Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gut Reactions Are Overrated

Gut reaction: 
An instantaneous reaction made without thought.

"Trust your gut"

We've all heard it. Most of us have even adopted it.
After all, we've been conditioned from little on to believe that our gut instinct is always the "right" instinct. 

But is it?

Because my gut is flesh. I'm guessing yours is too.
And if there's one thing I've learned in my 44 (ok, pushing 45) years it's this:

I can't always trust what my flesh has to say.

The flesh of my gut has been known to whisper.......

"Don't stop and help, there's other people that will."

"You don't need to give, you do plenty of other good things."

"Inviting her for a cup of coffee isn't going to change the fact that her husband is a cheat."

"You can do it later."

"You mean well, it's just that you're really busy. And it's the thought that counts anyway."

And these are just a few of my gut reactions.

The list of gut reactions in the midst of real life circumstances is not pretty.

And it's not Godly.

When my gut says, "Keep going".....God says, "Stop and be there."

When my gut says, "You don't have enough to give".....God says, "I am your provider".

When my gut says, "One hour of time isn't going to change anything".....God says, "Clearly you haven't seen what I can do in a moment".

When my gut says, "This makes me uncomfortable".....God says, "I created you to be comfort-able."

So here's what I've determined. 
Just today, actually. 
After an extraordinary day surrounded by His presence in a spectrum of situations.

I don't need to trust my gut,
I need to trust my God.

My reactions are a reflection of where I remain.
And when I remain in HIM..........I can trust that my reactions will bring Him glory. And my flesh will respond in obedience. And my instincts will be a result of resting in Him.

Friends, my gut may say, "You mean well and that's all that matters".........but my God whispers........

Good intentions don't shine My light.

            In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16 NIV

Remain in Me.  (John 15:4)
Rest in Me.       (Matthew 11:28-30)
React in Me.     (Ephesians 4:32)

Resist your gut.  (Mark 14:38)
Renew your faith.  (Psalm 51:10)
Restore your trust.  (Jeremiah 17:7)

Remember...................I am with you always.  (Matthew 28:20)

Skip the gut.

Seek the One True God.

Sweetest Blessings,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Minion Mania & Maker Reveal

Now whether you love all things Minions or you are seriously ready to wring their squeaky little yellow necks, (and if you're wondering which category I fall in, I respectfully plead the 5th), one thing is almost for Kevin, Stuart, and Bob....we know what it's like to stand in the shadow of the enemy.

Uh oh.

We tremble and quake.
Our lips quiver.
Our minds shake.
We are scared.
Terrified actually.
And left feeling......powerless to move.

So what's a girl to do? Seriously?

When our own Scarlet Overkill (cleverly disguised as job loss, divorce, heartache, loneliness, financial distress, wayward children, insecurity, jealousy, poor health, discontentment, or one of the many many other masks it wears) threatens to kill....steal...and destroy.....what are we to do?

What CAN we do?

Move out of the shadow.

Even if it means moving afraid.

With knees knocking.
With heart racing.
With sweat pouring from every single forehead pore.

We move.

Out of the shadow.

Into the Light.

We pray to the One who listens.

We run to the One who reveals.

We worship the One who makes all things new.

And we boldly approach the throne...knock-knees and all...rejoicing in the knowledge and the truth that although the shadow exists, the light wins.

Every. single. time. 

            Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "You are my place of safety and protection. YOU are my God...and I trust you." -Psalm 91:1

Ps. You can do it. I know you can. Xo.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mother's Days & My Selfish Ways


I hate that time.  As an admitted and proclaimed early morning riser, I have an unwritten 5:00am rule: 5am or after, get up and start the coffee. Anything earlier than 5am, get your butt back in bed young lady.

But the dog barked. And the husband snored. So the mama got up.

I opened the front door for her and then parked myself in my spot. The spot on the stairs where I wait for her to finish doin' what she's gotta do (which just happens to be more and more frequent as the years go by.......I can relate my furry friend).

Out of nowhere. Tears. A flood. And a heart that seemed to sting that kind of "ketchup in the cut" sting. Ouch.
From my perch I glanced down the stairs and saw the college boy's room. Empty.  And although it's been empty for a few years now as each school year passed......this year, even summer would miss his infectious smile. And dirty socks.

I turn my head and look down the hall.  One of those bedrooms sits empty this early morning too. The carefree teenage girl who's away at a sleepover, quite possibly falling asleep as her mama sits on the step sobbing at 4:40am.  She reminds me frequently that she is "almost a freshman" and will "get my permit in like 7 months" and "Can you believe I graduate in like four years Mom?"

Even the last of the crew. The one who I never deep down really expected to arrive.  He'll be waking up soon, I just know it.  He finds his way to Mama in her Jesus chair and nestles snugly into the place between the two arms....mine and the chair's. Not to mention the arms of his savior.  He wakes each morning with an excitement and vigor and zest for life.  "Mama, mama! In ten more days I get to graduate!"  Kindergarten graduation.  Another cap and gown. Another set of tears. Through watery eyes I can't help but giggle a bit as the song "Another One Bites the Dust" quickly plays out in my mind. On cassette of course.

These are my babies. I am their mama.
And I have to ask myself sitting on the steps in the wee of morning if some of those tears are selfish tears.  
Of course they are.

As they get older, I get older.  Now don't misunderstand, I love this age. Big time. When I write on your Facebook wall "40s rule" and "40s rock" and "Welcome to the Best Decade" as you join the club, believe me when I say........I mean it. I have found freedom and tasted victory and discovered true life while here and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
There is something about the time that has passed away. Sometimes I feel as if it was time lost. Time not well spent. Time wasted.
And some of it was. It may pierce the flesh to admit it, but remember what I said about that 40s freedom?

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 

Psalm 90:12

Teach us.  
Two words that usher in grace.  Two words that indicate this isn't something that I was born knowing......but rather something I needed to learn.
A 44 year old student?
Why not.
I'm game.
I'm actually more open to learning and growing now than ever before. (see again the 40s clause)

"Where has the time gone?"

"How did they grow up so fast?"

"Could someone slow down time please?"

Heard these?  
Don't lie, you've done more than hear them, you've said them.
All of us mamas have.  I think it's in the handbook under "What to Say when Your Children become Taller than You, and Start to Drive, and Hit their First Home Run, and Lose their First Tooth, and Dance their First Recital, and Graduate Kindergarten". 

I realize as I say those words how selfish a mama can be.  Allow me to go first....

While I mourn the loss of a college son's empty bedroom, there's a mama out there mourning a much deeper loss.
While I weep at the thought of a teenage daughter's catapult into high school, there's a mama out there who would rejoice at the opportunity to witness the jump.

While I sob as the youngest prepares to walk down the Kindergarten aisle of pride, there's a mama out there who never had the chance to tilt the paper cap and wipe the Oreo crumbs away.
While I feel sorry for myself and all the things I must Goodbye to.........there's a mama out there who never got to say Hello.

Lord, teach me to number my days.  Not to wish them away or pray they'll stand still.  Not to squander the minutes while missing the moments.  The small moments.  The really small moments.  Not the ones captured for social media display, but the ones only the heart can snapshot. The skinned knee that only my kiss could heal.  The last-minute suppers around the little breakfast counter.  The "bust-out" family laughs that only we understand. The bad dreams that cause them to run to us.  The big dreams they choose to share with us.

Twenty one years ago I was due with the first of what would eventually be three.
May 8, 1994.
Mother's Day.

Thank you God for real live blessings.  

Forever His,

Thursday, February 12, 2015 Name.

There was a girl sent from God. Her name was Tera. (that's me)

And although I was sent by Him, I haven't always known Him. 
Of course, once I met Him, I knew I'd never forget Him.

You see, He had me at........."I have redeemed you."  And the "called you by your name" part?, well that was just a nice added personal touch. (it's pronounced "Tera", like 'tear a piece of paper', not Tera, as in 'tar---a', any other 'teacher always said it wrong on the first day of school' friends out there?) Of course, knowing that He always gets it right (and whispers it so beautifully) causes this (never got to have a personalized bike license plate or lunch box) girl to do a little bust-a-move. (Sorry, I think my 80s are showing)

 Now this is what the LORD says-- the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel--" Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. 
Isaiah 43:1 HCSB

Redeemed: (thank you
To buy back, pay off, to recover by payment, to make up for; make amends for.

All that? For ME?
I was hardly deserving.
A simple small-town girl who didn't even attempt to read the bible until she was 38 yrs old. Who missed plenty, and I mean PLENTY of church services along the way. Who chose to fill herself with the ways of the world rather than some good ole' daily bread and living water. Who strayed off course more often than the dumbest sheep in the field. Who messed up, tripped up, and slipped up, and often times forgot to look up. (And I do mean often)

So why?  Why would the creator of the entire universe, the master of the stars and commander of the seas, the King of all Kings, the Name above all Names, and the Holiest of Holy redeem......Me?

Three words. 

You. Are. Mine.

Three sweet words that win out against chocolate any day of the week. (but honey, if you're reading this, dark chocolate with sea salt is my favorite)

I am His. 
He is Mine.
I know His name.
He knows mine.
He leads.
I follow.
I love Him.
He loves me.
I still mess up.
           But He knew what He was getting with me. A simple small town girl who doesn't always get it right. Who is learning as she goes along. Who fully understands the phrase "work in progress" (whew). Who realizes that a mighty price was paid for her. A price far exceeding her weight in gold (that price will remain a mystery by the way). 


One precious son.
One incredible payment.
Given for Tera. A girl sent by God.



Because of Grace,

Thank you to my special friend Suzie Eller, who encouraged me to write, and continues to inspire me daily. Find her story and more #livefree stories today at