Sunday, December 28, 2008

TA DA!!!

I feel pretty,oh so pretty...

Edie of Rich Gifts is the designer behind this beautiful makeover. She is a pleasure to work with and was sooo patience with me. I was clueless in this whole process of designing a new look for my blog but she took all my ideas of what I 'thought' a blog should look like and made it beautiful. I love the look!

Edie's goal is to make sure that you are totally in love with your design that she has created for you.She continues to communicate with you to get "the look" to fit your personality and won't stop until you are happy.

So,if your looking for a blog makeover,drop her a email...you won't be disappointed.

Thank you,my friend.

Tammy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How Many Kings?

In Christmas’ past I never gave it much thought on the birth of Christ. I know what you are all thinking “How could you not, aren’t you a Christian?”

Yes, I am and have been since 1990 but pondering the birth and what it meant to me, to mankind has never stirred my heart until now. Over the last month, God has used your stories and your willingness to share your love for Christ to touch my heart this Christmas season.

During my time spent with God this week, He has given me the joy of Christmas and I liked to share it with you.

I remember 26 years ago looking at the face of my first born and wondering what plans were set before him. Being his mother, I dreamed that his days as a toddler would be full of hugs, kisses and laughter. He would receive whatever his little heart desired and no tears would stain his face.

During his adolescences and teen years, he would be filled with a desire to learn, to be at the top of his class. Knowing that working hard would bring him into leadership and give him life of comfort with no pain in sight.

I remember gazing into his eyes as I cradled him in my arms; my hope for him was that he would walk through life unscarred and unashamed.

I’m thankful for not knowing all the plans set before my son. My heart couldn’t have bared all the valleys and tears that I have collected through the years.
But Father God didn’t have to wonder or hope…He knew.

(John 8:36-37)
Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

He knew his Son’s birth was for a purpose, to come as King and to testify truth to the world.
God watched as His Son; lay helpless in Mary’s arms as a babe, knowing the day would come when His Son would be hung helplessly on the Cross for our sins.

I can only imagine, Father God listening to his Son’s sweet child-like voice, as he talked to his earthly parents during the hidden years, knowing that one day He would be hearing the cries from his Son’s heart in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Now,I know,the Christ Child had to come on that appointed day, the day had been marked from the very first command of God’s voice. God could have stopped it but where would we have been? All odds were against us, from the very beginning. There was no other way but through Jesus, the spotless Lamb; He is the Way, the Truth and the Life…between us and God.

In the past, I’ve decorated the tree, made the cookies and wrapped the presents. I’ve placed the manger on the mantle as my mind wondered on the next task that needed to be done.
I’ve raised my hands during worship, singing songs this Christmas season, as I’m thinking about the family gathering on Christmas day.

But today is different. God, once again, found me, for I was seeking. He showed me when the Holy Spirit over-shadowed Mary,it was the day a King was to be born for all mankind to bring truth into the world.


Father God,
Please forgive me for seeing a child in the manger and not a Savior. Forgive me for walking to the tree to gather the gifts, when I should have dropped to my knees with a humble heart.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures to share

My dog, Bodie's favorite place at Christmas time.

Mother and daugther...moment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Make Me Over


Oh, how I love makeovers! I’m always fascinated on how someone can look at something or somebody and actually see the finished results from the very beginning.

You may remember a few weeks ago Edie, Rich Gifts, had joined in on the Christmas Giveaway for Lysa’s blog. Edie was giving away a blog makeover. By leaving a comment; your name would be entered into a random drawing. Now, if you wanted more chances to win, you were asked to let others know on your own blog, which I did. After I did all that was asked, I waited patiently and prayed a little selfish prayer….that I might be the winner.

I’m so excited to tell you, my blogging friends, that I won the blog makeover!!! When I opened my email from Edie on Saturday morning and read that I had won, I literally lost my breath. Once I recovered I ran upstair to tell my daughter, who was half a sleep, the great news. Her reaction was “That’s cool” and rolled over to go back to sleep, I guess she wasn’t as excited as I was.

I’m now looking forward to see what God and Edie have in mind for this blog makeover. I’ve seen some of her work and what a gift God has given her.

So, a day will come when you’ll stop by for a visit and think you’re at a different blog. But your not, the outward appearance will look amazing but the person inside is still the same.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Giveaway!


I've been told its important to share anything that might bless someone.
My friend Edie at Rich Gifts is having a Christmas Giveaway.


So don't wait. Go ahead and click on Rich Gifts, the drawing, for a blog makeover to be award on December 13.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Remember...


Two weeks ago, God whispered these words to me “Pray with your heart not just your lips.” I must admit, my prayers for my son have been prayers of doubt. As I praying with my lips, my heart has been holding on to only what my eyes can see.

God is so good! As I was reading this week in (Mark 8:18-19) I came to this verse... You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?” “Twelve,” they said.

Jesus was speaking to his disciples, who walked beside Him. Listened to His voice daily and saw miracle after miracle, yet they had trouble seeing, hearing and remembering what Christ had done during times of need and suffering.

Just like the disciples, we too, seem to forget that God can take care of our needs and even provide us with extra. We even at times forget that day He made the impossible, possible.

I must admit when the impossible stands before me; I can not see, for the cloud of darkness continues to get heavier. When the voice on the other end of the telephone is crying out “Mom, how much more garbage is going to be piled on me?” and “Why is God not helping me?” I have the answer but he’s not listening. As my son continues on, my ears become drawn to the loud sounds of laughter as words of doubt are being spoken to me and I, too, stop listening to the voice of God.

This verse gives me hope with that same question that was set before the disciples...“Don’t you remember anything at all?” I must remember. We must remember. Remembering the day that God called out our names and the chains of bondage were broken. We must remember He was the one who put up the road blocks so that our causal drive to OUR destination of destruction was interrupted.

I know that I’m not alone in this journey; many of you have shared your own heartaches for the return of child who has wandered away from home. For me, time seems to be standing still just the way I believe it stood still for my mother. Yet, the day came when I gave her the good news... “Mom, Jesus has found me, I’m home.

So, now when I pray it’s a prayer of seeing the things that are to come and hearing the voices of many angels rejoicing the day my son (our children) says …. “Mom, Jesus has found me, I’m home.
Oh, let us not forget the extra that comes along with the touch from Jesus.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't Cry!


Luke 7: 11-15
Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

In my last post, I asked for pray for my son, Ryan. Things have become a little less dark as I have been holding on to God’s promises through His Word and your prayers…Thank you.

My son’s life wasn’t surrounded by a white picket fence with a dad and mom who were happily married and God being in the center of their lives. We divorce when he was 4 years old and I remarried 2 months after my divorce was final, what a shock that must have been for a little boy. I won’t share all the details at this time, but I will say he’s had stuff piled on him from day one by my choices, his dad’s choices and his own choices.

Yesterday as I was spending time with God, he reminded me of Luke 7 and the mother from Nain, who was weeping the death of her son. After reading this section of scripture my eyes were drawn to these words…When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.
Don’t cry? How could He make such a statement? Here was a mother who was looking at death, overcome by hopelessness. Then I came to this understanding,Jesus knew what was about to happen…a miracle was about to take place.

I’m sure we have all heard those same words in our times of hopelessness. We may not have gone through a physical death, like this mother, but the death we might be experiencing could be; the sporadic phone calls or friends who take the place of our presence. Maybe it’s the drugs that have taken over or possibly someone who has offered to fill the emptiness with their so called love. Yet, Jesus is saying “don’t cry.” A miracle is about to take place.

As my visit with Ryan ended that evening, he kissed me on the cheek, stepped out of the car and closed the door behind him. It was then I heard these words from the enemy “he’s mine.” I could see the darkness closing in on him, ready at any moment to devour him. I could see the bondage that Satan has wrapped around him, the spiritual death that is slowly claiming his soul.

After dropping him off, I drove to our Wednesday night church service and as I stood in front of God praising and desperately pleading words of mercy for Ryan, I knew my tears were not hidden from Him and I heard “don’t cry.”

In Luke 7, there are two other important things that took place once Jesus arrived. First,he walked over to the coffin, where death had claimed its victim and he touched it. Second, “Young man" he said. "I tell you, get up.” After reading these words my heart became overwhelmed with the presence of God. I realize now, all that needs to take place for Ryan’s spiritual death to be awakened is the touch of Jesus and the sound of His commanding voice speaking these words “I tell you, get up” and the miracle will take place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prodigal Son


My son, Ryan, came over last night for a visit and had supper with us.


During our conversation, he started to talked about his struggles and how life has been unfair. As I sat there listening, I saw the pain in his eyes and the anger that's invaded his heart.

He was raised knowing God and received Christ into his life at the age of 19 but has since, chosen to live his way. He is broken. I fear his heart is slowly turning to stone.

My son needs...God. I know we all have busy lives but if God places his name on your heart...would you send up a prayer?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yes To God On Tuesday

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

Can you believe it; we’re at the last chapter of this book and what a journey it has been. I really didn’t think there was much for me to learn but I found out pride and vanity still existed in my life.

This last chapter put the icing on the cake. What a perfect title, LisaThe Truth Heals.

Oh, how I love this statement made by Lisa “Know this, my sisters and friends: Jesus is the only One who can truly heal our souls, from the inside out.”
Yes, Jesus is the Truth!
I lived in my own truth for years to fit my needs and wants. I listened to Satan as he would use the lies of the media, the voices of lust and the desires of becoming Ms. Perfection, Ms.Confidence, Ms. Happiness and Ms. Spirituality. By living that way I stepped right into the path of the enemy. Now, he didn’t ignore me, oh no, at first he was very encouraging, quite helpful and gave me logical insight. Living in his world, was leading me to destruction but then Truth stepped in and I was healed!

I’m grateful for the many prayers my mom prayed for me during those years, for standing in the gap fighting the enemy with words of praise. Thanking God in advance for drawing me to the foot of the cross. If I had one more day with my mother I would thank her for her faithfulness in praying for my salvation and talk about all the wonderful truths God has shown us.

God, I ask that you would bless Lisa for her obedience in writing this book. God, bless Lelia for being a great host and friend. Touch them both and expand they territory, walk with them and keep them from the enemy.
Going through this study has brought me closer in my walk with the Lord and has given me a thirst to spend more time with my sweet Jesus.

Thank you to all who shared their stories and how God has taken you from glory to glory.
Thank you letting me be a part of your journey, my friends…may I call you friend?



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joining In


Over at Edie's Rich Gifts,the random question is "Wanna play tag?" So between her question and being tagged by Jennifer,I've decided to join in.


1. My mind goes blank when I’m asked to make a list about…me. I know, you’re thinking “really, you wouldn’t know that by reading your posts.”


2. I hate to iron and put it off until I can't avoid it any more. My husband was reading my answers and just informed with this comment..."I have a lot of empty hangers in my closet."


3. The thought of growing old scares me.


4. When I am getting ready to go some place I will try on up to 10 different pieces of clothing and still wonder if I made the right choice.


5. I love buying jewelry (costume) but when I get it home I never wear it! It doesn’t seem to look right on me, it just looks great on everyone else.


6. When everyone goes to bed, I become a night eater.


7. I’m addict to drinking Dr. Pepper and popcorn that is made on the stove with butter on the weekends.


8. When I talk to my children about my childhood I say…back in the olden days.


9. I am troubled by where the matching sock goes once it enters the dryer.


10. At times I can be controlling.


11. I used to hate the internet but since I’ve discover the blogging world; I’m on it too much!


12. I love shoes and I have tons of black shoes…a girl can’t have too many BLACK shoes.


13. I don’t like to have someone drop in for a visit…I need to clean my house, first.


14. During my childhood all my cats were named Kitty something or something kitty.


15. I never had a desired to write, so this is definitely a God thing! I'm loving it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes To God On Tuesday

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

Highlighted in purple is from Lisa's book

I tried. I tried to let go of the awful memories. I remember asking God to forgive me that day I walked into the clinic, so I could continue on with my life. I laid there staring at the small white blocks on the ceiling, again whispering “God, please forgive me.” Walking out clinic and hearing the door close behind me, I wasn’t sure if this rebellious act I had just committed could ever be forgiven. (Read the whole story, here)

I walked around for years with this secret…my abortion. Even as a Christian, I thought my sin was too awful to really believe that God would forgive me. But God brought down the wall I had built to hide my secret; through a bible study called Forgiven and Set Free and with the help of someone who had been there. Yes, I was forgiven by God yet I still couldn’t forgive myself.

This chapter speaks about forgiveness… While Satan would love for you to believe that you are too flawed and too unworthy of forgiveness, Jesus wants you to know that nothing could be farther from truth. You see, there was nothing I could ever do to make Jesus not love me. Here was something else Lisa wrote…Jesus Christ loves and forgives you without conditions, Period.

So, what was the problem? Why was I struggling with depression, shame and the hatred towards my daughter?

Then one day as I was reading God’s Word, another piece of truth was set before me,
Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

At first I didn’t understand, I told God that I had confessed my sin (sins) and I was truly sorry. He said “I know, but read on, what’s it say after the confession?” I read the verse again, but this time out loud and it was screaming out at me…turn from them!
God wanted me to know that I was the one going back to the cross where Jesus said "It is finished” and holding on to my sin that I had confessed. I was the one, who was allowing Satan too constantly bring up my past. I had to forsake them. At that moment,I realized I couldn’t forgive myself,God had never asked that of me. God had asked me to receive His forgiveness after my confession!

My sin had been removed and God wanted me to get on with the life He had planned for me. He remembered no more, Psalms 103:12 says…As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

So now, when I meet with someone who is struggling with their sin of abortion or an act of sin that has been done to them and they say “I know God has forgiven me but I can’t forgive myself”. I tell them your right, you can’t forgive yourself, God only ask that you forgive the person who has wronged you and receive His forgiveness toward your sin. It was His Son who was crucified for your transgressions. It’s the blood of Jesus who can only cover our sins and make them as white as snow. Your job is to confess, lay them at the cross, walk away and receive God’s mercy.

As coordinator of our abortion recovery program at the center, we always have memorial service, for the women to be able to grieve their loss at the end of the bible study. I would like to share a poem with you that we use as part of our memorial and I think says it all.

A Pre-born Child’s Conversation with His Heavenly Father

Father God, when is my mommy going to be here?
Soon, my child, soon.
Can you tell me how long?
There is no measure of time with me, my child. She is busy right now doing the work I’ve given her to do. When all that is done, she’ll be here.Is she going to know me when she gets here?
Yes, she will, my child. I’ll let her know.What does she look like, Father God?
Why, she looks a lot like you, my child. The same color hair, the same eyes, the same nose; you resemble her a lot.
What do you think she’s going to do when she sees me?
She will run to you, take you in her arms, and love you just as any other loving Mother would do.
Father God, why has she never held me in her arms before?
She never had the chance to do so, my child.Why did she never have the chance, Father God?
I don’t remember, my child. (Della Baker Hutto-March 1994)

Did you catch what He said?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In God's Spotlight

In an earlier post, I mentioned a desire that God has placed in my heart, acting. Of course, I used it to accomplish the all about 'ME' syndrome. I wanted to become a famous Broadway actress and live in the Trump Towers.

But God had other plans with my love,to be in the spotlight. After turning my life over to Him, I gave up the dream and submitted my desires to His will. Since then I have been in the church plays, some with leading roles and about 4 years ago was asked to portray, Sarah, for a women's bible study at our church. From that point on I knew God had brought me back on stage not for my glory but for His Glory! I now have the privilege to share in character, women of the bible with others.

So, the reason I have shared all of this with you, my dear friends, is some of my blogging friends wanted me to display my talent through pictures and video. Well, last night I had the opportunity to perform for the local Aglow Ministry and with my girlfriends, Dorothy and Terry’s help you are about to see...the woman at the well.

Sorry, no video, haven't learned that one...yet. The pictures for this blog was with the help of my dear husband and wonderful daughter. I think they got a little frustrated with all the questions. :)


L to R: Me, Dorothy and Terry



The Woman at the Well






Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdays

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

anything in purple is from Lisa's book
If I told you I’ve never felt loved, I would be lying. The truth is I have always felt loved (take note of the word felt)…from my parents, the world, and especially the men in my life. Knowing if God loved me never seemed to be issue but accepting it, now that's a whole different ballgame.

Lisa’s says “The reality is that many of us have known about God’s love for a long, long time. She then mentions the verse that most of us have learned from birth, John 3:16. She goes on to say…“the difference in the way we see that verse now is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.”
What is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge? I would never say that I’m an expert on the love factor because as you ladies know, I’ve searched for love in all the wrong places. But I do know what it means to belong, to be accepted and adopted in to a family.

You see, my biological mom, found out she was pregnant at the age of 15 by a young man with empty promises. It was just two weeks before her 16th birthday when she gave birth to a baby girl…me. She tried her best to raise me and provide a good life, which most would say “we just existed.” It was about 2 years after my grand arrival, along with my baby sister; she did something that was inconceivable to most. She put our needs before her feelings and allowed a couple to adopt us.

At the time, this couple should’ve been considering how they were going to spend all their free time together. Their children were grown, the house was paid in full and they still had a lot of life to live, yet they choose us.

Even though we didn’t look like them, nor have the same blood type, they accepted us. My sister and I were always reminded on how much they loved us through their sacrifices. Belonging to this family was easy but being their children, to share in their lives and to be called daughter, was sometimes hard to comprehend.

There was a time in my life when knowing the love of my father became a permanent thumb print on my heart.

I had spent most of the day shopping with mom and her friend that summer afternoon, when I decided at the mature age of 11 it was time to have my first experience with cigarettes.

My mom’s friend made it very clear on the way home from our shopping spree; she was going to quit smoking. I watched as she twisted the half emptied pack of cigarettes between her two hands and placed them back into her purse. Within a few minutes we pulled into our driveway and with a determined look on her face, she handed me the pack of cigarettes and asked me to throw them away for her. So, with no hesitation and a smile on my face I said “Sure!”

I quickly ran into the house and carefully placed them in the garbage knowing in my heart that I would return at a later time. After a few hours, I made my way back to where I had placed the twisted cigarettes among the trash. Not wanting to touch anything that was lying around them, I cautiously picked them up and stuffed them in my pant’s pocket.

I proceeded to walk out the front door and went around to the back side of the old lilac tree. I thought, now this will be a good place to start my new adventure. The tree was fairly big and in full blossom. My hope was that the smell of the flowers would help disguise the smell of my actions. I must have lost track of time because the next thing I knew, I looked down and saw millions of cigarette butts lying on the grass. But still in a daze of pleasure, I continued on.

Then I heard his voice…“Tammy, where are you, it’s time for supper.”

I thought how was I going to explain this to my dad? My heart began to pound and I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I knew I was about to be a big disappointment and I just wanted to hide.

Thinking I could cover-up my secret, I began to scoop up, as fast as I could, the cigarettes butts that I so carelessly dropped on the ground. But within seconds my eyes were drawn to two large feet and there would be no denying it… those were the tips of my dad’s boots. I knew at that very moment I was caught. Tears started running down my cheeks as I slowly lifted my head upwards, within moments my eyes meet his and I could see the disappointment taking place his face.

I thought for sure he was going to punish me right then and there. But all he said was…“Why?” I was so ashamed. I told him I was sorry and that I would never do it, again. That is when he put out his hands and gently pulling me to his side. He said “I wished I had never started smoking.” “Tammy, it’s a very bad habit to get into and I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.” “Let’s go in for supper, we’ll talk later.”

Then as we were walking towards the front door, he said “I want you to know, I love you no matter what.”

That day I knew I belonged, I was family.

It doesn’t matter where I have come from, what I have done or who I might have belonged to before I was chosen. But what does matter is I KNOW I’m completely loved and accepted completely by my Heavenly Father.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Are You Seeking ?


Our random question from Edie’s blog, Rich Gifts is: When did you seek God with all of your heart and what did finding Him look like? Here is the verse that not only tells us how to seek Him but what happens when you do.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

I,along with my sister was adopted by a wonderful couple, our mom was a Christian but dad was not a believer. So, as a result I became exposed to, two different worlds.

I didn’t wholeheartedly start looking for God until 1999 when my second marriage was about to end. Although I did go to church, read my bible and prayed, I was known as one of those gals who talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. Our marriage was a mess and if a miracle didn’t take place another child’s life was about to be destroy through divorce.

My husband and I had finally come to the edge of the cliff in our marriage and there were only two choices. The first choice was we could turn around together and make this marriage work. The second choice was we could jump off the cliff (together) and have our lives break into a million pieces. We chose to turn around to give it one more try and on November 22, 1999 we met with a pastor who didn’t beat around the bush but spoke truth into our hearts.

After our meeting, I began to seek God to show me His plan for our marriage. As I prayed, I would ask Him to do amazing things in my husband life like…change him. Several weeks had gone by and things were going pretty smooth.

About a month had passed when our promise to God to make this marriage work was tested. I will spare you the unpleasant details but what took place was very familiar. At the end of our argument, he stormed off as I stood in the kitchen crying. Over and over I kept telling God, I was tried. I didn’t want our marriage to go backwards and He needed to do something to change my husband. It was then I heard God say “I am going through you to get to him.” I couldn’t believe what I had just heard, so I said “God,is that you?” and He quickly repeated.

I knew what God was getting at…I was the one He wanted to change.

My husband began to see the changes in me and God kept His promise, within a few months I could see my husband starting to change,too. We have been married for 21 years and our daughter knows her parents are together until death do us part.

Ever since that day, I have continued to seek God and He continues to show me His faithfulness.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Choices

We all have made choices in our lives that have changed us. On November 4,2008 we will be given another choice...please pray for God's will to be done.

During my blog visits today,I stopped by Tea with Tiffany. She has written a letter that will stir your heart. Please visit if you have time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I went blog visiting yesterday morning and at Edie’s Rich Gifts, every Friday she has a random question posted. This Friday the question was for us to pick from the definitions related to Romans 12:2-3, you’ll have to go to her site to get the full instructions.:)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good,
pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

I choose definition #5…"This is your spiritual act of worship" - This is what it means to worship

I think many people in today’s world would say that they are spiritual. But what are they worshipping? Part of that sentence states in order to have this outward expression, you need to give up, submit, and surrender what it is that you desire.

For many years as a Christian, my life was unfulfilled. I would go to church, read my bible and worship on holy ground, yet walk right back into my world (you can read more about, here). What I came to realize was, I was worshipping through religion and not relationship. I was avoiding the truth, the truth of God’s Word.

The Word of God is what draws you to…your spiritual act of worship. When you take the things of this world that have exalted themselves above God and no longer follow them that is when you can truly worship.
In John 4, you find the story about the woman who meets Jesus at the well. I love this woman because here was a gal, who knew her life was miserable. Yet, she continued to avoid and hide from the truth. But during her encounter with Jesus, she wasn’t getting away this time. Jesus tells her…"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."(NIV)

Once again, she tried to avoid what was being said, yet this time she was in the very present of God and He was looking right into her heart. I know we have all been there. It was that time when we could no longer pretend that our way of life was pleasing to Him. It’s the moment when He says to us…it’s all or nothing but you need to choose, either worship Me in spirit and true or don’t worship Me at all. When we finally come face to face with that choice in our life, it is only then, we can have this spiritual act of worship.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesday

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

Here she comes...Ms. Spirituality!Make-up looks good, not to heavy. Check! My blouse isn’t too low; skirt just the right length. Check! I need to get to church on time, it’s important, but I can’t remember where I placed my bible, oh, there it is. Check!

I’m so glad we made it to church on time. Let’s see, bible in hand, highlighters in purse and a smile on my face as we walk towards the front of the sanctuary to our usually spot. The pastor tells us to turn to the book of John, chapter 3.

Oh look, I already have it highlighted with some thoughts written beside it, I wonder if the person next to me will glance over and then they will see just how spiritual I am. While all the way through the message I softly say…amen, praise the Lord and hallelujah. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about the night before when my make-up was heavier, my blouse was lower, my skirt was higher as I sat at the bar with a glass of gin and tonic in my hand. I was a fake but no one knew, like Ms. Spirituality, my performance was just that, a performance.

Every Sunday I would raise my hands to praise the Lord and be the first one up front at the end of the service with all my regrets. I would then leave the church determined that this week would be different.

Lisa writes this statement: Perhaps in her quest for spiritual perfection, like many of us, Ms. Spirituality is asking the wrong question. She is looking at the ritualistic side of her faith, rather then the tangible expression of a deeply rooted love for God.
I had known God for most of my life but I didn’t really know Him until I laid down my alabaster box at His feet. Everything I had loved was in that box. Everything that was special to me. Everything which gave me a sense of being loved, was hidden inside that box. God didn’t want my tears of regret, which only lead to a better performance on Sunday morning…God wanted my alabaster box.

It was the usual Sunday morning; I had gone through my checklist and was ready to close the bedroom door when I noticed my alabaster box sitting on the dresser. I took a deep breath,as I placed it in my hand, although I wasn’t sure why I was taking it with me. I arrived at church on time with my family, bible in hand and highlighters in my purse ready for the message. Again,I would put on a great performance and receive the title of 'Ms. Spirituality'. At the end of the service, I felt a pressing on my heart that I could no longer deny; God didn’t want my words of praise or my good deeds...He wanted my alabaster box.

It was then I reached into my purse and slowly pulled out the box that had been decorated with years of accomplishments and pride. I walked to the front of the church and knelt down, but this time it wasn’t with all my regrets that I was lying at His feet, it was something much more precious…it was my alabaster box.

Oh, I still highlight my bible, I still raise my hands to praise the Lord and I still have a smile on my face as we go to the front of the sanctuary to our usually spot. But now, I have a deeply rooted love for God. My life has come to know God and a great desire to do His will.

Lisa, you were so right when you wrote:
God’s original plan was not for us to prove to Him that we love Him by performing to the best of our spiritual abilities. Rather, He is seeking today what He has always been interested in getting from us: a relationship with Him that is pure of heart and motive, the only goal in mind being to honor Him by doing His will.
I’m not a shamed or guilty for the life I led,but I marvel how God has taken the filthy rags I once wore and has given me the robe of righteousness.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Giveaway That Keeps On Giving





I can still remember the day I walked into the clinic, asking God to forgive me, believing that this was the only answer. No, I wasn't a desperate teenager, my whole life ahead of me college student, a single mom or a married woman who had an affair. I was married and it was my husband baby but to us the timing wasn't right and our marriage was rocky. I won't touch on every detail that happened that day but when I walked out of that clinic,my life was different. At the time I couldn't have put my finger on it, I just knew that I had left a piece of me behind.


Did you know that 75% of abortions take place because a child would interfere with their lives. Sad but true. We may never be able to over turn Roe vs. Wade but there is something we can do. We can reach out to those who are hurting through a bible study that is being offered in a free giveaway over at Surrendering The Secret.

Pat Layton founder of this ministry,has her own story and desire to help women who have made this choice. No, you don't have to be post-aborted, just have the same desire as Pat to bring God's truth into their live.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdays

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

anything in purple is from Lisa's book

It was this one small sentence in Lisa’s book that summed it up. Happiness cannot be found inside of us, no matter how hard we try to make it be true.

Ms. Happiness had always been a part of me. To me…happiness came in many different forms from outward appearance, performing on stage, and the change in scenery of men and whatever else I desired at the moment.

The choices I made about how I felt would bring pain if not death to many different people. The more I spent thinking about myself the easier it was to choose death. What can out of my own happiness was...death to purity for my wedding night, death to a marriage, death to our son’s life of being a family, death to my unborn child and death to myself worth. I was determined to run right into the arms of happiness, my happiness.

Our marriage of 12 years was a mess and I was about to destroy our daughter’s life because I wanted to be happy. It wasn’t until 1996 when my husband (no.2) and I were sitting across from a pastor, who was willing to speak truth into our lives. He explained that our marriage wasn’t about what we could get from the other person but it was about what we had to offer to each other. Then he said these words “Life isn’t about you!” He went on to say that if we wanted our marriage to work, then we needed to take our eyes off ourselves, put them on Jesus and His will for our lives.

There Jesus stood, my husband on one side and I on the other, looking into my eyes, He whispered “You must choose life or death for your marriage.” I knew at that moment I would never be happy if I continued down the road of…self fulfillment.

My life has change so much since that day because I chose to fix my eyes on Jesus. He has given me the love to respect my husband; He’s healed the pain from my past so I can love who He has created me to be. He has stirred my heart to be totally committed to Him and my family.

There was another question Lisa’s asked at the end of the study “Think about a person you know who emulates true joy.”

Did you have someone in mind? For me the answer came quickly, I’ve talked about her in Ms. Confidence…my mom.

She led a simple life. She never demanded anything that would put the focus on herself. Her words were always kind; her home was always welcoming and her life display the love of Jesus. She had many trials in her life but there are two trials where I saw true joy,only God can give.

When she was about 84 years old she fell in the bath tub breaking the first two vertebras in her neck. The doctor told us it was a miracle she had the ability to walk; while he was instructing us on how to care for her as she would be wearing a neck brace for year or so.

About a month later, I noticed mom was going into a deep depression, which had never been a part of her life before. So, one day sitting at the kitchen table I said “Mom, what is wrong?” “You seem so unhappy, it’s not like you.” She looked at me with tears in her eyes and with a soft voice replied “I can’t read my bible because of this brace.” I immediately went looking for her bible, returned to the table and began reading God’s Word to her. Oh…the smile that came to her face, the joy I saw in her eyes and the life that had returned to her soul.
Satan has tried many times to cause my mother to curse God, even to the very end of her life. In this post you will see the second trial of true joy in my mom’s life.

When I first started this bible study I thought it would be a good way to connect with other Christian women but it has turned out to be so much more. Through this study I’m learning what my mother knew; happiness doesn’t come by the way of how you feel but by Who you know. May we all be remembered as a woman who emulated true joy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Six unspectacular things

I've been tagged by my friend Carol. After looking over the game and realizing there isn't any
running involved,like...Duck,Duck,Goose. I've decide to play.

So here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Carol is her name and blog is her game:)

2. Post these Rules.

3. Tell 6 Unspectacular Things About Yourself.

4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers.

Here are my 6 unspectacular things about me.

1. As a young girl I loved going to my friend's farm and walking barefoot through fresh cow manure.

2. I hate to iron and try to avoid it at all costs!

3. I must have my popcorn every Friday and Saturday night,at least 3 bowls each night....popped over the stove with butter.

4. Growing up I had a monkey named Danny. (a real one)

I was having trouble coming up with the last two unspectacular things about me. So, I asked my daughter and here is what she said... "Well Mom, your pretty normal,I mean your not famous or rich but you know how to work with what you have." Out of the mouths of babes :)

This was fun and I'm not out of breath. To all my bloggings friends if you want to play,leave me a comment so I can see what are some unspectacular things about you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's your deSign?


This week over at Edie’s blog, her Random Question is ‘What is your deSign?’

I always enjoyed being center of attention, which I’m sure if you are a regular visitor, you know that by now. I guess it’s why my parents decided to put me in to dance lessons at the age of 5. But it wasn’t until many years later,it was discovered that acting ran through my blood.
I entered many competitions during my dancing career and did alright,but it wasn’t until I was teenager when I lip-synced to Liza Minnelli's song...Life's a Cabaret. At that moment I was hooked!

In the year of 1993 I surrender my life completely to Christ and closed down my dance studio because I couldn’t serve two gods. Even though my life was being filled with other wonderful things I still missed the stage. In my prayers, I would ask God to use me for His purpose and He did. He opened the door to let me use the gift of acting. A gift He purposely gave me the moment I was placed in my mother’s womb.
I now participate in our church plays and travel to other churches portraying the women of the Bible…my favorite is the Woman at the Well. I love how God has deSign each and every one of us so differently yet the same…to honor Him

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdays

For all of us,along with our wonderful host Lilea, who have been reading this book ‘Behind Those Eyes’ by Lisa Whittle, we are finding truth with every turning page. Some of us have heard God’s whisper, while others have needed a little bit bolder approach like flashing neon lights, to go along with the whispers of God’s voice. No matter how God is speaking to all of us, isn’t it wonderful He loves us so much to never leave us where we are.

All purple highlighted is out of Lisa’s book.

As you read this post or ones before it, you will find that I hid my identity and pretended I could control whatever came along. So, in the next half of my life I’ve decided to be honest with God and you…isn’t that what this book is all about? Getting to know who is 'Behind Those Eyes'…right? Well, for the last several days my mind has been debating on what I should write about in this chapter.

It was this paragraph in Lisa’s book that jumped out at me: The idea of making one's own decisions about her body and what to do with it is an idea Ms. Confidence highly esteems. Making decisions about your own body seems like the epitome of confidence. It has become a gender-empowering thing in or society to own our sexuality and form a kind of identity around doing what we want to do."

You see, when I look into the mirror, I see a woman who is aging, a place I never thought I would be. If I told you I wasn’t afraid of growing old, I would be lying. I have always relied on my looks to get me were I thought I needed to go.
Thinking back to my years of growing up, I wanted to be just like my dance teacher. She was so beautiful, like a full size Barbie doll with the finest clothes, jewelry and a charisma about her that would make heads turn when she enter a room. So, from the time I was a teen to my 45th year of life, I was Ms. Confidence, the woman who was so unapproachable yet desperately wanted your friendship.

My life was heading to a place where nothing was going to stop me from being important. Even if it meant I would end up destroying lives, a marriage and falling into the arms of a stranger(s), all because Ms. Confidence was telling me I could make it happen.

Well, I made it happen. I gave away the most precious gift God gave me at a young age because I was confident that my beauty would keep him and him and him…

Reading Ms. Confidence, I could totally relate to…been there,done that.

My first marriage, (yep, my first marriage) Ms. Confidence decided she needed to tag along. She would encourage me to be a WOMAN and to make sure that my husband knew that I didn’t need him to survive. She also convinced me if this marriage didn’t work out, I could be certain that some else would come along. I played right into her hand, my marriage ended after 10 years and standing by my side was my 4 year old son waving goodbye to his ….daddy.

My career as a dance teacher was my life. I had seen how a CONFIDENT woman worked the room and received approval from the world. I had watched how she would walk pass a mirror to gaze at her beauty, then turn towards me as if to say “You want to be just like me when you grow-up, don’t you?”

I became that confident woman just like my dance teacher. I worked countless hours along with compromising values and demand the approval from the world. My life was spinning out of control. Life was about me, it always had been.

I needed to put an end to the relationship that I was having with Ms. Confidence because if I didn’t…I would destroy my second marriage and my daughter would be standing by my side waving goodbye to her …daddy.

Then I read another statement Lisa made…True confidence comes from only one source—an inside Source—and it cannot be brought, sold, put on or manufactured.
I thought of another woman I once knew who had the quality of this statement. Anyone who might have met her would say, “She had all the confident in the world”.

No, she didn’t wear the finest clothes, her only jewelry was her wedding band and on her face she wore a smile. I never gave it much thought in my younger years, how this woman would spend so much time reading at the feet of Jesus and less time looking into a mirror. Everyday I would watch as the words she was reading would come to life in her heart. She had the confidence that not even Ms. Confidence, herself, would ever achieve. She found the secret to full happiness (which I believe is our next chapter…Ms. Happiness) and that only God could be her ‘inside Source’. No matter what life handed her, she always received it with open arms because she knew God was her purpose for living not for man’s approval.

God has done amazing things in my life since I have allowed Him to clear out the corners of my heart. My marriage has been renewed, my secret sin has been forgiven, and my daughter has a mommy who loves her and my son has watched how God has taken this self-centered woman to being a God-centered worshipper.

I want my life to end just like the woman who sat at Jesus’ feet every morning, as I would walk by.
She was a woman who feared God…she was my Mom.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdys

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and come out of hiding. All questions or statements are put purple from Lisa’s book.

As I was reading chapter two, in my head I was saying “Yep, that’s me” as I periodically glance at my perfectly painted toenails. Then I saw it, as if it was in neon lights flashing to get my attention…When I think of Ms. Perfection, I feel so tired.

As I sat there looking at those words, they started too press against my heart, was God about to tell me something,again? Would I be willing to listen?

I guess you could say I have been Ms. Perfection for a very long time. I have always felt the need to have everyone’s approval, whether it is from my friends, my family and anyone else who laid eyes on me. Up until about five years ago I never gave Ms. Perfection much thought, it was just a way of life, but now I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

You see, I’m tired of putting on 6 or 7 outfits, making sure my clothes look just right before I walk out the door. I’m tried of fighting the natural aging process by combing the universe for that PERFECT cream. I’m tired of trying to make my body take the shape of those fitness models, which have too much time on their hands, to look that way. I'm getting tired, so tried, in trying to be that perfect package… I so secretly desired.

Ms. Perfection
, she has taken so much from me and not once has she offered anything in return. Many times she has whisper in my ear telling how beautiful I am and then in the next breath laughing at my imperfections. She has stolen my time, my money, my self-worth and almost ran away with my soul. I’ve come to learn that Ms. Perfection doesn’t care about anything or anyone but herself. I’ve started to realize that everywhere I go she’s only two step behind, yelling at me to fix my hair, to pull in my stomach and make eye contact to see if THEY…all approve. Just as Lisa stated…When I think of Ms. Perfection, I feel so tired.

So, in the last several weeks I’ve been having a conversation with God about Ms. Perfection. I have told Him, I’m not really crazy about this woman anymore and I want her to stop dropping by. I asked God “To search my heart and to show me what my stumbling block is? I want to be approachable, I want to be real.

This weekend we had a women convention in our area and yes, you guessed it, between reading this book,the convention and the conversation I’ve been having with God, He gave me…my answer.

The whole weekend was about choices we make. Every choice brings forth a seed and every seed brings forth fruit. Ok, just like you, I know about the whole sowing and reaping thing but it was the illustration she gave that brought truth to my heart. She was talking about being fiercely faith to God and to our spouses…I thought to myself, I’m there, no problem!

Then she started to tell about this woman who she was watching across the room one day, she said the woman was attractive and appeared to be about 50 years of age...Hummm,I'm 50. As the woman stood there waiting, every time a man would walk by she would look in his direction until they made eye contact. As soon as she received his approval through a nod or smile, she then would turn away (bashfully) only to repeat the game, again. Within a few minutes the person she was waiting for had arrived…her husband.

That’s when the Lord said “Tammy, she talking about you.” At first, I tried to ignore what I had just heard because I hadn’t been unfaithful to my husband in years. But God wouldn’t leave me alone, until I confess that I had not been fiercely faith to Him or my husband. I realized at that very moment I needed to make a choice. Was I going to choose to deny the truth, that in fact for years I had been looking for approval from others? Or would I stand in front of God, completely naked, with all my imperfections and allow Him to cover me with His approval?

On that day I realized truth doesn’t come in a gentle or quiet way. Lisa’s right…it does hurt. My heart ached with grief because I knew God had exposed something I had kept secret. Later on that evening I went to my husband, told him what had happened and asked for his forgiveness. He told me he knew about the game I had played for so many years and then he put his arms around me and said “You’re forgiven”… just as my Heavenly Father did earlier that day.

In Lisa’s book, she gives us a list of how Ms. Perfection disguises herself, in many ways… as a perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect relationship or a perfect package. So,when perfection takes root in our minds, it's then we look to others for nod or a smile.

The truth is, I will never be perfect looking into someone else’s eyes…only His.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesday

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle whose book we are using is titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’ I put whatever I have taken from the book in purple.

Seeing we are dealing with being authentic which means not being a counterfeit, I have to make a confession. I know what you’re thinking…already? Yes, I have struggled for the last two days trying to write and rewrite something profound but every time I'd put it on paper, it just didn’t seem right. Now here my confession, I read many wonderful, creative blog sites and each time I shut down the computer my desire is to write just like the authors. There I said it. You all write so beautifully and your words just flow together. I wasn’t at the top of my English class and up until about year ago I never had a desire to write even a thank you note. After going to bed I started my nightly conversation with God, telling him I was frustrated and wondered if once again,was I pretending to be someone else. Did I join this online bible study because there need's to be another dose of truth spoken to me or did I just want to be popular...again.

So, this morning I got up early and opened up Lisa’s book hoping something would jump out at me, all the while seeking God to speak to my heart and to my surprise, He did. Why are we always surprise when God does something? Anyway, I know I had read this sentence before there on page 16, at the end of the first paragraph Judas pretended to love Jesus, but in fact, he loved no one but himself. Here’s what I started to ponder…Did Judas start out that way? Maybe at first he really wanted to be in ministry with Jesus or was he just pretending? When did he take is eyes off from Jesus and looked towards the world?

Let me say this right up front,I don't ever want to be like Judas,again.

I want my story to be…God’s story. My life up until about 10 years ago was one big make- believe, pretending to be someone else.
I was even a pretender in my childhood not because I lived in a bad situation, absolutely not. As a matter of fact I felt very special because I was adopted by a great couple, but I always wanted to be popular. I always needed to have the name-brand jeans, shoes and anything else that had to do with fashion. I never gave it much thought that my dad worked hard, from paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. All I wanted was people to think I was someone else so they would be my friend. Pretending became a normal part of my life. So normal, that it followed me into my adulthood and I became known as Miss Tammy. It's a title given to you when you become an instructor in the world of dance from your students. I played the part quite well. Trying to be who I thought I should be instead of who God wanted me to be was draining me of my self-worth, pretending was destroying my marriage. I was spending money I didn’t have, my son from my first marriage, yes I was a pretender there too, was being forgotten because I only had time for those I wanted to be my friend..you know, the important people. I had no room for another child so I made a choice that would haunt me for years. Toward the end of my make-believe world I was being drawn into Satan's trap, just like Judas.


I don’t want to be a pretender; I have lived in the world of make-believe and pretended to be someone I wasn’t but now my eyes are on Jesus,I want to be real, authentic and live His truth from the inside out. After reading the first chapter, I still feel pretty comfortable with myself but my prayer is that feeling of comfort won’t last long. I want to have everything that is preventing God from using me far beyond what I could ever image to be removed. I want the truth to be spoken by Him and if my blogging friends have something to say, I want that too.

I know God has chosen once again, at this appointed time, to reveal to me the truth. Lord, I’m ready...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

God's Voice

I love visiting Edie’s blog and on fridays she comes up with a question that gets your thinker work'in known as the…The Random Question. So, this week her question is…“How do you recognize when God speaks to you?”
She also asked us to tell about a specific time when you heard Him, two very good questions.

I heard God's voice shortly after I had rededicated my life to Him in my early 30’s. Even though I was raised knowing God, I really didn’t KNOW God. So, after many years of going through life and calling on Him only when I needed my desires filled, I was now ready to start hearing His desires.

The first time I heard the voice of God was on a cold fall night not to long after I had surrender my life to Christ. I decided to sleep in the spare bedroom because I had developed a bad cough from a cold that I just couldn’t seem to shake, I figured that way I wouldn’t be keeping my husband up all night and at least one of us would get a good night sleep.

I have to admit at the time I was a little scared of sleeping alone, even though he was just across the hall from where I was. So there I laid with the covers pull up to my chin, my head propped on two pillows with my eyes tightly shut determined to make this work. It seemed like hours as I laid there trying to fall a sleep, which I’m sure was only minutes,when I remembered my mom telling if ever I was afraid to just pray. As I started to pray I began to thank God for all the wonderful things He had given me and how He had protected me during my time of…life is about me syndrome. But some how I went from thanksgiving to questions of doubt. I started asking Him “Why is it so hard to believe?" “Why don’t you speak to us now...today?” “You spoke back in the days of Noah or what about Moses, You sent him a burning bush plus on top of that you spoke to him.” " Could You maybe, give me a little sign of something?"
I think at this point I was getting a little frustrated so I just stopped talking when all of a sudden I heard “Tammy.” Thinking it was my husband, I answered back but with no response. So, I got out of bed and went across the hall, opened the bedroom door only to find him sound to sleep.

I immediately ran back to bed with thoughts of we must have a ghost in the house and began to sing hymns I knew as a child, hoping to chase the ghost away until I finally fell a sleep. The next morning when I got up I went out to the kitchen to have my morning coffee and as I was sitting there thinking about moving from this haunted apartment, my husband came out to join me. Noticing that something was troubling me he asked “What’s wrong with you, you seem upset.” I told him about the whole experience from the night before insisting that we needed to move but when I was done he simply said “Well, you did ask God for proof, didn’t you?” I replied with a surprised look on my face“Yes, do you really think that He spoke to me?” He shook his head,yes and laughing he said..."Did you want Him to hit you over the head with a baseball bat?”

It has been almost 20 years since the first time I heard the voice of God.

Yes, He has spoken to me and continues to speak to me not like He did that night in an audible voice but through His Word, through people and life experiences. Whether my heart is troubled or I'm seeking to know what His plans are for my life, He speaks. There are times when I try to avoid the truth and in those times His voice is like a whisper to my heart. I think it's easier for Him to get my attention that way...but I never get tired of hearing His Voice.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Do It

To follow this story start with: My Secret Sin 5/08/08

I would like to thank all of you who have visited my blog and for coming back over the last several months to read my story (God’s Story)…My Secret Sin. I didn’t share my story to shock anyone but my intention was to show God’s grace and how we can trust in His Word.

There are days I still visit my past, not so I will walk around with my eyes looking at the ground full of shame…oh no! But just like Joseph, I’m reminded how God took this awful experience and is now using it to His glory. What Satan meant for evil, God is using it for good; I give God all the glory!

Since I have begun telling my story, whether it be at the hairdresser’s or at a speaking event, God has saturated me with His love and has given me the courage to speak about this difficult subject. My heart goes out to women who at one time in their lives felt abortion was the only answer. I know what it’s like to hide a secret and to be afraid to tell anyone, in fear of judgment. I must admit every time I would push the button to publish my post I could hear the voice of the enemy, whispering to me that no one would care to read about my secret and I would be hurting my daughter by sharing my thoughts of hatred towards her, that I once had. I want to assure you before I even started to share; I had a heart to heart talk with her and she gave me her blessing.

Talking with her about her brother isn’t easy but it is healing. We’ve even planted a Japanese Cherry tree in our flower garden and placed a statute of a little boy reading a book while seating on a bench in memory of Christian Daniel. A little over year ago I went to a memorial for about four women who went through our abortion recovery bible study at the center, where I volunteer. I, myself had already been to a memorial for children lost through an abortion, miscarriage or stillbirths, this part of the program is very healing. But I needed to be there for this one because of my involvement with the bible study, so this time I invited my husband and daughter to participate and they did. The service was held at my church and my pastor spoke at the memorial. Many tears were shed that day; many hearts for the first time spoke the name of their child (children) and my family, it was the first time we as a family mourned for Christian…publicly.

You may not have had an abortion, but I’m sure something has touched your life to the point of drawing you closer to God or maybe it's kept you at a distance. It may not be the time for you to share your secret but when it is…God will let you know.

I’m not sure what God has planned next for me with this new found way of communicating…blogging,but whatever it is I promise to step out in faith and just do it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wow...another award!


What a blessing and a surprise to have received an award from blogging friend, Nancy at http://oliveleafministries.blogspot.com/
Nancy is a wife,mother, speaker, author and teacher of God's Word and has a weekly devotion on Monday that is a true blessing! Thank you,Nancy!

Here are the rules: 1. Mention the blog that gave it to you.2. Publish these rules.3. Share six values that are important to you and six things you do not support. 4.Grant the prize to six people.

What I value:
Our Creator... God
God's Word
Family
Life
My Best Friend...Lisa
My little doggies...Boudie& Sadie

What I do not support:
Abortion
Lieing
Disrespect
Avoiding God's Truth
Living together...unmarried
Oprah

I pass this award on to:

Pat:http://www.patlayton.blogspot.com/

Dawn:http://www.dawnward.net/

Alene:http://positivelyalene.blogspot.com/

Stephanie:http://psalm42-2.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christ-like Quality

Well, today is Friday an Edie at ‘Rich Gifts’ has asked this question “What quality of Christ’s do you most see in yourself?”

When I first read the question I thought, what kind of answer could I give without sounding prideful? But the more I thought about it I realized it’s what I pray every morning before I begin my day…to be more Christ-like.
So, my answer is to speak the truth because,John 8:32 says Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I think telling someone the truth has always been a part of me. I remember when I was a young girl, many years ago, my mom would say “If you want to know the truth, go ask Tammy.” Of course back then, I’m sure I didn’t speak the truth in love or whether I was concerned the person would live thier life to the fullest by me speaking the truth to them.

There were times when I would be teaching a bible study or speaking with women who might have been struggling with life’s issues and at the end of our meeting I would say “I hope I didn’t offend you?” but I have come to understand that speaking the truth does offend at times. We,as human-beings can get very comfortable rubbing elbows with sin. To live in God's truth would mean for us to stop with all of the 'how we feel' and step into a place of complete surrender to our own desires.

When Jesus spoke to the adulteress, He spoke with no condemnation but He made it clear “to go and sin no more.” Then there was the woman at the well (she’s my favorite) now that gal well, she just kept beating around the bush until finally Jesus had enough of her 'how I feel' and said it…the truth.
Truth isn't suppose to give us a fuzzy feeling inside, but it's purpose is to cause us to stop looking at ourselves and start looking at the real reason why we are here...it's to fulfill God's plan for us.

One thing I have learned in my journey with Christ is when you finally take hold of God’s truth; you will have life to the fullest and victory over the Enemy!
So, there you have it, if you want to know the truth you can ask me but better yet ask God!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heal the Wound

I discovered this song by Point of Grace during the time of sharing my story 'My Secret Sin.'

This song has ministered to me many times,reminding me it's God's mercy and grace that gives me the freedom to reveal my scars. May you also be blessed and encouraged.

Psalm 34:4-5 (NLT)

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's your passion?

Over at Edie’s blog Rich Gifts’ she is asking the question “What is your passion or passions?” Well, after a few days I’m ready to give my answer I hope, I’m not too late?

My passion is to live in God’s truth. There was a time in my life I would have run in the opposite direction when I was face to face with God’s truth.

The woman at the well reminds us of how not living in truth can separate us and draw us into a place of loneliness. Everyday she went to the well at a certain time in order to avoid the other women so not to be reminded of the truth. Everyday the hot sun would beat down on her as she would draw the water from the well only to quench her physical thirst. But she had a thirst much deeper within, a thirst only God’s truth satisfies.
Then the day came when she could no longer hide from the life she had been living because as she approached the well she was about to encounter the living Truth. It was God’s truth spoken to her heart that would set her free and gave her the passion to run back to the village leaving her water, the very thing she came for, to tell others of what Jesus had done for her.

The truth of God’s word has set me free but must admit I too, walked down some dust roads in the heat of the afternoon trying to avoid my sin. God has taken the very thing that I was running from and has placed me in a position to help other women find the same freedom. My life has forever been changed!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I wonder...

To follow this story start with: My Secret Sin 5/08/08

Many years after my abortion, I tried not to wonder what kind of life my child would have experienced. Why wonder? It wouldn’t have changed anything. I had looked at my circumstance as a roadblock and the only way around it was to walk up to the clinic and opened that door. On that day,I decided to place myself first and for me to trust God…well, it seemed impossible.

I’m sure God had spoken truth to me before but at the kitchen table that day it was overwhelming, because I was exhausted from running and searching for the next best place to hide. So there I stood, completely clothed in filthy rags and filled with shame. I was finally willing to hold my baby, to see him as a child of God and not just a situation. As I drew him close to my heart the rags fell and was replaced with a cloth of righteousness.The shame pored out of me like a floodgate opening up to a river of grace.

I was broken and restore as I laid my burden at the cross. My Jesus took the shame, anger, guilt and bitterness I had carried for years and spoke these words “Now give it to me, don’t pick this up again but turn around, walk away and live.” I could feel the weight being lifted off of my shoulders as I handed Him my burden…once again. But this time it was different, this time I completely trusted Him to take what the enemy meant for evil and use it to His glory! I had finally stopped trying to forgive myself and I started embracing the forgiveness of Jesus.

I could now begin to wonder….

So…I wonder,what my relationship would have been like with my daughter today, if God hadn’t spoken truth into my heart two years ago. I wonder,if I had refused to let God unlock the door to the room in my heart that was meant for my unborn child, how would I be serving Him today?I wonder,what my life would have been like if I had kept my secret to myself…would I’ve continued to carried my burden standing upright so everyone around wouldn’t suspect the choice I had made on November 12, 1989.

I’m not much of a poet but God laid these words on my heart that day .

I Wonder
I wonder… if you would’ve had your father’s eyes.
I wonder… if you would’ve had your mother’s hair.
I wonder… if you would’ve been tall, short, meek or strong.

I wonder,what foods you would’ve liked, what books you would’ve read, what dreams you would’ve accomplished.

I wonder… Christian Daniel

Friday, August 8, 2008

Restored

To follow this story start with: My Secret Sin 5/08/08

Forgiveness was something I desperately want from my children,yet so afraid to tell them the truth. Leading up to the moments before I revealed my secret sin, I wasn’t sure if my children would ever forgive me for making the choice to put my life before the precious child I once carried inside of me. It’s hard to describe the fear of rejection, I’m sure you’ve all been there one time or another. For me,it was to think what if I was to expose my secret would they a walk away one by one?

But they didn’t.
They had questions…I answered. They had ‘what ifs’…we dreamed together.

I was now free to share my (our) story with the rest of the world. So, there I sat at the kitchen table writing the last scripture into my testimony when I laid my pen down, bowed my head and asked God once again “Why can’t I love my daughter?” “Why do I always push her away with the very hands I long to hold her with?” I was tried of asking these questions...why was God taking so long to answer? Didn’t He want me to be close to my daughter? Couldn't He see I was killing her, too?

My mind began to spin thinking about all the words of anger and rejection that spewed out of my mouth. Words cutting deep into her soul, these words had started to build a wall between us and if our relationship continued down this path, she would fade away.

I began to sob uncontrollably from the pain that was welling up inside of me. Lifting my head off the table, my eyes focused upwards and with a loud shout,I cried out “God, what is wrong with me?” “I know you have forgiven me and in my head I believe it’s true but my heart, it’s empty…why?” I wiped the tears from my face and placed my head on the kitchen table once again, but this time in complete surrender. Within a few minutes, I felt His presence, call me crazy… but I knew He was there. His voice was so soft, almost a whisper as He spoke my name. I lifted my head from the table and responded “What is it, Lord?” Then the words of truth came out of His mouth like a two-edged sword “You can’t love Sydney, until you love your aborted child.”

Why did the truth have to be so raw? I thought God was all about love...saying the truth in love isn’t it what we learn as Christians? I knew He was right, just like the woman at the well; I too, needed the truth spoken to me. I could see His arms reaching towards me and then I saw him, my child. “Go ahead,” God said “Hold him, you need to hold him.” God was speaking directly to my heart, for my heart had never held my baby.

At first I hesitated,if I held him it would mean my child just wasn’t about a bible study for the post-aborted woman or even words of how sorry I was for making this choice. By holding him,placed him next to my heart, a place I skillfully guarded for years. It would be the first time in 16 years I looked into the eyes of Jesus and saw His heart…not mine. He wanted me to love this child…the way He loved him. He wanted me to be free to embrace the life…he would have had. He wanted me to lay the burden of never physically holding him at the foot of the cross…to holding him in my heart.

I must take a moment to catch my breath; it’s a day I will always remember. It's the day I was reconciled back to God.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a Surprise!



What a surprise! I have been nominated by my blogger friend, Dawn at Running My Race, blog site http://www.dawnward.net/ for the following award: Brillante Weblog Award

Here are the rules for receiving for this award:
1) Put the logo on your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs or email them

So,I have made my decision...drum roll please. The 7 choices who will be receiving this award are:
Lelia at WRITE FROM THE HEART: Lelia's heart is all about Jesus.
Pamela at Pinkshoe Lady: My friend in Jesus,who I meet at SheSpeaks 07. Her writing is fun to read and thought-provoking.
Kelly at Wonder Woman Wonders...by Chatty Kelly: She will stirs your heart to stay connected with God.
Bonnie at anencouragersheart: She's a friend of mine and new to the whole blogging thing but her writing will encourage you and assures you that God is always near.
Nancy at http://www.oliveleafministries.blogspot.com : She has a wonderful video devotion every Monday. I know you will be blessed!
Lisa at Lysa Terkeurst: Lisa has inspired me to say "Yes" to God. Check out her blog, she will inspire you too!
If you noticed I only selected 6 for nomination,it's because Dawn would have been my seventh choice,her writing displays the desire to help women from the inside-out... In His Image.

Thanks, Dawn!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

To tell the truth

To follow this story start with: My Secret Sin 5/08/08

The house was quiet on the morning of October 2007. My husband was off to work and like every morning, I had just returned from dropping our daughter off at the bus stop. I grabbed my cup of coffee, my bible and notes that I had been working on for the last couple of weeks. I was preparing the testimony that I was going to give on Wednesday night to the youth group at our church. As I sat down at the kitchen table to put the final touches to the last part of my story, I was still struggling with one small piece of my heart. My heart felt empty and distance towards my daughter. Every time I tried to hold her, I would be reminded of how I was ever meant to be a mom. Many times, I would hear the voice utter to me “A good mother would desire to have children, to nurture them, not destroy them.” The voice had a way of reminding me “She hates you, for what you have done to her sibling.”

I need to stop here to take you back to about 3 years before that October morning. My husband, my daughter and I had just finished watching the
movie…Tilly(http://www.frankperetti.com/product/261.htm?parentid=1369)
It’s about a woman and her husband who had an abortion in the early years of their marriage. They never spoke about it until, something triggered her to begin to think about their child again and she started to experience Post Abortion Syndrome. (http://www.inourmidst.com/reactions_effects.htm#pas)
Many of you might be thinking why would we watch this movie, how could my 10 year old possible understand this act of abortion. I assure you, she only knew that abortion was not the will of God and it meant a life had been ended. This movie is wonderfully done and speaks of forgiveness.

At the end of the movie we all sat there with various mixed emotions. I will never forget her turning to me and in her soft voice whispered “Mommy, do you know anyone who had an abortion?” After taking a deep breath...I replied “Yes.” Then came the one question I feared the most, once again in her child-like voice she asked “Mommy, did you ever have an abortion?”
At that moment my world stopped. It was like everything else stood still except me. I wasn't sure what to say. I had prayed many times for the opportunity to tell my children but not today, I wasn’t ready. I knew in my heart God was opening the door to my secret sin. He was about to take me one step closer to the place called…trust.
Immediately, my eyes began to fill with tears. I looked over at my husband, as if to say “Should we tell her?”As soon as his eyes meet mine, I know the answer. I reached out and place her hand in mine,while all the time praying in my heart that God would give me the words to help her understand. I wasn’t sure if I could ever help her to comprehend why we made such a choice…but I knew it was time to tell her the truth.

There was someone else who also needed to know the truth and that was my son, from a previous marriage. We had told him at the time of my pregnancy that I had a miscarriage. I knew in my heart in order for me to share my story with others, I had to share the truth with my children.

So,God in his sovereignty after two years of revealing the truth to our daughter, opened the door to uncover my hidden secret with my son. Telling my children was far from being easy but the burden of not talking about my other child was destroying me and my family. For so many years I feared judgement from my children but what I received was forgiveness.