Just a glimpse of me...

My photo
Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

29 April 2012

Pictures from the PAST

Seems like the Psalmists really "got it".  Well, to me it seems that way.  They didn't mince words. Their yes meant yes & their no meant no.  When we approach God this way, I feel like we are meeting Him on level ground.  He wants to know what we think.  He wants to know when we feel beaten down. He wants us to be real with him!  

Life has been beating me down for some time now.  The Word says that God's timing is perfect.  But, lately I feel like he's on "southern time" - fashionably late.  I'm holding fast though.  No matter what the devil throws my way, I am determined to not let it blind me to the multitude of blessings God bestows on me each day. 

"In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your COMFORTS delight my soul."
Psalm 94:19

Today I see pictures taken years ago - when meaningful memories were made. Today I hear the words of a familiar song reassuring me that I am not alone.  

Today I feel reassurance in my heart as a loved one laughs in the same way they did as a young child. 

Today I choose to recognize the COMFORTS that delight my soul -- the comforts placed lovingly in my path by a Father who truly cares for me.

27 April 2012


I spent my high school years along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, Florida. My high school was brand new. But, in the time it took for construction to be completed, the local population grew so much that they had to open the high school with split sessions. I was in the EARLY group with school beginning at 7:15am and ending at 12:15pm. It worked out perfectly getting me in the habit of getting up early. I often watched the sun rise as I walked to school.

Our preacher's family of five lived just under a mile from school. My parents we NOT fans of driving us to school unless there was a storm happening.  So, we walked to/from school every day! Most of my walks to school happened as the sun was coming up. I guess that's where my love of the sunrise really began. It gave me a wonderful start to each day.

This past week while vacationing in a home just across the street from the ocean, I renewed my love for walking along the sea as the sun begins to announce its presence. It's best to go out at least 45 minutes before the actual "sunrise time". That way you see all the changes in color. My walking/exercise wasn't as vigorous as usual but, the overall effect was incredible. I loved watching the changes that occurred moment by moment as the sun crept closer to the horizon... breached the horizon... and moved into the sky.
Not only did I get to experience gorgeous sunrises over the ocean, I also enjoyed some beautiful sunsets. 

I've always been a southern Florida - East Coast beach girl - probably mainly due to the gorgeous sunrises over the ocean. Last week as I watched the clouds over the Atlantic turn one beautiful color after another as the sun set in the west, I concluded that I'm still on the same page about that! 

I'm a beach girl... an East Coast Beach Girl :)

"From the rising of the sun to its going down The LORD's name is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

25 April 2012

There's Comfort in the Shadows

I sit here - on the living room couch (gifted to me when the neighbor got new furniture) by the light of two 4 watt bulbs and find comfort. Comfort in the sound of the ticking clock above the fire place. Comfort in the long shadows cast by the ceiling fan & the legs of the farm chair handed down 4 generations. Comfort in the warm kitty curled up & sleeping peacefully on my legs for the past 2 hours. Comfort in the lingering thoughts of the peace found in God's Word on this & other sleepless nights. Comfort in the hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen just past the wall. Comfort in knowing that my loved ones are tucked in their beds fast asleep here - on this night.

I am blessed beyond measure with my "comfortable" life. Yes, there are trials to come with the day - illness to battle, broken relationships to be mended, lost souls needing You. These sleepless nights are bothersome - at the very worst. But, God brings comfort. In this moment, my thoughts & prayers go out to those who have no comforts which I often take for granted.

Dear God,
Bring Your comfort & peace to those who find little comfort in their lives. Make us mindful of your bountiful blessings upon us. Open doors for us to share those with others. On sleepless nights, bring peace & safety to all of Your children. As daylight comes bring guidance & strength.


24 April 2012

Anchor or Helium Balloons?

Have you messed up over & over again? Perhaps even to the point where you feel like you don't deserve forgiveness, healing & restoration from God? I know I have! Even after sincerely asking for God's forgiveness, I often remind myself of mistakes - playing them over & over in my mind; allowing them to bog me down... making a valiant attempt to convince myself that I should not receive "God's best" since I am unworthy!

Let go of your mistakes & let them float away!
But, God's grace is enough... for ANYTHING & EVERYTHING. We don't necessarily deserve it. It's given freely out of His love for us. We just have to accept it!

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Romans 5:20

Don't sell yourself short. Accept God's grace today! He's ready to use you in a mighty way today! 

Your past is... PAST! 

Don't let your past mistakes anchor you in place.  Let go of them & allow them to float away!

Listen to this great song about GOD'S GRACE!

22 April 2012

Second Fiddle

Does anyone out there feel like they are always playing second fiddle? That's a saying I heard from my grandmother when I was tiny & complaining that my big sister always got to do everything first. I wanted to be the one to be recognized for accomplishments.  I wanted to be the one called upon to help in the kitchen. I wanted to feel that my contributions were valuable. I wanted to be in the spotlight. It was all about what I wanted

It's easy to continue with that unhealthy emphasis on ME as an adult.  I want to be recognized & valued.  I often fail to remember that my worth is in my willingness to serve - not the end result.  Apparently, this is an age-old struggle.  In 2 Chronicles 6:8, 9 it reads, 

"But the LORD told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’" NLT

Sometimes it's hard not to scream out, "Why Not Me!?!"  I never played an instrument in a band. But, what about those students who work hard & practice a lot but don't sit at first chair?  And, what about those voices in a choir who are never asked to sing solos but faithfully attend rehearsals & performances?  Sometimes our intentions are good but, we are not the one to complete a specific task & be in the spotlight.  The Bible says that God looks at the heart.  Our heart needs to be in the right place.  
Dear God,  
Please help me to play second fiddle to the best of my ability with every fiber of my being - knowing that You are pleased with my gift to you.  And, remind me that there are NO seconds in your eyes.

(begun w/idea while reading the Bible on 2/22/12)

20 April 2012

Happy 420

Oh, if I'd only planned ahead so that I sent this today at 4:20am or 4:20pm, that would have made me giggle :)  But, alas, there are many irons in the fire...

I have several things on my mind this late afternoon. It's been a full day & a full week.  Come to think of it, my life feels really FULL lately.  But, one thing that’s been on my mind off & on all day is that today, April 20 aka 04/20, is “National Weed Day.” 

Today many people (young & not-so-young) are celebrating the use of a controversial, yet ILLEGAL, drug in most of the US - marijuana. The social media world is full of references to 420. People are talking about how they are celebrating the day.. how the government & law enforcement agencies are controlling our lives… and so on. They're wishing each other "Happy 420" and getting together to celebrate the day.

In this blog, I have committed to be honest about my feelings & convictions.  I speak at the stirring of my heart. And, I have decided that if I must chose some meaning to attach to the “420” thing today, it’s going to be one of hope & encouragement:

“Remember that the LORD rescued you from the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt
in order to make you his very own people and his special possession,
which is what you are today.” 
Now, that’s my kind of 420 – God’s very own special possession.  

The weeds I'm celebrating today are the weeds (okay, wild flowers - but, the LOML calls them weeds) coming up along my worn wooden fence.  They will be full of gorgeous yellow, pink & purple blooms in the coming weeks & months.

Wide Awake Nights

Lately there are a lot of us walking around with "smart phones". My phone is about 3 years old & 3 generations OLD but, I can still access some great app's (applications) on it. If I could only choose one - just ONE - it would have to be the YouVersion Bible app. I don't know how many nights I've woken abruptly in the night for no obvious reason. I love the fact that I can grab my phone & read God's Word. 

Last night was one such night.  I read Psalm 63:6, "I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night." I was able to take time to talk with God; thank God for His faithfulness in my life; lay my requests at His feet; pray for friends who were on my heart... just BE in His presence!

If we are going to be WIDE AWAKE... we might as well be doing something good :)

(written 10/01/11)

19 April 2012

Attitude Equals Altitude...

photo courtesy of T. Getz
Today a friend posted the following statement: "I am working on FAMILY curricula about attitude - Why does attitude equal altitude? Thoughts?"

Well... just yesterday at a wellness activity that's sponsored through my local church, we were talking about attitude equaling altitude. What we're going through in life is much less important than how we're looking at what we're going through.   

The first step of being defeated is allowing yourself to FEEL defeated. A positive attitude can make all the difference in how you feel about anything that you endure.

At this time in my life, it's nearly impossible for me to look at these things from any other perspective than that of a Christ-follower. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God & that He came to earth and paid for my sins (for all of His children's sins) with the shedding of His blood. I believe in the promises found in the Bible and, I CLAIM those, even when it feels impossible. Some of those promises are:
  • "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27-28
  • "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." II Chronicles 16:9
  • "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." II Corinthians 12:9-10
  • "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us." Daniel 3:17
  • " I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand... For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:9-10, 13
I could go on & on citing promises that are found in the Word. But, I also recall attitude equaling altitude before I came to know Jesus as my Savior & Lord. I remember as a child when I was made fun of for being super skinny & gangly that it was always easier if I "made light" of it instead of taking it personally. When I refused to let hurtful words or ways become a part of me, I was stronger... happier... healthier. I was always better off when I did not let the circumstances of life determine my attitude toward life.

There's a passage in the New Testament of the Bible that's always reminded me to "look at my attitude" in tough situations. It reminds me that the hard times make us stronger and better equipped to endure other tough times that are SURE to happen to us, as well as better equipped to help others face similar hardships. That scripture passage is located in  

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."

Thanks friend for getting me thinking today about Attitude Equaling Altitude!

14 April 2012

Walking the Cat

Today was a perfect day to walk the cat.  The weather for mid-February was not typical -- certainly NOT what I've come to expect here in central Indiana's cornfields.  It's a sunglasses are mandatory type of day!  Mid 50's.  Slightly breezy. But, gloriously sunny.  Yes, it's a perfect day to take your cat out on his leash for a walk! 
The view is better
up on the fence rail!

Life is full of surprises, isn't it? And, many of those surprises are pleasant when we are looking for them.  Who knew that the little yellow kitty whose life we saved from abandonment would turn into such a cuddler? Who knew he'd grow up to be a cat who runs to the door for a walk upon seeing his leash being pulled from the drawer.  

There's no substitute for a nap in the sun!
Winter's been hard on me... and, apparently, the cat too. 

There have probably been way too many afternoon naps in the sun as it streamed in the window from the COLD outside.  Both the cat & I have grown weary.  We've looked for other ways to get our exercise in without braving the winter weather. 

And... we might have rested just a little too much. But, the rest has brought strength.

How refreshing it was to take a quick walk along the patio & deck with the cat today... to no longer be cooped up inside awaiting warmth again. The Psalmist said to the Lord:

"You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter."
Psalm 74:17

Even when I know that winter is not quite over, I am grateful for days & moments that remind me of the "summer" to come.

Capture the Flag

Remember the game we used to play into the wee hours of the night at summer camps & weekend youth retreats? We gave our all in that game -- doing all we possibly could -- in hopes of being victorious. At the end of the game we were exhausted. In a good way. We hadn't reserved our energy but had given it all to capture the flag.

In recent years, I've seen another version of that game - a grown up version in relationships (often marriages) where red flags are seen & ignored year after year. They are never captured. Those reds flags fade as their pursuit is ignored... until they turn into white flags of surrender. White flags of giving up. White flags signaling "game over."

Stuck in the Mud or Firmly Planted??

Photo by T. Getz
Have you noticed the following in your life, as I have? 

Life has a way of beating us down. 

Yet, God has a way of building us up. 

I was raised by a Church of God minister (and minister's wife/missionary's daughter). The things I learned from them that have made the largest impact on me as an adult were not the "sermons" they presented in words but, the "sermons" they presented with their actions & reactions to life's circumstances.  

My mom & dad went through a lot of challenges & changes in their married life serving God side-by-side. They weathered many storms. Why?  Because their feet were planted firmly! 

"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

When the storms of life beat us around, we have assurance that we will make it since our feet are firmly planted on "the rock" - Jesus Christ! 

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand!

Keep your feet firmly planted!

10 April 2012

Different Strokes for Different Folks

This morning (well, a little closer to noon) I heard the front doorbell ring & someone pound on the door.  I thought, "What in the world is my daughter doing home from work at this time."  I ran to the door, peered out & promptly swung the door open wide for an elderly man in work clothes & a hard hat.  And what was I wearing?  A fuzzy white robe, pink fuzzy slippers & my soft cotton pink leopard jammies! I'm pretty sure he was a bit taken aback.

It reminded me of the other afternoon when I was wondering around the house working on things in another robe & jammies. I commented to our current house guest - Opera Diva Rachel Snitzer - that I was impressed that she was all dressed with hair fixed & make-up on.  She said that it made her feel lazy to wear pajamas into the day. I immediately responded, "It makes me feel empowered!"  You know that filter that's intended to catch things between your mind & your mouth? Sometimes mine doesn't work quite right. 

But, I began to think about it and recognized that I didn't feel badly at all about her being all gorgeous & me looking like a Maxine cartoon.  Maybe that's what happens when you "get old."  I'm not sure.  But after about 27 years of feeling like I was never good enough, I began to see that I needed to stop comparing myself to everyone else.  I guess I'd feel worse if I was sitting in jammies eating Bon Bons all day long.  But, I'm not.  I'm keeping up with things around the house.  I'm helping communicate things for two of the ministries in my local church.  I'm staying in touch with a pretty large number of people on a personal basis each week. And, I'm actively, up-close-and-personally loving my hubby & two kids.  So... I've become FINE with being me - in my jammies on some days.

After 27 years of anguish over what others thought & with the help of a great counselor, I began to care less about what others thought & more about what God thought.  I want to feel productive & like I'm doing what I feel God wants me to do each day.  I know this scripture isn't really meant for old ladies (or middle aged women) but, I love it for ALL ages!

Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young
(or... otherwise).
Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live,
in your love, your faith, and your purity. 

I don't have a problem living out my life, my love, my faith... for Christ... in my jammies or in good clothes with my hair fixed & my make-up on :)

07 April 2012

Seeing in the Dark

On Good Friday, my mind wonders what must have filled the minds & hearts of those who walked with Jesus on this day 2000+ years ago. And, the famous (and often painfully true) statement, “Hind-sight is 20/20,” comes to mind. 

It's so easy for me to look back from our world’s 2000+ years of separation from that night & think I might have possibly seen “God’s big plan” in the happenings of those long hours. But, I’ve had the benefit of seeing thousands of years of God’s faithfulness & still find myself questioning the outcome when I don’t understand God’s plan. 

Jesus became sin. He took on my sins, the sins of mankind in a way that no one could understand. They wanted a hero then. They wanted their king on the throne – in their day. Often I don’t understand why I’m walking through the really rough times. It's like I'm stumbling through the dark. I don’t see the wonderful outcome that God sees. I don't see much of anything in the darkness.  I want the answer now… in the ways that make sense to me. 

The song, "Bow the Knee", has some fantastic lyrics:
When you don’t understand the purpose of His plan - in the presence of the King, bow the knee. 
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see. bow the knee. 
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity. Bow the knee.
So often I just don’t understand! In those times, I need to bow the knee & trust Him.

Especially this day - Good Friday - I'm grateful for God bringing new life from burning ruble. I await the miracle. I can’t wait to say on Easter Sunday, “He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!”

03 April 2012

My Time in the Garden


One Good Friday, I was asked to help greet people at Madison Park Church's Journey to the Cross. Initially I was assigned to greet people as they arrived at the church. That assignment totally put me in a panic. As outgoing as might I seem to so many people, I totally freeze up inside with I am with a huge group of people. My face is a HUGE smile while inside I'm gasping for breath. Thankfully I was reassigned... to the "garden room". Yep, that's right, I was given the assignment to spend 3+ hours in the Garden of Gethsemane quietly greeting people at the door, giving them a booklet & a brief explanation of the experience, and then quietly talking with God until they completed their "garden experience", returned their booklets & exited the room.

Considering what my life has been like in the past 16-18 months, I could NOT have been assigned a more perfect spot. The peaceful setting of that room was like a healing ointment to my soul. In that quiet setting, I was able to reflect upon the anguish Christ had endured in his last days. And, I was reminded that nothing I ever experience will reach that level of anguish. My pain & suffering pales in comparison to what He experienced. Jesus was at the garden with some of his dearest friends who were doing their very best to support him in his time of need. Even with their presence there, Jesus had to surrender himself God's plan. A few times he had to wake his friends to ask for prayer. As said in Matthew 26:39, "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'" He sought the prayers of his friends once again and "... a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." He woke his friends & sought their prayers again, walking away a third time to pray the same things again. Jesus, acknowledged and accepted his role in God's plan. His pain & suffering was not over but, his acceptance of the part he must play in God's plan must have brought that peace from God that passes all understanding.

What a peace I experienced that night in the Garden. What peace the Father has washed over me in the past days, weeks & months. What peace I have in knowing that God has placed some incredible Christian friends & prayer partners alongside. I'm so thankful that I understand that none of us can fully understand or experience the Easter morning "high" without the garden experiences.

Got a Dog House, Ain't Got No Dog

My mind doesn't work in conventional ways... it forms blog titles or 140-character Twitter posts for about every experience. While working in the yard the other day, I glanced over at the long-ago-abandoned dog house on the side of our pole barn.  Immediately my mind LOUDLY screamed, "Got a dog house, ain't got no dog!" And, I snapped a quick photo...
Got a dog house, ain't go no dog :)
What's in my life that's been long-ago-abandoned?  Do I need to fill it again or just remember when it wasn't empty? What did I learn at that time in my life?  Did it bring me or others joy? Did it make anyone a better person? Did it somehow shape the person I am today?  

Probably due to a million other things we NEED to do on the property, we've decided to leave the doghouse & fenced in area just as it is. You never know, someday we might GET a dog. But, I must confess to scattering TONS of wild flower seeds in that area last fall.  I'm not thinking we are getting a dog anytime soon.  So... I shall wait through the spring & summer to see what becomes of that part of our land.  Hopefully I can post a picture some day of a lovely garden :)

And, in the meantime, I'll continue to scatter seeds in the most unexpected places... in my yard & in my world :)

"Remember this -- a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop.
But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop."
2 Corinthians 9:6