Tag Archives: God’s love

Who You Are.

Apparently, I am not a Libra.  And, you are not who you think you are either.  In case you missed the overnight changes in Astrology, you can read about it here.  Honestly, I am not a follower of my sign, and I’m not about to debate its legitimacy with you.  A) I’m not that smart.  B)  I really don’t care.  ALL of this to share a funny text conversation with my foxy pilot:

Me:  “You’re not a Scorpio any more.  You’re a Libra!”

Kris:  “How come?  Was I born in a different month, and my momma lied?” 

Me:  “No. The Zodiac signs shifted and changed last night.”

Kris:  “Says who?  The Zodiac Czar?”

Me:  “You are all of the Zodiac signs to me, babe.”

Kris:  “Well, I hope I’m still an Ox at the Chinese restaurant.”

I swear he makes me laugh ALL OF THE TIME. 

On a more serious note.  Some of you really aren’t who you think you are.  After yesterday’s post, I was flooded with e-mails and messages from many of you asking me to pray for you. 

I did.  And, my prayers for you did not cease last night.  When I commit to pray for you, I really do.

I can’t tell you what it did to my heart to read your hurts.  Your fears.  Your struggles.  Your what ifs.  I think what broke me most were the few who really don’t see that God wants good things for them.  And, that God’s promises are as much for them as the next person.

So, some of you really aren’t who you think you are. 

But, you ARE who GOD says you are.  And, He says He loves you so much that He watched His son suffer for you.  He says you are so valuable to Him that He knows how many hairs are on your head.  He says you are such the apple of His eye that He pursues you Himself. 

He LOVES you.  And, there is nothing you can do to change that. 

May we all run after Him the way He runs after us. 

And, have a GREAT weekend.


Filed under God Stuff, Marriage, Say What?

Wonder What He Thinks?

I drove up to the school entrance like I do most every morning.  I prayed over my big kids and gave them my usual, “Be the light of Jesus” instruction.  They always laugh when I say this.  I do say it in a very funny voice.  Well, funny to little ears, anyway.  They exited the car with their backpacks in tow, and I pulled away with tears streaming. 

I was overwhelmed with the thought of how much I love John Henry and Anna.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I love them.  All the way back home. 

Pulling into my driveway, I felt God say, “I think about how much I love you, too.”

At that moment, I became overwhelmed with the thought of how much He loves me.

He not only loves you.  He thinks about how much He loves you.

And, with the knowledge of that love for us, how can we not trust Him with our lives?  How can we not trust in His faithfulness?  1 John 4:16 says, “We know how much God loves us, and we have to put our trust in His love.” 

How do we respond to that kind of love?

We love Him right back.  We love His word.  We love His presence.  We love His people. 

I want to be as obsessed with Him as He is with me.  My dad reminded me yesterday, “If He can put His body on a cross, I can put my heart and soul there.” 

May I be mindful daily to do just that. 

And, may I never stop being overwhelmed by how relentless He truly is.


Filed under God Stuff, Love, Motherhood

My Pre-Blogging Life: Part Two

I continued to read more of my old journal last night.  I read the frustrations of a fifteen and sixteen year old girl wanting to date one Bryan Landreth.  We’ll save that for a completely different post.  I’m just thankful I’m not sixteen any more.  Can I get an amen? 

I read an entry written in 1998 about loss.  About losing my Grandfather five months after he danced at my wedding.  About losing a best friend to a rare disease only one month after my Grandfather’s passing…….

About how we learned so terribly young to not only tell those dear to us we love them….

but why we love them.

I not only drew closer to friends and family during this time of loss.  I grew closer to my Creator.  I wrote in that July 9, 1998 journal entry:

“God has really been stirring in me a greater need for intimacy with Him.”

We already know that when we draw close to Him, He draws close to us.  Or, perhaps, He draws close to us waiting on us to draw close to Him.  Either way, when we do, we learn this:

journal entry july 98 wp

“The greatest revelation one can obtain is the knowledge that God loves them very much.”

Ya know, even eleven years later, I still believe this to be true.

God loves us so, so very much.  He loves us no matter what we do or don’t do.  His love is unchanging.  And, when we really get the revelation of how much He loves us, we can walk knowing we are forgiven.  We are free.  And, we belong to Him.


Filed under God Stuff, life, Love, Spiritual Journey

Nothing Can Separate Us.

I read this last night before nodding off to sleep.  I’ve read it many times before.  But, this time it just pierced me. 

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

Even when we go through difficult times, His love still surrounds us. 

And, nothing can separate us from that love.  “Neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow….” 

Just thought maybe somebody needed to hear that today.


Filed under God Stuff, life, Love

Yes, Bearded People Are My Friends.

Yesterday turned out to be an eventful day despite remaining in my house most of the day with a four year old who insisted I rub her back for an hour at a time.  Once three o’clock rolled around, I knew it was time get out of my pajamas and pick up John Henry from school.  Then, after a quick trip to Wal-Mart (insert sigh), I gave a dollar to my homeless guy.  Not sure why I refer to him as my homeless guy other than he’s my favorite one to give to?

Moving on.

“Who is that?”  Anna asked.

“It’s a man who doesn’t have a home,” I ‘splained.

“Well, he can come live with us,” she suggested.  “He can sleep on the floor in your room.”

“I don’t think daddy would like that, and I’d really have to hear from God on that one,” I told her.

So, in jumps John Henry.

“And, people might think we had someone strange in our family if he lived with us,” John Henry added.  (I wanted to tell him that we actually do have some strange ones in our family, but I’ll just let him figure that one out in his own time.  You know.  Kind of like working your way through your own salvation.) 

“Oh, I see.  He’s strange because he has a beard,” Anna said.

Exactly.  Because he has a beard.  Wha?

Sometimes, you just go with it.

Later that evening, we went to John Henry’s Spring Program at his school.  He and his class sang Jami Smith’s “Your Love Is Deep.”  I could have sworn it was just for me.  You know those moments you needed to be reminded of God’s love, and you didn’t even know you needed it?  I had one of those.  God is good.  Yes, He is.

So, even later that evening, I went out to meet up with some of my Bible Study girls.  For fella-ship and to talk about stuff that’s not in the Bible but should’ve been.  Or, perhaps, not.  Anyhoo, when I headed back home, I noticed the most amazing lightening show ev-ah!  Wow.  Things you don’t really see when you’re inside playing Scramble on your iPhone. 

So, that’s pretty much it.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  And, just in case you need a reminder of His love.  I’ll leave you with one of my fav-oh-right scriptures.

…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 1 8may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.   Ephesians 3:17-19


Filed under Kid Stuff, Love, Motherhood, Randomness

He gives me love, love, love, love, crazy love.

My Valentine left yesterday for a trip.  I asked him before he left if he’d like his Valentine gift today, or if he preferred waiting until Monday upon his return home.

“Err, Monday will be good.”  He answered.

“Aha!  You want to wait until Monday, because you do not have me a gift!”  I responded, aware of my own marital trap.

“Exactly.”  He said.

“That’s okay.  I was just messin’.  I don’t have you one either.”  I told him.

I laughed.  He thought I was kind of mean.  I thought I was kind of funny.

I’ll miss him on Cupid’s little holiday.  But, I always miss him when he’s not sitting right beside me.  And, I can look into those Scandinavian eyes anytime and celebrate our crazy love.

While Kris’ love for me is pretty wonderful, it cannot compare to the love God has for me or for you.  He lavishes us with extravagance every single day.  Perhaps, we become jaded from over-exposure to things such as a bird chirping, a sunrise, or even our child’s laughter.  But, His love is extravagant. 

Even, when we mess up unbelievably, He still loves us.  Much like when our own children make a mess of things, our love for them never wanes.  Don’t we love them more today than we did the day before?  {Okay, so don’t answer that if you couldn’t get your kids in bed fast enough last night.  I feel your pain.}

I am forever amazed that we are the center of a divine love.  Wow.  It’s really hard to grasp sometimes.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  Ephesians 3:18

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day, Kris Takle.  You are my favorite person, and I love you big.


Filed under God Stuff, Love, Marriage, Relationships

What a mess.

Sunday was a reasonably productive day.  We accomplished many household items that have been awaiting our attention for quite some time.  Most of you know the effort it takes to achieve these self-inflicted projects while simultaneously insuring that the little people are occupied.  Not so much an issue for little person number one. 

But, you know little person number two.

You KNOW little person number two.

Kris thought Anna would best be suited for coloring in our bed while catching some flicks on Noggin.  Daddy gave her the supply box.


And, later that evening, Kris discovered her creation.


Oh, I’m sorry.  Can’t make out what this is?

Look again.


That would be what’s left of our comforter on our bed.

Kris called me into to see what our artist had crafted.  And, suddenly I was ready to chase the Grey Goose instead of the Wild Goose, if you know what I mean.  But, only for about a second.  Or two.

You know what I did?

I laughed. {I can hardly believe it either.}

I couldn’t help myself.  And, I certainly didn’t let Anna see or hear my reaction.  Because, if she ever cuts my draperies I’ll be chasing more than Grey Goose.

I still love that girl just as much with my shredded bedding as I did before her encounter with a pair of scissors.  The same way our heavenly Father loves us when we shred something He has given us or entrusted us with.  He knows we are going to make a mess of things.  Again.  And, again.  But, He keeps on loving us.  He keeps on extending mercy.  And, He continues to wait with arms wide open for us to run to Him and tell Him how sorry we are.  Not because He needs to hear it or because He wants to see our shame.  But, because He wants – He longs – to show us His unfailing love. 

Later that evening I opened my arms wide to a broken-hearted little girl.  And, I made sure she felt my love.  I feel certain she did.

But seriously, have you ever seen such craziness?

For real.


Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Love, Motherhood

Guest Blog – Brittany Thoms: “Free Throw Shot”

I’ve known Brittany (B Shaw) Thoms since she was a tot.  Throughout Britt’s adolescent years, she considered me a mentor.  Now, we mentor each other.  You’d be hard pressed to find another girl with greater passion for Jesus.  And, I couldn’t be more blessed to call her my friend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Brittany Thoms.

“Free Throw Shot” by Brittany Thoms

It’s hard to imagine thinking the way God thinks.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts [higher] than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9

But I feel like every now and then, God gives us glimpses of what it really means to be made in His likeness. Parents know this very well and as a soon-to-be mom (November), I’m crazy excited about learning more about God through my son. J

In his book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” Mark Batterson writes:

One of my most memorable moments as a parent happened during my son Parker’s rookie season in little league basketball. His team hadn’t won a single game all season … [and Parker] had a 98 percent air-ball percentage from the free-throw line.

So Parker got fouled and went to the free throw line. And to be perfectly honest, I felt bad at first because I knew my son had a 98 percent chance of being embarrassed. But I prayed like it was the day of Pentecost! I wish I could say that I prayed that Parker would make the free throw, but I didn’t have that much faith. I just prayed that he would hit the rim. But Parker stepped up to the free throw line and renewed my faith in the power of prayer. Parker defied the odds and made the first free throw of his career.

                And I cried.

There is tremendous joy in watching someone achieve greatness.  Why do parents rejoice when their children do something right?  Why do moms carry around “brag books?”  Because, our Heavenly Father is no exception.  Don’t you think God rejoices all the time when His children operate in the gifts He placed inside of them?

The other side of this coin is sorrow.  I think of God more and more every time I consciously forgive someone.  Forgiveness isn’t second nature.  It hurts.  And what’s worse?  We are constantly reminded of our wounds and have to forgive the same person for the same thing multiple times – whether it was 20 years or 20 days ago.

And I think, “Wow. God, you REALLY love us … because we do stupid things that hurt you all the time.”

Consider this:

                My sins nailed Jesus to a cross.

                I bet that hurt REAL bad.

                Yet, He still loves me.


So, when I’m reminded of wounds where others have scarred me, I think of the scars on Jesus and how it drives His love for us to an even deeper level:  unconditional.  And when I catch someone being great, I’m equally reminded how much God gets excited over us.

But most of all … I want to love like Jesus loves.




Filed under God Stuff, Love

My Momma is so smart y’all.

Obsessive.  Sometimes compulsive.   But never obsessive-compulsive.  This is me on occasion. 

I’ve been all consumed with John Henry’s Kindergarten experience.  Not only academically, but how he relates to others, how he feels about himself, and so on and so forth.  He’s adjusting pretty well.  But, he’s also having to learn how to adapt to structure, how to know when not to be funny, and how to know when to say “poop” (and never at a Christian private school….ever).

He is also trying to find his place in this brand new world.  And, we are trying to teach him that he is great just the way he is.  Yet, he has this need to be accepted.  I guess we all do.  But, he uses humor or exaggerated stories to prove to others his self-worth.  It frustrates me.  I worry about his emotional state.  Whatever his teacher tells me, good or bad, affects me.  Is this normal moms? 

I became so emotional and so stressed over what is best for my little boy, I began to question my decisions for him.  Perhaps, I should home-school him.  Maybe he needs me all day every day.  And, while I know that home-schooling is the right option for many, I just don’t think it’s what’s best for John Henry.  At least not for now. 

So I stressed. 

I even cried like the hormonal chick that I am.

To my momma.

You wanna know what my momma told me?  (I don’t know why I’m calling her “momma” when I’ve always called her “mom”, but we’ll just roll with it.)

She said, “Dusty, you have to trust God with John Henry’s life.  You have to trust that God has His hand on him.”

Oh, but here was the kicker.

“Dusty, don’t you know that God loves John Henry more than you do?”

Get back Jack!

I responded like any other girl brought up in faith, hope and love, “Oh!  You’re right!  I forget that stuff!”

I forget that He is in control.  I forget that I am not.

I forget that He who began a good work will be faithful to finish it.

I forget that He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Oh, that’ll preach.

You see all things were created by Him.  All things are sustained by Him.  And, He works all things for our good. 

And, He loves my John Henry more than I do.  Sure does.  That’s a big honkin’ love.

Thanks, Mom.


Filed under God Stuff, Motherhood