Tomorrow We Fight

Our moms’ group has heartbreakingly seen two mamas lose their precious children to brain cancer in the last 6 years. When the second child died, our pastor gave a timely, encouraging sermon on Judges 20. The story in that chapter is how the Israelites fought against the Benjamites, lost many men in the fight, and asked God if they should fight a second time. God said yes, and they lost more men. So the men wept, fasted, worshiped, and enquired of the Lord if they should fight a third time. God said, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”

Our pastor reasurred us that though we lost the battle, we would one day win. He encouraged us to weep, fast, worship, and pray today, so tomorrow we could stand up and fight again.



Now, a dear mom from that same moms’ group is fighting brain cancer for the second time, after being miraculously healed. She is now in a medical induced coma in hopes that her body can rest while she fights septic shock as well as some infections. We have seen her decline rather quickly, and it’s disheartening.

I’m writing this post, first to give a charge to the moms’ group and other friends of this family to keep fighting. Let’s follow the example of the Israelites in Judges 20. My second reason is to give encouragement to anyone going through something rough for the second or third (or fourth!) time. Take God at his word (as Ginger reminded us), study his promises, and keep fighting no matter how many battles you lose. We will win the war!


Building Your Home

Right up there with coffee, chocolate, and new baby smell is the scent of freshly cut wood as my favorite. I just love walking into new construction or a project, seeing what isn’t yet complete, but imagining the finished work.

Proverbs 14:1 says,

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

My house, my home and family, is my domain, my place of influence from where all else flows. Even though I desire to be wise in the building, many times I find myself tearing it down brick by painful brick.

How do I, desiring to be that woman of wisdom, build my house?

I build when I take time to spend with the Lord in worship and prayer. I read His word and study it for living a life out of a security that rests in His unfailing love for me. This is my FOUNDATION for all else.

I build when I set boundaries and make margin in my life, taking the time I need with my husband and family. I use this margin to rest and focus on the most important things in my life. These are my WALLS that protect me from burning out and turning into a stressed out nightmare for my family. This keeps a peaceful tone in my home.

I build when I make the effort in relationships with other women, allowing myself to be real and vulnerable. These are the WINDOWS that allow others to see me and keeps me from feeling isolated and alone in my motherhood journey.

I build when I receive counsel, letting people into our lives, letting go of misconceived ideals of perfection. I build when I get rid of negative influences that harm my family. These are the DOORS to my life, doors that open my family up to good things and doors that close, protecting us when necessary.

I build when I cry out to God in prayer, praising Him, and entering into thanksgiving for all I have. This is my ROOF, my covering, my atmosphere changer. It keeps me from complaining, comparing, and despairing. It opens up my life to the power of God and an atmosphere of joy and gratefulness in my home and family.

I build when I invest my time in things that matter, when I am present with my family. I am truly listening and seeing the heart needs of my husband and children, loving them the way I want because I have built my house on the correct foundation. I build when I teach them to be present in things that really matter as well, taking the atmosphere in our home to the world outside us. This is the INSIDE of my house, the features and beautiful touches I build into our lives for my family, treasuring them and my calling as a wife and mother for all that it is.

A Charge to Christians After This Election

As I scrolled through social media today, I saw people grieving, gloating, blaming, praising, all based on their take on this presidential election. Some were saying, “if you voted for (or against) ______, that makes you a ______.”  I kept telling myself to take the day and log off, but I found myself getting on over and over.

What I saw made me feel shocked, offended, and at times, in agreement with certain statuses. I felt shocked when I saw some people who I really thought would have voted one way say they voted the other. I was offended and struck with emotion when I saw anger, gloating, name calling, and other strong opinions expressed that I don’t agree with. Then some expressed themselves in a way that was seasoned with love, even for those who didn’t get their way last night.

Then I came across the best status: this verse.


Today I have held my tongue and not responded when I didn’t agree with what I read. However, these verses encourage us to go a step further. We have to make room for people’s opinions when we see fault in them and forgive those who are offensive when they express their thoughts. The beginning of these verses remind us to be patient, gentle, kind, tenderhearted, and show mercy and humility. People have many emotions after last night’s results. Many are airing out their laundry on Facebook for all to see. Let’s give them room to say what they want to say, even if they say it in ugly, unloving ways. Much mercy has been given to us, and we are to extend that to those who express opinions that are different than ours.

So today and over the next few months, will you join me and stop to check your own heart when you read something you don’t agree with? Then offer a prayer of blessing for that person. Ask God to give you a heart of love for them. Only then will we show the world we are truly Christ followers who’s hearts are set toward the kingdom of heaven.

Our Redemption Story: Part 7

Prologue, Part 1, Part 2 Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

I have my husband’s full support and permission in sharing the details of our story. He and I are completely different people now and are eager to share our story of redemption, because our desire is that God would use it to give others hope.

When I went back home for our baby’s doctor’s appointment, Will and I were ready to get back together. Because of the scare of possibly losing his family, he was ready to do everything he could to not give into temptation. Miraculously, we were only separated for about 3 weeks.

We went to counseling and stayed accountable to the few people who knew our situation. One time, about a month after we got back together, he didn’t come home.  I confronted him and told him I wouldn’t put up with this again; if it happened again, I’d leave again. That was the last time it ever happened.

About 3 months after we were reconciled, Will got a revelation from God. God wanted to deal with the root of the issue, and Will was ready to respond. He realized that because of his broken relationship with his earthly father, he didn’t view God as a loving father. He pictured God as almighty, all powerful, and way out there somewhere, but not a God who could have an intimate relationship with him, who would care about the little things, and love him no matter what. Once he understood God in this new way, the bondage of sexual sin was broken off of him! He was on fire for the Lord and acted like a different person.

A month later, God wanted to reward us for being committed to the covenant of our marriage. We found out I was pregnant again! When we learned it was a boy, we quickly settled on a name that meant, “Gift from God.” Since then, we’ve been blessed with 3 more children, and we just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. The Lord Thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save… Zephaniah 3:17.

If someone you love is struggling with addiction (a sinful habit they can’t break), something I learned from our story is this. Usually a Christian’s addiction stems from one of two wrong belief systems. Either they have a tainted view of who God says they are, or a misperception of who God says he is.  Pray for God to give them a revelation of who he made them to be and who God really is. The reality of those two things has the power to break addiction. What keeps us in bondage? Satan’s lies about us or his lies about God. Remember what he said to Eve? “Did God REALLY say…” Then he convinced her that what God said wouldn’t happen (Genesis 3:1-19). Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Satan deceives, kills, steals, and destroys, but Jesus came to give us abundant life, life to the fullest. He’s so ready and able to open up people’s spiritual eyes so the truth can bring their freedom.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19a


Our Redemption Story: Feelings, Prayers, and Declarations – Part 3

Prologue, Part 1, Part 2

I have my husband’s full support and permission in sharing the details of our story. He and I are completely different people now and are eager to share our story of redemption, because our desire is that God would use it to give others hope.

I had a lot of various feelings and thoughts as I watched Will get deeper in his addiction. When sex was good, I wondered if it was because of something he had seen. Was he fantasizing about other people during sex? Would he ever have an affair or leave me for someone who will participate in this sin with him? I’m a worrier by my human nature. My biggest emotion was worry, worry to the point of not sleeping well, feeling sick every time I found out again, and then worry that our unborn son’s development would be hurt because of my worry. Each night he worked late, I’d make myself ill wondering if he was coming home after work.

Sometimes I wanted to quit my job. I’d come home to find that he had finished work early that day and decided to shut himself in the bedroom. If I didn’t have to work, could he still find a way to feed this addiction? Other times, because he was depressed, if we were invited somewhere, he wouldn’t want to go. I knew that if I went without him, he’d have the opportunity to act on temptation. At times, I chose to stay home. Other times, I’d go but have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach the whole time.

The hardest part was that because there was so much secrecy and shame wrapped up in a sin like this, I didn’t have many people that I felt I could go to for counsel or prayer. Will’s hope was to be one of the worship leaders at church. We felt that even if we walked through this, if other pastors and leaders knew, he may be looked down upon and never be given that opportunity. Our home group pastors, counselors, my family, and a few close friends knew. It was lonely, especially for Will because none of his friends or family knew what was going on until I left. Even if we had shared with a lot of people, not many people in the church talk about going through something like this, and the world doesn’t usually have a problem with it, so we both felt like we were navigating in uncharted waters.

When we were engaged, God gave me a verse for Will. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:6. Because I had been hurt by him before and during engagement, I wasn’t sure I trusted him completely. I knew this verse was a promise to me for his life. I said, “God, I’m not sure I can trust that he will always be committed to you and to me.” God responded, “OK, if you can’t trust him, can you trust me? Can you trust me IN him to complete the work that I started?” I held on to that for dear life. According to that verse, the responsibility was God’s.

Like I mentioned before, Will often fell deep into despair. He would mess up, cry to God for deliverance, mess up again, and hate himself, thinking he could never get free. Often he would withdraw from me, and that’s how I knew he had fallen again. He often threw himself pity parties, speaking aloud his false beliefs about himself. When he did this, I would remind myself of that verse, then I’d tell him all of the things that I knew were true about him. He was a man after God’s heart. He was an anointed worshipper, he had an amazing destiny, one that Satan tried to rob in an abortion room. God had a marvelous plan for him. Sometimes, I’d tell him why I loved him, which, besides what I already mentioned, were reasons like his love for children and family, his singing voice, his guitar playing, his looks – especially his eyes, the way he would run after God without compromise (when he wasn’t entertaining his addiction). He usually wouldn’t respond, or end up falling asleep. He is an all or nothing kind of guy. If he’s on fire for God, everything about him – his actions, his countenance – changes. When he’s depressed, he is quick to give up on everything and quickly falls into despair; he acts like the exact opposite of who he truly is.

On many of my lunch breaks at work, I spent a lot of time praying, sometimes using The Power of a Praying® Wife. I would pray such powerful prayers and leave that time so encouraged. Wouldn’t you know, on the most powerful prayer days, I’d come home to a husband who felt hopeless, because it happened again. That was always a huge blow to my hope.

Something that I learned through this process, and I share with every wife that God gives me the chance to encourage, is that because God made a husband and wife one flesh, as wives, our prayers have the greatest influence over our husbands. Did you get that? Out of all of the people God could move on to pray for your husband, you have the most authority and the most influence in the spiritual realm when you pray for him, because you are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. So when your prayers are full of faith and the opposite happens, take heart! They really are effective! (James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”) Another verse I want to leave you with is 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk according to the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”

In my next post, I’ll pick up where I left off in part 2.



Wow!  What a rainbow this morning!  Right over Culver Road, as if I could head to Cobbs Hill and find a pot of gold there underneath it.  It was stunning… And then another one next to it.  Its arch reaching over Midtown Athletic Club and the eastside of the city.  Two rainbows in the early drizzle of the morning, with the sun rising in the east.  The perfect set-up and reminder of promises.  Promises kept.  God always keeps his promises.  He is the one who follows through when there’s unrepented sin.  He is the one who comforts us after a loss.  He is the one who pursues our loved ones, not yet knowing their need for Jesus, with great fervor.

So I rejoice and pray! I am SO thankful for God’s promises, and I pray for my adopted son, nearly 18, that his heart might soften.  I pray that he would see his need for a loving Savior and just Father.  I pray for his dreams and goals.  I pray that he would experience joy knowing that this life is good, but I also pray that he will experience trials and see his need for perfect love.  These may seems like selfish prayers, but I hope that they are not.  These may seem like judgmental prayers, but I hope that they are not.  I want to pray as the Bible teaches: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ESV. I pray God’s promises manifest in his life and the lives of all our children.  May God continue to pursue my loved ones with reckless abandonment and bring them ALL into the kingdom of Christ!

What is God Saying About your Children for 2016?

Before the new year began, I was praying for my children by calling things that are not as though they are and calling things that are as though they are not. One of my children has been telling little lies. It’s sometimes hard to tell if this child is doing it on purpose or not, because it is often masked with confusion, confusion about the situation and about what others are speaking to said child. I was praying this way: “Thank you God that (insert name) is a truth teller. Thank you that he/she knows how to speak clearly and to understand what is spoken without confusion.”

Another child made a habit of talking back. Apparently, this mama is always wrong…until I’m right. “Thank you, Lord, that _____ is respectful. Thank you that when he/she gets frustrated he/she will still be at peace. Thank you that he/she accepts correction and has a teachable spirit.”

Here’s a mama mess up story with my oldest. Our toddler left a toy out that we all kept tripping over, but no one would move it. My oldest tripped on it, then about 10 minutes later, my husband did. I sharply said to my son, “Could you puhleeze go put that toy away?! Everyone is tripping on it!” After he quietly obeyed, I said, “I’m sorry I spoke so harshly. You didn’t do anything wrong.” He said, “I’m used to it.” Ouch. Yes, I speak with an accusing tone a lot.

The next day, I was reading in Luke 1 where Zechariah is visited by Gabriel who tells him very specific things about the son he and Elizabeth will have. When John was born, Zechariah’s mouth opened when he agreed with the word of the Lord by saying the boy’s name was John. Zechariah then prophesied, by the Holy Spirit, to his family and friends about what kind of person John would be and the call he had on his life.

Since reading from Luke, I’ve been thinking about seeking God for a word for my children, something I can pray over them for this new year. My friend Traci, at, challenged her readers to think about what one word God was speaking to them for 2016.


When my son called me out, I realized the word God is speaking for our children for 2016 is “loved.” He (and I) want them to feel so loved, loved by Him, loved by us. I can’t snap my fingers and suddenly fix my bad habit of responding or correcting my kids with a harsh tone. I need God’s Spirit to change me so they can feel my love for them and His love for them through me. The beauty of that is, I have a whole year to yield to what the Holy Spirit wants to do through me to make the changes needed in my relationship with my kids.

Sit down with a journal, music, and your Bible. Ask God what word or phrases He wants to you to pray into existence for your family. Then ask Him to help you get out of the way, so He can bring those words to pass.