Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Gap

For years I would walk away from conversations feeling defeated.



Less than.

Fill in the blank...

Comments from others would leave me feeling like I had to constantly explain myself.

A better description is that I most often felt like I was walking around trying to do life with a sensor left on my clothes by the girl at the checkout counter. And everywhere I went- an alarm sounded. That alarm was only ringing inside my grief stricken heart but the careless comments by others coupled with the pain of my past, magnified it to the point that I lived in a constant state of sadness and frustration.

"That is some gap!"

"What happened?"

"Why did you wait so long to have more children?"

"Wow, I guess you just thought you were done."

"I guess this wasn't exactly planned, was it?"

I wish I could count the times I've wanted to shout from the rooftops....

Listen here!

This gap is the grace of God on my life. This gap is my testimony. This gap is the goodness of 
God made manifest in my life. This 13 year gap between my first born and my second born baby girls is nothing more than the very reason I can share the love of Christ with others. This "unplanned gap" as some would like to call it is the very reason I am able to write and teach and share the gospel with others out of a heart of gratitude. 

My gap is what qualifies me.

My gap is what set me apart.

This gap is what gives me the ability to connect with others in a way that can only come from a heart knowledge called experience..

I named my GAP and you should too.

I call it God's Awesome Process.

Grateful me.

I want to encourage you not to despise your process.

I want to encourage you not to compare yourself with others.

I want to encourage you not to worry that maybe God has forgotten you. Overlooked you. Failed you. Or preferred others over you.

He hasn't.

Your just in The GAP beautiful friends.

God's Awesome Process.

Everyone's process is different and I can promise you that He has a purpose and a plan no matter how difficult or painful or heart wrenching your GAP is.

I can testify.

The hard part is not to grow bitter or resentful during the process. The hard part is not to get caught up in comparison during your time of delay. The hard part is not to allow the enemy to convince you that clearly, this just isn't going to work out for you...

For years I was so angry with God and I was convinced He did not love me. That anger manifested in my life through years of depression. It wasn't until I found out the truth- (He loves me!!) and allowed the truth to set me free that I was able to unravel the years the locust had eaten in my life. As I grew in the Lord and gained knowledge and understanding through His word, I finally realized that actually all of those years of suffering and hardship and delay, were just a part of God's Awesome Process.

This reminds me of a scripture in 1 Samuel 1:20

It starts like this... "So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the Lord."

So it came to pass in the process of time.

Maybe this is where you are today- hanging in the balance of the process of time.

Maybe he brought you an amazing spouse and you are in the GAP for a child, a job, a home, a breakthrough or another prayer request.

Here is the good news.

No matter what you are waiting for. Hoping for. Believing God for....

The delay doesn't mean you are denied...

You're just in the GAP.

God's Awesome Process.

The process is what grows our faith. Develops our trust. Matures our hearts and minds. Expands our capacity to love. Teaches us. Trains us. Equips us. Refines us. Polishes, perfects and qualifies us for a much greater purpose.

The many GAPS in my life are what equip me to speak out of a place of heaps of heart knowledge.
It is His spirit and the wisdom of experience that offers real life words of encouragement and hope and comfort.

I have lived this. (by His grace)

I survived this.  (by His grace)

I know from experience. (by His grace)

There isn't a text book, professor or class that can teach you what real life can.

Experience will give you a beautiful heart knowledge that can become a love language to His people. 

It is your GAP.

So today, if you are feeling like you are walking around in life with a sensor left on your clothes by an inexperienced sales clerk- as if the process you are in, announces your presence before you even set your foot inside the door- be encouraged.

Eventually, it will come to pass in the process of time.

The desires of your heart will be given to you.

He is the one who placed them there in the first place....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Is Your Nineveh ? Part Two

Just in case you woke up this morning feeling like you missed it with God...

I love that God called Jonah a second time.  Jonah 3:1-2

He knows us so well.

I love that He knows we can feel overwhelmed, worried or afraid at times.

I love that He knows we want to run sometimes.

And I love that even after all of our mistakes and shortcomings and disobedience...

He calls us a second time- same instructions- more grace.

"Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you. " Jonah 3:1-2

I love that He won't give up on us. 

I love that in that second set of instructions God refers to Nineveh as "that great city."

Isn't this the same city that is full of wickedness?  Jonah 1:2

God is amazing. Period.

While I was studying this chapter God begin to gently tap, press and point to a place in my heart.

He showed me through His word and by His loving Holy Spirit.

This is where you are stuck daughter.

Stuck between fear and anger and disappointment- Just like Jonah.

Stuck between the fear of what I'm calling you to do, the unknown of what I may do and the disappointment and anger of how I haven't done things the way you've wanted me to in the past.

He knows us so well.

There is so much in this very short chapter in the bible.

Everyone has heard all about Jonah and the whale but I was really taken by what happened toward the end.

After Jonah was obedient.

He did what God instructed. He went to the city. He gave the word. The people turned from their ways. And then the word says that God relented.   Jonah 3:10

And then it says this...

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. Jonah 4:1


Angry that God didn't do what he thought he was going to do and the way in which he thought he was going to do it.


Jonah was so angry and from what I have read in the text- basically so disappointed and disgusted that
He tells God to take his life.- Jonah 4:3

I love that God completely ignores that comment and pointedly gets right to the heart of the matter.

He says this...

"Is it right for you to be so angry?" Jonah 4:4


Jonah is so frustrated and angry at this point that he basically went to the other side of the city and sat down and sulked.

He couldn't handle it. 

He couldn't handle that God would show him grace and mercy and goodness and a second chance AND that He would also do the same for Nineveh. He couldn't handle his disappointment. He couldn't handle that after he was obedient God didn't meet his expectations. And he couldn't handle that God called him out on it.

He couldn't handle that God had a different way.

That God doesn't do things the way we think He should do them.

That the same grace that was available for Jonah was also made available to Nineveh.

Sweet Jesus.

That is another blog post all by itself and it is sitting in my drafts because I am too afraid to hit publish.

Here's hoping.

But I really love that even though Jonah was all tied up in his own anger and disappointment ....
God still pursued Him.

He will not give up on us.

The scriptures say that God prepared (made a way)  a plant (provision) and made it come up over Jonah,  (protection) that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery.  Jonah 4:6

Can we talk about this for a minute?

Even in Jonah's anger, disgust, frustration and disappointment with God-

God still pursued Him.

God still prepared.

God still provided.

God still protected.

God still tried to deliver him from His misery.

He will not give up on us.

Could it be that we give up on God?

If you keep reading God keeps trying with Jonah.

He is relentless in the pursuit of our hearts sweet friends.

He truly never gives up on us.

It says that next God prepared a worm and it so damaged the plant that it withered.
Then it says that God prepared an east wind and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so much so that He grew faint.  Jonah 4:8

I love Jonah's response.

Then he wished death for himself and said "It is better for me to die than to live. "- Jonah 4:8

Even better than Jonah's response is God's response to that comment.

He completely ignores it and once again- points to the real issue. The issue was in his heart.

Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be so angry about the plant?"

God knew that the real issue was that He was mad at Him.

It wasn't about Nineveh receiving God's mercy (what God does for other people)

It wasn't about how God relented (what God does and how he does it)

It wasn't about the plant (what God has done in our own life)

It was about the condition of Jonah's heart. He was angry with God.

I love God's response to Jonah and how the chapter just ends abruptly with this....

But the Lord said , You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left- and much livestock?" - Jonah 4:10-11

I feel that God is just calling a spade a spade here.

He is pointing out again the condition of Jonah's heart.

I feel He is basically saying this to Jonah:

Your source of happiness is tied to whether or not I do what you think I ought to do and how you think I should do it. You want a second chance but no one else deserves it. You want to reap what you didn't sow. You want to receive my mercy and my grace but no one else can receive it.  You want me to do things the way you think that I should do them and when I don't - you become angry and full of despair - so much so that you think your life should just be over.  And when I don't do things the way you think I should - you feel that I owe you for all that you have been through. That after all , you were obedient. And after all you've been through- I at least owe you what you have asked me for.


There are pieces in this text that are so where I am with my walk with the Father.

And God is so gracious and so merciful and so loving that He continues to pursue, prepare, provide and protect- in spite of myself.

It is humbling and overwhelming and gut wrenching all at the same time when the Father gets to the heart of the matter in our lives.

When we allow Him to.

When we sit down and listen and pay attention and look at the condition of our own heart.

God loves us too much to leave us in our current condition.

I want to encourage you today to sit and ask the Father to show you any place in your heart:

1. Where you are running from Him. 

2. Where you are disappointed with Him. 

3. Where you are angry with Him.

4. Where you feel like God owes you.

Write it down and offer it up beautiful friends. His mercies are new every morning.

Lord knows I have a notebook full myself.

I pray that this blesses you and that you allow the Father to encourage you today. I pray you can walk in a newly found freedom with the Father and that you begin to revel in it and relish in His love and His truth for your lives...the best is yet to come sweet friends.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Is Your Nineveh?

Out of a place of love and forgiveness I have shared pieces of my story here over the years.  My desire has always been to glorify God in the sharing of those pieces. I have walked through the unraveling of years of heartache and the process that is searching for identity when you were raised without one.

I  have shared here over the years with the hope that the words that I write would point you to His word and ultimately point you to Him.

To simply say this....

If God did it for me...

He will do it for you.

If God brought me out...

He will bring you out too.

It says so in His word.

He is no respecter of persons.

I know there are believers who feel that we shouldn't share our past. That we should forget and move on. That we should forgive and forget. That to share what we have been through is to "glorify the enemy."

I believe we should forgive and move on with life. But I disagree that we should never share our stories. Never share our testimonies.

To share what we've been through- out of a place of love and forgiveness. Out of a place of awe and wonder. Out of the right heart-

Is to bring glory to God.

How can I tell you how big God has been in my life if I never share how bad it was before Him?
If I never share my mistakes and failures and poor decisions as well as circumstances that were carved by the enemy to destroy my life?

How can I tell you that I know, I hear you and I understand- If I never tell you how I know?

How can I tell you that you will rise above your circumstances, trials and unfortunate situations if I never testify that I know for certain that you will because He did it for me and let me tell you how He did.

If the emphasis is on God, His faithfulness, His mercy, His goodness and His grace ..

If the heart is flowing with forgiveness and compassion...

If you are sharing out of the right heart and the right spirit...

Then I believe it is a blessing to share. For everyone.

His word says that we are set free by the word of our testimonies.

I have personally experienced this scripture...over and over and over again.

To use what the enemy meant for harm to destroy me then - is to bring glory to God now.

It makes a believer out of us over and over again.

I have felt the Father prompting me, instructing me to share my testimony in a series format for a while now.

I have pressed it down. Pushed it aside. Argued with Him. Questioned my own ability to do so properly. And have found myself positioned much like Jonah when God instructed Him to "Go to Nineveh!"

And Jonah refused.

I have my own Nineveh with God.

We all do.

That place in our hearts that we are constantly pressing down, pushing aside and questioning...

God is that you? Are you really asking me to do that? Are you really asking me to reconcile?

To offer forgiveness, again? To sow into someones life who has hurt me, talked about me, used me?

To create another Pearl Event? To create "Mini Pearl" Events and travel to several cities to host them?

To publish the 6 week bible study I wrote and taught this year?

To gather a board and create a 501c3 for this ministry?

To write my 41 year whirlwind of a personal testimony in a series format and share it on this blog?

To publish His story of hope in my life in a beautiful book of pictures and words?


All of them.

God leads, instructs, prompts us to do one thing and we do another.

He tells us to go to "Nineveh" and we make a bee line for "Tarshish."  Jonah 1: 2-3

He tells us to go in one direction and we run from God and what He is trying to do in our life. We offer up bits and pieces of trust and obedience to a Father who is requiring fullness.

He is not interested in partial obedience or partial trust.

Sitting and waiting is an act of disobedience.

Waiting until we "understand" what on earth God is trying to do is disobedience.

One would think at this point in my walk with the Father that my Ninevehs would be far and few.

But there are days I want to run from my own Nineveh with God. When life is overwhelming enough already. When I've just completed what He asked of me and He asks me for more. When I've trusted Him to move mountains in my life and He didn't move them the way that I wanted Him to. When I'm focused on my circumstances and heartaches. When I've just barely executed one Pearl Event by His grace alone and He asks for another one.

I remind Him that I have six children and a husband who lost his job the week of Thanksgiving last year and He still hasn't replaced that loss. I remind Him of how I haven't slept for more than a few hours a night in the last ten years. I remind Him that I am exhausted. That I'm worn out. That I never have time alone with my husband or with myself for that matter. That I look around and I see failure and reminders of all that is left undone. I remind Him of anything and everything and how on earth can He expect me to do anything at this point! 

Forgive me Father....

God is always stretching us. Shaping us. Growing us. Molding us.

Once we believe Him for one thing He will take us through circumstances that will require us to believe Him all over again and on an entirely different level for something else.

Sometimes we want to be obedient but we are so afraid of what others will do or say or think.

We have to be willing to let go of that....

I want to encourage you to sit with the Father today and write down all of the Ninevehs in your life.

Those things that God has instructed us to do and we've pressed them down, pushed them aside or simply questioned if it was even God at all.

Offer that list up to Him in prayer and ask Him to highlight to you and impress upon your heart which one to do first.

This isn't a way to earn His love.

We couldn't possibly. He already loves us more than we could ever know.

This is about trusting Him on a new level, a greater obedience and searching for any place in our heart where we are running from God.

I know He will meet you there and whisper His plans for your life. 

Trust Him.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

God Can

This weekend while you are enjoying your family, not worrying and trusting God on a new level...

I would love for you to think this thought....all weekend.

God can.

Whenever you start to doubt, worry, fret or fear. Just begin to think and speak these two words.

God can.

God can heal your land.

God can restore your finances.

God can renew your faith.

God can open doors no man can shut.

God can redeem a friendship.

God can bring forth opportunities.

God can give you favor like you have never known.

God can pour out fresh ideas for your business, ministry, marriage and family.

God can teach you anything and everything.

God can heal your broken heart.

God can provide in supernatural ways.

God can show you how to be the wife your husband needs.

God can show you how to minister to the hearts of your children.

God can speed up the adoption process.

God can bring forth your spouse.

God can bless you with two pink lines.

God can soften hardened hearts.

God can silence those who have tried to rise up against you.

God can offer a new beginning.

God can bring forth true friends.

God can remove every obstacle in your life.

God can turn the hearts of your children toward Him.

God can restore the years the locust have eaten in your life.

God can remove people, places and things that are holding you back.

God can help you take the limits off your life.

God can minister to the heart of your spouse.

God can deliver your dreams right into your lap.

God can open up endless possibilities.....

During times of despair we can look at our life like a paint palette that has been very well used.

We can believe we've made a lot of mistakes- that we weren't careful enough.  That it's too late and we are too old and why did we even bother.  All the colors have run together and we need a new paint palette. A better one. We can want to throw the whole thing out...

We can feel like we've made a mess of the entire thing just trying to do life.

But God can step right in and reveal truths. Life changing truths.

That actually what we thought was a mess has become a beautiful palette that He will use as a platform.

That every hardship, every crisis, every setback, every painful thing that the enemy meant for harm,
God will use for our good and His glory.

When the colors of our life run together, beauty can come forth.

Beauty can come out of messes....

God can use it all and be glorified in it and bless not only our life but others as well.

The creator is standing there this weekend holding our messy palettes and waiting for us to relinquish control and hand Him the brush.

He is the author and the finisher. Not man.

God alone.

And when we start to feel that it is over and what a mess and surely this must be the end....we can rest assured that then, it is only the beginning....

He is just getting started beautiful friends.

It is not over. It is not too late. You are not too old or too young. There is not a mess too big that the Creator cannot commission something glorious out of your life and mine. 

God can. In the most beautiful and magnificent ways...

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Over the years I have often heard women say this....

"I'm afraid to ask God for anything!"

Or this...

"I've always believed it is wrong to ask God to do anything for me."

Here is a thought...

It is okay to ask God.

Okay to ask Him questions.

Okay to ask Him to move on our behalf.

It is okay to ask Him why, when and how much longer ?

He is a Daddy. Yours and mine.

Imagine your children feeling like they could never approach you or ask you anything.

Either out of fear of you or wrongful thinking about your very nature.

Imagine if they never had a conversation with you- never asked you a single question.

Imagine if they just marched around like little soldiers....

Repeating the same words over and over again every time they came into your presence.

That is not a relationship.

Faith breathes.

Faith moves. Faith seeks. Faith asks. Faith in God is life giving. 

The Father God whom I know- is about relationship.

He created us for relationship and communion with Him.

He is not this big, bad, God in the sky.

He is a loving Father who wants to speak and listen. 

He wants to both ask and answer.

He wants to pour out insight and wisdom and creativity and healing and love.

He offers forgiveness and mercy and grace by the truckloads.

He does not hold grudges.

He does not pull His love away or withhold His love when we don't do to suit Him.

His love and relationship with us is unconditional.

It isn't based on whether or not we do everything "right."

It just is. And always will be.

No matter what.

When we draw near to Him- He doesn't leave us hanging. He doesn't wait for us to recite 25 scriptures and do 50 good deeds and repeat our faults and shortcomings over and over again.

His word simply says this....

When we draw near to Him- He draws near to us.

That will make you want to twirl.

Sometimes, women will ask this..

"What does that look like?" "To draw near to Him."

I would suggest this. Watch children.

Children are the most beautiful examples of so many things in life.

They cling. They hang. They extend . They reach. They cry out. They draw near.

They ask questions!!

They climb right up close and invade all manner of personal space.

They rest in our arms. 

They do not hold back.

They are relentless.

They offer every, single piece of their heart.

They walk in freedom.

They rest in the knowledge that they are loved, accepted, wanted.

They do not hold grudges.

They forgive easily. Beautifully.

Children are the very best teachers....

Father God isn't like some earthly Fathers who have abandoned us, rejected us and hurt us over and over and over again.

When we call for Him- He answers.

When we seek Him- He responds.

When we draw near- He draws near to us.


Yesterday I celebrated my independence.

My independence from a painful past.

My independence from wrongful thinking about my Heavenly Father.

My freedom in this country and the freedom I have finally found in my own life.

I celebrated all that I have overcome.

I watched my children and rejoiced in the truth that we can break free from a history that threatens to repeat itself.

We can have a new story.

Our past doesn't have to determine our future.

Most of all I celebrated, rejoiced and relished in the freedom I have in my relationship with a Father who will never leave us nor forsake us. Who waits for us, every moment of the day. Who has answers for our many questions. Who has wisdom and knowledge and revelation set aside just for each one of us. I reveled in the freedom that I have that I can worship Him in any church or any grocery store. Or just in my car with the windows rolled down and while driving barefoot in a sundress. I rested in the freedom that I do not have to "do anything" to receive His love. I can just "be." I cherished the gift that is being a girl. Being female. Being a mother and a wife.  And I clung to the truth that I do not have to live my life as "less than" ever again... and neither do you beautiful friend....

May you find a moment today to seek, ask and knock and may you be raptured up in His amazing grace and His love that is beyond all human comprehension.

I promise He will meet you there.