Tis the Season

I must admit that although I love Jesus, I find the holidays to be a bit of a downer. Well, maybe not a bit, a lot might be more like it. How can I possibly be feeling funky at the most wondrous time of the year when my Savior was born? Hmmm. . . I don’t know. I honestly struggle to interpret the emotional roller coaster I’m on at this time of the year.

Life itself continues to be a challenge but things have changed, mostly for good this past year. The relationship that began the year prior blossomed and I’ll be marrying this wonderful man next week.  I did some traveling to Sanibel Island with my parents and children as well as Colorado and Nebraska.  I accomplished many things – 3 half-marathons and a personal best, hiking my first 14’er, moving not once but twice, volunteering in a new section at church  – just to name a few. Challenges? Knee issues running, significant ocular migraines, strep throat, relationship issues, my oldest son moving not only out but out of town, family/friends death and health issues, my youngest son’s back issues from weight lifting . . . But I prefer not to dwell on the negative. Or at least I try not to anyway!So, what does one do when they’re struggling? Although sometimes difficult to let go, God’s got it. Even though I can’t put into words why I’m crying, He’s got me. When I want to sleep and never wake up, He’s holding me in His arms. When social media is too overwhelming, He gives me the strength to focus on what matters. When those that I love make poor decisions and my heart is hurting, He’s there. God is good.

I’ve mentioned before that God speaks to me through music. I was mesmerized by Tenth Avenue North’s song, Control that I heard about a month ago. I can’t seem to get enough of it! Here are some of the lyrics:

I’ve had plans
Shattered and broken
Things I have hoped in
Fall through my hands
You have plans
To redeem and restore me
You’re behind and before me
Oh, help me believe
God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go, oh …
I pray that you’re able to give God control of your life. If you’re struggling with the holidays like I am, lean on Him. He cares for you. He wants you. Allow Him to fill the voids in your life. He’s got you.

I Surrender

He did it again. On my way home from a sports chiropractor appointment following work last night I was praying about how some issues in my life weren’t going the way I wanted them to and apologizing for not giving it to Him. I’d been playing Josh Groban’s Closer CD in my classroom prior to the beginning of the school day and the tune of  “Confession” came to mind as I was drifting off to sleep last night. The words themselves, however, escaped me.

This morning as I was climbing into my car to go to work, another song came to mind – Hillsong United’s “I Surrender”. I’ve always wished that God would speak to me with huge neon signs so that I can’t miss what He’s trying to tell me. Between these two songs, He’s encouraging me to surrender it all to Him. The illnesses I’ve struggled with this summer. The fatigue. The worries of my training and inability to run due to my knee issues. Untimely deaths. Family in weather related destruction areas. Raising children worries. Body image. Allergies. Relationships. Rejection that just won’t seem to let me go. Forgiveness. Lack of sleep. Stress from my job. Car problems. The ability to handle certain situations. LET. IT. GO.

Psalm 86:7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.

“Confession” lyrics: (partial)

I have been blind//Unwilling//To see the true love//You’re giving//I have ignored//Every blessing//I’m on my knees//Confessing//That I feel myself surrender//Each time I see your face//I am staggered by your beauty//Your unassuming grace//And I feel my heart is turning//Falling into place//I can’t hide it//Now hear my confession//I have been wrong about you//I thought I was strong without you//For so long//Nothing could move me//For so long//Nothing could change me

“I Surrender” lyrics: (partial)

Here I am//Down on my knees again//Surrendering all//Surrendering all//And find me here//Lord as You draw me near//Desperate for you//Desperate for You//I surrender//Drench my soul//As mercy and grace unfold//I hunger and thirst//I hunger and thirst//With arms stretched wide//I know You hear my cry//Speak to me now//Speak to me now//I surrender//

Thank you, Father, for my neon sign through music. I surrender it all to you. May your will be done in my life according to your timing and your purpose. Amen.

A Long Day and Failure

It had been a long 12 hour day of teaching restless students with an early release day due to parent/teacher conferences on top of emotional conversations with parents. When I finally walked through my door, my fur babies greeted me enthusiastically, yet my first gaze fell upon the dirty dishes all over the counters and the ½ full gallon of milk – now warm – left out. *sigh* Really? And what was that smell?

My daughter was at work. My oldest son was MIA. Apparently telling your mother where you are when you’re 19 is optional. I only knew that he didn’t work that day. My youngest son was laying on his bed with bloodshot eyes playing Xbox.

I exhaled and tried to convince myself that it’s okay. But it sure didn’t feel that way. I felt like a failure again.

I probably should have gone for a run or done some yoga. Mistake #1. Instead I looked up grades on my phone and about had a heart attack when I saw that not only did my daughter have 4 D’s, she had 2 of them that were less than 1% from F’s. (We’re working through some issues at the moment and she’s working hard at getting them better.) Mistake #2. Refer back to Mistake #1. So I started working on upcoming paperwork for my attorney because due to budget cuts within the school district it’s affected my health insurance and, therefore, my paycheck. My ex is ignoring my emails. Panic mode set in filling in the numbers and realized that there wasn’t anything on vision listed on the plan. Now I had to hold off and look for more information. Mistake #3. And on and on it went. I went to bed in an attempt to relax but couldn’t stop the tears. Refer back to Mistake #1.


Needless to say, it was a rough night. My first thought when I awoke was “Oh, no, here we go again”. A song popped into my head, “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson.

Yes, God is constantly giving me reminders that He is with me and that I don’t have to do this thing called LIFE alone. On my drive to work this morning, another long day of conferences, I not only heard “Eye of the Storm” again, but “Fix My Eyes” by King and Country and “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns. One thing I miss about being married is physical touch. After a long day of work it’s nice to be listened to, someone to brew a cup of tea for me, and hold me. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that affection. I think last night would have gone much smoother if God could have physically held me. I don’t need a man, though, just God. Even as I’m typing this post WAY-FM is playing “In My Arms” by Plumb. Just what I needed. Thank you, WAY-FM and thank you, God.

God is big enough to handle our disappointments, even when we feel like it is Him who disappointed us.:

God is good.:

Only God can fill an empty heart. Psalm 4:

Sunday, Long Run Day

The temperature screamed “Y!” but the sunshine and lack (or so it seemed) of wind said “Outside!” Wasting time driving to the Y didn’t sound appealing so I bundled up and headed outside. (By the way, if you’re a Y member, have you been recently? I hate the beginning of the year at the Y due to all of the newbies. It’s much quieter by February when people have dropped their NY resolutions!)

Yes, the temperature said 7 degrees with a real feel of-3 but by the time my run ended, it was 19 with a real feel of 25, much better! My Garmin wasn’t cooperating and, due to a low battery, wouldn’t even reset, so I opened my Charity Miles app on my Android and mapped my run this way instead, choosing Girls on the Run to receive the benefit of my miles. I might add that letting my Garmin battery get THAT low is so totally not like me, but I might add that I (think) enjoyed my run much more since I wasn’t constantly watching the clock.

I had planned on 6 but did 7 miles instead. The sun was warming, the sky a beautiful blue, my tunes (Skillet’s Awake) were on point, and I felt fabulous. What a wonderful way to enjoy my Sunday and put aside the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow.


I wore my new race hat this morning. The frozen lake in our neighborhood looked so cool that I had to snap a pic – AFTER my run, of course!

Many Blessings to you this Thanksgiving!

Although life has thrown me a major curve ball this past year and then some, I can’t help but praise God for His many blessings. Whatever life is handing you at the moment, I wish you and your loved ones many blessings this Thanksgiving season. And if you need strength, remember Isaiah 40:28b – 29, 31 (NIV) The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or wear,and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power the power to the weak. but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (I remember this being in a song  but I can’t remember the title or the artist! I do, however, remember it being a young girl’s voice saying the verse.)

Another one of my favorites this year – Isaiah 41:10 and 41:13 (NIV) – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not  be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.   13: For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

thanksgiving 3

Psalm 95:2

Psalm 95:2

thanksgiving 4

thanksgiving 5

“You are Faithful”

It was amazing that I even made it up this morning.  I’d had such vivid dreams that I couldn’t distinguish them from reality and my phone alarm didn’t go off. Fortunately my body alarm kicked in instead.  By the time I’d gotten up my youngest son and headed to the kitchen to make lunch and breakfast, I couldn’t get these particular song lyrics out of my head.  I LOVED this song when I’d heard and sang it at church but they hadn’t played it for several weeks.  That’s bizarre, I thought.  I felt God must be speaking to me through this song.

By the time I got to work I knew I had to find the rest of the lyrics and the artist for the song.  That, my friends, was a challenge when I couldn’t remember very much of it, not even the entire chorus!  Here’s a section of it:

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You leave us on our own

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Turns out it the song was by One Sonic Society and it was called Never Once.  I immediately purchased a copy for my phone. Want one? Buy yours HERE.

Never Once

Never Once

Check out the youtube official video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocd8mbGNxdI

By the time my afternoon was over, I knew why I needed this song.

God's Word

God’s Word