Friday, December 14, 2012

Because He Lives

I must preface this article was written before the tragedies in Connecticut.   My heart goes out to them. May our heavenly  Father bring them comfort .  

We were riding along on the bus when one of the teens suddenly asked if those were wild dogs.  Over in the field there were two dog like animals.  But as I looked they weren't dogs but coyotes or small gray wolves.  We were too far to tell.  But the way they moved you knew they were wild.  Suzie (name changed for privacy) was a little upset.  Her eyes looked fearful.  There were a few other things going on so we didn't get back to her story for a while.  But when we did she told of how some wild dogs had attacked one of her horses and wounded it.  I didn't realize they would do that.  She was very fearful.  It had been traumatic to her when she found the horse after the attack.
That got me thinking.  A lot of our fears come from our past experiences.  Logical or not, we hold onto fears.  We hold onto a past version of something.  Some times a past lie.  The enemy of our soul wants us to be locked up emotionally.  He wants us to be so afraid that our world will become smaller and smaller.  The extreme of this would be people who don't leave their home.  Now most of us would say, Oh, I'm not like that.  But what does fear do in your life?
My friend Tammy was attacked by two German Shepherds while out walking.  She got between them and they didn't like that.  She was bit a couple of times.  For a long time she was terrified from it.  But with God's help she has overcome the controlling fear that would gripe her whenever she was near a dog.  She now even has a small one.
Some fears are less severe.  When we went to New York some years ago with our than teen daughters we saw Lorelai, Lauren Graham, the mom from the Gilmore Girls series.  Carla and Chanel were so excited but terrified to go ask for a picture with her.  We had to coax them into going and asking her.  They were so glad they did.  It made their day.  What if they had given into that fear?   The joy they felt at meeting a star they loved wouldn't have been theirs.  They would have regretted it.
My Mom has told me about when she was young she was so shy.  Being shy is just being afraid to talk with people, afraid of what people will think of you. A form of fear. She said it was physically painful.
I have really worked on not being fearful but back in the day I was paralyzed by it many times .  I would be unable to sleep worrying about my girls.  When they were babies I would check: Are they breathing?   When they went to school I would worry:  Are they learning some evil ideas that will make them grow away from God?  When Mandi started dating cell phone had just came out.  I would call and call.  It seems so silly than but I was sure they would be in an accident and be killed.  It was really awful and a lie from the enemy.  Praise God for delivering me from this dead end way of thinking.  I'm almost embarrassed to tell you I used to think that way but if it would help just one person.  It's okay to be a little embarrassed.
Fear can be overcome.  How?  Learn who God is and than you can trust him to take care of your family. And that when and if something bad happens he will see you through. He will never leave us or forsake us.  You can learn to be brave and try things and to be confident.  Also read the scriptures and see what God says  about you.  He loves you so much and when you KNOW that you can face anyone and any circumstance.  Like the old hymn says:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

 It's a process though I still sometimes have to push it back down but I'm not controlled by it. And I know God doesn't want any of us to be.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Buffaloes!  There is a field near me that has buffaloes in it.  There is even a white one.  I have been driving by them for 15 plus years.  I remember when I first saw them.  I was so excited.  I couldn't wait to show my girls.  It made me smile every time I passed them.  I wanted to stop and take a picture but I haven't.  I wondered why the owner had them and if they were happy in that field. It seemed a little small.  Did they have enough room?    You know buffaloes roaming and all.  Yes, I thought a lot about them, than.

But I've grown accustomed to them now.  They are old hat.  Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.
OH NO!  I've become JADED!  No longer excited.  No longer want to share the joy of them.  Yawn!

As I was thinking about them I thought, Have I become that same way about Christmas?  Don't get me wrong I'm the type that listens to Christmas songs in July but....  This year has been so busy and I'm so behind.  I feel a little over it.  Counting the days till its over.  Lord forgive me.  Than I have to ask myself, Why?  I think I know before I get the word out of my mouth.  I'm not focusing on Him.  Jesus!  Yes, I'm still showing up and praying each day having a lovely time of fellowship.  But I've been looking at all the trappings of Christmas;  the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the stress of getting the "right" gift etc.  Not stopping and looking at the wonder, the joy, the pureness of the love that came to the world that first Christmas.   I've become JADED!  Looking at Christmas but missing the true spirit, the true meaning.

I'm going to stop and breathe and enjoy!  Going to enjoy the joy!  I may even take another look at the buffaloes and the wonder of them and the wonder of their creator who sent His son for me!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Blogging? Oh Yes, I was doing that, wasn't I?

So if a person has a blog, we can assume they have a lot of thoughts floating around in their head.  Maybe even rushing around in there. Round and round! Thoughts chasing thoughts. Right?  Than why have I only blogged once since July?  Let's best ideas happen when I'm away from my computer or in the middle of something else?  Sounds like an excuse.  Perhaps I want to share my heart, my thoughts, my conclusions but I'm afraid.  FEAR!  That loathsome enemy that plagues us so often.  But I can see why.  What if I share my heart and you, my dear reader, stomp on it?  What if you thing I'm crazy or stupid.  Don't know if you know this about me but I was diagnosed with  A.D.D. 15 years ago and though I'm at peace with it and don't find myself lacking (that is a whole other post to explain about that).  I did grow up feeling stupid because of it.  So fearing feeling stupid comes easily to me.  And once you hear my thoughts that are in my head some might think I'm crazy.  
But what do we encourage our children to do?  Face the fear and plunge in anyway.  I know that growth doesn't happen without some fear involved.  I want my children and grandchildren to be brave and try new things.  I want them to never be paralyzed by fear.  Be brave and go forth and live out loud!  That's what I want for them. 
I've been learning the last few years that what I want for them I also need to want for me.  How else can I role model and inspire them?  
So on that note.  My utmost apologies for not blogging more.  I would promise to do better but let's just watch and see how I progress.  
Oh and thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog.  
One more thing.  What have you been neglecting out of fear?    QUICK name it!  We usually know what it is if we are honest with ourselves.  Now that it is in your mind, go do it!   Or at least take a step in that direction.   Be like me and take a small step.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Finally He's Here!

This has been quite an amazing week.  My middle daughter, Carla loves watching the show, The Voice.  She is a staunch Team Christina member so her friends wanted to tease her.  They gave her a hot pink Team Blake shirt as a joke.  I think I should have a Team Jack shirt. Well, Mandi, Bill and I should have Team Jack shirts. 

Who is Jack, you ask?  He is the new love in my life.  My new grand!  Born on Tuesday at 5:48 A.M. 7 pounds 7 ounces, 20 and 1/4 inches.  Long little feet.  Bright intelligent eyes.  Beautiful!  Strong lungs wailing out right away!  I know because I had the extreme pleasure of being right there with my strong amazing daughter and her loving husband during the labor and delivery.  She was born to be a mom.  And all my experience of having 3 sweet baby girls made me ready to help my Mandi as she was in labor.  It was empowering, intoxicating, exciting and tiring!  You know that kind of tired that is laced with joy.  The kind a marathon runner must feel at the finish line?  The kind the music director feels when the last word is sung of the last production of the Christmas play.  That was the tired joy I was feeling.  I told Paul "Do you know how empowering it was?  Have you ever felt that way?"  He answered, "Yes, three times!"  I laughed.  I forgot.  He said that when I called (Yes, you can call and text right from the labor room). I was laughing giddy with excitement.  It was wondrous!  If you ever get a chance to be at a birth, I recommend it highly!

It was so sweet seeing Mandi and Bill first meet little Jack Reese Lynch.  They laid him up on Mandi and she was taken back for a moment.  After all that labor and after months of waiting and days late...there he was!  A real baby! Arms and legs failing.  Little lungs wailing!  And she smiles and says softly..Hi!  One of those moments in life I will never ever forget.  So precious. And I look over at Bill and his eyes are tearing up.  Team Jack had done a great job!  God was surely good to us that morning. 

Welcome to the world Jack Reese Lynch!  Welcome to the family! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Put This Love In My Heart

People are busy these days.   There is all the responsibilities of life:  work, home, family, church, volunteering, staying healthy...  Just to name a few.  I don't know about you but I think it can be quite overwhelming.  Then you throw in one of life's curveballs:  a divorce, an illness of yours or a loved ones, a death, a financial setback.  Other setbacks big and small:  a change at work, a broken pipe, your car breaks down, your parent falls, your fridge breaks, deadlines, a child goes off track,  it can on and on.  Sometimes just catching your breathe can seem impossible.  And in the middle of it all you realize that you need to be a good christian, a good person, live a good life, obey God.  Whew! What a lot of stress.   Your plate's full!

I've been thinking  lately about that last one though.  Obeying God and what His word says to do.  Also my friend brought up at a meeting at church that we should pray for other people to come to our church and come to know God.  Which, of course is true.  If you love Him and realize how much He loves you it's only natural that you want others to know that too.  And when they know that truth your church will grow.  These two thoughts, obeying God and new people coming to church have been swirling around in my mind.   Which have led to some other thoughts.  One way to obey God is to love others.  In 1 John 4 in the New Living Translation it says

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

...we surely ought to love each other!  The New King James version says: "Beloved, if God so loved us we also ought to love one another".  And in an earlier verse,  verse 7  It says:  "Beloved let us love one another".  The word ought sounds like the word should.  And I truly hate the word should it conjurs up in my mind guilt and fussing and disaproval.  And that makes me want to resist.  But if it's coming from a loving Father, God himself perhaps I need to lay those preconceived biases aside.  This is an opportunity to obey, right?   But when you put that with the idea of loving people hmmm, it becomes a challenging opportunity to obey.   Because loving people whether they are new people in the church or people in your family or people at your work place or people you have to interact with in the many areas in your life  isn't an easy task.

My same friend also said a long long time ago in a prayer meeting that having new people come into your church would make you uncomfortable.  It would be inconvient.  I say even at times annoying.  You see, don't know if you've noticed but people are not always likeable.   And on top of all the stresses and annoyances of your already crowded life, God wants you to love new people?   The thought makes me want to run away and hide.   In that prayer meeting we actually prayed to be made uncomfortable.  It was a good prayer.  A sincere prayer.  But lately I've been thinking.   It sounds so virtuous, so wonderful.  Did it please God?   Or were we a little like a teenager dreaming of a fast car.  Only thinking of the wind in our hair, our friends riding with us, having fun,  life being perfect.   Not really knowing that having a car has responsibilities with it.  That it is a powerful machine that you may be too immature to control.   And that caution and time spent learning to drive it must be a big part of owning it.  

Yes, loving people is what we are to do.  Reaching new people is what we want and need to do.  But once they are there we have the responsiblity to love them.   And wow that is a huge thing.   Because new people at a church are like the other people in our lives. Imperfect.   I am a dreamer and when I think of loving people I think of this perfect little world where people all think like I do and we smile and get along and life is simple and sweet.  POP!!!  

Dream worlds only exist in our minds.

I have found that people rarely agree with me.  Life is anything but simple.  And we all have issues.  We all have unresolved stuff.  We are all, as believers, in the process of being made in His image.   And we rub against each other.  We get on each others nerves.   Often we find God and we become a believer and as a work in progress we come to church where we believe we are supposed to be and what do we find?     Reality.  Imperfection.  Sometimes everything but what we thought we would.  But for those of us already at the church our responsibility is to love the new ones and those already there.  But loving one another is far from idyllic.  It's honestly, very hard in ourselves.  Ahh that is the key.  In ourselves.  

In ourselves.....We need the Lord to help us.  We need the Spirit to guide us.  We can't love or at least I know I can't love like He asks, like I desire to, without Him.   People who come into church or into your life or maybe even the ones still there are annoying sometimes.  They whine.  They look different than me.  They make me uncomfortable.  They are immature.  They argue.  They are snippy.  They have messes.  They have baby mommas and absentee dads.  They have money woes.  They have purple, pink or blue hair.  They are unforgiving.  They are irresponsible.  They have tattoos.  They are rich.  They are poor.  They are everything in between.  They are set in their ways.  They dress in ways that offend me. They won't listen.  They are full of fear.  They are full of tears.  They are imperfect.  They are indifferent.  And they are all God's children.  They are loved by Him.   They are us.

And the only way I know to love them or love us is to spend time with the Lord. Spend time getting to know Him better and better.  To meditate on His goodness and His forgiveness on His love so that I have His love to give to others.  So that I can know I'm beloved and forgiven.  When I know that deep down inside I than can receive His love and I than have real love that I can give to others.  Otherwise my love I want to give runs out.  My trying is pitiful.  My grandiose illusions of being a loving person fall down on the ground just a heap of broken intentions without God's love, without his help.  

The Keith Green's song keeps going through my mind.  I wish you could hear it with me.  He is singing to the Lord, "You put this love in my heart"  and he is amazed by it.  I think when we become amazed at God's love, at His acceptance of us, at His forgiveness than we have some love left over and we can love people a little at a time a little here a little there.  Just slowly day by day, moment by moment, without fear or dread without trying or straining.  His love reaching out and touching lives and returning and blessing our own life.   Than people will stay at our church.  People will be able to overlook each others faults and grow together not as a "church" but as the body of Christ.

Here is Keith's song:

  I found it hard to believe
Someone like you cared for me
You put this love in my heart

I tried but could not refuse
You gave me no time to choose
You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go
When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

I want to tell you right now
I'm not afraid to say how
You put this love in my heart

There are sometimes when I doubt
But you always find me out
You put this love in my heart

Cause when I see all that you've done for me
It's hard to doubt, I just have to believe
Cause you followed and proved it all of your life

Well I know
the loneliness I had before
Is gone now
I'll never feel it anymore

Cause your love has released me
From all that's in my past
And I know I can believe you
When you say I'll never be forsaken
Your love is gonna last

There's so much more I should say
If I could just find a way
You put this love in my heart

Is all this real or a dream
I feel so good I could scream
You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go
When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's alright

You put this love in my heart

You put this love in my heart

You put this love in my heart

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pastor and Bekki

Last Sunday at church my granddaughter Bekki saw Pastor Mike across the foyer.  She started pulling on my hand.  "I want to see Pastor Mike!", she cried.  She broke free calling out "Pastor Mike" running towards him.   He heard her and bent down to her level with arms wide open, a big smile across his face.  She ran into his arms and he gave her a big bear hug and started talking with her.  She twirled around and he commented on her pretty dress.  She than stuck out her pink high top converses.  When he liked those she started to dance.   Bekki and Pastor were having a fine time.  After a couple of minutes she ran back to me and was very happy.  

First, I love that we have a Pastor that takes time for even the least of our congregation.  As her grandma I left feeling blessed but later in the week I got to thinking.  Wasn't that a beautiful picture of Jesus?   Shepherd and a little sheep.  She knew him and wasn't afraid to run to him to give him a hug.   We should have that childlike trust that we can run into the Lord's presence to love on Him and to receive His love.  Children are fearless, aren't they?  Why aren't we when we come to talk with the Lord?   The way she twirled and danced was so sweet.  Little girls twirl for those they love.  In the book Captivating, author Stasi Eldridge says they are asking, "Do you see me?"  "Am I important?"    Pastor was symbolizing  the love, the acceptance that the Lord shows us.  Symbolizing we are important to God, He  sees us.  Pastor was in the middle of talking to a couple of grown ups.   But seeing a little one coming over he stopped a minute to talk with her on her level.  

The Lord is rather busy, I imagine.  But He always has time to talk with us.  He wants us to come to Him to share our joys and our sorrows and cares even just to check in to see if He still sees us.  This world can mess with our minds and sometimes we forget or we doubt that He see us and that He loves us.  

 We need to just remember Bekki's childlike faith and follow her example and run into the waiting arms of our savior.  Take a minute through out our  day to be childlike and to check in to say Hi, to say,  See me?  I see you!  

Matthew 19:14

New Living Translation (NLT)
14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Monday, June 11, 2012


I dreamed I was flying.  Now you may think So What? I've dreamed of flying lots of times.   But I don't remember ever dreaming that before.  Actually, it was really early in the morning at my prayer time and I THINK I was sleeping.  Well whatever it was I had a "dream"  a (I shudder to call it this but..) "vision" of flying.  It was awesome!  Which is surprising because I have always been afraid of heights.  I was so relaxed and feeling so comfortable.  I was gliding along with my arms out above the tree tops.  I was over a valley, full of trees.   As I swooped down I heard the verse from the 23rd Psalms...the valley of the shadow of death....which at first scared me.  My Mom is 89 and I have always had to battle with fear since my first daughter was born.  Fear that something would happen to them.  And Paul had that pacemaker put in last year.  So fear tried to rise up in me.  But God has helped me a lot in this area.  I stand on the verse For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  So I knew how to resist that fear.  Resisting it is an automatic response for me now.  So I was puzzled by the reference to the valley of the shadow of death.   But I kept flying and enjoying the beauty of it all.  I wanted to stay there and fly forever.

Since than I have turned it over in my mind.  What could this mean?  Sometimes things are symbolic.  I think being so peaceful and resting as I flew represented how I need to be in Jesus.  Just resting in Him.  Knowing that I can trust Him.  Last year He gave me the image of floating on the water.  How when I float, which I love to do, I am trusting the water to hold me up, relaxing, no worries about if I will sink or drown.  That is a picture of resting in God.  He will keep us through whatever happens to us in this life if we will just trust Him and rest in Him.  Also I am in an online group where the word fly means finally loving yourself.  When you can embrace the concept that God loves us so we must be valuable and we can quit beating up on ourselves and feel good about ourselves than we can start from that place of acceptance and live a good life.  Flying! So the flying represented to me, flying above.  Being okay over the valley.  But if the valley didn't represent the death of someone, than what did it represent?  Then I remembered what I've heard my pastor preach.  Do we choose life or death?  When we sin we are opening ourselves up to death.  If you interrupt it loosely:  the negatives in our life are like choosing death not life, evil not good.  So the valley represent those struggles we all have.  The struggles I have.  You know the demons you can't rid yourself of.  For instance,  if a person tries to quit smoking.  It is a battle.  A difficult, wearisome battle with yourself to do what you want but you can't seem to overcome.  I have those kinds of battles in areas and I feel like the valley represents them.  But the Lord was saying to me : Rest in me and we will fly above the problems and overcome them.

So I'm excited!  I'm looking forward to answers and to having strength as I continue my journey here on this earth.  I'm pressing in closer to God.  Praying and reading my Bible to know Him more and learn more about Him so I can trust Him and who He is.  Than I can learn more and more how to just rest in Him and fly above life's difficulties with His peace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Want You Back!


My daughter, Carla got me watching The Voice.  I love music and I haven't been a devoted fan.  I can only watch on Tuesdays and I have been known to be reading a book while watching.  Anyway I said all that to say that one of the people on it sang, with some of the kicked off singers, the Jackson 5's I Want You Back.  I grew up in Detroit so I grew up with the Jackson 5 and I love Motown.  I love how the Motown songs tell a story.  I also grew up on country music because that was what my parents listened to, so I had to listen also.  Funny how two such different genres of music both tell stories.  But I'm off where I was going with this.....

As they were singing on The Voice tonight, the song I Want You Back, it came to me that that  is what Jesus is saying to all those out there who aren't serving Him.  "I WANT YOU BACK"  If you have wondered away or walked away from your relationship with the Lord.  He wants you back!   I hope the message comes through when you are watching The Voice and hear a song like that.  I hope the message comes through when you wake in the middle of the night and feel like something is amiss.  I hope the message comes through when you are in the middle of Walmart.  I hope the message comes through when all is going well or all is a big hot mess.  No matter what is going on in your life.  He wants you back!!!

I used to tell my girls when they were little as I would rub their back...No matter where you go, no matter who you are with, no matter what you do, I will always love you.

The Lord is like that.  No matter what, He loves you and Wants you back!  I must add that if you have never given your life to the Lord He want you too!  We were made to have a relationship, personally with the Lord Jesus.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A story.....Bleeding on the floor....

Disclaimer: This is a story that is about all churches and no church.  My current church home which I adore happens to have the statement The hurting, the hopeless, the hungry.  So I'm using that but I'm thinking of churches I have attended from my childhood up.  I'm thinking of churches that I worked at.  I'm thinking of the body of Christ.  In an effort to move our hearts to be uncomfortable so ministry can happen in the church universal. (which is just a little funny since there are only a handful of you reading this.)  I guess it comes out of my own story as a prodigal and all the others I have seen bleeding.  May God help us all to be Christ like and to not to have to answer why we looked away or why we were indifferent or even hostile.  .

Now to the story....

I lie bleeding on the floor and you walk around me, pretending I'm not there.  You pray, God send us the hurting people, the hopeless, the hungry.  Than you pull back so I don't get blood on you from my bleeding broken heart.  You whisper in the corner about me, about my sin, forgetting how your own sin looked and forgetting the mercy that was given you.  I've lost hope but I show up.  But no one talks to me, no one smiles.   I'm hungry for more than food.  I would love a crumb of friendship?  Maybe just a sliver of a smile?  A kind word? Maybe not acceptance but at least not rejection.  I'm sorry for all the blood seeping but my life is a mess and I heard this was a spiritual hospital.  Was I wrong?  Was I misinformed?  Maybe I could sit here a little while.  I love the stories of that man.  Jesus?  I think that's His name.  They tell me He is the most wonderful man I will ever meet.  I'll leave soon.  I know the pain is too raw on my face but if I could just rest for a moment.  I'll be on my way I promise.  But I heard the singing was beautiful and this was a peaceful place.  A shelter from the storm my life is in.  As I sit I hear your laughter.  I cringe.  I hope you aren't laughing at me.  I can't tell.  Your voices sound just like out there.  But I pull into myself and try to hide.  I can't quite understand it all but if I could stay just a bit longer.  I know this place is yours and I'm trespassing.  But I'm hurting so.  I think the answers might be here.  What?  My time's up?  I didn't cover the pain and the blood and the rawness quick enough?  I'm not welcome.  I needed to become perfect  quicker?  Wait! I remember that man up front...he said there was none perfect, no not one.  Only that Jesus person.  That savior guy.  Okay, okay I'm going.  But before I leave I just want to point out that the smell of sin seems to still be coming from you.  Did you get healed or just cover the wounds?   I heard that real healing took place here.  Maybe they were wrong.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tears Happened at the Dentist Today

Woman Cleaning Her Teeth clipart

So yesterday I got a tooth pulled.  OUCH!!! Not a fun experience.  Thought I had dealt with a lot of my fears.  But I missed this one. For years dentists have terrified me. I actually cried because I was afraid.  I looked down at my hands...they were shaking and I was shaking deep inside.  For crying out loud!  I'm a mom of grown women and a grandma (Nonna) even.  And all I could think about was that awful experience I had years before at the dentist.  The dentist (who I found out later was rumored to have been a drinker) gave me 6 shots and than proceeded with me trying to tell him I wasn't numb.  He hit a nerve.  Thought I was going to die. He said "Maybe the doses were too weak"  MAYBE!    You may be asking "How did you let that happen?"  Well, back than I had lacked confidence in myself and was so afraid I didn't speak up loud enough or forcibley enough ....but now I would never let that happen to myself.  For instance yesterday it took 6 shots because I kept telling him it wasn't numb. But his attitude was completely supportive.  I could tell he wasn't proceeding until I was numb and comfortable.  Yay!  Thank God for good dentist.  But if he had been a bad one, I wouldn't have let him proceed until I was numb.  I've grown and watch out better for myself.

Anyway, fear kept me away from the dentist till I found myself losing a tooth.  So embarrassing.  But I'm so glad the pain is gone and encouraged that I can face my fears and maybe get my teeth in good shape.

It reminded me of sin.  How much sin do we not deal with because of fear?  We fear we will lose control of our own life.  We fear we won't have fun any more.  We fear we can't let go of something we need to let go of.  But whether you need to give your life to the Lord or you already have and you just need to let go of a sinful habit. Or maybe you need to let go of shame even though God has already forgiven you.  Face the fear!  Make peace with your creator, accept your savior.  It's so wonderful on the other side.  What an adventure!  What a great way to live.  Not a perfect way cause we are human and inherently imperfect, but Jesus is perfect and if we let Him he will give us his perfect love and wash away our sins and give us a clean slate, a new beginning.  And if you already follow him but find you need to deal with something.  He won't throw you away because you have an area in need of His help.  In fact,  He already knows about it.  And like an awesome perfect father He wants the best for you.  Life with Him is a constant ongoing place of growth and if you ask him he will bring healing and deliverance in all the crevices of your heart and mind.  I have followed him since I was a child.  Sometimes closely, sometimes far away.  But these last few years I have pressed in to Him and learned more about Him and spent more time with Him. How sweet it's been.  We, He and I are dealing with deep things.  Deep established sins, habits, fears, pains.  And let me tell you:  It's so sweet!  Let me invite you to find out for yourself.  Come follow Jesus, or press in closer if you already are.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Easter.   I would like to write about it.  But how do you capture the depth of it?  The beauty and drama of it?  How do you write with any kind of reverence that it deserves, about this story of love and grace and mercy?  This love story that was to be, long before time began.  How do you do it justice?  How do you capture such a great love?  The greatest love ever given?  How can mere words express the grandeur and majesty of it?  The depth of torture and pain of it?  How can mere words express the power of it?  Not me.  Not this year.  It feels too sacred for now.  Maybe sometime when the Holy Spirit gives me the right words.  For now  here are some words from Sacred Scripture:

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV

 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here.  Mark 16:6 

You can read more in any of the four gospels.  If you have never read it or haven't in a long time.  I suggest you go read this awesome love story.  It was written just for you.  

Love of Boxes and a side trip into my thoughts.

Boxes. I have this love of boxes. Don't know why. But I love them. Cute little ones, shoe boxes, paper mache boxes, those photo boxes in the stores, Mary Englbrett boxes, plain brown boxes, fancy boxes, refrigerator boxes (do you know the things you can make from one of those babies?  Keeps the little ones busy for hours).  Any and all boxes. Every kind. The lovely one my sister in law gave me with the beautiful music box in it.  Boxes, lovely boxes.

 I wonder if there is some deep psychological reason for this.  Some drama from my childhood?  Some need to have things in order?  Which I surely don't.   Some strange need to put everything in a box?  in a category?  What darkness lies behind it?

Nope... I'm not going there.  I am just leaving that alone for now.  Maybe sometime I will exam it. But for now  I'm going to just continue to love my boxes and the sweet joy I find in them.

Do you have a love of something particular?  Tell me about it.  I don't want to be the only one.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sleeping babies

There is just something about waking up to a sleeping baby. Watching their gentle breathing. And my sweet Bekki will say, "Morning Nonna!"  Usually followed by "Where's Poppa?" haha  But the soft sleep filled voice saying Morning Nonna grabs my heart. Of course, all she does grabs my heart. What a sweet little girl. And she is so smart, so bubbly, so fun, so good and so full of love.  She gives hugs to everyone like a princess granting wishes to all request them. Leaving a bit of her sparkle to all she encounters.

If you ever doubt if God loves you, take a look at those babies and grandbabies. How can you not believe in God when you look in their little faces? :
In James 1:17   It says:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
That's God and those babies are your good, good gift.  How blessed we are with our sweet children and grand children.  How blessed I am with my sweet Bekki Lou.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jabber Jabber

  My brother always seemed to get a kick out of my jabbering about this or that when I was little and as I grew.  Really even now I can sometimes see that slow grin come on his face as I jabber on about something that is exciting to me.  Lately it's our grand-kids we talk about and smile.  As I have always wanted to be a writer words and thoughts have always been buzzing around in my head.  At church recently we had this couple that came and talked about the differences in men and women.  He said what Paul has convinced me is true though I can't for the life of me understand it, that men actually have moments when they are thinking nothing!  Nothing!  I just don't get it.  I can wake in the middle of the night and my mind is having a gabfest with itself.  Just like words, phrases, and thoughts have always been with me.  It seems almost like Paul has always been with me.

We now both work on the same bus.  He is the driver and I'm the attendant. Now all the girls have flown the nest so it is just us here at home   We are together 24-7.  We talk a, talk, talk.  We share ideas from books, he tells me what people say on facebook.  I tell him what one of our daughters has said or one of my friends.  We discuss what the minister preached or what someone he listened to preached about or a blog one of us has read. We talk about my hobbies or his.  Or he tells me how he has figured out how to fix something that has broken around the house or on the car.  Or we ask each other to listen to what the other has wrote.  And we always talk about the grandbaby and what cute thing she has said or done lately. And we always end with "She's a good girl, Poppa(or Nonna, depending who is talking)".

I was thinking yesterday how much this reminds me of when we were first dating.  We were 17 and 18. We were dreamers.  We were young and idealistic. We talked on the phone for hours and hours.  We talked on our dates for hours.  We talked and talked and talked.  It made me smile to think that all these years later after almost 38 years we still like to exchange ideas, share thoughts, work out solutions by talking and listening to each other.  We had some rough spots along the way.  Part of the problem at those spots was a lack of talking and listening.  But overall we have made it and we are still crazy (about each other) after all these years.

I said all that to say to my unmarried readers.  If you don't enjoy listening to your gal or guy now and if they don't seem to listen to you, if you don't think of sharing with them first when something interesting happens in your day.  You might want to re-evaluate your situation.  Thirty-eight years with someone, if you make it that long, who doesn't listen to you or who you don't want to listen to, is a long, long, time.  If their eyes glaze over when you just begin to mention something you are passionate about now, you might want to throw that fish back in the sea now and move on.

And while I have your ear, don't remake yourself for someone else.  People change like a chameleon to be with someone. Then they marry and when they get tired of pretending and relax and be themselves, they are surprised to find they have nothing in common.  Be yourself. Be the person God made you to be and than you will attract someone who likes you and likes enough of the same things to have something to talk about.  And if they really like you they will care enough to listen to what excites you even if they are not that interested in it.

For instance, my brother loves all things automotive.  My sister-in-law knows lots about cars because he has talked about them through the years and she has listened.  Me?  I may have been a motown fan only all my life if I hadn't learned about music from Paul. Because it's important to him I now know enough about different styles and kinds of music to talk with him about it.  And even randomly to impress him with my knowledge.  Which makes us both smile.  You want to still make each other smile thirty-eight years from now, don't you?  Than you have to be willing to jabber with each other about the mundane, the little stuff, the big stuff lots of stuff. And listen!  Don't forget to really listen.  You might just learn something.  You might have fun.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Come Away

This is something the Lord gave me a bit ago. I was rereading it and realized it is for more than just for me.  Hope it touches you like it did me.

"I speak to you through song, through beauty and nature, the sun, the stars, a baby's smile, a child's laughter.  I surround you with my voice every day.  Do you hear?  Are you tuned into me?  do you listen?   I'm whispering turn this way, turn that way.  Do you not hear?  Are you listening?  The wind blows and I whisper your name.   Come away with me Love, I say.   For a moment, for an hour, for a day.  Come away.  Hear me.  I surround you with my wonder.  Do you hear?   Do you see?  Close your eyes and see.  Close your eyes and hear me, Love.  I'm in a baby's cry.  I'm in the wind.  I'm everywhere.  You have been taught the enemy is everywhere but I say, I'm everywhere.   You have to have eyes to see.  Ears to hear.   Fear not!   Fear not  ! But lift your head, your redemption is nigh.   See me! Hear me!  Do you hear the sounds of heaven?  I'm near you.  I'm in you.  Sanctify your ears and hear me.  Hear me whisper your name. Come away Love.  Come away for a moment, an hour, a day.  Come away Love.  Come away with me.  Play.  Sing.  Dance.  Just be.  Just be with me.  
Rest.  Renew.  Relax. 
Come away for a moment, for an hour, for a day.  Come away.  Let me lift your burdens.  Let me lift the load!  Come away.  Come away.  Taste see that I'm good.  Feel.  Feel my love, my warmth, my heavenly touch soothing your brow.   Rubbing away the roughness, smoothing your troubled soul.  Come away, Love.  For a moment, for an hour, for a day.  Come away with me.  Practice my presence.  Hear me. hear my breath.  Hear me breathe on them (he means my girls and those I pray for everyday. Who does He mean for you?)  soft as a baby's breath.  Harsh as a mighty wind.  Whichever I desire.   But hear me.  Keep your ears open to hear me. hear me speak all day, in the middle of the night.  Loud.  Quiet.  Whichever way I choose.  Don't miss me.  Don't miss hearing.  All day listen, listen.  I'm speaking.  I'm speaking to you and all who has ears to hear.  Says the Lord!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Daddy

So I was thinking today.  I'm about the age my father was when he died.  Right around 55 and 10 months.  He died from a brain aneurysm.  He fell in the shower after watching Dukes of Hazaard on a Friday night in August.  I often wonder if he had a clue it was coming.  He had had a few black outs that he didn't tell us about.  He shared with a couple of people that told us afterward.  I've often thought how short his life was.  And I've wondered what our family would have been like if he had lived.  How different would I have been if he had lived?  I was 22.  He only knew my older niece and nephew and my oldest daughter.  He never got to enjoy the other grandaughters.  He would have loved them.  He always had a piece of gum in his pocket for my niece because she liked gum. How much better would their lives have been if he had been around?   I wonder what things would he have liked to have finished.  He had just recovered the interior seats of a 55 chevy not long before that.  I know at this age, I have so much unfinished.  I need to see my grandaughter growing up.  I need to see my daughters married and go through their pregnancies and births with my other grandbabies. I need to see them grow into the Proverbs 31 women I'm praying for all of us to become.   I need to share the things that God has taught me and shown me.  I still need to write, to sing, to dance, to live out loud!  I need to obey the things God has told me to do.  But you know.  I have no idea how many days I have left.  Just like my Dad.  He didn't know.  He didn't know that when he woke me up to hug and kiss me and baby Mandi and to say Good bye a few days before (I was moving away and he was going to work).  He didn't know it was the final good bye the final kiss and hug.  We never know which action will be our last ones.  Which will be the memory our loved ones holds.  Daddy didn't always wake me up like that.  I thought it was sweet at the time.   We have to savor each day.  Savor our loved ones.  Savor our time with them.  Love on them.  Keep in mind the uncertainty of tomorrow and think Is this argument really important?  Of course, you won't always get it right but maybe we can get it right more often.   We have to live well.  Shoot for living well.  Redeem the time.  Say I love you a lot.  And don't just leave, wake them up and say Good bye and kiss them, hug them.  Give lots of hugs.  Not only live out loud but love out loud.....with God's gracious help.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I was reading something that reminded me that we need to be truthful.  The truth is that I don't have it together. I try to be honest and truthful.  I try to be real.  But I fail miserably.  I have fallen down more than I have walked this walk of faith.  But through my whole life, right in the middle of each hot mess, there is one bright bold truth.  God has been faithful, never changing, always there.  So in case you have read my writings here and think I am saying I have all the answers, let me say out loud:  I have no answers save the ones I have gotten from a faithful, awesome, never changing God.  My Heavenly Father. When I fall I grab my skinned bleeding knee and limping and struggling I run to him, to his outstretched arms.  And always he embraces me and forgives, heals, loves me.  Yes, I'm a child of God.  Yes, He says I'm beautiful.  Yes, His love never fails.  But often these truths I believe in my heart I struggle with in my head.  I see the stink of my sin at eye's level and I can't always understand how He can love me and call me beautiful.  How he can extend grace and love and forgiveness to one as sinful as me.  I guess that is a place where faith is called into play.  We have to have faith to receive and believe what he offers and says about us.  He says yes, our sins are disgusting, our righteousness is like smelly old bloody rags but His righteousness He gives us, freely.  His beautiful rightfulness, pure, pristine, clean, perfect rightness, He chooses to give to us mere sinful mortals.  It belongs to us and we can walk in it.  What a joyful thing!  What a marvelous thing!  What a wondrous thing!  And it's ours to walk in to marvel at and to be eternally grateful for and to walk out.  It may take a lifetime or more to understand to live it out.  But all I'm saying here is start.  Start contemplating His truths and what He says about you.  Confess your sins to Him and start the journey and if you have but you still struggle like me.  Let's start embracing truth and honesty. Maybe a little at a time.  The thought of being transparent is scary.  But lets start walking toward living that way.  Come join me.

More to come as I struggle and grapple with this.

Don't like Brussel Sprouts? I'll Eat Yours

Brussel Sprouts. Yum!  They are in season again.  I love them!  Especially fresh ones.  My daughter and one of my friends adore a beautiful tomato.  While I can embrace their yummy goodness when in season .My love meanders to the humble brussel sprout.  Yes, it looks like a little cabbage which would be good but it has it's own flavor.  So good!  And I'm sorry is anything in miniature not cute?  It isn't the center of the veggie universe.  It isn't in the spotlight.  It doesn't have to have center stage.  It is content shinning in its on little place on the corner of the plate.  Where it is loved by the few.  Deeply appreciated for it's unique flavor.
I sort of go their myself.  I have a lot to offer but I don't want center stage.  I want to have the stage of one person at a time.  Discussing the Lord and His amazing love one at a time.  Whether with my sweet husband or one of my daughters, my beautiful grand baby, another family member or one of my dear friends.  I like to savoir and share my heart on a very small stage.  I shine best in the sidelines.
Where do you shine?   Are you a center of attention type?  or a sideline type like me?  or maybe somewhere in between?  It really doesn't matter.  As long as you shine somewhere.  As long as you bring God;s love that He has given to you to your world:  at home, at work, at play, where ever you are. You just need to shine, to share your story, your light.  Let your uniqueness shine.  God made us all different to add flavor to this world to make it better.  So if you are a tomato vibrant and beautiful or a brussel sprout with a deepness of flavor whichever  just go out and add to this world.  Bring His aroma wherever you go.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

Sunday, February 26, 2012


My heart has heard you say, 
"Come and talk with me." 
      And my heart responds, 
       "Lord I am coming." 

Psalms 27:8 NLT

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gifts, Gifts, Gifts

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a really good book. Actually he has wrote a lot of good books. But I digress. The book I'm thinking of is The 5 Love Languages. It tells how we each feel loved and give love in different ways.
 For instance, I feel loved by gifts. I wrote in another blog where my friend Ellen gave me wood colored, pre-sharpened pencils. They were one of my fav gifts ever. Another one that comes to mind is a cross necklace from my daughter and than son in law. I still feel loved when I wear it and it was given to me forever ago. I know she put a lot of thought in it. I can remember a quilt from my wedding shower, glasses with our initial W on them, a Doggie cookie jar. I loved them all.  Enjoyed them in my early years of marriage.  When I was a child my dear Aunt Tiny gave me a little perfume set. It was the only gift I remember from my aunts. People didn't give gifts as much than. I have a gazillion first cousins so it wasn't practical. But that year she gave me a gift. I have always remembered.   My Grandma gave me a little Golden Book Bible Story. I loved it. I don't remember other gifts from her. There were a lot of us. But I felt loved than. And  my oldest Mandi was given a beautiful bright red and blue knit blanket when she was born from Paul's Aunt Sandy. Aunt Sandy and Grandma Bauman came to visit us in one of the many places we have lived and she brought this blanket with primary colors and teddy bears. Everything else we had been given for Mandi had been soft pink, yellow or green. This was vibrant and different. We still have it.  Gifts are awesome.  I love them.  They make me smile.

There is a verse in Proverbs that says:
A gift in secret pacifies anger....

None of these gifts mentioned were given in secret or to pacify anger but what a neat concept.  It's one thing to give a gift out of love, to celebrate a wedding, a baby, a new home, Christmas.  But give one to pacify anger?  I'm assuming if there is anger that someone has a problem with someone else. And when you have a problem with someone the last thing I would think of would be giving them a gift.  But this is a way to deal with a problem that can't be resolved. I know someone that gave a gift anonymously to a couple they had a problem with and it all worked out.  They than were able to get along together well.  Amazing!  I think it is worth a try.  So next time you have a situation were there is anger and you can't seem to resolve it.  Give a gift!  In secret!    

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stories, Everyone has one

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.  Lemoney  Snicket.

I have always loved stories.  I remember sitting in a big chair with my Mom reading from the Bible Story book. It had exquisite pictures. I remember my Dad and Uncles telling stories of how fast they drove to get back home to Tennessee.  And arguing over who drove there the quickest without getting a ticket.  But that's another post.  I loved hearing their stories and other's stories.  Every Sunday we were at one of my Uncles houses and there were stories of what happened since last week and what the neighbors were doing. What funny thing each had seen or done that week.   We were a loud, happy group always with a story.

And as a child I met many a friend in a book.  Huck Finn. The Happy Hollisters.  Nancy Drew.  The Little Red Hen.  Peter Pan.  The Cat in the Hat before the movie ruined him.  I joined in with them in their adventures.  I loved them truly with all my little girl heart.  Then there was those people on TV like Caption Kangaroo who told stories and had cartoons with stories.  I loved Davey and Goliath on the TV show.  I could go on an on.  

As I grew older I remember reading in the Detroit News the story Black Like Me.  It opened my eyes to a different point of view.  I read Dave Wilkerson's  The Cross and the Switchblade.   I saw there were problems in the world but God could help.  Autobiographies, biographies..stories lovely stories.  

As I said I LOVE them.  They make life better.  They teach truths without nagging.  They give your mind something worthwhile to think about so you won't be one of those people that gets BORED.  How can you be bored if you can remember a story that captivates you every time?

Also our stories, our families' stories, are important.  We are not really telling these stories.  For all the neatness of the internet, we are not talking with each other.  We aren't telling how Uncle Arnold's brother's cut down a tree with him in it.  (True story..haha)  We aren't telling what it was like to move to Detroit city from rural Tennessee or why we moved there.  We need to share our stories with each other.  How did you come to be a Christian?  How did you meet your husband or wife?  What did I look like as a baby?  I guess we need to become storytellers again.  And teach children to be curious and ask questions again.  We need to slow down and talk more.

So draw up a chair, grab some sweet tea or lemonade, put up your feet.  Let's sit together on His porch in the warm sunshine and share our hearts.  Let's share our stories.  Heart to heart.  What's new with you?  What's He done for you?  What other stories have you heard?  Let me tell you my story.  Let me tell you a story I've read.  Come with me on an adventure......  When I was a little girl.  I had a bike.  Her name was Cindy.  She was teal blue and Daddy got her from the Sears store when I was 7.  I had so many adventures on her.  She was like a story....a way to have adventures.  You just had to hop on and ride.  I hope you will hop on the storytelling vehicle and see where the adventure takes you.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coconut Pie Blessing

I LOVE Coconut pie.  From the flaky crust to the sweet filling,  rich with goodness, that makes your mouth smile, to the piled high light brown meringue to the toasted coconut on top.   I love every bite of it.  Makes my mouth water to think about it. YUMMY !!!

Today I pray that God will bless your life that way.  A delicious foundation (crust) with many layers of goodness.  Filled with sweetnesswith a taste you love  (filling).  Covered with richness of blessings and fun (Meringue).  And even more topped off with glimpses of his great love for you  surprising you with the deepness of flavor that knowing He loves you adds (toasted coconut pieces) .

And it's not a diet pie.  No deprivation in God's blessings.  Whole goodness.  No fake flavors or ingredients.  That is what the enemy gives.  Actually he deprives.  God blesses fully, abundantly.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10: 10 (Amplified version)

Be blessed dear reader.  Be Coconut Pie Blessed!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dreams and White Picket Fences

When I was younger I had a dream.  A naive dream perhaps, but a dream neither the less.  And it was my dream!   My dream  was:   I wanted a house with a white picket fence.  

I was thinking about dreams the other day.  Someone had challeged me to dream, to resurect old dreams, to remember unbirthed dreams.  I pondered on this turning it over in my mind.  I had a dream to write.  But I'm doing that here.  I had a dream to sing but I laughed about that.  I'm not really much of a singer.  But my husband reminded me of my Uncle who couldn't carry a tune in the proverbial bucket but he sang anyway.  He sang for the Lord and his pure love for God and  deep sincerity blessed many.  I would love to hear him sing again.  I'm sure he's singing in heaven.  But I think I will only sing for my grand baby and my children on my bus for now.  Well, maybe in my prayer time I will sing in worship and of course at church with the congregation.  But this didn't seem to be the dream that I could settle on.  That one dream that was really in need of being resurected.  

Then I hit on it!  I remembered my dream for a house with a white pickett fence.  As I thought about it I realized that it wasn't necessarily a literal picket  fence.  Oh, it may have been originally.  But with the advantage of age I can look back on it now and see it was a symbolic thing, this picket fence.  So I dug deeper and explored my memories.  Why?  What? Where? How?  Just what did this fence represent.  I was unprepared for the answer but very touched.  You see my Grandma died when I was 10 and as it would, it had a profound effect on me.  She was the most loving person I've ever known.  I remember after traveling the long 10-12 hour trip from Michigan back home to Tennessee.  There at the end waiting for me was Grandma Loftis' arms ready to embrace me into her soft tummy with a squeeze of love.  Undconditional love.  Love that came just because you were hers.  Belonging, Safety, Joy, Peace, Fun, Warmth,  all these and more were in that embrace.  And as I thought of the picket fence I realized that the fence embraced the home like Grandma Loftis' arms embraced me.  In my young mind her arms were welcoming, safe, warm and inviting.  Love was there.  It was a safe place.  Sanctuary.  

I explored the dream.  My mind goes to two different places here.  Home as a sanctuary and a person as a sanctuary.  And I'm not talking about a church sanctuary here but a safe place, a taking sanctuary from the wild and woolly world kind of place.  

 First let's look at a home with a picket fence.  A picket fence is sort of protective object.  Even though you can come in easily.  It is symbolic.  You have to pause a moment to decide to enter... to find the gate and enter.  You have to question.  Am I invited here?  or not?  Do I belong here?  It is a boundary.  It says this is "our" little piece of the world enter if invited.  I want my home to be warm, inviting, loving.  I'm working on it.  

But in the meantime.  My mind has wondered to the other place.  A person as a sanctuary.  My Grandma was this.  I long to be this.  I want to be a safe place with unconditional love and warmth.  I want to bring joy and peace and be fun.  I want to have a listening ear.  I want you to leave me feeling better than when you came.  I want you to feel you belong.. no rejection.  This is how I want to be.  Sometimes I am often I'm not.  I find the more time I spend with the Lord learning who I am in Him the more often I'm able to be more like I want to be even though I have a way to go.    But remember we are talking about a dream.  I'm dreaming and praying that I can be a white picket fence kind of woman and that my home can be a white picket fence kind of home.  It is my dream and I'm resurrecting  it.  And with God's help I know it will be a dream come true.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Heart You!

What shape is your face?  When I was a teen it was very important to know what shape your face was.  Or so the magazines said.  
Was your face oval?  
Was your face round?  
Was your face square?  
Was your face rectangle?  and the best one.. 
Was your face heart-shaped?  

I pondered this for hours.  I studied my face in the mirror, pondering square?  round?  rectangle?  I couldn't tell.  But I knew what I wanted.  


That's what I wanted.  It sounded so sweet, so romantic.  I would be loved by all!  I would fit in!  I would be liked!  If only.  If only.  I would be beautiful if my face was declared heart-shaped!  I sort of believed like that.  Never considering that my face was the shape it already was.  Declaring it any shape didn't change anything.  I wanted perfection.  I knew there was one shape that was THE best shape.   I thought it was the heart-shape.  I didn't know a heart-shaped face has a pointed chin.  Not perfect.  I didn't know that all shapes had good things and bad things.  And that all were beautiful.  

If I could go back and talk to that young Donna I would get her started on memorizing Psalms 139.  Especially verses 13 and 14. 

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

My soul didn't know anything than.  I didn't know I was beautiful.  I didn't know I was loved so much by my Father God.  I didn't know that we are all beautiful to God.   I didn't know that real beauty is from the inside out and that God's love flowing out of us brings a glow.

Do you know you are beautiful?  Do ugly words jump up to argue with that as you read it?  God loves you and as you let that soak in and you begin to comprehend that, you can begin to know who you are in Him.  And when you know who you are in Him  the beauty that is in you can start to shine out.  Even if your face isn't  heart shaped.   

I Saw a Coyote, Yesterday

I saw a coyote, yesterday.  In town.  Yes, in town.  I was on my way to take back the little itty bitty rental car.  I had just went up the last little hill and was on Willow just in town.  I noticed everyone was slowing down.  The cars in front of me and the cars coming at me were going slowly, and ahead I could see people pulled over and standing outside their cars.  I thought "there's been a wreck".   But I noticed a couple of dogs on my right.  One was trying to "talk" to the other but the other one was growling at him.  Then I did a double take.  What a scroungy looking dog.  He looked like a stray.  What messy hair. Ugly! All this passed through my thoughts in mere seconds.  All of a sudden it dawned on me.  A coyote!  In town!  Wow!  I took a second look.  I slowed down and looked back as I passed.  How strange, right in town.  Poor thing looked so out of it's element.  It looked like it wanted to be anywhere but there in the proverbial spotlight.  People staring.

Isn't that just like life?  When you make a mistake and find yourself in the wrong place or find yourself doing something dumb, everyone is looking.  Or so we think.  We try so hard to be strong and be right.  We try to not care what others think.  But when we do dumb things or make mistakes, we feel the criticism.

I propose the loudest voice we hear is our own.  We beat ourselves up long after God has forgiven us of things.  We have asked for his forgiveness.  He has given it to us.  He has blotted out our transgressions.  Yet we remember them, over and over.  No wonder we feel wounded and ugly and dumb or whatever ugly word you apply to your soul.  Inside we look like that poor coyote.  Scroungy, lost, like a stray.  We are none of those if we have accepted the savior.  But we believe we are.

Last week I was in a home where two Scottie dogs lived.  They were beautiful.  Well groomed.  Scottie haircuts.  Shiny. Happy.  Loved.  When you compare the picture of them with the picture of the wild coyote.  You have a picture of an animal unloved and two animals loved.   The coyote didn't belong.  the Scotties belonged.  The coyote was lost.  The Scotties had a home.
If you have accepted the Lord, you are loved.  You belong.  You are clean through Him.  You have someone to turn to, someone who loves you so much.  I have found as I press into the Lord and I think on his love.  I no longer feel like the coyote but like the Scotties.  Loved. Joyful, Shiny. On my way to my heavenly home. As I press in and talk to him I am able to forget too and forgive myself and be kind to myself.   I wish that for everyone.

I saw a coyote, yesterday......

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh the Places I have Seen

I went to a ladies night at church the other night.  They were playing a game to get to know more about each other and I won a journal.  Which if you know me is normal.  I'm very blessed I win things all the time.  My friend Sheri is amazed by it.  I always tell people the secret is to actually enter contests and give aways and such.  If you don't enter you can't win.  Also you have to start believing you could win.  Someone has to win.  Why not you?  I'll write another time about all the fun things we have won.  

Anyway, I digress.  I was telling about the other night.  I won but I was blushing  because I won for living in the most cities.  We have moved so often that it is kind of embarrassing.  A lot of people still live in the same town or city they were born in.  They look at you weirdly if you tell them you have moved a lot.    

On the fun side.  I have lived in a high rise, a few duplexes, an  apartment complex in the beauty of Tennessee, an apartment above a gym (the wall of living room was the other side of the basketball hoop, a house with 4 bedrooms when I had one baby daughter,  an apartment  with 2 bedrooms with 3 daughters, behind a house built to have a store in the front, a flat-upstairs and than downstairs, 3 trailers before they were called mobile homes, other apartment complexes in Michigan, range style houses, a house in the city with a rose arbor, a house in the suburbs etc.  It's been quite the adventure.  Since I like to write I have a wealth of places to draw from.   I have lived in North Dakota, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.  I've lived in cities like Hamtramck, MI.  Which is the polish part of Detroit.   Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has lots of book publishers with lots of sales.  And we love books.    The suburbs of Detroit, which each had it's own personality.  Minot ND., where the line: Why not?  Minot? Freezin is the Reason. Could be heard.   So very, very cold there  Indianapolis or Indy as those who live there say it.   Just 5 minutes from the then Brand new state of the art zoo.    Kokomo, IN which I like the sound of 
K O K O M O.  It rolls off the tongue.  Walton, IN which was like the tiniest place ever.  In the country, in the city, in the metro cities,  in a tiny tiny town, in college towns, in suburbs.   I like to say variety is the spice of life.  But I've had enough variety and I have now lived in the country on the land my family has owned since the 50's.  I'm full circle back where I belong and I've lived here since my birthday in June of '93.  I never want to move again unless I win the HGTV dream house.  Because remember I'm very blessed and win stuff all the time.  It may happen!  I just have to believe it's possible. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


First I must explain.  I live in the country on acres of land.  When you live in the country with lots of acres, people think you have room for animals. They think you want more animals.  So not true!  People drop their unwanted animals here.  I hope they all get a rash the doctor can't cure.  Well no...well maybe.  I have found homes for untold numbers of cats and dogs.  I've had around 12 of them fixed and because of them getting hit by cars we have buried a lot of them in the over 18 years we have lived here.

I know you are saying weird subject but hang in there.  I said all this to tell about the cats.  When a cat gets hit by a car and Paul or I have to bury it. (Our than son in law must get credit for burying more than his share also.)  Once one has died, we find a place and start digging.  As you dig the hole all the other cats come around the hole and watch. Some sit close by, some stand or sit a little further back and some stand even further back.   Paul said he talks to them as he digs and warns them about the dangers of going in the road.  They look at him and listen like they understand.  I never thought to do that.  But anyway,  they all gather and stay with you till you stomp down the last bit of dirt on the grave.

I'm not a "Martha" person by nature.  So I may or may not bring you food when you lose a loved one.  Depends what is going on with me.  But I will stand with you.  I may be able to come to the funeral home I may be able to come to the funeral.  It all depends.   If I can, I will, if I can't I won't.  But I can promise you what I know I will do.  I will stand with you like the cats.  I will wake up in the middle of the night and pray for you.  I will pray for you as I go through my day.  I will remind the Lord that He said He won't let you have more than you can handle.  I will pray that He will comfort you and strengthen you.  I will pray that you can keep your mind on Him so He can keep you in perfect peace. I will ask the Lord to carry you.  If your child dies I will pray for you for years.  I will respect your loss.  I will acknowledge your pain. Like my cats do, I will stand with you even if you don't know I'm praying.
I think we change things by standing with our friends and loved ones using the gifts that we possess.  Some bring the food.  Some help clean the house or make arrangements. Some visit at the hospital or while hospice is there. Some collect money if needed to help with the cost.  Some send flowers or cards.  Some know just what words to say to comfort.  Some bring hugs or hold hands or listen.  Some pray.

Some stand close by.
Others a little further back.
And still others stand far away.

But we all stand with the bereaved in the way we can.  Using the gifts God has given us.  And if we all do that than the person is taken care of and helped to get through the dark time of loss.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Make me Content

Here it is a Saturday morning in January. My friends in the north tell on Facebook of the snow and show blowing and shoveling. I gaze out my window at the Tennessee landscape. No snow. The drive looks damp. But no snow. That's okay with me. I'm good without it for a while. It's winter. I'm sure we will have some but for today. I'm good.

It makes me think of that verse the Apostle Paul wrote. ...I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content. Phil 4:11... the amplified version puts it like this: for I have learned how to be [f] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.

I am content without snow. But am I content while waiting for prayers to be answered? Am I undisturbed as I wait for healing to take place, for relationships to be restored? Am I disquieted as life plays out in ways I don't understand or like? Am I able to rest in God? Am I able to trust Him to work it all out for good?

I often think of Corrie Ten Boon. A prisoner of war in a concentration camp. She was a believer. She loved God. She railed against her circumstance. She was disquieted at first. Her sister Betsy had grace and carried herself with a quiet peace. I remember reading how she thanked God in everything. Much to Corrie's dismay Betsy told her. "we must thank God for the lice our room is infested with. Because it keeps the guards out so we can freely share the gospel with the other prisoners. We can sing without being told to stop." (My paraphrase) Corrie came to understand and embrace the peace Betsy possessed. When Betsy died. God kept Corrie and she lived to tell us about courage in a fiery trial and love that reaches to the lowest despair a person can imagine.

I often think of Corrie and Betsy and think, "Could I have been content there? I don't know. Can I be content now?"

Whatever situation we find ourselves in. Whatever trial we are going through. Whatever season of life we are in. Lord please help us to be peaceful, quiet and content in you. Trusting you to bring your good will to our lives.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just a Closer Walk

Just a Closer Walk with Thee, Grant it Jesus is my Plea. Daily walking close to thee. Let it be, Dear Lord is my plea.....
Did you ever sing this song? Years ago we would sing this in church. And I would long for a closer walk with the Lord. I would sing it with sincerity. My heart longed to be closer, have a more intimate relationship with my savior. I didn't know it would be years before I learned how to come into His presense. And I never had a clue how sweet, how precious, how healing it would be. Awe if I had known. If I only had had an inkling of what a closer walk would be like.
Let me go back to spring of 2010. I shared this in another post but it is worth repeating. We had a man come preach at our church. Bob Rodgers. He challenged us to pray an hour a day. Now I don't mean to be boastful just sharing a wonderful thing that has happened to me. But a lot of us took him up on the challenge and I started an adventure my soul had been longing for since I was a mere girl. We had committed to pray for an hour a day for a month. I have been doing it ever since. Only missed a day here and there. But it has been so sweet spending time with my savior, with Father God. I thought I would pray and God would change so many people, family, friends, co-workers, situations, the world.
Side note here: I had a magnet in my first car I owned at 17, James Cagney was my car's name. He was a little black volkswagon with a red interior. The magnet that stayed on the dash said "Prayer Changes Things" It has been a deep and long held belief of mine.)
Okay back to what I was saying. I headed into this adventure to change others by prayer. Imagine my surprise when I was the one who changed! And I was the one who realized, I have a lot to work on here! As I prayed and studied and listen to teaching and preaching I learned more of God, more of his great love for me. I learned that he is crazy about us. When we show up to talk with him. He shows up. The one who started everything takes the time to listen to our prayers. He guides us and shows us what he wants for us. He shows us what a beautiful life he has planned for us if we will just follow him. Just walk with him. Just talk with him. he also shows us hidden attitudes. Unforgiveness we are harboring. Sins we didn't realize we were doing and sins we justified. He shows us these so we can deal with them through repenting, through finding scriptures to stand on as we turn a new way. He shows us lies of the enemy that we believe. We receive these lies like they are truth. We have heard the lies for so many years that we accept them. But as I spent more time with the Lord I saw the lies for what they were and I am overcoming them with truth. Truth really does set us free. Jesus is truth so as we daily walk close to Him the lies will be revealed and He will help us replace them with His truth about them. As I learn to walk close to Him I am learning to be more peaceful, I'm learning about his grace. I'm learning about his amazing mercy. It is the most wonderful adventure. God is good! Just make a decision today to press into Jesus to Walk Closer to Him today than you did yesterday. If you mess up and fall down get up, wipe yourself off and press in again.