As a little girl I sang, "I have decided to follow Jesus...no turning back." I bet you did too. That little blonde-headed girl had no idea what was ahead of her. But her Father did!
I read this story recently: One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. (I know, all you animal lovers like me, I was heartbroken at this point!) He invited his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
What is the moral to this story?
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up, my friend! As my hero in the faith, Corrie Ten Boom's sister Betsy, once said, "There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still." Lamentations 3:55-58 says: "I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: 'Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.' You came near when I called you and you said, "DO not fear." You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life."
February in Review:
February was fast and furious! I was in Jonesville, SC, I flew to Nashville, TN, then drove over to Hopkinsville, KY to spend 2 days with some of my dearest friends, Yvette, Wayne and Micah Eastham, even sharing a concert in their church, First Baptist. That visit was a little taste of heaven, especially Yvette's incredible cooking. What an extra treat it was for me while in their church to have Wayne join me on piano as I sang "Softly and Tenderly!". From there, it was back to Nashville where Yvette joined me in one of two Lifeway events, as well as a day of us taking in the Ryman Auditorium, which housed The Grand Ole Opry! We had a ball! I was home for 2 days, then on another plane to Mobile, AL, then driving over to beautiful Gulf Shores to be at First Baptist Church and Seniors by the Sea. The last weekend had me driving 5 hours to Tifton/Chula, GA for a wonderful weekend at First Baptist there. The month also included 2 radio interviews in promotion of the events. Whew, I am grateful for God's grace in it all. Ross was a trooper, as he went from home to his dad's, back and forth.
The response to the "On the Case With Paula Zahn" has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am very grateful for that. Of course I would have liked to have seen more of my family's journey of faith and forgiveness included, but we are grateful for the opportunity to share our story to a hurting world. I was especially proud of my brother, Robert, for being a part of the program, as this was the first time he has ever spoken publicly about that part of our lives. He did an excellent job, and I'm glad we did this together. If you missed it, our episode will air again on March 2nd at 9:00 a.m. on the Investigation Discovery Channel (see here for more information), and it is entitled "One Month of Terror." For those that don't have that channel (as I didn't, but so enjoyed going over to watch it with my sister-in-law, her husband, and my little nephew), you may view it online here.
After spending 2 days at Lifeway in Nashville, TN speaking/singing for their Trustees' Wives annual event, I am grateful to have been invited to write an article for Lifeway's Journey magazine, based on my testimony, "Keep Believing...Trusting in the Lord When You Don't Understand." We will keep you posted about the date of its publication.
March at a Glance:
I am looking forward to flying to Washington, DC March 1st to then drive over to Ocean City, MD for First Baptist Church of Alexandria, VA's Women's Retreat March 1-3, where I will be speaking/singing/leading worship on the theme "Grace So Amazing." March 8-10 I am especially looking forward to being back with the ladies of Miles Rd. Baptist Church in Summerville, SC joining them for the second time at their annual women's prayer retreat where I will be leading worship and sharing "Pressing On in the Midst of Whatever We Are in the Midst Of." One my dearest friends is the women's ministry director/counselor on staff, and I'm looking so forward to some time with my sister-from-another-mother Debbi Dunlap. March 16th I will be at Palmetto Land Baptist Church's Women's Conference in Summerville, SC. Then I will have a little break before April's schedule starts up.
On the Home Front:
February was a busy month in every way, as Ross's season of lacrosse started at Dutch Fork High School. He made the Varsity team, and this is a history-making year: the first ever lacrosse team there. He is working hard, playing a lot, and having a great season. Dutch Fork High School varsity lacrosse's last two games' scores were 9 to 8 and 14 to 2 with Ross scoring his first goal of the season last night! Hannah competed in two collegiate competitions with CUET (Clemson University's Equestrian Team) and won a ribbon both times. The first weekend in February I was able to drive to Statesboro, GA to watch her ride. It was a great day. March will find me in the bleachers a few times a week cheering on Ross. We are looking so forward to having Hannah home to join us for her spring break March 15-24, as her busy schedule has not allowed her to come home since Christmas. She was nominated by Clemson University to be a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and I am so proud of her for how hard she is working in school. She also sent me some more good news: I am a Grandma! :) Hannah got a new puppy and his name is Blue! I can't wait to meet him!
Love-Offering Concert Series
Jennifer is busy working on filling up my summer love offering concert series and would love to hear from you if you would be interested in hosting me at your church. I will be including many of the brand new hymn arrangements from the Timeless Hymns CD. Would you send us an email here at the Jordan Ministries offices if you think your church would be interested in hosting me as a part of their summer concert series? Direct referrals are always the most helpful!
Well friends, thank you again for allowing me to share a little of what is going on in my life and Jordan Ministries and thank you for your prayers and continuous support for all that the Lord has called me to. May you have a blessed Month of March and beginning of the Spring Season!!
Spotlight of the Month
In light of the recent airing of my family's story on the Investigation Discovery Channel, I wanted to highlight two books that tell you our family's story in it's entirety:
1. My mother's book "The Rose of Shari" and
2. my own autobiographical account of these years of my life in my book "Grace So Amazing" in combination with the CBS made-for-TV feature film "Nightmare in Columbia County" (They are available for purchase as a package deal here on my website or you can also purchase these two items separately)
FBC Alexandria Women's Retreat
Investigation Discovery Channel will re-air "One Month of Terror" - my family's story - on their Season 7, 10th episode of "On the Case with Paula Zahn"
Miles Road Baptist Church
Ladies Prayer Retreat at Blue Ridge Assembly outside Asheville, NC
Palmetto Land Baptist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook and Twitter where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale)
Sugar and Spice and everything nice....that's what little girls are made out of and our ultrasound told us we're having another little girl! We are getting excited to meet her! :) Speaking of little girls, Reid and Ian had left for some father-son exercise time and I had the girls home by myself. I told them we could watch something girlish on TV since it was just us. My youngest (7 year old) replied: "I sure hope it has nothing to do with kissing in England!" She is very familiar with my affinity for BBC Masterpiece classics like Pride and Prejudice or Emma! :)