Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Runners High...

(Okay, this post had nothing to do with my running friends..but i absolutely could NOT do a post on running and not have them in the post! Love these friends!)

So, the Jonah study is more than I could have ever imagined so far. Remember my complete reluctance to go? (see Girl-Interrupted post)

Never would I have imagined that Jonah and I had so much in common. I mean, he was swallowed by a whale, remember?

Ummm, yeah. No common ground that I could see.

Well, Jonah was thrown overboard of a boat that was heading away from where God was calling him to go.

He was running.

Now this I'm familiar with.

I have thousands of proverbial running shoes that I rotate when the opportunity arises:

I run from opportunities that deem too time-consuming or too emotionally draining.

I run from my husband when he wants to gently reprimand me for certain over-spending or over-protectiveness of my little nest.

I run from relationships that get too messy. A lot.

I run from my past instead of saddling up, dealing with it, and letting it ride off into the sunset...without me.

I run from my future by constantly living in the past and re-living scenarios that I could have done differently.

I run from the people that see through the mask that I so often wear.

I run to the people that tell me what I want to hear instead of what I need to hear.

Or, running from something I know God is telling me to do. But it's hard. Like forgiveness.

Or Grace.

Or reconciliation.

Or submission.

Or maybe change.  Stepping out of the boat and going to an uncomfortable place. I  mean, why? I was so cozy and content where I was. Why the change?

Or leadership. It's much easier being in the background. Way easier. Nobody notices me here. No accountability is much easier.

Or obedience to Him. Just because. Without having to have God tell me why. Just doing it.

Yes, Jonah and Me are similar. Very similar.

Running from Him is exhausting. And fruitless.

The author of the Bible Study, Priscilla Shirer, ended with this quote in last night's study:

"Running from God costs you so much more than you ever want to pay."


What are you running from?

Or running to?

What do you say we try throwing away our running shoes and go bare-foot in the soft, cool sand that God is inviting us to walk in.

To Him.

I'll take sand any day over asphalt.

unlacing my shoes,


Cooking for Dummies...

(this is NOT what my taco ring looks like...but, you get the idea. mine is much messier and minus all the veggies)

I have a lot to share with y'all, but not enough time to write.

So, I leave you with this...

A recipe.

This is an absolute staple at my house. My kids eat every single last bite on their plate.

That's saying a lot for my picky eaters.

The Taco Ring
2 cans crescent rolls
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 lb ground round
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
a little water-just enough to mix seasoning in ground beef once cooked
Optional: lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa.
-Cook meat and add and seasoning.
-Arrange rolls in a circle on cooking stone or round pizza pan with points hanging down, sides touching.
--Put some meat on each triangle.
-Top with grated cheese
-Fold over skinny end of point to fatter end of crescent roll to cover meat.
-Repeat with each triangle.
Yes, it's that easy.
Bake according to crescent roll package directions.
Serve with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and salsa. (or none of the above it you have picky eaters like me!)
If I can make this, your 3 year old can make this.
Scout's honor.
no martha stewart here,

Short and sweet...

Rest in this today, friend:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 34:4

Go, delight in Him!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back-seat conversations....

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

This is our Monday memorization verse for the week. I like it because it's a little less wordy than last week.

Less is good.

Very good for my very bad memory.

As we are discussing it in the car on the way to school, I ask the kids to think about what gifts they think God has given them to share with the world.

Silence. (A rare sound in our car.)

Okay, so it's a little harder to come up with your own special gifts that God gives you. Isn't it?

Think about it.


I decide to change the question to this:

What do you think each other's gifts are?

This they can do.

After sharing some sweet conversation with each other about their gifts (again, a rare moment), they change the focus to the gym-clothes- pony-tailed- no-make-up-woman in the front seat.


Oh boy. I never ever know what my kids are going to say about me. Sometimes it can be really kind, but most of the time it can be brutal. I always cringe when Joseph says: "Mommy, you are so _________."

My palms were sweaty. This would be interesting. What did they think their Mommy's gifts from God were?

I knew this conversation would make or break my Monday morning.


Presley said (and I quote): "drawing (???), writing, and taking care of kids."

Okay, that was sweet. I can handle that.

Then it was Joseph's turn.

"Mommy, you are good at noticing things."

That's it??

Alrighty then.

 Not what I was expecting, but I guess it could have been worse.

Joseph continued: "You know, Mommy, you notice things that other people don't birds. Remember the other day when you saw those 3 white birds and you said it reminded you of Jesus?"

"That's what I mean Mommy. You notice things that other people take for granted or don't take the time to see."

"And......your compassionate."

Okay, well this turned out much better than I thought. Wasn't quite sure where he was going with the whole noticing thing...but I think I'll take it.

Joseph is so thoughtful.

Love that kid...every ounce of him.

So, my Monday was a little more brighter, a little more lighter.

Lord, please help me to always notice things.

What are your gifts?

If you don't know, just ask your kids.

Or mine.

wide-eyed and bushy tailed,


Friday, August 26, 2011

The "F" word....


My children are not aloud to say this word out loud. If they do by some chance, I make them repeat this verse after me: "Perfect love drives out fear". 1 John 4:18.

Why is it so easy to tell my children not to fear, but I struggle tremendously with this? Why do I let Satan get a foot-hold on me regarding this word?

My day can be going along just peachy, and then a thought comes into my head.

Fear sets in.

Just yesterday, I was driving the kids home from school. Presley out of the blue says this to me: "Mommy, there is only one problem with Heaven. What if I get there before you do? What will I do??"

 My chest tightened and my heart started racing. I rolled down the window for some (hot) air. I could not breathe.

Thoughts of my children being taken from me or harmed in some way consumed my head. Why did she say this?

I immediately told her-probably for my own assurance more than hers- that she was very young and had a long life to live. I told her I would die before her and be waiting for her in Heaven at the front gate.

Then she says: "But, then I have to be here on Earth without you."

Oh boy. This was one of those times when you change the subject and re-direct her 6 year old little mind.

After she had long forgotten her thought-provoking question, the fear starts running through my veins.

I didn't want Presley to know how much fear that her question invoked in me, so I turned up the radio loud.

I then started saying out loud, "Get thee behind me Satan. I serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I have nothing to fear in this life. Jesus' perfect love drives out all fear. I serve the Holy of Holies!"

(yes, I am that lady in the carpool line...who talks to herself.)

I said it countless times until Peace came. Oh, and it came.

As I was tucking the kids in last night, I crawled into bed with my son. I wanted to be right next to him. To protect him from harm. Presley had fallen asleep on the couch with Lem already.

My son was on the verge of sleeping when I felt the tightness in my chest again.

Oh, Lord take this fear from me. This is no way to live. You came so that we could have peace and abundance...not fear.

I finally fell asleep.

I woke up again about 1:45 with the same fearful thoughts.

The last thing I remember was praising His name and telling Him how much I trust Him and love Him.

I called my sister early this morning and told her what I was struggling with. She told me that worrying would never change one thing in my life. What's the point?? She so calmly told me. Where's your faith, Jill?

I love my sister.  She is such a realist. I draw strength from her. She is as steady as a rock.

She's steady Eddie, and I'm Un-stable Mabel.

After our conversation, my heart lightened. I felt God's peace wash over me like a soft Spring rain.

He is restoring this part of my heart. I know I will still struggle at times, but I know that restoration is in progress.

I am reminded of Presley and some fearful things and thoughts that she has mentioned to me. She fears being kidnapped, she fears something happening to me and Lem, she fears her grandparents dying. The list goes on.

I keep hearing God saying to me, "Beloved, you must show her peace. She sees your fear with your over-protective ways. You want her to Trust in Me. Don't let her think you are her protector. Make sure she knows that I am her Protector. You must overcome this. My peace I leave to you. Let her see this in your life, Jill."

Oh gosh. Okay. It's hard, Lord. So hard.

I lay this at your feet, sweet Father in heaven.

No, I am not laying it at your feet, I am throwing it at your feet like a hot potato.

What do you fear?

Maybe you are living your worst fear as I write this.

 Oh, friend. Run to Him. Don't look back.

He is waiting, arms stretched wide.

Or maybe it's not fear. Maybe it's another stronghold that Satan loves to get you with to make you doubt your faith in the Father.

Whatever it is. Give it to Him. The Healer and Protector.

Listen to Jesus whispering this in your ear.. He said this for you:

"My peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27.

I can't have an abundant life with fear. It's against the Word of God.

I choose peace.

slowly but surely,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Idols among us....

Dear God,

Please help me to keep You first in my life. It's so hard at times.

My children sometimes get the most of my love, then my husband, then You.

I know this is the all messed up and in the wrong order. Please keep reminding me of this.

Yours forever and always,


**I read a devotional a few days ago about Idol Worship. Idol worship? Me?

Yes, Me.

God spoke to my heart about things that I put above Him, even things that are considered "good" things.

Lem has been having weird things flash in his peripheral vision. A bright white light or something. Strange.

The eye doctor told him that everything looked fine, but to follow up if it continues.

So, the worrier in me is thinking: "Oh, no. Lord, please don't let anything be seriously wrong with him. He is my everything. I can't live without him!"

Then I hear Him whisper to me..."Jill, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Never say that you couldn't live without something or someone. I am your only need. I am jealous for you, beloved."

I shiver as I think of Him telling me this.

He's right. He is all I need.

Do I put my children and husband above Him at times? Oh, yes. A whole lot.

I'm a work in progress. I trust Him. But, do I really trust Him with my husband and my children?

Oh , Lord. Help me on this.

I had a weird vision in the car last weekend. I was driving to my sisters house and I pictured Him holding me. I was crumpled in His arms. He was carrying me. Cradling me.

Tears streamed down my face as I was driving. The lump in my throat was so large I thought it would surely pop right out of my mouth.

He wants to be my everything. He wants to be the one I run to when I'm scared, fearful, worried, and anxious.

Don't we all feel this way about our own children?

I am the one that I want them to want, to need, to run to. I want to be their hero.

God wants to be our hero. He wants our full attention. He is jealous for us. Jealous for our love. Not just for our left-over love, but to be our first love.

Can you picture Him cradling you? Can you picture His big strong arms wrapped around your limp body and carrying you through the storms of this life?

Close your eyes and see the picture of this. It's a beautiful sight.

Let Him carry you, friend. Run into His arms instead of your usual comfortable place to run.

For me, my comfortable place is my husband, my Mom, my Sister, my children, my friends. I run to them to bandage my wounds and nurse me back to health.  They soothe me, they pat me on the back, they are safe.

They are only band-aids, though.

What are your band-aids?

Your husband? Your children? Your church? Your friends? Money? Food? Alcohol? Your job?

We all have our band-aids.

Jesus is the ultimate healer. The only healer. He is jealous for you, beloved.

ripping off the band-aids and going straight to the Healer,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Girl Interrupted...

I am so overwhelmed by God's grace. If ever there was anyone that did not deserve grace and's yours truly.

Without going into lengthy detail (which will be hard for me)...I just want you to know that He is sovereign. So much more sovereign than our hearts can even conceive.

This makes me think of my son, Joseph. He recently told me that he just cannot imagine what Heaven will be like. He said, "Mom, my head cannot even think up all of the wonderful things that Heaven has in store for us. That's the way it is supposed to be, right Mommy?"

This scripture popped into my head and I repeated it to him..."For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord". Isa. 55:8

Thank goodness His thoughts are higher than mine. We serve a God that breaks all barriers of imagination and creativity. I have chills on my arms just thinking about His greatness!

Last night I began a new bible study at my church, Eastridge Community. The study is on the book of Jonah. Priscilla Shirer is the author of the study.

I have been attending a bible study with a wonderful group of girls in Madison for the past year and a half. My path was great and I was very content with my little group.

Until  God rocked the boat. He led me to this study with His very own hands. You see, I was only going to go to this study because I wanted my Mom to join a bible study at my church. I did it for her.

Or, so I thought.

Reluctantly, I went last night. I was sad about not being able to be with my friends in Madison at our usual place at our usual time. I kept telling myself, "You're doing it for Mom. Just go for these 6 weeks and paste a smile on your face. Just do it for Mom."

Oh boy. God had other plans. Last night as we watched a video on the purpose of this study and how it will apply to our lives, I was fighting back tears.

She related the story of Jonah to our very own life and our "Life Interruptions."

You know, an unexpected interruption in your life that can lead you wondering, "Why, God?? Why?"

Interruptions can be anything...the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a new job, a broken relationship, an aging parent, a sick loved one,divorce, a dream unfulfilled, financial problems, a strong willed child,  a ______________. Fill in the blank, my friend. That is your very own personal life interruption.

I learned that those life interruptions from the Lord are significant to our journey with Him. Will we be obedient in submitting to His new call for us? Will we say, "Thy will be done, Lord."? Will be bow our heads to Him in complete submission although we don't understand why He has chosen this path for us?

Or, will we sulk and pout and fight tooth and nail to stay on the comfortable path that WE want for ourselves? (yep, that's usually me.)

If you know anything about me by now, you know that change is hard for me. Very hard. I like structure, routine, traditions, etc. Don't be messin' with my path.

But, He has and He will continue to.

It's a privilege, friends, when He stops the clock and stops you dead in your tracks, or rocks the boat so hard that you fall out! (like our friend Jonah) Don't be frightened. Trust me on this, you want to follow Him.

I know this from experience. I look past Him and tell myself that MY plan is better. My plan is more comfortable. My plan is the story that I want for my life. Again, I want to take away His big pen and use my very own pen to write my story.

My plan is not His plan.

That's what I'm learning.

How has your life been interrupted? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe this interruption is significant and your obedient response will have a HUGE impact on your future? The future that he laid out for your life before you were even conceived.

Me either. Until now.

His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

setting sail,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Next to Godliness...

you can find this at your local Trader Joe's.  thank me later.
I am always on the look-out for a good cleaning product. Preferably, one that won't singe my lungs with it's pungent smell. Or, pollute my children's little delicate bodies with dangerous chemicals. Chemicals that will remain dormant until they hit their mid-thirties, and then they will suddenly have off the wall, wacky, unexplainable symptoms. Symptoms that they will trace back to their mother's cleaning products.

(i think i may be on to something here...maybe this is what's wrong with me? sorry, mom.)

Okay, moving on.

After noticing cloudy spots on my green granite counter tops, I decided to try a different cleaning solution. Being the cleaning product junkie that I am, I reached under my sink and grabbed a green bottle at the back of the cabinet. 

I had completely forgotten I had bought this...a LONG time ago. Why was it still under my sink?

Oh yes- I remember.

I keep all cleaning products because you just never, ever, ever  know when you may run out of said product and need more. You can never have too many cleaning products. Right?

 (I think I may have a cleaning product hoarding issue. Shoot. Add that to my list.)

On with the story.

I sprayed this green stuff on my counter tops and VOILA!! No more cloudy!

I sprayed and sprayed and wiped and wiped. Oh the feeling of clean counter tops! It never ceases to make me smile! Clean is a good, good thing.

(yes, issues people. i have lots of issues.)

After my glorious cleaning episode, I turned the bottle around and read the directions for usage. My heart started pounding. Beating out of my chest. I hope this was okay to use on granite. Yikes. I was imagining my counter tops cracking and falling apart and getting my husband's wrath over my lack of label reading.

Thank goodness!

 It was okay to use. Not only was it okay to use, but it is also good for mirrors, oven tops, walls, sinks, and many other household items.

Praise the good Lord!

Which by the way, brings me to the product's name..."Next to Godliness". 

 *cue the angelic choir*

I think we have a keeper, folks.

Now, if only I can bring myself to clean out the rest of the crap under that sink.

Maybe tomorrow.

Today, I will rest in the thoughts of my clean to godliness clean.

shiny and new,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Clinging to that Vine....

presley's little card is already bent. i should take a picture by the end of the week--if i can even locate them by then.

here's the thinghy i keep our verses in. (after the end of the week, those note cards above are bent ,torn, stepped on, have juice spills, blood stains, you name it.) this helps keep my copy in a permanent place and free of the above mentioned damages.

Okay, so you know I have a Monday morning thing I do with my kids...I have shared with y'all before.Well, I thought I would start blogging about it just to hold me accountable.

Monday's are NOT my favorite, so having something to make my mind get out of neutral always helps.

As the last school year winded down, I got pretty slack. Then Summer hit, and it was slack-city.

So, last Monday we got back on track. I wrote down a new memory verse for that week and the kids and I learned it by Friday. (Sadly, the kids learn it much faster than me. Something about my brain and being 36 and all.)

Today, I woke up and had NO idea what this weeks verse would be. I opened the Bible and it all but slapped me in the face.

Our preacher mentioned this verse in our sermon yesterday. It was providential. God was all but screaming it in my ear.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Can I get an amen? I mean, how much more awesome and on point could this scripture be. I love the idea of remaining in Him. He always reaffirms a matter with me over over and over. He knows I need those reminders, because I so quickly forget.

 I jumped up and grabbed the note cards and wrote the scripture on 3 different cards. One for me, one for Joseph and one for Presley. If my children are anything like their poor momma, visual aides are their only chance at learning. Sad, but true.

We hopped in the car and read our new verse. Presley asked me to explain the verse to her and I hesitated to find the right 6 year old words for her to understand.

I decided on telling her a story instead so she could get a visual of what it meant to remain in Him and on His path. Hopefully, she understands now. However, even if she doesn't quite yet, I know she will eventually.

Well, that's my Monday so far people.

Praying for all of you as you begin another week!

remaining in Him,


Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Fun....

your refrigerator sayeth a lot about your life.
(i just made that up--but, you probably knew that)
clutter-city for me.

yeah, baby!!
FREE fun!

After a LONG week of sick and tired...Friday is HERE!

We call Friday-"Fun Friday" around here. We do something fun after school to celebrate the upcoming weekend.

It's always a surprise...and I don't fill them in until I pick them up from school. (because usually it takes me all week to think of something)

Today, while cleaning out my junk drawer, I found these 2 chic-fil-a books! Yay!

Looks like we will be turning them in and having some ice-cream at our favorite hang-out!

Do you have any fun things planned for today? Do share!

happy fun Friday friends,


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Invisible Me....

~He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.~ Psalm 91:1

What a simple verse. Yet, not such a simple thing to do. I am such a slow learner and God knows this about me. I want to do things my way and then get upset when I am disappointed with the outcome.

If I would have just followed Him all along, I would already be on the next path.

So, how does it look to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in His shadow?

Well, going on my second day of knocked-off-my-feet sick, I am getting this a little more each day. I have completely worn myself out with trying to think that I can do everything and be everything to everybody.

 Who do I think I am? Only God can do that. Why do I even think that I am capable of being some super woman wearing a red cape and saving lives along the way?

It's nauseating. Seriously. I'm tired...which is exactly where God wants me to be. He has been waiting on me to get tired and to surrender.

I keep hearing the word, "Invisible".

"Come away with me, Jill. Rest, and dwell with me. I will shelter you. Come and be invisible in my shelter for a while."

Invisible? But, who will notice me, Father? Who will affirm me and tell me things I desperately want to hear? Who will stroke my insecure soul and exhort me by their beautiful words if I am invisible?

"I will.Your Father in Heaven. I am enough for you, Jill."

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back from captivity." Jeremiah 29:13-14

How can I seek Him with all my heart if I am distracted and busy? Even busy doing "good" things will distract me from Him. Busy is my captivity. Busy is my way of staying "visible" be noticed. To be affirmed. To be what others expect me to be. To be what I want others to see in me.

Invisible. Only visible to the Father, dwelling in His shelter, resting in His shadow.

If I never get another pat on the back or affirmative word from a friend, I want to be okay with that.

Because He is enough for me.

His view of me is all that really matters.

lounging in His shelter,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two is better than one....

I realize this is my third post of the day. Don't judge.

After my crazy morning...I came home to find this in Presley's room.

It made me smile. In fact, I'm smiling again.

She's a good little momma to those babies.


back to resting,


Sandpaper & Me...

As if I didn't already receive the message that God gave me this weekend LOUD and CLEAR...He affirmed it (again) today.

I woke up this morning with a very sore throat. So sore that swallowing for me can be compared to the delightful feeling of rolling around naked in a big pile of sand paper. Sorry to gross you out--I know the sight of me naked is not what you came here for. But that's where I'm at today. (hypothetically speaking, of course.)

Even after waking up to sandpaper mouth...I still volunteered at the Primary school, went for a run, went back to do some more PTO stuff at the Primary school, ate lunch at a hot (and dirty) picnic table outside of the school with Presley (i had no sunscreen and no sunglasses, so you can add at least 3 new wrinkles to this list), and THEN...went to the Elementary school to squeeze a lunch in with Joseph. (which I was 30 minutes too I took that as my cue to scoot the 17 mile trek back home. Sorry time, love.)

I'm tired just thinking about it. Good grief.

"Resting in Him" ..hardly.

I have taken some steps for this "rest" thing though. Really, I have.

For example:

~ I am taking a break from FaceBook.( Go ahead and applaud here. It's not easy, people)
~I am sitting down and taking the time to blog. (that's something, right?)
~I still have on my stinky running clothes, and if I may add...I look like death warmed over. twice.
~Did i mention that I am taking a break from FaceBook?

Still working on other ways to rest. If you have any more tips on ways to rest..I'm all ears.


Is it really resting if I am thinking about it too much and planning things to do to rest?

Hmm. Don't answer that.

Hang on.........okay. I'm back. Hot green tea to the rescue.

How much more relaxed can a momma get? Blogging AND green tea?

 I think that counts for something.

I'm tired. My throat hurts. I'm gonna go now and rest.

peace out,   (that sounded so much cooler in my I'm just cheesy AND have a sore throat)


p.s..I was too tired and sickly to proof-read forgive me for errors. I'm resting, people.

Weekend Warriors....

~My very own Women of Faith!~

From left: me, Erin, Kellly, Mary, Angela, Missy, Shannon, and Mom

Praying for all of you by name this morning.

Blessings abound,


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lima beans and such...

Dear God,

It's me again.

I am starting to get this.

You have been showing me the word "Hope" for a while. For the last several months, it has been on every single thing I see. I told several people that you were bombarding me with this word. Day in, day out...hope, hope, hope.

I knew you were teaching me to trust in You and to not lose my Hope. Why, though? I was hopeful! Couldn't you see that?

I didn't quite understand why you kept beating this word into my head ...until today.

I remember telling one of my friends..."I DO have Hope...I have a LOT of Hope. Why does He keep reminding me of this??" I just didn't quite understand why You kept reminding me of something that I already had.

Until today.

This weekend uncovered a whole lot of stuff about some things in my life. A lot of it was painful. Somehow, it felt better being in the dark and more comfortable there. A big fat lie that I believed...for way too long. Satan loves things in the dark. He loves when we hide and shelter ourselves from Truth and from You. I believed his stupid lie.

I believe that lie no more. Your word tells us to bring things to the Light. Healing is in the Light. Restoration is in the Light. You are the Light.

Praise You.

Oh, Father, I don't know what will transpire in this situation now. I do trust You, but I also am scared. I am scared that things may not be restored. To be completely honest...I was a lot more comfortable in the dark.

So today is the day that I felt the need for Your Hope. My head was spinning, my mind was racing with the possibility that things may not ever get better. My life may not ever be like it "was".

I was driving in my little black car this afternoon and I began to hear You tell me...

"Hope, Jill. Put your Hope in Me. You're can't fix this. You can't make this better. can Hope and you can take rest in Me. I am enough for you right now. I am enough."

Oh my. I am still scared, God. My stomach has a knot the size of Texas in it. I am just so unsure of the future. Will things ever be the same with this situation? It sure seems hopeless.

But I refuse to believe that lie again.

You are my Hope.

 I will say it until it sinks to the deepest crevices of my hurting heart.

 My Hope is in You. My Hope is in You. My Hope is in You. My Hope is in You. My Hope is in You.

My sweet, sweet friend reminded me today that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed for you to move mountains. Well, my faith is at least the size of a lima bean.

 Move them, Father. Move them and show your Glory in this. My Hope is in You alone.

I'm bringing you my lima bean and laying it at your feet. Do your thing, Lord.

hopelessly devoted to you,


Monday, August 15, 2011


Dear God,

Hey. It's me. Yep, the crazy momma that keeps you laughing at all of my "issues". I have so many. You know them all. No need to go there.

Well, I just have to say that you are pretty dog-gone sneaky. Yes. You are.

I have been preparing my heart for this past weekend's women's conference for the past year. I have been anxiously anticipating the great and mighty "word" that you were going to be giving to me. Everything about my path was going to suddenly become crystal clear and I was going to be 100% sure of my purpose.

Ha! You had other plans. Of course.

I sit here at my little black desk, gulping my 5th cup of coffee for the morning  (thank you for coffee, by the way )and still taking it all in. I almost feel foolish. Foolish for thinking that I had YOU figured out. I thought for sure that my "answers" to life were going to be written in ink on my heart by the end of Saturday's session.

Before I go any further, I just have to say...I love You. I love You so much. Thank you for having unlimited patience with me. Thank you for not taking a big fat eraser and forgetting about me altogether. I know I must look so messy on that big white dry eraser board up there. I am a big MESS.

 However... You still love me, You still call for me. Wow.

The last speaker, the last session, the last day...You gave me my "word". It was spoken through the speaker that I least expected...Luci Swindoll. She is pretty cool..but she's 78. Not exactly in the same season as me and certainly not the one that I was feeling the most connected to by any means. But, boy oh boy...was I wrong.

You told me through her testimony to stop "striving". You told me to rest in You. I have been searching and searching for you like a mad person on a misguided mission. I was trying too hard. I was trying to take the pen out of your hand and write my own story...instead of resting in You and trusting You to write my story.

You told me to enjoy where I am at. Enjoy the abundance of what You have so generously given me. My family, my children, my life. Enjoy, it Jill. That's what You told me.

We sang a song right before that message that completely prepared my heart for your word to me. I don't know the title..but it has the line.."You are enough for me."

Simple as that. You are enough for me.

Lord, If I never get that baby or that child that my heart so longs's okay. You are enough for me. If my life doesn't measure up to my own unreasonable standards. It's okay. You are enough for me.

You freed say the very least. I have been striving and yearning so hard that I couldn't see You. I was just seeing a "story" that I so desperately wanted to call my own.

You taught me this weekend that YOU are the story. You are the only story that matters. If I never do anything that I think is worthy or great in my doesn't matter. Just loving you and serving you is enough.

As I drove home in the peace of my car yesterday you gave me a vision. I saw my children and the day they were born. I felt the overwhelming love in my heart that I had when I laid my eyes upon their precious faces. They did nothing to make me love them. Just the very sight of them and their very existence was enough for me. They are mine. All mine. That is enough for me.

Regardless of what my children do or don't love for them will never change. Just existing and being in the presence of my children gives me such joy and happiness.

That is exactly how you feel about me. Isn't it?

Just being in your presence and loving you. I get it. I totally get it.

Before I end my little note...I have to throw in something about Lem. You heard my prayers this weekend regarding speaking to his heart and giving him a word. I always feel like when I go to a women's conference that I come back and he and I are disconnected.

I didn't want that this time. I specifically asked you to speak to him in some way this weekend. I asked you to minister to him like you would be ministering to my heart.

Once again, your sense of humor is quite apparent.

He had taken the kids to church that morning and the sermon was titled.."GO!" Go live radically, go do something out of the norm, Go live your life out loud! Be on fire for Him...never stop!

I started giggling when he was so animatedly telling me about this wonderful message.

After telling me, I told him what the Lord had spoken to my heart...

To stop. To stay quiet. To be still. To rest for a while.

We both started laughing.

We got our messages, loud and clear.

Thank you, Father.

So, I am shedding my dressy clothes, taking off my heels, putting on my comfy sweats and one of Lem's soft white Fruit of the loom shirts.

Striving no more.

I am Him.

enjoying this hammock  for a while,


Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Perfect Ten....

Dear Joseph,

Yesterday you turned 10 years old. My goodness, I can hardly believe it is possible. These past ten years have passed so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that you were lying on the table next to me being cleaned off by the nurses.

I specifically remember that you were crying. You looked over at me and we caught each others eyes. You immediately stopped crying. We had an instant love connection. You and me, me and you. There we were. Together. Forever.

You love when I tell you that story. Your smile gets bigger as each word is spoken of that moment. I hope you never tire of hearing your story.

Oh, Joseph...where to begin. I was so green when you were born. "Green" in this context means that I was very, very unsure and naive of what it was like to be a Momma. I just knew that I loved you and that I could not stop looking at you.

You were so different than I imagined. I had envisioned you with very light hair. You were born into this world with very dark hair.You and I always say that you looked like a little Mexican baby. We love saying that, don't we? Of course, I was born with dark hair as well. So, once again, you are a lot like me!

Everyone always told me what a sweet baby you were. Of course, I already knew this. I felt like you completed me. You made me into a Momma. My biggest dream, my only ambition in life. Being a Momma.

As I look back over this past year, I remember some very special moments. Just like always, here are some things that you did this past year as a 9 year old....

~You began and ended 4th grade. Your teacher was Mrs. Verner.
~You vacationed in Yellowstone this past Fall.
~You saw black bears and buffalo and countless other animals
~You shot your first gun with Daddy.
~You once again received 2nd place for top reader of the 4th grade. (you were so close to being first!)
~You got a new bed! A bigger bed!
~You played your 2nd year of basketball. You love it.
~You tried skiing for the first time in Sapphire Valley, NC. Daddy gave you a lesson!
~You spoke at Miss Heather's funeral. You blew us all away with your words. You are truly amazing.
~You canoed with your Daddy for the first time.
~You wear a size 12!
~Your shoe size is a 6! Wow!

I am sure you will read this and remind me of other wonderful things that you have done this past year. If so, I will surely add those things to the list!

Joseph, you are one special boy. God has surely graced His favor on your life. Your face shines with His love and His favor. I have never, ever, known anyone as compassionate as you. Everyone always tells me that you are the most kind, well-mannered child that they know. I agree, whole-heartedly.

You have this rare gift...even at the age of 10, to make others feel at peace around you. I always feel good when we are together. Others have said the same thing about you. You just have this ability to make others feel at ease and at peace. Granny Hill has this  exact same quality.

Your daddy and I always say that you remind us so much of Granny Hill. You have her easy laugh and easy way. She never seems worried or anxious, just full of grace and love. You are the same way, Joseph Lemuel Hill.

If I have told you once, I have told you a million times...You are my Prince. My love.

Me and you, you and me...that's the way it will always be! (our little saying to each other...remember? of course you do.)

My prayer is that you will continue following that narrow path that leads straight to our Lord. He has big plans for you, buddy. I cannot even imagine what He has planned for your life, but I am excited to watch it unfold daily.

You make me better. You make me stronger. Thank you.

All my heart and butterfly and Eskimo kisses,