February 27, 2011

Jar of Lovable

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ~Isaiah 53

I need my eyes to see. A visual reminder of who He is. What He's done. Who I am, because of what He's done. I can't help but wonder, based on your sweet, raw, tender responses to our talk, Unlovable, that maybe you do too?

So I have a jar that fills my eyes and heart with those truths. Pending on the season, it may hold...
Hearts [to see His love]
Words [to see His truth]
Nails [to see His healing]

Seasons change rapidly... in fact, spring has sprung in the South already and it's only late February! With Easter approaching, I fill my jar with nails. Because I need my eyes to see a reminder of how He came to earth with the sole purpose of dieing. In my place. Out of sheer, majestic, unequivocal love. So I fill my jar; set it where it's seen every day; and I see His love, truth and healing.

Maybe you'd like to make your own jar? If so, here's an easy step-by-step instruction manual:

1. Cook a pot of s'ghetti. Wash out sauce jar. Or if you happen to have your Nanny's old Mason jars, all the better!

2. Find every nail in your home (or hit up your hardware store ...I bought 3 pks/$5). Pour nails into jar.

3. Tear thin fabric strip. Write {I painted} words/scriptures/lyrics/poem that help you 'see.' On one side my words came from Isaiah 53 & John 20, and on the other, "Stronger" by Hillsong United {you can do just one side if you want}.

4. Tie fabric around top of jar o' nails.

5. Place jar in a sweet place you spend time with Jesus. Let it remind you of His love for you... Love that beats out time, sin and death. And the next time you question, "Am I lovable?" see the love, receive the truth, and soak in the healing that finds you lovable.

February 24, 2011


"I'm unloveable."

This negative thought swirls. It is muddy rapids, thrashing heart and mind round and round like a toy boat in the mighty Colorado River.

This negative thought is an outlaw; train robber; brutal kidnapper. It jams its thumb in the bruised, "I'm unlovable" part of our heart. Its consequences oft times lure us down dark alleys littered with regrets and sadness.

Friend, I don't assume to know the tongue lashings, torturous words or deeds, or taunts your mind has endured. I don't know what rejections, rudeness, or raw aches have slayed your heart. I don't know what choices you've made - what choices were made for you - that tossed you into the roaring rush of "I'm unlovable" river.

I only know this: you will drown in that river unless you jump off this negative train and grab hold of this safety rope -

you are loveable. yes. you.

You are loveable.

Listen, there is a Creator who is Sovereign. Big word with bigger meaning: all powerful. He had the choice to concoct you in His mind. He had the option to create you. He had the wherewithal to decide to call you by name. He didn't have to.

He could have said, Nah, I know how that one turns out. She's depressed and doubts Me. She let those guys do 'xyz' to her body. Her marriage falls apart. Her birth parents didn't want her. Her kids can't stand her. She's frumpy. She's not worthy of My time or talent. She's not lovable.

But He didn't. No. He said, Yah, I know how that one turns out. She trusts in me with all her heart. Her testimony inspires purity in young girls. She is a compassionate shoulder to lean on. I ordained who would be her parents to raise her. Her knees hit the ground in fervent prayer for her children. She's beautiful. She's worthy of my Son's life and death. She's so lovable, I call her Mine and nothing she does... nothing that happens to her... can take My love from her {SoS 6}

I don't know why you don't feel you're lovable. I do know this: you are lovable. But please, don't take my word. Take His...

This is the way God put it:
"She found grace out in the desert, she who survived {why you feel unlovable}.
{Your name}, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for her!"
God told her, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again, dear {Your name}.
You'll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance."
~Jeremiah 31

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. ~Song of Solomon 8


Welcome! If this is your first time joining us, we're in the middle of a series called Jumping off {Negative} Trains of Thought! Catch up with us! So far we've jumped off the WouldaCouldaShoulda Been, Damsel in Distress, Let Go of Me!, Nail Biter, What's Wrong with Me?, Never Gonna Dance Again, Can Anybody See Me?, You %$@#&, and Refreshing Trains! Jump with us!!

February 22, 2011

The Anchor

The anchor holds. Unswayed by the bellowing winds. Not slammed about by the raucous waves. No fear leaves it quivering. It rests easy, independent of severely rough conditions.

The anchor holds. Sunk deep in chasms of sand. Rooted firmly in the trenches of the ocean floor. Griping tightly to the dense earth.

The anchor holds. It always has. It always will.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” {John 8}

What perfect storm has side-swiped and tossed you around today, this season, this life? It's not too late to drop anchor and take root in the One whom waves and winds obey {Matt. 8}.

Before we continue jumping off the {negative} trains of thought, I want to guard our hearts and minds. Because the winds often blow with great fierceness; the waves toss with more brute strength when we reject them and put faith in the truth.

Whatever rolling waves and hurricane force winds are whipping you around, may I gently encourage you with this? The Anchor holds.

We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. ~Hebrews 6:19

Hope Now, Addison Road

February 20, 2011

Oh La La!!

Taking a wee break from the Train series to cup my hands around my mouth and give a shout-out to Eileen at The Scenic Route! She is wise, caring & sweet as a ripe Georgia peach! She won the Stylish Blog Award and Oh-La-La~She bestowed it upon me!

As a recipient of this award I'm asked to share 7 things about me that you may or may not know.

1. {Lud-dub Lud-dub Lud-dub} My heart beats for Missions & Mentoring. Orphans & Underdogs. Slaves & Side-lined.
2. My grass is blue
3. Mt. Everest and I have a date some time in this life
4. College football games, on crisp mountain days, are always too far off
5. Helllurrrr! 30 minute comedies max my ADD. Unless you're Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan or Medea.
6. Put a hammer, garden spade or scissors in my hands & I'll build, grow or whip you up something!
7. I [H] [E] [A] [R] [T] Scrabble

Now you know! In addition to sharing these random facts, I get to pass this award on! So,without further adieu, I'd like to introduce you to...

Can't Cook a Lick: Carol is clay in the hands of the Master Potter; she's a rare and beautiful masterpiece. Her encouraging words always resonate close to home.

Almond Leaf: Elizabeth is radiant and beautiful. Loves well. Feels deeply. And stands by justice and truth like few I know.

Journey of Healing: Stephanie knows what it is to wait at the tomb for Jesus. As He calls others to come out, her faith helps them "Take off the grave clothes" {John 11}.

Joy in the Truth: Sharon signs her emails, Hushed and Humbled by Him. I'm often hushed and humbled by her wisdom, love and delight in the Lord.

Red Letter Living: Karen's raw faith clings to the Word, as she seeks wisdom for her son Grant, recently diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. I've matured & grown from her trust.

Get Out of the Boat: Kandi once wrote of sitting at an open window with the spring breeze blowing in... her words are warm and welcoming like that.

There are so many more I'd love to mention...one day I promise I will!

February 17, 2011

A Small Token

You've risked arm and leg whilst jumping off the {negative} trains of thought with me the past few weeks! Silent prayers have lingered on my tongue for you, as you were so kind to comment about which train you're de-boarding. My sweet mama raised me right and taught me to share. So, in response to your comments, below are a few conversations the Lord & I have had about you! From the bottom of my oh-so-grateful heart, thank you for your companionship on this ride! {p.s. I would love to pray for you too! Please leave a comment and I'll respond. Thanks!}

Tokens o
f my appreciation!

commented~ I'm jumping off the {negative} train of thought that tells me I'm lonely. The truth is I am not alone - I have my Jesus with me. I turn to the Word and He is there; I turn to a song, He is there; I turn to talk to a friend, He is there; I read another one's blog posting, He is there. I pray, again, He is there.

Dear Faithful Friend, thank You that You shelter Lorna in the shadow of Your wings (Ps. 63:7). You carry her, Your beloved, on Your shoulders (Deut. 33:12). You surround her with Your songs (Ps. 32:7). You call her Your friend (John 15:15) and daughter (Gal. 3:26). Thank You she can rest knowing You will never abandon, leave or forsake her (Heb. 13:5). When doubt creeps in, remind her that her "whispers for love have been heard by a heart that is gentle and kind" (M.P. Jones; Psalm 5). Lorna is loved by You and others! Amen.

Kandi commented~ I have been working, for a long time, to jump off the train of not feeling good enough; that I don't measure up. It doesn't really matter what anyone else says, the fact that I woke up this morning tells me I am good enough in the eyes of Jesus.

Dear Marvelous Creator, Thank You that there is no mistake in Your marvelous creation, Kandi (Ps. 139, msg.)! She is beautiful; flawless; inviting. She ravishes Your heart and is Your delight (S of S 4). Remind her that You love her more than life itself; You simply love her (John 3:16). She is Your masterpiece, created anew in Christ (Eph. 2:10). You care so much about Kandi, that You called her by name (Jer. 1:5). Corrie Ten Boom reminded us that "The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” Thank You for ALL Your gift, Kandi, donates to us! Amen.

commented~ I'm jumping off the train of questioning my calling. Instead of trusting God's leading, direction and provision this past year as I hit the speed bumps of life, I am sent into a high speed wobble.... My whispered prayer...I'm Yours. Teach me to do Your works.

Dear Steadfast One, We rejoice that You called Wendy by name to answer Your call for such a time as this (Isa. 49:1; Est. 4:14). Your eyes will always watch over Wendy's path and establish her ways (Pro. 5:21, 4:26). When she's tempted to be afraid or discouraged, please whisper the truth that she can be strong and courageous because the battle is Yours; You always have her back (Josh. 10:25; Zech. 3:2). Like D.L. Moody put it, "Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine." Wendy shines!! Thank You for Your precious servant Wendy. Amen.

Eileen commented~ I'm jumping off the train of finding my identity or my worth in people and seeking their approval. My identity is in Christ. I am currently leading a WBS all about God-confidence. Staying in the Word and regularly talking to God in prayer about it seems to be things that keep this thinking in check. God accepts me just as I am...but He also doesn't leave us just as we are. He's constantly working on us!

Dear Hope Filler, It is clear through her sweet words and gentle encouragement that Eileen abides in You, and You in her. (
John 15:1-17). She was chosen in You before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless. In love, You predestined her for adoption in accordance with Your pleasure and will. Eileen is redeemed through Your blood, and the forgiveness of sins, through the riches of Your grace You’ve lavished on her. She is included in Christ, marked with the Holy Spirit. She's Your girl! (Eph. 1) Through every season, let her find Your light in her darkness; her life in Your death. Your joy in her sorrow. Your grace in her sin. Your riches in her poverty and Your glory in her valley (A. Murray). Amen.

February 15, 2011

Exception to the Rule


That's a powerful word when you apply it to yourself.

"Everyone is loved... is wanted... belongs.... is remembered... has a family... except me."

Except. A powerful, poignant word. One that I imagine creeps into the heart of orphans, ruling with loneliness, fear and rejection.

Except... except when we combat the loneliness. Except when we ward off the fear. Except when we deflect the rejection.

Would you join me in being the exception to the 'except' rule? My friend Wendy's five year old daughter, Isabel, inspired me to make these oh-so-easy blankets to send to orphans. Fewer things are nearer to my heart than encouraging others. These blankets are a win-win... encourage a compassionate five year old and encourage orphans they're loved and remembered!

Click here for more about Wendy and Isabel's exceptional endeavors and see below for No Sew Instructions!

Step 1: Buy 1 yard of two different fleeces for each blanket you make
Cut in half lengthwise
Lay pieces of fleece (wrong sides together) {they don't have to be precisely lined up}

Step 2:
Pin pieces together
Cut 3x3 inch square out of each corner

Step 3: Cut (1 inch W) x (4 inch L) strips
{Think in terms of "pinch" or "dash"... rough estimates are okay!}

Step 4:
Tie corresponding strips together
{I tied a few every 15 strips or so to stay on track}

Step 5:
Pray the orphans who receive your blankets come to know the Lord & His great love
{Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans ~James 1}
Click over to Wendy's blog to find out where to send your blankets!

Thanks so much friends!!

Posterity shall serve Him; they shall tell of the Lord to the next generation. They shall come and shall declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born--that He has done it. ~Psalm 22

February 14, 2011

Drink the Fat

There's this episode of Friends where, in an effort to make Rachel feel his love, Ross agrees to drink a jar of fat.

A jar of fat
, people! With mysterious jibbly bits.


And yet, somehow, romantic.

I mean, who goes to those lengths? Not gonna even pretend...I would.not.drink.a. jar.of.old.fat. to prove my love for another.

In fact, I think the lengths we'd go to to show love is unanswerable until the moment we're face-to-face with the question. On this day of cupids and hearts, we can have the security of one undoubtable, immeasurable love

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power,
together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how
is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
{Eph 3}

Love each other as
I have loved you

Greater love
has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

{John 15}

The jar of fat made it to Ross' lips, but no farther. Can't say I blame the guy.

You know what? There is one Man -- one Love -- that has done way more than drink the fat. His love surpasses our wildest imaginations dreams wishes knowledge. He gave His life, so we can feel His love.

Happy Valentine's Day friend. May you feel His love for you today.

February 11, 2011

How Deep

Sometimes we need words... songs... melodies... to wash over us. 
Rinsing away the old, the past, the hurt, the memories.
This song does that for me. Hope for you too.
Cheering you on~ Samantha

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

February 9, 2011

Ahhhh, Now That's Refreshing!

Okay, yesterday I mentioned I have an idea. It's birthed out of Proverbs 11:25, Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

So here's the deal: I have two favors to ask you.

{Isabel and her homemade dress for an orphan!}

First one: My friend Wendy's 5 y.o., Isabel, has decided when she gets married she will adopt orphans so she can be their mom. Wendy recently overheard Isabel playing & asked, "Whatcha playing?"

"Well, mom," insert flash of a dimpled grin here, "I am selling things with my princess cash register to get money for the people who don't have any. Then they can come to me and I'll give them money to get what they need."

Well if that doesn't melt your heart!! Wendy and Isabel researched and found Orphan's Lifeline International (OLI). They have already sewed lots o' lovely dresses, blankets and hats to send OLI for orphans right here in the U.S.

Now, here's my favor: Will you please read Wendy's post and consider helping Isabel rock the world, one orphan at at time? Please?

Second: This one has two parts!
A. Would you share the {negative} train of thought you're jumping off {and} what has helped you jump (scripture, counseling, accountability, exercise? anonymity is a-okay)
B. Will you respond to the answers others leave to Part A with encouragement & truth?

Negative train of thoughts can drain the life out of us. But the Word gives us a sure fire way to be refreshed: by refreshing others. So whatcha say? You wanna jump on board?

{Turn Down the Music, Shane and Shane... Hard to hear behind the music story, but definitely worth the listen}

February 8, 2011

ECHO ECho echo

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. ~Anonymous

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones. ~ John Maynard Kynes

"Get out of my way you fat "#@$%@!"

I ran between a size 6 and 8 at the time. Hardly "fat" and I know I'm not the expletive he crudely suggested.

A passing comment spat out by an unknown fella who had tied on one too many. Passing or not, it weaseled into the far corners of my memory, taunting "you're fat.... you're fat.... you're fat...." at the most vulnerable times.

{Disclaimer: this is not a ploy for compliments... just building up to a main point!}

His is one of a menagerie of {negative} voices residing in the canyon in my mind. One hurtful shout can echo ad nauseum. So familiar are these redundant {negative} voices that they mix unhindered with my own thoughts until undifferentiated.

What {negative} voices prevail in the depths of your mind? Maybe a one time comment or perhaps it's repetitive verbal abuse. Maybe a


slur wraps like a vine around your mind, choking truth. Have you come to believe these lies? Maybe even bought into them and live life from their point of view? {Ex: Lie: you'll never succeed. Act: I won't apply for that promotion.}

I'm really sorry friend.

This train of {negative} thought might be especially hard to jump off. Particularly if the threads of insult have woven into our thoughts for a period of time, becoming second nature.

There is only one sure fire way I know to reject these trains of thought and that way is found in Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I'm about to go {Greek} old school on you.... Let's break this thing down together--
Conform: to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern, (fashion one's self according to)
Transformed: to change into another form, to transfigure
Renewing: a renovation, complete change for the better

Penetrating hurts and accusations do not define us. Yet often they do, running like a movie reel, depicting the story of our lives. That story is bogus though. As Romans tells us, we shouldn't conform our mind or character to what another person thinks. Instead, we are to be changed for the better into what Christ thinks of us and has called us to be.

Today, sit with Jesus, asking Him to reveal hurtful words spoken to you. Then, ask Him to cover them with His Truths that will ECHO ECho echo in the depths of your soul.

Tomorrow, I have a special idea in mind to give us a boost in this transformation. I need your help so I hope you'll be back! Thanks friends!!

February 7, 2011


"But now that you know God—or rather are known by God..." ~Galatians 4:9

...known by God.

...known by God.

Those words have tumbled around in my heart. Specifically in the secret compartment.

You see, it seems to me hearts have one undisclosed section under lock and key. Concealed from others, things inside remain unconfided. Maybe there's no one with whom to share. Perhaps pride wiggles in before words get out. We don’t want to weigh others down, so we don’t ‘trouble’ them. Possibly fear creeps in, ensuing a struggle between vulnerability and shame.

No matter the reason, the truth is that hidden cavern isn’t so hidden. Oh, from the eyes of man maybe, but not from the eyes of God. Proverbs 15:3 let's us in on the real story: God sees that reserved section of our heart. And like Galatians 4 tells us, He knows the depths of our unknown. No detail of our journey is overlooked. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep … I know them.”

Here’s the clincher for me. Before God formed us He knew us (Jeremiah 1:5). Did you catch that? Before. We’ve never stood a chance to hide from the Lord. No matter what might be in our heart’s screened-off area: joys, triumphs, anger, shame, grief, hurt… It has always been clearly seen by God. He knew our hearts when there was nothing in them and has known every little and big thing we’ve hidden in our hearts over our lifetimes.

I write this because at times it’s easy to believe we're unknown. Riding that train of {negative} thought visits lands of Alone'ston, Pity'ville, and No One Loves Me'burg. Yep, not the best places to de-board. Is your secret compartment full & your heart aches to share? Call out to the One who loves and understands you (1 Chronicles 28:9). You are known.

The man who loves God is known by God. (I Corinthians 8:3)

February 4, 2011


For there is no calm haven where our minds can rest until we come to God's free love. ~John Calvin

For every look {negative thought} at self, take ten looks at Christ.~Robert Murray M'Cheyne

He became what we are so that He might make us what He is. ~Athanasius

I testify from scripture that there is more healing, joy and deliverance in hallowing God's name than you ever dreamed. ~John Piper

Our weakness is the door to grace. ~Paul Miller

February 2, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance?

I once dragged a brand spankin' new boyfriend to the ballet. I know, I know...not the optimal way to woo him. To be fair, he dragged me to college football games. All's fair in love and war, eh?

Alas, I warmed to the beauty of the football, but he never took a liking to the dance. Which seems odd as football is a dance of sorts. That's an analogy for another day though. My point in telling this tale of love lost (we broke up, but remain friends to this day thankyouverymuch), and love found (I now count the days till the next football season starts!) is that I love dance. All forms except for one.

Dancing with our {negative} thoughts.

True, some thoughts gracefully glide us across the dance floor of life. Warm memories, kind words, happy encouragements. But others jam our toes and tackle us to the ground.

It's the latter we've been focusing on. Fear, doubt, letting go, condemnation.... These dance partners drop us on our heads and fiercely swing us around the dance floor.

Sometimes we try to shake these partners, but we're too weak from fighting them off. We try to let go, but we're weary.

We need a new partner to step in. We need Jesus.

Friend, no matter what train of negative thought you're looking to jump off.... no matter what "dance partner" you're wanting to shake.... please remember you're not alone. Don't give up. Fall into the arms of Christ and know this partner won't drop you.

*Choreographer, Travis Wall; Fix You, Coldplay {love these lyrics!}

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
~Romans 8

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

February 1, 2011

What's Wrong With Me?

"What's wrong with me? How come I'm not... {fill in the blank}?"

That negative train of thought plows full steam ahead to a blown-out bridge. The only way is down.

What if we jumped off that train, 007 style, onto a train headed in the opposite direction? I was challenged to take that leap this summer...

Single and in my early 30's illicits responses akin to: “Why aren’t you married? You’re too sweet! You’re so pretty. But you’re so good with kids!”

My inward response, accompanying the clinching of my jaw through a forced smile is something sassy like, “If I knew what the problem was, I’d fix it.”

Perhaps the grace has worn off, my hope has run out and disappointment has rendered me jaded. But the married well-meaners attempting to make me feel normal for being SWNK is hurtful and my faith is dampened. Not only that, but it turns me off from wanting to engage in any conversation about marriage. Including conversations with the Lord.

Honestly, I avoid talking about how I dream of marriage. And not just the fairy tale part, because I’m a realist. I’ve dated. I’ll leave the rainbow connection to the dreamers, lovers and Kermit. Bring on the nitty-gritty, can’t-stand-your-face much less the-way-you-breathe stuff. Because on the flip side of that is the nitty-gritty, can’t-stand-life-without-you stuff.

All but 3.5 of my friends are married, so ask me anything about marriage and I’ll probably know the answer. Now don’t get me wrong — I really do love hearing stories, but I long to be able to share my own marriage stories in return. So I compare myself with those who are married and ride the negative train of thought all the way out of town. Why them and not me? What have I done that exempts me from marriage? What's wrong with me?

Recently God took extreme measures to speak to me about my doubts, fear, hopes and dreams. He literally took me around the world, to El Salvador, to present me with truth He’d been trying to tell me for years.

On the way to the airport, my friend, Brad, started talking with me about marriage. My guard went up. But this conversation was different. It was as if the Lord gave Brad x-ray vision into the recesses of my heart.

“It haunts you, doesn’t it? It keeps you up at night. Wondering ‘Why aren’t I married? What’s wrong with me?’ I know, because it once haunted me, too.”

Then God used five little words to wash the pain and doubts away.

“There’s nothing wrong with you.”

At that moment, “trapped” in a conversation I didn’t ask for on a bus halfway across the globe, all the “whys” were left voiceless from one simple voice of truth…His truth. It put the breaks on the negative train of thought, and gave me a pause to jump off.

That is the same message I share today, with you. There is nothing wrong with you. You don’t have to be funnier, cuter, quieter, trendier, spiritualer. Rather than defending yourself from other people’s whys and your own personal questions, I encourage you to let those five words fight for you as they did for me. If for no other reason, because they are true. There is nothing wrong with you.

Brad was so gracious to tell his side of the story with my She Seeks gals.

There is no flaw in you.
~Song of Solomon 4