We are Family

Richard and Mark My beautiful step-daughter Dakota has been nominated to represent her sophomore class in the Miss Mary Hardin Baylor Pageant. Richard and  I are so excited for her! She is absolutely beautiful inside and out so I think she has a great shot! This awesome event will bring much of her family together this weekend. The nuclear family of today does not look the same as the ones of the past. Today there are many beautiful blended families, and we are certainly one of them. This weekend Dakota will have her Dad, Step-mom, 2 step-brothers, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, 2 cousins, her Mom, step-dad, half sister, and another aunt. What do we all have in common? We all love Dakota and look forward to celebrating her. I am so grateful for Richard and the way he leads out in making this an easy process. After his divorce from Dakotas’s mom, about 15 years ago, he spent a lot of time putting aside his personal feelings and humbling himself in order to spend time with his daughter. Because of this he has an amazing relationship with her. She is without a doubt Daddy's Girl. Through this time Richard also became friends with Dakotas’s new step-dad. (Pictured above visiting her at school) I have to admit when I first came in the picture I didn't quite get it. I had never seen a potentially tough situation done so well. "You go to birthday parties with you ex-wife and her husband?" What made this work for them? It was Richards’s willingness to be selfless and put God in the center of his relationships.

Gods Grace, Mercy, and Redemptive Love can bring beauty to our mess and allows us to set aside bitterness and to extend forgiveness. By our own strength we aren't capable, but through Christ all things are possible. When we have God in our lives we receive the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

I love to see the special bond between Daddy and daughter because of the choices he made. I am Blessed to have Richard now leading our family with the same love and care.My boys are getting an amazing example of how to be a Godly man. I have much anticipation for what God will do this weekend in and through Dakota as well as in the lives of all who are present.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13

All You need is Love

love is all you need Do You ever just feel overwhelmed by the Amazing Love of God? I know I do! It makes me wonder why my faith can be so small and why I doubt when I know He has his best for me. I find myself walking around trying to figure it all out. I work out the ending in my head that I think will be best and then I try to make that happen. I will control, sometimes unconsciously, to get the outcome I think I want.

There were many times in my relationship with Richard that I wanted my way. I hope I'm not the only one that can say that! I often thought if he ever proposes it will likely be over a nice dinner,maybe candle light, and that would have been fabulous. But God said, Really? You think that is all I have for you? I can do better than that. When Richard proposed in front of over 200 women during a talk on purity, I was overwhelmed! Not only did Go show me how much Richard loved me, God showed me how He loved me.

I continue to see events like this play out in my life. I had a dream for more than 10 years to attend Carol Kent's speak up conference in Michigan. As only God does, I not only have attended the conference twice, Carol Kent is now a friend and mentor in my life. She has encouraged Richard and I  to write a book sharing our story. We have begun writing and have had a request from a large publisher for a proposal. This happens only through Gods Love, His plan, and His timing.

With a book proposal in front of us, I knew that I would need to find a job that allowed me more time to write, but I was going to be sad to leave my current job that I loved. I was certain I would not be happy at my new one, it was just going to fill a need. I put out a few resumes and nothing happened. A few weeks went by and I received a phone call from someone I hadn't seen in five years asking if I would be interested in interviewing at a spa in Dallas. Having spent most of my life in salon and spas and being @SpaBarbie, of course I was interested! She had no idea of the timing or her obedience. Only through Gods love did I get a job with such amazing people, doing what I love, and feeling like I make a difference. I also get to spend all day Tuesdays writing. Overwhelmed!

Gods Love is amazing! His ways are not our ways. He has so much more for us than we can imagine. I kept saying "The stars would have to align for this to happen", it turns out God is in the business of aligning the stars. When we walk with Him and we make ourselves available, God can use us in ways we never thought possible.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." Isaiah 55:8 nlt