Bible Journaling Guest Post

Hey all! So glad that you have decided to join me in this fun endeavor of learning more about Bible journaling. I’ve always looked at it with curiosity and some trepidation—the greatest trepidation was overcoming coloring in a Bible. I mean, I wrote and highlighted in my Bible, but coloring?! It was an unspoken cardinal sin to color in your Bible.

I’ve joined with 13 other women in teaching some favorite bible journaling techniques. So if you’re interested in learning more, click the link below and check out today’s post, written by yours truly!



Stop Playing With the Bit!

When my horse has any amount of time off from being ridden, I have to spend time refreshing her memory on how to conduct herself while being ridden. I have noticed these last few days that by the end of our ride, she’s got a foam of saliva around her mouth. It’s not from overworking her, but it’s from her playing with her bit. This is part of the refreshing of attitude expectations. She rolls her tongue on the bit because she’s full of energy and wants me to let her do whatever she desires. A few days (sometimes weeks) of riding usually cures her anxiety in this area and she settles down nicely.

Being still before the Lord, okay, being still at all has been a lacking characteristic in my life until recently. Like my horse, it takes no encouragement to go faster–one nudge and the race is on. After several failures, I went back to the drawing board and asked God, “What’s up? I thought this is what you wanted me to do.” It turns out, the drawing board is where He wanted me. There was still more to see before taking off.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know I am God.

Being still doesn’t mean that you sit stock-still without moving while knowing that He is God. “Be still” means to cease striving. It means to quit trying to make things happen; stop trying to be your own savior and let His word wash over you.

For quite some time, I would receive direction and run right ahead into a proverbial wall. Instead of step-by-step following Him, I blew right through the bit and ran as fast as I could, even though I couldn’t see what was in front of me. When we cease striving and know assuredly that He is God, we allow (any apply) His word to our lives. When we cease striving and know assuredly, we renew our minds according to His word, and like Romans says, come to know the will of God (Romans 12:1-2). When we know the will of God, we know what to do when an opportunity presents itself. We can say “that lines up with the Word of God,” or we can say “that doesn’t line up with His word,” and act accordingly.

The enemy would like to keep our minds in a state of constant motion. Think about all the times that you’ve had a to-do list the size of Texas and less time than there are hours in a day to do it all. What happened? Chances are you worried and fretted, but you probably also took matters into your own hands instead of sitting down before the Lord and saying “is there something that You could do?” In addition to the to-do list, the enemy might throw thoughts of failure into your mind. A lot of my overwhelmed feelings came from feeling like I wasn’t able to do any of it. By the end of the day, I’m short with those around me and filled with anger instead of peace.

When you cease striving and know assuredly that He is God, you sit before Him and say “okay, here’s what is presenting itself today. Is there anything that could wait until tomorrow? Have I overcommitted in any area that is causing me to lose focus on You?”

Let’s commit to cease striving and go back to the drawing board with God. Ask Him where you need to be and what you need to do–even what you need to speak over your situation.



What Is The Letter Being Read?

I have never been part of church planting, let alone church launching. The church that my husband and I have been attending the last several months has been extending their tent-stakes to a couple towns in our area. It has been interesting to watch and to be part of; one reason being that it has completely demolished previous thoughts of the church in general.

I was chained to the mindset that churches are very territorial: don’t take our members, and don’t be close to others that don’t go to our church, they might convince you to leave. This drive is monetary and numbers based, and I have struggled with it for quite some time. What I have since found out is that is not the case, or maybe it still is, but my vision has been removed from territory already taken to the unclaimed territory.

I have learned from this church that it’s the people who don’t have a church home that needs to be reached. It’s the people who have been hurt by church people, or who have never darkened the doors of a church because of their past, it’s the people who don’t know the Lord who need to know the love of God. As I sat in church the day of the official launch of a new branch, I saw the fruit of their reach. I saw people who felt loved raising their hands to a God they had maybe given up on, I saw people who were leery of being back in a church melt at the presence of God, and I saw the love of God poured into each person that walked through the doors.

A few years ago, I was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a local county. I was assigned to deprived cases and I would then be a voice for the children that were involved. Children are so often lost in the cracks when it comes to court cases, and CASA’s are appointed to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for the judge, and for the child. They help the Social Worker by providing a fresh set of eyes and ears to the case.

As Christians, we are like CASA’s, if you will. Our assignment is to reach those lost in the cracks, those who have not been reached before. If we continue to reach those who have already been reached, we’re not doing much in expanding the Kingdom…just reproducing Christians that don’t evangelize. Now, I am not saying that people who are already Christians don’t need to be loved on or taken care of, or reached because we all need to be encouraged and uplifted. However, we have this Hope that needs to be shared.

A video of Kathie Lee Gifford was circulating around social media after the death of Billy Graham. In this video, she had said if she had the cure for cancer, she would not keep it to herself. And she has the cure for the malignant soul—Jesus Christ. She is not the only one who has the cure: we do too. And if we have the cure, why are we keeping it to ourselves? Why are we only warming the pews every Sunday, but not the cold hearts of those we encounter on a daily basis? You don’t have to look far to find someone wracked by pain and confusion.

I am reminded of Jesus’ promise in John 14:18

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.

He has sent us into the world to provide hope, to provide life, to provide joy–but we have to go. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus and spread the gospel. Without us sharing the Gospel, how will people come to know the hope to which they have been called? Our Pastor encouraged us this last Sunday by telling us that we are the letter the world is reading. What letter is the world reading? Are they seeing our values and morals line up with the Word of God? Are they seeing us standing strong even though all hell has broken loose around us? What are they seeing that is encouraging them to choose to have a personal relationship with The Lord?



Finally Feeling Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14, NIV)

For some time, I didn’t feel fearfully and wonderfully made. I felt misplaced and abnormally made. I could never quite find my place in school or sports. I wasn’t academically challenged, but I wasn’t Top 10, I wasn’t uncoordinated, but I wasn’t coordinated. I was…meh.

I had dreams of being someone great because that is what chick-flicks and Seventeen magazine was about. On the surface, I wasn’t visibly moved by others’ comments, but deep down I craved to be extraordinary; I craved to stand out. I fought to become something, or someone, and changed my mind an umpteenth number of times to be that. I went from wanting to be a vet to a teacher, and from a teacher to a psychologist.

Then one spring day at a Women’s Conference I opened my heart to God and said “I’m tired of moving from one place to the other unsatisfied. What do YOU want me to do.” And from that moment on, I was steadied by the Lord in what He has called me to do. There are still times when I feel misplaced and misunderstood, especially in my writing; but I am more firmly rooted in my identity and I know what God has called me to do and I know that He will make a way.

As I look at the world today and I see the power struggle between men and women, I see myself back in school trying to be someone great and I hear this ringing in my spirit:

“It’s an identity issue.”

The enemy has been calling our identity into question from the moment the woman came from the rib of a man. He did it to Eve when he questioned her about what God had said concerning to fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the question “Did God really say?” is racing through the minds of women all over the world today. 

The reason it is an identity issue is that we have not wielded the Sword of the Spirit, but we have wielded the words of the world. It is no wonder that we are at the crux of an identity issue when, instead of combating the lies of the enemy with the Word of God, we have succumbed to the lies of the world and undertaken the identity they have given us. We have allowed our surroundings or our circumstances define who we are.

We are all part of the body of Christ according to 1 Corinthians 12:12, and we all have a specific role to play, but society tells us we have to be a hand when we were created to be an eye. When we all try to operate out of a function we were not created to function in, there are chaos and disorder.

I think the secret is discovering what part of the body we as a woman are to operate in, and being that body part with all the confidence and authority given to us in Christ. I think that once we figure out where we’re supposed to be, there will be less of a struggle and more acceleration—in all areas. Because when we operate as we’re supposed to, there’s unity..and well, unity? Unity causes others to know that it is God who has sent us. And at His name, every knee will bow and every tongue confess. (Romans 14:11)




“Oh, that was really good.” I thought when I read an engagement announcement on my Facebook newsfeed.

I love words, and when I read really good words, I either get pumped up to go and write, or I immediately begin to list the reasons I’m not-good-enough with words.

Immediately I began to question my ability to write. Even the thought of “maybe I should just stick to taking pictures” came to mind. In one rush of words, I questioned everything.  She did nothing but announce the excitement, and I rejoiced with her in it, but the enemy is good about using our strengths to tap into our weaknesses.

Social media is good at helping one compare, isn’t it? As I was battling through the mind-war of words clashing like swords, I heard:

“Beware of the altar of comparison being resurrected in your heart and in your mind. It’s the altar at which you take your imperfections and hold them up against another’s so-called “perfections.” The altar at which you create a cover for the world to buy with their mind’s eye so that the altar of comparison burns brightly in their minds. What would happen if, instead of comparing, you snuffed it out and stayed yourself? Change is good and necessary but not at the expense of your sanity.”

You see, comparison is like a madness that institutionalizes the mind and never sets it free. We are trapped inside the thought that we aren’t good enough because we don’t do enough, but all that does is hinder what God wants to do in our lives.

Comparison makes us think that God’s blessings are limited. It makes us think that we are not good enough to receive the fullness of His goodness. It tells us that we don’t measure up to the appearance of another.

There’s this cool analogy in 1 Corinthians that says we’re all part of a body (15:27). The human body has 206 bones and over 600 muscles. If we’re all part of the body, we all have a place, and it won’t be the same as another person. In order for a body to properly function, each part has to do what they’re made to do.

Let me say it this way:

Have you ever tried to wear someone else’s pants that weren’t your size?

At the beginning of the time, I knew I was called to women’s ministry, I tried to wear the pants of another woman who was doing similar work to what I wanted to do. I would see strong, Christian women who were bold in their approach to Scripture, who were compassionate in their teaching and obviously anointed, and I would try to fit into that. I would do what they did. Speak how they spoke. Read what they read. They became an idol. And instead of fulfilling the destiny He’s given me, I hindered God moving in my life.

Isn’t it funny, though, how condemnation seems to be hand-in-hand with comparison? As I put a leg into a pair of pants that didn’t fit and jumped and wiggled to get it up around my waist, I heard all the reason’s why I’d never be “her.” Instead of sitting with the One who called me by the grace of Christ, I sat on the pity-floor and basked in my incompetence.

It is incredible to me how comparison causes a level of jealousy. Instead of cheering others on, it tempts you to cling tightly to the notion that you are the only one fit for the job. In our mind’s eye, if they succeed at what they are doing, there will be no room for you.

Comparison causes the body of Christ to operate in chaos and disorder. Instead of operating how God designed an individual to be, there are people who are trying to be a nose when they’re created to be a hand. It’s no wonder the church is ineffective in their attempt to disciple the world.

You, child, have been uniquely created to play a specific part in the body of Christ. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). The perceived success of another is not your failure. Comparison never fills.

Here are a few actions that you can take when you feel comparison creeping in:

Stop and Pray.Tell the Lord that you recognize that comparison is trying to take root. Thank Him for calling you by His grace and for equipping you. Thank Him for calling you to be part of the body of Christ. Thank Him for the person you’re wanting to compare yourself to. Thank Him that they are using their gift, pray for them as well.

Compliment them. Tell them what a great job they have done. Notice them. Compliment their writing, their outfit, their hair, their makeup. You know how much women love to hear good things.

Recognize that we are all different.Your strengths may be another’s weakness and vice versa. If it is a weakness of yours that is a strength of the one you are comparing yourself to, reach out and ask them for help if you’re wanting to grow in that area. If they are being vulnerable, recognize that, and offer to help them if it’s needed.

Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Go through and read Psalm 139. Let it soak into your entire being.



Enhance Your Prayer Time

I know that prayer is important in one’s walk with The Lord, and I know there is power in prayer, and I know that God hears me when I pray; but why, for Pete’s sake, is it so hard to pray? Why is it easy to get distracted while praying? What does one do to win in the area of prayer?

The tools I have mentioned below are ways that have helped me push through in the area of prayer and tarry for an answer and to grow in my relationship with The Lord.

1.) Recognize that we do have an enemy who is hell-bent on destroying the power we have access to through prayer.

A praying Christian is a powerful Christian.

James 5:16 says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

I was listening to a teaching on prayer by a friend and mentor of mine, and she had us participate in an exercise. She had us hold our breath for five seconds and then asked us how difficult it was to go without breathing for an extended period of time. She equated our physical breath to our spiritual breath: prayer. Just as if you were to hold your breath for an extended period of time and you would pass out, so you would also pass out if you hold your prayer breath too long.

When we read the creation story in Genesis, we see that man was created in the image of God. God breathed His breath…HIS breath…into Adam after He formed them from the dust of the earth.

If it is His breath that is coursing through our lungs, it’s no wonder prayer is so powerful when prayed according to God’s Word—because just like creation, it is His breath being breathed into the situation at hand.

2.) Remove distractions

This has probably been the biggest obstacle for me in my walk with the Lord. I seem to think that I need to have my phone with me wherever I go because the moment that I don’t, something will happen and no one will be able to get ahold of me. It provides an opportunity for distraction because when I get a text, I respond. From that response, I visit facebook, twitter, and Instagram and the next thing I know is that it’s 45 minutes later and I’ve accomplished nothing.

This is my second day of getting up an hour(ish) earlier in the mornings to spend time in prayer. It has helped in the area of distraction because I know that the people I talk to on a daily basis are not up yet.

Maybe you need to designate a spot to go to pray. Our house is small, and we don’t have an extra room that is climate controlled. It’s based on the temperature outside. We have an AC window unit up there, and I could take a heater if cold, but in both temperatures, it takes awhile to cool down or heat up. So I sit on the floor in front of our heater and spend time with The Lord.

3.) Be intentional

Honestly though, what it all boils down to is this: do you really want to grow? Are you willing to be diligent and intentional about setting aside time to pray and deepen your relationship with the Lord?

As with anything, you will only receive what you put in. When we seek God’s face we can expect to become more like Him as He pours into us through prayer. When we seek His face we can expect to receive answers and wisdom.

I have the speaking part down pat, but I don’t have the listening mastered. The Lord has been convicting me to enter into a time of silence to listen to Him. Silence is a discipline that we should practice as Christians. As we walk through that discipline, our minds will learn to be silenced and we are better able to hear what He is saying to us. Be intentional about listening and speaking: not just speaking when praying, but speaking when you’re spoken to about that situation.

4.) Journal

Journal your prayers. Keep track of what you have prayed and how and when God came through in that area. Sometimes it helps to encourage us when we have tangible evidence of God moving in a situation.

I write all of my prayers out in a notebook. It wasn’t until my husband and I had gone through a season of transition that I was convicted to go back and see what God had answered. At least 10 prayers were answered in one week during this season. It was an encouragement to me because it was tangible evidence that God heard the cry of my heart.

Sometimes my prayer morning looks like drawing a picture. You’ve heard of bible journaling, correct? That is what I am referring to, except I will journal in a notebook so that I have more room to be creative. Sometimes putting a picture of what is going through your mind with a promise from God’s Word, helps you verbally speak what needs to be spoken in prayer.

5.) Don’t make it complicated

I used to make cultivating a prayer life difficult. I had to have the right notebook with the right tabs. I had to have a prayer closet that I could make mine. I had to go through all of these religious rituals in order to succeed in prayer.

Your prayer life is your prayer life. As long as you are cultivating a relationship with Him through prayer and reading His Word, there is not a specific way you have to do it to make God hear you better. His hearing is just fine.

Like I mentioned above, my prayer life looks like writing all of my prayers down in a notebook. I used to struggle with the thought that God didn’t hear my writing. Writing is the way that I best communicate, and in order to say what I wanted to say, or in order to pray powerful, scripture-based prayers, I needed to write it down. I know that God hears the prayers of my heart.

6.) Spend time in worship

There are times that I can’t immediately enter into prayer. It may be that I have too many distractions, or I’m feeling a little discouraged, or I just don’t know what to pray. Getting into an attitude of worship helps release what needs to be prayed. I have worship playlist that settles my mind down, and often the lyrics will encourage prayer or even a scripture to study.

Oftentimes, praise is the victory that is needed for a situation. In 2 Chronicles 20, we read of Jehosephat being warned of an oncoming attack. He declared a fast and all of Judah came to inquire of The Lord. In verses 6-12, we read of the review of what God has done in the lives of this nation and their forefathers. Here’s what I want you to see:

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to The Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever!’ As they began to sing and praise, The Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (verses 21-22)

Not only does praise usher you into His presence, it sets ambushes against the enemy for victory.

Short Devo

Baggage: A Call to Drop It (A Poem)

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance that race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Source and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has set down at the right hand of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:1-2, HCSB)

We bog ourselves down with the baggage we carry.

Pain turns numb at the length we tarry.

Joyfully we walk the narrow road,

Until we become discouraged by our load.

“Drop it. Drop it. Drop it.” He asks.

“You don’t have to carry alone this daunting task.”

“Drop it at My feet,”

“Take a seat”

“Drink from My well.”

“Shed that outer shell.”

We shed an outer outer shell.

Redefining more our citadel.

Releasing a little more,

We allow Him to partially restore.

Merrily we walk along,

Singing a joyful song.

People along the path, stopped to take a break

Surprise and shock,

“Come on! Walk with me!” you say

“No, we need a break. The road is too narrow.”

Saddened by the images in your head of those behind,

The baggage cuts in a little deeper.

“Drop it. Drop it. Drop it” He asks.

“You don’t have to carry alone this daunting task.”

The end of our baggage is the hardest,

For it has us harnessed

To the past of who we used to be.

We just can’t see,

The changed He wants us to be.

Nearing the end, discouraged and downtrodden.

The joy at the beginning long forgotten.

What could have made this easier?

How could I have stayed eager?

“Drop it. Drop it. Drop it.” He asks.

“You don’t have to carry alone this daunting task.”

“Drop it at My feet.”

“Take a seat.”

“Drink from My well.”

“Shed that outer shell.”

“But isn’t it too late,” you whisper.

“My shoulders are blistered,”

Interrupted by the response,

“It’s never too late with Me.” said with nonchalance.

“Look around you.”

“See the others that have pushed through.”

You look, bags are laid out on the bare ground

The image before you creates a campground.

“This is not the end. It’s only the beginning.”

“Drop it. Drop it. Drop it.” He asks.

“You don’t have to carry alone this daunting task.”

“Drop it at My feet.”

“Take a seat.”

“Drink from My well.”

“Shed that outer shell.”

“Join me on this new journey,”

Walking forward toward Him,

You hear the cheers from an army,

Your fellow Christians,

Renewing your ambition.


Fiery Furnace and our Faith

“This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language. As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” (Daniel 3:4-6, NIV).

When I mention the words “blazing furnace,” what image comes to mind? Is it daunting enough to for you to bow in submission? The image of the blazing furnace burning in the minds of everyone who attended the dedication of the gold idol would be enough to make everyone bow down. It wasn’t enough of a scare tactic for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their response to their not bowing is epic:

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, o king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, o king, that we will not serve your gods or the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NIV)

Their response so maddened the king that he ordered that the furnace be turned up seven times hotter. The people who were binding Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell into the fiery furnace. Traveling through the passage, you see that they were thrown into the furnace, and three men became four. Pulled out of the fire, they were neither burned nor smelled like smoke. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that everyone serve God. (verses 19-30).

I see this scene a lot like our faith in God and faith in His Word. There are many idols created, and the enemy is telling us to bow or be thrown in. It’s a scare tactic to get us to conform to the ways of this world, rather than continue to stand on God’s Word.

In this last season in my walk with The Lord, I cannot count the times that I have felt the flames of the fiery furnace or heard “just give up! He’s not going to come through.” I cannot count the times where I have wanted to bow and give in, and quit standing. The bruises on my knees tell the stories of my pleadings with God.

This season has been one of testing and trying, of counting the cost of following Christ, and deciding “is this really worth it?” The response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in saying “even if he doesn’t, we still won’t bow,” spoke so convictingly to me. That’s where I want to be. I know that God will always come through, but even if He doesn’t come through in the way that want Him too, I will not give up in serving Him.

And I see you. I see your struggle. I see your desire to choose right. I see your desire to serve Him well and give Him glory. I see your questions, your doubts, your fears.

And as I sit here, I hear The Lord asking me: “If you could tell them anything, what would you tell them?”

  • I would tell you to look up. Look up and not down. Looking down limits your vision. Looking up, you’re to see for miles.
  • I would tell you that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same God who provided for you in your time of need, the same God who met you where you were at, the same God who pulled you out of the pit–is the same God who will do it again. (Hebrews 13:8)
  • I would tell you that conforming to the standards of this world gives you nothing but FOMO. It does nothing but create emptiness.
  • I would tell you that this life in Christ Jesus is worth it. Standing on His promises, speaking His word, walking in obedience to Him…it’s all worth it. Even when the world says it’s not.
  • I would tell you that even on the hard days, even with the bruised knees and hurting heart, God is still the most ravishing and breathtaking Creator you’ve ever seen.
  • I would tell you to keep standing. No matter how bad your knees want to buckle, DECLARE with all of your might that it is by the GRACE of God that you are standing, and it is FOR His glory that you will continue to stand.
  • I would tell you to dare to trust Him with everything. Your hurts, your fears, your questions. He can handle it. In fact, He tells us to give our concerns and worries to Him. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • I would tell you  to record all the ways He’s come through for you already. There’s nothing too “small.” Every step is a victory.

Because when you choose to stand your ground, you come out not even smelling of smoke.


God is good on His Promises!! (Fire Story)

Some weeks ago, we had planned a vacation. We got everything lined out: dogs were taken care of and horses had someone who’d go out and check on them. Sunday, January 21st, we left for church praying Psalm 91 protection over our house, vehicles, and our animals.

January 25th, 2018 held a day that neither Clay nor I saw coming. The hand of God was upon that day like we can’t even explain.

We had stopped for lunch somewhere around Kingsville, TX—still seeing Border Patrol— when Clay received a call from his boss. Thinking it was about work, I stepped outside to wait on him. He came out and nonchalantly said “Mike said that the horse pasture is on fire. There are people trying to catch our horses.”

All four horses headed home!

When my husband operates solely in peace in a time of chaos, it is so easy for me to take on those same qualities. I asked him if I needed to contact my aunt, who was taking care of them while we were gone. He had said “yeah, let her know.” No sooner had I sent her a text, she was calling saying that a friend had our horses.

Here’s the cool part: as I was thinking about someone who was able to help with our horses, I knew I wanted to call the person who ended up with them. I didn’t have her number, and really hadn’t been around her much, but I just knew she’d be able to help. No sooner was that thought on my mind, and before it was even a prayer formed on my mouth—I received the call that she was out there, and that she had the horses. She had called me shortly after and confirmed that she had them. I honestly could have cried– it was such a sweet moment with The Lord.

As we were getting off the phone, she said “Now, I don’t know about your horse trailer. There’s so much smoke, and I know they’re spraying it with water, so I don’t know if it caught on fire or if they’re stopping it from catching on fire.”

As I relayed the message about the horse trailer to Clay, we both said “The trailer is part of our stuff, and it’s included in being spared.”

Gobs of phone calls later revealed that the horse trailer was still standing. Reports from friends said that they were both relieved and disappointed. Relieved because the horses were safe, disappointed because they didn’t think the trailer would make it through. There was so much smoke! But, alas, the smoke cleared and there the trailer stood! Someone drove up and sprayed the trailer in case it got hot. But, y’all…only ONE tire had cables showing like it got hot enough.

As you can see in the picture below, our trailer was untouched, our water tanks were untouched, and the south part of the pasture where are horses were hanging out is unburned.


We arrived home late Friday evening and headed out Saturday to go get the horses.

The promise in Malachi 3:10-11 says “ Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.” 

The promise in Psalm 91:9-10 says “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place–the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.” 

Seeing our end of the damage, there was such an exclamation point on the promises of God to me. He is GOOD on His promises. What He says He will do, He will do.

Clay said it was a good lesson for him too, as he was anxious about leaving for that long. He knew that if something were to happen, he wouldn’t be able to control it. He said that for him, it was a reminder that God has our stuff in His hands.

He also mentioned that the week before, he was thinking about moving the trailer forward several feet, but had second thoughts. Had he gone through with that, our trailer would not be standing.

Our horses used to be on the North End of the pasture that caught fire. Had they been there, they would have died of smoke inhalation and/or burned. As it was, they were in the very south end of the pasture where they did not experience any smoke inhalation.

I want to say thank you to all of the first responders, friends and family for all of your help in getting the fire out and assisting with the horses. But I want to say a special thank you to Jess Koppitz for getting the ball rolling, and for sacrificing your work clothes and high heels to rescue our horses and taking care of them until we got back.

Unfortunately, the fire went on to destroy more and there were cattle lost as a result. While we rejoice in our stuff being spared, we recognize and are saddened by the loss resulting from someone’s carelessness. 

This was looking toward where our trailer was.
Close to where the fire started.
This was beside our trailer. If you look to where the pallet is burned up there, that is where Clay was going to move the trailer to.
We lost a hay bale…but that’s it.
Short Devo

Enter In

Placeholder ImageAwhile back I listened to a message by Pastor Craig Groeschel titled “God With Us.” He preached from Psalm 84 and talked about how sometimes we really know God loved and cares for us on the mountaintop, but in the valley we sometimes question it. It got me pondering:
The valley is a journey that you can’t pitch your tent in and dwell. It’s a wandering journey, one you have to keep traveling, because it’s not a journey that lasts forever.
As I think about the valleys of life I’ve been through, I think about what I thought and felt. Deep down I knew God loved me and was with me, but it wasn’t making the journey to my heart. What stood out to me the most were those who entered into the trenches with me. Through them, God healed my hurt and encouraged me to continue in the journey to the mountain top. And those same people who entered the trenches, rejoiced on the mountaintop.
If there’s one thing I want to make a point about it’s this: enter into the trenches with a fellow brother or sister. Sometimes it takes you climbing down to where they are to help them start the journey up. It takes the hope that’s built on God’s faithfulness for them to see that He provides the same for them too. And in those moments that the valley gets to muddy and murky, you can be the hands and feet of Jesus and trudge through with them.
Please understand that I’m not discounting the presence of God, and the importance of Him never leaving you—but, there’s something about entering into the trenches that makes someone see that they do matter. That they are loved. And that they’re not walking this alone. It helps to have someone help you repair your armor, to restore the cleats on the bottom of your shoes of peace so that you can dig into the side of that muddy mountain and advance against the enemy to the mountaintop.
We need each other. And if more people entered in instead of letting people just wallow in the miry clay, there would be more well digging in the valley in hopeful anticipation that their journey through that valley is almost over.