Thursday, December 22, 2016

Peace is a gift..

Let there be peace on earth.

Such a simple request.

The search for peace can lead people from country to country, to God or away from Him, from one partner to the next.

And yet, peace is a gift. Not the peace the world gives but true peace. (John 14:27). The night Hope was born Love took on flesh and brought Joy into the world to bring us Peace.

Peace comes from Christ. 

The power of stillness is found deep within the soul. Looking around causes confusion which leads us away from peace. Those concerns that cause anxiety and stress need to be turned over to Christ. Wholeheartedly and completely. No hanging on in hopes of trying to work it out yourself. Present your requests to God with thanksgiving and a peace that transcends all understanding is promised to you. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Let go of striving and experience His peace this Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Are you feeling the joy?

The night Hope was born Love took on flesh and brought Joy into the world!

Are you feeling the joy? 

After a dark night of the soul the dawn of joy is such a relief.  My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this week. We've had our share of ups and downs over the years. Two stillbirths, one miscarriage, two live births, moving from the US to Russia, and then Russia to Belize and having all of our belongings stolen in the last move....what a journey it has been.

December 13th is our wedding anniversary. It is also the date that our first son was stillborn back in 1985 on our 4th anniversary. Sweet and bitter mingled over the years. Remembering the date brings us face to face with the realities of life. Part of that reality means facing death, facing heartache, facing fears. hoping for the best and accepting whatever comes our way.

Getting married at age 18 was a challenge. Armed with high school diplomas, optimism, and our love for one another we set out to conquer the world. Looking back on that rainy day in Wichita, Kansas I can see how young and naive we were.

It is only by God's grace that we have gotten this far.

As Christmas draws closer may you find reasons to rejoice. The wise men needed His star shining brightly in the heavens to point the way toward Him. Today just look into His word. Listen out for His voice if you're facing a dark night. His joy will come in the morning! I don't say that as a cliche. I say it from years of experience. Each storm we have faced has been followed by a rainbow. And each night is followed by daybreak. Although the night may be long, lift up your head and look to Him, and He will make your joy complete!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where is the Love?

Loving unconditionally is hard work. 

Loving for a lifetime is a daily lesson in humility. 
It always amazes me how rapidly people on the Hallmark channel fall in love and resolve all their differences before the movie ends. 

A family misunderstanding that leads to years of estrangement. A rebellious child who runs away each time he's challenged to make a change in behavior. Arguments, hurt feelings, all resolved in 90 minutes so we can get to the happily ever after part, the part that makes us feel good inside. Sometimes leaving us wishing for the life those fictional characters are living instead of being stuck with life on life's terms. 

Where is the life of love for us real people, with real issues, and real relationships?

Each day in the counseling office, in the news, or on Facebook I hear about the pain that humans cause each other. Families, schools, workplaces, churches, and governments are filled with hurting people who hurt other people. 

And yet, It doesn't have to be that way...

Fortunately, the night Hope was born Love took on flesh.

He lived a life that forever models sacrificial unconditional love for all mankind. A life that revealed a perfect love that removes all need to fear. 

His standard of love requires making choices. Hard choices. 

Real love is difficult to find. Difficult to live out. Real love is an effort that reaches to the highest degree. Unconditional love doesn't ask, "what have you done for me lately?" Love in the highest degree seeks to meet the challenge to love in and through the hard times. 

May we each make the choice to love better, to love to the highest degree, to the end, one day at a time!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

When It Hurts to Hope

What do you do when it hurts too much to hope? When you feel tired, broken, and empty?

The psalmist in Psalm 42 has an answer for a soul that is bent over by the weight of the world…praise.



How do you give praise when you’re ready to declare emotional, physical, and spiritual bankruptcy? As a worship leader who is at this very moment battling with fatigue in all aspects of life I’m wondering how do I lead others to a place I’m struggling to reach?

Last year I wrote my first Christmas song and the opening line is, “Hope was born in a manger”. Hope is not something we can manufacture on our own. Hope was birthed through God’s choice to sacrifice His Son to redeem a broken world. Our true hope is found in the arms of the God of Hope.

When you’re too tired to pray, too broken to believe it will get better, and too empty to hold on to hope, don’t give up on God, simply acknowledge where you are in this moment. In this moment I cannot pretend to have it all together. I am clinging to words of hope I’ve read in His word. I know that God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). I acknowledge my brokenness. I know that God desires to give me rest from the burdens I have been carrying (Matthew 11:28). I acknowledge my need for rest. I know that God is already aware of how much I need Him. So like the psalmist I acknowledge my emptiness. (Psalm 42:1-3)

Many years ago I heard that if your body doesn’t get enough to drink it can send mixed signals to the brain. You might think you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. So it is in times of brokenness. When we are overwhelmed with life we think we need to shut out the world, including God. We have a desperate longing for hope but we look for it in things that don’t completely satisfy the true need. Meditating on the negative day after day and night after night…eating tears for food as the psalmist confessed in Psalm 42:3 is draining. We need a way to break out of the cycle of despair.  If you’re hungry for Hope take a drink of Living Water. Call out to God, spend time in His word, push through what you think you need, and partake of what you really need.

As I climb out of the pit I’ve found myself in, I’m using these five tips to praise my way back to Him:

1. Listen to praise music
2. Make a list of God’s characteristics
3. Read scriptures that relate to hope
4. Journal
5. Make a gratitude list

I’m not advocating that you ignore your feelings. I work as a counselor and regularly encourage people to feel their feelings and work through their issues. I’m acknowledging that for myself, the way out of brokenness is to spend time in His presence, the way out of tiredness is to find rest in Him, and the way out of emptiness is to fill up on Him. He lives within the praises of His people. Praise Him for Who He is and thank Him for what He has done in the past and ask Him for restoration of the soul.  I know that the God of Hope hears our prayers. And that knowledge is fanning the flame of hope in my heart right now!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and "If You Luv Ah" was written to help highlight the issue of Intimate Partner Violence. This song takes the Kriol saying "if ih no beat ah, ih no luv ah" to instead say, "If you luv ah, you no beat ah". Break the silence on this issue. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Let's all #BeHerVoice and spread the word!

Monday, September 19, 2016

His direction...

You will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left." Isaiah 30:21GW  Praising God for His direction!

Are you struggling with what to do next? As I move forward with new projects I have to continually, carefully, and intentionally listen for His voice. Listening closely is vital. Knowing His voice is imperative. In my ear I hear new music, I hear ideas, I hear encouragement to attempt something I've never tried before.

Sometimes I hear a voice of doubt or discouragement. I know it doesn't belong to Him but it's compelling. It calls louder and louder demanding my attention like a whiny child who desperately needs discipline.

And yet there are those times when I acted on what I thought God called me to do and in the middle of it I begin to sink...kinda like Peter walking on water. I have to get my eyes off of how things look and get to a place where I can hear. Ah, left it is...yes, right turn here. One step at a time. I'll keep plodding along the course of life to the sound of His tender loving voice.

Heavenly Father,

I am grateful for Your loving guidance. I am grateful that You never give up on us. Help me to continually seek Your presence and come to in prayer. Help me to dig into the soil of Your word so that I will always be able to discern Your voice.

In the majestic name of Jesus,

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Celebrating Six Years!

Celebrating 6 years in Belize by rocking a Fi Wi Kontry tee by ID SEVEN! Six years ago we had no clue about God's plans for us...we came because we felt called. We are privileged to be a part of Cdf Belize with Diana Shaw. I'm grateful that Mervin Budram - MD took a chance on me at Roots and Honor Records. And I'm grateful beyond words that Andrea pushed me out of my comfort zone to work with her on Divaz Next Door and now we've started Life Uncommon together. I found my purpose, transformed my life, and discovered untapped gifts from God over the past six years. I'm humbled and blessed by all that God has allowed me to experience!

Monday, September 5, 2016

I woke up like this!

Purpose driven Princess Warrior...hmm...that sounds about right! I'm grateful for each day that God gives me energy, determination, and the strength to face whatever lies ahead.  

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Keep Hope alive!

Keep hoping in the God of Hope and give praise to Him for another day! Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 2, 2016

I Have A Mission...

While visiting the Goldson House in Belmopan I was overwhelmed by the accomplishments and the determination of Belizean Hero, Philip Goldson. His story inspires the desire to continually live a life of purpose. A life based on what you know has been designed by God for you. Ask Him to show you what He's calling you to do and then do it until you reach the end of the road!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Think, do, and share!

Decide what you're going to do, then do it, then share your experience with others. I'm grateful for the testimonies that have spurred me into action. And I'm even more grateful to be able to look at someone and say, "I've survived and you can too!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I'm so grateful to finally feel set free from the fears that kept me from jumping into new things! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Discipline is painful but purposeful. Our daily choices can lead us to unspeakable joy instead of regret.  Radical consistency transforms us, body, mind, & spirit. Transformation is not an event it's a process.

Daily discipline is needed to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God which is true spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1) 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Radical Consistency

My phrase for today is 'radical consistency'. Being faithful in small things day in and day out will bring about the spectacular results we're hoping or praying for in life. Time spent practicing, training, studying, or working will help you reach your goals. Be radically consistent and see where it takes you!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tell what He's done!

At the Girl's Connect Retreat last weekend I was privileged to use my testimony about my battle with bulimia and surviving sexual abuse to share on the topic of brokenness and insecurity and how to see yourself through God's eyes.

One generation will commend Your works to another; they will tell of Your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4

When I was growing up in church we used to sing, "O, tell what He's done for you. Of His love so strong and true. O, tell what He's done, what He's done for you, others may need Him too!" Sharing your testimony is simply sharing a life experience that God has helped you heal from or taught you a lesson through. Never be afraid or ashamed to share your story. It doesn't have to be sensational it just needs to be real. Trust me, someone needs to hear what He's done for you!

For bookings contact: 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Even while laughing...

Sometimes it's obvious when someone you know is hurting and sometimes it's not. Simply asking someone how they're doing might not be enough. We've all said, "I'm fine." at least once in our lives when we didn't really mean it. Ask again and be willing to listen to the answer. I'm grateful for those who check in on me. Someone you know is waiting for somebody to show that they actually care!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gracious words...

Have you ever had someone say just what you needed to hear at just the right time? I am so grateful for those God moments when they come my way!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Just in case you were will all be worth it someday.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gotta get back up!

Walked around all day Saturday in these babies on rocks and through the grass without incident but somehow I fell today during my morning run?! Oh well, got up, ran a mile back home, and will keep on singing Hallelujah Anyhow! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

His protection...

I'm grateful that Facebook is up to date. Perhaps I should have read this before I ran 3 miles in the rain! I'm grateful that God protected me, kept me from falling, and brought me home safely.

You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip. Psalm 18:36 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Be set free!

When you know the truth about who you are in Christ you will find the freedom to be all that you were designed to be.
You will be able to
overcome your brokenness and insecurity and be set free to praise and bring glory to His name.
Dig into His word and be set free by the Truth! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Girls Connect

They will still bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green. Psalm 92:14

I had the honor of speaking at #girlsconnect today along with Mrs. Hettie Lou Brooks. She has been serving in Belize for almost 40 years and still going strong. What an incredible servant of God! Praise Him for women like her who set high standards for the rest of us.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Who am I?

That smile that you get when you realize that the God of the universe, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, has YOU on His mind! Who am I that You are mindful of me! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Searched and known...

Searched and known.
Is that a frightening or a comforting thought...that God has searched you and knows all about you? The search for self sends people on a journey that they hope will lead to discovering their purpose in life or give them a sense of significance. God has already done an indepth study of each one of us. He knows everything there is to know and everything that can be known about us. I've been married for almost 35 years. My husband has seen the best and worst of me and yet he still loves me. God has seen it all, heard it all, and knows it all AND still loves us. Praise God! My prayer is that we would come to behold how lavish God's love is for His children today and always! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Open my mind...

As we search His word we are able to experience His presence, His peace, and His power. As we open our minds and become more aware of His grace, mercy, and love we find more reasons to praise Him. We realize that happiness is situational but joy, true joy, is eternal. Praise God for breathing out His word for us in order that we might grow and mature and find true joy in Him!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dig out the roots...

A poor self-image is a cancerous root that corrupts our thought life, our attitudes, and our behavior. It can leave us feeling hopeless.

Learning to look to Him for hope and to praise our way through our circumstances can help us dig out those roots that cause our spirits to feel downcast.

It lifts my spirit to say, "hallelujah anyhow". My prayer is that it will help you as well! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

I know this full well!

As I work on my notes to speak at a young women's retreat on Saturday this verse hit me in a new way. It caused me to ask myself, "Does how I feel about myself cause me to praise God or to be frustrated with Him?" The psalmist looked deeply into how God formed and shaped his life and it led him to praise. Take a look at what He's done in you and through you and the potential He's planted in you. I trust that you'll find reasons to praise Him. His works include you and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I know this full well!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thought for Today

Not long after our puppy, Sabaka, came to live with us, I was sitting outside with my Bible doing a study on brokenness. I stopped for a bit to watch her play. She chased coconuts, ate leaves, and ran around the yard finding treasures. In between each action she would come back to me and I would pet her and shower her with love.

As I sit today in sorrow over the loss of her life to parvo, I am also reminiscing over those moments in the yard observing her play. It calls to mind how I am with God at times. I start reading my Bible and decide to get a drink. In the kitchen as I wait for my teapot to come to a boil I pick up my phone and check Facebook. As I check on what my friends are up to I come across a video to watch...and so on. When I finally get back to my Bible study, time is growing short and I have lost my train of thought with all the distractions.

God didn't move.
He didn't get sidetracked.
I did.

How I long to sit at His feet and be loved on by Him. But O, how hard it is somedays to stay put long enough to hear His voice and feel His presence!

I'm grateful for the brief time we had with our pup. I have photos, memories, and lessons gleaned from her short life.

Like her brief life...our lives are like a flower quickly fading. May we be found hungering and thirsting for more of Him. May we have steadfast and prepared hearts that are set on praising Him. May our souls awake to His presence. And may we acknowledge the greatness of His love and the magnitude of His faithfulness.

#FromBrokennessToBeautiful #MakeMeHoly

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Written In His Scars

All scars tell a story. I have scars on my body from falling, from surgery, from giving birth. Our scars may tell of mistakes, trials, joys, or heartaches. The scars of Christ tell a story of a Savior who took on the weight of humanity's sin and the pain of death. A Savior Who suffered to bring us into fellowship with God the Father. The hope, the joy, the victory we have as believers are all because of the redemption, salvation, and restoration that were written in the scars of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I'm grateful for His Resurrection and for all that's written in His scars!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Aim for Perfection...

Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal.
be one of mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you. 
2 Corinthians 13:11

To be honest, this young man is not aiming for the type of perfection this verse calls for. He is actually aiming at a boat full of people that is passing by. But, he is focused, determined and his aim appears true. 

I don't want to be like this kid and look good in the small picture but not in the grand scheme of life.  

I desire a life of integrity where my actions and values line up with His. There are days when I fall short of His perfection. Time after time, I have to get back up, dust myself off, and take aim again. Do you have days like that? Or is it just me?

May we each hear the appeal He is laying on our hearts.  
May we learn to live with oneness of mind.
And may the God of love and peace truly dwell among us.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 The Year of Sacrifice

Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, 
and declare His works with rejoicing. 
Psalm 107:22

I haven't made a new years resolution for more than 20 years. Personally, I don't believe in them. In the past I could never stick with them. Maybe I could now. But, I'm not interested. Instead, for the past five years I've used one word to guide my goals and help define my intentions for the year.

In 2011 my word was JOY
In 2012 my word was SURRENDER
In 2013 my word was EMBRACE
In 2014 my word was HARD
In 2015 my word was PASSION

And for this new year my word is SACRIFICE.

I'm equally eager and trepidatious about this word. We don't own much and we live fairly simply. What else could I possibly have to let go of? 

And then it hits me as I was praying on New Year's Eve. A list evolved as I listened to God softly clarifying all that He wants me to work on. All that I need to let go of. All of the things that make up my SACRIFICE.

my wants
my plans
my will
my misguided beliefs
my words
my praise
my thanksgiving
my ministry
my family 
my time
my flesh
my ego
my impure motives...

I don't think God has shown me everything yet. I believe He has many lessons for me to learn throughout this new year of life. He must think I'm ready. After all, He's the One Who gave me this word.

Have you ever used one word to guide your year? I think the one word principle guides me to that "one thing" that Jesus told Martha about in Luke 10:42. Martha needed to focus her energy, efforts, and thoughts onto Him instead of continuing on with her practice of worrying about so many different things. 

If you're ready to give up making resolutions and try something different then this practice might work for you. 

Begin by praying for God to place an anointed, specific word into your soul. This is important because you need a God-word not just a good word. Once you receive your word from Him then you need to make it known. You need to live it out on a daily basis. Keep it at the forefront of your thoughts so that it may impact every aspect of your life; emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, intellectually. 

Your word and how you choose to live it out will reveal what aspect of His kingdom you need to focus on. God can use your word as a light to illuminate your path, as a mirror reflecting things that you need to change, and as sandpaper to refine & polish you in order to reflect His image.

If you need help with evaluating 2015 before moving on to focusing on your word for this 2016 you can ask yourself these three questions found in this video: 

May this new year of your life be filled with blessings, lessons, and lots of laughter!