Tuesday, October 30

thank you for such sweet thoughts
about colben, my almost-two grandson.
the love of my life.
i treasure my daughter-in-law....and
we had so much fun.

she and her cousin were going to a
movie, and colben said, "bye-bye. bye-bye. bye-bye. bye-bye."
jasmine walked out the door, rolling her eyes.
"enough, colben. i know you want
grandma to yourself!"

he slept in my big bed, with me, sucking two of his
little fingers. both of us tired and happy
and together.
i miss brandt. he won't return from
deployment until the end of january.

a new week. almost a new month.
my computer still in the shop. time is
flying, but the enemy seems to be
ahead of time. be alert. on guard. his
best tool of defeat is to whisper lies to
me, and make them seem real.

i heard my best girlfriends were having
a party. i hadn't been invited. was
simply paralyzed. lying on my bed.
truly believing i was losing them all.
what had i done? fear of rejection like
a stronghold in my life. only to find
out later that there never was a party.

resist the devil.
run for your life.
may the peace of God sweep away
the shadows of doubt and fear.
God and i are running with you today.

Monday, October 29

I awakened with the most
beautiful Scripture on my mind.
“He is altogether lovely”.
Jesus is. in every way. NO one will ever be
embarrassed or hurt or shamed if you
come to Him with all your worries and cares
and shame.

“i will count all things loss for the excellency
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord…I count
all things as rubbish that i may gain Christ…”

enjoy Jesus today.
take Him wherever you go. and I am
beside you, trying to run this glorious hard
Race, basking in the loveliness of Jesus,
the Savior of the dark, hurting world. The
One Who sheds Light for all.

Thursday, October 25

my index finger
going over every
beautiful line each of you
writes to me. lovingly touching
your words as if i can actually
feel the warmth in your hearts...
and pleading with God that my
finger-tip of such immense
tenderness and care can ignite
joy in you.

thank you, beyond measure,
for taking time to talk to me with
such empathy and encouragement.

my acura tl arrived after dark.
happy. happy. happy. so very
happy. silver metallic. even blue tooth
for phone. getting up early to drive
through car wash..and head to
jan's for a visit in sacramento.

"God answers prayer in the morning.
God answers prayer at noon.
God answers prayer in the evening...
so keep your heart in tune."

He answered your prayers and giving
for me to finally have this car. now
i am praying for needs in your
lives. and waiting and watching for
the miracles to come.

computer still being worked on.

HAVE YOU? love, ann

Wednesday, October 24

received an email today from a woman
who was one of my students as dean
of women on a university campus.

she reminded me i had sent her
home for special reasons, and all
these years has held intense bitternes
toward me. It sounded as if i had
really nearly ruined her for life.

so i have been wearing a coat of
grief all day. i can scarcely recall
it, but i was too young being a dean
when we were nearly the same age.
i blew it, and she was courageous
enough to help make amends with

the foolishness of our youth.
Wounding others along the way.

let's keep our slates clean.
accept how we have wronged another
without playing justification games.

"oh, Jesus, may we forgive others
as You forgive us."

my car is to arrive by transport
tomorrow at ten a.m. the waiting has
almost passed. i'll send a pic on blog/facebk.
please know i still read all
your beautiful words to me. line by
line. often moved to tears. with
genuine love....

Tuesday, October 23

yesterday was communion.
the body of Jesus. wounded for
us. a wafer to remember.

and His Blood poured out.
covering all our sins. grape juice
to symbolize the spear in His side.
"blood and love flow mingled down".

"what can wash away our sins?
nothing but the Blood...nothing but the Blood of Jesus..."

without the Cross,
we can never be free.
never be warriors with a cause.
never run and win.
never see the sunrise of deliverance.

"amazing grace how sweet the sound..
that saved a wretch like me.."

flow, River, flow.
eat of the Bread. drink of His Blood.
wash in the fount of forgiveness.
once blind ..but now we see.

Monday, October 22

Daily Light...october 19

"i wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word i do hope.
my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch

for the morning. yes, more than those
watch for the morning. i sought
the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."


today, may every gnawing fear be
laid to rest. in me, too, Lord. in me.

Sunday, October 21

virus in my computer.
car not yet arrived.
WAIT. Jesus calls us to sit
down. be still and silent and WAIT.
most important of all is that we
focus on HIM. listen for His footsteps.
and before we start hurrying about,
have Him join us. visit. annoint us.
and quietly ask Him to forgive our
rushing and wayward bents.

i love you all. sit still long enough
for Him to show up. He won't until
we are ready.

Friday, October 19

what is something in your life that
you KNOW if people found out, they
wouldn't like you. i mean, you are sure
they wouldn't. in fact, all their respect
and love and admiration of you would disappear
in an instant?

do you know that the church we attend...the job place...
the fellow soccer moms...the guys that run together...the
board of some big organization we are on is FILLED with
people just like you. hiding their failures. hoping no one
will ever find out about the two abortions. or the cigarettes
we smoke behind the house.

i knew an incredible doctor that would pull on his big,
letterman's jacket, during every lunch break, in the steaming
heat of noontime, and smoke in his mother's back yard not
far away his office. trying to protect his clothes from the odor.
with some breath mints, he would drive back to the office as if
he had gone for a quick lunch. believing that none of his patients
would know that he was a smoker.

"whiter than snow...yes, whiter than snow...
now wash me and i will be whiter than snow..."

don't be afraid to speak your darkness to someone else.
because they have their own that needs to be aired.
we are broken children of God, and deliverance comes
when we begin to let go of what everyone is going to think
of us.

thank you all for congratulating me on my new car.
thank you for such love. i treasure you all. the car
should be here the first of next week. wow! happy

Thursday, October 18

clean and beautiful and free.
speak the truth and the walls will still
stand strong. and friends can always be
friends. nothing hidden. or secret. no
hurt gnawing and boiling inside.

spoken in love.
it cannot fail. will not corrupt.
brings deliverance and freedom.
it takes courage and strength to deliver
it. and not every truth needs to be laid out
in the open for all to see. usually, it is between
two people. confiding. working through.

when Jesus talks about coming to the altar
to bring our offerings...and if we have something
against another, we must first go and make peace,
and then return to His Presence. i have always believed
that He meant we are to confess. to speak the
truth of what is setting us apart. tearing down our
once sturdy hearts of oneness and deep, pulsing
love and trust.

truth is always beautiful
even if it hurts, and makes us cry.
even if it exposes pieces of ourselves that
we have always hoped no one would notice.
or shows us things we never realized about
ourselves that aren't nice. or proper. or fair.

the truth often terrifies me. looking someone in
the eye after he/she has asked me a question
that i know has an answer she won't like. truth
can make me afraid of rejection, and i have always
feared that above all else.

but i feel safest with truthful people.
i know our bond will last. we will be able
to run side-by-side up the mountains and around
the crooked corners of life. the enemy cannot
sneak in and curl up, at first unnoticed, where
truth lives. the two cannot co-exist. ever.

please hold my hand,
and join me in the struggle for truth.
with ourselves. our children. our friends. the world.
but never forget that truth without the kindness of love
will tear apart even as a lie does.

"Lord Jesus, i long to be perfectly whole.
i want Thee forever to live in my soul.
break down every idol. cast out every foe.
now wash me and i will be whiter than snow."

Wednesday, October 17

to my beautiful, treasured friends and comrades....
i have a new (used) car!!! coming from salt lake city.
rob moritz found it online. soooo much nicer than i
could ever have dreamed or imagined.

i started looking at a 1998, two-door honda. with
200,000 miles on it....
and Jesus (and you) present me with a 2008 acura.
i knew nothing about this specific kind of car, but it
IS a honda. and has heated seats. the one thing i
secretly prayed for. i know. a luxury. there are times
Jesus just hands out a luxury to us. of some kind.
and we can hardly grasp it. but, in humble gratitude,
we want to glorify Him with the gift. whatever that

my 2005 kia sorento that i so loved
was destroyed, and God has shoved me (because
i didn't cooperate very willingly) into a waiting
school that has left me frazzled and confused and
not even sure i'd even have my own car again.

and finally,
when surrender was complete...
when the vision had even evaporated.
when hope was shaky and clung to
with trembling hands and shivering legs,
GOd steps in. throws back the curtains.
opens the windows, and delivers the piece
in our lives that we just can't seem to fix.
find. resolve. grasp. and He always does
it "above and beyond" whatever we can imagine.

thank you, oh, thank you....
all of you who contributed..$5 or $50 or $100
or more for this miracle in my life.
bless you. bless you. God is pleased with you,
and i am humbled beyond words by your love
and generosity.

lying on my face.
next to my bed...
"were the whole realm of nature mine...
that were a present far too small...
love so amazing, so divine...
demands my life, my soul, my all...."
forgive me for repeating this hymn multiple
times, but it swells in me, and says it all.

Tuesday, October 16

i think i may have found a car.
in between and around my schedule.
not sure. but maybe.....please pray!
i know many of you are. i'm giving it
24 hours. truly, in my heart, i demand
nothing. God gives and He takes.
if this car isn't right, then He has something

what are you lacking?
what do you really need?
what is the need that you lay before
the Lord day after day?
please don't give up.
hold on. believe.

this car is literally going to be
a gift from all of you who contributed.
my insurance money mostly went to my
loan because i hadn't had the kia that long.
there is an annointing on the car God has.
a special blessing.

please forgive my repeat blogs on
this issue of my car. it is like taking
heaving breaths. pushing myself.
now, i am racing to bible study fellowship.
someone is waiting and does not want to be late.
loving each of you. believing.

Monday, October 15

i make a list every night.
what needs to be accomplished
the next day.

well, today, i accomplished one thing
on my list because i had a friend who
needed me. all day. it is late. panera's
is really closed, but they let me hang out
until the last minute. i melted some cheese
in a little tortilla early this morning. we were
so busy that we forgot to eat.

i have a friend's birthday on Sunday,
and maybe....just maybe...i won't get
to find a car until the first of the week.
time is a funny thing. it is called "waiting".

waiting for God's time.
for His perfect plan.

i have a difficult time waiting very long.
but i have been in this school for some
years now, and would never know Jesus the
way i do if i had not been placing one foot at
a time along this pathway call patience.

they are telling me it is time to leave
here. so i'm running. remember,
it pays to wait. God is in control.

Saturday, October 13

last night, i received a call
from an unknown lady in ohio,
about a bill (i took care of it today).

suddenly, Jesus tapped my shoulder.
"speak to this woman about Me...."

i took a gulp. how should i approach this?
"ma'm, i want you to know i am a single mother
of four sons, and i just could never have made
it without Jesus. and for just as we've been speaking,
i feel God is asking me to tell you that whatever BIG
thing is happening in your life? well, He has it all
covered. all taken care of. that you can depend on
it. He's asking me to reassure you that He really IS
bigger than what you are struggling with."

"wow! wow....thank you. thank you so much
for your words."

i clicked off the phone.
my eyes shining. an ordinary
thursday. had been waiting all day
to see if Jesus had a job for me. i long
for these moments.

from me.
a woman reminding me i had a bill
to pay. the kind of call that gives me
shivers. anxiety. and out of the shadow
of doubt and charcoal rumblings, Jesus walks
in, and scatters stars and rainbows and balloons
and choirs everywhere.

be listening.
be watchful for a nudge.
Jesus is calling us in all kinds
of unexpected moments to touch
the world that has forgotten there really
is a Savior. a beautiful Redeemer.
yes, always room at the Cross for one more.

Friday, October 12

Jesus lives in a VERY big house.
with walls of windows, and redwoods
growing outside. those magnificent
trees that look as if they are brushing
the sky.

and somehow,
it just feels as if we all live together
there. you, my fellow warriors, and i.
we belong. we are bound by God's incredible
crush of love. all of us broken, but putting one foot
in front of the other on hard days, and once in awhile,
almost flying. with the wind at our backs, and the joy
and encouragement of each other singing in our ears.

YOU have helped ME so much.
all your love and beautiful thoughts.
AND the money you've sent to help for a
new, used car. i am so excited. i plan to go
to sacramento saturday, and have my brother-in-law
help me look. and i am just believing it will be.
yes, i am believing!!! and so excited.

my dear friends and neighbors,
who have allowed me to use one of
their cars every day, have roamed
around with me, seeing what we could find.

do you know what real grace is like?
well, you wait two-plus months for a car, and
you wait, and wait. and it is okay. but i know
when i get my own car, and don't feel i am
taking one of my neighbor's cars, i think it will
shock me at the tidal wave of relief and joy that
will come. grace is making it, and not realizing
HOW much God is helping us until the battle or
the need is won and met.

brandt had to wear an ankle monitor for three
months for stealing two little lighters at the drugstore.
as you know, when i found out, i called the police,
and he spent two nights in juvenile hall, and then
had the monitor put on so he could only go to
school. for my most social child, this was HUGE.
he never complained until the day they removed
the contraption from his ankle, and i was deluged
with his joy and gratitude and relief to have that
"thing" off. it had rubbed his ankle, and kept him
from friends. he tells me that is when he started
smoking. out his bedroom window, on the roof.
when i was running errands or out with the other
three boys. sigh.

grace is what carries us in terribly hard
times. we just don't realize HOW vast and
great it is until the specific battles are over.
when we look back, it is truly amazing all
the Lord does to carry us.

thank you all that helped on my car.
as soon as i find it, i'll announce it.
celebration is just around the corner.

Thursday, October 11

there is a beautiful, young woman i treasure.
she has four, precious children, 5 and under,
and is pregnant with her fifth. all of this, alone,
is a huge undertaking.

we had a long talk.
how does a wife stand with her husband,
and her parents who she also loves, and
still feel someone is looking out after her.

i'm crazy about her husband, and i
know he has her back. her parents are some
of my dearest friends, and they are trying to help, too.
in the end, this young woman is trying
to keep everyone happy.

i've lived my entire life trying to do that.
as a little girl, i've probably told you, i would
sing in the car if i sensed my father was unhappy.
which was alot of the time. you know, worried
about my rebellious brother mainly. and i
would start in....

"everybody happy?
say 'amen'...."

if my father wouldn't say "amen",
i would sing it again. becoming more
troubled and agitated.

"honey, i don't want to say 'amen' if i
don't really feel happy."

my mother would say,
"harold, just say 'amen' so
ann can feel we're all okay."

my sweet, holy father would say, "amen."

today, i still struggle with wanting people to be
happy. otherwise, i somehow feel respoonsible.
that i'm not good enough or kind enough or worthy
enough. BUT, i am getting better. much better.
i have learned how to at least take a little care of
myself. i know Jesus wants us to do this.

now you know why i go to the co-dependant group
at celebrate recovery. smile. i have work to do.
and i pray every day for this extraordinary mother
with another one to come. that she will feel carried
in the loving arms of God, and lay her burdens down.

down by quiet streams and brooks with fresh water
trickling over the rocks.
close to the feet of Jesus. feeling His hand
on our shoulders. hearing His quiet words of love.
unsullied peace. may we all find peace today
wherever our wounds and hurts live.
and basking in His peace.

Wednesday, October 10

i am filthy from head to foot.
pink sweats covered in dirt. white
top, the same. i worked in a BIG storage
unit that belongs to a friend of mine all day.
her beautiful, 24 yr. old son and father also
helped. carrying things. stacking. tearing up
many boxes to toss. i kept a broom and dust pan
close at all times. tossing large bags of garbage
into the dumpster. so hot that i was completely
wet. from the inside out. but it looked amazing
when we were done (never stopped all day). and
it really was for steve, my friend's husband, who
parks his huge snap-on tool truck inside each

we had so much camaraderie. we could laugh.
and many strong arms and clear minds help make
the process move so much faster.

you see, it is important that we help each other.
my friend, mya, a genius in my thinking, has been
helping me with a legal matter, and today was just
an opportunity to give back. to serve her.

when someone does something for us,
don't you think it is loving to do something
for them? well, i want to do as many loving
things for mya as i can. and for others around
me. Jesus says we are to love one another,
and i don't think He meant just everyone who
passes our way in the world. when we share
what we have with those we love, and who
know Jesus, too, it becomes a different kind
of adventure.

"if you help the one next to you..
and i help the one next to me...
we'll all work together,
in all kinds of weather....and
see what can be done!"

Tuesday, October 9

getting old is a journey you can only really understand
if you are there. old, i mean. your toes that once looked
so nice and straight and lined up. no bunions or crooked
ones. today, especially with all the thousands of miles of
running, i try in every way not to draw attention to my feet.

i have the same slender body. almost too skinny, in fact, even
though i eat anything and everything. the doctors call my heart
and state of health absolutely amazing. that's good. it is. BUT,
it doesn't replace the big knuckles on my fingers from arthritis (i guess).
my thumbs are the WORST from holding thousands and thousands of
books, and autographing at the same time. i no longer have my nails
done. it was NEVER one of my favorite things to have acrylics put on.
and today, too expensive. one ring on each hand. one from my
youngest son's birth mom; the other from my brother-in-law. so
i have old feet and hands.

then, there's your skin that just sort of goes south. i'm grateful
i don't have alot of skin, but my skinny thighs dimple in places
when i sit down (if i look). and my skin is so white. God has to love
those with darker skin more, don't you think? i used to get tan every
single week. i felt i was (and still do) alot more valuable with darker
skin. in the last eight months or so, i've been forced to write the
spray tan off my budget. when times get tough, the tough straighten
up and say good-bye to more glamorous things. this was the very
hardest to let go of. i wore leggings and little flats all summer to cover
all the white skin, and didn't even think of putting on a swim suit. i
work out in old sweats at the gym.

i can still keep pace with most anyone in the cardio area of the gym.
i can still hear God's voice, only much clearer today than ever.
i can know and understand His ways as i've never been able to
and i know my greatest job, aside from being what God wants
me to be, is to pray for my children, and inspire them to walk
with God today, i have seen the power of prayer in ways i simply
couldn't have comprehended at thirty and forty when my body looked
great in swim wear and there was no hanging skin.

and today really isn't about me and my accomplishments and
marriage and four, little, beautiful boys that consumed me. it is
all about worshipping the God of the universe Who longs for us
to spend more time with Him. my spirit is bright and my love
for Jesus deep. rooted far below the struggles and all the holes
i've fallen into. deep because of all the miles He and i
have spent together and all the times He's delivered me and all
the wrinkles He's ironed out of my life. i may be older, but i sure
wouldn't want to learn all the lessons already covered and all
the battles already fought and won. celebrate wherever you are in life.
and don't be afraid of growing old.
well, try not to be, even if it isn't a piece of cake.

Monday, October 8

i just love my 12-step group (9 women). we just seem
to be a perfect blend. and when it is our job to do homework;
to share our resentments and hurts and hang-ups; to lay them
out, piece by piece, before everyone in complete trust that we
will not be betrayed.... well, beautiful things happen. there is not
a squashed moment of distortion. these things are what we remember.
we are sharing some things we have never verbalized before. ever.
and no matter how awful and shocking some of our experiences are,
we never think less of each other...but more. it takes courage.
raw and unflinching. and it draws us together.
ropes of love and compassion that weave
around and over us. you just can't help but be changed.

i know i've told you about our group before, but i keep growing.
we now, often, sit side-by-side in church on Sunday mornings.
two weeks ago, two from our group were baptized together.

and wonder of wonders,
i have all my bible study fellowship sheet done. and it isn't
even until tomorrow night! smile. i, like many,
don't do our research and study until the last
couple days. working until the very last minute.

for some reason,
i don't have a perfect record of being on time
to everything. 5, 10, 15 minutes late, and i twist a small
smile, and make a pitiful excuse if i bump into anyone, and
go on. my dear friend, tere, a hard taskmaster, believes it shows
no respect. especially if it is a church service. that God expects
better of us than this. i am coming around to believe she is right.
maybe it is something many of us can work on??

i've started getting dressed first thing in the morning.
completely pulled together and ready to go out the door in
case of any emergency or tight schedule, and then i work on
mail and bills and laundry and other things. you see, i could
just live in p.j.'s. the minute i walk into my house, every day,
even if it is just for 2 or 3 hours, i still strip and put something
sloppy and easy on. so this first-thing-in-the-morning, new
practice is quite a step forward for me.

well, i'm rambling. i want you to know that i haven't personally been
as involved in my facebook as i should be, but things are changing.
i want to know what is happening in each of your lives. see new pics.
connect more intimately with you. i tried to start last week, and facebook
refused to accept my password. what was that about?!!! got so discouraged,
and it became late, and a friend was picking me up to take me home
(someday, again, i know i will have my own car. someday. i just know!).
so this week, my longing to do this is going to be worked out so i can.
oh, i've read all your incredibly-touching words, just not responded one-on-one
for the most part. please pray. as you know, i not very technical.

have a beautiful week,
and always remember that Jesus is all the world to us!!

Sunday, October 7

the heart.
everything is about the heart.
not how we dress. or if we have
wine before dinner or if we go to
Bible Study Fellowship. when my
children confide in me...when they tell
me their sins and failures...i remind them
that God ONLY looks at their hearts.

Jesus can tell everything about us just
by a quick glance at our hearts. what we
are thinking. what truths we understand, or things
that we still don't grasp about God. often, the
things people are so critical about in others
often deals with issues that haven't been
worked through, in people, but they are seeking the Lord
re: these. if, the heart is pure before God,
then none of us should be looking around,
gossiping and gabbing about so and so.

and if we have fallen into a deep hole...
if we have lost our footing and are temporarily
very troubled, God can check us out from the
inside. He can know the bent of our will. the
brokenness of our childhood. the things that
have bruised us and left us broken. He under-
stands everything about each one. He formed
us, with every detail and piece. He knows if
we are going through a terrible patch of stinging
hurts, and He is merciful and so kind.

people have different convictions. not everyone
feels the same about everything, and i don't think
any of us can decide for another what his or her
truth must be to follow Jesus.

"You are the light of the world. a city that is set
on a hill cannot be hidden.." matt. 5

our eyes should show His light in our hearts.
and they should always be filled with warmth
and kindness and compassion. always just keep
tabs on your heart. that is the whole ball game.
the entire deal. our hearts.

Saturday, October 6

i've learned some good driving lessons
from my sons. i mean from the tickets they've

brock was turning right onto a very quiet, open
street. no traffic, so he just sort of slid around the
corner. thinking nothing of it. suddenly, a police
car showed up behind him, lights flashing. he
received a ticket for not coming to a complete stop
before he turned.

i am always remembering that. it is very easy for
me to be in a hurry. alway making sure there is no
traffic, but thinking how easy it would be to just slide
around the corner and keep going. probably better
on the gas. smooth and quick and not interrupting
my pace. but i've always remembered brock and his

following Jesus can sort of be like this.
just sliding around the corner. not noticing
all those around us. moving along in our own
thoughts and our own little world. sliding around the
moral issues. around truth and decency and
true forgiveness. just putting out the very least
we have to and still somehow believe we are being
enough for God.

run, warriors, run. but stop around every curve
in the road because there are so many people we
won't see otherwise. stop. listen. look. "be
silent and know...." that God is yearning for us.
for communion. for us to love the broken and
empty and lost. don't run so fast that you endanger
the desperate and hurt by leaving them on the
side of the road of life. we have a world to change,
and a glorious Savior to enjoy and sliding just
won't hit the mark.

"I created you and have cared for you. I made you...."
"I will be your God until your hair is white with age..."
isaiah 45-46 we love You, Lord. make us tall and
steady of spirit for Your world and for You.

Friday, October 5

it was four years ago.
i pulled into the large parking lot
where alot of stores(including grocery)
were. i suddenly noticed several policemen
with a woman in handcuffs outside the clothing
store. my heart started racing. that poor
woman. she looked around 45. very decent.

"oh, Jesus, touch her right now. just calm her.
what in the world, Lord? what should i do?"

i cautiously got out of my car, and headed for
the group. walking up to a couple of the police
officers, i said, "did this woman take something
from the store? did she shoplift? because i would
just like to pay the store for her. just cover it all
myself, and you can let her go. i am sure she didn't
mean to. maybe she is desperate. will you please
let me take care of it?"

the officers looked at me with the most amused
faces. i didn't understand. aren't we to be love
where we live?

"lady, that is really kind of you, but that won't
be possible. we have to take her to jail. but
thank you. i don't think we've ever had an offer
like this before."

i slipped over to the lady. i touched her arm.
just stood next to her for a moment so she
wouldn't feel so alone and embarrassed at
people staring at her.

"Jesus will take care of everything. He will.
just know that He loves you and He wants you
to know."

you and Jesus and i and love.
right where we live. building bridges instead
of walls. drawing the vast, hurting world into
the secure, strong, loving arms of God. beautiful Lord.

"there's room at the Cross for you.
there's room at the Cross for you.
though millions have come, there is
still room for one...there's room at the Cross
for you."

Thursday, October 4

i heard something great.
when we confess our sins to God,
He forgives us. when we confess them to
others, He heals us. have i told you this before?

for me it has been a challenge.
bible study fellowship asks some personal questions in small group.
celebrate recovery always only helps if i lay my
week's sins or failures or frustrations on the table.
i'm in the co-dependant group, and it can be pretty
embarrassing to still not be able to stand up for myself
in situations. and the 12-step group? well, that
has taken each of us to a more courageous level
of confession than, at least for me, i've ever experienced.

confession is unveiling all we're not.
peeling off our skin and exposing all our
crooked bones and mixed up wires and purple
veins of wrong-thinking and failure and sin.

growing up, i truly believed that if ANYONE knew
i had made anything less than an "a", they would
not like me. not want to be close to me. so much
of my entire life, i've tried to be so together and so
smart and so successful that i would never be
rejected. but i remember one night as a little girl.
my father had some old-timer come in and speak
on a sunday night, and he began to talk about all
his lacks. his many imperfections. his losses.

twelve years old, and trying so hard to be perfect
enough, i sat, in ponytail and flip-flops, spell-bound.
it was beautiful. courageous. honorable. i was only
twelve, but i knew that much. it took me so many years
of falling into so many holes and getting so lost until
i began to barely whisper to my sister and a few others
of all that wasn't in my life. of course, becoming addicted
to pain pills after so many baby losses and serious
infections, and going into rehab....well, you talk and confess
if you want to get well. and i wanted to be well for my
four, little sons more than i wanted air to breathe or
food or anything else in life. my love for them was so
deep and pure that NOTHING was too sacrificial.

one day, in group, in rehab., a guy said,
"ann, i've seen your little boys, and they are
beautiful, but i can tell you've f_____ with
their security." i let out a gutteral scream that
came somewhere deep, deep inside me and was
heard all over the building. leaving me gasping
in a sorrow so deep i didn't know how i could rise
above it. the staff later told me that when someone
can reach that deep, there is hope. i don't know whether
he went into recovery or not, but God sure gave me the
courage to crawl there, and be there today. so join me.
find others you can trust. and talk. be open. Jesus never
planned that we could make it just with Him. i'm
standing with you! you'll see what deliverance it will bring!

Wednesday, October 3

danae dobson, daughter of jim and shirley dobson,
emailed me about a movie they all saw that they give
a big thumb's up to: "the last ounce of courage."  i
think it is still showing right now, and though i've not
seen it, i'm sure from danae's words, it must be very,
very, very special. check it out!!

i have just been reading over so many comments
and loving words and recognizing names of friends
of mine from many years. i promise to spend more
time in facebook. i love you all. God's breath rushes
through me as you reach out and touch me. thank
you so, so much.

"to live is Christ, and to die is gain..."
so sorry. don't have time to find where
this is in my Bible. almost late to bible study fellowship...
but it is one of my favorite verses.

Tuesday, October 2

another brand new week.
sunshine and smiles and cheers
skipping by...and some fresh tears
and new problems possibly. back to
school and back to work and back to
all the victories and losses, and
ups and downs of living.

i have Bible study fellowship tonight.
i don't know about anyone else, but the two
pages of questions we are to answer nearly kill
me. they are tricky and difficult for me; not always
obvious, even after i've read all the Scriptures.

it takes a set of my will to answer the best i can,
and to spend enough time studying, and get my
body there. but i love the magnificence of God.
and the women i know and love there.

tuesday night is celebrate recovery as you all know
for me, and thursday night is my 12-step study. and
every single event is difficult to get to. to be on time
and prepared and out the door when staying home sounds
so much easier.

do you know HOW hard it once was for me to be in ANY
small group? i was terrified just at the thought. almost my
entire adult life, i have stood on stages and addressed large
audiences with the beautiful, miraculous stories of Jesus. of
me and my neighborhood. changing the world. most of the
audiences didn't know all my flaws and insecurities and failures
and imperfections. to be in a small group, it would be
inevitable, i knew, that others would begin to find out what
a broken person i really was. and what if they rejected me?
that was, hands down, my greatest fear because of the severe
rejection i experienced growing up in hawaii.

my childhood pain, i understand today, was a rare gift from God.
never did the success of my books and speaking mean anything
to me except i wanted everyone else to believe in dreams and
help bring Jesus to the world, too. i never felt superior, and i ALWAYS
knew that all my blessings weren't because i was gifted in some
extraordinary way. i just knew Jesus had to have put His hand
on me for some unknown reason, and every child i met and hand
i shook in an autograph line humbled and touched me. every
single one.

if you are lonely,
or battling a wrenching battle,
find a small group, or several, and you
will be amazed that when the meeting is over,
you will be revived and renewed. you will be
loved and others can stand with you, and pray for
you and your struggles. crush the noise of fear.
go! isolation is the worst if we are seeking fellowship
and love. if i could do it, so can you. i promise!!

Monday, October 1

someone asked me about colson.
and his marriage to christina. and taking
her little doll-baby, cami, as his own.

so many times,
i mean to write about this.
maybe it still hurts too deeply,
and some blind place in me forces me
to forget to speak of it.

two, very young kids.
christina stayed home with the
baby, and colson worked. they
both had issues. living close to her
parents, i can tell you they tried very
hard to help them, and i would go back
and forth. colson adored the baby, and
she, him. brandt and jasmine would drive
the two hours over, and put some money in
colson's pocket, and encourage them.

i loved christina.
she simply told me if she was going through.
personal struggles. never, ever tried to make me
think she was something she wasn't. i believe they
loved each other...colson and christina...but there
seemed to be too many hurdles to overcome.
they are separated, and in colson's heart (probably christina's,
too)it is over.

a life-altering piece.
in some way, tied together forever...yet
vows tossed along the sand and wind.
and the years will come and go, but this is
something you do not erase. i love them both.
ultimately, i pray every choice will lead my children
closer to the heart of God. even if they aren't always
right. please pray for them. i miss little cami lyn, too.