Thursday, April 5, 2012


Due to life, this project has to be postponed.  I'll resume as soon as life allows!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I’ve heard it said that you can never truly own something until you’ve had to fight for it. Maybe this was simply a lesson in not giving up, in believing in Him even when nothing makes sense, even when He seems to have turned a deaf ear to our cries.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 1388-1390). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition.

Bang on the door until all of Heaven pleads with Him to do something about your noise. And focus on His face; that’s where the truth is. Don’t ever look away from His face.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 1393-1394). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition.  

Luke 11:9-10

The Message (MSG)
 9"Here's what I'm saying:

   Ask and you'll get;
   Seek and you'll find;
   Knock and the door will open.

 10-13"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing—you're at least decent to your own children. And don't you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?"

I've always thought of self-control as the ability to STOP yourself from doing something. But maybe that's not ALL it is.  Maybe it's also the ability to KEEP doing something, not quitting when it makes more sense to give up.

2 Timothy 1:7

New Living Translation (NLT)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.


Gentleness from Life Letters

1 Peter 3:14-16

New Living Translation (NLT)
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.[a] Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

I'm beginning to see why my subconscious has let me procrastinate on these last fruits. The further down the list we go, the harder they are to grow.

But I also see why the Holy Spirit has not let me walk away from this project. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about deleting this blog and just pretending like I never started.

Gentle, I am not. at. all. 

Lord, help.


Faithfulness from Life Letters

Have you ever felt that taut sickness inside, as if the bowstring of your heart is being pulled back, back, back? It is the testing of your faith, my sister. Fear. Worry. Doubt. Those things can consume you when the earth beneath you is shaking, when the world around you seems out of control, and you feel that there is no hope. But the God of the Israelites, the Lord of Heaven and earth, your Savior and mine, has promised to rescue us. Call out to Him, let Him cover you. Let Him release you. Stand firm in your faith on the Rock, your fortress and your deliverer, even amidst the chaos of the world.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 1035-1039). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

I've already admitted that I'm an impatient person.  

Here's why I struggle with fear, worry, and doubt.  

Psalm 27:13-14

New Living Translation (NLT)
 13 Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness 
      while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the LORD.
      Be brave and courageous.
wait patiently for the LORD.

Pretty sure that verse has my name written all over it. There's a reason Patience is listed before Faithfulness in the fruits of the Spirit.  

How can you trust someone you deem unworthy to wait for?
You can't. It's impossible to be faithful if you refuse to wait. 

This garden may take longer than I thought.


Goodness from Life Letters

Can I go KJV for a minute? Good begets good. See that didn't hurt, right? 

But, it's true.  

Maybe not right away, maybe not soon, maybe not even where we ourselves will ever see it. But, it's still true. 

Galatians 6:9
The Message (MSG)
 9-10So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Do good. 

Not because they need it or deserve it.  Not for fame or glory.  

Just do good because His good is so much more than we deserve.


Kindness from Life Letters

To me, showing kindness always meant being "nice."  In my brain, nice = June Cleaver.

I'm not very good at being a "nice" girl; I'm not what most people would consider a "bad" girl, but probably would not be described as "nice" by those who know me best.  

And when I was "nice" it was because I had to be, because it was the "right thing", not from a desire to please God and definitely not for the other person's sake.  

My lack of kindness reaches beyond just rubbing someone the wrong way or handling a situation wrong.  

I HAVE to cultivate kindness for the other person's sake.  Their eternity is counting on it.

It is my prayer that I will someday be able to fill her shoes, that I will have eyes to see Jesus in the ones that He puts before me and that I will have the love in my heart to reach out to those around me with kindness.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 718-720). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

Micah 6:8

New Living Translation (NLT)
 8 No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
      and this is what he requires of you:
   to do what is right, to love mercy,
      and to walk humbly with your God.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Patience from Life Letters

I'm probably one of the most impatient people on the planet. I am a problem solving, truth seeking, action-oriented woman. And to wait does not bode well with me. Especially when what I'm waiting for is clarity or an answer.  

I can't begin to count how many times I've said, "All we can do is pray," and immediately begin to pour every ounce of my energy into finding the answer instead of simply praying. Oh, I prayed alright, but it was as a tacked on addition to what I was doing to address the problem or situation. Prayer felt like hitting pause in the middle of an action scene of an epic film. 

Don't get me wrong; I prayed with expectation of God doing something. I just felt like I needed to be doing something, too.  

Can we say cocky? As if God needs my help! See, impatient.

All I can do is continue to cry out to the Lord in prayer, and in so doing, I find the strength to wait patiently. I believe that prayer is patience in action.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 563-564). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

The God who created us knows how hard it is to wait. I believe He gave us prayer so that we can stay busy while we endure long hours, days, months, years, without answers.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 564-565). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

Patience or prayer have never seemed like action before. Mostly because the two didn't go together in my mind.  

Prayer as patience in action, though, a girl can't get more busy than that.  

Micah 7:7

The Message (MSG)
 7But me, I'm not giving up.
   I'm sticking around to see what God will do.
I'm waiting for God to make things right.
   I'm counting on God to listen to me.



Peace from Life Letters

I can’t guarantee that life will get easier--it probably won’t--but I promise you that if you choose Jesus, you will find the peace that He offers no matter what your circumstances.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 463-464). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

I've struggled for weeks to write this one little post.  I just couldn't put anything into words and honestly had nothing to say when it came to peace.  Yesterday, I realized it was because I had not been at peace.  How can you speak on something or write about something you yourself don't possess?  

But today I have peace.  Today, I know He has not forgotten me.  

Not because things are different, but because I am different.  

Brokenness, confession, submission, and obedience before our Holy God lead to Peace.  There is no other path to what only He can give.

John 16:33

The Message (MSG)
 31-33Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? In fact, you're about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Joy from Life Letters

James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Dear brothers & sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Dang, that's hard.  And I am no good at it whatsoever.  

Our 13 month adoption journey has left scars from repeated delays, not being matched with certain kids, gross repetitive errors in our home study, and unrealistic promises.  So many times Satan tempted us to give up.  Even now when we are closer than we have ever been, it is excruciating to try to have joy at the "chance to grow."

Hope, however, would not curl up and be still.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Location 285). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

I can look back and see God's hand moving through it all; His provision in things we never would have imagined.  

We have finally pushed our way to the edge of the crowd.  We are waiting to stretch our arms out and declare, "We have brushed the hem of His robe with our fingertips."
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Location 300). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

When the burden of the wait is finally over, I have no doubt that joy will make us free!

I was free to hope. I was free to love. I was free to live.
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Location 328). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

Psalm 30:4-5 (NLT)
For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime!  Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Love from Life Letters

I was completely baffled.  Nothing about Michal's story had ever spoken of love to me.  Disappointment, betrayal, misunderstandings, bitterness, and ridicule permeated her story found in I & II Samuel.  But love, not hardly.  At least not in my mind anyway.  

How on earth could the story of a princess's forbidden love lost, regained, abused, and shattered, much less her later consuming malice and self-righteous vengeance be the chosen tale to portray the fruit of love?  

Until my eyes landed on these words:

There was only One who could love me the way I longed to be loved and I spent my whole life setting Him aside. I did to Him what the world had done to me.  
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 125-126). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition. 

Slipping beneath Michal's skin to the true nature of a woman's heart, Doughty erased Michal from my mind.  This was now my story.  

Believing myself insignificant, overlooked, and useless, I reached out to people, accomplishments, and possessions for fulfillment where none could be found.  All the longings, desires, and dreams I held so tightly completely blinded me to the only One who could satisfy, the only One who’s Love could make me whole, the One who was waiting for me to “come down” from the window and “receive Him.”
Doughty, Becky (2011-07-01). Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Locations 131-132). BraveHearts Press. Kindle Edition.

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. 

And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Roar

Peace & Self-Control are 2 fruits I am severely lacking in.  Discipline & Acceptance play into both of those for me so when I stumbled across Five Minute Friday on The Gypsy Mama's blog I knew God was giving me an opportunity to practice.  Thanks you very much!  lol

Every Friday Gypsy Mama will post a word, such as roar, and the challenge is to:

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – don’t edit; don’t second-guess.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Must: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!
Scary stuff for me!  My inner editor is a foul fellow, but this challenge will make me squash him at least for 5 minutes and give me the habit of discipline for each Friday & hopefully acceptance of whatever it is.  I may have to ask my husband to monitor my behavior to make sure I don't tweak it before posting!  Hello my name is Deborah, and I am a control freak.  

I'll be using Write or Die from Dr. Wicked to keep me at 5 minutes.  Now if I could just have Mission Impossible's Theme song streaming . . . 

Off to write or die!  If I survive, I shall post in 5!

START Our roar has been a year in the making. It still hasn't hit its full stride. Some days I fear it never will, but then God reminds me who started the growl that is climbing into a steady roar waiting to burst forth. We have been on a year long adoption journey with DHS. In January 2011, they said we would be have kids by summer. Um, not so much. With every delay, obstacle, & hurdle, God has graced us with His roar that is louder than bureaucracy, louder than man, louder than our anguish and tears. I just have to be quiet long enough to let His roar drown them out. Yesterday, He cranked up the volume. We are finally OFFICIALLY open for adoption! By God's grace, our family of 4 will soon be a family of 8! Roar loud, roar strong for the whole world to know this is the Family you have placed together! STOP

and technically it IS Saturday . . . probably need to work on punctuality, too. . .

ALL FUTURE 5 On FRIDAYS can be found on my other blog. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life Letters: The Fruit of the Spirit


After my Bible, Becky S. Doughty's Life Letters will be the first tool in bag.

The letters are the author's imaginings of what MIGHT have been going through the character's mind.

Here's the blurb from Amazon.

Life Letters: The Fruit of The Spirit is a collection of letters personally penned by nine women from the Bible whose lives demonstrate what it means to produce the character traits of a believer; the "fruit" of the Spirit. Each letter focuses on one of the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Every letter concludes by taking the reader back to the Scriptures for a life-application study.


Starting from Scratch

I went to sleep last night as Mama to two fresh-faced, blue-eyed boys I could carry at the same time and somehow woke up as Mom to one 195 pound man-child who towers over me and one near-teen who whips us all at Boot Camp on Kinect.

Or that's how it feels anyway.  I blinked, and they're almost grown.  And almost gone.

Life happened, and I let myself focus on the dailies instead of the forevers.  I've been more caught up in the doings of life than the impact of living life together.  Somewhere along the way, I lost track of what being Mom is all about.

All to soon, I am in danger of waking up to morning bear hugs being replaced with the occasional call home from college or boot camp.

Thankfully, God has a way of yelling at me when I ignore His whispers.  He has been known to use a 2x4 to get my attention.  This one came in the form of an article from Preparing the Soil.

At first glance, Janet's thoughts on giving her children her "Best Me" felt like warm fuzzies.  Oh, what a nice little list of ideals!  (I fully admit to having intermittent bouts of masquerading as Captain Obvious.)  As I read the explanations behind the warm fuzzies, I realized I talked to my boys about these characteristics, but I failed to LIVE them out on a daily basis.  And not just with my sons, but my husband also.  If there were remedial spouse & parenting classes, not only would I be in the class, but I'd be the one in the corner wearing the dunce hat of old.  Just saying.

I read the article, prayed the article, re-read the article, and decided to share the article with my family in an attempt to give them my "Best Me" as a promise to salvage the time we have left.  So I went to work in Photoshop typing it up all pretty to present to them as a nifty flip chart.

All that time absorbing and then regurgitating Janet's words paid off.  That's when God smacked me upside the head with a fistful of conviction followed by a swift kick of urgency in the rear.  The warm fuzzies are the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  Hello!  Captain Obvious has left the building.

So here I sit in My Bare Garden completely void of the Fruits of the Spirit.  Well, that's not exactly true.  I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find some puny remnants of love and joy and maybe one or two more.  But trust me, patience, self-control, the REALLY hard ones, not so much.  And not even enough of the aforementioned to give them a second look.

My goal for 2012 is to study each of the fruits in Scripture along with other resources, get out of the way, and let the "Holy Spirit produce this kind of fruit" in my life.  It will be dirty; it will be messy; it will be painful; it will be grand!  (I'm sure someone will have to remind me of that last statement at some point.)

This blog will be my gardener's journal, a means for me to share what I'm learning, my struggles, my failures, and eventual successes.  I hope to post weekly; it may be more or less; and occasionally be totally irrelevant.  (Captain Obvious' friend Sergeant Random takes over frequently.  You were warned.)

Full disclosure, I have killed every plant I have ever tried to grow.

This will truly be an Act of God because there is nothing in me that could begin to cultivate all that I long to be to my family apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.