Break on through

Like a swimmer coming up for air breaks through the surface, I feel like I am getting fresh oxygen for my spirit. Dear friends and family have been praying for me. I have been finding quiet time in different places during the day. God is re-entering my life and reminding me that waiting is part of growing too.

Cousin CA- OWS- OR 2013

In the past few days I was given a devotional written by Louie Giglio focusing on Lamentations 3:26, It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. The content reminded me that God is still moving around me and in me, even if I can’t feel it or see Him moving. He is always moving within the world, for His purposes and His glory. It is our finite selves which cannot recognize Him as it happens. So, it is time to reassess my perspective of this time of waiting. Waiting to have the home renovations/ restoration completed. For the changes in my heart toward my current schedules and responsibilities, I need to trust that God is working everything for good (Ephesians 8:28).

Instead of whining that I don’t have what I want I am praying for me to see that God has provided for everything I need. I will see that God is enough. He doesn’t change and hasn’t changed. That’s the thing. No matter what is happening in my fickle self God has not changed – He cannot change. God is ever faithful. He loves me and that cannot be changed by my whiny attitude, my exhaustion, my doubt.

Ephesians 2:10 says that I am a masterpiece, created by God Himself. Believing that to be true, then I am also believing that He will not just discard me when I get dusty from skipping time in prayer. He will not let my self-inflicted doubts and blemishes remain, but instead He will clean me and restore me to new – every day (Lamentations 3:22-23). If I read on to the next verse, I will see the very answer to the conundrum I have been wrestling with for weeks. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Just as God provided manna in the wilderness, God is providing my daily portion. My only responsibility is to receive it. That’s it. Just like the Grace I received when I first started my Faith journey, I am to receive the very thing I need to go through the day. Not for yesterday and not for tomorrow– but for today.That is what is enough. As it says in the beautiful hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, God gives us the strength we need for today and the hope we hold to for tomorrow. Ephesians 1:18-20 is the prayer my mom often prays over all of her children and grandchildren– this is my prayer for me and for you, Best Beloved.

I pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens– (HCSB).

May we remember to trust Him for what we cannot see, thank Him for what we can see, and praise Him for where we are right now. Then we will break on through…

Posted in growing pains, maturing in Christ | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something’s happening here

I have been trying to think of things to write about all week. Sometimes a thought will come to mind and I will tuck it away for later, only when later comes the idea is gone. I have been feeling out of sorts physically as well, which makes for a less than great combination. I am still trying to figure out what has been making me feel this way. I miss being a lighthearted Pollyanna.

Years ago, my pastor said, “We will embrace change when it becomes too painful to remain where we are now.” I am beginning to see the truth in that, again. It seems like I have to keep coming back around to the same place every once in a while, to remind my heart why it is a bad place to stay. I keep telling myself that I will not return here again. Then just like a person who’s lost in the forest, I find myself circling back.

It’s during these times when I realize I am silently yelling at God. I want Him to fix it, to give me the yellow brick road so I can find my way out. But rarely does God work that way in my life. I am a slow learner, a hard headed individualist who would love nothing more than to reach the end and announce that I had done it, “All by myself.” However, I have never heard of a believer remaining a follower of Christ and still remaining an individualist.

When I asked Christ to come into my life and my heart that day in 1990, I knew it was because I needed Him. I needed Him in my heart, in my decisions, in my relationships, in my future, and to lead me forward. Now it would seem, that I have forgotten the way I was back then. I have been getting into a rut at work and especially at home with the daily chores and tasks. I have allowed my soul to become brittle and tired. I am like a plant that has had no water and no sunshine for a long time. It is a withered leftover of what it once was, when care and nurturing had been a day-to-day task.

As I grow older, I don’t want to call on the God I used to know. But if these are only words and I don’t put feet to them, walking it out, then it’s just wasted air. I am coming very close to the days when my house will just hold my husband and me. Just like I must give him my attention, my time, and my love, I must do the same thing with God if I am to have a healthy, growing relationship.

So I am starting again. With the radio off in the car, time spent talking with God about what is on my heart. Not trying to make it a prayerful time, something that is supposed to look righteous. I have been missing the best friend of my heart and soul and it’s time for me to make time again,

Best Beloved, how are you doing? Really? Are you starting 2018 with the same empty tank you finished with in 2017? Are you making more work for yourself by trying to have the right kind of Bible study, the right kind of quiet time? Stop. Please, stop. God isn’t going to be impressed with your fancy Bible, expensive journal, or special worship music. He wants you. Right where you are. Right now. Nothing else, nothing less. So put down the things that only shine in your hands and give God your heart again. Let Him shine through it, the way He was meant to shine through us all.

Posted in growing pains, maturing in Christ | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The funk in the room

As I have been writing these past weeks I have been wrestling with a sense of depression and hopelessness. Not over a particular thing or event, just an overall gloomy cloud that seems to follow me wherever I go. Work, home, even with the goats and ducks- which usually bring me joy- I have felt a funk. My mom used to struggle with a blue funk that came around Christmas. She didn’t want to decorate, bake, or watch Christmas movies with us. I didn’t understand what the big deal was, after all Christmas is a time to celebrate, right?

Fast forward many years and this Christmas I sensed the funk trying to creep into my life. I would try to fight it by watching Christmas movies or play Christmas music on my lunch breaks at work. Whatever I could do to keep the funk at bay. These past few weeks I couldn’t see it, but the funk was sneaking into my heart again.

Until now.

I was sitting with my family in the living room, knowing I had a sink of dishes to do, and preparations for tomorrow to accomplish before bed. I had decided I could make a loaf of bread from scratch too. So when I would have gone to bed, I had to stay up until it was done rising and baking. What a fool I was, I thought.

As I closed my eyes to muster more energy from an already depleted tank, I heard a whisper in my heart. I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory. At first only a word or two came to mind, then when I realized it was a song, I got up and went to the kitchen with a new sense of hope. I tried to find the song on Spotify, then I went to YouTube where I found the video of Yolanda Adams’ song Victory. And word by word I found myself filing up again. My tank was being restored with the truth of the Holy Spirit. My God has already claimed the victory. I just need to step into it.

I found myself praising God with every dirty dish I washed, every clean dish I put away. As I kneaded the bread for the last time, the kitchen became a holy place. The funk in the room was replaced by the sweet, sweet Spirit of Heaven itself. As I let the song list on YouTube play I found Truth after Truth in the lyrics about God’s goodness, His perfect timing, the joy that can come in the midst of the storms. I was kneeling on the floor and praising His name for the Victory He claimed on Calvary for me, for you. For everyone.

My situation hasn’t changed. My perspective has changed. I have been reminded that God- God- God- isn’t surprised by what is happening in my life. He isn’t throwing His hands up saying He can’t find a solution. NO. Not my God. He is lifting me up and placing me in His sweet, tender embrace. I am His child. I am the Beloved of God. Nothing is going to prevent this Truth from lasting into eternity. He will never leave me or forsake me. He is for me. He loves me with an everlasting love. I don’t have to know the solutions for my problems, my worries, even my doubts. God has the answers, the peace, the faith to meet me right where I am.

Precious child of the One True King, what does your battlefield look like today? Are you seeing the size of your opponent and feeling defeated before you step on the field? Are you thinking, What’s the point in trying? Please, Dear One, don’t give up. God is there. He may not be visible, but He is there. In the touch of a friend, a text, a call, a smile. Jesus isn’t ever going to walk away from you. So take a deep breath with me and reach up to take the hand of our Heavenly Father who loves you. Let the Holy Spirit come in and fill your place, heart, mind, and soul with the sweet fragrance of Heaven.

Posted in growing pains, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

la voce

Ursula the Sea Witch was a wonderful villianess in Disney’s Little Mermaid (1989). Even though she was evil, I could imagine she had been a beautiful witch at one point. As she began to fade in beauty and grow in other areas, she still craved the attention she once had. I believe this is one of the reasons she demanded payment for Ariel’s human qualities to be paid with Ariel’s voice. Ariel, so smitten with Eric, agreed to the terms.

Ursula is seen as treacherous and manipulative for her actions, but I also see Ariel as culpable. Each woman was dissatisfied with what they had and they were willing to go to great lengths, even dangerous ones, to get what they wanted. I wonder if this is what we do in life.

Do you have something that you feel you cannot live without, a job, a house, a car, clothing, a relationship? Is it something you are willing to trade for a piece of you that may be gone forever? Are you caught believing that your life will not be complete without it? Are you willing to give up the good you have for the thing you think will make your life great?

Dear Ones, do not be tempted by the enemy to become discontent with what God has given you. It doesn’t have to be the perfect house, spouse, job, children, car, whatever. It just requires you to thank God for the blessings you have in front of you. No looking over the fence at the other person’s life, just celebrate what you have, where you are at this moment.

If the thing has grown to be overwhelming, filling your mind and thoughts all the time, then call it what it is- a temptation. Then when you name the issue, ask God immediately to help you. Scripture even gives you hope regarding temptations.

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

My prayer, Best Beloved, is that you will not let the idea of something overtake the joy that can be found right around you. If you would only use your eyes and your heart to see it.

Posted in maturing in Christ, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Presumed strength

Years ago, my mom was hosting an extended family meal and needed serving tongs for a couple dishes. As the meal progressed and the dishes were passed around the table, the plastic tongs cracked or broke, one by one, under the pressure of the user. Taking it all in stride, my mom joked, “I guess we don’t know our own strength.” While it might not take much to snap a pair of plastic tongs, if we believe we have great strength because we can break them, we put ourselves in peril.

God is the only one Who is truly strong and capable of doing all things. Philippians 4:10-19 contains Paul’s “confession” of weakness and inability. He explains how he has needs and yet has learned contentment in the middle of his lack, knowing that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (vs.13). In other words, Paul knows who can and does hold the power to accomplish whatever is needed. And it isn’t him. And it isn’t me, either.

The battles and processes I have been going through over the past couple of weeks have been difficult and uncomfortable. As I have previously mentioned, I was brought up to be independent and strong. I was taught by family members to not rely on someone else and to make things happen on my own. This kind of thinking does not bode well for marriage. During my first engagement I nearly ran over my fiancé when it came to decisions. He was too slow to make decisions I used to think. When he did make them, they weren’t the way I would make them. Looking back, it is no surprise that he broke up with me three weeks before the wedding. It would have been disastrous had we married.

Fast forward twenty-plus years later and one would expect the lesson to have been learned. Sadly, it has not been. I still battle my old thoughts and voices which tell me not to trust, that I can do this all by myself. But, let’s be honest, a marriage of one isn’t a marriage. It requires two parties who are willing to come together as one.

When two people agree to come together as one, they are agreeing to a life time of adjustments, all out corrections, apologies, grace, mercy, lessons to learn, and love to fight for each day. Presuming the strength and stamina of your spouse is a guarantee of failure. Just as the husband should not presume the wife knows he loves her, she should not presume that he is able to take on all responsibilities. Each person has his or her strengths, and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. I like household chores, but my husband is the better cook. He likes to be outside with the farm animals and set up the garden, but I like to do yard work and maintain the garden once it’s planted.

Best Beloved, we are not giving the best support, love, and encouragement to our spouses, family, or friends, when we presume another’s strength. It can lead to disasters that may not be reparable.

Posted in reflections, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ashley vs. The Duke

I grew up watching classic movies and television. My mom and I would settle in on the couch with popcorn, ice cream, and our drinks to watch Gone With the Wind when it was on television. On the weekend while we folded laundry or did other chores, we would watch the black and white westerns on the PBS station. I knew the kind of John Wayne-type hero I wanted in my life from a very young age. I also knew the kind of heroine I admired and who I didn’t.

Whenever we watched GWTW I would cheer for Rhett Butler, the rough-around-the-edges-ladies’ man and shake my head at the mousy wimp, Ashley Wilkes. He just didn’t seem like he would ever be able to withstand the strength and power of Scarlett O’Hara. I knew I wanted someone like Rhett Butler in my life.

All these years later, I find myself thinking back to those days and I realize that although John Wayne and Clark Gable were strong men, Ashley was strong in his own way. He stood faithful to Melanie while being aggressively pursued by Scarlett. That takes a lot of willpower. His fidelity is what eventually turned off Scarlett in the very end of the story. Ashley didn’t yell or threaten or get aggressive with Scarlett, he just admitted he would be lost without his wife. He was honest, humble, and didn’t hide his weakness. In the end, he was the better man. 

Lately I have watched some of the men in my life, family and friends alike, battle with situations in their lives. Some of the men have decided to try to force their position to change all on their own strength. Others have been willing to ask for help, to admit they don’t have the power and skills to go on without someone walking beside them.

I think of Jesus and how He lived with His disciples during His ministry. He could have acted on His own, but He didn’t. Jesus knew that trying to live life on His own would only go against His Heavenly Father. He knew He had to work with God, the Holy Spirit, as a part of the Trinity, to impact this world for His Father’s glory. Only with God could Jesus truly succeed. 

The men, younger and older, who force things end up tired, bitter, and without hope or joy in their lives. All of their energies have been spent trying to make something happen that is not able to go forward without God in the middle of it all. Those who chose to stop, speak honestly, be humble, and ask for God’s wisdom may still battle things, but they battle with the power of God on their side.

All of my adult life I have believed that trying to go forward as an individual, who needs little to no help from others was a sign of success. Now, I see it as a sign of someone who is petrified to be told how to try something differently. Best Beloved, we always seem to look to the rugged individualist who pulls him or herself up by their own bootstraps. But Scripture is clear in Ecclesiastes there is a better way.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

We are created to be in community, Ashley knew that. He surrounded himself with family and friends. The weathered cowboy spent his time alone in the saddle. Room for only one. I find it surprising to say, but I am going to cheer for the Ashleys of the world. They understand the way God made them.

Posted in maturing in Christ, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the sun, the moon, and shooting stars

In these winter months sunshine means so much. It brings warmth, hope, and sweet light to our days. The sun as an object has the power and energy to change the atmosphere, time from night to day, to grow plants, crops, without it, nothing would exist. Nothing could exist.

By comparison, the moon has its own responsibilities, but on a lesser level. It effects the tide levels every day and it is used to mark seasons within the calendar year. But, the moon was never made to have its own light source. The moonlight comes from reflecting the sun’s light.

I have come face-to-face with the truth about my lack of trust this week. I cannot make my own sunshine.  I have operated under the illusion that I could make sunshine, but I just needed help to do it. My reality is that I was not made to make my own. I am to be like the moon, reflecting the Son’s light. Responding to the Light, taking in the warmth of the Holy Spirit and growing in His likeness (Luke 2:52).

It was jarring to hear that I can’t do things. Not that I was being kept from doing them, but that I don’t have the tools to do them and I never will. I never will. Ugh. Being brought up by strong women who instilled in me that I could do anything, this truth rattles against my heritage. I hear voices raging that I can too do that! Just show them! Instead, I would rather just hand off the things I cannot do and let them go.

On my morning drive this week, the sky was black and glittering with stars. As I watched the road ahead of me, I saw a flash in the sky. I had to recall the image to confirm I had seen it. A shooting star. I smiled at God for letting me see it. It was mine alone, no jumbo-tron screen to replay the image over and over again for those who missed it. I saw it and then it was gone. It was like a boost of hope for me from God Himself. My heart was lost in the dark and a sudden flash of light had given me direction and comfort. The shooting star was the flash I needed.

My prayer for 2018 is that I will not offer lip service to the things I need to let go of, trust in, rest in. I pray I will go deeper. I pray I will be more honest with myself and others. I pray for the strength to cry out when I cannot do something and then release the thing into the capable hands of the one God created to handle it.

Best Beloved, what are your prayers for 2018? Are you still praying to be the sun? Are you releasing yourself and becoming the moon? Dear Ones, I pray we will all remember what we were created to do- glorify our Father in Heaven and trust His purpose and plan for the life we have been given.


Posted in growing pains, maturing in Christ | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The year is counting down and soon the wrapping will be off the new one. As I look over the year, my faith journey, and my relationships I see places of growth, places where I faltered, and places when I felt unsatisfied. Places when God showed up and showed off His amazing presence. Times when my faith should have stood strong, but I could not seem to believe. Still, I struggled with times when my foundational trust in God’s goodness did not satisfy and I found myself still looking for more.

During the worship portion of our service this weekend, our worship leader questioned this last idea. Do we still have faith when we still search beyond the faith we claim and lean on daily? The leader took this and dug deeper. His challenge was to speak with honesty in those moments. God is big enough to hear our honesty and not waver on the Throne. Our searching is not saying that God is unable to satisfy our souls, it is more that because we are on this side of Heaven. We are not fully capable of taking in all that God is because we are not fully perfected here on Earth. Job was the same way.

In the midst of Job’s suffering questions come about God’s purpose and wisdom. Is it God’s purpose to punish Job because he sinned or is it due to something else? We know from reading the opening verses of the book of Job that there was more at hand. Job could not see it all in the middle of the losses he experienced. Job’s view was only what was in front of him, God’s view was of all things at once. Job’s challenge was whether he would believe in God’s purpose and plan and at the same time accept that he would not fully understand the whole picture on this side of Heaven.

As the new year begins, I am hopeful for a wonderful year of opportunity, joy, and blessings. But I am not foolish enough to think that will be the only experience I will have this next year. The question comes then, will I be able to follow God with the faith that I have and trust Him to meet me where my faith has not been fully grown? Will I be able to rest in the truth found in Romans 11, instead?

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen,” (Romans‬ ‭11:33-36‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).

May it be so with me.


Posted in maturing in Christ, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


This week has gone by slowly and I have reached my limit on speaking. My job requires me to speak throughout the day and by the time I leave, I feel like my words have completely been drained. I don’t want to say my name, ask a question, or provide an answer to another person. I am depleted. During the drive home I may listen to the radio, I may sit in silence. I have to allow my body, mind, and spirit time to rest and recover.

When I get out of the truck, I am greeted by the animals who want attention, food, to play, whatever. I breathe in and out the fresh country air and the last dregs of my tiredness seem to slip away. I find joy in the animals, the air, the silence, the wind, all of it. Jesus takes this time to refill my soul. When I speak again, I am able to engage again with my family.

Jesus would often separate from the crowds and even the disciples to go be alone. He would speak with His Heavenly Father, listen for the response, and allow His spirit to be at peace, refilling, and letting go of the burdens within (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16). This kind of trust in the Lord for peace, refilling, removing burdens, quiet, rest, this is what I need daily.

Dear Ones, what about you? Has this season drained your joy? Are you willing yourself to make it home at the end of the day? Call out to Jesus, whisper His name if that’s all you can muster. Crawl into His lap, curl up against Him, and exhale. He loves you, you matter, you are not just a cog in the wheel of faith. You are precious to Him, blessed, accepted,  adopted, chosen, redeemed, and forgiven through Him. Ask Him to meet you where you are and He will.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).

Best Beloved, may we all exhale over the weekend, crawl into the arms of Jesus, and allow His precious love for us cover our hearts, souls, and minds and give us His perfect rest and peace.

Praying for your journey with Him in 2018. oxxo

Posted in growing pains, Walking by Faith and not by sight | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

free to look

I received a spam email yesterday with the tag line of “It’s free to look” under the sender’s address. I immediately deleted it, I knew it was nothing I needed. More importantly, the teaser made me want to wash my hands and shrug off the sense of slime. The email was for a dating site. While this may seem innocuous, to me it was very dangerous. I am a married woman, happily married in fact. The idea of “just looking” is the kind of slippery slope that has brought down many a marriage.

The enemy used this kind of thinking when he approached Eve in the garden, Jesus in the wilderness, and the heart of everyday believers. It is meant to appear innocent, but the underbelly is anything but innocent. Much like Edmund when he thought the White Witch was his friend, we quickly find ourselves in danger, when we don’t keep the boundaries we created.

God designed our eyes to take in images, but they didn’t come with erasers. Once something is seen it cannot be unseen. It is why I make a point to look only to my husband and no one else. I have had to draw a very strong, sturdy boundary around my heart and soul. I don’t want my heart to become dissatisfied with the very person God has given me.

For me this includes not reading romance novels, watching too many romantic-comedy movies, or even watching too many episodes of certain shows. I am able to see that a writer has set up the plot line for a character to develop in a particular way to draw in the reader. But when I put the book down or turn off the screen, I am in reality. I am married to a fallible man, who married a fallible woman. The characters I just left behind are meant to be better than real life. And that’s where the real danger begins.

Free does not come without consequences. We may think that we are in control of what is happening, but we rarely are in control. Eve learned this the hard way, she bought the lie of the enemy and Jesus paid the price.

When it comes to looking, my prayer is that God will open my eyes to see my husband as He sees him. Precious to God, beloved, worth the sacrifice of Jesus, a man of God who seeks God first, last, and always. In my husband’s case, I am free to look at anytime.

Posted in maturing in Christ, reflections | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment