Archive - September 2015

The Getaway Ship!
Joy, Mamma, Joy??

The Getaway Ship!

I’ve been away from Rocky Top this last week. Been floating on the wide open sea in a ship named Getaway. I needed to get away…..from people, Alzheimer’s, critics and such. But once I got away I realized I needed to get away from me.

Right before I boarded the getaway boat, I went to see a movie, WAR ROOM.   See all I wanted to get away from was battles I thought I was fighting. The battle of hoping others will accept me and like me; the battle of the disease that is slowly killing my mother and controlling much of my time; the battle of unsolicited negative opinions. Sounds pretty awful doesn’t it?

Yet, my life is so rich and full……full of a husband that loves me, children who love me and are contributing to society and actually loving Jesus, grandchildren, who are perfect (don’t argue this one); friends who know me and still love me,  abundant opportunities to serve others, and a wonderful church family!

I do have an enemy that I do constant battle with…His name is Satan. BUT what I realized this week is that my biggest enemy is myself……my pride, my fear, my disobedience, my selfishness.   My first strategy in battle was to confront ME……quit making excuses for the lack of prayer, the selfishness, and the lack of grace for everyone but me and mine.

So on the floor of the getaway boat; I spent time confessing and repenting. Then I stood up ready to see others through eyes…eyes of grace. I also stood up to realize that my encounter with Alzheimer’s could be an opportunity and not a curse. A very wise friend once told me that when God interrupted her life, she met people she never would have met,  went places she never thought she would go and experienced things she never would have otherwise.

We think we want our life to be on a cruise ship……someone making our bed every day, making cute little animals with towels, cooking for us, spraying us with cool water when we are hot and bringing us a glass of lemon water every few hours. Cruise ship living is nice for a week or so and we all need a vacation but after five or so days of cruise ship living I’m ready for REAL life.

God created us and died for us so that we can glorify Him and increase His kingdom. He receives glory when we are in battle and have to rely on His strength to face difficult people and difficult circumstances.

Somehow in the American church we have come to believe that if we are on a cruise ship and all is well that we must be living our life right before God. Yet, according to God’s word we are most like Christ when we are suffering. Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of suffering is “having something you don’t want or wanting something you don’t have.”

Paul said “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings becoming like him in his death…”  Philippians 3:10-11   This is not cruise ship living. This is War Room, Battleship living!! How exciting!

So with a repentant heart, a new perspective of the battles in front of me and a refreshed spirit, I left the Getaway ship to come home and live on Rocky Top, excited to fight the battles on my knees that He so graciously allows in my life so that I can experience Him in a new way,

And by the way…………THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME! Good ol’ Rocky Top!

Joy, Mamma, Joy??

With much “joy”, I welcome Amy Daniel to my brown rocking chair on the back porch at Rocky Top!

Amy is my middle daughter! Yep……..middle child says it all about this beautiful young woman!

Amy is wife to Joseph and mommy to Addy…….the most beautiful 22 month old little girl in the entire world….don’t even try and disagree with that one! When Amy is not singing, reading, swinging, or playing with Addy or washing clothes, cooking meals or helping out at Mom to Mom (a ministry for and to moms), you will find her in the N.I.C.U. at the University of Tennessee Hospital caring for some special littles!  So, my precious daughter, what is God teaching you lately???


You know those summer rain showers…the ones where it’s pouring down rain but oddly the sky is sunny. That is a perfect metaphor for my life lately. My sky is sunny…amazing husband, great family, beautiful little girl…but I feel like I’m getting drenched in a rain storm of gloom. I find myself having pity parties over little things and stuck in this gloomy mood.

Nothing huge has gone wrong in my life lately but happiness seems to elude me. Maybe you have found yourself in my shoes or maybe you have big reasons to be feeling down, either way…how do we drag ourselves out of the mud and into the Son?

Well I recently learned this important lesson from my little girl. She is 22 months old.   Her favorite song, as of late, goes like this “I’ve got joy down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart. J-O-Y down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart. Jesus put it there and nothing can destroy it!”

She comes up to me daily and asks “Joy, Mamma? Joy?”….. wanting me to sing this song to her.   It dawned on me during the thousandth time singing this song that I do have joy deep down in my heart…. even when my emotions are telling me otherwise. His name is Jesus!!   Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

So when I am feeling stuck in the gloom of my own pity…I remember my daughters sweet voice asking me “Joy, mamma? Joy?” I will choose to answer “Yes, baby girl, I have J-O-Y down deep in my heart!”

I will choose to not dwell on circumstances or emotions and dwell on Jesus and what He has done for me. Every time I start to feel the gloom creeping in…I will choose Joy.

It’s pretty hard to stay in the muck when you meditate on His glory. So if you are stuck in the rain today…whether the sky is sunny or stormy…decide to choose Joy! For His joy…….NOTHING CAN DESTROY IT!!

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