from my weekend away a night early based on a gut feeling of needing my nest. When I got home 2 of my 3 chicks were sick. One with fever 104.7 and mild pnemonia. I spent last night going between rooms praying and loving on these children. Guess what comforted them the most - nuzzeling as close to me like a weaned child.