Sunday, June 29, 2008

Push through the crowd

UPDATE: 6/30/08 noon: Alyssa has always had a special connection with my cousin Mark. He called me today and asked for her #. She answered his call and he told her that he just wanted to make sure she was okay and asked if she needed anything. She asked him to come pick her up! PRAISE GOD!!! He has her and they are out to lunch right now. He told her she could stay with his family and has a room for her. I just pray she doesn't go back where she was. Thank You Jesus!! Who knew but God she'd reach out to my cousin. God did.
I love You Lord. I just love You!
Alyssa, if you are reading this today click here because I have something just for you sweetheart.
Until she is home I will start out each post with that. Sorry, but I have to.
Today after church we went to my parents to celebrate my newly adopted little brother Joe's 5th birthday. After lunch I pulled up my blog on my Dad's palm pilot and read your comments of encouragement to everyone. We all felt so overwhelmed knowing my girl is being lifted up all over the USA, in Canada and even Australia??? Are you kidding me? Oh my goodness, only God will know just how grateful my heart is for all of you. Thank you for the prayers, verses, links to songs and blogs, the e-mails, the text messages and the phone calls. You are all such amazing women of God!!
Please continue to pray as an intervention was done on Friday by my sister and Dad with the promise from Alyssa to come home. She had a slightly blackened eye and scratched up chin and my sister said did not seem herself. She did not ask of Amiyah, but teared up when my sister mentioned her. After that meeting she cut off complete contact with family. Please just continue to pray. We know who she is with (Amiyah's dad) and it is just not good. Her safety is a concern as well as her mindset. Also another pregnancy is a fear we have been giving to God.
There is so much pain going on not only in my life, but I can think of a few people around me. A woman in my church has not heard from her teenage daughter in a week who ran away with her boyfriend who just got out of jail. Heartache. A friend of ours was golfing yesterday when he got a call from the police. His 23 yr old cousin had taken his life during the night and our friend was the last person he had tried calling shortly after midnight. His phone was off so he never got the call. Guilt. A young mom of 3 came up to me today after service and as we hugged I asked how she is feeling since I knew she is almost 2 months pregnant. I didn't know she had miscarried. Sorrow.
I was thinking of the disciples tonight. Why did they keep following Jesus around? What did He have to offer them that kept them on the chase? WHAT about Him caused their hearts to overflow and keep them returning for more of Him?
Why was He enough for them?
He gave
But above all else
He gave
As I walk on this path I have never walked on before, I find myself wanting and needing more of Jesus. I find myself looking for how my Savior wants me to respond. I find myself wanting to have the faith of the woman talked of in the Gospels. The woman with no name. The woman that had a problem that was unfixable to all but Jesus. The woman that heard about Jesus and believed in Him so much that with much determination pushed her way through a pressing crowd just to be in His presence.
Mark 4:24-29
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
That day that woman was also on a path she had never been on before. She was on a path of faith. She never went to those doctor appointments over those twelve years with the belief that if she just touched the doctors clothes she'd be freed from her life of misery. Nobody was able to help her until now.
So what was so different about Jesus? What had she heard about Him that made her think this guy is the One before she ever met Him?
How did she know that she was not going to leave His presence the same way she entered into it?
Faith in a God that is so much bigger than the circumstance that were staring her down. Faith that He was the real thing. Faith that her belief alone was going to change her life.
I want that kind of faith.
I want to know that He is my Healer and my Provider before there's any healing or provision done. Faith to know that He is ALL I need.
Mark 4:30, 32-34
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet, and trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Can you even begin to imagine how that felt when He so sweetly called her Daughter???? A term of endearment from the lips of the Savior in front everyone. He acknowledged her wounded heart. He embraced it. He healed it. He sent her home with her eyes focused on Him and a testimony that would bring others into the Kingdom.
That's the faith I want.
Even though my circumstances are huge right now I will choose to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. As I beg Him to interrupt my daughter's own plans for her life, I am pushing through a crowd of worry, fear, anger and doubt with much determination to just be in His presence.
I believe in Him.
What a day that must have been for that woman. And what a day it will be for my daughter.
Lord Jesus, nothing that happens to us has happened without getting through You first. May I glorify your name as I intercede on behalf of my sweet Alyssa. May you never tire of hearing the pleas for her life come from my lips. Revive the faith she had in you when she was 9 years old and asked you to invade her life. Take the stolen grounds of heart back O Lord. May she get to the point of desperation that she knows if she just reaches for You, she will be delivered from the mess she is in. Lord I pray that her desire to have You in her life will return. I pray that she will crave the smell of her baby girl.
May she soon hear the word "Daughter" spoken over her by her Redeemer.
May You be enough for us.
I love you Jesus. Please watch over our girl.

Please join me Tuesday, July 1st for the study of Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?" Have the intro/ch. 1 & ch. 1's study ready to discuss. It doesn't matter if you haven't read Lysa's other book, just join in! I loved what my new friend Lynn said in a comment on a post about my daughter: "do not think that it is an accident that you are "fixin" to start a Bible study on Women walking by Faith this coming week. The enemy knows how to distract us."

Amen! Our God has the sweetest timing!

Keep focused ladies. Jesus is so worth this.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Missing my Girl

UPDATE 6/28/08: Thank you ALL for your prayers and sweet comments of encouragment. I usually respond by visiting your blog, but I feel I really need to stay off the computer and focus on God right now. I can usually balance both but my attention and little energy I have must be His. I love you my sisters in Christ. This is what it's all about isn't it? Leaning on Him together. Thank you again, you all are just the biggest blessing to my heart. At She Speaks Sat. night they handed out cards with a word on it and a verse. Mine was ABLE and my verse: Habbakuk 3:19"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights" Only God would know how much I would need that particular word and verse in my life within days. Only God. You are so worth all of this pain Lord. So worth it.
Love, Lelia

I just want to thank all of you who have prayed for my family from yesterday's post. What a blessing you all are.

Last night we talked with her and thought it went good until at 9:45 I got a text from one of her friends saying that Alyssa had left. I ran upstairs to find Amiyah in her bassinet crying , but no Alyssa. She had packed a bag and left. She won't take my calls but did text last night about 10:30 saying that she didn't want to leave her baby but thinks this is the best thing to do right now.

This morning I hopped over to my new friend Kim's blog called Seasons of my Heart. Let me share a little of what touched my heart:

Remember, nothing we face, surprises God. He’s aware of everything, so why not rest in his presence and remain “yoked” to him?I’m learning that my worst day with Jesus, (being yoked to him) is better than MY best day (outside of his yoke) without him!!!We each face different situations, trials, and circumstances, yet our Savior, remains. Are you willing to give up “yourself”..and your "pride".. so you can take on his yoke, which is easy, and your burden will become lighter?
~Kim from Season of my Heart~
She also shared The Message version of Lamentations 3:22-24 and I thought: Lord, you know just what I need.
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
When I read these verses I see my daughter one day sharing her story. Sharing how it felt to hit the bottom, but to realize that God was all she's got left. I get excited to know that she is being watched over by the very One that created her.
I know that although it made me crumble into a heap of despair the moment I found out Alyssa had left, God did not jump out of His throne, hit the red panic button on the wall and ask the angels "What do we do now?" No, my daughter did not shake the floors of heaven.
He's in control and with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength I believe that. Doesn't mean the tears will stop falling, but it does mean that my faith in the God who is crazy about my daughter is increasing minute by minute. I can't wait for her hardened heart to melt into His hands no matter how long it takes.

As much as this is killing the flesh women in me, the women that wants nothing more than more of Jesus is excited and when I'm not on my knees I am sitting on the edge of my seat with a heart of expectation. Expecting my Savior to do what He does best. I look at His history and He just doesn't do anything small. He's just amazing that way.
Earlier I talked with this wonderful Sprint operator in Florida who is expecting her 3rd child in November. We just talked a little of what is happening and she said "when you believe in God everything will be okay." AMEN!
Here is a poem I wrote for my friends prodigal daughter when she had come home.
The dark slimy figure made its way up to the throne
Hissing and laughing Satan said to Jesus, I’ve always known
I’ve always known that this young lady’s heart would belong to me
Nothing you’ve done for her matters not even dying on a tree
Getting her to remain in this lifestyle is something I know I always can
For making her feel hopeless is how I keep her living out my plan
My plan to kill her dreams, steal her joy and destroy her entire life
I want her days to be filled with nothing but anger and strife
I want her to live a life full of misery and defeat
I will keep her self esteem low underneath my feet
Satan then looked at Jesus and shouted I will never quit
As long as I can keep her down in this dark and lonely pit
Don’t you see Jesus as long as she is on the earth
She will believe me when I tell her that she has no self worth
Suddenly Jesus stood up and the room became so bright
His voice thundered as He looked at Satan and said I too will continue to fight
As Jesus walked forward the Prince of Darkness began to cry and tremble
For this coward knows the power the Son of God does resemble
Speaking boldly the King said I’ll never give up on capturing her heart
For my Princess is worth more than any rare piece of art
You have plans of destruction where my plans promise that she’ll succeed
You’ll lead her straight to death where to a new life is where I’ll lead
There will come a day when she falls completely in love with Me
And I will be the center of her life you just wait and see
For she is my child and she is worth fighting for at all cost
I’ll never give up on her and I’ll comfort her when she feels lost
She is beautiful, worthy, lovely, special, and precious in my sight
And I will be her Hero and her Holy Defender in every single fight
The battle for her heart will never end until she gives her life completely to Me
And I will continue to fight for her until she allows Me to set her free
Jesus had slowly backed Satan into a corner of the throne room
Looking defeated the enemy quickly slithered back down to his pit of gloom
The angels immediately began to praise and worship the Almighty One
For they knew that her heart would soon belong to the Son
As Jesus took His place back upon His heavenly throne
He lovingly looked down on her and whispered…You are mine child this
I’ve always known!
©2006 Lelia Chealey

Jeremiah 29:11-13
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Lord Jesus, I trust in You completely.

My Dad wondered about Post-Partum Depression. I never thought of that and am not clear on all the symptoms, but will look into this. Thinking back on last night alone though, when she walked into the room to talk with us I was holding Amiyah and she never once looked at her. So unlike this mom who is so in love with her baby. Oh sweet Jesus, please continue to watch over my girl.

Love you,

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A King's Daughter

If I took my kids to the zoo and a lion escaped his cage and was prowling around the zoo grounds looking for someone to devour there is no way I'd just point out the lion to the kids and say "Oh look kids, there's a hungry lion." The mother in me who knows what the hungry lion is after would fight to protect the life of my children. I would do whatever it took to make sure my kids left the zoo in one piece instead of the meal for the animal.

1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Last night the lion feasted on my teenage daughter and so I'm doing whatever it takes to save the life of my child. I'm praying. At 3:30 in the morning not knowing the location of her I was changing the diaper of her sleeping 2 month old and literally hit my knees. I was against the changing table with my hands reaching up and lying on Amiyah's tummy and as she slept I was kneeling and crying out to God. The only One who can truly see into my heart.

Without going into too much detail I am asking for prayer. Prayer for this teen mom who I have no doubt adores and loves her precious 2 month old Amiyah. A teen mom who wants it to work with the absent dad. A teen mom who can't see the blessing of his voluntary absence because of his lack of love for this baby and herself. A teen mom who is hurting because he is paying attention to the baby girl born to him 3 months before Amiyah entered the world. A teen mom who doesn't get that she is living with a woman who has been in her shoes before.

My heart aches so much for her. So much emotion has poured through me throughout the night, morning hours and today. I hurt for her. I want to fix it and make it all better and yet I feel so strongly that I need to step back and allow God to let her get to the bottom.

Lelia, how can she reach up to Me if you're always picking her up?
But Lord she's my daughter and I want to rescue her from this mess.
She's my daughter too Lelia and I want to be her Hero.

So much pain and yet I feel so much hope. How? Because I believe that I serve a God that is looking down in Lincoln, Nebraska at a teen mom that is desperate for affection and love and He is just waiting for her to give Him the green light. Waiting for His prodigal daughter to utter the words that her heart aches to express "Father I need You" so He can give her the welcome back party of her life.

A control freak by nature I have decided that I am giving this to God and not crawling back up to the foot of the cross when I think He's not looking to take it back. I get in His way so often that I need to give Him the room to be noticed by her.

Rock bottom of a pit is the worst place to be. I know. I've lived there. It's full of despair and offers such hopeless feelings. I know that is where my daughter is and all I can do is walk away from the pit. What's hard is I am within earshot and can see the pain in her face and tears. I can hear the desperation in her voice. So on my knees I fight against this hungry lion.

I pray she begs God to help her. My heart wants to run over to the pit, lay on my stomach and extend my arms to her and with all my might pull her up out of it. But I can't. I'm not saying there won't be any discipline, but I will not fix this.

If anyone is going to pull my daughter out of this pit, her hands will be grasping the scarred hands of her Savior. Her Hero.

Jesus, I step back out of your way.
Do your thing within in my daughter.
Your daughter.

Throughout Alyssa's pregnancy I have asked God to show me and teach me how to pour grace over her head. Click here to read that story. I am showing grace in this situation by letting God be in control, then if she misses what He has for her it won't be because of my interference.

She won't answer her phone, but she texted me not long ago and asked, "What's going to happen to me?" I have not answered her because I have no idea what God is going to do. I know she's not talking about that but I once heard a speaker read

Psalm 68:1
May God arise, may his enemies be scattered

After she read it, she said what that is saying is:
God is about to get up!

Arise Lord! ARISE!

A few days after returning from She Speaks where God just filled me up, it was no surprise to Him what I'd be coming home to. I feel prepared for this battle that my dear friend Kelley, who is going through her own stuff reminded me of is that the battle is not mine, but God's. Between Lysa and Renee's talks at the conference I feel God has prepared my heart. Saturday night Renee shared about standing in the shadow of the cross and how sometimes God allows us to get to painful places. We were given cards with verses and a word on it.
Mine was ABLE with the verse Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer he enables me to go on the heights. With God, I am able to get through this and shower my daughter with the grace she needs right now. What timing God has, doesn't He?
Another friend I met at the conference, Amy, is also going through a battle and is also determined to stay focused on the King. This enemy we have ladies is real. Let's be alert as we are warned to be.
Did I mention today is my anniversary? I wouldn't want to be on this journey chasing God with any other man. I love you Gene. Let's have Blessed Anniversary! xoxo


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

American Woman

I told you about our $60.00 cab ride to the airport with our self-described "American Woman" cab driver in a previous post. I'm not sure why she used this description.
Ravonda told us that her nickname is "Guardian Angel". We found this out after Missy asked her if she had anything we could be praying for her. Her request was that the Lord would just bless her each and every day.
I hope He does.

Ravonda was as sweet one could be. The whole ride was very entertaining from the time she pulled up to us in front of the mall. We believe that God sent us Ravonda in her huge LTD Crown Victoria to keep us humble. No way is He going to allow these aspiring writers/speakers to think their big shots. Never. See only He knew how humbling one would feel to walk up to this fancy hotel/resort busy with businessmen parked in the front of it while the bellman got their golf clubs out of the trunks of their luxury cars.Only God knew how humbling it would be to load our own luggage into this. Here's Missy taking a break.

So as a reminder to stay humble and show us that He loves all of His children, He sent us North Carolina's very own cab driver, Ravonda. In all the silliness she provided us He loves her just the way she is as He loves us just the way we are. I love that about Him.

Driving down the highway with the wind whipping through our hair from the windows being down because the AC didn't work, Ravonda asked "y'all like to coooook?". When we said yes she started giving us a recipe for pancakes made with Sprite instead of water and some divine chicken recipes. We had nothing to write down her award winning recipes with so we video taped her with her permission.

Below is the video we took of Ravonda giving us her chikn recipe. I am so sorry about the brief cleavage shot. With all of the noise from speeding down the highway with the windows down it was hard to hear her so I was trying to get close enough to record the sound of her voice not knowing I was video taping her chest.

Anyway, get out your pens and write down this here recipe from our Charlotte Guardian Angel. I have to say that Miss Ravonda puts Emiril and Rachel Ray to shame! I'd watch Recipes from Ravonda any day over their shows!

At the end you can hear where I'm confused by the step "bull the chikn", but thanks be to my back seat interpreter, Missy from Texas who was able to understand Rav's accent and tell me to BOIL the chicken.

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yes to God at She Speaks

Hello! Welcome to Yes to God Tuesdays!

Next Tuesday, July 1st I will be hosting the first day of the study of Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?".

I'm so excited I'm about to explode at what God is going to do. He is so worth the chase. So buy your book and meet here starting next Tuesday, July 1st. Invite a friend too. They don't have to have a blog to read and discuss it with us. Two hometown girlfriends of mine, Penne and Rachel both read this book with us and neither one has a blog. So invite who God puts on your heart and let's see what He has in store for us as we say Yes to God!

More on She Speaks...

This weekend God went before each one of the speakers I heard. He was so evident in their lives and He gave them the words to speak. Every speaker that took the stage directed the audience to God. This weekend was more than a dream to become a writer and a speaker. This weekend was about trusting God with the talent that He has entrusted me with and allowing Him to use His gift for His glory. She Speaks wasn't about Lelia Chealey becoming this great writer at all, but all about depending on Him for everything and trusting in Him.

It was all about saying Yes to God!

Here is some of the sweetness shared with us this weekend:

"What extraordinary thing has God created ordinary you for?" ~Lysa TerKeurst

"Do not resent the tasks of your everyday life because it is preparing you for ministry. You can't do this ministry until I (God) equip you in the everday fields of life." ~Lysa TerKeurst

"Comparisons kill contentment" ~Karen Ehman

"Satan's MO (mode of operation) is to convince you the one thing you don't have is the one thing you need." ~Karen Ehman

"Sometimes God allows us to get to a really hard place because He wants complete dependance from us." ~Renee Swope

But here's my favorite:

"Mommy, Daddy did my hair all by himself and it doesn't look so bad. When are you coming home?" ~my 6 year old Alivia on my cell between sessions.

Saying we were blessed by these women is an understatement. God really knows what He's doing when He hands out assignments.

As for Daddy fixing Alivia's hair all by himself, no telling what her "do" looked like for church on Sunday as these are the "rats" that came out in the comb on Monday...

Bless his heart.

Next summer when I attend She Speaks I'll make sure to get her hair braided first to spare the dreaded comb-through.

Reminds me of what happens when we give God control of our lives. He just combs through and gets all the rats out! I feel He did that this weekend with me.

Words are easy to say and write. The hard part is taking what we say and write and actually living them out. It's easy for me to say I want to live my life completely for Jesus, but then to actually do it? Tough. It's tough because it's everyday of really laying myself down and allowing God to take control.

I think I get in God's way. A lot. I think sometimes I provide a home for a lot of rats to reside within my heart.

I live in a college town and on football Saturday's there is a policeman on every intersection directing traffic downtown. It's so funny because they're quite rude if you try to go a different way. I wish God was like that with me sometimes when I try to take my own route. I wish He'd wave his arms at me and blow His whistle like crazy until I obeyed Him, but that is the beauty of Him. He wants us to follow His direction because we choose to, not because we have to. Sweet surrender to Jesus just makes Him melt.

He's crazy about you. Follow Him. Chase Him down. He has such greatness planned for every life He has created. Find out what He has for you. Say yes to the God who desires all the good, bad and ugly you have to offer Him.

Make Him melt.

We had a few minutes before we had to board our plane for our connecting flight in Chicago. Missy's plane to Texas was delayed so she was waiting at our gate for us talking with a mom, her baby and her teen daughter. Beautiful girl. We told her where we had been and the young girl told us she writes poetry. I asked her if she had something we could read and she handed me a poem she had written she titled Silver Blade.

It was filled with words describing a teen who had pain and expressed her pain by cutting her wrists. She had said she went to a Christian school and her English teacher told her she was too deep to share any of her writings. We encouraged her to come to the She Speaks Next Generation conference in 2009 and let God use her pain for His glory. Her mom was so excited.

Coincidence that a teenager with a notebook filled with words penned from her heart that believes in God, but is hurting like crazy is suddenly surrounded by 3 women that just left a Christian women's writer and speaker's conference?

No. Not coincidence, but instead a set up by the Savior. We gave this young lady our blog cards with all of our info on it as her Mom beamed and said "God is so good!". We told her to contact us and Kelley gave her a P31 info card so they could check out this awesome ministry for themselves.

I believe God wants this young lady to attend the conference next year and turn her writing into something that will help other hurting teens. Set up by the Savior. He pays attention to us and just adores us. That teen in the airport had been there for over 10 hours from delays and He had her right where He wanted her.
She writes.
He reads.

He can use every single one of us...if we let Him. Don't ever think you are too much of a project for the King.
She surrenders.
He uses.

Y'all come back tomorra for more on She Speaks from this newly converted southern belle! , I pinky swear that pictures are comin'!

~Many Blessings~

If you also went to She Speaks I'd love to read about your experience. Leave your blog name below so we can come read your blog!

Monday, June 23, 2008

She Reflects and She Praises...

Just returned from She Speaks.

What did I learn? Oh my.

I learned more about Proverbs 31 Ministries. I learned how these women REALLY walk the walk they talk about. All of them, from the founder of the ministry, Lysa TerKeurst to her hard working assistant Holly. I'm sure all 500+ attendees would agree that this weekend we were ministered to by women in love with Jesus Christ who just can't keep Him to themselves. Definitely a ministry worth sowing into. Lysa, thank you for seeking God's heart and rounding up the ones He chose to help you put She Speaks into action. He is so amazing and shines so bright in your eyes! She Listens...She Obeys...She Speaks...He is Glorified! Love you & Holly much.

I learned how God wants me to completely depend on HIM. Saturday night was amazing after Renee Swope talked. I love Renee's heart and the message God gave her to share was just perfect. I saw a woman sitting at a few tables away from me and was just sobbing. Pure brokenness that ONLY JESUS CHRIST can bring one to. I know because I've done that type of sobbing before. Not just the tears coming down the cheeks. No, it was the sobbing from the gut where you can't breathe. She was immediately surrounded by 3-4 women praying over her. So awesome.

Okay, let's see what else did I learn?

To talk pure southern talk, Amy from Signs and Miracles and Carol from Sheep to the Right told me to not finish my words. "So tonight, I will tell my husband Gene that "I'm fixin' to go to bed." Normally, I would say "I'm fixing to go to bed."

Well, normally I'd never say "fixing" at all, but that's my new word. So for now on I will only add the letters "in" to the end of my words and not "ing" to anythin' and I'll spend more time on one word. For example: "nine" will now be "niiiiiiine". I heard Amy say it that way yesterday in the car and loved it.

Next year at She Speaks my goal is to have a way cooler accent than Micca Campbell, Lysa TerKeurst and Lisa Whittle could ever have! Sorry ya'll, but I will not only have cute shoes on, I will have a cute southern drawl and will be sayin' "Thank Yoooooooou" after you compliment my shoes. Over the next year I will be practicin' hard on my southern accent like someone fixin' to go to Paris practices their French! Poor Gene.

I learned that when in Charlotte and you call for a cab to take you to the airport and the woman on the other end says "Yes, I'll pick you up, I'll be the American woman!" with much passion to immediately cancel the request for a pick up and walk to the airport.

I will post more on this as soon as I get my pictures downloaded, but let's just say it was the best 60 dollar 25 minute ride I have ever had in my entire 37 years of life. I think Kelley and Missy would agree with me that we had a very entertaining "taxi" ride so please lift up your glass and join me in this toast:

Here's to all the American women cab drivers that pick up their client's shoeless
in a car made the same year I was born
with no AC
with windows that roll instead of slide and
a driver who offers her passengers chicken recipes
that northern women like myself can't understand
due to the thickness of the southern drawl...
I had no idea 'bull' meant to BOIL the chicken
seasoned to my 'pref-rinse'...
I will next year though!
The recipe alone was worth the 60 bucks!
So here's to all you American women "taxi cab" drivers!
I learned it doesn't matter when your boarding pass says you'll arrive home. You'll get there when the pilot drops you off even if it is 2 hours later. Arrival time into KC: after midnight. 3 hour drive home to Lincoln. Pulled into driveway at 3:15am and fell into bed at 4:15am.
I had to shower first and wake up my grand baby Amiyah so I could hold and kiss on her.
Yes I woke her up in the middle of the night.
I learned it's not so scary hugging people you meet on the Internet. I'll show off my friends later with the pics we took. I'm so mad I didn't get a picture taken with author and speaker Lisa Whittle. I love this girlfriend in God and we just picked up in conversation as if we had left off the night before. True beauty inside and out. Oh, and I bought her book called Behind the Eyes. Can't wait to read it! Lisa isn't part of the P31 team, but was there serving. What a great example for selfish servants like myself!
I learned that God has me right where He wants me and this is awesome!
I traveled with Kelley from Aroma of Joy. You are the best traveling companion a girl could have! Had so much fun belly laughing with you and growing closer to God this weekend. Sorry I tried to ditch you last night in Chicago & get on the plane to Omaha & to think you would've been left alone with the Professor on the last flight home!
God wants to use you big time Kelley...LET Him!
I love the heart you have for our King. Let Him speak through you and continue to amaze you! Give Him all your fears and like Renee told us, live in the shadow of the cross! I'm thankful He has brought us together and that we only live 4 hours away from each other! Gene & I can't wait to join you & John this summer for some BBQ!
If you have a passion for God and know He wants to use you in women's ministry, speaking or writing this is the conference for you. Click here to learn more of She Speaks as it is an annual conference. I highly recommend it.
Also, to learn more about Proverbs 31 Ministries and all they do for the Lord click here.
Okay ya'll, my eyes are burnin' and my head is spinnin'. I'm fixin' to go take a nap as I cannot come home from a Christian women's conference and be mean to my family from lack of sleep. That would just confuse their poor souls.
I'll share with you this week of what God showed me, who I met and will post my pictures. I can't wait to introduce you to more women of God I met this weekend. You will meet Pamela, Amy, Laura, Jenny, Linda , Joy, Elaine, Michelle and many more I hugged and laughed with. You are all so precious in His sight ladies!
Thank you for your prayers.
You're awesome and the God you prayed to showed Himself OFF to me this weekend.
I just love Him so much and am excited about where He's taking me.
I adore you Lord, and want my life to reflect the love I have for You. Thank You for a weekend that shoved me more out of my comfort zone. Funny how the more uncomfortable I get the more at peace I feel with You Lord.
Thank You Jesus for never giving up on this girl that so often turned her back on You.
WHAT was I thinkin'?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trusting the One that said "GO!"

Friday I am boarding a plane out of KC headed to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend the writer's & speaker's conference called She Speaks. I am so excited about this I can barely stand it.

God has really opened doors for me and has blessed me like you wouldn't believe. If you've ever been here before you know that my husband had back surgery April 3rd. He is still recovering as it was pretty major and is praying to be released by his surgeon to return to work at his 2nd post-op appointment next week.

With Gene being out of work, we have been blessed to still receive a full paycheck from his job, but he had to give up his part time job which was a huge help. With finances tight, I had asked him to pray about my hotel situation for the conference as I had no idea of where I'd be staying. I did not share any of this on my blog, just with my husband. Then I received an e-mail from my blogging friend, Pamela from In His Graces, who I will meet for the first time this Friday at the conference offering to pay for my hotel room!!!! Gene and I were blown away friends...still are!

I feel God has confirmed that He wants me to go to this and my hearts' desire is to just obey Him. If you are going to the conference or are just wanting to be in His will and be obedient to the calling He has placed on your life, I want to share what God put on my heart to write and send to my dear friend Joy at Ponderings . Joy will be leaving Canada Friday to attend the conference also and is scared of flying...really scared. Joy is also blessed with the talent for writing and like with Pamela God has big plans for her.

I hope this brings your heart encouragement as you seek to do whatever He asks of you....

When I was younger my Grandpa used to hunt a lot with my uncles. He always took his hunting dog Molly with him. Grandpa used to shoot his pheasant and on his command to "GO", Molly would take off through the fields and retrieve what her master had killed. She would sniff until she found it, grab it in her mouth and take it to my Grandfather. He would then reward her with much.

Molly had a job given to her and entrusted to her by her master and whatever she had to do to please him, she would do it. That meant fearlessly running through fields filled with mice and snakes. That meant running in the cold snow. Whatever my Grandpa asked of Molly she would do it. Molly was created to be faithful to my Grandpa and to be obedient to what he asked of her. She was never created to plan out what field they would drive to. She was never expected to aim at the target and shoot the gun. Her job was to "go" when my Grandfather told her to.

She had to trust in him enough to know that she was going to return with something to lay at the feet of her master that would be pleasing to him. She loved hearing the words "Good job Molly, you faithful dog!"

My point is, that just like Molly, you are on a mission for your Master. He has given you the command to "GO". Go without hesitation. Go fearlessly because you trust that your Master is the One sending you. When you start to doubt yourself realize this is not about you, but all about Him. Trust that you are going to return to your Savior with something to lay at His feet that your obedience alone will be pleasing to Him. Whatever you lay down, it will be something that will cause your Master to look into your eyes and say, "Well done good and faithful servant."


Come back tomorrow to read more of God's greatness as I co-post with Yolanda from Higher Grounds on the God who really pays attention in great detail to the desires of our hearts!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yes to God every SINGLE day

Morning' Ladies!

I can hardly wait until our Yes to God Tuesday study starts on July 1st to start discussing Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith". I am believing God to show Himself to us in only ways that He can.
Don't forget: Invite your friends and have the intro & chapter 1 read and the study done & be ready for some great discussion about our God on Tuesday, July 1st!

The last few Tuesday's I've tried to put something funny on here, but today I have to share with you what is on my heart. Seems as if I'm always saying something to the married women out here in blog land or those with children. Today I want to share a writing I did for my sister Michelle a few years ago. I framed it the most beautiful white wedding frame and gave it to her. She is single and longs for a husband and family. I told her the other night that I am going to start praying faithfully for her and the desires of our heart, something I haven't been doing. Satan has had his fun with her and she is just plain sick of it and just wants to wait on whatever and however long Jesus wants her to be single.

I believe we serve a God that of course has timing of His own. Sometimes we want something now and because we can't see the big picture, we try to make things happen according to our time line. I want to encourage all the single gals that if getting married is something your heart desires and you don't feel like God cares about this area of your life just you wait. Wait for God to make His move. Don't get discouraged and never give up on Him. I was a girl that shorted my God at blessing me because I took my life into my own hands and made my own plans. I laid down in many beds that gave me nothing but regret under the covers.

We serve a God that knows what is best for us. We serve a God that wants us to walk down the aisle and say our "I do's" with a pure heart. Didn't say a virgin physically because I believe that no matter how many men we've given ourselves to once we repent and ask for our Savior's forgiveness He sees us like a newborn out of the belly....a pure and innocent child of His.

Trust me when I say that if you have a past that you are ashamed of, there is nothing too dirty for Jesus to make white as snow. NOTHING. If there was I certainly wouldn't be able to look in the mirror and see a daughter of a King. That moment of surrender to Him makes all the ugly worth it because nobody has ever treated me the way He has. To know my past is being used for His glory??? Mind blowing. Being used by my Savior is so much sweeter than being used by the enemy. No comparison.

WAIT my friend...wait on Him for He is the One who created your heart that beats with passionate desires. Trust in Him and let Him sweep you off your feet and be the One to carry you over the threshold of faithfulness to your Father. I love you and I will be praying over you.

My Dear Bride,
I think of you so often. I see you when you’re having
feelings of loneliness and I long to hold you. I love when you
choose to cry out to Me because I want to be the One that you
intensely cry out to. I need all of you. Please trust
that I have wonderful plans for you. I‘ve begun a good work
in you. Please allow Me to complete what I've started. Please let Me have all of your heart. The plans you have for your life don’t
even compare to what I have in store for you, but I need you
to cooperate with me completely. I need you to surrender
and endure the hardships that lie ahead of you. I never said
following me would be easy, but know that I will make your
journey so worth it. I have a Promised Land that I want to
take you to. Land you’ve never set foot on before. To get there
you need to follow me. Trust me. Need me. Call out to me. Come
to me. Chase me. Abide in me. Wait with me. Wait until I am
ready to give you all that I have for you. See I have to be able to
trust you with what I have for you. I am a rewarder of those
who diligently seek Me so you be diligent and pursue me with all
of your heart. I need your walk and talk to match up. I need your
thoughts, words and actions to glorify Me. I need you for Kingdom gain. Will you learn to be content with having Me as your husband, your groom, your everything? When you spend time with me I will never make you feel any shame or regret. Let me be the love of your life for I love you so much. You can do nothing to make me turn my back on you. I just love everything about you, for I, your King am enthralled by your beauty.
Jesus your Groom

©2005 Lelia Chealey

I just read an awesome post by Krista at The Joy is in the Journey on her singleness. Here's a snippet of her post: Being single isn't a curse, and it isn't a death sentence. And if I am single for the rest of my life, I will thank Him for my singleness.

~Many Blessings~

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blog Reality Check

Our son Aaron had some basketball games last week and prior to the first game my husband told him, "Son, I want you to represent yourself and Mom and I well, but most important I want you to represent Jesus Christ well."

Today I read my dear sister in Christ, Lisa Whittle's blog and was just about knocked off my chair. The realness of this woman is one thing that draws me to read her blog every Monday.

How we live our life...who is being represented? How we blog...who are we pointing to? If you are a woman that extended Jesus the invitation to take over your others know He's the center of your life by what you blog about or talk about?

Are you more concerned about representing yourself or representing Jesus Christ with each post you put up? Lisa's question's just hit me hard. When my blog is read, I want those who visit here to know what I think about the Guy who carried a cross upon His beaten and bloodied back and shoulders for me...for you. When you log out of here I want you to have Jesus Christ on your mind, not Lelia Chealey. If you don't know Him personally, I want the love I have for Him to be so evident it wakes you in the middle of the night with curiosity about Him. I want you to want what I have with Him for yourself.

Blogging is fun and as a believer it carries much responsibility. We can blog hop all we want and leave encouraging words to strangers, but yet never send our "real life" friends a note to lift them up. In blog land we can say what our hearts want to do, but then not live out what we write about and confuse the heck out of our family members who read our blog. We can pray for our blog sisters needs and yet not ever lift up the names of those who surround us in the flesh to the throne of mercy and grace.

Lisa asked a very important question that hit me rather hard. If you are a blogger you must click here to read it for yourself. Ask yourself the question she asked and be real with yourself. I know you'll enjoy Lisa's honesty as much as I do. When you get there introduce yourself to her and if you're going to She Speaks this weekend she will be there too.

When it comes down to it, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ like I am, then He has to be involved in all we do. Thanks Lisa for sharing such a bold question with us.

Let's represent Him well.



Others to


Psalm 19:14

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

~Many Blessings~

Friday, June 13, 2008

Down to the Roots

Last month, at my husband Gene's post-op appointment to check on the healing of his back, his surgeon gave him specific okays to drive and fish, but not mow or work. I bit my tongue as I am learning to do and just smiled. A few weeks ago, being the great wife that I am (wink, wink) I told Gene that I would mow our lawn for our son who was gone for the weekend.

We bought our home 9 years ago and this was my first time mowing. That would be one advantage of having a muscular 14 year old son. It was actually kind of fun, but please don't tell Gene or Aaron this because I don't want them to get any ideas in their little minds.

Anyway, I'm known for starting one project and letting another project catch my eye and lure me away from what I was doing and not finishing either one. Drives Gene crazy that I try multi-tasking, especially when he is supervising the job. I couldn't help it though when we went to the backyard to mow and I saw this on the side of our patio...

There is 3 of them and they are just weed surrounded eye sores. Last year I took one out after Gene said there was no way I could do it and suddenly I felt up to the challenge again, even though Gene never gave me one. When he realized I had no plans of mowing until at least one of the ugly bushes disappeared, he went into the house and told me to call him when I got tired and was ready to finish what I had started. I knew I wouldn't be mowing anytime soon because from previous experience, these things are deep into the ground and hard to get out. That's why they are on my 4 year plan. I pull out one a by 2010 I'll be completely rid of my ugly bushes.

Determined, I went and retrieved the essentials to tackle my task: Gold Claw thing, a shovel, a saw and to work I went. Not being a lawn person, I forgot to wear gloves so after five blisters, a lot of sweat, the curiosity of a dog and a few hours later I ended up with's Kane sniffing my work.

Look how big around the thing is, but let me show you what held this big thing in the ground and caused me to break out in a gross sweat...

See the 2 sticks that are almost in the center but toward the right of the picture? Those 2 things are still in the ground. I couldn't get them out for anything. When I would finally get things detached they would unravel far away from the bush itself. The roots on this thing were so deep.

I had to take pictures because God showed me something through all my sweat and almost tears. Sometimes we recognize that something is not good in our life and we just trim it down thinking: problem solved. I believe that those are the times that Satan backs away from us and lets us sit in our comfort zone thinking we are done with that problem or habit. Then the weeds start to surround us and the enemy's attacks are ruthless.

We have to get to the root of our behavior in order to make some real changes in our lives and we can't do it on our own. Later that afternoon when I shared everything from the blistered hands to the roots still grounded with my sweet friend Maya she said, "Because when we do try to do it on our own we end up with blisters on our hands as proof."

Dear friends, we have to call on the name of Jesus and let Him be the Gardener in our life.

John 15:1-2

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

May we allow God to come in and prune away what He doesn't want in our lives. As the Master Gardener, He is aware of the weeds that want to choke the life out of us. Let's give Him the okay to cut away until He has us just the way He wants us. I know that the times I allow Jesus to get to the root of my problem, my life displays the beauty of the Gardener. The times I try to be in control my life looks like the side of my patio...full of weeds and just plain ugly. Let's have lives that are easy on the eye....full of His beauty.

Have a great weekend.

~Many Blessings~


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Runners: Take your marks, get set, go...find shelter!

Last night our son Aaron had two basketball games back to back. He did great and they won the first one by many points. It was perfect because I was going to be able to watch most of his second game and then head upstairs for my running group. Just so happened his games were held at the same high school that my group meets at. I watched most of the game and again they were ahead by many points when the officials suddenly stopped all games.

Little did we know as we were cheering, Lincoln was in a tornado warning, not a tornado watch like we are used to having, but an actual warning. So being the city folk we are nobody believed the YMCA officials who stopped all activity or the weather people who were screaming warnings across the radio and TV stations or the loud sirens wailing across our city. Instead of seeking shelter within the school as we were advised to do everyone went outside and saw this...

Bless Alivia's little 6 year old heart as she began crying and praying for the safety of her family members still outside as I took her and Baby Girl back inside. As Alivia prayed for safety I prayed that my life would not end surrounded by sweaty and smelly 14 year old boy basketball players.

So obviously my running group was canceled and I now have to run tonight to make up for last night. I'm ready though. Mentally I am so prepared. Gene and I went to Holmes Lake Monday night and I did my run for 2 minutes/walk for 1 as he coached and timed me. I did it! I knew I could as my defeat the previous Wednesday was all mental. Here's a picture of the lake I go around.

I took this on my cell phone so it's not the greatest of pictures, but it is really pretty. The city made a trail that goes all around it and ends up being a little over 2 miles one way. We started out on the south side of the lake just walking when all of a sudden it hit me. I had to use the bathroom and of course there were no bathrooms in sight.
Then I spotted a porta potty. You know, the ones usually parked outside of construction sights.

I try to avoid the use of public restrooms and especially unisex bathrooms that are plastic and don't flush, but I knew there was no way out of it especially if I was going to run. So I humbled myself and made my way to the outhouse. After I strategically placed toilet paper on every inch of the seat so my flesh not come in contact with any germs, I finally sat down.

Gene kept asking me if I was done yet as I was inside trying to pretend I was at home on my own dirty toilet, BUT right behind me was a men's softball team playing a game. Do you know how hard it is to concentrate when grown men are yelling, "C'mon, you can do it." and "Push yourself!"
Knowing my disgust with sitting on a toilet that gets delivered on a truck, Gene was walking around the pit of nasty laughing and singing I don't know what as I had my elbows on my knees and my fingers in my ears.
After at least 8 minutes, I know this because my husband was timing me, I exited and took a deep breath of fresh air. Gene laughed again as he asked me if I had washed my hands. I ignored him as I asked for my cell phone so I could take this picture. In the background are my boys playing softball not realizing what a distraction they were. Plus I wanted to have a visual reminder to take care of business before going to the lake.

Somehow I managed as a true athlete does to forget where I had just spent 8 minutes of my life, the fact I had germ covered hands and run like I had wind beneath my wings. You all would've been so proud.
Back to the storm...when thinking about last night, when a storm in your life burdens, death of a loved one, a messy marriage, unexpected health problems, pregnant teen daughter...where do you find shelter?
Do you run to our Savior or do you think Satan isn't that big and go try to face the storm on our own or like many did last night, just go take a peek at the storm. When we are hit with something in life, whether we are warned about it or not we have to find shelter within our Savior's arms or else the storm will be impossible to ride out.
Satan is just nothing to mess with because when he is done with us it will look as if a tornado swept through our hearts and the damage will leave us in a state of ruin. Let's seek our Savior before the storm, in the middle of the storm and after the storm. God is bigger than any storm on the radar screen, we just have to trust in Him. Beth Moore once said that we so often show God how big our problems are instead of showing our problems how big our God is.

Hopefully next Wednesday God won't allow any storms to stop us from our group run. I was really looking forward to it all day, but I will run hard tonight with coach Gene. AND I will make sure to go to the bathroom before I leave my house!

Below is the run/walk schedule for this week for anyone interested in joining me on this adventure. If you'd like a schedule of the runs for the whole 8 weeks, e-mail me at

~Many Blessings~

Week 2:
30 second runners:
June 12th Thursday: (makeup for Wednesday if you had a storm too & didn't run on Wed.) : 30sec/30 sec for 20 min.
June 13th Friday: 30 sec/30 sec for 20 minutes
June 14th Saturday: 1 min/1 min for 30 minutes
June 16th Monday: 1 min/1 min for 25 minutes
June 18th Wednesday: 1 min/1 min for 30 minutes

2 minute runners:
June 12th Thursday: (makeup for Wednesday) 3 min/1 min x 6
June 13th Friday: 2 min/1 min x 8
June 14th Saturday: 4 min/1 min x 6
June 16th Monday: 3 min/1 min x 6
June 18th Wednesday: 4 min/2 min x 5

"Running is about defeating death, not inflicting it."
~John Jerome~

"Running looks much easier than it is."
~Lelia Chealey~

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

YES to God with my tongue


Before I get to Yes to God Tuesday, I just have to share this with you first.

Today is such a good day. 14 years ago I literally pushed this into the world...

And I've been pushing him ever since.

Pushing him to make good choices and hang with uplifting friends.
Pushing him to work hard in the classroom and on the basketball court.
Pushing him away from me when he smells like a wet dog.
Pushing him to be all that he can be.
Pushing him to draw near to Jesus because He will draw near to him.

Aaron Preston I love you boy with all my heart. You are an awesome child of God that I am blessed to have on loan while on earth.
You make me proud to be the one you call Mom.
Although some days you make me want to place you in foster care and pray you get placed with your Grandparents so I can still lay eyes on you.
You're funny, loving, ornery, smart, handsome and sweet when you want to be. Oh and let's not forget cool and muscular! I think I've had to watch more muscles flexed by you than a judge has to watch at a body building competition.

It's so odd that you all of a sudden are so much taller than I am when just yesterday you had yourself wrapped around my leg while I cooked dinner. You have been quite the adventure....much different than my girls. I mean c'mon, the girls haven't rolled down a mountain in Montana and had to go to the ER while on vacation or sliced their head open while playing in the backyard and had to have staples to hold brains their in.
You are by far more exciting than those two girlie-girls we have. Don't tell them though since you're outnumbered especially now that your niece is here. Let them continue to think they're running the show, but between you and me we know who the STAR of the show least for today.

I love you babe, you are a joy to my heart. I hope that over this next year that your relationship with Jesus will be taken to a place that you had no idea was even possible. Seek Him baby...He is so worth it! Learn to say YES to God no matter if you agree with Him or not. He will bless your obedient heart.

Okay, now for our Tuesday post...

Don't forget to get this book written by our friend and sister in Christ, Lysa TerKeurst.
Invite your friends to discuss and grow in God starting July 1st as I will be hosting Yes to God Tuesday's right here. We'll be reading Lysa's book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?"

Remember: Have chapter 1 & the study read and done by Tuesday, July 1st so you can join in on the discussion. I'm so excited to see where God is going to take us. He's just so incredible.

I've been posting a poem each week and today's is one I wrote about our tongue. As small and ugly as this thing is that is in our mouth it can be described as anything between mean, sharp, tender, gentle, godly or deceiving. I love what the book of James says about it and Proverbs has much advice splashed throughout it about being careful how we allow our tongue to behave.

I don't know about you, but with my tongue...

I have built my husband up and torn him down all in the same breath. Within moments I have ripped my kids apart verbally and answered the phone sounding like a sweet kindergarten teacher leaving my wounded confused. I have talked to a friend and talked of a friend. I have lied with it, sang praises to Jesus with it, gossiped with it and when I was young stuck it out at someone I didn't like. I have taken communion with it at church on Sunday morning just hours after letting too much alcohol slide down it on Saturday night. I have said too much with it and have been left with regret while other times I chose to be obedient to God and bit the thing then thanked Him with it for helping me have self-control. God must get so tired of us. I just wonder if He ever paces the floors of heaven asking Jesus to remind Him WHY He created us.

Well, one day after receiving a "prayer request" from a friend I wrote this little number and boy did God work on me. Still is. I'm going to be honest, sometimes it's just fun talking about other people. Sometimes starting a sentence with "did you hear about" can make you feel like you have your act together. Ugly, but so true and I have a feeling I'm not alone.

My hearts' desire is for my tongue to worship Jesus at all times and I'm not just talking about singing. I want to worship Him with how I talk of others, how I talk to others and how I lift others up instead of choosing to tear them down. Our words are so powerful. Let's choose to be wise ladies...

Dear Jesus,
I humbly come before you today
I feel so helpless so I need to pray
I need to talk to you about my friend
I’m so frustrated and at my wits end
Now you know I’d never talk behind her back
I just want to help get her on the right track
Instead of dealing with her problem on my own
I called everyone I have programmed in my phone
I’ve told a lot of people but it will be okay
I only told them so they too will pray
So see, my intentions you cannot doubt
I just want to help my dear friend out
Someone has to tell her that she is wrong
What she’s doing has gone on far too long
See my friend is a gossip and will spread a lie
Nobody understands it or even knows why
But she needs to know how the devil will win
If she doesn’t get control of this area of sin

Lord, I just thought You should know up above
But remember I only told you out of love

© 2005 Lelia Chealey

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

~Many Blessings~