Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“All I’ve Ever Wanted” by Margaret Becker

Camy here. I was writing to music and this song came up on my song mix. I have always loved it but I haven’t heard it in a while, and the lyrics impacted me strongly when I was listening to it again. This has been my prayer, that I would be so in love with Jesus that I want to give all of myself to Him. This is my prayer for you, too.

“All I’ve Ever Wanted” by Margaret Becker

From where I lay I can see the sun
Rising through the trees
Before I face this morning rush
I get down on my knees
I lift my eyes and thank You for
This life you've granted me
I pray that every day I live
Your heart will be pleased

I pray for hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And a heart that loves You
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You faithfully

From where I stand I can see the dreams
That you have fulfilled
Such kindness I did not deserve
But You gave it still
What do I have that You did not give
There's nothing that I can see
So all I have to give to You
Is what You've given me

I pray for hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And a heart that loves You
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You faithfully

I know I don't have the power
To love You like I should
But every day with everything I have
I wish I could
I'm standing here now
These words I pray
I wanna love You better whatever it takes

I pray for hands that hold You
Higher than anything else
And a heart that loves You
More than life itself
This is all I've ever wanted
This is all I want to be
All I've ever wanted
Is to love You faithfully

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Post Thanksgiving advice :)

The Saturday after Thanksgiving - it's the time when most people are still in a turkey-induced mini-coma or attempting to button their pants after indulging in Grandma's pumpkin pie or Mom's homemade iced cookies. Maybe you're still lounging in your sweats absorbing football on TV or playing a game of it in the yard with family. Maybe your ears are ringing from all that time around your toddler cousins. Maybe you're traveling this weekend or coming back home from some Turkey-and-Dressing related fun.

Regardless of the details, at this point in the holiday season, we're typically fully in. Committed. Bring on the leftovers, bring on the Christmas decorations, and bring on the 25 Days Before Christmas movie countdown on ABC Family. Right!?! :)  TIS THE SEASON!!!

But let's take a small step back before we get totally caught up in the holiday madness. 

Thanksgiving is about more than just turkey and stuffing ourselves with yumminess and hanging out at Grandma's. All of that represents the deeper meaning of the holiday, after all - abundance. Gratitude. Family. Love. Faith. Those are lessons we shouldn't toss out with the leftovers but should contemplate year round. I hear others talk about how people in general seem to be a lot nicer during the holiday season (maybe not on Black Friday in the middle of Target's toy aisle) - but how sad is that? Why can't people have that "do good" attitude year round? 

So this holiday season, before you start checking off your Christmas list and hitting the clearance racks and dreaming of sugarplums, STOP. Don't let Thanksgiving slip away. Pause and really take a minute to let an attitude of gratitude sink in. Share Christ's love with others. Let them see Jesus in you. 

Even on the toy aisle. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Man, You Have a Lot of Books."

There is one comment that I get from 99.9% of all people who visit our house. "Man, you have a lot of books." It's a true statement, because I DO have a lot of books. I love books--old ones, new ones, classic, books, novels, historical research. And on any given day I'm "reading" a dozen books. This means that around the house there are a dozen books (at least) that have a bookmark in them. Some I just started. Others are nearly finished. These are books I pick up through the day and read. Some one page. Some fifty pages. (I'm sure many of you wish you could read just one page each day in your school textbooks!)

The cool thing is that I'm never without something wonderful to read. The hard thing is that I want to read them all, now, today.

In the morning, as I have quiet time with God, I have a stack of 20-30 devotional books to choose from. These include classics like, "My Utmost for His Highest" and workbook style books like, "Live a Praying Life" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Sometimes I pick up the books on the top of the stack, but most days I feel "drawn" to a particular book. There are times when the book I feel lead to read isn't on the stack, yet I know I have it, and then the hunt begins.

Usually, it's pretty easy to find a book. My books are organized: fiction, non-fiction, research, childrens, teens, Gen X, parenting, marriage. But there ARE more books than space, so I have additional books tucked around the house--under beds, in baskets, in trunks. Yesterday for some reason I felt led to hunt out a book by John Sherrill called, My Friend, The Bible. I'd read about this older book somewhere and bought it years ago, yet it wasn't until yesterday that I really was drawn to read it. I searched through the non-fiction shelves, and the Biblical research shelves, but I couldn't find it. I looked on other shelves just in case it was misplaced. Finally, I found it in my old trunk, where I'd stashed it with others.

The book is an interesting story about a man's journey to being drawn to read, and fall in love with, the Bible. Now, John Sherril WAS a Christian and He loved God, yet to read about his journey to falling in love with the Bible is a beautiful thing.

As I'm reading it, I--of course--began thinking of my own journey toward the Bible. I grew up going to church, but except for memorizing Scripture to win prizes, I never spent much time in the Bible. After accepting Christ at seventeen-years-old, I remember opening up my Bible for the first time. I'm not sure how I ended up in 1 Peter, but there I was. And, in 1989, as I read 1 Peter 1:24-25, I felt my chest burn as if God was speaking to me:

For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass winters and the flower drops off, but the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.

That day when I read it, I KNEW it was truth, and it was confirmation that my accepting Christ and living for Him was the right decision. I wouldn't be around forever. I needed to consider my life and eternity. And I needed to put my faith on God's Word, which was around long before me and would remain long after I was gone.

Today, as I'm reading John Sherril's book, I'm again awed by the fact that God SPEAKS to us through His Word. As Sherril writes, "As I was grasping the huge fact of literalness, I was still only part way into the awesome reality of this Book. For the truth in the Bible was also contemporary. It had happened then; it was also happening now."

The Bible tells what happened, but when I read it something happens. God uses these Words to prick my heart, to speak to me, to point out direction, or correction, or inspiration within the pages.

Like Sherril. The Bible is my friend. No, more than that. The Bible is a tool my best friend, my Savior, uses to speak to me today. What an amazing thing, when you think about it. What an amazing God to develop this process.

May I ever continue to be faithful to read and listen and understand. And how about you? How do you feel about your Bible? How does your feelings toward it impact your life?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful for Family

Two weeks ago, I found myself back home with Mom and Dad. I won't go into all the details, just that the move required a lot of prayer and willingness to leave a comfort zone that has doubled as my support system through a very difficult season.

It felt very strange to unpack my things and realize that I would be sleeping on a bed that had my childhood headboard attached to it, yet Mom, Dad, and my sister Kristy had taken the time to decorate the room in a way that is 100% me, with room for my books, my computer, and my giant magnifying screen.

Between the painful circumstances that brought me here, saying goodbye to so many dear friends, and the struggles of adjusting to being under Mom and Dad's roof again, some might expect me to be extremely discouraged right now. While it isn't easy, I realize that I actually have many reasons to be Thankful. Thanksgiving week seems like an appropriate time to name some of those things. (Since Nathan had to list 10 things that he was thankful for as part of his penmanship homework today, I will also list 10.)

1) I have a loving family to move in with. They begged me to come for months before I actually took them up on it.
2) I love my room!
3) We will be here for the holidays, including many fun events that we usually miss out on.
4) Nathan gets to see his cousins several times a week.
5) Nathan now has the benefit of being influenced by his grandparents on a daily basis.
6) Uncle Brandon is teaching Nathan to play the drums--something he has been dying to learn.
7) After over a year of carrying the load of responsibility, I now have other adults to share it will. (Mom likes to clean and I love to cook, so guess who does what.)
8) We have time to regroup and rest after a difficult year.
9) It doesn't snow here. (Snow is pretty, but it isn't fun to shovel, and I always dread the ice.)
10) Being welcomed here is one more reminder that God is taking care of my family.

What are you thankful for this week? What change or difficulty are you seeing blessings in? I would love to hear about them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I’m not going to color this pretty: Betrayal hurts more than almost anything (take it from the woman who’s recently given birth).

Have you had it happen to you (betrayal, not birth ;))? You thought you could trust him? He stepped into your life like a perfectly timed dance, at just the right moment…

...but when the music ended, he walked away?

Or better yet…

...He bowed, just after pulling the knife out your upper thigh?

(This is not an anti-man column. Girls can be even more vicious.)

So… when the pain goes deep, where do we run? When the person we trust the most wounds us the most, where can we go?

Here are a few things I’m continuing to learn for myself:

-    Accept what I’m feeling. Don’t push it down or try to ignore it.
-    Talk with someone who’s “safe” – not to gossip, but to process those feelings.
-    Write about it. Journal what’s happening.
-    Ask Jesus to meet me in the pain-to give me a picture, a verse, or a word that will start the healing process.
- Confront the person. Put on my big girl panties and try to understand where they're coming from.
-    Allow some space. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean trust. I don’t have to let unsafe people have full access to my life.

Betrayal hurts, but I don’t have to feel it alone. God Himself was betrayed with a kiss… did it not hurt Him even more to know what was coming?

Q4U: What do you do when the pain runs deep?

Bekah Hamrick Martin writes about life, love, and relationships at her Bare Naked Blog, and in her book, The Bare Naked Truth: Dating, Waiting, and God's Purity Plan.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Holiday fun...

So it's officially "That Time Of Year".....

(The most wonderful time of the year? Isn't that a song? ::wink::)

Tell me...

What do YOU want for Christmas?  :)

(and please don't ask my four year old. You'll get an alphabetized, color coded list with bullet points.)

Seriously though, I love hearing the things on everyone else's Christmas lists. Partially because it gives me ideas for my own (hehe) and because I really enjoy seeing what people value, what is important to them, what they desire. It can be fascinating. Clothes, money, toys, gadgets, gift cards, home decor... ?

This holiday season as you make your list (and I really do want to know what you want!) try to remember to schedule time, money or energy into giving. Not just giving the gifts you always give  or make for family members, but for someone special. Someone who might not get a gift otherwise. Someone who needs some holiday cheer. A little bit goes a LONG way there. (Think homeless shelters, the kid at school who wears the same thing every week or who you know doesn't have a good home life, soup kitchens, church adoption projects, etc.)

PS - Quick poll: Are gift cards to stores you really like awesome or boring? Be honest!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

All Around the World

Every once in a while I get a really fun email. Here is one from my friend Mary DeMuth that I just had to share.

Dear Tricia,

A lifetime ago (well, four weeks ago), we flew a Transavia flight from Nice to Amsterdam. On the flight as I was getting my seat, I noticed a woman with one of YOUR NOVELS. I said, "Hey! I know that author." She smiled. "I love her writing," she said, in a thick Dutch accent. Be encouraged! Your words are reaching around the globe!!!!!


How fun is that?!

I suppose it still amazes me when I hear that people all over are actually reading my novel. They've been translated in German and Dutch and . . . still I get really excited to see them in a Barnes in Noble in Atlanta!

What an amazing thing the written word can do--share a piece of my heart with people I won't have the pleasure to meet . . . until eternity, that is.

You never know how God will use you. When I was a teen, I had no idea that God would use me to reach people all around the world. In fact, you as modern-day teens are probably just looking to get through this day in middle school or high school. But be encouraged, because you never know what path God will take you down.

When God gave the command to "share the good news with all nations," he meant it for everyone, whether young or old.

My question to you: How do you plan on sharing the good news with all nations?

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Week of Goodbyes

Last week was a week of goodbyes.

On Tuesday, a precious friend and writing mentor went home to be with Jesus after a battle with cancer. On the same day, another writer friend passed away after suffering a stroke.

I had a coffee date with a friend, a luncheon, and a potluck, as sendoffs  (we are saying, "See you later") before my youngest son and I made final preparations to move.

Yesterday, I sang with the choir for the last time before heading out of town.

My oldest son decided to stay where his job is instead of moving with us (he is an adult so I knew I needed to give him the freedom to make that choice), so I feel like I left part of my heart behind in Reno, Nevada.

Needless to say, this week has been one long emotional roller coaster ride. But one thing gives me hope--in each case, I say goodbye to someone I will spend eternity with. As I accept the reality that life is full of sadness and change and letting go, I know I will one day be in a place where I can enjoy my brothers and sisters in Christ--whether friends or family--forever, with no sad "See you laters."

Have you had to say goodbye to someone you love lately? How did God help you through it?