It is Well with My Soul

It’s been almost a month since I wrote in this blog, and something big has happened since then. My husband has found full-time permanent work. We will not have to leave the city we have learned to call home over the last four years. We will not have to leave our friends, the people who have become our family. It is the first time in a long time that I have felt optimistic about our future.

The optimism though doesn’t come from anything my husband or I have done even though my husband was the one who got the job. It comes from our Lord and Savior who is the ultimate provider. I realized that God had to bring me to the point of saying, like the song, it is well with my soul, even if my husband didn’t get the job.  And I did. I knew that God would be with us no matter what. When I was able to say that, things came through, and it all happened.

God’s timetable is never the same as ours, and that is the main lesson he has been teaching me through all of this. I recalled one other thing last month. It had been a year since we had started praying for full-time permanent work for my husband. I had lost sight of that when he got the contract job and then with everything he and we had gone through while he had the job. When I remembered this, I began to connect the dots.

God has taught me so many lessons this year and has poured out so many blessings. He has given me a strong desire to cement my knowledge of the faith I claim which I will talk about more in the months to come. But, for now, I will finish with the words from the song “It is Well with My Soul”

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

God’s blessings on all of you today!


Just Show Up

God has taken me on a journey this week that I wanted to share with you all.  If you’ve read any of my most recent posts, you know my husband has been out of work. We are approaching the two and a half month mark, and I won’t mince words. This has been hard. A lot of what I have dealt with has been in my mind. (Spiritual warfare is alive and well, thank you very much.) From worrying about what people think of us, to wondering how things were going to get paid for, to making sure our needs for space were met, to teaching my 10th grade son and adjusting to our college aged son being gone, we have had a lot on our plate. Sometimes I’ve wondered whether it’s been too much. And then on top of that, I’ve wanted to make sure I didn’t lose my heart for giving and showing that we were depending on God for our provision and stability.

I think that’s where I ran into a problem, and it’s where my journey started. I started thinking that the only kind of giving that counted was financial giving. I should have known better than that. Being willing to give runs the whole gambit, and it’s not just financial. Not by a long shot.

So, back to the journey. We’ve been waiting this week on news from a second interview. The job sounds like it would be a perfect fit for my husband. He had the interview at the beginning of the week, and now, we’re sitting here at the end of the week, and he hasn’t heard anything. I don’t know if any of you have ever been in that position, but it can mess with the mind as it has messed with mine. God didn’t leave me alone though–through the tears, through the prayers, and through the things He encouraged me to read.

Through all of that, He brought the important way to give to the forefront of my mind. It’s the one I think most people would consider the most important, but is done the most rarely because of the busyness of our lives. What way of giving is that? Being present or just showing up and doing what’s needed. After God gave me that realization, I thought back over the last ten weeks. Countless people have just shown up and done what was needed. From the man who called my husband last week to ask if he wanted to ride down to see our son at college, to the couple who bought us tickets to the movie War Room, to the people who sat with me and prayed with me while I blubbered on Wednesday, to all the people who have been on their knees praying for a job to come for my husband, people have shown up when we’ve most needed them. There’s not any magic to this. It’s just a commitment all of them have made to live in community with their Christian brothers and sisters. To just show up whenever and wherever needed.

Just showing up is something I need to recommit myself to doing. To being aware of who is and what is going on around me. I think that is just as important, no, more important than giving money because you see, I think that’s what Jesus did during the time He was here. He showed up to the people who needed Him the most.

God’s blessings on all of you today!


Four Years

It sneaked up on me this year. On this day four years ago, we drove into Birmingham. I didn’t imagine then when we drove down 280 at 7 PM that this place would become home and that I would meet people who would become family. People who are so dear to me that I can barely breathe when I think of how much they mean to me. We came here to take advantage of an employment opportunity for my husband and though he is no longer at that company, I am grateful we were able to move here for the opportunity.

Yes, this year has been a struggle. We have dealt with sad and happy occasions. First, the happiest one. My older son graduated from high school and started college. When we moved here, one of my utmost desires was that we could stay in one place for both of my children’s high school years. We’ve managed that for the older one. He has made lifelong friends and put down roots getting to know other people–teens and adults who love and care about him. I wasn’t able to stay in one place for my high school years, and I wanted to do that for both of my children.

We have also dealt with difficult situations. With unemployment. With sickness. With going from a household of four to a household of three. There have been many adjustments. Sometimes the rope I was holding onto would fray and almost fall apart, especially over the last couple of weeks.

But, I would not change a minute of it. These last four years have been precious to me for two reasons. The first is because of the church home, the family we have found. I have learned about truly being a part of a community and about being loved as part of that community. Yes, it is imperfect. It won’t be perfect until we all get to heaven. But, knowing even that kind of imperfect love has meant the world to me. The other reason, the most important reason is that God has come back to my heart and to my home, and I understand what grace truly means. So very grateful to my Lord and Savior!

God’s blessings on you all today!





It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog, and while I covered the topic of grace in my first post, I thought it was time I revisited it. God has been pouring out His grace on me in the last few weeks. Pouring out His grace–even though I’ve doubted, even though I’ve struggled, even though I couldn’t feel His presence. He’s been working on my heart and spirit though as I indicated the other day with my post about prayer. I had an idea about how He could answer my prayer, and that is what I was praying for.

But, when He told me I needed to change the prayer and I did so, things started to happen. No, my husband hasn’t found a job yet, but the blessings and the grace He has poured out have continued to astound me.  God is growing characteristics in me that needed to be sharpened and  refined in the fire such as patience, humility, understanding of others, and a true acceptance of grace. Things that we need are coming to us more rapidly than I can even type, and I find myself wanting to share them with others. None of this is being done with perfection and will not result in perfection, but I am rejoicing anyway because I have the “peace that passes understanding.”

I am going to end with the words of an old hymn.

Grace Greater than Our Sin

  1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
    Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
    Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
    There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

    • Refrain:
      Grace, grace, God’s grace,
      Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
      Grace, grace, God’s grace,
      Grace that is greater than all our sin!
  2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
    Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
    Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
    Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
  3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
    What can we do to wash it away?
    Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
    Brighter than snow you may be today.
  4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
    Freely bestowed on all who believe!
    You that are longing to see His face,
    Will you this moment His grace receive?

God’s blessings on all of you today!


The Words of a Prayer

As I wrote in my journal earlier, God, sometimes, needs to make things very simple for me, and He has done so this morning. I was not specific in the posts I made last week as to why I was struggling. I plan to be specific this morning, and it’s related to the words of a prayer.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but praying is difficult for me sometimes. It’s hard to know what to say. I wonder if that’s why Romans 8:26 – 27 was included in Scripture.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

I think it might have to do with weakness. It’s not easy showing weakness to others. That might be why we call the church office with our prayer requests as opposed to sharing them within the body. It might be why we share them online as opposed to getting together with Christian friends and praying. Or it might be because we just do not know what to say, and we are afraid to be emotional or to appear selfish.

God has called me to something different though which requires specificity and honesty. Right now, my husband is unemployed for the second time in a year. I want to be clear. I don’t say this for any other reason except because it’s a fact. He has also been our sole income since I homeschool our younger son. In the last week though, I have picked up a part-time tutoring job which I hope will start bringing in some income quickly. Many of you have, more than likely, been through the same thing and have had the same fears. Fears of being homeless, fears of not being able to pay your bills, fears of being hungry, fears of what people are saying, fears of appearing selfish, or fears of not being able to stand strong in your faith.

These are all fears I have dealt with in the last few weeks. And, those fears, I think, have colored how I’ve prayed. Praying for my husband to find a job. Praying for his health which is what started this mess. Just praying, for God to bless our family. When He didn’t, that’s when I started to struggle.

But, God, who knows my heart better than I ever could, showed me my thinking was backwards in what I was praying for. And, this morning, He gave me the words to a prayer. A prayer that is more of a “safety net” than any safety net our society offers. A prayer of just two sentences that reflects our whole situation and puts the focus back where it needs to be–on my Lord and Savior. So, that prayer will be the prayer I offer as we walk through this fire. A prayer I will pray by myself, and a prayer I will pray in front of others.

Dear God, help me to trust you for our provision and for our stability. And help me to love others in your name.

God’s blessings on you today!


Quivering in the Corner

My writing time has been full and honest this week as I’ve searched and struggled. I know, for a fact, I don’t have it all together like some people I see at my church. Our pastor likes to say we are all dirt bags which I resonate with. I’m not trying to say these other people are perfect or think they are perfect, but they seem to have all their ducks in a row regarding faith where I see my faith and realize I’m just forming the first row. In the two previous posts I’ve made this week, this was a troubling thing for me. I didn’t feel like it was right that I had to search and struggle and that I had doubt, that God didn’t like it because I had doubt.

I’ve changed my mind about this though, mainly, for two reasons. One, because some psalms were read to me that said some of the same things I had been thinking. I read through all the psalms last year, and I’m starting to think I should do a read-through of that particular book of Scripture every year. There was one psalm in particular that didn’t even include a praise to God at the end, and He still included it in Scripture.  It is Psalm 38, one of David’s psalms. I am going to quote it here because it reflects what I’ve been thinking so well.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.

Amazing! David thought the same things I have been thinking. So, if someone who was close to God’s heart thought the same things I’ve been thinking, it’s okay for me to think them.

The other reason I’ve changed my mind is because of a phrase I  was introduced to. This phrase is actually the title of this post–Quivering in the Corner.  It’s a beautiful picture of what my heart has been like. I have quivered because my wounds have been so great. I have quivered, not feeling like I could share my thoughts, even in prayer to God much less to anyone else. I have quivered because I felt like I needed to pretend. I have learned that God doesn’t want me to pretend though and that Jesus will sit with me while I quiver. I hope by being honest with my fears, with my wounds, and with my doubts, I will be able to help someone else know that it’s okay to quiver in the corner.

And now, for the phrase I’ve used since I started this blog, but one I have felt like I couldn’t use this week.

God’s blessings on all of you today!


Feeling Like a Fraud

This post is paired with the post I made on Sunday about the struggle I am having right now. If you are interested, go here to read.

So, where am I three days later? I am still struggling, still searching. I have wounds that are gaping wide open and bleeding, and I don’t know what to do about them.  No matter how much I try, they just won’t heal. I’ve tried to pray, to ask God for healing, and they still hurt. Nothing changes. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe nothing is supposed to change. But, then, where does that leave me?

There’s another thing. Before, when I’ve hurt for whatever reason, I’ve been able to hang onto to the cross that I’ve had around my neck. In the last three years, I have made a point of wearing that cross because it represented what had changed in my life — having God back in my home. Now, though, I’m not sure where God is, or even if He exists, so I feel like a fraud if I wear my cross. I feel like I’m proclaiming something I’m not sure I believe if I wear it.  So, since I feel like that and don’t wear my cross, another form of comfort is taken away from me.

I’ve been told I wrestle honestly with things. At least, I try to wrestle honestly. Growing up, I had more experience with putting up shields than wrestling honestly with what was happening in my life. I’ve come to a point though where I can’t do anything, but be honest. I want my faith to get back to where it was–something I am strong and sure about, but I’m not sure if it will. That is the most honest I know how to be.

I’m going to end with quoting a song by Tenth Avenue North. It’s called Hold My Heart, and it reflects how I’m feeling right now. A friend of mine posted it a few years ago, and I am grateful she put me on the track of something so beautiful and authentic. Here it is.

“How long must I pray
Must I pray to You
How long must I wait
Must I wait for You
How long till I see Your face
See You shining through

I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You turn to me

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One light, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Won’t You come close and hold my heart

I’ve been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there’s no other way
I’m done asking why

‘Cause I’m on my knees
Begging You turn to me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One light, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Won’t You come close and hold my heart

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can’t see but I’ll take my chances
To hear you call my name
To hear you call my name

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One light, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Won’t You come close and hold my heart
Hold my heart
Could You hold my heart
Hold my heart”