Stretched to the Limit

I don’t know how many of you have had to move very often, but transition stress is serious business. I’ve been handling everything pretty well for the last couple of weeks, but today I feel like I’m about to snap!

Two weeks ago we started the packing process, then came the long drive from California to Texas. Bill flew in early for business meetings, while the rest of us traveled the same highways, separately and on different schedules…

William took the lead driving the U-haul, Mimi with my daughter-in-law, Linda (9 mo pregnant), 3 year old grand daughter, Anna and my Lady dog; then our youngest son John in his car with Abby dog. We all made it to Plano, TX safely in 4 days; the other company execs in California will follow soon with their families.

After only one week in an Extended Stay Hotel, Will and Linda have already secured a rent house. Bill, John and I haven’t had that same success. We decided today to get a furnished apartment while we look for a home to purchase. It’s a buyer’s market now and we want to take advantage of the low interest rates and foreclosures. Hopefully, we can get our stuff out of storage in California before Christmas!

My challenges today are no different than what I’ve dealt with during our many moves over the years. But today fatigue, waiting and the ongoing uncertainty are taking their toll. With each move comes a new community… learning your way around, finding a home, church, doctors, your favorite grocery and trying to make new friends.

I sit here remembering all the precious friends I’ve made along the way…  from Odessa, to Dallas, to Houston, to New Orleans, back to Houston, back to Dallas, to Sacramento, to San Jose and now back to Dallas again. God has been faithful to lead us to fine churches, always providing for our needs.

Rereading my devotional for today reminds me to honor God, obey Him and as I walk with Him to expect favor from God and man everywhere I go.

In times like these, it helps me to look back and see the favor, to see God’s grace and mercy following me.

It strengthens me for the journey ahead.

Changes in the Air

As the earth tilts on its axis and the lighting changes angles, we can see and feel Fall gently strolling in.

I don’t know if it’s fond memories of starting a new school year or the cooler air, but this is my favorite time of the year.

Somehow life today seems fresher.

With this new season, God is bringing about some big changes for us and our family. As He often does, it has come suddenly but without surprise.

While spending most of our summer in Dallas raising investor funds, an incredible chain of events began. After much prayer and council from respected advisers, Bill, as CEO, and the Board of Directors have decided to move our new company’s corporate headquarters from San Jose to Dallas.

We now begin the process of leaving one hotel for another to quickly find us all homes.

Starting Sunday I’ll be driving my daughter-in-law, Linda (8 mo. pregnant) along with 3 year old, Anna, and my dog, Lady, to Texas.  Bill, Will, Johnny, Abby dog and Lategra (the snake) will follow shortly after. We hope to all be settled in a real home before William Ernest Mapp V makes his debut in October.

As many of you know, this will be our 7th move in four years. Needless to say, we should have the process down by now!

When we arrived nearly two years ago, I was so homesick for Texas, my heart ached for months. Though not really home, because we’ve spent the bulk of our time in a hotel; I’ve fallen in love with the West Coast and will leave a piece of my heart in California.

With each move there’s a grieving process… first anger and confusion followed by a deep sadness which turns to excitement for what’s to come.

When our moving adventures began in 2006 this process took me weeks and sometimes months to get through. With each move it got a little easier to say good bye to the comfortable present and embrace the unknown future.

The decision to leave California was just made over the Labor Day holiday, but today I can happily say I’ve worked my way through all the emotions and am truly excited to see what God has in store for our family and the incredible business opportunity He has given us! 

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:18-19

Getting a New Grip!

After sharing my recent health struggles last week, I received several encouraging email from special friends. 
One, in particular, had a deep and resounding impact on my spirit. So much that it has given me a fresh vision and purpose for my ministry.
My dearest friend, Whitney, who I met in 2006 during our stay in Louisiana, forwarded me a devotional she receives. It spoke of “Good Afflictions” and how God uses trials to strengthen and grow us into the person He knows we can be in Christ. 
One of the verses referred to in Whitney’s email was a scripture I’ve leaned on many times:

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained by it.~ Hebrews 12:10-11

If you’ve been reading the Bible for any time at all, you’ve probably experienced what’s known as a Rhema Word.  This happened as I was reading the above passage and came to the next verse. [One that had not been previously marked in my Life Recovery Bible–something I do regularly for verses that have spoken to me personally.]
I continued to read…

So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.~Hebrews 12:12-13 

This was a Rhema Word to me!
It’s an incredible experience when a scripture jumps off the page. When God speaks loud and clear to you – there’s great power and no mistaking it’s Almighty God. You know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God has reached out and touched your life personally in a way that no one else can. 
For the last few weeks I’ve thought about changing the name of the ministry to simply–Reaching Women– then it would match my Twitter handle. God hasn’t released me to do it. 
Then after reading the above verse, I had a revelation about my ministry. 

After living a life of addiction, I felt that my ministry focus needed to be towards that… To reach women struggling with all kinds of addictions.  

But God has shown me that women are hurting in so many other ways, the least of which is our health! 
As I said last week, I want to share what I’m learning about nutrition and health in general. But also, going forward, I want to address specific hurts that we as women encounter in our daily lives.
I’m excited to see how God will continue to use this humble ministry to help women. Even me.
QUESTION: What are some areas of hurt you would like to see discussed?  

Overwhelmed with Life

Friends, I have to apologize for my long silence.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a blog and even today, I’m pushing myself.

The first week in May I was diagnosed with insulin resistance or pre-diabetic.

Needless to say, after being a Curves Manager and Trainer for 2 years in Houston, I was shocked!

It seems I had let my diet slip more than I realized.

I’ve been overwhelmed and depressed; adjusting to the new diet has been extremely difficult.

All is not lost, my blood glucose isn’t out of the park-high, so that’s a good thing. If I follow the regimen I should get my numbers back down to a healthy level before too long.

My biggest challenge has been keeping my faith up and watching the words I’m confessing over myself.

For a time I’ve put aside ministry studies and research to focus on health and nutrition. One of my personal rules is: “If you have something good-share it.” So in the coming weeks I’ll be writing about the new things I’m learning.

I appreciate your prayers as I persevere back to good health.

Treading Water in Times of Trouble???

Many of us are in seasons of transition; job, finances, relationships maybe even in our recovery journey. During these times we often feel like we’re treading water; not making much progress but expending a lot of energy just to stay afloat.

The Lord is my light and my salvation-so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger-so why should I tremble? When evil people come to destroy me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord- is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; for he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me. At his Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. –Ps. 27:1-6 NLT

Let’s find hope in this passage for our struggles:

  1. Make God Our Stronghold: We must know without any doubt that God is our protector. He will not let us drown!
  2. Abide with God Daily: Set up camp with God; get in God’s boat, live with Him.
  3. Be Astonished by God: Stay in awe of God of his love and mercy. Find joy in His creations; delight yourself in Him throughout your day.
  4. Seek His Fellowship: In God’s presence we will find direction for our life; His shining light with show us the pathway.
  5. Get the Big Picture: No matter how hard times may be, it helps to keep things in perspective. Look up; see things from God’s viewpoint. He really does have a plan!

It’s important that we learn how to live and act during times of pressure. God wants to be the stabilizer in our lives. If we try to do it on our own we will fail. We must determine, one day at a time, to follow God and His plan for our lives. Patiently waiting; confident that He will protect and lead us all the way to our victory!


PORN NATION: Conquering Americas’ #1 Addiction
by Michael Leahy
One of the most important books to read today!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of the escalating problem of pornography addiction in our world today; and with increasing availability the problem will only get worse.

THE CRACK COCAINE OF SEX ADDICTION – porn/sex-related sites make up nearly 60% of web traffic.
20 million Americans spend hours on porn; maybe it’s even in your home after the family’s in bed
30% of Christian women admit to the use of pornography
50% of pastors say they struggle with porn
This book is not just for sex addicts but should be read by everyone!
· Women: they themselves may be teetering on the brink of sexual addiction or may be married to a man like Michael Leahy who hid his addiction from his wife their entire marriage.
· Men: based on statistics today, there’s a good chance they’re in denial of their own addiction or be surprised to find they’re married to a closet sex addict themselves.
· Every parent: should be aware of the potential dangers their children face each day.
· Teens and college students: it’s likely they’re being exposed to pornography on a regular basis and don’t see the trap that’s being set for them.
A poignant story of a 30 year battle with pornography, the loss of a marriage and children because of addiction; but more than that it’s the story of America – our porn nation. How porn’s affecting all of us, how we see ourselves and others and what can be done about it.
For those concerned about the sensitivity of the subject matter, not to worry, the author is a Christian man and gets his points across without graphic details.
Leahy covers all sides of the porn story.
The addict’s perspective: how easy it is to get addicted to pornography and the difficulty getting free and staying free from it.
The big picture: the hyper-sexualized media, and the increasing availability of pornography especially to young children.
The reader who may be an addict: to one hiding in shame and denial, much needed words of encouragement and excellent resources to aid those seeking freedom from pornography’s grasp.
“I believe when it comes down to really understanding how far our sociosexual pathology has taken us, you needn’t look much further than our own personal experiences, our current attitudes, and the people around us. Think of how your own sexual viewpoints, beliefs, and behaviors have changed in the past ten to twenty year. When I talk with college students and share what junior high and high school students are doing sexually, most of them are shocked. The lines of decency and sexual integrity have shifted, and old values are constantly replaced by new ones. But at what price? How far can the boundaries be pushed before someone gets hurt?”Michael Leahy, PORN NATION
As a recovering sex addict I highly recommend this book. In fact, I’ll go a step further and tell you if you don’t read PORN NATION there’s a good chance you’ll be ignorant to one of the worst epidemics this country has ever seen.
With sex addiction statistics as they are, even in the church, it’s almost certain someone you know, maybe even you or a member of your family struggle with this issue.
There’s so much shame linked to this particular addiction for women, that it’s nearly impossible for them to reach out for help. If you read this book maybe you’ll be able to spot specific behaviors and help them before pornography destroys their lives.


I’m not sure exactly where to start after my long silence. Since I last wrote, circumstances around our house have changed and we find ourselves in yet another transition. I know life is a series of transitions, but it would be nice if we had a longer stretch of stability in between. Well, Praise God, here we are in California! I don’t know exactly why… but we’re here.

It seems we are drawn to businesses that call themselves Christians but underneath are cheaters and liars. What’s with that?? I know we’re not alone in the unemployed boat, and we are certainly grateful to not be living on the street. Opportunities are presenting themselves everyday and soon things will be on the upswing again.

I’ve been in a little slump, doubting my call to women’s ministry these last few weeks. (Hence the silence) But after attending a Women’s Retreat this last weekend at Lake Tahoe, I have a renewed vision for what God wants me to do. I hope to start writing regularly again each week and return to my reading and studies. I continue to be encouraged by the Lord in His Word daily, that He will never leave us.

The Lord says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. – Hebrews 10:35-36

Whose face is that on my Facebook?

A few months ago, a long time girlfriend from high school invited me to join her on Facebook. Since then, I’ve had the incredible experience of catching up with friends I haven’t seen or talked to in 20+ years! The interesting thing I’ve noticed while looking at everyone’s photos… we’re all old now! If I look closely I can see the old, I should say young, friend in the photo, but not really. Like in Hook with Robin Williams, when one of the Lost Boys touches Jack’s face, stretching the skin to make it look tight and young…”Are you in there Jack?” What happened???! Sure, in my mind I know lots of time has passed, but for some reason on the inside, I think I should look the same as I did back then. You know? It’s strange — this aging process. Yet another thing in life no one can prepare you for.

I remember in 1980, when I announced to my girlfriend that I was pregnant with my first child, she said something that has stuck with me all these years… “Get ready to watch yourself grow old before your eyes.” Few words have been spoken that were so profoundly true. We get so busy with life, raising our children like they were our little vegetable garden or something, when all of a sudden—TIME passes by. We can’t see it, we can’t feel it, we don’t even really notice it happening, but somehow it touches us. This strange invisible force that changes us, others and our world, moment by moment.

Today I look in the mirror and see I’ve turned into my mother! Some mornings when I’m on the floor doing yoga, I look like my grandmother doing her exercises with Jack Lalanne. But yet, other days, inside, I’m still that hurting little 6 year old girl who just wants to be loved and accepted. Who am I? Really?

Growing up in the 60’s & 70’s there was this thing said that people over the age of 30 couldn’t be trusted. But what about people over the age of 50; they were just ancient; antiquities, many born in another millennium! Sound familiar! Golly, not only am I now my grandmother, I’m my great-grandmother! I’m from the past century?????? Whoa! Now that’s heavy.

What can we make of this? What can we learn about ourselves and others?

Really no matter how old we are, all of us are just little children inside, still hurting from old wounds yet to heal fully. I look back at my parents and grandparents, they too were just children in an older body, walking through life trying to live with their own childhood wounds. They may not have done the best job, but that’s who they were.

A few years ago I used to watch a TV show called Cold Case. I liked how they would morph the people, victims and perpetrators alike, between their past and present person. We would be able to imagine they are still that hurting person from the past, the abused child, the rebellious teenager or strung out adult.

Sometimes we who come from an abused past seem to stop maturing at the age of our abuse. We get stuck in that place of trauma, in an invisible cage of hurt and confusion. We continue to grow and age physically, but mentally and emotionally we are stuck in a time warp from the past, relating to the world through the eyes and mind of our hurting inner child.

I’ve lived most of my 51 years just that way… stuck… searching for love in all the wrong places, trying to find real, true, unconditional love that would take away that awful pain inside. It was not until after abusing and destroying my own family, when I saw no place else to turn, that I was able to reach out and receive God’s saving grace that only comes in the form of Jesus Christ.

Today, I can honestly say, I may not always recognize the face on my Facebook page or the body in my mirror; but I know she is loved and accepted by the One that matters most. Praise God, He makes all things new!

Pressing Through Transition

Transition… for me is a dreaded thing. Which according to some is then sinful because you’re in a state of worry vs. trust and contentment. I’ve been through so many transitions in my 51 years, but especially the last 4 years, that one would think I would have gotten used to it. Granted some transitions have come easier than others, but I must say, this one has and continues to be the hardest in recent memory.

In the early days of our marriage, Bill was busy climbing the corporate ladder, which has it’s own transition challenges — changing jobs within the same company, changing companies or moving from one city to another, each taking their toll on the family in various ways. In those days, I was busy homeschooling young children so I had a lot to distract me, but it was still always stressful adjusting to the new schedule, the rhythm of the new home, making new friends and finding a church home.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why this one has been more difficult. I don’t think it’s just leaving Texas, because we lived in Louisiana from July 2006 to August 2007. I don’t recall being homesick for The Lone Star state then like I am now. Maybe deep down, I knew it wasn’t permanent. And besides, Texas was right next door. We could visit easily if we had a mind to.
We were watching the TV Mini-series Lonesome Dove a couple of weeks ago, and all of a sudden it struck me, I’m not a Texan anymore! A sadness came over me like I’ve never felt before. I never realized how much, Texas was a part of me personally. Strange. Now I’m a California Girl?? Doesn’t even look right.

Then there’s the new home adjustment. What is it that causes a particular dwelling to have specific rhythms about it? Other houses and apartments, we would get moved in, and it’s like I belonged there all along. I’d roll into the rhythm with barely a hic-cup. But this house, is different. I just can’t seem to feel at home. I can’t get warm, or feel cozy.

The biggest struggle no doubt, has been missing my friends and family who are spread across the country. I have some wonderful friends but for some reason I hate making new friends. What is it? The starting over process… the possibility of rejection-that maybe no one will want to be my friend? I don’t know. At one time, I had to start the process with the people who are currently my friends, what’s different now? Is it part of this season of life? 50’s? Wouldn’t it be nice, if with the new job and new home you had a package deal — a new church with new friends already picked out for you… seems like a good idea. Well, anyway, enough conjecture… This week I finally found a women’s bible study that starts Feb. 3rd. When the leader called me back in response to my email, she told me about he own difficulties of getting adjusted when she moved here. So maybe, God has already found my new friend for me. What to do until then??

Well… thankfully, today, I found the box with my Joyce Meyer collection of videos and cd’s! Praise God! Joyce to the rescue once again! I know what I will be doing for the next few days, soaking up a good dose of “Grow up!” from Joyce. I’ll feel much better in no time.