Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where is my heart?

Out of the mouth the heart now speaks... Matthew 12:34

What is in my heart? Does it come flying out of my mouth before I even think about what I am saying? Yes, I have that tendency. God forgive me for the untold pain that I have caused to others because of that.

My heart is very full of something at this moment, and that is: fear, worry, concern, anger, frustration, and countless other things that no doubt would not be pleasing to God. God tells us that many, if not all of those things that I just mentioned are sin. Along with all of those things, is the prayer that I would have a clean hands and a pure heart. I am currently faced with a situation that I would rather not be faced with, but reality has a nasty way of allowing that to happen.

I was alerted to the fact that there was an article in the Times Reporter about a program that will be broadcast on Monday March 31, on the Biography channel, called i survived. On it, Brandi will be telling a portion of the story of May 23, 2000, the night Brandi and Liz were abducted, and Liz was killed and Brandi nearly killed.

Jeff and I have shared our testimony of how we survived Liz's murder, and I am currently attempting to write a book with our account, and how God helped us through it, and how we were able to forgive the man that murdered Liz. As well as how God is directing us to help other people facing grief, and struggles.

It is with great concern and heartfelt prayers that this story (isurvived) will not take on that "Movie of the week" look, and that God will be receiving the glory for how He worked in this situation, and the lives that have been changed because of it, and because of God.

This story is something that is reality for many people around the world. How their lives have been threatened, sometimes on a daily basis, and how they have suffered a death at the hand of someone else. How they choose to let this effect their lives is where our story differs from so many others. No, we are not the only ones that have taken this stance on forgiveness, and I pray we are not the last. It goes far beyond that. It goes as far as how death, can lead to life, if we choose it.

I believe that God has given us a commandment that we need to tell people about how Jesus was born of a virgin, and lived on this earth for 33 years, only to be put to death on a cross for OUR sins, not his. How after three days, he was resurrected from the dead, walked on this earth for 40 days after his resurrection, then ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God.

He did this for EVERYONE! He died so that our sins could be forgiven, so that we might experience salvation. (John 3:16) Not that any of us deserve it, but because he loved us so much that he would do that for us. If Jesus could die for us so that we could be forgiven, who are we not to forgive?

I wish I could claim that I have perfected this attribute, but I cannot.

However; I can tell you that we (all of us) have the choice as to whether we forgive or not. In the case of Liz's murder, we chose to accept the gift that God offered to us, and that is forgiveness to the man that took her life. I have cried buckets of tears over the years in grief over the loss of our daughter, but our choice of forgiveness has not diminished, wavered or changed. That is not to say that forgiveness, once it is given and you have "passed the test" will not be handed to you again, to see where you choose to "live" if it be in forgiveness or un-forgiveness. I have had so many hard times in which forgiveness needed to given and received, but I have failed miserably.

Nevertheless, the testings that God gives us are to strengthen us, not to destroy us. This my friends is where I struggle. I have never been a "good test taker" in any area. I have always panicked, and been fearful that I will forget what I need to remember for the test, and that fear tends to rule my life. I know I have mentioned this before....

Dwight shared about the woman that swam for 15 and a half hours across the freezing cold Pacific Ocean to reach the coast of California, (here is my condensed version) with people cheering her on, and people shooting sharks to protect her, the only thing that stood in her way was a heavy dense fog that caused her not to be able to see her goal which was the coast of California. After many hours, she gave up amidst the encouragement she received to continue on, that she was very close to her goal. She finally climbed into the boat, giving up because she couldn't see where she was going, not because of being cold, or tired. She quit only one half mile from her goal. Is that what I want in my life? To give up because I couldn't "see" my goal.

My goal? What is it?

To be able to point people towards Jesus, to look forward to heaven in a way they never before considered. I don't want to fail the tests God has put before me. Yes, I am worried that I may not complete them according to God's plan for me, I may not do it perfectly, (according to my measure) but I am not giving up no matter how many times I have to take that crazy test. I can say that now, but I may need your prayers again when test time comes!

If you would like to hear Dwight's message go to

To quit because of the fog? I hope not!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My book

Well, I will answer the question that so many of you are asking me every time you see me. How is the book going? It is going SLOW, but it is going! I have done some re-writes, and yesterday I began typing out the interviews that I did 4 years ago... yep, I waited that long! Since I went to the Writers seminar I have been encouraged, and have felt new direction. I really believe that the Lord had been trying to encourage me, but that nasty old FEAR thing just didn't want to let go. I think that after Marlene read a portion of my story and gave me a critique, that perhaps God could still work through me and this book.I am still trying to decide whether to incorporate the interviews into what I have written, or if I should just do each interview as a chapter of it's own. I am leaning towards incorporating into the story line. Let me know what you think PLEASE!!!!!!!

I may attend another BIG writer's conference in Colorado in May, but I need a confirmation from God, and for His supply. I would be able to meet editors from different publishers, meet literary agents, attend seminars, and LEARN! I have been pouring over my books that I got at Marlene's s seminar, and I am putting one foot in front of the other so to say, and am "stepping out in faith" so as I have asked you all before PLEASE PRAY FOR ME IN THIS ENDEAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two of the boys were home over the weekend, my momma's heart was soooo happy! It's hard to believe that in one more month they will be done for the year! Yep, they'll be done by April 23rd. WOW!
Micah is visiting friends in Colorado, I hope this week will be amazing for him!

It was kind of a weird day yesterday. Jeff didn't go to work, and I am not sure if he will today or not. He is pretty burnt out. I felt like I was being watched, (but not really.. ) It's hard to explain. I told him that's how I felt so he knows. He just made me a little nervous, so he went to the library to "get out of my hair". He was encouraged to see me working on the book, and he also told me something that I needed to change on my profile on here. He said I needed to change a portion of it where I was criticizing myself! I was so shocked that he had even read it, or even knew where to find it. I was determined to do as he suggested, so I did take the "negative" part out of my profile. Thanks honey!

Well, once again I have gone through my daily ritual of checking on some of my favorite blogs, only to find only 2 people have change theirs this week. PLEASE update your blogs! Some days I feel that is my connection with the outside world. Since I quit my job the end of June, I feel out of touch, actually I am just plain nosey, and want to know what my friends are doing!

I suppose I should do the few dishes accumulated since last night, sweep and dust, and run to the store, so I better get a move on here it's already after 8 a.m. and time's a ticking! I will write more in the book, so keep checking back here for further updates!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today would be Liz's 25 birthday. I can hardly believe it. It is a LITTLE BIT easier to get through this day as the years pass, but I still have to deal with that sometimes overwhelming emotion of depression and occasionally despair. I miss her so desperately. Perhaps today would be a good day to work on my book. I am certainly aware of the emotions that would cause me to think about her and the writing.

Today is also the first day of Spring. Doesn't look much like it!

Today is also my great-aunts 96 Birthday. Happy Birthday Aunt Ella!

Today two of my boys are coming home for the Easter weekend.

Jeff told me the sun is supposed to shine...

Monday, March 17, 2008


I feel so blessed and somewhat overwhelmed by all that I heard at the Write His Answer Christian writers conference. There have been so many questions rolling around in my mind for so many years in regard to writing my book. I simply had no idea how to go about doing certain things because of never having any creative writing classes, or any training at all. I finally know how to at least begin certain parts of the re-write. I know how to add to the read-ability of my story. I am anxious to work on it this week. I won't be doing anything tomorrow as I have plans that do not include writing. It'll be fun to spend time with my sister and my niece-in-law.

Today's message from Dwight (go to if you'd like to listen) it went along with all that I heard over the weekend at the conference. I suppose I needed that confirmation in my life as well as my mind. I sat and either cried or fought tears through most of this mornings message. I so appreciate that when God speaks right to me! It's like Him saying "see I was the One that spoke that to you" I feel a peace! I am able to serve God through my book, through it ministering to other people, like being a "literary missionary" (I heard that at the seminar). I really need to put a time limitations on myself as to when I need to get this project finished. It has been nearly eight years since Liz's death, and I felt that it should have been done a long time ago. My timing of course, but apparently God's timing and mine don't match.

I was able to see a few people that I haven't seen in a long time today at church. It was nice to see them. We stayed to have a meeting with our small group coach, and after that I saw people that normally attend the second service. We typically attend the first service so that limits us as to who we get to see. I am pretty tired tonight. It's been a busy weekend, and we just finished having our small group meeting a little while ago. It's time for jammies and a good nights sleep! Thanks to all of you that were praying for me about this weekends events. God most assuredly answered!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Bless God, I just finished my first DVD for my class. It had two classes on it, and I watched them both twice so I did four hours of classes today. Whew... It does make one understand why going to school at a younger age makes sense. Although, I am much more apt to actually sit and absorb now so I guess I have arguments for both sides.

My boys are back to IWU and Virginia. It was good to have 2/3 of them home. The other 1/3 wants to come home now... ha! We spent a lovely evening with Kim's family on Friday night amidst the brrrrrr snow. We were concerned for her safety driving home that night though. She made it safely. Micah left to go back to VA on Saturday morning around 11 and nearly turned around about eight miles from here because of how bad the roads were. I was a nervous parent of course, I think Jeff and I called him four times during his drive back. He got a call from one of the pastors at his church when he was nearly back to Leesburg wondering where he was. Kelley was driving through Ohio on his way to IWU where his oldest daughter attends also, and he was stuck on the highway while ODOT put chemicals on the road to make it safe for travel. ( Hope you got there ok Kelley and Jane) Micah said it was clear and sunny about 45 degrees where he was. I am so glad that wasn't me on the highway. I panic!
I am gearing up to start GriefShare next Tuesday March 18. If anyone is interested in attending please let me know. I sent out several letters and invitations and the press release went out last week in the Times Reporter, the Bargain Hunter and the Budget. It is open to anyone that is grieving the loss of a family member or loved one. Be sure to let me know before next Tuesday if you plan on attending or not. There are several people that will be picking up the classes that they missed before, so if you attended before and would like to do the same that would be great! I may need to order more workbooks for newcomers. We had a good turnout at the last offering and I hope this too will be well attended. We address many different issues during the 13 weeks. Loss of spouse, loss of parents, loss of children, suicide. Being stuck in grief, living with grief, top 20 lessons if grief, It is an amazing class. If you or anyone you know is interested, please don't hesitate to give them this information. You do not have to attend NewPointe. It is open to anyone looking for a grief support group with a Biblical view. It is very healing, and I encourage anyone no matter how long it's been since your loss to try to attend.

How about all of this coooold, naaaaasty snoooooow? Can you tell I am not a fan of the white stuff? I really had to laugh when I looked at Danny's blog check it out:
I'll post pictures of Jeff too. He can slap this up in a matter of minutes to catch any sun ray there is. The thermometer reads 89 degrees. Jeff is going to make a fold able version of his sun booth and patent it. It really works.
It was in the 20's that day and he got sunburned! So take that Ohio winter! It may not look great, but it serves it's purpose!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What do you mean it's March already?

Wow, I cannot believe it's March already. With February being a short month anyway even with the extra day this year it's still hard to believe that it's March! I can't say today was a particularly good March day. My basement flooded! Yuck! I was not a very happy camper. My poor youngest son Chris is in Florida (Apalachicola area) and the panhandle was getting pretty wet this morning. He is doing a primitive camping/kayaking trip with a group from IWU (I mentioned this before) I just feel bad for that group as they would have to hunker down and have no entertainment. Nope, they weren't permitted to take any electronics with them. Awwww, maybe they would have to find entertainment like we used to when we were kids. Like talking to the people you're with, or read, or sleep.... hmmmm makes me want to take my books and have a good time!

Micah is coming home this week on Thursday, and will be returning on Saturday (I think) because he has church on Sunday. He has been praying for a friend that is not a believer of Christianity, and this person is asking questions about the Lord, and has requested prayer for his little girl that is terminally ill. Please pray for them. Also he and Kim (his friend girl turned girlfriend woo-hoo) and our families will attempt to get together on Friday night (if schedules work) so that'll be a lot of fun! We've known Kim and her family for many years, and have had some good times, so I'm looking forward to that. I may even get to cook for that, but I left the choice to Micah. I'd love to be able to do that.

Jordan is desperately looking for summer work. He has contacted all the area hospitals, and several doctor's offices as well as Nursing Homes in Dover/Phila area. Hopefully he will find something. He's love to be able to get in to Akron Children's hospital, he 's got an application. That is where he first realized he thought nursing was an okay thing. That was in 1991! Amazing!!!! Maybe he can get in there?????

Not much else happening recently. I got my books, but they are still sitting on the desk as I've been doing other things. I know I was so excited, but now I'm afraid I'll fail. Ridiculous I know. I am still excited about the Writer's Conference on the 14 and 15. I hope, I hope, I hope....

Oh, by the way check out the following site:
It's the web site for Dwight's mother (our pastor). It's amazing. What a precious Godly woman she is. See the site and you'll understand what I am talking about!

Well, I'm gonna close, just had to update boring though it is!