Praying Mondays: Not Knowing

I contemplated buying flowers in the morning, well later this morning. Ones with sunflowers in them, it seemed fitting. After all what is burial without proper flowers? My grieving has taken months and it is time to take off the black cloak, shovel dirt and try as I may to move on….

I was sad after the novelty of the idea of adventure wore off. I was sad packing all our things. I was sad the last, well everything. I was sad the first two weeks unpacking. I was sad when each of the six summer visits were over. I was sad searching for a new church. I was sad when my brother got really really sick and when my visit to Altoona went from a week visit to just three days. I was sad when we left a seemingly healthy eating pooping cat for two hours and came home to him just dead…(that really happened and while I was holding my sobbing child I did glance up and whisper “SERIOUSLY!?!”)

Yesterday I put my “Altoona life” to rest, and also my summer because I start classes in a few hours…hopefully after at least seven hours of sleep. So the grieving is over and I will get flowers to honor the beauty. Something else that I am laying to rest is “knowing”.

You see, I am a ‘need to know’ BIG picture kinda girl. I play out all possibilities in my head as if to prepare…for what? For everything, anything and nothing…prepared. Well I don’t have to spell out how that has panned out in my life. It hasn’t. If it had, if I had known would I still be on this path? If I would have known the great sorrows woven with the great joys? Would I have risked loving all the same people? No. Because I am not that brave.

I do NOT know.

I have NO idea how life will work out in details even with the best laid plans. I do NOT know how my kids will turn out. I do not know how I will do this semester and next, or if there will be a next. I don’t know how to apply ALL the things I DO know, let alone the unknown. Are you still with me, I should probably go to bed now. So that is why I had to put my ‘need to know’ to rest in peace. Guess what…there is peace. I feel relief, that I do not need to know. Life is no less terrifying but there is peace. There are no guarantees…but there IS peace.

This verse sits seeded in shoveled ground to grow anew in me!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.…” Proverbs 3:5-6


Quiet Days In Questions

It is here. The days I longed for in the heat of the battle and the chaos of busy.



I have packed, with my Mother faithful and hardworking. We packed all the tiny bits that make up our lives lived of 16 years…I am not entirely sure how but we did it. Friends and family stood at the curb waving tearful goodbyes and we were off on our new journey.


Now just a week later, I sit in the pain of a migraine that i know would come. Yet I sit in peace…drinking my hot coffee from my friend mug and embracing the quiet. I have enjoyed unpacking with no place to go, no calls to make and no deadlines. If we want to go explore we pack a day bag and go. It is the sweetest. Selfishly I am in no hurry to leave this existence, yet I know we must at SOME point…and if it were up to me that moment in time would be weeks, months maybe.

Still our first Sunday came just yesterday. I forced myself to rally enough to go to a church. Don’t get me wrong, I know in my depth that we as a  family NEED the Body of Christ, and they need us. As a family we NEED to worship with others. So we went to a sweet church just two miles away from our new home. The people were very nice. The worship was great. The kids loved it. We even stayed for a informational with the staff over lunch following the service….

BUT…there is always a BUT.

The  staff wanted to know who we are and how we forsee fitting into their church. My hands held the pen paralyzed and my mind raced. Of course we have SO much to offer…we are gifted…we are loving…yet I can not escape the weary that still lies within my spirit.

I left boxes unchecked.

The pastor freed us up to just freeload until ready. He sat at our table and talked with us for some time….that was sweet. I could not tell him why I was not ready…what the wound was deep. He was gracious anyway and was open about his journey and hardship in ministry.

We came home and my head pierced fierce with nauseating pain. I want to love in pouring out myself for others. But I still long for more quiet days resting with God and pouring over His word.

In this new journey where do I fit? Where do we fit?

What do I offer within His will for US?

How long do I wait?

My Father holds the answers and I am content to remain in His presence and REST. There is no shame in my curious questions…there is no doubt in my gifting…there is a deep peace that ONLY comes from the Giver of Life. The only thing that stirs my mind curious is when and how….but I must wait.


Have you ever been weary from service?

Have you ever been wounded by the ones you serve?

Have you been able to rest?

I pray you will enter into His rest and accept His peace in waiting!!

At the Top for TEN seconds…



With the Deans List letter that proves it, I stand victorious on the top of this semester mountain…I did it. As I glance behind the road up to this summit was dark and hard. I not only had to climb, I had to fight a fierce battle. I can not share it in actual words but it was so devastating and wearying that I can barely think of it. I just want to stand on this mountain top and stare into the sun, forever. Yet in just seconds I am shoved tumbling down the other side into another valley, tripping over years of clutter and consequence. My seconds of victory gone without but a glance from others. I am tempted fierce into self-pity and with tears sit paralyzed by the work that lies in the valley below and the climb that awaits to another peak.

Closing my eyes I want to savor the letters A and B alongside the flowers a caring observer sent knowing the hard I have had to endure. I want them to be enough to fill the void that the climbing and fighting created. How can I go on. My pride has suffered much and now I have to face the mess of the TOO much stuff life we try to live. Sorting and choosing and organizing and cleaning and packing…seems empty and I am dreading it.



There is that whisper.

Just Breathe Beloved.

I do not feel beloved and I feel like hyperventilating.

You are loved.

Let that be enough, Lord, to fill the void and give strength enough for today.

I lift my eyes up, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord…the maker of the mountains and the heavens. ENOUGH.

In my weak and weary. Enough.

I will just sit here and wait for ten more seconds and rise once again in grace taking steps in FAITH that He will be enough with hope that I will feel love again. In the work and weary I am expecting to find JOY. That will be the true miracle…to let loose the idea of summer ‘vacation’ and find joy in the work of moving my family to another state to begin a new chapter of our lives…JOY in the suffering and letting go. I have to endure and I want JOY in it.

Please. Lord, I long for Your joy and peace in all of this grief and mess…I expect it…I am letting go of my idea of what would fill and give me rest…for your JOY.

So friend that reads my heart words on virtual pages. May God be enough for your mountain…going up…at the summit…or in the valley low. Blessings to you and you take steps in faith.

Praying Mondays: Feeling Loved

I woke up to the sound of the garbage truck at five a.m. knowing our cans were not at the curb. Trying to push back annoyance and sleep the last few minutes of desperately needed rest, I settled into a dream that has been reoccurring for me. It is a dream that I am just sobbing because I missed going to the Sweet Valley Cottages. Everyone is going but I have to stay here. We did not go this September and that sweet place for me is a quiet peaceful retreat that I LONG for. I must long for that kind of pushing back all the bad news, busy schedules, looming deadlines, messy house, meal times, bills and homework kind of PEACE.

That.kind.of.nothing.but quiet.for.four.days.peace.

The alarm went off. I had already heard the dogs waking and coming, they know it is time and they are bedside the moment before the beeping starts. I have to practically leap over 170 lbs of dog to start my day. This day, with a migraine, a full schedule and weary to start kinda day with a longing that played out in my dreams now lingering deep in my spirit. HOW.DO.THEY.DO.IT?? How do all the others manage to keep pushing on and on and stay rested and at peace? I stopped questions running in my head, gripped my stiff fingers around my hot cup and cried from the inside out.

“Father, I just need a hug”

“I just need you, some how in all this, Your presence. Your Peace.”

I opened up my Blessing book to the day I that came next…Day 36 Love. The tears ran real softly over dark circles and that longing burst into desperation. YES. I need to “FEEL” loved. IN this day…all day…and tomorrow too…Loved.

Stephanie, your Father made you beautiful and beloved. I bless you with receiving the Father-heart of God His matchless love for you. His love revealed in you is a gold mine of identity and legitimacy from which to live out your birthright confidently and purposefully. I bless you with the belonging, inclusion,  and worth that His love nurtures in you. I bless you with being convinced deep in your spirit that nothing in heaven, earth, or hell can separate you from your Father’s love. I bless you with knowing that nothing in your past, present, or future can take His love from you. I bless you with being sure of His love in your fears and worries, in your problems and pain, in good times and bad. He promises that because of His love, His power, and His blessing upon you, He causes pain and negative things to be transformed into good, and I bless you with deeply abiding in that truth. (Gunter pp94)

So breathe deep friend. Inhale love so you can exhale joy.

        As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love… These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:9,11 ESV)

Abide in HIS love…JOY may be FULL.

I want to feel this. Not just know it in my head but feel in deeply and STAY there. The longing to be filled and I get to know JOY. In all of this JOY.

Jesus, I come to you fumbling with this precious promise of Joy and Love not knowing how to abide. Teach me. I confess that I am willful of self and try to hang on to survive, when letting go is really this only way to LIVE. Help me let go. Help me know and feel you in me…The Father’s LOVE in me. Until I feel, let me simple believe. Because with Faith, I have Hope and with Hope there is Love. Break down all the self protecting walls and help me feel. Even if I have to know grief of loss before love. I want You. I know and believe that You are faithful and hear my cry…my longing after You. Thank you…is not enough. May today be a song of worship pleasing to your ears…All because Jesus made a way to You!! In Jesus’ Name. Amen


Praying Mondays: Paralyzed Spirit. Wake. UP.

Someday along this journey of your life you.WAKE.UP. With groggy mind and heavy eyes you wake and look around at your life. The fog with the depth of sleep hangs fuzzy over everything. You had fallen asleep, something had lulled your spirit into a deep paralyzing coma. Yet now, with eyes adjusting to the blurry reality you LIVE.IN. Something woke your spirit up. Maybe it was a Word. The Word. In power whispering your name, “wake UP!! My child, wake up!”. Eyes open you start The Light illuminates the dark and you start to see the Truth about YOU, your life, your past, your people, your church…everything that was once hum-ho-ing endless in a dream, maybe even a nightmare, is taking shape in the light. It all looks different. At that moment you start thinking, how long have I been asleep in the dark? What put me to sleep and why. Your spirit wakes and starts crying out…for the Truth, for food, for the Way. The Holy Spirit searches and reveals. Christ attends and feeds. You start to strengthen as you have to re-learn EVERYTHING in the Light.

If this has not happened to you. Ask God to breath life in your spirit and

If you are awake and the fog is heavy and you still feel like sleeping. Ask Christ to whisper His Truth and Light to lift the fog.

Get ready to be KNOCKED off your rocker!! Reality CHECKS are painful but most beneficial!!

I am awake. Wide awake. My eyes are adjusting more and more to the light. I see depravity and brokenness. I see what steals peace and I see sin for I see how the Enemy “programs” are minds as just babies to be paralyzed in fear. Then out of fear we struggle to survive and use manipulation to get what we need. It starts young while brains are still forming. Pathways are burned into the brain and we sleep in the dark in automatic Pilate wrapped in sin and talking in our sleep passing what we believe to all who are near us. We pass on fear in the name of life…If we die in that state, we exist in death for eternity. It doesn’t matter how much we say the name ‘Jesus’ and do things in His name…if our spirits are in sin, we are dead. The Breath of Life came to overcome Death itself and with breathe of new LIFE into your spirit and retrain.your.brain. NO more fear. NO more lies. NO more sleeping in a dark nightmare. There will be struggle. There will be pain. There will be great resistance to keep you in the dark and your mind captive to fear. But our GOD is BIGGER. STRONGER. BETTER.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

I beg you to wake up. I beg you to start praying over your spirit the Way. TRUTH. LIFE. and if you don’t have the strength or the words…have someone start praying over you. Everyday. Pray. LIFE. Retraining take time…repetition…dedication…You will like how your are programmed to live.

        For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:13-21 ESV)

Here are some tools I use to pray…over and over….pray.

ESVSB-in-Jerusalem PGW PJB blessing_your_spirit_bookindex prayers-tract

Praying Mondays: The Underdog

I have not only been ‘benched’ but I was booted off the team. I tried out, made the team and then it was decided that I just could not do it. When you hear your Father say “Try out…I AM SUFFICIENT in your weakness…YOU are able to do ALL things according to the GRACE I give.” and it is risky but you take leaps. Leaps of faith that seem crazy but in all the crazy there is peace and open doors. There are yes’ where there should be no and YOU make the team!! Then just as you are thrown into the game, they bench you and then you get booted off the team entirely.

It is devastating.

It is confusing.

It is derailing.

It is exhausting.

It is sad. Very sad.

After all the hard work to uproot and move to be a team player…they decide. That’s that. They say “You CAN”T” to the Father’s “We CAN”!! Is their ‘no’ bigger than His yes??? Did I hear His voice wrong?? That’s the moment. The critical moment when you decide…throw in the towel completely to secure safety or become the underdog. You know the countless stories were an unknown hero hears his/her ‘yes’ and everyone else says they can not, will not accomplish it. There is that moment, that choice everyone can choose who they are going to believe…The ONE yes…or countless NOs. That moment when they choose to get up and keep taking steps toward His yes or give.up. Choosing that one Yes is choosing the One True God that NOTHING can stand against.

That One YES is from the God of the Underdogs….Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rehab, Esther, Job, Gideon, Jonah, David, Mary …..JESUS. What if they took NO for an answer. What if they took Fear’s no and quit. What is they listened to all the reasons they can not do it. What if they did not take His YES as the Truth. Believing His Yes takes faith, not heroics. I believe He takes much pleasure in the Underdog. He reveals MUCH glory in their overcoming GREAT odds in His strength.

So if you have been ‘benched’ or ‘booted’ know that at any moment you can keep pursuing God’s call on your life. His Yes is HIS WILL and it WILL be accomplished. So I am an UNDERDOG…and I trust His YES…taking steps in Faith…FACING all the nos and choosing NOT to believe them.

Underdog Blessing:

I bless you with HIS yes over your life.

I bless you with knowing the Truth and being SET free from all the Nos.

I bless you with peace in the uncertainty.

I bless you with His grace sufficient in all things.

I bless you with life-giving people who will believe in God’s Yes.

I bless you with taking another step.

I bless you with forgiveness in place of bitterness.

I bless you with the Spirit’s guidance whispering ‘Go this way or that way’

I bless you with failing without being a failure.

I bless you with many opportunities to overcome in weakness that reveal His strength.

I bless you with no depending on your own understanding, but in ALL your ways acknowledge HIM.

I bless you with peace beyond your understanding, your heart and mind guarded in the name of Jesus. AMEN.

Praying Mondays: Remain

It has been sometime since I have come to put words to thoughts on virtual pages. Life has picked up to such a speed that I gasp for Breath to sustain and utter the Word in hopes that they alone are enough to keep me upright! I thought and wrestled daily with hearing God’s voice. Wrestled with KNOWING His will for ME. That seemed selfish yet deeply selfless because there is no SELF in God…there is US…there is three-in-one. SO knowing HIM means knowing US. I longed to let go long enough of protecting myself and grasping His will for US. I thought that was hard. Hours of waiting, praying and pouring over the Word.

Part of knowing His will, His design, His way was distinguishing between Him and me. I sifted through my life and acknowledged all the things I thought and felt that seemed true but were mere lies. Sifting through lies was hard. There were a lot of tears and grief as I looked at reality for That was hard. Then it happened, I was brought into the light, the glorious light of HIS presence and my new existence as HIS child. That was WORTH all the hard. Every painful step, worth it.

Now?!?! I hear His will, His calling and I am following. In the light I thought it would just be victory and joy…and that’s that. Only God did not take me right off this earth and plant me in heaven to enjoy Him presence and love FOREVER. No, I am here...purposely here for a work. And guess what, work is hard. Remaining here on this earth means looking at death and decay and that is painful. It means plucking up weeds and slaying dragons…that is really hard. SO how, how can I DO all this…now being in the light seems more unsafe and harder than being in the dark afraid. THIS place demands courage and strength…something I lack much of. This is hard. Very hard. I do not think until the returning and plucking and recreating earth it will get ANY easier. That leaves me here in the hard to just DO what He calls me to DO and I want something HE promised through it all…JOY.

“Be blessed with living worthy of the Lord, honoring and pleasing your Father always by the way you live. Be blessed with heavenly desires to continually do good things for others out of the well-spring of the Spirit. You were created in Christ Jesus for particular purposes, which God prepared in advance for you. Jesus, the True Vine, says to you, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. This is to my Father‘s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that remains” (John 15:4,8,16).” (The Father’s Business Devotional)

As I remain here in the dark decay of selfish prideful death on earth, I have to remain in HIM to have LIFE. I have to obey His will and REMAIN in His love. Every time I see a wall so big, a army so mighty…remain…Every time Fear comes to choke life and love right out of my person…remain…Every time the waves come unrelenting and I am struggling to breath…REMAIN…Because remaining is Breath, Victory, Love, Truth and a POWER that OVERCOMES death. The best part for me in this place of hard pressing on in the fight is that I can actually have JOY in it.

May you be blessed with knowing His will for YOU.

May you be blessed with seeing His way.

May you be blessed with obeying His call.

May you be blessed with deliverance from yourself.

May you be blessed with deliverance from your enemies.

May you be blessed with KNOWING His love FOR you.

May you be blessed with REMAINING in His love.

May you be blessed with JOY.

Listen to Colossians 1:11. “…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully…”

     Be strengthened with His glorious power, so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need with joy. Be blessed with three-fold staying power in time of distress: strength, power, might from Him, by His glory and for His glory. Deeply know your God so that you will be strong and do great exploits. 

      Be blessed with inexpressible joy imparted by the Holy Spirit, not depending on circumstances. Positively invest in this season of preparation for whatever God is preparing, enduring with joy, not knowing what God is up to. 
Pay the price to do the daily spiritual disciplines required. Be blessed with great forward-looking vision to withstand present pressure of birthing pains for the joy set before you. 
       Listen to Colossians 1:12-13. “… giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…”
       Your Father allowed you to inherit all covenant blessings that belong to His holy people who live in His kingdom of light. You have a rich and glorious inheritance as His child. You are blessed with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised you.
      In Christ you have authority over the power of darkness. Be blessed with the eyes of your heart being enlightened to know your Father‘s incredibly great power for you, the working of his mighty strength that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. He is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given in this present age. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body. (The Father’s Business Colossians 1:9-13)