Sunday, August 22, 2010


I was given a task to do two poems for REACH (a ministry reaching out to the Aurora, CO community). I figured after the last three weeks I've had, it's probably best to pull from the Stoker archives. However, I felt a little guilty doing that, so I sat down and wrote one before I headed there. I thought I'd share it with whomever may be passing through. :)

Once told "the sky is the limit"
We watched that story change minute by minute
Endlessly searching for perfect occupation
To acquire a nice car, house, expensive vacation.
Where did the "musts" of society creep in?
Youth never held obligation to give in.
Did desire drown with increasing association?
Keeping up with the Joneses, charging to credit inflation.
Now caught up in societies military-like formation.
It is not just you, it is the entire nation.
Success is not the car or the house,
it is not the bank account, the number of children,
or whether or not you have a spouse.
It is that first glance toward heaven as you open your eyes.
It is setting aside all of societies lies.
It is realizing the passion you had from the start.
It is finishing the race with all of your heart.
It is becoming the hero you knew you would once be.
It is knowing the world doesn't begin and end with me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another Journey

I've been on plenty of journey's before, and I am always up for a new challenge, so I began another one last Tuesday. August 1st I will be doing a triathlon (Tri-for-the-Cure). I used to love doing runs, but somehow got away from them and gained so much weight it was scary to even think of doing one again. So the week before last I decided it was time to get back in shape. Actually, I decided a very long time ago, but lacked the motivation to do it. Well, when the Tri came up, I grabbed on. I figured this was something that would propel me into actually getting something done. Well, 50 days from the race I realized nothing was really done; so, I asked my best friend (who is doing the tri with me) if she would do intensive training with me and she agreed. So, I've been working out 5-6 times a week doing two bricks at a biking 12 miles and running/walking 3+ miles, or swimming 1/2 mile and running.... Once a week I work out at the gym to build my core, and I take Sundays off. It's been fun, but a lot of work.

I am also eating a raw diet...and absolutely loving it. In fact I spent much of the day trying out recipes...some new, some I have done before...I remember how much I love eating raw. Here's my dinner tonight: I made cheese perogies, cauliflower couscous, and a salad with mock tuna. The cheese is made with nuts, nama shoyu, and red pepper, so it's not really cheese and the outside is jicama. The mock tuna is made with soaked and ground sunflower seeds, but there is dulce in it that makes it taste sort of like's an awesome replacement. The cauliflower is the couscous and has a yummy blend of parsley, mint, and cilantro mixed with lemon and olive oil. My fam tends to worry when I eat this way. I get questions like "how are you getting your protein" and my friend asked how I was getting carbs for energy. Well, it's all right there...nuts and seeds=protein, and probably more than most get eating a steak for dinner, tomato = fruit, veggies of course, jicama & carrots = carbs (any root veggie is a carb), only things missing are dairy & grains. We consume dairy products mainly for the calcium; but, calcium is not just milk, it is found in spinach, sesame seeds, bok choy, almonds, and many other foods. In the same way, grains are not necessarily needed because one can get all the nutrients needed from other foods. So, I'm staying healthy, and for my Friday weigh-in, I actually lost 6lbs.
Now, I'm not gung-ho on all this, I actually allow myself one meal a week to splurge; however, for the sake of recovery, I will make sure the meal is healthy...this week I had Indian food (eggplant masaala stuff over rice), and next week my sister is coming over for sushi (and I will introduce her to a couple raw dishes). :) I just want my body to feel its absolute best when I head out to participate in this triathlon.
I have a way to go, but I am back on the right track, and excited about it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

His Hand of Protection

"For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways" (PS 91:11)

I am forever amazed at the vast amount of protection I have had over my life.
Ever stop to wonder "what if..."? I have...far more often than I would like to admit. During my glimpse of the past this weekend, I was struck with the realization of exactly what could have happened "if only." Praise God He knows better than I which way is best. His word says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) While I struggled throughout life in various ways and made choices (good and bad); as my life was shuffled here and there, He never failed to go before me, to guide, guard, and protect me. Right now, I am at a place beyond all awareness and understanding, that His hand was over me the entire time.
Lord, You are everything to me! There is no way I could ever repay You, or even thank You enough for who You are in my life. I ADORE YOU!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Glimpse of the Past & Hope for the Future

Glimpse of the Past
About 3 weeks ago I saw a facebook update from someone I have known since I was 13. She updated her status with something like...headed to Denver to see my son. So I asked if we could meet for coffee...and we met at a coffee shop called Corino's. It just happened to be a day when a group was playing live worship in the coffee house...amazing. We have written to each other since I met her...real mail Since I have kept every letter & just about every card ever written/sent to me since 1985 (in binders in chronological order), I brought most of her letters for her to read again. It was fun watching her go through and remember. Her son and I talked while she poured over the past and suddenly she stopped looked up and began to read again out loud "I am so glad you turned out to be" then she stopped again, held my face in her hands, looked me square in the eyes, and started over "I'm so glad you turned out to be such a beautiful young lady with goals and dreams." She said "you were one person I could never let go of, you had so many obstacles to overcome." Overcome I did, but only by the grace of God. Life got crazy after I met her, and it was and still is such a great thing to have her in my life.
Another glimpse was meeting two of my friends from 25 years ago. Debbie came out to attend the Deeper Still conference with me, and Victoria lives in a Denver suburb, we just haven't ever seen each other. Seeing both of them was like seeing them a week after we was as if time was stilled...they even looked the same! I love it! We all got together last night and were up VERY late talking and reminiscing. It's amazing to look back and actually be able to see the hand of God guiding, directing, protecting, and delivering. I am amazed by Him, and so honored to see my friends after all this time.

Hope for the Future

These were my lovely guests for the weekend. Left to right: Holly Smith, Debbie Helker, Melana Cummings, and me.

This past weekend was all about going deeper in God. I have struggled for about a month with where I am in life, where I want to be, and really if this is all worth the struggle. I told Holly not long before the conference that I really need to hear from God. I don't know how to begin to tell all that this weekend has meant to me.

We sat on my balcony early Friday morning, and each of us shared our expectations for this event. I wasn't the only one with a tall order and the Lord had some work to do. Not one of us was disappointed in the least. Friday evening, Kay Arthur spoke on shattered dreams. One of the first things she said was "is your ambition to please God, or to fulfill your longing." Right then and there, I knew we were headed for a doozie of a weekend. Friday night Debbie and I were up fairly late. We couldn't stop talking about what we had learned and just processing it all. I recall leaning over my bed and looking at her and telling her exactly where I was, and not only was every issue I had addressed by Priscilla Shirer the next day, she actually said word for word what I had said to Debbie the night before...word for word. I could hardly pull myself together after all was said and done. I am so glad they provided napkins in the box lunch because I cried while I ate...really, all I wanted was to lay out on the floor and pour my heart out to God. EVERYTHING Priscilla said hit me like a ton of bricks; but, the one thing I will cling to was the statement "The treasure is not in the discovery of His will, but in the journey in finding it." She spoke of the gap between the present and the calling, that it is the margin He has placed there to set us up to equip us, and having that gap creates the capacity for God to move. The last speaker was Beth Moore. The one thing I took from her teaching was to remain "Coram Deo - Before the face of God".

I felt so blessed to be able to hear the teaching of 3 awesome individuals, and even more blessed that the Lord joined us in our balcony & bed time conversations, and met each of us where we were. He is concerned with every aspect of our lives, and I am so very amazed by Him! It was a full weekend. Now to put it all into action, because I have a renewed hope for the future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Unlikely Mother

Mother's day has always been an odd day for me. I was once grateful that I did not have to feel obligated to pay respect to someone with whom I would never have respect. As an adult, I would stay away from church on Mother's Day as it seemed to be a reminder of what I thought I did not have, and worse yet, what I thought I would never become.
About a month ago I was asked to write a poem about mothers to recite at church on Mother's Day. I stared blankly into the face of someone whom I thought, quite frankly, had lost her ever loving mind. I wanted to turn her down on the spot, but she said she really thought the Lord wanted her to ask me. How do you put the brakes on that one? I said I would think about it, and eventually I agreed to do it.
When I began to think about Mother's Day and what it was and was not to me, I realized I was not the only one who at one time or another painfully endured the hoopla placed around mothers on the day the USA calls Mother's Day. I looked to Isaiah 54, my most cherished passage of scripture, and all I can say from here is girlfriend, if you think you do not have a mother look around you, look at your past and how you got where you are today; and, if you think you are not a mother, think again.

The Unlikely Mother
She stands alone with none to call her own
barren, unmarried, or her moment has passed on
whatever the case, she is crowned with grace
for Isaiah says many will fill her empty place
she always opens her door to just one more
if there is nowhere else, they can sleep on the floor
her words are as strong as the confidence she carries
not for a moment being thought of as just ordinary
she is a wisdom provider, a mercy giver, a Christ lover
she is blessed among women, she is the unlikely mother
she may not have given birth to her child
but she will stand in the gap to keep them undefiled
she cradles her children with unconditional love
because her heart understands they were sent from above
she is a Truth seeker, a Word speaker, a secret keeper
maybe even a cover
but above all else, she is the unlikely mother
She has enriched my own life
so I will reach out to another
and embrace the responsibilities
of the unlikely mother.
Today I am thankful for the mothers I have had through the years. I am most thankful for the woman who adopted me as an adult...after years of being forgotten by fosters and such, she loved me enough to call me her own. I only pray I can live up to the standards I've been shown.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Faith: Between trusting & believing

A little something for Angie's 30 days of faith.

My testimony from childhood is a mixed up, confusing, and jumbled mess of intertwined lives and long drawn out personal battles which, quite frankly, lead me to be who I am today. The biggest obstacle I have ever had to overcome is releasing who I thought I was, believing in who He is, and trusting in who He made me to be. It took an overwhelming amount of trust and faith…which to me are very closely connected. Trust is letting go of everything (self preservation, fear, worry) and giving the Lord full control; but, faith is the exact moment of connection when we allow the Lord to become intimately involved in our lives.
I remember talking to a friend once and her bringing the conversation to a place where I finally realized that all my life I truly believed that I saved myself. I ran away from home as a preteen, I survived on the streets, I made life happen and I, I, I. She asked me where the Lord was during that time in my life. I’m certain I gave her a pitiful answer, but her question shook me to the core. So, I began to ask Him where He was at every point of my life, and eventually I realized that nothing I have ever done in life was without Him by my side…He gave me courage, He protected my life. It takes faith to allow God to show himself to us.
Today, I deeply trust Him, I believe He is who The Bible says He is, and somewhere in the middle, a light goes off…a mental “ping” resounds deep within me. I call that faith.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Voice of Another

The Voice of Another

I live my life at a fairly even keel…with one kink…living alone leaves me with nothing but my thoughts, His thoughts, and the thoughts of others. I believe I have a fairly good balance of the combination; however, at times I falter when my thoughts get in the way of His thoughts; but, I have some phenomenal people in my life who share their thoughts to pull me back into alignment when needed. That’s how it all works for me. Recently, I shared a fault of mine that I have been dealing with, not just to share this fault, but I was hoping to receive insight from a friend whom I know to be steadfast in this area. I was about to enter into prayer time, so I figured some quick counsel prior to prayer would be awesome. I was wrong. Instead of taking my fault before God and allowing Him to work it out, I opened myself to the voice of another. I find it interesting how easy it is to get away from following a voice you have grown accustomed to and follow the voice of another.
I’m reminded of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-19) who loved God so much he destroyed all the items of idolatry. The Bible says he trusted God and “there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.” (18:5) Over and over, the King of Assyria taunted him & all his people saying (in Kate’s words): who do you think you are all confident and stuff…and you think the Lord God is going to save you? Then he hit the people where it hurt by reminding them of the high places and altars Hezekiah tore down…and tossed a bit more confusion into the mix by claiming that these things were The Lord’s high places. He made statements which were somewhat true, but skewed enough by the lies these people once believed, that it shook them up. Hezekiah himself was shook up. He pretty much said woa, we need to hear from Isaiah on this one. Isaiah came back and said NOPE God said I got this one. Of course the king of Assyria came taunting again saying: you are listening to who…don’t you see that I have taken out every god in every surrounding country, now be afraid. This time Hezie got on his face himself and worshiped the God he KNEW (I have to quote him here…chokes me up) “and Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the Living God.”(19:15-16) Such an honest prayer. He said I know who You are and You are True, but I’m faced with some words that are also truthful. I believe he reaches the heart of God with his final words in prayer. He said “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” (2 Kings 19:19). Isaiah came back into the picture to reassure Hezie that God said he would clean up…and God showed up strong and mighty!
It wasn’t long before God spoke to my heart and said “who are you listening to” … I continued to “but” and bawl and He again spoke to my heart and said “who are you listening to.” I listened that time…to the Lord, let him do His thing, and then I went to the Word. It was the most interesting thing…I am doing an inductive study of Luke and I happened to stop right at the place where I needed help…as I continued I realized my Daddy was teaching me. He showed up strong and mighty, because that’s who He is…Strong and Mighty. The voice of another I will not hear.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010

My first blog of the new year...feels so strange. I've managed to escape the blogging world for about a half year...I don't know why...yes I do...2009..ugh. The year started off well enough, I was searching for employment and venturing to begin Destiny's Refuge at the same time. It was both exciting and terrifying. I dropped the ball on DR and jumped fully into my new job in accounting. I suppose it was easier than fulfilling my hearts desire. 2009 continued with not much to speak of. I put my all into employment and returned home exhausted. Mid year I dropped my scripture memory with all my siesta's...sure will be missing them in Houston in a couple weeks, thanks Ang for attempting to keep me running.
It's interesting how the new year begins and it is simply another day connected to the day before; however, we somehow see it as a fresh start. I am grateful for a fresh start! I can't make any promises this year, but I am beginning it with expectation, and my plans include coming out of the isolation I have created for myself and reconnecting with people. I pray for my siesta's this year, I hope it is the best ever; and, with all the humility I can muster, I am hopping up, dusting myself off and taking one step forward. Happy New Year!
Phil 3:13-14
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."