Tag Archives: Christ follower

Dusty Women-Lori

9-24-2015 Lori and I had to have been first friends. You can read all about that below. She also helped me with the initial beginnings of Dusty Women, which you can read about below too. Lori recently returned from a trip to Uganda. Not a missions trip per se, but a vision trip of what God is doing in that part of the world. Please read about her travels here, this is a story you don't want to miss. She is a woman of God who inspires me on almost a daily basis. We mostly text a few times a week, or an occasional email. And a fellow coffee drinker when we get to see one another. She brought me something all the way from Africa.  She inspires me in so many ways in her walk with Jesus. She has a way with words but her text to me this morning was one of her best. 

I knew you would savor every drop as you savor our living Lord! Lori 

coffee 2014 Several months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5 I wanted a catchy title other than God's Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said
what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we're from but where we're going? I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.
I love the fact that she said we need to be defined by where we're going not where we've been. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12-13...
forget what is behind.
Lori Somers is my next interview in the series of Dusty Women.

206491_205490752807805_3098552_nI don't even know where to begin with my friend Lori. We've known each other...forever. Her mom and mine have been friends since 5th grade and they are in their 70's. In fact, Lori's arrival changed my mom's wedding...kind of. Her mom Sharon was to be in my mom's wedding on July 30 and Lori was born a week prior to that. My mom went to plan B. Now that she and I are in our 50's our story together is very...long. But this post is about her journey not mine or ours, I will save that for another time. When looking for a picture of her there weren't too many to choose from that were just of Lori. Most of the time she is surrounded by 5 grandchildren or walking the dusty roads of Africa. In her spare time she works full time to take care of business, love on her grandchildren and feed her passion to love the least of these. Wouldn't you agree her smile is contagious? The interview follows this picture.

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Lori, would you describe yourself in 5-7 words?

L=Loving  O=Organized  R=Resourceful  I=Intelligent  How about four words? Eli made this for me when he was little and I think it fits pretty well.

Would you briefly describe how and when you were rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred in the Kingdom of God? (Colossians 1:13)

At the time God's saving grace wrapped me in righteousness I was 14 years old. I really didn't understand or know the depths of God's mercy and grace at that time. But I have lived through the depths and seen God's glory reveal itself over and over again. God never changes. His love never fails. I am rescued from the domain of darkness every single day. God's Kingdom awaits me, and He is preparing a place for me. He wrestles me in the valley so that I can proclaim victory in areas of my life that would never produce fruit. Praise God!

What do you enjoy about being a mother and grandmother?

Being a mother tests your resolve and makes you decide what is important. The best part of being a mother is the love. It changes who you are. The best part of being a Grandma is the freedom to play and enjoy every moment without an agenda.

What advice would you give to a young mother struggling to just get through the day?

You have to set aside what the world thinks is important and focus your mind and energy on the attributes of Christ. Phil 4:8 will get you through rough conversations, rough emotions and raw days where nothing goes right. See your family and children as God sees them. Pray for the eyes and heart of Christ to serve your family. The world tells you that if your feelings are intact and it feels good, do it. But wisdom tells us that "right thinking leads to right behavior which leads to right feelings". You can get into trouble if you start out with getting your feelings in order.

What does God's Word mean to you?

God's Word is truth. It makes me alive. It challenges me to have a clear mind and heart in order to speak truth into others.

What does the body of Christ mean to you?

The Family of God is the way God wraps his arms around you when you are hurting, distraught, or when you need someone to make you accountable. The body of believers also rejoices with you in truth and victory!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla Cake; everything else chocolate In addition I asked Lori one more question regarding her life in Christ. She has clung to her Savior's hem getting a lot of dust on her as she seeks to follow Him in everything. Lori, what do you mean when you say
Letting freedom and redemption flood my heart and soul. Not just saying it but believing it.
Its one thing to know in my head I am free. Free from past sin, guilt, chains that bound me to a marriage that was over long before my pride would allow me to acknowledge it was over. I told myself I was free from that, but I kept my windows and doors locked, curtains pulled. That is not freedom. You have to live like you're free and let it flood your mornings, your afternoons and your bedtime. God's redeeming grace tells me its okay, you don't have to look back. And you don't ever have to go through that again. I wanted you to learn to depend on me fully. And I'm redeeming your life, your heart and your service for greater things. I have delivered you from oppression and unlove. God is saying "move with me, lean into me, and let my grace pour over your heart and your life." And I have to be obedient to those words, and those actions. We want logical and black and white words. But Jesus tells us that is no solution at all. He beckons me to come to Him, weary and heavy-laden and He will give me salvation rest, away from my self-made decisions, to trust Him.  I've moved from saying those words to believing that freedom and redemption ARE mine as I follow Him down a new road.

Shifting Sand?

Today's post is a follow-up to That Time of The Year .  Cheryl, a long time friend, ended her comment with this;
After they are gone I don’t know what I’ll do with myself…..
Cheryl is a mom of two, who has given 110% to raising her children and in a few short years, they will be on their own. My first thought when I read her comment was 'how could she say that?' My sneaking suspicion and  judgemental thought was 'how could she not have anything to do after her kids are gone? Was her entire life her kids? But truth be told, she is me. I've had the very same thoughts and voiced some of my fears to some of you. You can check my categories posts to find me talking about some of those fears. Yes, our kids leave a void, sometimes a cavern so gaping we don't know how it can it be filled.  Again, we can fill in the blank about what we fill our lives with and then that thing, person or how we live is stripped away. It's not just mothers who ask, 'now what?' Friends, we don't have to be mothers to have the feelings of life turned upside down. Life is ever-changing, daily joys and sorrows are proof of that as my husband gives me a daily dispatch on the community he pastors. The cavern of 
  • A spouse passing away
  • Retirement bringing the same question of 'what's next'?
  • Cancer report brings us to the end of ourselves.
  • The ongoing bad news around our nation and world floods the evening news.
You fill in the blank. There is nothing new under the sun, but when it happens to you or me, it is new. Unexpected, devastation, depression, and fears are just some of the raw emotions we can face. But the good news is... There is the gospel of good news. There is a Savior we can know who will fill the cavern, our hearts, giving us joy and peace that cannot be explained.  I took the timely advice of Elizabeth Elliott, which I heard many years ago. 
Just do the next thing.
Focus on what is before, not focusing on the future.
  • Prepare for the future today by saturating our hearts and minds in the living Word of God.
  • Pursue spending time getting to know a loving Heavenly Father.
  • Point your focus on Jesus every single day.
  • Practice loving God and our neighbor every day.
Today is the day to do the next thing, gaze on our Lord and glance at the shifting sand of daily life circumstances. Because, like the sand that is easily blown about, so our days come with changes and challenges.  May we find our foundation not in the shifting sand but in Jesus, who never changes. 
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? (How Firm A Foundation~~John Rippon)

That Time of Year

Late last night, my eyes were burning and  my legs were sore from exercise I had done with a friend who had said, 'how about a fourth loop?' We were walking at the local park...each loop is almost a mile!!! As I laid in bed, trying to sleep, my favorite group of people came to mind; moms. I almost got up to write this post, but knew if I put myself in front of the glaring computer screen late at night, I would regret it. It's that time of year again, when children of all ages leave the nest...and Jody gets back to writing. School has begun for some of you and Lauren will head off to begin her junior year next week. Two years from now I will be sitting at my desk and she will not be in her bed in the next room, but in a college classroom...that's the goal! Early this summer I saw a frazzled mom walk across a parking lot. It was apparent she had just come from work. With a teenager in tow,  who was doing her best to help her mom carry loads of dirty clothes into the laundromat, but dropping towels all over the pavement. I recognized 'the look' mom was giving daughter. I wanted to jump out of my car and give her hand, but I might be considered a crazy lady. (Yep, this post began a long time ago.) This mom could have been me many years ago as I wanted to be the best mom to four children and do it all. Because that is what we do isn't it? We pour our lives 110% into the children God has given us and then they leave. But that's the goal too, isn't it? Unless you want them to live in your basement!! Some of my favorite moms will put their children on yellow school buses, some will send them off to high school driving for the first time and some have driven their college age kids many miles away from home and left them there. It's never easy to let them go. But as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us, there is a time for everything. I've also learned more times than I like to admit, that Justin, Hannah, Kelsey and Lauren are not mine. When they were only a few months old, we stood before our congregations and dedicated them to the Lord to do whatever He wants with them. They weren't mine then and they are not mine now. I surrender them to my loving Heavenly Father on a daily basis. I am reminded of the verse God gave me out of no where during my college days. God knew I would need this not so gentle reminder even thirty years down the road because of the four children He knew I would have, and the conflict I would have at times to keep Christ as my primary love.
The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son our daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of me will find it. Matthew 10:37-39
I think of two other mothers who have done the leaving this summer. Leaving family and children at home, they went to Africa to get to know children who do not have moms. They went to love on the least of these, orphans. I am struck by the fact their hearts and lives are big enough for children who need love. I know it wasn't easy to leave six children with their father or for one to leave a mom who wasn't feeling well. But they also knew God had called them to this task and they followed their Savior this summer very far from anything familiar. Sometimes children do the leaving, sometimes the moms do the leaving. But will I follow Him not matter what?(Matthew 4:19)