Monthly Archives: January 2013

my 7th year with God . . .


The 7th year.

It already means so very much to me, this intentional 52-week journey I’m taking with Alicia Chole as my mentor. I’m not always able or willing to put words to this adventure which (in a short time) has become so very precious to me—my season of rest with God. Holy ground; sacred stirrings; truth revealed, in this . . .

My 7th year.

Why has it taken me so long to arrive here? To give my soul room enough for pause and reflection and to allow all that has been my journey up to this point and all that will be my story in coming days to merge as one at this place, this field—this deliberate rest where I can finally begin to see, to breathe, to be? Why, indeed!

This is a time of trust for me, not that all of my other times didn’t qualify. But, perhaps, more than all of those past seasons of faith, this is the one time when I might be able to trust fully in the unseen hands and plans of the Father. To expect him for the seeds not yet planted and the harvest not yet sown, believing that they are there, simmering in the heart of God waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

With the 7th year.

God waiting with me, not apart from me. And therein, the soil of my soul is tilled with possibility. What might be birthed from what has been? This is a worthy pondering, one that I’m able to sit with as I give myself permission to live with God’s 7th year. When we give the 7th year its due, we receive its intended witness. Until then, we’re just playing games with God’s instructions.


“The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai, … ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six year prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.’”(Lev. 25:1-4)


As I look upon the seemingly barren landscape in front me and as I consider the overly cluttered field behind me, I cannot help but wonder what will grow here in this next year as I become more committed, more intentional about who gets to walk upon this sacred ground and what is planted therein.

I can make that choice. I get to choose who and what has access to this little patch of land beneath my heart.

God, help me to make wise choices. God, keep me from over-cluttering. God, uproot the unlovely, the brokenness, and the thorns. God, refresh this heartland with the water of your Word and with the tears of your mercy. God, open up my eyes to see what you see, and blind my eyes to that which is better left hidden. God, throw out your grace before me; blanket this barren field with the seeds of your eternal love so that everywhere I step, every move I make is immersed in your heavenly devotion toward me. God, enable me to take hold of that which I’ve yet to grasp, and strengthen my resolve for the hard work of rest.

The 7th year.

My 7th year with God.

It’s going to be something. It’s already been something. And to think, I have eleven months to go. What might God do with my next eleven months? I haven’t a clue, but I’m ready to rest my way to them and through them. Indeed, it’s going to be something! As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

PS: If you’d like to learn more about how you might be a part of the 7th Year – 52 week e-journey, click here. Your 52 week journey can begin at any time during the year. Why not consider grabbing a few friends and walking it out together? In addition to the 7th year, I’m also participating in Alicia’s Leadership Investment Intensive/Mentoring. You can find out about it by clicking here!

walk on . . .

“As long as you move, everything’s good.”

I welcome her encouragement, this guru of walking-at-home. Leslie Sansone has been a part of my life for many years now. And while I’m not completely convinced about her claims to Walk Away the Pounds or Walk Slim, I am convinced regarding her encouragement:

“As long as you move, everything’s good.”

I put this encouragement to the test a few weeks ago. With the onset of a new year, I decided to move in a new direction. High hopes accompanied me as I launched into a one-on-one session with Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred. My hopes were summarily dashed within a couple of workouts. The only shredding that took place was inside my left knee; I’ve spent the last two weeks in a Futuro knee brace, nursing my pain along with my (uhh-hmm) . . . pride. Jillian and I have parted company, and Leslie has welcomed me back with open arms. At least with her, I’m able to keep moving forward rather than staying immobilized by a plan that will never move me farther than my couch.

Don’t misunderstand me. Not all pain is bad. Pain can be a strong motivator toward good. But when pain cripples the hope—when pain stops forward progression—it’s time to re-evaluate the plan. Time to dial it back a notch, look at the overall goal, and keep in stride with a battle strategy that makes good sense and that reinstates hope.

“As long as you move, everything’s good.”

I want to keep moving forward, and I desperately long for the good attached to that movement. Unfortunately, there are times in my life when my visioning jumps in front of reasonable capabilities. Times when I ignore my limitations and forge ahead of good sense. Instead of relying on proven, trustworthy methods for gaining optimal heart-health, I rely on lofty notions that (in the end) prove to me what I already know to be true . . .

Some plans aren’t meant for me. Some of them cripple me instead of developing me. Too much jumping and bending and straining in the wrong direction will limit me rather than improve me. Sometimes, the healthiest thing I can do for my body and, ultimately for my soul, is to anchor my will and my “want to” in what I know to be true.

“As long as you move, everything’s good.”

And so it goes. I walk on. One step at a time, one day at a time, keeping my pace steady and certain, knowing that movement wins and believing that as long as I’m giving my body, soul, and sweat to the task of heart-health, everything’s good, even when I can’t measure it.

Maybe today you’re jumping in the wrong direction; maybe your straining has landed you on the couch—an unexpected detour in your plans for a better you. You meant well, thought it was the right move, but instead of tangible gain, you’re left holding the shreds of disappointment. What you had hoped to accomplish is, instead, simmering as failure in and around your spirit. You’ve lost your “want to”, and the funny thing is you can’t even pinpoint where it all went wrong, especially because you meant for it all to finish very right.

I’m sorry, friend. Truly I am. I know this present pain of body, soul, and spirit. And so today, might I offer you (even as I am offering myself) a tender hug as well as a gentle encouragement?

“As long as you move, everything’s good.” Ditch what’s crippling you and, as an alternative, walk back to what’s reliable. Walk back to what’s proven in order to walk forward with what’s true. Don’t be sidelined by your pain; instead, keep moving. Move with the One who brought you, and surely his goodness and mercy will follow you–carry and strengthen you–all the days your life. And we’ll all dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

Movement wins. I promise. Keep to it. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

“Beyond Cancer’s Scars” book review and give-away

Over the past two years, I have been the recipient of many gracious reviews of my books, written by you, my readers. This grass roots effort at marketing has been the key to getting the word out about my work. I’m always grateful for and humbled by your generosity, even more so by the truth that my words have moved upon your heart in some measure.

Today, Leah @ The Point Ministries picks up the pen to chronicle her thoughts about Beyond Cancer’s Scars. In addition, she’s offering a give-away of the book at her website (click on this link). I hope you’ll take the time to hop over to Leah’s place to hear her thoughts and to register for a chance to win. Leah is a gifted writer and teacher and has been a consistent, faith-filled presence in my life over these past years. Her friendship is yet another undeserved grace from Jesus!

Please note that comments are closed on my post in hopes that you’ll leave one at Leah’s. Have a great day in Jesus!

on finding what’s lost . . .

Every now and again, you find something you weren’t looking for—a surprise tucked into routine. Sometimes the discovery proffers pain; sometimes promise. Today I straddle the fence between both of them, pain and promise. Let me explain.

For over a week now, we’ve been scouring the nooks and crannies of our home looking for a misplaced video camera. We haven’t seen it since our moving here nearly three years ago, with little to no distress regarding its absence. Why the urgency now? Well, my son would like an IPod, and we wanted to make this happen as cheaply as possible. Accordingly, a trade-in at the local pawn shop seemed in order—a rarely used camcorder for a gently used IPod. Thus, the search began.

Yesterday, after piecing through every single box in our attic, under our beds, and in our closets (to no avail), I sat down in the den, staring at the television in the corner of the room. Slowly, a thought emerged: Maybe it’s in there (“there” being the antique trunk that serves as the entertainment center beneath our television). Figures. The forgotten treasure was right in front of me all along; I just didn’t have the eyes or the inclination to see it.

The like-new camcorder was found, along with the original box and accessories. Delighted with the discovery, my husband began the delicate process of repackaging it for resale; I had a further thought: Maybe there’s some footage on that camera that needs to be erased before its relocation. Maybe there’s a forgotten story or two that we pushed aside in an earlier season, leaving it to marinate and simmer on a 4GB scan disk for later retrieval.

To my surprise, there was some forgotten footage—two stories; one in particular that struck my heart with both pain and promise—a video clip in 2009 of a speaking engagement at Little River UMC. I spoke twice that day, a morning and afternoon session. In hindsight, I recall uploading the afternoon talk to my computer and tweaking it for promotional purposes, but I never did anything with the first session . . . until now, nearly four years later.

What makes that day significant for me (and the many weeks of prep work leading up to it), is that my focus for the event was the underpinning for the manuscript I would write over the next several months entitled On Walkabout with the King. I finished that work with firm and good intentions of getting it into the hands of publishers. But then, life happened—a ministry move, cancer, the writing of Beyond Cancer’s Scars, and homeschooling. So, I shoved it aside, a purple binder filled with 50,000 words about my struggle to make peace between my “Faith” and my “Elaine” (for those of you who don’t know, my name is Faith Elaine).

And just last night, I struggled with it all over again. I listened to the passion and purpose in my heart from 2009, and I wept over and wondered about the woman talking back at me—the one with hair, a slimmer frame, and well, a couple of other things.

Is she still here? Does the flame still burn as vibrantly as it once did?

Tough questions. Ones with which I’m willing to wrestle. And so, I give you this clip this morning, even as I give it to myself—a few words about faith, solidly anchored in the faith of our spiritual ancestors as chronicled in the great Hebrews’ “Hall of Faith.” Indeed . . . every now and again, you find something you weren’t looking for—a surprise tucked into routine. Sometimes the discovery proffers pain; sometimes promise. Today I straddle the fence between both of them, pain and promise.

If you’re so inclined, I invite you to pull up a chair, grab a cup of your preference, and open up God’s Word to Hebrews 11. Maybe, just maybe, there is a forgotten story you tucked away in an earlier season that needs remembering. Maybe it’s in there, hiding and simmering deep within you, waiting for re-discovery. Today, I join you at the table, and I promise to keep you close in my heart as we wrestle the thing out. You are never far from my thoughts.

PS: Congrats to Leah! She is the winner of the audio CD of Alicia Chole’s Anonymous.

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