Seeking Sonshine

"Not all who wander are lost" – J.R.R. Tolkien


May 2016

Coveted Comparisons

We can all agree as social media continues to evolve, more than one of us have been known to look past those gorgeous smiles to the incredible marble countertops and massive curtains covering up beautiful windows. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could truly triumph in our “friend’s”success? My first feelings tend to be of good cheer… And I wish it ended there! Green shades of envy begin to glint across my eyes as I start to grumble my inner wants (jetted tub), luscious lawn, sparkling pool and a floor that looks like it was hand carved and swept daily. Wonder what they do to afford this? Covet Comparison Trap. Fell for it…again. #facepalm

One of the worst things that comes about with this yearning for granite countertops and/or a floor to ceiling library (complete with a rolling ladder) in life, is the feeling of discontentment that reinforces my unhappiness about my situation in life at the moment. (Usually when I am in a “waiting to hear from God now” phase.) Patience is indeed a virtue that God must feel I need to work on developing right now. πŸ˜„ This discontentment becomes a breeding ground for the enemy to strategically attack my heart while it is distracted by something temporary. 

Paul teaches us about how to be content in all situations. Now, I have heard this all my life and read it in the Bible. But, I sincerely struggled with this. I had a serious heart problem, and it was bigger than the things like my job, my overscheduling myself, and these ridiculous expectations I had created for myself to live up to that I was blaming as the causes of my unhappiness. 


The enemy constantly presented opportunities for me to choose to be busy with; so I lost focus of what The Lord has called me to do. I had stopped seeking what God wanted to do with my life. I prayed and asked, and then waited. And waited.  Then, I got tired of waiting and decided I had probably missed what He was trying to say. So, I began filling my time with substitutes for the real thing. (That should have been my first clue.) However, I hate wasting time. I prayed, “Lord, please show me! I am not getting any younger or less frustrated down here.”

To which, I am sure amused Him because He, not I, knows exactly how not young I am or will be. πŸ˜„ However, sometimes I feel that I need to remind God of the most obvious things He already knows. (If we think human micromanagers are bad…Good thing he is made of Love and Patience. πŸ˜„πŸ˜β™₯️)

“Don’t be upset about anything, no matter what is happening. Pray about it, and tell God your need. While you are waiting for God to move, be a very thankful and grateful person for all that God has done for you already.”

It’s easy to concentrate on other people’s successes when we are waiting on our own. It can make us very vulnerable to our enemy, who is out to completely destroy us. So the next time I see a house for sale way out of my price range and click that shiny virtual tour button, I should probably look at my own house I am blessed to own and start my own renovation project. Inside and out. I think Houses for Humanity might gain a volunteer this summer. β€οΈπŸ‘

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A Father’s Love

I realized I had done posts about Moms, but not about Dads. This is crazy because I have a Dad that is an incredible person. He is smart, practical, logical and very insightful. He’s dealt with a scared girl who was 5 to a mouthy teen with a passion for everything. He is a quiet guy but when he speaks, it is worth hearing.He stepped in, stepped up and stepped out in faith.  He did all of this and he didn’t have to. See, my dad adopted me when I was 6. He could have ran (probably wished he would have at times, lol), but he never did. He is an amazing Opa to my kids. He was the first picture I ever had of my Heavenly Father and he is a blessing to my family. 

Funny story, but awesome illustration. We lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma (Go Pokes!) and there is a particular car wash that my mom and I were in;  and my dad was in the car behind us. Well, it was an old Oldsmobile and somehow, I managed to get the car door open while my mom was driving out of the wash. I rolled out and all I remember was Dad’s car stopping and he rushed out to get me. If anyone else hadn’t seen me and hit me… Well, who knows. But what I remember is that my Daddy was there to protect and save me. Sometimes we need our dads to save us from ourselves. Kind of like we need our Heavenly Father to do and so He sent Jesus. 

I love Braid Paisley and he sang a song that reasonated with me because the lyrics could have been mine. It is a song called “He Didn’t Have to Be.”

I not only got the best dad, I was given the gift of a beautiful family that I instantly loved and wanted to be a part of their world. They accepted me without question. I had never experienced love, joy and affection and acceptance from people that were not blood family, as I was very young. It changed me to my core. I love my family wholeheartedly and will never be able to thank them for changing me. My Grandpa Jim always had something special he had made or picked out, My Granny sewed and cooked and taught me both. My cousins were my brothers. I loved all of them and as they never had a sister of their own, I happily took on the big sister role. ❀️ This side of my Dad’s family made me feel like I was never meant to be anywhere else. I wasn’t ever able to thank my cousin and grandfather in person for their love and acceptance. It meant everything to me. It showed me the power of family comes from God. He can choose a family that may never look like it will happen. 

Grandpa Jim ❀️

The Harmans taught me how to experience the family of Christ on Earth by their acceptance. We may not all think the same or be born into the family the same; but we love the same. Because Christ loved us first. They loved me first and acceptance followed. They will never know how much of an impact they had on me as a person and on what a family should be about. Each other. Our family isn’t perfect, but we are perfect in this family together and we are complete with Christ as the head of the family.

Foster and adoptive families know pain, suffering, anxiety and fear. And they look it in the eye and say, I will trust God more.  And He blesses them beyond measure. I can testify as the receiver. God came through for me. He took a bad situation and completely overruled it with good. And changes lives forever by forming families based on forgiveness, love, unselfishness, Mentorship, and Christ. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ with Royal bloodlines. My family has and continues to change me, for good.
Thank you to those who open their hearts as step-parents, bio parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents. It is hard but it is worth it. These kids are worth it. ❀️

I know not every story is like mine. I am humbled and blessed but I also want to reach out to those who had a different ending. It is so easy to attach an Earthly father to God and the attributes lacking can be distorted by the enemy to project these on God. Our human minds cannot comprehend His ways. Please, know that humans will fail you, but He will not. He is patient, loving, understanding, forgiving and is all about restoring you. Not to where you were before, but a better place. The Shack opened my eyes to how much I had issues with doing this. Very good book.

Thanks Dad. Happy Birthday to you. I am sure glad you were born! πŸ˜„πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚ – Brad Paisley Video of “He Didn’t have to Be.”

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Destroying the Guidebook of Mom Guilts

Moms know what Mom Guilts are. It is a lot like Fight Club. We all know the reality of it, yet no one discusses it. Mom Guilts have no respect for you, period. What is a Mom Guilt? I am so glad you asked! Late when you picked up your daughter, Shame. You forgot snack day? Doomed. Your turn comes around A LOT. Or else you forget a lot. Either way, no good can possibly come from it! My baby rolled herself off the couch and I was distraught. I just knew I was not capable enough for caring for someone else. That thought terrified me. I was never great at being responsible for myself. I certainly am only alive now because my grandparents prayed. But now, this is the biggest assignment you can have, and you feel like you are blowing it. How did our grandmothers handle our mothers? Did our mothers freak out like this? Or did they just take it in stride?

Because the best role goes to the grandmother. Pretty sure that is why you have to work your way up if you are fortunate enough to finally lay heir to the throne. Here, you are the wisest. You know exactly what fears to pray against as daughters. How to pray for your daughter. You have now been in each of the other two girls’ positions, so you have experience on your side. Which is a lot to learn and the opportunity to enrich and bless your kids and your grandkids! But finally, as Oma, Nonna, Granny, MissDiane, Gigis and Grandmas get their starring role.

What legacy is going to be left for the next wave of moms to be in your family that can encourage them in just the right way at the right time. Your world slows down and you have time for these things the grandkids are doing and that is great. The grandparents shouldn’t forget to encourage and sharpen your children as parents. They are still your kids that are experiending a major new growth phase. Don’t leave them alone when they may need you most. You are coming out of this time period they are living in. No chastising, just solid experience still fresh to an extent. Opportunities for fences to be mended or families to heal. Heal together. Enrich your own experience. 

Some of us do not have kin we can do life with. That is tricky, but still try to bring peace as far as you go. Friends are the family you choose for yourselves, some say. Friends and life groups or care groups are great for support. A great environment can help us know that we are not alone. We are not the worst moms ever..usually. Sometimes motherhood is isolating and you feel so many emotions with your children. If you’re not rooted in the Word, you may need friends to back you up, support you and encourage you to keep going and trying. It takes a village.

We can break the Mom Guilts with circles of women saying yes to Jesus and leaving the guilt for him. He offered to carry it for us. Let Him. ❀️

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Total Immersion

My very wise mother offered an intriguing proposition to me, recently. (She is the poor soul that knows my passionate side, which can often lead me into trouble without checking in with God consistently.) She and my husband are the lucky two people that tend to have front row seats to my dramatic “struggles.” She calmly nudged me to a thirty (30) day Immersion in God’s Word and fervently seek Him. It hit me like a ton of bricks… Of course.  What a novel concept! I have learned this, and this gives me great hope. My mom is the greatest mom there could ever be. She is a tenacious, ferocious and fervent prayer warrior. Someone who makes me realize I have enormous opportunities and the ability to train alongside a family full of faith filled men and women willing to wage in any war that involves our Savior and our children’s souls. Sounds pretty grim worded that way. However, it doesn’t make it less true. What does that look like on a day to day basis?

I,myself, am in a time of waiting. No clear picture has been given to me about my future; and yesterday, I stopped asking for one. I am just fulfilling the requirements, applications and passing tests in the physical realm that are stepping stones to getting to the next level. I sometimes get frustrated and let my feelings get the best of me. I just finally figured out that I can either believe that God has a plan for me, or I can decide to doubt it. Isn’t it interesting that whether or not I choose to believe there is a plan for my life, that does nothing to change the fact that a plan does exist. These are the choices (or really the series of choices) we will have to make time and again, and with fervance and consistency. The enemy will wedge doubts and hurl discouragements at us. God is our Deliverer and He will avenge our common enemy like He says in His Word. I believe His Word. That is my choice. For many years, it was not my choice. Now and forever for me, it is. 

What do we do to avoid fearful worries about how long the wait it and the what ifs spiral out of my control during day to day living? Step away from the what ifs. Pick up the Word. What does delight yourself in the Lord and my strength comes from the Lord mean on a personal level to you?  Formulate questions. Then ask for guidance in answering them.

So. Who’s with me? I am new to online challenges, but I can get something to pull together as the devotion or topics that we face. Should be a completely emotional month that will remind us why we are Christ followers.❀️

I will start a Facebook page and make it open to anyone who wants to collaborate and share..

Watch for details about Immersion 2016…#immersedin16

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In a Season of Waiting? Delight Yourself in the Lord

Why the Stigma with Depression?

Kristen Bell (also known as the voice of the Disney Princess, Anna) recently released a short video on depression. I had never connected with a video on such a personal level from a celebrity before. Here is the short video:

Shame. Shame really inhibits us, doesn’t it? It is a powerful tool in the enemy’s arsenal that is a rare one size shames all category, almost. It always is best when mixed in with other categories, such as mistakes are being made and failure is imminent. A dash of Gossip speckled with Rumors and Lies makes for dangerous tonic no one has ever been able to hold down. But there is always a first, right?

I like how she equates denying a diabetic insulin. Yet when it has to deal with a shortage of serotonin, then that person is “crazy.” What is crazy, anyway, anymore? Who or what study determines that threshold line or do we really want to know? How can it possibly and accurately diagnose people with a steady set of ideals and standards? Who holds still for that long and doesn’t change? We can deceive ourselves for awhile. We can deny that something is wrong. Or we can just roll up our sleeves and deal with it. Miranda Lambert recently sang a strong song on this stance women are facing. Lyrics:

“I pray as I get ready

For God to make me steady

And I thank him for his patience

And I take my medication

And bless this day and all it brings

And I clean up the bathroom sink.”

Miranda Lambert – The Bathroom Sink Lyrics -Powerful song 

Sometimes, for me, I have to face I have chemical balances that are off. I hate it and I was really embarrassed and shamed because of it. I had a baby and the process changes some chemistry in my body. I must have SSRI inhibitors or else, I really do not know what will happen. Probably a not very nice person-itis. πŸ˜„ That is why I am under a doctor’s care. It is not a fun place to be. I would be lying if I didn’t say it felt trapped and really depressing in itself. But it doesn’t mean we stay here. 

There are days that seem impossible but are possible with God. Being able to extract truth and promises out of the negative influences that can threaten to alter us a little daily, if we agree. God really meant He can use all of this mess for good. Our hearts have to be in the right place so we realize how important we are. Both to each other and as a conglomerate. Mental diseases are very frightening to me because I have seen their aftermath on those whom people love dearly suffer greatly from them.

However, He is the anchor to our souls, He won’t let go; He won’t let go. Our souls are part of our hearts that know Him. Feeling lost? “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”


A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;

Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;

His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,

One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:

Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;

The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,

His kingdom is forever

Long story short. We have a conniving enemy that loves to isolate souls and cover up convenient lies. It’s not that we don’t hear you, it is just that we don’t agree anymore. No more time spent wasted on my lack of knowledge of the Truth.

Guys and girls, don’t miss this. If you know this or anything else that runs in your family, please share what and all you know. If you already know you are genetically favored in those, volunteer, research, become involved in the recovery process. Learn what it is inspiring to you and use it as a launching pad.


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Thank You, Mothers. β€οΈ

It is Mother’s Day and while Moms around the world are needed, loved and appreciated every day, it is nice to have a holiday. However, sometimes it is overshadowed with a feeling of loss and mourning for a person or an idea of a person causes pain instead of joyfulness. So, this Mother’s Day, I want to include everyone. Sorry, but I have to start with an ode to my family. They are like all stars in a hall of fame. My favorite Aunts, amazing Grannies (plural of Grannys? Not sure…), sisters and cousins are some of the most amazing people on this planet. 

First, here’s to my mom. She gave up a great deal of her identity when I was born. It took her a long time to get a new one. Yea, I noticed, Mom. I wish I had realized so much more so much sooner and maybe I could have spared you some pain. I’m so sorry about that.  I never knew how much you sacrificed and I know you never considered it that. Now, I truly understand it. Thank you for loving me in every hour. Both when it was only by the grace of God I survived with my smart mouth and when you felt love overloading and overfilling your cup. You taught me so much without instruction. Thank you for showing up when you didn’t want to. For sticking it out when you never thought I would ever understand what you were trying to teach me at the time. Thanks for trying and feeling like you could have done better. You couldn’t have, by the way. It was exactly what I needed. You were exactly who I needed and God knew we would need each other. Now I am a mom and a step-mom. I have the two best examples of that in my mom and dad. Everything I would need to be equipped, you have given me and continue to guide me when I need help, still. I’m sorry, you’re stuck with me forever and neither of my parents can go anywhere, lol! I still have a lot of growing up to do!

Nana, you are such a gift. You are so beautiful and amazing. Your talents that you share with us make us feel special and loved and cared for. Thank you for sharing your loves in this life with us. It enriches our lives and hearts more than you will ever imagine. ❀️

To my Grannies and my Great Grannies (still not sure on plural of Grannys!):

You were each nothing short of precious gifts from God. Each one of you is such an amazing woman and have so much to teach us from your lives and your experiences. You lived your lives full of love and caring for others so abundantly. May I be even a little bit more like each of you. The world needs more of you in it. 

To All Moms,

Whether you are mama to a fur baby or babies, undergoing diabolical fertility treatments, trying your best right now with teenagers or toddlers, or whether you are trying to overcome the void where a mother should be right now:

Thank you for your love. You put yourself out there for your dreams and your children. We do the best with what we have and know. Bless you today and always. You make our world better with what you bring every day, even if you feel you ain’t bringing anything at all! You are. Your presence is a gift to all. Even when it feels like it it invisible. (We all know about those days!) You matter to everyone, even if you are already on to the next realm of this life. You mattered. You made an impact. We celebrate you. To those sweet mamas who are missing one of their own today: we love you. Your strength and compassion are never lost on anyone, including our God. Your crown will never be able to encompass all the jewels you are to those you know and do not know but touch from your stories. To those without their moms, much love to you. You’re beautiful, remembered and cherished by those who may not have given you the gift of life, but whom you have given life to them. You’re loved by more than you will ever know.

The Bible highlights all kinds of moms. Jochebed is one of my favorites because I am a stepmother. Jochebed found Baby Moses in the river and raised him as her own. She chose to mother a baby that she did not give birth to herself, but realized she was a part in his story that God was going to tell about redemption, love and sacrifice. Sarah represents a lot of us who are guilty of trying to manufacture miracles instead of waiting for them to happen in God’s timing. Her heart meant well but she wanted the best for her baby and as soon as possible… Sound familiar? Does to me! Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, Abraham’s promised son, struggled with infertility. You know, Abraham. The one whose descendants were supposed to be like stars and infertility is in the bloodline that is made this promise? And yet, she still chose to believe God. Her son, Jacob, would become a powerful lesson to all in how God can radically change a person’s life at any age and time. Ruth embedded loyalty and goodness in her great grandson King David. Deborah shepherded the people of her kingdom throughout her rule and example. End thoughts to sum up this long post? God loves mothers and can use all of the situations (from the most bleak and hopeless to the strongest believer’s) and use them for Eternal, Kingdom Changers and Builders forever. 

Like Mary, we look fear and uncertainty and doubt in the eye and say, Yes, Lord. We will follow. Wherever this road takes me, you can use it for good. 

Thank you, Moms. Rock on!

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Tearing Down The Walls of Discouragement

Walls are interesting subjects. Before you shake your head and declare me completely crazy, please hear me out. Walls are generally built for protecting. Guarding. Preserving. Serving as visual boundary lines. Providing shelter and protection. Walls of this variety are usually designed for an overall positive purpose. Keeping the enemy out of your land is usually a good thing. Walls are meant for our safety. They are a tangible, comforting presence in a chaotic universe. 

However, what about the times when a wall is a giant roadblock in your path to success? When you keep hitting your head over and over again and never figure out what is causing it? This kind of invisible, yet very tangible wall is an unwelcome presence in our lives. Its very ominous structure can be very tall and block all hope for the future. It radiates fear, anxiety and is symbolic for failure. It is called the wall of discouragement.

When I thought I was following His calling. Because I don’t see a way that is possible or feasible. What about when I get turned down and told I’m not good enough. I start to question God. Does He really speak to me? Am I certain that this decision is following God’s Will? What if I’m wrong? What if I fail? (Sorry if this is T.M.I.) 

Nehemiah knew something about discouragement and fear. See his story in 

“Nehemiah was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I at the capital city of Susa, which lay 150 miles east of the Tigris River in what is now modern Iran. Nehemiah served as the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11), which evidently put him in a position to speak to the king and request favors from him. After hearing about the sad state of affairs in Judah, Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and its fortifications. He is even given letters from the king to ensure safe passage and to obtain timber from the king’s forest  for the gates and walls of Jerusalem.”

He was a cupbearer, which meant he put his life on the line at every meal he attended for his king. I would imagine this guy would be excellent at making each moment count!

“God revealed three things about the returned exiles in this book.

First, the people in view are the approximately 97,000 Israelites who returned from captivity: the remnant. Fifty thousand had returned under Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel in 536, about 5,000 had returned under Ezra in 458, and about 42,000 returned under Nehemiah in 444 B.C. They had no conscious national influence that arose from their purpose as a nation. They did not have much messianic hope, either. There is no reference to this hope in Ezra, Nehemiah, or Esther. However, Zechariah, who prophesied during this time, gave many messianic prophecies.

Second, the purpose of God was that His people should return to His Law. The civil reformation was secondary to the reading of the Law that took place in Jerusalem. The reading of the Law (ch. 8) led to the praying of the Levites (ch. 9), and that resulted in the making of a covenant (ch. 10). God’s purpose was to put Israel back under the Law until Christ would come.

Third, the divine Potter at work in this book continues the task of reshaping that He began in Ezra. His primary instrument at this time was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was not a king, a priest, or a prophet, but an ordinary citizen. He held a cabinet-level position under Artaxerxes, the Persian monarch, and he became the governor of Judah later. Generally, the kings of Israel had failed, the people had ignored the prophets, and the priests were corrupt. God chose a man who built a wall around Jerusalem in a little over seven weeks so the people could give concentrated attention to the reading and exposition of God’s Word. Nehemiah was a man like others God used before him, a man who lived and walked by faith. Joshua was such a person and was also neither king, prophet, nor priest. Nehemiah did for Israel in his day what Joshua had done in his. Ezra was similar to Moses, and Nehemiah was similar to Joshua.”

Click to access nehemiah.pdf

Summing up from this wonderful article, Nehemiah had three kinds of faith. 

1. Nehemiah had an attitude of faith.

2. Second, Nehemiah also acted in faith.

3. Third, Nehemiah achieved by faith.

Nehemiah had a vision. The more he stepped into that vision, the more opposition he faced. I have fallen into the perfectionism trap where I felt if I was facing opposition, it meant I was doing something wrong. Quite the opposite. Worthy causes were attacked because there was a positive outcome to others in my life.

Build your wall. Your dream. Your future. Protect, preserve, guard and make peace as far as you can see. Then step aside and get ready to see God throw up a wall in an unheard of 52 days! Good things come to those who wait. Now the next blog article will be all about waiting. πŸ˜„πŸ˜‚

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