In Sickness & In Health

So everyone in the world is fixated on the news and how the world is responding to this virus… As I was thinking about it tonight, and how tired I am of seeing it on every social media website, I thought about all the sickness that took place on the Bible… How did they manage without toilet paper and cleaning supplies? How did they get through the hysteria of who’s sick and is that person who just cough have the virus? How did they survive?

They just simply had faith… They didn’t have the news force feeding them lies and truths all in the same day. They didn’t have social media blowing it up into this crazy insane toilet paper fixation… They had faith. And the ones who didn’t have faith of their own, they still believed because of how strongly other Christians believed!

Back then they had some serious illnesses. Many that took lives and some that deformed them severely. They had plaques, fathoms, illnesses, and they all done this without a Walmart or hand sanitizers.

In 2 Kings 20 you read about Hezekiah who was so sick he was about to die in 3 days; or that’s how long their doctors gave I suppose. He cries out to God to heal him. God sends Isaiah to him. Then there’s the guy who couldn’t even walk. His friends knew Jesus was coming to town and could heal their friend. They crawled on the roof, cut out a hole, and placed their friend down in front of Jesus. Because of their faith – their friend was healed. (Luke 5:17-39) Then there was a lady, so sick all the doctors told her- “There’s no cure.” . She was sick for 12 years! She knew if she could just touch a string of Jesus clothes she would be healed. And she was. (Mark 5:21-34).

I could go on and on about stories of healing and sickness in the Bible, but what I want to stress is their FAITH. Yeah it may have been years ago, but these stories still stand today. God is bigger than all of those century year old illness, any viral virus that maybe floating around, or any shortage of supplies that you maybe trying to stock up on… All joking aside, God still protects. God still heals. God still is in CONTROL.

We are so scared that right now- I think-the devil himself is laughing at how easy it is that even the Christians are flipping out. We have NO faith anymore. We are like a hot pocket. We are hot on the edges, enough to fool most people; but inside we are cold/undone folks – shaking in our boots. We have forgotten how big our God is. We have forgotten who our God is. We have turned to the media for our news, facts, daily life stories, rituals, and spiritual needs. We want microwaveable miracles that doesn’t take much effort. We want millions of easy answered prayers. We want it now and if we don’t get it we will act like a two year old pitching a fit in the floor of a store , screaming because we cannot have that toy we think we need. Our faith is shaken. Our faith is unresponsive. Our faith is so weak that it cannot pick up two marshmallows on a toothpick without feeling like we will have our arms break off. It’s time we wake up, strength our faith, and tell that devil to hit the road because we KNOW who we are – We KNOW who we belong to – and we KNOW that We are the winners .

In sickness and in health our God vowed to be there for us, just like a groom says to a bride. That is why the church is called the bridegroom, but we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten Gods vows to us. And most of the Christians now days are standing in line filling for divorce because they claim to be “unhappy” – “ trapped” – and “unloved” by Christ. Well here’s a Newsflash: “God didn’t leave you. You left God.”

In this serious time of mass hysteria, I pray you do find comfort in the Lord. I pray that you see he is here. He will prevail, despite what the media may tell you. Illness have been around for many of years; and you may have stock piled toilet paper and hand sanitizer, that won’t save you from what’s to come. You better be reading your bible on your porcelain throne – because the KING himself is coming one day… & he doesn’t barter with germ – x …

Thanks for reading. Stay safe. Remember to wash your hands and say your prayers , because Jesus and germs are everywhere!

~Marli

Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

Rainbow Mom to Selah

Mary Did you Really know?

While singing tonight, to calm my daughter who was fighting sleep, my playlist put on “Mary did you know?”. Although a Christmas song, as I sang the lyrics, it hit me as a song that could be a year round song…

The question is asked over and over if , “Mary knew what all God was going to do through her baby…”. Many times I think she had some kind of “idea”, but she never truly knew. Mary just had faith. Mary followed the plan. Mary trusted that Gods plan would be carried on and that it was good… Mary was a young “lady”, & to have a faith like that is amazing…

They asked Mary if she knew her son would save her… They asked her if she knew that he would preform miracles, heal the sick, he would be a ruler. Many times I think she thought about that and probably thought, “really?”.

As humans, mothers, women; we question & doubt life. We wonder if we are “doing this right.”, “making the right choices.”, and “raising our children to know they are loved.”. Many times we are asked “if we know” just like Mary. It maybe, “Do you know your child is so good?”, or “Do you know your doing a great job?”. But tonight I put my name in that song instead of Mary’s.

Marli, did you know, your child has came to save you? Marli did you know your child has came to show you a miracle? Marli did you know, your child has came to do great things?

If you would have told me 2.5 years ago that I would have a beautiful daughter to hold that would show me hope when I had none, joy when I forgot what joy looked liked, and happiness that I never thought would exist again- I would tell you your insane! It was only a dream… A prayer I prayed, but didn’t know if God would answer it…

In the song it tells Mary that when she kisses her little baby, she kisses the face of God…. Lets pause for a moment… “Whoa.” Every child is a gift from God & to think that this child has seen God has known God before I have. Has seen her Big brother even though I cannot right now, is a BIG deal. If we pictured all children the way Mary did that day, what would our world be? Better I would hope.

You see Mary had Faith. Mary was asked the hard questions. Mary has the job she had to do… but so do we. As women, as mothers, as humans, we need faith. We need to be asked the “hard questions” in life. We need to expect miracles when we pray. We need to look on our children as Mary did. We need to hold our children up like Mary did. We need to ponder every second like Mary did. We need to raise them, love them, and cherish them as Mary did… We need to look at them and kiss them as we are kissing the face of God….but we also need to live a life for them as Mary did. A life of faith and to show them what they too need to strive for.

In Proverbs 31:10-31 it tells us women how we should be. It’s a passage I’ve always held close to my soul. It tells us how to act, carry ourselves, how we should love and be loyal. How we should be faithful to not only God, but to our husbands. And it tells us what our children would think of us in time… (Prov. 31:28)- “Her children will rise up & call her blessed.”

We should strive to be this woman. We should strive to be asked the questions Mary was asked. We should lay our childrens names on the alters of our church like Hannah. We should stand firm and believe it will happen like Elizabeth & Sarah. We should cry out to Jesus for a drink of water like the woman at the well. We should be helpful like Lydia. We should be the first to spread the good news of Jesus like Mary Magdalene and Martha.

Women have always been a key part of history, because behind every Godly man in the Bible was a God fearing, prayed up, faith believing woman! Where are those Godly men & women today? If you cannot find one, BE ONE! No you cannot say, “well I don’t need to be because my grandparents are…” well who’s going to follow in their place? Who’s going to carry the torch of faith? Timothy speaks highly of his mother & grandmother! Why? Because Godly women matter…. Godly women are rare. Godly women scare the devil so much more than any man. Why? Because he knows, when a Godly woman prays she means business. When a Godly woman is so close to God – God will answer her. When a Godly mother prayers over her children, he knows that the army of God is with them.

Today more than ever we need to be a Mary. A Hannah. An Elizabeth. And so forth. Today we need those women to be prayed up, read up, and ready to go to war with the devil. Why do I say this? Because if Heaven is real so is Hell. If you know God does miracles, & he does I’m holding one, the devil will also steal everything and crush your world, & I know because he has crushed mine. You see I have seen both worlds. I have witnessed the Good & the Bad. I have seen Gods healing hand and seen the evilness of the devil. It tells us that the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy-and let me tell you when he comes through your house it’s like a tornado your never seen coming .

So did Mary know? Did she know what they asked her? No. I do not think she knew, but I know in time after it was all said and done; she seen ever answer in one glimpse. Just as I do from time to time. When I look down, I understand why he sent me my rainbow. Why he made me wait. Why be gave me this handmade & unique baby girl… He sent her to show me love. To show me he answers prayers. To show me joy. To heal me. To tell others about his miracles. He knew I needed her more than she probably needs me, but one day she will grow up. And I need to make sure she knows how she needs to act, live, & strive for…but for now I’ll ponder her every moment- but for now like Mary I will continue ask myself; “Marli do you know?”…. and maybe one day I can say “Yes.”…..

*I challenge you to look at your life and see if you had to be a woman of the Bible who would you be and why? I’d love to know your answers! I relate to many of them and I have shared that often, but I want to hear from you!*

Thank you for reading,

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett Alec

Rainbow mom to Selah

“Today we dedicate you…”

Today we dedicate you to the Lord. Today is a day I long & prayed for. Today is a day, as tears roll down my face, I am thankful to be standing here praising God for you . Today we dedicate you. A day I felt would never come. As we stand before our church family, vowing to pray for you, be there for you, hold you, love you, support you, and share Gods love with you.

As all the women before me, I stand here holding, clinging, to you. Today like Hannah, Sarah, & Elizabeth, we share you with God. Today we dedicate you back to God. To show how thankful we are to be your Mom & Dad. Although we have been through this process with your brother, it’s different process.

I knew this day would come, when God kept his promise. I told God I would do this as I wept for you each morning. I promised I would stand here, in front of this Congregation, vowing to do my best to be the best I can for you through God. So today We dedicate you…

This day to me is just as sweet as my wedding vows. Vowing to love through thick & thin. The same goes for you my dear, I will be your mom through it all- good & bad. Just like Mary dedicated Jesus back to his Heavenly Father, just like 2.5 years prior I sat in the front row of this Church weeping, holding on to the last few moments I had, dedicating your brother back to his Heavenly Father, today we dedicate you. Today is different because your here, cooing & looking around. Today we dedicate you and I too will cry again, because Gods promises are forever.

You are fearfully & wonderfully made- and I will remind you of that, all the days of you life. You are beautiful & special- and I promise to make sure you know that. You are a miracle sent from heaven, and I will proudly tell your story to you. You are a breath of fresh air, an answered prayer, a rainbow for me made by God alone, & I vow to let you know that…everyday of my life. As we dedicate you today.

Through teething, through walking, through teaching you all your milestones & more. I vow to be you mom through it all. Through scrapped knees, broken hearts, tears of laugher, & so much more. I vow to be your mom through it all. Through teenage years, colleges days, adulthood, until my dying days: I vow to be your mom through it all… through those last moments one day when I have to say goodbye… Just know I’d give you my last breath just to vow to be your mom.

So today we dedicate you; your Dad & I. In front of the church who carried us through our storm of life, who prayed for us, who prayed for you- long before we knew you-who holds us to our vows we are making in to the Lord today, as we dedicate you forever and always.

Today, Selah, we dedicate you. We love you so much, for now & forever.

(This is a special passage for myself. As many know we lost Rhett in 2017, and we dedicated him back unto the Lords arms where he remains until we see him one day. January 19,2020 we dedicate Selah. A promise we didn’t know when would ever come. So to dedicate her spiritual to the Lord is a special moment filled with love, grace, and tears.)

Thanks for reading!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

The Caregiver

Often times in we refer new Christians as “babies in Christ.” . All my life I’ve heard this. I just brushed it off and went about my life, but holding my little one this evening – something occurred to me. Babies have no sense of time. They have no idea of the things they will have to learn or one day have to do. They don’t really know pain, because of their innocences. They rely strictly on their caregiver. They don’t doubt their caregiver. They don’t question their caregiver, but trust solely in them….

Every Christian starts off this way. We are on fire for God. We read the Bible. We search him out. We cannot get enough of God. We cry out to him to just hold us for a rest. We cry out to him to rock us, feed us, love us… we trust in him solely without questioning. Then God teaches us to crawl. We laugh and smile. He teaches us to walk in his ways. To think and love like him. He trusts that we will not forget him. And like a baby does, we being to grow.

Then we walk. We start to run. We start to have adventures and see this world. We only call on our Caregiver when we are in a bind, hurt, or scared; and although he’s happy to hear from us- he Longs for the time when we had. I sense of time at all. When we cried out hold me. When we relied solely upon him and not our own understanding. He wants us to grow. He wants us to thrive, but just like any parent- it’s bittersweet.

In this world, we get so busy. We focus on the wrong things. We worry, we stress, we do not rest… our innocence is tainted. We forget what it feels like to be a baby in the arms of Christ. We forget what it feels like to solely rely on him as our caregiver … As children on Earth, one day we outgrow our parents Laps, but never their hearts. But for God: we never outgrow his lap. We never can get big enough to not need God solely. In fact, just like my child who cry’s when she wants to be held- God wants us to cry out to him: just to be held because he’s our caregiver…

Resolutions will start to fade in a few months. Goals we stated that we would do may never come. Getting our “priorities” straight may not happen. Our focus will slip again. We will stress out. We will have issues. And God wants to be there for all that too. But like a baby who cry’s just to be rocked. Who doesn’t have sense of time. Who just wants to be close because they love you and find comfort in you… Cry out to God just to be held just because. Run to the caregiver. Run to the lap you can never outgrow. Find peace within those arms today.

I pray that when ever needs rest finds it.. Gods time doesn’t match up with ours. Hold on tightly to him. And he will cling to you.

~ Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Feeling like Mary…

Christmas Eve is here and it’s a tad unbelievable. How could the year fly by so fast? For me it’s more like, “How is all the things I’ve prayed for here and all the firsts I missed now I am getting to see.” It’s a difficult and joyful time. Just like I believe Mary felt.

Mary was told she would carry the Messiah. I can imagine she believed, yet she didn’t understand how when it happened how it would feel… Just like Mary I’m feeling that too this Christmas. Two years I’ve prayed for another chance. For two years I’ve missed first things, first steps, first coos, first everything. And God answered those prayers and sent a child. Just like Mary, her child was sent to save the world from sin. To save her from sin. Just like Mary my child came to heal and save me from despair.

Mary held Jesus that night, in awe of him. I imagine him looking at her smiling at the woman who would care for him and trusted God. She pondered those moments. I imagine her heart being overwhelmed and overflowing with joy. Just like Mary this Christmas I feel that same emotions. Overwhelming, overflowing, unbelievable emotions that I thought would never happen again.

This Christmas maybe the pray you’ve prayed hasn’t been answered yet. Keep praying ! God hears you. But this Christmas be like Mary. Trusting God with his plan. Yet taking time to slow down and ponder on all the small moments in life, allowing them to be written on your heart. Just like Mary, cling to Jesus this season. He may have came into this world as a baby, but He is able to save you. A baby changes everything. A baby can save you from despair.

Merry Christmas to all & a Happy New Year!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Looking back

Most people say “Don’t live in the past, only in the present.”, but sometimes we have to look back to see how far we have came. This morning I was going over something’s with God that was bothering me, and when I opened my bible this page was what I turned to.

– Yes this is a page from my personal life. I like to underline, write in, draw, and paper clip photos etc in my bible. Today I’m glad I took the time to do this. –

As many of you know in 2017 my husband and I lost our first and only son. Rhett was and is still very much loved and missed and holidays make it tough still. You never really “get over” loosing a child; you just learn to live in the pain and cope; but after Rhett we had trouble trying to have another child. I was just about to give up after 2 years of it, when we found out about Selah. And in September of 2019 she arrived and has been a joy. As every mother knows trying to balance life and getting to read your bible isn’t always the easiest thing especially with a newborn. Small talks here and there with God, but still needing that extra time and pulled between needing sleep too, but today I got to spend some extra time as I watch Selah napping in her swing.

Psalms has always been my go to book, even my daughter’s name came from this book.

Psalms 126:5-6 says – “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping bearing seeds for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Many years I have sowed in tears. My garden was flooded with them. My spiritual garden felt as if nothing would ever grow. But just as plant a flower, it will eventually bloom. And I have gotten a flower.

Psalms 127:3 – “Behold, children are heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Psalms 128:1 – “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.”

Psalms 129:8 – “The blessing of the Lord is upon you; We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

These verses and many many more is what I held on to. These verses I would read and try to believe them. It’s very important when reading the word to actually grasp onto the word. Make it yours. These promises that are written aren’t just for your neighbor or for the ones written about many years ago, but for you as well! That was my hardest thing for me to grasp, but after seeing a miracle after the storm I can tell you in all honesty: “It’s not easy, but the outcome is unbelievable.”.

Looking back at these photos I’m in awe. 2017-2019. Two different people in each photo. One (2017) my world had just been crushed. My dreams shattered. My peace, my well being, my own self, had been broken into a million pieces and I was trying to just live. Two (2019) my world had grown a tad larger. I walked many miles, darken valleys, mountains, and same many oceans, with Gods help. I went from totally shattered to slowly being mended. And sometimes it’s good to look back. It’s good to see where you was to where you are now. I don’t forget the pain, I do however live differently in it. I look back to photos before 2017 and see a different person who didn’t know hurt, never knew pain, and I see everything after 2017 at how far I have walked in pain. How much God has shown himself to me. How much I have grown.

This post maybe just for me, but maybe someone out there needs to take a second and look back. Look back and see where God has brought you. Yes I still have anxiety. I still cry. I still am overwhelmed with new dreams and doubts and stresses of life, but today I needed reminded to look back. No matter if your scrapping by or if your living the high life- you need to be humbled enough to remember where you came from.

So before we go into the new year, let’s reexamine our eye site and be thankful for what God has done for us. As my nana use to say to us kids all the time :

Today is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24

Hope you had a merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Preparing the Table

Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a time that can become overlooked or overwhelming. Like many holidays we focus on the food most of the time… And thanksgiving is no different. It’s all about the turkey, the ham, the desserts, and all of the fixings. We stress over how long to cook the turkey, or if we made enough desserts for everyone to have their favorites. We say we are grateful and thankful for this one day and all whom celebrate with us…. but what if we look at one simple task that gets overlooked: the table and preparing it.

One early morning around 2ish, I was up with my daughter. At that time I was nursing and I had this pillow that helped make things easier. My mother, family members , & I Joked about it being a table. It was shaped like a table and with that pillow my daughter ate off it like a table. Now that you have this awakard image in your mind, I’ll get to my point. It was 2 a.m. and Selah was crying. I was getting my “table pillow” out and ready. As I was gathering everything I told her, “It’s ok. Calm down, I’m preparing you a table.” . I couldn’t help but laugh at myself in this moment because she had no idea what I was telling her. She just knew her need and I wasn’t providing it fast enough. It wasn’t until later as I was feeding my child that God used my silly joke to show me a bigger picture.

In the 23rd Psalms David wrote in verse 5:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

God said he would “prepare a table.”, but it wasn’t until a 2 a.m. feeding that I understood what He was saying here.

He would prepare the table, not me. He would do the work. He would set it up like it was supposed to look like. He would decorate it in his liking. He would tell me when the table was done being prepared. He would have all the chairs set up and knew where each person would be seated. He would let me know when to go to the table so I could eat from it. He would prepare the table….

But most the time, I want to prepare it. I want to take charge and decorate it in my liking. I want to readjust the seating chart, who’s invited, and when it’s done. I want to rush it because I’m hungry… and that’s just it. We are like Selah. Sometimes we are a baby that is crying, hungry, and is not comprehending what is being told to us. We do not understand that our special table is being set up for us. We do not understand that God heard us and is doing what he would say he would do and that’s preparing the table. We want him to hurry just because we do not understand that he knows our needs.

After Selah got to the “table” her needs started to be met. If we go to the verse we will see that not only does God prepare the table, but it’s where he prepares the table at… For Selah it was simple, for us not so much…

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

He will put us smack dab in the middle of our “enemies”. Not in the middle of our friends & family where we are comfortable, but in the middle of our “enemies”.

Often times when I would read this passage, I thought he meant physical enemies. People whom we don’t like, trust, who’s hurt us etc. But that’s not the enemies He’s speaking about. He will put you in the middle of your enemies such as: fear, anxiety, & grief, just to name a few. Maybe your afraid of love or joy. Maybe you are scared of life itself. He will seat you among these enemies not to punish us, but for us to show our enemies God.

God said he would never leave us nor forsake us, & if he’s preparing a table for us in the presence of our enemies- he’s not going to leave us there. That would be like me leaving Selah just because I had the table ready. “Ok everything is set , I’m gonna leave now!” No, it says he anoints our head with oil. He stays and gives us a gift. A gift of anointing oil. He pours his blessings over us. His grace, his love, his saving blood. He anoints us so we can know that we can face our enemies. We can look at them and tell them “You don’t own me!”. Then after we start to enjoy the table God has prepared special just for us we start to see that “MY cup overflows.” .

Blessings, love, joy, & hope that we once thought was gone. Promises and dreams we thought would never come true. Prayers we prayed and cried over that we thought God had pushed aside start to make their way into our hearts. And our cups start to overflow.

I have been waiting/crying for my table. I have been seated and looked at my enemies thinking why did God sit me here so near to them. I also have felt Gods anointing over me like a flood. And I now am seeing my cup start to overflow like I never dreamed. This thanksgiving I’m thankful for the table God has prepared for me. Although I’ve had to travel many miles to get to it, cried many tears, searched for the joy and the light of his love, had to seek out my purpose, and wait on his promises. I can say I’ve made it to this table. Now I can look at my enemies in the eyes and although I still fear them at times, I know I have power over them through the anointing that God has placed over me. And now I will thank God for promises, miracles, and prayers that have not only been answered but has changed me to who I am today.

My cup does overflow today. My heart is thankful. God knew what I needed when I didn’t. And today I’m thankful He prepared my table. Will you let him prepare yours this season?

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving !

~ Marli Wright

-Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

– Rainbow Mom to Selah

Shifting your focus

Growing up I was told, “Take all things to God in prayer.”. As a child that meant anything, but somewhere along the way that “anything” turned into “only the big stuff”. You know what I mean…

The older I got, the less and less time I spent with God “praying for the little things” in life. Small things that I didn’t think had any significance in my big picture. I use to pray over a spelling tests, but then as I grew I may not pray over little quiz’s just the big semester tests or finals.

Here lately I felt God telling me, “Ask me for all things. Ask me for the little things too. Tell me what your thinking, BIG & SMALL.” It really made me think… God cares so much about me that he’s willing to listen to the “small things”. The things I over look as a conversational piece when it comes to talks with the Lord himself. So I started to try it. I’m still working on it if I’m honest. Sometimes I feel like I’m complaining, being petty, or selfish when I talk about these little things; however it says “Take all things to God in prayer”. Feeling down, pray about it. Got cut off in traffic, pray about it. Your worried about your grocery bill, pray about it. Worry about your kid going to school, pray about it. Feeling thankful and don’t know why, pray about it. These prayers can be two words or 15 minuets long- just say “Hey God thanks.” It’s not easy however getting started or doing this. Why? Why is something so small so hard to do?

In the world today the devil tells us we just need to ask God for big things. Just for insanely big items that maybe too far of a reach. Some pray for a million dollars… My friend that’s not how prayer works. We have treated God like a genie in a bottle. He grants us wishes and we smile and go on until the next one. I too am guilty. I use to do this a lot. I knew God wasn’t a genie, but in my prayer life – looking back- I was putting him in that box. The box that you only pull out in crisis. When you need him in trouble. Kinda like he was the 911 of the Christian world… only call in emergency type pray. God wants to be your best friend. He wants you to call him as much as you call your mom, or your friend, or the one you have on the top of your favorite list on your phone; God wants to be that close.

When you start to apply this to your life, it’s different. You have to take time to actually see the small things. You have to slow down your world to see God’s hand in the small details. Maybe it’s the shape of the leaves in your garden. Maybe is the penny on the ground that so Many walked passed. Maybe it’s a smile that a strange passes along when your having a bad day, or maybe you need to pass that smile along. Things that seem so small and useless really can be so big. The cool thing is, when you start looking for the small things, You start to forget About that million dollars. All your worries won’t fall away, but you can be more confident in praying over things that worry you.

Things like your bank account or bills- you know that God can help you through it. Things like, job interviews and driving in big cities- You know God will be there with you. We get so caught up in the mundane that we cannot see the forest for the trees. We cannot focus on one task. We are confused and filled with anxiety all the time, because our eyes aren’t focused on God.

We are no better than Peter. He walked on water with Jesus! He took that leap of faith and tried it and we always praise him for trying, but we over the main lesson… Peter fell. Peter took his eyes off Jesus for 2 seconds and he fell. Such a small detail in that story, which we over look. Why? Because we too aren’t looking at Jesus. Every day we are faced with the choice to step out of our boats and walk with God. Unfortunately we choose to row row row our boats gently down the stream, passing up so many opportunities to walk with God in the water and see the waters differently…

There is a song I like to listen to when I need to calm down and take a breath, or when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and it’s call “Fear Not, by: Kristene Dimarco”. In the song there’s a line that says ,

“You can’t dream too BIG for me- Stand Still and believe- I won’t let you drown.”

That part hits me hard every time. I cannot out dream God wether it be BIG or SMALL, no matter how hard it maybe to believe that it will happen, I cannot out dream God. The older I get, the more I try to be like that little girl in my soul…because of my little girl who will be on her way in a few months- I know God dreams big for us. She was a dream in the mist of sorrow I didn’t think would ever happen…but when I stand still and believe- God shows me time and time again that just like Peter, when he began to fall, He takes my hand and he doesn’t let me drown. He just lets me refocus on him.

Maybe you feel like your drowning. Maybe you are too scared to get out of the boat. Maybe you think it’s too big or small to talk to God about. I encourage you to lift up your voice to God today. Trying finding at least three small things and one big thing to thank God for today. Refocus your eyes on God and stand still and believe…

He won’t let you drown….

-Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

*Rainbow Mom to Selah

Voices: Which to Hear?

Many of us feel insane somedays. Maybe it was a stressful day, week, month, or even year. Maybe you just don’t feel like “yourself”. Maybe your going through a battle, a trail in life, that’s got you questioning everything- including God. Whatever your going through, there’s always a voice you hear… But what voice do you listen to? Before you go and sign me up for the local insane asylum, hear me out.

As kids we watch cartoons that featured a “good and bad” voice on each shoulder. Most of the time they were illustrations of an “angel” & a “devil”. What we laugh about as kids, is true in everyday life. We have two voices fighting to be heard. Which one do we pick? Somedays it’s hard to distinguish between the two. Other days it can seem quite easy to pick and choose. What we don’t realize is, each voice knows the exact struggles, doubts, fears, battles, and emotions we are carrying around with us . Each voice – knows our down falls. They each know the wounds we suffer and how we got them. They know the losses we grieve over. The pain we shy away from. The secret tears we hide from the world and so on. And each voice wants us to choose them…. So how do we choose?

In the Bible it actually talks about how Gods voice is still and quiet. How the prophet Elijah, in 1Kings 19:11-12, heard this voice after many different things. God sent a wind, a fire, and an earthquake- but God was not in those things. God was in the stillness. The quietness of the air. Sometimes our worlds are so loud that we cannot hear that still small voice. We are overloaded with noises that we don’t even know how to turn off, and there isn’t an Alexa Echo in the world that can shut them off either. So how do we hear God and not the enemy?

I was reading a book awhile back called “It’s not suppose to be this way” by Lysa TerKeurst- and then later I got the privilege to hear her speak about this book and this topic. One thing that stuck out to me was this; “You have to ask yourself- ‘Who’s telling you those things?’ “. Who is telling you those things of doubt in your life? Who is telling you that your not strong enough? That your not a mother? That your not worthy to be their friend, have that job, or take that risk? Who’s telling you your not beautiful, you can’t be noticed, or you can’t be whom your dreaming to be? Who is telling you this? Sometimes no one is physically telling us anything. Sometimes we can’t get out of our own heads.

Eve was tempted by a voice in the Garden. Moses heard a voice in a burning bush. Only difference between those two was one was an evil voice and one was God. The enemy will come in fear. He will cause you to doubt yourself. Doubt God. Doubt that your worth joy and love. He will manipulate your emotions and your pain to no end. He will drag you down, beat the snot out of you, and leave you there Broken and alone – if you let him. But God comes to build you up. Show you that your worthy of joy and love. Then he gives you peace over your overwhelming emotions. He will lift you up, fix your brokenness, and never leave your side- if you choose.

I’ve been on both sides of the voices… I’ve been so low in dark places, I thought I would never get off the floor . I thought grief, pain, and loss was the only things in life I was made for. I thought pain and numbness were my new feelings I would feel forever. I have been such a mess, Broken in a million pieces- that I believed I was unfixable. I have had my emotions twisted, stomped on, and shattered many times. I have had triggers emotionally, anxiety, and even depression at times that I cannot begin to explain to you. I have been overwhelmed by fear to the point I didn’t know what to do. – But – through all of that, I have also been lifted up on the mountain. I have seen the glimpses of light shine into a dark pit. I have seen my brokenness come together (not perfectly) but made whole. I have seen pain turn into joy. Hopelessness restored. Bruised dreams healed . And miracles I didn’t think could be possible for me made right. What’s the secret? Knowing God.

You see I still struggle with pain and grief. My life will always be triggered by loss. I will always have a hole where my child should be. I will always long for what I cannot have with Rhett. And I will until the day I die. God says, “I will make you new one day. No tears,no pain…” and until I get to heaven I will always have those feelings. I have to learn how to choose what voice to listen to day in and day out until Heaven.

2 Timothy 1:7 is a verse that even two years ago in the beginning of my biggest nightmare and pain, I had written on the marker board in my hospital room. It’s a verse I have to remind myself of daily. And this verse helps me distinguish between the voices in my head and which to choose.

“2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Next time you feel overwhelmed. You feel knocked down, full of doubt, confused, and don’t know what to voice to choose… Ask yourself “Who’s telling me these things?” . Because that verse plainly tells what God gives. And if it’s fear, doubt, worry, stress, etc- it’s not of God. God gives peace, love, and in tough choices – a sound mind. We will never be prefect in our choices. Unfortunately we will never be free from anxiety etc- but until Heaven- lean on God. Search for his voice. His ways. Then ask him to clear the rest of the mess out for you.

Thank you & Have a wonderful day.

– Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett

*Rainbow Mom to Selah

When you feel alone

There’s many times in life where we question “Is God Still there….”. Most of the time we ask this when grief strikes, our faith is shaken, or we simply have to make make a tough decision. Where that’s where you are tonight, or you just feel alone, let me tell you through experience I can tell you he does see you, he does care, and he has not forgotten you.

Many if you know by now my story. Many of you know the road of grief I have had to walk alone on earth. Many of you have read the blog post, seen the photos, or even been in the trench’s with me. What you don’t know or see is what my life was before. Sure it looked perfectly fine, & to be honest there isn’t much pain in my past. Yes, I lost family members whom I loved dearly, but it never shook me to the core like loosing Rhett. I never had to question God, my faith, or life in general before loosing Rhett. I never had to question if God’s ways were the right ways. I just knew that what the Bible said was what was right. I never had to put my faith on trail. I always knew the answers based on the verses, but I didn’t know the answers personally. I remember hearing of others accounts of Gods faith in others lives. How God showed them how he was real. How God saved them from situations in life. I remember hearing these stories and questioning my faith. It wasn’t until I had to put my faith on the line and really had to make the choice to truly trust God in ways that I couldn’t see him, is where I learned Gods true ways.

Weeks after loosing Rhett I was faced with the fact of having to accept that this was just Gods plan or going against Gods ways and telling him I didn’t agree with him. I remember yelling at God- telling him I didn’t agree. That he didn’t love me. That he didn’t understand anything or any of the pain. I remember clearly screaming why over and over again…. Yet I also remember the first answer I got from God. One that I still hear. One that I cannot deny.

“I too have one son. I too had to watch him die. I too had to hurt that my son died. I lost a son like you, therefore I do know your pain…”

Pain.. God not only seen it, but he knew what I felt. I still felt pain, but knowing that God could truly understand when no one else could touched me in ways I cannot wrote down. His son (Jesus) died for me, you, the world. God had to turn his back on Jesus during that time because he took on the sin of the world and God cannot see sin. It was that time he had to fell as if his son was no longer with him, just like grief does for us. Pain, that we read of – but only some feel.

I then searched for the whys in life. Why didn’t he save Rhett. He saved many children in the Bible. Why did he allow my son to die. Why did he choose us? Why? As I dug and dug, I never got all the answers, but there where some I did find. He did save my child… He didn’t bring him to life again on Earth, but he did heal him. God knew his pain that I did not. God knew that to heal him like we were praying was to heal him 100% in heaven. The why us, is just like Job. Job questioned God but he never denied him. The devil tempted Job many times. He killed his family, he took his home and cattle etc, he had friends tell him to tell God off- yet Job held on. Job suffered mentally, emotionally, & physically. And like Job was tested- so were we. We had to make a choice. I couldn’t make Shawn’s choice and he couldn’t make mine. The devil took our son, he took our world, he shook our faith, yet he lost. Our son is alive in heaven, our faith has became stronger, and he still has to face the facts that he lost. Just like Job, God found favor- and although I know this life has pain, hurts, and loss, God will show is comfort. God also showed that there are many reasons and ways I will never know on this side of heaven because my mind cannot contain or understand it. God has allowed us to see his hand in Rhett’s short life. And looking at Gods hand now, is amazing to see. That tells me that he did not leave me, or forget me, but had a plan.

Now I have to trust that God will allow the pain to transform into joy, joy that at times I do not know how to take. There are times I still feel alone. I still feel like God has let me walk through fire just to leave me, but it’s not true. When those things are told to me I have to stop and think “Who’s telling me these things.”. The devil tempted Eve in the garden, telling her things that twisted Gods words. And the devil still uses those tactics. The devil wants us to feel alone, forgotten, and live in pain. Every time we choose God or to share our stories of faith, he looses. So that’s why I have make the choice to not only choose God, but to tell Rhett’s story. To show Rhett’s love and Gods to reach others in grief. Grief will always be a part of me and my story, but God is using this grief to heal me and others slowly.

So maybe you are feeling left out, alone, used, or something- but ask “who is telling you those things?” If it’s not God then it’s not true. God does love you. He is there even when you cannot see him now. He’s going to use this pain to help you understand someone else’s pain. You have to chose however to trust God or to deny him. No one can choose that for you. So dig. Dig in the Bible. Search, pray, and don’t be afraid to ask the whys . He will be there for you. You have to let him in.

Thank you and prayers for you all.

-Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett

*Rainbow Mom to Selah