When Life Turns Out Different Than What You Expected

when life turns out different than what you expected
Some stories don’t turn out like we expect them to.

I’m sure Mary would agree with me. She said yes to God’s plan, despite her limited understanding. She put her hand right in His and followed the path laid down for her.

But I somehow doubt she ever expected where all it would lead her.

When my husband and I were first contacted about adopting a little unborn baby, we went right to our knees. We were Gideon with all his doubts. We weren’t strong enough, wealthy enough.

Four times I stretched out a fleece. Not just the twice that Gideon did. Four times.

Are you sure, God?

Every time He laid my fears to rest. This was His battle, His decision, His plan. Continue reading

what I learned from the Shepherds

what I learned from the Shepherds

I’ve never seen an angel (that I’m aware of, though I’ve often wondered about a few people who moved in and out of my life very swiftly—and left huge blessings in their wake). To be honest, I’m not sure what I would do if I saw one.

From Scripture it seems that perhaps they are more terrifying than we tend to think. The pretty gal with the glowing hair and fluttering wings? Not so much.

Since one of the names we are given in Scripture of the Creator is “God of Angel Armies” I would guess that an angel might look a bit more like an army general.

In the book of Luke (Luke 2:8-21) we hear about the angels who announce the Messiah’s birth to a group of shepherds. Apparently this was a surprising turn of events as the shepherds were the unlearned of the Jewish society.  Continue reading

what I learned from Simeon

what I learned from Simeon

 

There have been a few times in my life when I have been given a direct rhema from the Lord.

Once was when I was a teenager, asking God what my calling was. That day He sent me a note.

Another was at Bible School, when I was seeking to further define my calling. He met me that night in a dream. One thing I had always wondered was what I would say to Jesus if I saw Him in person. That night I found that the first words from my mouth were, “Abba. Oh, my Abba.” In the dream He was on His way to the cross and when I cried over His wounds and what I knew was to come, He turned me gently toward a hillside. There in the shadow of the cross, dozens of children were playing—oblivious to the horror happening above them. “I am going to make all things new,” He told me. “You go and teach them to see.” Continue reading

what I learned from Anna

Anna

I remember the day of our seventh anniversary. I woke up, looked around and found my husband watching me. He smiled. “Has it really been seven years?”

It had. Years that flutter away with the spinning of time. Years I pray are simply the beginning of a lifetime.

Anna, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher (a Jewish woman in the New Testament) was married for seven short years before laying her husband to rest. During a time-period when the average marrying age was fifteen, she would have become a widow about the age when I began my married life.

Only seven years. I know how short that time really is.

Translators are a bit undecided if Scripture says that she was then a widow until 84 years old or a widow for the next 84 years. (Luke 2:37 text and footnotes) Either way, she was a widow a very long time. Continue reading

What I Want My Daughter To Know About Christmas

What I Want My Daughter to Know About Christmas

I want her to know it didn’t start with a baby. Nor did it start with Joseph and Mary. They are all part of the middle, but not the beginning– nor are they the end.

The world was created in perfection, with love. All was beautiful, all was good. It was a glorious place where fellowship with God was possible. (Gen. 1)

Yet, the perfection did not stay. With the ability for true fellowship came the ability for broken fellowship. When Eve believed the lie, that all was not good, that God was hiding something from her, the relationship broke.

I want her to know the whole story. Not just about the manger, but about the creation of the world and man’s fall into sin and the God who gave up the glory of heaven for brokenness and betrayal. About His gift, the greatest gift of all. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Christmases

“Mama,” the little girl said, “should I make a list of everything I want for Christmas?”

Her mother stood still and quiet for a moment. She was carefully hanging tinsel, pulling the strands gently from the glittery pile. “I think,” she finally said to her daughter, “that you should come and sit and listen to a couple stories.”

The girl came quickly, for she loved stories of every kind, and she knew this would be a special type of story. It would be a story from when her mama was little, like her. She brought her big ball of red yarn and her crochet hook. She was making a long, long chain to wrap around the Christmas tree. Her mother continued to pull the tinsel apart, piece by piece, and tape in carefully in a dangling, sparkly row.

The two worked busily with their hands as the stories began…

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Continue reading

Our Favorite Things {giveaway!}

Christmas is just a few short weeks away. For reals.

To celebrate, I have joined with some dear friends {affectionately called the Ladder Bloggers},  and put together a giveaway blog- hop for you to enjoy!

When I began thinking about a contribution to this giveaway, I immediately thought of my friend Brandi who creates amazing handbags. A few emails and whalla! I have a  Maris Rae tote to give to one of my readers. Glorious.

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You will love it. I know.

Her bags are handmade, with beautiful color combinations and will make a perfect gift for a friend or just something special for you to enjoy.

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The giveaway is for this medium size Maris Rae that retails at $58.00.

This Giveaway is Closed.

A winner will be chosen on Monday, December 3rd and will be notified by email. (The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If I don’t hear back from them, a new winner will be chosen.)

Now. On to the rest of the goodies! See all these beautiful things? They’re all being given away by my friends. Help yourself to these wonderful links and enjoy the beginnings of the Christmas season!

There is so much goodness {and so many chances to win!} if you’ll just follow me as we visit…

Visit each of my fellow bloggers to enter for their individual giveaways!

Giveaways will be open until midnight, Monday, December 3, EST. Winners will be announced on each individual blog.

This giveaway is hosted by a group of friends who call themselves the Ladder Bloggers. We are a mastermind group, seeking to go deeper with our readers even as we ‘climb higher’ with our writing and blogging skills. We believe no blogger should blog alone! For more info about how our group works, tips for starting your own, and to meet the rest of our group, please visit this page.