Beth Moore, an enigma to me once. A woman I heard Kim and Melissa speak of with awe and honor. These women where different from any other Christians I had known. I wanted what these women had and if they had Beth Moore I wanted Beth Moore too. Through a fortunate (another interesting moment if you know of the Mayerlen string that runs through our life) turn of events B (trying not to use full first and last names to protect our identity-ha!) could not use her tickets and I got to go in her place. I don't remember all the details that had to work out for me to go-miracles no less! but I went. Many of you know pieces of that testimony but my favorite is: my DNA is forever on the floor of that church as tears and snot poured as rivers of living water overflowed from my "dry and dusty land." I'd say that marks the beginning of a journey of faith and obedience as the Spirit put me on tracks with Him so that I could not escape the path the changed my life. That was May, 2002.

The Polk's were on the move, literally, a move out of state to the "mission" field of beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. Trent had already moved to prepare for our arrival. I had to stay and pack our house. I did not think I would be able to go to the Beth Moore event because it was the weekend we were leaving town. Not sure who, but I am sure it was Kim (she is the genius of the group) came up with a plan. U-Hauls had to be loaded, but did I have to load them-nope! I packed the house and left everything ready to load. I left early Friday morning and went to North Carolina with the ladies listed below to return late Saturday night, to an empty house, loaded trucks and a sleeping family. We awoke, walked through our empty house, loaded the last of our things and went to Mosaic church and left for south kakalaky right after.

Kim, Barbara K, Karyn, Margie, Peggy, Kristine, Mellisa, Ashley Mc, Jennifer R, Joan, Crystal and lil ole me. We were off to see a mentor and friend. I now called her Beth and knew her personally (ha! joking-but that was how I felt). She said God gave her a message and that it was for THIS GROUP OF WOMEN. I thought, you say that to all the events... Knowing Beth so intimately as I did, I knew she was a woman of her word. Just in case though: I'd trust God that even if she was making it up-He wasn't and I would pay attention. She talked about the Psalms of Ascent and that we had a journey before us and at he end we would be at the next level with God (very summarized version) I started my Psalms of Ascent homework-but never finished. It wasn't doing anything for me. I was so excited for everything God had. I was on top of the world. Ready for change. Ready for what God had. Until it got hard, lonely, depressing and not what I expected at all. That was June, 2005.

What came between then and now? Much in the life of our family... growth, new eyes to see a world out of church, a dream unravel, deception, abuse, loneliness, abandonment, new life, depression, a return to Jacksonville, FL only 8 months later, no home, no job, then new business, provision, adultery, bringing up past hurt, church division, darkness, suicidal thoughts, healing, changes, financial blessing, new home, restoration, hope, financial hardships, marriage proposals, complacency (just to name a few things) .

So, praise God for a God who brings things full circle. Full circle? you ask. Yes! So, out comes this little study called "Stepping Up" a journey through the Psalms of Ascent by, none other than my friend, Beth Moore. I'll share here and there highlights along this journey.

The most exciting thing for me is timing. God's to be exact. He pretty much forced me to come out of hiding and confess who I really have been through this season of sin. Sin is such a strong word yet completely an understatement. When you are living your nice little life in a good way with God-it can be sin. I was not surrendered, and I knew it. I was not honoring my husband, and I knew it. I was not loving people the way God desires, and I knew it. I was not training my children, and I knew it. I was not being the best friend, and I knew it. I was spending money we didn't have, and I knew it. The best part is, my husband was convicted and we are on the same page and I am ready to do what God wants. not that it will be easy, warfare is fierce! But, this is the beginning. I am stepping up!