Friday, May 31

today finally arrived.
brandt and jasmine and my
doll-baby colben pulled left out of
their driveway ..and i, right.

their car packed to the hilt.
two dogs in their kennel at
the back of their suv. colben
in the middle row. brandt and
jasmine...22 yrs. and 24 yrs....
with sunbeams radiating off
their faces. living out the miracle
of the firefighter position in
harrisburg, pa...the great and
glorious God making good
on His promises:

"call unto Me,
and I will show you
great and mighty things
you know not. call....
unto Me!"


an open hand.
never holding on to people,
places, or things. especially
my treasured and adored
grandbaby and children.
fingers stretched.

my palms flat.
fingers spread.
"Jesus, take out or put
into my life whatever You
desire. may i not hold too
tightly to what i most love
so You are always first. and
can accomplish whatever You

my heart wound
like a tight knot around
the yearnings of my mother-soul.
running tears forming a river
of love that leads to true
Redemption for all who swim there.

i wept behind tinted windows.
praying God will use my sons
to change the world when i am
old and gone.

Sunday, May 26

oh, i love this passage...
"the Servant grew up before God...
a scrawny seedling.
a scrubby plant in a parched

"there was nothing attractive
about Him...He was looked down
on and passed over.

"a Man who suffered.
who knew pain firsthand.
but the fact is, it was OUR
pain He carried. our
"it was OUR sins that did that
to Him. that ripped and tore and
crushed Him. OUR SINS....

"He took the punishment,
and that made us whole.
and God piled all our sins
on Him. on Him...."
isaiah 53

i'm sorry i didn't say very nice
things about where we stayed
in fresno. it is a first-class organization.
i was just so scared,
and aghast at all the crooked
corners ramming into me
that i forgot love put us there,

and Jesus had a plan even in this.
stripping me of every morsel of
self so as to be prepared for a
battle of massive force about to
confront me.

are you sort of there today?
shattered? in pieces? scared?
the glories of the Lord are being
perfected in you. and the deeper
and darker the descent, the more
glorious and thrilling the work
that is being accomplished.

keep running, warriors.
fight the adversaries. this is
not a race in perfection. never!
but a journey in love's power.
God taking up the cause of all
black sheep.

Saturday, May 25

"if you'll hold on to me for dear
life, "says God, "I'll get you out of
any trouble.
I'll give you the best care
if you'll only get to know and
trust Me.
call Me and I'll answer, be at your
side in bad times; I'll rescue you,
then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of
salvation!" psalm 91

memorial day week-end.
the most incredible, difficult
holiday of my life.....and it
still startles me when it comes
around each year.

memorial weekend. 1996.
herb and dona, dear friends
of mine, saw my fragile figure
and shadowed sadness, and
knew something was terribly

will and i were having intense
struggles. i literally felt i could
physically die. no hope left.
and they boarded me and our
four young sons on a plane
that friday, the start of the holiday.

the five of us landed in fresno,
california, where there was a
Christian counselling center that specialized in missionaries and
Christian workers. herb and dona
knew people there.

we were dropped at the apartment
assigned to us. ancient. dirty,
shag carpet. old. we knew no one.
the whole world seemed to have
disappeared until after monday.
no car. dropped, it seemed, into
an almost-worst madness than
we had left. i was petrified, but
had to remain calm for the children.

and i didn't have any pain
medicine with me. back in
the days of my serious addiction.
the children and i all slept in
one bed every night spent there.

i never remembered
that i had spoken at fresno arena
with dale evans (roy rogers). or
keynoted a large, women's
conference at a major church there.
fresno was as removed to my
brain as the congo.

it was 107 degrees that wk. end.
a jungle of boiling pavement,
unknown faces, busy streets...
and my body beginning withdrawal.

many things happened.
i spent 30 days in a drug rehab
that changed my life. jan flew in
and took care of the children.
everything was for the boys. there
was NOTHING i wasn't willing to
endure for their safe well-being.

we are many years down the
road. i'm in recovery. will and i
eventually reunited...and 16 mos.
later..was diagnosed with cancer
and passed away. by God's grace,
i saw my children through adolescence, and beyond. a single
mom. a widow. passionate about
Jesus, and the world.....and consumed with love for my sons.

feet back on the ground.
healthier than ever.
indebted to a couple in
pennsylvania who put a lot
of money on the table to save us
for a year.

i still tremble as i write this.
excruciating pain and suffering
that God used to bring me to the
other side of complete brokenness.
and blessed me with new friends,
and the most-amazing sons ever.

i salute the veterans.
i now have a 24yr. old who
is one. but for me,
memorial day wk.end
will always represent the most ravaged,
terrifying days of my life. days
that led to my greatest victories
and adventure.

"surprise us with love
at daybreak; then we'll skip
and dance all day long.
and let the loveliness of our God
rest on us. confirming the
work that we do." psalm 90

oh, Jesus, we hold on to You
forever. alleluia. amen.

Thursday, May 23

i drove to sacramento
last night after celebrate
recovery. to spend the
night with jan before her
surgery today.

we slept
on couches
next to each other
so as not to disturb
tom's sleep...and to
talk between bathroom
and sleeping. still so one.
so connected. tom and i
were with her until they
rolled her into surgery around
noon. she came through
amazingly. Jesus reigns.

the very top manager
at mcdonald's called colson
in. she wants him back to
be night manager even though
he felt demeaned and walked
out the other night. colson
went to his crew and asked them
to forgive him for bailing.

he has brilliant people skills.
is a hard worker. it is that quick-fire
temper we keep working on. in
one day off, he got another job.
part-time. so now he has two
jobs. oh, i love his pure core.

if a mother didn't have
prayer. to the living God.
the crying-out of heart and
soul for her children....where
would our hope lie? what would
i do? where would i lay my tear-
soaked longings for my children?

"on Christ, the Solid Rock, i
stand. all other ground is
sinking sand. all other ground is
sinking sand."

my friend, claudia, reminded
our group at celebrate recovery
to "reveal and heal". i confess
tonight that my righteousness
is as "filthy rags". i confess
i am NOTHING without Jesus.
that i get weary of the Race.

i am always
only seconds away
from my next humiliation.

take my hand...and i want
to take yours...
and may we
"trust in the Lord with all
our hearts...." (proverbs 3)
and love every one who passes
our way.

all for Jesus.
all for Jesus.

an old pic of jan and me
after i talked her into running
a 10k with me.

Tuesday, May 21

"and i will worship.
eternal hallelujahs to the
King. eternal hallelujahs
to the King...."
10,000 reasons

all the excitement and
planning. and welcoming
and celebrating are over
for now. glorious anticipation
has translated into unpacking.
re-entering the real world.

finding out one of my children
had gotten a $100 tattoo, and
now had no money for food.
that did not sit well. weaving
back and forth across the line
of fundamental growth. oh, i
understand. it's the story of
my life.

ended up sending
less..way less..with
instruction: eat dollar
specials and top ramen.
how far, darling, can you stretch

who enjoys
these motherhood moments?
not me!!!!

please pray for jan.
she's having surgery
tomorrow. my treasured

re-entry has never been
easy for me. at least it's
tuesday. since childhood,
mondays wreck havoc with me.
good thing tonight is celebrate

life is not made of lots
of big moments. mostly
ordinary ones. it's what we do
with every day living that
determine the rare miracles.

"and we will worship..worship...
glory hallelujahs to the King."

taylor and ann

dinner at benehana to celebrate taylor's graduation
and birthday...and brandt's new job

Monday, May 20

"if you search for Me
with all your soul, you will
find Me.... "  deuteronomy 4:29

i've spent the last four days
in monterey with my children
and friends and family
celebrating taylor's birthday and
commencement. chilly. breezy.
blazing sun..and rippling tide.
poor brandt.  2nd degree
burns while sitting on chairs
during the ceremony, all the
wind and breeze playing havoc
with his skin.

colben, ann

brandt, taylor

we were hugging and kissing...
tears swimming in our shining
eyes.  woohooing that brandt
is officially a new firefighter,
heading for harrisburg, pa...and
taylor with degree in film.

we toasted the boys.
toasted debby for coming 
so far. ultimately. with tears
in our eyes, we clinked our
hotel room glasses to the
glorious God Who is the ONLY
one who can orchestrate such
wonders and surprises
for every-day people who
tried to pay their dues.

all  the years of ups and downs.
the hard work. loneliness. discouragement. i, the mom, 
lying upstairs.  face buried in carpet.
uh-uh!! no enemy was going 
to tell me miracles didn't happen.
and races couldn't be run and
won.  with our God,
rainbows show up on
frequent basis.

more later.
but i know you prayed.
thought of us .  my children did.
thank you.

oh,  don't worry.
brock broke up with his
girlfriend. and colson got
sick and tired of too little
respect in his managerial post
at mcdonald's..and quit.  the boys had
a pow wow on how they  could
see him through.

always watching each other's
back.  my feet are so swollen.
sooo sore.  these feet!!!!  time,
my doctor says.  feels like

birth mother came..
and she and i shared a room.
taking walks. holding  hands.
whatever anyone thought. we
are mothers to a fine son.

"you will seek Me
and find Me...when you seek with every breath and
golden yearning of your souls."
i'm running into Your arms,  Jesus.
as fast as i can.

robin, my birth mom...debby, our wow friend....and taylor

Thursday, May 16

everyone heads to
monterey, ca.
celebration begins.
taylor's birthday.
and graduation.

and i'm sitting in the
beauty shop to have my
hair highlighted. smile. and
getting a tan this afternoon.
a big fuss, but i think life
is a celebration.

would you please pray for
our time i pray
for your days, too? and may we
never forget to remember that
in the twists and turns of living,
we must hold on to joy.....and
laughter thrown in along the way.

""oh, Lord,
i know the way of man
is not in himself; it is not
in man who walks to direct
His own steps."

"commit your works to the Lord,
and your thoughts will be established..."

"He will be our guide
even to death...."

find something
that tickles you today.
something to smile about.
life is too short not to.
i love you.

Tuesday, May 14

"i want to drink God. i'm 
thirsty for God-alive......
as the deer panteth for the
water,  so my soul longeth
after You.  You alone are
my heart's desire.... and i
long to worship You..."
psalm 42

so many nights,
lying in the  dark....
i pray this prayer.
tears welling under my
eye lids. soul yearning.

i've lived long enough
to know there is ALWAYS
a way out.  of anything.
i have personally seen God
lift me out of massive difficulty.
NEVER once abandoning me.
nor coming up with some flimsy,
wobbly solution.

it often takes Him some time.
a lot of loose ends to pull
together.  re-situate us.
straighten the wrinkles of
old habits and thoughts.

beautiful joseph, in genesis,
was tossed into the dregs of
jail for 11 years.  never knowing
God was preparing him to become
the second most powerful man
in the world. second only to
pharoah.  for all joseph knew,
his life was over. finished. and i
don't think there was a great
crowd of witnesses patting him
on the back.

God takes us as we are.
He always has a plan.
if we hang on. never give up.....
the breeze begins to stir.
the wind picks up. and the
sound of marching boots
is heard  in the background.
another miracle is rolling in.
get ready!

taylor's birthday is thurs.
28yrs. old.  and saturday is
commencement from cal. state/
monterey bay. degree in film.
some family and friends flying
in.  robin, his birth mom, is one.

just as the Lord got this new
job for brandt in harrisburg, so
we are crying out for taylor.
listening for the winds of God,
announcing his new job.  he has
a great part-time employment,
and he is quietly watching and

rivers flow
and oceans pound
and we hunger for His
will.  He's working in your
behalf.  you betcha He is.
listen for the stir of wind.
His drop off
the miracle u need.

Sunday, May 12

being a mother.
nothing...ever...not even compare.
except Jesus.


forgive me for being silly,
but i am weeping as i write
this.  i love my children so.
we've loved and fought and
yelled and cried and hung on
to each other. and screamed
our loyalty and watched each
others' backs. and cried
and hugged and stood
together through thick
and thin.

we've won and lost.
failed and succeeded.
and when it felt as if the
entire world had gone mad,
we stood like soldiers.
refusing to be bent and too
broken to rise above the
seemingly-impossible ordeals
of life. the ashes. the holes.

even when i took pills
to cover my wounds of
terror and shattered dreams,
i never let go of my children.

i laid in the dark next to them,
and held their hands, and
whispered devotion and pride
in their ears.  and read them
books and sang to them. and
reminded each one that Jesus
was EVERYTHING...and if they
missed Him, the glories of
life would  be lost. completely.

i have four, beautiful birth
mothers to thank for my sons.
they pushed them into the 
world, and laid them in my arms.
and Heaven rained on our
broken-hearted souls.  will's
and mine.  and washed away
our tears.  life didn't turn out
like i thought, but my children
have carried me through deserts,
and taught me to dance in the

and i throw
my arms around each
of you. and thank you,
humbly, for praying for
us and sharing our victories
and caring about our losses.
you have loved me inspite
of my failures...and been
warriors at our sides. 

every woman
is  a mother.  to a
child or a pet. or others'
children. have a beautiful

p.s.  "with special devotion
and love to colben."

Saturday, May 11

"good morning,

glorious, beautiful, magnificent Redeemer and
best Friend!"

my phone accidentally
got left in my 12-step room.
i didn't realize it until i got
home at 9pm..and by then,
the building was locked for
the night. please forgive my
inconsistent blogging.

thank you for every kind word.
for even reading my journey day
by day.

i drove through to have my
oil changed, and this young guy
was calling gibberish to some other
guy under my car.

"sir, do you know Jesus?"

"sure do, ma'am.... "

"oh,  He makes ALL the difference,
 doesn't He? "

funny goggles on his face.
he jerked to a stop. looked
closely at me to see if i was
in my right mind.

"uh-huh, He really does."

my heart was beginning to
sing.  i was  in my element.
"if i can help somebody as
i go along...if i can cheer
somebody with a word of
song....then my living can't
be in vain."

tears in my eyes.
clean, untarnished 

"then my living can't be in vain.
if i can help somebody as i go
along, then my living can't be
in vain."

Thursday, May 9

because of God's vast
faithfulness and your many

that my son, brandt, received
the news today that he is
the fire station's first choice
as a new firefighter in harrisburg,

he got the job.
no overseas' work
away from his little

what seemed impossible.
what the devil made brandt believe......for sure...that the
mountain was too high.  and
what i wept over on Easter because
i, with such embarrassment,
confess to wavering in this dream.
today, may 9, God proved
us weak and wrong...and the
enemy nothing but a puff of

"it is truly wonderful
what the Lord has done.
it is truly wonderful...
what He's done for me..."

as a family,
we celebrate the
magnificent faithfulness
of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
believe, fellow warriors,  believe.

for your seemingly-impossible
mountains today.

Tuesday, May 7

jan noticed she had a lot of lower
pain in her back. she was
finally diagnosed with multiple
myeloma. cancer of the blood.

she called back over to the
nurses' station. crying.

"how long do i have to live? is it
a week? a month?"

the nurse calmly asked where
her husband was?

"where is my husband?  he's
at work. what difference does
it make? i want to live!!!!"

that was six years ago.
jan has been through a bone
marrow transplant and
multiple other surgeries....but
her cancer remains in remission.

oh, we've been through
many things. fears. hospital
stays. our view of living has
shifted. i have thought that
if anything happened to jan,
i wouldn't be able to go on.

every day is hard.
a nagging headache. pain
in her foot. anything makes
her think it's the beginning to
the end. many promises
from Jesus. so much love
wrapped around her.

"it is I;
do not be afraid."
john 6

fear is the devil's favorite
tool. his roughest weapon.
refuse to let him near. just
start speaking the name of
Jesus. over and over. that
is our best defense. he will

may you somehow
conquer the darkness
that life brings.
today, may the sun diminish
the darkness. believe.
and when you can't,
may the rest of us carry

Monday, May 6

it is such effort
to dress and change clothes.
to wash my face, and keep
plenty of cream on hand for
my face. put make-up on.
and get my hair to co-operate.
well, the bathing comes first.

i just want to take care of
my soul. make my heart the
focus. it doesn't just happen.
pure hearts. grace. Jesus shining
in our eyes. a passion for the
lost world. it takes work, too.

"those who seek the Lord shall
not lack any good thing.....I want
you to be without care.
anxious for nothing..."

time with God.
listening. reading His Word.
reaching beyond ourselves.

oh, i hunger for holiness.
but i get caught up in living.
worrying. keeping busy at
everything but the most important

today...may brandt's
test for the firefighting job in
harrisburg, pa. thank you to the
one who offered him a bed. good
food. oh, from this mother to you,
thanks. please pray.

taylor is in dallas with colson
and brock. he's putting a financial
plan together for colson. brock
has just broken up with his girlfriend.
he's doing his best
to encourage them..and there
are a couple of big chunks in
taylor's life that he needs support
and wisdom with.

my sons cover each other's backs.
love sustains. and in their eyes,
no one better mess with their
mom. Jesus took my shattered
heart and infertility, and wrote
sheet music the heavenly choirs
are singing.

God is doing the same for you.
if you can't hear the choirs yet,
just know Jesus is still working
on the project. i love you all.

Sunday, May 5

i was attending my 12-step
class. adela, our leader, who i
so love and respect, was
telling the story of her ex-husband.
one of them, i should say.

this man is the father of two
of her children..and a grandchild.
it just happened. something not
planned. exactly. but....

the plumbing in the bathroom
went awry, and manny is a
natural, fix-things-kind-of-guy.
he sort of moved in to work on
the bathroom. put slabs of wood
into the tree trunk in the back
yard so people could sit. laid
stones in the ground and created
a walk-way.

it became easier
to let him stay than to
nicely scoot him out. except,
they were divorced. and she
was feeding him. stepping
over him. every time she turned
around, there was manny.

a month ago,
she rented a u-haul truck.
helped him find a decent place
to live. took him to do change
of address and small, legal
issues. backing out of her
driveway, she stopped.

"manny, i want you to know
i hold nothing against you.
no hard feelings or resentments.
i'm sorry if i've hurt you."

he remarked that only
nice ladies spoke like this.
and i thought....i've fallen
into holes, unintentionally,
just like adela. found myself
in situations i didn't know how
to get out of. complicated
messes. really. and Jesus has
never left me stuck.

and i loved how adela helped,
in the kindest of ways, to guide
an old man to do what he really
didn't know squat (forgive my
slang) about. you know. finding
another place. renting the truck.
showing respect to the father of
her children.

it really is called grace.
Jesus has shown all of us
nothing but grace. all our
lives. yet...having grace for
others and ourselves is often
so difficult.

"behold, the Lord's hand is
not shortened, that it cannot
save; nor His ear heavy, that it
cannot hear." isaiah 59

grace is yours for the asking.
this very day!

Thursday, May 2


"and His name
shall be the Hope of
the world."
matthew 12

praise the Lord
Who gives us victory
and deliverance in 
dark and perverse neighborhoods
across america.

and prayer
holds the power!!!

"Lord, teach us to pray!"

Wednesday, May 1

sitting in dentist office.
new  crown.
two cavities fixed.  
a contraption of some kind.
distorting my mouth.  my

i am so proud and happy.Jesus has made a way for me to get
my teeth fixed.  dentists must
be extremely wealthy because
it takes so much to get basic,
dental work done.  a mother
always takes care of children
ahead of themselves, so it's
been years since i've had my
teeth checked. i've fled offices,
sobbing, when they've told
me i had to put $1,000 on the
counter before an office
would put a lost crown on a
drilled-down piece of tooth.

living with an obvious hole in my 
mouth for four years has humbled
me.  i'm happy with social
security.  I am!! of you
got a tap on your shoulder from
Jesus,  and you shouted, "YES,
LORD."   yes to anything You ask.
and  ten years since my last
dental check-up, i'm back with
the noise of drills in my ears.
woo-hoooo!  i never thought
going to the dentist would  make
the sky bluer and the afternoon
breeze feel so fresh. 

i want us to be "yes, Lord"
warriors.  whatever Jesus asks.
oh, may my children be the same.
the world cannot be changed
by "no sir!"  people.  we have
to be doers and givers.

today,  ask the Lord
to show you someone with
a need that cries to be filled.
trust Jesus, Who owns all the
cattle on all the hills, to show
you how to get the job done.
no one is more rewarded than
a giver.  and God smiles to see
His army doing the work of the