Welcome to my blogger page. My professional profile can be found at DeirdreWRussell.wordpress.com and over at LinkedIn.com.
You can also find me at streamofcontinuousness for the fun stuff and fluff....oh and baby pictures.
This blogger page will mostly be devotionals and meditations on scriptures. I'm not promising to be serious here though. I seriously believe that God is Fun.

Enjoy my pages and I hope you come back to visit often.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

christmas hats

okay, we got the Santa photos done, now on to the rest of Christmas.

first off Christmas Eve was great. My church does four services.

  • a 4:00 kids service (usually a drama or something that kids will love)
  • a 5:30 traditional with candle-lighting, choirs, advent wreath, etc
  • a 7:00 contemporary
  • and an 11:00 traditional.

Martin had to be available to work the 5:30 and the 11:00. Now I knew we weren't going to keep Ginny up till the 11:00 service, even though that one is my favorite, so we planned to go to the 5:30 with the whole family (including my parents, my niece and hopefully my brother). It turned out to be just myself, Martin and Ginny, but we ran into some friends and ended up sitting with them. The service was lovely, Ginny enjoyed the candle lighting very much - even though I wouldn't let her touch the flame.

The "O Holy Night" solo was done by our assistant choir director Blair Brawner and it was gorgeous. It wasn't as technically perfect as some I have heard, but it was beautiful. Even the one time her voice broke...it just made it more of a human sharing moment rather than a performance.

the real highlight for me came after the service was over. You see I had to go up to our pastor and apologize. For wearing a Santa hat all during the service.

??? Why was I wearing a Santa hat to a church service when I don't believe in Santa?

Well I was wearing it initially because I was just being silly. Martin wears his a lot, and Ginny looked so cute in hers, so I was wearing mine to fit in with my silly family.

But then, on the way into the sanctuary, I passed by one of the outer doors, the one right next to the "hats, mittens & scarves tree" This is a 9 foot tall Christmas tree that the members of our church decorate with brand new hats, mittens and scarves all through out the holiday season.

As I was passing that entrance a blast of cold air hit me. Really cold air.

I turned around.

there coming in the door was a woman and three kids.

all in shirt sleeves.

I smiled and said "Hi! Welcome!"

She smiled back, glanced at my hat and then at the tree.

"Do you know how we could get a hat or a coat for my kids?"

At which point I realized that I didn't have a clue how those hats, mittens & scarves were going to be distributed. They disappear every year after Christmas, but I had no idea where they went. To the Co-op? To a shelter? I had no clue.

"Tell you what, I'll find out how we can get you some of those hats and stuff. I know just who to ask, okay?" I said.

"How will I find you?" she asked, as people jostled us apart.

without missing a beat I said "I'm probably the only person in that sanctuary wearing a Santa hat. I won't take it off till you find me again and I promise I'll have an answer for you"

So I asked around, and finally the pastor told me "you just march her right up to that tree and let her have whatever she needs."

Well thanks to the Santa hat, we re-connected after the service and as I was walking her and the kids to the tree I figured I should make conversation...so I asked

"Have you ever been here before?"

"Well no, not to a service." she said "But we come to your Journey to Bethlehem thing every year, so I knew you were nice people"


That was worth every weird look I got for wearing the Santa hat during the service, and every time I have had to explain to my boss why I need those days in December off every year to put up sets and then take them down again. Not to mention all the rehearsals.

So thank you to the people at SUMC who gave hats, mittens and scarves. And to all the folks who work hard to make Journey a reality each year - it is worth it. We are reaching people. People who sometimes need hats.

and I dare say, that is a fitting way to celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

all i want for christmas.....

My memory verse for these last two weeks of 2009 is this -

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.

Psalm 27:4

Not a terribly Christmas-y verse is it?

But for me, right now…it works.

See my body has this horrendous habit of getting sick right around the holidays. Sometime in late November or early December I almost invariably come down with a cold, the cold sinks into my lungs and I spend the next two months hacking, sometimes losing my voice, but mostly sounding like I belong in a ward full of consumptives and tuberculosis patients.

This is very very frustrating for someone whose primary avenue of worship is, and has always been, song. Singing to God is my highest joy. Most years, when this sickness hits me I tend to get very angry and frustrated and depressed. This year, thanks to a song and this particular bible verse I’ve got a different outlook.

There is a song on Travis Cottrell’s album “Found” that is called “Rest” One of the verses goes like this –

Cure my heart of chasing whirlwinds

Of needing earth to quake

Of wrestling made up angels to keep myself awake

Oh bid my restless wandering heart

To find its hope in you

In stillness know that you are God

In rest…….

You make me new.

I’ve spent a lot of time this season just letting various songs wash over me. There is a different message that can be found when I am not spending so much time physically participating but instead participating by listening. That seems like such a simple thing to say, but for me it has been a hard thing to learn. In years past my silence has been that of an actively frustrated bystander. Now I choose to deliberately immerse myself in the flood of words and music.

Its kinda of the difference between swimming with the current or being a leaf that the current is moving. The leaf puts in no effort, but is still moved.

I used to think that if I couldn’t participate in the music that I wouldn’t be moved by it.

I am learning differently this year.


Monday, November 30, 2009

thank you jesus

Most of you know that I read the LivingProof Ministries blog. Well Beth asked a very interesting question over there and I realized I needed to post my answer here as well.

She asked-

What are you grateful for that you NEVER thought you would

be grateful for?

Well. That one got me thinking. The usual stuff is easy - health, home, family, Jesus. All the pat answers. Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with being grateful for those things. But what in my life that could be viewed as a negative could I turn on it's head and view as something to be grateful for?

In years past? it would be my infertility that led us to Ginny. Never in a thousand lifetimes would I trade. Ginny has been a hugs blessing. I can never thank God enough.

But what has happened this year? 2009....Alright. The thing I never thought I'd be thankful for in 2009 is that my husband lost his job in August. August 4th as a matter of fact. On my mother's birthday.

I was so sour about it at first. He was my Bible study partner on the way to and from work for 5 years. We loved our commute together. So I was seriously bummed when that ended. I said all the right things. "God will take care of us." "It will be okay" and I meant them. But deep inside, even while I knew God would take care of us, I was resentful. And to be honest, I kinda of imagined that God taking care of us would mean us scraping by on ramen noodles andfinding ways to cut corners on everything.

I envisioned a life of constant restriction. Nothing extra to enable us to help others. No joy. Just getting by.

Apparently that is not what God had in mind.

This has been a blessed 4 months. First, to hear my man say that he wanted to continue his tithe through the end of this 2009 AS IF HE STILL HAD HIS JOB. Wow. I don't know how to be grateful enough to God for sending me Martin. When I think of the background we both come from. The sin, the darkness of our past........and now to see Martin , how much he really does love God, and know that he is the real spiritual head of my house. That in itself is a blessing.

We have also grown in our relationship. Our relationship had gotten lazy. We depended on that commute to keep us connected. We had to learn all over again to find (or MAKE) time for each other.

Martin has gotten to spend lots of time with our baby girl, so that has been good. Ginny is so precious and I'm glad that at least one of us is getting to spend extended amounts of time with her.

Also Martin and other members of my family have been sick and needed lots of time and care this fall. If he had still had a job they likely would have had to let him go because of all the family emergencies we went through. We never had to face that though.

God sent a job opportunity to Martin that he never would have been able to take on if he had been bogged down with his old job.

So spiritual growth, learning, new patterns, time with family......But then there is the financial stuff.

Finances. The big bug-bear. The nightmare of all who are "downsized" in this economy. God has sent us a clear message that we are not to worry. There have been two (not one, but TWO) out of the blue, un-asked for, financial gifts to our family that will, are you ready for this? enable us to continue our tithe all the way to the end of 2010 as if Martin still had his old job. And it wasn't even a question of "if" when the checks came. It was the first thing on Martin's heart and mind. The tithe.

Wow. After all I have been through in my life and put others through, to finally be married to a real Christian MAN OF GOD is just blessing me right down to the tips of my boots.

so there you go. I'm thankful that my husband lost his job.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Recently my pastor, Dr. Richard Hunter, posted a piece on feeling inadequate.

I wanted to add something to this. Richard, if we were adequate, we would have no need of God.

Lord, I need thee EVERY HOUR. Not just when I acknowledge my overwhelmed-ness, but every hour. Not just when I feel like I can't do this on my own, but every single moment. There is a blessed security in completely surrendering to the fact that God is in charge. Much like when my beautiful baby girl relaxes into my arms.

14 months old 019Ginny can’t spend all her time in my arms. She has to learn to do things on her own. She will eventually grow into a competent adult. But even a competent adult is not enough to stand up against the horrors of this world. Somehow, I need to teach her (and myself) to continually surrender to God. Let Him be in charge. Let Him lift us over the things we know we can’t get over AND over the rough places that we think we could handle on our own.

There is a sweetness in surrender, a peace, an uplifting joy that comes from really knowing that God is in charge. Not in a dictatorial sense, but in a protective, sheltering, loving sense. I don’t see His arms around me as shackles that are keeping me from running free. Instead I see those loving arms like the strong arms of a mommy (or daddy) holding me close because He loves me and enjoys my very presence.

The same way that I can’t get enough of hugging Ginny….God feels even more about me….and you. Don’t believe me? Think I’m off my rocker? Okay. He SAYS so. God’s own words:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a

the LORD delights in those who fear* him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11
(*to me this use of the word “fear” translates as

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
I John 3: 16

How much would I do for someone who loves me this much? Anything LORD. Anything. No more holding back. I surrender. All.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

turn the light on!

Are you walking into a dark room?

Turn the light on!

And if you don’t turn it on, don’t ask for sympathy when you stub a toe on the chair leg.

Are you at a dark campsite?

Turn the flashlight on!

And if you don’t turn it on, don’t cry for sympathy after you fall in a hole.

Do you have any sympathy for the person who fails to turn on a light when they had every opportunity to just flip the switch? Or aim the flashlight and hit the ON button?

I don’t. The light is there, just waiting to be used.

I wish so much that that applied to my daily life. Why do I blunder into situations where my mouth gets me in trouble? Or my temper goes off and leaves me needing to beg forgiveness. Or I do something silly or stupid in a moment of thoughtlessness….

Why doesn’t God stop me from doing those things? Why can’t He show me how to not do them? Couldn’t he intervene? Shouldn’t He make my throat close up, or something so that I don’t say those silly, hurtful things?

No. That would be to take away my free will.

But, I’m ASKING you to do this to me God. Please stop me from blundering around and stupidly hurting people. Why can’t you make it so I can see the problems before they leap up and ambush me? I feel like I’m blundering through life in the dark!

Then, I looked again at my verse for today

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
Psalm 119:105


Right. The light IS there. It is right there in God’s word. But I have to take the time and effectively hit the ON switch. I need to study His words continually so that His words light my way. Even if I don’t know the exact verse that God might choose to guide me at any particular moment, that is what the Holy Spirit is for – to guide us out of those dark moments.

Am I thinking that Satan is attacking me every moment? No. I don’t need to be paranoid. I have enough personal darkness to more than do the job of swamping my heart and soul on a daily basis. I am filled with things I know God wants me to weed out – jealousy, pride, insecurity. Weeds I would be far better off without. It’s a process. *sigh*

So maybe next time I find myself fuming over something and composing a scathing email or with a callous word on the tip of my tongue, I need to recognize that as a moment of personal darkness and turn on the light. Even if I do nothing more than sincerely ask God for His help in that moment, at least I will have given Him a moment to change my heart….and maybe keep me out of a hole.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

sunday roast is in the oven

Acts 16: 22 – 26

22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.

When this passage is talked about or preached about people tend to concentrate on the moment that the chains fell off. I want to point out something different.

Paul and Silas had been attacked. I am certain that right before and during the attack they prayed to God for deliverance. And in that moment, it looked to them like God didn’t answer.

Paul and Silas were stripped of their clothes. I am sure they asked God to spare them. Being without clothes in front of a jeering crowd is a horrific thought. But in that moment, God let it happen.

Paul and Silas were beaten. I am positive that they begged God to still the hands of the person holding the whip. To change the heart of the magistrate who had ordered this. But in that moment, from their perspective, God did not answer. He allowed the beating to happen.

Paul and Silas were thrown into prison. I need no one to tell me that they were pleading with God in their hearts, and perhaps out loud to deliver them. What possible ministry could they hope to have in a prison? But in that moment, God was still silent.

Paul and Silas lay on the probably filthy floor of that prison. Their skin flayed open, dirt, grit, sweat, blood, and tears all mingling. They were hurting. And the hurt had been going on for hours. At some point they have to have beseeched God “please Lord, if you must leave us in jail, heal our wounds! Then our jailors will see your glory when they come down here and see that you are our Protector!”

Everyone focuses on the deliverance from prison and I too tend to forget that they went through a long process of hate, attack, fear, beatings, and pain. I cannot for one minute believe that the songs that night around midnight were the first time God had heard from Paul and Silas that day. The Sunday school image of a cheerful Paul and Silas with their limbs semi comfortably arranged in chains is just so wrong. They were praying and singing hymns to God the bible says. Do you imagine that they were singing “clap your hands all ye people”? Or something more akin to “the Battle Hymn of the Republic” ???

It would have been so easy for them to cry out to God “You let us down! You let Your enemies attack us, beat us and now you have left us here to rot!” How many times do we go through trials (infertility, joblessness, hate and harassment, ridicule) and when God doesn’t answer the way we were expecting we assume that means that He has abandoned us or that we did something wrong. “Lord, I’ve prayed and prayed and you haven’t delivered me yet!” But what if the reason was so that you could cross paths with someone further down the path? Someone that needs to see you trusting in God.

On the other hand there is only so much we can learn from seeing others trusting God while they suffer. I really think the reason God needs us to stew in a particular problem for a while is that WE OURSELVES need time to learn. Time for the lesson of God’s sovereign care for us and over our lives to sink in. Time for us to, in effect get spiritually tenderized. No roast ever got tender by watching another roast cook. eh?

So it’s time for me to apply this lesson to myself.

No matter how much I learn from reading or hearing about other people’s lives and trials and tribulations, there will be things I can only learn from going through it myself.

I hold up pretty well in emergencies. Quick disasters. High heat, short cook time. Those are no problem for me. It is the long drawn out situations - like infertility, and learning to hold my tongue at work – those are my bugbears. The ones that completely trip me up. The slow cooker situations are the ones that get me in trouble. I’ve always just accepted that I’m not good at them.

Recently I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I don’t have to be good at them. I just have to remember that God IS Good at these long slow drawn out situations and learn to trust Him.

Also it finally hit me that the best way to tenderize my soul is to put it through a long, slow, low heat scenario. The end result is a tender, gorgeous, tantalizing meal. Much better than charred steak.

The scent wafts through the house on a Sunday afternoon…you know what I’m talking about. A portion of beef, potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots. Seasoned just right. The beef was seared this morning, then put in a large pan and seasoned. Vegetables were cut up and tossed in. The whole thing is covered. They have been cooking slowly in your mother’s oven or crock pot the whole time the family was at church. And now the gorgeous aroma fills the house.

I want the aroma of my soul to fill God’s nostrils with that type of scent. Warm, promising, delectable and oh so tender. Just like Paul and Silas.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Simulcast 2009

What a weekend.
Friday night and Saturday morning I had a Beth Moore event to attend. What a blessing. She always rocks my world and gives me loads to think about. But this time felt different. Not sure how yet. Maybe had something to do with how she had us worship with ALL our longings (not just the ones you can tell out loud) out at the feet of Jesus. That part came near to breaking me wide open.
Maybe it was when she looked right at me. I know, it's a simulcast, she couldn't see me really, but God could and he had Beth's eyeballs pointed right at me when she asked if we needed to know that God really did love us personally. I stopped taking notes right there. I'm still near to crying just typing it out. I need to spend more time on that one. anybody got any good verses or insights on how to personally feel and know the love of God is really for you as an individual?

Saturday morning we had more Beth and Travis (thanks for the shout out to Snellville Travis. We screamed really loud when you did that. Could you hear us?)
Oh and we had a lovely breakfast....including a Beth Moore favorite: Moon Pies. Yes, moon pies for breakfast. See? I have photos to prove it:

After being blessed with teaching for a few more hours, I then went home and had a glorious birthday party for my beautiful adopted baby girl who turned one on August 29th.
I'll be posting photos of that event on my other blog soon.


Monday, August 17, 2009

  • Missy has asked for people to help her know what to say to an infertile couple.
    This is hard. I was one. I was once one of those walking bundles of pain and anguish who wants to hold a child so badly that it colors everything.
    I have freinds who say that "the infertile woman inside your head never goes away, even once you have children" ... I disagree. I am deleriously happy with my one little girl. She came to us through adoption and I simply don't know if I could love any child more than I love her. We have a wonderful relationship with her birth parents and our whole extended family embraced adoption as a perfectly understandable way of having a child join our home.
    We are lucky. Very lucky. God Healed a lot of things. Not the least of which was my heart.
    But back when I was going through the whole IVF process, after the second try failed, a dear freind pointed me to a post by this woman named Missy. It was a Christmas post about how Mary hadn't expected to give birth in a stable. It was powerful.
    I liked her writting style. So I read more. Then I took a deep breath and contacted her. Even though you would think that someone with four kids under four wouldn't really appeal to a woman who was aching to have a child. But we connected. What did she say that made me feel better? that made her my freind and not the enemy?
    She didn't act like there was anything wrong with me as a person.
    She reminded me CONSTANTLY that God loved me and He had a plan and that it was Good.
    She listened EVERY time I needed to whine or cry.
    she didn't claim to have answers to the physical struggles, but she applied the balm of scripture to my heart. Reminding me that God ALONE was my rock.
    And if we had lived in the same state she would have let me hold her kids. This one is big. Women who are infertile sometimes have a HUGE sense of restraint when it comes to holding children. I can't speak for everyone, but for me I was terrified of holding my arms out to a child. What if they laughed and ran away? I KNOW that toddlers do this all the time. But for a woman who already is feeling like maybe God is saying "you are unfit to be a mother" having a child run away from you can very nearly feel like a physical blow. So mostly I didn'thave the courage to hold my arms out. I would wait for someone to place their child in my arms. It was much safer. Much less chance to rejection.
    So moms of many kids - show confidence in your infertile friends as people. Love them for who they are apart from the issue of childbearing.
    Directors of worship - find ways to celebrate mothers day without making it about biological motherhood. Try celebrating the act of mothering, rather than the miracle of conception.
    oh, and whatever you do, don't earnestly assure them that if they just relax it will happen. Look. That has nothing to do with it. Conception and birth is a miracle that ONLY God controls.
    And do yourself a huge favor. Read this blog post from a friend of mine. It address some theological and cultural hurdles that infertile women face in the church. It may help you see some of the hurt in a different light.
    Thanks Missy for doing this post.
    oh and there is nothing wrong with encouraging folks to consider adoption. We did. And I would not have missed out on my Ginny for all the "biologcally mine" children in the universe.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jesus saves. over and over again

I can't really tell you the scripture this comes from, but I am convinced that Jesus doesn't just save sinners.

He saves me, every day, every moment. Each time I turn to Him when I feel small, or petty, or discouraged, or angry. He saves me from that and sends me in another direction.

Right now I'm in one of those places in my life where I can fall into sin a lot.

the sin of pride - stiff necked and too prideful to accept help. I keep telling everyone we are fine.

the sin of greed - I know we can't afford things right now. but I still want stuff. Mostly plane tickets. And the occasional meal out. But there is plenty in the pantry. I just have to learn to be more creative.

The sin of unbelief - as I try to take over planning how to get Martin a new job and how to make our finances stretch and how to cope....There is nothing wrong with putting in effort, but the fact is that I'm not doing anything to help the situation...I'm just worrying at it inside my brain all day. and worry is a sin. It indicates that I think I can somehow fix something better than God can. Hello? God or Deirdre, who do you think is the better, more experienced problem solver? Which one of us has the greater set of resources to draw from? Which one of us knows the whole plan and what will be for the greater good?

um...that would be NOT me, but God.

There's a great little mini sermon found on Travis Cottrell's most recent CD. The Live album that was recorded in Woodstock, GA back in January. Beth Moore talks about Praising God in difficult times.

I listen to that piece every time I get in the car nowadays. Just to jerk my brain back into the proper track.

God. Is. In. Charge.

God. Is. Good.

and I WILL praise His name. Whether I feel it right this instant or not.

Oh, incidentally, I'm not being morbid here, but when I die, please make note, I want everything from tracks 10 through 14 of that CD played at my funeral. The sermon by Beth, and then the songs that follow it. Go ahead and have the eulogies first and let Phillip Shoultz sing my favorite hymn "And Can it Be" but then, after that, just put in the CD and let it run. My funeral may start off as being about me, but it will end being all about GOD. There will (hopefully) be people at my service who may never have darkened a church door before, and I want them to walk away knowing beyond any doubt that my hope is in Christ Alone.


um....back to my regularly scheduled blog....

actually, you know what? I think that was a good place to stop.

In Christ Alone, my hope is found.

'nuff said.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

re-newing the gratitude list

months ago I was posting a list of ten things to be grateful for every week.

Sometimes it was simple stuff, like oatmeal cookies.

Sometimes I tried to be profound.

I got lazy after a while and stopped posting those lists.

Well today, in the face of my husband losing his job to the concept of “reductions in force” I thought it might be a good time to dust that gratitude list idea off, and bring it back to my blog.

1. Money not spent – Saturday we looked at a phone upgrade, but decided to hold off because a better one for our “needs” was coming out in a few weeks. Now we are very glad that we didn’t spend the money.

2. Money not spent (part 2) - I have been bugging my husband to buy our plane tickets for an upcoming wedding in October and a Christian Women’s event I want to go to in January. He had put it off one more week…and here again, we are very glad because that money will be needed to pull us through. I still desperately want to go, but I’m gonna have to trust God that if HE wants us to go, He will make it happen.

3. Scripture – Monday morning, before we knew anything was going to happen, I choose (or the Holy Spirit chose for me?) a memory verse for the next two weeks: Exodus 33:18 “Lord I pray thee, show me your glory”

4. Health - We are all healthy. When I think of all the things that could have gone wrong in our lives, when I think of families out there who only have one income…..I am so grateful that nothing worse happened to us.

5. Friends – people have been very supportive. Some folks I was expecting, and others that I wasn’t. It’s a nice suprise when people tell you they care.

6. Sense of humor – Martin has an amazing sense of humor. He has been constantly engaged in cheering me up. He even invented a game while we were snuggled down, each reading a separate book, that you have to kiss your partner in order to start a new chapter. My husband is so silly, and sweet.

7. Songs from the past – Monday morning I put in a CD that I haven’t heard in years. Twila Paris’s “The Warrior is a Child” It blessed me Monday. But it blessed me even more today when I had to drive to work on my own, without my best friend, my Martin, in the car.

the drive this morning was hard. Martin has been there with me (since we worked at the same campus) for the commute for over five years. That’s almost 4000 hours of relating, talking, singing, devotions, and just plain old enjoying eachother’s company.

This is where depression kicks in for me. I’m a people person. and Martin is one of my favorite peoples.

Still……I’m saying all the right things.

“yes, we are gonna be fine”

“God will provide”

“God is good, even in this.”

and I do mean them.

but I occasionally feel sorry for myself. Which is wrong. And it is why I’m writting this list of things to be grateful for. To try to re-adjust my brain.

Please be in prayer for a teenaged friend of ours. She was tree climbing and fell from about three stories up. She has had one surgery already and many more are in future. Pray for her family. Her name is Caitlin. She is in high school.

which goes a long way to putting my “situation” in perspective. So many worse things could be happening in my life than to have a husband who has to stay home for a week or two and find a different job.

So Thank you Lord. And please lay your healing hands on Cait and wrap your comforting arms around her family.



Monday, August 3, 2009

sometimes God freaks me out

God is in the details.
This was first posted on my regular blog back in July of 2008.

A recent post on the Living Proof Ministries blog got me thinking about it again and how marvelously God worked out so many details that lead us to Ginny (our adopted daughter who is about to turn one year old this month). There were many many details, but this is the one that just gives me goose bumps. Every. time.
Read on. and enjoy.

"sometimes God freaks me out"

Like this weekend for instance.

Ya’ll all know that we had an adoption match that “went south”

The birth-parents went AWOL, we found out the extended family didn’t support the adoption, all kinds of stuff happened to ensure that the match was one that we would walk away from.

But through all that happened last weekend we came away from it with an absolute conviction of the integrity of our Kansas agency and we made some incredible friends. God is good.

But not only is God good, His timing is…..well downright spooky.

Our first match fell through on Monday, July 7th. The point at which we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that things had gone horribly wrong is when our birth mom didn’t show up for her scheduled sonogram. We were there, at the doctor’s office, with the agent, waiting. hoping against hope that they would show, but they didn’t. That appointment was for 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 7th. (remember that date and time, okay?)

We came home to Georgia. We cried. We prayed. we sent out the disappointing news via email. We praised God for His plan that we knew was going to be good, no matter how disappointed we were at that moment.

The very next day, Tuesday, we got a call about a another couple. This one was 30 weeks along. Healthy, married, 23 yrs old, blonde………..And then came THE QUESTION:

Do you want to talk to her?

Well…….Yes, of course. And also …….. no. We were scared. What if this was too soon? Were we grasping at straws? hooking up with the first thing that comes along? Is it like re-bound from a boy friend breakup? do you need to wait?

and then sense re-asserted itself. NO, there is nothing holy about waiting. And if God is in charge (and we believe that HE is) then HE was the one that placed this couple in our path, so we should talk to them.

We got the dossier/file, did the conference call, and we really got along well. It helped that all four of us are into the same obscure sport: Disc Golf (which I have posted about here before). The guys are more into it than we girls are, but that’s okay. Mel and I had other things to talk about (and before anybody goes off the deep end on me, yes, we have her permission to use their names, they call themselves the birth-parents and they are already calling the baby “your baby” and calling her by the name we have picked out) .

We went out to Kansas to see them and really had a wonderful time together. If we could, we would adopt Steve and Mel along with their baby. These two are really motivated and active and honest. They even refused gifts that we wanted to give them, which is very different from the last couple let me tell you.

So we are matched again !!!!! We have met and loved the birth-parents. We have rubbed (at her request) her beautiful pregnant belly, and we are all holding our breath hoping her little girl stays in there for the full term (just nine more weeks to go ya’ll!)

Here’s a photo of us with Steve & Mel from this weekend:

Deirdre, Martin, Mel(and Ginny), Steve

Deirdre, Martin, Mel(and Ginny), Steve

Isn’t God just amazing?

Now here’s the spooky weird part. The EXACT time that our first couple was supposed to be getting their sonogram………..

Is the SAME DAY AND TIME that MEL was having her sonogram.

9:30 a.m. Central Time, July 7th, 2008

Like I said, sometimes God just freaks me out!


Monday, July 27, 2009

the 24/7 bible study

My friend Missy just posted a series about Bible studies. About how she has been trained to lead them properly and how frustrating is it to sit in a study that someone else is leading and have thoughts flitting through her head like "I would be keeping this discussion on track" But the point of Missy's post is not to rant about how she could do it better, but to eventually discuss how God used that train of thought (and a few others) to point her to a basic truth of parenting:

You (the parent) ARE the Bible study for your kids.

Not that you train them up using scripture (though that is wonderful), but that you LIVE OUT LOUD the life that becomes the gospel to your kids.

Go read her posts. then come back here and we can move forward.

We can all do better at this. If we teach our kids about caring for others and loving the poor, we can also SHOW them by openly supporting ministries like Compassion International.

If we want our children to not worship the material version of Christmas we can establish homes where presents are given to Jesus by each member of the household and food is delivered by the family to others in need. (or other methods are used to point our children to Christ as the significance of Christmas)

BUT. We are human. Ultimately our efforts will fall flat, our energies will flag, our tempers will fray. It's a 24/7 job for goodness sake. There is no down time!

except....your quiet time.

now this is where I'm gonna start preaching at myself

I have tended to look at quiet time as...I'll admit it...something to squeeze in where ever I can and the first thing to get sluffed off the list if timing gets tight.

Never mind what that says to my child as she watches me, stop a minute and think what that does to my sanity.

If my life is what Ginny "reads" ....

If my life is to become the gospel for her.....

I NEED a break to be with God.

I need time to pour out my heart to the ONLY BEING who could EVER bear up under that kind of 24/7 pressure.

How much do most of us mommies look forward to locking ourselves in the bathroom for a few minutes of privacy? admit it, we long for it. We fantasize about spending just 10 minutes without grubby fingers sticking under the door and endless cries of "mommy! brother is sitting on MY side of the living room again"

Face it. We need God.

It would take a saint to be "ON" for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And I am NEVER going to be a saint. At least not on my own power.

But God says that I am already a saint. He says that I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me. I just have to ask for God's strength. God's patience. Discernment from the Holy Spirit. The tools are all there. I just have to crucify my pride and ask for them.

But I seem to trip up on the whole concept of returning to the throne of grace every morning.

My lazy spirit wants to ask ONCE for this outpouring and have it "stick". Why can't I ask once and it be granted forever? there is nothing wrong with God's grace and provision...it is the instrument (me) that is flawed and makes it essential that I go back to the throne. over and over and over again.

I keep getting in the way of God's work

Lord, help. Help me every morning, every minute, every heartbeat. Help me do more than just give you room to guide me. Help me to just get out of the way and let you LIVE in me. Let you course through my very veins. Inhabit my thoughts. Speak out of my mouth. Shine out from me. Make me invisible Lord. I can not possibly live "good enough" to point Ginny (or anyone else) to you Jesus. So make me invisible. Let her see YOU Lord. Let her see You.


Friday, July 24, 2009

I need to give up

Mark 10: 17 – 27
To Enter God’s Kingdom

17As he(Jesus) went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”

18-19Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”

20He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23-25Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”

26That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked.

27Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

We all know this story. and it is traditionally interpreted to mean that we all need to sell everything and follow Christ into poverty.

I see something else here.

The rich young man wanted a checklist to get into heaven. He wanted to know what he could DO. (how often am I like this?) I think Jesus deliberately picked the most impossible thing he could think of. He gave this rich young man the most horrific task He could possibly come up with. He told him, in essence, to give up. To do nothing. To trust in God's deliverance.

Verse 21 says Jesus looked him hard in the eye…..and LOVED him.

Can you imagine the Son of God looking you hard in the eye. Do you think there is any way He could do that and not know everything about you?

I believe that Jesus knew this young man thoroughly in that one instant. He knew his flaws, and all the good intentions. He knew the young man’s struggles and joys. He saw that there was ONE thing lacking (oh for God to tell me that I only lack ONE thing. I’m sure God has a looooong list of improvements that need to be made in my heart)

but what was lacking is NOT that the young man had wealth.

the lack was in the faith department.

He needed to understand. Deep, gut wrenchingly understand that there was


that was the “lack”

The rich young man got set an impossible task because Jesus was hoping that he would see it for what it was: a lesson. Learn that you CAN NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN.

I really feel I can almost hear the thoughts running through Jesus head as He waited for the rich young man to understand. to “get it”

“Let go my sweet young man, let go and let ME be GOD in your life. It’s not the riches that have such a hold on you. The thing that has a strangle hold on you is that you still think you can somehow EARN MY LOVE. Didn’t you notice that I loved you on sight?”

and then the heartbreak for Christ as the rich young man, the man with only ONE flaw, walked away. Because he knew he wasn’t good enough. He got half the lesson, the “I can’t accomplish this” part…….but he missed the GLORY of the lesson.

Yes I’m not good enough, I never can be. But God is perfect. and He has offered to do it for me.

God will keep my marriage fresh and lovely. If I trust it to HIM

God will help me in the day to day grind of work. If I trust it to HIM

Jesus will guide my every move in raising Ginny. If I trust it to HIM

there. is. no. check. list.

There is nothing I need do but give it ALL up to God and give Him the glory.

thank you Jesus, for loving me. Even though I have way more than “just one flaw”


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

never orphaned

Just about everyone who reads my other blog knows by now that my favorite Bible study leader is Beth Moore.

As I read her blog more and more I am finding that I really enjoy the insights and posts from her daughters as well.

This one in particular from Melissa (who lives here in Atlanta by the way) just blew me away.

click here to read it.

I'll wait.

back already?

good isn't it?

I saw the Harry Potter premier last night, got an hour and half of sleep and now I'm at work. My brain is a disorganized, sleepy jumble. So if this comes out wrong, I apologize in advance.

I want to take exception to what this post says about Adoption. Yes I think I know the point being made about God's adoption of us is far more profound than adoption through a human agency can ever be. The phrasing could have used a little bit of work though as the wording (inadvertently I'm sure) makes it sounds like human adoption is "merely paperwork"

Nothing could have been farther from the truth for me. The moment we saw Ginny in the hospital...wow.

ginny on birthdate

If I try to describe it I can only come up with hackneyed phrases. Things that will make any creative writer cringe.

"felt a shock all the way to the tips of my fingers"

"flooded with love"

"overwhelmed by joy and a strong desire to cry at the same time"


"stopped in my tracks"

"utterly in love at first sight"

and let me tell you there was not much to see. she was just a little face sticking out of a bundle of blankets. I didn't know her yet. No personality traits had been displayed. But in that instant...

Ginny was instantly real and utterly loved.

us meeting ginny

The gift that her birth parents have given us is overwhelming. The trust, the risk just blows my mind sometimes.

I do get what Melissa is saying, but based on my personal experience there is nothing "merely" about our adoption experience.

Still, I thank God that He has adopted me (and everyone who accepts His love) in a manner that transcends my understanding. No matter how much I love Ginny, Jesus loves her more. And He loves me more.

And neither of us will ever be orphaned.


Friday, July 10, 2009

know what you are about

I don't do this often, but you need to go over and read the post over at "A Holy Experience"
today. Don't worry if it doesn't make sense at first. It will by the end.
It will by the end.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

hug some bunny

Like most kids growing up, I loved visiting my uncles and aunts. Not really to hang out with the adults, but to play with my cousins.

There was this one cousin who was not my age, but I really liked her. I think I was about 10 or 11 at the time and Laura Ann was 2 or 3. So it’s not like we played at my level. We didn’t climb trees or ride bikes. Whenever we visited, Laura Ann and I had endless tea parties and played make-believe with stuffed animals (All with names of course. It was very important to get the names right). wow, that child had a LOT of stuffed animals and toys. It never really occurred to me to ask why she had all this stuff. I guess I just figured they had more money than we did.

Laura Ann was a very sunny child. Cheerful and sweet, gentle and so much fun to play with.

My parents lived about 3 hours away from her parents so we didn’t see them all the time, but I do remember loving it whenever we got to visit. The house was one of those big, old 1920’s era stone structures on a quiet street in the suburbs of Birmingham. I adored the high ceilings and hardwood floors.

When I was about 12 or 13 I remember being really mad at my mom and dad because they were preparing for a trip to Birmingham to see Laura Ann’s family and they wouldn’t take me and my little brother along. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t come too.

Finally, to shut me up I think, my mom told me that Laura Ann was sick. Really sick. Something called leukemia. That’s why they couldn’t take me with them.

“Was it catching? is that why I can’t go?”

“No honey, it’s just that we are gonna be spending our time taking care of your Uncle and Aunt and we need to be available to help them.”

So Steve & I stayed at a family friend’s house and had a grand time in their HUGE rec-room all weekend while my mother and daddy went off to sing at Laura Ann’s funeral. I don’t remember knowing anything about Laura Ann dying until my mother got home and handed me one of Laura Ann’s stuffed toys.

Later I found out that just before her final hospital stay this tiny little, cheerful 4 year-old had gone around her playroom pointing to her toys and naming off names of friends and relatives. Her poor confused daddy followed her around the room and his breaking heart thought that Laura Ann was confused about the names of her toys. But gradually it dawned on him that she still knew the names of each toy, she was telling him WHO she wanted to give each toy TO.

Laura Ann had been told that she was going to the hospital again and that this time she might be coming home or she might go to see Jesus. And she understood. She wanted her toys to be taken care of so she made the child’s equivalent of a will the only way she knew how: She took her daddy round and round her play room naming off the final destination of each toy till he got it right.

As a child I marveled at her unselfishness. As an adult my heart just breaks for her daddy. What must it have cost him to memorize that list?

Laura Ann has, almost my whole life, remained the perfect example of childlike faith and trust in God. And acceptance of HIS goodness.

God please help me be like her.

I got a bunny by the way. It’s named Laura Ann. I hope she didn’t mind my changing the name.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Sock Puppets for Jesus

I just ran across a back entry in one of my on-line journals and it had this thought:

Lord make me your sock puppet. Just the human casing wrapped around your hand reaching out to minister to the world round me”

wow. I don’t know what kind of coffee I was drinking that day, but I want more of it. what a really neat thought.

Perhaps the analogy falls down at some point, but I really like the image.

I am just the window dressing, the costume, the wrapping of human flesh. By myself I can do NOTHING except droop limply over the back of a chair. Have you ever seen a sock do anything on its own power? get up? dance? walk around the room? even move itself one millimeter on its own?

nope. didn’t think so.

That’s because socks have no real life. They might lie there, limp and THINK they have a life. They can imagine the concept of getting up and doing cool things. They may want to do it. But they just can’t. Who am I to say whether socks have the capacity for imagination. Can you prove that they don’t have it? well alright then.

Well that is a perfect description of me folks.

I have no real life.

I have no ability to be a spiritual being. No ability to follow God’s commandments. No ability to do anything truly GOOD on my own. The ONLY good in me is GOD.

Only with the hand inside the sock does anything resembling LIFE happen. The puppet can move, speak, act, pick things up, teach, sing. But it’s not really the puppet doing it. Take away the puppet and the Hand would still be able to do all those things.

Have you ever seen a talented puppeteer use no puppet at all? it’s is really amazing. In an esoteric, artsy kind of way. But it is far more accessible, easier to understand when the puppeteer uses an actual puppet, even one as simple as a sock puppet.

Breathe LIFE into me Lord. Not so I can go off on my own and function, but so that your hand can be constantly the driving force in my life. I don’t want a pretend life, I want your life. your blood, your spirit.


Monday, June 22, 2009


This blog is mostly being set up as a re-direct. for now my real blog is over on
Word Press.
It is called STREAM of Continuousness
it started out as Scream of Continuousness

Which was a play on words that accurately described my mental state when I started blogging in 2007.

God has been good though.
Healing has happened and I will never be the same again.

We have a beautiful baby girl, and through the lows and trials of getting to this place in my life there is now a deeper bond. With my spouse, my baby girl and my Lord.

so come on over to the place where I celebrate the Streams of Mercy that have flowed straight from the throne of God over and around my life.

welcome to
streams of continuousness