Blessed Billboard

Greetings of peace and love for all who have stumbled upon this lowly blog. It is early morning, and my God woke me with an assignment. I crawled out of bed, made a routine pit stop, and made some fresh brewed coffee before I begin to log in and type. Let me tell you, that is as close to immediate obedience this gal can manage. Thank you Lord for showing me that I am useable.

God has turned my ears and heart to Him recently and spoken through authors, and Christians that make a living out of encouraging others; either through finances, mental health, or offering up meaningful prayers. I am writing this hopefully near the end of the covid-19 crisis, we have been social distancing and a shelter in place reality for 40 days. I just pulled out my calendar and realized that indeed today makes 40 days for us. Forty days in the Bible is a meaningful number, and it certainly makes me even more in awe of the fine details the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to miss this early pre-dawn morning. The significance is not lost and I’m going to take that as a God wink.

I’m hoping by the end of this piece you would be able to hear Truth, perhaps convicted and respond positively to God. Remember way back when all adults pretty much carried around a checkbook and that is how you made purchases in person at stand alone retailers? (sorry, thinking about my buying habits and brown boxes delivered to my front door) Before duplicate checks, it was imperative to record your spending in a perfectly sized little register that was typically found above your actual checks. You would write down the date, the check number, payee, and the amount paid. If you were really thorough, you constantly had a running balance of the money you had in that account. Each month when you received your bank statement, a diligent responsible person would sit down and reconcile and balance their checkbook. Pretty much the process would mean that you made sure your checkbook register and the bank’s records matched. What if the bank and the account holders numbers didn’t match? For some of us that happened more than others, nowadays we call that operator error. I give you all this historical setting for the youngsters who may be reading to understand. Back in my early 20’s I heard something that has stuck with me through the years. The exact words, or from where I originally heard this escapes me, but the idea conveyed was simply look at that checkbook register and see where you spend your money, it says a lot about what you deem important.  Presently, you can log on to your bank account, perhaps pull out your credit card statement(s) too, look and see how often certain payees appear.


I didn’t receive a Holy nudge to get out of bed and write a message regarding money management. By no means am I an expert either! I did want to start there because if you have never heard it, well maybe it will stick with you for the rest of your life as it has for me. It should get your gears in that brain of yours going. In the same way you have an impartial paper trail record to inspect your spending, I would love for you to step back and take a look at the way you interact with the world. How do others see you?  Do the words you use build up, or tear down?

Ephesians 4 is a good read at this point. Grab your Bible, take the time to read for yourself, don’t rely on me to interpret God’s word. He is faithful, and will speak to your heart.

Want to know how others see you? Don’t ask them. You know why? Most people are either going to mirror what you think of yourself perhaps out of shared opinions, or they won’t be completely honest because they are “nice” or know of your short fuse and don’t want to make things uncomfortable for either one of you. Like that bank ledger, or credit card statement can speak of our spending habits, is there a way you can objectively step back and view your interactions with the world?

For many of us, you don’t have to look any farther than social media. Imagine a section, or entire timeline of your posts, likes, shares, and comments are printed out. For good measure, a sharpie has blocked out your name as the author and nothing could be traced back to you. Objectively, what could one ascertain about you? What are your habits, mannerisms, beliefs, dare I say political affiliation? What brings you joy?  Do you harbor hostility and hatred? Do you promote love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and last but not least self-control? Are you willing to put your self-righteousness to the side, and do some deep and honest reflections? Are you a follower of Christ? If so pray and allow the Holy Spirit living in you to help inventory your thoughts, opinions, and attitudes. Take some time for personal reflection and prayerfully ask for your eyes to examine your attitudes, opinions, words, and actions through God’s lens. Does our walk (your social media interactions) reflect Him well?

There was a time I wanted to put a bumper sticker on my vehicle that reflected my faith. However, I decided against it primarily because I sometimes speed, turn without a blinker, and either willingly or accidentally cut someone off. I can’t trust my driving to be impeccable every time I am behind the wheel, so I would not be a good advertisement for team Jesus. Does your social media support your claim of being a Christian? Do you reflect Him and His teachings well? Do you pray for your enemies, do you extend grace, or a poster-child for patience? My guess is probably not. What if ALL of us believers united and cleaned up our profiles and gave the enemy no room for a foothold? Remember, Satan is crafty and loves for us to be divisive. He is the accuser, and he is promoted when we devalue God’s creation.

I feel convicted to do some deep social media house cleaning.  All the ugliness will not just find a speed bump when it comes across my feed, but a full stop. I for one do not want to have anything to do with adding a log to the fiery furnace of the pit and gives a victory to the enemy. Our social media is a written and visual response to our world and how we interact with others of every background. I will continue to humbly pray and ask the Lord to prepare my heart, and mind and attitude to reflect Him in all I do. I want to be so filled up with the fruit of His Spirit, that when people scroll by me I splash a little encouragement, and love, and provide light to a dark and hurting world. I choose Jesus and I choose Joy! May these words and the attitude of my heart be reflected and received as a blessed billboard for the Kingdom of Heaven.



Peace and Blessings for all who read these words. They come from a place of deep love and obedience to my Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that God use my life experiences, testimony to give others encouragement and hope. May your ears be able to hear, and your heart willing to receive. 

I’m not sure where to begin. I know I am not alone in what I am currently witnessing and living through with the world, our country, state, and community during the Coronavirus aka COVID-19 quarantine. Each of us has a story. My heart breaks for the people who have lost a loved one, and I have heard that a whole family of 4 succumbed to the deadly virus. Mine is by no means the worst case scenario. I know this simple truth with every fiber of my being, but I am experiencing loss.

This is nothing as I had imagined my life would look right now. Nothing is going in the direction of the plans I had planned, looked forward to, and even paid-for. My youngest child is a senior in high school this year. We moved several hours away from a close-knit small town feel suburb of a large Texas city.  From pre-K through 10th grade my son was part of a school district of only 21 square miles where the students from Jr. High and High school merge and stay together as a class until graduation.

Are you familiar with “Bacon’s Law?”  I am not referring to the pork industry’s delicacy either. Bacon’s Law is the idea that everyone (or movie) is separated by 6 degrees (Kevin Bacon). Anyway, this place where we raised up our kids was at the maximum only 2 degrees of separation, most of the time 1 degree separated each resident. This in and of itself isn’t always the grandest, but it does have its advantages. You know people. People know people and can give you the 411 in a moments notice.

In one month my family of 4 moved in a hurried rush for my husband’s job to a school district that was so very different than the life my son had known. By comparison this new school district is 589 square miles. It is made up of 10 communities and one of the fastest growing school districts of its size. It is easy not to know anyone, we live on acreage and using the high school as the center moving outward students can live 20+ minutes away from school in all directions. Meaning a friend you meet could live 45 minutes away from you and that is traveling on roads where 60mph is the speed limit.

Junior year for my youngest was a whole new way of life, the school made up of very different demographics. It was to say the least a crazy roller coaster of a ride with some incredible highs, and really terrible lows that we have never experienced before and I would say or since, but its worth noting again, we are on shut-down due to Coronavirus. Once we lived through Jr. year, and a decent summer we were all looking forward to settling in and had a positive outlook that his senior year was going to be grand, right?

So much potential was just waiting for the 2019-2020 school year. He was settling in, made a few friends, was being invited to do some things. He had goals, and started crushing them one by one within the first few months! He finally had people over to hang out, watch movies, play guitar and the other various instruments in our house. All seemed swell, then without telling his story, he started making choices that were not good decisions. It started out with some rebellion, and procrastination, and missing deadlines for college applications. I felt like things weren’t quite right, I had suspicions and confronted him on more than one occasion. Right before Christmas break, he wound up in a ton of trouble. I was crushed. I went through so many emotions: grief, anger, sadness, loss. I do not want to give all the details about my son, because I have learned over the years that unless it is my story to tell; don’t tell it.

What I can tell you is that as a mom, I was immediately met with lies from the enemy. I started beating myself up. How did I fail him? What did I do wrong? Why was this happening now? Wasn’t my son destined for great things? Meanwhile, my husband would second guess the move, and verbalize that perhaps we should have stayed and not taken him away from the life and friends he had known for all those years. I could quickly tell my husband not to think like that, and that “the move” wan’t the issue. I knew the blame landed squarely on my son’s shoulders. He owned his choices. At the same time, I was reeling emotionally. In all honesty, if I wasn’t allergic to alcohol or dairy I think I would have drowned my sorrows in either vodka, Blue Bell, or both! I sought professional help through a counselor. I cried my eyeballs out y’all. I was a hot mess on steroids. I have tears now just thinking about how devastated I was during this time. Oh who am I kidding, we are still living with the natural consequences of his actions and it still hurts. We allowed him to fall and suffer the consequences and punishment that was given to him. We did not step in to rescue him in any way. Y’all he fell far, and lost a lot on the way down, that landing was hard and gut wrenching.

One of the first pieces of scripture that I found worth meditating on and repeating on endless loop was, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The more I repeated it, and studied and was still before the Lord, the more I realized

train up a childI was obedient in raising up my son with truth from the moment he came home from the hospital. He has been taught and knows where to find truth. What I also had to realize is that there is typically a lot of life that happens between the child you train up, and when he is “old.” What happens during the in between time of life? I have concluded that we must each find our own way.  

Our Christmas was not one I will want to replay and remember. We hosted extended family and made the best of things, without uttering a word to the extent of our son’s circumstances. They did know he was in trouble, but that is all they knew. During the Christmas break, my boy got a job and it was a good thing. Since he was grounded, going to work and school was what he was allowed to do. He has great skills, is super smart, he was well admired on the job, and was recognized and given good feedback from employer, customers, and even his parents! Life started looking up, grades improved, he was allowed to start being social with his friends again. Trust was being formed slowly and surely. The end of school was going to be such an improvement from the first semester. The calendar was filled with all sorts of great exciting memory making events. He has never been to a school dance, and he and a group were planning prom. There was senior trip with the school to New York. We were looking forward to banquet, performances, on-location less formal senior pictures, graduation, parties, celebrations including a big cruise with a childhood friend.

Spring Break was going to be low-key and working to save up some money, but enjoyable because he didn’t have school. Who knew Friday, March 6th would be the last day on campus of his high school career? The last day he would be in class with other classmates for his senior year.  The reality is that seniors class of 2020 are not going back. They won’t get it back, EVER! No prom, no photos of all those milestones and special last performances and events. It isn’t a loss for them alone.  As a mom and certainly as a empath extraordinaire I am riding the struggle-bus right now.  In my efforts to make light of a difficult situation, I have suggested taking those funny pictures of cap and gown with mask and toilet paper. That is a hard, “NO” from my boy and it is absolutely not happening. He is refusing to take any photos at all. His hair is long (everything is closed remember) and, his 18 year old face sprouts hairs all over the place, he no longer has a job as he no longer felt comfortable being exposed, or perhaps part of the problem that could infect someone more vulnerable. Right now, if you were to ask him, he would say life is good. He is on his own sleep schedule, stays up all night playing video games, and has very little responsibility, and the work for a full week of studies can be crammed into a few hours of, “I do my best work under pressure.” These are really bad habits to be taking on before you go off to college.

Confession time: I am reminded as I write this that I used to laugh a bit at overly emotional mommas as their babies live through their last high school moments, or sobbing when they drop them off at college. I was like, “Woo-Hoo! Bring it on! I’m so excited!” Not anymore, I am right there with them, maybe for different reasons this year. I grieve the loss of the things my son misses, that I miss watching him get to experience. I will hoot and holler if and when he gets to move onto a college campus and be social again. I want this for him. Life is for the living.

I get a little side tracked, pardon me and lets circle back around. Live in the moment. I am reminded day after day to rely on God. I turn to Him. I trust Him. I know He alone is sovereign. I will continue to pray that whatever is happening during this time, whatever has happened to this point, or the challenges my son faces and the poor choices he will make along his journey will end in victory. Yes, I know he will continue to mess up because we are ALL human. He doesn’t have to conform to my ideology, but he will answer to God Almighty. Each of us will. I have turned him over in prayer to my Savior Jesus. I know what a mighty work the Lord has done in me and for my husband individually, and as a couple, that I have full hope that Jesus will be victorious in bringing about true salvation and a testimony through my son. Usher in Jeremiah 31:16, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded’ declares the LORD. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy.'” I am going to hold onto this scripture and pray expectantly that the JOY of my prodigal son returning will be so sweet. I may not even be alive to see it happen, but I do no good and I am of no use wallowing in sorrow and depression, especially for things I can not change. I will get up, and not let the enemy steal my joy from me. I will live my life as a living sacrifice, sweetly broken by allowing light to penetrate the darkness. In saying that I have had the Holy Spirit nudge me towards sharing my struggle as a mom by returning to blog my story.

Right or wrong, something else hit me along the way of dealing with the huge setback and punishment/consequences of my son’s actions this school year. I was so glad I wasn’t back in the small town community. As much as I missed it for many many reasons, I don’t think I could have withstood the judgement of so many. Maybe I was just too fearful because I myself had previously been critical of others. The speck in the eye vs. log situation. see Matthew 7:1-5

What have I learned through all of this? God has revealed the judgment that I have incorrectly held when learning of the poor choices of someone elses child, or spouse, or whomever. Another person’s behavior is NOT the fault of anyone else other than the one who made the choice for themselves. I have asked God, “why did I turn out the way I did when I wasn’t brought up in a God fearing home?” My parents weren’t just lucky, as I don’t believe in luck. I don’t know if I have a real answer to that question, but here is what I do know. I know that I am chosen. I am forgiven. I am known, and can not be snatched from His hand. He knows my name. He will never forsake or abandon me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am not a mistake. I am worthy. He calls me His.

Moreover, He is in control and I am not! Let me repeat that for the people in the back, God is in control, and I am not.

I also know all those things above are promises for my son. My son is known. He was knit together in my womb. God chose me to be his mother. He is a blessing, even when I feel like pulling all my hair out and the real reason it is turning gray. God will pursue my son. Jesus offers a free gift; one with great reward of forgiveness and freedom, but the gift must be opened to be received. I can’t rescue my son, only Jesus.

Finally, I know that the promises that I hold dear and often times must remind myself of, are also true for you! God knows you. He created you for a purpose. You are a blessing. He calls you to Himself.  He has made a way through his son Jesus and his perfect sacrifice on the cross. His blood washes you clean as snow. Don’t be fooled by the negative talk the enemy likes to whisper to you; things like “salvation isn’t for you”, “your sin is too great,” or “you are of no worth.” These negative thoughts are lies Satan loves to plague you with and are so far from the truth. Friend, believe me when I say there is no condemnation in Christ! Lean in and learn to trust our Heavenly Father, that loves us so much “He sent his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17