Dear God, Please Use Me

God uses ordinary people to do His work every day. Sometimes He uses us when we don’t expect it, when we don’t feel worthy of the honor and even when we don’t know how. But He cannot use us if we are not obedient to Him. Let me rephrase that. He cannot use us if we don’t at least have faith, and if we aren’t making an attempt to grow in our obedience. None of us will get it right every single time. That’s what makes us human, ordinary.

Sometimes I fail to heed His teachings and to obey His wishes. Okay, perhaps sometimes is an understatement. I find myself using excuses when I fail at obedience – as if it were His job to protect me from all of this temptation. As if when I sin, it is somehow God’s fault.  “He made me who I am”. Well, that’s true. But He also gave me free will, and often I use that free will in a way that wouldn’t make my Earthly father proud, never mind my Heavenly Father! I try, I stumble. Now I have a choice, do I stay down, where the devil gets to use me for his lowly work, or do I rise up and try again?

I am a sinner. And listen, sometimes sinning comes disguised as a whole lot of fun. But if we look back on all of the times that we chose fun over obeying the word of God, I think we’d all agree that in the end, it wasn’t worth it. The fun went away and came back as grief.  It’s so easy to make excuses for the sins we’ve committed or are planning to commit. Continuing to make those excuses is the equivalent of saying, “It’s okay to sin, a little”.  Let’s try to remember that the only people God uses are redeemed sinners. Even when the enemy convinces us that God will forsake us because we’re such a hot mess teetering between good and evil, we must stay focused on the end goal. One minute we’re in church, hands raised in the air, singing His praises, and the next minute we’re looking at our neighbor with lust filled eyes and we think, “Meh, one day I’ll be Holy, but it doesn’t look like today is that day.”  No my friends, it doesn’t work like that. You cannot honestly tell me that you don’t know what His expectations are. You are free to decide that you don’t care to meet those expectations (there is that free will thing again), but you can’t deny that you know what they are.

If our lives are to be truly  useful, we need to begin seeing ourselves in the stream of God’s work. He has not blessed us just so we can be blessed. He has blessed us so that we can become a blessing to others. We cannot hide from it. He wants us, ordinary, human and flawed as we are, to be His messengers.  I don’t mean to make that sound too glamourous, because sometimes all it means is taking a moment to carry down your neighbor’s garbage cans.  Sometimes delivering God’s message will be a downright struggle. The Pastor, who first shared the word of God with me, worked in our State Capital. For many years he was not welcome there. He had to fight for his right to preach in a state building, to host a bible study and to counsel our legislators. I can’t imagine the bureaucratic nightmare he went through, but I know he never gave up. We must remember that the hassles in our lives are part of God’s bigger plan for us. If we obey Him, He will use our problems, large and small, to accomplish His purpose.

God wants to use you like that. If you struggle with trials and fears and sins and hassles and family problems, you qualify, as long as you’re also growing in obedience. As God blesses you, commit yourself to be His channel of blessing to others. And so, my prayer for today goes a little something like this:

Lord thank you for using ordinary people for your purposes.  It gives us hope that our lives can make a difference for your kingdom.  May we believe you, submit to your will and be quick to obey your commands.  In Jesus’ name Amen.


Selfie Project

November 4, 2016

One year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It may have been the single biggest shock my system has ever endured. I think I went through all five stages of grief in less than ten minutes (and have since repeated those stages about fourteen times, lingering through each one as if I expect a miracle to come my way if only I am somehow patient enough.)

For me, the most challenging part of cancer has been the mirror. It isn’t all vanity, though that certainly has played a role. It’s more about this sudden need to feel normal, to find comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. So, you turn to the person who knows you the best, only she isn’t there. You have been replaced by this weird looking stranger. There is no greater feeling of isolation than when you can’t even find yourself.

As my appearance changed on a daily basis, I began this little project. It took a minute to get used to the idea of taking “selfies”. I always thought those should be reserved for Instagramming teens and the Kardashian sisters. Perhaps in the beginning, it was so that I could prove that at one point in time, I was borderline, pretty. Like my small way of giving cancer the middle finger and saying, “you can make me ugly, but I have photographic evidence that it’s all your fault!” As time went on and my hair thinned and face did the opposite, the selfie project became more about curiosity and wanting to track the daily metamorphosis.

As the year went on, the project took on a life of it’s own, and in a strange way, I believe it kept me strong. By giving me something to focus on, it allowed me to begin living more in the moment. Even when the moments were grueling, it was healing in a way to be living through them rather than wishing them away or worse… going into self-pity mode. Taking the pictures forced me to think for a minute about how I was feeling. Some days were good and other days I couldn’t get out of bed. But when you allow yourself to feel everything, even the tough times, then when you finally feel joy, it’s just that much sweeter. Feel the sorrow when it presents itself. Mourn what you need to mourn and then remember to give God the glory for all that you have.

When we live in the moment, it becomes easier to notice and find pure joy in the little things, like the quirky smile of a loved one or the way a fresh cut orange smells. Smile and be grateful for those things. Taste your morning coffee. I mean, really taste it. Sit outside when it’s cool, feel the sun on your face, and thank God that He put you here. Watch your children play. Play with them, and love the moment you are in. Resentment and negativity will no longer feel welcome in your life and you will feel it diminish.

Someone told me once that “this” (meaning my cancer) was just a tiny dot on the map of my life. That I would pass by it and once on the other side, it would seem inconsequential. She was right. Life is good. Life is beautiful, actually, and I owe all I have to Him, the One who takes our challenges and uses them to make us stronger.


Grateful for all of the … Laundry??

There are days when the amount of laundry produced by my household absolutely overwhelms me. Sometimes it gets to the point of tears (especially when the stress is multiplied by the same amount of dirty dishes, toys left on the floor and myriad places to be at once). But then there are those days when I find myself smiling as I fold tiny socks, that I know before too terribly long will be outgrown. I pause and relish in the scent of clean cheer uniforms, soccer jerseys and baseball pants. I may even shed a happy tear as I put away a sweater that has been passed down from kid to kid and memories of holidays and school years that passed to quickly come rushing through.

Having a family to take care of, and children who depend on me is the single greatest blessing of my life. I cannot imagine a larger responsibility nor a more precious gift. God has trusted me with these tiny creatures. His children, mine only for their short time on Earth. He has trusted me with their well-being, their education, their safety and with the job of raising them to be wonderful, loving and productive adults. If a little laundry comes with that, then so-be-it.  Think for a moment about the mothers in less developed countries doing their wash in a dirty creek, or worse! Plenty of moms right here in the United States are doing their laundry in a Laundro-Mat, many of whom had to save up their change just to go to the Laundro-Mat in the first place. Who am I to complain about running a load or two through a designated laundry room in my home, just steps away from a completely stocked fridge, and clean drinking water?  Am I that self-absorbed? Have I completely forgotten how truly wealthy I am (in comparison)?

My laundry room is about 6 feet by 12 feet, and while there is a window and door, there is no air conditioning. It gets warm in there in the summer, and rather chilly in the winter. My machines are anything but new or state-of-the-art. But they are mine, and I have worked hard for them. And I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given in this life that have allowed an income beyond what other’s are even able to dream of. I own a home. It is isn’t fancy, but it is clean, and full of running, laughing, well-fed little hooligans that I can’t imagine my life without.

I am overwhelmingly thankful for my babies, and I am thankful to the good Lord who has given me the amazing job of “mommy”, and I am thankful for the laundry, the dishes, the toys and this entire messy life.


Thank you so much for visiting my website. I’m sorry there is not a lot to see here just yet. I have been working on building content & I so appreciate your patience!  You know how it is when you’re juggling life, sometimes we get behind. The important stuff continues to happen – mostly just spending time with my beautiful family – but I am going to begin making this website a priority too and keeping you all updated on what’s happening over here and how you can begin creating your own fabulous life. The life you were always meant to be living.  Start today by taking the time to insure you are living in the moment (mediation lessons coming soon… these will help you with living in the moment), being grateful for all you have and greeting everyone you meet with cheer and love.

Peace to you!