As I can I want to offer a fresh word of encouragement sharing from my experience how our Father God meets us in the middle of loving and living out our faith to draw others to freedom. The road to freedom can seem long and hard not unlike the experiences of those living as refugees from war torn nations, those walking out of years of abuse and pain in broken relationships, those facing the reality check that comes with unplanned pregnancy, and the great journey to healing from trauma. I fully believe we are offered so much more than we ever experience as Christ followers. We settle for a life in bondage to the elemental nature of this world and continue to live as Hagar when in fact we are daughters of Sarah.

Galatians 4:31
31 So, brothers [and sisters], we are children not of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

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John 6:67-6 (TPT)

67 So Jesus said to his twelve, “And you—do you also want to leave?” 

68 Peter spoke up and said, “But Lord, where would we go? No one but you gives us the revelation of eternal life. 

69 We’re fully convinced that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God,[a] and we believe in you!”


There have been many points on this journey where the Lord has revealed a "hard teaching" much like what was shared in John 6, learning what it is to "eat His flesh and drink His blood".  These hard lessons that come in the experiences of loss, hurt, the cost of loving hurting people, the cost of choosing to yield and submit, the cost of following Jesus. 

My pregnancies and deliveries were all unique, just as unique as my children and each delivery came with a challenge.  I had decided during my first pregnancy and delivery to do everything natural and with the exception of labor induction I had no medical interventions.  In my second pregnancy and delivery it was much the same going through intense allergy symptoms, but a releatively quick delivery and struggle with post-partum.  By the third pregnancy and delivery many factors had changed, our choice to be live-in house staff in a maternity housing program had greatly challenged and altered my eating habits, my time spent in exercise and preparation...I had other young moms and their children, volunteers and team members as well as my husband and daughters who all had part of my time, my schedule and my heart.  I was learning the sacrifice and hard lesson of loving others over myself and with it came a great emotional and physical struggle that spilled into the circumstances and my readiness for the delivery.  I felt unable to push through and asked for an epidural during the labor...for me it was a weak moment that caused more pain and discomfort and came with longer term discomforts and physical pain. 

My choice to share my life with others deeply affected and challenged me.  The birth was dramatic and the post-partum difficult but I had tasted and was convinced that God is good and this struggle was only temporary; looking back I knew that I would choose the hard path of doing life with others where Jesus led over the comfort of living life on my terms and in my control. In the middle of the delivery struggle I also knew that the delivery and birth of my baby was promised, there would be an end and the outcome was worth it. 

I have had this experience again and again getting through a hard season of challenge and struggle [emotionally, physically, spirtually] then I get to the top and see the view and know that I am not going back.  This new place I have been brought out to and what lies ahead is where I want to go following after the heart of Jesus.

May you be fully convinced that Jesus is the Son of the Living God!  May you see the view ahead and not loose heart! 

May you follow after the heart of Jesus!

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Romans 4:6-8  (AMP)

And in this same way David speaks of the blessing on the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed and happy and favored are those whose lawless acts have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered up and completely buried.

Blessed and happy and favored is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account nor charge against him.”


It snowed today.  A beautiful ground, tree and building cover of white has settled in every direction.  The beauty of the snow covered landscape was accented by sunshine and the promise of sledding and a playful puppy and cold but happy children.  It is the cover of the snow that reminded me of how completely covered I am. That I am blessed and happy and favored! 

There are many days and times when I have not realized that I am so.  I spend more time thinking of how I am not blessed, how I am not happy and how I am not favored than I care to admit.  It often takes a season of loss of control and change of perception for me to realize that God's blessing, God's happiness and God's favor are with me and have been even as I have walked through trials, transitions and training.  I am reminded how even my anxious thoughts, my negative thinking, my eye on lack or failure cannot remove the beautiful snow covering and it will not melt into mud, mire and muck.  {Isaiah 1:18}

The joys this week of enjoying the work of my hands, possible opportunity to serve a new maternity client, writing this simple blog and the ability to cook a meal with my family...these speak of blessing, happiness and favor.  My sin, my failure, my lack are covered and completely buried.  This blessing, happiness and favor are for me to share much like sharing in a beautiful, snow covered day and so I pray that you too will know this for yourself and share it with those whom you love and serve.

May you experience the blessing, happiness and favor of forgiveness!  May you know for yourself that the Lord has covered you! 

May you no longer listen to the lie that there is an account against you!

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Luke 1:17 (NIV)

17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—

to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”


 You are a people prepared!  You are ready to see the Lord work through you!  You are in your place for a purpose!

Luke 1:17 caught my attention during our family bible reading leading up to Christmas.  It caught my attention because it has been my heart cry.  It is the prayer and promise that has propelled what my husband and I and countless others have been preparing and working for.  Planning for the time and season when those ready to receive the word of the Lord in their distress, dysfunction and disunity would turn and need a place to learn the wisdom of the righteous and how to walk out of the darkness and into the light.  Each housing ministry, pregnancy help organization, feet on the street, mercy ministry, evangelist effort, ...anywhere His body is allowing His Spirit to lead .... we are in process and are prepared.  The time is now.  The season has come.  We are a people prepared for the Lord to move and call forth His treasure...each heart, each mind, each individual from prostitution, pornography, promiscuity...addiction, anxiety, anger...hurt, hunger, hardship and all the things that separate us. 

We are prepared and in our places to walk alongside.  To model what love looks like in good and bad times, in the messy and the joyous, in the beautiful and the ugly.  To give voice, flesh and meaning to the Living Word that has come.  How do I know this?  How can I say this from behind this screen?  How can you believe it even though all you see in front of you is hardness and pain?  I know it because the Lord has promised it.  He is drawing the lost, He is calling His people to be prepared, He has said it is time!  

I have seen and spoken to those in deep darkness drawn to His light.  I have heard the heart cry of those lost.  I have witnessed the decision for help move from an instant need being met to the determination of making a long term change moving from living aimlessly to a life of purpose and hope.   I have walked through dark seasons where death was calling, memories invading and no end in sight to the pain...yet always, always where the Spirit of the Lord is there IS freedom! [Galatians 5]

Stand in your place as a people prepared!  Lock in for the long journey of growing up God's people!  Walk as those who are Free!

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Deuteronomy 32:3-4  (CJB)
3 “For I will proclaim the name of Adonai.
Come, declare the greatness of our God!
4 The Rock! His work is perfect,
for all his ways are just.
A trustworthy God who does no wrong,
he is righteous and straight.
Isaiah 26:3-4  (CJB)
3 “A person whose desire rests on you
you preserve in perfect peace,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in Adonai forever,
because in Yah Adonai,
is a Rock of Ages.”
I have experienced many "not now" moments in living out the call to love and serve.  Many times these "Not Now" nudges from the Lord appear as a closed door.
No door has seemed more closed to me personally than adoption.  As my husband and I started to consider children as a newly married couple our hearts were drawn to adoption.  We began looking into domestic adoption and became pregnant with our first child.  We talked about adoption again knowing there are families all around us in need and we were feeling the tug to be part of the solution.  Again, we became pregnant with our second child.  We again started to talk about adoption especially as our hearts and eyes were opened to the many young, unmarried girls around us facing unplanned pregnancy and their children growing up in makeshift family.  This time we were led to House of His Creation and were houseparents living with teen moms and their children.  My mind and heart were then turned to "Hagar" to walking with her and encouraging her, loving her and showing her a way out of slavery and the cycles of hurt.  Then we became pregnant with our third child and felt that our season of having natural children was done, and even then the door to adoption remained closed.
Over the past decade my heart has yearned to expand our family and to answer the call to "adopt".   The Lord has worked it far differently, however, than I imagined and though the door has remained closed to adopting through foster care or infant adoption, we have gained many daughters and their children as part of our family.  I have accompanied a family in adopting overseas, helped others start host family programs to serve young women needing family, and we have opened our home to women coming out of hard places to experience family.  
Yes, We have become mother and father beyond our natural children and walked with young women both as single parents and through adoption as a parenting plan. Yet to me the door to adoption remains closed.  
I can choose to see this closed door as the Lord withholding from me what I desire or I can choose to see it as His provision. I can recognize how this desire has been part of enabling and fostering this heart of adoption in others and that though my expectation of that desire was not met, I can know that it is being fulfilled.  I have to choose to trust that where there is a not now or a closed door that He is good and His ways are perfect.
May you have new eyes to see beyond the "closed doors" in your life!  May you proclaim that the ways of the Lord are perfect! 
May your trust remain in the "Rock of Ages"!
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Jeremiah 6:16

16 Here is what Adonai says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask about the ancient paths,
‘Which one is the good way?’
Take it, and you will find rest for your souls.


change the focus or direction of.
"the country began reorienting its economic and social policies in 1988"
find one's position again in relation to one's surroundings.
"slowly they advanced, stopping every so often and then reorienting themselves"

I went to college in Houghton, NY where snow starts in October and lasts into the Spring.  I loved exploring the woods and trails near the campus and from day one, participating in a two week pre-class Highlander experience (backpacking, ropes course and rock climbing), quickly had it drilled in that you always have a "spotter" when climbing and that you never wander off alone.  This translated into adventuring with newly formed friends through the woods and trails nearby and for the most part not doing so alone.  The first Spring on campus, snow still on the ground and creeks running high and fast, a friend and I decided we would hike in the woods and cross at a known spot along the creek bank to circle back towards our dorm.  Neither of us gave it much thought and within seconds we both were swept down the creek completely emerged in the water passing through felled logs, rocky bottom and who knows what else.  I was ahead of my friend and truly believe, by God's grace and the hand of an angel, I grabbed onto something, grabbed a hold of my friend and we scrambled out onto the snowy, muddy bank soaked to the bone.  As you may imagine that left us slightly disoriented and at risk for hypothermia.  We regrouped and followed the creek back to the dorms where a concerned friend sat us in front of the heater, got us to change out of our cold, wet clothes and made us hot chocolate.  She even lectured us in lieu of parental presence.  

I love this story and when I think back on it I recognize all that the Lord had in place to help us reorient, get warm and feel loved.  I recently have walked through an intense season that ended in what felt very much like being swept down a swollen, rushing creek where I lost my footing and had no reason to get out without a scratch, bruise or long lasting scar.   As I reflect on the seasons and experiences that have felt like being swept down the creek, I also see the markers, the kindness extended and the loving rebukes to help me for next time. Loving people without reservation and entering fully into other's pain and struggle can often feel disorienting and we need the intervention and help of a friend to reorient.  Father God is so good to place markers on the trail and signs that help us reorient.  He sends a kind word, a witness to our struggle and often a landing point. I pray that in this season, which for many can feel disorienting, you will not be found walking alone and that you will be able to see the markers to point you towards rest for your souls. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (CJB)

Two are better than one, in that their cooperative efforts yield this advantage: 10 if one of them falls, the other will help his partner up — woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up.