Boutique of Lies and Stolen Dreams

I went shopping yesterday and today I’ve considered the swirling thoughts racing through my mind, that try to desperately convince me…my personality is of Jekyll and Hyde. One apparently good soul on the side of the right, battles the inherent evil…putting up a good fight. But the incessant onslaught when given in to Satan’s spell, tells me “I’m a failure” if I purchase what he sells.

Once again he had me convinced of truth in the lies he told, assuring me with dust-like glitter and trunk-loads of tarnished gold. Just as I was about to purchase at the register with cash in hand, I’m reminded by sweet family and friends not to be impressed with his grandstand.

Because that’s how he works and schemes his way into our hearts and minds; hoping we will succumb to the treasure trove of junk he’s spit-polished and shined! He’s the master of his evil craft using window dressings and alluring displays. That junk is found in his Boutique of Lies and Stolen Dreams and there is a big sale every day!

So before you belly up to the bar to pay for those “sale items”…you thought? Remember that Jesus has already paid the price with His precious blood, he bought all of our failures, short-comings and even spoken regrets. He bought the guilt and the shame and carried the burden of all of our sin debt.

I’m still learning that all that glitters is not gold. No, it’s not always what it seems. And it is best not to browse through the junk on display from Satan’s Boutique of Lies and Stolen Dreams.

All Is Well

When darkness lingers into the morning light
When Depression clouds any hope or sight
Of a better day that is yet to come
Feeling trapped like you’re the only one

Who has ever experienced this sad malaise
This melancholy onslaught…God how many more days
Will anxious thoughts and restless sleep
Steel your joy and make you weep

Adversity I’m told
Is when God is most near
So stop crying my child
And you will hear

His voice in the darkness
Calling out to you
His hand is outstretched…take it
He will see you through

The darkness will disappear
When you take His hand
Remember those were His
Footprints in the sand

Yes, He carried our failures
And all of our guilt
To the Cross at Golgotha
That’s why His blood was spilt

So when thoughts of worthlessness
Creep in and take control
Cling tight to Jesus, saying
“All is well with my soul”!

I have a “Guest Blogger” today…

I have a guest blogger today. Her name is Jennifer Swoish. Jennifer hails from the Great Lakes Region in the Midwest. She is wife to Travis and has two adorable Beagles named “Whiskey” and “Moonshine”, that currently round out her sweet family to four.
Jennifer and I met last summer at the Proverbs31 Ministries’ She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC. We became fast friends and she has been my prayer warrior ever since! Jennifer writes on the ever-changing seasons of life with her very own unique imagery, in the post today entitled,”So They Danced“.

You can read more of Jennifer’s amazing work at her blog:
“Repose” at

So They Danced
_ Jennifer Swoish

A blank page is so clean.

When I look at a blank page it can be both intimidating and exhilarating. Here is where I can capture my thoughts, encourage hearts to find peace and lay a dance floor for joy to spin around and around that leaves a soul enthralled.

But when words are aloof, the whiteness seems stark.

Sometimes life can feel remote too, like a cabin tucked deep within the woods. Far from streets that connect us, friends that visit us and life that encourages us.

In these seasons moments feel like miles that separates us from joy. Isolated deep in the woods, it is often dark with only glimmers of sunlight from the tree canopy. Look closely though and see how the sunbeams pierce through the forest and bring growth to the living. Moss extends up the trees and flowers reach over top of the fallen limbs.

To experience life full of joy even while in the darkness we learn to become resilient so we can soar. Our happiness will not bring us our joy rather our joy is abundantly provided by the Designer of our life. He understands our loneliness. He too cried lonely prayers. Because of His understanding and love for us, His heart chases ours on those dim days when our bodies fail us, our love leaves us, bad news is delivered to us or the unimaginable becomes our reckoning. Those things that try to rob our joy, can become our saving grace when we allow Him access to the vulnerable areas of our heart where light needs to find its way. Like the forests undergrowth, light brings new growth.

Roping yourself in trust you grow and climb to new heights. Above the forest floor where the light waltzes with the leaves, hope is evoked. Unbridled, this dance twirls to heights where joy is unbounded; like the love our Heavenly Father has for us. Together this dance ascends with courage and anticipation.

Be brave my friend. You are not alone, even when you want to be. There is One who is delighted in you and desires to dance with you now. The light is shining on you; take His hand and let the dance begin.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to DANCE.”

If It’s Expired…Toss it!

I’ve managed to let life get in the way of managing our household and keeping our home in order lately. Do you ever find yourself in that same predicament? Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. When there is time, you are exhausted and chores get put on the back burner.

A pile of clean clothes that need to be folded and put away still rest on the chair beside the bed. The high heels worn to work on Monday are still in the floor on Friday and yesterday’s breakfast dishes are still in the sink. The refrigerator and freezer haven’t been cleaned out in weeks.

I can relate to these things and I finally decided I’d tackle some of my “To-Do-List” today!

I decided to start with the kitchen. Several bottles of salad dressing and condiments found inside the refrigerator door were out of date, most of the veggies in the crisper had seen a better day too. They were planned for a nutritious evening meal but were passed over when I was too tired to cook and dinner ended up coming home in a paper sack! And don’t get me started on the canned goods stockpiled in the cupboard (some with expiration dates from 2010) were still waiting to be chosen for the day’s menu. Yuk!

All of these food items were bought with good intentions to fix healthy meals but were wasted!

I am ashamed and admonish myself as I haul the garbage outside to the curb. I vow to do better when The Lord rebukes me too as He brings to mind the verse in John 6:12 (NIV) When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Through this entire cleaning project today, The Lord has reminded me too that while we don’t want to be wasteful, sometimes the culling process is needed to toss away the junk and to select only what is best for our lives.

We need to cull out the hurtful comments that were spoken to us in anger and painful things we’ve said to others. We need to clean out the junk of past day’s guilt and shame and throw it in the garbage bin! If we wouldn’t eat items with an expiration date gone by, then let’s not feed our brain on tired, worn out hurts or feed our heart on guilt and shame from the past. That junk has expired…and it’s OK to Toss it!

Sew & Reap

God speaks wisdom through a friend
So we will realize
That harboring sin doesn’t move us forward
It will only paralyze

Our walk with Him
Stopping us in our tracks
When focused on past mistakes
And the guilt in looking back

Because our sins are forgiven
As far as the East is from the West
No need to harbor guilt and shame
Clinging to our vest

So I’m laying down my sin cards
For all the world to see
Just as I am, without one plea
Won’t you too join me?

Let’s not allow ourselves to be trapped
In Satan’s condemning snare
Discounting the Grace of God
And wallowing in despair

Because there is no condemnation
For those who are in Christ
As Jesus took our sins away
He has already paid the price

So if you’re wondering why in each life
God allows adversity
It’s meant for us to grow and harvest
And continue to sew and reap

Power Verse:
Romans 8:1 (NIV) “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”