debbie ring

thoughts that move my heart…

Weeding Out My Heart

I hate to weed. I don’t know many people who actually enjoy it, my husband is so good at keeping up with it. I take the ‘out of sight out of mind’ approach. Just don’t look; I know, pathetic.

We have a couple area’s that were being taken over by clover, so we made a DAY of it, weeding. A whole DAY. Can you imagine? Seriously,

As we were out there, I was having a conversation with myself; “What a waste of time”, “I could be doing…(fill in the blank)”, “There are so many ‘more important’ things than this.” On and on it goes, the self talk that surly wasn’t helping me get it done. The dread, the almost anger and resentment.

As I kept this up I decided to pray, have a conversation with the Lord. I asked Him if He would invade my thoughts to help me gain a better attitude as I pulled one weed at a time.

I praised Him for the beautiful day and all the rain we’ve had that made those weeds come out pretty easily, focusing on positive thoughts, then… He invaded.

I started thinking about the parables in the bible about soil, specifically the one that says
“Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and crowded out the plants.” in Mathew 13:7

This is what was happening on the hill, maybe not exactly thorns, but weeds were crowding out the plants. I’m more than half way done on this hill when all this started to resonate, so I took a picture – the bright green would be the weeds.
I’m studying Frances Chan’s ‘Crazy Love’ right now, it’s very challenging. In chapter four he says in reference to this scripture “…when the seed is spread among the thorns, it is received but soon suffocated by life’s worries, riches and pleasures.” And, might I add, busyness.

Anyone who knows me knows I am busy. I often hear “I know you’re so busy, but…” “I didn’t think you would respond because you’re so busy; I don’t know how you do everything you do….you’re so busy.”

I must admit these statements bother me, not because they aren’t true, but because inside I have this still small voice telling me the same thing … often; “you’re too busy”. But, I justify, ignore, manipulate and excuse that nagging feeling and thought.
I am too busy. I like to think I have a full life, the word ‘busy’ bugs me.

What I know the Lord was clearly showing me this day was that my busyness was crowding out my time with Him, just like the weeds are crowding the plants.

I am ‘with Him’ all day, thinking and talking to Him but being with Him? In the quiet time that I so desperately need?

If I’m completely honest, the answer is no, it is crowded out. I’ve allowed it, not purposely, but like the weed, it starts small then gets out of control.

For me, I have to turn off the noise, shut off the phone or at least the data & internet to just sit in His presence, journal my thoughts, read His word, listen and pray – those days had become slim.

My quiet time comes in spurts but not in the way it should be when you are in relationship with The One you love. If I treated my husband, Jim, the same (and I have), we would not have much of a marriage.

I am overwhelmed with God’s love and how He reminded me spending time with Him is never a waste of my time, even when I’m weeding.

What about you, what is crowding out your time?

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My Husband and Grandson



Why is it so hard to ‘Let Go’?

Reflecting on the weekend I spent with my daughter Danielle in Colorado and how much I admire her for the bravery she’s shown. She made the decision to move there this year to start a new life and j???????????????????????????ob with Southwest Airlines.

I wish I could say that I supported that decision the whole time in was in the process, but I didn’t. I didn’t want her to move so far away to an unknown place from me with unknown people in her life. I was in denial, I didn’t care to know much about it and frankly avoided most conversations.

The year 2014 has brought on so much change for my family, for me. Every single one of us has moved, all 5 of Jim and I’s children AND Jim and I! What are the chances of that?  New jobs, new locations, graduation, kids in college, new friends, conflict and so much more.

Change has been the theme for my family this year.
Change brings anxiety in me, some of it didn’t bother me much, but some really overwhelmed me.

What I’ve learned AGAIN is I want control. If I feel like I’m losing control I feel angry and start thinking of how to stop the thing I don’t like.  Manipulation? Such an ugly word.   It’s confusing because I just want to protect them, I realize it’s fear and what people think that drive me.

Recently the Lord spoke to me about this, with tears down my face I recited the words during Worship “Let all the other names fade away, Jesus take your place” [Wide As The Sky – Matt Redman] I felt like I had a teleprompter going across my mind with my girls names over and over.

How many times do I give them to you Lord only to take them back again and again? I proclaim how very much I trust you in my life, I proclaim how you’ve provided for us, you’ve been my companion, my friend, my Lord, my Provider… BUT here I am in this place again. I could almost hear the Lord saying to me “Do you REALLY trust me Debbie?”

Ugh.. obviously no, as I try to control and manipulate to keep my children near me I realize all I do is get in God’s way and the plan He surely has for each of them. ‘Letting go’ is what they call it, I might as well call it Control.  This season of life has completely changed my prayer life; my fears screaming in my ear, my God calming the storm inside… “What time I am afraid, I will trust”

In the past there are many area’s in my life I tried to control as I professed Christ. Only to surly demonstrate that I didn’t really live what I believed. Hypocrite comes to mind, on so many levels. It grieves me knowing that my actions brought contempt to so many that knew me then and watch me now.  I’m so utterly sorry.

The Lord has taught me so much over the years, His Grace and Mercy overwhelm me as I think on the past and let go of control in the present. I pray that going forward my words and actions always reflect that I truly live what I believe in all areas, including letting go of control and trusting God with my girls.

I continue to pray that any damage I caused to The Name of My Savior, Friend, Prince of Peace and Lord, Jesus Christ be blotted out, redeemed and healed for His Glory.

What names run across your mental teleprompter?

Use It or Loose It

Debbie Ring:

“When we have become complacent the bible calls it ‘lukewarm’ our spiritual lives begin to have atrophy set in”

Originally posted on jimring:

This is something I wrote a while back, after my surgery.  Hoping you find it insightful.

ATRO-PHY:  A wasting away through lack of nutrition or use; emaciation.  Also to waste away or to cause to waste away.  Atrophic, atrophied..stress-ball-carpal-tunnel-physical-therapy

This morning as I removed my arm out of the sling, I couldn’t believe it.  In less than three days there was a visible difference in my left arm compared to my right arm.  This is called “atrophy”.  My muscles are already starting to decompose for lack of use in just three days.

My arm was drawn to my side like I still had the sling on and it was smaller and kind of sickly looking.   I couldn’t believe it.  I had to show my wife.  She could see the difference too and was shocked how soon this was beginning to take place.

Then she said the magic words…”I wonder if…

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“It Is Finished” The Gospel According to Two Criminals

Debbie Ring:

The insight here is incredible, It has helped me to understand better it isn’t about anything I can do for myself, it’s all in what Jesus did for me… It really is finished!

Originally posted on jimring:

indexLuke 23:32-43

All four gospels give an account of the crucifixion of Jesus, but I think Luke gives the clearest one.

The gospel is summed up in “what we couldn’t do for ourselves, in our own strength, by our own works; Jesus did for us.”

I believe the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus sums up what we believe about the gospel and what we do with it.

We see in scripture that one criminal was crucified on His left side and one on His right side.  Scripture doesn’t say  which one was which, but for the sake of identification let’s call criminal number one, the one on His left.

In Matthew and Mark we see both men being crucified with Jesus and mocking Him, but one had a change of heart as recorded in Luke 23.

In Luke 23:39 it says “Then one of the criminals (number one)…

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Why you get so frustrated…

I journal a lot, it is how my relationship with Christ has grown.  Writing for me is therapy, finding Christ in the midst of my emotions, my quiet time.

(side note, this is not the follow-up blog to “Failing in Love”)

My  journal entry yesterday started off with “Lord, I’ve really blown it” I was so frustrated with myself.  I felt I was in the middle of something that I had to get off my chest,  I just let it all fly out of my mouth. SAD_by_glendali_1080946_sad_silhouette


Just the DAY before, I heard Pastor Brenda’s amazing message at Cafe’ Chat about how a soft answer turns away wrath. 

Oh yes…true.story.  Epic fail.

I could feel this terrible bubbling up frustration inside of me, this anger just overcoming my thoughts.

It is SO easy for me to blame, to say this or that person is the cause of the anger and/or frustration inside of me.  Maybe it is for you too. 

And maybe like me, you don’t recognize it at first?

“If so and so would do this or that, if I had a better job, if I got the raise I deserve, if he would just ____________, if she wouldn’t have _____________, if my _______________ ” If, If IF, IF!!!

Fill in your blank. 

We all have them, something out there that if it would just line up everything would finally just be OK already!  Sheesh!

I knew I needed to spend time with Jesus, I needed to hear His voice to help me understand what in the world this was.

As I journaled I asked Him to please show me where I was off, what was going on inside of me that was causing all the anger.

I desired the truth, the root of the bitterness – in me. Not in the situation, but in me. 

On my journal page I wrote “EXPECTATION is coming to my mind right now” 

I also wrote about how the night before as I was thinking of when Jim and I were getting so serious in our dating relationship, I was so scared. Isaiah 41:10 is the word the Lord used to help me over that fear.  If you look this up I urge you to also look up the definition of dismayed,, it changed everything for me!

I turn to my devotional after pouring my heart out to the Lord.. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I can’t even describe to you how Jesus has used this little book to speak to my heart.

It starts off “HOLD MY HAND – AND TRUST”  As I finished reading it I went to the scripture references, want to guess the first one?

Isaiah 41:10…AGAIN!

I about fell off my chair, tears streaming down my face as Jesus quietly spoke to my heart …..

“I am here, don’t be afraid”

I then look up the other scripture reference with anticipation setting in…

undone is the only word that I can think of to describe my heart as I read..

Psalm 62:5 & 6.

Right from my journal

Right from my journal

If you can’t read my oh so neat writing,  it says..

My soul waits silently for God alone, for my EXPECTATION is from Him.  He ONLY is my rock and my Salvation, HE IS my defense, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED.

Expectation? Seriously?

tears, stunned, awed, overwhelmed with wonder and gratitude.

He is such a loving personal God, He knows your detail and wants to talk to you!  I knew immediately where the frustration and anger were coming from.

He showed me, I felt it, I heard Him, I know.

I let an attitude of expectation in people drive my emotions….Instead of Jesus.

After I got myself together, praising and thanking Him for such a quick answer, I went on an expedition of the word expectation.

There are many in the dictionary, my favorite is:  An expectant mental attitude;  a high pitch of expectation.  I had a mental attitude all right.

I looked up every scripture I could find with it, here are a few:  Romans 8:19, Proverbs 23:18, Phil 1:20

As you look at these you will see there isn’t any mention of putting hope in the expectations of people or situations, only in Christ.

So what does this mean?  Does my expectation in Christ mean that I expect Him to answer all my prayers and make people just do what I expect?

Oh goodness, that just sounds terrible.  Really, I’m not that bad… am I?   Ugh.

This has been a hard week, seeing yourself in light of Scripture isn’t easy.  Following Christ isn’t for the faint at heart.

____________, (insert your name)
Do not be afraid, loose courage or dread what is coming, be silent in Me and Me alone, your Expectation and Hope. (Isaiah 41:10 & Psalm 62:5)

What do you put your expectation in?  Your marriage, children, job or future?

When I had finished this precious time with Jesus, my heart was in a new place, a deep understanding.   I’m learning that if I put my expectations in  anything but Christ, I will be frustrated, disappointed, hurt, angry and bitter.

I’m choosing to trust that He knows all of what is to come and He will give me the truth and grace to face tomorrow without putting my hope and expectation in or on people.

How about you?

Failing in Love

From the time I was a little girl I wanted a  boyfriend.  I grew up on a ‘mini’ farm, a Tom Boy in every way.  I Loved my horses more than anything, riding was my passion.Digital Image

I remember a boy named Joey in the 5th grade who I had the biggest crush on.  He sat beside me one time on the school bus & I was thrilled.  My heart beat so hard, hands so sweaty, I was sure he shared my little crush.

This was my chance I thought,  I slowly place my hand on his knee.. ever so smooth. Yea right!    This was the boldest thing I had ever done, I can’t even believe I actually did it –  but  was sure he shared my feelings, I mean he chose to sit beside me!

In my heart  I really thought  he would grab my hand and we would be boyfriend and girlfriend. He proceeded to look at me and I at him… and said…

“Are you afraid I’m going to fall off the seat or something?”

M.O.R.T.I.F.I.E.D  isn’t even close to how I felt, totally embarrassed.   I removed my hand and stared out the window until I could get off that bus.


From that memory on, relationships have been painful for me.

Moving into Jr. High I was always the 1st on  the bus after school.  The bell would ring and we would all go to our lockers, say our good-bye’s and get on the bus.  As I would wait I watched all the guys walking the girls to their buses and giving them a kiss good-bye.  I remember  stalling after the bell rang so I wouldn’t be the first one on, maybe then I wouldn’t look like the lonely-girl.

I always wonder why I wasn’t good enough to be someone’s girlfriend.  Or the guys that were interested were not the one’s you would ever pick to date…ever.

I was convinced something was wrong with me

It wasn’t until High School when my parents divorced and we moved to a new school  that I started in my first relationship.  I was the ‘new’ girl and was making friends.   It felt great to have this fresh start.

Over time this first High School relationship failed and after that  there was a succession of many more failed relationships, if you can even call them that.  Looking for love in all the wrong places certainly rang true in my life, over and over.

I wonder if you too can relate to this missing place in your heart that ache’s to be filled?

  • You know it’s there but can’t understand why?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • Why do I always think I have to have a boyfriend?
  • Will I ever be loved the way I think it’s suppose to be?
  • Is there really such a thing as a soul mate and if so how will I ever find him?

I understand you sweet sister, I truly understand.

Or maybe your story isn’t about a bunch of failed relationships, but just 1.   Or maybe in your life you’ve never had one, or maybe you did and he left you for someone else.  Maybe you are in a great marriage, but still feel something is missing.  Whatever your relationship story is, there is an answer to fill the ache of your heart.

After 16 years of marriage and three beautiful daughters, we divorced.   It was painful and ugly and I am so very sorry for the part I played,  I am equally grateful for what God taught me through it.

I found myself ‘back in the saddle again’, searching to fill that ache with a relationship.  During my marriage I did make the decision to accept Christ into my life; I  was learning about Him and raising our girls in the church.

I would learn about God through the papers they would bring home from their Sunday School classes.   I was an adult woman learning on an elementary level the stories of God and it was AMAZING!

I was too embarrassed to let anyone know I didn’t know these stories.  What a gift He gave me through my girls.

It wasn’t until I got to the end of myself; through the demise of my marriage and other relationships that I started to understand I had issues.  I am a slow learner, clearly!  Through counseling I learned I was codependent and an enabler.  Two things I didn’t know anything about even though I was a classic example of them.

As a newly single person I was trying to understand what God’s views were on dating.  What did He say about how He created men and women, marriage and sex?   And what about dating after marriage and children?    I clearly was not healthy in this area and wanted to know the truth, not everyone’s opinion but God’s way, He is Truth.

In order for change to occur the fear of staying the same has to be greater than the fear of change”

In this quest for truth Jesus started to become my friend.  I would journal my heart to Him, read His word, get in bible studies, read books and listen to messages all about dating, relationships, men and women.

Jesus was teaching me that He is and was the relationship I had searched for all my life, in every way  – not just on Sunday’s or Wednesdays but in a personal way.

He loved and accepted me for who I was, not what I thought I should or needed to be.  For the 1st time in my life I was becoming a whole person all by myself.  A beautiful relationship….with Jesus.

I’m not talking about religion.

This relationship has revolutionized my life so much that I can’t stop trying to help women understand it in their own lives.

  • Do  you think that it is only for ‘religious’ people?
  • Do you think you have to ‘clean up your act’ before you can get there or wait for a better time?
  • Or maybe you’ve made so many mistakes and bad choices that you are sure He is done with you or you lost your chance?
  • It’s for other people, those people who know the bible?

Oh dear sister – please know this is right where I was.   He taught me that He desires you right where you are,  I had habits and life style choices that were not Godly in any way.   And still, there He was wooing me to Himself.

right.where.I.was.  period.

And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again.I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses.  I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.  She’ll respond like she did as a young girl   Hosea 2:14 

He doesn’t want you to control you or have you act like you have it all together, or try so hard to get it right.  He simply wants to love you right where you are, just the way you are.

It’s not based on if you are fat, skinny, tall, short, rich, poor, religious, smart, dumb, educated, tan, beautiful or anything else.

Do you feel that tug in your heart?  That is Jesus – He desires you to respond to that tug.  He is such a gentleman, He won’t force Himself on you.  There are no strings in this relationship.

 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  Revelation 3:20

Won’t you open the door, send a friend request? 

The relationship you are desiring is in Jesus and maybe like me you don’t even know it…

Unlike my first crush on the school bus.. He not only wants to hold your hand, He wants to hold your heart.

 You Are More, you’ve been re-made: Video

Please let me know your thoughts below and watch for the next blog about God’s provision!

Never again be shamed…

I’m sitting in this park that I’ve brought my daughters to for picnics, skippin’ stones in the lake and just hanging out and thinking of what a journey we’ve been on.  My girls were so little when we first started coming here.


Over the years, life started getting pretty messy and I’d come here at times without my girls to just cry out to God for all the mistakes I made, remorse and shame over where I was, begging God to protect my girls in our situation.

Just broken.

God would meet me here, He would whisper to my heart His love and encouragement to keep going.  He put people in our life that were a tangible example of God to us, He surrounded us in love.  I’m forever grateful to these people who invested in us.

I find myself here again but in a completely different season of life.  A season of praise and gratitude.  This mother who would come to cry, scared, sad, frustrated, confused and overwhelmed with life  now sits here weeping with such joy, praise and glory to The One who redeems.

Sunday we had baptisms at church, my heart was so overwhelmed  watching the obedience of 34 people making their faith in Jesus Christ public.  So many are near and dear to my heart personally. 

A single Mom and her son, a brother and sister, the drummer from the worship band, two special needs brothers that needed total quiet in the sanctuary so they wouldn’t be frightened & an accident survivor, just to name a few. 

I had moved up front away from my family to take some pictures.  Sitting with my family is probably the sweetest thing for me.   

We come from different sets of railroad tracks – we are a step family.   We are all very different but love and accept each other right where we are, undoubtedly a gift from God.

During baptisms our church opens it up to the whole church,  whoever didn’t ‘sign-up’ can come up!   There were so many that made decisions right then to do this, so many amazing God stories.

As each one came around the partition, the pastor announced their names and we would all just go crazy!   Life changing decisions made right before our eyes.  A HOT MESS is how I’d describe myself…until the last name called – unbeknownst to me was my youngest daughter Jordan!



Hot mess went to blubbering idiot in a flat 2 seconds

She had been baptized before a few years ago, but now she is a few weeks away from 18; in a more mature place.  She’s made some very hard life changing decisions lately that amaze me and now she does this as well.

Pure JOY!

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that  she is responding to the Lord, never something I’d of even considered at her age.

My girls have been through so much.  A life they wouldn’t of chose but had thrown at them, my heart breaks for this.  When I bring this pain to the Lord, He comforts me and says He restores…

Joel 2:25-27… 25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.  You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.  Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.

He has restored so much, I AM praising the name of the LORD my God, He has worked wonders for us!!

Are we all where we want to be or think we should be?  No…but I look back at those early years of despair & shame as I cried in this park and am amazed; remembering  the pain of yesterday and PRAISING GOD for the Joy of today!

I don’t know where you are today, what struggles you are facing – but I do know that God see’s you and your situation. 

He knows exactly where you were, are and will be…Do not give up, do not lose hope. 

He is Hope.

Live in Him

He is the Restorer, in His time as we live for and wait on Him.

Are Your Emotions Ruling Your Decisions?

This season of life is challenging for me,cross road
last night the thought struck me
“You are almost 50 for cryin’ out loud”!   I never thought I’d be at this crossroad at almost 50.

I have been in Real Estate my whole adult life but took a full time opportunity in June of last year with Women of Faith.  In January I was let go along with so many others,  a change in ownership.   It was such an amazing experience, one I will cherish for a lifetime.

Now I find myself at a cross road, which direction should I go Lord?  It’s a vague place, a place I don’t do well in.   My personality needs to know what is next, point me the way I should go and I’ll go!   Or will I?

I have had many opportunities come my way, but non of them seem like the right fit.  Hanging onto the things I love to do, the things that don’t bring a paycheck in hopes that the Lord would bring that piece somehow somewhere.

I’m trying to be very careful and intentional with what I say yes to.  A yes here means a no somewhere else, my fear is the somewhere else would be a ministry my heart loves.

I wonder what fears you have that stop you from saying yes to opportunities that come your way?  What emotions surface that become the basis of your decisions.

Sunday we had the most amazing service, ‘When Life Throws You A Curve Ball.’   Our Pastor used the story in Daniel 3 of the 3 guys thrown in the fiery furnace.  My hand hurt from all the notes I took…

  • Do the right thing, not the easy thing.
  • What do I want to be true of me after the dust settles
  • When the heat is on, remember I am being watched
  • No harm will come to me, I might get hurt but God says no harm will come.  (harm is permanent, hurt is temporary)
  • My emotions will lie to me – Don’t be afraid, just face it!
  • Make the choice to keep swinging!

I found myself slumped over the altar after this message, surrendering this season to Him with tears streaming down my face.   The poor guy who had his hand on me when I stood up must have caught quite the sight, raccoon eyes for sure!

A great devotional I received today was about God’s Promises, do we believe they are true for us?  This devotional challenges you to list 3 promises that God has fulfilled in your life.

My most precious ones are:

  1. Jeremiah 29:11-14   For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to give you a hope and not harm you…when you call on me with all your heart you will be found by me.
  2. Isaiah 41:10  Do not fear, do not be dismayed for i am your God, I will strengthen you, help you and uphold you!
  3. Joel 2:25-27  I will repay you for the years the locust has eaten…you will have plenty to eat…you will never again be shamed.
  4. Proverbs 3: 5 & 6  Trust in the Lord,  Do NOT lean on your own understanding, submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

I am choosing to believe His truth over my emotions, what about you?

Thank you Jesus for fulfilling these promises in my life,  Thank you for this priceless  reminder today.

What season are you in right now?

What is a promise He has fulfilled for you that you can stand on?  

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