Archives for the month of: January, 2019

Heart, I’m so very sorry for resenting you for being so tender and vulnerable.

I’m grateful for your continued refusal to become hardened and for the way you beat in excitement of who I truly am.

Brain, Sorry for dog cussin’ you about the never shutting off thing.

I truly love you for keeping me inspired both day and night.

(I’m still a bit confused about your refusal to figure out math….but we’re ok.)

Emotions, I beg your pardon for trying to keep you under wraps.

I give you full credit for keeping me soft and sensitive towards others.

Tears, I’m sorry for the years I put you on lock down.

I now honor how you show up everytime I’m happy, excited and/or moved by your neighbors, The Feels. Thank you for teaching me how to express myself so honestly.

Skin, I’m really sorry for not accepting you as you are by subjecting you to years of sun worshipping, which leads me to now apologize for attempting to smother the life out of you with every potion money can buy.

I’m learning to embrace your carvings and value how you announce years well lived.

Hands, I’m sorry I called you ugly, fat and unladylike.

I appreciate that you look like the generations before me and that you have helped me to hold

babies,

the hands of loved ones,

glasses of wine with friends,

100s of different paintbrushes,

and many a book.

And fingers…it’s totally cool that you don’t produce girly finger nails. Honestly, they would just slow me down. But I do like the way you swell up at salt’s command, insuring my wedding ring doesn’t go down the drain….again.

Hair, I’m sorry for all the times I’ve called you nappy, frizzy, uncompliant and lifeless.

I admire how resilient you are after all my years of fancying myself your professional caretaker. One day we will discover your true color and let you grow wild.

Nose, I’m sorry I called you a big schnozzin’ snotlocker.

I delight in how you are keen to pick up on the finer things that pull me in for a closer whiff and heed warning to the not so finer things. You emerged from my dad and I think that’s really sweet.

Teeth, Please forgive me for referring to you all as crooked fangs.

What I meant was, I love your uniqueness. You bring an element of ownership to my smile.

And not to blatantly call you out, Sweet Tooth…because we’ve had lots of fun but you have two choices here: 1) shape up or 2) ship out.

Lips, I’m sorry I kept you at half mass while trying to hide said crooked fangs.

I’ve made up with fangs and you are now free to fly as you so desire. Thank you for giving me a bit of face value. I’m grateful for your penchant in being so spontaneous to the people around me.

Eyes, how shallow and arrogant of me to think you weren’t the right shade of blue!

My Lord! I marvel at and thank you, thank you, thank you for a lifetime of faithfully allowing me to see the beauty that surrounds me.

Knees, I don’t reeeaallyyy think you are all that knobby.

I totally dig how you have helped me stand firm, even on days when life made us buckle, you both broke my fall and I really appreciate that…especially for teeth.

Ankle, I’m sorry I made such a fuss over how weak you were that time you broke yourself.

For the most part, you’ve been really good to me. Please don’t turn on me [again] by contorting yourself into a cankle. I thank you in advance.

P.S. Always remember that I sacrificed cute shoes solely (get it?!) for you and you alone.

Feet, Hey shawties! I’m sorry for all the times I’ve called you old dogs, that wasn’t nice. I apologize profusely for forcing you into places that perhaps caused you blistering pain…like those pointy pumps I insisted on wearing in the 80s.

I smile when I think about all the times we have danced and all beautiful places you have taken me. Oh and second toes, I get you and you’re so right, I am bossy!

Baby oven, ….I’m sorry for the times I referred to you as the spawn of satan and wanted to rip you out of my body with my bare hands and slap you upside the wall.

I really commend you for all the hard work you have done and am in awe of your determination to reform. Sorry about all the kids…especially the twins. But if you could see them now you would know it was all so worth it.

To all my other insides, I’m sorry I’ve put you all through such trauma and under such stress…especially you, gallbladder. May you RIP.

To the rest of you survivors, keep fighting and please stick with me, I swear I’m trying.

Muscles, I’m sincerely apologetic for my lack of desire to sculpt you like a marble statue. You deserve better.

I love you and am thankful for all the times you have given me strength to play, run, skip, ride a bike and ski down a hill, etc., etc.. Maybe one day soon we will take a field trip to see what the inside of a gym looks like.

Lungs, I apologize for every single transgression of my past life but I truly thank you for teaching me how to howl at the moon and sing praises to our Creator.

Thank you, blood, for always keeping me so warm.

Soul, I really have no words beyond I’ve grown into you and I just love you. Thank you for always being so intuitive in knowing when brain didn’t.

Spirit, Sorry for the times I have tried to dim your light.

I love you so much for always fighting so hard for me. I applaud your tenacity and passion. Keep up the good work!

Oh! How could I forget?! Hormones,…..what can I say? It’s been real.

The truth is, I have no genuine love for any of you. I’m not fully convinced that God loves you either because His word says His plans are for me, not against me. You horrormones, have been nothing short of a nightmare. So, Peace out, Girl Scouts!

Speaking of…anyone’s daughter selling cookies? Asking for a friend before they ship out….


I wrote Note to Self at a time when something inside my soul was shifting. I was moving from a place of doubt to a place of dignity. From a place of self deprecating banter to a place of faith, believing I am who HE says I am. In regard to myself, doubt was masquerading itself as humility. I recently read a short devotional by John Eldridge that turned my self talk on a dime. It regarded doubt as being a posture that is honored in our day and time. We embrace it because it feels “authentic”. We believe it to be a genuine character decision; a virtue, when really, doubt is not humble or a gracious posture at all. Jesus doesn’t hold that mess in high esteem – He holds belief to the highest standard.

“I doubt I’m all that wonderfully and fearfully made. I doubt God has a beautiful plan over my life but if God says so then I guess maybe it could be true. Do you see all the doubt in that? I totally went there in my head, just incase….. it wasn’t true. Just incase I failed. Just incase I didn’t measure up. Just incase someone expected me to be something I’m not, I was already prepared.

I was comfortable in doubt, because it’s hesitancy didn’t require anything of me. So in retrospect, I just went ahead and “humbly” accepted defeat, because that felt like a humble virtue….I am what I am…it’s ambiguity that I now see equates to unfaithfulness and I don’t like being called unfaithful, so it kinda stung.

By all accounts, my doubting self- assurance had reasoned itself right up in all my business and found itself validated, so there was no need for truth; I believed logic WAS truth. Until the day Real Truth showed up and informed me that Logic was lying.

Jesus was sent to live in and understand our human condition. Time and time again he rebuked doubt because it excuses us from having to act. There is now way around it, doubt is unbelief.

Jesus urges us through scripture to get our feet out of this world. Yes, God created feelings and emotions….but he created them to glorify Him, not us. Self doubt contrary to His truth, glorifies no one but yourself so don’t kid yourself in believing it’s an act of humility or submissiveness. That’s a lie.

I don’t complain much on the outside but apparently I’d been doing lots of complaining on the inside; internally self sabotaging to the point that even I was shocked to hear it when I stopped long enough to really listen. I’m 52 years old and I can’t tell you where, when or how doubt weaseled it’s way into my narrative but I can tell you that it had been there for a while; so long that it just became such an everyday part of self that I no longer noticed it.

I realized that I was placing my low self esteem above scriptural truth, and it was leading me to all kinds of death and honestly, I was kinda sick of death. Jesus pursued me to life in His truth. He asked me to defy my logic and invalidate my doubt. It was with the sweetest and most patient conviction that He asked me to believe what He says about me is a true story.

The words I spoke over myself came from my heart. What was flowing from my heart to my brain had been influenced by what what I was allowing in from the world. Loss, pain, disappointment had manifested itself into my heart and minimized the good. My story is full of brokenness, lots of terrible decisions and ugly truths.

But here’s the thing…Jesus has always been right there, calling me back to THE truths found in Him despite, my ugly truths. He loves us in the midst of our messes. He is the lover of our souls and loves nothing more than to breathe new life on the internal wars we rage against ourselves. He is raging too, raging for us to come out in freedom on the other side of our own misguided narrative. That, my friends, is the truth.

God gives us instructions to build a new narrative. It’s found in Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

If you learn to use this verse as a filter, then you begin to tap into your power to break the chains of a culture that is critical, limiting and deadly. Because the truth is, we are fighting a realm that would love nothing more than for us to believe we don’t quite measure up. Choosing to filter can be a form of self denial, and I believe self denial glorifies God.

At my core, I am a spiritual being. I am a child of God that wants nothing more than to use my story to glorify Him. We have to understand that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. [Pastor Tom via Pierre Cardin]

When I live in His spirit, I can rest and grow from there. When I allow His truths to permeate into my narrative, my spiritual, emotional and physical life starts to shift to a place of acceptance, security and wholeness. I see myself as Jesus does. I like and appreciate His version way better than my own. I’m learning to filter my thoughts of self because they have no real authority, they can’t be trusted because they’ve been shaped by the world. I believe the word of God has the ultimate authority, so I believe.

I even believe the things that are off putting to hear. I’ve always equated His truths about me as a type of “compliment” and compliments are hard for me….I doubt they are true, but I’m learning to accept His truths for what they are, the gospel truth. Compliments are a nice expression of praise. The Jesus I know doesn’t hand out niceties. He spells out emphatic declarations with red letters.

Compliments are nice. Jesus is genuine. Period. Done. Finished. No more arguing logic, just believing truth. So to believe in truth, one must have faith; Blind, frizzy headed non- logical faith. So that’s where I am now….knowing that I am God approved. I am the righteousness of Christ….THAT is my narrative. THAT is my story. THAT is what feeds my soul and spirit.

It’s taken me years to fully believe His truth in saying that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; that I am a daughter of the Most High King, that I don’t have to meet any demands, conditions or approvals for Him to look my way in and with love. There is something very beautiful about coming into yourself, thru Jesus. It’s liberating to find myself finally comfortable in my own skin, walking with Him, vs. doubting Him from the safe waters of doubt. Heck no! I’m diving into that truth, head first! And for all you late comers who have a narrative that argues anything but that, remember there is healing in your midst – ya just gotta get to the truth! His life breathing, and soul liberating truth.

So Self-Doubt, coming in at a close second to complainers, I hate a liar.

I have put you to bed with the understanding that the highest form of beauty is when you finally decide to just be yourself.

Truth, Get in the car, we goin’ for a ride!

📢📢Attention Walmart Shoppers 📢📢

My children have just left the building to return to college. Christmas is now officially over. I repeat, Christmas is now over! You have 5 minutes to wrap up any unfinished tears and proceed to empty nest.

I need a Manager to report to aisle 7 to remove the dead Christmas tree that is about to spontaneously combust. I repeat, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, get the tree out before we all die!

Clean up on aisle 3 to remove all bedsheets, pizza boxes, random dirty socks and Sonic cups. After that report to aisle 5 to restock towels, and toilet paper as it appears we have encountered a ring of highly skilled shoplifting bandits. Also, please restock the pantry shelves as apparently our patrons have taken full advantage of our end of the year clearance items.

I will need the overnight crew to pull a double shift in fumigating the men’s restroom and the kitchen fridge as certainly some poor creature has crawled up and died….in both. A proper work uniform is highly recommended.**

**(Now you understand why we had you stock up on rubber gloves, bleach and face masks for your hazardous waste cart.)

When you finish that please report to the kitchen area to vacuum up all food crumbs, glass shards, dried leaves and grankitten hair. The industrial sized mop can be found in the parking garage to remove any and all traces of the unidentifiable stickyness you will encounter. Proper footwear advised.

Could someone get our accountant in here!! My books that indicated pre-holiday gains are now showing that someone has embezzled our savings….I bet my life on the fact that it was the same person, or persons, that in exchange, deposited mountains of clothing in the on-site laundering department.

To the landscaping crew: Before the neighboring businesses slap us with a code violation citation, please remove all wreaths, outdoor lighting, and the plastic nativity that still adorn the store front and return them to their proper storage units until further notice.

Yes, I know…it’s a thankless job, and no, there is no room in the budget for a raise but someone has to do it. Let’s keep our eye on the prize and remain unequivocally thankful that we have a family business that keeps us employed and with full benefits.

To our precious patrons: We do appreciate your support in staying with us until the very last second. This has been a banner holiday season and a booming year for growth and joy. We look forward to having you visit us again at Easter. Until then, and because we are all adults here, I leave you with a parting note from our time together because everyone knows that in order for Company Management to be great, they must align their team with goals to perform at the highest standard of vision, purpose and excellence so…

You better watch out

You better not cry

You better not pout

I’m telling you why

Jesus will be watching, always.

He’s making His list

And checking it twice;

He’s gonna tell me who’s naughty or nice

Jesus will be watching, always.

He sees you when they’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows when you’ve been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!

So you better watch out

I’m not gonna cry

(About you leaving again)

I’m not gonna pout

(I pray you and your pets will be back)

I’m telling you whyyyy

Jesus has most certainly, got this!

So we wish you a merry semester

We wish you a safe semester

We wish you a healthy semester

And a 4.0 new year!

And for the record, Christmas may be officially over as far as the calendar is concerned but for as for me and my house, Christmas is everyday over here. Just like the never ending tree needles, all up in everything and everywhere, He leaves little reminders of the blessings we get to breathe in and exhale out for the next 359 days until we get the gift of doing it all again.

Who’s up for a glass of champagne and perhaps a night of Netflix that does not include the words SVU or Greys? 🥂

Oh…….And my children are a beautiful privilege that I really don’t deserve. All five of them, unequivocally perfect…..except for the one that logged me out of my Spotify account, leaving me to manage said establishment with only non-music, music. When I find out which one it was, they will be fired! 💪🏻

Ok my friends, stay with me…I know I tend to get a bit long winded. I make no apologies, for I yam what I yam.

So you know how you can pray for a word to be a sort of “theme” for the year? Well, I’m sure like many of you, I’ve always done that and allowed that specific word to chase me around until it becomes a part of me, re-shaping my life and spiritual journey. Last year the word was BOLD.

The word ‘bold’ spoke life to me during the first half of 2018 when I was doing a lot of live paintings and a little speaking. I was also in the midst of a big ol healing. Then along came Hurricane Delle. Delle Tyler slammed into my world with a verse that completely, totally, and rocked my world for the last half of 2018. The truth found in Hebrews 4:16 has rained down around me for 6 solid months and hasn’t even remotely let up. It has drenched my soul with new understandings, issued wind gusts of new life, lightening bolts of inspiration, tsunamis of determined hope and an earthquake of an unrelenting desire for total abandon.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I am not by nature a very bold person. I think I’m only sometimes perceived as bold because I’m always so afraid, I force myself to push my own boundaries….which is kinda bold but boldness doesn’t come naturally to me. On the inside, I’m extremely timid, always nervous, full of self-questioning and self doubt. But God used Hebrews 4:16 to minister to my life over and over in 2018. It left me feeling forever changed and empowered. The word BOLDLY has changed how I come to God on the behalf of others and how I have learned to move forward in the (unnerving) things He asks me to do. I try very hard to do them with a boldness that I think and hope, honors Him.

Anyway, a couple days before this new year, I started asking God for a new word for 2019. I patiently waited then on New Year’s Eve I found myself sitting in my den, my very loud life moving busily about me and I asked again. I wasn’t prepared for the word that He gave me.

The word was “unequivocal”.

Huh? Hold the bus, Jesus! Did you just say unequivocal? What does that have to do with anything? I was looking for something a bit more….ethereal….like the word ‘light’, or ‘lioness’, or one I really love; ‘daughter of the star breather’. Wouldn’t it be super awesome to have words like ‘starlight breathing lioness’ to shape and define 2019?

Nope, none of that over here, God straight up picked unequivocal for me. I had to look it up and stand down so He could explain.

 

Unequivocal: having only one clear and possible meaning or interpretation. Absolute; not subject to conditions or exceptions; unquestioning, certain, direct, obvious, unmistakable.

Alllllllrighty then…..

Me: Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Jesus?

Jesus: It’s really simple. When I ask you to do something, never question my purpose and love for you.

Me: whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Jesus?

Jesus: You know what I’m talking about.

Me: ok, but you’re down to confirm that, right?

So here we are. Me being all unequivocal and stepping out in faith that Jesus won’t let me make a fool out of myself. In the past 4 years, and as a means of therapy, I’ve written about things on my heart. Things that pertain to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, life, marriage, parenting and grand parenting, grief, healing, and ultimately, joy. The boldness came from knowing they would be kept secure in the privacy of my notes app, never to be seen by human eyes. To me, they were very personal gifts from God that drew me closer to Him, and to healing and restoration. It’s with these, that He has given me a clear understanding of peace and gratitude, despite hardships and heartbreak.

Now, as a general rule, when God gives me a gift – I like to give it right back to Him. He has been asking me for a minute to share some of the writings but I have unequivocally ignored Him because feeling exposed is well….uncomfortable. I don’t especially embrace being nekkid in front of a crowd of people. Then along came that confirmation I asked for; a random note from a dear friend. This precious soul means the world to me; I pay attention to her and I trust her heart. God knew that so I believe He used my sweet Stuart Scalia to deliver the intimidating go ahead. I will never forget that email for as long as I live. At the end of the day, the verdict was: It’s not about who doesn’t want to hear, it’s about who does. (Hi mom! I know you’re probably the last one still reading. Thank you for always being so supportive. I simply adore you.) So Mom, we just gotta be who He created us to be, in faith. Period.  So, with that, I’m gonna give these writings away, here. They will be for Him to do what He wants, I’m just do my part in copying and pasting from my notes app. My only prayer and hope is that someone will maybe find an unequivocal word of healing, hope and/or encouragement.

A few of people have encouraged me to do this so here I go, unequivocally sharing my heart. If you want to follow along, welcome! You’ll have to ‘like’ Polly Spence Art page on Facebook. I’m blessed by having many friends with different beliefs and of different religions, so I do this with a very clear understanding that I am not speaking truth to everyone and that I will have critics. That’s ok, no one is obliged to follow along just because we are friends; and if you are already here and chose not to stay, it will be without hard feelings. This page started as a place for my paintings and right now, in this season of life, paint is and always will be a ministry of mine, but not a priority.

Here’s the thing, we all have a choice to follow Jesus. I made a choice to follow Him at a time in my life when I was lost and searching. When I decided to get my bad self found and saved by Him, I was called to embrace everything that came with that rescue, including a passion to share the life changing truth that I have personally experienced. When you decide to do that, and not to freak anyone out, there are a few things you can count on: You will immediately be different. You will be loved by some and not so much by others. You will be both blessed and ridiculed for the things that will flow from your heart right out of your mouth. Because, no way around it, you can’t expect the Teacher to train you toward YOUR objectives. He has to train you for HIS. The training is for all kinds of battles and the victory, for His glory. The divine challenge is His. For Him to make a disciple out of me means He has to work overtime in trying to make a duplicate of Himself. Goodness, poor Jesus. I don’t give him much to work with but I will unequivocally try to be moldable and compliant.

So right here, in this moment, I expose myself in front of everyone for His glory. Because being transparent is not only a calling, it’s a requirement of boldness and a necessary element for realness. I have spent a good part of my creative life neither being bold nor real, because of fear. Now, I’m pushing past my own boundaries with no other objective than to be real with anyone that might have the time or the gumption to follow along. I’ll comfort myself by saying “if only just one person” will follow along and find a word of encouragement to be unequivocally bold in loving Jesus in the new year then I’m good. The bold truth is, I hope what He has to say through me finds value to someone beyond my precious mom. Not that she isn’t enough, she is just legally required by law to encourage while holding my hand so that doesn’t count.

P.S. Attn Grammar Police: I use to be even more of a heathen than I am right now. I skipped the majority of my high school English classes (again, sorry mom, thank you for still loving me) and therefore do not encompass even the basic writing skills, emphasis on proper punctuation and spelling. IF you are going to hang with me, you will have to have the capacity to laugh at my grammatical mistakes, fortitude to put up with words that I invent, embrace my love of the semi-colon and the ……., and roll with all the mistakes I will make because there will be many….and if you hate on me because of them, that makes you ____________.

….ask Jesus for the word!

Here’s to unequivocalness!! A beautiful word I will let hunt me down, drawn me out and forever change who I am. If you are bold enough to expose yourself to the elements, let me know what your word is for 2019. I’d unequivocally love to hear!

P.S.S. I just went to FB to post this and the first thing I saw was a post from my super fab Pastor, Tom Lowe. It reads: “ The ant can work his little heart out but he’ll never be able to produce honey. Your gifts uniquely qualify you to accomplish what God has preordained you to be and to do. It’s a brand new year – get off the fence and go for it!”

I’m picking up what you are putting down, Jesus. I got you, I see you, I hear you, I feel you, and most of all, I absolutely, unquestionably, most certainly and unequivocally love you. ❤️

HAPPY 2019!

#Jesus

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Jeezy

Can I get an amen?! Here I sit three days after Christmas feeling like I’ve been hit by a 18-wheeler that ripped through the air by a cat 5 hurricane named Adulting. Bam! Right between the eyes! Every inch of my 52 year old body hurts. Shout out to all my fellow magic makers because Christmas isn’t for sissies. It ain’t easy trying to be who your not. It leaves you looking like this: a tired, wo-out hagamuffin, shufflin’ around in your new fuzzy socks trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Christmas, that’s what! Life just happened! 

Christmas and everything that comes with it: all the decorating, all the cleaning, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the baking, all the gift wrapping…and delivering, all the weaving of magicalness. I won’t even get into all the other normal life stuff but I will say, it’s all still right there, relentlessly coming for you. Nonetheless, Christmas is my favorite time of year and my home, my happy place. That’s where all the goodness happens. Life is chaotically beautiful. So much so that I’ve decided to enjoy the awesomeness that surrounds me for one more day. I’m your mid-life version of the mom party animal, still celebrating the birth of the one from whom all my blessings flow. I feel pretty confident that I’m the last woman sitting while every other super woman is 15 steps ahead of me, on to the next thing and plans already deployed for festive new year celebrations. I’m cool with it, I’ll catch up tomorrow…

Today, I’m enjoying this worn out robe that babies have spit up on and that has recently wrapped them in mom hugs, doubling as a snot rag to wipe all kinds of tears away. I’m just going to sit and embrace the big and beautiful mess that directly points to my big and beautiful family. I quietly pinch myself for the peace of mind of having my kids under my roof for the first time in a long time. I’m even thankful and only slightly annoyed by the visiting grankitten that is sharpening her claws on the back of my uber cool vintage couch because it means I have a place for my family and friends to comfortably relax together. I’m thankful there wasn’t a mass family walkout around here because of my Christmas gift buying decree: “if you don’t order your own gifts off amazon and have them shipped directly to my front door in a timely manner then you will receive only a check from Santamom.” Looking back, I’m amazed I didn’t get fired! 

I’m thankful for the gift of this funny coffee mug because it means that I have children who get me and love me despite my cornball sense of humor. I’m thankful for the tiny feet that kicked me in the face all night, rendering a peaceful night of rest for one of us while the other feels…well…comatose. Today, I’ll take it because I can. I’m thankful for the coffee that fills this cup with liquid life support and a slow dripped excuse to not move too quickly. I’m thankful for the Motrin I’m going to get to take and the hot water that I, at some point today, promise to bathe in. I would soak in said bath with my new lavender and tea leaf bath bomb but said face kicker and her Barbie tribe already and unabashedly enjoyed that when I turned my back.  I’m thankful that she is innocent enough to think that what is mine, is hers.

As I sit here partying by myself in the wee hours of the morning with my new coffee cup, I can see the sun coming up, reminding me that the Good Lord has afforded me yet another opportunity to hit the reset button and try again. 

I can see the priceless nativity my mom gave me when I became a real grown up. It’s a reminder of what a gift she has always been to me. It’s a reminder of all my blessings. 

I can see the 26 brass angels she passed down to me this year and that now adorn my mantle. They are a reminder to keep my eyes focused on the hope of heaven. They remind me that we will one day again see the ones we have lost and know they will never be taken from us again. 

In my kitchen I see the 42 nutcrackers my twins have collected with each Christmas and it reminds me of stretching and growth. That every season of time, good and bad, is to be cherished because it brings you one step closer to who you were originally created to be.

 I can see 8 stockings hung by the chimney with care, one for each of the biggest loves I have ever known. They remind me of God’s generous promise of abundance; there is always something more in store when it comes to love. 

I can see all the ornaments my grown children hand crafted while in elementary school hanging on the tree….again. My all time favorite? A tiny manger fashioned from tin foil with baby Jesus made from a rolled up Kleenex complete with two eyes and smile dotted in with a purple magic marker. This is a 28 year standing reminder of Love, itself. How Love incarnate came down to save us all from ourselves with a love that eclipses the richness of all other loves. A love so brilliant in color, yet never blinding or overbearing. A love with the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm. A love that is as cunning as a warrior yet as gentle as a whisper.  A love that encompasses the joy and gladness of sunshine and the humility of a 30 mile walk down a dirt road. A love that reclines, laughs and eats with friends one minute and nails itself to a cross on our behalf, the next. 

You can learn a great deal about someone and their nature in the way they love, why they love and what they love. Be assured that God loves you with a love that is always in action. Always pursuing, searching, molding, mending, protecting and planning for His most treasured possession, you. I pray this New Year, amidst all the busyness, you take a bit of time to fully receive that gift. Despite any feeble attempt you make at being everything to everyone from a place of love, Jesus reminds us that He already has that covered so no need to beat yourself up if you didn’t perfectly deliver, or think of everything….or if you aggressively played dirty in the family Dirty Santa game, like me. (sorry fam) No worries, friend. You aren’t Jesus, but Jesus got you! This makes me so happy that I’m just gonna sit here and continue to celebrate for one more day. I would add a shot of Baileys to my coffee but it’s waaaay over there, in the cabinet that is 6 steps away. 

Soon enough, and if you haven’t already, we magic weavers get the joy of pulling Christmas down and packing it all up. I’ll do it with a heart of happiness, remembering all the laughter and love shared with old friends, new neighbors and cherished family members. Remembering that with each item, there is a blessing attached to a memory held dear, as well as, a new one created. I’ll do it with hope in my heart that I will get the blessing of doing it all again next year. I’ll do it without complaining, remembering what a gift it is to just have a home.

So for 2019, I choose to be a bit more mindful about how difficult it must be to be Jesus to a world that loves to complain. How it must make His precious heart ache to be constantly misunderstood and chastised by a world who doubts the goodness of your intentions; a world that sometimes doesn’t always notice the love you freely give and the cost associated. To a world that rejects your healing love while fighting over who is worthy enough to receive it. To a world that refuses to embrace your grace and share your humble mercy with others. I’d imagine, it ain’t easy being Jesus. 

I pray the new year finds us all intent in doing our part to change the hurting world. I hope we all think twice about complaining about stuff that doesn’t really matter and are more intentional with words of praise and affirmation. A place where we look at each other as God looks at us – each of us as His child who is cherished, sacred and adored. I pray we can forgive others and have eyes to see them as their best. I hope our attitudes shift from one of only trudging through life to one of excitement and anticipation of the wonderful plans He has for us. I pray we learn to approach His throne of grace with boldness in prayer for one another. 

I pray that we believe what He has promised, to love us like He said He would and to uphold us no matter what. I pray we remember that He promises to give us victory over all our enemies. I pray we live in gratitude for the promise that grants us full forgiveness of our guilty sins. I pray we don’t weeble-wobble on these promises as if they are too fragile to hold us all up.  I pray we will firmly plant ourselves in and on them, confident that God is as good as His word. I pray we will be a people that rise up and shine on, knowing that it is God’s light that empowers the light within each of us. 

Thats my focus for 2019, to live to please only Him. Because every time I try to please everyone else, I exhaust myself completely and end up looking like this hot mess right here. I’m gonna do Polly and let Jesus do Jesus, through me.  Thank you Jesus for paying the price, taking on my burdens and for always coming to my rescue. I thank you for my wacky and overflowing cup. I love you so much. 

I lift up the ones who are walking thru this life without their child, parent, friend, or partner. I pray 2019 brings an abundance of peace and healing to your heart. I pray Gods truth and love will overwhelm your weary soul. I pray you never lose faith in God.

I pray everyone has a happy, safe and prosperous new year full of too many blessings to count. Here’s to living life to the fullest! I pray all this all for His glory. B304A7AB-65E2-4105-91BA-95BFF2CDFDE1

I’ve been a lonely sailor.

I’ve journeyed to depths unknown.

I’ve been adrift in a sea of loss;

shipwrecked, a castaway,…all alone.

My sea legs have lost their footing

and left me face down on the bow.

I’ve even shaken my exhausted fists at God,

asking: “How much more will you allow?”

Because this middle-aged ship is battered!

My sails? Ripped and torn.

I’ve been tossed around by waves of doubt

I’m so seasick from the relentless storms.

Because it’s scary to be marooned

on an island where you don’t know the ropes.

When your rashings of faith are running thin;

you’re wondering: “Where are you, God? I’m losing hope.”

Dehydrated and defeated

I looked for Him in the sky.

It was then I saw the outstretched albatross,

circling me on high.

It was a sign of life!

A symbol that brought me peace!

Then a whisper came as the wind

Saying “hang on, something beautiful is about to release!”

So I picked up my sight

To focus and better see.

Low and behold it was a man

sailing straight towards me!

He wore a weathered face of wisdom.

His brow, all furled with might.

I could tell He was some kind of warrior

Who’d been battling darkness with his light!

He held in His hand an anchor

made of heavy iron.

His voice was roaring over the waves

declaring “You are mine!”

What was that ol’ sea dog saying?

For it is to myself that I belong!

I’m the Captain of this ship…

That sailor’s got it all wrong!

It was then I saw Him command my storm to silence.

He told every wave to sit still.

With His outstretched, mighty hand He said

“Welcome aboard mate, if you will?”

So I climbed upon His vessel.

Off the horizon mine floated away.

I was on a rescue ship of some kind of Savior,

So I just surrendered to stay.

He said “I’m here to give my life for yours.

My Father has paid the cost.

He built this ship before you were born

because He knew that you’d get lost.”

“We’ll sail these seas together.”

He said, “I am your even keel.

Toss over your pain and doubt, my friend.

It’s time for you to heal.”

Then He fed me with His mercy.

And He warmed me with His grace.

He told me His name was Jesus.

I was looking at Him face to face!

He said: “My Father has a plan for your life.

It’s who you were created to be.

A calling that reveals my heart through yours,

to souls so desperately in need.”

“It’s up to you to uncover

what He’s already placed there.

His word and Spirit will be your guide

so with the world you’ll one day share.”

“A treasure…it never knew existed

until you came along.

Your story of hope matters, my love.

In His Kingdom, it belongs.”

“Now I know these charts are hard to master

but my compass will be your guide.

We’re traveling to the land of freedom,

sitting starboard my Father’s side.”

“So just grab ahold of my rope

and bind your wandering heart to Thee.

I am The Faithful Anchor

on this ship called ‘Victory’.”

-Polly Spence

Where is the crown of thorns

that Jesus wore upon His head?

The one fashioned for a criminal,

to be worn with shame and dread.

Where is the crown of thorns

that my Prince would not deny?

The one that pierced his innocent brow,

assuring me…..a perfect alibi.

Where is the crown of thorns

my Savior paid with a cost?

The one stained by His precious blood;

please tell me it’s not lost!

“Behold, it’s with Our Father!”

“We delivered it with pride!”

Said the angels who were with Him,

as the soldiers pierced His side.

“The Holy Crown of Righteousness?

It was rescued by us above!”

Exclaimed God’s army of light that surrounded Him

as He suffered for my love.

I imagine their resounding flutter

hastily piloting to get to God’s Holy feet

to lay The Crown of Forgiveness

at Heaven’s Mercy Seat.

I picture Jesus smiling;

standing right of his Father to see.

Humbled by their delight of distinction

in presenting His Crown of Victory.

Where is the crown of thorns

that Jesus wore upon his head?

It must be high in the clouds of paradise,

held by a legion of cherubs in white.

Transformed into precious gems of royalty

by a ray of God’s perfecting light.

Because of it’s treasure-soaked colors

illuminating love down so bright;

I now understand hope-filtered sunrises

and the wonder of sunset before the night.

Where is the crown of thorns

that Jesus wore upon his head?

It’s now The Crown of Glory,

on display for all of creation to see.

It serves as a passionate reminder,

of The King’s love for you and me.

-Polly Spence

Thoughts on comets, love and The Magnificent…

I’m fascinated by stars. Overly fascinated, really. In all honesty, I can’t decide if I like clouds or stars better so I’ve decided to love them both, equally. To me, trying to choose between the two is like trying to name your favorite child, book, song, wine or movie. It’s impossible. You love them all the same but for different reasons. Today, I’m just contemplating the stars and how God is able to whisper His love through them.

I’m also not sure I feel about serendipity vs. blessing. In a very real sense, I think the word serendipity is just a neat word for blessing. In the case of William Tousignant, and all those we have lost too soon, they are one in the same; a heartfelt lucky blessing.

As a friend of my daughter’s, Will visited my home one night to just hang out and chat. When he arrived I was instantly taken aback. This kid’s aura of coolness entered the room before he did. I looked up in anticipation and there he was; his movie star smile, his hip outfit, his hair…oh goodness, his hair!, his countenance, everything about his initial appearance was just so cool.

The setting in which we met was also very cool; my exquisite daughter, our courtyard on a crisp and starry December night, a pretty decent fire roaring the kick pot, twinkle lights strung over head, and a bottle of red waiting to be shared. Will and I met with an embrace and an instant enthusiasm over all things Pinot. We settled in and just started gabbing like old friends reuniting after a long absence.

If you were ever lucky enough to speak with Will, you knew instantly you were in the presence of sagaciousness. He had a brilliant mind, a warm and inviting soul, a quick witted humor, a nurturing spirit, a philosopher’s perspective full of intentional contemplativeness and honesty. He was an allied creative and he was inspiring and beautiful. We spent hours and hours discussing topics from Jesus to Jedi. Ours was a chance encounter and a blessing I receive fully. In hindsight, he came into our lives like a brilliant shooting star full of enlightenment that instantly collided with our hearts.

When I learned of William’s passing, for a split second I thought “Really, God? Why do we have to keep doing this? Why do we have to continuously walk through this? What’s your deal, man?” Admittedly I demanded an answer with a bit of left over teenaged tude and then stormed off in a comically dramatic tizzy, openly admitting to not even taking a second to listen for His answer. My feathers were more than ruffled. I was flabbergasted, disappointed, even a tad bit resentful.

Well……the truth is, I know better. I know God and His heart well enough to know His reasoning is ALWAYS for good even though I might not understand until I get to where I’m going. But in that moment, I wasn’t interested in hearing anything enlightening He had to say. Fortunately, He already knew that. Peace in the knowing would be forthcoming in due time.

Fast forward a couple weeks later, I’m in Shreveport having dinner with my daughters. We had the most charming French waitress who we quickly fell in love with over the most delicious pizza and another bottle of said red. We spent hours lingering at our table and just to spend time with each other and with her. She was a former French chef and we went from 0 to 100 in 10 seconds flat in recognizing our kindred spirits. This immediate connection prompted me to invite her to come live with me. Her reply to my invite (in her French accent) “Oh non-non, mon cherie, I couldn’t possibly. I’m too comfortable to my ways – I even drink a bottle of wine each night before I go to bed.” Ummmm, hello long-lost-sister-obviously-separated-from-me-at-birth-and-raised-in-our-home-country-of-the-French-Alps-while-I-was-banished-to-live-in-Louisiana. At last, the stars had reunited us!

Being the last table to leave and as the girls and I were saying our good-byes, she pulled me aside and whispered: “Life is about God, so take the chance and embrace the risk. Life is magnificent. I know you are a wounded soldier, but just continue to take the risk.” Huh? How did she know? We hadn’t spoken of any of the losses! All I could do was stand there like a zombie with tears welling up in my eyes. My mind immediately went to the lyrics of the song Magnificent by U2, which I knew to be a favorite of my late and former husband. I knew right then and there what God was up to. I knew He had finally gotten me still enough to receive His answer. He intentionally caught me off guard so I would hear. I wasn’t willing to listen for His answer, so God lovingly used my long lost sister to speak truth with precision timing….as usual.

This is what I heard: Life is about God. God is love. So life is about love. In the end, it’s all about love.. He spoke to my heart about giving my time, my heart, my love; giving it ALL away and trusting Him to take care of the rest. There is incredible freedom in surrendering all and having nothing to left to lose.

Yes, I’m a wounded soldier. The last 4 years have done a number on my family. But we haven’t been set apart, every single person I know is fighting some sort of battle. Sometimes it may look like heartbreak has us surrounded and hopelessness is closing in but the truth is, we are surrounded by God. We are surrounded and hemmed in by Love; Love and everything the word encompasses… grace, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, caring, tenderness, respect, passion, devotion, even the word FOREVER! God promises to encircle us in His everlasting, never ending love, FOREVER…and that love is incomprehensibly magnificent.

God sent His only son to love us and to show us how to love others…a gift. It was a risky move on God’s part. Jesus died a horrible death because of the tragic way we treated His gift of love. But God continued to take a chance on us because of His passion for his people. God asks us to love our neighbor with that same passion. Yes, choosing to love someone is going to find you vulnerable and at times leave you wounded; it’s the ebb and flow of life. But that’s not what God intended for us to dwell on. I think He intended for us to have gratitude for the magnificent moments of life and for love; not to over glorify the hurt and heartbreak, strictly because He promises to heal the scar that love has marked us with. As the lyrics of that U2 song reminded me: “Only love can leave such a mark but only Love, can heal such a scar.”

I wouldn’t for a second exchange the pain in lieu of the magnificent moments spent with lost loves, not even for millions of dollars. Those moments in time are what make life worth living and the very thing that keeps hope alive. Will and those my family got to love for only a moment were all brilliant rainbows, fascinating fireflies, mysterious moonbeams, intensely hued and ever shifting clouds, and once in a lifetime magnificent shooting stars all rolled into separate glorious souls and God was kind enough to bless us with their beauty….if only for a moment.

The good news is, God gives us all the same opportunity to leave a beautiful afterglow upon leaving this earth to head home. God’s grand strategy, birthed in His grace toward us in Christ, and nurtured through the obedience of faith, is to release us into the redeemed life of our heart, knowing it will lead us back to him even as the North Star guides a ship across unknown surface of the ocean. It’s a choice we are all granted. We all are dazzling comets in a sense, blazing through the atmosphere with how-to instructions on how live daily and when the time comes, exit in a blaze of glory. Each of us is a ball of luminosity, individually created to shine a distinct and unique light to bless others with then leave behind a grand and noble trail of faith, hope, peace, big smiles, and cherished memories that the trajectory of our intentional love created. It’s the gift of legacy; our way to continue to bring forth light and energy even after we are long gone; a God given right to a splendid and high-powered afterglow.

So friends, take the risk to love others well. Love the ones God has placed in your cosmos; whether a sinner, or saint, an addict, a thief, a liar, a drama queen, a homosexual, a person of different color from your own, a different religion, even the one with a hardened heart, the list goes on and on as to who we all are. Who is God asking you to love better? It’s my understanding they were placed in your constellation for a reason. The sole reason of teaching you how to love as God loves.

His love is real. It’s the most authentic, genuine love there is. So must ours be. So heed the lesson, surrender to having a teachable spirit. Love others as Christ loves you. Show mercy as Christ shows mercy. Give grace as Christ so freely gives grace. Love anyone and everyone that you can, including yourself, because its a gift. Stop holding it all in and just give it all away. Do it now. Not tomorrow for tomorrow is never promised. Take the chance today, embrace the risk today and have a heart of gratitude for the gift of today, even if that gift comes in like a fireball and dissipates as quickly as it appears. Unwrap the package of unquestioning and unconditional love…the kind of reckless love that God intended us all to collide into each other with.

As I said my final goodbye to William, I told him how wonderful it was to collide with him and how I was looking forward to our next serendipitous meeting free from the earthly limitations of walls, sky space, time, dying embers and a low supply of nectar. I told him he was greatly admired and appreciated for the way he lit up my world. I wish I had said it to his face while I had the opportunity. I wish I had loved him better. I did gush over him while he was at my house but I wish now I had been MORE intentional with my heart.

I keep having the same reoccurring wishes….or regrets. I’ve always heard that God will keep giving you the same lesson over and over again until you master it. Today, I’m afforded another chance to get up and run full force towards the lesson of learning from my mistakes. I embrace serving a God who is faithful in patience in continuing to teach me about taking chances and embracing risks in order to fully experience the meaning of life..which is love. Today, I’ll do better at trusting God to live His life in mine. I ask Him not to reform my character by giving me love, but to replace my character by giving me His, because His love is utterly perfect.

Rest well, William. You are simply magnificent! Give a kiss to our shooting stars; Meg, Will, William, Colby, and Susy. May you all continue to light up our skies with your continued visits, faithfully magnifying the perfect love of Christ, The Magnificent.

Psalm 147:3-4

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars

and calls them each by name.

#Jesus

This kid, one of the biggest loves of my life. The baby. The caboose. He and our family dog, Sis, left for college yesterday. Their nonchalant exits officially and permanently marked us….wait for it…empty nesters. Today, that’s not a good thing.

I’ve had the honor to raise 5 remarkable souls and now they are gone. We did it despite my embarrassing separation anxiety and failure to launch issues. With pride I can say that I just stood there and let my son sashay right on out the door with his favorite pillows and fishing poles in tow. The hyperventilating came after I was sure he was safely out of the driveway. Yay me!

Today, my house is eerily quiet. It’s creepy so I’ve decided to take to the bed early….just for today. Because today, I went outside twice to toss scraps into the dog bowl only to realize it was gone, too. Today, my eyes are puffed up beyond the point of recognition but it’s ok.

Today, and always, I’m remembering my sweet friends whose life didn’t afford them the luxury of a kiss goodbye or tight embrace with whispered words of how proud you are. Today, they are in my prayers more than usual.

It feels so gross to complain so today and always I’m more than grateful for the gift of knowing that my kids will enter our home again but I’m admittedly, just for a minute, struggling with “where did the time go?”. How the hell did this just happen? Today, all the dumb cliches are crashing down with truth…and I hate cliches.

But the truth is, the dumb cliches are very accurate…..it’s over in a second, in a blink of an eye, in a puff of smoke, and the stupidest one of all…if you love them, you’ll let them fly. Whatever!

Today, I’m haunted by wondering if I loved him enough? Was I present enough? Did I instruct him well enough to know not to binge drink? Did I encourage him enough to stand firm in his beliefs and sense of self? Did I lecture him enough on the importance of showing up for class? Today, I would like to have a do-over? I would really like to do it all again, only this time, better, because I’m not done yet! Today, I’m grasping and so regretting letting my husband talk his way out of having another child.

To all of you out there with small babies with college looking like a dream in a far and distant land somewhere, hear me when I say this: ITS NOT! It’ll be here before you can shake two sticks and if I could do one thing over, I would have mastered the art of saying “no”, at a younger age, to all the outside influences that pulled at my time and schedule.

I would be at home everyday, serving my family no matter who else needed me. I would say “no” to heading up committees and fundraisers that robbed me of precious time with my children. I would give a hard “no” to any distraction that took my focus off my family. The truth is, the world wasn’t drastically changed because I invested hours and hours trying to better it. I wish I had saved all that doing for a time such as this.

If I could start over, I would insist that all cell phones be turned off upon entering the door, including mine. I would insist that everyone be home for dinner. I would have spent more time just sitting around talking. I don’t by any means think of myself as a distracted mother. I know I’ve been a good one and at the very least, did my best. I just wish I had more time to do it better, knowing what I know now, because today, I suddenly have tons of wisdom to overwhelm them with!

Tomorrow, I’ll get over myself and my pity party but today and always I pray that I’ve done a good job. I pray that I’ve led them to knowing how to always have a full heart. I pray I’ve taught them to always keep their eyes and minds open. I pray I’ve taught them to always use kind words. I pray that God will keep them safe and I pray they will be so dangerous that evil will flee when they enter a room. I pray that they will find great friends and a sweet person at church to one day marry. Haha!

John Wess, I already miss you so much. It went so fast. Today, I know we are sending a great kid into the world, and you are about to have some of the best years of your life. We are so proud of you and love you with every fiber of our beings.

Today, I’m sending all my love to the parents who are launching kids. We know they are going to stretch and grow so much and have so much fun. We know they are going to be more than okay and we have to rest in that. Tomorrow, empty nesters will be the new and cool thing. We’ll be the inspiration to all the young parents. Tomorrow, we will light the world on fire with all of our newly found free time. Tomorrow, we will embrace the end of a beautiful chapter. We did it!

To the parents who are experiencing life unfolding with indescribable broken hearts, know that my prayers are vehemently calling out for you, today, tomorrow and forever. ❤️

My husband was lucky enough to meet me at my best friends Super Bowl party a mere 21 years ago. Ours was an instant attraction that found us marching down the wedding aisle only 6 months later.

If I told you the 20 years since have been a magical fairytail, I would be a liar but I can say the years have been……worthwhile….and full of too many blessings to count. John and I laugh sometimes at claiming that we are the poster children for the hardships of a blended family. I like to think of us as a 20+ year restoration project; a masterpiece in the making.

The thing I have come to realize in marriage is that there is nothing that can’t be restored, because restoration is God’s forte; His business. He partners in this family business with his son, a master carpenter along with their silent but wise co-counsel. The Bible is full of the amazing portfolio of their beautiful and brilliant remodeling skills. They never stop working; even at this very moment they are awaiting and anticipating the time when they can “make all things new”. None of them has any intention of letting any part of their healing plan of restoration fall through the cracks….including my marriage.

The thing that’s so cool is that God calls us into partnership with his plans; to become master restorers working alongside the three of them.

There have been times that both of us have asked God to release us from the bonds of our marriage but God has never opened the door for either of us. He has only reminded us that there is nothing about His creation or our marriage that qualifies us to call either a lost cause, only He can. We don’t get to decide when something is to be deemed a write off, only He does.

It’s never been our right to determine if anyone or anything is hopeless or unredeemable, only His. If we are going to be a part of the family business then we are called to demonstrate faith, hope and love, especially under our own roof.

We are called to envision the plan and fill our marriage, home and relationships with nothing short of those attributes. Then we are asked to pray, live, work, and relate to others toward that vision. Because when our focus is a restoration of all things, we align ourselves with the heart of God. Wherever the boundaries of beauty, truth, and goodness are stretched, there the good kingdom comes.

I thank God for inviting John Spence to that Super Bowl party 21 years ago. Its the day some of the biggest lessons of my life began. The lessons of how to love the sometimes unlovable, the lessons of forgiveness, the lessons of commitment, the lessons of being obedient, the lessons of surrender, the lessons of humbleness, the lessons of grace and the lessons of restoration and redemption.

John and I may not be the most skilled players on the field and we have certainly made our fair share of bad calls,intentional groundings along with lots of fumbles and turnovers…but we are still in the game. I made a vow to go beast mode with my fair catch until the whistle blows. What we have found in the midst of the game is that we function best when working as a special team. When we allow ourselves to be the eligible receivers of the genius play calls of hope, love, commitment and faith. No matter what, we are in it to win it and Hail to the Mary, you can bet your sweet tight end that I’m going for the championship ring! 😂💖💍💖Happy Super Bowl, John! Here’s to many more!

Jan 2017

As this year comes to an end…and especially at Christmastime, my heart is set on the people I love who have suffered great losses. Those who understand the crushing suffocation of emptiness and the deafening silence that loss brings.

As a person who only somewhat understands, but mostly as a mom and a friend who has had the honor of walking alongside the broken-hearted, my goal has always been to defend; to help defeat and conquer grief. To stab a stake through the heart of mourning so that we might be free, unshackled, or released from it.

Not that sadness is ever a competition but more of a thing that will not win. It will not destroy us. For me, the sight and objective has always been set on getting to the land of Well With My Soul found in the city of Thankfulness. Thankful that God trusted us enough to love those He placed our lives and to love them well. Of all the souls on the planet, He gave them to us to love.

He knew at times the path would be an arduous, uphill battle filled with missteps, drama, and heartache…but he still chose us. I’m not anyone special. I’m just a girl, too. Like Mary, just a girl with hopes and dreams of how I think things should go. But the thing with having your own plan is this….God’s purpose for your life will ultimately and always interrupt your own. God’s purposes always interrupt the human agenda.

I was in my command center (kitchen) a few days ago and had Christmas music on. The song “Mary Did You Know” was playing….I’ve heard it a millions times and have always weighed it’s stirring verses but this time I heard it with a fresh heart. I thought: Mary, did you know that your son’s life on earth would be filled with controversy? Mary, did you know your son would be wrongly accused? Did you know He would die an agonizing death? Knowing the torment and heartbreak that not only He, but you would suffer, would you have still stepped forward in faith? Would your heart been so willing?

Thinking about how overwhelmingly excited and honored she must have been to have been chosen to be the literal mother of God….did she ever think about what would happen next? Mothers are blessed by bringing forth a living light that has a God-planned purpose. But what I have learned is that blessing and ease do not always go hand and hand. There is usually a cost.

But another thing I have learned is that God’s blessings ALWAYS transcend the sacrifice. Childbirth in itself a perfect example. Nothing God does in this rebellious world is uncontested; as we partner with him, we inevitably enter into opposing realms. In the end glory outweighs the pain; sacrifice the cost, heaven defeats death, and love always wins. If sweet Mary would have been rooted in this world, her greatest blessing would be forever her greatest curse. But she had an inextinguishable faith. Her blessing, no matter the outcome, was rooted in eternity. She knew that God’s blessing would transcend her sacrifice.

With the losses my family has experienced, I can clearly see where God’s purpose has collided the world’s agenda. Sudden and tragic death was not even on our radar, much less how we thought things should go down. But God knew….and here is where the ‘well with my soul’ part comes in, where His mercy and grace shine the brightest: It doesn’t end with death. The purpose rooted in love and hope, continues. Megan’s, Will’s, Colby’s, William’s, …the list goes on and on….purposes continue to shape us as they continue to bring love, change, and redemption to our family, and ultimately the world around us.

I hope I’m forever bold enough to continue to ask for His blessing, however costly, because in the end, it’s always good. It always brings redemption because every trial we experience is an opportunity to be carried closer toward our destiny; who we were created to be and closer to where we are suppose to go….home….Heaven.

I think Mary’s story should be profound encouragement to us all. We are all just jars of clay designed to carry a treasure of some sort. A treasure that can’t be buried by death. We are just earthly seeds planted to become heavenly beings that bring Love to earth through our lives…even after we pass from this world to the next. It inspires me to live as Mary, choosing faith over fear and fully aware that a Messiah lives within me.

Would I do it all again? Would Nikki, William, Cameron, Scott, Shannon, Buffy, Juanita, Paulen, Beth, Helena, Lee, Megan, Holley, Dee suffer the sacrifice for the glory? Would you? I don’t even really have to ask…My answer for everyone of us is a resounding yes. We would do it all over again just to have the joy and honor of getting to love the people God gave us, even if only for just a minute.

Sometimes I struggle so much with the why? But something inside of me clicked with that song. There will always moments when all seems lost. That is when it is critical to remember that there is continuity in God’s promise and plan. He is always weaving. His will and His plans will be accomplished, just as He said.

All those words about being reunited in Heaven with life eternal? Guaranteed. All those promises about how He will defend, guide, protect, heal, strengthen, restore and deliver? Certain. He takes the fulfillment upon Himself. That’s why He came! It’s why we celebrate Christmas in the first place….it’s the day our Savior was born; Our Emmanuel – God with us.

As the song says, “the sleeping child Mary was holding is the Great I Am.” Mary really was blessed and forever highly favored. Through her child, so are we. He is faithful and His plan is always good. Every. Single. Time….His plan is LOVE.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a new year full of hope and gratitude for all the blessings we have been given in precious name of Jesus. ❤️

Dec 2017