Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Leaves

I want to be like Autumn Leaves!  Why?  Well, I did a little research about fall leaves and here's what I dug up.
To have the most vivid, colorful, vibrant fall leaves several things have to occur:

• Have to have the darkness (shorter days, less sun) for the leaves to change, otherwise they would continue to produce chlorophyll and stay green.
• Have to have consistent rain also because if there’s not enough rain the colors aren’t as vibrant & vivid

And did you know:

• Those fallen leaves aren’t wasted, when they fall to the ground they decompose & restock the soil with vital nutrients. The trees need those nutrients to burst open with new growth in the spring.
• In fact, the fallen leaves become food for many soil organisms vital to the whole forest ecosystem. So the fallen leaves help the entire forest not just the single tree they fall from.

So that made me think about our spiritual autumn.....

In order for us to have the most vivid, colorful and vibrant lives, shining for Jesus:

• We have to have times of darkness(sadness, fear, hurt, disappointment) for us to change too; times of deep despair or struggle is typically when we lean into the grace of God more than ever (I’m not just talking about big tragedy either, sometimes simple everyday life is a struggle that requires us cling tightly to God)
• Our lives must have consistent times of rain(trials, mess-ups, mistakes) for us to shine bright the light of God’s grace, mercy and hope.

And did you know:

• Our fallen leaves (our hurts, disappointments, tragedies) aren’t wasted either. When we take time to remember all that God has carried us through or done for us, it restocks our personal faith levels with vital nutrients that we need to help our faith grow to new levels.

• And, when we share our fallen leaves (our stories) of God’s faithfulness with others, it helps our whole forest! We share our stories and others come to know Jesus in a more real, relevant and personal way.

I know that we all eagerly anticipate the coming of fall and it may be hard to contemplate “eagerly anticipating” difficulties or struggles in our lives. However, I pray that we all can accept it and appreciate its value for our own spiritual autumn. Knowing that God is using all things to mold, shape and color our lives to richly shine bright for His glory. The fall color we see outside right now is irresistible to us, we long to see its beauty every year. I pray that our lives would be so full of color, Jesus color, that it’s irresistible to everyone around us. And they long to know the reason, the One, who gives our lives such beauty.

And one last little leaf fact, did you know all the colors, the reds, oranges, yellows etc. were in the leaf to begin with? It’s just that during the long sunny days of summer the chlorophyll production is so high that the green over takes all the other colors. So, just in case you wondering if you could ever have a life that is bright and colorful for God, don’t wonder…your colors are in there! God has put your special and unique colors inside of you already, so go shine for him!

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15, verses 5 & 7-8

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Ole' Switcheroo

I love how God will do the ole switcheroo on me sometimes....

So, have I told you that I'm in a lot of new places lately?  And by that I mean, that in pretty much every single area of my life, I'm doing something new, something uncomfortable, something that takes me out of my little comfortable box that I've learned to live in so well.  I'm not joking when I say EVERY SINGLE AREA either....  Let's do a quick run down: Dylan and Zach are both at forks in the road of their life, for me that means new emotions, new parenting skills, new boundaries, new EVERYTHING!  I've just finished up training and have my first case for the NC Guardian Ad Litem program, that means new people, new experiences, going into new areas of life that I've been sheltered from, developing new instincts on how to handle new situations.  I'm on the planning team for the Mercy Ministries 5K, the fundraiser team, that means meeting new people to ask them for support, new boldness, new courage, new skills to not take rejection personally.  Next up, volunteering in the kids ministry at my church, new responsibilities, new ways to relate to children, heck, just new children in general!  AND, there's a couple of other NEW things that are so NEW that I can't even tell you about them yet!

So yeah, where's my OLD life?  You know, the one I managed pretty well, the one I could handle on my own for the most part, the one I was feeling pretty confident and secure in? 

Yeah, WHERE IS IT???  Do I remember praying ... God, I want something new in my life.  God, take me to the places you want me to go, where I will grow and develop into the woman you want me to be.  Oh, yeah, I did pray that.  I really do want to leave a legacy in this world, I really do want to be an agent for change and an example of God's power in this world.  Probably can't do that from the same old, same old.

So, all of that was going through my head this morning as I was journaling and praying to God for direction.  And He answered me.  He said the next step is ....  And it scared me a little.  I've been thinking about giving up on one of the "new" areas.  So tears started welling up in my eyes, because I KNOW that I heard His voice about this.  But it's so scary to do so many new things every day.  But, again, I KNOW that I heard His voice, so instead of giving in to the fear, I said okay.  You tell me who, what and when and I'll be obedient God.  I choose that now, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me.  And instantly I felt better.  And after a minute or so I said, okay so what's next this morning.  Romans 5:10.  So I pick up my Bible and turn to Romans 5:10 and read on to verse 11 also:  "For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God."

And here's the ole switcheroo...  two words stuck out to me; rejoice and friend.  So what are you trying to say to me God?  I waited just a second and He said....  Don't focus on the uncomfortable-ness of what my voice says to do.  REJOICE that you can hear my voice.  You are my friend, you can hear my voice, rejoice.  God, in His infinite wisdom, reminds me what is most important and switches every feeling I was having in an instant!  I go from uncomfortable obedience to rejoicing service instantly!  How precious it is that I hear His voice.

And, the echo of His voice saying "you are my friend" should keep me going for a while in all of this NEW-NESS.

I love you so much Jesus!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Total Randomocity of Thoughts

Just some random thoughts that crossed through my mind today..........
  • so I wonder if I could convince God that I'm comfortable with being uncomfortable, will He then make me comfortable so I will be uncomfortable?  HA!  I think I've found a God loop-hole! (yeah right!!)
  • sometimes when I see a pregnant woman, I miss being pregnant...not that I want to have another baby but the whole bunch of awesome-ly cool things that happen when you're pregnant, I miss that a little
  • tonight at work, I had 2 sets of guests(different tables) both with close the exact check total...one was $20.21 the other was $21.29.  One guest tipped me 79cents....SERIOUSLY???  The other tipped me $10...YAY!!!  But sometimes that kind of stuff makes me go hmmmm???  I just laughed at the 79cent tip.  And I'm glad I don't depend on the guests that sit at my tables to be my provider...My God is my provider and He takes very good care of me!
  • I meant to buy coffee on the way home from work tonight....ooops.  I'll miss my coffee in the morning.
Pretty sure there's a lot more randomness rumbling around this brain...but I'm tired so my brain hurts. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breaking Free, so I can fly...Part 3

This is the 3rd and final blog post of the message I spoke at the LIFT Growth Weekend.  You can read part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.

We have surrender, we have community, and the last step is obedience. Whatever God says, do it. I struggled and struggled for so many years trying to break myself free from the chains and the cage. But I couldn’t do it on my own. I had to rely on God. Thankfully, I had finally got to the point of desperation that left me no other choice but to listen and obey. So I made the choice to finally do whatever He told me to do, which meant asking Him. I’d really never asked before, I simply told Him what I wanted and was then frustrated and stuck when it didn’t work. I had to trust the people He put in my life to help me. God directed me back to AA. I wanted to go to the christian 12-step program, celebrate recovery. But I prayed and He said no. It didn’t make sense to me, but I went to AA. Celebrate Recovery in the area where I live only has a few meetings, I could only get to one a week. I needed more than that. God (and the people in AA ) said go every day. I prayed for help to heal the inside of me. He led me to a Christian counselor who helped me make sense of all the thoughts, feelings and actions I had. And he taught me how to deal with them on a daily basis in a healthier way. Every day, I surrendered myself to God, asked Him to lead me and when He spoke, I obeyed. Even when, and it usually didn’t, make sense, I obeyed. 1 John 2:3-5 says, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him." Of course, I’m not perfect and I messed up along the way. But like we talked about earlier, in the surrender His grace is sufficient. And in that surrender, in that community, in that obedience I found sobriety. 1st 30 days, then 60, then 90, 120 days, 6 months, 1 year and now I’m almost at my 2 year sobriety date.

Oh, and there have been more triumphs along the way too. Being sober was just the beginning. I was finally able to forgive my Dad and release the pain and anger of the abuse. I’ve been given many opportunities to share my story to offer hope to others. The greatest gift of all though is my relationship with the Lord. I have learned how to hear His voice. I have learned that He is faithful beyond anything I’ve ever experienced or could ever understand. I want to share something I found in one of my journals as I looked through them as I writing what I would share today. I had written out that scripture 1 John 2:3-5 and a prayer that I was struggling with not following God’s commands to me. God is so good, He will answer me sometimes as I write and this is what he answered to my prayer that day… you know me more because you are healed, you are restored. Take heart in knowing your testimony is richer, deeper because I have worked a miracle in you. Your knowledge of me is now first hand. Trust is deeper, belief is more grounded, faith is stronger. And that is my glory. 

I was still struggling with alcohol at that point.  But God knew I would be healed and redeemed.  And He spoke that over me that day.  And I think that journal entry was written out just for today, so that I would go back and see it and share it with you today.  So that He gets the glory for what has been done in my life!

I have learned that by surrendering and obeying the chains fall off, the cage is busted wide open and dreams, visions, hope and promises burst forth before me. And God says, Dawn, let’s go after that together. There is a place of deep significance out there for you. A place that I expertly designed and crafted just for you and me. Dawn, let’s go after that together. And when I say yes, my feet come off the ground and my heart begins to soar like it never has before.

My question to you today is this – What is the thorn in your side that you need to surrender to God. We all have one and I’m sure that as I was telling my story, God was speaking to you about yours. Saying this, this you have to surrender. Will you hear His voice and obey? This is a safe community of women where you can shed the shell of perfection you are hiding behind. He wants the real you. Not the fake, pretending you. And when you give him the real you, that’s when your wings will really fly!

Excuse me…But these wings were made for flying.

How could I ever fly? Please. That statement was written just for me. Me, right here. The one with the broken past. The one with the messy story. The one with the heart surrendered to God. Yeah, me. I can fly. Because my God made me that way.

Most stories would stop here with the words, The End.  But I think The Beginning is much more appropriate!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Breaking Free, so I can fly...Part 2

Continued from THIS blog post.....

Shortly after that God moved us to Charlotte and planted us in our church. Our Atlanta pastors knew our Charlotte Pastors very well. So we connected quickly at church. But I knew that I didn’t want to get back into the irresponsible behavior of taking on leadership positions or even volunteer positions while I was still living such a lie, caught up in such sin. In my 2nd stroke of genius(or miracle of God) I went to my Pastors wife and reached out for accountability. She plugged me into a women’s life group she was just starting. These women were dynamic, beautiful, talented, smart and strong in their faith. All the things I wanted to be. But the biggest difference between them and me was that they were honest. Really honest. It blew to smithereens the belief that I had that everyone else must have it all together if they do x,y,z so well. I remember one discussion in particular when one woman was sharing some of her struggles and I replied back to her, “but I look at you and you are so pretty and so talented….” I couldn’t even finish my sentence, because she interrupted me by saying… “What does THAT have to do with anything?” Again I had been holding on to the core belief that if it all looked pretty on the outside, the inside must be okay. These women took risks with being honest, real and authentic. And they made it okay and safe for me to do the same. It was time. Time for real confession, for real accountability, I had nothing else I could do but reach out for help. I could no longer stay chained to the wall of my past and my addiction. I had to wake up and step out into the complete unknown, because finally the past, and the addiction and staying chained to it was scarier than facing the uncertainty of the future.

The 1st step is surrender, the second step is community. You cannot break free on your own. You must get yourself into a community of really authentic and safe women who will challenge you, support you and dare to refuse to let you stay the same! Keep going after that until you find the place for you. Don’t give up if the 1st group or 2nd or 3rd doesn’t fit. I honestly believe, because I’ve walked through it, that we will never reach our full potential, or ever recognize our own true nature until we are in authentic community with other women. Proverbs 13:20 says that whoever walks with the wise will become wise. And we all know Proverbs 27:17, as iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Look carefully at those scriptures though, it’s not just about having friends or getting together with just anyone. You must walk with the wise. Women who seek God and His righteousness. Where does wisdom come from? Proverbs 9:10 teaches us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Don’t settle for just anyone to walk with. Find women who fear the lord and walk with them. One last thing about community, satan hates it! He wants you to be isolated. He’ll even convince you that just because you have lots of friends and a busy life that you aren’t isolated and alone. But in reality true community isn’t about shopping buddies or lunch buddies or old college roommate buddies. Real community is a group of women who dare to drop the facade, get up in your business and let you get up in theirs where spiritual growth is concerned. Don’t fall victim to satan’s schemes of fear or offense or to his lies that you are too busy. Don’t let him rob you of the immeasurable gifts, the freedom that you will attain by being part of a healthy, nurturing group of authentic women.

The last part is coming soon.......

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breaking Free, so I can fly!

I had the awesome privilege and honor to share my story recently to a great group of women at the annual growth weekend for LIFT Women's Ministry.  It's a little scary for me to be vulnerable in front a group of people, but when asked to speak, I didn't even hesitate in saying yes.  My spirit answered before I did.  God was at work!  In the lives of the women and in my life, too.  I started writing my story out on this blog but had kind of stalled in the process.  It's a really big story and I was breaking it up into chapters, but it's been a while since I updated it.  Even though I haven't finished that process, I feel like it's right to share what I wrote and spoke at the growth weekend.  It is long too, so I'll break it up into 3 posts.  That's sort of how God broke it down as I wrote it out....Step 1, Surrender; Step 2, Community; Step 3, Obey.  The theme of the weekend was "Excuse Me....But These Wings Were Made for Flying" and that's what I used to begin and end my story.

Excuse me…but these wings were made for flying.

How could I ever fly? Please. That kind of statement was written for someone else. Her, over there. The one with the nice, loving parents. The pretty one. The thin one. The one with all the talent. The one with the good job, the great friends, the well behaved kids. Not me. I could never fly. I’m not good enough to fly. And, yet, deep down I always wanted to, I longed for it…

I grew up in a home of massive dysfunction. Love was skewed and distorted so out of shape that it would take me a lifetime to truly learn what real love is. As I grew into a woman, when I encountered real love, I wouldn’t trust it. Instead I would destroy it out of fear. My father physically and verbally abused our entire family, on a very regular basis. Suffering abuse personally is devastating enough, but watching it happen to everyone love and having no power to stop it destroys you to a place that is difficult to explain. What was left behind was a shell of a heart, so broken, confused and hurt that I describe it as a black hole. My heart was a black hole of emptiness that desperately searched everywhere for something to fill it and make it happy.

That’s when I developed the core belief that if I had the things I thought all those other “flying” girls had…you know, a good job, a good husband, good friends, good kids…I’d finally be happy, well and content. I faked my way through life, a master of disguise. I pretended to be outgoing and fun, because when you feel unlovable, that’s how you prove you are lovable..by having lots of friends. I pretended to be a leader; bold and outspoken. Because that’s how you show people you are confident and secure. No one would like the scared, insecure mess I really was. I was a perfectionist in every area of my life—spending hours a day getting dressed and made up just to leave my house. Making up for how ugly I really felt on the inside by trying to pretty up the outside. At work, I wouldn’t, couldn’t let myself make mistakes. Compensating for the incessant voice in my head that said you are so stupid.

Living this kind of “double life” was exhausting. I went through life feeling like the biggest fraud ever and using all of my energy to pretend I wasn’t.

And then somewhere in that messy life, I started drinking. At 1st it was just like any other 21 year old college student. Parties or barhopping on a Friday or Saturday night. I mean, I wasn’t a 21 year old college student, I was a 25 year old single Mom whose son was with his Dad. But the point is, when I started drinking, I thought it was no big deal and I had no idea where I would end up.

Now when I look back on my drinking I see that it became just another way for me to pretend.  To escape the voices in my head – the ones that said you aren’t good enough, you are ugly, you are stupid, no one likes you. The voices would stop. I could just relax, let go, let my guard down. In reality, it was just a new level of faking it. When the pretending exhausted me, I would escape into a night of drinking.

I went through many years of my life this way. Pretending, faking, drinking. And I was a master at it. So good in fact, that I even had myself convinced I was okay—almost.

One of the worst days of my life was the day I got truly honest with myself for the 1st time. I looked at myself in the mirror as I had done many times before and the feelings of self-loathing, unworthiness and hatred came rising up. And I thought, what is wrong with me? I have all the things I thought a person needed to finally be okay – a great husband who really loved me, a good job that I did well at, a few really good friends who I believed truly like me, I was even a good mother to a well behaved child. I was thinner than most other girls and most days even I could put up with my own appearance. Why then, when the outside was finally all coming together, did the inside still feel like the most black, deep, dark, ugly hole ever? Do you remember the scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas when the Grinch finally realizes that Christmas wasn’t about the presents after all? I had a realization like that too…only it worked out a little better for the Grinch than me. I finally realized that it wasn’t ever really about the outside – it was always about the inside. I walked over to our bed and lay down. I stared up at the ceiling and felt the most hopeless, most empty, most numb I have ever felt in my entire life. I didn’t even cry. I just decided I must accept that this is just how I’m always going to be. This is as good as it gets, Dawn, get used to it.

But God – my 2 favorite words in the Bible – but God had a different plan. I just had to be desperate enough to be willing to try it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there yet. I had been honest with myself that hopeless day. But I wasn’t ready to be honest every day. I had become too dependent on living a lie, faking my life.

The environment I grew up in destroyed the freedom and security we all should have to spread our wings and fly. Fear and insecurity clipped my wings. And that fear and insecurity that kept me on the ground became my comfortable, normal foundation. And over the years I began remodeling by adding my own design elements. But see I was working with broken materials, so instead of building a life I could live in, grown in, mature in, soar in; I constructed a cage that entrapped me. My drinking progressed from a Friday night escape, to a weekend escape and eventually to a daily escape. And it left me so full of shame, guilt and despair that I didn’t have the strength to face it. It was an endless cycle of despair and cover-up. I was getting desperate. Getting but not quite there.

But God – he was constructing too – somehow he got us to church. My husband and I decided it was time to take our children to church. God will use any method he chooses, you know, and through a decision to our children to church, God got me, his precious daughter, into church too. A few foundation shaking events in our life caused us to gingerly start exploring other ways of doing our life. One day in an act of pure genius on my part (actually, we know it was really a miracle of God) I convinced my husband that we had to join the life groups forming at our church. My exact words were – our life is falling apart, we have to do something different because what we are doing now is not working!

This was just the beginning of the process God was going to use to break me free from the chains that held me to the floor of the cage that I had constructed around my life.

In that life group I learned that there is a God who created me just the way I am. A God who loves me just the way I am. A God who forgives me just the way I am. And a God who saves me just the way I am. And I was just desperate enough to believe it. One night in my room by myself, I surrendered my heart to God in every way I knew how to at the time. And he gently, yet extravagantly started loving me. He loved me in such a way that made the promise of a life with Him irresistible. Even though it wasn’t where I felt comfortable, his love made it irresistible.

Shortly after that night, He started dealing with me about my drinking. I’d see scriptures about excessive drunkenness and not inheriting the kingdom of heaven, or how drunkenness leads to death. He’d speak quietly to my heart… “You know this isn’t good for you”; “you are better than this”; and the most beautiful one…”I made you for more than this”.

He was right. So I decided to stop drinking. Drinking wasn’t good for me; it served no purpose in my life. So I gave it up.

The next day on my way home from work, when I couldn’t stop myself from pulling into the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine was when I realized I had a drinking problem. And that began a nearly 4 year battle to break free from the bondage of alcoholism. Let me say that most people would never have known I was an alcoholic. Alcoholism is just like any other mischievous, malicious idol in your life. It’s sneaky and crafty and if you love it – you can learn to hide it well. And you have to remember that I desperately wanted my life to look perfect so being excessively drunk everywhere I went just wasn’t an option for me. Of course I would get really drunk at parties or when out to dinner, but that was around people who drank as much or more, so they never questioned it. And I held my life together pretty well outside of drinking. I had a good job, took care of my children, and had a great marriage. On the outside I looked just like any other busy wife and mother with a nice social life. A few times I thought, well, maybe I have a problem. I should slow down or take a break. And I would for a while. But it was when I made the decision to stop altogether and I couldn’t, that’s when I realized I had no idea just how bad my problem was.

There were several big “God” moments when I thought for sure He was really about to deliver me miraculously from this addiction. Moments of intense emotion, deep and real repentance, long walks down to the altar. But within days I’d be drinking again.

There were probably hundreds and hundreds of hours of quiet prayer and not so quiet prayer. Asking, crying, and pleading for God to deliver me. But I’d drink again, usually that very night.

Can you imagine how hopeless I began to feel?

There were a couple of times of confession to someone close to me in my life. Close but also just far enough away too – does that make sense? A person that was close enough that I could say, well, I confessed this sin to another person but not close enough that they could offer real accountability.

I dabbled in and out of AA. 30 days here, 30 days there. I never really stuck it out or took the suggestions of those who were actually walking out real, long term sobriety.

I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking. I wanted the easy way out I guess. I didn’t want to face the real issues or problems that caused me to drink in the 1st place. I was prideful; I wanted to do it my way. And when that didn’t work quickly enough, I wanted God to come in and wave His magic wand and erase it all from my life. I wanted to pretend and fake like I never really had a problem at all.

But God wanted something else, something better. You see, God is real and true. He isn’t a pretender or a faker. And He desires nothing less for His children. He wants the real you. The messy, broken, ugly you.

But my life had become even more of a fraud. We had become members at our church. I started volunteering, went on mission trips, we were even life group leaders! I was incredibly selfish and irresponsible. I so desperately wanted to pretend that I didn’t have a problem that I abused the trust people placed in me, especially where the church was concerned. The turning point came almost 2 years after that 1st decision to stop drinking. Late one night after my husband and children had gone to bed and I was still up drinking. I was in our guest bathroom about to wash my hands. I stumbled a little at the sink and place my hands on the sink to steady myself. I looked up into the mirror, deep into my own eyes and a whisper came up out of my own throat – who are you? Who are you? This person stumbling in the bathroom is not the same person who went to church earlier this week, who led a life group a few days ago, who prays for people to get healed, a mother, a wife. Who are you? I backed away until my back touched the wall and I slid down to the floor, tears running down my face, weeping. Quietly crying out to God in deep desperation – Oh God, please won’t you take this away from me? You are God. I know you can do it. You can deliver me from this right now. You can take it away. And ever so quietly He answered – You’re right. I could take it away this instant. But this, this, you must give to me. And all of sudden the fogginess in my brain and the tears cleared up and I said, I don’t know what that means! And His quiet voice said, you must surrender this to me. Then I remembered the scripture in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 about Paul asking God 3 times to remove the thorn in his flesh. And God wouldn’t take it way, all he said was, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” The thorn was a symbol of his weakness, to remind him to be dependent on God. And you have to remember, I wasn’t as super spiritual as I am now….I just sat there thinking, OH CRUD—well, that’s just hopeless isn’t it? If I don’t learn how to surrender this weakness to God it’s never going to go away, I’ll have to live with it forever. So a little indigently I said to God – well, if that’s what you want then you’re gonna have to teach me how to surrender, because apparently I don’t know how.

And, even though I didn’t recognize it at the time, just like that the true healing started. Because finally, I said fine God, we’ll do it your way. The beginning of breaking free, the starting point is always surrender. It’s so opposite of what we, in our human minds, believe though. We believe surrender is weakness and capture. But to God, surrender is freedom and strength! Surrender it all to God and if you are like me, and can’t figure out how to surrender, go back a step further and ask God to teach you how to surrender. Only then can His power work. His power in your life is activated by your surrender.

Here's a great song about surrender

to be continued.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Are Worth It!

This is just a short little post to share something God put in my heart today.  He's so awesome!  It's so funny how we(well, maybe it's just me, who knows) need pages and pages of words to get our point across...But God, well, He only needs a few words!  Most of the time when He speaks to me, it's simple, it's direct and it cuts right to the core of what I need to hear. 

This morning in my quiet time, the to-do list was looming large out on the horizon.  I sincerely try to focus on just Him.  But I'm a woman---and my brain is a plate of spaghetti---lots of thoughts all tangled together in a big ole pile of stuff I must take care of.  Anyway, I read.  I pray.  I even write a little.  And start to get up out my chair.  But, I'm finally learning, don't leave so quickly Dawn!  So, I tell God I'm sorry for just spilling my guts all over the place and not even asking what's on His mind.  And then I ask.

He replies... You.  Which just makes me cry.  Look up, I hear.  I look up and there on my wall I see the painting of the cross that says "Worth It".  And He says... You were worth it.  And I know I was.  Because He tells me over and over and over again in the Bible.  But I have to stop myself from shaking my head, not wanting to accept it.  Again, quietly, You were worth it....all.  I'll never be able to explain why and I should just give up trying to understand it because He's the one who made the decision I was worth it.  And you were worth it.

I am worth it.  You are worth it.  And, I'll tell you exactly what He told me this morning as I sat there staring at the cross, trying to understand it and being amazed by it once again.  He said, You are worth it all.  Think about that today.  Instead of all the other stuff....think about this....You were worth it all.

Here's a couple of scriptures that came to mind as I was writing this:

I love you so much Jesus!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Refuse--The update

Success! Amazing, wonderful, really awesome success!

I am just so pleased to be a part of the story of  Father's House Ghana.  And I am so thankful to my friends and family who caught hold of the vision to help supply the needs for boys they will most likely never meet in this life. 

Here's a picture of all that was collected:

Storage containers, spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, coloring books, threads and lacing to make crafts, ziplock bags, bandaids, medicines, toothpaste...things we take for granted that our family, our children will have whenever they need or want it. 
I imagine Ame' or Gods Way or Evans or any of the 8 precious little boys, being able to put their school supplies away neatly in those storage bins.  I can just see the pride on their faces to have a place to put their things. Can you imagine the laughter and giggles of the boys sitting around coloring together or the love they will feel when Chanda hangs up one of their colorings on the wall?  Let's think a little further....you see God has great plans for these boys.  They will grow up to do great and mighty things.  The ABC's and writing they practice today on those composition notebooks may very well turn into beautifully written, powerful speeches that change the culture of Ghana.  All because a few people from Charlotte NC were generous and gave when they saw a need.
You can meet the boys here.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  This is just the beginning!! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I refuse to be the person that does nothing! I refuse to be the person who doesn’t have the time! I refuse to be the person that turns away from someone in need! I refuse to do nothing just because I can’t do everything!
Several months ago, I watched a video from a friend about a children’s home in Ghana, Africa. The Father’s House would be a new home for boys that would be rescued from being sold (yes, SOLD!) into slavery (yes, SLAVERY!). Yes, these things happen…even if we don’t want to know about it. It happens; 3, 4, 5 year little boys sold by their parents to slave-masters. The masters work those little boys 14-20 hours a day on fishing boats on Lake Volta. The boys’ names are listed as property in spiral notebooks. It’s sickening. They are beaten, malnourished, neglected, and sometimes die trying to do the work. The video was heartbreaking. Something happened to me, inside of my heart, as I watched the video. It was a slide show of pictures and there was a boy whose picture I can still see in my mind. His eyes were deep, dark and sad. I could not turn away from the screen. God said, look at this. Don’t turn away because it’s too hard to see. Don’t turn away because you feel helpless to do anything. Don’t turn away!
And that’s when it started. God revived a dream I had long ago buried in my heart. A dream to help children that have no voice, a dream to help children who think the whole world has just forgotten about them. A dream to make a significant difference in the world around me!
It’s overwhelming, I know. I see the tragedy and hear the stories and all I want to do is get there, pick up every single child, and bring them to my house. But that’s not just unrealistic…it’s IMPOSSIBLE. And, even if were possible, it wouldn’t really help in the long term.
So where does that leave me? What do I do? How can I, just one person, a wife and mother in Charlotte NC, help thousands and thousands of little children all the way across the world? I can help because I have a voice. I can speak up for these children who can’t speak up for themselves. I can say, HEY, look at them! Don’t turn away because you can’t bear to see it!
What about you? Do you know that you can make a difference too? The Father’s House has already rescued 8 boys from the hands of slave-masters! 8 boys now have a chance for a long, productive, beautiful life! And the vision is to rescue many more, to raise them up to be men who understand that the culture of human slavery is wrong, to raise them up to be men who will change the future of Ghana, Africa!
Here’s the vision God has given me. Become a fundraiser for The Father’s House. To shout out to everyone I know…HEY, they need help! I will begin a monthly collection for supplies that we will ship to The Father’s House. It’s expensive to ship to Africa by regular mail, so we will most likely send the items with volunteers who are travelling there. However, we may have to ship the items to the volunteers within the US. So, we not only need supplies, we need money to help cover the shipping costs. You may be a person with a gift for smart-shopping…you can find great deals on all kinds of things. PERFECT! Find those great deals and donate those things to help supply the needs of The Father’s House. Or, you may not like to shop at all, shopping is simply a chore that you’d rather pay someone else to take care of. PERFECT! We need you too! You fit in by helping provide the financial means necessary to make this vision a reality.
Here’s the list of needs as of now:
  • Rubbermaid shoebox size, CLEAR, storage bins to put craft supplies, etc. in (8 or more of these)

  • Composition books for the boys to practice writing

  • Coloring books(child appropriate material please)

  • Chalk for chalkboard (colored, but NOT sidewalk chalk)

  • Embroidery thread in various colors for making bracelets

  • Plastic lacing in various colors for making lanyards

  • Ziploc style freezer bags (quart and gallon size)

  • Chewable Pepto-Bismol

  • Chewable children's Tylenol

  • Beef jerky

  • Basketball shorts (drawstring waist is best)

  • (1 Large/size 12)

  • (5 Medium/8-10)

  • (1 Small/6-7)

  • (1 X-small/4-5)
    • *******************************************
      There is a small group of volunteers travelling the 1st week of March and we’d like to send these items with them, so we need to have these things ready to go by February 28th. If you’d like to make a monetary donation to cover shipping or help purchase these items, you can write a check to The Father’s House and it is 100% tax deductible!
      All I ask is that you take a look at that list, see that really it’s just things that we toss out because we have too much of it! See that if we all work together in small ways, we can make a huge difference. See that just because we can’t do everything, we shouldn’t do nothing.

      If you'd like to help, reply with a comment on this blog and I'll be in touch to meet with you. Or you may email me at dawnmoyer5@gmail.com.

      Here's the VIDEO that made such an impact on me. Make sure to have your sound on.

      Here's the WEBSITE to find out more about The Father's House Ghana.

      Thursday, January 6, 2011

      What Else Can I Do?

      I was a broken, hurt, empty shell walking through life pretending everything was okay.

      My mouth, my face, my actions would say "I'm doing great". But my heart, my emotions, my being was wandering stranded out in the desert of nothingness, searching for worth and purpose and life.

      In one simple act of desperation.... "I can't go on like this anymore, please save me."

      You rushed in.

      You gently picked up my heart, put it back into my shell.

      You extravagantly loved me...when I didn't even know what love was.

      You filled my brokenness with hope.

      You healed my hurt with your sweet love.

      You showed me my value, my worth.

      You said no longer will the outside lie about the inside.

      You taught me how to trust by never failing me.

      You delivered me from addiction.

      You unlocked the cage around my life with forgiveness.

      You brought freedom to my spirit by teaching me to forgive.

      And still You take me further....it's not just fixing the broken.

      It's crafting a new vessel.

      You put dreams inside me.

      You put belief that I can make a difference.

      You say open your mind and your eyes, there's more, there's deep significance out there.

      The broken, hurt, empty shell is no more.

      What can I ever say or ever do to thank you or repay you?


      What else can I do then, but offer this new heart, new life back to you?

      What else can I do but be completely surrendered to You?

      Monday, January 3, 2011

      As a lover of You!

      This song tore out my heart this morning. So I'm sharing it with you and I pray it does the same for you. Oh, that we could ever understand the love Jesus, the King, has for us. Oh, that we could ever return just a fraction of that love to Him. This is my hearts prayer that His fire and jealous flame consumes all that keeps me from being a totally abandoned lover of God!

      Come break the chains,

      The chains that hinder love.

      All that remains of yesteryear.

      Come break the chains,

      The chains that pull me down.

      Come break the chains and draw me near.

      Let Your fire burn consuming me,

      Let Your jealous flame

      Come take away everything!

      Let Your fire burn consuming me,

      Let Your jealous flame

      Come write Your name upon my heart,

      Until all that remains

      Is the Light of Your countenance

      And I will be satisfied when I awaken

      As a lover of You!

      Who is this is garments stained red

      Who is this crowns on His head

      Who is this He running like a lion

      Who is this He's roaring from Zion,

      He's roaring from Zion

      Who is this King of glory

      He is mighty to save all who call on His name

      In righteousness He is mighty to save

      He's mighty to save all who call on His name

      But woe to the enemy

      Of the King on His Wedding day

      But woe to the enemy

      Of the King on His Wedding day

      All of your judgments... are just and true.

      Saturday, January 1, 2011


      I used to make a lot of resolutions. All the classics like lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more. Or some different ones like spend more time with family, remember friends and family's birthdays. But, like a lot of people, the resolutions usually went out the window by Valentine's Day. Plenty of good intentions but very little follow through.

      This year, I'm trying a new thing. I like new things. A fresh perspective on an old idea. How about this... An UNresolution.

      Here's my list of UNresolutions:

      1. I break my resolution to engage in critical, negative thinking and speaking. Out the window goes the words "I can't", "I could never" and other similar statements and thoughts.

      2. I break my resolution to be in control of everything. This is a difficult one for me, but in the end I know I'm not in control and trying to pretend I am only separates me from the One who is.

      3. I break my resolution to worry. Again, not easy. But worry, like wanting to be in control, just causes separation between me and God.

      4. I break my resolution to relive my past. I am a new creation in Christ and focusing on my past mistakes and heartbreaks negates the price Jesus paid for me.

      5. I break my resolution to see my future through my own eyes. That's much too small! Instead I think I'll use God's vision for my future this year.

      I think I'll end there. I'm sure I could go on and on, but a small, manageable list is usually best for me.

      What about you? Is there anything you want to unresolve for this year? I'd love to hear about it.