It is time...after way too many years...here goes:

Dear Santa,

I know you must be surprised. I'm surprised too. You would think after you brought me Pretty In Pink Barbie I would have stayed totally loyal to you. All I can say is I'm sorry. Somewhere between 6 and now (eh hem...no age mentioned here) my Frosty got freezer burnt and my Jolly didn't gel. So before you judge me, let me say I still believe.

Now that we have that out of the way, you should know I have a few requests. I have not been too nice this year, but I think you will overlook my not so nice behavior with the knowledge that I had to clean up a LOT of throw up this year...and it wasn't my own. Nough said. First and foremost, I would like to tell you I'm a bit concerned about the whole Socialized Health Care initiative. I know you don't really have too much political clout, but I'm wondering if you could put the same size dentures under the tree of our fellow congressmen with a tag that says 'One Size Fits All' and that might give them an idea of how hard it will be to put a 'one size fit's all' healthcare plan on the American people. I would also like if you would please sprinkle some fairy dust on our Mr. President (the Tooth Fairy has extra if you don't have any left) and get him to give a tax credit to current home owners that already own cars and are married with children and are US Citizens...I think those of us who have paid our bills and are doing what we're supposed to do would like to share in some of this free wealth :) Just a thought.

Okay...on a more personal note, I don't think I have slept in about 7 years. I would ask you to bring fairy dust for that, but a years supply of Ambien would work just fine. I like to have at least one present to unwrap. I would also really like if you could have a discussion with T-Mobile about my voicemail. It seems we are in disagreement about when voicemails are left and when I actually get them. Since you know I'm the type of gal that likes functional gifts and enjoys the practical side of things, I'd like you to install 'Yes Mommy' buttons on both my children. One seems to have the 'Why' button and the other has a 'no no' button installed instead. While the 'no no' can be cute at times since he only knows a few words, I figure we might as well get a head start on him.

Last but not least, and most importantly, you may have noticed a few 'new' things about me...so here is my final request:

my waistline is missing,
some things started saggin,
the gray is a creeping,
my hips...they ain't shrinkin'
the gyms not an option
it's always too hoppin
with girls and their yoga pants
their cute hair...their implants
i'm feeling like Dopey
add Sleepy and Grouchy
Snow White would be a nice twist
or i might start a hit list
this may seem quite forward
but you've always been aboveboard
please Santa, here's my point
a makeover...a new look of some sort
a lift, a tuck, no wrinkles here
you could easily make this quite a year
i'm not asking too much
i'm not afraid to beg
but come christmas morning
i might lose my head
that about sums it up,
i have nothing left to say,
please santa remember me
come Christmas day



It's a sad day...

There comes a time in every life where things just don't work like they used to. When they slow down, don't operate like they should, or just plain don't want to go...well...it happened in our house today. Here is what happened.

I woke up this morning to the smell of coffee (which is always a bonus). After having a very sick little girl for the last 4 days and my son now picking up where she left off, I was very ready for the coffee my husband very sweetly made. As I poured my cup (in my favorite cup) I noticed it looked slightly weak (sorry honey) so I proceeded to pour a little in the sink and there it was...brown water. So I dumped it out and started over.

**as a side note...if you know anything about the Skorick gene...we don't drink weak coffee. We drink BLACK coffee...amen.**

As I washed the used coffee grounds out of the basket I noticed some of them ...some of them weren't even grounds at all...some of them were still BEANS!. This made me suspicious, apprehensive and very edgy. I immediately pulled my trusted coffee grinder out of the cabinet and sweetly told it that it was the best coffee grinder ever. It was not of noble birth...there was no Cuisinart label on the side of it, no kitchen aide...it wasn't even a Braun! No...ours was a $10 Mr. Coffee grinder, and we were proud of it. It has lived with us, moved with us, been abused by grinding spices...it has been a GOOD grinder for a lot of years...I would say probably 12. In any case...I plugged it in, poured the beans in, put the cap on, and push.......nothing...no loud obnoxious noise, no murmur, no nothing...to my absolute horror it was silent.

As I stood in my kitchen wondering how in the world I was going to get any coffee now, I wasn't even ready to face the prospect of NOT having coffee today. That is another story for a different day that I might not even tell you...but ANYWAY...suddenly a bright light appeared overhead and a whisper came from the cabinet below. It was a soothing whisper of hope and encouragement. As I opened the cabinet door...there it was...the gift my BF gave me for my birthday and it was shiny and beautiful and just waiting to feel the love. I thought surely...this is it...this could be the ticket...the appliance to go where no other appliance had bean before! So I grabbed it, poured my beans in, and VOILA...in a magic moment (that was really really loud) my beans were obliterated and ready to be boiled! YES! Coffee here we come!

So today I wish to say good bye to my old grinder...see ya!

And I wish to applaud our brand new Magic Bullet! Thank you Mr. Bullet for saving my hinny! You will soon be replaced by someone more equipped to do the job....sorry.

And now I will go drink this...


Statistically Speaking...

· Statistically speaking, we had a 50% chance of our marriage surviving
· Statistically speaking, we added a 50% chance of failure because I was over the age of 25 when we married
· Statistically speaking, we had an 80% chance of failure when we lost Isaac
· Statistically speaking, we had a 90% chance of divorce when we separated
· Statistically speaking, our chance of staying together only improved by 10% when my hubby came home
· Statistically speaking....we were up the creek without a paddle...

I can keep going. I can add in more and more and more statistics based on my human nature, the way I handle things, the way I communicate...all these crazy statistics which can lead to a marital demise.

I want to shout this from the top of a mountain...but I can't climb one right now because I'm home alone with the kids and they are sick and my back hurts...so this platform should work...

Are you ready?

Here it is:

When God is involved...Statistics don't mean jack...

Have a nice day.

PS: We live in a self absorbed nation that shoves freedom of rights and personal prerogative down our throats. If you are being sucked into this belief system then I want to say this to you: Stop it! Just stop it right now! Sometimes...it is NOT ABOUT YOU...I just felt my head get really big, like in that scene from The Incredibles, when Mr. Incredible comes home in the middle of the night and Helen gets mad...are you with me?...[insert cricket noises here] *tap tap* is this thing on? Hello-o?

Anyway...here is what I want to say. We all have a choice. We all have freedom. We can all go out and do whatever we want...WHATEVER...right or wrong...you can do it. What we're too quick to do is believe that right is all about 'ME'. We stop believing God to deliver something big, we throw our backpack of statistics on and get behind the numbers and point at them screaming...'See...SEE...I have the right! The statistics prove I'm right and this is OK!' ... Um...no. You may have the right, you may have the freedom...but that doesn't mean it's OK. What is that scripture...Everything is permissible for me...but not everything beneficial. Everything is permissible for me...but I will not be mastered by anything. (I know where it is, but for homework you can go look it up...I'll give you the first clue...it's somewhere in the Bible)

Don't be mastered by selfishness. Beat the statistic. Don't even listen to the statistic. Be the exception to the rule. Isn't that what we're called to anyway? To be set apart? That is it...oh and one more thing: If God is for me, who can be against me? (That is in the Bible too). Statistics are and always will be proved wrong when God is involved. He has his own statistics...and they always make you a success.

PSS: I hate statistics...

PSSS: Statistically speaking, I'm betting on the 10% chance of our success...which over the years has probably dwindled down to like an eighth of a chance for survival by now...but I'm betting on it. I love my husband. I'm grateful he loves me. I'm elated we are hard at work on our marriage. I'm tickled pink he's coming home tonight from GA. I'm so blessed he's a man of God. And believe it or not I love laughing when he starts his Moto Moto impersonation and tells me I’m huge…LOVE IT… and one more thing: I'm believing God. Amen


3 years and 13 days ago

September 8th, 2006...I was sitting in the car...the weather was much like it is today...rainy, cold, depressed...it was supposed to be a great day...

...and it was. It was the beginning of an awareness. A journey for new wisdom. An overflow of new knowledge. Many waste away on the journey...all survive...however, few give glory where glory is due. Where many would look at the sadness of the situation, the finality of a life...all I could do was think God is good...even when...and even if. Well, that isn't all that I thought. I thought 'how could this be happening to me?' and that answer hasn't come yet, and it doesn't need to. It did happen. It happened and an unborn baby boy woke me up. With every little kick, he increased an awareness that there is so much more to life. With every ultrasound, I was reminded death is not final. I had a baby boy who was going to prove to be amazing in the Kingdom and I get to be his mommy...forever.

The 8th slipped by me...so I just had to put it out there that the day may have slipped by, but I'll never forget it. The 8th of September is forever marked in my mind...just like the 11th of November, the 1st of August, the 21st of October and 5th of October...there are just some days that change your life forever. The question is...will it change you for the better? It did me.

Mommy misses you Isaac.


Coming Up for Air

I should admit to you I have been drowning lately, but only because I wanted to. I'm not sure you would say I was being selfish...more protective. For those of you who know me, you know I don't hide much. I don't subscribe to living a life where we aren't transparent. Every one of us deals with junk. We have secrets we hide, nightmares that scare us, relationships that wound us, moments that make us crazy, pasts that still embarrass us, haunt us, torment us...but what is it worth if we can't share our experiences with the person sitting next to us? I've expressed before the thought our experiences not only define us, but they are worth something more than our need to keep them to ourselves. You never know when you're going to meet the one person experiencing the same thing...thinking they are alone in it...wondering if they will survive it...and if you are a survivor, how amazing to share HOPE with them? I guess that's why I'm always wondering, am I allowing myself to be used as a tool for the Kingdom? Or am I pretending to be perfect with all the right answers and all the pretty solutions? None of us fit that picture perfect ideal. I've met people who think they do...and I don't have nice thoughts about them (just a small confession) I'm not saying we should run out and expose every personal detail about ourselves online or the front page of the newspaper...what I'm saying is, we have to believe God is bigger in our situations, bigger than the shame or hurt they can often produce. The feeling we are alone is a lie and it cheats us of being used if we internalize it and never share the story with another person. That's all I'm saying...well that and the rest of what I'm about to write...

I've been reflecting on the summer and I've decided enough of the storm has passed that I can come up for air. I waited this long because I knew if I started sucking down air too early, I would take all the oxygen left in the world and suffocate you and that would not be nice...see how thoughtful I am even in the midst of suffering? :o)

So the reality is this: the winds of languish have been beating down on my life and instead of taking a stand and fighting (like you might assume I would) I decided to hide. I ran away to clear my head...I didn't even lick my wounds, I just ignored them...and they got bigger. I was angry and rebelling...I was mad about a lot of things...but mostly...I was frustrated with God and in that frustration began to listen to the lies the enemy feeds. Hear me when I say, I KNEW I was under attack and I was too tired to fight, so I just kicked back and ignored the so called "advice you'd give to a friend" the "taste of your own medicine" and sailed through the summer trying not to think.

So somewhere between June and September, a reality began to creep in that this person that writes and lives and loves the Lord was failing miserably at being anything close to what He was calling me to be. Somewhere between June and September I heard His beckoning me home and I willfully turned and walked the other direction. Somewhere between June and September I began to justify the hiding and I bought a lie hook, line and sinker. Somewhere between June and September the substance of who I am became tainted with deceit.......

You know what amazes? How quickly these seasons of sin can come on us. But if we have enough courage to be honest with our situation, who we are in it, more importantly who God is calling us to be, the season can just as quickly leave if we are willing to confess and draw near to our Father. I was so terrifyingly on the edge of walking away from everything I know to be true...it scares me how close I was. Our wounds (in and of themselves) are the biggest culprit in leading us down a pathway of sin. We rationalize and then dupe ourselves into thinking we deserve a break from all of 'this'...and now I'm sitting back looking at the last 'June to September' and I'm saying to myself...REALLY? You really believed that? You really lived that? You really did that? and the only answer I have for myself is: yes.

I'm just now coming up for air...but this journey is just beginning.

Somewhere between June and September my heart started to break and I...defeated, tired, resigned...had enough courage to start praying God would deal with me. That He would work His wonder of passion and infuse me with His will, and not my own. I didn't have to wait long. I had to face some hard things and I'm going to face more. The truth of the matter is, none of us are exempt from sin. This person who has written Bible studies, taught God's word at conferences, yearned to be on the ground of a mission field hugging babies and loving orphans...even this servant can fall into the trap left out by the enemy. I am so humbled and grateful that somewhere between June and September, our Father showed me I'm not the ONE person in the world that is exempt from grace. Praise you Father.

So why am exposing myself? Because for whatever purpose, God is calling me to be real and continue my pursuit to a life of authenticity. I don't have to label each transgression of my life for you...I don't need to glorify the sin, but I need to glorify God's work in my life. He is mighty. His ability to change your circumstances is real. There is nothing fake about this walk. There is nothing weak about admitting we have broken lives. There is nothing fabricated about my heart. I want to be real to you. More importantly, I want God to be real to you, and if He is real in me, maybe you will have hope that even in the midst of your circumstances, He can turn your life around in less than a heartbeat.

God is good. Listen to the whisper, don't walk the other way.



So I've been thinking about the concept of 'Passion'...I was drying my hair this morning and I realized how easy it is to work on the things we are passionate about. If you like to paint, it brings you inexplicable joy...you paint. If you like to sing, it overwhelms you with emotion, you sing. I have friends that are passionate about cleaning...they don't visit often enough :o) (AMY!) In any case, how easy it is to do thing that you are passionate about?

When was the last time you asked God to show you where He wanted your passions directed? I asked myself a couple questions this morning. One was what am I passionate about? What gives me a strong desire, or outburst of emotion that grabs a hold of my heart and I just have to do that one thing? and...What am I unwilling or afraid of asking God to make me passionate about? What if we were to start asking God to give us passion for the thing we have no desire to be passionate about? What if...what if there is one thing He is calling us to and all we can do is point at it and say 'huh? that...really???'

I guess this is where rubber meets road for most of us. I am called to many things in life, but a lot of those things have been clouded lately...I have stepped outside of my desires to be passionate about much of anything, covered my head with a pillow and turned the iPod up full blast so I could drown out the noise...white noise would have even sounded better. So as I asked myself the question, the response was clear that my very clouded future was where my passion should be directed. Or more likely...passion in His will over my life even though I have no clue what that is. Passion in His plan, even though He hasn't exactly let me on the secret. Passionate about the simple truth that He IS doing something...what is something?

A friend of mine said the other day they were looking through their windshield, the sun was rising, and the window was filthy...you couldn't see a thing...but in looking in the rear view mirror, the view was crystal clear...the thought that surfaced? Life. If all we have is a dirty windshield to look out of for our future and nothing grabs our hearts about it...we better start praying God would make us passionate about dirty windows, messed up futures and maybe ask Him to send some windshield washer fluid. Just His ability to sooth us in our distress and worry about what is to come is sometimes enough of what we need...even if we don't see the view in front of us.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 comes to mind:

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future.

Nothing about the future looks clear...but I can ask God make me passionate about His plan, His will and the mess in front of me.

Then will I seek His face,
then will He touch me with grace,
When my plan has failed, the train derailed,
the Cross still stands to embrace
In glory I find my riches,
in silence His voice overcomes,
and in that sweet moment of whispers,
This servants heart is undone.
Passionate about living
Each moment in His arms so strong
Giving up on the dream of my own plan
In Gods clasp is where I belong
I find no solace in life’s broken journey
No quiet in places I keep
But in obedience I hope for the future
When at last in His home I will sleep


That Smoker Girl

I want to tell you a story. I think some of you may be appalled to know I was a very heavy smoker for a very long time...not all of you would be horrified...just some of you...like those of you who have known me for YEARS...who attended church where my father preached and watched a few years of my growing up and can not believe that I...Sara...This Girl...would be the Smoker Girl. But I was. And I want to tell you this story, but if it's going to cause you angst or grief then I suggest you get into a calm state. Go watch Kung Foo Panda and rest in the words of Oogway as he guides Jack Black into the challenge ahead...then come back :0)

Okay...so several years ago (can I say several when it's only been 4?) I was spending plenty of time working through the church women's ministry doing women's ministry things. I was very active, very involved and always looking for the betterment of the women at our church. As a leadership team we decided it would be great to take our 'girls' to see
Beth Moore in Kansas City, MO. We started the arduous work of planning a trip...you know...who was going to go in who's car, etc. Being the awesome leadership team that we were, my bff and I thought how cool this trip was going to be for all these ladies. THEY were so in need of a word and we just knew if anyone could deliver a good word, it was Beth. So off we went. We arrived at the conference where we were in back of some 15k women in line to get in to the arena...yes 15,000 and eagerly waited in line with 7 other women...3 of who were very preggo. We sat in the nose bleed section, had a great worship time and eagerly awaited Beth to take center stage. What happened next was a story in and of itself...but let me tell you this: God took center stage, I was (and my bff was) cowering in my seat at the top of the arena attempting to survive and not get killed right then and there. We drove home Sunday afternoon and I wept begging God not to make me go home. He was starting to break me. He was sending me big vibes that He was serious and it was time for me to start listening. I knew He was getting ready to do a mighty work, and this smoker girl was not sure what that looked like, but I knew it wasn't going to be a fun ride at Six Flags.

In our piousness...the bff and I decided it was time to have a fast. We knew she was being called to something bigger in ministry and I was being called to something...AND our husbands were really struggling...and since we were being called to something and they were struggling...we had to help them along....so...we began the plan to fast. The weekend had whipped us and we were going to be ready...and so were our husbands...when He called us to '
Crossing Our River of Fear' (this was the message for the weekend). So we scheduled time, made sure it was going to be productive, got our scriptures ready and equipped ourselves for a very successful 24 hour fast. The women's ministry girl that I was took center stage and quietly and humbly, I must say, told the bff that the Smoker Girl would not get a cigarette during that 24 hours. Understanding the rules about the fast and knowing how much I was grieving God I was sure that I could abstain from smoking for 24 hours. YES...it would be a hard road...but I could do it.

Let me once again interject here because I know some of you are thinking you know where I'm going with this...and no this is not a message about how you can't smoke and be in ministry...I promise...but if you are getting apprehensive and exasperated please refer to the first paragraph again (scadoosh)

Okay...back to the story. So my awesome mom and I were hangin out and I asked her one day about 2 weeks before the BIG fast if she thought a 24 hour fast was worth it. I had been feeling pressed to do a longer fast, but wasn't sure. So she answered that unless I was going to be completely alone and have time to focus, that a 24 fast would not be AS affective. Now keep in mind here...I was fasting for my husband...and I knew God could do something big if I would give it the time...BUT I had to consult my bff first. Later that evening I got a call from her and without knowing the whole conversation I had had with my mom she announced she really felt led to a longer fast. I told her about my conversation with mom and we laughed...how cool...God was really working...speaking to us...this was really really going to help our husbands. So SEVEN DAYS it was...count um! SEVEN DAYS TO FAST.

November 1st 2005 rolled around. Today was the first day of the fast. I was on fire, reading my scriptures, drinking only water, surrounding myself with worship music...I was doing well.

November 2nd 2005 rolled into view. That morning in the shower I was washing my hair when it dawned on me...the quiet humble promise I had made...and the ministry girl was gone and smoker girl was CENTER stage. I couldn't believe it. I had been TRICKED! Here I was, humble, doing everything I was supposed to be doing in this fast and it was all for the advancement of the Kingdom, the enrichment of the ministry, and most importantly the growth of my husband...this was NOT about ME! I was appalled, angry, bewildered...I stood in my kitchen hours later still struggling with the task at hand and raised my hands to heaven and yelled 'THIS IS NOT FUNNY....YOU DIDN'T EVEN LET ME HAVE MY LAST CIGARETTE'...for those of you who smoked at one point in time...you know how important the LAST cigarette is...don't pretend like you don't....I just knew He was laughing. It was a joke...He outwitted me once again!

The seriousness of this? For years I had been fighting. I didn't want to smoke. Smoker Girl liked it...don't get me wrong...Smoker Girl like it a LOT...but me...Sara...hated it. I woke up every morning and fought the urge to get out the door to the patio where that demon smoke awaited me. I would hit snooze on my alarm...just to push myself to where I had only just enough time to get out the door...I would sit with my cup of coffee and beg God to take away the addiction...and I would list all the ways I didn't want Him to take it away. Things like: please don't let me have cancer, please don't let me blow up my car while I'm smoking and driving and kill me while you kill the addiction, please don't take it away like 'this' and please don't take it away like 'that'. I was desperate to be done...but I had no strength to do it on my own. It got in the way of just about everything and I hated it. I began to work through the week with one verse in had that I said over and over...because now it wasn't about fasting for my husband, now it wasn't about figuring out my future...where God wanted me...now it was all about making it through the next urge to pick up a pack because I had made a promise I would not smoke while I was fasting...never in my wildest dreams thinking I would commit to not smoking for more than 24 hours...but here I was. 1 Corinthians 6:12 became the verse I would say over and over and over: Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

It has been almost 4 years. I'm terrified to touch another cigarette...I think about it...Smoker Girl comes around here and there and she makes life hard (she has other issues that have nothing to do with smoking) but God did a big work in me. He took something away I asked Him to take away. I will not go back. That is a river of fear that should be feared...and not crossed.

I tell you all this so that you will know and see the power of His healing hand. It hurts sometimes to be healed of addiction. He breaks us, bends us, molds us...heals us. There are much worse addictions out there. Our world is seeped in sinful enslavement of the quick fix. Whether it's alcohol, viccodin, heroin, smoking, pornography...it's so readily available. So easy to come by...and it's the demon that waits for us every day....but we are under the Mighty Hand of a God who cares about our addictions. He wants us to be freed up from the slavery and bondage that this world holds over us. We are set apart.

If you are struggling...know that God is bigger...know that He is able...and the next time someone tells you that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle...think about this: If He didn't give you things you couldn't handle...when would you ever turn back to Him for help?

Be specific in your prayer. Give Him your best request, define it, make it specific...and then don't be surprised when you feel like you need to fast....


Ever have that feeling like you just DON'T want to go to church? Not because you want to sleep in. Not because it's a hassle getting the whole family out of the house. Not because you have company coming over and you have too much to do. Only because you know you're going to get knocked upside the head with a word that will just leave you almost dead in the pew...

...let me interject here and tell you if you are attending a church where this never happens...you are either doing REALLY well...or you should find a different church

Anyway...that is how I feel this morning. I keep sitting here thinking...'I haven't even gotten to fixing the things we talked about 7 Sundays ago...' Good news though...I take notes every Sunday so I won't forget. C. S. Lewis wrote: If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

I will be in church this morning seeking truth because I know at some point in time, in this very broken life, I would love to have comfort. I encourage you to be there too. Not because it's the social event of the week. Not because it's just what we do. Only because it builds on discovering a life you could never imagine was possible.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:25


My Name is Sara Pipkin...

What was the point of Christ being sacrificed on the cross for our sins if none of us can admit we are sinners? (I just had Emeril yell BAM in the background of my mind)

Don't we all just get tired of living, breathing, walking...talking...convincing...pretending.

I have been on a very deep journey lately and tonight I'm weary. I'm grateful for grace, but it's pointless if I can't say this:

My name is Sara Pipkin and I'm a sinner.

If in the end if ALL I have is a voice to say the above statement and nothing left but the grace of our Father and the miracle of His forgiveness...then I have all I need.


Grace & Trust

There are times when we stand still in our lives and take inventory. We start to really look at who we have become, what we have done, what we haven't done...we don't marginalize anything...we just look at the truth of the matter that has become our life. We stand in a gaping hole and wonder 'what in the world got me here?' We find ourselves lost and sometimes...in the worst of circumstances...not wanting to be found.

There is a point in life where we are supposed to grow up. We have to put aside the old and move forward with the new. We have to hang up our hang-ups, accept grace, and move onto the path God is forging for us. We have to realize that while it is important to speak truth to others as He leads us...it is even more imperative we speak truth to ourselves.

I think the thing that startles us most is when we are certain we have it all figured out, and then a wrench gets tossed into the plans, into our know it all, pumped up, self absorbed lives, and it throws us totally off track. We find ourselves, arms flailing, trying to find the light switch, while the world around us just grows darker and darker. We cry out to Yahweh in anger and beg Him to explain why and how we ended up in these dire straights. We overwhelm ourselves with ourselves and before we know it, the path is obscured, our life as we know it is over and all we have left is a very faint connection with the Creator and static on the line.

Then a miracle begins to happen if we hold still. As we wait for a better connection and listen, He begins to sing over us. He whispers words of truth and begins to fill the darkness of our heart with light. He gently sweeps away the brush to reveal the path and reminds us the road might be hard...but at least the path is open...and there grace abounds. For it is by grace He saves us (Eph 2:8) and lifts us out of the ashes (Ps 113:7) all the while promising His purpose beyond the pain is worthwhile and very necessary (2 Cor 5:4-6).

At some point in time we have to stand up and TRUST that His grace is sufficient, that He has a plan AND if He could handle creating the Universe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the ground we stand on, handling our future is NOT the one insurmountable task He can't accomplish.

I believe in the plan God has for me. I believe He will bring it to completion the easy way or the hard way (my way) and that what He has planned for me will be the best plan. I don't know what it looks like, but I'm holding on for the ride and hopefully I'll be able to let go and do it His way...not my way.


Supporting Jonah

You may have noticed the ad in my right panel that says "Praying for Jonah"

I want to encourage you to pray for this family. Jonah...this little bundle of sweetness has Epidermolysis bullosa (EB). It is a rare genetic disease characterized by the presence of extremely fragile skin and recurrent blister formation, resulting from minor mechanical friction or trauma.

This family is doing EVERYTHING it can to keep Jonah comfortable, happy and progressing. I invite you to click on the link. find out more about him and pray for this family. It's an amazing story and definitely helps put our own daily hustle and bustle of life into perspective.

love you all...


Missing a boy...

You know sometimes when I'm blog hopping, which I do frequently, I get stopped on a blog and begin to wonder why I'm not one of those bloggers.

I mean I started this blog with the intention of chronicling my journey with Isaac...it seems like I don't type or say that name enough. It seems like I am so busy with everything else the name Isaac is muffled and moved to the top shelf, waiting to be dusted off. I can not imagine that there has been a day that I have forgotten that I am not only The Bugs mom, Biscuits mom...but Isaac's mommy as well...but I think there have been those days. So I blog hop, and I read beautiful stories of how lives have been shaped, transformed, redeemed all at the feet of the Master when a child has been laid there...and I feel like I've missed out. In all reality though, I haven't. I have been shaped, transformed, redeemed and it has all been at the Masters feet, FOR the sake of the Master and most of it happened one day when I laid my boy there.

Don't think for second I don't miss him. Don't think for a second that now because Biscuits is here that we don't still feel like a family of 5. Don't think for one moment that I have forgotten I carried 3 babies in this body...I hate every minute of knowing I don't have him here growing with us. Living with us...playing. That does not mean I don't know I'm still blessed that he is with our Father. It doesn't mean I'm angry or that all of a sudden I'm changing my tune. It just really means I miss him...and I had to say that.

As I sit here writing, tears spilling down my face, what I want you to know is I miss Isaac Matthew and no one will ever take his place.


Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds – Not for the faint of heart (no pun intended) – don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie and are going to…

I just finished watching Seven Pounds. As is customary for me, I figured the plot out in about 15 minutes. That usually annoys me, however in this case I think it was good for me to know what was to come. This is a hard movie to watch. I had heard mixed reviews on it, but wanted still to see it for myself.

I’m trying to press the feelings out of me this movie has conjured up. It’s like that scene in Harry Potter where he has to find the right key to open the door and there are tons of them floating in the room and he’s looking and looking but so overwhelmed by all the keys at once. That is how I feel. So many emotions, but I can’t grab the right one to explain.

This is a heavy plot, this is a plot laced with hopelessness and sadness and you feel it from the get go. This is a plot I believe many of us in so many ways can relate to because it is a story about the quest for redemption. If you have ever been as messed up and lost as I have been then you can relate to the unmanageable desire to really feel forgiven, redeemed…free. I think in so many ways, even though we know we have grace, the reality is most of us have to beg to feel it over and over. Our humanness picks up our past sins and time and time again we try with all our might to obliterate it from cognizance, but as hard as we try, the mess is still committed to memory. Along with the mess, the emotion of it can cast a shadow over you as if you were experiencing the offense all over again. So we pick it up…and set out to break free from it. We try with all our might to gain some control over it, always aware we can never really forgive ourselves. So what is the point?

There are times when I feel so defeated by my past sins that it gets me running again, seeking breathlessly for deliverance. But all in all I know redemption is not mine to give…and never to be earned. What bothers me about this movie is Will’s hopeless end. He pieces out himself to either save other peoples lives, or make them better and in the end he’s dead. He has no idea if what he did was helpful, or even to be around to feel the redemption. So is it that we need to feel it or that we need to punish ourselves for passed crimes? My point is there is no longer any sacrifice for sin (Heb 10:18) so why are we constantly trying to redeem ourselves. Will Smith has suffered major tragedy and has set out to make it right, to redeem himself, to fix it. The problem is no matter how hard we try to fix things by earning our redemption we won’t succeed. Micah 7:18 says ‘Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.’

There is only one way to gain redemption. There is only one way to receive grace. There is only one way to truly recognize forgiveness and that is at the foot of the cross. We might live our entire lives returning to His feet begging for him to take the feelings of hopelessness away, but the fact is we are returning. It’s when we stop seeking His face to save us that we fall short. Smith never realizes the redemption in this movie for by the end, he’s not around to even know it…what redemption is there in that?

What I know is this: There is suffering. There is suffering in Christ, but there is hope in Christ, and best of all…there IS redemption.


The Adequacy of My Inadequacy

A couple weeks the bug had climbed into the crib with biscuits and was pretending the monitor was a phone…a phone to which I was on the other end of, but she didn’t know it. As is normal for her, she started preaching. What can I say? It's in her blood. So I grabbed my blackberry and started recording and I laughed and laughed. At one point she started saying this ‘Okay, well I have to go now and be with my brother so I love you…love Hallie and Asher … heart heart heart – just like she was making me a picture, she was verbalizing what she would put down – and then she said H A L L I E and A A A SHH … A A A SHHH RRRR heart heart heart” I was rolling!

I didn’t want her to know I had recorded her so later that night when she was getting ready for bed I put the headphones in and handed my husband the phone and he proceeded to listen as I busied myself around our room. I thought it was really odd that he wasn’t laughing because her little talk was full of humor! So I smiled at him, he smiled at me and I put some more laundry away and kept my eye on him. ‘Why isn’t he laughing? Maybe I thought it was funny…but it really wasn't funny because he just had this ‘I’m floating into outer space’ look and THEN I started REALLY thinking and analyzing… there were two voice notes on my phone: one of Hallie and one of me. One of me driving with the kids asleep recording my thoughts and what I thought I needed to remember and what I believed God was telling me…TWO voice notes…one funny…one me…and one hubby not laughing…

Doesn’t take much to figure that one out does it?

I grabbed the phone and said ‘wait a second…what are you listening to?’

And he said ‘You’…


To which I responded… ‘well that is not what I wanted you to listen to’ and I switched the recording handed him the phone moved away as fast as I could. My face flaming red guessing all the horrible things he must be thinking of me. How lame I sounded, how silly.

A little while later this is the conversation we had:

“So, is that a recording of what you are speaking on?”

I say “UM…well…sort of…I just needed to get my thoughts out”

"Can I make a suggestion?” He asks

And this is me blank stare and finally: ‘Um, ok…sure’

"You need to stop saying Um so much”.

To which I responded: “Well…you know…I was just trying to put my thoughts out there and work through them” (I WAS MORTIFIED!) "Besides, I'm not a professional speaker so it's a little hard fro me not to just speak how I speak and be who I am."

"I know, it is just a suggestion, when you are practicing, just be aware of it." Then he asks "What are you speaking on again?"

"Being inadequate!"

Which is completely true. I have had a LOT of time to think about how inadequate I am. I have come up with a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t be writing OR be speaking, but for some reason I still am. So in this journey of searching for some inadequate people in the Bible I decided I was going to stay away from the immediate one that popped into my mind…#1 was David – I thought I could share the story of David and Goliath and then…eh…nah…so then I told God one morning “I am so inadequate I can’t even come up with something to say about being inadequate” and He said a few things to me: #1 was you can get up in a room full of women and speak about lactating (this is just something I have become very familiar with…and not because I do it well...and not something I will go into here, however I actually spoke to a room full of women about why I don’t do it well…go figure), anyway He says “you can speak to a room full of women about lactating, but you can’t take 15 minutes to talk to your sisters in Christ about me…what is that about?” To which I thought ‘this could end up badly if I don’t pull it together’. So we talked that morning a lot about the things I personally am inadequate with. I laid my insecurities at His feet and almost like a spoiled child pointed at them and said "Look! Why in the world would you have me air all this to these sweet women?" but that was not what He was going to have me put down on paper to communicate to you about. You see there are times when I believe He lets us fall flat on our face to help us learn. I think we are stubborn a lot of the time and we need to be tripped up a little, but I also believe that He does not shame us. This whole thing...is not about me, this is not about MY inadequacy…this is about Him. This right here is about His adequacy…so He is going to teach this segment…not me.

Lets have a history lesson:

During the time of Christ (and this is still practiced today) Children began their study at age 4-5 in Beth Sefer (elementary school). The teaching focused primarily on the Torah. For those of you who aren't familiar, the Torah is first 5 books of the Bible. During this time, the children would learn to read and write, and their study guide was the Torah. Not only was reading and writing part of their education, memorization was huge and most students had the Torah memorized by the time they finished this level of education.

The best students continued their study (while learning a trade) in Beth Midrash (secondary school) also taught by a rabbi of the community. They continued their education by beginning to learn the interpretations of the Oral Torah. Memorization continued to be important because most people did not have their own copy of the Scripture so they either had to know it by heart or go to the synagogue to consult the village scroll. A few (very few) of the most outstanding Beth Midrash students began interview processes to study with a famous rabbi often leaving home to travel with him. These students were called talmidim in Hebrew, which is translated disciple. Traditionally, the student would apply, go thru a grueling interview process and then if they were lucky 2 or 3 would be asked to follow the Rabbi. There is much more to a talmid than what we call student. A student wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even out of respect for the teacher. A talmid wants to be like the teacher, that is to become what the teacher is. The student would follow the rabbi to a degree that we would probably view as a definite violation of personal space. The goal was for the student to become the master. From the way the Rabbi walked, to hand gestures, to the way he ate...the student was set on becoming exactly...not just...exactly like his teacher.
If at the end of the interview process the student was not chosen, the Rabbi would essentially tell that student, you know you are great, go home, get a wife, make babies and work your family business.

Visualize this with me: Here we have two young men who are working the family trade. Two young men who worked as hard as they could, they memorized and labored over their study to become smart enough and worthy enough for a rabbi to accept them into his talmidim. Two young men who have been turned away. Two young men who have failed to accomplish what every father hoped for their son to become. Its hot and they are both quiet, still reflecting on the 'what could have been'. There is not a lot to catch today. The inadequacy of not being chosen hangs like a cloud over Peter's head as he recounts the way he was turned away, and now here is again...a failure...he can't even catch any fish. From the distance a noise shakes him out of his solemn trance. As the crowd comes closer he sees the man everyone has been talking about. A Rabbi of a different kind. People were saying all sorts of things about him. He was one of the smartest seen out of the walls of Galilee and he was challenging the very foundation of what Peter had been taught. Oh he had heard alright, and now he was here to add the icing on the cake of his day. Is He coming closer to the shore? He's talking to me! What is he saying:

"Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." (Luke 5:4-11)

Point # 1 is this: As inadequate as we are, Christ is seeking us to join his Telmidim. There is no interview process, there is no proving you are worthy, there is just a call: Come, follow me. Can you imagine the heart of Peter's dad the day his son does not return home. Word reaches him and he finds out his son has been chosen. What? Chosen? Finally!? How can it be? But he wasn't good enough right?

Are you feeling inadequate?

So here you are in ministry. I have to tell you I never thought I would be here. I’ve had plans all along for my life that God keeps interrupting with His own and I you have to know something: I am so grateful His plans take precedence. I don’t believe if I knew exactly what I was doing all the time, if I was an expert on everything, God would be able to use me much. So if you blunder all over the place like I do, take heart, God is the thing that completes us. This is where we have the Jerry McGuire moment and instead of hearing Tom Cruise say ‘You complete me’ God is saying ‘I complete you’ and I have to believe that sends goose bumps down your spine. To know the Creator of the Universe has something going on in you. He gets we don’t have it all together, He understands we are completely inadequate and He knows it’s in our inadequacy He does his best work. Out of something these men weren’t able to accomplish in getting accepted to telmadin, Christ bore something bigger and called them disciple.

My 2nd point today is don’t get caught in the whining. It is a privilege for me to serve you and I’m sure our Passionate Heart team can tell you I whine about being too inadequate to speak. I keep saying, I think I’m too young…who would want to listen to me? This is where God’s sense of humor get’s good. I got up one morning and I was telling Him, you know you let Moses use Aaron…why can’t I have an Aaron…to which God replied ‘you should familiarize yourself with that story a little more’. So I sat down at about 5:30 and started reading the story of Moses and I could not believe how much the man whined…He didn’t want to go meet Pharaoh, he was always worried about what the people would say back to him and what he would say…and then there it was…plain as day ‘24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses}
and was about to kill him.' EEEK! Now there was a reason behind this, but really what I believe is God had had enough. NOW…don’t get me wrong I’m not saying if you start to whine about where He calls you that He’s going to show up to kill you…but I do believe that our whining gets in the way of doing. If we believe we are here for His purpose and we fill our time up with constant inward reflection about what we are being called to do, we will quickly become selfish and there is no place for God to work in that.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

Jesus is still calling his Telmudine…and just like the first disciples, we are inadequately qualified. We will never be able to measure up to the standards of perfection and what an amazing gift that is that we have a God that loves us enough to use us right where we are at and still calls us to be a part of something bigger.


There are just some days where I just can't dang do it! I open up my laptop, log on to my favorite blogs and from there I start my 'Blog Jog' as I like to call it where I go from blog to blog seeing pictures and reading stories about other people.

Today...I kept landing on pages where babies...SWEET and precious babies are sick, or premie in the hospital...words of pain and anguish...scriptures...updates...ugh...and then I think...there are just some days when I can't dang do this...

Biscuits has his first fever so he slept next to me all night...hot and uncomfortable...and then he woke up at 5am to nurse and he looked at me through sickly little eyes and what did he do? SMILED...man I love this boy.

I don't have a scripture for myself this morning...all I know to say to myself is God is who He says He is, God can do what He says He can do, I am who God says I am, I can do all things through Christ, and God's word is alive and active in me.

So on days when Isaac is big on the brain, heavier on the heart...I don't want to rush to hold Asher to take that feeling away...Asher is Asher...I still miss my Isaac.

Headed to the doc with the boy. Love you all...all three of you that follow my blog :)



A Hallie Conversation

I should keep better track of these! This is from this morning.

I woke Hallie up bright and early this Saturday morning as I had signed her up for a 'Drama Boot Camp' hosted by the Front Range Christian Middle School kiddos. I sat down on her bed, shut her fan off and as she rolled over I said "are you ready for boot camp?". To which she excitedly jumped out of bed and grabbed the clothes I had put out for her.

"Hallie, get those on and brush your teeth when you are done."
"Mom, can I come in your room if I need help?"
"Of course you can baby" I said and hastily moved to my own room to get ready to leave. It was already 7:20 and we had to get on the road.

Hallie snuck in to my room and as I buttoned her jeans I reminded her she needed shoes. She considered this for a few moments then said "Mom, can I wear my black boots?" I thought about it, but since they have a little heal on them I though they may be dangerous for her to be running around in and said "I think you need to find your tennies and get those on."

She looked at the floor for a few minutes and then whispered (as Biscuits and The Man were still sleeping) "But don't I need boots?"
"Don't I need boots?" she said "since it's a boot camp" I laughed and smiled at her and explained it's not that kind of boot camp.

The she asked "Well what are we going to do?"
"I think you are going to learn some songs, dress up and you may even learn a dance or two"
"A cowboy dance?!" she exclaimed excitedly
"Well" I said carefully trying my darnedest not to laugh "Maybe...yea maybe"
"That would be so cool mom, a cowboy dance just like they do in Highlands Ranch" and off she ran to brush her teeth.

I love her...she is so Innocent, all over the place and mine. Doesn't get much better.

PS: Highlands Ranch is a suburb of Denver just South and West of us.

Tonight was the surprise party for my best friend Joni. What a flippin blast. She had no clue and I had her convinced I was so sick I couldn't come to her birthday dinner. Here is a picture of her cake:

The girl (Joni) is trying to get back over the hill to her youth...ain't gonna happen sister :)


February 10th...

Okay! Tucker is home. We've had an eventful day and needless to say I am READY for some good sleep...if only I could sleep in tomorrow! I prayed out loud on our way home with Tuc that it would snow so hard I wouldn't have to go to Brighton tomorrow for a loan application and Jason said 'you just prayed for something that will make me have to shovel snow all morning before I go to work!'...sorry honey!

SO! Thanks to a gift card to Macaroni Grill Jason and I were able to indulge ourselves in a little anniversary dinner! Today was our eighth wedding anniversary.

We had a good time just chatting and being alone for a little while tonight before we went to pick up the doggie who was released from the doggie hospital this evening with a HUGE list of instructions! One of the instructions was he is not to drink a lot of water...well...that is just about nuts for this guy! They told us to put a bowl of ice cubes out and let him lick them...I was just thinking 'are you kidding me?' He loves his water! So baby tuc tuc has water restrictions, eating restrictions, pills to take, sleeping to happen, etc. Whatever the case may be, I am happy my boy is home and I think he is too...

I appreciate all your prayers, kind words and good vibes! Have a fantastic week. God bless ya!