Tuesday, October 28, 2014

God, give me strength.

My parents have five children.  "The Boyd Children."

And I'm right smack in the middle with two older sisters and two younger brothers.
It's true.  The middle child is the craziest one.  ;)

And the five of us just keep having babies.  So there are like a million of us now.

From the outside looking in, if you had to describe our family in one word, you might say nice things like...

Happy - We laugh a lot when we're together.
Close -  We actually like each other.
Loving -  Some of us our huggers.

Or you might point out the obvious with words like...

Hungry - There's always tons of food at our family gatherings.  We know how to eat!
Late - We never start eating when we say we will.
Fertile - Did I mention there's like a million of us?

Perhaps the word that comes to my mind most often when we're all gathered at my parents house is...

LOUD - Boyds are loud.

Boyds are loud.  It's always been that way.

My guess is it's because there's always been so many of us.

We've always had to suffer the consequences of raising the noise level wherever we go.  Most of the time, when we were kids, that meant we were shuffled outside.

  • when we got home from school - Go outside.
  • when we were at home during the summer - Go outside.
  • when we visited pretty much anyone else's house as a family - Go outside.

When we'd drive to New York every summer to visit my grandparents, my dad would drive through the night just so the five of us would sleep most of the way.  Because apparently, the only quiet Boyd is a sleeping Boyd.

Of course, there were those rainy days, when the five of us would be stuck inside our small three-bedroom house.  Those were the days we would drive my mom crazy.  We'd always start out playing nice, but it never took long for one of us to get angry (my sisters), or whiny (me), or just plain loud (my brothers).

Looking back on those moments, I can remember my mom's "I'm getting angry" routine.

  1. First, she would attempt to ignore us and all our loudness.  If I ignore them, they'll shut up.
  2. Then, she would start taking deep breaths.   Relax, relate, release.
  3. Next, she would start counting.  One.  Two.  Three...
  4. Finally, she would pray.  God, give me strength.

It was always the same prayer.  Always those four simple words.

Apparently God's strength came to Mama in the form of punishment ideas because once the prayer was said, then came the punishments.  Most of the time, we had to go clean our rooms.  That was our favorite.  Sometimes we were given special chores.  This is how I discovered I hate ironing.  Occasionally, she would get creative and make us face each other and hold hands.   My sister hated that one.

Now that I am an adult, and a mother, I find myself going through that exact same four-step "I'm getting angry" routine with my own children.   Just when I'm ready to reach my breaking point, those same four words come to mind -  God, give me strength.

I realize now that the "strength" provided as a result of this prayer is the strength not to scream, the strength not to cry, or the strength not to punch a hole in the wall.

I'm thankful that God provided that strength to Mama.  And I'm thankful she passed that prayer onto me.


I reminded Mama about that prayer, about those four simple words that I inherited from her.  She says she doesn't recall saying them.  She also says she doesn't remember feeling overwhelmed with five children.  When she says things like that, I realize we really did drive her crazy.  No sane person could forget that.

Not long ago, she gave me this little monkey.

She said it made her think of me.

I keep it on my desk in our classroom.  When my boys get loud (Brays are loud too), I look at this monkey and remember to pray.  

God, give me strength.

Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

My mother was recently diagnosed with inoperable limited-stage, small-cell lung cancer.  

I've never been more afraid of anything in my life.

The Bible says in Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

In the midst of her second battle against cancer, never has that simple four-word prayer been more necessary.  For my mother and for all of us who love her.

God, give me strength.

Please pray with us and for us.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Voices in my Head

I noticed a lot of my friends shared the same article on their Facebook pages.  It's called The Bully too Close to Home, by Rachel Macy Stafford of HandsFreeMama.com.

After it appeared in my news feed for about the fifth time, I decided I should take a minute to read it.  After all, if that many of my friends deemed it worthy to share, perhaps it wouldn't be a waste of time.

So I read it.  And it was in fact a very good read.

The author talks about her obsession with perfection, and how that obsession led her to seek perfection in her children, namely her oldest daughter.  She went on to say that the desire to have all things perfect stemmed from the negative thoughts that creep into her mind, criticizing her appearance, her actions, and even her children.

Do you hear those voices in your head?

I know I do.

And no, I'm not schizophrenic.  
At least that's what I tell myself. 


But I hear those same voices, telling me those same things.

You're fat. 

You're ugly.

You're lazy.

You're stupid.

But the voice I hate the most, and yet I hear the loudest, is the one that tells me...

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

That is the voice that too often keeps me from knowing Jesus better, seeing Him for who He really is, and understanding His love for me.


This past weekend, my husband told me he had decided to teach our boys a lesson in humility by having them participate in a foot-washing.

Now, anytime you talk about feet, my automatic response is, "Ewww...  Feet are gross."

I mean, honestly, think about it.  Feet ARE gross.  Am I right?

They're cold.  They're sweaty.  They're smelly.  They're filthy.  Ew...

Yes.  I am right.  Feet... are... GROSS.

So, what better way to practice humility, than to kneel in front of someone and wash their feet?


This whole ordeal brought forth a memory of the last time someone, other than me, washed my cold, sweaty, smelly, filthy feet...


I was part of a Christian service sorority, Alpha Delta Theta (ADT), during my college years at High Point University.  The girls in this group were "my sisters".

I didn't do anything on campus without at least one of them by my side.  They helped me experience college life at its greatest.  Whether it was staying up all night rolling down a snow-covered hill, or getting kicked out of McDonald's because we were laughing too loud.  Singing to a captive audience at the local Pizza Hut, or crying over boys, or exams, or mean girls.

They helped me thrive and survive during those college years, in every sense.

But most especially in the spiritual sense.

When I started college, I was a follower of Jesus Christ, but I didn't really know Him.  I had always gone to church, but I knew there was more to being a Christian than what I'd learned at Sunday School.

I remember, my first day at HPU, when my college roommate introduced herself to me as a devout Christian, my response was, "I want to be that too."

And the first time I went to an ADT meeting, a curly-haired girl named Molly said hello.  Then she held her hand up to me with her fingers crossed and said, "Me and Jesus.  We're like this."

And I thought, "Wow.  I want that too."

And over the next three and half years, these ladies showed me that living for Jesus is more fun, more challenging, more meaningful, and more purposeful than I could ever have imagined.

And this past weekend, while looking down at my husband as he gently lathered my feet with soap, one particular memory with my college peeps came to mind.

That's why I wrote this blog post.  This is what I want to share with you.


I was one of the leaders of Alpha Delta Theta, our Christian service sorority.  As I called the meeting to order, our praise leader pulled me aside to tell me that in place of our devotion, we would be doing a foot-washing.  Our conversation went something like this...

Me:  Wait.  What?

Her:  A foot-washing.

Me:  What is that?

Her:  Like in the Bible, when Jesus washed the disciples' feet.

Me:  So you're going to wash our feet?

Her:  We're all going to wash each other's feet.

Me:  Ew.  No.

Her:  (awkward silence)

Me:  No.

Her:  Why not?

Me:  I'm not comfortable with this.

Her:  Why not?

Me:  I'm just not.

Not since I was a baby had anyone washed my feet.  Ever.  And as I watched another friend bring in bins full of water, with cloths draped over her arm, I became light-headed.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.  

I was scared.  And a little grossed-out.  But mostly scared.

We sat in the circle with our closest friends.  My friend, the praise leader, sat beside me.  She read from the Bible about Jesus washing his disciples feet.

And as the washing bin made it's way closer to me...

(rapid heartbeat, nervous breathing)

I started crying.

Tears flowed freely from my eyes, and I totally lost it.

And not because I was thinking of Jesus.

And not because I was totally grossed-out.

But because of that voice in my head.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough. 

You're not good enough.

I felt so unworthy.

Who am I that my friend should kneel before me, and wash my feet.

I tried to convince her to skip over me, but she refused.  She grabbed my foot and stuck in the water.  Then she proceeded to make it clean.

She didn't hear that voice in my head.  She didn't know I wasn't good enough.

She just washed my feet.

I have never in my life felt so humble.


I hadn't thought about that moment in a very long time.  But it all came back to me this weekend.

Keith wanted to teach our boys by initiating this foot-washing, but I think it touched me more than it touched them.

In their defense, they are young boys.  All they could think about was how smelly each other's feet were, and how much it tickled to have them washed by someone else.

But as Keith washed my feet, and I washed his...

This time, I thought of Jesus.  The King of Kings.  Kneeling in front of me.  Washing my feet.


Or better yet.  Jesus, King of Kings.  Dying on a cross.  For me.

I am so not worthy.

You are so right, voice in my head.  I am not worthy.  But He did it anyway.  How blessed am I?

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus.


Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

I've always struggled with those voices in my head.  It is quite a relief to know that I am not the only one.  

What I've come to realize is those voices come from the mouth of the devil, trying to destroy my confidence, and obliterate my sense of self-worth.

The Bible says in John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

If I am listening to those voices telling me I'm fat, or I'm ugly, or I'm not good enough...  Then I can't hear the voice of God, the voice of Truth.  The voice that tells me...

I am beautiful.

I am loved.

I am important.

Thanks to my sisters in Alpha Delta Theta, thanks to my husband, (thanks to a few years in counseling), but most of all, thanks to the Holy Bible, I know His voice is the only voice that matters.

I hope you hear it too.  :)


If you have a moment, I encourage you to listen to this awesome song by Casting Crowns - The Voice of Truth.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Long Time, No Write

It has been a very, very long time since I last sat down to write a blog.  I'd like to say it's because I've been busy.  But once again, my excuse for not writing has simply been because I haven't know what to say.

My last serious blog was quite revealing in that I had finally come to understand some things about God and faith.

#1.  When I ask God for something, I believe He will answer.

#2.  I may not like His answer.

#3.  I have to trust that my Father knows best.

That blog represented a "light-bulb" moment for me.  Once I wrote it, I fully anticipated many more inspiring posts to soon follow.  I thought the revelations from God would just start flowing.  I thought I would feel closer to Him.  I thought I would continue to be at peace with all that has happened over the last year.

That is not the case.

The truth is the peace of that understanding only lasted for a little while.  Then I reverted back to numbness.

And I feel like I have been sleep walking through life ever since.


Every Wednesday, my homeschool friends and I gather around a small table in the local public library.  It is the time of week I most look forward to.  I like to compare it to what I imagine "planning period" might be like for public school teachers, except without the planning.

Heeheehee...  That makes no sense.  Let me try that again.

Maybe it's more like "recess" or "music class", when someone else takes your kids for an hour.  And at that moment, you are not responsible for teaching them anything.

I feel so grown up on Wednesdays, like I'm playing dress up in my mom's clothes and pretending to drink coffee.


A few weeks ago, I was at the library with my friends, and a couple of them suggested I read a book called The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rachel Nichols Alonzo.

This did not sound like my type of book.  I like to read fun, fictional novels that provide an escape from reality.  Not true stories that remind me how sad life can be.

But my friend, Missy, began telling me about this book.  Our conversation went something like this...

Me:  Ew.  That sounds scary.  What is it about?

Missy:  It is a novel about a true crime committed in the 70's right here in North Carolina.  

Me:  Yeah.  That still sounds scary.

Missy:  No.  No.  No.  You have to read it.  It's really good.  

Me:  Will it give me nightmares?

Missy (laughing at me):  Goodness, no.  It's about forgiveness.



I read the book this weekend...

It gave me nightmares...

Thanks Missy...


But seriously, it was a true story written by a woman recalling how her family was terrorized by an evil man when she was a young child.  Her parents were shot right in front of her.  Her mother died, and her father never fully recovered from the mental anguish inflicted by this "devil" who lived across the street.  

You can see why I had nightmares.

However, I read the book in less than two days.  I could not put it down for two reasons.

#1.  I needed closure.

#2.  Missy said it was about forgiveness, and I just could not wrap my brain around that.

It turns out, it truly is an awesome story of forgiveness.  I am still quite baffled.  It scared me to death, and opened my heart at the same time.

This woman, who had suffered life-altering fear and unspeakable loss at the hands of a madman, found it in her heart to pray for that same man and to forgive him.


I stayed up til 1 a.m. to finish this book.  And when I turned out the light and lay there in the dark, I knew I would have nightmares, so I tried to stay awake as long as possible.

I thought about how I might react if I ever found myself in that type of situation.  I'm quite certain my reactions would not reflect an unshakeable faith and deep love for God, as this woman's did.

I realized that I am not so deeply rooted in my faith that I would be able to forgive as easily as she has forgiven.

Once again, as I've done so many times before, I found myself wishing I knew God better.  And once again, as I've done so many times before, I hung my head in shame because the only one to blame for that lack of knowledge is me.

Then I fell asleep and had horrible nightmares.  Thank you Missy.


When I woke up Sunday morning, I literally jumped out of bed, eager to escape the nightmares, but also eager to go to church, hoping to hear something that would encourage this desire to know God better.  My Sunday School teacher showed a DVD from Billy Graham's My Hope America series called The Cross.  It was a moving compilation of testimonies, visuals, and messages.  It really fed my soul.

I walked out of that classroom feeling like God is just as eager for me to know Him better, as I am.  It got me excited.

And today, I began to incorporate Quiet Time into our school schedule.  I rarely deviate from our school schedule, so I figure by making it part of our daily routine, it will not go undone.  We will start our school day spending quality time in His Word, praying, meditating, and praising.

So, long story, short ~ that's why I'm writing today.  To tell you that scary, awesome book gave me nightmares, woke me up, and reignited that hunger for God inside of me.

Thank you Missy.  :)

Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

What scares me the most is that I've been here before.  Desiring to know God better.  Hungry for knowledge.  Eager for His Word.

And somehow I've always dropped the ball.  I pray this time is different.  And I ask you to pray for me as well.

The Bible says in Acts 13:22

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

I have always loved that description of David, "a man after God's own heart".  It gives me hope.  

David was not a perfect man.  He disappointed God on a number of occasions.  Just as I have.  Just as you have.  And yet, God described him as "a man after mine own heart".

Despite my imperfections, I pray that someday, someone will describe me as "a woman after God's own heart".  

Friday, September 13, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 36.

Last night, I went to the Taylor Swift concert with my cousin, Brandon.

That's right.  Taylor Swift.

Don't judge me.

Yes.  I'm a stay-at-home mom, with two young boys, who used my mom's night out to see a 23-year-old girl sing....

What can I say?

It was loud....


As I sat there in my awesome lower-level seat, in front of two seven-year-old girls who were desperately hoping to get a chance to meet the star, so for the entire hour before the show they nonstop screamed their little hearts out right in my ear, I thought to myself, "I'm old."  

I am not exaggerating.  These girls were truly committed to their cause of getting noticed.  They stood right behind my cousin and me.  One girl would say to the other girl, "Okay.  Let's say, 'We love you Taylor Swift.'"  Then they would both scream to the top of their little-girl voices, "WE LOVE YOU TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!" 

Okay, next let's say, "I'm a Super-Swifty."
Okay, now say, "You are so awesome."
"I can't wait to meet you."

When they ran out of clever sayings like that, they began telling her mother and her opening act that they love them too.

"We love Ed."
"We love Mama Swift."

When they ran out people they loved, they just started screaming out the names of Taylor Swift's hit songs.

"Love Story"

My favorite was when they mixed things up a bit...


Brandon and I laughed out loud on that one.

All the while, Taylor Swift is on the large screen talking about her music and her videos.  So then the girls start doing lyrics.


And I thought to myself, "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 36."  


BUT don't feel sorry for me.  For it was all worth it in the end.  You see, no one puts on a show like Miss Taylor Swift. 

As soon as the lights went down, and the RED sign lit up, I was transformed into who I went to that concert to be...  a Taylor Swift fan.

Let me tell you why I am continually amazed by this young lady.  It's not because of her voice.  It's not because of her fashion style.  It's not because of her incredible business sense.  It's because of her words.

This girl can write.

That's what I love about her.

I love her words.

Have you ever listened to her songs?  I mean really listened?  

Who describes love, hurt, or friendship that way?  

He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do.

You're just another picture to burn.

I've never been anywhere cold as you.

You're tied together with a smile, but your coming undone.

It's too late for you and your white horse to come around.

You got your share of secrets and I'm tired of being last to know.

My mind forgets to remind me you're a bad idea.

I lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules everyday.

You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don't already see them.

This is me praying that this was the very first page, not where the story line ends.

Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there's no right answer.

Your eyes look like coming home.

Whether you are pro-Taylor Swift or anti-Taylor Swift, I hope you can see that behind the blonde hair and bright red lipstick is a very talented young lady.

Don't judge me for recognizing that.  ;)

Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

The Bible says in James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father...

I've often times wondered if Taylor Swift is a Christian.  She does not openly say either way.  I have heard her say that she doesn't want to use her celebrity status to influence the beliefs of others.  I can respect that.

But as moving as her lyrics are about life and love, I can't help but wonder how she might use that talent to describe the awesomeness of God.  I would love to hear that.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Father Knows Best

A couple weeks ago, I got my hair cut.  

It was loooooong....  

... and pretty.  :)

I had never intended to let it grow out.  At least not to this length.  

I wish I could say "lack of time" is what has kept me from getting my  hair cut.  But it's not.

I have avoided scheduling my appointment simply because I was afraid of my inability to "keep it together" while sitting in that chair.


This time last year, I spent many evenings walking up and down the road with my neighbor and friend, Elisha.  She had completed her cancer treatments, and was impatiently awaiting the full arrival of her hair.  All the while, she marveled at how long my hair was getting.  With a guilty smile, I told her I wasn't cutting it all off until she and I could go to the salon and get our hair cut together.

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know we never got that opportunity.  Elisha passed away in April... with no hair.


So why now?  What made me ready to chop it all off?

Well, I've learned a lot since last year.  A lot from Elisha.  A lot from her battle, and a lot from her death.

Losing her made me contemplate things I had always taken for granted.  Faith.  God.   Prayer.  Love.

I can't tell you how many nights I laid awake asking the same question over and over again.  Why?

I never got the answer to that question.  I probably never will.  But I have been given insight that has given me peace.  And there is no doubt in my mind that peace comes from God.

I want to share all this with you.


Elisha Skeen was a very loved, very cherished human being.  I have never in my life witnessed such an outpouring of love, as I did when Elisha announced the return of her cancer.  Friends and family gathered around to comfort her, while friends of friends and friends of family came together to support and provide whatever was needed.  Thoughts and prayers came not only from everyone who loved her, but also from complete strangers.  People heard of her battle, and they joined her prayer team, begging God to heal her.

There were literally thousands of people praying for her.  And though she weakened, and the news kept getting worse, we couldn't help but hope that God would grant this request.

However, He chose not to.  And I spent the first few months following her death in total confusion, completely baffled at His decision to take her away from us.  

I continued to pray to Him.  I continued to believe in Him.  I continued to praise Him.  But as the days passed without her here, I became wholly consumed by my lack of understanding...

The Bible says in Matthew 17:20

...for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

This verse fueled my bewilderment and intensified my insomnia.  While everyone else in my house was asleep, I would lie awake... staring at the ceiling...  wondering...  

Surely together with these thousands of people that were praying for Elisha, we had faith the size of a mustard seed.  Why then was she not healed?  

I didn't know what to do, or how to cope.  With Elisha's death.  With my declined request for her healing.  Or with my shaking faith.  So I prayed.  I prayed for enlightenment.  And I prayed for peace.

God gave me both.


I was sitting at the kitchen table, listening to my husband, Keith, provide a Biblical message on prayer.  I was reluctant to listen to his words because the pain was still so close to the surface.  I really just wanted to keep my ears, my heart, and my mind closed.

Keith said, "When you ask God for something, believe He will answer."

These words, full of sarcasm, immediately jumped into my mind.  Well He didn't answer our prayers for Elisha.

You know how people say God speaks to them?  Well, I didn't hear an audible response.  But in my mind, I felt Him speak.  I did answer.  You just didn't like my decision.

And that's when I realized what faith is and what faith is not.  

Faith is not asking for what I want, and expecting God to give it to me.  If that were the case, who would really have all the power in this situation?  Not God, but me.

No, no, no.  That just won't do.

Faith is asking for what you want, and trusting God to decide whether or not you should have it.

Wow.  How humbling is that?

It was a "light-bulb moment" for me.  

And as I sat there, across the table from the two children God has blessed me with, I saw myself in God's eyes.  Like a little kid, wanting my way, and demanding to know why I didn't get it.  

Why God?  Why didn't You heal Elisha?  Why?  Why?  Why?

Responding in the same manner I would to either of my sons if they stood before me acting that way, asking why I said NO, I felt God say,

Because I said so.

And because I am a parent, I know when I use those words with my children, it's because I know best.  And I expect them to trust that I know best.  They don't have to like it.  But they do have to accept it.

We asked God to heal Elisha.  Because He is our Father, we have to trust that He knows best.  He owes us no explanation.  We don't have to like it.  But we do have to accept it.

Romans 8:28 tells us
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Elisha was called to God's purpose.  She touched my life and the lives of so many other people.  I am closer to God because of her.  And I know, now in Heaven, Elisha is pain-free.  She is safe.  She is happy.  

That's what gives me peace.


Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

So...  long story short...  I did get my hair cut.  My hairdresser cut off more than 10 inches, which I donated to Locks of Love in memory of Elisha Skeen.  

I didn't cry.  Instead, I smiled. 

I Will See You Again, Elisha, with a smile on your face, and a head full of hair.  

Until then, in the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:3, 
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Retreat

My name is Marci.
I am an addict.

I've been scrapbooking for ten years.  It started when my oldest son was just six months old.  I went to a scrapbook party, and made my first page.

This was my very first scrapbook page ever!

I was immediately hooked, and I have never looked back...

Fast forward.  Ten years later.  I have a room fully devoted to my love for scrapbooking.  I'm so spoiled.  Thank you Keith!  I even became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator hoping to earn enough  money to support my habit.  Visit my website.

One of my favorite aspects of this hobby is the scrapbook retreat - a three to four day getaway with fellow addicts gathered together for the sole purpose of cutting and pasting.  We also eat and drink.  We listen to music.  We stay up til all hours of the night, and into early  morning.  Doesn't it sound wonderful?!

It's in those late hours, while designing layouts for our cherished photos, our chatter usually turns serious.  I don't know if we're so delirious from lack of sleep, or if we're overly emotional from looking at pictures of the people we love most.  We end up talking about life, love, marriage, pregnancy, hair, clothes, holidays, our spouses (Only good things, of course!), our children, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

Sometimes we cry.  But mostly we laugh.  It's a truly bonding experience.

I highly recommend it.  :)


The last retreat I went on was in February of this year, in Virginia Beach, with the women in my Sassy Scrappers Stampin' Up! club and some of their friends.  At 12:30 a.m., we found ourselves discussing God, faith, Jesus, and religion..

I don't remember exactly how the conversation got started.  But one of the women openly admitted that she does not believe in God.  Two other women admitted to having a lot of questions about Jesus and Christianity.  And so they talked.

They talked about how certain aspects of salvation do not make sense.   About how Christianity seems unfair.  About how believing in God seems illogical.

It was an eye-opening, faith-shaking, life-changing conversation for me.  Mostly because I didn't say a word.

I sat at my table with my head down, my heart pounding, and my mouth shut.

I was completely unprepared for this discussion.  My daddy always told me to never discuss religion and politics with friends.

The women looked to me for input.




I had nothing to say.




God is so intricately woven into the fibers of my life.  Every aspect of who I am stems from who He is and what He has done for me.  He is the focal point of my marriage, of my parenting, of my homeschooling, of most everything I do.




But I had nothing to say.




Finally one woman asked me, "Are you a Christian?"  I nodded.

She then asked, "So how can you believe?"

The only words I found the courage to say were these...

"How can you NOT believe?"

That's all I said.  How can you NOT believe?

Another woman asked me if I had been raised to believe in God.  Again, I nodded.  She looked at the other woman, and they exchanged that-explains-it looks.  As if to say, "That's why she believes.  Because her parents taught her to believe."

My first thought was, "That's not why I believe."  I mean, I guess that is the reason I believed when I was little, but that's not why I believe now?

It was at that moment, for the first time in my life, I realized that I don't know how to explain why I believe.

All I can say is I look at this world, at my children, at the cycle of life, at everything.  And I just do.  I believe.

I believe the Bible is true.  I believe God created the world.  I believe Jesus is God's Son.  I believe He died for me.  I believe He rose again.  I believe God loves me.  I believe I will live with Him in Heaven some sweet day.

I believe it.  I believe it.  I believe.


Last month, a friend of mine who was also at this retreat, and part of this conversation, confronted me about my lack of participation in the whole discussion.  She reluctantly admitted that she was disappointed, as she has always viewed me as one of her most devout Christian friends.

She had every right to question my motives for not answering.  As a Christian, is it not my obligation to jump at any opportunity to tell someone who doesn't believe in God, why they should believe in God?

That was when I finally said out loud all the thoughts that had been haunting me the last four months.

I didn't know what to say.

I don't know why I believe.  I just do.  And now I realize, that's not good enough.

I know God is real.  I have never doubted that.  I still don't.  I just don't know how to explain why I know He is real.

You could not be more disappointed in me, than I am in myself.


I don't know who was more surprised at my confession, my friend or me.

I cried all the way home.


Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

It's important to me that you know my belief in God has not faltered.  I still know God is real.  I have never doubted that.

I'm telling all you this because I want you to know why I am all of a sudden looking into who my God is.  I want to be able to explain why I believe.  For those of you who are Christians, you probably understand why I believe, even without me having to explain it.  But how do I explain it to a non-believer?

I've just recently come to the realization that I don't know God as well as I thought I did.  I don't know Him well enough to know how to tell others about Him, or in a way that would make them want to know more.

The Bible says in John 1:1 ~
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It all started with The Word.  THE WordGod's Word.

If I want to know God better, it seems logical to me that I should spend more time in His Word, seeking His divine answers to all my epiphanic questions.

I just want to know more.

I hope you do too.

I'll keep you updated.  :)


By the way, if you happen to be a scrapbook addict like me, I'd be happy to introduce you to my support group.  :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Christian Walk, Thus Far...

I've always been a believer.  For as long as I can remember, I've known God existed.

Growing up, my parents took me to church every Sunday.  There I learned about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I learned about Heaven and Hell.  I learned about sin, repentance, and forgiveness.

I took what I learned and applied it to my everyday life.  I did what I learned to be right, and I avoided what I learned to be wrong.

I was a good person.  I was a Christian.

When I came to know the man I now call my husband, he showed me there was more to being a child of God than just doing the right thing.  He told me about salvation, claiming Jesus as my personal Savior, and entering into a committed relationship with my Creator.

Since then, my life has reflected a new level of Christianity, inclusive of more prayer, more love, more faith, and more joy.

With all that also came more fear and more anxiety.  I have struggled with imperfection, guilt, and a constant feeling of unworthiness.

Who am I that Christ would die for me?

A Christian counselor helped me understand God's grace, Jesus' sacrifice, and my own self-worth.

It's been quite a journey getting to know Jesus, and learning how to live my life for God.

I finally got to the point where I felt good about who I was as a Christian.


But the year 2013 has been an eye-opening experience for me...


You might have noticed I've not blogged in awhile.  That's mostly because I haven't known what to say.

I've found myself in an unexpected place, seeking answers to questions I'd never before thought to ask.

Why do I believe in God?

What is faith?

Why do bad things happen?

How do I know the Bible is true?

It's scary and exciting at the same time.  "Scary" because until this year, I didn't realize I don't know the answers to these questions.  "Exciting" because I fully expect to know more as I move forward.


I ask you to pray for me as I continue my Christian journey, ever seeking a closer walk with God.

I encourage you to ask your own questions, and I pray you find the answers you are looking for.

And I invite you to join me as I offer further insight into my journey thus far, and as I share my findings in future blog posts.


Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

My trust in God has carried me through the events that have transpired over the last six months of my life.  But my faith has been shaken.

I looked down at the foundation of my belief in God, and I realized that I've become a little too eager to accept what others tell me about Him, about Jesus, and about the Bible.   I believe what they believe simply because they told me it's true.  

And now I've decided that's not good enough.  I want to know more.   

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15
" Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Study to show thyself approved unto God...  

That's exactly what I intend to do.