I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

His Word Sunday

Even this path...

Today, as I go to church just like the rest of you.... and sit in the pew, sing the songs, pray the prayers, shake hands and smile - I'll be remembering what I was doing on this day just one month ago.

I was enjoying a beautiful day in Bastrop, Texas.  Soaking up being with family in the hill country.  My kids were playing with their toys from Santa, I was playing a card game at the kitchen table and my husband was all decked out in camo heading to the deer stand.

Little did I know that moments later my life would be changed forever!

I read Psalm 25 this morning and wanted to share it with you.

Psalm 25: 4-5, 10, 15 (ESV)
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation for You I wait all the day long.

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Wow!  Did you catch that?  "All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love & faithfulness"!!!

Really... all the paths.  I believe God's word is true.  And I believe that even this path has been filtered through the steadfast love of the Lord.

I don't understand it - I don't like it at all - and it hurts more than anyone could ever imagine.  

But I still trust that  - "all His paths" are filled with His steadfast love & faithfulness.

Know today that every place He takes you is filtered with His love & faithfulness and He will rescue your feet from the net that tangles your heart.

Friday, January 28, 2011

One day I'll get to see!

I'm thanking God this morning for the week that I've had.  It's actually had joy, success, victory and answered prayers.

I had a Facebook status this week that said this,
"Things I don't understand... how my heart could be breaking and yet so full of joy all at the same time.  One word answer - God."

John & I used to talk about Heaven all the time.  We talked about how important is is to have an eternal perspective when it came to earthly trials.  In this moment, the Beatitudes come to my mind.  You know, the passage in Matthew 5 - where every verse starts out with, "Blessed are they that..."

Have you ever thought that they are "blessed" because their eternal soul is secure - and one day they will see how and why God had them walk specific paths?

Someone gave me Steven Curtis Chapman's CD - Beauty Will Rise.  I must admit, I've been listening to this almost as much as I've been listening to John's music.  It has truly ministered to me and been the voice of my heart.

For my Friday song - I wanted to share this one with you.  I can just hear John saying, "See!  It's all we had hoped and thought it would be - AND BETTER!"

I find comfort knowing he was right to have an eternal perspective through our every shared trial and one day I'll get to see it all too - with him again!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Hey Babe!"

I went to bed last night REALLY wanting to talk to John.  So I thought I would just have a little chat with him today... right here on my blog!  (even though from my perspective it's going to be a one-sided chat)

Don't worry... I certainly don't mind if you eavesdrop on this conversation.  I just really feel the need or rather desire to catch him up on all the things that have happened since he went Home.

I kind of imagined that this conversation either happened at our kitchen table in the morning, where we shared a cup of coffee & discussed the schedule of the day ahead or on the couch as we collapsed from the hectic-ness of day and just enjoyed being together... alone!

Hey Babe!  I sure have missed you since you went Home.  

I know it must be the most awesome thing ever to walk with Jesus, and finally get to talk to the prophets and other great men of faith.  Kind of like the song.... "I can only imagine" huh?

I'm sure what's happening down here doesn't even compare to what you're getting to do - but I still want to share it with you.

You would be so proud of me!  Can you believe that all that German that you spoke to the kids actually did sink into my brain?!  That's right!  I learned the blessing that you gave the kids each night and I haven't missed a night yet!  In fact, you probably were not aware of the time... but you went Home right before bedtime.  As I shared with Jordan where you were, the first thing she asked was, "Who's going to give me my blessing every night?"  Jordan had to help me at first - but I've got it down now!

Oh!  Jordan has become quite the brave little girl!  At your Special Service (that's what we called it with the kids - I hated them saying the word "funeral"), Jordan went up on stage with Joe!  I just know you would have been beaming from ear to ear!

And if you thought our kids were social before... oh my!  We are now living with my parents, and we attend church with them.  They have taken to all the activities like fish to water!  I've got to admit, I love how they are soaking up not just the activities but what they are learning as well!  Jordan has memorized about 4 scripture verses and JP walks around telling us stories from the Bible and making up new songs!

I bet he's going to be a singer/songwriter just like you and Jordan!

Oh!  And all these activities... really is helping them sleep better.  They go to bed faster and sleep later!  I know you're not going to believe this... but I actually have to wake them up on some mornings!  No more "up at 5am!"  Yeah!

I think the biggest thing that has happened, the thing I really wished you were here for was when JP went to school yesterday.  I know!  JP, our little baby boy - is not a baby any more. And believe me, he'll correct you if you say so!  He marched right into that Pre-K class  - bold & confident... just like his Daddy!  You would have been so very proud of him.

You would have been giving him HUGE "HOO-AHs" I just know it!  You would have been bumping knuckles and probably would have had a celebration gift ready for him when he got home!  I know... you're probably wondering what I did for him.  Well, I got him a Spider-Man backpack and some new clothes - they have to wear uniforms at his new school!

When he got in the car he asked, "Mommy, can I go back tomorrow?"  When I said yes, he then asked, "Can I go every day?!"  He just loved it!  I know you would have been so proud!  I told him as much too.  Imagine that, a Franklin loving education!

Babe, I know it's time for our brief conversation to come to a close for now.  It seems so strange that "life" is moving on day after day without you.  It seems strange to see "2011" on the calendar and not share it with you.  

I have pictures of you all over the walls of my "new room" and long to kiss you - even for just one more time.  It was really hard yesterday completing forms and only writing one name under "Parents."  But I just want you to know, how resilient & strong your children are - they amaze me every day. 

They ask me difficult questions about your passing.  They know you are with Jesus.  Some of their questions are cute!  Jordan asked if you got a new cell phone in Heaven and if it was gold.  She also asked if you have a job there too.  Some of their questions show they are really thinking.  JP says almost every day that he wishes your body could be back on you again.

I just say, "I know.  Me too!"  We talk about you all the time!  We listen to your music every day.  I wish you had known just how much this world loved you.  Babe... you did it!  You really did make a difference for Jesus.  I hear all the time how people are reading their Bibles and going to church for the first REAL time.  

Just one last thing....
You always used to ask me in the mornings, "Did God show you anything in your prayer time?"  So I want to still answer that before I get my day going.  The other day I was driving down the road, praying, crying, and I said this to God,

"I hope a whole bunch of people come to know You from You taking him away from me!  I want to know it was worth it!"

And Babe, it was almost as if the Lord responded immediately.  I know it was from the Lord because thoughts like this I would not think... especially at this time.

The Lord replied, "Penny, if just one comes it will be worth it!"

I may never know who that "one" person might be - but I know you would agree with the Lord, and that brings me comfort.

Well... I hear alarms going off in the house and the coffee is calling my name.  I would say have a great day - but I know you will!  

See you soon I hope. 

 I love you with all my heart, with all my life, and with all that I am!
(we said this phrase to each other every day!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

"So how are the kids doing?"

I'm so proud of you all!  I just want to brag on my family & friends (yes, this means you!) for just a moment.  The books I've read, the experiences I've had myself, tell me that although the messages were numerous in those beginning days, that they would begin to wane if not completely cease very soon.

If this is your first time to my blog and are wondering, "What in the world is she talking about" - please feel free to visit the tab on my home page entitled - My Rockstar - this should bring you up to date.

You guys have continued to send me messages via Facebook, Twitter, instant messages, emails, texts, phone calls and some of you have even just popped over for a quick personal visit.

I've just been so blown away by everyone's faithful friendship!  You all have many questions - but the one I want to address today is:

"So how are the kids doing?"

I have been totally blessed & amazed at their resilience through this tragedy.  I know they will have questions for a lifetime and will miss their Daddy until they see him again in heaven, but as for the moment-by-moment and day-to-day they are doing really well.

We talk about their Daddy often and we listen to his music almost every day!  Our New Orleans family made us each a box in which we can store our memories of John.  I shared with them whenever they want to "talk" to their Daddy they can draw him a picture and put it in this very special box.  I'm happy to share with you the box is filling up!

I want to share with you just a few of the things the kids have shared with me.  I hope you are blessed and encouraged by their childlike faith and healing.

Our first Sunday in our new church was difficult for us all.  Many tears were shed by me & Jordan.  As much as I love my parents church and the Pastor (where I grew up) it was difficult not listening to my husband preach & pray.  Apparently Jordan felt the very same way.  As the Pastor was preaching I looked over to see what Jordan was doing - this is what she had drawn:

(She shared with me that this is a picture of John preaching at Journey Christian Church, at the pulpit with his Bible, on the stage.  She asked me if I could place it in my Bible at Daddy's favorite verse,  which is Mark 12:30 - and I did so immediately!)

JP's drawing skills are not as perfected as Jordan's, but he still talks about John often.  In fact, as I was typing this blog post he came and sat beside me at the dining room table.  We had this brief conversation:

JP:  Mommy, I miss Daddy.

Me:  I know JP.  I miss him too.

JP:  I wish Daddy's body could be back on again.

Me:  I know JP.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

JP:  I miss Daddy getting me some Sprite!

Me:  I know.  Daddy always gave us lots of good things huh?

(Then he was off to finish his cereal and watch cartoons)

We talk about John often.  It's one of our favorite things to do!  Please don't feel awkward around us - we love to visit with people and we love to share with you the love we still have for this great man - my husband and their Daddy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

His Word Sunday

If you're a new follower of my blog.... my Sunday post is called His Word Sunday.  I like to reserve a day where the total emphasis is solely on scripture - not cute & funny things my kids have said, or lessons I've recently learned - but rather, it's a time for me to just let the Lord talk.

This morning's scripture is not just FROM His Word - but is also ABOUT His Word - and why we should turn to it daily - no matter what the circumstances.

Psalm 19:7-11 (ESV)
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandments of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; 
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; 
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Which home?

In the past 23 days I've stayed in 5 homes.  While we were in Fort Worth for my husband's funeral we were about to leave the church one afternoon, and I told my 6 year old daughter to gather up her things, as we would be going home soon.

I was referring to my sister's house at that moment... but I'll never forget Jordan's response...
"Which home, Mommy?"

It's interesting how we throw that word around - home - as if it's just a physical location.  A place where you keep your "stuff."

I typically put a song up on my blog on Fridays - and I think this one best fits where I am emotionally right now, and it's all about home.      

thanks to those of you who sent this to me =)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Have you every had a time in your life when it seemed as if EVERYTHING changed?  And it happened all at once?

21 days ago everything changed for me.  I'm now settling into my "new normal" (as everyone keeps calling it) in Lufkin, TX.  Nothing is as it used to be, and I'm not just talking about missing John.

I don't have my favorite coffee cup.
I don't drive down the same streets.
I don't live in the same house.
I'm not around the same friends.
I'm attending a different church.
Jordan is attending a new school.
We all have different beds, with different sheets & pillows.
We all have different routines & schedules.
I shop at a different grocery store & Wal-Mart!


Everything is different.

All these changes can be very overwhelming and can at times crush my spirit.  In these moments I'm desperate for normal.  I'm searching for something that is the same.

I have found what has not changed one single bit.  
I have found what is constant.  

My God.

He has TOTALLY changed my life - but He, Himself has not changed.  My God is constant.  The God I knew on December 29th is still the same God today.  He did not change His nature just because He brought John home.

I must cling to Him.  I must continue to trust Him and make Him my EVERYTHING when the everything around me has changed!

I love this verse and wanted to share it with you today.

Psalm 73:26 (NLT)
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

Today I'm focussing on just two words from this verse...

God remains!

I challenge you all to make God your everything - so you too can say.... God remains!

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!

Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!


Monday, January 17, 2011

What do you need?

Day 19.  I'm not sure how long I will count days - this journey is completely new for me.

I've gone through a plethora of emotions over the past 19 days.  They are too raw for me to list out here at this time, but with all of these emotions have come many many questions from those who have surrounded me.

How are you doing?

What can I do?

How are the kids?

Where are you staying?

Where are you going next?

Some of these questions have answers, some do not, some I'm still trying to figure out moment-by-moment.

But there is one that stands out in my mind the most.

What do you need?

Oh!  This is an easy one.  I need him... John!  I know that is not the answer they are looking for or even what they mean - they are wanting to make sure that in my darkest hour, I have my most immediate needs met.

Everyone has been more than wonderful providing food, cards, financial support, childcare, smiles for my children, strong arms with moving furniture, hugs, just sitting with me & letting me talk - this list goes on and on!  And I have most assuredly needed these things - and every need is being met - especially prayer!

This morning as I had my prayer time, I read the following verses.  I know with each passing day, my answer to this question, "What do you need?"  will change from "I need him... John" to "I need Him... Jesus."

Proverbs 3:21-23 (ESV)
Do not lose sight of these - keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.

I know I've still got some scary days and tasks ahead of me.  What will I need for these tasks?

Sound wisdom & discretion from the Lord.
Life for my soul - security... from the Lord.

I need Him... Jesus!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

His Word Sunday

I'm sitting in my new room in Texas.  It's early and I can hear the rain falling outside.  Lately, the mornings have been the hardest for me.

Yesterday we transformed 2 rooms to accommodate me and my 2 precious children into my parents house. It's such a blessing to be in such a warm and comforting place during this difficult time.

As I read a familiar passage this morning, I must admit, I'm having a hard time with it.  I know it should bring comfort.  I promised myself and those around me that my blog would be a place of healing and honesty.

So here goes....

Matthew 11:29-30 (ESV)
"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Here is what I can see:
I'm definitely laboring and am heavy laden with grief and the aftermath of John's passing.
I can understand how we are to take on His yoke.
I can understand how I'm going to learn from this experience.
I trust that God is gentle & lowly in heart.
I believe I can find rest in Him.

What I don't see quite yet...
How this yoke is easy & how this burden is light!

Yet still will I praise Him.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Friday Song....

Today I am loading everything I didn't give or throw away into a moving van and heading back to Texas.

In 2010, Friday was a day I typically put a music video on my blog - usually a fun country song that described the week I had just experienced.

Today, this is the song that came to my mind.   I know you've probably heard it many times - but if you're wondering how I'm doing, how I'm feeling - even though I'm very scared about my future, and still have many questions for my God - this song describes the state of my heart.

Have a great Friday!  Kiss the ones you love - tell them you love them - and thank God for every minute you get to spend with them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is Followship a word?

If you're wondering if I have a typo in the title of this post - don't worry... I have not lost the ability to use spellcheck!

I prayed over what I wanted to post today and flipped through some of my recent entries in my journal and it jumped out, as if the words would fly from my journal to my computer screen.

On Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, I attended the visitation for my husband's recent death.  I knew I needed to start the day in prayer, if I was going to make it to the end of the day.

I read one of my husband's (John) favorite verses in my One Year Bible.  I would love to share it with you today.

Matthew 4:19-20 (ESV)
And He said to them, "follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."  Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

John always preached that actually following the Lord was part of your salvation.  You couldn't just say a prayer, sign a card, walk an aisle, sprinkle some water on your head, and/or go through confirmation and call that "salvation."  Christ always required his disciples to live out - prove their salvation by following the Lord with their whole person - heart, soul, mind, strength (Mark 12:30)

John & I did everything together.  We shopped together, did ministry, parented, traveled, laughed, cried, cooked, talked on the phone (constantly), Skyped together - and we followed the Lord together.  And I know for some time - it's going to seem empty following the Lord without him.  This was our favorite thing to do together - followship.

I'm sure you've had fellowship with the Lord - but do you have followship?

Currently my spellcheck tells me Followship is not a word - 
let's make that change today!  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

His Word Sunday

By now I'm sure that most have you have heard about the tragic loss of my husband.  On Thursday, December 30, 2010 John stepped into heaven.

As I type this, I'm sitting in a kitchen surrounded my packed boxes.  Today I will attend and speak at yet another Memorial Service for my wonderful husband.  This service will be held in New Orleans where he had only been the pastor for a brief 20 months.

I want to ensure you all, that I will be back to my blog very soon!  I know that my God has many things He wants to show & teach me as a result of this tragedy.

My words for you and for myself today comes from Matthew.

Matthew 7 24:25 (ESV)
Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

So many of you are concerned about how I'm doing.  For that matter, I'm concerned about many many things regarding my future.

Friends... indeed the rain has fallen, the floods are surrounding me, the winds are moving me in many directions, and I feel very beat up moment by moment.  Yet, I KNOW I will not fall to the point where I won't get back up.  My God has got me, and my life is built upon His Rock.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.  I cherish my friendship with you all and so blessed to have you in my life!