Monday, December 26, 2011

Grateful...

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."  Psalms 100:4

Had a great time this year at Christmas, spending time with family. The grandkids are my delight!

 As I waited in the airport today for the van service to take me home, I thought about how different  this year was from last year.  Last year when I returned home from Christmas vacation, I came home to a snow blizzard with over 2 feet of snow on the ground!.  My state was declared a "state of emergency" and I caught the last thing on wheels leaving the airport ...that was a miracle.  I made it home after an almost 3 hour trip that normally takes about 45 minutes.  The poor van driver had to drive about 5 to 10 miles an hour throught the blizzard, but he managed to get all of us passengers home safely, God bless him!

When I finally arrived home, I found  the house cold and the finished basement filled with over 3 feet of water!  The water heater had broke and the water had continued to run for days.  The second miracle was that I was able to get home before it flooded up to the main floor!  The days that followed were almost a dream, as the Fire department came out to declare the house "Un-Inhabitable" because underneath all that water in the basement, the gas valves were still open AND the water covered the electric outlets (possibilty of  someone getting electrocuted).  So I had to stay for a week with my gracious neighbors while the fiasco at the house was being taken care of.

But through it all God was with me...though I recognized His Hand in that whole issue then...I now can see even more clearly how He was with me EVERY step of the way.  My sweet daughter-in-law Nicole stepped in and used her organizational talents long distance over the phone to arrange my insurance company to do their job, my neighbors gave me a comfortable place to stay,  my son, with his voice sounding so much like his father's, gave encouraging words each time he called, and my two sisters, brother and niece Debbie were just a phone call away when I needed them.  God even  used  one of the customer servce reps to one day minister to my discouraged heart as I spoke with her on the phone; she gave me words of encouragement and even called me the next day to make sure things were taken care of and was just plain nice...which is not very common these days.

Through it all that situtation was taken care of and I give God all the praise and I humbly thank all the people that were there for me. 

A year later I returned home to sunshine and a mild, beautiful winter day.  The flight actually returned early, my baggage was waiting at the claims belt and the airport van only took 20 minutes to arrive.  So unlike last year...and yet I know that He is the same God yesterday, today and forever.  Just as He is God on bright and sunny days, He is also God during a snow blizzard.  He will never leave us nor forsake us...His hand is always open towards us.  He want us to stand firm in our faith that He will take care of us.



I just want to say that I am grateful. Grateful that I have people in my life that care for and about me and most of all grateful for a God that I can call "Friend" and in whom I can depend.  Thank you Lord!







Sunday, November 13, 2011

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

This is the part that stands out to me today…
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:6-9

Giving credit to whom credit is due, it was author Tracie Peterson’s blog entry on “Writes of Passage” about the Tamarack tree that inspired me. Her post helped me to take a look at one of God’s unique creations and compare it to everyday life. Here is some info about this tree that grows in Canada, the Northeastern Unites States from Minnesota to as far south as West Virginia:  

 The wood is tough and durable, but also flexible
 The bark is highly susceptible to fire damage and high winds;
     however the ones that survive these conditions grow very slowly
 Very intolerant of shade
 Very tolerant of cold weather
 Good self-pruner
 Needles turn yellow in autumn.

Okay, maybe it’s my wild imagination, but is God trying to speak to us through His creation? Won’t be the first time huh? I mean doesn’t He expect us to be “tough and durable, but also flexible”? And how about Him wanting us to grow in Him (which is a very slow process by the way); so that we can be strong and sustained in times of trial. How about being “intolerant of the shade”…not desiring nor like being out of the “Light”? We should ALWAYS be in God’s light and truth, so that we can be a light. Oh! But be able to tolerate the “cold”…adverse situations that are uncomfortable but we are able to stand because of our existence in Him. Here’s one to open your eyes, we should be “good self pruners” Aha! Have you “pruned” yourself lately? Have you taken the time to ask the Lord what things in your life should not be there, things that are not pleasing to and hindering your growth in Him?

And lastly, though the Tamarack tree looks like an evergreen tree, it actually is deciduous and turns yellow in the fall. Tracie even mentioned in her post how she thought that these trees were pine trees that had a disease and were in a state of dying with their yellow color. But the fact is God made them that way and we can’t put God in a box! What may seem to us a green Christmas tree, will become a golden tree when the season changes. I marvel at this…some things you just can’t figure out. 

In life we will experience many things we cannot figure out in our own little finite minds. It soon will be 10 years since my husband’s passing and I STILL can’t figure it out. Why him? I don’t know. And there are many of you trying to still figure out why some things have happened in your lives, to no avail. That is why the verse above is so precious to me…His ways are not our ways…His thoughts are not our thoughts. When we began to learn to trust Him and to believe that He has our very best interest in Heart…is when the sweet release comes. Is it easy? No…but second by second, minute by minute, day by day, let it settle in your heart and mind, God’s ways are so much more higher than ours. Comfort comes with releasing and holding. How do you do that? You hold on to God’s promises and release the pain and hurt to Him.

The Tamarack tree may not appear to be a tree that changes with the seasons, but it does and it’s in God’s plan. With the changing seasons in our lives may we trust the Lord that His plan will prevail.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Your Anchor holds...

The words of this hymn came strong to my mind this morning. I could not help but to sing the chorus over and over again…


In times like these, we need a Savior
In times like these, we need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock
Chorus:
The rock is Jesus, yes He’s the One
This rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock

This hymn was written in 1944 by a Ruth Caye Jones, who with her husband were evangelists who started a Radio ministry from Erie, Penna. As I looked at the picture of this woman, I noticed her kind, round face; hair in a bun, which was indicative of the women of the church in the 1950’s and she had such a smile of peace. And then when I read the words of this song, I knew that behind her look of peace, she paid a price to write these words…she KNEW what it meant to hold on to the ANCHOR…Jesus in her times of need.

Matthew 7:24-25 says:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine [Jesus] and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

I had an interesting conversation with a person the other day. This young person in his short lifetime has known a lot of trouble…most of it not of his own making. His trouble was the result of where and when he was born. He spoke of being annoyed when he hears other people his age complain about things they are going through that in comparison to his troubles are so mediocre. I could concur…I mean in all honesty, I get mad when I hear folks crying about “my big toe hurts” when I’ve had brain surgery…BUT the Lord is teaching me that all things are relative and to them it’s a biggie…so have compassion Roni! Yes Lord.

As we talked I shared with him about my upbringing in the south, smack in the middle of racial segregation with all its ramifications…and YET…my parents held on to their ANCHOR and taught me to do likewise. Though tossed through many situations that could have held me down or back, because I had an Anchor I was able to hold steady until “My help came” as the old folks say.

In times like these we DO need an Anchor. When I look back over my life, I marvel how the Lord has brought me through time after time. Times when I thought I could not make it…times when I didn’t even want to make it. Times when I held on with every ounce of my silly little strength until I could feel His arms of love take me up. Times when I didn’t understand, but I just held on to my Anchor…my Sold Rock, Jesus.

Do you know Him today? I don’t mean ABOUT Him…do you REALLY know Him as that Anchor…that Solid Rock? I hope so friend, because as Mrs. Ruth Caye Jones said many years ago …”in times like these we NEED a Savior.”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Spring cleaning in September? I admit I am a little late with this, but even though my spring decorations were put out of sight, it was time to really put them away in storage. Isn’t that how we are with our lives sometimes? Tragic things happen, hurtful things and though we are able to “put them out of sight”, bury them under the business of everyday life…still they are there. Sometimes never having been dealt with; so that they can be turned over to the Lord and stored in the proper place.

It is very hard for me to watch the memorial programs about 9/11, it was a very painful season for me. My husband was very ill with a condition that caused him to pass away only a few months later. I was burning the candle at both ends, working, taking care of him and running a household. When I look back now I marvel at how the Lord took care of me. Many times I wanted to throw up both hands and scream…and yet each day that I awoke God gave me new strength to carry on.

So when I think of the families that the 9/11 tragedy left behind, my heart grieves with them, yes, even after 10 years. And yet I hear the Lord saying that even though it was a season of pain and sorrow, it must be given to Him so that He can store it properly. Of course we will never forget…after nearly 10 years, I feel as if my husband’s passing was yesterday at times. But unless we give that season to Him we will never be able to go forward.

Each season has a purpose, the spring to bring about new growth, the summer to help things grow for harvest, the autumn to complete the harvest and prepare nature to rest and winter a time to kill off all those bad things (germs) and complete the resting period for the next season. Each season must be processed in order for the next one to come.

So, No! we will never forget 9/11 and the senseless loss of lives on that day, but let us give that season to God, with all our grief and sorrow and pray that as He stores it away, we can make way for a new season, a season of purpose, a season of joy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stay in the Light!

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

Isn’t it funny how we do things in “darkness” and expect to succeed? Oh sometimes it appears that we succeed but eventually it all comes to “light” so to speak. Or you need the “light” to get it right. Hey I just made a rhyme…did I miss my calling? A rapper maybe…no remarks from the peanut gallery please…anything is possible you know.

Case in point, my printer here at home needed an ink cartridge replaced. I went to the store, purchased the correct cartridge (with the help of a young lady, who was very polite, believe it or not, store employee.) Got home, said to my self “this is easy” and thought that I could just snap it in and keep on rolling. NOT! THEN parts began to snap off as I tried to jam the cartridge into place! And to make matters worse, each time a little part would snap off and roll on to the floor, my beloved and awesome dog, Bruno would grab the miniscule part and run off with it. So I would have to stop and go find him and pry the tiny piece out of his tiny mouth! Madness!

I kept asking the Lord to “Help…me…get…this…cartridge…in…correctly” all while I was jamming it in with each word. FINALLY it dawned on me that I was trying to put this thing in while it was still attached to the cords AND in dim lighting. Thinking I was doing it the easy way by keeping it connected and by not getting into the light, it actually made it a very unpleasant chore! AND I lost my joy in the process! AAAARGH!

Ding ding ding! Okay I can hear some of you going “DUH”, but you have to understand sometimes it takes geniuses a while to figure out simple things…uh yeah. Anyway, I disconnected the printer to take it over to a bright light so that I could “see” exactly what needed to be done, and no kidding; what I had been just sweating over, took me all of 5 seconds to do. I had to chuckle and that turned into an out right laugh. In the middle of my laughter the Lord spoke to my heart one word “SEE”. He has such a way with me. LOL.

So! What did I learn? You mean besides the fact that I’m a little undone around the edges or the porch light is on and no one is at home OR my elevator does not go all the way to the top…you get my drift. I truly learned that I MUST walk in the Light as He is in the Light (I John 1:7a) and if I REALLY want to succeed in this life I have to follow HIM, because if I try to walk in darkness….basically it ain’t gonna work.

In this world there is so much darkness, just listen to the news. We must CHOOSE to walk in the Light of Christ, and as we trust Him with a sincere heart, He will lead us along the way.

Friday, August 5, 2011

With ALL my heart?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5

I had a revelation this morning! Eye-opener, Moment of Truth, Epiphany…you name it! But it was just that. I “saw” that after so many years of calling myself a Christian, I really do NOT Trust God with ALL my heart! There! I said it!

This revelation began after I awoke from a very realistic dream about my late husband. Though I cannot remember the details, it was a pleasant dream and so real. So much so until those feelings of fresh grief returned in full force and the questions of “Why?” and “What if?”. Issues that I thought I had worked through over the years since his passing; but they began to raise there ugly heads to batter me. So I had a talk with the Lord…

Feeling the nudge to read the above scripture, the word ALL jumped out at me. And then the blinders came off. The table was turned…instead of me asking the questions, It was God asking me...”Do you trust Me with ALL your heart?”

I knew I trusted Him for my provisions, protection, comfort, unconditional love and the list goes on and on…but I knew in my heart, He was asking me did I trust Him with the things that I don’t understand. Now don’t get me wrong I believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God why, after all, if you have a relationship with Him, He is your true Father and does not mind the questions. AND He has given us the ability to reason; isn’t it about the age of two, maybe younger that a child will begin to ask “Why”, over and over again until you give them a satisfying answer or you have to say “Because I said so!”.

That is the part of my heart that I had not truly surrendered to Him…the part when God’s answer is “Because I allowed it” and then silence. At times like this you can feel like that two year old still sniffling and yes, simmering with anger after you’ve gotten an “answer” like this.

Trust can be a powerful thing, though you may feel totally helpless and vulnerable, there is still a feeling of power that comes when you have turned it over to a God that is big enough to take care of it all, even that simmering anger that is still there. We have to give it to Him, we can’t handle it!

I do not understand so many things that happen or why. But as I allow Him to continue to work on me, I can now look into the eyes of a person that has experienced much pain and hurt, rejection and misunderstanding and with honesty and compassion say “I don’t understand either, but He does.”

Walking life’s journey is not always easy, but we CAN have peace in our hearts, our homes and families as we learn to trust God whether we understand it or not. Something we have to work on…I know I do!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Psalms 55:6

Have you ever had one of those days?  It is always comforting to read that I'm not the only one that feels that way sometimes!  King David wrote in the Psalms about just that kind of day.  In fact the first 8 verses of the chapter are written about how he REALLY felt.  So honest...I love that.

Some days I wish I had wings...preferably wings on my shoes (there's something about having wings on your back that speaks PAIN getting them on there) and besides I'm not ready to join Gabriel yet...just sayin'.  But if I had them on a pair of shoes that I could slip off and on whenever I felt overwhelmed, fly to a tropical Island for a while then come on back to face reality again, I think I could handle that . lol

But I know that would not solve the real issue at hand. If you fly away, it's going to be there to meet you when you return. The great news is that God has given us everything we need to deal with every issue in our lives. He not only gave us the tools (2 Peter 1:3), but also an excellent example in Jesus Himself (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus was tempted in the Garden of Gethsemane to not follow through with His destiny...but He did and because of His determination and making a decision to follow through, you and I have eternal life.  So glad He did not "fly away", and believe me He really had the means to do it in style AND on REAL Angels' wings...but He didn't...because He loves us so much. 

So I guess, after this little pep talk to myself, I'll put away my winged shoes for now, face the issue head on with the Lord by my side and declare Victory!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Fresh New Day!

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up."
Psalms 5:3
"Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face."
Psalms 5:8

Thank you Lord for allowing me to see another day.  Help me not to take each day for granted.  Lead and guide me to follow the plan that YOU have for me today.

Just thinking that it's been awhile since I've been "Yard-saling".  though I don't need anymore junk to clutter up the clutter I already have.  There is something about rummaging through old stuff and finding a treasure! I love it!  So maybe, just maybe that is an adventure to plan for this weekend...hmmm. check the newspaper listings, get my big 'ol shopping bag ready and get ready to roll!

I can ususally find great stuff at yard sales, it just takes a little patience and an "eye" for what it really not junk.  Over the years I have collected a rainbow of colors of Depression ware, and other pottery and china. I semi retired from going out, but I feel a new urge to re-fire and get back out there to see what I can find. Hopefully pictures of my found treasures will follow in an update post.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bloom Where You're Planted

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31


Coming back from a vacation, no matter how short, often leaves me feeling deflated. I suppose it could be from all the excitement and hype in the prep, then being super high on fun and family, only to return to the everyday sometimes mundane life. Especially for me, who rarely gets to see or spend time with family…that time is very precious to me.

Attended a fabulous wedding and had loads of fun with family, an experience in total contrast to my usual life. Since my return and feeling somewhat “woe is me” the Lord had to remind me of some things. He reminded me of a person that was never able to have children of her own and then her husband passed away at a young age. This woman’s life I am sure did not turn out the way she had planned. Then He reminded me of someone who was left to raise and care for her children alone…surely this is not how she planned her life.

And there I sat, lovingly chastised by my Father for pining over my life that He has so graciously given to me, because I feel that my life has not turned out as I had planned. I wanted to be the doting wife, mother and grandmother, busy baking and cooking fabulous meals for my family on the weekends. I could see us having big family gatherings for Christmas and Easter with so much love it made the atmosphere tingle. I pictured us all going on picnics together, complete with a wicker basket, gingham napkins, fried chicken and the works. I could see my husband and I watching our grandchildren grow up together, giving them sage advice and slipping them money to get a treat. I could see us watching the sunset and laughing about silly stuff…just because we were all together.

I have always been a dreamer. I can remember my math teacher in high school frequently catching me staring out the window daydreaming, while she called on me to answer a question. Though it amused and made my class mates laugh, I was in my own little world, where I saw my life in sparkles and pastel colors. And then you grow up…

Growing up is not meant to be a negative experience; it is the plan of God that we mature and become wiser. It is when we try to hold on to some of those dreams that we can make our current lives miserable. God, I believe wants us to be content in the state He allows us to be in. As apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13 after saying “I’ve learned to be content with having a lot and with having little…”I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”. He wants us to “Bloom where we are planted”.

In a conversation with my sister, we talked about a yellow rose bush that she has planted by her storage shed in her back yard. She told me how having gotten the rose when her youngest son graduated from Medical school several years back and she had tried planting the bush in several places on her property without success. Her last resort was to plant the rose bush in a pot that was out by her storage shed. A pot that had other plants in it along with a few weeds; but it is there, not in a place of prominence or even showcased that the Rose bush has flourished and blooms beautifully. At that point she and I began to see the correlation the life of that little rosebush has with ours. To make it more personal, with my life not turning out like I had planned, I’ve felt I’ve been moved all around, surely out of my comfort zone; dreams have failed, lots of tears in the process and yes…in my little narrow, pink and sparkly, make believe world, to me people have failed. But my Father reminds me that my eyes should only be on HIM, because HE NEVER FAILS. And He reminds me to BLOOM WHERE I’M PLANTED. The Real World can be rough, hurtful and very disappointing, but Jesus says in the Bible to be of “Good Cheer for He has overcome this world.” And I can too as I keep my eyes on Him.

Thanks little yellow Rose bush for that huge lesson…in spite of your trials, you’re still fulfilling your purpose and looking beautiful while you’re doing it! I want to be just like you when I grow up!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy fourth of July !

"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed"

We have True Liberty, because of Christ's payment on the Cross!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hope does not disappoint...

‘Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Roman 5:1-5




I was thinking this morning about how faithful God has been to me. Sometimes it is so easy to get sidetracked by a myriad of things, some simple…some quite serious. But when you take the time to really think about how you have arrived to the place you are now…there has bound to be some fascinating stories of your journey. And even though some things may not have turned out like you dreamed they would be…you’re still here. And those very things that you thought would have surely done you in, instead they have molded and made you to the person you are right now...hopefully stronger and wiser.

The scripture says that “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” hmmm, hope does not disappoint, so that means when we are going through a trial, we have to trust and believe that when we get through it, we will not be disappointed that we went through it, because God will some how turn it around for our good.

It is this “hope’ that allowed Corrie ten Boom to physically extend her hand and to forgive on the spot, the former Nazi that was not only instrumental in killing thousands of innocent Jews, but who also tortured her sister that led to her death. I am sure that when Corrie watched her sister die in that concentration camp, the last thing on her mind was forgiving the ones that caused their suffering. But her tribulation produced perseverance and that gave her strength of character and that gave her hope, hope to forgive, thus changing many lives for the better. And there are many true stories of people that had many trials, but having trusted God to bring them through, they have a special place in history. We can even look as close as our own parents, my Dad and Mom had many strikes against them, but with God’s help they allowed the very things that tried to defeat them, instead mold and make them into a man and woman of perseverance and character…I am eternally indebted to them for their example.

As I looked back over my own personal journey, memories of the painful hurdles, misunderstandings, rejections and losses came to mind. But then I look at myself today and KNOW that I would not be who I am today if these things had not happened. And even though it was painful, it has developed my perseverance, my character and given me hope. I’ll admit though, when things happen I still have the tendency to first whine, cower and even self pity may arise; but I am quickly reminded that because I have given my life to Christ, He has poured His love in my heart by His Holy Spirit, so I have the tools I need to get through..

This hope has helped me through some very devastating times. When I was a teenager, so idealistic and full of dreams and fantasy about life, there were things I said I would never survive if they would happen to me…and yet God has kept me and continued to give me hope that will never disappoint. He is a faithful God, and He will never leave or forsake you…and you can have peace with God.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Art of Relaxation...

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Philosopher once said “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." But I think the Prophet Jeremiah says it best in Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”


Every day that we arise we should be thankful for another day and act accordingly. It is with this mindset that I set out this morning...a planned vacation day. I went to a scheduled appointment and was out of that office by 8:45 AM. With the rest of the day before me I automatically started to plan all the things I wanted to get done with all this free time And as I did I began to feel anxiety kicking in but made myself stop and remember what a co-worker said the other day. While talking to her about how I feel myself rushing even when I’m suppose to be doing the recreational things I really like doing on my days off. She said a simple statement “You should not plan so many things for your free time”. So simple and yet so true. I have a habit of mapping out my day, even the route I want to take to make sure I get oodles of things done during my free time, when really I should let it be just what it is, a free time to relax and enjoy!

So back to 8:45 AM and I’m saying “Wait a minute! It’s my day off and I’m going to enjoy it!” Too early to shop so I head to one of my favorite places for breakfast, Panera Bread, where I know I can get a great cup of coffee and something yummy to eat. On the way in I see the tables and umbrellas set up outside and know that is where I want to park myself for the next hour. As I walk in and smell the aromas of fresh baked goods and cinnamon, I begin to relax. I choose a miniature Spinach Bacon SoufflĂ© and a medium coffee. A young man at the coffee bar looks back at me while I’m waiting in line to apologize for taking so long to prep his coffee and warm his cinnamon roll. Normally if I’m in a rush, my response would be a quick obligatory smile and maybe a nod of my head. But this fine relaxing morning, out of my mouth comes "Take your time…please…that is what is wrong with the world today…everyone is rushing.” Did I just say that? The Anxiety Queen? What can I say but relaxation has kicked in and I’m riding high! (And I didn’t even have my coffee yet). The young man looks at me first with caution as if to say “Who is this crazy lady” and then he smiles and as he’s taking his Cinnamon roll out of the microwave he says real thoughtful, “ You know…you’re right…we rush too darn much! Thank you and have a great day.”

After prepping my coffee, I head outside to sit at one of the umbrella tables to enjoy the sunshine, mild breeze and classical music being piped through the speakers. As I’m enjoying my food and setting, birds begin to chirp, sing and draw closer. I feel like Disney’s Snow White in the forest and is so relaxed I want to sing a response to their chirping. I KNOW the birds are begging for crumbs (I’ve seen that look before in my dog Bruno) but for now I’m relaxed, chillin’ and can pretend that the sweet little birdies are serenading just for me and I breathe deeply and relax.

As I kept that same attitude of making the most of the day and enjoying it without rushing, I had a great time. I shopped and got some great bargains. My black sweater I bought in Colorado from Dillard’s that was destroyed in my basement flood of December 2010 was replaced today with a fine black knit Jones of New York gorgeous sweater and a beautiful jacket (same brand name) for a fraction of the cost! And I just had a great relaxing time…no plans, just enjoying the free time.

I am on a quest to really learn how to enjoy the time God has given me. Years of being caregiver for a loved one can take its toll on mind, body and spirit; much sorrow, sadness, anxiety and depression. And though I would do it all over again for my precious late husband, I strive now to “press on towards the mark of the high calling”. When I arise I thank God for another day, a day He has blessed me with…and He whispers to me “Relax…enjoy…”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"... Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
 Psalms 30:5b

Whew! is it ever hot today! Where are the people that said all winter "I'll be so glad when the warmer weather gets here!" I would just LOVE to say to them now, ""Don't EVEN complain to me right now!"  :)

The hot weather just  kind of snuck up on us...one day it's nice and Spring-y and BAM! Who took the lid off the boiling cauldron!

I promised myself that I would not complain though. I mean, it is what it is, so might as well relax and enjoy what you can. Besides the weather man says that after today it will start to cool off some.  All day I've been saying "If we can just get through today, it WILL be better tomorrow."

As I'm aging, I'm finally learning how to enjoy each day as it comes and hold on to the promise that things "come to pass".  Tomorrow WILL come and you go from there. God is faithful and we must hold on to that.

So as for today, bring on more iced water and tea and hold on to my seat for a cooler tomorrow!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Giving Honor

"Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Romans 13:7

This Memorial day I would like to thank every man and woman that has served and is serving this country in our branches of the armed forces. I always think of my Uncle Ernest especially when this holiday rolls around.  He was a handsome, gentleman...quiet,calm spirit and always with a ready smile. A man that served his country during the Korean War, and came home with a Purple Heart of Honor. We are so proud of his dedication and commitment to God, his family and country. And yet he was just one of so many thousands that fought and some even giving their lives so that we can live in freedom.

Working near a military base, I often see Military personnel and their families. I admire them and often get the opportunity to thank them for the sacrifices they have made so that I would not have to.


We have so much to be thankful for in this country. Of course we have our share of issues and problems, but still it is the best place to live in this whole wide world; and I thank God for the men and women that have fought and dedicated their lives for making it so.  God Bless you Veterans...I give honor to you, the honor that is due to you...Thank you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No greater love...

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. " John 3:16

When I think of unconditional love today, I think of my mother and father.  But since this is Mother's day, I'm writing about the wonderful woman that God allowed to give birth to me and my 4 siblings.
I remember once visiting her and admiring a little needlepoint pillow she had on her couch.  And so typical of her, she asked me did I want it... so giving. I told her no, because it looked so perfect where she had it in her decor.  I inherited a knack for collecting "pretty things" from my mom. Pillows, ceramic figures, colored glass, etc. She was my hero! (smile)

My mother loved her children, she wanted the very best for us and was willing to do whatever necessary to have that happen. I have such precious memories; her bringing me for lunch at school, a warm hot dog and a hard boil egg minus the yolk,  because believe it or not the doctors had to encourage me to eat when I was a small skinny child...obviously don't have that problem now lol!

Other memories of her reading stories to me with so much expression I could close my eyes and be right in the  place of the characters! Oh Ma how I miss you!  And then memories of our early Saturday morning talks over the phone, she may not have known it at the time but she was encouraging and nurturing me even then . How I miss those talks!

Thank you Momma, you gave me so much love.  And today as I look at that little needlepoint  pillow that now sits on a chair in my den, I see the little watering can, with flowers sprouting out the top and a big heart on the front.  It's as if God in His wonderful love and compassion, He knows that even though my heart is so happy to be celebrated today ...I still miss my Momma.  And as if I am seeing it for the very first time, I see that just as a watering can, waters and nutures flowers, so our mothers supply our needs and nurture us, and through that nuturing, we sprout up like pretty flowers. And lastly, the big heart on the watering can says, it all comes from love,,,love that God gave us and demonstrated it by giving His very best, His son to die for our sins.

Mothers were designed by God to show us His nuturing love, to show how He wants to hug us close and tell us, "it's going to be alright".  If you have your mom today, love her and thank her.  If your mom has passed from this life, thank her and thank God for having her in your life to show us how much He loves us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

He KNOWS my name...

Because He has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known my name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.


Psalms 91:14-15



“I’m tired, so tired, so exhausted and I want someone to take my place…” Those were the words of my little lady friend that I visit in the Nursing home. She said this with her eyes closed while lying in bed. She then murmured that she was in a lot of pain. I know this lady and the way that she “controls” her suffering is to “get quiet before the Lord” as she calls it. Through her years of great success as well as much suffering, she once told me that when times get really rough, she learned to hide in the Lord, to take a silent stand in her spirit and allow Him to speak to her. I know that is what she is doing on this day, a day when she is suffering so much pain in her body.

I feel helpless, as she lies silently with her eyes closed, every now and then murmuring some intelligible words. So I reach for her Bible and begin to read Psalms 91 aloud. When I get to verse 14 where King David declares that because he KNOWS God's name then God know's him and his needs, she recites along with me and then whispers “that is important, HE knows who WE are, He knows even our frame”. Even in her suffering she recalled the Word of God from memory and remembered that He has not forgotten her, even in this present state.

As I look around her room, I see pictures of her when she was young, with her baby son in her lap. She is smiling brilliantly right into the camera. A happier, healthier time frozen in this snapshot. I wonder when that picture was taken did she savor that moment? As she held her then baby son, did she glean every bit of joy and happiness from just holding his little body? Judging by the smile on her face, I would say yes.

And then a strong feeling came over me, that I should enjoy and savor each joyful moment that God blesses me to experience. When that picture was taken of my friend almost 50 years ago, she was not thinking of herself lying in a nursing home in tremendous pain, I doubt if the thought even came to her mind. But instead she savored that present moment and was thankful for all the joy that came with it.

Isn’t that what we should do? None of us knows what tomorrow or for that matter what the next moment may bring. Shouldn’t we be grateful and enjoy the good times that God brings to our lives. There is no time for bickering or unforgiveness among ourselves. No time for holding grudges and not speaking to one another! It’s time to love, forgive and revel in the joy God brings to us!

When I look at my little friend who is in her 80’s, I recall how she enjoyed her life, traveling all over writing and performing gospel music. I believe she made each moment count; she enjoyed the good times and thanked God for them. Though I met her later in her life, she was and is a blessing to me. I have learned unforgettable things from her. I am learning from her even now that… He knows me because I know His name; and we should enjoy the life God has blessed us with!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rest for your soul...

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
"...rest for your soul." Yes, that is something that I confess I need quite often. The cares of life, at the end of the day will bring one to that point. Either you can continue to try and carry the situations in your life that weigh heavily on you, or you can choose to say "Okay Lord, it's too much...here take it."
I have learned that as I have gotten older and more mature in my walk with the Lord, I am less willing to try and hold on and be the problem solver.  I KNOW that I can't walk this journey alone, so by the end of the the day I quickly shed the "weight" and gladly give it to Him.

I am learning to really enjoy the things I like doing.  I believe that each of us have a special gift, hobby, talent if you will and God gave it to us so that we can have "rest" for our souls. For instance I LOVE to read good books, it relaxes me and takes me to places that I enjoy "seeing" and experiencing.  Even as a child growing up, both my parents encouraged us to love books.  My mother loved reading and would read to me as well; and my father who worked at a Paper Mill, would "rescue" books, sometimes classics in great condition from the refuse pile.  He would proudly bring home his "treasures" to us,  and I would devour every one. We had a bookshelf in our home filled with such books. I learned at an early age that I could "visit" Victorian England, Prince Edward Island ,Canada and even Mythical Mt. Olympus from the comfort of my home,any time I wanted, just by reading a book.

I loved going to the library.  Call me crazy, but there is something about walking into a library and getting a good smell of books...it makes me relax and have... rest for my soul. I have had an ongoing relationship with the public library, even as a kid going there and sitting in the aisle with a book, made me feel... rest for my soul.

I thank God for taking my yoke and carrying it when it is too much for me. He is so faithful to be my burden bearer over and over again.  I also thank Him for helping me to learn to relax in Him by taking time to enjoy the things that give... rest to my soul.

What do you enjoy doing? Is it reading, gardening, knitting...?  Make sure you take time in your day to get "rest for your soul".

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring!


" To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."

Ecclesiates 3:1

It's comin'...it's comin'!!!!!!!!!! We've had only little hints of it over the past week, but I can feel it in the air! After all the snow that we had over the winter, I think that there are lots of us chomping at the bit to get on with the next season.

I have begun to look at my spring decorations with longing. Going in the garage looking in the bin of silk flowers and even in the large drawer in the dining room where I keep my ceramic eggs and rabbits in an array of pastel colors. I promise that they will soon be released to come out soon.
After the sometimes barreness of winter, there is something so special about the renewal of spring. It is so fitting that the celebration of Christ's resurrection would come during spring. His resurrection was evidence that there IS renewal. It proves that we CAN have a new life, both here on earth and in heaven. The celebration of the Resurrection brings Hope, hope that where there once was darkness, now there is light!
Thank You Lord for the Resurrection! And thank You for giving us a Spring season that testifies to the world that we Can have new life!







Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rock of Ages


The day was a beautiful sunny day, I felt good in spirit, mind and body. My little lady friend that has made the nursing home her place of residence for the past 6 years, came to mind. Though it was too cool outside to take her for a “walk” in her chair, I felt a visit would be nice to cheer her up. I love making her laugh! And she makes me laugh too!

When I arrived I was so thankful to see her very alert and smiling. In the recreation/eating room of this Nursing home, there are people of all states and levels of physical and mental disability. Every time I visit, I say a silent prayer because these people are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, wives, sisters, aunts, cousins, etc. to people just like me. And so I pray for their peace, strength, healing….

As my little lady friend and I sit and talk among the normal noises that are in this kind of facility: loud chatter, patients calling out, one man sporadically yelling, another patient pushing her walker and a chair simultaneously as they scrape across the floor and the TV blasting (for the hearing impaired no doubt) with an old movie, I did not think they were paying any attention too. Until suddenly from the TV comes these beautiful voices singing the words to this hymn:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow’r.

And just as suddenly all the “normal” calamity in this room stops and they all begin to sing along with this hymn on TV (from the old movie). It was beautiful! This old hymn was able to reach beyond the disorder and help these people, who are in all states of disability, bring to their memories the words of this song…a prayer… “Rock of Ages “God”… Cleft for me “Make room for me”…Let me hide myself in Thee.

I was so moved I began to sing along myself and was immediately in accord with them in this heartfelt silent prayer. “Make room for me too Father, I need You everyday of my life, Your protection, Your love…”

This hymn was written in 1763 by a Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady.
Traditionally it is said that he was inspired to write it while in an actual incident of being caught in a storm and having to hide in a gap in a gorge for protection. So this hymn that was inspired by a prayer still lives on today almost 250 years later.

As I sang along with and listened to the patients of this nursing home blend their voices with the voices from the TV, I knew that God could hear them, He heard every note that came from their mouths as well as their hearts and He will indeed make room for them…

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalms 18:2

Monday, February 7, 2011



“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
Psalms 19:1-3

“PEACE”…that word can be seen all over my house, I mean literally. On a garden stake in my yard, in big bold wooden letters on top of my computer desk…as a reminder to me that is what I need every day. My days of major drama are over, while others think that it is exciting to witness an argument, or any human event that causes the adrenalin to flow…not me! I guess to be honest, after having many years of anxiety, nervousness and fear (I’m being real) during my late husband’s illness and passing, I seek peace. Peace in my mind, spirit and soul. Sweet peace, that passes all understanding.

But there are times when even though I can’t help but see the word on the garden stake as I’m walking up the steps to my front porch or in strategic places in my home, I can still lose ‘sight” of peace in my soul. It was that way this morning on my way to work. In my mind I was going over and over the things I have to get done. I was feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities as a widow. “Let’s see… do this…do that.” I could feel my body trying to catch up with my racing mind (I hate that feeling). “I need your peace Lord.” I silently prayed. And in the midst of this unrest and anxiety I looked up and saw the most beautiful sky, blue-gray clouds shimmering with gold and pink as the sun was making its grand appearance. It made me desire to stop, pull over on the side of the road, get out, bow my knees and thank God for such a beautiful sight that I was able to see!

The beauty of His firmament spoke peace to me in its beauty! It spoke to me that He is with me and will never leave me. He was saying to me “Look on Me, not on your circumstances, for my heavens declare My Glory!” And the words of this old song came to my heart:
“Peace, peace wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above,
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray,
In fathomless billows of love!”

God’s peace is priceless; He gives us His peace, even in the midst of a storm. After seeing that beautiful sight this morning, my peace has returned. And I learned that it is not in just seeing the word, but it is surrendering to His love and assurance that He is in control. That He can cause the heavens to shimmer with pink and gold with the sun’s rising…”speaking” of His existence in this world that sometimes feel that it has gone awry and tries to take me with it! I don’t have to ride the waves of anxiety that this world offers daily, but I can look around me and see the beauty of God’s hand and let Him speak PEACE to my heart.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Morning Food for Thought


"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

THINKING ! Trying to figure things out! Analyzing every little detail! That's me! While sometimes this can be a real gift (like for the FBI)...other times it can drive one crazy!!!!

For the past several years I have had a lot of changes in my life. I'm sure I have not had anymore than any one else, but for someone like me who loves stability and...okay I'll admit it...I don't particularly like change! I'm of the "if it ain't broke...don't fix it" group. It has been a whole new "normal" for me.

Sometimes when I get a little low, I pull out all the hurtful, negative things that have happened to me and begin to try and analyze why those things happened to me. Was it my fault, was there something I could have done to prevent it or WHY did it happen to me? These questions go slowly over and over in my mind like a Rotisserie Chicken in a Ronco Roaster. I baste that "chicken" too with a little self pity as I'm turning it. (smile)

T.D. Jakes said something very interesting today, he talked about how we need to move our past hurts and trials to another column. He likened it to an accountant that moves figures from one column to another in order to balance or "reconcile" if you will, the books. And so in order for us to be reconciled with the Truth of God's Word then we must "move" our past hurts and negative experiences to another column, that "Column" being Jesus. We must give our past hurts and bad experiences in this life to Him. For some it takes doing it just once for some hard headed, analytical person like me a HUNDRED times...a DAY! lol

In order to bring "balance' to our lives we have to be reconciled with Jesus. And that includes thinking about things that are good and positive. We cannot change some of the things that have happened to us, but we can CHOOSE to not dwell on them. And the most important key is to be grateful each day that God has given us.

Sounds simple huh? Well try it! lol. I'm certainly going to start trying and put this into practice. Because in order to move on, I have to be totally reconciled with God and His Word. And when you think about more positive things, it makes you feel a heck of a lot better...about life, work, people etc.

So that's my "Food for Thought" today. Check out the picture, yep... that was my Sunday morning breakfast: Turkey bacon, eggs and cheese and whole wheat toast with Orange marmalade. Oh Stop! I only do this occasionally, 6 days a week it's a bowl of plain Cheerios and Almond milk. So hush! :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

"This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
— Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)