Category Archives: personal

Grandbabies!

Her cardboard house was set up.

Her doll babies were out.

I sat nearby with her one month old brother in my arms.

I was burping him.

So, she began to burp her’s.

I grabbed my phone and couldn’t get a better picture than this, but it was a precious moment, none the less.

Next week our daughter returns to University.

I’m blessed to get to watch the kids a few times a week.

Grandbabies are so fun!

To look at our little granddaughter’s sweet smile and remember my own girls as wee people.

To listen to the cute baby noises of our grandson and remember the bundle of blanket which held our newborn son.

These gifts seem all the sweeter the second time around.

I love being a mother.

I love each of our precious children.

It’s compounded and multiplied when adding in grandbabies!

And it brings an even more precious memory to mind.

As much as I love these people, young and younger, God loves me even more.

Because His love is so much deeper, purer, and unmeasurable.

My sinful heart has major limitations, which hinders my ability to love as God does.

And yet He’s teaching me daily how to love more.

Grandbabies are easy to love.

Just one look at our grandchildren or children and my heart seems to expand.

Does God feel that way when He looks at me?

Romans 5:5 NKJV — Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I John 4:7‭-‬11 NKJV

for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
John 16:27 NKJV

Not only does He love me far beyond my understanding, the same is true for you.

What a blessing to be loved by God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for creating us and the universe we live in. Lord, thank You for sustaining me. Lord, thank You for our family and friends. I’m so blessed by so many people. Lord, I’m humbled by Your love and blessings. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Please let nothing stand in the way of their hearts accepting Your love. Thank You for all You have done for me. I praise Your holy name. Amen.

“What is it?”

Our granddaughter says this phrase a good deal.

She has a few words she uses, but she’s yet to speak fluidly.

Her curiosity and joy at life are infectious.

Her little smiles, her little hands grasping toys or books or patting, her little eyes looking up so innocently, all these brings us such joy.

And while she is learning about her world and the people in it, she’s asking:

What is it?

It’s something I ask my Heavenly Father frequently.

I’ll hear of an event, see something on the news, or be surprised by a post and my heart will leap:

“God! What is it?”

“Why did that person do that? What caused the behavior there? What were they thinking?”

But He always leads me gently back to the truth.

No matter what I see on the surface there’s something deeper.

A spiritual battle going on which often affects us when we least realize it.

So, again comes the question:

“What is it?”

And added to this:

“How do I pray?”

The answers are as varied and numerous as one might expect.

Each circumstance is unique and therefore holds different points to pray for.

Sometimes, I don’t receive an answer right away and therefore turn to scripture.

I ask God to give me a verse or group of verses to pray.

I seek Him personally, to be sure nothing is hindering my prayers.

Sometimes, I just pray and thank God for whatever He is doing that I don’t understand.

But I am so blessed to be able to go before God, the Creator, and lift up people.

The privilege of talking with the Almighty about anything and everything is overwhelming good.

To find peace and security in His voice, His direction, His Sovereignty.

It’s comfort to my soul, not unlike when our granddaughter gets lifted up to her father’s shoulder.

She leans in and rests her head on him and smiles.

She’s content in the arms of her father.

I can be as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for letting me lift up my heart to You. Thank You for opportunities to pray. Lord, thank You for the comfort I find in You and in Your Word. Lord Jesus, please hold me in Your arms and continue to teach me how to pray. I want to be able to stand in the gap, to lift up others bed You, to know You as a Father and a friend. Lord Jesus, thank You for walking with me daily. I give You my all. Please be glorified in me today. Amen.

Surrender brings rest

I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s true.

Surrender to Jesus brings rest to my soul.

Why?

Because it causes self to be powerless.

As a child and youth I was always worried about how others’ thought of me.

Who I was always needed forming into the ideas of those around me.

I had to live up to their expectations.

I had to follow through on what they wanted.

Of course, I couldn’t.

So, with every failure I felt it was a proof that I was a failure.

Therefore, with each failing, my value became less and my need to prove myself became greater.

Yes, I did believe in Jesus during this time.

No, I didn’t walk in submission to Him, nor did I understand what that was.

But as I walked in adulthood and learned the truths of scripture, I began to understand.

As I’ve walked in obedience to my Father and Lord, I’ve found such blessed freedom.

It’s been a slow process and a long journey, but well worth it.

When my heart gained understanding and humility, my burden to prove myself, rolled off.

My need to order and control my life also died.

Yes, I still work at living a self disciplined and scheduled way, but that is completely different from trying to control circumstances or order life into my ideas of how it should be.

And I can tell you how peaceful and beautiful it is to surrender.

No, I don’t always understand what’s occurring around me or how to handle specific circumstances.

No, I don’t need to have all the control, call the shots, or be in charge.

Yes, I know the One Who does.

And as I grow in the knowledge of God Almighty, I grow in love, peace, and assurance.

He is good.

He is loving.

He is truth.

Why strive against Him by stubborn refusal to submit my whole heart, my whole life to His perfect plan?

Yes, my soul has found rest.

Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for teaching me how to surrender to You. Thank You for Your patience and Your grace. Lord, often I become stiff-necked and willful. I forget all Your past faithfulness and try to do things in my own strength. Lord, how foolish and what a waste! Please continue to patiently bring me back to this place of rest.

Using my time wisely

These are a few of the things I’ve been making while having to stay in my room due to the air quality.

I hadn’t planned on being confined, so when it became obvious that I would be, I began praying.

Seeking the Lord, for His plans during this time.

I wanted to use my time wisely.

Of course I continued to home school.

But I felt there were other things the Lord wanted me to do as well.

So, my yarn box came out of the closet and I began working.

I’m actually very grateful to God.

He helped me so much!

I’ve been able to make six Christmas gifts while under confinement.

Nothing fancy, but definitely a blessing.

Christmas is a long way off, but since we have three birthdays that month, I’ve learned to work earlier.

Last year I didn’t think about shipping times, so several gifts were very late.

This year I’m trying to get it done in plenty of time to avoid a replay.

As I am able to leave my room and return to my household duties, I’m still praying for wisdom.

Just because I’m able to do more, doesn’t mean I always know the best use for my time.

But, I know how to find out what is.

Time with Jesus.

He always answers and guides my day if I let Him lead.

Of course there are times when I don’t.

I get busy with my own agenda and off I go…

I normally end up with something going sideways which brings me back to the Shepherd.

I’m so thankful to Him for His faithfulness.

Although there is such tragedy and difficult things happening all around us, I am encouraged by the personal testimonies of people helping and loving one another.

I’m not able to go out and do those things.

But I can stand in prayer for them.

I can do what God puts on my heart daily and trust Him.

I can use my time wisely, and honor God with my praise.

I can thank Him for all the ways He is helping the hurting and saving the lost.

I can be obedient in today and let go of the things I can’t do.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for being in today. Thank You for being a part of each day. Thank You for shining Your truth into my heart and mind. Lord, I want to use my time wisely, because I don’t know how much I get and I don’t want to waste any. Thank You for always being so faithful, for guiding and directing me, especially when I’m heading in the wrong way. Lord, please keep my feet firmly in Your paths. Please keep my eyes fixed upon You. Please keep the throne of my heart as only You deserve to be there. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Colossians 4:5 NKJV — Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

Taking time to say “thank you”

Maybe, it’s because I’ve had more time to think and remember.

Maybe, it’s because yesterday reminded me of so many heroes.

Maybe, it was the text message I received in the evening.

But for whatever reason, I just feel the need to say “thank you”.

“Dear friends and family,

I can’t even begin to type all of your names because it would fill up pages, but I hope you each know how much I praise God for you. My heart can not contain the overwhelming gratitude I have to God for the unmeasurable gifts, services, care, love, and support you have given to me and my family. Thank you for coming to visit me. Thank you for checking up on my husband or the kids. Thank you for the meals. Thank you for the groceries. Thank you for helping us move. Thank you for supporting us in our ministries. Thank you for donating your time and talents. Thank you for your feedback on skits or children’s classes or other teachings. Thank you for having us over to dinner or coming over to our house. Thank you for texts and prayers when distance separated us. Thank you for cards and letters and phone calls. Thank you for filling my husband’s guitar case with notes before shipping it to us. Thank you for supporting and loving us when God moved us again. Thank you for the gold watch, which I cherish. Thank you for visiting us and letting us visit you. Thank you for standing with our family while I worked at the Academy. Thank you for years of volunteering and support. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to teach your children. Thank you for being the best Principal I’ve had the privilege to work for. Thank you for being the Dad I’ve missed and needed. Thank you for coaching our children. Thank you for teaching our children. Thank you for sign class. Thank you for letting me live with you. Thank you for treating me like one of your daighters. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for friendship that hasn’t changed no matter how far we are from you. Thank you for stepping in when we asked for help. Thank you for breakfast at the restaurant. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting or liking or reposting. I’m so humbled that anything I wrote is used by Jesus to bless others. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. May God bless you, each and every one.”

Every day holds a blessing, whether it’s a message of love warming my heart or kindness from a family member.

Truly, no matter the circumstances, no matter what difficulties, God brings gifts of blessing daily.

And I’m so very thankful for each and every single one.

In fact, I’ve asked the Lord to help me never miss any.

Because it is in these daily blessings where hearts are knit together.

Mine with those people God brings as well as mine to His.

And I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to love, care, and pray for others.

To share the deep joy and overflowing love Jesus gives me.

In these days of uncertainty, loss, tragedy it is vital that we remain thankful.

Sorrow can often swallow up our ability to see anything positive, anything good, but they are there.

Therefore I’m taking the opportunity to say “thank you”, because it needs to be said.

My gratitude extends to so many whom I’ve never met, but have been part of the good.

Firemen, Emergency workers, medical staff, military, police, and even utility crews, all people who are doing their jobs day in and day out to the benefit of their communities and countries.

Most of all I must say thank You to Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your daily gifts and blessings. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation and the renewing of our hearts each day. Lord, thank You for helping me see the blessings. Thank You for walking through every circumstance. Thank You for today. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Fighting fear with praise

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
II Chronicles 20:15 NKJV

You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord , who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord  is with you.”
II Chronicles 20:17 NKJV

From their perspective, the people of Judah, they had a major problem.

An enemy so numerous they described them as: “A great multitude” 2 Chronicles 20:2b.

But Jehoshaphat’s fear set him to seeking the LORD. 2 Chronicles 20:3a

And God’s answer is: “Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,”. 2 Chronicles 20:15b

And what position did they take?

So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord , and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord , For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
II Chronicles 20:20‭-‬22 NKJV

They took the position of praise.

Yes, I’m certain they had their weapons, but they didn’t trust in their own strength.

Instead, they trusted in God’s promise and praised Him.

They literally praised God for His mercy while facing a horde of their enemies.

“Now when they began to sing and to praise,…and they were defeated.”

The enemy was defeated.

It’s still true today.

Psalm 9:10 NKJV — And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

No matter the circumstances we face, as believers in Christ Jesus we can praise God for He has already defeated the enemy.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NKJV

Nothing on Earth compares to the blessed assurance of one’s soul being safe in the Lord’s care.

Therefore, those called by the name of Jesus should praise God.

It’s a privilege to worship the Lord.

It’s an opportunity to defeat the fear, discouragement, and doubt of the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy.

John 10:10 NKJV — “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

As a follower of Christ, I’m taking the position of praise.

Like Jehoshaphat, I’m trusting in God’s promises.

I pray that for you as well.

Romans 15:13 NKJV — Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord Jesus,
How great is Your name and how wonderous Your mighty works! You have conquered fear and death and the enemy of our souls. Your power and might and love are beyond anything I can comprehend. You defend the weak, You save the lost, You heal the broken, You restore the sick. Lord, in You is all that we ever need. No matter what is occurring around us, no matter what the past has held, we can look to You and be safe. For great are Your works and mighty are Your commandments. There is safety in the shadow of the Almighty, because no matter what the enemy may do to us here on Earth, our souls are safe with You, because we place our trust in Your name, Jesus. Thank You so much for all You have done and are doing on our behalf. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Third day

It’s really good.

This opportunity to have a safe place I can breathe.

It’s really a blessing.

My family who serve me, love me, pray for me.

It’s really humbling.

This taste of confinement, so comfortable and pretty, when others experience poverty, illness, need, displacement, fear, and persecution.

It’s really sweet.

All the texts and prayers of others.

Those who are concerned about me and our family.

It’s really incredible.

To think about how I stopped counting the days of confinement when I was too sick to get out of bed.

To realize how much God has healed me and how blessed I am to have another day.

It’s really an opportunity.

To stay safe in my room and pray for those who are out working to stop the blaze, those who are helping others find safety, those who have left everything behind, and those who are frightened and uncertain what tomorrow will bring.

“Lord, please be with each one.”

To spend time before my Lord lifting up so many.

To praise Him for His faithfulness and His mercy.

To worship Him, no matter what tomorrow brings, because:

He is worthy.

Bless the Lord , O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Psalms 104:1 NKJV

I will call upon the Lord , who  is  worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
II Samuel 22:4 NKJV

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
Isaiah 6:3 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. It is such a comfort. There is such depth of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement. Lord Jesus, please stop those who would harm others or put people in danger. Please strengthen those who are serving communities and providing for others. Lord, let those who are struggling find their comfort in You. Please protect the innocent and place a hedge of protection around the weak. Lord, nothing that is done is missed by You. Thank You for watching over us all with such love and compassion, mercy and grace. Thank You for being God Almighty, our place of refuge. Amen.

Where do we go when…

Yesterday, I was surprised as I opened the map on the internet.

Our area is dealing with poor air quality due to the smoke, but I wasn’t prepared for the West Coast to be on fire.

And the fires didn’t improve as the day went on, they grew worse.

Thankfully the air purifier is working well and we still have power.

The kids spent a good portion of their day with me in the bedroom where my air purifier is.

My husband had to work late.

When he arrived home, he informed me that there’s ash in the garage where it has blown in under the door.

The smoke is better today and I was hoping to get to leave the bedroom, but upon inspection, my husband thought it best I stay in our room again today.

Of course, when something like this happens you want to know what the latest information is.

Especially when I received texts all day as to the fires down south near our friends and family.

I wanted to know what the evacuations were for today, so I got on the internet.

To see all the fires burning from California, Oregon, and Washington is sad.

As I was reading the evacuation notices, my heart had to ask:

“Where will everyone go?”

Revelation 1:8 KJV — I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

God is where we should go.

Yes, there are people who need to change locations, but where will anyone find peace in the midst of disaster is only in Christ Jesus.

Just because things look bad doesn’t mean God is less able than before.

Our perspective is so limited, there is no way for us to truly see all that God is doing during this.

I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Psalms 91:2 NKJV

My heart looks to Jesus.

I don’t know what is best, nor how this will all end up, but that is all the more reason to look to the Lord.

God is not surprised by any of this.

I’m positive He is working through it all.

Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They  are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22‭-‬23 NKJV

And so, I’m praying.

Because God is still in control, no matter the circumstances.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Please continue to guide and direct us. Please be with our fire workers and emergency staff. Please help people to have compassion, understanding, and wisdom in this time. Lord, show Yourself, reveal Your truth to the people, both in our State and in our Nation. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your loving kindness. Thank You for Your protection and a refuge in times of trouble. May our hearts realize that as long as our souls are safe in You, there is nothing to fear. Thank You. Amen.

Missing the sunrise

It rolled in yesterday, not long after an alert came through on my phone about hot dry winds for the next few days.

As the smoke came in I was reminded of the summer when a forest fire was not far from where we lived then and destroyed so much.

No one in our area felt like we even had much of a summer, because the smoke kept everyone indoors.

We did enjoy all the signs placed everywhere telling the fire workers what we considered them: Heros!

Those memories are valuable.

God did so much during that scary time and I know He’s working in today.

Because the sun didn’t rise this morning, but Jesus’s truth still does.

An orange glow through the smoke is all the eye can see, but my heart can see God’s faithfulness even in times of uncertainty.

Because of the smoke and my asthma, yesterday was difficult for me.

So, I’m going to be staying in my room until it’s passed.

Our air purifier does a great job and I’m so thankful for a safe place.

I’m also super blessed to have an adjoining bathroom.

My husband left instructions for the kids, so they are handling food, house keeping, ect.

I’m so thankful for them.

And I’m praying.

Praying for those who find breathing a struggle.

Praying for the fire workers and their families.

Praying for those Emergency workers who help so many.

Praying for our nation and the hearts to return to God.

Although I miss the Sun, I’m not lonely.

God’s Son has already shined upon my heart this morning.

And I’m praising Him.

John 3:36 NKJV — “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your light shining! Thank You for the truth of salvation which breaks through the thickest darkness and sets souls free. Thank You for lighting up Your path of truth through the Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for an opportunity to praise You. Lord, please help those who are struggling. Please be with the young and the aged. Please let this time be used to draw hearts to You. Please save the lost and return the prodigal. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your Word. Amen.

Because life isn’t easy

I need to cling to God’s Word every day.

Because life isn’t easy,

I must be careful what I allow myself to meditate on.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have to continually give up my own plans, desires, and agenda.

Because life isn’t easy,

I find opportunities to die to my selfishness continually.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have a choice: self-pity or Savior.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can expect opposition and see it as opportunities.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can feel for the broken, hurting, and lost.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can relate to pain and suffering, but I don’t have to be defined by it.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can walk in today, expecting God to use those things which were meant for harm to be turned into good.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can rest in knowing it wasn’t easy for my Lord when He walked this Earth and I know He understands suffering.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God even more when things are good, joyful, and beautiful.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can yearn for Heaven with the sojourner, taking a long journey home.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God for salvation.

Because life isn’t easy,

I value blessings all the more.

Life isn’t easy now.

It wasn’t easy before.

It won’t be easy while the battle between righteousness and sin continues.

But some day, Jesus will return.

And it’s easy to get excited about that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for choosing to do what wasn’t comfortable or easy. Thank You for dieing on the cross. Thank You for living as the Father called You to live, although no one understood You. Thank You for walking daily with me, holding me, sustaining me, teaching me, although I don’t deserve it. Thank You for showing me that it is through the everyday things You are able. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful in all things, forgiving, loving, and resting in You in all things. Thank You. Amen.