The Christmas Story: The 2016 Version of Luke 2

Cesar Augustus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. He reigned during a really dark time in Israel. He was a dude who thought he knew it all.  He sent out an Executive Order; big brother wanted to know who and where you were! He wanted money!  ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) Everybody went to be taxed, everyone into his own city.

Joe went up to Judea to David’s City, Bethlehem from Galilee from his hometown Nazareth.  He was a descendant of David, you know.  He had to drag Mary along with him.  She was about to pop because she was so Prego.  It wasn’t long after they arrive that she told Joe: “IT’S TME!” It was probably the 80-100-mile hike, that 4-7 day walk that put her into labor. You know that girl was worn out.  Joe forgot to make reservations at the Holiday Inn-Bethlehem. Everything was sold out.  There was a big crowd in Bethlehem to be taxed.  You know how crazy the post office is on tax-day. Bethlehem was buzzing just like that . No Vacancy signs were everywhere.

Mary had sweet baby Jesus in the only place they could find…A BARN in the hood of hoods.  (Light brought into darkness.  God Almighty laid aside His Glory and appeared on the scene as a baby.)  She had her first son, her first child, away from home.  She probably left his onesies in Nazareth, so she wrapped him up like a peanut with what she had.  She wrapped him up, swaddled him and laid him on a manger hewn out of rock. You know, the things the farm animals ate out of.   He came into the earth just like he left the earth. All wrapped up.

Out in the county there were some farmers minding their business.  They were sleeping out in the field taking care of their animals, so no harm would come to them.

Out of the darkness-kabam-shazam- out of nowhere!  Wow- a HUGE angel, he had to be at least 20 feet, showed up from nowhere.  Mega Angel ­lit up that whole field like sunrise over the ocean. It nearly scared the farmers to death. They were shaking in their boots.

The angel roared DON’T BE AFRAID!  Look!  Listen!  I am bringing you GOOD NEWS!!!  You have hit the lottery. It is going to make you so HAPPY.  Everybody is! It’s good news for everybody.

Today. T O D AY! In Bethlehem. Are you ready for it?  Our Savior has been born, the Savior of the World.  He is here!  Christ the Lord is here! Our Savior, our deliverer…from Greek word “sozo” which means to save, keep safe, and sound, to rescue from danger, to save from perishing from disease, to make well, heal, restorer, doctor/healer when you need him, restorer to health from the oppressor, you know the one who tries to harm and hurt you, the one who tried to keep you beat down.  Feel like you’re missing something? He will complete you.  Anxious? He says don’t worry!  Sick? God has no big problems! Need something?  He is more than enough!  Lonely? He will never leave you nor forsake you?  Need a constant in your life?  He will never change.  He always has been, always is and always will be.  Want to do well? He has the keys to the kingdom. His name is I AM, I WAS, I always will be.  HIS NAME IS:

CHRIST:  the anointed. He is smeared all over, bathed-in, like suntan oil at the beach…it is all over Him to be who he was and is supposed to be.  He is furnished with all necessary powers to perform his position with duties as assigned by God.

The LORD:  the man of the hour.  He has power for decision making.  He gets things done.  He is supreme.  He has it all under control.  He is your Savior for such a time as this.  He is your SOZO now.  Life is now.  He is not a fire policy.  He is the son of God and he is here.

A child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (the Chief of Completeness) – Isaiah 9:6

Get it?  I AM is here!

This is the sign. You will find the Savior of the World wrapped in swaddling clothes and he is lying in a M A N G E R.  (A manger? The king is in a manger?)  Don’t miss the sign boys.

The heavens could not stand it anymore- the good news!  Bam! The angel’s back-up singers the Heavenly Host (Heard of them?  They are a real popular group with God) I mean I am talking a platoon, a troop of hosts showed up and put on a show.  They were praising God and rocking the stage saying:

“Glory to God in the highest. Peace on Earth. Good will to men!” You could hear them all the way in Nazareth.

After the field concert (And Luke Bryan thought this was an original idea?), the Angel of the Lord & the Heavenly Host – poof- they jetted back to heaven in an instant. The Sheps chatted and thought it might be a good idea to let the flock hang out and for them to head on to Bethlehem.  They wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I mean the Lord had dropped a concert in the middle of the field in the middle of the night to let them know the good news.  Talk about virtual reality.

The Sheps sped to Bethlehem.  Lo and behold!  Surprise!  Surprise! Surprise!  Can you believe it?  They found Mare & Joe and sweet lil’ baby Jesus  lying in the manger.  After they saw BABY JESUS, they went about telling everybody about it! They didn’t go to bed for days.  Everybody they told wandered in AMAZEMENT.  You can see them just shaking their heads. Can you imagine in Benny came up from the Chicken coop and told you such?

Mary was just blown away.  She kept quiet and to herself.  She thought…I birthed the King? He’s lying in a manger?  The Savior? After the long journey, the labor, it was too much.  She just kept all this to herself and let her thoughts just circle in her tiny little brain. It was just too much to process.

The Sheps! They just kept on partying. Glorifying, praising, singing to the top of their lungs to God.  What a story, a Glory Story of the Savior of the World!

Merry Christmas

My Glory Story: Glory Revealed, Part 2

One year ago, December 23, 2016, I sat down at the feet of Jesus to study His word.  I chose to be Mary instead of Martha on this day(Luke 10:38-42).  I had several devotions that I usually read.  The devotions gave me a focus for the day or lead me in a direction of study. The Holy Spirit Brought me to:

John 17:22-26

 22 And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world

 I wrote in my journal:   WOW!!! Merry Christmas to me! God has given me His Glory! What?!  I still need more revelation on your glory in verse 23 and what that means exactly.

This scripture, this question and the God-answer that followed has forever changed my life. God took me on a year long journey teaching me about His Glory.  I began to study the Greek definition of the word glory:

doxa: opinion, judgment, view, opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone

  1. in the NT always, a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor, and glory
  1. splendor, brightness
    1. of the moon, sun, stars
    2. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
    3. majesty
      1. a thing belonging to God
        1. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
      2. a thing belonging to Christ
        1. the kingly majesty of the Messiah
        2. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
      3. of the angels
        1. as apparent in their exterior brightness
      4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
        1. of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
        2. the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior’s return from heaven

I looked for all the glory scriptures I could find.  If God had given me His glory, I wanted to know exactly what that meant.

Psalm 8:4-5 KJV

 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visit him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned (encompassed) him with glory and honor.

Not only had God given me His glory, he crowned me with His glory or at least he did in the beginning.  The glory of God was Adam’s clothing.  Adam’s whole being was glorious and radiated. Sadly,

 Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Adam chose to take off God’s glory and put on Satan’s lying rags.  BUT GOD, he had a different plan.  God himself stepped out of heaven, removed His Glory coat and put on man. Jesus came as a baby but a man, at the cross he bought back our right to don the glory.  I realized that  I got a new coat for Christmas this year;  it had been mine since salvation.  However, I did not know the full story.  Now because of Jesus,  God only sees me through Jesus in all His glory.

Why did he give us His glory? John 17:23 tells us…so that we may be perfect, complete,

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

We become like our father.  People call it a “spitting image.” We reflect the very image of our Father, His glory.  He also gives us His glory so that we will KNOW how very loved we are.

Next verse from the Holy Spirit on December 23, 2016:

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Praise God.  He was all over me.  Let’s look at how very powerful this verse is. In the Greek, arise is quwm.  It means to rise, stand up, become powerful, come on the scene, to stand: maintain oneself, to be established, to be fixed, to be set; to endure.  Shine is owr (v) in Greek.  It means to be or become light; to be illuminated, to give light, make shine, lighten, like the break of day, set on fire.  Light, ‘owr (n) in Greek means light of day, light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars), day-break, dawn, morning light, lightning, light of lamp, light of life, light of prosperity, light of instruction, light of face (fig.), Jehovah as Israel’s light  Risen is zârach; a properly, to irradiate (or shoot forth beams), i.e. to rise (as the sun);

Glory! Glory! Glory! Can you see what a gift He has given us?

Man, separated from God for four thousand years, could now gaze upon God’s glory again, could now see God, could know God as He is and be reunited with Him.  “And the Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us, and we gazed upon his glory-A glory full of favor and truth.”  John 1:14  from Faith Food Devotions, Kenneth E. Hagin 12/24

I continued studying that early December morning and at 6:47 AM,  I raised my head just to meditate on this verse and everything the Holy Spirit was sharing with me about His glory.  I caught the faintest pink reflecting in the glass of my china cabinet.  I looked out my lunette window to see what looked like a cloudy day, but in fact, I glimpsed the faintest smear of vibrant, fiery pink painted in the eastern sky.  I could not really see the full sky, so I ran outside to capture this moment in a photo.  This was the Masterpiece that God handed me.

IMG-3947(1)

Amazing, all of it! God’s timing! His revelation of His Glory.

Psalm 72:19, And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Then Isaiah 60:2, For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

And, Isaiah 60:19, The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

Psalm 143:8,  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

This morning brought me the word of His unfailing love and His glory!   I was so overwhelmed with His presence, His Glory.  My Lord had just illuminated and flooded me with light about His Glory.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV

And then I read, “shine” is like sunrise or break of day.  Sunrise is one of my very favorite times of day particularly at the beach.

This is just the beginning of the story.  What happened next is what we call, living amazed.  I suddenly remembered a picture that I had just hung over my bed on December 9, 2016.  I had felt an urgency to blow up this picture from earlier in the year, frame it and hang it.  I didn’t really like where I hung it, but now I know why the urgency and why it hangs over our bed. This is the picture.  It was taken August 17, 2016.

cropped-img-0544.jpg

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy work. – Psalm 19:1

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. – 1 Chronicles 29:11

O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. – Psalm 8:1

We were blessed to vacation the week of August 14-19, 2016 at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  Scott Wells graciously allowed us to use her adorable condo. I love seeing the sunrise at the beach.  Where we were vacationing, the beach ran east to west.  I could not see the sunrise in the east over the ocean.  However, if I walked about 1.5 miles from Tar Landing Villas to the point, Fort Macon State Park, I would be facing east and in position to catch daybreak.  I was determined to catch the break of  day.  I checked the time for sunrise and made my plans to pursue.  Here is an excerpt from my journal:

August 17, 2016:

…I know my theme this week is hear, listen.  I keep finding ear shells on the beach.

IMG-4088    

I left the house at 5:45 AM. The sky was so beautiful by 6AM. I was determined to walk to the point at Fort Macon to see the sunrise over the ocean.  Not a soul was on the beach and suddenly one man appeared and passed me.  I eventually caught up and passed him because his back was obstructing the clear view in all my pictures.  As I began to photograph, where the sun was breaking the horizon, a cross shape formed. As the sun began its journey to takes its place in the clear, blue sky, the cross shape became crisper.  It was beautiful.  I could not take a picture of the sun where the cross was not present.

 I sat not only at the feet of Jesus, but at the foot of the cross.  A group of rocks jutted out into the sea, I took my place on one of the rocks to see the performance in the sky that I believe God had orchestrated just for me.  I turned on Oceans by Hillsong. I wept, I sang loud and prayed to our Father.  I sang the song over and over as I took in the masterpiece God had painted for me on this special day.  And, I meant every word of that song.  On the way back to the condo, I found three of the most perfect little shells.  Special, Special time!

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

This picture captured a defining moment in my life.  I had a divine appoint with my heavenly Father on that day.  He demonstrated His Glory to me on August 17 and again on December 23 with glorious displays in the sky and an overwhelming sense of His presence.  He would use this picture to illustrate His Glory, His Presence in my life every day because it still hangs over our bed.  However, wait, there is more. This is where you need to buckle your seat belt.

On August 10, 2016, I wrote this in my journal:

Holy Spirit Break*:   You are going to experience something /revelation at the beach and your life will never be the same.  There will be no turning back.

*Holy Spirit Breaks happen in the middle of my studies.  The Holy Spirit interjects and tells me something.  I treat it like a commercial break on TV.  However, when the H.S., intersects the flow of study, I know it is important and that I better pay attention.  I did not remember writing this until I went back to my journal to read about my time at the beach to write this story.

Now, let’s return to December 2016.

On December 21, 2016, I wrote this in my journal:

LASER FOCUS!!! JP: FIX YOUR EYES ON GOD’S UNSHAKABLE WORD –Don’t look at all the moving waves around you, look at the stable horizon far way.  Look at the stationary line and you will feel better.  Look to Jesus.

 Remember my revelation about God’s Gory happened on December 23.  He was connecting the dots and preparing to teach me about His glory in advance.

 December 25, 2016, Christmas Day:

Kris, my husband, likes for me to open his best gift for me last.  This year my best gift came in a small, neatly wrapped package.  When I unwrapped the square little present, the box read, Elliott’s Jewelers.  I immediately knew there was something special inside.  Elliott is a dear friend who just happens to be a custom jeweler, too.  I had no idea as to the contents of my perfect little package.   I opened it and I was surprised.  Even after I opened it, I really didn’t know what it was.  Kris went on to explain that he had found this heart shaped shell on the beach, Atlantic Beach, when he was running during our vacation back in August.  How very thoughtful. The tears began to flow like a river.  I love hearts and that was such a precious time with my God.  I loved it!  It was my Glory gift.

It was later Christmas Day that I started asking questions about when Kris found the shell.  We narrowed the day down to August 17, 2017!  How?  On the very same day that I walked to the point, Kris ran to the point and picked up the shell.  (He got a huge blister on his foot and couldn’t run anymore that week. He knew that he picked it up the last day that he ran.)  He picked up that one tiny shell of all the shells on the beach.  Usually, he would immediately give me the shell, but he tucked it in his pocket, brought it home and had a pendant made for me. The Holy Spirit led me back to my journal and this is the Holy Spirit woven together story that unfolded. Remember my earlier journal excerpt from August 17?

Look at the picture I drew on that day.  It is to the right of my shell pendant.  It is my shell.IMG-4089(1)Remember? I said that I kept finding ear shells.  I stopped t and looked through all of the shells I picked up.  They all looked like ears,  but none looked like a heart and an ear.

The Holy Spirit led Kris to pick up my shell on the same exact day that I had my experience with my Heavenly Father. It was a gift of love from Kris because he knew that I loved hearts, but more than that it was a gift of love from my Daddy!  What a plan!  Once again, God showed me how much he loves ME!  He cared enough to deliver this priceless treasure to me. Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? – Exodus 15:11   This is my Glory Story! God presence overwhelmed me on August 17, December 23 and December 25!  Jesus is the most precious gift God could give me, then Kris and the boys to follow and of course my family and friends.  However, on August 17 after my experience at the point with my God, I had looked for the one perfect shell on my return to the condo.  I found three little shells, however, God delivered me the perfect shell a few months later on Christmas Day.  It is a constant reminder of His Love, His Glory, and His Presence with me always.  I also wear it and it is an icebreaker with many people. It allows me to share my Glory Story and the true Glory Story of Jesus with others.

This Christmas was not about presents, but about presence.  It was about God’s presence, His Glory with and on us and our presence with our family and friends.

IMG-0706

This is another picture from August 17, 2016. I felt like the rays were God just reaching down and bathing me in His presence.  One time, when Brayden was a very small boy, after observing the sun rays touching the mountain tops of east Tennessee, he said, “Mommy, that is how God slides down to earth.”

The voice of the LORD [is] upon the waters: the God of glory thunders: the LORD [is] upon many waters. – Psalm 29:3

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. – Psalm 57:5

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD [is] a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand [are] the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills [is] his also. 5 The sea [is] his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry [land]. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. – Psalm 95:1-6

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14 KJV

It took me almost a year to write this story because there is more, the story continues…

My Glory Story: The Journey, Part 1

I chose Jesus as my Savior long ago. I have not always allowed Him to be my Lord. Through the journey of life my Jesus has always been a focus.  If He had always been the focus, my life would have been much happier and a whole lot easier. I would have made better choices. I would have sinned a whole lot less and I would have been in God’s word a whole lot more.

December of 1998, we moved into what I thought would be our forever home. God rocked my world in September 1999.  Kris took a job, 3 hours away from this forever home.  We miraculously sold our home at our moving sale. (I need to write another story about how God has miraculously sells ALL our homes by owner…when He decides it is time for us move.) The boys and I followed Kris to Knoxville in January of 2000.  I was unemployed and at home with  two small boys, 2 and 5.  I didn’t know anybody. To say that I was unhappy about this move was a huge understatement.  I think I pouted about 3 years, not to mention the world was in unrest over the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon in 2001.  I was searching.  I was wandering, making wrong decisions and in general trying to find the meaning of life.

One day, I was sitting in church and I asked this question, “If Jesus has all the answers, then what are they?”  I came us with this equation, J + ? = ________.   Sometime in 2002, the Holy Spirit led me to Colossians 2:10, And you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.  He completed the equation.  Jesus turned my questions, my life, my world upside down.  He finished the equation with this little drawing,  J + ? =  (see image above)

Over the last 15 years of ups, downs and all arounds of life, God has taught me what it means to be COMPLETE IN HIM. I have learned the most from the Holy Spirit and from studying God’s Word, the Bible. (How can you say you are in a relationship with someone and not spend time with them?)  I have learned from pastors. I have learned from other teachers. I have learned from books, cassette tapes, cd’s, DVD’s, uploads and downloads, devotions and even Facebook posts.  I have learned from dear friends and relatives.

My life took a radical turn toward my Jesus in 2010.  Kris was offered a double-your-salary opportunity in Memphis, TN. It was all way across the state.  It was six hours away from our life.  It was away from all we knew.  We, our family, had built many strong relationships over the past 10 years. It was six hours away from University of Tennessee and Tennessee football.  It was also six hours away from Maryville football.   My oldest son, Brayden, was 15 years old.  He had started as a Sophomore in 2009 for the Maryville Rebels who had won the last 8 out of 10 State football championships.  They had been to all ten championships.  He was a rising junior.  I cannot put in words the pain and torment this caused Brayden and us.  We considered allowing Brayden to finish his high school career at Maryville.  However, we would have been in the same boat with Parker 2 years later.   We even thought about letting Brayden live with some of our best friends and finish out at Maryville.  Thank God, we did not make that decision!

Then, there was Parker.  Sweet little Parker.  He had played baseball and attended church with the same group of boys since he was about five years old.  They were our family along with our Maryville football family. What were we to do?   I experienced many sleepless nights.  We had to decide and fast. Finally, after continually seeking God, He gave me a word one early morning in July of 2010.  It was “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide the with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8)   I put this in my spirit and banked on this word from God. We rightly chose to keep our family together and to move west.

God jumped through hoops and performed many miracles to get all the things in order for us to move within one month.  This included having the boys in two different schools in two different cities.  Brayden was admitted to the private school of his choice, Memphis University School and Parker would enter the Collierville School System.   Let me say that being led by God is not always easy.  As a matter of fact, portions of the six years in Memphis were hell.  To quote Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

However, in my sadness and desperation, I knew the only answer was God and family.  I connected with a long- lost friend on Facebook who led me to study the Love of God.  I learned about a different God.  He was All Loving.  He was forgiving.  He was not condemning.  He was compassionate.  I learned that there was not one thing that I could do or say that would change His love for me.  My life began to change.  I began to accept me for me, but most of all who I was in Him, complete.  I learned that he paid a very high price for my salvation, here and now and for eternity.  His love just blew me away.  I had a lot of growing to do.  I learned to choose faith and not fear. I had lived much of my life in fear and anxious.  I learned both were sin and that I was trusting Satan more that God if I continue live in fear and not trust Him.  He put people in my path to pray with me and for my family.  We, all,  lost “friends” along this journey.  We also gained some new, invaluable friendships.  The young men and families of Memphis University School could not have been any warmer and welcoming to Brayden. Many of these men are still his best friends and roommates  I joined a group of women who prayed for the football team every week before the football games. What a blessing they were.  God had placed Brayden at MUS.   It took us a while to grow relationships in Collierville because we were so wrapped up in Brayden’s final two years of high school and all that goes with it.  However, the relationships soon bloomed in Collierville, too.  And, God had put Parker in Collierville for a reason, too.

One thing that surprised me most from our move was that God used it to heal a broken friendship in Maryville.  How did he do it?  We both underwent some pruning.  Our desire was to learn more about our Father, our Jesus and our sweet Holy Spirit.  God completely healed our relationship.  He grew us stronger individually and in Him.  He grew us stronger together in Him.  I now have a sister that I never had and a best friend in the Lord.

With every trial and every test, too numerous to count, God brought our family through and shined big in our life.  The move was hard.  It was so painful.  However, Brayden nor Parker would be experiencing the level of success in their lives that they are enjoying had we not made the move.  Many of you know their success stories.  We are truly blessed and living amazed in a favored life.  I will share about their individual success stories later; neither came without painful trials.

Fast forward to June 2013, my world was shaken again for a couple of different reasons and I didn’t know what direction to go.  However, once again, God led me to Psalm 32:8 and he promised he would instruct me on what to do and he did.  I made a commitment to read the Bible every day for at least thirty minutes.  I went from reading one devotional, to multiple devotionals.  I went from spending thirty minutes learning about my God to 2015, where I was spending hours with him.  I learned that I am WHOLE, HEALED and COMPLETE in Him.  He taught me Psalm 37. He taught me to believe and live out that word which ended in a friendship of a lifetime and  trip of a lifetime to French Polynesia.  The end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 was spent learning the lesson of waiting on the Lord.  However, when he decided to move, WOW!!!

Kris was offered a job back in Clarksville, TN in January of 2016.  Parker our youngest just happened to be playing college ball at Austin Peay State University. We would not have to travel three hours to see him play.  We would be living in the same city. Kris began his position at APSU on March 1, 2016.

I was left to sell the house and to finish my job as caregiver for my terminally ill, Ms. Violet.  However, Ms. Vi died February 10, 2016.  She left a huge hole in my heart, but God healed it and filled it.  Kris began working in Clarksville and I was preparing the house to sell.  I was afforded a lot of time alone with God.  I cannot begin to tell you how our relationship flourished.  It was amazing.  It was crazy.  I was “Living Amazed.” (My bff coined that phrase.)    If you choose to spend time in God’s word, it will renovate your life.  His word changed me from the inside out.  My drug of choice had been food.  It became insignificant in my life and through Him.  I lost 51 lbs.  I was able to put our house on the market and sell it by owner in just days.  We found our dream home in Clarksville in late February.  However, we kept looking for other houses because we thought that house was out of reach.  However, God had a different plan and blessed us with THAT house.  We moved into it in early June.

In July of last year, I went to Washington, D.C. with my dear sister in Christ.  We had the privilege to attend Together 2016.  We sat on the mall between Washington monument and the White House.  We prayed with tens of thousands of others about our Nation, the upcoming election and about the youth of our nation.  God showed me in DC how to really see people.  He showed me how to see their hearts.  It was an amazing experience to really see people and not just a person passing in this journey of life.  We got to love on people all over DC.  To say that the trip changed my life is an understatement.  I was diving deeper and deeper into my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  It’s so hard to put into words what was going on in my life.

In August 2016 Kris, Parker and I were blessed to go to Atlantic Beach, NC to stay at a friend’s condo.  This is where “My Glory Story” begins.

You need to know that the beach is THE place where I feel closest to God.  I can close out the world and just focus on my God and His majestic creation. I love to get up early.  I love to get up before the sun rises and spend time with Him.  I love to walk the beach and find shells in the early morning.  I love to chase the sunrise and the sunset. I love spending quality time with my family.  Many say the beach is their “HAPPY PLACE.”  It is most definitely mine.