I could never be as good as her

I sat with a group of beautiful women in the historic Hilltop House Restaurant in Fayetteville, NC. I was a visitor at the “Fayetteville Women’s Connection,” an outreach of Stonecroft Ministries. For the last nine months, I have been preparing to become a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries. During this time, I have written and rewritten my testimony – my story of how I came to know Jesus – to share with Stonecroft groups in the future.

The time we had all been waiting for arrived. The speaker stepped up to the podium. I was excited to hear her speak and to learn more about what a Stonecroft meeting was like. I began the meeting sitting on the edge of my seat, eager to learn.

She began her talk by engaging the audience by asking them their favorite Disney movies. Pretty soon she had us saying, when cued, “Once upon a time…” She smiled and nodded as she drew us in with her story. She was a dynamic speaker who had her thirty minute presentation completely memorized.

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We are driven by a relentless pursuit of peace…

Surrounded by towering pines and hardwoods, I’m safe in the embrace of nature. Its 50 degrees outside in June, so I’m ensconced in three layers of clothing and a warm blanket. The steam from my coffee rises to greet my nose and its heat warms my hands. The birds are singing in the trees and the sun is rising, highlighting the towering mountain in the distance. I could sit on this screened porch in the mountains forever.

But there is a discontent in my heart that disturbs the perfect peace that surrounds me.

Even though I have a beautiful home and a lovely garden and amazing friends in my coastal hometown of Wilmington, NC, I don’t want to live there. I want to live here, in the serene mountains of North Carolina.

My heart longs for the peace that I feel here.

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The day I almost lost my mind

Shame had kept me silent. Few people knew the intense battle I had been having with panic attacks. Not even my pastor was privy to the emotional upheaval that existed in my mind. My doctor knew because he was prescribing the medications that were helping me to function. But fear of judgment had kept me from telling people how bad it really was.

The smallest thing caused me to feel panic. I was scared to take a shower. I was scared to wash my hair (the picture below was not staged). I was scared to fix my breakfast and let the dog go out and fill up my Tervis with ice. Why? Because in previous days, when I had done those things, my body panicked and my pulse raced and my chest felt like I was having a heart attack.

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My son took a piece of my heart with him…

I stuffed the tissue in my pocket knowing that the inevitable was about to happen. As much as I wanted to create a stalling tactic and pause time, I only had a few more minutes with my 19 year old son until I had to tell him goodbye. He was leaving us for a nine week summer job that was five hours away from home. I asked him to find a summer job, and he did. I should have said to find a summer job closer to home!

This is his first time living away from home, and what makes this farewell different than others is we weren’t sure if this day would ever happen. When my son was three years old, he was diagnosed with autism, and all of our hopes and dreams for him were suddenly up in the air.

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Three good reasons to be thankful for weakness

“At some point in life, we must come to know who we are, like who we are, and be who we are.” – Lloyd Penley

I received this message on a beautiful Saturday morning via Facebook from an older, wiser pastor.  It challenged me.  It made me think about who I am, and if I like that person.  I’m blessed that in general, I like who I am.  I think I’m fun, humorous, creative, and a good friend.  But then I began to think about the part of me that gets her feelings hurt easily and who avoids conflict like the plague.  I began to think about my weakness.  I don’t like that part of me.

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When your life is one great big beautiful mess

“Don’t fall. Please don’t fall” I pleaded with the beautiful china plate as I tried to hang it on the wall. I had recently made it with beautiful, sparkly jewels and I was hanging it on my colorful back porch. The plate hanger was hanging over a nail, but I was trying to “engineer” the two together (with a wire) so the plate wouldn’t fall off the nail and break.

And then…

SMASH!

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I’m confused…am I a Do-er or a Daughter?

I’m in a quandary. I will share my quandary with you through this blog post, but I’m going to present a disclaimer up front: I won’t wrap this blog post up with a tidy bow and all the answers. I haven’t found the answers yet, but I have a feeling that many of you might find yourselves in the same quandary. And perhaps, as we explore it together, we might find some answers to these questions and in doing so, find peace..

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Your triumphs as a mother are scattered among your failures

I spent a recent morning looking through scrapbooks.  I made the scrapbooks when my children were little because I needed something to look forward to at the end of the day.  I was a stay-at-home mommy to two toddlers that were 20 months apart, and every night at 9 pm, after they were put to bed, I scrapbooked.  I eventually completed about thirty scrapbooks.  I desperately needed that creative outlet.

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Dear Minivan: Lives were shaped within your sliding doors

Dear Minivan,

Today is a bittersweet day – I am surprised that I am crying. It is the day that I will tell you goodbye and the day that I will take home a new vehicle.   I’ve entered a new season of life – my teenage children are both in college.  I’m sad to see you go but happy for a new change.  I didn’t want to let you go without taking a moment to let you know what you mean to me.

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