Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 - Looking Forward

As 2011 draws to a close, I am looking forward to 2012 and what it will bring. I have to admit, this past year has been both horrible and awesome. And even when I consider the stuff which broke my heart, I know I was never alone and that God was teaching me through each thing. I can think of one thing that occurred in 2011 that closed a very hurtful chapter of my life and helped me to look forward.

So, what are some of the things that I have learned? I have learned not to depend upon the roles in life I have and to depend on God. I have learned that even the most hurtful events will become just a distant memory if you will let them. I have learned that being an empty nester is both wonderful and sad.

I don't like doing resolutions (I chuckled here). I do, by my very personality, love goals. Here are some of my goals for 2012:

  • Grow more as a person who loves God - or actually grow less that He might be more in my life by daily seeking Him.
  • Drink more water every day and less diet cokes (this is really tough for me!!)
  • Log 52 weeks of photos with Project 52 FB Group.
  • Get to see at least 4 old friends who are on my FB list that I have not seen in a long time.
  • Go on a real vacation that is just Doug and I (note: we have had real vacations, just never the 2 of us)
  • Lose 50lbs of weight - my life depends on it.
  • Get more involved in my church by teaching or whatever is needed.
  • Once a month, pack at least 20 peanut butter/jelly bags to give the homeless in our city.
  • Get my CDL.
  • Finish my craft room.
  • Plan out 12 crafts for 2012 and finish each of them in the month I started them.
  • Start and finish the remodel of my living room..
  • End 2012 with not being mad at anyone.
So there you have it. It's my list and I know I will probably add to it. Today, it's more than enough!

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

26 Years and Counting

I posted this today on my Facebook page and so decided to post it here too. Today marks our 26th wedding anniversary. I would love to say that we have had a perfect life so far, but the truth is we have had struggles. Those very struggles that at times would seem to almost destroy us have actually made us stronger.

Here are somethings Doug and I have discovered together through the years:
1. Everything he owns is mine and likewise, everything I own is his...even the money we earn.
2. Every fight is not a battle - we are not the enemy of one another.
3. Slow down and listen - even when the world around you is screaming...stop and listen to what he/she is saying.
4. Divorce is a word in the dictionary. It's not an option for later.
5. It's okay to get mad - just don't live there.
6. Never say anything bad about your spouse to anyone. Period!
7. Pray every day for each other and with one another. Then pray some more.
8. Dream together - it's our bucket list.
9. Give and take and give some more. Serve from a heart of love not from one that expects what you deserve.
10. Know Jesus. Without Him actively in your marriage all of the above means absolutely nothing!
 We don't have all the answers - we don't even know all the questions. We do, however, know The One who does know all. It is He who provides the 3rd strand for our marriage and is the strength of our very being.

May God bless you and give you a long, God centered marriage. He is definitely working in ours.

David and Rosalie Milton (58 years) & Terri and Doug Milton (26 years)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This is not about the empty house next  door or the one across the street. It's not about the guy next door who we never see or even the older gentleman down the street who is always looking around and is willing to help at a moments notice. The neighbors I am talking about are the ones, both friend and foe, who are in an all out battle for our very lives.

Ephesians 6:11-13 tells us that our struggles are not against flesh and blood but instead  against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  God also gives us help from the heavenly realms. In 2 Kings 6:17 we read, 'And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. ' We are told to put on our full armor, to fight the good fight, that we have all power through Jesus Christ.

All this to say this: with my feet firmly walking this ground below me, yet I will seek to see the unseen in the conflicts and the blessings in my life. Just as Elisha prayed, my prayer is, "open my eyes that I may see."

We do live in a world with lots of neighbors. We are in a battle that is being waged against us and our loved ones, and even against those who we do not call friend. We already know how the war ends and that Jesus is the victor. Let us now walk in victory, walking boldly with the authority given to us as followers of Jesus.

Walk forward!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I sent a text to a friend the other day and wrote, "Love you for who you are!"

After I pushed the send button, this thought came to me, "Why did I say 'who you are'?" I realized at that moment that I truly do love this friend in Christ like a brother because his heart is so good. He does not have to "DO" anything for me to love him more.

The next thought in my head was about a conversation I had just recently had with a friend over coffee. She said, "I loved you from the first moment we met." I told her thank you, but in my mind really could not understand why she loved me in that way because I had done nothing for her yet.

Then it dawned on me. I had set up a double standard in my life. I freely loved those around me but was afraid to receive love because of what it would cost me in "Do" time - afraid that the "I love you" was connected to an "I want" statement. Too often, I would hold friends at arms length because of fear of not being able to "do" what they expected of me but had not spoken...YET.

This goes even deeper, however. I found myself at times 'hiding' from God, from fully receiving his love, from being afraid that I could not measure up to the 'DO' he wanted from me. I know what the word says - what I believed was different.

I am so glad for freedom!

Revelation is freeing. I know without a doubt that I am wonderfully loved by God. I know now that I can be loved by friends and fully receive their love with 'no strings attached'. I know now that old grudges that I was hanging on to because someone did not 'appreciate' something I did for them can be left at the Cross - fully forgiven and let go.

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

Father, thank you for forgiving me of pride that wanted to enslave me to unrealistic expectations of myself and those around me you have set into my life. Thank you that your love freely flows through and around my life, unencumbered by a mind that set up traps to capture what you so freely gave. Thank you for friends who  love me despite my sometimes prickly nature. Thank you for my husband you gave to me 26 years ago, who loves me every moment and blesses me. My heart overflows and joy abounds. Blessing, Honor and Glory to the ONE who gave it all, thank you Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honest Conversations

I was driving down the road today praying and just having a wonderful time talking to God. I was doing all the talking and not a lot of listening. Then He spoke. Today was one of those days that He really made me squirm.

Here's how the conversation kinda went from my side:

"Father, I'm really struggling right now. I want to be closer to you and there's just something in the way"

"Ohhhh, you mean that unforgiveness...but I have forgiven him, even if he doesn't deserve it"

"I know, I really do want to forgive him, but I start praying and I get mad all over again...I just get worked up and then I move on."

"What do you mean by 'why do you want to get even?' "

"I know that he is human and therefore not without fault and that I am just the same way. But God..."

"Lord, I do love you and I do want to be obedient. I know that you love him and that you love me. I know that he is as much your son as I am your daughter. Forgive me for holding on to and even cherishing unforgiveness in my heart towards my brother in Christ. I forgive him...no strings attached...help me love him in the way you do."

"Send him a Christmas Card?? Tell him I love him! Okay, I will as soon as I get home."

"I love you too! Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for correcting me and setting me on the right path."

I continued my drive, eyes a bit misty, backside a bit sore, heart a lot lighter. And yes, a Christmas Card has been done and is addressed and ready to go.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I had a thought the other day...
I saw a clay pot that had been broken beyond any use. There were cracks all over it's surface and in some places, there were even pieces missing.
I saw a hand pick it up, gently pull it apart, and then lovingly put it into a large glass container. The hand then filled the glass container full of a golden oil.
As soon as the last drop touched the surface, a light shined through from the back. I expected to see every flaw that the pot had contained but instead saw the beauty of the light shining through.
That pot is me...
  broken, not whole, chipped away by use and misuse by this world we live in...some
  of the chips done by my choices and some done by others to me.

The hand...
  God's hand - lovingly restoring me for His purpose.

The glass container...
  God's purpose and protection.

The oil...
  His anointing on and in my life.

That pot could be anyone. It could be even you.

I don't know about you, but I am so glad that even through all my imperfections, every mess up and wrong step... God has restored me and set me aside for His purpose so that He gets the glory.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In heartache and in joy

In the moments
      of breaths in between,
seeing Your hand
                    touching sight of your heart
                                       the motion of Your love,

And realizing
       in brokeness you are revealed,
   in perfection hidden most,
                      for it is when I need you thus,
                                     the power of your sacrifice revealed.

You are the Potter,
        and I am the clay,
molded and made by you,
     my  blemishes noted
                    brokenness made complete.

You are my God,
         I am your child.
                        Suspend me in the oil of gladness,
          Your light shining through.
Saviour, wonderful Lord,
                                            even yet and still,
                       in heartache and in joy,
I am complete in You.

Jesus, in all things I give you praise and thank You. My hope is in You and You alone. Soothe my heart, lead me by still waters, direct my thoughts, emotions and all of who I am.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thorny Issues

As Doug and I were leaving a friends home last night, I made a comment about roses; that the ones that not only look beautiful but smell beautiful as well tend to have the most thorns. Now I know this for fact because I work for a florist and process flowers for use in our shop quite often. I have to use a little tool that knocks the thorns off...very carefully!

Recently, our shop received some beautiful spray roses that were bright orange in color and had a heavenly scent. The only problem was they had enormous thorns on the major part of the stem and ity, bity, tiny thorns near the flowers. Very hard to handle.

I have come across many people in my life who are much like these spray roses. You can see the beauty and potential of who they are but there is no way you can get very close because they have lots of "thorny" issues to protect themselves and keep people at arms length. I know that from personal experience...I was one of those people. I know this...I praise God that he sent people into my life who did not mind the thorns and kept loving me despite them.

So, if you know anyone who:
  • Is rude and angry all the time...
  • Tends to lead with biting sarcasm in conversations...
  • Says "NO" to all invitations...
  • Is downright not receptive to friendship overtures...
Don't give up on them. God hasn't.  You may be they very tool He has sent to help remove the thorns...very carefully and with Him leading.
If you were one of the people in my life who God used to remove the thorns on me...Thank You! If you were one of the ones who were "bitten" by one of my old thorns...I am so sorry and ask for your forgiveness and a second (or even third) chance to be a friend.

Father, thank you for your faithfulness to send people to love on hurting ones who don't know how to be loved. Thank you that you kept loving me through all the hurt and pain and sent ones who weren't intimidated by my "thorns". Use me today to show your love, to be the sweet fragrance in my life that brings peace into hearts of sorrow. I love you!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Extravagant Love!

The words, "Extravagant Love", have been floating in my spirit today, kind of bumping up against the eyes of my heart and bringing me close to tears.

I find myself at a junction in my life with the opportunity to give God more of my time, my heart, more of my life. I know that He calls each of us to be His...most of the time I have split that between other things as well.

He gave us His all, an extravagant love that poured out his very lifeblood for each of us. How could I be not be ready to do any less.

Praying, quietly, actively serving and ready to serve Him. Now and every day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hey! There was an Elephant in my Room!

I forget sometimes that this is my shake can to rattle at myself. So the very things that Need to go in here are the ones that remain deeply hidden inside of me. But hey...no regrets!!

Regrets are what I want to talk about. I have lived, what feels like my whole life, with regrets. They were not obnoxious or obtrusive. They never hurt anybody or caused a world war...but the truth is they hurt me. They were the proverbial elephant in the room of my life.

"Regrets," you say, "what the heck is a regret?" So glad you asked.

Regrets sound like this inside our minds:
  "I should have never said that..."
 "What if I had done this instead..."
" I know I am forgiven, but..."
"I have wasted so much time by..."
You get the idea. That's what the inside of me sounded like.

What they did is even worse. Regrets about old friendships kept me from forming new ones. Regrets about things I had said in fear of saying the wrong thing again. Regrets about old sins I had confessed kept me in self condemnation. Sadness, fear, condemnation all held me captive because of one little anchor...Regret. I even had regrets of things I had done wrong as a mom, a wife, a daughter. There was no area of my life that was free from regret.

A couple of days back I read a post on the blog of an author I like, Francis Frangipine. (note: I do not always agree with him, but his writing impels me to think.) In it, he addresses the things above and goes a step further. He calls consuming regret a spiritual stronghold.

As I am reading his blog, tears are streaming down my face. He was describing me to the very last period. He does not stop with the description, he continues on with the prescription and encouragement to allow God to clear the regrets, not be afraid of godly sorrow, and live a life free of chain-binding regrets.

The next day, I went forward at church and prayed with a dear friend. By the word of my testimony and agreement in prayer I have been set free. The elephant called regret no longer lives in me.

So my next steps...not get caught in the trap of regretting.
Galatians 5:1
[ Freedom in Christ ] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I forget sometimes that I am on a journey through life that is moved forward by one step at a time...another step forward.

Father, thank you that because of the Blood of Jesus, I am set free. Amen

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Act Locally - Impact Globally!

In the 90's, I had the wonderful honor of hanging with an awesome group of young girls. They thought I was the teacher, but the truth was they taught me.

They taught me to be on my toes and on my knees. They taught me that laughter and giggles can cure a bad day. They taught me that my plan is not as good as God's plan and that I need to be open to throwing out my lessons for the day. They taught me how to listen not only with my ears but also with my heart.

We befriended Missionaries from around the world by writing letters. We visited one on one when they came to visit, we sat and listened as they told us of how God was touching their lives and the lives of the people they served. And we prayed for them always.

We looked at the world around us and saw where we could serve. Some days you would find us folding socks or bagging flour at the downtown mission. Another day you would find us sweeping and dusting at a ministry for families of prisoners. The next week we would go to a nursing home and be there to help with games and encourage the residents. Everywhere we went, we took the love of Jesus with us and shared it often.

Somewhere between here and there time has moved on. These young girls are now wives and moms with families of their own. My own children have grown up and moved on.

Though all have changed, there is one constant - Jesus.      
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:36-38   (NIV)

The harvest is still around us.  They have different names and backgrounds. Their lives intersect ours in a variety of ways.

Take Mina, for example. She is an Indian woman I led to Christ one day. As I talked to her about Jesus, her face changed and beamed with joy. I asked her about her "other gods" and she replied, "I have no other gods than the One True God.". I found out later that her grandfather is the Minister of Transportation for all of India. Her brother's, influential attorneys and doctors in India. Act locally - impact Globally.

Then there is Lyda, a dear sister in Christ who had to leave her home in Iran or be killed. Her mom was married to the local Imam and was a Muslim evangelist. Lyda moved to the Detroit area and ministered to the woman of the Muslim community. Weekly she received death threats. Weekly she rejoiced as women who she had befriended came to know Christ. Act locally - impact Globally.

Martin and Kim are dear friends here in Houston. They touch the lives of hundreds of homeless men and women, gang bangers, drug addicts, transvestites and prostitutes every week. The feed 'em, love them, help get them off the streets and share the love of Jesus above all else. People from around the world come to see what they are doing and take it back to their streets. They act locally - impact Globally.

The stories go on. My heart is full with the need to be available to God's call in each of our lives. He did not call us to sit on a chair, clap on the beat, and sing in tune. He called us to first love Him with all of our hearts, souls and minds; and then second to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Never before is the need greater. Now is the time to act.

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

All Praise, all Glory, all Worship to my Lord and King!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

365 Perspectives - Day 2

I thought this would be easy but the truth is that even when your not doing anything, you're still doing a lot. The hard thing is picking out the one photo of each day that you want to remember.

This is one of the ones I chose to document Jan 2, 2011. Cleaning up the Christmas decorations always leaves me feeling both a little sad and at the same time relieved. Sad because the decor makes the house look pretty and relieved because after wards everything looks so nice and clean.

This is the one I did not choose. This is Sisi. She was not happy with me because I filed her nails back. I chuckled when I saw this one because she looks like she is razzing me.

This is the one I chose to remember January 1st - some of the fun and games we played...actually they played and I watched.

I am not sure what this next year will hold but I will be documenting it all along the way! Last year was a tough year for a variety of reasons. I am hoping for a new perspective seen through the lens of my camera. Happy New Year y'all!

Jan 2, 2011