When I Was Nine

I have 7 days. Again. I already fought this. Now here I am again.
[…update: Last week I was told I have 7 days. Yesterday I was told I have 15 days to get a note. (My doctor won’t write one.) Today I was told I have no days even if any doctor would write one, but that I’m to apply for a leave of absence. If you have healthy, respectable jobs that do not require a mask or covering over faces or heads, please send a message. I’m looking for a job to help provide for my family. Thank you.]

For some insanity reason… when did people not become “enough” to speak for ourselves? I am so exhausted of people telling other people that they aren’t enough. It happens every day in all kinds of ways.

If I can’t find a doctor (…or legal professional or counselor or policeman or preacher or scientist) to write a note saying I am not able to wear a mask or face shield or anything else over my face then I have 7 days and my employer said I likely won’t have a job.

I wish I knew the law to be able to write for myself.

I feel helpless all over again.

There are things that happened to me when I was younger. Because of 7 years of molestation starting when I was 9 years old and rape that happened 4 times between the ages of 15 (the year the molestation stopped, by the way) and age 23 I am not able to wear something over my face.

It sounds so clinical when I see it written in a couple sentences like that.

Almost like it wasn’t a lifetime of a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

But it’s not insignificant.

It’s my life.

Some people say that everything that happened to you in life is a result of your choices but that’s just a cover for their ignorance because they are trying to place blame and trying to feel better about something in your life that they don’t know what to do with. This harmful way of thinking just adds weight on top of already impossible, heavy situations.

I’m not as sure what to think about “stranger danger” but I’m very alert now to to classmate, boyfriend, extended family, church friends, and co-worker awareness.

Some choices are made for you.

And what you do with those circumstances is what will show what you’re made of and who you are (and also Whose you are.)

It is clear that after talking with my current doctor, although he, himself, is not wearing something over his face for his shifts at work and neither do his employees, he isn’t helping in this. But even if he was wearing something over his face for hours it’s likely he isn’t fighting the same battles if the same kinds of things that happened to me didn’t happen to him.

Even so, some similar things affect different people differently.

Why the world tries to fit us all into one tiny box doesn’t make sense. God is wise enough to have created us each in such incredibly unique ways.

People try to measure each other and compare each other and judge and decide each other’s life…

That’s not what we are supposed to be doing; comparing.

What a terrible way to spend this life; measuring people.

What even is that? It’s not from God.

My 17 year marriage has ended because of things I need to write some other time. In fact, when I look back it never started. If you don’t know about narcissistic abusive relationships – because of enduring one – then you won’t understand no matter what I say anyway. But if you have endured one (maybe more) of these, then you are not alone. There are thousands who will understand. Email me. I see you. And I will pray with you for help.

The child support ends this month and I need a job where I can focus and don’t feel absolutely terrified for having my face covered. My health insurance apparently was just turned off by my former husband on top of all the other things going on.

This looks hopeless.

I will admit…. Everywhere I turn it looks hopeless.

I’ve been at this place called hopeless before.

But our God is so big.

I know NONE of what’s going on right now is a surprise to Him.

He gives hope.

And my kids and I have seen Him provide time after time.

My heart rate and tears and shaking body from the anxiety of trying to work with my face covered are enough to make me throw up. I just cannot do it.

People don’t know what they don’t know.

Praise God that He extends grace to us to give to others even when they speak out of ignorance.

And people who find some things tougher than others ….well that doesn’t mean people (like me) are weaker in some way. In fact, if I wasn’t as tough as I am I wouldn’t have made it this far in this world.

I am constantly reminded that our prayers need to be about soft hearts and to be Warriors.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16

Please would you just lift my family up in prayer right now?

I’ll wait here.

Even though my small paycheck isn’t much it’s been able to help us have a place to live. We are okay moving (and we believe we are soon) but I’ve also prayed a lot and searched a lot about apartments and houses to rent and that has only proven to cost more.

I’m constantly asking, seeking, and knocking.

I am praying to work online and in people’s lives every day to help others out of similar situations as my kids and I have known. This has already been happening and I’m praying for it on another level. We do believe are to be packing in faith to move into a trailer and on to Alaska soon.

If you build travel trailers or trucks or believe in this ministry we feel called to of offering safety to girls who need to get out of sex-trafficking and into safe places to live and new jobs and new hope, then please email me.

I have some in common with sex-trafficked survivors. So to go walk through life beside people who have been through some things seems not so far out of an idea. I know that God uses ALL things for good for those who love Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (My favorite Verse when I was a little girl – such a long time ago.)

We are praying for a new truck and travel trailer and the ferry ride to move from Washington to Alaska to build tiny homes for people to stay in for a while to be able to breathe and begin healing. Also if you pray and you feel you can help build the tiny homes, please email me. itisallaboutfaithblog@gmail.com

As silly as that may sound …. All I know is God gives dreams and visions. And God rewards faith.

Please pray for us.

Prayer is where IT’S at.

I’m weary from fighting battles that I wish with all my heart I didn’t have to fight.

I feel like I’ve been fighting the same fight for air that started when I was 9.

Or at least I became aware of this battle when I was 9.

Though it started way before that as the enemy calculated the ways to try to end my life.

EVEN SO I will still be praising my God in the middle of it all. Out loud – because He is my God.

This world is not my Home. I am just passing through.

Hey Beautiful Survivor,

If you’re still reading this, I see you.

And the things you have endured (and maybe never even said out loud) are some things that others probably wouldn’t have endured.

You are so important and if you weren’t then this life wouldn’t feel so very impossible.

The enemy is SO AFRAID of what you can become in Jesus.

You want to make this a fight of flesh and blood. But it’s not. It’s spiritual with the powers of darkness.

The enemy is AFRAID OF what YOU can truly become. -the movie King’s Faith

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

It’s a very good time to stay in prayer and fight on your knees. You are not alone.

No friend can open a door that God has closed to redirect you.

But no enemy can close a door that God opens for you.

[Author Note:

If you have anything negative to say here then go away and click the “unfriend button.”

I am needing prayers and support and empathy.

If you don’t have those to offer please go away. I’m learning that finding who is for me and who is against me is a blessing in disguise. It is okay for you to go.]

 

And some day, when a homeless teenager looks into my eyes

Yesterday I stood on the edge of the Washington pier just looking at the water.

A big boat that said “Alaska Ferry” was just a few feet in front of me.

Every once in a while,

like for one moment every few months,

I experience an “I may throw up now because this is so much bigger than my whole life and what in the world am I doing?” moment.

Yesterday was one of those.

(I’m good now.)

About 7 years ago, God placed these words in my head, “YOU ARE MOVING.”

I’d love to tell you that I listened and obeyed that day…

but… not so much.

The thing is… I think we all have a bigger Calling than we realize and many times we miss it because we’re doing stuff WE want to do instead of waiting on The Lord and asking Him what HIS plans are for our lives.

It’s not that He can’t eventually help His plans work out for His Glory but choosing to really follow Him is a choice we each have to make for ourselves. The whole “die to ourselves thing” and “follow Him” are real, every day choices.

And that includes giving Him our time.

And I’m not talkin’ about just going around doing good things for people. That’s cool and there are many benefits to that but I’m talking about ASKING God to guide us.

If a coach stands on the sidelines and we don’t constantly ask for his help or listen to His coaching… what’s THAT about?!

Pray without ceasing.  Try this.  Pray to God all through the day and at night any time you wake up.  Prayer unlocks things that no other key can open.  (I know this because there were many weeks and years of my life that I didn’t pray much at ALL.)

The Alaska Ferry is HUGE.

I don’t even know what is across that water waiting for me.

But God put this fire in my heart and the pull is so strong that I am lookin’ like a fool, following Him – a thousand miles away from my comfort zone.

As I stood there, I wondered about people talked about in The Bible and when God showed them something bigger than themselves.

I thought about how a person felt when nobody else knew yet what God’s plan was.

I thought about the people watching Noah build that ark.

I thought about Mary who knew Jesus was in her belly but how silly did she sound when she told anyone else?

I thought about Joseph and that he didn’t believe her.  He didn’t believe so much that he was going to quietly divorce her.

Can you IMAGINE the loneliness Mary must have felt just then?

I thought about David going to face Goliath.

Was he afraid?

The very Power of God was in those rocks as David took down Goliath.

And THAT Power is with us today.

Jesus said The Holy Spirit is with us to guide us.

What does that look like today in 2016?  How does God “Call” us?

When someone tells you he or she feels called by God, who is to say it’s not truth?

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I know that until God did this work in me, while I did believe He COULD do this kind of thing, I had never experienced it for myself before.

So I can understand why some people would wonder if He really does still work in our lives like that.

He does.

Following Him is lonely.  But it’s worth it.

The Alaska Ferry costs $8,000 to $9,000 for our family of 4, the truck, and our camper trailer to go from Washington to Alaska.

God does not need money to accomplish what He wants to do.

WE may feel limited by money or other resources but God is not limited.

I cannot limit Him.

And it’s not even that.

I mean, it’s not even just the ferry getting us TO Alaska.  It’s after we’re there, then what?  God is MORE than capable of leading and providing land, help, money, people, and everything needed to do this work He’s put on our hearts.

The actual homeless camp or whatever it will be probably will cost millions of dollars.

And THAT reality makes the ferry tickets seem insignificant in comparison.

I don’t know HOW He’s doing this.

If I could SEE how, would that be called faith?

I cannot SEE how this homeless teen place can happen but He’s given me assurance that He’s doing this work with our family so we will keep praying and keep walking in faith as He leads.

And some day, when a homeless teenager looks into my eyes asking for some reason to live, and wondering if anyone loves her, I will read this blog post to her and tell her God put her in my heart before I ever met her.  And somehow He will make it all enough.

And I will tell her I almost threw up yesterday standing by the water wondering how God will finish this work He’s started in me.

I will tell her how God moved mountains and turned our lives upside down just to move our family to celebrate her life.

I will tell her I’m sorry I wasted time not understanding that SHE was why God’s message of “YOU ARE MOVING” was so important to listen to.

She needed a safe place to stay and people who would care what happens to her.

I will pray with her and hold her hand while we ask for God to lead her life and show her His plans for her.

And I will praise Him there, living more than a thousand miles away from my comfort zone (maybe almost throwing up.)

 

I remember a sweet teenage boy once asking me, “Are you JUST a mom or do you DO something?”

The camp showers were 3 minutes for 25 cents.

Mommy bk k blog shower coins 1

My daughters were each in a shower and I would hand them shampoo, soap, or put another quarter in when the water shut off. Probably nobody likes to run out of hot water with foamy soap still all over.

Suddenly my heart completely ached for kids I don’t even know who don’t have a mother to help them through life.

I was moved to tears for them again in that moment.

The Holy Spirit overwhelmed my heart.

When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up all I really wanted was to be a mommy and a wife.

Most of the time when I answered that question I was met with disapproving looks as if that’s not enough of an answer.

But it is.

It is enough.

As it turns out it looks like I will be a mother figure to many homeless teens in Alaska. Who would care for them? Here I am, Lord. Send me.

THAT is pretty amazing and I’m honored that God is doing this with my life. I don’t have to know HOW He’s doing this but I will keep following this dream He’s put in my heart as He keeps opening doors. (You can read more about this in the Alaska Homeless Teen Stuff here.)

I remember a sweet teenage boy once asking me, “Are you JUST a mom or do you DO something?”

SUCH a cutie boy, right?!

I smiled and gently explained that being a mommy and leading, training, and loving children is a very big job and is very something. He smiled back and I could tell he was believing this was truth (and it probably wasn’t meant in a disrespectful way at all.)

There is NO “just” in being a mommy or wife. (I believe that if it was a paid job, either of those would be on the highest scale ever. I know we’re all willing to do these jobs without pay but it’s just something I think about when it comes to the money and finance world and how it would blow the executives, presidents of companies, doctors, and lawyers away if they could all SEE a mommy or wife’s worth written in dollar amounts.)

But EVEN IF I was “just” a mommy and wife, that is absolutely “enough.” Whether people feel Called to adopt or are naturally Called to be a parent, it’s enough.

When did the world turn into such an

I-need-to-be-entertained,

everything’s-a-competition,

if-I-like-cheese-and-you-don’t-I-will-be-offended,

it’s-all-about-me-selfish

kinda place?

(It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus.)

And life is NOT a competition. Your race is your race. Period. And wherever you are is just right for God to use you and your story.

Whatever God put in your heart to “be” when you grow up, I believe it’s enough.  And if people laugh when you tell them you want to be a dancer or singer or whatever, let them laugh.  (The way someone treats you is usually much more about his or her heart condition than it is about you.)

I believe in you and God believes in you.  He created you and knows your most intimate dreams. Sometimes we let the world tell us what we “should” be doing instead of following the dreams God wrote into us.

I heard someone say he wanted to be sure and use up all his talents and gifts so that there was nothing left by the time he meets God face to face. That’s pretty cool.

The job the world says you “should” have and the job God’s put on your heart to do may be 2 different things. (For some people it’s a blessing to have already discovered this and to shake off the world’s opinions.)

Believe in you.

People can go a long way just hearing someone believes in them. We are to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (even when we’re thinking about ourselves.)

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

[Note:  I can’t leave this without adding that physical needs being met aren’t the only needs that desperately need met. Emotionally being there and believing in them, modeling integrity in all things and sharing Jesus with the kids in our care are also VERY important. Some kids have physical needs met but are starving for a deeper love that God intended for a mother to provide.]

[More:

Something we do at our house is called, “You are my favorite kid.”

I used to be a nanny and care for many kids. 2s and 3s are my favorite ages (and now, teenagers, too.) At one preschool job the most difficult child in a class of 24 3 year olds I taught was my favorite kid. Actually none of the other teachers enjoyed his company but he just had something special about him and I tried to be sure he knew I valued him.

We lived in Texas before this move to Alaska to open a homeless teen place. When my kids’ friends used to come over and they’d set the table or help in some way I’d say, “You’re my favorite kid.” (And it may only last 5 minutes til the next kid swept the floor or said, “I’m sorry” while looking into someone’s eyes and then that kid was the favorite kid.)

We’ve said this for years now and the other day my oldest daughter and I were talking. Everyone likes to hear that he or she is a favorite and many people never hear this in a whole lifetime. We are excited to get to take this favorite kid thing with us to the homeless teen place. Everyone there will get to hear “You’re my favorite kid.” (Sometimes my kids even say this to me. I love it!)]

The Right Way To Eat Pizza (not just about pizza)

Everybody knows the right way to eat pizza.

pizza

Pepperoni with parmesan.

The first bite is out of the side by the crust, right?

No.  The first bite is the pointed part, of course.

Why do we think this?  Because it’s how it’s “supposed” to look?

Or is it better as a supreme pizza with meats and vegetables?

Extra cheese.

Only cheese.

Two pieces together.

Or just folded in half.

With ranch dressing?

Or pizza with ham and pineapple.

Or what about an all vegetable pizza?

What about 3 day old pizza on the desk in your dorm room?  Perfect!  Right?

Pizza is a serious thing and people get kinda passionate about the right way to enjoy it.

Maybe NOT having pizza is the right answer.

The thing is – none of these are wrong and none are right.

They are just different.

Mission work is the same way.

When we do work for the Lord, haters, skeptics, and critics come out of nowhere.

When we start telling people we feel God is calling us to do a specific work, we hear more, “You’re doing it wrong,” than anything else.

Maybe it’s not wrong at all.  Maybe just different than someone else thinks it “should” look.

When we ask God what HE wants us to do instead of doing what WE would like to do every day, life begins to look different, WE begin to live differently, and spiritual warfare happens more than usual yet peace is more apparent at the same time.

When you stop looking around at other people, and you start looking UP to God and asking His direction, that’s when most amazing things start happening.

I pray for peace for people reading this and for all people to find God’s plan for their lives because He has one for each of us.

~~~>  When people are focused on what God’s planned for their own lives, there won’t be time to be upset about the jobs God’s got others doing or upset about the way He’s showing them to do the jobs.  <~~~

Some people believe you must do mighty things to actually get visible results. But God’s got this. He once had people march around a city and the walls fell down. Can you imagine the things that were said to them and about them and the way people mocked their faith? March around a city? Blow horns? What?! Such nonsense, right?

But the walls fell all the same.

Obedience matters.

~~~>  Sometimes God said things that really seem strange. “Cast your nets on the other side.”

What??

Does God not realize how completely silly that sounds to human ears? (I’m sure He does.)

I mean, when you think about it, the water underneath the boat was all the same water, right?  <~~~

But He said to obey and when they did, the nets were full of fish.

It is about obedience to His Calling even when it looks silly to other people.

For our family, we believe God is calling our family to Alaska to open and care for a homeless teen center.  Unless you have walked in our shoes, you wouldn’t understand how this fits every experience and test God’s put us through.

Some say, “God doesn’t lead us like that today.”

No?

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, right?
So since He’s the same…
He led people before the Bible was written, right?
And we know He led people during Bible times.
And He leads us now.

And how does that look for each of us?  I believe it may look just as different as each example in the Bible.  It looks as different as each “right” way to eat pizza.  What if all the ways are right enough?  When we look at the Bible examples, there are so many ways God led and so many different jobs He gave people.

God leads our steps when we ask Him to – and I’ve noticed over time that He was leading me EVEN when I wasn’t paying as much attention to my life. That’s pretty cool to think about.  My past is messy (just like many others’ lives are messy.)  And IF my life and past did nothing but bring me to spend the rest of it speaking blessings over people and telling you that YOU MATTER, all the junk I’ve been through was worth it to get to this place.

You are SO valuable. And if you forget, ask me and I will remind you a thousand more times. You are worth something. Maybe someone didn’t notice this about you. That’s unfortunate. Your life matters and your story matters.

It is so great that we each have different ways of learning, living, speaking, listening, different talents, and different ideas. What a boring world it could be if we were all exactly the same.

Sometimes when we do work for God, I have to wonder if He sees it as we do when our children do jobs we ask them to do.

Example:  Your young child washes a window.  She’s proud of the work she did.  You see the effort and also the places of the window she missed.  You’re still proud of her for trying.  You (hopefully) do not tell her what an awful job she did but instead, praise her and also help teach her gently how to do a better job as she tries next time and the next.

When we do work for God, we are proud of the work we did (sometimes a bit TOO proud and forget to thank and honor Him for the talents to do the jobs in the first place) and I’m sure God sees all the spots we missed.

He’s STILL proud of us for trying.

Ask God what HE wants you to do.  Try this for a month.  Follow the tugs on your heart and see how He will show you His plan for you.

[Note:  Our family would love to hear how God’s using your life and story.]

[Another Important note:  We would love to hear about the right way to order and eat pizza, too.]

 

 

 

 

One Dollar and Fifteen Cents

An amazing 12 year old friend named Madison came to our house the other day.  She said she has money to give toward the homeless teen place we are to open in Alaska.

Madison handed me coins equaling one dollar and fifteen cents.

 

I have read a story about a little boy who shared his five loaves and two fish.

 

We pray to the same living God Who broke the fish and loaves and fed thousands of people.

God, please take this offering and make it more than enough.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

John 6:1-15

I don’t know about you but I’m NOT gonna be the person who stands in between Jesus and a soul needing Him.

Who are YOU to stop someone from accepting Jesus in baptism?

Jesus speaks to someone’s heart. She wants to be baptized and accept Jesus into her life and follow Him.

Who are you to stop her? Who are you to tell her she has to wait til she knows more. Who are you to decide when she knows “enough” to be baptized?

I would not want Jesus to ask me why I told someone “No” or “Not yet” when she said she was ready. Yikes!

Check this out. Acts 8:34-38
In the bible someone heard the Good News about Jesus and decided to follow Him. “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” He was not told to wait til he knew more.

I don’t know about you but I’m NOT gonna be the person who stands in between Jesus and a soul needing Him.

I believe God can do anything He chooses to do, of course, and MAYBE if that person died before they got to be baptized, God still knows her heart and will gift her Heaven anyway but I’m just putting this out there.

I would NOT want to be in standing in your place when God asks why you stopped someone from coming to Him.

You think you’re ALL THAT?! Trust me. YOU ARE.

I know you are sick and tired of hearing how awesome you are.

People on the streets shouting all day long, “Hey, YOU! Yes, awesome, beautiful YOU! You are so great and we can’t wait to see what incredible things you’re going to do next.”

All your supporters. Crazy guys. They just follow you around and love you and serve others right along with you and support your dreams. I mean, COME ON, give you some room, am I right?!

You can’t even turn on your computer and check your email without hearing something great about you! Dude. Enough already. Try to look through your texts… Even more love pouring out of your phone! What are you to do?

You think you’re ALL THAT?!

Trust me.

YOU ARE.

You ARE “ALL THAT” and God gave you breath for a reason.

The world tells you you are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH!

Let me tell you who you are.
You ARE good. You ARE beautiful. You ARE smart. You are JUST RIGHT.

YOU are a child of THE One True King. You are not forgotten.

You ARE on purpose. You are HERE on purpose and FOR a purpose.

Get that through your head. Rest in this. You were created with all the details of your personality and your body and your mind JUST this way. You are amazing and never, EVER let anyone else make you believe anything less about yourself.

In case nobody told you today… YOU MATTER.