Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are You Done with Church?

Several days ago I shared a link to a blog post on my Facebook timeline titled, “The Rise of the ‘Done with Church’ Population” by Thom Schultz. The actual blog is at

At first I was surprised by some of the responses. Then my immediate response was “I’m not surprised.”

Rather than respond to everyone who’d commented on Facebook, I felt it better to respond here on my blog, so not to continue a long stream on Facebook. Then everyone who commented or clicked like on the original Facebook post won’t keep getting notifications.

In Thom Schultz’s article, he mentioned that the leavers (for lack of a better term) weren’t new Christians or new members of any certain church. These are people who are done with church, but NOT their faith.

They’re not finding another church somewhere else. The ones leaving are those who were active, doers, who volunteered regularly. As stated in Schultz’s blog, “the church is losing its best.”

After I shared this blog link on Facebook and read the responses, it was from people just like those described in the article. Strong, long-term, seasoned, passionate believers in Christ who are still strong believers in Christ.

I, too am a seasoned believer. I’ve always been involved at some level as a volunteer wherever I went to church. Since 1983, I’ve been a regular member (I don’t like that term, but don’t know what else to call it) in four churches; that’s four churches in 32 years. The prior three churches I attended have since split or simply dissolved.

I’ve been burned out, hurt, disappointed, disillusioned and misled. But I’ve also gained a family, incredible, lifelong friends, grown in my relationship with God, had opportunities to serve Him in various and exciting projects, felt connected and experienced true community. The local church and church at large, is comprised of imperfect people like me.

I’m guilty of pride, judging, partiality, people-pleasing and whatever else turns the unchurched off. I know I’m not alone in this. It’s shameful but true.

But laying my personal thoughts aside for now, in order to respond to this issue, I skimmed the Bible from Acts to 2 Peter, which is full of letters of instruction to the early churches.

We know about the first churches as described in Acts 2:42. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 5 has more about their growth and continuing in power in one accord.

In Romans 12:9-16, it’s clear how Christians are to behave and operate. I Corinthians 12 details spiritual gifts, talents and oneness, even in diversity in the body of Christ.

Much is mentioned in I Corinthians 14 about order in church meetings, focusing on edification.
First Timothy 3 details the qualifications of overseers (deacons and elders) in the churches.
Hebrews 10:24-25 reads, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

For the sake of time, I won’t elaborate because I need to read all this for myself. I encourage you to do the same. It’s clear though that God does have a purpose for His church.  

Have we lost sight of His purpose for the church in America? I think we have. Yet, there is no perfect church or group of believers.

Personally, if I joined the “done” population, I’d miss terribly the fellowship I have with other believers. I need the accountability, friendships, companionship and support. We aren’t meant to do life alone. 

It saddens me that the word “church” has become a bad word.

We have an enemy, the devil, satan. I feel sure that it’s his plan to dismantle the church one person at a time. The church is the very instrument God uses to reach the world.

What would happen to this world if we all became a member of the “done” population? 

What we should do about this obvious growing issue, I don't know. Maybe what we're doing now. 

Talking about it. 

I'm still not ready to join the done population. 
(to leave a comment, click on the comment link below)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve.
We’ve heard over and over how this is the most wonderful time of the year.

For a lot of folks it’s the time of year they simply endure, waiting anxiously for it all to be over. All the hype, commercialism, melancholy and bittersweet emotions that this time of year brings to some.
Or most, for that matter.

This Christmas Eve as I sift through Christmas cards and sympathy cards, I realize this time of year will never be the same for my husband and me. 

I just lost my mom 12 days ago.
My husband lost his mom right before Thanksgiving.

I’m not going to try to craft together impressive words on how to do grief during the holidays.

Many years ago, my divorce was final two weeks before Thanksgiving. I entered that holiday season trying to navigate unknown waters into the single parent life.

I got through it. Not on any merit of my own though.

Surviving the holidays as a newly divorced, single mom could only be done through God’s precious, intimate compassion that He poured out in my life during that time. That’s how He responded to my tearful pleas.

God’s response to any child of His far exceeds how we respond to our children or grandchildren. When they’re hurt and crying, we rush to their side, scoop them up speaking tender words of comfort and immediately do whatever it takes to bring healing, no matter how big or small.

When I first got the news about my mom, I didn’t immediately draw near to God and let Him do what I know He desired to do, which was to bring me comfort and peace. I withdrew from having quiet time with Him for days. All I could think was how untimely her death is; how I didn’t get to say goodbye or have any last moments with her. I questioned Him as to why He took her when He did.

By doing this I was making it all about me, which never turns out well.

So, longing for the comfort and peace I’m so familiar with that comes from God, I turned to His word, as well as my mom’s worn and tattered A.A. Reflections devotional.

Pouring over the pages where she’d highlighted, underlined and written brief thoughts began my healing. That is the first of many things God has poured into my lap to bring comfort as I continue drawing near to Him in my grief.

I know the holidays will never be the same. But I also know that this time of year is STILL the most wonderful time of the year because it marks Jesus’ birth and life, being the greatest gift ever given.

That will NEVER change. And because of that, no grief or pain will overtake me as I hide myself in Him. It is possible to have joy, peace and comfort during difficult times, not just at this time of year but all year long.

If you have a personal hurt or grief that this time of year only intensifies, joy, comfort and peace can be yours too.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3.
Rather than pull away from Him, we can draw near to the God who saves, who is near and who will heal.

Then we can celebrate Christmas and this time of year with joy, peace and comfort, instead of simply enduring it.
Finding comfort during the most wonderful time of the year,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

That Name! Part 2

My last post left off where Peter and John had healed a crippled beggar on their way to temple.
The full story is in Acts 3. The book of Acts has come alive for me like never before. Maybe it’s because of what’s happening in our country and world today. Acts might be a good model to go by in these days we’re living in.

After Peter healed the lame beggar, crowds gathered to see what all the commotion was on the temple porch. When they saw the once crippled man leaping and walking around praising Jesus, they were amazed and filled with wonder.
Peter then began to explain what just happened. He gave all glory and credit to Jesus Christ, who the people had earlier rejected and sent to His death. He boldly addressed everyone explaining the truth of who Jesus is, including the prophetic history foretold about His coming.

The “men in charge” got angry because they were teaching about Jesus and His resurrection. They arrested them and threw them in jail.
What did they do that was so criminal?
Here’s the charge: Teaching in the name of Jesus.
The truth is Peter and John were a threat to their priestly power and authority. Just like Jesus was. Of course, they would never admit it.
Their reason for arresting Jesus and His followers, persecuting them and trying to stop the spread of the gospel was blasphemy of God.
But the leaders weren’t concerned about God. They used God to promote themselves. They didn’t look into the history of scripture and see that everything the prophets predicted was and is coming to pass.
This is what Peter was explaining to the crowds that day. Everything leading up to the coming Messiah, Jesus, was just as it was written on their scrolls.
So they locked Peter and John up until their hearing the next day.
Speaking in their defense Peter addressed the rulers and elders saying, “If we this day are judged for a good deed alone to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who you crucified, who God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole “ Acts 4:9-10.
The leaders admitted that a notable miracle occurred. They marveled that Peter and John were uneducated men, had been with Jesus and now taught boldly with much knowledge of scriptures. Aware that all of Jerusalem knew about it, they worried how they’d look if they convicted Peter and John.
They decided to severely threaten them to stop spreading the gospel. Before releasing them, they commanded them to not speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus to anyone.
Did it work?
So what’s the reason today that we can’t speak the name of Jesus? What are our government leaders, principals, superintendents and politicians so afraid of?
Oh, I know, the claim is, “it’s offensive to others.”
Is it because Jesus addresses the condition of our hearts and souls? Does this threaten man’s power and authority?
Why can’t a student bring a Bible to school to read during their lunchtime or later when classes are over? What’s so criminal about that? We’re told we can pray, but not in Jesus’ name.
I’ve personally been told I can’t post a flyer with the word Jesus or Christian on it.
The spread of Jesus and Christianity hasn’t stopped, despite persecution, being arrested and simply told to stop.
We’re supposed to have freedom of religion in this country. If we’re told to not talk about Jesus, pray in His name or display evidence of faith in Him, yet other religions are free to do so, is that, in fact, admitting that Christianity IS NOT a religion, but a relationship?
Could, should, would Christians today be as bold as Peter and John? Will the U. S. government someday knock on my door and threaten me for asking such questions?
Will they one day outlaw the name of Jesus on blogs and other social media platforms to stop the spread of "God so loved the world, He sent Jesus"? 
It didn’t work 2000 years ago, so I suspect it wouldn’t today.
In Jesus’ name,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

That Name! Part I

I was reading this story in the book of Acts the other day and saw something I've never seen before. It seems that people haven't really changed much since the time of Jesus' ministry on earth, and after His ascension to Heaven.  The mere mention of His name would either make folks squirm or smile. And speaking of Him by name, praying and ministering in His name and so on could get you into a lot of trouble with the law back then. Sounds familiar in our day and time, doesn't it?

Not long after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and filled the disciples, just as Jesus promised, Peter and John went to the temple one day at the usual hour of worship.

Worshippers were entering the temple courts, including the political, religious and government leaders who had recently arrested Jesus, mocked, beaten, slapped, spit on and sent Him to His death.

All the people were obviously aware of their sin, as they had come to pray and offer their animal blood sacrifices to cover their sin, for which Jesus had just done, but they rejected.

Outside the temple were the usual beggars, lame and sick people asking for money and gifts for the poor as the crowds entered the temple.

A lame man saw Peter and John through the crowd and asked them for money. I wonder if he knew they’d been with Jesus who was recently crucified by the very leaders entering the temple. He’d also probably heard that this same Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. I’m sure he’d also heard of the thousands of new Christians nearby.

When the disabled man spoke, Peter stopped and looked straight at him.

Their eyes locked.
Only the sound of goats, lambs, and doves could be heard in the background.

Peter, full of the Holy Spirit and probably overwhelmed with compassion, felt a burning boldness to do more than just give this man money.

As the dust swirled around the disabled man from the passing crowds, Peter walked over to him and told him he didn’t have any money to give him, but said, “what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” Acts 3:6 (NKJ).

He did this right in front of the crowds and all those important leaders!

Immediately the disabled man’s feet and ankle bones received strength, after being this way for over 40 years. Peter grabbed him by the hand and pulled him to his feet for the first time in his life. The man started joyfully leaping and praising God, as he went into the temple with his new friends. I don’t imagine it was a quiet, reverent scene. Oh, no.

Here were Peter and John, who the leaders already knew were Jesus followers. The same Jesus who the crowds who’d just witnessed this miracle had demanded the prisoner Barabbas be released in Jesus’ place sending Him to His death. These two guys had just committed blasphemy in all their eyes.

They all thought if they killed Jesus, their threat of power, money and pride would be gone. I’m sure some were aghast at the seemingly disrespect of the holy and serene quietness of the temple, as this man entered with Peter and John praising the name of Jesus by which he’d just been healed.

I feel sure Peter and John didn’t shush him. I bet others wished they would’ve.

The lame man’s body was not the only thing healed that day. His heart now was like the other thousands of new Christians, bursting with joy, as he began his new life with Jesus. I imagine he must’ve joined the rest of the Christians, after Peter and John were arrested for what they’d just done. Those bad boys.

Stay tuned as the story continues when Peter and John were arrested and jailed for reaching out to a poor, disabled beggar in the name of Jesus.

In Jesus’ name,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

State Of Our World and Moving Forward

It's been really hard to write lately. I've been thinking and focusing a lot on world events, tragedy, despicable crimes, murders and sicknesses overseas. Fellow Christians are enduring unspeakable persecution while here at home my personal world continues on peacefully and comfortably.

How do we take in the reality of what's happening in the Middle East, and continue in our daily lives here? What can we do here at home to help what's going on in our world? That's a whole separate subject for another day and another post, so I won't even go there right now. Except to say this: PRAY! Pray like never before for our country, fellow Christians everywhere, leaders and government.

The fact is, while our American lives on U.S. soil continue peacefully, we have our jobs to go to, families to take care of, financial responsibilities and on and on.

I've held off on starting a special blog just for single moms in light of world events. Then it hit me, this is the best time to reach out and create an online space just for single moms. Now is the time we all must move forward into the plans and work God has prepared for us to do. What are your gifts, passions, talents and abilities? God gave them to you to use. Use them now! Don't stop or continue procrastinating. Because of what's going on worldwide, the time is now.

Writing and single-parent ministry are my passions. Because of world events, I am spurred on even more to get with it and move on in the work God has for me. I hope you will too.

Single Moms! This is just for you. Follow this link to

In His Grip,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I want to be ........

I want to be ____________. Please fill in the blank.
Here are 10 suggestions that might help:
1.       …like her (add name) _______ because she’s pretty and thin.

2.       …successful in my career

3.       …financially comfortable

4.       …married

5.       …a mom

6.       …like them, popular and accepted

7.       …free from physical pain

8.       …healthy and well

9.       …live my dream to be a _______ (fill in blank)

10.   …young again
Too often I’ve been personally consumed with all my wants and desires, that I missed what God had for me.

Have you? Are you always wanting, wishing and longing for something? A desire. Fulfilled dream. The need to be fulfilled. We all have an insatiable longing for fulfillment. In our jobs, marriages, singleness, in retirement, life.

I recently heard an incredible message at church that jolted me out of my self-consuming haze. It challenged me to return to that place of abandon and surrender to the Lord that I know brings true fulfillment.
The message was about being ready; ready to meet the Lord when He returns. That day will be experienced by everyone, whether you’re a believer or not. We will all see Him. Some will be ready. Some won’t. As I think about that day, my longings and desires to be like someone else, to be successful, smarter, prettier, thinner, whatever, are fading in light of reality.

Being ready for THAT DAY takes a lot of preparation. It’s parallel to what a bride does before she meets her groom to pledge her abandoned love and commitment to him for a lifetime. That’s a day she has dreamed about and looked forward to her whole life. She thinks about it, talks about it with her friends, plans and daydreams about that day. She wouldn’t dare meet her groom without proper preparation.
I want to be ready when I meet Jesus face to face, whether it’s by me going to heaven or Him returning in my lifetime. I want my focus to change from trying to fulfill all my longings and wants myself, to being fulfilled and excited as I prepare to meet Him.

Something has happened since I’ve intentionally taken my focus off all the things I thought I wanted, and just focused on the one thing that really matters, which is Him. It’s not effortless because the world tugs and pulls, bringing clatter and chaos along with it. What I’ve noticed is opened doors to things that support my dream career. I’ve noticed a rest and contentment. I’ve noticed that the fulfillment I’ve longed for is becoming my reality. I feel His fresh touch again.
I want to be ready for my Groom, adorned with grace, mercy, wisdom and love. I don’t want to be clothed in selfishness, sinfulness and self-centeredness. I want Him to find me busily about His business, not trying to force my own way. I want to meet Him at the altar prepared and ready.

I want to be ____________. What is your answer? Share it below.
In continuous preparation,


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Name Your Holiday

Every day is a holiday to someone; a reason to celebrate. There are some wacky national holidays with the stamp of Congress on them.

Today, July 16, is National Fresh Spinach Day. Yesterday was Tapioca Pudding Day (Yuck!) and also Cow Appreciation Day (go hug a cow).

Today, on National Fresh Spinach Day, we’re to add something healthy to our diet. However, tomorrow, the 17th, is Peach Ice Cream Day. I guess you’re to counteract the fresh spinach with ice cream?

July 17th is also National Yellow Pig Day. Really! If you don’t believe me, you can read about it here:

Who came up with these bizarre holidays? And how do these holidays get inducted into the national holiday hall of days (heehee).

Anyone can declare a holiday just to have a reason to celebrate, but for it to be made official really does take an act of Congress.

So, I’m making up my own kooky holiday. Here goes…

Today, I declare July 16th as “Make Up Your Own Holiday” Day.

Today is the day you think of something you want to celebrate, then name it. It must be something of great significance to you.

This holiday will not need an act of Congress to be real for you and me. It can be a personal accomplishment, a victory, a new revelation or vision. It can be whatever you want it to be.

I’m declaring my holiday as Letting Go Day. If Congress approved it, it’d be called National Letting Go Day.

As I write this, I’m in the process of letting go of lots of stuff. Some are commitments to good things, but just because they’re good doesn’t mean I should say yes.

I’ve been trying to control the direction of my life. Things I want, situations, circumstances, people. I know better, but it’s in my nature to want things to go a certain way….my way.

I’ve secretly held on to negative, sinful thoughts that were buried underneath fear, worry, anger and resentments. My twisting, entangled thoughts demanded all my focus at the same time.

I’ve also had the wrong mindset regarding a non-profit single-parent ministry I founded. I wrongfully assumed I had to do it all and do it well. I have a day job, a husband, new grandbaby, elderly mom, friends, writing projects and more. I’m just the founder. God will provide gifted, talented people to do it all and who’ll do it well; much better than I can.

Following a recent burn out, and feeling I’d failed God, I took a step back from everything. God was then able to show me that He never intends for me to do it all; that my relationship with Him isn’t based on anything I do! It’s based on grace alone.

I’ve now taken all my focus off everything.

Except one.

HIM. Only my relationship with Him. That’s all. That’s my focus. My thoughts have smoothed out and my heart is no longer heavy. When I smile it’s for real.

As I let it all go, and place it on Him, He refills me. Peace, rest and a fresh touch. O yeah!

I gladly step aside.

This makes me want to celebrate! Happy Letting Go Day!!

What is your holiday today? What do you want to celebrate? Name it! And share it below.
Let the celebrations begin,


Thursday, July 3, 2014


I’m very excited today to introduce my very first blog guest! Many of you know him, but most of you don’t.
He’s never considered himself a writer, but I do. He’s written everything from detailed specs for fire engines, pumpers and ambulances, to his personal testimony.

He’s also written a couple of devotionals he shared at a Celebrate Recovery leadership meeting. That is what I’m sharing with you today, a piece he wrote titled, “Miracles.”

I am partial to him and yes, I do play favorites. He’s very witty, funny, intelligent, and has much to say about many things. I am sure this is the first of many stories and/or devotionals that will be penned by my very own, Donnie Webster, my sweet husband. I’ve edited his in-person version to a readers’ version.


Today I am going to talk about some miracles that are going on right here around us.

Webster Dictionary defines a miracle as an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific law.

In the Bible there are many examples of miracles: The parting of the Red Sea by Moses that allowed the Israelites to escape the bondage of the Egyptians. The time Jesus raised a man named Lazarus from the dead.

I have had people tell me that miracles like these no longer happen today.

They do.

How many of you know what a pecan tree looks like and are able to picture it in your mind? 

Now envision a pecan.  

A pecan weighs around an ounce and is a little over an inch long. If I were to take a pecan and put it in the ground, add some water, it would eventually grow to a 70 – 100 foot tall tree, weighing thousands of pounds. It would be like nothing that pecan you first pictured in your mind.


By the way, if anyone is interested, the second largest pecan tree in the state of Georgia is just a few miles from here on Marks Road between here and Mansfield.

Now picture a can of Salmon. Think about it for a few seconds. 

And no, the miracle is not that a man can put a dead fish in a can and then 5 years later take it out, eat it and not get sick. That is not the miracle.

This fish is born in a freshwater stream that is only inches deep. After hatching, the fish travels downstream and eventually into the ocean. Salmon have traveled up to 1500 miles one way from their place of birth.

After living several years in the ocean, the fish leaves the ocean, travels upstream where it first came from, and lays its eggs in the SAME stream where it was born.


What or WHO does the navigation there? Think about it… the navigation!

Now, picture a mirror. It can be a handheld one or big like one in your bathroom. All of us look in the mirror every day.

The next time you look in a mirror at yourself, you are looking at a MIRACLE.

God has created you by taking a single cell from your mother, and a single cell from your father. He combined two cells. Over a period of 9 months it produces millions of cells that became a living, breathing person.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,”Psalm 139:13.


You see the pecan, the salmon, and the person that you are. These are all proof of things that science cannot explain. This is proof that MIRACLES DO EXIST. 

The next time you think you’ve never seen a miracle or wish you could witness a miracle, they’re happening all around us. We just need to be willing, to be willing to see them from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the author of all miracles. 

What other miracles can you think of? They're all around us and endless if you take the time to look around and see.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Be Still and Know...

“Would you just sit still and be quiet!" Those are the words I've heard most recently from the Lord. Not words of direction for anything. Not, "you're doing a good job, Terri", or "you need to do this and that."

I could hear Him in my head and heart while running full steam ahead. My steam eventually ran out and I went into "time-out".

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. ANYTHING. Except for journaling, which I don’t consider writing. That’s therapy.

Last August I quit my full-time job as God opened a door for me to go part time. The reason was so I could spend more time on Spring Ministries (single-parent ministry) and marketing my new book, “Markers for Single Moms: Finding God’s Direction in the Chaos” , as well as write two more “markers” books for single moms, and a host of other writing projects still filed away in my head, waiting their turn.

Nine months later I found myself in a worsening state of mind. My new part-time job required learning new things, which stresses my brain. I worked hard trying to move Spring Ministries forward with fundraising, helping a few single moms, creating flyers, brochures and a newsletter (still yet to do), handling deposits, mailings, press releases, searching for board members, trying to make it to important community meetings, selling books, writing more, keeping a clean house, play piano in the church band, be ReeRee to a new grandbaby and a wife to my dear, patient husband, just to name a few.

These are all good things, right? Isn’t that why I quit; to do good things for God? I kept saying “yes” to stuff because after all, I was only working part-time now.

People ask me how I like working part time. Umm, how do I answer that? Working part-time is fine, but I’m more scattered, stressed, forgetful and tired than I was when I worked full-time.

When overwhelming fatigue, increasing aches and pains, and bouts of emotional spells became uncontrollable, I knew something was wrong. This is not how it was supposed to be. Why couldn’t I do it all? Others seem to do it all and do it well. Why can’t I?

I complained to God a lot during this time while trying to keep up the steady pace. I finally crashed and caught fire; burned right up. Yelp. I’m just being honest. Then God put me in time out.

He’s so good. My time out was an eight-hour road trip to visit my big sister-in Christ, in Lakeland, Florida. She couldn’t wait for me to come, and I couldn’t get there fast enough. I needed to hear her refreshing, godly wisdom. “You need to let something go,” she said. She also reminded me I have a husband and somehow he’d been pushed down to the bottom of my priority list. Ouchy.

Once I got still and quiet long enough to hear what God was saying, I got it. I’d presumed and assumed a lot of things. The ministry is His, not mine. He never intended for me to do it all. Non-profits can’t operate that way. I have ceased striving to move the ministry forward in my strength. God has provided connections with community leaders who can step in.  What a huge relief!
I quit the worship band, took a break from writing, and realized that I can only do so much at my job.

I cried to the Lord, “please, God, just give me ONE thing to focus on. O-N-E. Just. One. Thing. I’m done. I quit.

Like the old song, “I Can See Clearly Now, the Rain is Gone,” clouds parted and I could see clearly.

I know what the ONE thing is. Him. Jesus. “Just focus on Me,” He said. Just Me. My relationship with Him had also been shoved aside with all my do-gooding. I felt nothing but relief and rest as I realize that my only job is to know Him more, focus on Him and He’ll take it from there. Whew! The world might call me a slacker. But I’m much happier thinking about Him first. It’s a process and I’m a work in progress.
Sweet reader, whoever you are, if your plate is full and you’re overwhelmed, it’s time to sit still, be quiet, stop squirming and let Him show you. Focus on your relationship with Him and everything else will fall into place.  That’s where you’ll find the rest and peace you crave.

Relieved and resting,


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day From Many Angles

Tomorrow, mothers everywhere will be honored; from sun up to sun down. Then all the rush will be over, the rush for that last minute Mother’s Day card, the gift, food to be cooked and all those texts and emails that will be sent out all day with Happy Mother’s Day greetings.

I’ve thought a lot about Mother’s Day the past couple of days. My daughter waits anxiously for her firstborn (and me too!!!). She could quite possibly become a new mom by the end of the day tomorrow. Or we wait another week. I went to visit my own mom today who lives in a nursing home. I think about her a lot, remembering my younger years and how well she took care of me and my brothers. The relief of knowing she’s taken care of everyday is shadowed with sadness that her younger years are behind us. 

I think of all those who long to be moms and aren’t, and those who don’t want to be moms, yet are. I think of all those children (young and grown) who lost their moms prematurely or moms who lost a child, and celebrating Mother’s Day is only a painful reminder. I hope and pray the sting of that loss will be lessened tomorrow.

I know there are moms who are celebrated by their husbands, leading their children by example in honoring their wives on Mother’s Day and it’s a joyful day. I also know there are moms whose husbands don’t model that quite so well and mothers might be left feeling a little unappreciated. There is a God who understands and you can turn to Him to fill that and any other disappointment there may be.

You might be that adult child searching the rows of Mother’s Day cards trying to find the perfect card to express how deeply grateful you are for your mom. But then you might be the adult child who searches through all the cards to find one not so genuine, less mushy and loving because that just isn’t how your mother-child relationship is. I know that God can and will fill that void of frustration and hurt. 

The one I think of the most though, is the single mom. Celebrating Mother’s Day as a single mom can be one of the most endearing, humbling, bittersweet, melancholic, joyful, sad, exhausting, fearful, happy, thankful, regretful, hopeful day for you. I believe you have the hardest job ever! Even if you are blessed with strong family support, when you turn the light out at night, it’s just you and your child(ren). Know that the Lord is as near as your next breath and all you have to do is say His name.

For ALL of us moms, from whatever angle you're viewing Mother's Day from, whether good, bad, sad or happy; my deepest hope and prayer is that tomorrow, Sunday, May 11, 2014, will be a day full of contentment, peace, hope and joy. Let's all look upward in confident trust that the God who made us moms, and the God who gave us a mom, is greater than each and every circumstance. Here's to you all: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dream World

I over commit myself. I make ridiculous to-do lists that are humanly impossible to complete. While in the middle of my frenzied schedule, I sink into deep thought about how and when and when and how I’m going to do it all. My husband will ask, “are you in Terri’s world?” I want to snap out of that stressed-filled world because it inevitably brings on a come-apart melt-down leaving me sleep deprived, foggy-brained and not wanting to do anything at all. Does anyone out there relate to what I’m saying?

There’s another dimension to “Terri’s world.” It’s a world I escape to that takes me away from the over-committed world. Lately I’ve escaped to that world often (ok, daily) and wonder if it’s healthy or okay. This world I escape to exist in spring-like conditions every day, all year. In this world I control my schedule. I work when and where I want because I’m following my passion to write for a living. Not a famous living, but a simple living.

In this world the trees are lush green standing tall against a blue sky. 
Everyday. Irises never die, but stand tall, showing off as they pop open in brilliant colors of purple, blue, peach, yellow and maroon. The slightest hint of their gentle sweet aroma fills the air. Bees hum happily and thick blueberry bushes promise a bountiful crop. I have no schedule, no appointments or meetings, other than where the balmy, breeze takes me.

“Whoa!” I think to myself.  I’ve had these symptoms before. They’re worse than ever this year. Is it because of the dreadful winter we had? Is Spring Fever worse this year, more contagious? Snap out of it, Terri! But I don't want to snap out of it.

Then I slip back into this world as if it’s a dream. The temperature is 60 degrees at night and 85 in the day. The bright yellow goldfinch visits every morning and evening, and I get to be there to see him. 
In this world I’m not thinking about to-do lists and obligations. I’m thinking about how I want these long, warm days to slowly meander in and out of each other while Bob Marley sings in the background, “don’t worry…. about a thing…. every little thing… is gonna be all right.”

I existed in that world on Monday and was sitting in the middle of it this morning. Then suddenly I snapped out of it when I remembered the cubicle. Ah, yes, the cubicle. Today was the day I had to go back to the cubicle.

I shook it off, put away my pen and journal along with my fresh ideas for another ebook and summer book tour. My cubicle inside a stale, cold office building is waiting for me. For now, I go there. But hey, sometime in the near future that dream world just might become reality. Parts of it anyway. 

Where does your dream world take you? What are you passionate about? Are there steps you can take to bring your dream world to reality; or at least parts of it?

Maybe it’s not just wishful thinking, but something God intimately and specifically dropped into your heart so you’d pursue it.

It’s just a thought. Or is it?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Past, Present, Future: Where Do You Live?

My thought life can drive me nuts at times. All my thinking seems to never stop. Sometimes I say to myself, "Hush! Stop! Be quiet!" Sometimes it works. Sometimes not. Do you do this?

I think about the past a lot. Then I'll fast-forward to the future. Before I'm done, I rewind to the present where I tend to dwell on today's demands, to-do lists, obligations, responsibilities and how fast life is passing me by. Do I have any head nods out there?

When I visit my past, I'm haunted and taunted with what-if's and if-onlys. The devil loves it when I go back there where he stirs up sorrow, anger, and hurts, along with a whole host of other emotions. Why go there so much? There's not ONE thing we can do to change the past.

My thoughts of the future tend to be full of fear and worry over what might happen. While I'm living in the future, my present is passing me by. This isn't a new revelation for me. It's just something I struggle with. What I do know is this: My thought life is a choice. I do have the freedom to choose what I dwell on. We all do.

Lately, the Lord has been showing me consistently that He's here now. Right now. His Presence is present. That's where all the action is. Where choices are made. This is where prayers are whispered and cried out; in the present in His presence. Not back there or up ahead, but right here, right now.

Will you make the choice with me today, to choose to work on living in His Presence, and dwelling on Him above our to-do lists, obligations and responsibilities? Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" Matthew 28:20 (NKJ). He didn't say I might be with you or will be with you. I Am. When I fear the future, He tells me, "Fear not, for I am with you..." Isaiah 41:10 (NKJ). 
When we live in the past or worry about the future it shows on our face.

Dwelling on the reality of Jesus' Presence will permeate our present, seeping in and filling all the cracks, crevices, holes and empty spaces.This is where healing from our pasts takes place. This is where hopes and dreams are made for our future that He holds anyway. Where will you live?

Living in the present of His Presence,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Hiatus is Over

Good morning everyone and a very Happy New Year to you!

I'm hanging my head a little.
Hi Y'all

I just read my last post, dated 11/21/13. I ended it with "until next week..." That was six weeks ago. Some blogger I am. It's not like I have all these followers or anything, but seriously.

As a writer, I'm working on things like consistency and sustained disciplined. The same two things I'm working on with my food issues. I guess it's okay that I took six weeks off for the holidays, but that's not really practicing consistency and discipline, is it?

When I know I'm going to be posting about personal issues, like food addiction and the pursuit of better health, I am much more disciplined because I know all my FIG girls and other friends are there with me and I have the accountability I need.

How was your relationship with food during the holidays? Food-wise, I did great and even lost 2 pounds. Then Christmas Eve came. I ate gluten-filled foods, a few sugary treats and barely exercised. Okay, I didn't exercise at all. As I sit here typing this post, I feel pretty bad. I have a borderline throbbing headache, neck pain to add to the back pain and slightly nauseous. I didn't overeat. What I did was consumed foods that I'm 90% sure must be banned from my everyday diet. Enough!

I'm not setting any New Year's resolutions. I fail every time I do. What I do succeed with are small challenges. I can accept a 30-day challenge. Can you? There will be more about that before this weekend because I'm inviting you to accept a challenge beginning this Monday. All ages and all sizes.

I am working on a separate blog strictly for these issues. As I've said before I'm a research girl and have lots of information to share. I'll be back in a couple of days. Really, I will. It won't be days or weeks this time.

Be blessed and encouraged that God really does care what we eat and drink. He has special plans and specific works for you and me. I want to be in the best health possible at any age so that I can serve Him to the maximum!

Going for the max,