Monday, July 27, 2009

One father's trash is another Father's Treasure

Last Tuesday, my Alivia turned 8 years old.
Here she is with the beautiful cake made for her by my sister Michelle.
Three days later, this is the headline that greeted me when I turned on the computer...

I continued reading as the first paragraph containing the girls age made me gasp.
She too is 8 years old.

The four boys are ages 9 to 14 and police say they "brutally sexually assaulted her for 10 to 15 minutes". Sgt. Andy Hill called it one of the worst cases the department has ever investigated. The boys are accused of holding the girl down while they took turns molesting her.

Having my own 8 year old daughter, my heart had already gone out to this little one and then I read this:

Police said the girl's parents criticized her after the violence, blaming her for bringing shame on the family. All five children are refugees from the West African nation of Liberia.
Authorities said the victim was in the care of Child Protective Services after her parents blamed her for the rapes and bringing shame to the family.
"The father told the caseworker and an officer in her presence that he didn't want her back.
He said
'Take her, I don't want her,"
Hill said.

In her presence she was denied by her father.

Clearly this little girl did nothing wrong, but apparently that is not the way some think in the victim's hometown in Liberia, which is no excuse. Within a few hours this little girl went from having a family to becoming an orphan by her parent's choice.

The reason I share this is because I was thinking, what if Jesus responded to us like this?

Instead of telling the woman with the issue of blood when she reached out to touch Jesus' clothes, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
What if He said: Take her, I don't want her.

Instead of telling the sinful woman who wet His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed them and then poured perfume on them this, "Your sins are forgiven." and "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

What if He said: Take her, I don't want her.

Instead of telling the woman caught in adultery that the Pharisees brought to Jesus, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

What if He said, Take her, I don't want her.

Instead of telling the woman at the well when she asked for the living water He had told her about, "I who speak to you am he."

What if He said, Take her, I don't want her.

Unlike the father of this 8 year old, our Father wants us no matter what we have done or what has been done to us. He simply loves us and when we approach the throne of grace to invite Him to be the center of our life, whether its our first time or we are returning

He says, I'll take her. I want her.

In Beth Moore's He Is DVD teaching she said something that stuck with me so deeply about the love of God when I first heard it back on July 18, 2006.
I went and got the notes I took that day out of my desk drawer so I could quote her correctly.
This is what she said:

"God has welcoming joy over you. You have not gone so far or done so much that He does not welcome you home. That's why Psalm 118 begins with and his love endures forever because the psalmist that wrote it determined that if you could wear out the love of God I would've surely done it. Listen carefully and you will hear the joy and gladness of a God who says...welcome home!"

Knowing the things I have chosen to do in my life and the things I am capable of doing, it is a relief to know that I will never be denied by my Creator. He will always love me.

In His presence we are accepted by our Father.

Let's pray for this little girl and thank God that we are treated so much differently when we approach Him than she was by her earthly father. I know if Alivia was ever shunned by Gene for anything, my Daddy's Girl wouldn't be able to handle it.
I cannot imagine what lies Satan is feeding this child.

Thank You God for your enduring love and that You would never tell us we aren't wanted.
To be wanted and loved by a King is unbelievable. Please put someone that believes and knows this about You in this little 8 year old girls path so that one day she can turn this tragedy into nothing but glory for her Heavenly Father that has everlasting love for her.

I love you...I love you...I love you sweet Jesus.

~Many Blessings~

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Advice from Baby Amiyah

Some days

you just got to pull out whatever is holding your hair together.

Put your 8 year old Aunt's pink swim goggles around your neck.

And just eat some ice cream.

The way it's supposed to be eaten...

Besides, I can't always look like this.

Amiyah Elizabeth

Have a wonderful weekend.

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out of His way

Before I share this, I just want to say that anything I share on this blog about my family, especially my daughter Alyssa, I ask permission first.


Toward the end of Alyssa's pregnancy with Juliana Pearl she was ready to get this precious gift out of her, as most women 9 months pregnant express. So, she went walking and when that didn't work for her, she went to the internet.
She googled her desire and announced to me that she would be having her baby the next day.
"Really. And just how are you going to do this?" I had to ask.
"I'm going to the store to buy castor oil and orange juice and I'm going to mix them together and drink a cup of it. That will start my labor going," she said with much confidence.

"Alyssa, that's gross and it's not going to work." I stated.

"Yes, Mom it will and I'm gonna do it."

She text me later to tell me that she felt sick.
Text me again...I just threw up.
Text me again...I feel really sick.

A few days later, my girl realized that she had bought canola oil instead of castor and drank a cup of it.
Either one would be gross and prove to be just an old wives' tale.
Drinking the wrong thing caused her to be in pain alright, but not labor pain.
Drinking the wrong thing caused her to hold on to a toilet bowl instead of hold on to a baby like she wanted to.
About 3 weeks later, Miss Juliana Pearl arrived.
Without the help of any oils.

Alyssa and I were just talking about this last week and we got to laughing about it.
I told her that sometimes we do this with God.
We try to rush things and not wait on Him and we drink our own cocktail instead of what He wants us to swallow.
Such as the Living Water He offers us.
And we become nauseous.
We can't keep stuff down.
And then we realize that it was our own word instead of His Word that we followed.
Then we really feel sick.
Sick at the thought of what we have missed out.
Castor...canola...our own agenda and it never gets us what we want or need.

Right now I cannot describe what God is doing in my life. Like I shared in the last post, for the first time in over a year, I backed out of doing the YES to GOD blog study even though being in the middle of it.
I'm doing this incredible Bible study by Beth Moore called Jesus: The One and Only and I have to share with you something from it.

This is what Beth wrote that just got me...
I just want to be about God.
Not about ministry.
Not about my own agenda.
Not about writing Bible studies.
Not about me at all.
When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say,
"She was just about God."

I'm pretty good with words and I tell you I struggle with trying to express what is happening in my heart right now. These last 2 years in my life alot has happened with people I love. A chunk of it I have shared in my blog posts. And some of it, like Mary, I have treasured in my heart.

It has been a season of growth.
A season of crying out to God.
A season of being upset with God.
A season of praying myself to sleep.
A season of 2 steps forward and 10 steps back.
A season of letting go.
A season of enforced boundaries.
A season of forgiveness.
A season of learning responsibility with the gifts God has given to me.
A season of learning to love.
A season of silence.
A season of feeling sorry for myself.
A season of realizing it isn't about me, but all about Him.
A season of trusting God more than myself.
A season of encouragment.
A season of tears, laughter, anger, joy, confusion and a-ha moments.
A season of gain, loss, falling pride and rising faith.
A season of reaching for Jesus and never being disappointed.
A season of trying to do the Christian walk on my own only to fall.
A season of being helped up by the One who gets up off His throne to reach for me.
A season of being witness to Charity, a young Mom pass from death to eternal life.
A season of trial and error.
A season of trial.

This morning I just finished reading a novel and there is a line in it that I really love:

HUMBLE WILLINGNESS: An attitude before God.

Hmmm...that is what I must have in order to draw nearer to Him and in turn He will draw closer to me.

Because I want more.
More of Him.
More seasons with my Savior.
I have been so weepy in my time alone with Him, especially last night just merely thinking of Jesus.
I want more of Him and yet I know what I ask for I am not capable of being able to handle.
All I know is that I'm tired and just want to seek Him like never before.
I want to be like Moses and refuse to take one more step without Him going with me.
Leading me. Taking me. Trusting me. Blessing me.
Following Him. Being taken. Trusting Him. Blessing Him with my life.
I want Him.
Jesus Christ.
The King of all Kings.
Prince of Peace.
Wonderful Counselor.
The One that Charity paused in her battle with cancer long enough to say yes to and has now added pink to heaven's walls while she tirelessly worships her Creator.

The most recent CD Alivia picked out is Cece Winans Thy Kingdom Come. We love it.
The song called Waging War really got to me tonight and so I want to share it with you.
Listen closely to the words.
Because, bottom line is the world we live in is being run by our enemy...the prince of the world.
The Message Bible describes Satan in John 14 as being the chief of this godless world.

I am sick and tired of giving the chief too much freedom in my life. Over my kids, in my marriage. There is no way I would open my front door to a thief and tell him to come in and take what he wants from us. I wouldn't stand still and just watch the enemy interfere in my marriage.
I wouldn't watch the thief punch my son in the gut with rap music that has to have a parent advisory sticker slapped on the outside of the cd case. I wouldn't stand in my daughter's doorway to her bedroom as the enemy tried to convince her to believe the lies of this world.
And yet when I try to run things Lelia-style, that is exactly what I am doing and I'm tired.
Tired of the enemy and tired of not letting God have His way with me like He tells me He wants to in
Jeremiah 29:11-12
"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.

I find the overwhelming need and desire to just be about God.
I don't want to be defined by what I write on this blog.
I don't want to tell God the plans I have for me, instead I want to follow the ones that He has for me.
Less of me...more of Him.
Alot more.

I just want to be about God.

If I don't live out my desire to let Christ have His way with me then the legacy I will leave for my kids and my grandchildren will be disastrous.
Alivia can't get enough of this song. I want it to be a song that echoes from her mouth and heart when she is out in the world on her own.
I must get out of His way so He can have His way.


Have your way sweet Jesus.
I mean it.
No more drinking canola oil and orange juice.

She was all about God...
May this be said of each one that humbly seeks Him.

Many Blessings~
Please take the time to watch this's awesome!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YES to GOD study...

Hey...I have never backed out of a YES to GOD study, which is a good thing since I'm the hostess. But, I am going to have to on this one.
Still reading the book.
Just need a little break from a committed blog post as I seek more depth with God.

When we finished the Behind Those Eyes study with our dear friend Lisa Whittle, we were talking on the phone and she advised me to take a break from doing the studies when God prompted me to do so.
At the time, I didn't feel a break was necessary, but I really need to take her wise advice right now.
I feel prompted.

I know you understand.

Our enemy, he is just nothin' to mess around with.
There is a reason we are to be alert like it tells us to in the Bible.
Because when we're not and he swings and knocks the wind out of us, catching our breath isn't so easy.
I just need to breathe my sweet Jesus in right now.

I am so sorry.
I will be praying about a fall study.
And I hope you finish reading this book as Liz Curtis Higgs' is a fabulous author who knows how to get to the point.

Love you,

Monday, July 20, 2009

I want to look good at the pool too

Ever see those other females at the pool that make you envious?
You know, the ones that make you think...
I looked like that at one time too sweetheart, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Uggh. I saw "one of those" the other day. You know the "ones" I'm talking about...
She looks good in her swimsuit.
Her tan looks perfect and beautiful.
Her hair looks good wet.

So why was I sad when she went home?

Because I love me some Chunky Monkey.
Just look at those thighs and cheeks.
Love her!

~Many Blessings~
Tomorrow chapter 5 of Embrace Grace...cross my heart.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This little light of mine

This year, my oldest daughter Alyssa and I found ourselves home alone on the 4th of July this year. Gene, Aaron and Alivia were still in Florida, my parents were camping and our neighbors and friends Ben, Julie and their girls were celebrating on the 3rd since they were going to be gone on Saturday.

One day at work Alyssa loudly sighed and said, "This is going to be such a boring 4th of July."
"Why," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"I don't know," she said, "I guess I'm stuck with you."

Well, if that doesn't make one determined to make it a holiday worth remembering, I don't know what would. I wasn't sure how Amiyah would react this year as last year she slept through Aaron's explosions. She freaks out over a vacuum so we were uncertain of how she would react to lights and booming sounds.
Grandma just had to find something exciting to do on the 4th.
Something impressive.
Something that would mesmerize my 15 month old gorgeous grandgirl.

Later that day I was talking to Kelley and told her what Alyssa had said and how I was on a mission and that is when she invited us down to stay overnight in KC.
they would be setting off fireworks on the 4th.
An activity that is illegal in their state.

What more excitement could I show my teenage daughter than

*a spontaneous 3 hour road trip with her 2 girls and her Mom
*a free overnight stay in KC
*law breaking entertainment

She was all over it and got busy packing her and the girls' bags.
So up to the KC we drove on Saturday afternoon.
The girls slept the whole 3 hours and so Alyssa and I enjoyed some good bonding time.
Lots of laughter.

We were welcomed by Quin, the cute and cool pirate...
And Kelley's open arms...
We ate a delicious dinner hot off the grill and then Kelley's husband John broke out the works along with Quin, Sophie and Cece...
Little beauty, Juliana, was the one to doze this year wrapped in Kelley's arms while Big Sister Amiyah proved herself to be no Crime Stopper,
but instead an accessory as she told them which one to light next...
She was mesmerized...
She was encouraging....
She was impressed...
as John lit up the sky and as Quin, Cece and Sophie ran around the backyard
with their sparklers that shined through the smokey air...
But she was not as patriotic as Sophie tried to get her to be...
After the show John and the kids went on an ice cream run which is why Amiyah's face is covered in chocolate while being loved on by
The Girls...
Then before bedtime, Amiyah showed how well trained she is and
helped Cece unload the dishwasher...
Until she was removed from the kitchen when she started throwing the clean dishes...

Trying to get back to her job, Little Miss Helper got some lovin' from her Mommy
in hopes of distracting her...

Too sleepy for chores...
Then it was Juliana's turn to receive undivided attention from
The Girls...
Until handsome Jake, the oldest of the Kizer boys and not a pirate, took over...

After an afternoon of shopping with Kelley and Sophie, we met up with the rest of the family for dinner. Feeling full and blessed from our time together, Alyssa and the girls and I headed back to Nebraska.
On the drive home Alyssa and I got to laughing at how gross it was when bugs hit the windshield. Between each mile marker, it was one thumping sound of death after another we heard.
I just can't imagine flying along and all of a sudden you're just gone.
Then your remains are gone with one swipe of a wind shield wiper.

If I had to name a favorite bug I would have to say the lightning bug.
So my laughter ceased moments later one hit us head on.
He was gliding down I-29 probably leading other bugs with his light then suddenly their leader was gone.
Once a leader then a glowing smear on a Toyota's windshield.
As we kept driving at 75mph, the line of glow against the backdrop of the night completely extinguished after only a short minute.

Made me think of how when we are not connected to Christ our light just doesn't shine.
How when we stray and take our own path our light goes out.
When God tells us to go south and we decide to head north we lose our connection to our Father.
Without being connected to Jesus, our light for Jesus dies out because without Him we have and are nothing.
For He is the light that shines within us.
In John 15 we are told that we are the branches and Jesus is the Vine.
And how we must be connected to Him, remain in Him as John put it, in order to produce any fruit in our lives.

Don't let your light go out.
Let's strive to stay in daily connection with our Savior.
Let's not be like the lightning bug that flew south and ended up being nothing more than a smear on a piece of glass heading north.

~Many Blessings~

Thank you Kizer family for such a wonderful, blessed time.
We love you all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 3: Embrace Faith & CH. 4: Embrace Truth

Welcome, welcome!

So glad you are here. Today we will be discussing 2 chapters. I'll come back by later tonight and post my thoughts, but I'll put up Mr. Linky if any of you have posted yours so we can read yours now.

Today we are celebrating Alivia turning 8 and she wants to go swimming.
So I sit poolside today instead of inside on the computer.

Although, when you get to the age where a skirted swim suit and a cover up shows you care about what your fellow swimmers have to be witness to,
a trip to the pool just doesn't make my heart beat the way it used to.

Oh to the pool I must go.

I'll be back tonight after the birthday girl is tucked away.

If you have something to share from chapters 3 & 4 on your own blog, please sign up below.

~Many Blessings~

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Crazy hair and honest prayer

This would be one of Alivia's crazy hair mornings caught on film.
She had my mp3 player on and was just walking around the house singing praises to God.

She is really full of Jesus and loves her life.
And I just love being around her.

Earlier in the week, Alivia and Gene came home from Florida while our now 15 year old son Aaron stayed longer with Gene's family.
Which is something Alivia cannot grasp.
Everyday since being home, Gene and I have been accused of favoring Aaron since she is in Nebraska and he is not.

Aaron doesn't help the situation when he calls and taunts her with
"I'm still in Florida. Ha ha ha" which sends my drama queen into a tailspin of frustration.

He loves it.
She cries and hangs up on him.
He calls back.
She answers each time only to hang up on him again and again.
I suppose she expects he will eventually apologize to her, but she only receives more teasing from the land of oranges.

He loves it.

After asking Aaron to back off I found out that apparently, the phone calls of torture began after he received a text message from my little princess.
From my phone.
Thankfully Aaron is smart enough to know who sent the message since I spell out my words and would never send him a text like this:

"U r so rude u get 2 stay longer idot"

"Idot" is supposed to say idiot which she did get a talkin' to about calling people names even if it is through a non-verbal text message.

Last night I had to work at 11pm and it was one of those nights that I just wanted to stay home and fall asleep reading a book next to Gene.
I took my book and my bad mood to work and called home to talk to Alivia since she was still awake when I left the house.
She asked me if we could pray together.
"Of course," I answered and started praying over her which made my bad mood melt like an ice cube in a hot cup of coffee.

After I said Amen, I started to tell her goodnight when she interrupted me with this...

"Dear Lord,

Thank you for my Mommy and my Daddy. Thank you for Alyssa, Amiyah, Juliana and Kane (the dog).

Please help Aaron to have a safe trip back home.

Even though he is my worst enemy.

In Jesus' name,

Good night Mommy, I love you."

At least she didn't call him an Idot.

I just can Aaron torture this sweet little godly thing?

~Many Blessings~

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hanging On

If you have come by for the YES to GOD Tuesday study of Liz Curtis Higgs' book, Embrace Grace, I will have this weeks and next weeks chapters posted together next Tuesday. I'm so sorry, but I have traveled to KC three times in a week so I'm a little behind on stuff.

Been faced with some challenging stuff as of late in my walk with God and I tell you what...
I love my Savior more than even an hour ago and He is worth every step of this journey of the unknown with Him.
The Enemy on the other hand I could do without. Funny how Satan can get under your skin and just not give up on trying to bring you down. Amazing how he can make you question your faith, your talents and even how you are as a mother. If you let him that is. So I'm trying hard to focus on what God alone says about me.

These last few weeks I have learned much about the God I serve. I know I am so far from perfect that when I think too hard on it my mind just swirls in confusion that God even wants to be associated with the likes of me. He knows me better than anyone on earth does and that
doesn't stop Him from loving me and wanting to use my past, present and future for His glory.

Last week my husband and our 2 younger kids were at a family reunion in Florida.
Friday night they were at a hotel and there was another family reunion going on at the same time. Suddenly, a worried Grandma from the other reunion rushed over to Gene's family and described her 2 year old grandson. He had been missing for over an hour and she asked Gene's family to please look for him.
Within moments a lot of screaming started happening. Gene said it was so loud and piercing that his first thought was that someone had gotten shot. Even though he had kept Alivia in his sight, he began screaming for her to get to him immediately as Aaron was already near his side.

Suddenly the screaming from everyone became more intense and everyone began to point up.
They were in a courtyard and up on the top floor, the 15th floor, there was the missing little boy on the outside of the balcony dangling in the air. Aaron later described how he kept moving his foot backward like he was trying to put it on the ledge.
Here is a picture Gene and I found on the Internet of the hotel courtyard and it doesn't even show the top floor but you can get the idea of how high up it is.
Panic exploded out of the hearts of the little boys' family members and prayers began to be spoken out loud from the hearts of Gene and his family members.
My brother in law Will who has been a sheriff detective for 23 years in Orlando immediately went into the serve and protect mode and ran all 15 flights of stairs trying to get to him before he let go.
People on the ground started yelling instruction to the toddler begging him to not let go of the slippery railing he was holding on to. Others frantically grabbed cushions off couches putting them on the ground underneath where he was dangling hoping to soften the landing if he fell. Gene said he was so high up though that the thin cushions wouldn't have done a thing to help him.

He also told me that it was so scary...the type of fright you see on the big screen and he couldn't watch another minute of it. It's one thing to watch Tom Cruise hanging in danger in a movie, but to watch a two year old in real life is completely different. In tears Gene retreated to the room his family had rented and began to pray along with an Aunt and cousin.

My sister-in-law Dianne grabbed hold of the little boys' aunt that was running in no direction and just held her as she had about lost her mind searching for help.
And my kids watched in disbelief probably hoping if God answered any of their prayers that these would be the ones that would get His attention.

Angels had to have been holding on to this childs wrists until a curious hotel employee working on the 15th floor heard all the commotion and ran to the balcony to see what was happening in the courtyard below. Thankfully, he saw the little boy and quickly reached over the edge of the balcony and pulled him to safety. I'm sure a lot of held breath was released at that by-the-grace-of-God moment.

Aaron called me within minutes of this happening and I could tell that he was just completely shaken. As a Mom it was hard to be 1,500 miles away listening through a phone to the adrenalin make my big strong teenager's deep voice tremble as he described to me what he just witnessed.

My brother-in-law Will told Gene that in all the years he has been a detective, he has seen some horrible stuff, but never saw anything so scary in all his years on the force.

And when I talked to Gene later that night he told me he cried watching this child hold on for his life and how he felt so helpless so he just prayed. Made me fall in love all over again with the tender heart that pounds within my husbands chest.

Desperation for a life to be saved brings out the heroes,
the prayer warriors
and the love for the one needing the saving.
Until we say yes to Jesus Christ we are all just dangling.
Inches from our eternal death.
All in need of a Holy Hero.

I wonder when we make choices in our life that leave us barely hanging on if that is the reaction that goes on in heaven.
When we are on the path that leads to death do the angels try their hardest to save us?
Are they frantic in hope that we will say yes to the gift of salvation because they know that nothing can cushion a landing in hell?
Do they start praising Jesus on our behalf like the members of both family reunions did when they knew the boy was out of harms' way?

At two years' old, I'm sure he was so unaware of what had just happened to him.
What he had just put everyone through.
Within a little over an hour he went from being with family to probably returning to play time with his cousins minutes after being plucked from the hands of death.
I'm sure at such a young age he didn't thank his hero.
Thank you for saving my life more than likely never came out of his little mouth.
After being hugged and kissed on, he probably just went on with his little life.
Unaware that he just got a second chance.
Unaware that God isn't through with him on earth yet.
Unaware that he was saved.

How do we thank our Hero?
Do we live a life that brings Him glory or do we just go about our business our way?
Do we realize how we escape death when we invite Him to come into our life?
Do we know and appreciate that we just got a second chance or do we live unaware that God has plans for our lives?
Unaware that we've been saved.

This has really made me think about my walk with Christ.
I know I want more of Him.
I know I need more of Him.
I don't want to go through life unaware of His time spent on the cross.
Time He spent hanging in my place.

Thank you sweet Jesus for saving this little boy's life.
Thank you for the visual you gave me of You doing the same thing for me.
Thank you for hearing my continuous plea of needing you while dangling from the balcony of life and never failing to come to my rescue.
You are so precious to me.
You are my Hero.

Like I said before, I have no idea why He wants anything to do with me.
He is the closest I'll ever come to perfection.
These last few months, weeks and days I feel closer to Him than ever before and when the Enemy tries to throw me over the balcony of life, I know I can call confidently upon a Savior who won't just throw pillows below me to soften my fall, but instead will come running in response to my invitation and reach over the edge and pull me up close to Him.

I love you so much Lord.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday...chapters 3 & 4 for the YES to GOD study of Liz's book.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

The blood of Jesus that was viciously shed in our place so that we can have eternal life.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us for our ugly sins, we are washed as white as snow.
When we live life away from having Christ as the center of it, life can feel very defeating. Learning to trust in Jesus and rely on Him for the little and big things in life can be an everyday battle, but worth every minute.

Freedom is giving God areas of our life that we would rather control.
Freedom is letting go and letting God.
Freedom is looking in the mirror and seeing Jesus in you.
Freedom is when the tomb was empty.
Freedom is giving God permission to deal with Satan, our Enemy.

Have a blessed 4th of July.

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, July 2, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 2: Embrace Doubt

Sorry I'm late. I was out of town having a God blessed visit with Kelley and her family.

For the summer study we are reading Liz Curtis Higgs' book

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Throughout the pages of each chapter, Liz has included comments sent to her from the women who read her books followed by Liz's responses in orange.

Comments such as:

"This is a very dark time for me.
I have been feeling
abandoned of late."
For all of those dark times, here's a word of hope: God meets us
where we are. Even if we aren't looking in his direction, he
is always looking in ours.


"I'm not much into God.
The whole thing
seems a little hard to believe."
An honest statement.
The notion of God's coming to earth as an infant wrapped
in swaddling clothes, then willingly dying in his early thirties to
atone for the sins of an ungrateful world---well, it is far-fetched.
Very far.
Beyond the limits of human imagination.
Only an infinite God could design such an effective long-
range plan.

"Looking back I can now see
God's wonderful hands
guiding me back to him."
Indeed, he gives us second chances, third, fourth, fifth
chances---oh, far to many too count.
You see, it's God's faithfulness---not ours---that makes the
difference. He can handle our suspicions and fears, our
mis-givings and apprehensions. He is not dissuaded by our cynicism,
our incredulity. He understands doubt.

"I've had so many bad things
happen in my life
that I've started to question God."
A legitimate response. Question away, sis. Confess your
Then relax in knowing that it's not your belief in God's
existence that defines him. God simply is. His is love incarnate,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Our doubt does not diminish God one iota.
When we come to the end of ourselves, God is just getting started. (I loved that!)

"I was well aware that Jesus was out there
waiting for me
and that he could turn it all around for me,
but I just didn't care.
Finally I came crawling back to Christ,
begging him to forgive me
and fill that place again."
We may not know where "that place" inside us is or what
it's called, but we know very well when it's empty. And who
alone can fill it.

Have you ever said or thought any of those things before?

Liz begins this chapter with the fact that trust is an issue for many.

We conquer those fears as we mature, but at the deepest level we never forget them. Old fears continue to color out emotional responses and produce feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

I love how Liz encouraged us to ask God questions and reassured us that our doubts, whether it's about Him or our purpose does not knock Him off of His throne.

Life can sometimes get the best of us.
And yet, we have a God that sits in heaven watching over us and is absolutely crazy about us.
Even on our bad heart days.

Let me leave you with what Liz left us with in this chapter...

This is a hands-on kind of Savior. He sees the lack of trust
in our eyes, hears the dubious note in our voices, and feels the
tremor in our fingers as we tentatively grasp the hem of his
In the face of our doubt, the Lord offers a sure word of encouragement.

Don't be afraid;
just believe.
Mark 5:36

God is good everyday and everyday God is good.

Hope you are having a blessed summer.

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Stop by on Saturday, 4th of July for
Red, White and No More Blues!

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday...chapter 3: Embrace Faith