Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I Am Woman

These days I find I am in a season of re-awakening. It has caught me unaware. To say I welcome it is an understatement. Perhaps you'll see why.

Stages in life are peculiar. I have lived through the childhood years, the college years, the young adult years, the married-have-kids-live-in-sweat-pants-hair-pulled-back-break-neck-pace-no-rest-for-the-weary-years......
 can you tell which one is most fresh in my mind?

All stages in life have their bitter and their sweet. I'm not here to share my thoughts on that dynamic.

No.  Passion is on the docket today.

Women are the hub to so many things in life. A woman does not have to be a wife or mother to be sought after for her giftings. Her work, her church, or her extended family will – guaranteed – seek her out for her feminine creativity, her feminine instincts, her feminine insights.....those virtually indescribable dynamics that God mysteriously placed into females.

By and large, most women.....even perhaps through some occasional grumblings (grin) ...thrill at sharing their various giftings however they can.

I have spent the better part of my life “doing for others.”  I don't regret one sacrifice.  As someone recently said, “Never regrets.” (I like that....I like that a whole lot!)

But, recently, I took myself out to dinner. Alone. While enjoying a quiet dinner with live jazz music in the background, I was engaged unexpectedly by a gentleman. “Want company?”

This has never happened. In. My. Life.  (Probably because I have always had someone with me.)

And before I could hardly get my thoughts together, he sat before me.

Now, before you jump to assess, “How rude.” It wasn't. It's really difficult to explain how tactful he was. Keep in mind, he had no awareness as to my state in it married or not.

I have been complimented by my ability to express myself by a number of people, but during this experience, this charismatic gentleman exceeded anything I have ever witnessed, much less been the center target. He was both confident and transparent, and within minutes, he had my head spinning just trying to absorb what was happening.

Now. Breathe. I will spare you the details, but I did the right thing.

That said, I want to take a moment to address a pivotal lesson God taught me during this engagement.

I have often said to myself, as a necessary mantra, “God is enough.”

Reflecting back, I think to myself just how much I clung to that golden nugget of knowledge through all the years of diaper changing and homeschooling when my tank was not “just about empty”....but EMPTY! 

And most certainly – He did sustain me. The fact that my kids are functional, thriving young adults bears witness to HIS ability to keep this mama moving on down the right track.

But do you know what I heard God whisper to me in the hours after this unexpected engagement?

“I am not enough.”

Now, before you get in a dither....allow me to explain what He went on to explain to me. God made Adam, and for the first time in the creating of His world we call Earth, HE declared it was not good. God decided it was not good for Adam to be alone. Think on that: God assessed that HE was not enough for Adam. Therefore, He made this mysterious beauty whom Adam called Eve..... “of me, but oh-so NOT me.” (Paraphrased, obviously.)

When God was relaying His thoughts to me, this awareness of what Adam experienced upon FIRST seeing Eve hit me. He had no mother figure to subconsciously program his thoughts from infancy on concerning all the wonders of “woman.” He had no sisters to reference. He had no dating books – no relational self-help books – no magazine articles – no TV shows – no tips, pointers, or anything to compare what God brought before him for him.

BOOM, there she was...she rocked his world by simply being.

Husbands, let me take a moment and ask you, do you induce that “boom” moment in your wife's heart when you see her? Wives know if they spark your being by simply being.....or if your view of them is “a dime a dozen.” If you have permitted whatever to reduce the impact your wife is meant to have on your being,  take steps today to both see her anew and let her know she is your one and only Eve. Every female wants to be their Adam's Eve. It's what we, as females, were created for.  Adams, make it your priority to treat your Eve as the irreplaceable, GOD-created gift she truly is! It's an incredible thought that God cared so much for YOU that He created a gift that only He could create that is meant only for you TO complete you! Think on that. Let that FACT sink in and blow the "dime a dozen" lie right back to hell from which it came!

When that gentleman appeared before me, it was by far the oddest thing I have experienced in a long time. It was clear to me that to him no one else was in the room but me. He did not stand back and admire from a distance.  No, he approached to seize.

Here's the thing. He didn't have a reference for me. He didn't know me as Deborah from ______ who is _______years old and been married for _____ years and who has three children who she has raised and taught and launched into the world.

No, I had the experience of not being seen for what I DO.....but simply who I am. 


And in that moment, an awakening of something that had been lost in the basement of my being came rushing to the surface. 


The passion encompassed in those three power-packed words that had been buried through the years of “doing life”....raising children, balancing home and work, and all that jazz..... came on like an avalanche; a very, very unexpected avalanche.

Perhaps you are a woman similar to me. You find yourself relating to the cold of life, where duty replaced passion at some point along life's track.

I don't beat myself up about it. Remember: NEVER regrets! One does what one must. Laundry has to be done, children have to be fed, etc, etc, etc.

But I am thankful I have a long, long history of following God through thick and thin and very thin, and He sees our deficits no matter how they came to be....and moves to correct those deficits. 

Aren't you thankful He moves?  Oh, how He knows I am!

He wired me to LEARN and GROW.
Every day, I look, assess, learn, and grow. 

I have a bracelet I wear frequently. I spied it one day while out with my daughter.....

It's an excellent reminder to embrace ALL situations without fear  for growth.

Ladies, YOU ARE WOMAN first and foremost, with a God-placed passion in your being simply by being! Hear me on this: don't let your duty and all your “doing” bury your passion as I did if it can be helped! Learn from my experience. It happened subtly over the years. “Life” took over and buried it in the waves of “to dos.”

But..... it's back... basement - no more its dwelling ....


Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The Lord never promised this life would be smooth sailing, but if we were honest, we all wished He would have.

No, for the vast majority of people, life is a long, long, long series of hurdles. Hurdles of events, hurdles of work challenges, hurdles of parenting challenges, hurdles of health challenges, hurdles of relationship challenges.....hurdles galore!

My dad, at one time, held state records for track in high school.  One of his events was hurdle jumping.  I am proud of this knowledge, but even today, some forty plus years after discovering his accomplishments I still cannot wrap my mind around anyone liking that challenge enough to compete in it!

I despised hurdle jumping in high school PE class...even the lowest of the lowest hurdles!  Today, as much as my personality thrives in overcoming challenges, I do NOT seek out hurdles in my life.  Trust me, they have found me time and time again..... I have no need to seek them out.... and I certainly have no "love lost" for them!

Nevertheless, they do come.

I have found the hardest hurdles are the relationship hurdles.  I am a giving person at my core. I attribute this to my parents' example, but God took their example, which ultimately came from Jesus' example, and cultivated beyond anything I could ever take credit for.  I will throw myself in front of a bus as I push another out of its path time and time again. Some have assessed me as "crazy" and downright reckless. I usually have this split second knowledge that the pain is going to be intimately profound and oh-so costly.....but love  is just that, is it not?  As a result, I have spent much time being patched up in God's ER and having numerous "consultations" with the Doctor.    Let's just say I am eternally thankful for His skills.

As you assess today's hurdles, perhaps you are feeling defeated.... you gave your everything, but landed on the asphalt with bloodied knees and elbows....or worse.
I can relate....truly.

Can I offer you some encouragement from one "hurdle jumper in Christ" to another?  Stare down the view of hurdles in your current line of sight.... go deep to your core.... find God.... He is there!.... and know that it's not your's His....whatever your personal "hurdle record" is currently or if you are just beginning to learn hurdling.... know that you can "best it"..... blood, sweat, TEARS, and all.... give it your best..... and if you fall....get up.....take a trip to God's ER if you must....but DO NOT leave life's track

What keeps me learning how to "perfect" my hurdling is my love for Him..... His love for me. No one one... loves me like Him.

These two things I desire above all things: 
 that I love Him with my everything..... 
and that my life is a testament to who HE IS!

For these two reasons, you'll find me on life's track....
hurdling away!

Blessings always!

Monday, October 10, 2016

October Solace

Greetings, dear ones!

Pardon my absence here; I have been in a long, needed "turtle season." (Rest, renewing, regrouping)

For some, you may have seen my periodic engagements through Facebook in recent months. I have enjoyed those, and from many of you, I see you have enjoyed them, too!

Life.  What's there to say?

My two eldest children continue to progress through college, and my youngest began high school.  All kiddos are through braces and through Driver's Ed.

Funny how mothers measure life through their children's milestones, but hey, it works.

I was conversing with dear daughter the other day, and it hit me just how much my life is in MAJOR transition. Motherhood - though still very important to this mama's heart - is no longer a central dynamic of mine.  I now have two ADULT children for cryin' out loud!  That demands I shift bearings!

Not only have my bearings shifted, but theirs has too. I recall a very engaging conversation with them in the recent months.  I was instructing them how to "adult" their relationships with one another. For many years, my "virtual shirt" was black and white striped (ie: referee/infraction determiner/penalty assessor).   In the "now moments" we find our adult-selves navigating, I still remain thankfully revered and routinely consulted for my assessments on life's decisions, but I am not deluded into thinking I control anyone or their decisions.

This has upped the ante on their maturity, but I would be amiss as their parent if I did not recognize the need for this "ribbon cutting" -- (others have referred to it as "apron string cutting").  I prefer "ribbon cutting".  It is after all a significant rite of passage into the world of adult-ing and deserving of its spotlight, in my book.

Not only does such "ribbon cutting" celebration mark the shift, but it declares to them that I believe them capable of becoming my peer.  That is HUGE in an adult child's life.  They don't need to think I believe in them..... they need to unequivocally know  I believe in them.

So, that shift has occurred.... and in so doing, my load is now 2/3 lighter in the mama department.  During said season, I have rejoined the work force almost at full-throttle, holding the position of Director of Human Resources for a company.

The position came to me; I did not seek it out.  I can honestly say I have used two plus decades of personal growth "on the job".   You know all the sayings about God using everything in life for a purpose? Well, I am SO thankful He took twenty plus years and "stocked my tool belt" for such a time and such a position as this.

I love what I do.... I love the team of people I work with.... I love its challenges....and its rewards.

It's amusing to me now....typing the words "I love its challenges" because it reminds me of my boss when she looked at me and said, "Where I see a road block, you see a challenge to overcome!"

I love that God RE-wired me to be what I call a realistic optimist!  It's not that I don't see things as they are. I just choose to see past present  hurdles to what a challenging situation can shift, in a positive way, to be through determined,Godly, personal influence and deliberate course of action.

Now, having said that and then circling back around to my earlier statement of not controlling anyone, there are certainly going to be unfortunate circumstances beyond my ability to bring about a different (more desirable) outcome.  Take for example, Sally goes flying down the highway, and I - as her passenger - state, "You know, you might want to slow it down a tad,"  but she chooses to ignore my suggestion and moments later experiences the blue-light "reward" she has coming to her.  Yeah, all I can do at that point is watch her receive her (unfortunate) reward.

I have experienced life situations where not only was I a front-row witness to the pending "reward" - but a partaker. Shoot - live into adulthood, and you'll be saying, "You know that's right!" about your own "front-row witness and partaking". 

You know the situations I am talking about. For example, you have a relationship that for whatever reason goes "south" -- literally and figuratively.  The other person pushes you off a cliff either with a warning or no warning, and the next thing you know, they are hollering at you from above as you lay in a thousand pieces down below, "Come on, get up... I didn't mean to....that's not what I really meant to have happened."

Now, you, as if you have a choice.... but let's say you do, magically super-glue yourself back together. Do you rejoin them on the precipice again?  Risk being tossed off again?   How about again and again and again?  What point defines insanity?

I have discovered at my stage in life the canyon floor is not the terrifying place I once assumed it to be from places of let's say - altitude. Granted - and please hear me on this - the canyon floor should not be anyone's deliberate place of destination. But if one should find themselves there,  let me assure you there is life after you meet with the canyon floor.

How is it that I can make such a declaration?  Because life's experiences in which I found myself at the canyon floor, when coupled to my God-created, realistic-optimist core, birthed an understanding that I can soar UP from the canyon floor to heights way above the precise from which I was thrown.

I am not subject to dwell on the canyon floor. I am not subject to dwell on the dangerous precipice from which I fell, nor am I subject to those who choose to dwell on such precipices. 

No, I am subject to One, and only One.  And He says, "I have made you whole! Soar!"

Only when one has experienced the heights extending beyond the clouds TO the depths extending to the darkest canyon floor can one know just how we were created to THRIVE irregardless of life's circumstances.

There are always going to be those who choose to live foolishly on the precipices of life. There is much to be said for not setting up a tent with them, but it is a pretty fair understanding that at some point in your life, someone on a precipice that you come across during your life's journey will intentionally or unintentionally send you sailing off their chosen precipice.  I would say everyone will experience at least one great fall to the canyon floor. What you do in the aftermath -- after you get over the initial "having the wind knocked out of you" and the shock of your shattered condition -- will either demonstrate your understanding of who God is in your life or your lack of understanding who God is in your life.

Let me declare that NO child of God is destined to live in pieces on the canyon floor!

Let Him take all those pieces, putting them together with "His superglue" .....and grant you His wings with both the encouragement and the command to "Soar!"

Life is a string of challenges .....challenges to overcome..... BOTH its heights AND its depths.

It's time, dear one, to leave the canyon floor and SOAR!  
Join me....Won't you?!

Perhaps a different way to hear this song after reading? 
Do you hear Him calling you to rise in the now?

Don't make the canyon floor home!
You were made for more!