It is How God Made Me

Wow if that’s not a title. …

(Pardon my Halloween makeup. This is my only picture before I quit dyeing it in January. )

Like the majority of women in America and probably the world, I worry about aging. I am now forty-one and yes I am gaining some wisdom lines. Now I will say first off, that dying your hair is wonderful. I love it. But if I choose to let it go. That too should be wonderful.

When I was in high school a friend’s mom plucked my first white hair. I was probably around sixteen. From there it multiplied. By the time I was 21 I was dying my hair every 6 weeks.

As a school teacher I was in the public eye and I felt the pressure to make sure I had my hair dyed. I went from dark brown, to blond, to black. Black is where I remained the last 8 years.

In the past five years I began to feel conflicted about my hair, and this is where my struggle begins. I retired from teaching and I am now a full time mom and ranch hand. Over the years my every six week hair appointment has changed to every four weeks. Once a month I had to go in to have my white, or silver, or maybe gray turned back. Why?

I tried to grow it out once and I was given so much grief. So much grief from even people I didn’t know. “You know your hair is really aging you.” “You look like my grandmother.” ” You have let your self go since you quit teaching.” The list goes on.

What makes it okay for us to put down or questions someone’s hair choice? Why do we feel that letting our hair be what God intended is not good enough? What gives us the right to put others down for being natural? The hair dye companies want us to feel ugly and unattractive without their products. But why?

We do this because someone tells us it is not the norm. We do this because society tells us that letting gray, silver, or white show is wrong!

Well this time I’m stronger. This time I am letting God’s choice for me shine bright! He chose me to have this color and I am letting it shine. Many of us have friends or family who never got the chance to go gray. They were taken early. I have the opportunity to see what God intended me to look like at my age. I’m going to take a look!

Here is to being proud of what God gave me! Let that light shine!!

 In an instant Everything Changes!

Life is so busy, is it not?  We run from one thing to the next. Jump from the car to our homes only to return again. We rotate friends often dependent upon new interests and drifting apart, or disagreements that cause the friendship to shatter. Activities come and go. Life just spins constantly. We seem to plow through the years so quickly that we don’t even realize how much we are missing or how fast things are happening. 
However sometimes, hopefully rarely we receive news that causes us to almost halt. We see everything different. We watch everything fly by and we seem to be in slow motion. We savor the looks on our children’s faces a little longer. The hugs from family seem to last a little longer and tighter. 

We reach for our phones a little slower. We read texts a little more intensely. Life has been altered, never to be the same. For a time we go back to enjoying time instead of bustling through it. 

My advice do it everyday. Slow down! Enjoy! It’s going fast and it can change in a moment. 

Authentic Intimacy Conference



Yesterday I had the privilege of driving down to Cheyenne at a way to early of time in  the morning to attend an Authentic Intimacy Conference with speakers Dr. Juli Slattery and Linda Dillow. It was held by Women of Worship. Let me just say the conference had me a little worried and a little excited. I mean Intimacy within marriage and with God. What would these women talk about! More importantly what would I learn?

The issue of intimacy within marriage is pretty straight foreword right? Well apparently I’m wrong.  I had so much to learn.  It amazes me how the more I dive into learning God’s word the more that I find out that it is not about Sunday morning church service, but more about living with God in every part of our daily lives.  Yes, every part even sex.

The conference was absolutely amazing. I learned so much about myself as a Christian wife and as a follower of Christ.

According to Psalm 127:3-5 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a nightly man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. ” Children are truly a gift from God. Therefore sex is also a true gift from God given to a man and woman who are married.  Ephesians 5:31-32 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. ”  Sex is a gift from God that gives us pleasure. He speaks about this gift and how it is meant for married couples.  If this is a gift from God then withholding and being dominating with our use of sex within our marriage is something that he would not want.  How often do we hear of this in our society.  Many couples use sex as a way to control each other or to exhort a consequence for the others actions. However we are to be loving and grant this gift because God wants us to enjoy our spouse and enjoy this special part that is only for married couples.

The ladies that lead the conference asked Do you know God? Do you love God? Are you intimate with God? I asked myself, Well yes I know him (I think) and yes, I love him ( I think). I mean I know I do but how much? Do I love him with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind like he asks of me in Matthew 22:37-38? Do I truly devote that much love to him? I don’t think I do.  To truly love him with all mind, heart, and soul, is not a small task. This is big. This is momentous. This is loving him all day, every day. This is thinking of him and wanting to please him.

Well all know what it is like to be in love with someone of the opposite sex. We think of them constantly right? We try to do our very best to please them, to make them happy. We plan special times for just the two of us to enjoy each other and so on. We spend ours on the phone talking about our lives, our worries, our celebrations. We do countless things to demonstrate our love and our devotion to our spouse or loved one.  What about with God? I had never thought about it that way before. Do I devote time to just God? I pray, mostly at night, but I pray. Do I communicate with him?

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 47:10  I do not sit silent and still within my day and devote time to worshiping God. The ladies talked bout how many of us will do months of workouts to achieve change in our bodies, but what about using that same amount of time to devote to God. To learn to speak to him and love him with heart, mind, and soul. What a change that would be in our spiritual life. I know for me it would. To know God at that level would change so much about my life.  It is a journey that I can not wait to explore. I hope you too take time out of your day to sit quietly and truly worship our Lord.

These ladies also have a bible study called Pursuit of Passion that lasts for 10 weeks. My friend and I bought the DVD and workbooks. This is one study that I can’t wait to jump into.  Check out the link and dive into Authentic Intimacy





Recently a dear friend’s mom lost her husband. When this happens I am always so perplexed at how to express my concern and to convey the exact words to help.  I am just not one of those people who has a way with words. I know some who always seem to know the right words or even when to say nothing. They are able to make any situation feel okay, to feel loved, to feel understood. Boy, I am not one of those.  I try, I really do, but I always seem to evoke the stare of “What.”

As I have watched my friend and her mother over the last month, it makes me see the side of grief that is all so real.  We all must at one point or another face grief. We will all experience the loss of a loved one and be left wondering how to move forward in life without this person by our side, next door, or a phone call away.  The life that we face every morning at some point ends for us all. However the grieving process is one that is individual to each of us.

I have often wondered how a process can change for so many things. Grieving is not only just for the passing of a loved one, but also for so many other things in life.  Many people will be faced with the grieving process over losing something very important to them. This loss may be a  job, a pet, a friendship, a relationship, a marriage, or even a special item.  These events can cause us to go through that same grieving process.

One thing that they all entail is tremendous pain and time.  I myself have been through this process and there is not a quick way out. There is not an easy exit, there is no I’m done and I want out.  There is only day by day and time.  For me, time was not only my friend, but my enemy.  Every day seemed to be an eternity. I lived for night when I could put away the “I’m doing okay face” and let my insides rise to the surface.  I turned to what I needed to get me by, wine. When my kids were tucked safe in bed, I opened the wine to ease the pain that I could not face. That whole first 6-8 months were filled with dreading the morning and longing for the night. I only lived for night. That was all I could see. If I could just make it till 8pm. I would be okay. It was a blur. It was almost like I was operating in a dream. It was almost not real.

Many people shared with me and told me that time would make things better. At that moment, I could not see how. But the days did turn to weeks, then months, then years and life became routine and normal.  The pain subsided from moments of not thinking of the pain, to hours, to eventually a whole day might pass. I have not moved to more than a day, but I know I will.  I no longer need wine to get me through the evening hours. I did not let this pain beat me down and it was through God’s word I was able to move forward through that river.

I realize that we are all different, but facing grief is such a hard task. We (especially women) want to be strong and tough for our families. We want to heal quickly. But in reality, we must give ourselves time.  Loosing something is very hard. It is a tremendous burden that we must endure, but we must also learn from it and not let it make us bitter.

During my time of grief I turned whole heartedly to God. I have never felt him more than in that time. He spoke to me so often. I began to journal everything that I witnessed.  One particular day I prayed and prayed for guidance I just didn’t know how I was going to make it through a particular event.  The minute I walked into my house the phone rang, and it was the preacher from church. He was calling to check up, he had been thinking of me. WOW! if that is not God, then I don’t know what is.  He showed me so many times that he was there.

He was there encouraging me to go to Bible studies. Pushing me to church on Sundays. Without his push in the right direction, I am not sure how my healing would have been. I turned to his word. I realized that I needed him to heal. I needed to seek his word so that I would be able to have a whole heart  and soul.  You know many times we meet those people in our lives who have never recovered from grief. They are shells of their former selves.  God does not ask this. He wants us to enjoy the life that he has given. He gives us day after day to seek his word and to spread his love to all those around us.  Each day we wake in the morning is another gift he is granted to us.  Why waste it on a lifetime of grief.

Yes, we must go through the process and we must find our way, but with God’s help he moves us to a better life. Take the pain and move to where he wants us to be.  Many times God takes a tragedy and it enables us to become closer to the path he wants us to be on.  I belief that life is hard, but we must seek God’s guidance to make life joyful with what we are given.

Grief is such a terrible pain to walk through. The path is long and the trail can go in so many different directions. As you make your way through, you begin to see little rays of light on the side of the path. Then the light begins to emerge and you do see a way out. You realize your life is not over, only the chapter or season you were in is over.  There is so much more.  As hard as it is to see, there is so much to come, sometimes even better than before.

I continue to have days that are never easy and events that I would rather stay home.  However God wants us out enjoying the days he gives us. He wants us to be true to his word and bring joy to our hearts. He will if we let him. He will if we just let him in.

A Hard Lesson

Sometimes when I am at church a Bible verse just grabs me. I mean it just stirs and stirs in my brain and tugs at my soul.

I don’t know about you but there are times when verses seem to be written for the season I’m facing. As I come across them via Bible study, quiet reading, or during Sunday sermon, I am consumed by the words.

How can words written in black and white, and sometimes red, be so powerful? They can offer you understanding, strength to move forward, power to push away Satan, and love from the Heavenly Father that seems to radiate into your heart. They can also leave you to ponder the way your life is moving.

This past Sunday, which was yesterday, time has seemed to go so fast I’ve already forgotten it was Monday. Anyway, Pastor Steve discussed anger and emotions from forgiveness. My oh my how hard is that subject.

We all know people who have moved in our lives and then possibly moved out due to our kicking them into next week. How in the world can anyone expect to be forgiven after what they have done to us. I mean, I know a few who have a whole lot of nerve to even begin to seek my forgiveness. Not that they would ask of course, but even for me to consider giving that to them makes my head spin.

I have some of these in my life. I’m telling you God better move that mountain if he is asking me to forgive them. I am living proof that just making it to the next day at times is painful enough, but to ask me to forgive. Oh my, oh my. How can I possibly do that after what they did. How can I ask that of myself. I have the right to be mad, hurt, angry, and downright bitter for how it turned my life.

But He does. He does. How often when we let that anger, pain, and hurt linger on our souls and our hearts do we notice how it hurts the ones around us. We snap at our kids, because we are angry. But that person we want to aim that anger at is not there. We lay in bed depressed by the hand that was dealt our way, instead of greeting our loved ones in the morning with smiles and love. But that person we want to see all the pain they have caused is not there.

The person who we want bad things to happen to, the person who we hold anger and malice toward is never around. We aren’t hurting them. They are not affected by our emotions, but our loved ones are. Our loved ones are taking the brunt of our lack of forgiveness.

Ephesians 4: 31-32

“Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. 32 and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”

Wow! Wow! This hit home yesterday. It’s not enough to forgive, but we must not speak ill, we must not wish hurt and disappointment on them, and we must not be angry any longer. We are forgiven and therefore we must extend this to even the worst of enemies.

I have said I forgive to God. I have prayed about my forgiving. I have even sent an email to the person telling them I forgive them. But you know in my heart I had not. I was still speaking ill in my mind, soul, and heart. I was still wishing their life was as destroyed as mine. I was hoping they had it worse. And how did this help me? How is it helping me?

This needs, no it must stop so that I can let go and move forward, so that I can heal. So that my life is not wasted in bitterness and anger.

In Matthew 18: 21-22 when Peter asked how often should he forgive his brother who sins against him Jesus replied.

22 “Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.”

This halted my heart. I have been deceiving myself to believe I forgave, so having emotions that are malicious toward that person was okay. Guess what no, that is not what he wants.

We must forgive seventy times seven. We must wish good things for them. We must have happy emotions for them. We must be strong in kind hearted thinking so that it is on the inside as well as the outside.

Does this mean we must be friends, acquaintances or pals. Ohhhh Noooo. We can separate from those that bring evil  and pain into our lives, but we can be kindhearted toward them and pray for them.

I have learned that forgiving is only partially what it takes to resolve hard situations. We must also give all the goodness he gives us and put it toward those whom have wronged us. We must place FAITH in God that life will move toward him and forgiving is part of moving forward.

Pray tonight that complete forgiveness can be done. Let go of those emotions that are keeping you tied to that person forever. Don’t let them occupy your heart, instead fill it with love and kindness. I know I am going to and every time they return, I am going to demand that they subside and open to God. 


A Reminder for Myself

IMG_00000399Today I celebrated my 37th birthday. It is amazing when I look back over my life, so many different seasons I have experienced. (Seasons is a reference Beth Moore uses in her bible studies to refer to periods of our lives. Maybe a period of depression, heartache, or joy for example. By the way love, love her bible studies. Don’t miss a chance to take one.)

One thing that I experienced on my darkest season is the complete love of others and from our Lord. He does so much for us to help us through our tribulations if we only seek and ask.

I purchased myself this bracket today for my present from my husband. He likes to give me money and I pick out my gift. Rather ingenious on his part, He never gets it wrong!

I looked at all they had to offer and this just stood out.

1 Corinthians 13:8. Love never fails.

What a powerful statement. In all things love keeps us going. It is given to us from friends, family, strangers, and from our Lord on a daily basis. Love is what keeps us moving through life with out being wiped out by the negativity and the tribulations we will go through.

This bracelet reminds me that with love all things will succeed. But we need to give love to help others to keep from failing. Our love is a gift and at any moment we may have friends and family who are going through a season that is extremely difficult, and when we give them that little ounce of our love it may change everything for them.

Love never fails us!