Shine vs. Shield

In the Bible, when we read about a person, their name is usually followed by a description of where they are from or their trait; Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Ruth the Moabitess. Now, Jesus and John had it pretty good. Their titles were positive and had no negative connotations associated with them. Ruth’s, on the other hand, said she was a foreigner, an enemy of the Israelites.

What if we all had titles that described who we are? Some people already do. Someone with a title of  M.D. or PhD, is known to have gone to school for a long time, they have knowledge in their field and quite often are immediately respected. Anyone would be proud to have such a title. But what if our titles had nothing to do with our career or our accomplishments, but our character? What if the world gave us our title? Would you be proud of your name?

When Ruth left Moab for Bethlehem, she was known as Ruth, the Moabitess. Now, this may not mean anything to us, but in those days, her title basically said she wasn’t welcomed and wasn’t able to take part in certain freedoms. It said she would have to struggle in this land. In addition to her title, people knew she was a widow, had no family and no wealth. She was lower than low. Imagine that kind of life?

So many of us have similar struggles with our titles, but what is even worse are the traits associated with those titles. Let’s use my titles as an example. Some of the my titles are divorced, single parent, non-degreed. Traits associated with those titles are failure, damaged, used. Because of these titles and their associated character traits, my success/happiness expectancy plummets.

Now, the Biblical/Christian response to the whole “title” thing is God doesn’t see our titles or isn’t limited by the expectancy of such titles. True, but what if I said He was the one who gave us such titles and allowed such negativity to be associated with those titles? I believe this to be true and Ruth is a prime example.

Ruth’s title said that she wasn’t worth much and nothing worthwhile could ever be expected to come from her life. I believe God loved that. I believe He used it to His and Ruth’s advantage. Because He knew that when He turned Ruth’s life around by allowing her to marry Boaz,which in turn included her in the lineage of Jesus, it all could only be attributed to His divinity! No one would have ever seen that coming! God proved her title and the character traits associated with it did not determine nor described her future.

What if the same is for you? What if the title of weak, fearful, failure, lost, damaged, or used may be the truth for your past, but not the truth for your future? What if the titles you have been given or given yourself, make His promises and victories for you only that much sweeter? What if instead of holding you back, your title is actually what God is using to  push you forward? What if instead of hiding behind your title, you stood in front of it proud of how God is and will continue to shine through it?

Sins of our Fathers…and Mothers

Whether we like it or not the behaviors of our parents (good or bad) have affected us in some form. We are, as much as we deny it, like our parents. Their makeup is what makes us their children.

As Jake gets older, his mannerisms, his laugh, his reactions, become more and more like his dad’s or mine with some of his unique personality mixed in. Sometimes it is great to see a mini me, but other times, it hurts me to see that a lot of my behaviors have influenced how he sees and reacts to this world.

In the midst of my most selfish days, I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have. Because of God’s grace, I have been forgiven and have repented of those sins, however, as much as I want to, I am not able to erase the consequences and the damage the exposure of those sins have had on Jake. So, instead of wallowing in regret, I pray for him, teach him the Truth and, probably the most difficult, apologize to him.

Intercessory prayer and the teaching of God’s Word is critical to guiding our children in their present and their future, but apologizing addresses the past. We, as parents, need to apologize for our behaviors and try to keep the influence of those behaviors away from our children. For example, Jake is at a difficult age; on the cusp of boy and manhood, the choices he makes are influenced by what he has seen and learned. However, by confessing my wrong behaviors and apologizing for exposing him to them, he can identify that what he has seen and learned from such behaviors should not be considered when making his own choices.

Apologizing to Jake was the most difficult thing I have done thus far. I almost didn’t even do it because I kept thinking it wouldn’t make a difference and what was the point if I already had forgiven myself and had received forgiveness from the Lord. But when I did, I felt such peace and another level of freedom from those sins. Jake, at first, had no idea why I needed to apologize, but when I explained that I didn’t want my bad choices to be an influence in his life, his expression changed. It was mainly a one-sided conversation because my son isn’t into conversing before fully processing what he has heard, so I am not sure what his thoughts are, but my prayer is that by confessing and apologizing, the sins of his mother don’t have as much power as they once did.


I finished a journal this morning. It depends on the number of pages and the season of my life I am in, but a journal normally lasts me about 6-8 months. Since last May, I have gone through 3. It has been an eventful 12 months to say the least.

I’ve been journaling for years. I just really enjoy writing and as of late, I find myself with different writing outlets; 4 to be exact. There is the FB status for the quick thoughts that pop in my mind, this blog for what I hope to be thought- provoking insights to my walk with the Lord, my journal for my deepest thoughts and prayers, and finally daily entries I write on my computer to my husband. Yes, I write to my husband everyday even though I am not yet married. I am just practicing to be the communicative, faithful and loving wife I hope to be someday.

Writing gives me an outlet to speak what is in my heart and for my God to speak to me. My favorite kind of writing is when I write out a conversation with the Lord. At the beginning I find myself just writing what I feel and when I look back to read what I have written, I see they were His words through my fingers. It is an exhilarating feeling to know my Heavenly Father is so closely with me. Other times, I just find myself rambling on (like this time, I think), but eventually something great comes out (I hope).

Everytime, however, I do my best to write what my heart is saying to whomever the audience may be; myself, you, my God, or my future husband. You see no matter who the audience is, I never physically see them, but I know they are there and I hope from my words, they know they are always in my thoughts, prayers, and heart…and I will never stop writing to you!


“You want me to what? I don’t think I can do that.”

Why not?

“Well, that would be so pretentious of me.”

Even if I asked you to do it?

“It’s just so uncomfortable for me to brag on myself. I don’t think I am anything spectacular or impressive. You want to list my faults, I will give you a head start and even finish it off with some things you left out. I can do that no problem.”

Look at your wrist…

“My what?”

Your wrist. Do you see that?

“You mean my tattoo?”

Exactly! What does that verse  say?

“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” (Revelation 2:19 NIV)

You say that with such little emotion. I don’t think you get it, so let me say it a little differently…I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day (Revelation 2:19 MSG). This isn’t a ho-hum verse, be excited because I AM excited! Be impressed, because I AM impressed!!

“I don’t know. I just keep thinking ‘less of me, more of You’.”

I don’t think you get that saying either. Think less of yourself as in status not value. Just because you think less of yourself doesn’t make you any less.


I see a light bulb going off.

“I guess I just always thought if I said anything good about myself, then I would come across as conceited.”

There is a thin line, but you can boast about yourself and how far we’ve come. You can boast on the gifts I have given you and rejoice in the promises I have for you. That is not a sin. Plus, if you are boasting on the things I have done in your life, it doesn’t matter how it is perceived by others…Now, can you brag on yourself for me?

“Let’s see…there’s so much, I don’t even know where to start…” 🙂

500 Miles

“But I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more. Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door.” That was the song on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, where Kepner, the re-virginized surgeon, was proposed to by her paramedic boyfriend in this whole song and dance scene. I was mesmerized the entire time. What is with girls and cheesy marriage proposals? Most of us melt at them. I guess it’s because it shows that your man is willing to make a fool of himself for you…and, boy, how do we love the fools!

As much as many of us try to negate it, God made the woman’s heart attracted to things more emotional. We do a lot because of our feelings. Sometimes that is bad, but if we allow God to drive our emotions, it can be so amazing!!

God is very emotional. Throughout the Bible, He speaks of His love for us. It’s the ultimate love story. He finds her (us), she falls for Him, but for one reason or another, cannot fully accept the love He has for her, so she runs. And as the true Romantic that He is, He pursues her…Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’ (Hosea 2:14-16). Doesn’t that sound incredibly amazing??

I know Grey’s Anatomy has some great writers because I keep watching week after week, but the Writer of my love story is a whole lot better! And I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me in the seasons to come, but in the meantime, I will bask in the One who would (and has) walked 500 miles and 500 more for me!!

Wake Up Call

Crying in a dressing room because you hate the size that you have to wear. Overly sensitive and often defensive at the topic of weight (especially your own). Taking a laxative to minimize the size of your stomach. Some people may consider these things only a heavier person would experience, but I want to assure you that thin people also struggle with these things. How do I know? Because this thin person struggles with those things.

I have been fighting a secret battle for almost a year now…so secret, in fact, I didn’t even know about it until this morning. I have been, for a while now, getting really upset at people when they say something about how thin I am. The comments are irritating to me because people do not understand that just because I’m skinny, it doesn’t mean I don’t have issues with my weight.

About a month ago, I was in an Old Navy dressing room crying. When I tried on the size I normally wore, they were too big. So, I tried on the next size down and they fit. To some people, needing to try on a smaller size would be exciting, but when you aren’t trying to lose weight and the size you fit into is a zero, it starts to become a problem….to some. I was upset, but not enough to do anything about it, yet.

For the past week, I have been feeling bloated; my stomach was the size of a woman in her 3rd month of pregnancy. I figured it was just that time of the month, but when that “time” passed and my belly was still large, I was bothered. I, by no means, think I am overweight, but my stomach sticking out like that was really bothering me. So, last night, I thought my stomach just needed a little help, so I took a laxative. This morning, a bad headache, cramps, nausea, everything except for what I wanted to happen, were my wake up call. I know…TMI (Too Much Information), but there’s a point, I promise!!

As I laid in bed feeling like absolute crud, I knew what I had done was stupid! I knew I had fallen into a pit and it wasn’t a pit that came out of nowhere; it was a pit that was in plain sight and I had let it (possibly even helped it) get deeper. I realized that the defensive attitude, the crying spell in the dressing room, and the weight loss were all signs of my unhealthiness. I started to see how easily I could fall into an eating disorder that could, even if it didn’t kill me, make me extremely miserable.

Now, I know plenty of people might be reading this, creating their own opinion, coming up with their own diagnosis of the situation, or thinking “I told her so”, but the truth of the matter is all of this has allowed me to realize that this is just another area in my life, that I desperately need a Savior. I cannot do this on my own and although I have a great “corp counsel” of ladies that are always available, I know that only through Christ and the prompting of the Holy Spirit that I will be able to make a change for the better. After all, He was the one who gave me a wake up call this morning…one that I has still haven’t fully recovered from.

Good Enough…Is It Really?

Why go for great when good is so easily accessible?  That question is something that so many of us struggle with. Something good comes along and we are distracted by the fact that something good is actually coming our way. We jump on it because well, come on it’s the best we can do, right? I mean, we surely couldn’t go for great without eventually proving to ourselves and to the world that we should have just stopped at good (Please note my sarcasm!). What lies we [choose to] live.

John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly, but so many of us tend to only focus on that part of the verse. We ask God, “why can I never catch break if this verse is so true?” I believe God’s response to that question is that we need to read the whole verse. The beginning of that verse says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” So, if we are promised abundant life, we are also promised that someone, a thief, is out to steal, kill and destroy it. Yes, it stinks, but it is just a part of this fallen world we live in.

God calls you to step up and be a great person, but you don’t believe you have the ability because “the thief” has stolen the confidence (in Christ) you need. God tells you that  He will fulfill the promise He made to you, but you believe that if it hasn’t happened by now, it will never happen. You move on from that promise and stop pursuing it because “the thief” had killed the little hope you had.

The word abundant means “exceeding some number or measure or rank or need”. Having life abundantly is having over and above; more than is necessary. To me, that qualifies as great…not good. So, why settle for good when great is, not only attainable, but promised to us? I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to take the chance and wait on my great to come along!