Saturday, November 7, 2015

God sees me.

My mom invited me to go to a Fall Women's Conference at Third Church in Richmond, VA to hear Sara Hagerty speak... my mom is awesome like that... and this post is because of this experience. I'm tempted to tell you each detail from this morning until now, but I'll try to stay focused. You'll have to try and see her in person yourself for the whole experience or read her book!
I'd heard her voice in my head as I read her book "Every Bitter Thing is Sweet." I knew her story. It was like mine, but different. Isn't that how it is with all of our stories? Her words had touched me during a time when I was struggling and today her words touched me again. 
I am not one to highlight in books. I'm more likely to write down a quote for a card or share it on Facebook or my blog than make a mark in a book just for myself. But I did. As I read Sara's book over a few days last October, I clicked on one passage on my kindle and hit the yellow button.
"My mess wouldn't forever be my curse. One day it would be my crown. One day it would tell the story that, yes, He is good... to me."
I looked at those words just before the worship time today. I know those words. Do I believe them? 
Sara's opening question was "How do you think God sees you?" Then, she said try it without Sunday school answers. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if He is even looking my direction anymore even though I know He is. I've had so many struggles and so many times that I've questioned Him and His goodness toward me. I want keep Him at arms length. I don't know if I want Him to see me.
At one point today, Sara told about a day in her life and her mistakes. It seemed like she was standing in my kitchen watching me and now telling my story! We all have those days. One of those bad days. One of those days when you know what you need to be working on to be a better person and you still get it wrong at every step.
Desiree's Day
Missed my quiet time because I slept in. (Great job genius. Can't even start the day right!)
Spoke with a not so nice tone to the kid asking me for help with school because I wanted to finish my workout for once. (Could I be more selfish? That really showed where my priority lies.)
Remembered at noon that I hadn't been to the store to get anything healthy for lunch and fed the kids ramen noodles. (How is it that God thought I could be responsible for the health of six kids?)
I could keep going if anyone needs to feel better about themselves! 

She spoke of heading up to her room for prayer time and to, basically, punish herself mentally for all her mess ups that day. As she crossed the threshold to the room, God's Spirit spoke to her that He had seen the good things.

Desiree's Day through her Father's Eyes
Fixed coffee for Matt and packed his lunch with lots of protein for after his workout. (God sees me doing and says great job being a helpmeet.)
Did Bible time with the six kids and encouraged them to spend their day focusing on thanking God for the small things throughout the day. (God sees me and says thank you for training them to make Me a priority.)
Put a band-aid on a scratch that didn't need it just to help my little one feel better. (God sees me and smiles because He knows that one needed to see that mommy really cares today.)
I could keep going because I am good because He sees me as good.

God... Thank you for seeing the good you have done in me!! Thank you for delighting in me even as I accuse myself.
One of the question on the reflection sheet was "What are the voices - people, circumstances, accolades, or corrections - that are speaking loudest to you about who you are?" My quick response was...
Give me 10 minutes and I can list the thousands of mess ups and missed opportunities and the times I stayed silent when I should have spoken. I am the loudest voice. I am my biggest critic. You call me "Supermom" and I shrink back because I know how many times I lack control with my words with my kids. I hear you say I'm beautiful, but I feel like I'm not where I should be. You tell me how well behaved my kids are and I can only think it is despite of me and not because of me. I'm 32 years old. How can I still be messing it all up so much? How can you not see all my failures?

Do you do this to yourself too? 

My hope is that I can begin to focus on Him. His thoughts about me. His word that He has for me. The joy in His eyes as He looks at me. His compassion. His grace. His love never ending. I'm not good at looking toward Him because if I look at Him He might look back at me and see me ... and that's personal moment when you look at one another. That's a closeness that I want, but that makes me nervous all at the same time. It's going to change me and I'm not real good at change. I'm not good at letting people get near me much less the all powerful God of the universe... But I'm going to try. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

James is Next

I am so proud of this young man. It was his idea to share his story when I asked if he wanted to apply to be one of Under Armour's #TeamNext Athletes. James will be next because he works for it!! #TakeYourSpot buddy!

Thank you Hawkeye Wrestling and Coach Gabe for encouraging him in his journey to reach his goal of helping win a team trophy and an individual medal.

Monday, August 10, 2015


I've played a few instruments in my life... not very well, but I played them. My favorite was the French Horn. It was such a powerful sound. I was the only one playing it in middle school band and it could still be heard and I still hear it loud in films and smile. Check out a tribute here to the horn in film and especially this tribute to John Williams!

The horn doesn't ask to be played or used. It doesn't attempt to break out of its case. If it had feelings, it probably would not appreciate having someone's spit coating it from the blowing in one end and having the players hand in the other while getting its keys pressed. Being an instrument doesn't sound like a fun job, but the beautiful noise that comes from the willingness to be used by a musician is priceless.

We've been listening to an album in the van by Matt Maher (Saints and Sinners) and it's pretty amazing. My kids all love the song Firelight, but I'm pretty partial to the one that comes next... Instrument. It doesn't have French Horn, but it does have lyrics that speak to me right now right where I am. It makes me think.

I'm tired. worn down. done fighting against the hate. feeling hard hearted. broken. spent.

This isn't how I have to be!! God has made me for more than this.

So today I'm...thanking Him for His grace. Begging for His pardoning for my daily failings. Remembering the promise of His peace. Crying out for His love so I can love. Hoping that I can lay down my hurt and my plans and let God use me where I am today. Right now. In my home. In the life of each child.

Let me be Your instrument.

Where there is hatred Lord, let me sow your love
Where there’s injury, let forgiveness be enough
Are we giving up, fighting the good fight
Where there is despair, just a flicker in the flame
Could break the veil of night

To the Father and the Son
And the Holy Spirit, three in One
I offer you myself, though I’m broken and spent
Let me be Your instrument
Let me be Your instrument

May I never seek, to be consoled as to console
May I understand, to be loved is to love, to be loved is to love

To the Father and the Son
And the Holy Spirit, three in One
I offer you myself, though I’m broken and spent
Let me be Your instrument
Let me be Your instrument 

Oh praise Him, Hallelujah
I offer you myself, though I’m broken and spent
Let me be Your instrument

Let there be peace, pardoned in the pardoning
Born again when we die, You have raised us to new life
Let there be peace, pardoned in the pardoning
Born again when we die, You have raised us to new life

Writer(s): Matt Maher
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, I Am A Pilgrim Songs