Scavenger Hunt

For those who are visiting from the Bold and Free scavenger hunt, feel free to look around, scavenge for answers, read all you want, and when you are done, come on over to my new blog--Jerri Phillips for the latest posts. Right now, we are in a series of posts on beauty and value. I hope to see you there!!!


New Blog Place

Last week I mentioned considering changing blogs, and I think the Lord made up my mind for me. For reasons I cannot explain, I posted on another blog I had reserved. It has been there for months, but after my blog sharing that I believe I'm moving into a new season, I accidentally posted on the other blog. I'm sticking with it.

I'm not going to get rid of this one at this point. I think there is a lot of good stuff the Lord has shared through this one, but right now, my new entries are at Jerri Phillips. I hope to see you there.


Pure Worship

This morning I watched one of the most amazing videos. There is a little boy named Daniel, whom Robin has faithfully kept at the forefront of her blog--Actions Speak LOUDEST!!! Daniel is beautiful and perfect and wonderful, but Daniel has had a hard few weeks. He had to have brain surgery in an effort to stop seizures, but his recovery has been miraculous. The Sunday before Daniel's surgery, Laura, his mom, sang "Bring the Rain". The video has the song as background, but it is about Daniel. At one point, Daniel dances on the beach. It is one of the most intimate and beautiful worship dances I've ever seen.

If you choose to watch it, don't keep yourself in a position of observer. Let Daniel's pure worship draw you in. The worship is amazing and pure, and we can learn so much from Daniel.


New Blog

I posted today, but when someone looked for the entry it was gone. That is because I accidentally posted it to a blog I've been holding for months. It is simply...Jerri Phillips. It was wholly unintentional, but it fits, so please take a jaunt over and read the post there.

I hope it blesses you.


Must Reads

I know I just posted, but I have some must read blogs for you, and since I am up right now due to a little one with some croupy coughs and tomorrow my mental abilities might not be so stellar, I'm seizing the...middle of the night.

Check out Jennifer's post on Strengths and Weaknesses (January 17, 2008). Profound stuff that will set folks free and reclaim stolen territory. This is streams in the desert type stuff.

Paula has been in a season of submission and increasing trust, and she is blessing us all with the honesty of it. Her post, Struggles (February 8, 2008), is exceptional.

Jennifer and Paula, thank you for being willing vessels. You are such blessings, and I praise the Lord for you!

Moving On

I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog.

Frankly, I feel a need a more appropriate name. When I started Ponderings from the Path, I was beginning to get a glimpse of who I am, still sort of afraid to believe it, really afraid to walk in it. I was still in a lot of bondage and frankly trying to stay out of site so I didn't become a target for more rejection and attacks.

Well, now I don't relish the idea of being attacked, and I don't paint a big target on my heart, BUT I'm not the same person in many ways. I struggle like everyone else. I am not longer imprisoned by the idea that others have it right and therefore, have easier lives. (Seriously, that is a lie the enemy used to keep me in self-loathing for YEARS. If I would just it right and quit being such a failure, things would be easier, and I wouldn't have the trials I had. Things were bad because I was a buffoon. Lying stinking Satan.) I don't believe that anymore. I know everyone has trials. I've said it before, "Are you alive? Then you are being attacked. It's what Satan does." I'm also not floundering to figure out who I am or worried that I'm going to miss it and ruin the lives of my descendants for the next 20 generations (Another prison destroyed.). A lot of the prisons that existed then don't now, and I can write as the present Jerri in emails and journals, and when I speak, I speak boldly and with passion. However, when I try to post here, it comes out so much less.

For instance, two nights ago I write two different pieces for a post. I spent about six hours--SIX HOURS--working on those blogs. One I posted and removed because instead of saying, "My writing time depends on what is happening in my life right now, and right now I'm in a season of stretching that is beyond words but way awesome," it came out as, "Man, I really wish I could find time to write, but this mommy gig really sucks down my time, and while I'm not complaining, I'm just not where I plan on being someday."

Okay, well, I am where I plan on being. I am home raising my children and loving my husband, using life experiences and freedom to minister to others in a variety of ways, one of which is writing, and I like my life a lot. It may be a bit hard sometimes, but all in all, it's what I want it to be.

For some, this may sound odd, but for others, it'll make sense. It's almost like there is a shadow associated with the title of this blog. You know how God takes us through seasons, and when a season is over, it is "dark" to walk back in there. It's like it sucks the life out of you that you have found as the new you. I'm not sure I am explaining this well. I think it may have to be a Holy Spirit revelation thing. OH! I know. It would be like getting a college degree and then going back into high school where you have to relate on a high school level although you have college mentality. It would be stifling and not give full freedom to the new life and growth you've experienced. That is how I feel when I try to blog here.

Therefore, I am considering a new name. The URL is actually passionateworship.blogspot.com so I could keep that and try a new name or I could change it all. My thought direction is that I want something that I won't be changing in three years when I'm at a different place. I have the URL jerriphillips.blogspot reserved. I considered simply using that and changing the name accordingly.

A practical concern is loosing people in transition. However, the Lord has given me Joshua 1 for this year's scripture. Joshua didn't worry that people would get lost in either the transition from Moses to him as leader or from one side of Jordan to the other. He was simply ready to take the Promised Land. He trusted God to handle the details, and God did. Oooo, wouldn't it be exciting if a new blog was part of taking my own personal Promised Land? Imagine the new anointing on that. Oh... That is exciting.

Rather than ramble, I will simply toss this out to you. I am interested in your thoughts. If the Lord brings it to mind, pray for me as I consider this and listen for the Lord's direction.

Thank you! Blessings to each of you to enjoy the season you are in and boldly receive the season you are moving into!!!


Senseless Worship

Psalm 115
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us

but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
2 Why do the nations say,

"Where is their God?"
3 Our God is in heaven;

he does whatever pleases him.
4 But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,

eyes, but they cannot see;
6 they have ears, but cannot hear,

noses, but they cannot smell;
7 they have hands, but cannot feel,

feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
8 Those who make them will be like them,

and so will all who trust in them.
9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD—he is their help and shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—he is their help and shield.
12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:

He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike.
14 May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.
16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD,

but the earth he has given to man.
17 It is not the dead who praise the LORD,

those who go down to silence;
18 it is we who extol the LORD,

both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.

I am not one for posting scripture. Frankly, most of the time if I read a blog or devotional, I skim the scripture and read the newly written thoughts on it. However, as I was asking the Lord what to write tonight (since I've written two lengthy entries only to erase them), I had the wild idea of posting scripture. When I opened Bible Gateway, it was already to Psalm 115, which is a chapter the Lord has had me in this week. Throughout the week different parts have caught my attention. Tonight something new caught my eye.

Notice with the idols their nose, mouth, ears, and eyes don't work. They have no sense. The question struck me: what senseless things are in my life?

Maybe the Lord would have you ask the same thing. I'll let y'all work that out. For now, I need to talk to Him about that question. I'm sure He has some insight He'd like to share.

Have a glorious and sensible day learning to be like Jesus!



I received this picture in my email today. Vicki, thank you for sending it to me. I looked it up to see what other information could be found, and I am adding the information from the email as well as the link to Snopes. I add this picture because we need to be reminded of what our soldiers do in Iraq.

Keep our soldiers and their families in your prayers.

John Gebhardt's wife, Mindy, said that this little girl's entire family was executed. The insurgents intended to execute the little girl also, and shot her in the head...but they failed to kill her. She was cared for in John's hospital and is healing up, but continues to cry and moan. The nurses said John is the only one who seems to calm her down, so John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both slept in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing. He is a real Star of the war, and represents what America is trying to do.
Snopes URL:


There is Still No Weapon that Shall Prosper

Today I received a perfectly timed comment to a post I made back in September. It was divine encouragement. I responded, and as I typed, it occurred to me that these are the very things I've been wanting to post for a few days but have not figured out how to word them or make them all "writer-sounding". Instead, I simply spoke them to a fellow journeyman who knows the sting of battle, the hatred of the enemy, and the power of our God. I have decided to post them here for you because some of you have gotten some glimpses of some pretty ugly weapons the enemy is wielding at you. If that is you, remember, there is still no weapon formed against you that will prosper.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your words. Just as the Lord used my words to encourage you, He has used yours to encourage me.

This post was from September, and you know, I could post it today and it be just as honest. The war does not end. The enemy does not become weaker or less resolute. He is a liar, a destroyer, a thief, and a killer. It is who he is, and he exists in such a state with rabid passion. We will always battle him whether it be in his reminding us of the past, belittling our present, or creating fear of the future.

Precious, Anonymous, never forget who you are. You are the child of the King, the perfect Daddy. He will never send you into a battle for the purpose of letting you learn from your mistakes. Instead, He will equip you fully and stand right with you. You have an army of multitude and power that terrifies the enemy. In James we are told the demons know who Christ is and trembles. When the enemy sees you, they see Him, too. They remind you of YOUR weaknesses because if you remember your Strength, they have no power. Your Hope destroys theirs.

Stand strong, mighty warrior. The weapons may look terrifying, but if God has already said you win what difference does it make if they come at you with a rubberband gun or a nuclear bomb. Neither of them will prosper.


Don't Tell Me What I Don't Know

In my last post, I referenced the scripture the Lord gave me for this year, and I talked briefly about the battle I was engaged in over the promises that scripture holds. I had not planned to write more about it, but today, I found it at the forefront of my thought-processes again.

The Lord has given many promises to my family, and both my husband I agree this is the year the Lord is going to fulfill them or at least put them in action. I don't believe the promises for my writing or photography will be fulfilled in a year. Instead, I expect this year to be the point when those promises become reality in the physical realm and then grow to full fruition according to the Lord's timing and purposes. There are some promises, however, that we believe will come to pass in their fulness this year. One of those promises deals with our place of residence.

It has always been in our hearts to own land in the country. When we bought our present home eight years ago, we never planned for it to be our "forever" home. It was the home that was most sensible for our lives at the time. Now, our needs have changed, and the feeling of restlessness has affected everyone in the family.

Again, we find ourselves praying. Our long term goal is to have a house with a separate guest quarters. We would like a pool and a fishing tank as well. The fishing tank needs to be big enough for a row boat to slide across gently and take its time floating back.

While that might seem extravagant to some, we believe it is important. Our goal is not to merely have a house on land where we go hide from the rest of the world. We want to create an oasis for folks to visit and get some renewal. We have found that everyone needs some time away, but not everyone can afford lodges, B&Bs, or hotels. Some folks get away to a destination, but sometimes they don't want to get away to somewhere as much as getting away from somewhere. We want a place where folks can get away, fish some, sit some, float in the water some, rest a lot.

Today we looked for the perfect land for our little oasis. We did not find the land the Lord has picked out, but we are undaunted. I pulled out my computer and wandered through a myriad of listings on Realtor.com and found a few potential spots. We'll chat with our realtor tomorrow.

While we have potential areas for our home, we don't know exactly where it will be. We don't know exactly how we will handle my photography in small town Texas. We don't know how it will affect our family schedule. We don't know when Rob's software company will be full-time self-employment. We don't know a lot of things.

Frankly, looking at our list of "don't knows" can be very discouraging. In fact, it can make us just cancel the hunt and hide where we are.

In fact, this is a tactic the enemy likes to us on me a lot, and from what I've read, he uses it on a lot of folks, which is why I decided to write about this again. The enemy wants us to fixate on all the things we don't know. What we don't know looks like a gaping hole that will swallow us whole, driving us to make erratic decisions that ultimately end up in our misery. It is better to do nothing than potentially go the wrong direction.

That is what Satan wants us to believe.

However, there are a few things I do know. I know Satan is a liar. He is the exact opposite of God. If he points to the black hole where wisdom is lost, there must be a shining light where wisdom is found. I simply need to look at that. If Satan tells me God left me to wander aimlessly, God has a purpose and will lead me to its fulfillment. My God is not an aimless God. If I am wandering aimlessly, it's my fault, and I need to stop and get focused again. If Satan says a promise will never be fulfilled, perhaps I need to stop and ask if the promise is for now.

I know my God is faithful.
I know my God is loving.
I know my God gives good gifts.
I know my God has good plans for me.
I know my God is generous.
I know my God is kind.
I know my God loves me.
I know my God loves to bless His people.
I know my God is merciful.
I know my God has vision.
I know my God created me for a purpose.
I know my God created everyone in my family for a purpose.
I know my God will overcome every plan of the enemy to accomplish His plans for us.
I know my God is working everything out at this very minute so He can pour good things out onto and through my family.
I know my God is All Mighty
I know my God is always successful.
I know my God is perfect.

After all, it really isn't about what you know. It's all about Who you know. I know my God, and that's all I need to know.


I Said It's Mine

I know I have already blogged today. However, I need to blog again. It isn't that my heart is burning with some great emotion either positive or negative that compels me to write. It is the fact that I am so strongly compelled not to write that drives me to my keyboard.

Some of you know what I mean. Some of you are rereading that sentence for the fourth time trying to figure out the logic, thinking you missed a word or two. You didn't.

For several months now I have pretty much avoided creative blogging. For months now I knew what the Lord was bringing me to. The edge of the mountain that required faith to leap from the precipice and fly was coming. I am standing on the edge, and I am ready to fly. Im fact, I believe I have leaped, and now I am trying to figure out how to make my wings work.

I do not fear falling. Either God will catch me, or He'll pick me up and dust me off when I hit bottom. Either way, I'm okay.

I simply feel awkward. Perhaps it is an adolescent stage for dreams in which one knows a new expertise is necessary but the experience to wield it isn't there yet.

On December 31st, I posted "Mine". It is simply part of Joshua 1. This is the word the Lord gave me for the year. It is my promise, my challenge, my compass. The enemy tried to steal it from me by whispering that it was too good to be true, I was hearing what I wanted to hear. I told him to talk to my Daddy, and I simply asked the Lord to confirm His word or correct it. That night I was at church speaking with a friend, and he said, "This is a year when dreams come true. In fact, such incredible things are going to come true that they are not even dreams. They are so far beyond what we have the daring to hope for that they are beyond fantasy." I took that as confirmation.

I have a lot of dreams. I have dreams for my marriage, my family, for writing, speaking, photography. Do I think all of them will come true this year? I think things will happen that are so incredible I didn't even have the courage to think about them.

I can say with great rejoicing that I am already seeing those dreams come to pass, and I am disciplining myself accordingly to receive the other dreams. I am also being hit with opposition. It's not a shock. The Israelites didn't take the Promised Land by walking in one day and everyone giving them the keys to the cities, BUT, everyone that was overtaken knew the power of God was with the Israelites. As a result, they feared them. I believe the enemy knows he has had ground for a long time that is no longer his, and he fears this. Still, he is going to fight to keep hold of his land, even when he knows it is pointless.

The enemy's attack takes many forms. Some of you reading this have already experienced it. For me, the assault sounds like this: You have nothing to write about. You can go to the writer's groups and conferences. You can learn the technical stuff, but you have nothing to write about. The Lord hasn't given you a topic or an outline. You have nothing. You're going to get to November and have nothing. Then what? Where did all your ideas go? They're gone. You know why? Because they weren't of God. You have nothing.

Seriously. That is what I've been hearing for over two months over my writing, speaking, and photography. The attack to steal my promises for my marriage and family are worse, and the last two weeks have been incredibly intense. However, the nagging attack that make me want to avoid my computer are in the areas of writing, photography, and speaking.

For instance, I need to turn something in for critique for my writer's group in two weeks, and my mind is blank. I have been avoiding my blog because my mind seems so blank.

But here is something I've seen over and over in God's Word and in my life: God is good at filling empty.

Look at the widow who needed to pay her debts. Her oil didn't pour out until her debt was paid.
Look at the woman who was going to make bread for her son and herself and die. Instead, she made bread for the prophet, and it lasted through the famine.
Look at the miracles Jesus did. They weren't powerful because of what people had but because of what they needed.
The Lord told Paul, "In your weakness, my strength is evident."

The enemy is trying to get me focused on my weakness. He's right. Jerri Phillips has nothing--no, that isn't true. I have something.

I have the promise of the King.

I have God Almighty's word--or God's almighty word. The voice that spoke the world into being out of nothing has spoken His creative word into my personal nothing, and life beyond what I can fathom, that will reach beyond my realms of knowing, that will continue to expand according to His purpose has been declared into existence. It is as real as the computer I'm typing on.

My only weakness that matters is the weakness to see His power. Refusal to see the Lord's power is what killed the Israelites in the desert. He hasn't told me I'll die in the desert. He's told me, "It's time to take the land."

The enemy wants me to believe I don't know what to say, but I do.

"It's time to cross over because by the word of the Almighty God, this land is mine."

Joshua 1
3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.' "

It's Great to Be Me!!!!!

Jan tagged me on Bold and Free, and I'M IN!!! I love this!!!

I am excited for different reasons, but the quick version is God. (I'm imaganing your faces and responses, and I'm laughing...hard.) The Lord told me homeschool was changing this year, and last fall, it was different, but we aren't where we are going yet because God said we are going to change it more this year.

One of our changes we implemented yesterday was "Thank You, God". "Thank You, God" is a journal we each have, and we write at least five things that make us say, "Thank you, God." It could be something great that happened (like getting an article published or a part in the play, an everyday something that we realize isn't everyday for everyone (like a warm bed), a special thing (play time with Daddy), an answered prayer (we list the prayer and answer), or anything else.

When Jan tagged me for "It's great to me!", I knew it was confirmation for what the Lord has been teaching me (I HAVE to find time to journal all that!), and, friends, it is REALLY great to be me. Let me tell you why:

1. I believe the Lord's plans for me are good and His promises are yes and amen.
2. I have wondrous friends who believe the Lord's plans for me are good and His promises are yes and amen, and when I falter, they either stand over me and war for me, or they jerk me up by my shirt collar and ask me what in the world I'm doing eating crumbs.
3. We have the luxury of homeschooling.
4. We have the ability to allow our children to pursue their talents and passions.
5. My husband totally rocks! (AND, he's a babe.)
6. I have a family and friends who truly believe in my gifts and abilities.
7. When I go to make lunch, I have enough food to have options.
8. My husband loves me.
9. The Lord has blessed me with two great dads, one that passed away nearly 5 years ago and my stepdad.
10. My children love church.
11. Music abounds in our home.
12. I can type this, and it doesn't hurt to do it.
13. Another prodigal family member has returned to Christ.
14. I fasted for 10 days, and now I don't crave chocolate!!!!
15. My friends know I am quirky...and they love me for it.
16. I know the problems that I am looking at today have solutions, and God is faithful to lead me to those solutions so that we are not just "okay" but we prosper and rejoice.
17. My children love God.
18. Fish sticks and macaroni cheese for lunch.

And what is so great about being you? We want to know!!! Leave a comment saying you want to play so we can link over to you.

Have a GLORIOUS day being you!


Christmas Thoughts to Carry Into the New Year

I realize we are past Christmas, but I think too often the "lessons" of Christmas are lost in the "back to normal" of January. I received this from a friend, and it struck a chord with me. In light of my recent entries, it seemed appropriate to post. I hope it blesses you.


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do notfocus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside decorating to play a game.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas!

-- Author Unknown


Performing the Impossible

I've been thinking about Linda's and Jan's comments on "Deeply Meaningful". A few things have been running through my mind, and I thought I would share.

First, I misused the term "learned". I can't say that I learned anything new Christmas. It was, however, a time the Lord used to reinforce things He is teaching me and remind me of things I know and sometimes forget or need to value more than I do.

Second, what was represented is the 2007 model of Jerri Phillips. Thankfully, the Lord in all His gracious faithfulness took the 2006 model and worked out some more of the bugs, beat out some dents, and continued the motor overhaul He started years ago. Prayerfully, the 2008 model will be even better.

I realize it seems that I am stating the obvious, but I have found the "obvious" is not so obvious in our own lives. Sometimes it is easier to view our lives by viewing others, so I am laying some of my life out for you to see. Prayerfully, the Lord will show you whatever you need to see in your life not as a way the enemy can discourage you because of who or where you are right now but as a joyful possibility that we can receive as a promise because of the power of God.

By nature, I'm intense. I can't remember a time when I wasn't. I'm a prophetic personality for whom life works in black and white and legalistic performance is a temptation the enemy likes to dangle in front of me. Add to the mix my kinetic drive, and "doing" can be an almost overwhelming compulsion.

Lists can easily slip from being tools to prisons. Schedules go from being guidelines to being chains. Traditions go from joyous times of connection to "just another demand", and frankly, people can go from being blessings to hassles. And any of those things can happen before I realize I'm even on a slippery slope.

I have experienced the effects of a life controlled by the nature to do and become. I have struggled with feeling I have no value or worth because people of influence in my life were controlled by this unchecked drive. I have also been healed of those effects. Based on a promise the Lord gave me 20 years ago, I have committed that those effects will go no further down my family line. That means I have to be the change, and the Lord has allowed me to be just that.

I had ideas of what I wanted for my family, but honestly, they seemed like dreams. Some seemed so far beyond possibility that they appeared to be mere fantasy, but God is the God of the impossible. He has exceeded my hopes, brought dreams to pass, and shown fantasy to be an achievable reality.

It hasn't come easily. In fact, it is a battle I fight daily. I believe lots of people do. It's the nature of the flesh to perform, but the Spirit isn't about performing, and I choose life in the Spirit.

There are different ways to fight the battle, and I can't name all of them here, but I'll share a few things I have found to be extremely freeing...and fun, which is something intense personalities find foreign and odd.

I try to keep some simple criteria in mind.
--Is what I am doing showing someone they have value or lack value? At times, I have been so driven to finish a task, impress others, or feel successful outside my home that my behavior, words, and attitude clearly communicated to my family that they were not important. Any time my family is told they are not valuable, my priorities are out of line. Any time my achieving a goal devalues people, I am not representing God. God devalues no one. On the contrary, He declares we are priceless.
--Is this to prevent someone from rejecting me or to show others they are accepted? With our white Jack Russel Lab mix, white hair abounds. Everytime we vacuum, we joke about dumping the puppy out of the vacuum cleaner. We have a friend who simply doesn't handle dog hair well. If I know she is coming, I do all the cleaning I can to get up the dog hair for her sake. I no longer clean just so I can believe others are impressed by Domestic Diva abilities.
--Am I doing this because I think it needs to be done or because someone else does? If I'm going it just because someone expects me to, my mother did it, the women at church do it, or Martha Stewart of the Fly Lady does it, I don't need to be doing it. If I am doing it because I like it or my husband likes it, then it is for God's glory.
--If I am choosing between two things, which is an investment? If I have to choose between playing Zooreka with my children or dusting my mantel, the time with my children is the greater investment. The dust will be there when the children have their own mantels. We can dust while we chat on the phone together.

That gives you an idea of the crteria I try to use to keep my life ordered correctly.

There are also certain activities I have found useful in overcoming the compulsion to be in control and perform. I'll share some of those, too.

One thing I do is let the children lead. For folks like my husband, this is as natural as breathing. For folks like me, it takes time to learn to enjoy the unpredictable nature of such adventures. It is worth it, though.

The other thing I do is force myself to do something I know I am not good at or know nothing about. Sounds crazy. I know. It is crazy. It has also led to some of the hardest laughter I've ever experienced, some of the greatest memories I could ever hope to have, and some of the most intense deliverance and freedom I could have imagined. Actually, sometimes all of those things exceeded what I could have imagined.

So there you. There is glimpse at my life. Maybe you see yours in there. If so, I hope you see the part that says God is able to take wherever you are and whatever you struggle with and change it to be something that seems to glorious that it might even be beyond what you are able to dream.

The Jerri Phillips of Christmas 2007 is not the one that was here a year ago, and I don't believe she will be the one who is here next year. I believe next year's will be better. I hope by sharing my story you have been encouraged to believe the same for you.



Joshua 1

The LORD Commands Joshua

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.' "