When you realize your heart is broken...

I was writing a sermon this past weekend for a preaching engagement I had when I realized that something was very, very wrong.

I realized that my heart is broken. I didn't realize this at first because I was about getting things done and moving forward and helping other people deal (or not deal) with their pain. I was moving onward and upward in the midst of a landmine I did not even realize I was standing in the middle of.

And then it happened, I used a scripture in my sermon that was one of her favorites, and it all came crumbling down. I miss her. I miss the way that we used to pray together and believe for the impossible to happen. I miss sitting across the table from her and hearing about how much she loved the Lord and the things that He had done in her life.

I'm gonna be honest here...she was not always easy to love. There were times when it was next to impossible to be with her because things were not always good...but there was a space between us that was always just understood. She knew my heart, partly because she helped shape it. She taught me what it was to pray and believe that God was able to do what you were asking for. She taught me the beauty and importance in praying for your spouse. She taught me what it is to be a woman of the word, and I am more thankful that I can even begin to say that I learned that from her.

But I can't help but think that she would have loved this part of my life. She would have loved that I am preaching the Word of God. She would have reminded me that this is in my blood and it is part of my heritage. Sharing God with people is part of who I am.

I wanted so much to call her when I preached on Sunday. To tell her everything that was in my heart. But as I looked at my phone, I was reminded of how empty it can be to be the one who is left here and even more than that I am reminded how homesick my heart is.

Mercy Me - Homesick (Live)

Help me Lord, cause I don't understand your ways. The reason why, I wonder if I'll ever know. Even if you show me, the hurt would be the same, 'cause I'm still far away from home.


3-day Walk For The Cure

Okey Dokey, here we go. I signed up today for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk-a-thon in Dallas, which will take place November 5-7. I was a little concerned at first because it is 60 miles, but I am already feeling so much love & support from my closest peeps, that I don't think I have anything to worry about!

My team of supporters first must include my bestie, LaDonna. This chica is awesome. She is going with me to Dallas for the "Get Started" Meeting. This meeting is meant to get you jazzed about the walk and the fundraising. So excited for her to come with me.

Secondly is my walking partner, Lissa. Lissa's first (all-be-it unsolicited) piece of advice came this morning. "Just don't wear flip-flops, Mom." Thanks, babe. Got it.

Future people will be listed as the need arises...

I am super excited about training for the walk. I think it will be great for me and the kids are looking forward to missing a day of school in November to come to Dallas and cheer me on!

I have lots more to say about why I am doing this, but for now I'll leave you with this...

If you'd like to sponsor me, you can go to the following link and click on the link on the right side of the page that says to donate to a participant and then type in my name SHANNON ECKLEY. Your donation will go straight to my goal of $2500!


Jesus bring the rain.

1 Kings 18:41-45
And Elijah said to Ahab, Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, There is nothing. Elijah said, Go again seven times. And at the seventh time the servant said, A cloud as small as a man's hand is arising out of the sea. And Elijah said, Go up, say to Ahab, Hitch your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you. In a little while, the heavens were black with wind-swept clouds, and there was a great rain.

Over and over again in the past few days I have felt the sense of rain in my spirit. I felt it when I prayed for a friend and when I prayed for my husband and when I was in chaplain class on Monday. Rain. Coming down from the Heavens like a rushing wind. Rain that would saturate the ground and allow new things to grow. Rain that would bring a freshness that would wash away pain and sorrow and make all things new. But like many other things in life, the blessing of the Lord never come the way that you think it will. Once in a while it looks a little more like life being turned upside down. As I pray and believe for others to be blessed, for God's presence to be made plain in their lives...I feel the overwhelming presence of God in my own life and I know that He is working on their behalf~~but when they don't see it right away I feel a little like Elijah, telling others to go and look and believe because I can hear the sound of the abundance of rain. But when they go and look and see nothing, I feel compelled to cry out, "Go and look again because I know it is coming!" All I know is that I know who HE is. I know what He has done for me.
I know that He is more than able to overcome any situation we might be in. I know that He saved the day & my life and if He will do it for me, then He will do it for them, too. and so I say, Jesus bring the rain. Lose your umbrella, it's time to get wet.


A year in Pictures blogging has left a little to be desired this year, but to redeem myself I have put together a little gift for you. Pics of our year. Enjoy.

~~we started the year at papa mike's & celebrated grandma cindy's birthday. we even made her a cake!~~

~~sisters playing in the snow~~

~~in march we took a trip to topeka & got to hang out with our cousins~~


~~mike worked on my car & did a great job~~

~~all the kids got baptized this year~~

~~also got to see God's awesome beauty at the baptism~~

~~we did a little hiking~~

~~we came to grips with our love of old navy manequins~~

~~we went to an REO Speedwagon concert~~

~~rye is still in love with trees~~

~~our christmas tree this year~~

~~we got bunnies this year~~

~~more bunny pics~~

~~lissa had her birthday party at the bowling alley~~

~~we discovered our deep love for build-a-bear~~

~~morgan is now 65 pounds~~

~~and mike broke his finger~~

~~brent giving his "employee of the year" speech

~~brent's award~~


learning to lead out

This past week at my CPE class I got to lead our chapel time. As I was putting together what I was going to talk about I realized that I was going to be standing in a place that so many people in my family before me have stood. I was going to get to be the one sharing the love of Jesus. Sharing how I see the cross from my perspective.

As I began to think about what I could share, I was reminded of the way that Christ loves us. How extravagantly he has shown his heart for us, so that is the where I went with it. I talked about the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with oil and tears. How extravagant she was about her love for him and how we can be the same. I thought that I would share a part of that with you...

She was an extravagant worshipper of Jesus.

According to Merriam-Webster the word Extravagant has the following meaning:
1)Exceeding the limits of reason or necessity
2)Lacking in moderation or restraint
3)Extremely or excessively elaborate
4)Spending more than necessary

By all accounts this woman was extravagant. She showed up somewhere she wasn’t invited just to be with Jesus. Extreme, absolutely. Lacking in restraint, for sure. From the moment that she found herself standing behind Jesus she began to weep. Excessive, perhaps. And that alabaster jar, filled with perfume that was worth a year’s wages. Absolutely spending more than necessary.

I am sure that we have all heard that story a number of times. And we can have a tendency to get familiar. That familiarity can lend itself to taking something that was meant to touch our hearts and making it something completely different. When I hear this story I am immediately drawn to verse 44 where Jesus is talking to Simon about the woman; while he is talking to Simon, he turned toward the woman… He was talking to Simon but with every breath he was affirming her act of love. He was affirming her acts of extravagance. He was looking into her eyes when he says, “They didn’t, but you did…” Oh to be that woman--

I believe we can be like her. I believe that we can see the extravagant way that Jesus loved us and we can see the way he taught us, the way he died to forgive us and out of the abundance of our hearts we can love him extravagantly in return. We can show up and we can show people what is to love Jesus. We can show people the love of Jesus~ even when that love may not make sense or it may seem foolish or it may be extreme and make us feel embarrassed. We can love Jesus and like that woman we can say, I know. I know what is to live without you and I know I don’t ever want to go back there again. This morning, however, we have a choice. We can choose to have enough of Jesus to just make it to heaven, or we can choose to be like this woman. We can lay everything that we have at the feet of Jesus to have the opportunity to look in his eyes and hear him say YES! That’s how I meant for you to live. Passionately abandoned and not the opinions of anyone else.


What I love.

I have been thinking long and hard about what I love the last week or so. I think that it is soooo important to consciously think about what it is that we love and take stock once in a while.

So, I thought I'd take a minute to write down a few of the things that I love.

I love moonlit hottubbing with my husband.
I love making big breakfasts for my family and anyone else who might be coming by.
I love walking my dog in the morning when not a lot of other people are around.
I love the smell of Texas Pecan coffee brewing in my kitchen.
I love the smell of fabric softener.
I love fall in Texas.
I love walks on the beach and going to the lake.
I love going to Galveston Island and looking out over the water and knowing that God knew how I would feel about that place, and He had me in mind when He made it.
I love that my kids love to bless me...and that even when they have been especially selfish they always manage to pull something out that shows me that I AM a good mother.
I love going to sleep every night knowing that the person I love most in the world is lying next to me~ and I love the way that every night I know his feet will find mine under the covers.
I love the friends that I have and the place that each one fills in my life.
I love the smell of a book store and the crisp feel of pages in a brand new book.
I love pens and paper and the vast possibilities that they hold when put together.
I love my dad. I love that he is a good man and that I can be proud to be his daughter.
I love REO speedwagon, and I love that my dad and I and my kids and I share that.
I love IHOP at 11:00 at night.
I love that I am married to someone who has incredible vision for the future and that everything he has vision for has me written all over it.
I love rainbows and everything that God meant for them to stand for.
I love that prayer is so powerful and that God longs to answer every prayer that I throw his way.
I love that I am not who I was.
I love that my husband leaves his socks laying around, and that my daughter takes my shoes and that my other daughter always takes my favorite pen and that my son cannot ever remember to put his bowl in the dishwasher and that my bonus daughter calls me whenever she needs someone to gripe to, and that my dog takes my shoes and that my other dog will not stay out of my bed because all of these things, that might on the surface appear to be frustrations, are the very things that remind me that I am blessed with a house full of people/dogs that love me~ and people/dogs that want to be loved by me.

It is true that I may not be able to find my shoes or my pen and I may be caught morning after morning picking up things that I did not leave out of place...but more than that I am incredibly aware of God's heart for me because of the people that He has put in my life. I am aware that I am needed and loved and trusted, and that is very good!