Run well – Gal. 5:7-15

IMG_1683“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who call you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve on another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Gal. 5:7-15

Apparently the church in Galatia that Paul was writing to had started out well on their faith journey but they had allowed false teaching in their midst. (v.7)  This was upsetting to Paul as he was trying to warn them that you let a little “leaven” in and eventually it can run through the whole batch. In other words if you let one person in to teach and they are teaching false doctrine then next thing you know they are leading the whole bunch of them and it is negating what the cross did for them. But he is also encouraging them when he tells them “I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view”. (v10)  In other words he is telling them I know you know the truth and I know that you will follow the truth. I was thinking this can be a scary fine line because we are supposed  to be open to others and welcome them to the church. But before you allow them to lead you be sure they are leading you to the cross. Paul even ends this part of the passage with loving your neighbor as yourself.  (hmm we’ve heard that recently) We have freedom in Christ and we do not want to be judged “by the company we keep” but what I think Paul is saying to them is to remember the cross. Remember who called you and the freedom to which you were called. He says don’t let this freedom be an opportunity for you to sin. Again don’t think of it as a list of do’s and don’ts. But also don’t think I can do whatever I want and keep asking forgiveness. But realize that legalism leads you away from the cross and freedom leads you to the cross. When you run well, when you run toward the cross with all you have, you will serve one another and you will love one another without the backbiting and judgment that legalism can bring.

Please pray for the pastors and for our churches today. Many churches are trying to figure out the best way and when to open back up!

Sunrise Surprise!


Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for a good sunrise!  This morning I thought I was not going to get a particularly pretty sunrise as it is a little cloudy here at the Lake!  But as I was sitting in my chair reading this morning, I suddenly looked up and here peeking through the clouds very prettily was the sun! It was almost like God was saying “SURPRISE!! Here you go!” I got out of my chair and immediately walked out onto the deck so that I could share it with you! (This has nothing to do with the devo!)

Today I read through my Bible reading and I pondered and asked the Lord what He wanted me to write on today.  I have been reading through the gospels over and over this year but I am also reading in Galatians right now. I kept going back and forth to the passage in Galatians, because well quite frankly, it bothered me a bit when I first read it.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law, you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. Gal. 5:1-6

This part that says “Christ will be of no advantage to you” is what really bothered me. So I kept digging. I wanted to see what Paul meant by this. You see I really want to hang onto Christ so that He is an advantage to me. I want my faith in Him to be what carries me because if it is not then where am I. When I dug into this passage that is precisely what it is saying. You see if I am only living by a list of dos and don’t in the world then I am not living in the faith that what Jesus did on the cross is enough for me. If I follow all of the lists of rules or the law to the letter of the law and I do not lean into Christ and who He is and what He has done for me then the laws that I keep mean absolutely nothing! The laws and the rules are the yoke of slavery. I have seen people and I would say I have been there myself that get so caught up in the can’t, and shouldn’t, and don’t do things of this life that we forget about Jesus. The last verse of this passage says “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision (the rules, the laws, the list of dos and don’ts) count for anything, but only faith working through love.” (verse 6) Lord let me not get so caught up in the rules that I forget the faith that works in love!

Please pray for your educators and students today (combining these 2)!

Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower

You are probably like me and have read those verses many times before. Maybe you thought about them and knew what it meant and maybe you didn’t. As I was looking today I was really wanting to dig in to this one. One of the commentaries I read pointed out all of the many different ways that the crowd may have perceived this parable. The farmer may have thought “I should be more careful”, The salesman may have thought, “I can sell this Farmer something to help him not waste so much seed.” What was Jesus’ point in teaching this parable to a wide diverse audience? The disciples asked him later what it was and lucky for us he explained it and the author of Mark decided to include it for us. In verses 13-20 Jesus explains to the disciples that the seed here is the word of God and the ground is people and how they perceive the word. I don’t want to be the path that lets the word blow away in the wind or the rocky ground that has no root at all and lets the cares of the world choke out the word.



But I want to be the good soil, I want to dig in, I want to be one who bears fruit. I have to admit that I wonder when I think of this why Jesus would have taught this parable this way. Why doesn’t He want to just tell people what He means instead of saying it in a parable. Well for me personally, I have to say that I retain more when I dig more. I like to plant flowers this time of year. I don’t necessarily have what you call a green thumb. You know some people it seems can just put a seed in the ground and it is going to grow. My mother in law used to grow the most beautiful plants and flowers and when I would comment to her how beautiful they were she would always say well I just stick it in the ground and wish it well! And it would grow! I was amazed and I have to admit I do not have that gift! But I have learned a little bit. I have learned that the soil that you use matters. You need good soil for things to grow well. You need good soil for the roots to grow deep and grow strong. The better the soil, the better the roots and then the more beautiful the plant. A plant that is growing in good soil that has deep roots can grow healthy and strong and beautiful. I want my mind to be good soil for His word. I want my heart to have good roots so that when my mind digs into his word that it takes root in my heart and then I want my life to bear much fruit. I have also learned that sometimes things can appear dead on the outside but the roots are there, they just need to be watered and loved on so that the plant can flourish later. In Isaiah 55:11 it says “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” If you know someone or love someone that you have been praying for and they seem to have the rocky soil and the cares of the world are choking them out, grab hold of that verse in Isaiah and keep cultivating the word in them. Send them encouragement, let the words take root in their heart and dig deep in your own so that we can all bear fruit. I believe this gift of time we have been given is a good time to cultivate new things in our own hearts and to reach out to others and sow good seed in the heart of others.  

Pray for our medical professionals today.  It’s been nurses week this past week. If you know a nurse, hug them, virtually of course, send them a word, or a happy to make their day and let them know we appreciate them.  

Mark 3:1-5

I read this morning in Mark 3. The passage tells us that Jesus entered the synagogue again and there was a man there with a withered hand. It says that “they” watched Him closely to see whether or not Jesus was going to heal the man. They is the Pharisees and the religious leaders of the day. First of all this right here proves that they knew that Jesus had the power to heal the man. Jesus told the man to come forward and then He asked the question of the Pharisees “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” (v. 4) My first thought was that they didn’t know what to say. How do they answer this man who always asks these questions. Jesus was very good at His questions and well basically causing them not to speak because His questions were actually pointing something out to them. But when you read the next sentence. “But they kept silent.” And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. (v. 5). Ouch! I wonder how many times do I grieve Jesus with the hardness of my own heart. How many times have I thought, “Lord, that person is too far gone, too mean, too bad, too much of a sinner. There is no point in even praying for this or that person because I don’t see that they will ever come around. Or worse, “what are they doing in church!” Yes, I know that in this passage Jesus was healing the man’s withered hand. But in many of Jesus healings He points out that not only is He here to heal the body, but He tells many of the people that He heals that they have been forgiven or to go and sin no more. Jesus was frustrated with the Pharisees. He was giving them the opportunity to come to Him in belief and to change their minds. Yet they were holding on to their own thoughts and their old ways and the law and weren’t willing to look at this man who needed healing with compassion. They weren’t willing to look at Jesus and realize that He is the Messiah. I pray that God will give me a compassionate heart and that I will not grieve Him with my hardened heart when I look at His people. I pray that I will allow Jesus to change me.

Please pray today for our President, and our government leaders who are making the decisions!

HAPPY 2020!

I spent a little time this morning doing what I do every January 1.  I have my quiet time and in it I like to reflect on the last year, and think of what’s working, what I may have learned and what I might need to change.  I don’t like to call it “resolutions” because those are just meant to be broken right?  But I do think that the turn of the calendar is a good time to revamp things in our lives. In 2019 I chose a different way to do my “quiet time” last year.  I liked some of what I had changed but I had done too many changes and I am revamping again.  Kind of meeting in the middle of my “old” habits and my 2019 habits and working on new habits for 2020.  I am a creature of habit in a lot of ways but I also think that reflecting, revamping and renewing things makes for keeping things fresh.  I know for me doing the same thing day in and day out can also mean too much routine and then I wonder if I’m even paying attention.  Where in the world do we find the balance?  I guess that is what I am trying to do by paying attention to the turn of the calendar and that by doing so, I can keep things interesting.  Keep my brain engaged and keep pressing on.  


Every year I ask the Lord to give me a word for the year.  A word that I can focus on that will speak to me throughout the year.  At the beginning of 2019 I had been through about three years that were gut wrenching in many ways.  I had a lot of loss between 2016 – 2019.  I had endured a lot of pain and heartbreak that had rocked me to the core.  I had spent a lot of time on my knees.  Some of the loss, I did not see how God could possibly redeem but I was begging him for the last few years to Restore my soul.  Those years were some of the hardest I had ever endured in my life.  The word that God gave me for 2019 was Hope!  The verse He attached to that hope was: 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”   Romans 15:13

Over the course of the last year as God gave me Hope for restoration He showed me the Hope that I could feel every time I looked into the eyes of my grandchildren.  He gave me a new hope for the future of my son.  He fulfilled some of my hopes of moving to the lake and showed me hope for the future that Ed and I would have together.  He has fulfilled some of my dreams, He has also told me no and He has changed some.  He has told me later on some as well.  But overall.  He fulfilled the hope that He gave me and I can honestly say that my relationship with Him is on a different plane that it ever has been before.  No I don’t want to relive the pain that I have been through but I can honestly say I know my Savior better than I did before and I know that He will always carry me through whatever comes my way.  And through it all I have Hope for a better tomorrow.  Now I’m not saying that these tomorrows will ever be free of pain and suffering.  God never promised that.  In fact quite the opposite.  He tells us that this world will have trouble but that He has overcome the world (John 16:33)  When I say He restores He is not going to bring back my sister or even my friend.  I have had friends, close ones who have had to bury their child, I have watched one of my best friends as she succumbs to Alzheimers and her precious daughters are losing their mama way too young.  God is not going to restore these situations to prior like we wish He would.  But I have learned that if I give Him the heartbreak and the pain and the hurt that He can make something beautiful of it while we are here on this planet!  AND we have an eternal Hope that we will one day see these people again.  When I lost my sister three years ago, I asked God “if it’s going to hurt this bad, please Lord use this pain, don’t let it be for nought.”  That’s where hope comes.  Do I wish I could have a conversation with her again?  Sure I do.  Do I wish that I could sit down with my friend and giggle and laugh at our grand babies together and compare them to our kids when they were little?  Of course I do.  Those things are not going to happen, but if I hand God my pain and I ask Him to use it then I have seen Him give me a Hope for good tomorrows and I have had Him show me the ways that this pain and this heartbreak can be used for His glory.  


Resolutions – Goals: 

As I said earlier I don’t really like the word resolutions.  I think those are made to be broken.  However, I do like setting goals.  But you even have to keep those in perspective.  A goal is something you strive for.  Sometimes you reach it, sometimes you don’t.  But if you strive for something and you gain some ground then you need to count that as success.  I do like to set goals every year and sometimes I reach them, sometime I surpass them and sometime I just gain a little ground but the end result when I set goals and I truly do strive is always growth!  

I’ve been asking the Lord to give me my 2020 word for the past couple of weeks.  He may have given me 2 this year.  

The first is Grace!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.    2 Corinthians 9:8

I am asking God for 2020 for all grace.  All that He wants to give me.  I am asking Him to give me this grace so that I can abound in the good works that he has for me.  And I am asking him to give me Grace and to give me the ability to give grace to others.  I want to give Grace for people when I don’t feel like they measured up to what my expectations were.  I want to give grace to not have expectations of others.  I want to give grace for our humanness.  Mine as well as others.  I want to give grace and truthfully I want to receive His grace!  I want to sit with an open hand and say Lord give me all the grace you want to.  Lord I pray this will be the year of your Grace.  

The other word the Lord gave me is Declare!! 

I had been looking for a verse that would go with the word Declare for a long time and this morning during my “quiet time” 

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ,…. Col 4:3

I want to declare what He has done.  I want Him to use me as He sees fit to Declare what He has done.  The mystery of how He has restored my soul even in and during a season of heartbreak  That is one of my goals for the year.  I can’t tell you how that will look, I can’t tell you where He is taking me (the mystery) but I can tell you my heart is in a good place today.  Do I think this year will be void of heartbreak?  No I am not living in a fantasy.  But I do know Him who holds my heart and who holds my life together.  I know Him who writes way better story than I do and I am asking Him to carry on and write my stories.  

I won’t share my goals for the new year here.  But I will write them down in my journal so that in a year I can reflect and see what my growth was.  I encourage you to do the same.  Reflect on the last year, what worked and what didn’t?  Where did you grow and what can you do to capitalize on that growth?  I encourage you to set goals.  Not resolutions to be broken, but goals to strive for!  I encourage you to be more intentional this year that you were last year and to see where you can Declare His Grace!  

Love you all and if you made it through this very long post, I pray that it encouraged you and inspired you!  

Declaring His Grace in 2020!


Happy New Year!

Whew!!  We made it!!  I cannot tell you that 2018 will go down as a favorite year of mine.  But I can tell you that I am so happy to have survived it!! I feel accomplished that this past year is behind me and where I am as a person today versus where I was as a person a year ago.  I feel like I can say I accomplished more personally in my soul this year than probably ever before.  I believe I had a lot of obstacles to this year.  There were things that happened to me and to people I love that I felt like could have crippled me and stunted my spiritual growth at any turn.  But I learned so much about the character and the kindness of God this year.  He has held me at every turn and every heartbreak and every disappointment and he has held me together through this year.  I feel like I have wrestled with God this year, much like Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis chapter 32.  I also feel like I have wrestled with the “rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spriitual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12). Yes there were times this year, I wasn’t sure if the wrestle was with God or against the evil forces, but wrestle I did.  And I feel like that even though I may be walking with a limp that God has seen me through!  And I give Him all the praise and glory for that!

I learned about promises of God this past year!  God will see me through anything that comes in my path.  His word tells me he will never leave me nor will he forsake me.  He says it over and over in scripture.  The Lord does not tell me that bad stuff will not happen.  He does not tell me that there will not be things that break my heart or disappoint me.  But He does promise to be with me through it all.  There were times I had to look hard for Him.  There were times all I could do was turn on praise music so that I could keep my focus on Him rather than on the circumstances swirling around me.  You see even though He will not leave you nor forsake you, it is up to you to look for Him.  I could have kept my eyes more on my problems than on Him but I knew I needed to see Him in order to survive it, so He taught me to keep looking for Him.  I found Him in praise music, I found Him in sunrises, I found Him in the laughter and sweet smiles of my grandchildren!  I found Him with my friends who held me up in prayer and their friendship.  I can promise you there were times this year that I would have preferred to go home after work and pull the covers over my head and make the world go away.  But many times I made myself go where people were even though I didn’t feel like it.  Just because I knew that those people loved me.  Actually there were times I would have preferred not to even go to work, but I went anyway.  And I found Him!  Over and over again, I found Him because I kept searching for Him.

I also learned about the kindness of God this past year.  There are things I prayed for that God answered.  He did not have to.  I came to realize in my wrestlings that some of the very things I was praying for, might not work out like I wanted.  But I did come to realize that even if they did not work out the way I would have written the story, that the greater good was what He would always have in mind.  It may not feel like greater good at the time, but He could see the future that I could not see and He would hold me through whatever came my way.  I wish I could give you more of the specifics of this but He is still writing the story and I still am not sure exactly how it’s going to work out. But I do trust His heart and I trust His hand on my life to know that He is going to see me through.  The kindness of God’s heart wants what is best for me and for mine and for you and for yours.  And sometimes the kindness of God’s heart takes people home to be with Him, and sometimes He lets us endure hurt and anguish so that we draw closer to His heart!! And sometimes people get sick and sometimes people die and sometimes people do not do what we think they ought to.  But every time if we seek God’s heart we can trust that God is going to walk WITH us.  And He will teach us and He will love us and He will give us Hope!

HOPE!  This word can be a comforting word but it can also be a scary word because what if things don’t turn out like you hope?  Every year I ask God for a word for my coming year.  This past year my word at the beginning of the year was Presence!  I did not know what it would mean, when I felt Him give me that word!  I had thoughts that I was going to learn how to be more present with my people and that it was going to be gloriously beautiful, I had visions of getting up and having my super spiritual quiet time every morning while a revelled in the presence of God while he gave me the wisdom to understand scripture in a way I never had before, but I wanted to learn these things only in my brain.  I didn’t really want Him to teach them to me in my heart.  Well, I spent alot of time in the Presence of God but it was not like I expected.  I read alot of scripture, I listened to alot of sermons, I listened to alot of praise music.  I drew into His presence like never before, not because I was some super spiritual person who was working on my knowledge of God, but because I NEEDED Him like never before!  He had things to teach me alright but He was not just teaching my brain, He taught my heart a thing or two. I can honestly say that the relationship I have with God after this year has turned out beautiful but it was brought about by much pain and heartache and my NEED for His presence!  Well this year I feel like the word He has given me is HOPE!  And quite frankly that scares me to pieces!  I want to have Hope that things will work out like I want.  I want to have Hope that it is going to be a beautiful year but I am scared of what this Hope is going to bring me.  But this is my word so I will look to Him for Hope and ask Him to teach me about Hope.  And yes even if that means He is teaching my heart!  I will cling to the Hope that he has for me.

In His Hope!!


Happy Monday from the Porch!

One thing about working for a school district is you occasionally get those rare holidays that not everyone in the corporate world gets.  So I am sitting on my porch this morning and drinking in the gift.  The gift of a rare Monday morning on my porch, the gift of a beautiful sunrise and a little extended quiet time with my Savior.  It’s a beautiful day here at the lake.  There is a bright morning sun and there is a gentle breeze blowing the leaves just a bit, not even enough to play music in the chimes, there are all the typical morning sounds, the birds in the trees near and far.  It’s still not what I would call cool for this Fall morning but it is a bit of a break in the humidity anyway.  Which at least lets us know that Fall air is right around the corner, (hopefully).

As I sit here and drink in these gifts I realize that sometimes it is good to just sit and reflect and pray and Be Still before the Lord.  I have talked on here of Lamentations and the new mercies that he brings me in the mornings.  I have talked of being still and even named this blog Restore after Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul! I keep looking to Him the one who created me and sustains me and draws me day after day and year after year to Him.  And over and over he keeps restoring my soul!  You see that is not a one time thing.  I have to, I must come to him daily to feel the true restoration every day.  It’s a relationship.  I truly do not know how I would put one foot in front of the other every day if I did not have this relationship with Him.  And just as my relationship with my husband is going to look different than your relationship with yours, my relationship with My Savior will look different than your relationship with Your Savior.  Just because it happens to be the same Savior, relationships are different.  I can tell you though that the best way to cultivate your relationship is to spend daily time with Him.  Whatever time of day works for you and however you and He want to, need to craft that you need to do it.  Day in, day out!  I was talking with one of my sweet friends this week, she’s really more than a friend, she and her sisters are like my surrogate daughters.  She and her sisters are going through a time loving on their precious Mama with an illness that is robbing them of her.  It is a time that you can only cling to God in order to make it through and these precious ones are doing such a beautiful job it blows me away.  But anyway, I know that through this she has drawn closer and closer to Jesus in order to have the strength and the courage to look this disease in it’s face and to love their Mama well.  As we were visiting the other day, she and I started talking about prayer and how when you spend alot of time in prayer and the Word you find yourself talking to God about even the most mundane things.  I pray for the Lord to help me find my keys or whatever I am looking for just about every day and I got so tickled at her as she said she had even prayed for the Lord not to let her popcorn burn the other day.  I loved it!!  And you know what I think it made God smile that day too.  I believe in the reverence of God.  I know that He is Holy and Almighty and that he created this vast beautiful world and for that I revere Him and I praise Him.  But I also believe that He desires a daily every day relationship with us.  And today I thank Him for that relationship that will help me find my keys and that will even help me not to burn my popcorn!

Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.  Isaiah 58:2  (emph mine)

I hope you have a Happy Monday!!


New Mercies and Great Faithfulness

I know I have been quiet for a while. I’m sorry and I’m back.

I started doing this writing thing to process some of my thoughts and feelings a while back.  2016 was “everything I ever wanted and so much less”.  (I heard that phrase on a podcast and I decided it truly fit)   It was the birth of my first grandchild, which was everything I never knew I wanted anyway, and so much less, the death of my Daddy.  You know you always know that it’s going to happen but there is no preparing your heart for it.  Then I was determined to make 2017 better at the start of that new year and then 11 days in, my sister died.  I still some days walk by this picture I have of me and my 3 sisters in my living room and I think “really?  Is she really not here anymore?”  But it also brought more joy with the birth of my 2d grandchild.

After those events, as part of my healing process. I had done some things to tap into my creative side, painting and writing and I was thinking here goes.  Who knows where this is going to take me.  I was poised and ready to take on this blogging thing and see where the painting would take me.  I am not that great but I do enjoy it and you can usually tell what the picture is when I’m done so I guess that’s something.


But then came 2018 and it started out kicking me in the gut too.  My husband got very sick at the beginning of this year and then just some other things that kept happening to me and to people I love that almost crippled me.  Well I guess in some ways it did cripple me.  It was trying to take me out of the game, and by “It” I think what I mean is “Satan”.  I think he was doing his thing and looking to paralyze me, but no I don’t intend to let it take me out.  It may have made me limp along for much of this year.  It did make me HAVE to pull back and find rest for my soul and spend some very serious time in prayer and alone time with my God.  I felt very guilty about that at first.  I kept thinking that I should be doing better about doing the things I felt God was leading me to.  Then in the midst of all of this, I heard a podcast that brought out a scripture to me.  I have always heard the verse:

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. Lamentations 3:22-23

I have sung Great is Thy Faithfulness many many times and meant every word of it, but I had never looked at the context around that verse until this podcast that I heard.  If you read the whole chapter it starts with “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.”  The writer of this lament is not just using flowery words about the faithfulness of God.  This writer has suffered.  He has grown old and he has known hardship.  He feels like his heart is pierced and that he is the laughingstock of his friends.

He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.  I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.  So I say “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  YET THIS I CALL TO MIND AND THEREFORE I HAVE HOPE.  (emphasis mine) 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.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  Lamentations 3:16-24


My friends have you ever been there?  Have you ever felt so distraught and so so hurt over life events and JUNK going on in your life that you felt like your face was in the dust and you may as well have been eating gravel!  There have been a lot of events this year that have made me feel that way!  And when I read this lament and I realized that the writer was saying that he felt all of those things yet he was going to proclaim the faithfulness of God and cling to his hope because of the Lord.  I was still feeling very guilty about starting the blog and then stopping the blog, starting a bible study then stopping a bible study, but then I kept reading.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; IT IS GOOD TO WAIT QUIETLY FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD.  (emphasis mine) It is good for a man to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while e is young.  Let him sit alone in silence for the Lord has laid it on him.  Let him bury his face in the dust – there may yet be hope.  Lamentations 3:25-29

I took from that verse that sometimes it is good to draw close to Him who created me and has blessed me and is healing me! The one with whom I have walked for years and just be with Him.  I needed my God to work on my soul and to bring healing to me so in many many ways that is what I have done for most of 2018.  I have spent a lot of time reading, listening to podcasts and playing worship music so that I could let God heal my soul.  I will call all of the things that He has taught me to my mind because they are the things that will bring me hope.  I have one more passage to share out of this chapter:

For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.  For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.  Lamentations 3:31-33

You see the grief and the hurt and the anguish and the pain, they are from the enemy.  We live in a broken fallen world and Satan is prowling seeking someone to devour.  If we aren’t careful we can get devoured so easily in the pain and the hurt of the things that happen to us.  It is a fight to stay focused on the hope.  But that is what I am learning.  I will not let the hurt and the anguish paralyze me.  I may walk with a limp.  I may be quieter than I used to be but with the help of my God and the hope he brings to me, I will cling to his hope and his unfailing love and I will emerge stronger.  Sometimes I may need to or you may need to “sit alone in silence and wait quietly for the Lord.”  But the sitting in the silence is what helps us to see the hope that is already there.  The Hope of the Lord that is new every morning.




In His Hope,


What does Christmas mean to me?

I have had a lot of time to reflect and think this Christmas season.  Perhaps too much. This morning as I sit in a quiet house with a beautiful tree in front of me and a beautiful view of the lake I keep going over and over this question in my head.

When I was a girl growing up in a house with three older sisters, Christmas was about ANTICIPATION!  The anticipation of it all was the wonder!  I remember waking up REALLY early and we could hardly wait to go in the living room to see what Santa had brought.  We had a rule that we couldn’t go in without Momma and Daddy and I think the time may have been 3:00 am that we had to wait until to go get them.  We could hardly wait to go see what Santa brought. I can remember waking up and watching the clock until 3:00.  I am the youngest so I know that my sisters probably reached a point that their excitement for the season had waned but they always were good sports to me and played along.  Then most years we would load up in the car and travel to Arkansas to see our grandparents.  I loved being with cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Mammaw and Pappaw in that cold cold house in Arkansas.  I remember my Pappaw getting up really early when we were there so he could warm the house up before everyone else got up.  The house was heated by gas space heaters so it would take a bit to get it warm enough for everyone to start moving around a bit.


When I was a young woman, raising my own children, the anticipation was there but Christmas was more about the PREPARATION!  Oh the hustle and bustle of the holiday season when you are a young mama. The shopping, the baking, the fun, the calendars, the present wrapping, the long car rides, all of it was a blur at times.  I can remember being so exhausted when the season was over that I wondered if I had done it all right or not. I remember loading my babies into the car to go over the river and through the woods and trying to keep them entertained while we made these treks and wondering if I had focused too much on presents and not enough on the presence of Jesus.  I would wonder if and when we would all slow down enough to remember the reason we were celebrating.


Nowadays, I still have the anticipation and the preparation.  (I cannot wait to have all of my people under my roof!) But Christmas is becoming more and more about the MEMORIES.  I have reflected a lot this week on days when I was younger and busier.  I can remember longing for a quiet Christmas and now that I am here I realize that Christmas shouldn’t always be quiet. I truly don’t want to say all of this to be sad. I cherish my times growing up so much in my heart. I cherish the days I was a young mama and I was so tired.  I cherish the times with my sisters and I cherish the days I had my Mama and Daddy to go see.  I miss my grandparents and aunts and uncles. It’s really weird to realize that you are all of a sudden the older generation. Maybe it’s just a part of getting older.  You can’t help but reflect on the days gone by.  And you long for those days.

BUT MOST OF ALL Christmas is about JESUS!  Through the ANTICIPATION, the PREPARATION and the MEMORIES!  I pray that more than anything else that we will always remember the baby who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was placed into a manger!  I pray that Jesus warms our hearts even when we are excited about the times to come with family or exhausted from the preparations or reflecting on the memories of the past. I pray that Jesus will always be the central focus of whatever we do during the holidays.  I love all things Christmas!  I love Rudolph and Santa and red and green.  I love old Christmas decorations as well as new bright shiny glittery ones.  I love old Christmas movies, as well as the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I pray that as we have decorated and as we celebrate and even as we start to take it all down and pack it away that we will always remember that He came to give us Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!  I want to always remember the baby most of all. I want to always remember “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. I want to sing Christmas carols old and new and I want to hold those I love close and I want to make room for new traditions and I want to hold onto the things of the past close and dear to my heart.  I pray that if you are reading this that you will do the same.




Thanksgiving Wishes

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I really hate it when it seems that every post I start is like that.  When I started this thing out I really intended to post weekly and then well, things like “writer’s block”, life and just not wanting to sound so depressing on every post kicked in.   Then it seemed for a while that I might be abandoning it altogether.  But then this morning, I woke up with all these thoughts going in my head and heart and I know that I process things better when I write.


I have been on a mission this month to try to find something to be Grateful for every day. I have missed a couple of days but have for the most part been able to find something to post. (I post on Instagram). I love Christmas and all things holidays but I agree with a lot of people that sometimes Thanksgiving gets pushed aside for Christmas.  I have to be intentional to remember Thanksgiving and look for things to Give my Thanks for so that I don’t gloss over it with preparations for Christmas. This morning as I am thinking of things I am grateful for, I am also thinking of things I wish I had known to be grateful for.


Today is Sheri’s birthday.  Her first one in heaven would have been her 57th here on earth if she had stayed.  I’m sorry but it still seems so surreal that she is actually not on earth anymore.  Some days I have to remind myself that she is not at her house sitting in her chair watching some old western on television or some crime drama. Sheri loved to watch television probably better than anyone I know.  If you called and one of her shows was on, some of the conversation would turn to uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.  I always knew something had caught her attention on one of her shows and that she wasn’t listening to a word I said.  It was sometimes better to just catch her at another time.  There have been many times over the last 10 months I have started to pick up the phone to call her.  I wish I had done that more when she was there sitting in her chair.  I also can’t walk into a Wal Mart anywhere that I don’t find myself looking for her, which is really dumb because the one she worked at was in Crossett, Arkansas.  But it will forever be etched in my brain that she belongs there in Wal Mart working in the back room.  I somehow think I see her rounding a corner at every Wal Mart.  Sheri had a great laugh when she remembered to use it.  I loved her smile and I loved the twinkle in her eye when she had a bit of mischief going on in that head of hers. And her giggle.  I wish I had remembered to love it more when she was here with us.  The last few years I think Sheri forgot to laugh though.  She became more worried about stuff and she didn’t feel good and went through a period where she was just sad and negative a lot.  But hey she got the last laugh.  I guess the one thing about Sheri celebrating this birthday in heaven that brings me some comfort is that I know that she is loving that she got to go be with Momma and Daddy first.  She always loved to tell the story first or get to experience things first, get the first piece of cake, etc. When I was younger these were things that bugged me about Sheri but now I wish I had known to love it more.  I guess it’s ok that she got to go first.  Ok for her, it really stinks for us.

For many years we would spend this Thanksgiving week in Arkansas, staying with my Daddy and my guys hunting with him and we would cook and have lunches at the deer camp.  With lots and lots of family and friends.  I cooked more the week of Thanksgiving than I did the rest of the year back in those days.  I do remember looking out at the fire and see my guys sitting around with my Daddy, my brother in law and the other men telling stories of deer they had seen or dogs they had lost and working a plan to go hunt for their dogs that had gotten loose on the deer lease and not come back. I can still see them sitting around the fire in camo and orange and muddy boots.  I wish I had lingered a little longer.  I wish I had taken more pictures of it.  I wish I had known to love it a little more when it was happening.


My childhood Thanksgivings were also spent in that house in Arkansas.  The one my sister lives in now.  I am so grateful that life is still going on in that house.  But oh how I remember being there as a child and then taking my own children there when I became an adult. When we were kids there was no central air and heat in that house and it was probably one of the hottest places on earth in the summertime and one of the coldest places in the wintertime. I love that now I have things in my house that remind me of that house.  I have the coffee cups I can remember my Pappaw drinking his coffee out of every morning and yes, I drink my coffee from them and I love it. I have a quilt that Burr and I have decided is the warmest blanket in this house that was made by my grandmother.  I have some furniture pieces that I brought back with me after my Daddy passed that will always remind me of that time and place.  I am grateful for those things now, but I do wish I had known to be more grateful for them then.


This year we will be travelling to Ben’s for Thanksgiving if our little princess does not arrive first then we will be travelling before.  We will actually have our family time on Friday, I can’t wait to have all of us in one house. Life is so different as your children grow up and move on.  So I really want to be intentional to enjoy those times that we can all be together.  I pray that as we all gather together around a Thanksgiving table this week.  Whether it be on THE Thanksgiving day or another day that all of your family can gather, that we will drink it in and that we will remember to Love it now, while it is happening!.