Sunday, June 26, 2016


What if I am beautiful?  Not just my inner self, but my outer self as well?  How will that change my perspective of myself?  Will I allow the world to define my beauty?  Will I finally believe others when they say I am beautiful?  Will the Lord speak truth into my life?

For all my life, I have looked at other women and compared them to me.  What do I define as outer beauty?  Long hair that is wavy and luxurious, for one.  Color of hair doesn’t really matter to me.  I have wavy hair, but it is frizzy and unruly.  A slender body that is free from stretch marks and free of fat.  My body is not slender in the least.  I could lose more weight than I have been.  And I will most likely never be slender.  My body is not that type.  It is big boned and more prone to excess weight.  Eyebrows that is full and even.  My eyebrows are missing hairs, I believe.  They are full, but very uneven.  Skin that is smooth and free of any kind of blemishes.  I have moles on my arms, especially in the summer.  And my cheeks stay red constantly.  And I have stretch marks from my constant losing and gaining weight.  Full lips and perfect white teeth.  My lips are full, especially my bottom one.  My teeth are stained and in horrible shape.  Plus they are crooked.  No, I don't believe that I am beautiful.

Some people have called me beautiful.  Especially my future husband.  He calls me beautiful very often.  And it hurts him when I don’t believe him.  Yet my definition of beauty has been so in grown in me that I cannot perceive why he sees me as beautiful.   They say that love is blind, and maybe that is true for him.  Yet he has been calling me beautiful since we first began talking online.  Surely if he didn’t think I was beautiful, he wouldn’t have sent me a message.  I simply cannot see what he sees.  To me, I have a lot of physical blemishes that makes me feel unattractive and ugly.  The most I will go is pretty.  But I don’t feel pretty when I have so much excess weight.  My weight is defining how I see myself.  Should I believe my future husband when he calls me beautiful?

Is it the world’s label that makes me believe that I am not beautiful?  The world labels outward beauty.  You have to be a size 0, have long hairless legs, have gorgeous hair, and have no imperfections at all.  The world looks at weight.  The more you weigh the less beautiful you are.  What if the world is wrong?  What if it doesn’t matter about the pounds you need to lose or not lose?  If the world is wrong, then what defines beauty?  Should I believe the world?

I long to feel beautiful.  I am not the kind of woman that spends excess amounts of money on makeup and beauty treatments.  For one, I don’t have the money.  Even if I did, I wouldn’t be spending it on makeup and beauty treatments.  There are better things to spend money on.  Maybe beauty is an inner thing, not an outer thing.  Maybe it doesn’t matter what I wear or what I weigh.

For so long I have been labeled as fat, ugly, and disgusting.  Kids in school were the first ones to label me as such.  And the abuse I suffered through didn’t help matters any.  Every time I was abused, I felt dirty, disgusting, and ashamed.  The kids only hammered in the truth.  Looking back, I wonder what was wrong with me.  Or maybe what was right?  What caused my abusers to abuse me?  I know it wasn’t my fault.  I was just a child, and adults are supposed to protect you.  Yet, what did they see in me that they didn’t see in someone else?  Did they see my beauty and wanted to destroy it?  Or did they see something else?  I don’t blame the kids for making fun of me and calling me names.  They were children; they didn’t know any better.  And they were being taught themselves what beauty is labeled as, just as I was being taught to hate myself and to consider myself as ugly. 

Years of believing I am ugly makes it hard to change.  And the fact that I consider myself as pretty is a huge step for me.  It didn’t come easily, but through years of constant doubt, struggles, and ultimately healing.  Would I say I am attractive?  No, I would not.  Yet my future husband insists that I am very attractive, especially to him.  Is he right?  Am I wrong?  Or is he wrong, and I am right?  Should I believe him?  Or should I believe myself?

The Lord calls me a precious jewel.  The word precious has a very special significance to me.  The first time I was called precious was in prayer, and the Lord softly told me I was precious to Him.  The first time a person called me precious was in church when an elderly woman called me “Precious”. 

God calls me a precious jewel.  Yet does He call me beautiful?  When I think of a precious jewel, my thoughts immediately turn to a rare and beautiful stone.  The jewel is beautiful in darkness and in light, but its beauty really shines through in the light.  Is God trying to tell me I am beautiful by calling me His precious jewel?  Is He telling me that my beauty reflects even in the midst of darkness?  Is He lying?  Or is He blinded by love?  God is truth.  Do I dare call Him a liar?  If He is lying about my being beautiful, maybe He is lying about everything else.  If I believe He is lying, I need to reconsider everything I spiritually know.  No, God is honest.  Is He telling me that I am beautiful?  If He calls me beautiful, then should I believe it?  Should I believe Him?

Maybe beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder.  Maybe beauty isn’t in the eyes of the world.  Maybe beauty is in the eyes of the Lord God.  And if He calls me beautiful, maybe I should believe Him.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Rebekah was a young woman who left everything to marry a man she hadn't met.  Abraham sent his most trusted servant to his hometown in search of a wife for his son, Isaac.  Rebekah was given a choice, and she chose to follow the Lord's prompting and marry her cousin, who was a complete stranger to her.  She must have had a lot of faith and trust in the Lord to move to a new country and to live with strangers.  I'm sure she had lots of questions on her way to marry Isaac.  What was her future husband like?  Would he be kind to her?  How would he provide for her?  Would they have lots of children, or no children at all?  What did he look like?  Was he handsome or ugly?  Many, many questions must have flooded her mind.  I wonder if doubts swirled around her head, whether this was from God or not.  And I am sure if doubts did enter her mind, the Lord reassured her.  And she ended up marrying Isaac and having Esau and Jacob.  These two boys later became two countries, Edom and Israel.

Today I am Rebekah.  I am marrying a man I met online.  He lives in another state.  I haven't met him, at least not for another two weeks.  We talk on the phone all the time, and we chat online a good bit of our free time.  And we have video chatted.  So I know he is real.  He knows I am real.  To everyone I know and love, what we are doing makes no sense at all.  Common sense would tell us to wait to marry until we meet and then decide.  Common sense would tell us to wait at least a year to get married, like normal people.  Common sense would say to have both of us meet the other's family.  And most of all, common sense would be screaming at us that one of us should have a job and a place to live before marriage.

Yet, at this time in my life, I am making a flying leap of faith.  Just like Rebekah.  I don't know what is going to happen when I land.  Yet, the Lord has called me to live a life of faith.  And sometimes, that faith makes no sense to others.  It doesn't even make sense to me.  For to marry a man I've never met is so out of character for me.  To do it the way we are doing it is not like me at all.  I like to have a plan and the details.  When, where, how, why, and what for all scream in my head to be answered before I commit to it.  I don't have all the answers this time.  Every time I bring my concerns to the Lord, He reassures me that everything is working out.

He truly is working everything out.  The time we chose is the right time, though everyone says it's not.  We are putting the Lord first, and He is telling us that the date we chose is right.  Yes, I will be coming back home until everything else works out for me to move there.  Yet, I know that the Lord will work everything out.  He has so far.  One thing He has blessed me with is finances.  I am no longer concerned how I'm going to pay to  move there.  He has provided for me.  How He has increased my finances during this time of only working part time, I have no idea.  But He has always provided for me.  And He will continue to provide for me even after I am married and living with my husband.  I am no longer concerned about it.  I have put it all in His hands.

Everything I am doing, marrying a man I haven't met and planning on moving to his state in the near future, I am doing strictly by faith.  For if I sit down and consider everything, I will back out.  The right time will never come, even though He is screaming at me that it has come.  

The Lord reminds me every day that I am Rebekah.  I am traveling to another state to marry a man I've never met.  And one day, I will pack everything I own and move to my husband's state.  I am not to be concerned with the details.  He is working everything out.  I am seeing it every day, and I am feeling His presence in everything.  I am in constant prayer and in constant communication with Him.
I am facing a cliff, and very soon, I will be jumping off of it and flying into the unknown.  

To make everyone feel at ease, or at least that I haven't lost my mind, I will now tell you a little bit about my future husband.  To protect his privacy, I am not revealing his name, nor the state he lives in.  

I was on a free dating website.  I will only say I had to do a lot of weeding out.  One day, I got so frustrated with the responses I was getting that I decided to stop online dating.  I prayed about it and left it up to the Lord.  "Today is the day I am done with online dating," I told God that morning.  "One more bad apple messages me, I'm done.  If You want him to come through this site, then You'd better send him now."  That same day, I got a message from my future husband, though at the time I didn't know it.  When I saw his message, I figured why not give him a chance.  If he turns out to be like all the others, I'm deleting my profile.  His message totally blew me away.  It wasn't the normal message that I was so used to getting.  He told me he read my profile (actually READ it!) and told me everything he liked about it.  And then he told me about his faith in Christ.  Number one priority checked!  We didn't go through the superficial things of getting to know each other.  We went straight to our faith in Christ.  And it was just what I was looking for.  He has met every single one of my criteria for a husband.  He is everything I have ever wanted, and he is everything I need.  He is the Lord's gift to me, and I am His gift to him.

As the time passed, we grew closer every day, and we both knew we were made for each other shortly into our relationship.  We shared a connection that I call is a God connection.  And I have only been able to share that kind of connection with just a few people.  Well, he knew first that I was to be his wife.  It took me a little while longer to be convinced of it myself.  But once I knew he was the one for me, I began to pray for the Lord to bring us together.  And God has impressed upon me that He is working things out, and that it is happening quickly.  I would say marrying six months after our first message online is fast enough.  And I know that once I say "I do" that God is going to work the job and living situation out very soon afterward.

To everyone I know, this wedding is coming as a surprise, but to me and  him, it's not.  We have been planning to get married as soon as we both knew we loved each other.  We were just waiting on the timing.  And I knew from the time I began planning a visit to him that the visit would be a giant leap of faith for me.  Once both of us left the timing to the Lord, the date fell into place.  With both of us trusting the Lord and leaving everything to Him, everything that has happened and is happening is a God-thing.  Only God could have done this.  And He will be glorified in our marriage.  Without a doubt, I know that God is going to do amazing things in our lives.  And I cannot wait to watch it happen.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Today is Good Friday.  The day that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  For your sins.  For the world's sins.  It is a fact that often goes without meaning, without reflection.  May I never lose the heaviness that Jesus, an innocent man and the very Son of God, took my sins upon Him and willingly paid my penalty.  The penalty of death.  For the result of sin is death.  The punishment for sin is death.  Before Jesus came, it was the blood of animals that was shed.  The animals' blood was only temporary, because every sin needed a sacrifice.  Jesus paid the penalty once and for all.  Thank God animals are no longer needed to gain His forgiveness.  But, oh, the pain of knowing that His beloved Son took my punishment!  And every time I sin, Jesus's blood covers me.  No more is He nailed to that cross!  For when He died, He died once and for all.  And now He lives, victorious over death, victorious over evil.

I am joyful today, even though it is a somber day.  Yes, Jesus died on this day.  Yes, I should've been on that cross instead of Him.  I can bow my head or lift my hands and thank Jesus for His sacrifice.  I can praise Him for His willingness to endure temporary pain and suffering to give me a way to eternal life.  And I can be reminded that this life is temporary.  The suffering, the pain, the struggles, the sicknesses, it is all temporary.  I have hope that one day it will all end, and I will be completely healed and free in Heaven.

Good Friday is a way for me to find the way to endure through this life, which sometimes grows harder by the day.  Jesus is not done with me yet.  He is still leading me to His home, and one day, I know that I will run to Him and give Him a great big hug.  All the fears, all the pain, all my struggles will one day end.  And it is to Jesus that I will give the glory and honor to.

Praise God for the promise of eternal life through Jesus' blood and resurrection.

Happy Easter, my friends.  May you always find the joy in every day life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Completed Salvation

Hebrews 9:27 and 28

And just as it is appointed for people to die once - and after this, judgment- so also the Messiah having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

The Second Coming. . . The thought of the Second Coming brings anticipation, joy, and excitement.  I will finally be home, free of sin and free of the consequences of sin.  I will finally be healed.  I will finally be home.  

I believe that you cannot lose your salvation.  The moment you accept Jesus, you are saved. You have a special place in Jesus' family and home. 

I may stray far away from Him, but Jesus always calls me back.  If you have lost your way, Jesus is calling for you to return.  He wants to bring you back into His forgiveness and grace.  His love for you will never end.  Just like eternity; it is constant and never ending.

Salvation doesn't end with the moment you truly believe Jesus is the Son of God and has died for your sins.  Throughout your whole life, Jesus is in the process of saving you.  He is preparing you for eternity.  Every day you walk with Him is one step closer to the completion of your salvation.

The Second Coming brings not only hope and joy but also completion.  The moment He returns our salvation is completed.  His promise of eternity will finally be realized.  We will no longer doubt Him.  We will be welcomed into His home with open arms.

Take a moment to reflect on His Second Coming.  Thank Him for never giving up on you.  Praise Him for His promises of eternal life.  Rejoice in your salvation.

Lord Jesus,  I thank You for Your salvation.  I thank You for the home You are preparing for me.  I ask You to continue Your process of saving me.  Prepare me for eternity.  In Your precious name, Amen.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I have been following the Compassion Bloggers trip in the Dominican Republic.  I have a teen girl, Daneisi, in the D. R.  The stories always make me smile, cry, laugh, and want to sponsor yet another child.  As I read the latest one, I realized that it's been a while since I've written on my own blog.  It's been even longer since I've written a devotion.  I pondered the reason, and it quickly came to me.

I have nothing encouraging to say.  I want my blog and my devotions to be a source of encouragement to others.  Yet, I cannot encourage someone else when I am not encouraged myself.  I am struggling in my own faith right now, and I have nothing positive to say to help someone else.

It's not anyone's fault except my own.  I don't reach out.  It's hard for me to do so.  I struggle with trust and relationships.  My problems with relationships come from my abusive childhood.  I learned quickly that my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my pain, didn't matter.  It's hard to overcome a coping mechanism.  Also, my inability to reach out and confide in others is also due to my brain damage.  I cannot articulate the words that are struggling to get out.  That is why writing has become my outlet.  I can write what I am feeling.

I don't have very good relationships with others.  During times of trouble, like the one I'm experiencing right now, I withdraw from everyone and everything.  I retreat into my own little world.  I feel safer that way.  People have mentioned to me that I am very hard to get to know.  It's true.  I am.  It's not that I don't want a lasting and close relationship.  I very much do, but when you go through life alone, it becomes comfortable.  A close relationship is impossible for me.  At least, it is right now.

I've been on a roller coaster of emotions for the past seven months.   One day I'm positive and upbeat.  Today is going to be a good day, when good things will happen.  My joy has returned, even if it is short lived.  The next day the darkness of depression overcomes me.  Why bother fighting for a better life?  Nothing's going to change.  Everything will remain the same.  Why bother trying?  I want to give up the fight.

Yes, I am a Christian, but I am not usually a joyful person.  Especially when hard times hit.  I get depressed quickly, and sometimes it's hard to come out of.  Sometimes, it lasts only a couple weeks.  Other times, it lasts years.  I'm afraid this time, it's lasted seven months, and I am finding no way out of it.  I do want to assure you that I do not have very many suicidal thoughts.  When I do have them, I usually find a way out of them.  Maybe I have clinical depression; I don't know.  It's something I've considered for a while now, but I have limited finances.  And there are more important things to spend my money on than a doctor's visit and medication.  I need food, for one, car and health insurance for another.  By the time my bills are paid, I have no money left even to save.  So my mental and physical health go untreated.  It's been that way my whole adult life. And it will probably continue for the rest of my life.

In April and May, I was on a spiritual high.  I was going where the Lord was leading, I had a good job, I was studying for my associate's degree, I was right where I needed to be.  My dreams seemed to be within reach, and I was excited.

As I adjusted to working in a full time job in a new career (and it's very hard, I assure you!), my joy knew no bounds.  I arrived to work early, ready to start the day, and I found fulfillment in my job.  Everything was going great.  I daily thanked the Lord for the job, for His fulfilled promises, and for His provision.  I couldn't say enough good things about Him.

In July, everything changed.  I lost my job.  To say I was devastated isn't accurate.  As I've mentioned in an earlier post, part of my symptoms of brain damage is the inability to show emotions.  While my employers talked to me and informed me I no longer had a job with them, my emotions shut down.  I admit I was proud of myself for handling the situation as a mature woman.  I didn't cry, didn't scream, didn't plead for another chance.  I accepted it gracefully and calmly.  Inside, though, I was crushed.  I loved the job.  As I crossed the parking lot with a small box of my things, the reality began to hit.  I was now unemployed, with no income.  It took me a good part of the afternoon and the night to sort through all the emotions.  Failure.  Disappointment (this was huge).  Worry (right next to disappointment).  Frustration.  Despair.  Self-loathing.

I did what any normal adult would do.  I immediately sought help from the government and was issued food stamps.  I called my school and got back into career counseling.  It was only to myself that I admitted my self-doubt, my confusion.  Could I really do another position like the one I was fired from?  Was this really where the Lord was leading me?

I spent the next month unemployed and without income.  It felt as if I lost everything, and in a way, I had.  My dreams of being self-sufficient and being a mother crashed.  With the death of my dreams came the depression once again.  Again, I struggled with more and more questions and doubt.

Why struggle so hard when everything gets ripped away from you anyway?  What is the point of pushing forward when I am constantly knocked back to my starting position?  I wasn't ever going to adopt a child; I would never go on a sponsor tour; I would forever be in poverty.  I would always be a failure.  My mother would always be supporting me.  There was no joy in living every day.

My faith hasn't returned to the fire it once was.  I doubt it ever will.  I still believe God is in control.  I still believe everything that has happened has been in His plans for me.  Yet, the darkness has covered my light and my despair has quenched the fire.  I am simply going through the motions of Christianity, with only small bursts of joy and gratitude sprinkled throughout.

Try as I might, I just can't get the fire back.  Even church has become just another part of my week.  I've only been going every other week, to save money on gas.  I watch the sermon online the next week.

Good things have happened, things that I can see God's hand in.  But the lasting gratitude and the praise of every day just isn't there.  Oh, I am grateful for the things that have happened, but my joy only lasts for the day.  The next day, the depression has returned.

One good thing is that I have been working part time.  I have returned to child care out of necessity.  I can quickly find a job in that career, and within a month, I was working again.  However, my hours are not guaranteed, and I am right back to where I was before April; struggling financially and with no end in sight.

Do I see the Lord in this?  Yes, I do.  He is providing me with exactly what I need, when I need it.  Just like always.  Just like He always will.  He is always faithful, and He always will be.  I have no doubt about His faithfulness.

Just this week, I accepted a temporary position that is also part time and will coincide with my schedule at the child care.  I am glad it is temporary, for it is a test to see whether I can regain my confidence, or to seek other educational opportunities.  Perhaps the medical field just isn't for me.  Maybe I should return to child care.  It is a career I know and am comfortable with.  It is something that, though I may not excel in, I am good at.  So why bother trying a new career when it's only going to lead to defeat and failure?  Because something in me wants to fight.  But I can only fight for so long.  Then I give up.  This second chance will prove to me whether I have what it takes to succeed in another career or if I should just seek a degree in early education, a degree that will not pay off monetary.  If I seek this kind of degree, I have to accept the fact that I will forever be in poverty, struggling paycheck by paycheck.

I cannot see the way the Lord is leading me.  Is He still leading me into the medical field?  Or is He leading me back to child care?  The way is not clear anymore.  It is murky and dark.  Even with the confusion and the darkness of depression, I keep putting one foot in front of the other, following the only One who can see the way out.

Even though I have lost my dreams, even though I can see no way out of this darkness and the pit of despair, I will still cling to my Savior, the only One who truly understands the way I am and still loves me with everything in Him.

And maybe one day, the light will return, and I will once again be on fire for the Lord.  Maybe, one day, the joy of living every day will also return.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Black Friday is no longer Black Friday.  Gone are the early hours of the morning, the crowded parking lots, the long lines, the excitement bristling in the air as the rush for an item begins.  Gone is the camaraderie of new friends as we search for items together.  Gone is the fun of traveling from store to store.  Gone is the exhaustion of returning home and crashing back into bed for a few more hours.

Instead, the stores are now  open on Thanksgiving.  Early in the evening rather than late at night. Will we one day say goodbye to this holiday and embrace a crazy shopping day that has replaced Black Friday?

I refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving.  I do not want this day of gratitude to the Lord and a gathering of families to be replaced with a materialistic day.  Thanksgiving is supposed to be a family day, a day when stores are closed and people can enjoy being with their families.  For the past few years, this day has changed into an early Black Friday.

I miss Black Friday.  Yes, this is a materialistic day, but I did not go out to grab the biggest deal.  I went out mainly to enjoy the craziness. And to finish my Christmas shopping, which was usually something within my budget and not at all expensive.   I miss waking up at 3 in the morning and driving at night to find the parking lot almost full of cars that have grown cold.  While in line, someone would strike up a conversation with me, and we would admit how crazy it was to get up so early in the morning for something that is not going to last.  I miss the camaraderie as people wander through the stores.  Several times, I have pointed them in the right direction.  Several times, I have been pointed in the right direction.  The help did not come from the already frazzled store workers, but from other shoppers.

Two years ago, I went out on Black Friday, like usual.  Rather than the crowds and the fun, I was the only one in the store.  The sales had ended, for the store had opened on Thanksgiving.  This year, I am sleeping in.  This year, I am going to enjoy a day off work and be grateful for what I have.

Will you be like me and refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving?  Let's bring back the joy and fun of Black Friday, rather than shorten our precious family time.  Let's give the retail workers a day where they themselves are able to enjoy a holiday with their families.  Not only are we sacrificing our families for the sake of a sale, but we are also forcing the retail workers to sacrifice themselves.  Is this fair to the workers?  Should we be so greedy that we forget what is truly important, our families?
Let's boycott Thanksgiving shopping.

Monday, November 17, 2014



Throughout my years of the Christian life, I have repeatedly heard the phrase, "I am a child of God."  However, what does that phrase mean?  A child of God?  

When I watch children play and interact with each other, I see the joy and the innocence they portray. Young children believe what you tell them, even if it is not true.  Does the childlike belief portray the meaning of a child of God?  I don't believe so.  The Bible tells us to test what we are hearing and seeing.  When we come to the Lord, we begin with a simple faith, a childlike faith.  As we mature (and children mature as well), our faith matures.  We become a teenager and then an adult in the faith.

I think of 'child of God' as being just that.  New parents will call their baby their son or daughter.  Biological and adoptive parents.  That child will always be their child.  When we first believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God is literally in the hospital room or in the airport (put another place in here), anxiously waiting to see His newest child.  Like all parents, God rejoices over each of His children and celebrates over each rebirth.   Once we become a child of God, we will always be a child of God. 

As any parent, God takes over the responsibility that comes with parenthood.  The frustrations and the joys of watching children grow.  Discipline and patience is needed, and God is no exception.  He teaches His child about Him, about His expectations, and about His grace and love.  Each of us is under His protection, just like a parent protects their child.  Each of us falls under His name.  God takes great pride and joy in each of us.

As a child of God, we can expect acceptance, love, and discipline.  In order to teach us, God has to discipline us.  God takes His role of Father seriously and joyfully.  He will not allow us to wander too far without warning and firm discipline.  When we do wander too far and turn away from Him, God anxiously waits for our return.  When we do return, He embraces us and forgives us.  We are  never too out of reach.

When you sponsor a child through Compassion, you become their second parent, the one they turn to for guidance and love.  We have the blessing of molding a young life, of discipling a child, of showing him/her the greatness of the Lord's love for them.  Will you open your heart and become a parent to a precious child of God?  If you do, please comment below and let me know.