"Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped...."

Saturday, August 27, 2011


“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I…” Ps 61:2

Some days can be overwhelming. You know, those days that threaten to swallow you whole, making you feel brittle and breakable, virtually drowning despite your desperate attempts to stay afloat. It is at those times I find myself wanting to cry out like the people of Zion in Isaiah 49 “Yahweh (God) has forsaken me. Yahweh has forgotten me.” Yet I fully recognize that my insufficiency, exhaustion and weakness all stem from one root problem.


Too much of ME trying to juggle it all, be everything to everyone, fix every problem, and attempt to “make it all happen”. Trying…and failing…spectacularly.

I need to replace the ME with HIM.

My soul cries out its need for more of him. To be assured that he is with me, that I am not alone in this overwhelming moment.

And he never fails me. Just like he comforted and reassured the people of Zion after they lamented their forsaken woes, he tells me “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before Me.” Is 49:15-16

I am engraved on the palms of His hands…this made my heart skip and breathlessly whisper…


This is the image, the proof, he used to awaken faith in the doubting heart of Thomas (Jn 20:27) ….his hands…his pierced hands…. engraved hands.

I am engraved on HIS hands.

No sharpie marker here. No ink from a tattoo that fades. Engraved. Literally, “to cut or carve into” (per Webster’s dictionary). Permanently. Forever.

And if that wasn’t enough to calm my doubting heart he echoes this promise to me over and over again “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Josh 1:5, Deut 31:7 & 8, Jer 1:8, Heb 13:5 … I think you get the point.

So the howling winds of exhaustion and beating waves of striving still, as I sense his hand extend and calm the sea of my heart. I am set right again.

“My mighty rock, my refuge is Yahweh” Ps 62:7

(…the rock that is higher than I)


Monday, July 18, 2011

Purpose is My Middle Name

8 yr old nephew “He just did that to me on purpose!”
5 yr old nephew’s response “Purpose is my middle name.” (James Bond eyebrow arch included)
Me. Unable to contain my laughter.

I know I have quoted my nephews in the past. They make for great material. There is a reason for these quotes though….the Lord uses these simple daily interactions to buttress the truths He has been building in my life.

Most recently, my focus has been directed (with a fervent gaze) on His cross. A few years ago my (extremely God-given talented) cousin wrote a song titled “The Cross Centered Life”. She was 15 years old at the time. The words were Spirit breathed:

What was it that drew me to Your throne of grace?
What was it that made my heart sing?
Twas Your Son hanging there
With all of my sins to bear
Way up on Calvary

The chorus goes on to say

Give me one mindset
One single passion
The cross which your Son once suffered for me
Reopen my blinded eyes
Rekindle my fading heart
I long to be revived
I seek one ambition
To have a cross centered life

Powerful words, aren’t they?

In the book Gospel of Peace by Jim Richards he discusses the centrality of the Cross. “…all understanding, all revelation, all that God has done for us could only be understood in the finished work of the cross. All truth has its basis in the cross. Prior to the cross God had spoken in many different ways, through many different people, in many different situations. Now, however, He has said all He has to say in His son. Specifically in His death, burial, and resurrection. (Heb 1:1-2) To live by faith is to live dependent on, trusting in, adhering to and deriving power from what Jesus did at the cross. All else is simply vain imaginations.”

(I realize I am quoting a lot…bear with me…)

The cross is center. God’s Word….letter of love to us….from the very beginning (John 1:1)…Elohim(Creator God) had a PURPOSE. That purpose was the cross. It was everything the cross embodies. Forgiveness. Salvation. Renewal. Sanctification. Reunification. The entire Bible from Genesis (chp 3 v15 anyone??) is a gloriously weaved purposeful journey towards the cross.

“At the cross. At the cross. Where I first saw the light….”

I was blind. But now I see. I was broken. But now I am whole. I was lost. But now I am found. And why is that? Because of the cross.

It is transformative.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not idolizing the piece of tree that was used to stake my Savior to the ground. I am worshiping the One who chose the cross. I am pledging my allegiance to Christ who manifested the Father’s purpose…with the cross. We are wooed by the cross. We are cleansed by the cross. And we are called to take up the cross.

I am a typical woman. I have dozens of things on any given day that pull at my attention. Work, family, friends, ministry, errands, etc etc etc… and all of that quickly turns into a knotted ball of yarn without purpose. I need, and am called, to be a woman of purpose. To not just act instinctively, or passively, but with purpose.

But what is my purpose?

The answer is clear. I am to look to the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2). His entire life, from conception to death and ultimately to resurrection had one sole purpose.

The cross.

I seek one ambition. To live a cross centered life.

To quote my nephew…..

Purpose is my middle name.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How BIG?

How big is God?
How big is God to you?
How big is God IN you?

Does He sometimes whisper to your heart things He wants you to know?

Or does He echo so loud in the recesses of your being that it reverberates out into your life and surroundings?

How often do you listen to God?

Does He show you His people, His hurt children, His passion for all to know and be known by Him?

Do you listen to God?

Or do you “turn on” your God channel when it’s convenient?

Once a day during your “quiet time” while you’re seeking Him for your needs of spiritual refreshing?

Twice a day when you’ve heard a speaker on the radio, or read a blog, or watched a show that made you think about Him?

Or do you live each day with the sole purpose of discovering more ways to hear Him…every moment. a journey to come One Step Closer to Him?

Do you love God?

Do you show your love to God?

Or do you just say it?

To others?

To yourself “Oh, I love God!”?


Do you mean it?

Do your actions speak louder than words?

Do you crave Him like you crave your favorite meal? With that salivating, almost can taste it, driven desire?

Do you want to change who you are because you love Him and are loved BY Him?

Are you being changed?


Minute by minute?

Does change scare you?

Do you trust God?

Do you believe He knows best?

Do you trust His ways are BETTER than your ways?

Do you truly believe that He loves you and has established His plan for your life for your good, however He chooses to manifest that plan?

Do you surrender your plans, and you ideals, for His plan?

Do you say, “Here I am God…send me!”?

Or do you only allow Him to use you where you want to be?

Do you resign God to your small limited perception?

Or do you recognize His vast limitless which is beyond the confinement of space, time, logic and emotion?

Do recognize your infancy, and cry out in your need, and find His love and nurturing Hand…and discipline?

Do you see Him in others?

Do you seek Him out in others?

Do you even know what to look for to find Him in others?

Do you see Him in you?

Is He a flicker….a little gleam in your eye?

Is He a flame, that causes your countenance to beam?

Is He a fire…that consumes you so that others don’t even see you, but only Him?

Or do you want to be seen?

Do you know God?

Or do you know of Him?

Do you love God?

Or do you just love being loved by God?

Do you live for Him?

Or do you just live with Him?

Does He inspire your actions?

Or do you just give Him a recap at the end of the day?

Does He tower above any other drawing enticement in your life?

Or does He fit neatly into your agenda?

How big is God?
How big is God to you?
How big is God IN you?

1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Isaiah 55:8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Psalm 33:11
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Romans 8:10
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I had the privilege of attending Summit VII with the Christian Alliance for Orphans last week. It is an annual meeting held for ministries, agencies, adoptive families, individuals, and the like from all over the world to come together and worship the Father of us all, educate each other on the things we have learned the past year, and spur each other on to "run the race set before us" (Heb 12:1).

It was Wonderful Beautiful Encouraging Saturating Refreshing Convicting Inspiring Informative Intense.....AMAZING.

One of the greatest blessings that has emerged from my attending Summit VII is my being offered to join a ministry that is close to my heart and full of my passion ... Project HOPEFUL!(check it out!!)

(I also have Project HOPEFUL and TRUTH PANDEMIC links posted on the left hand side of my blog. )

I have been invited to join my sisters and brothers in Christ at this incredible ministry to help educate, encourage, and enable families and individuals to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS. My role will be as the Human Resources Administrator. I will be able to do this on the days I have off each week from my current position as a nurse...so it is the best of all worlds! I am so excited (to say the least!) and am full of expectation to see what God-initiated things wait for me around the bend =) Please pray for me, I know it is only with His help I can be used to be a blessing to others through this ministry.

On an extremely fun sidenote. Before attending Summit VII last week I was able to go to Chicago and spend 4 days enjoying the city with my friend (and honorary little sis) Sarah. It was my belated 30th birthday present from my mom and sister...and was a BLAST! We saw the sites, ate our way through the Windy City, and got in some much needed relaxation and girl time.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


She is HOME.

My niece,

Amaris Mariam Namulinde

is HOME.

Amaris "Promised by God"

Mariam "Beloved"

Namulinde "I have waited for her"

My sister, brother in law, and new baby niece arrived last night after a 30+ hour trip home from Uganda and were reunited with their three boys.

This picture to me is pure LOVE. Pure JOY. Pure GOD!

While my sister and brother-in-law have been frolicking in Uganda =), I stayed here in Sarasota and kept/spent time with their 3 boys. My FAVORITE thing to do!!! They are my heart and they know it. We stayed busy running around town to the children's museum, pottery painting shop, ice cream, Easter egg hunts, and tons of other fun places. Its been a blast, and I wish I could do it every day...truly my bliss.

If any of you live in southwest Florida, you know that lovebug season has arrived! As the boys and I have been driving around the past two weeks, the lovebug epidemic (and that is not exaggerating!) has been in full effect! SWARMS upon swarms of tiny black fly/bugs connected together by their bottoms flying around, beside, and ON you. Swarming to the point where the boys asked if it was raining outside because the sound and sight of them hitting the van windshield looked like we were driving through a summer rain shower. There is a literal lovebug graveyard on the vans front bumper/hood. Yep. Gross.

So, I'm sitting at a red light. Boys in tow. Watching this cloud of buzzing "love" bugs....no love about them to me!...swirl around the vehicle, and I think

"This must be a small example of what Egypt was like during the plagues to free the Israelites".

Yes. I'm a random weirdo and think things like that.

And then, almost immediately after that thought crossed my mind, my gracious Lord prodded me to consider not the "plague" like image of the lovebugs...but His image in His creation. He reminded me that His love surrounds me at all times...swarming above and beside and even ON me. That there is no where I can go to escape His love. That He is always with me.


LOVEbugs. My First Loves reminder to me of HIS love for me. Forget rainbows. His love for me has wings....

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 NLT

This week He has shown me His love in such powerful ways...the most beautiful being this....

So....if you live in southwest Florida and find yourself in the midst of a lovebug "storm" don't be alarmed, its just His love note to me.... (and you!)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How soft is your pillow?

Its Friday night (or really Saturday morning) 3am

Ethan 4 yrs old "Sissy, can I sleep in your bed? I can't sleep..."
Me "Why monkey? Don't you want to sleep in your bed?"
Ethan "No. My pillow isn't soft anymore."

Needless to say I relented and let him climb on into my bed. Five minutes later Graham 5 yrs old joined us. We slept contentedly until my alarm went off at 6:20am reminding me I had to go to work today. I looked over and saw two precious boys sleeping all curled up next to me. My heart swelled.

And then the busy whirl of work day activity began. Shower. Teeth. Scrubs. Get Luke 8 yrs old ready for play date this morning. Kiss Goodbye. Drive through town to work. Etc etc etc

And despite it being extremely busy at work the first half of my shift, and an unending to-do list in the forefront of my mind, Ethan's reason for wanting to switch beds kept running through my mind "My pillow isn't soft anymore."

His comfortable nest of a bed. His plush, enveloping, pillow wasn't "soft" anymore. He wanted to leave his bed. He was done with it.

The Lord has been teaching me a lot the past few months about coming out from my comforts and into His. My comforts of home, and my family being nearby, and my secure job, an amazing church family, gorgeous FL sunsets, sushi thats to die for whenever I crave it....my immensely cozy bed (no lie! its my piece de resistance). He has been calling me out from what I have clung to so strongly as my greatest comforts. He's showing me that His comfort. His will. His plan is so far above mine.

He is making my "pillow" not so soft anymore.

The comforts that used to satiate me are no longer as desirable. They aren't as inviting. I want to go to Him...to share His comfort. Its way better than mine.

His ways might not always feel so soft. His ways can be hard, yet He spurs us on.

Paul said "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" 2 Cor. 4:7-9

But wait....He doesn't leave it with just that!

Paul reminds us of where it leads us to.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Cor.4:16-18

My pillow isn't soft anymore.

.......Is yours?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Step...New Beginnings

So,...now is the time. I need to start blogging....journaling...writing down the amazing things that the Lord is showing me, leading me to do, and guiding me through. Today my sister and brother in law are in Uganda. A land I have been to before. A land I love...and pray for daily. They are sleeping in their mosquito net covered beds,...with my sweet brand new niece Amaris Mariam next to them, whom God has placed so tenderly, and unquestionably, in their hands. The courts ruled today. She is theirs. She is grafted in. Never to be without them again. Just like we, who have accepted Christ's love and sacrifice, are adopted into His grace and salvation...becoming His child forever, never to be without Him again.

And I sit here. In their house. With their three boys I am staying with while they are on the other side of the world. Bubbling with thoughts and energy and nearly exploding with excitement. And I can't help but think....

When is it my turn?

Can I go back to Uganda too Lord?

Can I adopt too?

Can I please go live among your sweet children (young and old) and love with Your hands and see with Your eyes over there in Africa's fertile land?

Can I go?

Me, Lord, me!!

And yet I sit.


He has a plan for me. I'm living it. I can't see tomorrow's destination. I am only in today. And that is all He has called me to. To be with Him today.

So I'll sit and wait on Him...to light the next step of my path tomorrow.

One step closer towards Him....