When children choose to disobey…


If you have children you will get this. If you don’t you probably know someone who has children and still might get this or maybe you were one of these children. I was.

Defiant – boldly resisting authority or an opposing force.

When your children choose to be defiant no matter how many times you tell them or show them how to do things the right way there comes a time when you have to step back and say, “Ok. Have it your way.” Knowing full well there will be consequences. You as the parent wishing full well they would just listen to you because you know what’s best. It’s easy for us as parents to see the painful road ahead, none the less, they are determined to do things their way. Just as we are determined to do things our way, the Lord will also say, ” Have it your way.”

I spent the better part of my adult life doing things my way. Running from the call God had on my life. Running came with a huge price. It meant broken marriages, and it cost me custody of my children. It also meant homelessness and drug addiction.

My third husband and I lived in a tent on a creek. We lived lives as out casts, broken, rejected by society, family and friends because of our addiction and criminal behavior. We burnt bridges that the only hope of restoration would have to have our Lord Jesus right in the middle of it.

As any addict, I was always running for drugs or running from the law or people I owed money to. I was mostly running from myself and all the shame and guilt. I just wanted the pain to stop. Somehow I always ran into something or someone that would remind me of the call God had on my life. The call was getting more and more difficult to run from. I knew the running was going to come to an end eventually.

When someone loves you so much, they are willing to do what ever it takes to reach you. If they can’t reach you one way they will try another way. Sometimes the consequences can be severe, but eventually the lifestyle will catch up with you. Thank God, He is God and promises to NEVER leave you or forsake you. (Deut. 31:8)

Jesus ALWAYS meets you right where you are at. Sometimes that might be in jail, in the hospital, in a drug house, even in the bathroom somewhere where you are getting high. BUT no matter where you are or what you are doing He will meet you there. I could never get high enough or run far enough to not hear God’s voice. Don’t get me wrong, I tried… I tried to the point of overdosing. (Romans 8:39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below– indeed, NOTHING in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT))

He would remind me that I was a child of God, that I was more than a conqueror, that he loved me so much He died for me. He waited for me patiently to come to the end of myself. I was reminded of the call that I had been running from. I was reminded of all the hurting people just like me that need to be pointed to the cross. I was reminded of how much my own children needed me.

You see, I was carrying a cross that wasn’t mine to bare. I didn’t get it. I thought I deserved to carry around shame, guilt, humiliation, rejection, abandonment, addiction, and emotional pain from childhood abuse. For a while I thought I wore a neon sign that said, “Abuse me” or “I’ve been abused so abuse me more.” I thought I deserved to be treated like Rahab (Joshua 6), the woman at the well (John 4) or Mary Magdalene(Luke 8) because I was all of them.

Then one day I saw myself in a broken heap. When I looked up there I was at the foot of the cross and there was Jesus with His arms outstretched and as He looked down at me with His ever loving eyes full of compassion. He said, “Do you want to be free?” Of course I did! He said, “Then leave those horrible things here at my feet. I have already paid the price for them.” Then He reached down and lifted me up. I said, “Lord, you know I can’t do it. I’m weak.” Then He said, ” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

As I looked at the cross, there I saw everything I had been carrying around nailed to the cross covered in His blood. I buried my face in His chest and began to weep for it was then I began to receive my healing and deliverance.

Everyday I pray and ask Jesus to allow my reflection to reveal Him, and I thank Him everyday for my freedom because the Son has set me free and I am free indeed. (John 8:36)

Live honorably…


1Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

The last 60 days of homelessness…


Once my husband and I had made a stand against the enemy of our souls we also had to make a stand for a lifestyle change. This meant we had to quit doing everything we had been doing to survive on the streets. For instance, we stole pretty much all of our camping supplies we had in order to live out in the elements. We would also steal our food when we ran out of food stamps, which didn’t last very long because we didn’t have a way to refrigerate food so what we bought was mostly stuff that had to be eaten right away. We also stole to get money for our drugs.

Unlike most of the other homeless people that we lived around who would “fly” a sign (hold a sign asking for money), we got our money a little quicker with less humiliation unless we got busted for shop lifting. Then it was really humiliating.

I tried flying a sign a couple of times but I just couldn’t take the humiliation. I mean after all, who wants to stand there holding a sign while people drive by without even looking at you? Who wants to stand there and take verbal abuse from people yelling obscenities at you and sometimes even throwing things at you? It was awful! I would rather take my chances getting caught shop lifting than standing there like I’m invisible or feel like garbage as people just pass you by like your not even there.

Anyway, all these things took planning and time. I would spend most of the day planning my shop lifting sprees and then when we executed the plan usually without a hitch, then it would take time to hook up with the drug dealer and get the dope for the night. This went on day after day, night after night. So when we quit doing the dope and got right with God we had all kinds of time on our hands.

We had to fill that time with something positive or we would get bored. Being bored is not good for addicts of any kind. What we started doing was having Bible study at our camp. We invited some of our homeless family and a couple of them would come at first, but then pretty soon more and more kept coming.
We would end up having worship and Bible study for most of the morning. It was wonderful.

We kept hearing from different people how they loved the Lord but they could never step foot in a church because they felt they would be shunned or looked down upon and these broken people didn’t need that. Not long after the Bible studies began, we decided to start having church on Sundays for the homeless. We all enjoyed hearing God’s Word.

After we began going to a Church of our own (which is another story), our church family started coming out to our camp and meeting people that we lived around and loving on them. Essentially, this became the church’s outreach program. God used our homelessness to be a bridge to the body of Christ.

I shared all that to say this, God grace was abound in our life at that time (it still is) and it was so evident. I abused drugs for a good 20 years where I had grown up and went to school and learned how to party. I would have never been able to get clean and stay clean in this town without GOd’s grace. It (drugs & alcohol) was in our face everyday, but Jesus was even bigger and His presence surrounded and kept us for His glory. We continued to be homeless for about two months, then we were able to get our own place and we stayed clean that whole time.

2 Cor. 12:9 (AMP)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP)

He pitched a tent over me! My Redeemer Lives!

Recovery…


Recovery is a funny word. Not funny in the sense of ha-ha, but funny as in ironic. Recovery is a good thing that is just as painful of a process as the problem that got you there in the first place. Hence the saying, “no pain, no gain.” I’ve been in recovery for almost 4 1/2 years and I’ve been set free from cigarettes, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, sex addiction, pornography, and homelessness. I’m still being set free from myself. A work in progress.

My husband and I spent 10 years of our 14 ½ year relationship in active addiction. During the 10 years we were able to get clean for six months, a couple of different times and once for 11 months. Most of that time we were homeless or couch surfing from one place to the next. Trying to keep up some kind of sanity in our addiction and me trying to be a mom to two wonderful son’s that deserved so much more than they were getting.

I’m not sure exactly when the switch went from survival to surrender but when I realized I was done with that lifestyle I was sitting in a jail cell. I couldn’t believe I had wasted so much time living for what? The next high?… I had run a long time and I knew I was running from God because I had been saved when I was seven years old.

I was finally in a place I had nowhere to run. Jesus had my undivided attention for the first time in years. I had no idea what my husband was doing while I was in jail but I knew he was up to no good and I could hardly stand to think about it. It would have driven me crazy had I let my mind continue on that path.

As I sat in my cell, I made a conscious decision to surrender my life and my will to Jesus. I could no longer live with myself the way things were. I had decided that when I got out of jail that if my husband was going to continue living that lifestyle; I would have to walk away from him. I would never divorce him because I loved him so much and knew there was a reason we had stayed together for so long.

The day I was released my husband met me at a place we had predetermined and there he told me that if I wanted to continue living that lifestyle he would have to walk away. He informed me that he had surrendered his life to Jesus and there wasn’t going to be anymore illicit sex and drugs and thieving to survive. I was so excited that my Jesus had met my husband right where he was at as He did me in Jail.

So, recovery has been very much a part of our lives over the last 4 ½ years. We surrounded ourselves with people who loved God and loved us right where we were at that time, which was homeless and living on the streets. We joined Celebrate Recovery and began forming our support. I would have to say the greatest thing that saw us through the first couple of years was LOVE. Love is what really helped us heal and begin to feel like we were a part of society again.

We were able to get a place about two months into our recovery thanks to public programs available in our area. We are now self-sufficient and doing things like all the other grownups in society and we are blessed, very blessed and very grateful.

My life verse has become Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your land.”

God is in the restoration business and He so wants to do that for anyone who asks.

I am now in school working on my bachelor’s in psychology and I have two more classes to do before I can test for certification for drug and alcohol counseling. I have had both of my son’s living with me for the last 3 1/2 years and my husband now has a relationship with his youngest daughter and our grandchildren. Miracles that were not possible without God!

Recovery is WORK, but it is so possible and so WORTH IT!

Choose to obey…


Romans 6:15-16

Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? OF COURSE NOT! Don’t you realize that you become a slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, OR you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Praise You In This Storm


by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus]

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

[Chorus x2]

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Keep on loving…


Hebrews 13:1-3

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitalitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Living in the Light


1John 1:5-10

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (NLT)