Friday, April 29, 2011

An Amazing Confirmation...

When you believe in God you don't really believe in 'coincidences' because we know that nothing is out of the control of our great and sovereign God!

Nothing surprises Him!!!

So I prefer to call this a "confirmation".

I have mentioned on here before that I follow a wonderful group called BRAVE GIRLS CLUB. In fact I am an official "Brave Girl" since I have completed their online Soul Restoration course. I would HIGHLY recommend their site/classes/daily emails/art....everything!!!

Check them out at:

So what is this confirmation you may be wondering?

Well this morning my daily Brave Girl email popped up and as I read itI sat up straighter thinking, seriously!?!?

THIS is EXACTLY what I have been talking about.

It is what I have been referring to for all these years since I took that lovely walk on my 39th birthday (did I tell you I am now 52!! eek!!)

So here it is for all of YOU to read.......I LOVE their messages and all the affirmations it brings to the hearts of all who read them. I KNOW you will be encouraged today as you read this.

Hmmm...maybe I shall begin the practice of bringing a "daily message."

Let me know what you think!!!


Dear Perfectly Wonderful Girl,

Are you carrying an old or new burden around like a heavy bag of rocks, letting it drag you down and hold you back? Is it a belief about yourself or someone else? Is it a mistake you made? Is it something that someone else did to you than you cannot overcome?

It is time to stop shaming yourself. It is time to start treating yourself with the kind of love that you treat others with. It is time to overcome it.

You are not your past, and you are not your mistakes. You are not what others say you are and you are not your limitations, your weaknesses, or your frailties. You are not the horrible things that others have done to you. You are not you addictions or your family or your dress size or your tax return.

You are a priceless, authentic, light-filled soul. No one has ever been created just like you and no one ever will be. You are worth more than you will ever know.

It is time to see yourself this way, with unconditional love, kindness, and forgiveness. Today, let go of the shame. Let go of it. It is time.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning Part 7...The HARD Work....

Well, how are you doing with YOUR Spring Cleaning so far???

I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am.

Did I tell you I followed my own advice and cleaned up my Master closet over the weekend? Well, I took the SEVEN bags of clothes, shoes & purses I purged to a dear friend and her daughter. They were soooo thrilled! What a blessing to brighten someone else's life in this small way that was so big to them!

The part we are at in our Spiritual Spring Cleaning is getting a bit tough.

It gets pretty messy and difficult. Remember when you were knee deep in the piles of your physical closet and you felt so overwhelmed??
I can tell you that you will feel much the same as you are in the throes of digging out the issues that have been plaguing you for longer than you can remember.

SO, be easy with yourself and take the time you need. This is deep, HARD work. It is necessary and vital to your Spiritual and emotional health so it might take some elbow grease and TIME.
Take a break from it when you need to, just like you did when you were working on your closet. BUT, make sure you come back!!
You must ENDURE!!!!

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him."
Psalm 28:7

Just as using the proper organization tools is necessary for our cupboards and closets, it is vitally necessary that we employ the proper tools and help we need as we clean out our hearts.

If you come to a place where you need HELP, like I did when I was cleaning out my closet. Someone who can be objective, someone who can help you see things in another light, who can help guide you and lead you......Find that kind of help for your spiritual needs.
If you need to visit your Pastor, do so!
If you feel the need for a one out!
If you simply need the shoulder of a friend, call them up and make a plan with them right now!
If you just want someone to share your story with....write me here!!!

Throwing these rocks out of our back packs without doing the work of it will do us NO good! If that is what you do, then it is simply a physical act.
That is not the point!
The point is to rid yourself of the issues that have been buried deep within you.
Those things that need to be healed and recovered from. That is why you need to pull away and spend some quality time with the Lord. You can only do this kind of work with the help of our Lord and Savior.

ENDURE... No matter how bad the condition of your life, your heart, your mind...don't EVER give up!!!

Suffering precedes liberation

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

Have you ever heard the analogy about the butterfly emerging from the cocoon?
I do not know all the scientific details but the gist of it is this;

The lowly caterpillar spins a cocoon where it stays awhile and begins a process called metamorphosis. Apparently there is a great struggle that must occur in order for the butterfly to emerge from the cocoon whole, healthy and beautiful.

I read a story once about a little boy who had been watching a cocoon, knowing that it housed a potential butterfly. He could not wait for the butterfly to emerge. One day he noticed a small hole in the cocoon. Excited that it was time, he ran to get some scissors and proceeded to "help" this poor little butterfly out of his prison.

What happened befuddled this little guy. Instead of a big, beautiful, colorful butterfly flying out, out staggered an unrecognizable creature. Instead of wings outstretched and beautiful, there were shrunken little flappers attached to a swollen belly.

Since the process was halted the butterfly failed to fully mature.

How many times have you wanted to be rescued from the pain? Oh I know I sure have!!!
It is difficult to think that pain is good, but it is in our suffering that we are made strong THROUGH GOD!!!!

"After you have suffered for a little while the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you".
1 Peter 5:10 NASB

One of my daughters has a life "motto"; "That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger." That is pretty much what this verse is telling us.

Mull all of this over and pray about those things that cause you pain and suffering and what you need to do with them. How do you need to handle these issues?What will it take to rid them of their hold on you? How can you let it go? Let God lead you and direct you through the process.

I will be back soon for more...........
I still have lots of good stuff to share before we wrap this up.

Love & Blessings!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning....Part Six

Today I want to share my story of the physical/Spiritual journey I took.....

The day I unloaded the rocks from my own back pack, the rocks I had carried for years.

The year was 1997.
In January my mom had passed away, leaving me parentless (my dad died in 1988). I went through a time of deep depression following her death. There were several factors involved and much of it was a deep, deep hurt that happened the very day after she passed away. It was the kind of injury that cut deep and I was struggling to rebound that AND the death of my mother.

During this time I began taking nice LONG walks! It was my way of coping. I would pray and pray and pray. We lived in the mountains so there was nothing but nature to distract me, and that is not a bad thing.

As the year progressed I began pondering my upcoming 39th birthday and that I wanted to do something to celebrate and even challenge myself both physically and spiritually. I have always used the time around my birthday to reflect and ponder my life (just like I do each New Year).

I thought I would LOVE to reach the very top of the mountain I had been walking these past months. So, I came up with the idea to walk to the top of Mt Pinos.

My birthday arrived....I was sooo ready and excited about this journey I had been preparing for.

My plan was to take an 18 mile trek, that would be 9 miles up to the top of the mountain and 9 miles back home. I put on my walking shoes and stepped out my front door for this fabulous celebration of my birthday!

I had only taken about 20 glorious steps when the excitement gave way to the... WHAT?????

I had been so excited about this, and I had prepared and trained for the walking part, but....I never did figure out what the Spiritual part was going to be.

During all the walks I took in those days I had a practice of beginning them with a time (a mile) of praise and worship. It was how I began each walk. So, I just began doing what I always did...praising Him and thanking Him for this beautiful fall day.

As I walked along, lost in praising God I spied a white rock on the ground. Instinctively I reached down and picked it up. I noticed immediately that it was in the perfect shape of a heart.
A white heart shaped rock.

Now let me tell you, I was walking on a dirt road!
There were rocks everywhere of course...sooo, the fact that this ONE rock caught my attention was only God.

It took no time at all for me to comprehend that God was telling me that this little heart shaped white rock represented MY INNOCENCE! My heart dropped. I knew where this was going and I did NOT want to go there! I began pleading to God, NO not this issue God, I have dealt with this, it is not a place I want to go.

He did not have the same plan.
Apparently I had not dealt with this issue for the last time.

You see, I, like many of you was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
This small (=childhood) white (=innocence) heart shaped (=my heart) rock represented that very issue.

The tears began to flow and my heart ached for that little girl who felt so scared and scarred. I held that rock and prayed to God that I would once and for all feel a release of this issue, that it would no longer weigh me down, plague me or define me in any way.
I had no sooner prayed that prayer when I had the urge to toss this rock over the cliff, and I did, into the sea of forgetfulness. Finally to be rid of.

Obviously I carry the scars and subsequent lessons from that time of my life, some are further residuals and some are wisdom that came from enduring a difficult season of life.

I will not share the entire journey of "rocks" that I tossed out of my back pack that day. This is actually the very foundation of the book I am writing.
It is my desire to help other women by encouraging and sharing that which I have gone through that they too become stronger in their walk with the Lord and become WHOLE and effective as Christian women.

The rocks that were making my back pack so heavy were tossed out one by one, each one with it's own reflection and prayer. I did not know what the pattern was going to be in the beginning, but by the time I reached the top of the mountain that day I had dealt with 18 significant issues and it occurred to me that 18 is the age of becoming an adult.

Why was this significant you might wonder.

WELL............I have a theme in my life.
It comes from something God spoke directly to my heart many years ago when I was going through a very rough time and was crying out to Him.

I was dealing with people and issues I had carried from my childhood, the foundation of my insecurities and self issues.

So, you see, I had reached 18, the age of becoming an adult and this was very significant to me.

EMBRACE.........We all have a story.

We all have carried around these heavy loads for years. Some of us have already begun the process of unearthing them, and some of us have things buried so deep it will take a huge effort to dig them out and then deal with them and come to the place of tossing them over into the sea of forgetfulness.

Getting these things out, dealing with them and then putting them where they belong will open up your heart in ways it has not been in a mighty long time. You will no longer be tripping over things that have been blocking your flow. Your heart will be open to flow freely, to hold the things that are important and healthy. All this time they have been getting choked out by the ugly stuff inside of us.

"You cannot move on and be happy in the present or future until you can find strength to let go of the past."

"Until you heal your past you are going to bleed and bleed and bleed" ~ Oprah

Take a close look at the photo of the rocks I tossed from my back pack. Do you notice something? There, hidden amongst the ugly stuff, those ragged and dirty rocks, you will find some sparkly, shiny GOLD rocks!!

Those represent the things that have been hidden inside of you, that have been being choked out. It is time to reclaim those things like: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, HAPPINESS, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, SELF-CONTROL, GENTLENESS, FAITH.....

I would love to hear from you, about the "rocks" you need to rid of, or the stories of how you did rid of them. Like I said before; We ALL have a story...EMBRACE yours.

~We are not done Spring Cleaning yet....more to come!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Part 5 of Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Home....

When we left off in Part Four we had begun discussing those things that you have kept tucked away in the nooks and crannies of your heart...Your Soul House.

Those things that have accumulated and built up creating emotional and spiritual clutter.

"For He is not a God of confusion and disorder, but of peace and order."

1 Cor. 14:33

I gave you a little list of "issues" to spur you on in your personal search for that which has been left un-attended to in your own heart.

I hope you found time (errr...TOOK time) to pull away with the Lord,

time to seek Him and what it is He is telling you

that YOU personally need to deal with once and for all.

Once we IDENTIFY those things/issues, it is time to evaluate them.

Just like we did in our closets we have to decide which category each item needs to fall into.




If this "issue" is something that no longer serves you well,

that you simply need to LET GO OF

then toss it into the sea of forgetfulness!!!

Things like pain, fear, anger....


You are going to find some things that need to be GIVEN AWAY.

Forgiveness is one of the biggest things you will find you need to GIVE.

You have hung on to that issue for way too long, it is time to deal with it

sufficiently and offer forgiveness.

It is far more freeing than you will ever know.

In forgiving you are not saying it was okay what they did to you,

it is saying that you know the love of the Lord and His forgiveness

and you can and will offer it to those who have injured your heart.

GRACE is another thing you can offer.

How many times are we quick to be upset with someone,

be graceful, be kind and loving.


PUT AWAY refers to those things that you have put in the wrong place.

Like letting things become so much bigger than they really are,

blowing things out of proportion.

Bad habits can be misplaced.

BLAME is usually misplaced!

Always remember this...



"There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,

who do not walk according to the flesh but to the Spirit."

Romans 8:1

"You can't keep the birds from flying around your head

but you can keep them from building a nest."

~Martin Luther

All of these "issues" you are carrying around are making your life miserable.

It is like you carrying around a back-pack of heavy rocks.

Each issue is one of the "rocks" in that pack.

The load is weighing you down and slowing you up,

not allowing you to be as strong and productive as you are meant to be.

As you begin to unload them you will feel your load lighten

and you will feel stronger and more confident than ever!

I carried around a pretty heavy load of rocks for years.

My shoulders were slumped from the sheer weight of it all.

I will share the story of my personal process of letting it all go,

cleaning out my Soul House.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally..........Part THREE of Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Your Home....

Goodness, I am so sorry I have taken so long to get back on here to get to the good part of this message!!!

I took a fall and the effects of such a blunt force to my body with this fibromyalgia has taken a toll. My husband reminds me that maybe I should stop and let my body heal instead of continuing on as if nothing ever happened.

Hmmmm, what a thought! hA!!! ;)

Soooo.....onward to the message of Spring Cleaning!!!

You have gotten your household Spring Cleaning done, right!?

I decided to follow my own advice and finally dug in and got my own Master Closet done tonight! I have someone I want to give my goodies to and that pushed me to get it done.

I am contemplating taking a photo of the heaping pile I still have to deal with. ;)

Our HEARTS......

The process is much the same to Spring Clean our hearts.

We must first set aside the time.


Ah, but this time it is even more important that we have some time all to ourselves.

A little seclusion and quiet time is best.

Do what works for you.

For me, I LOVE to get away, somewhere in nature is my personal ideal.
However my favorite chair in the living room works fine too.

The whole point is to set aside the time and get still before the Lord.


We need to GATHER OUR TOOLS.....

For cleansing our heart the most important tool of all is the WORD of God!!

The Word of God is the thing we need to use to weigh everything up against.

"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

Luke 6:45 NIV

The other tool I like to have is my journal.

That way I can jot down the thoughts that I have,
those things I feel like God is speaking to my heart as I seek Him.

Now it is time to PRAY.

Just like I stood at the door to my closet and prayed for God to lead me and direct me,

I will do the very same thing before I begin the process of digging deep into my heart.

I will pray for God to shine His light onto the dark places,

the nooks and crannies, the hidden, dark places where some things have been hiding.

Some things have been in there a very long time,

I have grown accustomed to them being there,

so much so that I do not even notice that I am tripping over them again and again.

There are things that are "cluttering" up my life, my heart,

keeping me bogged down and heavy laden.


I need to un-earth these things,

revealing what it is that is cluttering up my heart.

My soul house.

"Eliminate physical clutter.More importantly, eliminate Spiritual clutter."

~D.H. Mondfleur

What are these things for you?????

What are those things that are hiding in your heart?

Those things that have been buried deep and not dealt with for a very long time?

These are the things that you have decided are not worth dealing with,

or it was simply too hard to do,

or you just keep pushing it back in hopes that they would just go away!

Let me help you identify them.....

I have created a little list,

as you read it be thinking about your own "clutter"

and which of these things might also be yours.

Be open to God's still small voice and what He is speaking to YOUR heart to deal with.

Shame Bitterness Anger Resentment Pain Rejection

Fear Regret Condemnation Insecurities

Lack of Self-Esteem Grief Anxiety Worry

The feeling of not being good enough, never enough..........

Mull this over.......

Pray about this.

Seek God in your quiet place and I will be back to share more.

Hopefully tomorrow!!!!

Love & Blessings!!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Home...Part TWO glad you are back! :) I bet you came back because I told you that there are surprises awaiting you IF you do return....if you ENDURE!!! So, you took your little break, got a breath of fresh air and you are back to finish the process of spring cleaning. As you have encountered many things that you need to put away, give away and throw away you will also find a few surprises. Those things you might have forgotten about. Things that have great meaning and yet they have been buried amongst the rubble. I am going to tell you about the treasures I found in my own closet. Just recently I thought I would love to begin a collection of old Bibles. One of the customers we have decorated for has one and I was so impressed with it, that I thought I would like to have a collection of my own. Lo and I was cleaning out my closet I came across two precious Bibles I had forgotten about. One is a little hardback, black Bible that was given to me when I was only seven years old at a church that some family friends had taken me to. That was the only Bible this little girl ever held. What a treasure!!! The other is a white leather Bible, with gold imprinting bearing mine and my husbands names. It was a gift from my mom and dad on our first wedding anniversary....which was 33 years ago!! Another priceless treasure indeed!! Had I not dug through the old, the yuck, the clutter...I would have never found the treasures that were buried in there. I wonder what YOU will find? What treasures are lurking in YOUR closet??? EMBRACE those treasures!!!!! They are gifts from God! Well now that you have cleared out the junk and found some precious treasures, it is time to EMPLOY your organizing tools and begin putting these things back into your closet using a little creativity and a sense of order. Use some baskets to house all your beautiful scarves; shoe shelves for your shoe collection; organize your hanging clothes by color and type to make things so much easier to find. There are so many things you can do that takes little or no money and will create a pleasant environment that you will encounter on a daily basis. Ahhhh yes! It feels so good to have accomplished this task. It was hard work, and now you can stand back and admire the end result of all your efforts. But, you cannot expect it to remain that way without further effort. You are going to have to ENFORCE some maintenance habits to keep it that way. Remember some basic rules that will help you keep it that way. Things like; "Don't put it down, put it away." My own personal rule of thumb is, no matter how much I do not want to, I MAKE myself hang everything back up when I am trying on outfits when I am done. Some days I just don't want to, I want to leave them lying there on the floor, but I won't let myself do it, because I know I do not want to face that mess at the end of the day AND I know how big the pile will become if I do not keep it in check. Come up with your own rules, a maintenance routine to keep your closet looking so fabulous. Now your closet is so inviting and fresh and open.... Hmmmmm................just think about how your HEART is going to be!!! Our hearts take just as much effort as our physical houses do & the process is very much the same, AND the reward is just as amazing!!! I cannot wait to share that part with is my favorite part of this message, but it will have to wait. Stay tuned!!!!! XO

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Home....Part ONE

For over fourteen years we lived in the mountains where I gained a better understanding of the whole "spring cleaning" phenomenon.
You see, most of us here in (mostly) sunny California have no real idea of why spring cleaning is necessary. Yet, after living in the mountains for over 14 years I have a much better understanding. As many of you who live in even colder, more isolated climates could possibly explain even better to me, I experienced how much grime built up after a long winter of fires in the fireplace. When the house remained closed up for months on end, it would be in dire need of a good airing out. Opening the windows and letting the fresh air in became vitally necessary once the warm weather arrived.
Think about our closets, cupboards and drawers, how we let things build up and become such a mess. There are things lying on the closet floor that we keep on tripping over, clothes that no longer fit us, stuff that needs to be thrown out. There are things cluttered all the way into the nooks and crannies.
It gets so out of control that we feel like it is just too much to deal with, so the mess continues.
Let me offer a plan of attack for Spring Cleaning Your HOME and your HEART!

Beginning with our homes.....

First of all you must get a plan. Set aside some time to conquer the task. Get out your calendar and figure out when is the best time for you to EMBARK upon the task of doing a little spring cleaning!! Figure out what you want to accomplish first, for me it is my Master Closet.

Next step; Gather your tools: EQUIP
Gather whatever cleaning products you will need for the project at hand. In addition, get 3 large trash bags; one marked THROW AWAY, one marked GIVE AWAY and one marked PUT AWAY.

THROW AWAY: is pretty self-descriptive. This is for the trash and junk you will find as you dig in. For those paint pants that are now more paint than pant, ditch them!

GIVE AWAY: is for the things that you no longer wear/need but it is still in good condition and can bless someone else. I usually think of a specific charity I can give to. Some examples I have given to are: Teen Parents (new moms who could use some clothes/shoes/purses/etc), Teen Challenge (women and men who are in a recovery program and probably have limited ability to gain clothing and such. I have also given to Women's Shelters (where women have fled abusive situations and often have had to do so with only the clothes on their backs). There are many more...these are just some of what I have been associated with.

PUT AWAY: is for the stuff that has made it's way into your closet that belongs elsewhere in the house. I actually use a laundry basket instead of a trash bag for this category sometimes so it is easier to see what I have.

Okay you have set aside your time, you have gathered your tools and now the day has is time to get to it.

The first thing you do is: EMPOWER.

I literally stand in the doorway to my closet and say a little prayer. I pray that God will direct me, that He will shed His light onto the nooks and crannies to every little bit I need to dig out and clean up. I pray He will give me the endurance I need to get the job done....

Now it is time to dig in and begin to EXPOSE all the stuff in my closet. To begin pulling things off the shelves, off the racks....

Then you will EVALUATE each item. Is it something that you cherish, definitely keep it. If it is a sweater that you just keep on passing up in the closet and not wearing, then it is time to let it go. If it is something you never did's time to say bye-bye to it. If those flip flops from last summer have seen their day, just toss them. The process will continue as you pour over each item in your closet. You might come across some things that you just cannot decide about..that happens! Set it aside, you might have a trusted friend come and assist you in making those final decisions. It is always easier for someone else to see objectively what is junk and what is not. I usually ask my daughters and they are honest with me about what I need to let go of.

ENDURE!!! It is an exhausting process.
At one point you might need to stop and take a break, re-evaluate, sip a tall glass of iced tea, get some fresh air.....

BUT don't stay away long or you might not get back to it....and you need to come back...there are some surprises waiting for you!! Which is where we will pick up next time........................................