An Average Woman


So, yesterday was Martin Luther King day. And honestly, other than noticing how busy it was in town and that my son was out of school, I didn’t give it much thought. In truth, it’s just another day on the calendar for me. A holiday that’s observed, and by observed I mean Federal agencies and various offices are closed. In the fullness of yesterday, that’s the only thought that came to my mind regarding the holiday… busyness and closings.

See, I’m a busy woman. And yesterday, my son was home. So I hit the ground running. I had places to go, people to see, groceries to get, work emails to answer, dinner to cook, and aerobics to attend. And after all that, I had a baby to tend to. She was a bit fussy yesterday evening and her sleep was not sound. So, I slept on the sofa with her by my side in her bouncy chair. I wanted to be close…

That brings me to this morning. And that’s when revelation struck… Yesterday was Martin Luther King day. But what does that mean? Or more specifically, what should it mean to someone like me… your average woman. Overloaded and overwhelmed by duty and tasks. See, at the basest, I know what the day represents. I’ve heard all about this significant man. And he had a dream. And he had a purpose. And he gave his life, literally, for that dream.

But you know, there’s a song that sheds light on something more about Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s called Up to the Mountain (MLK song). And from a video, I learned that Dr. King’s last speech was the inspiration for the song. And I believe anyone who hears the lyrics will be moved. Moved to go up to the mountain… just like he did.


This morning, God reminded me of another man who went up to the mountain. Just like Dr. King. His name was Moses. And in Exodus 34, Moses’ instructions were clear. They were simple. Be prepared, come up, and stand before Me on the mountaintop. But God also said, “No one may go up with you.” And that stirs me this cold day. See, there are just some places you have to go alone. For some journeys are meant for only two… God and the individual. At least that’s what I gleaned from my reading this morning.

Moses, indeed, trekked up that mountain. Alone. And you know what happened? The LORD came down. God stood there with him. And God proclaimed His name to Moses. Moses received revelation, for He glimpsed God’s glory. And there he stayed for forty days and forty nights. In the presence of God… basking in His glory. Just God and him.

And so, I ponder Martin Luther King, Jr. And the MLK song. See, he went up to the mountain because God asked him to. I’m sure he prepared. And he stood before God. And most assuredly, I think he went alone. At least that first time. See, some journeys are meant for only two… And you know what I think happened? God came down. Dr. King received revelation. And a dream. And most assuredly, He glimpsed God’s glory. Just God and him.

But what does that mean to me? An average woman. Because going up to the mountain seems so lofty. See, I’m no Moses and I’m certainly no Martin Luther King. But does that mean God’s invitation went forth to only men like them? Or is it for me, too? A tired, harried, disheveled 41 year old woman. What in the world would that look like… going up to the mountain?

You know what? I can tell you. Because this morning, it happened. Amidst the chaos of my home, I heard God’s call. He told me to come up, and I did. But that meant I had to leave some things behind…


Look at my house. Anyone who knows me knows how unhinged I can be when clutter abounds. But you know, I couldn’t do both. I couldn’t ascend the mountain dragging my stuff with me. So I left my duties and chores behind. The dust on my surfaces and the laundry in the basket and the emails in my inbox? They remained at the base of the mountain. And so, I prepared for my ascent in that I didn’t prepare my face. Or my hair…


And I went up and stood before the LORD in my Spirit. All by myself. Face and soul bared. And the most remarkable thing happened…for He came down. He met with me. And I received revelation. A received a fresh glimpse of God’s glory. And there I basked in His presence. Just me… a tired, middle-aged, average woman. And God. A journey for two. And this… this is what going up the mountain looks like in my home.


You know, this stained glass piece has been hanging in my window. But today, it means so much more to me than a simple decoration. It seems significant. For it’s a reminder of God’s invitation. But see, I can’t have it all. I can’t do it all. And so, every day hereafter, I’ll have a choice. I can stay at the foot of the mountain dusting and decluttering and accomplishing my lengthy to do list. Or, I can leave all that behind seeking something greater. Something more. Seeking God. The choice is mine. And today, I’m so glad I made the right choice. Because had I not, I would have missed God.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

So yesterday was Martin Luther King day. And it’s true he was a great man. He stood for what he believed in. He fought and gave his life for what mattered. See, he had a dream. And you know what… so do I. This average woman has a dream, too. It’s from God. It’s His purpose for me. It’s what I’m to stand and fight for. But you know… I could have so easily missed it. If I was too busy to hear His call, I would have missed His revelation. It’s so easy to do. We’re so incredibly busy… the average woman has such a full plate.

But hush now… quiet your busy mind. Can you hear Him? He speaks softly and His invitation is for you, “Come up to the mountain,” He says. Because there He’ll meet with you. But you must go alone. See, some journeys are meant for only two. God and you. Because He has a dream. And a purpose. Just for you. An average woman.

 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12

Fly your Flag


Twenty two years ago, I set out in hope of making it on my own. I ventured out on wobbly legs, believing with all my heart that I would be able to stand. In my naiveté, I thought I could move one thousand miles away and fully tackle life. I thought I would be fine away from my mom, away from my dad, and away from everything I knew. Because I had my friend. And we were seeking what every teenager yearns for… freedom. I thought that I’d find freedom in a place called Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But since I didn’t have much of a plan, my stay lasted just short of two months. Before I knew it, I realized that Florida was not the land of the free. At least for me.

It’s one evening in particular that comes to mind. A night that was telling in every way. See, I came home to my apartment late, only to find it filled with at least sixty people. Each room was filled, and there was quite a party in full swing. And so, I did what most eighteen year old girls would do… I joined in. However, things became a little loud. People started to filter through the whole complex, congregating in the stairwells and using the pool. There were arguments and fire alarms were pulled. And it’s not surprising that the police made an appearance. But I didn’t want to talk to them. I wasn’t equipped to. I was underage and I had been drinking. I was scared. However, when the police demanded to speak to someone whose name was on the lease, that task fell to me… a frightened, ignorant eighteen year old who had gotten herself into a predicament. Frankly, I didn’t know what to do about it. And you know, I really don’t recall much of the conversation between me and the police officers. Only one statement is clear. I cried out, “I’m from Virginia! I don’t know anything!” And now, I just have to laugh at that. What was I thinking? What kind of answer is that? I don’t know anything… Miraculously, I wasn’t taken to jail that night. And truth be told, I probably should have been.

Yes, my time in Florida is what I thought of this morning. And in the remembering… I see a picture of a naïve, young girl. Although she was ignorant in many ways, she set out courageously. However, she found out rather quickly that she was not equipped to be on her own. Not then. She wasn’t ready for the freedom she sought, and her own words proclaimed the truth… “I don’t know anything!” And so this is the statement that plagues me this morning. I am struck with the realization that in truth, not much has changed. I may be twenty-two years older than that young girl who set off on an adventure, but this morning I see… I don’t know anything!


Over the past week, I’ve explored pleading the fifth (keeping silent) and pleading Jesus (confessing with your mouth). But now, I realize there’s something else I’ve been pleading over time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been pleading ignorance. At least in one particular arena. At all costs, I avoid politics, and current affairs, and the other hot issues of our day. Because I prefer to play it safe. If I see something controversial posted on Facebook, I dare not share it. Because what would people think of me? Or, because I’m so ignorant with regard to a certain topic, I stick my head in the sand rather than face it head on. Pretty cowardly when I think about it. But I’ve always had an excuse. I use ignorance. I justify not saying anything because I don’t know enough about a subject to address it. In essence, I plead, “I don’t know anything!” Just as that eighteen year old girl did long ago. But that’s not good enough for a forty year old woman. The reality is, it’s time to grow up. The reality is, it’s time to take responsibility. The reality is everything that we’ve heard since growing up is true… change begins with you! Take a stand! Do something!

My thoughts? God’s word says, “To him who has, more will be given; but to him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:25. And so this morning, I wonder… what about freedom? Does this verse apply to freedom, too? We’re told we live in the land of the free, but at times, it feels that we’re helpless to do anything. It’s supposed to be we the people for the people, but it seems as if it’s a few people for certain people. Today, I feel threatened. As an American citizen, I feel a bit fearful of what the future holds. Because God’s word says a house divided cannot stand. What about our country? See, it was founded as one Nation under God, but now, America is many nations under many gods. Can our country stand? Will it?

Here’s the truth about me. I have taken my freedom for granted. I take my rights for granted. I take the United States of America for granted. Because I’ve been too comfortable. I leave all the political stuff to other people, because my life hasn’t been messed with much. I feel stable and somewhat secure, and by other countries’ standards, I’m rich. I’m doing just fine. But what about other people?

I have freedom… for today. Today, I can say what I want and I can worship God without the fear of being persecuted. But what about tomorrow? Because I see these freedoms being taken away bit by bit. And that alarms me. See, I wonder if what takes place in other countries can really take place here. Because the truth is, on other continents, Christians are murdered. Did you know this?  There are those who believe in Jesus Christ, and if they choose to stand for Him (to fly their flag, so to speak), they can be maimed, burned and slaughtered. Because of what they believe! Have you ever heard that? Why isn’t this front-page news? What’s taking place in Syria is horrible. It’s tragic and scary! But the reality is these things happen every single day. Every day people are killed for different causes, but the media chooses to report only what they deem important. It appears that Christians being murdered is not high on the list.

This week, something has come alive inside me. And I believe it’s called patriotism. After all this time. I am forty years old. Why the delay? Have I been too selfish? Too inward focused? Am I just now arising from a deep slumber? Or is it the threat to our country, and realizing that I’m at the mercy of what our leaders decide to do. It seems as if it’s their decision, not mine. And that scares me. Is it still “we the people, for the people.” Is it still my country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty….

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

Freedom. It’s ours today. But we cannot sit by idly. We must fly our flags. And not just on flag poles. We the people must stand for what we believe in. Do you know what you believe in? I mean really know for certain? Are you impassioned for a cause? And if so, are you flying your flag? As for me, I no longer wish to plead ignorance. I don’t know anything is a poor excuse when freedom is at risk. My saying, “I don’t know anything,” is to surrender. And I love my country. I have a voice. And I will raise it… for America. I shall fly her flag. Proudly. Freedom will be my cry.

I have a dream…

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Psalm 24:3

This afternoon, I had a moment of doubt about what I was doing. Because I have been writing about struggle, and turmoil, and strife.  I even had the song “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne rolling around in my head. It’s a beautiful song… a man sings his heart out about his pain. Trouble following him since the day he was born, and worry won’t leave him alone… but he was saved by a woman. And that woman, she won’t let him go. Do you know what I hear in that song? God. Because Jesus said in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart for He has overcome the world! Trouble is a part of our lives. But it’s not a woman who will save us. It’s Jesus. He is the One who will not let us go.

It was this afternoon when I read a comment on the blog about being thankful and counting blessings. And for a brief period, I felt uncertain about what I was doing. Because all I seem to write about is struggle… not blessing and thankfulness. For some reason, I cannot seem to break through all the strife. Why? Why am I stuck in the valley, when I want to be on the mountain with God? What purpose does the trial, and my writing about it, serve? Wouldn’t it be more effective to write about thankfulness, and counting my blessings? Wouldn’t that bring more glory to God? Wouldn’t uplifting blogs encourage someone all the more? Am I coming across as a whiny, baby???

And God reassured me. There is purpose. He reminded me of my dream. It was birthed in the summer of 2011, and has grown to all consuming proportions in recent days. I want to write because I am passionate about God. He is the One who instilled that passion within me. He is the One who is transforming me into something more… for Him. But along the way, there’s struggle. And so, what comes out is the truth about God and me. And right now, I have trouble. Right now, I’m in a valley. And you know what? I feel deep in my heart that most people out there are living in the valley, too. But, I’m on a journey. I’m ascending a mountain with God, and I want other people to come along with me. I want other people to know what I’ve learned, and what I’m learning. Because it took oh, so long to get just where I am now… and there’s a mountain to climb, and endurance is required. Yes, I’m passionate about my struggle. Because I know in my heart, I am not the only one who feels the same.

Yes, I have a dream, and God reminded me of my dream today through two separate sources. I read an article entitled “5 lies that keep us from dreaming” in the P31 Woman magazine. And after my recent blogs about “Desire,” I just have to share what I read: “Your dreams aren’t about you, they’re about what God wants to do in His kingdom through you.” “So right here, right now, take back your God-given permission to dream and to follow the desires of our heart.” And, “the ‘more’ your heart has desired is what God has wanted to give you all along.” I also read a devotion from a book called, “Fresh Grounded Faith,” by Jennifer Rothschild. The topic? Follow your heart… she talked about Martin Luther King’s famous speech of August 28, 1963. She said that the speech almost didn’t happen. See, Dr. King had a dream, and he talked about it, wrote about it and shared it. Communicating his dream was his passion. And so, his advisors worried that the phrase, “I have a dream,” had been overused. They thought that it might lose its impact, if you can imagine that. And so, Dr. King did follow the new speech; however, before he came to the end he strayed from the transcript. He began to follow his heart, and speak out of his passion. And he said, “I have a dream…” The rest is history, as they say.

Martin Luther King, Jr. – I have a Dream

Martin Luther King had a dream. And his dream was God’s dream… Dr. King said, “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”  May we all have just such a dream. And when desire gives birth to passion, may we know that it was God who placed it inside us.