Why I Can’t Enjoy Mother’s Day This Year

I heard about it on Facebook – not in the newspaper or CNN or the nightly news. On Facebook. It happened three weeks ago – over 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped in the middle of the night from their school dormitory by men linked to a terrorist group.

They are still missing. Nobody who is anybody is doing anything about it.

Three weeks. Gone.

Three weeks of mothers, brothers, fathers – worried, wondering, waiting.


( photo with Youtube video at the end of this post)

I look into the eyes of this girl and my own brim with tears.
I look into this young girl’s solemn face and I can’t imagine being in her mother’s place.
I can’t imagine wondering what is happening to my daughter right now.

Because these aren’t empty worries. These aren’t the worries I have – if my son will catch up on his homework after a long illness or if my older son is a bit late coming home and I’m wondering if I should call the hospital. These mothers’ worries are based on bitter reality, on devastating daily life.

My heart breaks to know that a father, a brother or an uncle road into a forested area where the terrorists are supposed to be – unarmed. So he could bring his girl back.

Today in Ann Voskamp’s blog I read, “Women aged fifteen through forty-four are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.”

These girls were just trying to get an education. Instead they were abducted, probably sold as brides to violent men who do not care about their intellect or emotions or soul.

I sit here in my little house in a corner of Ohio. Kids are playing outside, riding their bikes, laughing. The sun is shining after a long winter.

A world away, despite a blazing sun, a winter of the heart sets in for hundreds of mothers and fathers.

No, I can’t enjoy Mother’s Day this year. Not when 200+ mothers weep for daughters that may never return.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all.” Psalms 34: 17, 18

Blessings, Rosanne


p.s. You can watch a video that gives a bit more info on individual girls here.

When Life is Messy

Five Minute FridayToday is 5 Minute Friday. It’s when women from all over, take 5 unedited minutes to write about a word provided by Lisa Jo Baker. Today’s word, very aptly, was mess! You can check out other posts or join in here.

There are piles of papers and books spread across on the kitchen table.
Dishes are stacked in the sink.
A baseball uniform is still in the washing machine (remind me to switch that to the dryer, would you?)
Shoes are piled by the doorway and coats are slung over the chair by the front door.
My school bag is lying on it’s side, the contents spilling out onto the floor and my purse is propped drunkenly against the television stand.

A wastebasket overflows with tissues and a TV tray holds a hug plastic bottle of water, a box of tissues, a thermometer and a discarded hospital band.

This has been a messy week after another chaotic week. My youngest son, Brody, spent Tuesday and part of Wednesday in the hospital because of double pneumonia. I didn’t see that one coming even though he has been home sick since last Wednesday.

Of course, I stayed with him, so the things that clamored at home had no audience in me. Deadlines got pushed back and to do lists were forgotten as I sat by a hospital bed that made my almost 13 year old son looks small and frail. Eight pounds – the size of a healthy newborn – was a lot to lose.

The only thing on my mind, in the midst of the mess, was my son getting better and stronger.

It was April. I thought the season of illness was over. I didn’t plan on life getting turned upside down and everything falling into a mess. I had things planned out and scheduled so I could handle a long term sub job, my weekly newspaper articles and almost non-stop baseball.

I planned on being so disciplined in holding to my schedule so I could get it all done. I was fearful of “something happening” and messing up my plan.

I didn’t plan for something like this. I didn’t planon extra laundry and pill schedules and keeping up fluids and no time to straighten or organize or get ahead. I had no other option but to dwell in the mess.

So, I let it go. (and no I’m not going to start singing the song from Frozen) I let the expectations of others and my own even heavier expectations all go.

And God met me in the mess. Instead of freaking out which is my normal response to any kind of crisis. I was calm, peaceful. I shrugged my shoulders when I thought maybe I wouldn’t meet deadline this week for my articles. It wasn’t the end of the world – in fact, the world would keep spinning just fine and dandy without me. My focus sharpened on y priorities rather than a list of should dos.

I discovered that joy and peace is found in surrendering to the mess rather than always trying to fix it.
Blessings, Rosanne

A Gift Wrapped in Disappointment

I had plans – big plans. I had an editorial calendar and it all made sense in my head. But then life happened. Life with it’s busyness and it’s disregard for my plans, my schedule, my list of to dos.

After a whole school year of good health, we’ve had a week of sickness. A week of sickness that followed hard on the heels of losing a friend to cancer too early and starting a long term subbing job earlier than expected.

My oldest had the stomach flu last week, and my youngest had some fever on Friday. It disappeared only to return Tuesday night with a vengeance. I’ve made soup, taken temperatures, and pushed fluids. did I mention I am not a natural nurse?

I have missed baseball games, my oldest son’s award assembly, part of a day of work, and get togethers. I’ve been a little disappointed that illness has tied me to home – keeping me from all the plans I made.

I was feeling pretty grumbly about it tonight, but you know, sometimes gifts come wrapped in disappointment.

Forest road. Landscape for background

It wasn’t the week I had planned, but this week I’ve gotten to slow down – no rushing around or flitting off to games. Instead, I sit and I’m still. I get to spend time with my youngest (who will be 13 in a little over a month), and he leans his head on my shoulder and seeks out the comfort only mom can give.

And it’s a gift because I don’t know how much longer that will happen.

I don’t really remember the last time I picked him up and carried him. I just know that one day I realized it had been a long time and he was too big to heft in my arms.

I don’t remember the last time he sat on my lap. I just know that one day, I realized it was a long time and he was now much too cool to cuddle with mom.

The days go by slowly but the years pass swiftly when you have young kids. These days, I look back with nostalgia at when my kids were tiny and our time was our own. Rushing from games to practices to activities is a part of this season of my life. I’m sure in about 10 years, I’ll look back at it fondly, too and wonder why I savor the moments more.

But this week, I got to slow down and just be with my youngest. While I hate that he’s been sick and under the weather, I can’t help but feel that this time is a gift, a gift I almost didn’t find wrapped up in the disappointment of changed plans.

As I wrap up this month of looking at God’s promises, I am once again reminded that God knows the plans He has for us, and often they aren’t what we had planned. I’m reminded that God often doesn’t give us what we think we want, but what we truly need.

What need has God met unexpectedly in your life lately? I’d love to hear about it!
Blessings, Rosanne

5 Minute Friday – Glue

Today, I’m joining Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. This is when women from all over the world link up after writing for five minutes (no editing allowed!) on a specific word. This week’s word is “Glue.”

Five Minute Friday

This week has been one of those types of weeks – you know, where nothing has gone as planned and every word that comes out of my mouth just seems wrong.

I am doing a long term subbing job and had to start a week earlier than I had planned. On Tuesday, I found a cyber friend had lost her battle with cancer. 🙁 On Wednesday, my oldest son woke up throwing up. On Thursday, I spent my day running all over the place in some kind of Laurel and Hardy type farce over my car. No lie – I had not even gotten home from picking up the rental car the dealership gave me because they forgot to align my car and missed a bent strut from an accident, when the body shop called to tell me my car was ready. It would have been funny – if it hadn’t been.

Add to this, that somehow, all week long, I felt like I had been putting my foot wrong with everyone. Do you ever feel like that? I really hate to upset people or hurt their feelings. I’m not a huge fan of confrontation or conflict. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at this, but at my worst, I can dissect something I’d said over and over and tie myself up in knots over how my words might have been taken or perceived. I can get caught up in this even if I have no clues from the other person that there is even a problem. Instead, I torture myself over how I could have said it differently or if the person might be upset and just not telling me. I wonder if perhaps I should contact that person again and try to clarify or explain myself better (ever hear of digging yourself a hole – I would be the Queen Digger).

So, to say I felt unglued would be an understatement. It was an unglued type of week.

When I read the word for today in my email this morning, I thought how ironic it was that during a week when I felt everything was unglued, the word was glued.

As I sat and spent time with Jesus this morning, I realized just WHY I felt so unglued. With all the crisis happening this week and having to get up extra early, my hour with Jesus hadn’t happened. At all. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t shooting up prayers. But I certainly wasn’t doing any quiet, settled time with God. The result was a very unglued woman – me!

I also realized as I continued my Bible study on spiritual warfare, that that horrible feeling of saying the wrong thing to everyone was just another tactic from the enemy. He loves to isolate us, to separate us from the body because a solitary person is so much easier to take down than one in a group.

Because I had not been spending time with Jesus, soaking in His Truth, I had not even realized the sneak attack that was going on.

For me, the glue that holds it all together is Jesus. When I don’t spend that time sitting at His feet, I am just setting myself up to become unglued.

What things does the enemy use to make you feel unglued?

Blessings, Rosanne

When Someone Leaves an Imprint on Your Heart – Remembering Kim

I knew her as MommaK. I met her probably 8 or 9 years ago on an online mom’s board. Even though we never met in real life, I counted Kim as a friend.

Early Tuesday morning, after a long, courageous battle with cancer, Kim stepped from this life into the presence of Jesus.

meteor-like sun

Kim was not just my friend. She touched many lives on the mom’s board through her gentle, sweet ways. If you had a prayer request or a concern, you could always count on MommaK to post she was praying.

She went out of her way to post on the “lonely” threads that hadn’t gotten much traffic. She didn’t often say a lot, but when she did say something, it was always like an arrow that hit the mark. You know the type of person I mean – they don’t talk a ton but what they do say seems meaningful and important.

Kim left behind not just her husband Jeff, but seven children ages 11 up to 23.

I know Kim didn’t want to leave her family, and her husband and children were what worried her the most when it became apparent that her battle with cancer wasn’t going to be won here on earth.

When I read the news yesterday morning, I couldn’t help the tears that spilled over. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that MommaK won’t have any more posts – that she is truly gone.

While I knew that Kim was nearing her final days, I didn’t expect to lose her so very quickly. When she posted that doctors said they could do nothing else for her, she was told she had several months to maybe a year. She wanted to make a family cruise scheduled for June.

Instead, she was gone in two weeks. Two weeks is too short a time to say all that needs to be said, but I don’t believe Kim died with regret on her heart.

I wish I could explain why God chose to take Kim when she seemed so needed here on earth.

I wish I could explain why her family has to go through this pain

I wish I could explain why she will miss all those important milestones and special days with her children.

All I do know is that God is good. Even in death and grief and pain, He has a plan and a purpose. I know that while her body let her down on this earth, Kim is dancing in the presence of Jesus now – no pain, no worry, no sickness.

I know that Kim is finally healed and whole and without pain.

I’ll miss her, but I cling to the promise that one day I will see her in person – that we’ll finally meet in real life and it will be a much more joyful reunion than any here on earth.

Yes, Kim’s passing has left a gap in my life, but it has also taught me something too – living a full life isn’t dependent on the number of days here on earth but what you do with those days. Even if your days are short, you can still leave a legacy that will be remembered long after you are gone.

Godspeed, Kim.


Has Defeat Crept Into Your Life?

When a long-term subbing job came up, I was excited. I knew it would be a lot of work, with still doing two articles every week, but when I looked at the schedule, I knew I could do it. So, I let the school know that I could fill in for the six week maternity leave. I went through the interview and scheduled my days to shadow the teacher.

Then I went home and panicked.

All the possible ways that things could implode began to play over and over in my mind. What if I couldn’t get my interviews done? What if I was super tired and couldn’t cope? How would I get the dog walked, dinner on the table and attend all the baseball games (April is insane with baseball)? How would I get up at 6 a.m.?

Then I shadowed the teacher and realized that she was scheduled to do the devotionals the entire month of May, too.

That’s when I started to hyperventilate.

The mussel on the ocean beach

This morning I was having my quiet time and it hit me with the force of a brick to the head – God has NOT given us a spirit of fear. In Christ, we are NOT defeated. Yet, I had allowed fear to tangle in my heart and choke out my sense of hope and expectation.

What had started out as something good had become something that filled me with dread.

Instead of being excited about the possibilities, I was crippled by all the “what ifs.”

This morning, with tears running down my face, I asked God to forgive me for operating -not out of a place of faith- but a place of fear and defeat. That defeatist attitude prevented me from seeing all the cool things that were possible.

I hadn’t even realized the heavy load of defeat I had been dragging around with me the last week or so. I’m not sure when “I can’t,” had replaced my sense of hope and expectation. I just knew that I woke up every morning with a heaviness hijacking my soul.


The thing is, I’ve always loved teaching the Bible and sharing what God is showing me (which is why this blog even exists!), so doing the teacher devotionals shouldn’t be a burden – it’s an opportunity to encourage and build up fellow believers.

Every morning, I get to teach Bible to junior high kids. Imagine the possibilities.

I enjoy teaching, and I get to do it for six weeks.

Only satan takes what we love and twists it into something we dread, and fear is his favorite weapon.

In fact, if I feel pulled to do something and then get overwhelmed with a sense of fear or anxiety, I can almost guarantee that is from satan. It certainly is not from God because He promises us that a spirit of fear does not come from HIM!

This is not a new concept for me – but I hadn’t even realized how much fear and thus defeat had crept into my life on silent feet – one doubt, one anxiety at a time.

I’m so glad that God showed me that I was believing a lie rather than His promise. Now the choice is mine – am I going to believe God’s promises or Satan’s lies?

How about you – where are you feeling fearful or defeated lately?

Blessings, Rosanne

Why I Don’t Care if You See Noah or Not

If you are on social media at all, you know that this weekend the internet was blowing up about a movie called Noah. On my Facebook feed, probably 10 reviews were posted. This will not be one of them, in case you are wondering.

People argued both sides of the fence – pretty passionately. I even chimed in a few times over the absurdity of holding this film to a biblical standard even though it is a remake of Brian Godawa’s graphic novel Noah Primeval. I had a few people get rather cranky with me about it.

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I actually don’t care if you go see Noah. I probably won’t see it at all, and if I do, it will be with a free redbox coupon. I’m not much for those movies where everything is in a sort of gritty realism that makes you feel like nobody has ever showered. I don’t really like watching things that are disturbing and the story of Noah, at it’s core IS disturbing because EVERYONE but Noah and his family dies. Every. Single. Person.

I can’t imagine how that would have felt to be sealed in the ark and hear the cries and pleas and screams of the people outside, knowing they were dying. It makes me shudder, and I know watching it on the big screen would probably give me nightmares. After all, I am the person who after seeing the Titanic, dreamed about it over and over until I had dreamed a happy ending. Yet, numerous people were surprised that the movie was disturbing.

There are arguments – from good people – on both side of the fence about why you should or shouldn’t see Noah. Since I assume most of you are adults and can think critically, I’ll leave it to you whether you choose to go or not.

What I am bothered by is WHY we feel the need to spend so much time and energy on Noah. It’s a movie. Entertainment. Yet, believers are spending time, energy and emotion on something that in a month or two won’t even matter.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I get why faith-based films are a great thing. I get that wonderful people work hard to bring them to the big screen so people can have quality entertainment, and I understand the importance of that because I am a big believer in the power of stories (even fictitious ones) to impact people.

But bringing faith-based films to the big screen really won’t do anything if our actions send a different message.

The fact is, the unbelieving world is watching us. They are watching us argue with each other and treat each other unkindly. They are watching us cut down and harshly criticize a director that at least is curious about Biblical narratives. They are watching us act hypocritically (after all, how many believers loved Evan Almighty or let their kids watch Veggie Tales – both of which were less than Biblically accurate)

They are watching us expend energy on something that, ultimately, does not matter, while ignoring things that desperately do. It makes believers appear small-minded, petty and in many cases, uninformed. A movie that is based on a book written by an atheist and directed by an atheist whose last film was The Black Swan, is not a faith-based film. It’s just a movie.

Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of people die and go to hell.

Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of children die of starvation.

Each day we argue about Noah. thousands of women and children are enslaved.

Each day we argue about Noah, thousands of hurting people despair of going on.

We have the answer. We have the Good News – and it’s not that Noah is or isn’t a good movie to see.

Maybe instead of spending all our time shouting to the world and at each other, what we don’t stand for and what we are against, we should spend more time sharing what we DO believe in and what we DO stand for.

Imagine what would happen if we expended as much energy sharing the Gospel as we have spent debating the merits of a movie.

Blessings, Rosanne

God’s Promises – If You Ask For Wisdom

I am a terrible decision maker. I suppose this is one of the down sides of having a vivid imagination because I find myself imagining every possible outcome of a decision – often to the point where I’m so confused by all the possibilities that I’m paralyzed to actually MAKE a decision.

So, when a job opportunity came up, I started praying about it because I am learning that if I ask God for wisdom about something, He’ll give it to me. In fact, that’s not just sometimes, but that’s all the time because He promises to do so.

Several years ago, I read this book about Darlene Deibler Rose called Evidence Not Seen. She was a missionary in Paupau New Guinea during World War 2. She and her husband ended up in separate Japanese concentration camps. Before that though, all the missionaries that were working in the area could see the war drawing closer, so they considered going home. The leader of the group asked that they pray about the decision.

What struck me was the utter confidence each of these missionaries had that God would answer them and make it clear what they should do.

Cup Of Coffee And A Couple Of Cookies Making A Welcome Break


It struck me because I often prayed for wisdom about things, but I didn’t really expect God to answer me. I almost saw it as some kind of lottery – if I was lucky, then He would answer me.  In fact, there wasn’t a lot of expectation on my part at all.

In James 1:5-7 it says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

God promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it. In fact, He gives it to us generously and doesn’t reproach us for needing to ask! But there’s a catch – you have to believe He’ll give it to you.

As I prayed about this decision, I felt like that person tossed by the wind, but I hung on to the promise like a life preserver. I prayed that promise to God and reminded Him that HE was the one that said He’d give me wisdom.

Then, after an illuminating discussion, the answer came to me very clearly. It was like the last puzzle piece clicked into place and it seemed so obvious. I had complete peace about my decision. A few days later, I asked God to confirm what I believe He had told me, and He very graciously did that.

I can’t tell you how thankful I was for God giving me wisdom to make that decision, that He gave me peace. I didn’t have to wonder or regret that I had chosen one path over another. Instead, I could rest in the generosity of His promises and His faithfulness to fulfill them.

This month, as we approach Easter and continue in this season of Lent, I want to look more closely at God’s promises because I believe if we know His promises and claim them, our everyday lives will become extraordinary because we will see God’s presence in them.  I hope you’ll join me!

Blessings, Rosanne

In Christ I am – Adopted

I was a month old when I went to live with my family. As an infant, the only things on my mind were eating, sleeping and, well, pooping. I did not have to work my way into the family. I didn’t have to prove that I was worthy. I was just adopted and accepted because of that adoption as a McColm.

Maybe it is because I AM adopted in my physical life that my spiritual adoption, the idea of truly belonging to God’s family, resonates so deeply for me. Just as I didn’t have to “do” anything to be a dearly loved child in my physical family, I don’t have to do anything to be a dearly loved child in God’s family. Once I am saved by grace through faith, that’s it. I’m in!

Hand drawing heart in sand on the beach

Sometimes, I think we see salvation as some kind of eternal fire insurance. Yes, we are saved by grace, but then, the rest is up to us. But we aren’t just brought from death into life. We are given a brand new identity and family. God did not just bring us back from being dead in our sins, but He gave us a new life. Not only did He give us a new life, but He’s in it with us for the long haul. The Bible promises that He will continue His work in us until we draw our last breath or Christ returns.

I used to teach high school English and one of the books we read was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (It’s hard to believe she was only a teenager when she wrote that – but I digress). Despite several movies to the contrary, the actual creature was not named Frankenstein. No, Frankenstein was the name of the man who created the creature. In the book, the creature does not even have a name. He is just a nameless monster running around without any guidance or direction.

The reason for this is because his creator – Victor Frankenstein is a wimpy guy who, when he saw his creation for the first time, ran screaming into the night. The poor creature goes lurching from one disaster to another until he comes to the conclusion that all humans are the monsters. Based on his experiences, you really can’t blame him.

So, while Dr. Frankenstein took what was dead and breathed new life into it, nobody could think that he regarded the creature as a part of his family. On the contrary, Victor Frankenstein is horrified by his creation, and sees him as the enemy to be annihilated, and so he pursues him to the ends of the earth to do just that.

What a different picture we are given of a God who raised us up from the dead and gave us new life. We aren’t left on our own to fend for ourselves. Instead, God invites us into His family. He gives us a new specific identity and privileges that only come from being a part of that family. He loves us and promises to work all things for our good (even when we don’t recognize it as good). He forgives us and helps us stand back up when we fall. He is the exact opposite of Victor Frankenstein.

I’m so glad when God saved me, He didn’t just set me adrift, but instead He allowed me to truly know Him and to learn about Him from His Word.

I’m so glad that my God is a God of relationship and that He invites me into intimate communion with Him. That’s a Father worth knowing!

How has being in God’s family changed you? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings, Rosanne

5 Minute Friday – Mighty

Five Minute Friday It’s been a while since I’ve participated in 5 Minute Friday over at Lisa Jo Baker’s blog. If you are unaware, 5 Minute Fridays are where writers from all over take a one word prompt and write about it for five minutes – no editing, no second guesssing – just writing. So, here it goes.

When I saw the word this morning before my grocery store run, I didn’t know if I would join in or not. Nothing really came to mind immediately when I saw the word “Mighty.” As I ran into stores, came home and made phone calls and just generally felt overwhelmed, the word kept rattling around in my mind. Mostly this was because I felt anything but mighty.

I felt overwhelmed. In my mind’s eye I saw those cartoons where the character’s legs are spinning furiously but they aren’t going anywhere – yeah, that would be a good summation of me the past few weeks.

Then I remembered that song from my childhood. Did you sing it?

My God Is So Big
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
He made the trees
He made the seas
He made the elephants too
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
The mountains are his
The rivers are his
The skies are his handy works too
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
There’s nothing my God cannot do
There’s nothing my God cannot do
For you
Source: Phone Lyrics

In the next few months, I am doing a long term subbing job, still writing 2 articles a week for the paper, trying to get my house ready to sell, working on my 2 new blogs, and trying to decide on a job. I don’t feel mighty. I feel small, weak and horribly indecisive. I feel inadequate and scared that I can’t do it all; scared that I’ll give up before I start because it just all seems way too overwhelming.

But then I remembered, it’s really not about ME being mighty at all. It’s about my God who IS mighty. I’ve been blogging this month about our identity in Christ. One thing I’ve learned is that I’m not strong or might AT ALL, but God who dwells in me IS mighty. And He is on my side. He’s working things for my good. In Christ, I can do things that, on my own, aren’t even a possibility.

Romans 8:37 says it all, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

I’m so glad I do not have to be mighty all on my own, but that my heavenly FAther can show HIS mightiness even in my weakness.

Blessings, Rosanne

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