Tag Archives: hopeless

Not Good Enough


Here is a picture of the designs I’ve made that are faulty in some way…at least to my eye.  I don’t feel they’re good enough to be put on something to go out to the public so instead of throwing them away I stuck them on my bedroom window.  Look how beautiful they are! I love it when light shines through that window and they pop.  Makes me smile every time!  Although I can look at each one of them and see my mistakes, they’re still beautiful.

Nobody is flawless.  Unfortunately, we make mistakes, we hurt those closest to us.  We have all kinds of scars and misconceptions about ourselves. If we let our imperfections take over; if we allow to believe the ugly things said about us (and those we say about ourselves) we can start to believe we’re of no good use, unlovable and unforgivable.

When I was little, I totally believed what I overheard some family members telling each other about me: “She’s not worth anything; she’ll never amount to anything” and for a long time I lived like I believed that, to the point of contemplating suicide.

At some point, we all – no matter what vile things we’ve done or how deeply we’ve been hurt – have to decide who we will believe and decide what kind of person we’ll be.  We all have a past; we all have regrets and wishes for better decisions and choices.  The good news is, all of it can be used for good. We ARE good enough – good enough for God to love, heal, cherish, and make us in to who He designed us to be in the first place.

Just like these “mess-ups” I put on the window, I could have thrown them away.  Instead I chose to repurpose them and look at the difference they make on an ordinary window!  The same is true for us.  You never know how God will use what we’ve been through, the pain we’ve suffered and the mistakes we’ve made unless we own up to them, ask forgiveness and choose to believe He can make us better than we were yesterday. With His touch, the possibilities are endless.

Not good enough?  Every time I feel that way, I’m going to look at this window.  Beautiful.  And very good!

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”  Genesis 1:31a


A Dinner To Remember (John 12)

Just last week, he awoke hearing that familiar voice calling his name.   Bound by death-wrap in a cold tomb, he obeyed his Master by getting up and waiting for someone to unwrap him.  What had just happened?  I wonder what Lazarus remembered (?did he remember he died) what did he think about finding himself one minute on his deathbed and the next, standing while his loved ones unwrapped him? Can’t wait to talk to him about that experience!

Now alive, he finds himself sitting at the table with Jesus. Just a normal dinner; He had probably eaten with them many times as Lazarus is identified in the Bible as being loved by Jesus.  I must laugh.  This occasion had to be anything but normal.  Sick. Dead. Body wrapped in a tomb.  Over. The voice. Awake. Alive.  Out.  Now…sitting at a table with the One who called Him back to life.  Can you imagine?

No wonder Mary had to break out her best bottle of fragrance to anoint Jesus.  That kind of gratefulness for what Jesus had recently done for her family required a major display of gratitude.  I imagine she just had to do something to show Him what was in her heart.

Jesus has done the same for us, in a way.  We were walking dead, perhaps with no hope, little happiness, getting through this life as best we could then He came to us and changed us. Perhaps we were wrapped in the death-wrap of some addiction, chronic bad lifestyles or haunted by life-stealing horrible memories and never-ending pain when we heard ‘The Voice’, saw His face and became alive…really alive for the very first time.  If you haven’t had that experience, you can by simply calling His name to save you.  Believe me I know.  Jesus has changed everything for me, and continues to, every day of my life.

Let Jesus give you a “dinner to remember” today.

The Third Day

Your battle’s been long. Day after day, you rise praying for a change and a “better” but it still looks and feels the same. You’re tired.  The facts say this is the way it’s going to be. It is what it is, despite your best efforts. Discouragement has crept in and depression isn’t far behind. You tell yourself you may as well settle in and try to become okay with it because it’s never going to change for the better. You’ve given it your best shot; now it’s time to learn to live with it.

The disciples felt the same way.  Walking on that road to Emmaus they reminisced over all they had been taught and heard from Jesus.  They gave up everything to follow Him only to watch Him be captured and killed.  He’s dead.  They’d seen Him die, they probably witnessed His cold body be wrapped in death linens and placed in a tomb.  Gone.  Buried.  What are they supposed to do with that harsh truth?  That was the truth, you know.  They were grieved and perhaps decided to go back to their pre-Jesus lives. It appeared to be over so they scattered and went on.


They forgot the rest of the story.  In their grief, fear and despair, they forgot the truth…HIS truth…that yes, He would be crucified, killed and buried BUT He would rise again. At that moment on the road, though, their confusion and grief was all they could see and feel.  It had been three days, too long a period of time to really hope for a change.

Is it your third day?  Are you loosening the grip on your hope? Sometimes the truth of the situation trips us up and we fight the thing which causes our grip on God to weaken. The circumstances are real and we demand God show up and rescue us. Perhaps we’re looking more for a thing rather than the Person.  Oswald Chambers makes a profound statement which says “the purpose of prayer isn’t to get an answer, it’s to get hold of God”. In times of desperation and depression, that “mission” evades us – we’re so focused on our need we’re sometimes more desperate for an answer or remedy than we are for Him when, in fact, He is the answer!

Third days are hard. Our faith erodes and we’re finding ourselves in a weakened state physically, mentally and spiritually.  What do we do? Hang on.  Start speaking “the other” truths to yourself and remember, HIS WORD is just as much truth as the situation we find ourselves in.  Start believing (even though it appears to be ridiculous) what He said.  Convince yourself that no matter if everything looks dead, He’s not.  He is hope.  He is peace, comfort, and He has promised to provide.  He’s promised to never leave or forsake us.  He’s in that third day place with us.

The critical choice is whether we choose to have hope in Him or not. Jesus had the ultimate third day. He proved Himself to be who He said He was.  He will do the same in your third day.  Only believe.

Luke 24:21


I’m one messed up person. I have been through a lot – anyone who’s my age that’s lived any kind of life has. We’re impacted by life events whether we know it or not. We start out as children with the purest intentions and love without any constraint…then life happens to gradually, sometimes unknowingly change all that. We have an inborn expectation that everything is going to be wonderful and easy, everyone will love us just because they say they do; our families will support us and be there for us no matter what we do, what happens or which way we choose to go.  We get a little age on us and experience behind us and we become tainted and broken, like a glass that missed a proper setting on the countertop.

We fight and argue, we choose to judge those who are different from us. We stop believing in good and start seeking the bad. We stop believing in pretty much everything for a while perhaps. We become selfish and prideful, even arrogant and demanding. We start hurting people out of our own perceptions and because of what’s happened to us.

I don’t want to love and turn the other cheek.  My “nature” is to get before I get got.  OVERRULED!  The Christ in my life, and His Spirit inside me trumps my want to on many occasions.  I find myself often at that critical crossroad where I must decide to LET Him have His way.

I don’t want to work hard to make a living. I’m tired and want things to be easy.  OVERRULED! My love for Him forces a decision, yet again. I must decide to do ALL THINGS as if doing them for Him.

I don’t want to take a chance on showing compassion or helping anyone because there were times I was in the same boat and found myself alone.  OVERRULED! I know in my Spirit that things have happened for this specific reason – to show what God has done in my life to encourage someone else walking the same road, otherwise it would result in bitterness and be for nothing.

The “BJ Barbie” (before-Jesus-Barbie) was a selfish, mad, bitter and hateful woman incapable of emotions related to compassion.  “My nature” – who I really am and what I really WAS, partly because of choice, partly because of what happened – was, IS vile.  She still exists, but I CHOOSE not to let her be evident.

More than ever, we must choose to live, act, work and talk to please HIM and not feed our emotions. Sometimes I choose correctly and sometimes I’m overruled; sometimes I choose to be “bad” and even in those times, God still loves me – and Jesus is still very much with me.

Think He’s not with you?  Think He’s going to toss you because you’re less than perfect?  OVERRULED!!!

Forgive our humanness, Lord. May we allow You to overrule and supercede anything about us.


“Why me Lord, what have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known…”

This time of year is bittersweet.  My son was born 33 years ago tomorrow.  Every year I replay the days leading up to his birth and it astounds me that it feels like it did then.

I was in labor 23 hours and I was rushed for an emergency C-section when my water broke and it was green and his heart rate became very concerning.  The fear grips me to this day.

When he was taken, I was under general anaesthesia so I didn’t see him, but I was told he wasn’t breathing.  They resuscitated him for 11 minutes and when he finally started breathing he had grand mal seizures.  When I finally did see him, he was green and unconscious on a ventilator.  I remember seeing him laying there, lifeless and to this day, I relive what that heartbreaking moment felt like.

I remember my Mom and family holding a death vigil at the hospital for the next three days until I held him and he opened his eyes for the first time.  Until that moment, he had had no urine output, low body temperature and every time he was touched to draw blood he seized.  I only got to hold him because his doctor told me that was the last thing to do, they had tried everything else.

The battle for his life raged on for years.  When he was six months old I was told by a doctor that if he lived to be a year old, he would never walk and talk. If you’ve never experienced this kind of pain, no words do it justice.

Now almost 33 years later, I look at him and wonder how anyone who has ever met him doesn’t believe in God and the fact that He still is in the miracle business.  I stand in awe of what He has done in our lives.  I stand in his doorway at night listening to him breathe sometimes and cry thanking God for letting him live and not only live…thrive.  Why would He do that? Why bless me…bless us…like that? He could have died…he should have died as I could have/should have.

To not share what He has done in both our lives would be a crime.  I know God exists. I know He loves us.  I’m sure He has a more divine plan for our lives than we can imagine and I want you to know the same is true for you.

As I reflect on those bittersweet reruns, I’m jolted to the now.  I’m well aware of the fact our story could have been so different…and had I been my judge it would have been different.  I didn’t deserve to live and I didn’t deserve to have my son live.  But God chose different.  He chose to let us live and experience Him. We KNOW Him and what He can do with a surrendered heart, believing He can do exceedingly abundantly more than we can even conceive. Grace still prevails…almost 33 years later!

We all have things that have happened that we will never forget and sometimes feel the pain associated with them.  That’s just to show us how far we’ve come.  It’s okay to remember and when we do, let’s be grateful.  Happy birthday, Matt.  No matter what I will always, always be thankful God chose me to be your Mom.  I love you.

for the complete story/testimony, go to http://www.amazon.com and search for my book, “But Grace Prevailed” 

Don’t You Dare!

No matter how you feel, where you are, what you’re going through.  No matter what everyone is saying and speaking, don’t you dare.

Don’t you dare start believing this is all there is. Don’t you dare believe that no one cares.  Don’t you dare succumb to the feelings of your dark moments because that’s what they are…MOMENTS.  Don’t you dare believe that it won’t get better, your pain won’t lessen, your despair won’t subside.  Don’t you dare.

Don’t you dare stop praying.  Even if it has been years that you’ve asked and not received, don’t you dare stop.  Just one more breath.  One more.  Just one more.  Don’t you dare fall for the lies of the enemy who is so crafty he knows the exact moment you feel like giving up and giving to speak a lie to you.

Remember who you are, Whose you are and where you’ve been. It may not be perfect right now but you are far from where you were.  Look back and see.  Remember.  Don’t you dare stop now. Don’t you dare.

This is a defining moment.  Choose to believe. Choose to walk on.  Choose to allow The only One who can make a difference do so.  Don’t you dare give up.  Don’t you dare. He knows your despair, the anguish of your soul.  He knows.  He knows the deep wounds, the gaping crevices of your heart and He’s busy right now filling them in.  He’s working on that ‘beauty from ashes’ thing right now.  Don’t doubt it.  Don’t doubt Him. Don’t you dare.

Sacred Socks

While walking Sampson one morning, I was walking and praying, head down, looking at my shoes and socks.  My shoes were worn, I brought them from Alabama and since being here, my job changed and the bottom fell out and couldn’t afford to buy any more so they were looking pretty bad.  They still had good soles and no holes but they were sure ugly.  I had a pair of my son’s socks on because I didn’t have any of my own…couldn’t afford them either.  You know things are pretty dire when you can’t afford socks.  I looked like an orphan and worse, I felt like one too.

Somehow looking at my shoes and socks the desperation of our situation became very real to me. Fear and sadness rushed me and with it God recalled to my mind His words: “Pray without ceasing…” (1st Thessalonians 5:17) and “but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) so in tears I prayed for socks.  “I’m thankful for my son’s socks Lord, thankful my feet aren’t cold but honestly, I would like to have my own socks.  Maybe someday soon, when things are better, You will see fit to let me have my own socks so I won’t have to wear his anymore…I believe it won’t always be this way but if it is thank You that we have what we need…” and kept walking.

Anyone else would think me silly; I kind of thought how petty I was being even thinking about socks when faced with so many challenges…so many mountains that I just couldn’t see my way over.  At that moment, it seemed like I was doomed.  I could barely buy groceries and faced with the threat of eviction on top of losing 75% of my income, I was feeling pretty hopeless and I was full of self-pity.

A couple of days later my next door neighbor stopped me and told me they had been given some clothes and after she went through them if I wanted them I could go through them to see if there was anything we needed. I walked over and got the bags and began going through them.  In one of the big bags at the bottom was a white, smaller bag.  When I opened the bag I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Socks, pairs and pairs of brand new women’s socks.  While going through them crying so hard I couldn’t see I remembered just two days before my heartfelt prayer and I was reminded, yet again, my Father knows every need, He hears every prayer and He provides.

A couple of things came to me while I rejoiced over my provision:  1) answered prayers may not look like we think they ought to.  See, I thought when I had the money I would buy my own socks.  I never considered hand-me-down clothes would contain my answer and 2) God answers prayer in many ways but one thing is for sure…He can’t answer if we don’t ask.  I wonder had I not prayed if my neighbor would have been prompted to even give me what she didn’t want!

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  Pray about EVERYTHING.  At a time when I felt absolutely worthless and that life as I knew it was over I still believed in God, His ability to provide our needs and He hadn’t abandoned me – He was there.  When I didn’t see how things were ever going to get better, He showed me with socks that He is intricately involved in EVERY detail of our lives.

The answers to our prayers may not come like we think they should which I have come to believe is exciting!  Sacred socks infused a new faith in me because now when there’s a need I have a renewed expectation of Him knowing He will provide…I just don’t know how which makes like more of an excellent adventure.  The important thing is, I truly believe He will answer.  Do you?

Those socks at that time in my life were like manna from heaven.  From then on, I gave Him permission to provide any way He wants to and I have a new gratefulness in my heart.  Every time I get dressed and put them on I remember He hears, He provides and I know if He will give me socks, everything else we need is covered.