Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today is the day of my first ever book signing. I am super excited. And I feel under-prepared. And I'm nervous. What if nobody shows up? What if a bazillion people show up?

I love meeting new people. But for this quiet, introverted home-body, "putting on my extrovert" is always a little scary. How do you prepare for something scary?

Thankfully, I have a Father who knows my weaknesses and fears, and who loves me so very much that He himself is smoothing the path ahead of me.

Last night, towards the end of his sermon on Job 1:9-12, Brother Billy read the last several verses of Romans 8. Job, you see, was God's man - just like I am God's woman. And Satan, Job's adversary, was very interested in taking him down. What do I need to remember, when I am facing scary things? nasty things? unsettling things? I need to remember...

That nothing can separate me from the love of God. Not my insecurities. Not my fears. Not my weakness. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. (If you, too, need to be reminded of this truth today, go read Romans 8:31-39.) In Christ, I am loved and I am eternally safe.

God spoke such beautiful, strengthening words to me - again! - last night, timely comfort to soothe away my rising anxiety.

Helen, she scrounged around in my closet yesterday among my ratty t-shirts and too tight blouses, and she put together an amazing outfit for me to wear to meet the public. Dressing for any kind of "event" majorly stresses me, because I just don't have much to work with - but Helen, she did some kind of magic, and, amazingly, I feel dressed for the part I will have to play later this evening.

God told me He loved me, and He clothed me in purple - literally.

I've begun working out at a small fitness studio on Troy recently. This morning, I attended my first "Gentle Vinyasa Yoga" class. I love yoga, and I had really wanted to attend this class last week - however, circumstances prevented me. God prevented me. Because He knew that today - today, the day of the book signing - was the day I needed to first enjoy this class. Stretching, breathing deeply, quiet music...everything orchestrated specifically to speak peace.

At the end of the class/practice, as the group of ladies lay quietly on the hardwood floor relaxing tense muscles and breathing slowly, our instructor, Erica, came around to each one of us. She stretched and pressed the last dregs of tension out of my shoulders. She stretched my neck and spine. Athen, as I lay there in the silence with eyes closed, Erica rubbed this amazing ginger-scented lotion into the back of my neck and the base of my head.

I immediately thought of the woman who anointed Jesus, who broke open the alabaster flask and poured expensive ointment of pure nard over his head and feet (Mark 14:3-9). Some around Jesus were shocked that Jesus would allow such a sinful, worldly woman to touch him. Others were disgusted by the extravagance - wouldn't the value of the perfume have been better spent on helping the poor?

As I lay there, I got to thinking how we are all like that woman - sinful, broken, weak, sometimes even despised and ridiculed by others. And we are all like that expensive perfume, bottled in alabaster flasks - we are the extravagance of God's love, to be poured out onto each other, into one another's lives, to anoint and bless the sons and daughters of God.

God told me again last night how very much He loves me. He dressed me in purple. And He anointed me with perfume.

Once again, I am overwhelmed by the goodness and sweetness of God's love.

(A good morning to listen to this favorite hymn! - Thou Lovely Source of True Delight)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

IF I HAD 100 HOGS...

I heard an old parable once that went something like this...

There were two farmers who lived next door to each other. Over the years, they had helped each other plant and harvest crops, put up hay, and care for livestock. They grew to love each other as brothers, and each was always looking out for the best interests of the other.

One day, as the two farmers stood admiring a new litter of piglets rooting about in the straw in one of the stalls in John's barn, Sam commented on what a fine herd of hogs John would soon be raising.

John nodded. "Yep," he agreed, "God's been real good to me." Then he added, "You know, Sam, if I had a hundred hogs and all your hogs died, I'd give you 50 of mine."

Sam laughed. "But I've only got two hogs, John! Don't you think that'd be a little extravagant, you giving me half your herd - 50 hogs?"

"No," John answered thoughtfully. "You're like a brother to me, Sam, and, if I had a hundred hogs, I'd want to share my wealth with you. I'd give you half."

Sam looked silently at the litter of piglets scampering about the barn stall. "What if you had ten hogs, John? If you had ten hogs, would you give me half then?"

John stiffened and huffed, "That's not a fair question, Sam - you know I actually have ten hogs!" And with that, he turned and stormed out of the barn.

I was reminded of this story recently when a friend was telling me why she couldn't follow through on a commitment she had made. Sally, commendably, had resolved to take the time to get better acquainted with her new neighbor Jane.

"How's it going?" I asked over coffee one morning. "After spending time with Jane, do you feel like you are getting to know her better?"

Sally sighed. "Well, I haven't actually spent any time with Jane...but it's not like I haven't tried!"

"What's been the difficulty?" I asked. "Is Jane too busy to get together? Is she extremely shy? Has she been sick?"

"No, nothing like that," Sally replied. "I thought I'd invite her to a concert at the Performing Arts Center, but the cheapest tickets were nearly $60 - can you believe that?! So I decided to just ask her out for lunch a couple of weeks ago, but I ended up having to buy new sneakers for one of the kids and then I didn't have the money to treat Jane to lunch. Finally, I just figured I'd ask her and her family over for dessert one night, but then I got to thinking - I don't know what kind of food they like, and I don't want to put a lot of work into cooking some fancy dessert just to have them turn their noses up at it!" Sally took a sip of her coffee. "So, anyway, no, my efforts at getting to know Jane better haven't been very productive. It just seems like everything is working against me." She sighed.

"Have you thought about just asking her to take a walk with you around the neighborhood one evening?" I asked.

Sally slammed her mug down on the table. "Well, if you're going to get all snotty with me like that, I can just leave!"

All this to say, sometimes we spend so much time and energy dreaming and talking about what we would do if our circumstances were different (if we had more time, more money, more energy), that we completely neglect to do the little things that we actually can do right now. And while we are blindly letting simple, doable opportunities pass us by, someone like Jane is sitting at home alone, clueless that we've had any thought of her at all.

Don't ask yourself what you would do "if only..."

Ask yourself what you can do, with the resources available to you right now.

Don't wait for a hundred hogs - do what you can do, now.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


"The night is far gone; the day is at hand..." - Romans 13:12a

Today, the girls and I are going to Jackson to have Martha's wedding dress fitted. Exciting times in Kendallville! Since I will be out of pocket and have zero time for writing (If I'm really a writer, I should be writing, right? This not having time to write has eventually got to stop!) - anyway, as I was saying, since I won't have time to work here at the blog, here is a repost - seemed fitting given the frigid weather we've been having lately. And I just want to say one more time how very much I love Larry and Lisa Ferris, and how grateful I am for their impact on my life - God loved me extravagantly through their ministry.

- originally posted January 29, 2010

When Steve and I lived in Nashville, we attended a small church plant in the Old Hickory area. Although I had been a Christian for many years, it was here, under the pastoral care of Larry Ferris and his wife Lisa, that the gospel was first given "flesh". Eighteen years later, I still think of Lisa asking me, on several occasions, "What are the practical implications of the gospel in this situation?" These two, whom I affectionately think of as my Mother and Father in the faith, were active, aggressive, and deliberate about translating what they believed into what they did, in every area of life.

Larry had a gift for coming up with great sermon illustrations. He could make seemingly far-off, abstract concepts suddenly clear and relevant. This particular illustration still comes to my mind often, and always brings with it a thrill of excitement....

You remember how when you were a kid, and the evening weather forecast predicted snow? You hoped against all hope that it would snow and snow and snow all night, maybe even a foot, and that school would be cancelled the next day. You went to bed anxious with anticipation, finding it nearly impossible to sleep. Your ears strained for the faintest sound that would indicate the coveted snow had finally arrived. You sneaked out of bed, peeped out the window - nothing. Finally, exhausted and fearing morning would bring only disappointment, you dozed fitfully off to sleep. And slept, and slept, and slept. Until...

The next morning, Mom came into your room, same as she always did, to wake you up so that you could begin getting ready for school. Only this morning, as she shook you gently from your sleep, she didn't say, "Wake up - time to get ready for school." She simply whispered, "Go look out the window!"

Instantly, you were wide awake, your heart pounding! Throwing off your blankets, you planted your feet on the cold floor and bolted for the window, a jubilant smile plastered across your face. "Go look out the window!" Those words elicited a spasm of pure joy! You danced! You squealed! It was absolutely impossible to conceal the excitement you felt.

Dear Reader - after a long and dreadful night, God, in Christ, has whispered to us, "Go look out the window!"

Friday, January 24, 2014


Yesterday was a "running" day - I felt like a locomotive chugging down the track!

School with Helen and work on writing projects in the morning. Feed the chickens, feed the horses, laundry, lunch, then off to pick up Martha at Martin, with a few stops for errands on the way. Zoom! Doctor's appointment, piano lessons, a stop by the florist's. Newspaper office - check. Gas for the van - check. Groceries - check. Zip! Back home, shuttle in the groceries, run out to shut up the hen house, switch over the last load of laundry, start supper. Whoosh!

This Mom job gets pretty hectic sometimes.

Yesterday morning, Helen took a break between her math homework and her reading assignment for history to doodle around on the banjo. While I was working on book stuff, Helen's playing and singing were a gift of soul-soothing music early in a run-run-run kind of day.

A very sweet pause in the midst of the hectic. Have I mentioned lately how very much I am blessed by my children?

Thursday, January 23, 2014


We're studying through the book of Job on Wednesday nights at Grace. A couple of things struck me during last night's message...

Satan is not some all-powerful evil, warring a touch-&-go battle against God and against God's people. He, too, is subject to the sovereign, all-powerful Creator. In the "courtroom" scene beginning in verse six, a couple of things stand out. First, as Brother Billy pointed out, in the presence of God, Satan does not speak until spoken to. Satan is clearly greatly - infinitely - subordinate to God. Second, Satan is required by God to give an account of what he's been doing. Also, Satan's power is restricted, limited by God himself.

Another thing that jumped out at me as we considered this passage: It was God who singled out Job to be tested. It was God who first brought up the name of Job and asked the question, "Have you considered my servant Job...?" God pointed Job out to Satan - not the other way around.

Peter says this about our adversary: "...the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (Sounds very much like the answer Satan gave in Job 1:7 where he tells God that he has been "going to and fro on the earth and ...walking up and down on it.") Have you ever felt like Satan's hot breath was on your neck, like he was just waiting to spring on you like a lion and tear you limb from limb?

In Zechariah 3:1, the prophet describes this scene:  "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him." Have you ever felt like that, like Satan is standing right at your elbow, jumping at every opportunity to accuse you, to weigh you down with guilt and shame?

Do you stand accused once again before the judgment seat of our holy God? How then shall we answer our accuser?

What shall we say to these things?

"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?" (Are you listening, Satan?!) "It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?" (Are you listening, Satan?!) "Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." - Romans 8:31b-34

Are you feeling bloodied and torn, like you are caught in the teeth of a lion?

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels [remember, Satan is a fallen angel] nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:35-39, words in brackets added

I find tremendous comfort in the knowledge that my loving heavenly Father ordains and designs the trials that I must face in this life - it is not Satan, the enemy of my soul, who chooses what hardships I will encounter. If God singles me out to be tested, I can be confident that He is doing so for my good and for His glory.

And I am so grateful that in Romans 8, God gives me a sound defense against my accuser. Romans 8 positively shuts the snake up, drives him from the courtroom.

I do not always understand what God is doing in the trials He sends me, nor do I find them pleasant, and I often do not bear them graciously. But assured of the sovereignty, goodness, and love of God, I agree with Job:  "Though He slay me, I will hope in him."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Mark you calendars!

I will be hosting my first ever book signing on Thursday, January 30th, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Obion County Library. The library is located at 1221 East Reelfoot Avenue in Union City, Tennessee, right across the street from Baptist Hospital. At 5:30, I will read an excerpt from Slow Sun Rising, and I would love to answer any questions readers have about the book. Copies of the book will be available for purchase for $10 each. Even if you already have a copy of the book, stop by and say, "Hi!" I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Reading through Hometown Magazine, I spotted an ad for two free classes at a local exercise studio. I was curious.

Swimming isn't going to work with the schedule and the finances again this semester, and I've been looking for some way to move my mass around a little more. Some way besides chasing chickens or hauling in firewood.

I called the number on the advertisement.

"How would you describe your fitness level?" the pleasant-sounding lady asked.

"Ummm, average?" I guessed.

"What do you do for exercise?" she pressed.

"Well, I do yoga a couple of times at week at home. Occasionally, I take long walks back on the farm. I used to swim, but I haven't done that for months."

"Tell me more about yourself," she probed. "How old are you? How much do you weigh? How would you describe your overall health?"

I took a deep breath and swallowed. "Um, I'm fifty years old" - no problem getting that out - "and I weigh ..." I coughed. "I weigh...well...let's just say I'm adequately padded."

Can you think of a job requiring more poise and grace than that of a fitness-center employee who must spend her days asking middle-aged women how much they weigh?!

This got me to thinking - there are things that we all know, things that are just part of life, nothing bizarre or shameful - but that are so awkward to verbalize, to just say right out loud. Things like....

"I forgot your name - who did you say you were?"

"Excuse me, you have a piece of spinach on your teeth."

"Your zipper is open."

"I can't remember where I parked the car. Could you help me find it?"

"Where do you stock the Kotex?"

When I was still working at Wal-Mart, one of the young cashiers asked me if I would help her pick out a pregnancy test when we finished our shift. (I guess she thought a woman with seven kids probably had a lot of experience with this sort of thing!) "Sure," I answered. "Is it for you?"

"No," my co-worker replied. "It's for a friend. She's single, and she thinks she may be pregnant, and she's scared to take a test and find out. I told her I was going to get one and bring it to her house and make her take it when I got off work."

Back in the health and personal care department, Mary and I selected a pregnancy test. Then we headed to the front of the store to check out. My friend placed the pregnancy test on the belt. The cashier behind the register hesitated and raised her eyebrows, looking at Mary quizzically.

"Oh, it's not for me!" Mary exclaimed. "No way! This is for Mrs. Camille!"

I smacked Mary, paid for the pregnancy test, and laughed with her all the way to the front door.

What about you, Dear Reader? What simple little things do you find ridiculously difficult to say out loud?

Monday, January 20, 2014


Talking and praying with Reuben...

one of the most precious privileges I enjoy as a mother.

Because he truly listens
and he tries to understand
and he challenges me to think
and he doesn't make me feel stupid or weird
and he doesn't make light of my issues
and he doesn't apologize for being smart.

Because he examines everything in light of Scripture and desires to bring even the seemingly inconsequential details of daily life into conformity with the truths revealed in God's Word.
Is this truly biblical?
Or is this a cultural norm that the church has unwittingly adopted and simply tries to defend with Scripture?

He is not afraid to ask questions
or to let me ask questions.
He's not afraid of the possibility of unexpected answers.

He serves a God who is sovereign and good and loving,
and he inevitably brings me into the presence of that God.

Friday, January 17, 2014


I am persevering at my goal of memorizing the eighth chapter of Romans. So far, I have verses 22 through 39 pretty solidly committed to memory. Monday, I'll be adding a couple more verses. (Okay, in case you were wondering, I'm working backward through Chapter 8. I learned the last verse first, and then added each previous verse until, now, I'm at verse 22. Guess I just have a tendency to do things backwards - what can I say?)

So, I read through verses 22-39 several times again this morning, then had Nate check me on my accuracy at reciting them. I just want to say - reading and reciting Romans 8:22-39 several times each morning is incredible. It's like standing on the threshold of Glory. Sometimes, half-way through the passage, I just have to stop because I am so overwhelmed by the goodness and mercy of God.

Yep, just stop right now and grab your Bible. Read Romans 8:22-39. Read it again. Read it one more time, slowly. See what I mean? Read it another time and you'll be dancing and shouting, "Hallelujah!"

On to another random thought from the squirrel cage that is my brain these days...

Today, I want to shout THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to Helen Kendall. While I've been trying to figure out how to juggle all the various aspects of this writing business and working on wedding plans and moping about not fitting into sparkly wedding clothes and scraping chicken poo off my shoes and trying to solve the recurring puzzle of what to have for dinner each night and planning a women's conference and...

While I have been chasing the squirrels, Helen has: labored diligently at her school work, challenged me to have sunny thoughts, car danced with me to Avicii's Wake Me Up, switched over the laundry, shared her cookie, played beautiful music for me to work to, and generally been the most encouraging cheerleader a mom could ever have.

Helen. Is. Awesome.

(And, she's also really, really, really ridiculously good-looking. Just sayin'.)

Now, it's time for me to gird up my loins and march into the rest of Friday...

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Right this moment, the sun is shining.

I'm grateful for that.

Helen asked me, "So, what are your 'sunny' thoughts right now?"

"Ummm, I'm not having many sunny thoughts right now."

I went to let the chickens out of the coop this morning. The wind was so blustery and cold that it raced right up my jeans legs and numbed my tookus. Brrrr! I'm not fond of cold.

I bent over to do some chore while I was outside, and - crunch! - smashed one of the eggs I had collected and stashed in my sweater pocket. The pocket with my phone in it.

So, I blow back into the house, shivering and chattering. Wash the three remaining eggs and put them away. Clean my gooey phone. Wad my sweater into the washing machine.

And discover I have a big globs of chicken poo on my shoes. Yuck! Why couldn't I have discovered that when I first came in the back door?

I've been looking online at mother-of-the-bride dresses. Apparently, manufacturers think Barbie has given birth to children and that she is now old enough for said children to be of marriageable age. Sigh. The models all look like Audrey Hepburn - rail thin and fresh-faced - and the dresses all look beautiful on them. This is not reality. I know better.

I tried on several beautiful dresses - potential mother-of-the-bride dresses - passed to me by friends. I did not look like Barbie. Or like Audrey Hepburn. I looked like the ballerina hippo from Disney's Fantasia. Without the beautiful music playing in the background.

Cold wind. Smashed egg. Chicken poo. Frothy, sparkly, beautiful, too-tight dresses. Nope, not many sunny thoughts happening.

"What about the white-faced calf?" Helen asked.

I smiled.

This little bugger is a joy to watch frolicking on the hill behind the house. He is easy to spot in the field - his bright, white face stands out like a flashing billboard against his silky black coat and against the gray of the frozen pasture.

He dances like a fairy on his short, spindly legs, chasing the other calves or running circles around his momma. Up the hill! Down the hill! Charge!

I don't think I have ever seen such a lively calf. I've been calling him Rocket.

Maybe, just for today, I'll call him Sunshine.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Not knowing my own current very private struggles and burdens, my pastor read aloud these verses to the small group gathered last night in the church parlor:  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Brother Billy could not have spoken more timely words to my weary heart. Amazing, isn't it, how God's communicates the truths we need to hear from His Word, at just the right time, in just the right place?

Following is a repost from about 2 1/2 years ago - something of which I am grateful to be reminded. If you don't have time to read a bazillion words, scroll to the bottom and watch the video. You'll be blessed.

- originally posted July 19, 2011

I collapsed into bed at 11:45, exhausted from the day just spent and weary at the thought of another day to come. Physically and emotionally spent, too tired to even sleep.

The tears started, streaming into my pillow. Lord, I am so tired, I wept. I simply cannot bear all that You have laid on me at present. This yoke is too, too heavy...I don't know what prayer is like for you, but for me it goes kind of like this: I pray, silently "talking" through something with the consciousness that God is listening and cares about me. Then I wait. Then, I pray some more. Often, during those pauses, God brings a particular passage of Scripture to my mind. Sometimes, indeed, it seems we are having a conversation: my prayer, His Word, my question, His Word again in answer....

Last night, this was the conversation: Lord, I am so tired. I simply cannot bear all that You have laid on me at present. This yoke is too heavy!

Empty silence, and then...

Camille, take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

No, Lord, no! Your yoke is NOT easy! This burden is NOT light! 
I continued weeping, feeling crushed under a heavy weight.
More silence.

Lord? Are you listening?

Just silent darkness. I wracked my brain. What was God trying to teach me? My burden truly did feel heavy, overwhelmingly heavy. And yet I was confident that I was having to bear it because of God's will for my life at the present. How could Christ say that this burden He had given me was light? Light compared to what, Lord?!


Christ has borne my yoke and carried my burden. He has suffered the just wrath of our holy God. He has known the absolute darkness of separation from His heavenly Father. That...that was mine to bear, my burden, my yoke...unfathomable suffering and isolation. My burden forever.

Instead, Christ has given to me this other burden, under which I find my weak self buckling: to work for my family, to school my children, to pray for my church and its leaders, to grieve with the sick, to know the heartbreak of strained and broken relationships, to have too many demands and too little time, too many needs and too few resources. And He has promised to stand with me through all of these burdens. He gives the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage me - and to bring Scripture to mind when I need it most. He has secured for me the everlasting love of God the Father. He has promised me an eternity of joy in His presence when I am finally free to lay these burdens down. Lay them down forever.

My burden seemed too heavy, until I considered the one I had given in exchange for it. Now I find that, while this life's burden is difficult and truly exhausting, No, it is not so very heavy. Not so very heavy at all.

Monday, January 13, 2014


"I am speaking the truth in Christ - I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit - that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh...Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved." - Romans 9:1-3; 10:1

Sunday mornings at Grace, a group of people gathers to pray before the morning lessons and activities begin. Several concerns are mentioned and prayed for, but every week - every week - there are prayers for the lost. The unsaved in our families, the unsaved in our community, the unsaved who persecute the church.

Some of those we pray for are far away. We've never met them. We have no faces to put with names.

Many of those we pray for are very near. They are our children, our spouses, our parents, our neighbors. We see them and interact with them every day. And every day - even as we delight in their presence and thank God for the many ways they enrich our lives - we long earnestly for them to know and love Christ. Our hearts are broken, because these people whom we love dearly do not know and trust in and cherish Jesus. Even while we live and laugh and love together, we do so with a weighty sense of the frailty of life, of the nearness of eternity, of the desperate need of these beloved souls, a need to which they themselves seem so oblivious.

But we gather again, Sunday morning, to pray. With great sorrow and unceasing anguish. Wishing that, if it were possible, we ourselves could be cut off, so that our children/spouses/parents could have life.

Our hearts' desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

We pray, and we grieve...and we hope. Because we know that God saves sinners. That His arm is not short. That a night of weeping for the lost could in a moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be turned into a morning of joy.

We pray, and we grieve, and we hope...and we look with tear filled eyes of faith toward the morning.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I'm still working on memorizing the eighth chapter of Romans. So far, I have verses 22 through 39 down pretty well. This is s-l-o-w work:  I am not very good at memorizing things. Still, I am excited and encouraged to press ahead.

One of the huge benefits to memorizing Scripture is that it powerfully impacts your prayer life. I can't count the number of times that, as I was praying, God brought a particular verse or passage to mind. It happened again just this morning.

My second daughter, recently engaged, is planning a wedding for early March. That's less than two months away! We have a lot of details to work out in a very short amount of time. Yesterday, we spent a good deal of time talking about the reception - location, decorations, what kind of food she would like served, what kind of beverage, etc. We have limited funds and limited space to serve, so we are having to be very thoughtful about about these decisions.

Also on the wedding to-do list is the business of something for the mother-of-the-bride to wear. At present, I do not have a suitable dress or outfit to wear to a wedding - there is nothing in my closet to pull from. I also do not have the funds to purchase something new. On top of that, I absolutely hate shopping for myself, and there are very few shopping options in my area anyway. Sigh. This should be an exciting mission to tackle, but instead, I find myself disheartened before even starting.

This morning, I was praying about these things, taking my concerns and my melancholy mood to God. And my sweet, gentle, compassionate Father said to me:  Camille, do not be anxious, saying "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things...

Where did these calming words of encouragement come from? How did I know this comforting message came directly from my Father? Because He wrote them down, in Matthew 8. I just read them a few days ago as I was beginning a new read through the Bible. What struck me this morning was how the words spoke so precisely to the concerns that were troubling me: What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall I wear?

The realization that God - the almighty, sovereign Creator of the universe - would speak so gently and so directly to me moved me to tears. Not tears of worry or despair, but tears of profound gratitude. Is there anyone in the world more loved than I am, that God himself would take me in His arms and speak such sweet words to me?!

So, back to Romans 8. Even in the few verses I've memorized so far, there is so much richness and depth and sweetness. As I've been saying these verses over and over each day, one thing in particular has jumped out at me...

I do not feel like my prayer life is what it should be. So much of my prayer focuses on my own needs and concerns, or those of my family. I do not pray as often as I'd like, or with great faith. My mind wanders too much. But, in Romans 8 I am told that I have an amazing team surrounding me whenever I kneel before my Father.

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..." (Romans 8:26)

Then in verse 34: "Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed in interceding for us."

When I go to God in prayer, I go to Him with the Holy Spirit and Jesus at my side. My prayers may not be perfect, and my faith may be weak, but you know what? They've got me covered. Just knowing that motivates me to pray like nothing else in the world.

So, what am I trying to say with all this rambling? Read your Bible. Memorize Scripture. Pray. Amazing things will happen - you'll be absolutely blown away by the goodness, grace, and sufficiency of God. He is Wonderful.

Monday, January 6, 2014


In my last post, I told you that I am so excited about this brand new year ahead of us!

This morning, less than a week into a supposedly fabulous 2014, I sat at the kitchen table with my 14-year-old and a Saxon Algebra 2 book and, for no apparent reason, began crying.

No, 2014 did not wipe out on the first turn. It's still going to be an amazing year.

It's just that I am a little overwhelmed by the multitude of exciting life events happening around me. And I'm absolutely exhausted.

When I'm really, really, really ridiculously tired, I cry.

Some folks, if you cry in front of them, they get angry. Or they start defending themselves, explaining how they haven't done anything to justify your torrent of tears - like the tears have anything at all with them. Or they tell you how you don't really have anything to cry about - you know, the "suck it up" routine. Or they explain how life is no bed of roses for them, either, but you don't see them crying, do you? Or they sulk up and get oober moody, so that in addition to trying to handle your own emotions, you have their funk to deal with, too.

Crying can be like negotiating a mine field. So, I don't cry very often, not where anyone can see.

When I began crying this morning, Helen hopped up and grabbed a couple of tissues, then sat back down beside me, handed me a tissue, and teared up herself. We had a red-eyes, snotty-nose, soak the tissue cry together.

Then we took deep breaths, laughed, and tackled her math.

Helen is a great buddy to cry with.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I can't remember when I've met January 1st with such hopeful, optimistic anticipation for the year ahead. I'm thinking 2014 is going to be amazing!

I've put some burdens down - burdens I didn't have the strength to carry and that, honestly, I shouldn't have assumed in the first place. Ahhhhh...feels like a mountain has rolled off my shoulders.

I've accepted a couple of new challenges about which I'm super excited, including a greater commitment to writing. It is such a blessing to have a couple of assignments each day that I wake up looking forward to!

I'm learning new things, and that's exciting, too - learning new things about myself and about the people around me, learning new skills, learning more of the depth and sweetness of God's love for His children.

Lots of folks start off the new year with resolutions, things like reading Scripture daily (do it!), losing weight, exercising more, finishing that half-finished project, etc. We all joke about making resolutions, knowing full well that we will break them in a couple of weeks when the glow of the new year has worn off.

In past years, I've made lots of resolutions...and then broken them. I've made a few resolutions, and then actually kept them. Some years, I don't even think about resolutions. I've never thought New Year's resolutions were that big of a deal or gotten too excited about them.

But this year, I have made a couple of resolutions, things that I actually really want to do, and I can't wait to get started.

I recently read this motivational quip: "Turn 'going to' into 'did'."

Sounds like an awesome plan for 2014!