Tuesday, November 30, 2010


A Facebook friend posted this verse on her wall. I fell in love with it.

"The LORD your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, "but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I can picture God as a Mighty Warrior, one who has come back from battle, for me. He has saved me. Despite the influences of the world and Satan working on me, God has defeated them all and saved me.

He is delighted in all that I do. My work, the way I care for my family, even when I am talking that negative self talk I tend to spout out about myself, He is delighted in everything about me...He loves me at my current weight, when I eat something I shouldn't be eating and even during my dark times.

Just as I rejoiced over my children as they were newborns lying in their cribs, God rejoices over me with the same love, the same longing. (Our parents did the same thing...we tend to forget we were their babies too). But the amazing thing is that God loves us despite the garbage we bring into our lives. Despite the broken relationships, the ugly words that come out of our mouths, the comparisons, the bad choices. We are loved unconditionally.

What have you done lately to strengthen your relationship with God?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Scrambled eggs
2. Pre-lit Christmas trees
3. Visits from family
4. New books
5. warm pants

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Moments

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

I picked up my little Christian from the babysitter, and as I walked into her house, I was completely overwhelmed. "Ma", as the children call her, was cooking dinner and the smell from her oven wrapped itself around me. It was one of those smells that you could not pinpoint. What was the ingredient? It was my mom. When I asked "Ma" what she was cooking I found out it was meatloaf. My mother never made meatloaf but that smell was completely hers.

I haven't experienced that smell in over 14 years.

The hairs on my arms were standing up and a warmth enveloped my entire being. Tears started to roll down my cheeks. My mother was with me in that moment.

It was an unexpected moment. A moment I needed. A moment I am thankful for.

I love how the holiday season starts in such a profound way. We start by giving thanks. We take time to focus on the things that we often take for granted...family, friendships, the people we work with, the food we have in our pantry, the freedom we experience every day, the moments that come and go in a flash.

I am just thankful God has given me another day to enjoy the blessings in my life.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Special deliveries
2. Cucumbers
3. Winter clothes
4. Family pictures
5. A busy concert schedule

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Better Days

My days have been better (I thank you for your kind comments and prayers.)

I have made an "A" in my first online class for my Master's degree, a very special high school friend reached out to me, I had a productive week at work, went to my first Zumba class and loved it, and spent time with friends last night.

Doing the next right thing is paying off. That is one of the ways I battle my depression. I move slowly but surely by doing what is next on the list. Sometimes it's as basic as getting out of bed and getting dressed and then it moves to bigger things like actually thinking about what tomorrow may bring.

There is a verse that keeps surfacing for me. It's times like this that I am so glad that I have committed some verses to memory. They appear in my heart when I need them the most.

I shared this verse from 2 Corinthians earlier this week. Here is the version from "The Message."

My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 12:9

When I really look at my struggles with depression I know this verse is true.

Christ's strength appears during my depression. It's not my power that pulls me out of my depression it's Christ! I am never alone. When I am talking to myself, I am actually talking with God. When I am debating on whether or not to get out of bed, I am conversing with God and He is there encouraging me to do the next, right thing. His power is evident when I am feeling my worst.

God never leaves us.

Despite the mess we may get ourselves into, despite the ugly things we may say and do to others (and to ourselves), despite the lowest moments in our lives...God never leaves us.

He loves us just the way we are and He loves us like no one else ever will.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. cold floors
2. trips to the airport
3. call forwarding
4. a credit on a bill
5. the smell of firewood burning in the neighborhood

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Monday, November 15, 2010

"Thinking" to Walk

I've not been around for a bit.

No desire.

No energy.

No spirit.

No words to share.

It's as if life has been sucked out of me.

Nothing in particular set it off...sometimes it just happens.

Depression has just reared its ugly head.

Over the past few days I have literally had to "think" to walk. I know that is hard to understand if you don't suffer from depression, but often the simplest of things become huge challenges.

"Get up Cazandra!"
"Walk to the bathroom!"
"Brush your teeth."
"Comb your hair."

I wish I was exaggerating, but that is what I have had to do for several days.

I did have a recent victory...I went to church Sunday morning.

I know, I am a pastor's wife, why shouldn't I be in church? The absolute last thing I wanted to do was put a smile on my face and be present that morning. How could I possible have anything to give when I could hardly function?

It was truly by the grace of God that I was in church.

I hugged the neck of a woman who just lost her husband...no words were exchanged, but I was there for her. Another woman just received word that her daughter was dying, thousands of miles away. Another hug needed and given.

God used me despite how I was feeling. He used the part of me that I was able to give. I had no idea that I would show up as a minister that morning, but the amazing part is that those two grieving women ministered to me in a very profound way. I felt God's presence through them and their grief.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
Today I Am Thankful For:

1. fleece jackets
2. Sugar free cookies
3. Positive test results
4. Curly hair
5. Windy days

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Last Thing I Wanted To Do...

Getting up at 6 am on a Saturday morning is not something that top's my list of favorite things to do.

But that is what I did today.

I was asked to come speak to a group of women in Cloudcroft, New Mexico about Celebration Ministries (I served as President of the Deming Celebration Chapter for three years). They were wanting information and had questions, so I accepted their invitation several weeks ago.

I had been trying to talk myself out of going for days...mainly because I have just not been feeling well. Truth be told, I've not been feeling well since September.

My heart has been empty. I just feel like my faith is weak and my relationship with God is stagnant because of lack of work on my part.

My husband encouraged me to keep my commitment. He tells me that when our faith is weak and when we feel like God is not present in our lives that it is often the most important time to continue our ministry.

I think he is right.

During the three hour drive to Cloudcroft I was doubting myself. "What can I possible give these women? What if they see through me and see that I am a big phony? What if my words are not what they need?"

These women blessed my socks off! They shared their hearts and desires and were just lovely. I shared some of my story and helped to give them direction for their women's group.

The three hour drive home was quite different. I felt so blessed. Blessed that I was invited to share in the lives of these amazing women. Blessed that God led me on this little journey through my feeling crummy about everything. Blessed that I "showed up" and shared a part of myself and what God is doing through me.

I am so far from perfect. I drop the ball, I slack off, I don't believe in myself, but through all of that craziness, God loves me just the way I am.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A brisk morning
2. A New Mexico sunrise
3. aromatherapy sleep mist
4. Google images
5. Pizza Night at the local deli

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010


For the first time in a long time...
I am going to take my little one to see a doctor in Albuquerque. For a while it was a weekly thing, but thanks to the goodness of God, my sweet boy's hemophilia has been under control. He is doing great! He has definitely deserved it after a long summer of being in and out of the hospital.
We are going to see a neurologist to check out the nerve damage that happened during a "routine" procedure back in July. I am thinking we are going to get a good report :)

For the first time in a month...
I have not felt physically sick.

For the first time...
my oldest son moved into my office at the church and set up for his online school.

For the first time in recent weeks...
I feel like me and my husband really made a great decision by moving our son into a different learning environment.

Any first's for you lately?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a Monday night soak at the hot springs
2. a new video camera
3. bedtime laughter
4. wet hair
5. a kind veterinarian

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Recommended Reading

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  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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