Thursday, August 16, 2012


     I was awoken early in morning on July 10th this year. My hubbie was already out the door and had started his day. I was alone in my room. There was a distinct scent stirring in the air that woke me up. My nose went to work like a famous detective even though I was still lying in bed.  I knew what it was- Cinnamon!   The sweet fragrance of cinnamon filled my room. In my somewhat drowsy state, I began to process how this could be?   Hum… Doug was gone and Angela my niece was sleeping the room next door.  Maybe Doug fixed cinnamon rolls?  No, he loves to make breakfast, but he’s a salty, not a sweetie (well at least like that), so he wouldn’t have made something sweet – that’s usually my job.

    I drank the heavenly odors in and seemed to float on their cloud.  Hum… I wasn’t dreaming.  What was going on?? My heart then engaged, as if I had heard Eli tell Samuel to go back to his room and when he hears a voice speak- say, “I am here God, I am listening.”   So I did just that.  “Lord, is this you?”  I felt flooded with love.  Indeed He was with me. I responded out loud smiling ear to ear, “Oh, how you love me, to have awakened me in such a special way!”  “And my favorite too”

    I decided to just relax and bask in whatever godly manifestation was taking place even though my heart was racing.  I was overwhelmed with His love.  As the fragrance dissipated slowly, I got up and went immediately to my bible.  What does this mean?  And how would I look it up?  I decided to Google cinnamon in the bible.  Where is it found and how was it used?

    One the first places in the bible cinnamon is found is in Exodus 30:22 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus,  500 shekels of cassia —all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil.  Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil”. 

There are several references to cinnamon specifically in the bedroom which also caught my eye, written mostly by King Solomon himself.

Proverbs 7:17 says “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.” The bed is being treated in an ornate fashion for one he loves.

Song of Solomon 4:12-14. Cinnamon is growing in a locked garden – its meaning here is being set apart with the garden

I also looked at how Cinnamon is made – basically – ripped from the bark, scrapped, boiled and pressed. The best cinnamon is from the younger shoots.  I am the youngest of four children and I’m pretty sure that I went through the whole process of being ripped, scrapped, boiled and pressed these past two years!

    With the help of God’s word and just experiencing what I had, I knew two things:  I was immensely loved by my Maker and I had been given some sort of gift, although I didn’t know quite know what.  I decided to put on my walking shoes and go for my morning stroll.  As I rambled by a concrete driveway connected to the blacktop area, I began to smell Honeysuckle and Jasmine – these are two very distant fragrances.  I looked around for the bushes and checked the headwind to see where it might be coming from.  (Now this is understandable that I’d be looking because of what had happened earlier in the morning)  Guess what?  No bushes in sight just two distinct and intense fragrances!  It was happening AGAIN!  I continued on my walk praising God for my extraordinary day and listened for God to speak to me. Even though I felt special, it humbled me.  When I returned from my walk, I had to pass the same spot.  There was no odor in the air, when I pass that time.

    As weeks went by, I received more clarity because I began to process what had happened. (As if that was even possible- because as the word says, “I see only through my dimly lit window into the other side”),   Here’s what I came up with:

1) I was anointed for a purpose:  I think I had smelled Anointing Oil! I was anointed!   I was being   set apart.
2)  Increased Creativity:   Three days after this strange encounter, I sat down to work on my book.  I started writing and the entire outline of the book fell into place from start to finish.  I have been working on it for a couple years, not knowing how to present my thoughts.  I would just write, but nothing fit together.  It was just scattered pieces of a story.   
3) God deeply loves me:  It is not that God loves me more than any other; He just wanted me to know it in a larger individual way.

   I have since talked to spiritual leaders in my life and scoured the internet to see if I was the only weirdo or blessed person that this has happened to.  I’m not. You’d be surprised!  I found one lady in Australia with a ministry called Heaven Scents and she created it because it happened so frequently to her.  She has even culminated a list of scents and the usual gifts that follow:
 I was dumfounded, get this:

 Cinnamon – the gift – creativity,
 Honeysuckle – the gift- praise,
 Jasmine – the gift – deep love.  

Here is her website. if you want check it out.
I don’t know anything about her; however in reading through her site, she appears to be a deep seeker of the Lord with a special gift. I think I may understand her now better than most!   Her name is Karen Elengikal and is quite an author, photographer with incredible prophetic gifts.

I have not since had any more unusual fragrances since that day, but just thinking about it, takes me instantly back to July 10th in my spirit.  As I end this crazy blog, I rest in the fact that something creative was birthed or should I say exploded, my book is an expression of praise birthed out of struggle, but most of all wouldn’t you just know it… it’s about deep love!  

So you won’t see many blogs here for awhile, but I will drop in for an occasional chat.  Right now, I am busy typing for a higher calling.

Song of Solomon – Verse 4: 16

"Awake, O north wind,
    and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden,
    let its spices flow."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Peace got Spikes!

There he was, a giddy boy of 7 or 8 leaping out the front doors of Payless shoe store.  His tired father trotted slowly behind him and watched as his son did a round house kick. A first glance, it was obvious that this kid was not built for these maneuvers, due to his chubby little self.  It didn’t matter.  He was an Olympian.  Give him a tall building, he was ready to climb.  However upon deeper inspection, it became clear why he was so empowered. New Shoes! - Made me giggle.

 Don’t you just love new shoes? I do and especially when I was a kid.  Heck, you could jump higher, run faster.  They were so clean and fit just perfect!  If I could have only had new shoes during the auditions for Wonder Woman or Bionic Woman.  I would have secured the role myself! And yes, for you older readers – I wore Kedds! - A brand specifically designed to morph any kid into a superhero.

 As the sweet memories of childhood washed over my mind, I thought about another pair of new shoes given to me that should be just as empowering.  It’s part of the armor of God that I am supposed to put on each day. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Eph. 16:14-15

  It is listed third behind the belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness, but I don’t think it’s in order of how to put your attire on. It seems to me that common sense would tell you when putting on armor, you have to put your shoes on first – this is in reverse order than putting on ordinary clothes.  Think about it, the belt and the breastplate wouldn’t make it very easy to bend.  You’d have to start with the shoes if you wanted to get dressed properly or in my case- at least not fall over.

This idea got me thinking a little deeper so I did a little study on biblical shoes/sandals.   As a woman, of course I wanted to see what they looked like.  They were made of leather with straps that wrapped around your ankles up to your calf.  These straps were attached to the sturdy sole. This made me pause for a moment -something had to die to get this material. Thank you Lord for provision by the cost of your earthly life!   The straps held the sole in place. Also interesting was, what was on the bottom. Roman soldier’s shoes had spikes!  It provided balance, grip and traction and a weapon all rolled into one!  I can only imagine how heavy it would have been.  It would have looked like a pair of golf shoes on steroids.

So at this point, we know what they look like and what they are made of, but let’s get back to their purpose.  One of the strategies of warfare in Biblical times was to sharpen sticks and place them underground.  The sharpened points would barely be visible.  It was a strategy much like modern day land mines.  In fact in Isaiah 5:27 it talks about a strong army, “Not one of them grows tired or stumbles, not one slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist, not a sandal thong is broken.”  Can you imagine if your shoe straps were not holding your shoe in place with spikes in the ground?   The shoes provided a great deal of protection which is quite a understatement!  They saved your life!

With all the weight of the armor that a solider carried, it seems like one could fall over.  When our daughter when she was about 9, she decided she wanted to be the goalie for a roller hockey team. We laughed since she was the size of a flea on a diet.  She put on the oversized heavy protective gear, but she was on roller skates!  It was hilarious; she couldn’t even stand, let alone guard the cage.  Roller skates are a sharp contrast to the spiked shoes that fixed you in one spot. Sometimes the job of a solider was to position their body to the ground while holding a sharpened pole pointed at the oncoming enemy.  The spiked shoes would have provided an adherence to ground if you really dug in.

The traction and grip the shoes had, also yielded a purposed walk. You could walk anywhere you were directed.  The shoes allowed you to walk on rough soil and not slip.  I’ve been on hikes and questioned going down or up certain trails because the soil was so unstable.  With these the shoes, if your commander told you to go to the right or to the left you could do it and not worry about your safety!

Spiritually, according to the word of God – these shoes are made of “the preparation of the gospel of peace!”  Does this mean no struggle or battle is inferred?  Absolutely not!  There is peace in the midst of it!  I love this!  A chiropractor said me a few days ago – “You must have really been shocked to find out you had cancer- like your world had fallen apart.” I had some news to share with him. It didn’t, not even close!  The same God that has blessed me over and over again in my life is not going to abandon me in times of trouble.  I admit I knew cancer was going to be a doozy, but I also knew I was never alone.  I had peace no matter how things turned out.  I reflected on the good things happening in the midst of hard times.  Another example of this was watching my incredible husband learn to live with one hand.  He focused on what he COULD do or it would have driven him nuts.  For those of you that know him, you’d agree with my bias - he can do just about anything and better than most.

Today, I put these shoes on FIRST everyday. A better translation of Eph 6:15 might be “and your feet shod with the readiness to preach the gospel of peace!”   In Romans 10:15 “…as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.”  We are commanded to put good news on our feet and spread it everywhere! It is easy words to share because it’s a message of love and hope, not fire and brimstone. 

In ending, this long study, please know this: As you put on your shoes this morning, put on God’s shoes of peace.  Put on good news!  They will give you traction and grip to get through each day and a balance of grace from the weight of world.  You have spikes, so you are not a victim, but an Overcomer! Wow! - Don’t you just love new shoes?

Friday, June 15, 2012

All through the Day....

There is nothing more touching for a grandma to hear, than her two year ago grand-daughter singing, especially if it is the same lullaby that I used to sing to her mother!   What a precious thing lullabies are and especially how they are used. I used to hold my babies tightly and would rock them until they were drained of the fight to stay awake.  Sometimes it involved endless crying and a wiggly struggle, but I always won. It was a sweet time of bonding.  There were moments between my children and I where I swear, we both synced up and almost become one.

 The lullaby I used to sing was a little different than the traditional ones.  It was a prayer and it went like this:
                      “All through the day
                       All through the night
                       Dwell in His promises
                       Walk in His Light
                        Darkness shall flee
                       At His command
                       All through the Day 
                       And Night

                       We’re in His hands.”

Now when Karis – my granddaughter sings it, there is great emphasis on DAY, “NI” & “HANS”.  You get my point.  How did Karis learn this song since she is so little? Well, that’s an easy one; it had to be her momma.  She’s the only one that could teach her, I’m too far away.  Her mother must have sung it over her a million times – a little exaggeration here, but seriously how else could one so young learn it?

The thought of this melted my heart because I have started a gift for generations to follow.  Not only is it a sweet melody, but a powerful truth.  Even as a young momma at 22, I knew I had the responsibility of imparting good gifts to my children.  If I had all the gifts of heaven and earth, it still wouldn’t be enough.  Pretty sure, most parents feel this way and I know God does!

Zephaniah 3:17 says -

“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

How wonderful is it that God sings over us! I’ve always heard that, but today I started thinking about it a little deeper- “What is He singing about?”  The God of love is most likely singing a song much like I did over my cherished ones.  Wow! How cool is that?  Let’s see some of the elements of the song I sang -this song covers some important thoughts:

• God is with us at every moment in grace or when darkness comes
• There is an instruction to stay in His word
• A Godly command to live their life as a Christian
• What to do when trouble comes
• Knowledge that God is a powerful protector
• Lastly, a reminder that God is so close you can feel His breath

Like Karis, I am learning “the song”.  The same song probably a million times until I get it right. I learn best when I settle down enough to follow the words with Him.  As my soul is quieted, I feel the strength of His arms lulling my troubles away.  The gentle rocking back and forth continues until a blessed peace sweeps across my face down to my toes.  The sweet fragrance of His breath lets me know He’s near and will be forever.  Who would guess that it is in these moments, that I am imparted with a message for generations to come?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tinkerbelle vs. Rocky

Another evening and once again that finger is pointing right at me and trying to get my attention. “We will fight for you!”  Larry H. Parker has made this bold claim to me for most of my life.  Funny thing is Larry doesn’t even have the slightest clue who I am!  I’d have to tell him my problems and see if it fit into his guideline given by an even higher justice system.  Based upon the law of the land, I could be rewarded for my pain and suffering as well. The litigation would probably take years to resolve.

Not so in the case of Tinkerbelle against Rocky on November 13th 1999.  Justice was swift and both parties walked away shaking their heads in wonderment.

 My oldest son, Nick was turning 18, so we were celebrating with a party of his friends and family.  In attendance were two boys that our whole family dearly loves.  They are close brothers, friends and both love the Lord.  As the evening went on, Jonny and Jay started a wrestling match on the living room floor.   It was harmless and those sitting around cheered as one pinned another and waited to hear the words, “UNCLE!”   However, about 3 minutes into the match, Jonny got a little rough and Jay didn’t like it. As brothers do, things escaladed and Jay decided Jonny needed a lesson.  A brawl started between the brothers. 

In lightening speed, my 98 pound Tinkerbelle (16 year old daughter,) Bethie flung her body like a flying squirrel on top of Jay.   She started pounding him and yelling at him, to “leave my Jonny alone!”  “You leave my Jonny alone!”  Silence interrupted the room like broken glass. The shocked boys immediately separated.  Who was this unmasked superhero?

Bethie?  You gotta be kidding?

Jonny stood there grinning from ear to ear.  Jay was mortified.  A girl just whooped him in front of his friends.  He is a gentleman, so of course truth be told, he let her.

What is the strange nature of Bethie and “her Jonny?”  It lies in her deep love for him. Bethie thinks of Jonny as her little brother.  Jonny and her younger brother Ben were always exploring life together. If Jonny wasn’t at our house, then Ben was at his.  Bethie age wise was nestled between Nick, Jonny and Ben.  She might look dainty, but bottled up inside is a mother bear when it came to her boys.

Now the reason I tell this story is the sharp contrast of the motivation of justice.  Larry H. Parker has everything to gain by taking your case and doesn’t care how long it takes.  He will make money whether he knows you or not.  Bethie wanted the Jay and Jonny case to end quickly.  She was motivated by the love of “her brother” and she didn’t care what happened to her as long as Jonny would be safe.  After all, this was “her Jonny!”

Isn’t this how God goes before us?  We are HIS!  He is swift and motivated by a love so deep and seemingly reckless that he sacrificed His life to take our case.  If you think He is just standing by in a crowd watching a wrestling match, you are gravely mistaken.  At just the right time He will swoop down to the rescue. 

The Bible states it this way in Isaiah 59:19:
“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him”

There are many things one can wrestle with today: health, bills, kids, jobs, marriage, or even things that we don’t like to talk about like pride, lust, gossip or envy to name a few. While some  battles are strictly flesh satisfiers, sometimes the battle goes deeper. The enemy of our soul wants to steal, kill and destroy. God wants to bring life and life more abundantly.  He is not about to let even one of His beloved be attacked.  We are His Jonny!

I will take Tinkerbelle fights Rocky over Larry H. Parker every time!  We have a God that loves us, knows us and keeps us!  His motivation is love and relationship. I stand a little taller and stronger today ‘because I know who’s got my back!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Green is the Color of Love

My friend Steve usually has inspiring things to post. A few days ago, he posted a thought that I really enjoyed. In a simplified version, it said something like this, “We become what we behold”- Now this statement is quite intriguing to think about. The responsibility of making change in my life really rests in my pursuit of God.  I mused this around in my head for awhile and turned it inside out, then I started thinking in reverse.  Not only should we behold God, but we can do so with the knowledge that God beholds us!

Now the biblical definition of behold is to fix the eyes upon, to see with attention, and to observe with care.  The depth of His concern goes even further. It is the difference between just feeling what someone is going through and actually living what they are going through, almost “Avatarish.” As usual, it reminded me, of a little story that illustrates it so well.

The summer of 2007 was incredibly exciting for us. Our daughter was getting married in July.  June found most of our family in Lewiston, Idaho to watch the Collegiate World Series. Even more exciting was that not only was our son, Ben playing, but also our future son-in-law, Brad. Brad was also recognized as a Champion of Character at the Opening Ceremonies. Our young men’s team didn’t win the title, but we all had a great time. 

Upon losing the final round that knocked us out of contention, both families gathered at the hotel Jacuzzi for a little R & R. For those who know our daughter Bethie, know that she is always in motion. I guess it’s a gift a kindergarten teacher needs! It was of no surprise to us that she made herself a human ball and was rolling around beneath the surface of the water.  The rest of us including Brad’s family, sat around talking and being entertained by the strange moving fish in the middle of the Jacuzzi. Acknowledging how tired we were, we left toward our rooms. It was then we all noticed that Bethie’s hair was green.  No worries, nothing that a warm shower wouldn’t fix. 

Hours later, both families met in the lobby to plan dinner. Bethie was a late, but finally slinked by the front desk with red, swollen eyes. It was then I saw her new garden glow.  Her long blonde hair had been transformed into long flowing lettuce leaves.  The Jacuzzi had dyed her hair!  I don’t mean a faint color of green, I mean GREEN!  The lobby was disconnected into a sea of strange interactions. I was trying to console Bethie, while her brother was beside himself with hysterics. To say that Bethie was horrified was a real understatement. She couldn’t block out the thought that in just six weeks she’d be walking down the aisle with hair looking like the inside of an Easter basket! Brad saw her falling apart. I guess he looked deeper than the rest of us.  He beheld her.

In the middle of trying to figure out what to do in lobby, Brad had disappeared.  He had slipped away to do something purposely in his compassion.  Some may have called it crazy, and some may have called it kind of cute. When we finally found Brad, his hair was dripping wet.  He had been out at the Jacuzzi dipping his head in the water.  If his bride was going to be green, then so would he.  They would go through it together.  We all laughed, but can I tell you he scored huge points with his lady?  He understood her.

What would compel this young man to do something so drastic? Simple – love.  He didn’t even quite think it through, he just reacted.  Well, our heavenly Father goes even further than a head of hair dipped in water when He beholds us.  He lived our life. Ever wonder if God “gets” you?   This is a God that knows what it is like to be rejected, to lose a loved one, to have to believe for each meal and be homeless, to have friends and family disappoint you, to have people question your gifts, and to be tormented by evil and Jesus certainly knew the full measure of pain. He understands because of His purpose driven life for us.  Once again, as I behold Him, I’m floored by the depths of His unending love and how He beholds you and me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I may be slow, but I get it!

A few years ago my sister told me the funniest story I think I’ve ever heard.  ABC could have used it for one of their sitcoms. The scene took place in her Tennessee front yard driveway on an extremely rainy day. Now here in California, we don’t quite understand the kind of rain they get in Tennessee. We’re talking about water falling from the sky with volume more like a Niagara waterfall rather than our California mist. My sister, Anne had returned from Walmart with her trunk full of groceries.  Knowing she was going to have to battle the deluge, She bundled herself up tightly. Raincoat zippered all the way up-Check, Hood anchored in place- Check, Ready, Set, Go!  Out she dashed to open the trunk and get into the house as quick as possible.  She still had her keys in her hand, so she dropped them smoothly into her right pocket and grabbed the grocery sack.  In lightening speed, she slammed the trunk shut.
Here’s where it all went downhill.  She turned to run to the house, but couldn’t move. Against all odds, the trunk had closed on her jacket.  Anne scrambled through her purse only to realize that she had put the keys in her pocket.  The hungry trunk had managed to devour the whole lower right side of the jacket- pocket included! The pocket containing the keys was now INSIDE the closed trunk! 
So, here is my big sister standing attached to her car in the pouring rain holding a bag of groceries.  As fate would have it, it was a minimum day at her school. She left work about mid-day, so unfortunately, her cul-de-sac that early was a ghost town.  If she was going to get rescued, she would have to do it herself.   Anne slowly unzipped the jacket and removed the hood.  Rain pelted and soaked her once dry hair and skin.  She tried to slither downward to no avail.  Since the rain had made a great lubricant, her best chance was to pull herself up on the car and try to squeeze herself out of the top of the jacket like a banana.  After the strange aerobics and weird contortions, the wet worm was finally free.  She turned to see her partially unzipped jacket hanging from the back car, like snake whose skin had been shed. 
Seizing her bruised victory, she dashed for cover and remembered that her home was locked too.  The next feat was to climb in an unlocked window.  As Anne’s last leg swung over the window pane, she heard her phone ringing. She picked up the phone cradle to only to hear her neighbor’s voice. The neighbor was calling to ask her how her day had gone.  She also told Anne that someone had left a grocery sack in the rain and did she know that a coat was hanging out of the back of her trunk?  This is a story that will go down in history only seconded by the time she ripped the gas pump off at the gas station., but that’s another tale….
I was reminded of this silly story last night when I went to see the new movie, “Battleship". There’s a scene in the movie when the hero is faced with personal loss, is overwhelmed with his situation and feels so inadequate for a role of leadership he is being thrust into.  He is holding back.  As the crisis builds, his heart cries out for him to rise out of his despair and become the man he was destined to be.  I found myself yelling to the movie screen, “he needs to step it up!”  At the same time, I heard God speak to my own soul, “Yep, Lynn- you need to step it up!”   There are places in my life where I have “trunked” the keys to the very things that have the ability to serve me, just like my sister’s ordeal and that movie!
What was God speaking to me about? Well, let’s get real and name a few of the phrases I tuck away and sit on. “I can do anything, in Christ!” God delights in using me!” ” If I don’t know how, nothing is impossible”, “My strength perfect in my weakness” “I’m going to succeed and God will be glorified.” “Why not me?” “My heavenly Father can finance anything endeavor! “, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way with my time!” and there are more.  These messages, I lock deep in my own trunk, but why? When they hold the keys of opportunity for daily living and for some of the bigger things God is calling me into.  Keeping myself locked out, hinders me from going places, such as a car without a key.  It robs me of taking possession of what is my inheritance!  The key to my dwelling! And even worse is, if I don’t have my keys, who does?  My security is compromised.  I can be robbed of my God given identity!

It’s high time that my keys get out of the trunk of my stupid thoughts.  Keys are a symbol of power, authority and security, so why waste time questioning if we should even use them?  How crazy is the picture of the wet woman stuck to her car in a rainstorm holding a bag of groceries?  So thanks God, I got a good mental picture of how ridiculous Your view of me is at times.  I’m working on it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh, Snap!

When you pull the lid off a tuna can, it makes a snapping sound as the last corner of the metal lid detaches from the side of the container.  This is how I felt this past weekend.  I am still buzzing with grace and love since the lid of favor continues to overflow in my life. It doesn’t mean only good things happen, but it does mean, I know how to see His goodness in all things!  And yes, I feel like my heart and my soul snapped into a new place of recognizing the depth of my Father’s love. In the core of my being, I understand I am loved, but as God continues to peel the lid off my eyes- “Overwhelmed” is the only word that even comes close to my response.

I was privileged this past weekend to attend a hospital Foundation benefit for women who need cancer screenings and treatment, but can’t afford it. It was entitled, “For the Women We Love.” This function was work related but so much more for me, so I bought an extra ticket for my man. The cost of a ticket, was the cost of a mamogram. The venue was brightly decorated.  There were pink cloth napkins shaped into ribbons and outlandish bras dangled from tall vases in the center of each table.  On the wall were 3 twelve foot posters of women the Foundation had helped. Sitting at my table was one of these ladies - a little weathered, but none the less here!  During the moving evening, the host asked every cancer survivor to stand to their feet.  As I rose from my chair, I looked around the room of 400 and saw perhaps twenty five or so people who fought the fight with me.  My heart was humbled as it exfoliated to expose the depth of the grace I have been afforded.

Some folks standing were not just people in the room that had fought the monster cancer, but they also were people who struggled with life issues to begin with. The crisis of cancer was the added lump of destruction- the icing on the cake, so to speak.  As I heard their stories, my insides churned. The biggest enemy of their souls was gripping fear.  It went from fear, and then encompassed families breaking down, loss of homes and jobs with no insurance. Fear led to despair and many were not at peace with God.  I am thrilled to say, the Foundation stepped in. They treated these women with respect and were able to make a huge difference in their lives by offering free treatment!  One lady was able to save her home because of their intervention.

As emotions fluctuated between my undeserving guilt and walking in kingdom grace, I mentally started taking note at the warm blanket of generosity that the Lord had draped over me and my family.  My story is supernatural and nothing of my own strength.  The first thing God covered me with in the very beginning, was Love.  You see, Love casts out Fear.  I honestly can say I never walked in fear of death or life. I win no matter what! Future and hope, I danced in.  As for my hubbie, he not for sale! There are no words for his daily and continued sacrifice to me.  He constantly thinks of ways to serve me or bless me and not just what he thinks he’d like to give me, but what I really want.  He listens!  We also weren’t hit financially, my income actually increased during treatment, because I had purchased a $30 a month Aflac cancer policy a year before –so like God to go before me! To this day, I don’t know why I bought it.  There was no threat of losing my home – I actually inherited it and remodeled it! I re-tiled the bathroom during chemo!  I was never in physical pain, just frustrated at the length of time for this inconvenience to end, even though I understood how serious it was.  Lastly, the best part of everything has been this incredible close relationship with God like never before.  His voice is so clear at times to me, I am astounded. 

So I’ve been meditating on this whole thing this week. What does one do with all these overpowering feelings?  SNAP?!! Well...Yes!  I have finally snapped!  My tuna lid is off!  I’m just going to swim in God’s pure delight. I won't be able to stop myself, because it will compel me to serve even more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shattered Glass

I don’t know why but the shattering sound of broken glass always comes with a dramatic pause of silence. And so it was in our living room the other day.  The distinct sound of breaking glassware! – I leaned my head to look around the corner to see what had happened
I saw my hubby with his mouth hung open and he stared in disbelief.     
 His words, frozen until they finally rolled out,

“I must be some kind of idiot!”  “How the heck did I do this?”

On the table, lay several broken plates that had died a violent death

Unfortunately truth be told, I had set up our dinning room table for disaster.  On the table, I had been sorting through the 80-some collector plates to label them and categorize them – The Wildlife Series, The Hummingbird Series, The Great Clipper Ships, etc.  Some of these plates were boxed and others were just stacked. It has been a work in progress.  There are far too many to keep as memories of my father who collected them.  I needed to get rid of most of them.  The sorted plate groups made tall perilous piles

Next to the table with plates is a tall china cabinet. A few days earlier before this incident, Doug and I had discussed that the china cabinet would look better in the corner.  On a whim of a moment, he got behind the loaded table to move the cabinet by himself.  His focus and attention was on the glassware inside the cabinet, unaware of the stack of plates on the table. In the end, the cabinet got moved, but my plates got shattered.

Looking at the aftermath, the warzone only lasted a brief moment before I screamed with delight! “These are beautifully colored pieces!” “Quick, let’s get a box to save them!”  Doug was looked at the mad woman he was married to and shook his head. He was staring at the mess and damage; However, I was seeing a work of art!  “These broken bits and pieces are great for making mosaics!” I rambled on.   I usually have to settle and use tile or marbles when making my mosaics.   There is nothing like a great colorful plate! I have to wait for an event like this to happen, or the “mercier” in me, feels too bad for the plate.

Our little story got me thinking. Maybe God looks at our broken lives as an opportunity for some of His best handiwork? A shattered life may just have the colored hues of humility needed for the mosaic He is creating.  I don’t believe He causes the entire calamity, but He certainly knows how to use opportunities to make us dazzling glimpses of His glory.  Today,  I’m asking to look at life deeper with His eyes,  instead of mine – most of us sit around and call ourselves idiots and beat up ourselves with “Why?” questions when crisis hits.  Or worse, why try gluing something back together that will never be right again, when we need to move on.  This is normal human response, but radically thinking- maybe “shattered” is just fine. What if God in His compassion is holding us when problems arise, but is also dancing around with delight because His creation is taking shape?   When we see as God does, we can relax knowing that something beautiful is around the corner because He always has plan!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Standing in front my bathroom mirror, I look at the new me and think to myself, “I am almost put together again”.  When I dress each day and I am out marketing, no one really sees how vulnerable I am because they can’t see my hidden bandages that I still wear from wound care.  In fact truth be told, this is a better body – a flat stomach, I finally have cleavage, and Wow! - a new styling belly button! It’s all good until ,,,the hair.

 It’s the hair that gets me.  I can cover my body, but not the hair.  It’s like some took a black permanent marker and wrote across my face – HAD CANCER. It’s not even about how I look as much as why  I’m patchy bald.  Why did I have to be the 1% that doesn’t get their hair back and be left with this obvious reminder?  This is my big complaint to the Lord.  When this reconstruction process is over and when the 4 years are done of that darn Tamoxifen drug -that have packed the pounds on me – I’m DONE! This whole nightmare will be over and I will move on and forget about all of it!

I rant and rave, because now I can’t without hair. I will never be able to forget about Cancer each time I have to slip on a hat or hope it’s not too windy outside.  I want the memory erased God! I want to Forget!  Even my tried with different treatments to get my hair follicles going because he knew it too and said, “It’s a reminder.”  Every minute of every day I am wondering if my wig is on crooked, or it feels like a tourniquet on my head.  I can’t let it go, it’s always there. And why?   Oh yeah,.. I had Cancer.

God gently nudged my heart the other day and met with me over my chronic frustration.

  He said, “Lynn, I WANT  to remember and I WANT you to remember too.”  I didn’t even have a chance to argue when He continued, “Your patchy hair is a marker of one of my most intimate times with you.” “I would never trade those dark days for your seemingly peaceful nights.”  “You cried out to me and I held you tightly and rocked your fears to sleep.”  “You pressed in and I loved being with you that close.” “Those were the days I visited each of your family members gave them strength and hope” They became soldiers in prayer and mighty warriors in my Kingdom.  “It was the time I imparted peace to your husband and told him he wouldn’t be alone for I was giving you both a future and a hope” “I made sure to partner with your friends to surround you with love and comfort” “I made you a better friend and them as well.“ 

Tears slid down my cheek as I rubbed my scrappy head.  I said, “You know God, I don’t want to forget either” “this hair is really beautiful isn’t it?”   I have realized that in life not everything just gets patched up and put together again.  Maybe when it’s not, it’s a sign God is moving in ways we can’t see just yet.

  His type of “moving” is invading like swirling smoke into every painful crevice of our being.
……It is  dispelling…it is deeper ….it is stronger and a love story at the highest form. 

 My eyes now still get misty, but for a different reason:

 I no longer see words written with a black marker – the person in the mirror looking at me is a woman of God defined by the Father who loves her and all those most precious to her.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Hallway

Last Friday I found myself in a mammogram  hallway with about six other women.  We all had on the same dull matching medical gowns like no one had identity similar to pitiful cows with the same spots waiting for the slaughter.  One has to love the designer of those garments; the string ties don’t really do much for modesty.  I’ve found that a lot of times the ties are too short, misplaced or even missing.  Once they are tied, you find yourself hunched forward just to tuck all your body parts in. When you sit down the flaps just gape open.  Suddenly, you fill a slight breeze only to notice that you’ve just provided a peep show for an entire audience. 
Scanning the hall , I looked around for someplace in particular that I should sit. This is a practice I have picked up from all my treatment.  Either I can decide that I have to have treatment for things or I am sent!  I choose the latter!  The mammogram waiting chairs sit in front of the dressing rooms.  “Hum… where would God sit with me? “ I mused.   A chair opened up right in the middle of the room next to a 78 year old sad woman.  Being my friendly self and trying to break the nerves of silence in the room, I asked her, “So, how we doing today?”  It was  then her tyrant of despair and despondency spewed into the hallway.

“I would rather be anywhere else than here.”  She began wringing her hands together tightly and went on, “this place worries me.” “In fact, I worry all the time! “ “I worry for myself, because what would become of me if I’m be left behind. “I worry for my husband, if I die,” “Then there are my children – if something happens to them then my world has ended and I haven’t even got to the grandchildren yet.”  “I worry, worry, and worry.”

The slightest bit of hope that was in the hallway was sucked out like someone just used a Shopvac and directly pointed the nozzle upon each and every soul in the corridor.  My spirit started screaming at her words of defeat and at the ungodly power of hopelessness being released into the air and the other women.  I could not contain myself!    I was thinking this is funny, this woman and the others waiting for their mammogram, had no idea I was waiting for something worse – a needle biopsy and aspiration.  I didn’t say a word about any of what I had been through. 

Suddenly I felt her fear, I turned my head to look at this lady square in the eye so I could speak to her spirit.  All ears in the room were perked up and I said softly, “there are some things in life, we just can’t control.  She nodded.  “But here’s the good part - there is Someone much bigger than you or I who IS in control.  Where my hope ends, His begins.  I am not without hope from the start of my days to the end of my days.  I also don’t worry because I take that Someone with me Everywhere I go.  (I could tell that she was Jewish), so I went on,   “even in the Torah before a temple was built, God dwelt in a tent.  Why?  Because His people dwelt in tents.  He lived life right where they were at.  In fact, He is here right now”

Can I say the hallway got much brighter?  She slowly put her hand over mine and said, “I suppose that’s true dear.”  With those last words, my name was called for my treatment.  As I left, I turned back and saw all the women sitting a little taller with a grins on their faces like they were waiting for the best prize ever!   I smiled  as well knowing I just preached to myself cause God and I were going into the next room and everything would be alright.   It was -because of I AM.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beauty of the Lord

About two years ago pre-cancer, I had a foretelling dream:

I had boarded a plane for a wonderful trip to an island paradise (so I thought).  As the journey proceeded, it was disturbing because the plane shook, lunged back and foth and dropped attitude with every fluctuating wind change.  I wasn’t really scared but more mad at the weather we were experiencing. - This was a so called pleasure trip!  I stood out of seat and declared, “I need to speak to someone in charge about this!”  The stewardess led me to the front of the plane behind some navy blue curtains to area that looked like a Board Room.  There was a large table with chairs all around it but only one person was sitting in the room.  He looked like an Orthodox Rabbi, but I also picked up that somehow this was a man full of wisdom.  He motioned for me to have a seat.  I instantly felt very comfortable to share my concerns about this misguided tour.  Mostly, I was focused on the incredible amount of rain that was falling.  I went on and on and on about the situation. He just listened.  All of the sudden, His face and eyes pierced my heart and He said with His Yiddish accent,  

“Yes, I hear you.”  “Where I am come from, there is much rain, BUT also much Beauty!”  “It is the Rain that makes it so.”

With the end of His words, I woke up immediately and the dream was over.

Life in general for the following months included chemo, surgery, more chemo and then radiation.  I was aware that God was on “my plane” with me every step of the way and it wasn’t going down.  In fact, that knowledge spared me several times when things were NOT going so well.  I would say to Him, “Really, God- Is this something you want to endure too?   I felt like Moeses did -I’ll go if you’re going, but if not, I’m not willing to go without You.”  Either the circumstance would change or if it was hard – He was there with me and made it tolerable.   The best part of the journey was that the communication between us had such clarity.

In January of this year, I laid my poor bald head to sleep thinking about reconstructive surgery that was around the corner.  I began to dream again and can you believe it?  I was on that plane again! 

 I looked out the windows and it was Still dark and Still pouring rain.  This time, I didn’t ask for help, I just got up and went behind the curtain to speak with my old Friend.  I stated, “I get what you mean about rain, but I Still cannot see the beauty? What is with this trip?”  He took my hand and said, “Remember what I told you about beauty before?”  Instantly, I was returned to an event that had happened about 4 years prior.

The event happened at my work.  It was a Lifeline installation (personal emergency response system) for a home.  I don’t normally do field installations but all my Lifeline technicians were busy that day and it was for a 98 year old lady named Marge who desperately needed help.   She was extremely frail and had been released from rehab just days before.  

 It was at this install, that I saw a little bit more of God Himself that day.  You see, Marge was a painter and had her works of art displayed around her home.  They were so heart provoking and stunning.

  I asked her, “How does painting work for you?” Do you see it in your mind’s eye and then draw it out? Or do you start painting it and then it evolves?”

 Her thin wrinkled hands grabbed mine and her bright blue eyes stared straight into the gut of my soul.  

She gently said, “Sweetheart, one Never paints from here” and pointed to her eyes. “To be an artist, one must always paint from here” She took our joined hands and placed them over my heart. 

I was shook to the core knowing I was having a definite God encounter, but it didn’t stop.  Marge started reciting Psalm 19 1-6 from memory and gazed out her hillside window:

 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

I left Marge’s home that day, thinking to myself, “Yeah right, I just installed a security system for this lady?” “She is about the most ‘secure’ person I have ever met!”  Let me very pathetically try to describe at least one of her paintings.   It was a picture of her grandson’s weathered combat boots from Iraq. Tucked inside the tongue of the weathered shoe was a cross necklace.  Beside the shoes was an open bible with the verse underlined For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” 

This is when I got it!  

When you looked at her paintings, you didn’t just see the painting but you saw its creator -Marge!

 I woke up from the second dream. Here is some of what I’ve learned these past few trying months of recovery.

1.      Beauty shows us WHO the Father is and What He is like! How good! How strong! 
        How creative! and How BIG!

2.      I simply can’t see His Beauty if I am not looking with my heart.  My mind and my own  imagination will confuse the beauty of my journey.

3.       His Beauty goes with His presence.

“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us! and establish the works of our hands for us – yes establish the works of our hands”  Psalm 90:17

Monday, February 27, 2012

Falling Leaves

As we sat around the campfire at Lake San Antonio, John one my friends was reflecting on some of the crazy things he did as a kid.  John had one story in particular that cracked me up but also stuck with me.  It happened when he was a young teen.  John’s folks as good parents told John and his brother they could go play after the front yard leaves were raked up.   Sounds reasonable, but it was Fall and the descending leaves dropped with the rhythm of a wind chime against a gentle breeze.   No matter how hard or fast they worked, John and his brother could not keep up with the steady stream of leaves.   
When John’s parents made a trip to town, John and his brother came up with a brilliant plan.  They climbed and crawled across every branch until every leaf attached to the tree was removed.    Needless to say the job was completed when their parents returned, but they also were in trouble. In their effort to reduce their suffering they placed the tree at risk for dying and diminished the beauty of their home.
 You see, leaves provide the area for the process called photosynthesis that we learned about in high school.   In simpleton terms, the leaves are energized by sunlight and use the carbon dioxide and water to produce a bi-product called oxygen.  The process of photosynthesis on a large scale sustains life on earth.   
What made me think of this story and chuckle?  I would love to pull off all my struggles and just go out and play.  Oh to be finally done with it!  However, I would miss an important life sustaining process.  Photosynthesis not only produces oxygen for others, but also helps feed the tree itself with the sugary sap it makes.  God is the One who is in control of how many leaves fall at a given time and when it is finally Springtime and new leaves bud.  
 Well, as you may have read earlier in my past blogs that at Christmas our family and our friends always play the Holy Spirit game.   One pulls out a “word” from a mixed bag of promises.  This word is for the next year.  Wouldn’t you know it? I pulled out the word “perseverance.”    Here’s the definition:  To persist in anything undertaken and to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.   I am smart enough to know that if He’s given me the word, He’s also given me the strength.   There are seriously times when I wonder how many more leaves could possibly fall and when will I ever be able to just go out and play? 
I think I have learned a small secret.  Maybe instead of waiting to play after the leaves are done dropping, we should play WHILE the leaves are falling.   There is nothing like jumping in a pile of crunchy leaves or throwing them in air and yelling.     I am pleasantly surprised at how wonderful falling leaves are.  I have laughed till I cried these past few weeks at the stupidest things and craziest of places.   Am I comfortable? No.  Am I frustrated at limits? Yes.  But I have learned to play!    I’m kind of slow, but I am getting what the verse “The joy of the Lord has become my strength” means.  It is not just talking about joy when everything is honky dory.  It’s finding that joy in the falling leaves –           It is so empowering!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Teleological Wonder God is!

William Paley introduced a teleological argument for the existence of God.  He likened the universe to a watch, with many ordered parts working in harmony to further some purpose. Just as the complexity, order, and purpose of a watch implies intelligent design, he suggested, so too the complexity, order, and purpose of the universe implies intelligent design.  Modern teleological arguments tend to focus on the “fine-tuning” in the universe, the fact that it is exactly as it needs to be (“fine-tuned”) to support life.
I got a great analogy of planned order and unplanned order yesterday. It reminded me of how God is in control of the big picture and interested in the fine details of even a single human.  As I lay waiting for my surgeon to take me to the operating room, Doug and I sat playing Battle Yahtzee on his Ipad.  We bantered back and forth (since we are not the least bit competitive – yeah -right! Did I mention I won? )  Doug took a look at the floor beside my bed and his eyes flickered worry.  He said, “You are bleeding out” I leaned over and saw a large puddle of blood that had started a river to my curtained neighbor’s bed.  Doug summoned help and all of the sudden we had 6 people working on the new bio-hazard I had created.  Apparently the tubing from the IV had an unseen slice in it which made my IV act as a pump onto the floor.
The funny thing is I have to donate a pint of blood next week for my surgery in subsequent weeks. I will most likely need a transfusion for that surgery.  I laughed and said, “Well, there’s my donation.”  It was there it hit me.  – An unplanned donation of blood such as yesterday has the ability to kill or render someone completely weak.  In sharp contrast,a planned donation of blood has the ability to save lives -the bible says that  “life is in the blood” How true the Word is! 
 As we look at little episode of me yesterday with blood pouring out onto the floor and put it on a macro level it is a picture of an unplanned life, unaware of what is happening around them and ultimately on a course for death. How many times do I let myself walk in this area of nonchalance not giving my all to Him or keeping Him first because I want to do what I want to do?  I’m not talking about the big issues in life; I’m talking about the fine-tuning God is interested in. It still has the power to destroy.
 The picture of a blood donation is totally different- Jesus shed his blood for us because it is part of God’s divine plan for us and it is part of His intelligent design.  He has a plan and that plan is life and life more abundantly.   How often do I stay in tune to His purpose in my life and plan accordingly?   God never misses the details in our lives. It is beyond my thoughts that He is so big to create the universe, yet so intimate to create the smallest particles with life. What an amazing wonderful God that I somehow I am part of His plan!  It’s a teleological wonder! We all have purpose!
 “Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”    Jeremiah 6:16a