Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: mother (Page 1 of 4)

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 


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.



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.

Cross Country Adventure-Part 1

“Maybe it will help to write about it”, I’ve been telling myself since I returned home on a red-eye flight from Arizona. Justin moved to Wyoming a month ago, and Hannah is now living with her grandma while she finds a job and gets settled in the sunshine state. I knew this fall would be full of many emotions. Justin, Hannah, Kelsey and Lauren are not just our kids, but they’ve become great friends. What’s up with them moving away? “It’s in our blood” says Kelsey. Wonder where they got that?

My hope was to blog as I went from state to state but with limited wi-fi access these posts had to wait. I know many of you followed our trip on Facebook as I posted daily videos and pictures there. But I needed to get it all out here and process the many emotions of spending precious time with Hannah.

I really need to go back to mid-June when Hannah left for Southeast Asia. You can read about her travels here.  It was on this trip I heard she wanted to move to Arizona when she returned. I said, “why don’t you enjoy your trip and we will talk about your ‘next thing’ when you get back to the states. Determined, (something that defines all the Gates I know!!) she made her plan to leave New York on October 1, one day after my mom left from her visit. I wavered for several weeks as to whether I would drive with her in a packed, 2-door Honda Civic, not a very big car. Could I be gone for almost two weeks? Would we get along? I didn’t decide to make the trip until a couple of weeks before we were to begin the adventure. And now I’m saying I can’t believe I considered not going. 

Bright and early Wednesday, October 1 with fog rolling in the distance, we made coffee, grabbed some pumpkin muffins and hit the road. We were Indiana bound, a 12 hour drive for day one. I now realize I didn’t take any pictures with our dear friends Kim and Susan Hall who we stayed with for 2 nights. One of the many blessings of pastoring God’s people. We have loved ones everywhere. unnamed (25)

unnamed (26)I’m not sure we had even left the state when our first “thrill” happened. With a clunk on the trunk and a sight of something flying through the air caught in the rear view mirror, Hannah knew she had left her phone on the top of the car at the rest stop.


unnamed (27)This is her running back from where she found it lying in the road on a major interstate still intact while truckers honked at us to get off the shoulder. That was enough excitement for one day. A God thing for sure as there were not cracks or scratches.

By the weekend we were on our way to Iowa where she was able to spend time with cousins, aunts and uncles and grandma. She made her famous Irish scones one morning as she reveled the crowd with her stories of travelling abroad.

We began again on Monday morning setting the GPS for somewhere in Kansas. Have you ever been to Kansas? There isn’t much there except for more of God’s people we know and love as we began our first pastorate there almost 29 years ago.  It was a long day of watching tumble weeds, but we made it to the town where Dorothy and Toto have their museum.

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And you know we drank tons of coffee, attempting to keep eyes on the road at all times. Found this little gem one morning.

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Stay tuned, I have dinner to make after Rob and Lauren ate noodles, frosted flakes and Mcdonald’s while I was gone. Check back tomorrow for more of the story.


“That” Mom

In keeping with the ‘mom’ theme, here is a re-post from last year. Not just for moms, but for all of us who think we can hide our hearts from God.

I never wanted to be “that” mom.

We all know her don’t we?

She is the one walking through the store yelling at the three kids hanging on her pants like monkeys in the zoo. She is trying with all that is in her to not be inpatient, unkind or rude to the lovely children God has given her…thinking in the back of her mind

What ever possessed me to have kids?


She is the mother daydreaming of five minutes alone in the bathroom while her kids play in the living room, with one yelling at the bathroom door she needs to go to the dr…her collarbone may be broken…again.

She is the young mom who is home all day with three kids four and under who desperately needs a nap when the kids are supposed to be having ‘quiet time.’

And she is the mom of teens who think they know it all and she just wants to scream back

I wasn’t born yesterday!!

I have been “that” mom. Maybe not in public, at least I think I held my tongue while in the grocery store. But, last week may have been a different story. I did not have any words of wisdom for a teen daughter who only wanted(and did really need) a new pair of sneakers. She did not hear a mother who had loving instruction on her tongue while we walked through the third store looking for the right size shoe for a growing girl.(Proverbs 31:26) She has the benefit of three siblings going before her and whom I practiced on for 20+ years, I thought I had this ‘mom’ thing in the bag, but last week I did not. I had become ‘that’ mom, again not yelling or reprimanding in the store or in public. But I don’t think it matters if I hid my nasty heart from the viewing public. God saw and sees, in the end it is His opinion of me that matters. I want to be a woman who fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30), I don’t want to be

that Mom.

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