Ashes into Beauty~

Who am I you ask?
Well, I will tell you, I’m a Southern lady, that grew up in the South, with parents that  made it through the great depression.. And through that hardship, taught my brother and I to be frugal, thrifty, among so many things. Something I am thankful for to this day. I was a young teen heading down the wrong path around 1970 or so, a path of drugs, like so many teens in my area in those days.. Traveling the South, staying here and there.. I guess I thought I was a FREE SPIRIT, only to find out many years later, I wasn’t. I was a spirit, that belonged to  God, and he paid the price for me, that wasn’t free by any means of the word.. ..
 One reason I speak so much about God, is that I am a born again believer, and God saved me, from myself.. He took away the desire for drugs 40 years ago. And I am eternally grateful to this very day..  For so many years I was surrounded by addicts, I see first hand what the strong holds of Satan can do to a persons life, through addictions such as drugs,  as well as any addictions. Do not kid yourself,  an addiction of any kind can be harmful, I believe it is a strong hold from the enemy himself.
Life went by fast, and  I soon became a young Mother of two, divorced again, trying to raise my sons alone, and doing what I thought was right, and best by them. Turns out not all of it was for the best, but we stood strong, my boys and I.. Choosing addicts with each marriage,  but truly not knowing that at the time, and becoming co dependent , years later.. I found myself going through the motions of an everyday dysfunction family life.. I recall one day, being at my wits end. I stopped my car on the side of the road, and yelled as loud as I could WHY, WHY GOD, just tell me please, or show me Lord, WHY.
Why I keep going around, and around in a circle.. Well, God heard me,  loud and clear. But, it took about 15 more years for him to allow  me to go  in those same circles, until I finally GOT it.. Whew, what a BLESSING, to finally know, that you know, that you KNOW, what God want’s  for you, for your life.. What gifts he has given to you, and where to use them . .Why, some of us are born to know that, and others have to struggle, even to the brink of death, to get there  is beyond me.. But, God will reveal to you in HIS time, when he knows  you are ready for your gifts, and will use them for his glory..

Why, I had to repeat my life’s hurtful lesions, I now feel was so that I could be more compassionate, a better steward, and make better choices… I knew God was trying to reach me, and teach me, that my choices, were not HIS choices for me.. But, I wanted to do it MY way. Oh the heartache, the hardship, and the places God allowed me to go, and the things he taught me through those years on that journey, are PRICELESS, and just between  God and myself, well and mu Mother, there wan’t anything she didn’t know about me…
I wouldn’t take anything away from what I’ve been through, what God has shown me through my own self educed heartache. That is a huge part of why, I am happier with life, see so much beauty in the simply things, and why I wish to share with all of you here daily. God, himself has blessed me time and time again, from the darkness, and  brought LIGHT, and healing to me. And from the ashes of a life that had been burnt, broken and parts of it  had even been buried. God shows up, and it was by HIS grace, he brought healing, joy, and a peace that I otherwise would have never known in this lifetime. If you have been burnt, broken, hurt, and  you feel all that is left are the ashes. Know that God can turn ashes into BEAUTY.. And pain into GLORY.. Sadness into JOY.  I’m sure of what I write to you, I’ve been there, and made it back. The ashes of my life, are now  beauty, from God..  I’m just getting started..  I dedicate this drop in the bucket of my life, to my Mother, who prayed for me, loved them through ever trial.. It was her unconditional love here on this earth that kept me pressing on many days… Tomorrow, Oct 26,2012 marks her 2 year passing.. She lives on through me, and in my heart everyday. God rest her sweet, humble, and Godly soul.. She was so happy that life had turned round for me. That Mr Shabby and I remarries years ago, and raised our children together, after 18 months apart. I’ve told you all about that story here on the blog as wel. So, with all this said, to God be the Glory!


  1. Lynn Vandever says:

    Beautiful. God Blessed.

  2. Dear Debbie, was so moved by your posting…praise God that He finally got your attention, so He could show you what great Love He has for all. I do enjoy and delight in your postings of God’s beautiful and bounty of His works.
    God bless you.

  3. Debbie, you are so lucky to have found the reason for life. Praise be to God, for allowing you to find your way through Him.
    God Bless, I love your FB posts! Look forward to them each day!

  4. Jo Stevens says:

    Thank you so much for posting. I know it is sometimes difficult to show others your heart like this. i feel like I have wandered around in circles a lot in my life as well. I am waiting to see if there is something even at this late date (just turned 61) that I am supposed to be doing. Tonight I am driving to see MercyMe in concert by myself because no one I go to church with likes contemporary music. I live for it. I just don’t fit in with the southern gospel or bluegrass or quartet crowd and it gets so lonely when they just roll their eyes at me like they do sometimes. Luv your posts. They take me back to happier times and cheer me up. God bless you.

    • Dana Throgmorton says:

      Jo, Go to places alone if you have too, Pray for God to bring people in your life to share your music with, friends to enjoy you, not roll their eyes at you…that makes me sad for you and not happy with people that would do that… enjoy life sweetie, you’ve got the right idea! I LOVE MercyMe ! Hope it was wonderful!

      God Bless,

    • Dana Throgmorton says:

      Jo, God Bless you dear, pray for God to send people in your life who will not roll their eyes at you and will enjoy the same things in life that you do ! You sound like a wonderful lady ! I love MercyMe, hope it was awesome for you !


    • Dana, that was so kind of you..

  5. Debbie, as I was reading your testimony, the words to this song kept coming to my mind. “He is my rock my shield, my fortress. He’s my deliverer so strong . The cords of death they were surrounding me, but He heard my cry for help. So I’ll stand and trust, I’ll stand in faith, I will not be shaken.” Our life of faith is lived out in the context of a fallen world and within families with all kinds of dysfunctions. But, even in the middle of all that mess, by the grace of God, we still manage to love each other…and love covers a multitude of sins. It took courage for you to share your struggles. I pray your words bring hope to many.

    Stand strong my friend, and let the Author of Life guide you always. ~ Annie

  6. I was moved by your testimony…I feel your pain and know what you are talking about..thank God you had a mother that was lifting you up….God bless you!

  7. Debbie, isn’t God just amazing? What a real testament to praying moms! God sure hears our prayers. So happy you were able to turn your life around and be a blessing to us! I love your posts and look forward to reading them every day. Thanks for what you do! Blessings, Nita

  8. “How lovely on the mountains
    Are the feet of him who brings good news,
    Who announces peace
    And brings good news of happiness,
    Who announces salvation,
    And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
    Isaiah 52:7

    Thank you for sharing your precious testimony, Debbie. You encourage us who have been on a similar path in finding Him.

    • Patty, many times God lays things on my heart to share. I am not always right on time with it.. I will at times ask, God are you sure. Like he might not be? LoL, he always covers me with his grace, each time I obey the things he wishes for me to share. I know that none here on this earth are perfect, so opening up is not always easy..But obey most of the time .

  9. Sharon Stockton says:

    Now I see why you so appreciate the beauty in life! Thank you for sharing your struggles and your testimony with us. God bless and keep you.

  10. This is a beautiful testimony filled with hope and the miracle of God’s restorative power!! I know your mother is so proud of you! Praise God our mother’s prayers always live on! Blessings to you in abundance!!

  11. God bless you, Debbie, for your wonderful testimony. You are certainly an inspiration to me. Keep on keeping on because God is blessing you and us through your posts. God’s love shines through you, my Facebook friend!

  12. Monica Skaggs says:

    Thanks for sharing. I, too, yelled at God asking did He know what was going on down here or didn’t He care. He answered with what I needed altho the situation was a long time changing. He is faithful, loving and merciful.

  13. Thank you for your wonderful testimony. You are an inspiration to me and everyone who gets your daily posts. God bless you my Facebook friend!

  14. I absolutely love your posts, and after reading this, I will sort of see them in “bigger” way. Thank you so much for sharing your heart so often, through pictures and words, for the rest of us who may need it each day.

  15. Beverly Graham says:

    Debbie, I am very happy to know you. May you always walk with God.

  16. Thank you Debbie that was so encouraging, God Bless you for sharing. It takes courage to do that.

  17. Thank you Debbie for sharing. It was so encouraging and brave of you to speak so openly, God Bless

  18. Pat Lochner says:

    Praise God for His awesome GRACE. He sees us as we can be but loves us as we are. Aren’t we blessed to be raised by Christian parents who pray for us! Your website is certainly beauty from ashes. You are reaching people with your positive attitude and especially your Christian testimony which is so needed in these times. Thank you for your words of encouragement and for your faith in our loving Father. God bless you and keep you and His face is shining through you.

  19. Pat Lochner says:

    Your story is such an inspiration and truly God turned ashes into beauty. Aren’t we blessed to be raised by Christian parents! God sees us as we can be but loves us as we are. Thank you Lord for your amazing gift of GRACE! I love your positive words of faith and your beautiful pictures of God’s works of art in nature. God bless you and keep you and His face is shining through you.

  20. NancyJill says:

    Good Morning Debbie…
    Thank you for sharing your heart…and allowing us a glimpse into your journey. The Lord has shown you that He will never leave you nor forsake you….and the fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much…what an incredible blessing to have a Mother such as your Mom…

  21. Debbie,
    That was beautiful. I am thankful that God redeemed your life and now you bless all of us! I am writing my own memoir, one blog post at a time, and I am almost at the part where God reaches down and picks me up out of the pit of darkness as well. As I have been writing my story since May, I have anticipated getting to the “good part!” It was inspiring to read about your “good part.” Thanks again.

  22. This is a beautiful testimony! Thank God for praying mothers!! Their prayers live on even when they are gone the Bible says! Thank you for your transparency! So many people need hope, today!

  23. You are an amazing individual and your beautiful soul shines through. Honored and humbled. Love to you.

  24. Thank you for sharing your heart. The Lord has truly given you beauty for ashes. Beautiful!

  25. What a beautiful testimony of God’s grace. He has truly given you beauty for ashes. Beautiful!

  26. What a testimony! All glory to God. The best part is knowing you will spend eternity with your mom, but I know our earthly body yearns for those who have gone ahead of us. There are beginning to be more of my loved ones in heaven than here and I am only in my 50′s. Come Lord Jesus come!

  27. Thank you Debbie for sharing your heart with us and we get to share the fruits of your mother’s unconditional love and prayers. I love to see God’s miracles (transforming), see an old life die and seeing the new life in Jesus birthed and bloomed in someone as precious as you. What you have shared, is one of my favorite scriputres from the bible…Isaiah 61:3 ‘To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashed, the oil ofjoy for morning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.’ I’m sure your mother has prayed this and we are seeing a miracle…..God Bless you.

  28. Tina Johnson says:

    Love the moving pic……. Enjoyed reading about you and just wanted to thank you for sharing your pictures and all that you share. God Bless.

  29. Thank you for sharing! How do you get your photos to move? I have so many wedding shots I would love to so that to!

  30. Debbie, I enjoy all of the things you post on FB. I don’t remember how I found you but I am glad I did! As a child I had a very dysfunctional family with parents who had several addictions. I didn’t have praying parents but I had my grandpa (who I adored) and my 2 grandmothers who knew God and covered me in prayers. When you talk of your mother,I think of my grandmothers. They covered us in prayers and even their tears are bottled up for us. Because of those prayers of the saints and the sacrifice of Jesus we are REDEEMED!
    PS. I love the song Redeemed / Big Daddy Weave check it out on !
    In Christ,

  31. Thank you Debbie for sharing your testimony of Gods love. Mothers prayers , pray it forward. To Him be the Praise and Glory for He truly does create beauty from ashes.
    I could not help but think of my dear mother while reading your story.
    I so enjoy all your posts and look forward to them each day. You are a blessing to so many of us.
    May the Lord Bless you and family and continue to spread Gods word and His amazing Love in all you do.
    Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year.
    Your friend and sister in Christ,

    • Oh Judy, for those of us that share the unconditional of a Mother, gone on, or still here. We know that other than God himself, we have no other love like our Mothers. A Mother’s love is there for her child no matter what they do. Not always the case with a spouse, child, sibilibg, or friend.. Just as God’s love is always there for us.. Have a blessed, and Happy New Year Judy


  32. Sharon Anderson Smith says:

    So thankful, for God’s Grace our your life and mine. His Grace is truly sufficient and amazing. I too am a born again christian, I was raised in a pastors home. My dad pastored at church all of my life. But he always told us kids we had to make the choice for ourselves. I had to have my own personal relationship with God. Thankfully God’s Grace has kept me. What a blessing. I have had my struggles and there were and are times I question some things but he is always faithful to help me through those times. God Bless you!!!

  33. Sandra Ruper says:

    I really needed to read your story tonight. My adult son is struggling thru drug addiction and bipolar disorder. The drugs he takes for that are destroying his life and mind. I have been praying for him and loving him unconditionally for many years. Please pray for him. Thank you.

  34. Lou Hopkins says:

    God takes are Ashes and gives us Beauty! Isaiah 61:3 found at

  35. Norma Harvel says:

    Your story was a beautiful one, because it had a very happy ending. Well maybe not ending.. Because you now bring such pleasure to so many. You have no idea just how many people you touch each day with your beautiful postings. I look forward to your posting and your beautiful good nights. You have helped me through a many hard days by bringing the positives of Gods beauty to my day. bless you

  36. Jennie Lew says:

    I consider it an honor and a priviledge to be your friend on FB. I love your humbleness and your graciousness in your testimony…what an awesome God we serve! I, too, am a born again believer, spirit filled and wanting only to please my Lord while here on this earth. It is so good to meet ‘kindred spirits’ and know that when you leave this earth, you will get to spend eternity with them. Thank you for sharing your story with us and God bless you and your loved ones….

  37. God’s glorious amazing grace! He is ALL we will ever need.

  38. Marci Campbell says:

    Thank you for sharing your testimony! I was born in TN and my husband, in Alabama. My mother-in-law and father-in-law still live there and we go to visit. My daughter took pictures of their old home place and barns. My husband is pastoring in Central Oregon and we absolutely LOVE it here. I am a Special Education Ministry Consultant. Snow capped mountains & waterfalls surround us. I am forever snapping pictures! I have recently found myself saying, I bet Debbie would like that one! Love God’s beauty. I first saw your peaceful picture postings on my sister, Kathy’s page. Four of my favorite things are waterfalls, sunsets, walking on the beach and leading someone to the Lord. When i walk on the beach and look at the ocean, it reminds me that the God who is in control of that, can handle any problem I might be facing. Keep up the good work! Would love to share some pictures with you sometime!

  39. Shirley says:

    Debbie, I find your testimony wonderful. Also a born again Christian, the best job in the world as you know is bringing other to know HIM. I’m so proud of you for what you have accomplished and wondered sometimes why I was so drawn to your site. You & your hubby have a wonderful site. (By the way my guy is 7 years younger than I and the Lord is beginning to show me how to improve my gift of helps as he has Agent Orange from the Viet Nam war and is losing the ability to do many of the things he used to do.. Of course I’m not, lol) Yes, the red suit has been very busy in my 75 years, we do not escape him, but if it wasn’t for the Lord some 40+ years ago I wouldn’t have the strength to deal with it. Old age is a blessing if you have HIM in your life, the options are lousy. When you get weaker HE gives you strength. God bless you & your family and I so enjoy your column. Thank you so much!

  40. Debbie that is amazing GOD is such a AMAZING AWESOME LOVING JUST GOD and he saved me many times. Well not many thousand upon 10,000 of time, I too had a addiction it wasn’t drugs per say but a type of drug alcohol and God delivered me from it and never have I went or wanted to go back. It’s been 4 years on June 17 this year that I’ve been alcohol free. He also saved me many times, protected me , and heal me and my family so many times. It’s such a blessing to see other people working for GOD and I loved reading your life story.

  41. Rhonda Barr says:

    Debbie, I missed this somehow when you first wrote it but thank you so much for sharing your powerful story of Grace!!! Beauty from Ashes is one of my “things” that God keeps using in my walk as well…I claim this for people almost everyday in the prayers that He has called me to pray for His people! God has brought some amazing online FB prayer people into my life and many of them have been encouraged by YOU!!! :) I am so excited to see what is happening in our Faith Full prayer group…You were one of the 1st pages that I LIked for our business page when we made it and I share your posts on my personal page too, but the business one the people are ALWAYS commenting on how they love your posts and how much they are encouraged by them! You are an amazing lady who is letting God use you in an incredible way and I am so blessed by your words everyday and your blog!!! Look at all of these peoples lives who God is speaking to through your obedience! Out in the world we never know how many people our lives will impact by our actions or our daily walk, but… through this venue it is incredible to see the lives impacted and what God is doing because when we do His will …people are seeing His Love for them! And more people are sharing their stories and what God is doing and how Jesus has changed their lives!!! And right now thats what we all need…..Hope!!! <3 Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey of Grace…In Him, Rhonda

  42. Shannon Morris Rogers says:

    Thank you Debbie for speaking from your heart. That is the true way to speak and for other’s to be able to not only hear but understand….I and my two younger brothers were just “things” for my mother. My father and mother left us when I was 5 yrs old and my brothers were 4 and 1 yr. My dear, wonderful and amazing Godly Grandmother took us in to raise at the age of 73 yrs old! She never swayed from this hard decision instead of for us to be put in foster care services. She wanted the three of us together as she often said, ” You only have each other and God when I’m gone.” We were city kids yet so we wouldn’t be broken hearted any longer she moved us to the country! We each had a horse and learned how to swim in a creek. She lived to be 96 yrs old and I feel so honored as you were to have her in my life. ……Thank you so much for writing from your heart which brought me to add this also. God is so good and she helped us to know love instead of confusion and not just “any” love but God’s love that lasts forever!
    What a blessing you have been in my life just now through your writing! One of my favorite verses through lonely and hurtful times with my mother was ” At what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” HE carried my through! Thank you Lord and grandma!
    God bless you!

  43. Thanks for sharing your story! I have loved your posts on FB not knowing this about you. You are a true inspiration in so many ways! God Bless you and hugs as you miss your mom. What a treasure she was for you. Glad to know we are sisters in Christ. xoxo

  44. I couldn’t resist commenting. Well written!

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  46. Awesome post.

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