The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me...
To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Isaiah 61:1,2c,3 (New King James Version)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where are you Christmas?

Going into this Holiday season, didn't exactly begin with what I had envisioned. People I truly care about were dealing with death, cancer, fatal health diagnosis, and just hurt. I myself was dealing with a relationship going through a time of change. To be completely honest, the holidays were something that I wanted to not happen. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...all of it could just be boxed up and thrown away. I was ready to settle with just "everyday" ...well everyday. How do you celebrate when hurt? How do you "fa la la la la" when you just want to run away where no one knows you? Well, I guess I should of known, well before the Grinch settled into my cold heart, that the best place to start when your world feels like it is falling apart, is to your knees. I wish I could of said that my landing there was of my own will and heart, but it truly was the Holy Spirit making my knees go out and saying "HEY, remember me?"
So, where IS Christmas. I know for sure it's not there in the stuff I got on Black Friday, but it might of been mixed in among all the laughter and chit chat I had with my Mom as we browsed through WONDERFUL applique holiday sweaters (stay tuned for Christmas morning pictures, where the model will be wearing her very own). I doubt it's in the turkey Kevin and I cooked on Thanksgiving, but the flavor of laughter and joy was pouring from the loved ones around that table. I may also be willing to admit, that Christmas isn't in those sugar cookies I'll bake with Cheyenne this week...or my inability to "gift" ones that aren't quite right - but there is no doubt in my soul that those moments I spend covered in flour and sugar with the little girl that God has let me keep will have Christmas written all over it.
I know it sounds cheesy, and maybe a little cliche to write about the spirit of Christmas, but it's what I need right now. It's what those who I know who are hurting NEED right now. Jesus didn't just come to earth on Christmas day so many years ago just to forgive our sins. He came here to teach us how to live! To love one another and share that love. God also blessed us with relationships to cultivate and grow with the spirit of love, service, time, and experience. This is where Christmas is. Celebrate the blessings given to us my a gracious and loving God, but loving on those he puts in our lives. So, if that's demonstrated this year with Christmas cards, presents, sugar cookies, lights, and songs - then I am "fa la la ing" all the way through December. Christmas isn't a time to reflect on my blessings, it's a time to be a blessing. Through that, I'm sure I'll find Christmas this year.
Life is Good. God is Great.

"Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"

Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

Matthew 22:37-40 (The Message)

Monday, September 5, 2011


People dying SUCKS. Sucks bad. No matter what outcome you are convicted of what happens once an individual takes their final breath, the truth of the matter is, it SUCKS to still be the one living and missing that person. It sucks to still be the one who has to wake up the next morning, start the coffee, and figure out how to pursue the new reality without them. Whether they were your daughter, son, sister, brother, wife, husband, mom, dad, grand parent, friend, or third cousin twice removed. In the end, it sucks.
There really aren't words to console, or a single act of empathy that will make the world better. NOTHING, changes the fact that the last hug has happened and a year from now you'll probably be struggling to remember how that hug felt or what their voice sounded like. You'll be standing their holding a new child, saying bye to another family member, or high fiving a friend and wonder for a slight second - wait what did it feel like to be next to that person...and why am I forgetting. At that moment you'll feel like crap.
See, it all comes down to the situation just SUCKING.
Now, I'm a boot strap and big girl panties kind of lady. I truly believe that life is what it is. Doesn't mean I don't truly believe that it hurts bad sometimes. I do believe that. But, I also truly believe in the cliche' that everything happens for a reason. That one day after I've endured the valleys, the shadows, and the whithered grape vines in God's plan for me I will see "why." I've seen it revealed already. In amazing friendships I have received over the years, new loves, personal growth, and my awaken yearning to seek God in my life. Those things all came from one event that SUCKED, that sucked so bad I didn't know how I was going to get off the hospital floor much less change my whole reality and take an entirely new path. But, here I am and while I might not understand why the pawn that was moved was Makenna, I do understand I was purposefully placed to be sitting in front of my computer on September 5, 2011 at 9:56 p.m.
Tonight, I have two women in my heart that are hurting bad. One lost a Husband, and is now trying to figure out life as a single mom. Another, lost a Sister and is now enduring the loss of two people in her life this summer as her Father passed away not too long ago. Tonight, I pray that God whispers into their hearts his promise, perhaps the same promise I heard that day - standing in the sun and seeing the trees blow in the breeze. I pray that through this cold time in their life that they feel spring is coming back, through the hard times that things will grow and blossom and they will see the beautiful purpose that God has for them. I pray that they know they are loved, and that God shows those in their lives how to love on them. I pray that peace comes to their hearts through the knowledge of the love and grace given to them so freely by a God who seeks only good for his children.
You know who you are, and I love you.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:25-30

Life is Good. God is great.

Monday, July 4, 2011

God Be With You 'til We Meet Again

What an amazing Independence Day weekend. I've spent it in Ramona, California with Kevin, his children, and Cheyenne. The laughter, genuine love, and acceptance of visiting family - reminds me if my own. 4th's of the past were fun and exciting, days of sparklers and homemade strawberry ice cream. Ooooooh, and those ash snake things, that you lit the pellets and the expanded? My family's building up the little ones again, all the holidays are getting more exciting as the new generation gets older - but there was a time I wondered if Chey would have the wonderful memories I did.
Then, this weekend happened. Lori, Kevin's "Aunt" is an amazing woman. She coordinated this weekend with 45 family members and friends, great food, and traditions. One new one was singing a hymn called "God be with you till we meet again." The family gathered around a grand piano and sang it. Some, like Kevin and his Father sing melodically, while others sang with "heart" as I like to call it. The song sang of God's protection and his promise, it reminds one of his love and grace, and for me it reminded me of God answering my prayers and putting more and more people in my life who show his love, show me this world is not to be dismissed for its wonders and joys...that life is good and that God is great.
Happy Independence Day!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Independence Day....

Makenna's death, was my Independence Day. Makenna getting to go to Heaven gave me a passage to my Independence. I'm sure that sounds horrible. I'm positive I have readers who can't quite comprehend the logic behind my belief. I do NOT believe that Makenna was taken from this world because I didn't pay attention to the countless other slaps upside the head I had recieved to provide a acceptable way to leave. I do believe that The growth that I had spirtually from her death, provided me with the faith I needed to pack up and leave. To trust God, that he would provide.
I believe that prayer isn't about asking "why," I think that's doubting God's plan. You know, like when you tell you child to make their bed, they say "why" and you really want to say "because I said so, I'm the boss." Prayer for me has evolved into asking for clarity, for guidance, for the answer to "what." As in "Okay God, what the HECK am I supposed to do with this one." This clarity, came to me on Februaru 21, 2010. I had just hung up the phone, after making two very hard phone calls. The reality of never holding Makenna again sank in, when I realized that my heart was being drawn to move. But to what? I looked up, the sun was setting between two houses, the wind was blowing, a tree stood bold and strong. I heard traffic, children playing, people talking and I felt God. I whispered, a prayer from my heart "what do I do with this?" Without hesistation I heard "my plan Jess."
What is that plan? It's amazing. Since the day I began gaining independence from this world, and starting to trust in the plan that God has for me amazing things have happened. I've gained insight to amazing friendships, been loved in ways I never thought I would be, and my beauty, worth and purpose is continually being revealed. Pursuing the "what" is pretty awesome!  Live intentionally, still your heart and listen, enjoy this life for all it's worth. That's my Independence.
God's love is awe inspiring

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13-14"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Heaven's Still The Face of a Little Girl...

I struggle with this often. It's a blatant and real reminder of the idol I created in my children. I woke with the sunrise this morning, to Cheyenne's "Mommy?" as she checked to see if I was awake to climb into my bed and snuggle up, I held her and began to think about today, well more accurately I began to reflect on the last few Easters.
Easter 2009
I was very pregnant with Makenna Jo. Cheyenne and I had spent the night at my Mom's the night before Easter and to be honest all I can really remember, is sitting on a blow up mattress watching Chey check out her Elmo Easter basket...and thinking - next year I get to pick out two!
Easter 2010
Bittersweet. All I could remember was my thoughts of the year prior...and my plans for two Easter baskets. Two sweet little girls in frilly dresses and lace socks, that wasn't God plan. No, instead on Easter morning it was one little girl in a not so frilly dress and no lace socks. I remember struggling, my only holiday without Makenna Jo, that I never got to see her. I found peace in knowing it's because he has risen that I can dream of heaven, of her face.
Easter 2011
Wow, how this year has matured and deepened my desire to praise and serve a wonderful and merciful God. God has continually showed me his grace and love through trials and MORESO through blessings in 2011. Yet, on Easter morning I realize how selfish my heart truly is and how much I'm not able to give up to God yet. How I still believe that my plan was better, and how much my kids are still an idol.
How am I selfish? To think of ME on this morning, to think of who I desire most to see in my life right now in heaven is Makenna, and NOT the man who willingly endured EXCRUCIATING pain to provide the means to allow my broken soul to enter into the Kingdom of God. Who am I supposed to be worshipping here? God. But, if I'm real - I allow Makenna to get in between us. As much as her death has lead me to God, it's lead me their selfishly, to get back what I believe is rightfully mine. God, please forgive me.
Agape, is God like love. The bible says, we should love how we are loved. Im pretty sure God doesn't love me selfishly, he doesn't love me for what I am capable of doing- he loves me because of who he is and his heart.  I pray that I learn to love closer to that.
Abraham was willing to put his son on an Altar,  and Mary's son willing put himself on a altar on Calvary - both needed to trust God's plan and see that it was for a greater purpose. God reveals his plan on his time. I see how Makenna has been a vessel brought to share God's love. I see  it in my life - through my deepened relationship in Christ, in friends who have begun their walk, and in family who have loosened their grasp on things no of this world. People whom I love, that I pray will walk through the Gates of Heaven and see the true realization of the reality of God's love. The reality we are only able to see because God sacrificed his own son for a bigger plan. So this year I pray, that my Love for God continues to mature to a state closer to selfless, that my actions, words and desires mature to glorify a God who has an amazing plan for each of his creations, all we need is a little faith.
Praise God!
Jesus has risen.
He has risen indeed.
Life is Good. God is Great.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

God Bless the Broken Road...
I'm sure you've heard the song, or can at least respond to the idea. It's easy to say that when you're in a good place, a spot when your plan has lined up with God's. I played this Rascal Flatt's song at my wedding to Colt, in October of 2006. It was sweet, endearing - the perfect "aaah schucks" song.
Now, I'm in a completely different place. A place the road I had planned on taking never would of brought me to. Perhaps someone needs to write "God Bless the wacky teleporter" that's what my life feels like so often! There I am going merrily about my way, in my own little world and BAM! It feels like I'm living an entire new reality. No where near that road; heck the city or state I was in before God's plan changed mine.
Today, I'm in a wonderful place. A place that I can see that God loves me. Through the people, opportunities, and experiences he has put in my life. Things are happening in my life that can only be attributed to the grace, mercy, and abundant love of my King of Kings.
So, I will rest, come to God in silence now. While it seems the teleporter has taken a moment to allow me to enjoy this place, and I'll praise God for it.
Considering everything I cannot change, the blessings I have received, and the convictions and desires in my heart I am thankful that God has blessed me with his plan. All of it. A plan that when I'm sitting around the campfire in Heaven, chatting it up with Noah about his Ark and John about his Baptisms, I can say "can you BELIEVE God used ME when _______."
Life is Good. God is Great.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcoming, Whitley Makenna

Today the Lord blessed our world with Whitley Makenna Nelson.
18 months ago I might of been terrified that Makenna's name be attached to Nelson. That would of meant that somehow Crystal and I dropped the ball and permitted our children to enter a relationship with the potential of procreating. Anyone with the slightest understanding of our children, would understand my concern. Now don't get me wrong, I'd prefer Makenna entering the Nelson clan, but it warms my heart for her to be remembered by them.
Friends like Crystal are few and far in between. Never in my life did I think I'd find someone who knows me - and accepts me that way that girl does. There were few I could talk to and be "real" after Makenna died. Few that I could joke with about the complete absurdity of the peace I experienced and how it took a hard hit upside the head for our God to get my attention. But, Crystal knows that - she's been that hard slap at times too, and also been standing right beside me in line waiting for the thumps.
When Crystal brought up the idea of giving Whit, Makenna's name it made me tear up. Meant a lot. My biggest fear is Makenna's name be forgotten - never said. If Baby Whit is anything like the rest of the clan I'm sure there will come a time when "WHITELY MAKENNA" is yelled - or growled daily. Its a pretty special honor that Makenna got, attached to a beautiful young Lady from and absolutely amazing family.
So, Crys and Chuck; Congrats! I love you and wish you all well. Lil' Whit is a very lucky girl.
Life is Good. God is Great!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it....

and I feel.....ummmm? I feel? What do you feel?Earthquakes, War, what's next? Jesus? Will the Lamb reveal himself as the Lion soon? Rumor has it that Jesus is returning, and his appearance will not produce lullaby like songs similiar to the popular tune "Away in the Manger."
In times like these, so many pursue the "why." If God is so good, why did thousands upon thousands
of people get swept away in a catastrophic tsunami a week ago? If God is SO good, why are civilians getting pounded by United Nation Allies in Lybia? If God truly is great, then why - why are children starving to death, women getting beaten, elderly getting neglected, and WHY is my Daughter in an urn on the shelf in my room instead of driving me nuts like her older sister. I truly am convicted in the realization that we aren't SUPPOSED to know why! "Why" is what lead Adam and Eve to that Tree of Knowledge, "Well, why can't we know what God knows?" "Why" is what lead to the tragedy of Cain and Abel, "Why doesn't anyone notice my works?" "Why" is what gives us the leverage to sin.
Why do people hurt? There is evil in this world. Why do people CONTINUE to hurt, because Christians fail. We fail to give when it hurts, to love those whom God loves. We fail to take a moment our of a hectic day to talk to the Cashier at the register. We fail to shake hands with people at our own Churches who are struggling to find their niche. We fail to pray, we fail to repent, and we fail to pursue that life that God asked us to. You see, God didn't create us to be puppets, to be pulled on strings at his whim to live out an easy christian life. He created us with the capacity to Love! It's our free will that prompts us who or what to love. God gives us this situations to create greatness! To brake us, to restore us! The only answer to "why" is God LOVES YOU! Our response to these situations should be, "what do I do with this" how is this going to give glory to God? He creates these incidences to strengthen us, to be witnesses to his love.
This generation is one poised to achieve greatness. With the intelligence, attitude, and confidence to change the WORLD. This generation is also quick to quip "why should i?" Determined to find the way it will benefit us directly. If it's not in our bubble, it doesn't matter. It's someone else's issue, cause, and wristband to wear. I challenge you to the "What if."
What if:
 You took a moment and sent 5 dollars to Japan, and it bought a vaccine that saved a child's life?
What if:
 You prayed for children in Lybia, and asked for God's protection from evil? And Satan Ran?
What if:
 You asked the lady at Taco Bell how her day was, and her faith in humanity was restored?
What if:
 If stepped outside your bubble, and embarked on a purpose driven life - and your world became exponentially bigger?
What if:
You finally understood, that the main characted in this book isn't you, it's not a child in Japan, or a Grandmother in Lybia. It's God?
What would you do with that?
What if:
The Messiah is returning. Are you ready? Are you confident enough to test that theory?

My prayer tonight is, to end the pursuit of Why and begin the reality of "What if." Life is good. God is great.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hear my prayer, LORD;

let my cry for help come to you.

2 Do not hide your face from me

when I am in distress.

Turn your ear to me;

when I call, answer me quickly.

3 For my days vanish like smoke;

my bones burn like glowing embers.

4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;

I forget to eat my food.

5 In my distress I groan aloud

and am reduced to skin and bones.

6 I am like a desert owl,

like an owl among the ruins.

7 I lie awake; I have become

like a bird alone on a roof.

8 All day long my enemies taunt me;

those who rail against me use my name as a curse.

9 For I eat ashes as my food

and mingle my drink with tears

10 because of your great wrath,

for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.

11 My days are like the evening shadow;

I wither away like grass.

12 But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever;

your renown endures through all generations.

13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to show favor to her;

the appointed time has come.

14 For her stones are dear to your servants;

her very dust moves them to pity.

15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD,

all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.

16 For the LORD will rebuild Zion

and appear in his glory.

17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;

he will not despise their plea.
Psalms 102: 1-17

Forgiveness has always been an outward expression of love to me. I forgive relatively easy - or say I do, sometimes my heart won't let go and I may be a wee bit, ummmm, vindictive, evil, get the hint. Usually though, it's easy for me to forgive someone else for hurting me. So, who do I have an issue forgiving? MYSELF! After a conversation with a Pastor at my church today it was brought to light. I carry guilt for anything bad that happens to me, anything bad I do to myself, and a lot of things that effect the ones that I love. This guilt that I carry is a heavy burden, one I'm choosing to carry - instead of giving it up - forgiving myself and walking a more disciplined life for God.
It all makes perfect sense, I feel my call, my spiritual gift is service. To help others get better, smarter, safer, and happier.  I pursue the happiness of others and try to maintain a stable and positive atmosphere at all times. Believing that I'm in control.If I forgive them, they are closer to that. One would think, I would learn that God having a plan that is not in my control, and when I choose to listen and hunger for him I'll know bliss and happiness in this life. So tonight, I begin to trust God in his promise, believe everything in the bible is true, and give my burden to God  So tonight I forgive myself in:
1. Marrying Colton for the wrong reason, and remaining in that marriage due to pride and greed.
2. Not listening when God provided, prompted, and I thoroughly believe spoke things to me that provided a way out of said marriage.
4. For trying one more time to "fix" a relationship that had no hope.
5. For not going to church on February 21, 2011
6. For saying I was a Christian for 28 years and never knowing what it meant.
7. For my sins and my imperfections.
8. For gaining weight and not going to the gym.
9. For being lazy and a bum at times.
..... you get the point.
I'm praying to give up this burden I carry, to be thankful for Jesus who died on the cross so many centuries ago so I don't HAVE to carry that burden. I pray to feel lighter and more energized so I can shine the light of God more effectively and efficiently. I pray that God fills my heart, and thoroughly occupies my mind to keep Satan at bay. I also pray that each of you, find the strength to forgive yourself, to give up the burden that you don't have to carry. Take peace and rest in the mercy and graciousness of our God and praise him for giving his son so that WE can overcome death. Amen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Idols.

Most know that holding false idols is one of the big Ten Commandment "no-nos," I have two most readily identifiable in my life. What are they? Well, it's who are they really; Makenna Jo and Cheyenne Rose. Yup. I value them and do more for them than I ever have for God. I'm sure there are other idols, but those two little blessings have turned to idols.
Now, before anyone jumps and says "you're sposta, it's what Mothers do." THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!!! Mother's identify themselves by their children, they become their god. That is PRECISELY the reason that Mom's "die" when their children do. That is why, I believe  losing a child is deemed the worst thing that could happen to someone. Wouldn't the worse thing for a Christian to learn is that their God is dead? Their reason to live truly IS gone because one of their children was their idol, their God and in the process they do not give God the praise he alone deserves they deemed their plan for the child better than his and die to this world with little to hold onto in the next. How do I know this? I'm living it. Is it true for every Mom? No. But, I truly think it might be a running trend in my non scientific poll.
Please don't take this as Mothers shouldn't love their kiddos like there is no tomorrow, they should - and we'll talk about what "love" is in a later post. What I'm saying is children should not be idols, they should not be valued more than the awesome God who gave us them as a blessing. They should be valued as a blessing, and protected, loved on, taught, and disciplined to become God fearing individuals who will walk the walk and talk the talk. Who learn to listen to God's plan and live it out! Mom's need to gain the conviction that our children aren't "ours" nothing of this world is. It's all on lease and not permanent.
Tonight, I heard  it said for some our world will be the closest to heaven they ever get, for others it will be the closest to hell. The more I choose to sin, to worship false idols the more I stall my growth as a Christian, in my relationship with God the more I gamble with the chance of this world being the closest to heaven I ever get. The longer I live in pain and confusion searching for the answers to "whys" that aren't mine to have.  When I arrive in the place the Jesus truly lives in my heart, when his words and his desires are on my mind, mouth, and heart and I walk the walk, I will find peace that this earth is the closest to hell I will ever get. It's a struggle, the Devil has a foothold sometimes and it gets welcomed every time I sin.
Tonight, I'm starting with idols. Mentally, it's easier to know Makenna is God's knowing she is literally with him now. Cheyenne is a challenge. The anxiety and fears I have for her draw my heart's ears away from listening to God and hearing how I should work his love into her life. Giving her up to God, sacrificing my dreams for his plan is terrifying. But, it's a parachute moment - only one way to test it out and that's to take the jump. So, I'll pray for her, I'll pray for me - to help me show her God's love, that she has an open heart to receive it. Pray that God gives her just enough and she is both strong and humble enough to endure it.  I'll pray for me, that I could be as strong as Moses mom and symbolically place my baby in the river and know that God has bigger plans for her. I love her, I love Makenna and for each I pray I can accept God's plan for him, for HE is Great.
Life is good. God is Great.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

February 21, 2010. The war begins

Since then I felt attacked, first I blamed myself, then Colt, then the USMC, then well even got to Bass Pro and them selling that gun. Lately, I've come to realize it's Satan to blame for any guilt I have or any "need" to point a finger. As soon as I realized that, the has come into my mind, taunting me and sending me into a whirlwind. A daily battle to not let evil take over my mind and effect how God wants me to live this life.

......... That morning I was upstairs with Cheyenne, doing my hair. I wanted to be pretty, things were going well with Colton and I and we had a wonderful family day planned at the Zoo with some friends. I kept thinking to myself, we could still make it to church if I went and got Makenna from her high chair, I debated calling colt to bring her up. Then decided I liked the slow pace of the morning, that we should enjoy it. I watched Chey looking at me as I curled my hair. Then heard it, I ran to the stairwell and called for Colt..once...twice...three times.  "NOOOOOO" I heard, I flew down the stairs, heard those words, and that right then is when God took me from my self and covered me with him love and grace in his one arm, and escorted my Makadoo to Heaven.
God's been there ever, I've drifted. Satan and his evil influences have changed my thinking and takes this event to fill me with anxiety, fear, and hate. Today for example, my Mom leaves with Chey to a store that is literally two blocks away. As soon as she pulls out of the driveway I feel like I should of gone. That I need to be with Chey, just in case. That "just in case" escalates to; my brain creating an elaborate scenario so intense, I end up pacing the house, vomiting, and crying uncontrollably. They scenario? Chey and my Mom die in a fiery car crash. It gets so vivid I can picture them burning, in various stages. I envision what I will wear to the funerals, and compose what I'll say to the police officers when they bring me the news...even how I would continue to hold my family together - to hide my hurt from them. How I would wear that cape and continue to be perceived as brave, inspiring, and strong as I am told so often in the wake of Makenna's death. Today, was the first time it was so intense, but nightly the devil influences my thoughts into thinking the worst will happen when I decide to ignore anything I think. I did it once, and my daughter was shot and killed one floor beneath me...could it happen again?
The scary answer. Absolutely.
So where do I put my trust? How do I do that? With faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains, and with a prayer the devil can be demolished. But death can't. Death hasn't been defeated on our earth. It happens. Yes there is eternal life in heaven with a God so good who loves us all. But the pain here is REAL. It's a real peace I experience knowing she is in perfect care, that seconds are eternity, and eternity are seconds and if she longs for her Mama, she won't feel the ache I do here to be with her. But while she is up there, half my heart is walking out here. She's running away from me in stores, in my back seat on the 91 freeway, free to eat hard candy and grapes, and living in a world where children die from bee stings to terrible cancers. The Devil reminds me of that. He whispers , "your God didn't love you enough to let you keep Makenna, why would he let you keep Chey" or "Your faith is too weak, you doubt to much how do you call upon such an awesome God to protect her?" and mostly - "You don't deserve this happiness, you are broken." I forget to pray, I forget where to put my trust and I believe it. I believe that I'm not important enough for miracles and perhaps God doesn't exist. So how do I end up back here? Believing that God does love me, has a plan, and cries tears with me? I DON'T KNOW.
It's in my guts. It's the feeling deep inside my heart that knows he is good and what the bible says is true. It's the prayers I know are out there for me, and the ones I whisper when I remember the feeling of being in the light. It's the grace and salvation that God promised me when he allowed Jesus to be massacred upon a cross so many years ago. What brings me back here, is KNOWING it wasn't me that picked myself up off a hospital floor in Virginia, walked to a car, and returned home to my daughter here on earth to continue to be her mother.
But, I refuse to be a shell. I refuse to merely survive. To wake up in the morning and thinking I have to put on a show.  I refuse to let the devil whisper non truths into my ears and coerce me into living in anxiety instead of abundance and happiness like God will provide. So today, I'm seeking counseling and help. Prayers from my friends and loved ones. I'm retiring the cape and getting on my knees. Accepting help and pouring into the word. I think it's time to grieve. It's scary. I feel like my toes are on the edge of the plane and I'm ready to jump. Trusting my parachute will open...that there is a bigger plan that I just need to have faith in.
Anyone want to join me?
Life is great. God is good.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


No really, do you see? I didn't. I didn't even think to look at the broader picture tonight, and had I not listened to that clear voice that came from somewhere deeper than my guts I wouldn't of looked again.
I guess the best way to make this the least confusing is to start where it began, on a softball field this past fall.
A friend, was warming up as we prepared for a game and she asked me to be a part of a small group exploring the book Captivating. She spoke of it like it held magic secrets to bring me happiness to fulfill the parts of me that needed to be filled. She radiated happiness...Honestly, I looked at her and thought  - that chick is totally in love with God. I was excited.
I read the first chapter, attended the small groups, we've cried, we've grown, I've gained friends - sister's in Christ. Who I'm not scared to share my deepest fears with. My growth in my faith is exponential - but mostly it's the depletion of doubt. The ability to pray now and not doubt that God is listening....most of the time.
So tonight, in group. Another girl, spoke of how God will provide what our heart yearns for when it's time. It's up to us to be patient. If ANYONE reading this knows me, patience is not my strong suit. (I also learned to night not to pray for it, but that's another blog) When she said this, it dawned on me. There is a bigger plan, it's not God that puts the stuff that gets under my skin into my life - it's the devil, and it's not always his pursuit of me that does it, sometimes its my pursuit of this world that does it. It was like a light bulb went off. I felt inspired, I felt that I had finally "got it" got the message God was trying to bring to me. He says, Grow with me, walk with me, and you will live abundantly. I see it now.
So, on the way home. I prayed. I turned down the radio, I asked God to reveal to me the beauty he wishes for me to see in this world. I've prayed this prayer a thousand times over it seems. I searched the sky for a shinier star..or perhaps a meteorite to shut down the road i have to use to get to work tomorrow..and those revelations didn't come. Then, I got a strong desire to look over my left shoulder, there in the sky was what looked like someone had stuck their finger in the sky and painted me a happy face. I laughed, and would easily of discounted it from being what I had asked had it stopped there. The grin did spark memories of my trip to the Aquarium to celebrate the gift of Makenna on her birthday last May. A stingray had swam over me in a tunnel that goes through one of the tanks, and I noticed how they looked like they smiled, I snapped a picture and thought how appropriate it was Mak's favorite animal had a perpetual grin.  As I reminisced about my joyous days at the aquarium, and my last weekend of "normal" I heard a voice, a voice coming from deeper than my guts saying, No Jess, look again and SEE. I did. That grin I saw earlier was intentionally placed in a gigantic finger painting of a stingray, it's fins and tales gliding across the night sky, covering heavens for what seemed like forever. I cried, I looked again, I screamed, I felt loved, desired, and yes fulfilled.  I felt that what I was waiting for, for sooo long had been given to me. In a moment of peace and quiet - that I could be shown by God that he is there, and the desires of my true heart will be fulfilled when I calm myself, reflect on what I know, and choose to see what he blesses me with.
Life if Good. God is GREAT!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Just laying here, under my shield.

I have to admit, bbeginning Christmas Eve, as I looked under the tree and just felt there were toys missing I've been fighting a spiritual war. My armor feels thin, and my heart vulnerable. It's an interesting concept, when the conclusion is drawn that while you do not actively pursue the devil - he is actively pursuing you. This past week he is winning the battle, but that's all the war will be conquered in the powerful strength of our Lord's Grace and Promise. Strength wise, I feel like my only protection is to role in the fetal position, protect my heart and my guts and let him take the licks where they will matter the least.  I defend with what I can when I can, I pray that I will find a renewed strength as the sun rises in the morning and raise my sword again and fight valiantly.
I like how "The Message" shares Roman's 13:12-28
"But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! "
"Be up and awake to what God is doing." I have a very good friend, that this is her prayer for her sisters in Christ. That to them will be revealed in this world, the beauty that God sees in them. This is the fact that I should find my peace and more so my strength in. That no matter how ugly I perceive the world, that's not God I see - it's the Devil. For God is GOOD, and only brings good and beauty. When I look for and appreciate what God has given Earth, I can see Heaven here.

So, if this is true, and if God does create beauty from ashes...why don't I see it. Why am I not prepared enough to take up the Armor of the Lord and fight? A God who loves me so much, that he refers to me as his child, and even more? Because, as powerful as God is he cannot work through me to combat evil unless I take up that sword, and as I've said before - take that step into the Jordan.
Or am I?
When I look at the elements of the armor, I see where I rest. I may not utilize it all, my sword of the spirit may be dropped, my feet may lose their grip. But I keep my faith steadfast, and even on the ground beaten, broken, and tired I can rest under the strength of the shield, I still have my belt, breast plate, and helmet, firmly attached as I did before this battle. But, even the best soldier will lose his sword when his actions are slower and weaker than that of his opponent, the armour is there to give him grace, and a second chance. Perhaps, the Devil is whispering to me that I'm losing...when in reality he is the one losing strength. It takes a prayer to God to send the Devil away, it takes a lot more action to allow him to overtake my life.

Never in my life, have to felt the love for God that I do today. Never, have I been so absolutely terrified that I'm going to mess it up. I pray for the comfort of Grace and the love and understanding I know our God has for us...just to come into my heart and convict me so thoroughly that it radiates through all my actions.

Life is good. God is great.