Friday, September 30

Join Me in Prayer...

I have run into so many people who have said, "I've been praying for you ". Each day, I receive messages from friends that want me to know they have just spoken with our heavenly father on my behalf. Letters, emails, etc. all come in regularly telling me that we are in your thoughts. Let me start by saying, we can certainly FEEL the prayers. I have given a few of you some specific prayer requests. Today I began thinking that I should list some requests here. I would LOVE for you to join me in praying for some very specific things.

1. Our house is for sale and we NEED for it to sale quickly! Mainly, because we won't be so pressed to find a new career for Scotty if we don't have this house note to make each month. We aren't sure where we will go if/when the house sales. But I do know that even if we stay in Clinton, I don't want to live in this spot. So, that's first on our list.

2. Secondly, I am desperately praying for direction for Scotty as far as career. When I was a sophomore at MC, I experienced God guiding me towards a career in education in a BIG way. Scotty has NEVER experienced that kind of direction. Now, God has always provided for us, and Scotty has been able to do things that he enjoys and is gifted in, but he has just not felt that feeling of 'THIS is what I was meant to do'. I have literally pleaded with God that now would be the time that Scotty experiences that kind of calling.

3. The obvious prayer request is that God would lead us WHERE HE wants us to be. This one is tough for me. There is a part of me that wants to stay right here and show everyone what God can do. That is the part of me that LOVES this sweet place. Scotty and I have both been here 18 years! Wow. That is the longest I've lived anywhere. We met here, got married here, I started working in a district that I love here, we had our kids here.... And mainly, we have formed relationships with some of the most caring people that have ministered to us
through each and every one of those events. Ugh... I get sad when I think of leaving our life here.

Then, there's the part of me that occasionally gets nauseated just sitting in a car rider line just because I've ended up in line near someone I really didn't want to see. There are nights that I leave the soccer fields so worked up that I find it difficult to fall asleep hours later. I HATE to think of leaving the comforts of home, but there is something to be said for going somewhere that we can start over. And, there are consequences for sin. Leaving our home might just be one of them.

4. Pray for Scotty. Some of you may not be ready to read this, but I need to write it anyway. As long as I've known Scotty, he has struggled
with self doubt, shame, feelings of defectiveness, and unworthiness. He became a believer at age 18, and fell in love with God and His word.
The first ten years of our marriage, we both grew in our faith; but, sadly, Scotty still experienced these feelings. As I'm studying When Godly
People again, I'm understanding that Satan (the liar) encouraged those feelings of shame, unworthiness, and defectiveness until Scotty
began to act in those ways. If that description seems too simplistic for the horrible things that have taken place, I am truly sorry. I tried to
make the description as concise as possible for this post. The beauty of God's work in Scotty's life right now is that he can now see himself
as God sees him. The moment the truth was out, walls that Scotty had put up as a defense mechanism began to come down. And as he
was able to truly see God's love, he was able to also feel loved by me in a way that I'm not sure he ever had. Naturally, he experiences
waves of sorrow and regret DAILY. I believe that's normal, but I would ask that you pray with me that God would protect him from Satan's
darts of shame and guilt.

5. Last one. I promise. Pray for our marriage. There is no way for me to describe what is going on in our marriage now. And, you don't really want all of the details anyway. But just imagine that walls that we each put up for years that kept us from connecting with each other deeply... the way that God intended for us to connect... have been demolished. We communicate like never before, we ENJOY each other's
company, and we are studying the Bible together daily. The most amazing thing is that we've discovered how DEEPLY we still love each
other. So, what's the prayer request? Please pray that God would guard our hearts. I know that Satan would love to attack us now while we
are wounded and recovering. Pray for our strength and continued dependence on Him.

I really didn't intend to go on and on for so long. I know that you aren't surprised. Words can't express how grateful I am to be able to share from my heart and know that I am surrounded by people that love me enough to intercede on my behalf. You are such a blessing to me!

Tuesday, September 27

My Lesson in Emotional Provision

"And my God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

There is an illustration that Beth Moore uses in one of her Bible studies that has spoken to me over the years. She uses a glass pitcher and stones. In an effort to demonstrate how we so often look to people to 'fill us up', she places the stones inside the glass pitcher. Each stone is a symbol of a compliment, encouraging word, act of kindness, or anything else another person could bless us with. I don't know about you, but people toss such 'stones' my way all day long. Still, at the end of the day, the stones would reach the top of the pitcher, but through the glass pitcher you can see that there is still a whole lot of unfilled space between the stones.

Isn't that what we do so often. We are looking to other people to fill our cup when no human being is capable of filling it. And, by the way, they weren't meant to fill it. We were always meant to find fullness in Him. God CAN supply everything we need to be whole in Him. Not only that... He WANTS to do it.

The second part of the illustration is very enlightening. Beth filled the glass pitcher to the very top with water. The water symbolized a filling of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. After that filling, there's NO unfilled space in the pitcher! Therefore, when a stone (still symbolizing things we get from others) is tossed into the pitcher, the water splashes out. THAT is what I was created for... To be so COMPLETE in Him that I don't NEED from others. But, when the compliments, encouraging words and acts of kindness come, the love of Jesus within me splashes out onto whoever gave it.

I love that illustration. This is one of the concepts that our therapists spoke a lot about during our week in Branson as well. I believe this is the reason that Scotty and I are experiencing closeness in our marriage like we've never experienced before. Each and every day, we are pursuing God first. In the position we are in, there IS NO person that could minister to us in the way we need it. Maybe that's why James tells us to consider it joy when we face trials. We truly find God at our points of deepest need. Atleast for me, I had to find myself in a place of complete brokenness to look ONLY to Him to put me back together. And, in that pursuit of the same Person and the same goal, Scotty and I
are in a place that amazes me. I told him on our date Saturday night that if I was able to choose to take away the infidelity and have our
marriage back the way it was, I would turn it down. Now I know what our marriage was intended to be, and I can't go back to the ways of
the past. Now, if I get to choose to have the relationship we have now WITHOUT the infidelity, well that's another story! :)

I wish I could tell you I have arrived. I wish that I didn't still find myself in places of feeling that I need something from someone else. If I can be honest (and why wouldn't I be now?), there are still a number of things that I feel I need from others involved in our story... Explanations, true apologies, truth, recognition of betrayal, and my list could go on and on. But, that logic is of the flesh. And, honestly, if I got all of that, my situation would be no different. So I must, once again, approach my Heavenly Father with everything I think I need and let Him meet those needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus. When all is said and done, that's what I really want anyway.

Thank you, Father, that YOU are always enough. And YOU are able and wanting to take care of ALL of my needs.

Friday, September 23


I feel that I should start by saying that I don't have anything super spiritual or upliftingto say today. What I want to say is that I spent my ENTIRE day at a local spa. Yep! I got there at 11:00 and didn't leave until after 4:00. Why? Because shortly after Scotty resigned and life as we knew it changed in the blink of an eye, a sweet friend showed up on my porch with a gift. She quickly left before I could open it. So I sat alone and opened a gift that was from 16! friends. It was a full day's spa package and a ridiculous amount of spending cash to go with it. I was blown away at the love expressed to me in the words of the card and the generosity given to me in my gift.

So, as I was relaxing today, I was reminded that some of God's greatest gifts to me have been the PEOPLE that HE has placed in my life. And, because of that, I feel I should say a few 'thank you's.

First of all, the weekend that the news broke, my mom was out of town. No worries... Lisa Gunn took over mothering duties for all 3 of my children. She knew that Scotty and I would need the time to process all of this information together. I will never be able to repay her for caring for my children. I knew I did not need to worry one second for them. And that's a great thing, because I couldn't have.

During those first three days, countless friends texted and offered to do whatever we needed. A number of my TOT girls offered a shoulder to cry on and encouraging words to live on. They were amazing. A few other friends insisted on sitting right beside us during our last worship service just prior to Scotty's difficult announcement.

On Sunday afternoon, my three dearest and oldest friends drove here just to be with me. They cried with me and supported me. Just two days after life changing news, they even had me laughing hysterically! Amazing friends. Shortly after they left, I was able to talk to my sweet mom. It took her about 4 hours to get here and she TOOK OVER this household LITERALLY! She was amazing and probably the only
person that could have kept things completely normal for my children for the TWO WEEKS that I was unavailable to them.

Just as an aside, I also owe my wonderful mother a big thank you for being the first one to show me a true LOVE for Jesus Christ and His Word. She has been a fabulous mother; encouraging, nurturing, loving me no matter what, but the best thing she has done for me is to
demonstrate utter dependence on her God. Man, am I grateful for that today! The rest of my family has come together to do so many things for us. And, while we haven't seen Scotty's family yet, thet have been encouraging us through texts, cards and phone calls as well. We are blessed by family.

I WISH I could list everyone else that has been so wonderful to us. Those of you that send encouraging texts regularly are so very appreciated. Others have sent cards, offered free babysitting, helped with school pick up, offered to cook for me, and above all just loved us unconditionally.

Recent events have made me question my lifestyle of enjoying friendships and making myself vulnerable by loving others and choosing to do life WITH people rather than in isolation. Anytime you open up to people, you risk betrayal. Satan would LOVE for me to come away from this experience with the mindset that people can't be trusted. He's fighting another losing battle, because he has underestimated all of you. And, doing life in relationships... the way God intended... is always worth the risk!

So, because I don't have the luxury of thanking each of you individually... THANK YOU!!! You are a precious gift to me."

"I thank my God every time I remember you.." Philippians 1:3

Thursday, September 22

Sift, Lord, Sift!

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22: 31-32

I have a favorite Bible study writer.... Beth Moore. Those of you that read this blog know that. I have several favorite studies of hers. One of them is When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. I've done that particular study 4 times!!! And, now, I'm doing it a fifth time! Each time, God has ministered to me in a different way through Beth's message and God's Word. This time, each day's study is exactly what I need for that day.

The most powerful lesson so far is a study of Peter's sifting. Peter was a pretty big New Testament player. In fact, Christ called him the Rock that He would build the church upon. However, Peter also had some struggles. He rebuked Jesus for telling him that He (Christ) would have to endure sufferings, he had quite the temper, cut off the ear of a soldier and at his very lowest denied Christ three times! As a matter of fact after Peter was told that He would play a key role in the building of Christ's church, Jesus had to say to him, "Get behind me, Satan!"

Yes. Peter had struggles. But, as the verse at the top of this post points out, Peter had more than just struggles. He was facing Satanic attack. And what Beth Moore points out in her Bible study is that Satan must gain permission to launch a full scale attack on one of God's children. The obvious question here is "Why?" Well, I believe that if God allows it, there is a purpose. He knows that HE can work all things together for good.

I may be losing some of you. Please understand that I am NOT saying that God caused the sins that have done serious damage to my marriage and our family. No way! This was NOT his plan for our marriage. BUT, can He use it? Absolutely. And He already is.

The point is that sometimes warfare enters a believers life because, just like Peter, there is something in that life that needs sifting. Peter's devotion to Christ was pure even though the rest of his character needed a little work. And, the only reason that God would grant Satan permission to 'sift Peter like wheat' is... Something needed sifting! Today, why would God allow someone with a whole hearted, sincere, and
pure devotion to Christ to get caught in the snare of demonic seduction? I LOVE Beth's answer, even though it sort of makes me shudder...

"Because, not unlike Peter, something needs removing, sifting, changing that an intense encounter with the kingdom of hell would best accomplish."

Do you have chills? Satan got used! That makes me smile. Maybe there IS a competitor deep within me, because the fact that there are
occasions when Satan thinks He is winning a battle only to find out he was USED to accomplish God's greater purpose makes me want to
stand up and fight. I want to be a part of the winning team!

One more thing... I realize that I wasn't the one caught in Satan's lies. It may seem unfair to some that I must reap the consequences when the attack and sift was meant for Scotty. In other words, if there was something in Scotty that needed removing, couldn't He have used something that would have affected only Scotty. Let me answer that. I will not know God's ultimate purpose this side of heaven. But here's
what I do know... My Heavenly Father LOVES me! And, He would NOT have allowed these horrible things to have happened to me if He
could not turn them into good FOR ME! AND, in the process, I could use a good sifting as well. I believe that and I trust HIM! So, it is in that trust that I say, "Sift, LORD, sift!"

Sunday, September 18

STILL good...

Wow! Where does someone in my position begin...? I know it must seem odd that I would write so publicly in my situation. And I'm not sure if writing about life's lessons under such circumstances is proper or good etiquette. BUT... I have ALWAYS been an open book. I've never tried to look like I've got it all together. What I HAVE tried to do is to beVERY vocal about the way in which God shows up in my daily life. Due to the fact that He has been 'showing up' even more than usual, I just can't stand not sharing. If it's uncomfortable to read.... Well, don't! :)

My God is so, so good. I have trusted that for a very long time. You see, I've been a believer since I was 7 years old. Shortly after that, my family's life began to change, and CHANGE became one of the few constants throughout my time growing up. So, looking back, I walked closely with the Lord even then. When I came to MC, I came hungry to learn more about God. And, I was blessed to be in a place where so many people were focused on my spiritual growth. On and on it continues... Marrying a man that 'hungered and thirsted for righteousness', studying in women's Bible studies, experiencing the births of my children, seeing God work in difficult life situations that sweet friends experienced... And through it all, I saw a whole lot of God's goodness. But now, THAT knowledge has moved past my head and DEEP into my heart! I can't explain it with words. But, those of you who have been through hard situations know what I mean.

Let me be clear... Sin is terrible! The consequences are far reaching and long lasting. For that reason, I am even more amazed that God can use even this to bring goodness to me. Yes! Just three weeks after hearing the worst news of my life, I feel God's blessings all over me. I love my husband more than I ever have! I am even more grateful for my amazing, beautiful children. I see God's provisions for us everywhere. And, I am honored to be living THIS life that He has chosen for me! He is GOOD, His mercies are new EVERY morning and HIS grace is sufficient for EVERY situation.

Certainly, I wish we could have learned some of the lessons we've learned in three weeks WITHOUT the disaster that has been our tutor. Don't you know that King David, Peter and even Paul felt the same way. The Bible is full of examples of humans the fell BIG, repented BIG and then were used in a BIG way. I am sticking with this, because my God is faithful! And when He uses this thing that Satan is sure will be the death of us and our testimony and turns it into something beautiful, I don't want to miss it! And I will speak Joseph's message, What you've intended for evil, God has used for good. I love Him so much!