caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Five Minute Friday(ish) – “Fly”

(Disclaimer to my readers – Today I link up with fellow writers. This is a challenge. A group to join. A prompting by another woman I like to just.sit.down. every Friday and write for only five minutes. That’s it. Which is roughly how long it takes for me to write my normal first sentence. Ahem. So, lest some of you start dancing joyfully with glee that my post is shorter – it is advised that thy shouldn’t get thyself used to it. In Jesus’ Name.) READ MORE HERE.

GO.

On a wall, I sometimes wish to be
A little fly, no one can see
Or perhaps their eyes do see me there
But I’m so small they wouldn’t care
And what about you my friend
If you were that fly, would you pretend
To like me still, you’re BFF
If you saw me when no joy was left
When spanx exploded what once was thin
Would you, my friend, still like me then?
Or when I yelled at a kid or two
Would you judge me then? Well, would you?
Or when I lied, or when I cried or when I barely even tried
Would you be friend; look up to me
When you saw how awful I could be
To my man and to my kid
Or worse, to Him whose blood was shed
A complacent heart and prideful life
A selfish un-submissive wife
If that is what you came and saw
As a fly upon my wall
Would u think I loved the Lord
Would my life be worth dying for
I thank my Jesus, night and day
He loves, forgives and will not stray
From my side, nor yours as well
And guards us from attacks of hell
So even if upon my wall
You did not care for what you saw
My Savior will be standing by
As so much more than
Just
A
Fly

Matthew 9:12-13 “On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. ForI have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and Iwill bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Duet. 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he willnever leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Matthew 6:8 “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need beforeyou ask him.”

In the Deepest Pit

Oh my dear ones, this will be short. Mainly, because it is late, I am tired, and as I told you before…I got a job now. I gotta get my hiney up early in the morning. The days of staying up late to write and resting and recovering  the next day while the kids napped or were in school are nothing but a looooong-lost memory.

But, I come to you now because the Holy Spirit wouldn’t leave me alone about it. When that happens, I’ve learned to listen. And watch God receive the glory.

So, I come to you now, simply to share this – I seem, lately, to be surrounded by people in “a pit”.

I grew to respect and appreciate this term for it after reading a book that flat out changed my life. Beth Moore, who, for those of you who don’t know is one of the most well-respecrted, wise, insightful and in-love-with-Jesus Bible teachers/speakers/writers out there on our planet right now. She wrote a book called “Get Out Of That Pit” (see here!) that was a rope for me out of my very own pit. God threw me a rope, and it was in the form of that book.

But, those around me, as I said, vary in the type of pit they’ve found themselves in -

A friend in a loveless marriage.

A fellow writer whose cancer is back with a vengeance. (Read her stuff. You will love her. And then pray for her. And her two baby girls.)

A woman who buried her eight=year-old.

A friend who buried her mother.

Yet another whose mother’s mental health has everyone on their knees desperate for answers.

Another friend in a deep financial pit with not a ray of sunshine reaching the bottom.

As you can see – some people didn’t choose their pit. They were pushed in, slipped in, or sometimes dove in. Regardless, a pit is where they be.

I am, for the most part pit-free as of now. Don’t be deceived… I am unhappy sometimes. My marriage bites sometimes. My quiet time sucks stinks sometimes. Our finances make me cry sometimes. I feel myself slowly slipping back into the Complacent Christian Life sometimes. My head and back hurt all the times. But, really, that is no pit.

Trust me, I’ve been in a pit.

But, as God would have it, at least for this season, He has surrounded me with people in a pit. So, it is to all of you that I write tonight.

Please hear me -

God can be trusted. 

He just plain ol’ can.

As if He should have to, He proved it to me time after time after time. Out of the abundance of His grace and mercy He showed up and blessed my hospital socks off over and over.

Did it all end up as I had planned for? As I prayed for?

Heck to the no, it. did. not.

But, here I stand (Hallelujah! I stand!) out of my pit.

I stand here in the sunlight and I feel the warmth of the Son on my face.

The cold, dark, desolate pit is no longer my surroundings. The deafening silence of the loneliness I felt there has currently been replaced with cheers and rejoicing in songs of praise.

I say this not to brag. That would be absurd. I say this ONLY, and I do mean, only to encourage you. My pit lasted the better part of four years. Maybe yours has been four months. Perhaps even four decades. I don’t know.

But, this I do know.

God loves you.

He made you on purpose for a purpose.

He can be trusted through it all.

And most of all -

He is with you now.

And always.

Do not doubt.

Do not fear.

Our God is big enough.

All my love,

Caroline

Ps. The links provided have some of the best testimonies I have to His faithfulness, along with the best Truth from His Word to stand upon. If you have time, read them as well. Blessings…

Five Minute Friday – Write

(Disclaimer to my readers – Today I link up with fellow writers. This is a challenge. A group to join. A prompting by another woman I like to just.sit.down. every Friday and write for only five minutes. That’s it. Which is roughly how long it takes for me to write my normal first sentence. Ahem. So, lest some of you start dancing joyfully with glee that my post is shorter – it is advised that thy shouldn’t get thyself used to it. In Jesus’ Name.) READ MORE HERE.

GO.

Do I do this whole writing thing well?

I know I don’t do it good.

Because, to say I do it ‘good’ would be bad writing.

Oh wait, it would be poor writing.

Shootamonkey.

Here’s the deal. I’ve never been a ‘good’ writer…but, I’ve always loved to write. To me, writing is like talking, and oh sweet baby Jesus, how I love to talk.

Go. Write My words in your unique voice. Write it – tell them My story – our story. Then sit back and watch what I will do with it. Give Me the glory. I love you.

God said that to me once. Not like via txt message or loud speaker that sure would be easier, Jesus. Just sayin’ but in my spirit – He told me to write.

I wouldn’t go back to teach.

I would write. I feel so close to Him when I do. It’s almost like my own little miracle every single time.

But, lately I haven’t had time to eat/sit/think/bathe, much less write.

Correction.

I haven’t made time to write. I’ve made time to sit comatose in front of the TV. I’ve made time to sleep the extra blessed, beloved, precious fourteen minutes. I’ve made the time for other things…just not to write.

I guess I’ve always felt that this blog should be as researched and profound as possible. Every time. 1,500 words minimum of my irony and His Truth. Every time. It’s funny how much extra time you have to research and pray and seek Him when you are lying flat on your coach all day every day for weeks and months on end.

But, now, for reasons only He fully knows, He has chosen to heal me and set me feet firm on the ground. He was given me the most precious gift of all through this couch time – His blessed gift of perspective.

About what really matters.

Her smile.

Holding his hand.

Hearing his giggle.

Watching her sleep.

Serving this young man.

Acknowledging this older woman.

His kingdom is here.

His purpose is now.

His words are in me.

I just have to sit. down. and.

write.

 

STOP.

I’m Neither Dead Nor In a Cult

Hello my beloved friends. My name is Caroline. Do you, perchance, remember me!?!

If so…do you still want to be my friend?

I haven’t posted a single word in almost two months. Like, not. a. word.

I’ve wanted to.

I’ve thought about it.

Sure have intended to.

But, alas, nada.

Here’s the deal. Brace yourself -

I

got

a

job.

I know, I know, that’s nuts, right? The more I work, the more I agree with that statement.

I have always held firmly to my support of being a homemaker and stay at home Mom. I have even received criticism for it. Maybe lost a friend or two?

But, for this year, for reasons I will briefly explain, I’ve jumped back in…a bit.

Disclaimer: Some of you Moms who’ve been working and raising your kids all this time are about to fall out laughing at me. Or perhaps, comment on my blog with some nastiness. I hope for the first. But, for those of you who have worked full time and raised your kids, I think you should be commended, and then committed. Seriously. This. Is. For. The. Birds. Unless your family like genuinely needs the income and no, not for hand scraped floors and Disney vacations I don’t know how why you do it!? I only work until 1:00pm and I feel like my life is in shambles. Passionate about your work? Sure. I love my work. But, dude – this is hard. The homework, the errands, the running around to every extra curricular thing, the church, the friends (nevermind, I have no friends anymore, no time) , the cleaning, the groceries, the laundry that never ends – whatintheworld!?! Why, oh why? And some of you have like, real-life, stressful, grown-up, corporate jobs. Not me. I am blessed to love on preschoolers, watch them on the playground, and give them snack. Yes, ladies in gentlemen, my folks paid for five years of college for me to be the playground and snack girl. Rock on! And I have no take home work, no stress from work, no deadlines at work, no dress code at work, nada. It is all good. All joy. All fun. All casual dress. All people I adore. All good. No travel. No traffic. No politics. Such a blessing!!! And still, this new life of mine, is haaaaaaard.

Disclaimer about my disclaimer: I loooooove my job. Like, for real. I love the people. Truly the salt of the earth. I love the environment. I love the hours. I love the company I’m with (meaning I get to see my baby girl all day!) I love the school, and I believe passionately about the work they do there. I love that I get paid. Holla. I really do love working at this job. It’s the whole working part I’m still adjusting to. But, unless I’m able to interview for a job that pays me to stay in my jamis while I clean my house and care for my kids – then I am happily pick this one.

So, here’s the skinny – I was approached by a precious friend about working at my children’s preschool. All three of my kids have gone through this fine establishment and I swear to you people, any smarts they have (especially in reading!) it comes from this school. I promise, y’all. I looked up one day and said “Wait a minute, you can read!?!” Momoftheyear crown is mine once again. Anyway, it is my baby girl’s last year before kindergarten (do.not.get.me.started.) and then I will have no little people at my home at all for seven hours a day. Not one. I have no flipping idea what that will even feel like, but at this particular moment I think it will resemble heaven. So, when she approached me, Ryan and I prayed about it, weighed pros and cons, etc. and made our choice. After all, I was very open to helping my one-educator-income family out financially. Educators get paid crap. Period. And, get this, I get to work with people I adore, with kiddos I adore, and see my baby girl more during the day than if I stayed home with her. That, my friends, is a win-win. It had Jesus written all over it.

But, I repeat – working is for the birds.

I haven’t had to get up and go to work every day in NINE YEARS, people. Are you good at anything you did nine years ago?!? Didn’t think so. So…dear ones, if you have seen me in the last five weeks you may think I seemed more scattered, distracted, stressed, aloof, annoyed, crazy, hostile or indifferent. It’s only because I have been more scattered, distracted, stressed, aloof, annoyed, crazy, hostile and indifferent. But, I’m coming out of it. God is using this as a HUUUUUGE teaching tool about where my heart lies. What are my priorities? Are they in order? For the record – they are crazy whacked out currently, but unwrinkling slowly.

So. I just wanted to say “Hello!” and “I love you!” and “I still love Jesus and talk to Him all the time!” and “Praise God ‘The Middle’ and ‘Parenthood’ are back on!” and “Shoot, I think I’ve gained ten pounds!” and some other things that I can’t remember. I’ve missed you. And, I hope you’ve missed me. I have actually had quite a few meaning more than three people come up to me and ask where I have been with my blog. They’ve commented, somewhat sadly, that I haven’t posted anything in forever. My first thought has been “Hey. I have a job now and I’ve bathed this week. Cut me some friggin’ slack.” Quickly followed by “Ya, you’re right. Could you just go ahead and do that for me?” and then once again followed by “Wait. You noticed? You actually missed the ramblings I throw up onto  you via my keyboard?! Wow.” (sniff, sniff)

So, I decided, that although I have no profound insight about my precious Jesus today, I will say this – I’ve had to lean more into Him these last five weeks than I have since my couch. When I have, He has been there faithfully – to give me Peace, stretch my time, bless my marriage, give me a special moment with my kiddos, and so on and so on. But, ohhhh when I haven’t, I have crashed and burned and been selfish and grumpy. It’s ugly, dude. I mean it.

My life has changed. I have a job now. But, that’s not it.

I am married.

I have three kids.

Two of them are in public school, which, bytheway should come with a free secretary for each child to singlehandedly manage the tonnage of paperwork coming home and lists oh the freaking lists! of things to turn in, donate, create, and sign up for. Shoot me now! And do it before the fall carnival so I don’t have to do the temporary tattoo booth, please.

I also go to church.

I also have to clean my own home and run my own errands and do my own laundry. Sucks out my very soul.

I also have each kid in one count it, ONE extra curricular activity. And I coach one of them. And yes, they’re only in one thing each – but ‘they’ equal three. Me and hubs equal two. You do that Math. I can’t. I’m too tired. I have a job now.

Dear Lord,

I have blown it big time lately in my deep study of your Word. Please forgive me. And thank you, thank you. thank you for your saturation of Truth in my heart and mind exactly when I needed it via an email devotional or song lyric. Thank you for providing for our family in each and every way. And specifically for this job. What a show off you can be, by giving me something so ab.so.lute.ly perfect for our family. Oh that you would continue to mold me and shape me into the person you want me to be. I do not envy the work you have ahead of you. But, I praise you in advance for the glory you will receive through it. May I become more disciplined, in Your Name. May I become more empathetic, in Your Name. May I become less judgmental, in Your Name. May I be light in this dark world – a true, honest, transparent person, willing to show their flaws in order to shine your perfection. And, now Jesus, please extend my sleep. Oh, I beg you. I obeyed your calling to finally sit down and write – I know this is what you have called me to do in this life. So please, Jesus, pleeeease take these seven hours until my alarm goes off  and make them feel like twelve. Or thirteen? I know you can do it. You’ve held me every day these last few weeks. I am so thankful for it. I need it now more than ever. ‘Cause, you know, Lord, I have a job now.

Thank so much you for Jesus, Amen.

Precious Sarah

Once again, I’m hooking up with fellow writers for our Five Minute Friday time of writing. This week’s prompt -
Five Minute Friday – Lonely

Go.

She sits at a table meant for two…yet holding only her.
Only her.
Again.
It seems its been that way for such a long time now. Her precious Harold, she loved for three quarters of her life, has been gone for almost three years now. Three long years. But her eyes well up with tears as she remembers the seven years before that when her true Harold left. His mind gone long before his body. But at least then she could still hold his hand. She could still hear his voice, even if the stories he tried desperately to remember we’re never true at all.
Gone forever, just two days after they celebrated 43 years together. How selfish for her to want him to live that way longer. How selfish for her to want to keep him from the presence of Jesus. But she wanted him in her presence now. At this table meant for two. He would order himself a sandwich but eat some of hers anyway.
But not today.
She was alone now.
Alone and lonely.
She looks at the tables surrounding her. The room filled with chatter of her fellow along-in-years ‘neighbors’. Not the neighbors she’d raised her kids with. Gone to ballgames with. Sat at church with. Not the neighbors in the small town she knew every corner of, every member of. These neighbors seem fine in this place. Living in this sort of place was never in her plan. A two bedroom apartment in an active adult living facility – whatever that may mean. She missed her house. She missed her things. She missed his things. The home where sometimes, even still, she would catch a whif of his cologne as she sat in his favorite recliner chair.
Lost in her thoughts, she twirled her wedding band around her finger. The same one he’d given her so many, many years ago. They were so young then. Their whole lives ahead of them. Where had all those years gone? Had she wished them away without truly enjoying them? Anxious for the next phase of life to bring new challenges, new joys, new surprises.
Jolted back to reality by the sound of laughter. Seated around her now were the children and grandchildren of some of these new ‘neighbors’. They would come visit for a little while, but only when they could spare the time.
Oh how she ached to grab them by the hands. To shake them if she needed to…and plead with them -
Enjoy it.
Soak it up! Every last moment.
I don’t know how I got here so quickly.
So quickly to being alone.
But you will be here to.
Before u know it. Trust me.
We are all only a few short decades from being here.
Alone.
And lonely

Instead she clung to his wedding band she wore on a simple gold chain around her neck. Closing her eyes and taking another sip of her herbal tea – the tea that new young doctor of hers said would be good for her heart.
My heart.
Sigh.
My heart doesn’t need tea. It needs Harold.
My heart needs not to be alone.
And lonely.

Five Minute Friday – Broken

(Disclaimer to my readers – Today I link up with fellow writers. This is a challenge. A group to join. A prompting by another woman I like to just.sit.down. every Friday and write for only five minutes. That’s it. Which is roughly how long it takes for me to write my normal first sentence. Ahem. So, lest some of you start dancing joyfully with glee that my post is shorter – it is advised that thy shouldn’t get thyself used to it. In Jesus’ Name.) READ MORE HERE.

Five Minute Friday – BROKEN.

GO.

I have to be honest with you -

I live in a rich, white bubble.

It’s true. And, I don’t mean to sound racist or prejudice or anything else ugly. I’m just saying…it is what it is. If you were to stand on the street corner two miles from my house, at the major intersection of two roads – you would see more luxury cars than five-year-old cars. You would see more educated people than uneducated people. Most of them would be white. ALL of them would be upper class, or at least upper-middle class. Some of them are even in the super dooper upper class.

There is not ‘bad’ area of town. There is no crime. There is no real glimpse into the outside world.

So, unless I am purposeful and drive thirty minutes in any direction – I live my daily commute (aka. to the carpool line, Wal-Mart, preschool and church) then I would never ever see the poor.

But, oh, my friend, how that doesn’t mean I don’t see the broken.

The broken are rich, too.

The broken are white, too.

The broken are everywhere.

Withint the last year, my world got doneflippedupsidedown and I spun out of control. (Thanks a lot Jesus…and Jen Hatmaker)

But once my head leveled off, I found myself. My true self. I found the place God wanted me. Not selling everything I own and moving to the ghetto (my initial response) and also not sluffing it off and calling too radical.

I found the place He would have me be.

And this place is acknowledging the broken everywhere I go. To the salon. To the homeless church. To the elite boutique to use the bathroom, clearly. To the person next to me at church. To the man sweeping the floors at my kid’s overprivleged public school.

Brokenness is everywhere.

This was proven to me today in a large way.

Months ago – amidst my beloved tailspin, I wrote a blog about a man I met named Mr. John Tucker. I hadn’t thought about him in months, so I count today a blessing for the sheer reminder to pray for him. But, today, a man commented on my blog post from last October — and I’ll admit, he was a hata.

He judged me, criticized me, and bashed me for my act of kindness to Mr. John Tucker. Why?

Because Mr. John Tucker is homeless.

Oh ya, did I not mention that?

He was probably on drugs. He smelled of feces. He perhaps conned us out of that $20 that day. And, he may even be into all types of illegal things. But, maybe not. I don’t know. You know Who does? The One who made him.

My Jesus.

The same Jesus who broke His body for me. For Mr. John Tucker. AND for the hata on my blog.

The rage he spoke about this homeless man he’d never met – reminded this rich, white girl of one thing.

Brokenness is everywhere.

You can choose to serve the broken wealthy. You can choose to serve the broken poor. But, choose something.

So, I ask you…

Who is more broken? Who is more poor?

The man with nothing to his name, and no worth to so many people?

Or the man who judges him and casts him aside?

I think I know that answer.

Do you?

Calling It a Spade

I am so fl-ipp-ing tired of hearing story after story after story of people living in fear.

I mean it, y’all. I’m eff-ing over it.

Not because I am a jerk and have no ephathy for people struggling with this issue. Beause, trust me, I do. And then some.

But, wow, you sound pissed!

I am!!

I am sooooo over it because I am tired of the power that fear gives to the enemy. It genuinely pisses. me. off.

So much so, that I have left my completely comfortable, snuggly bed at almost midnight to tell you about it. I have to get all this out of my brain and heart and soul. I need you to know this.

I lived a great deal of my life gripped by fear. And, I don’t just mean an over-protective mother or cautious driver. I mean g-r-i-p-p-e-d by fear.

Terrified someone was about to break into my house.

Imagining, with more details than I’d like to admit, the phone call I’d receive saying Ryan has another wife and family somewhere.

My infant dying from SIDS in their sleep.

A car wreck taking my entire family at once.

And of course, the coup de gras is the infamous — me dropping dead from a sudden heart attack – oh ya, in front of my kids, too.

My friend, those aren’t examples I read from a book. Those are real live, personal moments of my life I’ve handed over to fear. I’ve hand tied the bow and gifted them to my enemy. Well, that party’s over, satan. No more gifts for you.

I’ve done this time after time after time.

Have you?

For the past decade or so, I’ve been dealing with this off and on. I have roots of mistrust, the need for control, desire for approval, fear of sudden change, etc. that have led me to this. And for years, I tried so many methods of getting rid of it, masking it, and pushing it down deeper into my soul.

Tip for the day: the harder you push something down, the more fiercely it springs back up to the surface. Can I get an witness!?

If I sound a bit more upset than you’re used to, it’s because I am.

I am currently walking through this with someone dear to me. Someone more dear to me than most people. Someone I love and thank God for often. This person is so deeply gripped, they can’t get out from under it. It has affected their family, their job, their health, their everything. Um, been there, done that.

So, my darlings, I just wanted to shed some light into this very dark world. This isn’t a world most Christians like talking about, because clearly if they are afraid, they aren’t faithful. The Bible says that, right? (THey are talking about 1 John 4:18 – Read them. Then read this commentary. You will understand.) But, I believe the Bible is chock full of people who were afriad and still faithful. With one breath they say “I believe’ and in the next breath, they say “Help me in my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

I feel, with 100% certaintly, that fear is one of the most powerful weapons the enemy uses to wage war against us. Why? Because it packs quite a punch.

So, let me go ahead and clear a few things up I’ve learned in my years of fighting this battle.

Ahem.

1. You will die. As my pastor says, “Ain’t none of us getting out of this thing alive.”

2. You neither make the earth spin nor keep it from spinning.

3. Your life is a vapor. (James 4:14)

4. Those around you, whom you love, will die too. (see #1)

5. Planes crash. People get robbed. Guns kill people. Storms come. Hearts stop. It’s just the truth.

Sheesh Caroline, you should really be a motivational speaker.

We live in a completely screwed up world governed by sin and death, and ruled by the prince of this world, not worthy of the title at all. (John 14)

We, as humans, by nature have an insatiable need for control. We must be boss. We need to have it all planned out. We have to have proof. Stats. Verification. Answers. NOW.

And, when that doesn’t come…when we get thrown a wicked curve ball before we realize we’ve even stepped up to the plate – we. freak. out.

We’re pretty good at it, actually.

I know I am, at least. This crap can literally cause physical symtoms in my body that ‘feel’ exactly like, and I do mean exactly like, a heart attack.

You may think this is for people who are mental. You know cuckoo birds? (And my confessions may have just confirmed that to you.) But, it really isn’t just that. I agree that people have chemical imbalances. Actual mental diseases. I believe that science and medicine can understand and help this issue in so many people. And for that, I praise GOD…you know, the One who like invented the concept of our DNA. I thank Him that we know so much about this body or ours. This brain of ours. This heart of ours. But, aside from that – I want to call a spade a spade.

Fear. Is. From. Satan.

Period.

Mental disease isn’t what I’m talking about. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeking professional help for those of you dear ones in this category. But, tonight, I’m talking about the millions of us who suffer – and I mean suffer – from the little fears of life. The ones that, when added up throughout our day, equal a life governed (as in ruled by) by fear.

We know so much about all of those physical parts of us, but we need not forget to focus on knowing SO MUCH MORE about who we are fighting against and why he keeps attacking us.

Here’s the deal. Satan sucks. But, he ain’t dumb. In fact, he is crafty, cunning and persistent. If he kept going after the actual Son of God, then what makes you think you get a Get Out Of Fear Free card?

Satan has nothing else to do with us Christians but make us useless on this earth. He can’t have us for eternity – he knows that. But, he can use all his power to make us completely ineffectual for Christ while we are here. He can keep us quiet, alone, hungry, scared, intimidated, and embarrassed. I know, because he did this to me – for far too long.

So, tonight, I simply want to reassure you that FEAR is not from God. Fear is from our enemy. Every single time. No exceptions. (Romans 8:13, 2 Timothy 1:7)

Prayer is a powerful weapon against this attack…and there is NO better way to pray, than using the Word of God. After all, my friend, it is our only offensive weapon in this spiritual battle. (Eph. 6) And, I’d love to quote my BFF even though she doesn’t know who I am Priscilla Shirer, from the Gideon bible study I’m currently doing (check it out!) – and tell you, “We are not human beings having a brief spiritual experience. No. We are spirtual beings having a brief human experience.”

So here are some real-life valid tips to combat this assault. First, some practical-ish ones for your brain that helped me. Then, some powerful Scripture – without which, I’d be hopeless.

1. Keep your mrain occupied when you can. Down time is devil time when it comes to fear. A trick I used was to sit and do math problems. I would engage my left brain in difficult math problems that I actually had to sit down and figure out. My right brain (emotional side) was on stimulation overload due to fear/anxiety and so I had to wake up the other half. And with a Momof3 brain – math sure does the trick. I started with 2+2.

2. Serve someone. If you are sitting at home alone thinking about how not to think about being afriad. And then getting caught up in the fear that you can’t fight the fear of being afraid, then you lose. If your health permits (which mine did not for so long – half the battle) then please get up and serve someone. So much mental focus is spent on us, our fears, our problems, and it truly does help to get up and do something for someone else. You will be SHOCKED at how engaged your mind can become when you let it. It won’t cure this – but it’ll help fill a fearful afternoon.

3. Tell people. Now, I don’t necessarily mean you have to mention it to the guy at 7/11 when you’re getting a coffee, but if you feel led, go for it. You never know who you might meet at a 7/11. But, truly, tell your loved ones. Confess to a few close friends. Have someone to call in one of ‘those’ moments. Make up a code word (the sillier the better!) which means “My mind if racing with fear! Talk to me about something. Anything but this. Movies. Bra shopping. Royal baby. Anything. Go.” These people will create a special place in your heart like no one else ever will. Thank Jesus for them now.

4. Get help if needed. I did all of the above and then some. I had massages. I changed my diet. I was prayed over. I excersized. And so on and so forth. And then the time came for professional help. I tried meds. I had counseling. It wasn’t easy. Pride is a nasty second cousin of fear. The two are linked by their mutual famly member – control. We need it. We can’t get it. Our pride keeps trying. Our fears sink deeper each time we fail. Then rinse and repeat.

And lastly, BUT NOT AT ALL leastly – pray a lot. Somewhere. Anywhere. Everywhere. Here are some fantastic Scripture bricks to stand upon. I’d have been washed away otherwise. Memorize them. Write and re-write them. Post them all over your house. Tattoo them to your body. This IS my foundation. This IS your foundation. This IS absolutely where I believe you should start. Because even if you have valid reasons for your invalid fears (which most of us truly do!) and even if we have valid excuses for our behaviors – fear is from satan. We are of God. If you belong to him then that’s just it – you belong to Him. You are His. Let’s live like it. Let’s claim the victory Jesus died for. Let’s live our life NOW as Christ desires – free from the grip of fear. Not free from ever being afraid again – but free from it ruling our lives.

I leave you with a lovely quote from my BFF, Priscilla again – this was a perfect way to describe this – (read it twice!)

“Every physical reality contains a spiritual root. So if you deal with only the natural reality, using natural resources, you will never drill down to address the spiritual reality. You may be able to patch up the symptoms for a while, but the real problem will remain unsolved and simmering. That’s the enmy’s plan — to talk you into ignoring the divine reality occuring beneath the surface of your difficulties, leading you to downplay the significance of your spiritual weapons.”

Amen sister, Amen!

So I will leave you with a little conversation I am about to have out loud on your behalf. Ok, now she’s really lost it  I love you, friend. You can do this. Ok, lie. You can’t. But, HE CAN.

satan,

You suck. I hate you. You are a loser and you know it. May I be the first to remind you that you will never, and I mean never be in heaven. You will never have the power of God. You will be forever, for all eternity in hell, where you belong. As long as I have breath, I will tell people of your schemes. I will share every gory detail of my past with you and your stupid weapon of fear. Because, I know that with every breath of my praise of God and hatred of you, your power weakens. And I gotta tell ya, I love that!  You know I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and you. can’t. have. me. I’ve been bought. It’s a done deal. I belong to God. For all time. I can’t wait to see your worldy ways demoted and His lifted up. I can’t wait to see all the abundant and remarkable glory God receives because you have lost some of your pwoer over His people. I choose faith. Not your stupid fear. So take your demons and hit the road. In Jesus’ Name, be gone. In fact, GO TO HELL! It is where you belong and where you will forever be. Oh, and while you’re there, mention the Name of my Jesus – it’ll make your demons shudder. (James 2:19) Ha. Ha. Ha. Take that.

Forever His,

Me

[6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phl 4:6-7 NIV)
[6] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. [7] Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Pe 5:6-7 NIV)
[5] We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2Cr 10:5 NIV)
[1] For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. [2] Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, (Psa 46:1-2 NIV)
[6] Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deu 31:6 NIV)
[9] Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Jos 1:9 NIV)
[4] I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psa 34:4 NIV)
[4] Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psa 23:4 NIV)
[27] Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Jhn 14:27 NIV)
[13] For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Rom 8:13 NIV)
[7] For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2Ti 1:7 NIV)
[7] They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. (Psa 112:7 NIV)
[8] In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psa 4:8 NIV)
[3] When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. [4] In God, whose word I praise– in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psa 56:3-4 NIV)
[23] Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. [24] See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psa 139:23-24 NIV)

Sovereign Pause

Ok, so I don’t know about you, but I’m certain kids these days are spoiled.

Like, spoiled, y’all.

When I was a kid, we had one TV and whatever show was on, you can bet it was pre-approved by the adults in the home. As in, if they wanted to watch it, we watched it. If not, we didn’t. End of story. Even later in life, when we finally got two TV’s in our home, I still had to ask permission. Then, I had to scour the TV Guide to desperately seek a show I liked that happen to be on at that exact moment. I tried to ensure I didn’t miss one solid episode of Full House, or Beverly Hills 90210, but I often missed them both. Because, on the occasion I had a shin-dig to go to, and my show was on – then, get this – I missed it. Eleven year olds around the world are gasping in sheer disbelief.

It’s sort of logical, really. I’m not there when the show is on, I miss the show. It ain’t rocket science, people. Isn’t that sort of what we call a natural conqequence. Well, it used to be.

Now, my kids can request a show, even a certain episode of a show and I just flip through our DVR recordings and find it for them immediately. Don’t get me started about On Demand and the beloved Play All feature. That’s straight from Jesus, y’all.

But, am I the only one is amazed by this whole DVR thing. Like blown away kind of amazed? I remember when I first grasped it. So, like, I can pause live TV. What!? How is that even possible? You’re saying I don’t have to hold in pee ’til I burst? I don’t have to ignore the phone call in order to catch the last five minutes of the Friends series finale? I don’t have to wait, godforbid, to see if they happen to play the re-run of a show in order to see who dunnit?

No. way.

Aside from Jesus and perhaps my iphone, DVR has flat changed my life, people.

I mean, really. I can pause live TV. So. Stay with me here – not only do my kids get to pick their show (when the TV is available, that is. Yes, we only own one – on purpose) But, they get to record that show and retreieve it whenever they stinkin’ want. Not only that, but if we have to eat dinner, or run an errand, they can just press pause and come back to it whenever their sweet little spoiled hearts desire.

Spoiled brats. Lucky dogs.

Granted, I, too, get to do all of this spoiled brat stuff as well – hence the divine-ness of the entire DVR concept. If it only worked on kid’s shows, I’d be calling Party Foul! But, me too!?! Ok – totally fair. You mean I get to have my own instant replay when Texas Tech plays UT and I need to be able to recount every detail to my unfortunate Longhorn big brother. Score! I get go back and re-play the funny catch phrase I missed when I had to pee for the thirtieth time that day. Oh the joys of post-Mama bodies. I get to watch the same episode over and over if I so please? Well, then I say “Welcome, DVR. Glad you came. Change your name to Holzberger. You are our people now.”

Oh, that we welcomed this idea of Pause in our lives, as it is on TV.

Have you ever felt a Soverign pause on your life?

The Holy Spirit saying that awful little word we don’t want to hear – Wait.

Noooooo. Anything but wait, Lord. 

But, alas, our Sovereign and all-knowing God has shown you a glimpse of something. You’ve seen the first twenty minutes of gripping action – you’ve heard the plot, gotten caught up in the characters – and then just as you think it’s time to see how this all ends – God hits the Pause button.

Stink.

I guess the first question to ask ourselves in this case is this – have I ever felt this? If your answer is yes, then praise Him for His faithfulness to speak to you and lead you. If your answer is no, (as mine has surely ben at times) then you may wanna humbly ask yourself who holds the remote in your life.

I know in our house – ain’t no kid gonna come up and push pause when Mama is watching her show. If they do, they better have two reasons – blood or fire.

I have had many times like a freakish amount, y’all where I’ve not only held the remote in my life, but I’ve also hidden it under the couch cushions so as to ensure God didn’t try to sneak His way back into control of my show. Funny how we think we even know how to work that dang remote, huh? Ha. We’re in control. Good one.

Lately, I have been at a crossroads. Ryan and I have officially transitioned away from the ‘having babies’ stage. Oh that he would let me post the blog I wrote about how we sealed that deal. It’s entitled “He gave me Peace, I gave him Peas” I’ll leave it at that. Maybe someday.

So, here we are, done having babies, ready to raise children. Ready to do the next phase of life. I’ve been a stay at home Mom for almost nine years. I was in college for twice as long as I actually taught in the classroom. Sorry, Mom and Dad!:) We have been ‘broke’ but happy. Wouldn’t. Trade. A. Day. Except for every single one of those spent potty training.

But, here we are, ready for this next phase, ready to see what God has in store. My baby girl is home for only one more year. This is it. This time next year I will be  a basket case helping her pick out her first ‘big girl’ backpack for kindergarten. Oh Lord have mercy, I ain’t ready.

But, for now, I also feel a great calling to be faithful to His work in me. I know He has called me to write some words and speak some words. I know His message in me is dying to get out. To splash all over anyone and everyone I can find, like a huge and sometimes hilarious tidal wave of His grace and mercy. But, now? Is the time now, God?

I’ve been wondering this aloud to Him a lot lately. Here I am faced with the reality of my little baby girl who will be in the same Pre-K program her big brothers were in. She will be gone five days a week from 9am-1pm. Not as much time as big kid school. But, still – five days. I couldn’t stand the thoguht of it, but knew that’s where she should be.

So, here I would be with five days, a few hours each day to myself. What should I do?

Serve at my beloved homeless church I haven’t been to in far too long?

Clean and cook and become the homemaker of my husband’s dreams?

Perhaps, sleep in late and tan in my pool? Say Yes Jesus, please!?!

Or truly pursue this writing thing like a grown up? Format a website? Record some podcasts? Get an agent? Finish my book? Learn what the heck a platform is?

Lord, what do I do?

Then, it happened.

Pause.

That’s right, God went and pressed pause on my life.

He heard my cry. He knows my heart. He sees every penny we have and every penny we don’t have. He knows this school year and His plan for it.

It won’t be this. It will be that. yes to this. No to that. Or in my case -

I’m not saying No, my child, I’m staying wait. This is your last year with her. Make. It. Count.

How does one willingly put a hold on a calling they know in the marrow of their bones God has for their life?

Easy.

They honor the first calling He placed on their life nine years ago.

I am a Mom. By His grace, He has entrusted me with three precious souls. Three babies to raise, to love, to guide and to let go.

God willing, my life will have forty to fifty years of life of work and purpose after kiddos are under my roof. But, that is not now.

Now, I have messes on my floors and noise in my ears. I have three little ones. I have two in ‘big kid’ school and one left with me.

And then – just because He can – He handed me a blessed answer. I was given a chance to work at my baby girl’s preschool. I actually get to take her to school, eat lunch with her, watch her on the playground and see her grow and learn and play. Every. Day. From 9am-1pm. I get to see her more in this role than if I remained a ‘stayathome’ Mom. Crazy, isn’t it? And since there are now more babies at home to raise, I get to go with her! It’s just for this year. A unlikely increase in enrollment and a director who prayed for who could help accommodate this year. God knew and she knew who would want to be there five days a week with a certain baby girl. Pick Me! Pick me! And, oh by the way – I get paid for it. Glory.

He heard my cry. He knows our needs. He knows my heart. And precious friend, He knows yours.

I can’t wait to get to be a real grown up writer and speaker. Ok, lie. I’m actually totally freaked out by it. I humbly anticipate getting to share His story with others. But, now, dear friend. He has pushed pause.

His Soverign pause on my life.

Have you felt it?

Have you obeyed it?

It sometimes ain’t easy. Especially if your name rhymes with Baroline Sholzberger. It often ain’t glorious. It ain’t always fun.

But, oh that we would sit in the silence of His pause. Oh, that all the glory would be His. Oh that all the obedience would be ours.

May we each desire to obey Him fully. He will bless your obediecne. He blessed mine.

Maybe yours is a new job. Perhaps a new career all together? Marry this guy? Move to this city?

I don’t know, friend. But He does.

Pray. Listen. Humble yourself. And pray some more. Give. It. Up.

Let Him push Pause. Then let Him push Play again – in His time.

Because get this - I don’t have to miss my show. I don’t have to wonder what happened or what will happen, because I know Who holds my remote. I know Who will push Play at exactly the right moment. When He is ready for His show to resume. For now, I get to sit and play and soak up my baby girl.

To Him be the glory.

And to me be the sanity…cause y’all – she is her mother’s child. Help me, baby Jesus.

Five Minute Fridays – Belong

(Disclaimer to my readers – Today I link up with fellow writers. This is a challenge. A group to join. A prompting by another woman I like to just.sit.down. every Friday and write for only five minutes. That’s it. Which is roughly how long it takes for me to write my normal first sentence. Ahem. So, lest some of you start dancing joyfully with glee that my post is shorter – it is advised that thy shouldn’t get thyself used to it. In Jesus’ Name.) READ MORE HERE.

Five Minute Fridays – BELONG

GO.

How desperately we, especially as women, feel the need to belong.

To feel loved. To be affirmed. To know we are worthy.

Our enemy is the prince of this world. This world that screams at us from every direction. The noise is deafening at times. But, not tonight. Tonight, my friend, the noise of this world was silenced by the prayers of the faithful. Amen! Tonight, I did belong. Because, tonight, my heart, my soul, and my spirit were affirmed by the only One who can truly give me value.

This evening, I spent the better part of a solid hour in prayer for a dear friend.

A wife. A mom. A teacher. And now, a cancer patient.

In only a moment, a glimpse of the doctor’s mouth moving, words coming out, but no sound. No. Not cancer. Everything changed. Nothing will ever be as it was.

From my couch, all those years I remember desperately wanting to feel like I belonged to the outside world. The world I only saw from my window, or from the waiting room of a doctor’s office. The world that seemed to be spinning around just. fine. without. me.

But, tonight, not from my couch, but from my friend’s couch, she was reassured. She was affirmed. She knew her value. She belonged.

Because, on this night, His family of believers surrounded her. More than twenty ladies gathered at her house (and many others from their own homes around the country) to pray over her. I was one of the blessed ones who knocked down the doors of heaven tonight in her name.

We were strangers to each other, so many of these women. At once, united by our friend, we were now united by the presence of His Holy Spirit. We were one in our prayers. We were one in our cries to our Father. We were one in our tears. We were one in our desperate pleas for healing and peace. We were one is our desire for His will above our own. We were one in our demolition of the enemy and his plans – in Jesus’ Name.

We were one.

United.

Alltogether different, but each so wonderfully made. Each of us, a part of His family. Sisters in Christ. United in prayer.

Because of His blood, His sacrifice, His love – we do belong.

And, precious friend, if you have given your life to Jesus – then never doubt this - so do you

Whether you feel it in your emotions. Whether you understand it in your brain. Or whether you don’t know the difference between the two – you are His.

He made you.

He knows you.

He loves you.

He died for you.

You. Do. Belong.

Five Minute Friday – Present

(Disclaimer to my readers – Today I link up with fellow writers. This is a challenge. A group to join. A prompting by another woman I like to just.sit.down. every Friday and write for only five minutes. That’s it. Which is roughly how long it takes for me to write my normal first sentence. Ahem. So, lest some of you start dancing joyfully with glee that my post is shorter – it is advised that thy shouldn’t get thyself used to it. In Jesus’ Name.) READ MORE HERE.

This week’s word – Present

GO.

Dear Present,

Where have you been, dear friend? You seem like the firefly during the heat of summer sunsets – always just.out.of.reach.

I dwell on your 2nd cousin, Past, and often fear your wicked Step-mother, Present.

My Past haunts me, guilts me, condemns me and brings me further from you, Beloved.

Your wicked Step-mother, my Future, sets my mind on controlling things, planning things, predicting things – always pushing you out of the way and making me a slave to Her demands.

I want to be here with You now, dear friend, oh my dear Present.

Here. Where her big girl winks aimed at me, cause my breath to catch in my throat.

Here. Where his innocent heart still brings me such joy, with questions like “Why do my socks have to match?” No, baby, they don’t. I love you so. and “Do I really have to wear underwear, Mama?”

Here. Where his dance between indepedence and still needing Mommy keeps my heart close, ever so close.

Here. Where you have me serving my man, or at least desperately trying serving me kids, and serving the least of these. Tired, am I? Yes. But, help me not be so busy, so consumed that I miss the gifts You give me here – every.single.day.

Oh, dear Present, stay with me a while.

Cling to me now. Do not leave.

Do not tease me with the flicker of your ever-fleeting light, only to fly away with another summer sunset.

Keep me here with you, dear flirefly.

I love you. I thank My Creator for you. For the blessings He has for me here with You.

For now, for our Present together, and for always,

Bless you, dear Present.

Love, Me (Your New BFF)

STOP.

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