Thursday, July 18, 2013


"And you will be brought before governors and kings, for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the nations.  Do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given to you in that very hour and moment.  Take no thought of how you will speak, the Spirit of your Father speaketh through you."  Matthew 10:18-20 AMP

I do not fare well with change.
I know it needs to happen and I know my heart REQUIRES change for me to grow closer to Jesus and live more in His likeness and less in my flesh.

But, simply put, I don't like it.

And I like it even less when there is silence in the midst of change. Ugh!

Last year, I was blessed when the Lord reached down and offered me an opportunity to attend the She Speaks conference.  Eager, anxious and filled with trepidation, I embarked on a completely new, completely vulnerable experience; one that required my heart to be pliable, and my ears to be completely open to what He would speak to me.  Assuming I would come home with notebooks filled with practical writing strategies and much needed motivation, I was surprised when my "take-away" had very little to do with writing and everything to do with relationship. I did come home with practical strategies, but I also arrived home with a revised heart and a new perspective on accepting His will in every circumstance.

So, I prayed fervently, quietly, passionately about my relationship with the Lord and what he expected of me.  I also prayed about what He wanted me to write. And THAT is when it happened.

The silence.

That deafening sound you hear in your spirit when the Lord is quiet.

Reminiscent of  a starry night of summer, fireflies darting about, the sweet smell of cut grass and chlorine, you stand in the yard breathing in the hot air while crickets chirp about.  Aside from the critters that lurk, the world is silent.

Transitions.  I knew my original blog Our Little Ladybugs was ready to be retired.  After all, the ladybugs are not so little anymore.  (sniffle)  And I felt God calling me to a different type of written expression.  While I am still highly passionate about adoption and issues related to adoption, my wings are being stretched and the broader topics of motherhood, marriage, friendship and education jumped to the forefront of my thoughts. Additionally, our littlest ladybug is growing quite nicely and there are pieces to her story that are hers, not mine to share, so I respect that and accept that the Lord convicted my heart to move forward.

Thus, Beals on Wheels was born.  The first time I decided to post, I sat for almost two hours blankly staring at the computer screen with only one word floating aimlessly before me, dull.  D-U-L-L
A harsh reality became evident, I have nothing to share.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Noth-ing!

Lord, tell me...give me SOMETHING! And strangely, he remained silent. My lonely little blog sat, unattended and certainly unwritten upon.

Until now.  I have read the book of Matthew before, several times.  But lo and behold, during my quiet time, the words leapt off the page and assured me I would never have anything to write about, but the Lord would allow His words to flow through me.

So, as I ready for my second She Speaks Conference, I rejoice in this special word He gave me reminding me, ever so gently, as He always does, that He will guide my typing hands or speaking mouth to speak through me, if I allow Him to.

Is there a special word He has for YOU today?  Have you spent some time with Him to find out?  I encourage you to open His Word and enjoy that sweet time of fellowship.

Be encouraged,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Little Things

I was casually walking through a favorite store when a plaque jumped off the shelf and accosted me in my tracks.  I have seen the plaque many times or at least seen the saying without pausing. Not once. Ever.

I am still not sure what made this day different, but it was.  It said,

Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Simple, huh?  It is in theory, but in reality I had to stop and think about all the little things that have made our life such a happy one.  (read: happy, NOT perfect!)  Tea parties, singing in the car, funny faces, folding laundry together, devotionals, playing "Make Me Laugh", giggles, tears, lunch with my mom, dancing in the!  Little things...I thought about our little things, two precious gifts entrusted to our care; loaned because God knew we'd care for them with His guidance.  Our bigger little thing, already ten years old. 

I closed my eyes, breathing in the moment and tried desperately to remember every tea party, which animal sat in which seat and did we have lemonade or grape juice for our tea?  Hot chocolate? When was the last time I did that with our smaller little thing?

I thought about my mom.  When my dad would travel, she and I would get hoagies, watch horror films and turn them off ten minutes into the movie, exchanging for a great romance or drama. We'd go shopping and have lunch together...I was her little thing and here I am all grown up.  Her words pierced me, "Enjoy this goes so fast."  I can honestly say my mom was one who enjoyed the little things. She still does. 

So, the other day when sweet little Hannah ran up the steps and "found me" folding laundry in the bedroom, she issued a plea.  A square box cradled in the nook of her arm, she opened those big brown eyes and quietly asked me to play a game.

It's the little things...the wash will wait.  Hannah won't.  She will never be that day of six again.Never.

So, we played...I pray it remains in my memory bank tucked away with all of the little things that I am SURE are really the BIG THINGS!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

She Reflects

Over the past few years, one of my dearest friends shared her desire for any of her friends who love to write to join her at the She Speaks conference in North Carolina.  The conference, a labor of sheer love executed by the women of Proverbs 31 Ministries is chock full of sessions on writing and speaking.  Competant, "been-there-done-that" speakers and writers employ meaningful content on how we share our message with the right audience and how to take next steps with book deals, magazine articles and devotionals.  Ladies, I saw Lysa terKuerst up close and personal! She spoke to ME! (well, she spoke to 650 of us :) and had the elevator doors NOT closed, I would have stammered how much I liked her SHOES! Far more importantly, I got to see first hand the authenticity with which these women serve the Lord they love. 

With a grand adoration for writing (and reading), I am an obvious candidate for such a conference, but God kept making it quite clear that certain financial obligations took precedence over this conference.  Each year my sadness increased and my writing dwindled as I lost hope for how God would have me use my passion for writing to further His kingdom.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
~ Psalm 27:14

Part of the significance in this being "the year" lies in the appreciation I have because of the years I had to wait.  Our youngest daughter, adopted from China dealt us a wait of  two plus years to bring her home...perhaps the experience, if possible, was sweeter, because the Lord had us wait for His perfect timing.  We had to trust He knew just the right moment, hour, day. Though wildly different situations, that same appreciation for the wait exists. It is okay when God has us...wait.

And so, this being "the year", I and four girlfriends loaded into a big ol' SUV and had ourselves a ball travelling eight hours to our destination.  God provided safety and travelling mercies, rest and laughter and fellowship of the finest sort. He ensured our children were cared for in our absence.  God even rescheduled our family vacation so that I could attend the conference without missing that special downtime with my husband and children...only God, only His time.

The conference whizzed by in a blur.  A cacophony of worship, workshops, new ideas, prayer and friendship blended together for a picture perfect weekend.  My dear, dear friend blessed me with one of the most special experiences of my life.  Her encouragement to attend and her belief that I belonged there, were quite simply a wellspring of love.  It was exciting to encourage one another as we learned about our "voices" and where God may use us most.  I found myself on many occasions asking the question..."Just what IS my MESSAGE?"

I think God may have me on that waiting list again and I am learning that is really okay, because his timing could not be more impeccable.

As we departed to gain re-entry into our regular lives, our small travelling group discussed our "take-aways".  I would have thought that my take-aways would be technical in nature, dealing with the mechanics of writing and the strategies I could use to better my craft.  While, I gained a bunch of those and am still mulling them over, my biggest take-away was much more personal.  Relationship.  During the waiting time, God was growing our relationship. I saw how He desired I be committed to him differently than I was four years ago when I first heard about She Speaks.

Sometimes, serving Him is in the waiting.  And sometimes we have to wait to see what he has in store...I can't wait to see what's next :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In my Sister's Shoes...

I interrupt this regular post to suggest you visit my friend Sharon at her blog. Sharon is a gifted writer, among many other things, and she recently was featured in Lysa TerKeurst's brand new book, "Unglued".  Lysa has a way of writing that encourages girlfriends of all walks to hang out and deepen our relationships with God and with each other.  She gracefully shares truths in a way that is not only receiveable but also do-able!  In celebration of this wonderful new book, Sharon is hosting a fabulous give-away...please, please do not miss this opportunity to be one of the first folks to have this phenomenal book in your collection of what you are reading this summer!  Stop by, share a comment with Sharon and be entered to receive a signed copy of  "Unglued"!

Now, onto a LONG overdue post...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

We find her clip clopping around the house; her pretty little feet tucked into her sister's shoes.  She laughs wildly and holds up a foot for me to see.  They fight like typical siblings.  The two of them, as different as the yin and yang of their haircolor, are the differences in their personalities.

"She is touching me!" 

"That is MINE." (with a telltale whine)

"STTTTOOOOOOPPPP!!" (If I hear this one one more time, I very well may require intervention!)

And still, despite their differences, the younger of the two will capture every opportunity to slip on her sister's shoes and proudly strut, desiring to be just a smaller version of her elder counterpart.

In May, our older daughter, Emily was anticipating many milestones.  Her first Reading Olympics, multiple recitals, school concert, her tenth birthday! The Reading Olympics and school dance recital fell the same day, just one day prior to her tenth birthday.

Em woke early, which I quickly attributed to excitement.  It wasn't until I stood and watched her that morning that I knew something was wrong.  Em struggled to eat her little bowl of cheerios and when she looked up at me, I could see her flushed cheeks.  A whole year of healthy ushered out in just a moment of fever, on the worst possible day of the year.

Her eyes knowingly plead her case, wishing away the warmth that threatened to ruin a year's worth of hard work.  I believe we took Em's temperature 113 times that morning, each time, praying that God would change the thermometer.  A normally antagonistic little sister, Hannah watched silently. This was the day of her FIRST dance recital. 

102.7 was the first attempt and 104.4 was the final attempt...that fever wasn't going anywhere.  So, with a heavy heart, I called school to let them know Em would not be there that day.  We had the sad job of telling Emily  we could not send her to Reading Olympics or the dance recital with a fever peaking just over 104 degrees. I assured her that her hard work was not in vain.  These are the moments I wish our parenting handbook was delivered WITH the child!

That evening Hannah joyfully donned her costume.  She was dancing to a beautiful version of the Lord's Prayer. Em put her costume on "as a symbol of solidarity" she said.  I was rather impressed that with eyes heavy with fever and a terrible headache she mustered the energy to be excited for her little sister.  They posed for pictures and as Hannah was leaving, Em smiled, waved and told her to do as well as she had done in rehearsal.  My mama's heart was conflicted.  As sad as I was to leave Emily home with her grandmother, I was beaming with joy for Hannah.  I was elated that in an important moment, these two sisters were compassionate to one another, Em setting aside her disappointment and Hannah able to receive that her sister felt badly about missing two such important events.
Because I work at the school, one of my roles this year was to assist the dance teacher with the production.  So, there I sat, in the front, anticipating my baby's first time on a stage.  She did not disappoint.  It was so exciting to see Hannah confident and worshipful.  There was no doubt that she served the Lord with her whole heart.
 It was what she did next that really blessed me, though.

The dancers were nearing the time for the finale and the smaller children were to take their places in the front, down low.  The dance teacher and I realized that Em was partnered with another girl high up on the stage to wave a gold banner, the effect simply would not be the same without Em.  So, in a quick attempt to fill Emily's shoes, I motioned to Hannah to take Emily's place.  Now, Hannah is a tiny little bit of a girl and she had to maneuver up that stage in between the junior high girls and get to another dancer and partner with them.  It was obvious how closely she must have watched her sister, because with great precision, she got to her mark, made eye contact with the other girl and that banner was waved!

It may sound simple, but more than anything, Hannah had honored Emily.  Her small frame not quite able to do exactly what her sister did, she tried her best and the product was exceptional.  When the dancers were finished and Hannah ran to me, she said, "Emily would be so proud." 


"Sisters are different flowers from the same garden" ~Anonymous
On a normal day, their battle cries would sound loud and clanging, not this day.  This day, they chose to quietly love on one another.

I am certain Em would not have chosen to be sick and miss the Reading Olympics and the dance recital.  But, I am also certain that God's special design for that day was best for her.  And perhaps, best for this conflicted mama.  Often, the Lord chooses events and circumstances we would NEVER choose for ourselves. We can be assured that what the Lord allows in our life is surely to build His kingdom. 

Hannah's gentle act of love allowed us a window to her heart and sweet honor to her sister.  It was a blessing amidst uncommon circumstances that I will not soon forget!

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins."  1 Peter 4:8

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visiting Friends

Isn't it fun to get together, catch up and spend some time with the people you love?


Even in our blogging community, we get those opportunities!  My dear friend, Sharon, who is first and foremost a dedicated daughter to her heavenly Father is also a wife, mommy, sister, daughter, friend and a gifted writer.  Sharon knows how to employ just the right mix of fun and relatability into her sharing of God's truths.  A dedicated student of His Word, Sharon ministers to the heart of many and is a great encourager.  She asked some friends to guest post on her blog, His Table for Two.  Please take some time to visit Sharon and her friends :)  Leave a comment, not necesarily on my post, but on Maria's, Jenn's and scroll through to read some of Sharon's beautiful writing.  A link to her article published in June in Proverbs 31 Woman (the magazine!!!!) is in her sidebar, as well as a link featuring Lysa TerKeurst's new book, Unglued, which Sharon is featured in. Feel free to visit Sharon's other blog, also... Joy in the Truth.

Sharon and I on a little adventure we took this past fall.

It has been a long time since I have posted here to my own blog.  Personally, the time to write quality posts just hasn't been there, but I pray often that the Lord will open up that time, so that I can return to writing, a deep passion for me.  Just recently, I took a walk by myself and as I strolled along, I felt the Lord say very clearly, "go back to writing!".  So, prayerfully this won't be a single little post that sits here a looooooonnnggg time, but the beginning of a committment to share again.  Feel free to hold me accountable!

Hoping you are enjoying a wonderful summer day!

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another." John 1:16


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Quiet Teacher

When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test. ~ Anonymous

Yes, this little ditty was posted to a friend's status recently. However, it prompted me to pray and think about the truth in this simple statement. Like a roaring ocean, we stand at the place where the waves crash hearing the boom of God's great creation. Yet, if we dive in, sinking below the surface, there is a hush, a quiet.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

I can't help but wonder if this is God's will when He is quiet. Remember, the Lord is not absent or removed, just quiet. His desire is for us to dive beneath the surface, seek Him more fully and perhaps, rest in His contentment to be quiet.

"Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him."
Deuteronomy 30:20

Sometimes when our lives present with the most noise, the greatest chaos, it is those times, we wait expectantly, hoping for a loud, thunderous resolution to whatever issue is taking us to our knees. Sometimes, it will require our patience, knowing that the Lord numbers our steps carefully and protects us accordingly. If He is silent, it is in our best interest.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” Psalm 130: 5

As a behavior therapist, often the louder a student becomes, the quieter I become. The student will eventually meet my voice with their own, changing the dynamic of the interaction and the intimacy of the conversation. As we become content to connect with God quietly, we increase the intimacy of our relationship and dive below the surface of our typical intermingling with our precious Lord. Like the classroom, the children ask question upon question...the teacher guides and sometimes reminds the students, "It's okay, you already know this...I have prepared you." God loves us so much that He has prepared us, His quiet is in love.

Next time an issue is pressing and your repeated pleas yield little conversation, keep close the heartfelt faith that God loves us enough that He has prepared us and that He may be quiet but is never far away. He is always right there.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby Love

In honor of Valentine's Day, this is my post for Titus 2 In Action...true love, real love...not candy or jewelry or flowers...I am blessed to know what real love feels like.

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God ~ for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:7-10

It was a simple sticky note.
Stuck to my Bible on my nightstand. And it said,

"I'm not your baby anymore. But I still love you, mama."

I rubbed it gently between my fingers fighting my hot cheeks and imminent tears, as I grappled with the reality that my sweet kindergartener was beginning to show her independence and ability. I thought back to earlier in the day when I lovingly and with great affection answered my youngest with the words, "Yes, baby." Obviously, my gently used moniker for our little one left her feeling less than great. Compelled to tell me the truth, she left the note to make her point. How often does God point out the truth, painful as it is...always ending with, BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. A precious message and life lesson I received from my tender child that day.

This child...a child whom love escaped for quite a time. Living in an orphanage the first eleven months of her life, thrust into a new home, new world, new family. Not yet ready to love with full abandon, she eased her way into committment and attachment. Slowly, like a flower opening petal by petal, she grew and emerged, blossoming into the loving girl I now see. I adored her before I ever knew her; she had reason to doubt love. She has taught me daily about God's the threshold of parenting, we can most closely feel that unconditional love God has shown us in the love we hold for our children. It is possibly one of the finest representations of that original love that we can find. He loved us before we loved Him. It is the simple truth.

As a toddler, our daughter held onto raw emotions, causing us to seek deeper, stronger, more passionately God's truths and how to parent her without shattering her beautiful spirit. The first time she uttered the words, "I love you Mama", she held my face in her little hands. She was two and a half and we were visiting my older daughter's school as they rehearsed for the winter concert. Literally, a choir of angels sang as she melted into my own frame. I have to believe that my rejoicing resembles that of the Lord's each time a new son or daughter receive Him lovingly into their hearts. Oh how He must dance!

May it be that in gladness, sadness, truthfulness, and life, we can accept God's instruction and guidance all the while knowing BUT HE STILL LOVES US.

"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8


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