Category Archives: personal

Boxing up

I had a dream last night about packing.

It was weird (as most dreams tend to be).

Yet, I clearly saw my recent mental gymnastics reflected in the stressed out “me” in the dream.

It is due to a combination of two priorities which don’t work together: packing our house and homeschooling our son.

I have often had to guard against the mental “what if?”.

Because not only am I fighting my flesh which wants things a certain way, there’s also doubt which tries to wind me up and rob my joy.

But in my heart I have peace.

God will supply all our needs.

He is faithful.

Like yesterday.

We finished school early.

We started by seven (which is definitely the Lord’s blessing).

We drove down yesterday and signed papers on the new house!

Praise the Lord!

God supplied all our needs throughout.

He has made “a way in the desert”.

I know He will help me get everything done in His time and without me stressing.

Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV — “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

It’s so true!

I have all I need, because Jesus has me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for understanding my fears and worries and showing me a better way. Lord, thank You for showing me what I’m struggling with, because if I’m blind to my own sin I can’t repent and turn away from it. Lord, please continue to hone my heart, to help me to be soft, gentle, kind, loving, quick to forgive, quick to listen, slow to anger and slow to speak. Lord, please place a guard upon my lips that I might speak “no unwholesome talk” for I do not want to grieve Your Spirit. I don’t want to spread my own struggles to others. Lord, please forgive me if I have already done so in anyway. Lord thank You for walking us through all these things. Thank You for Your provision of a new home and new job. Lord, please show us how to glorify Your name in all these things. I love You, Jesus! Amen.

Exactly what I needed

John 14:1 NKJV — “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

When I opened my Blue Letter Bible app this morning, my eye fell on this verse.

It was exactly what I needed this morning.

For although I have a long list of “to do”s, I didn’t breathe well last night and am feeling the consequences of such today.

So, when I spent my morning in prayer, the Lord reminded and comforted me with His truth.

I am responsible for obedience to Him,

To rely completely on Him for my everything,

To trust Him.

For He is faithful.

He has every part of all these things in His hands.

He’s aware of the things which need to be done and I’m sure He will show me what He wants me to accomplish today.

What doesn’t get done will, in His timing.He knew I needed a reminder this morning.

He knew I needed a reminder of these truths this morning.

How faithful He is!

What a blessing to serve Him.

Truly, I can walk in peace, because He cares for me.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV — Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, thank You for caring for me. Thank You for Your Word which teaches me and reminds me of what is right and true. Thank You for Your Word which lights my path before me. Lord, thank You for my family who are so patient with me. Thank You for using them to supply my need. Please continue to teach me to be humble, that I might wait upon You and not rush ahead in my own strength or ideas. Please continue to help me to completely surrender myself before You, daily. Thank You for Your salvation. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Thank You! Amen.

Out of the mouths of babes…

When our oldest was an only child we got a video camera.

I wanted to make home movies to help us catalog her growing up.

As her siblings were born, they too were caught on video.

But the recorder broke when they were still small.

I didn’t throw it away, I packed it for a future day when we’d get it fixed.

To be honest, I’d forgotten about the thing, until last night.

Handsome found it in the back of our closet.

I was uninterested, as I knew we’d drug the thing, still broken from one place to another, but I’d never gotten it fixed.

When our son came back out of the bedroom to tell me Daddy had it working I was sincerely shocked.

“But it’s been broken for over 10 years!”

“Dad has it playing. Come and see.”

All packing stopped and we spent the evening watching home movies on our recorder.

We laughed.

We cried.

It was really special.

It’s strange how the memory can forget things.

I remembered music was a big part of our everyday, but I was surprised at how many videos included music.

Of course there were the normal Christmas programs and a school program, but when we were just at home there was so many of our daughters singing and dancing to music.

My heart was so blessed by the joy on their faces and the sound of their voices.

This morning the Lord took me to:

Psalm 8:2 NKJV — Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

And my heart is full of gratitude.

What an incredible privilege it is to praise the Lord!

What a joy it was to hear our children sing songs of praise.

How grateful I am for the opportunity we still have to praise God daily.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for the ability to praise and worship You. Lord, thank You for Your blessings which are more numerous than the stars. Thank You for the way Your Word brings us life, truth, and love. Lord, I worship Your holy name and I thank You for the breath to be able to speak Your praises. Psalm 8:9 NKJV — O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth! Amen.

Transplanting

This pot was an anniversary gift from Handsome.

We had talked previously about my desire to repot some of my plants, especially the roses, which came with me from our other house.

I had mentioned to him the need for larger pots due to the fact they had outgrown the ones I brought them in.

2 years in one pot is a lot for a plant especially a rose.

My red rose had to be planted this summer due to it’s inability to continue to thrive in the pot I brought it in.

My white rose was planted right after our move, because the container it came in was unsuitable.

Yesterday, with Anne’s help, we transplanted my cabbage rose to a larger pot (pictured).

We dug up my red rose and repotted in anticipation of our move.

My white rose will be remaining here.

Because it’s just now recovering from the trauma of it’s past.

When I first got sick my plants all suffered neglect, but my white rose was attacked and eaten multiple times by a deer which the dogs failed to keep out of the garden.

As we dug it up to move it was an act of faith, because it looked very dead.

But it wasn’t dead.

Both this summer and last it put out a few beautiful flowers.

It’s foliage and growth this past summer is the best I’ve ever seen it have.

And as I prayed about what plants to take and which to leave, I knew it would be best for this one to remain.

Because often times, I’ve found what is best is to let go, rather than “hold on” to things.

The only clinging which should be occurring in my life is my relationship with Christ.

John 15:4 KJV — Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

This is simply another opportunity to listen to the still gentle voice of the Lord and to walk in His ways.

I’m so thankful for the circumstances which remind me of what is important.

It’s not where I live, what I have or do not have, or even my emotions which are most important.

It’s Jesus Christ and as long as I have Him, I have all I need.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for guiding and directing us as we prepare for this transition. Lord, thank You for reminding me of what is important. Please continue to show me myself clearly, help me be aware of the snares of sin and the deception of the flesh which is constantly at war with what is right and holy. Lord, please help me to live daily unto You in all I say, do, and am. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Just thankful

Colossians 3:15 KJV — And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Looking backwards, this verse is what my week required.

Although, I wasn’t successful in walking in peace every moment, it was certainly an opportunity to learn to be at peace and simply be thankful.

Because it’s been a challenging week.

I had a migraine from Friday evening through Monday and spent most of Monday in bed.

I was so thankful to God that I was still able to teach Jase homeschool, even though I wasn’t able to get up and do stuff.

Tuesday and Wednesday I felt so much better, but the rest of the family was struggling with illness.

Thankfully, we were able to just remain at home and rest.

Yesterday, everyone was feeling better, but it was my most challenging day.

For some reason I couldn’t get things done without interruptions and I struggled with feeling frustrated and stressed.

By dinner time I’d lost my voice and had to content myself with just resting.

Thankfully, God provided exactly what I needed, through my gracious family.

As we finish out the work week and the homeschooling for this week, I’m praising God for His faithfulness and provision.

Because the biggest test of our peace and thankfulness was the news that the house sale might not go through.

My husband and I talked and prayed and gave it to the Lord.

We acted upon the direction we felt God was leading and put it in His hands.

I specifically asked the Lord to not allow this move if it wasn’t His will, although we were looking forward to this opportunity, because we never want to be outside His leading.

Yesterday, as my husband drove home from work, he let me know God had answered and the sale should go through without any further issues.

We are very thankful.

And I have joy in knowing whatever the future holds we can “let the peace of God rule” in our hearts.

Psalm 100:1-5 NKJV — A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

How great is Your faithfulness! Your mercy and grace are amazing! Lord, thank You for loving us so much. Lord, whether in need or with abundance You are there. Whether we are healthy or sick, You are there. Whether we are celebrating or mourning, You are there. Thank You. Thank You for providing Your Word and Your salvation. Lord, thank You for being all we have ever needed and walking with us daily. Lord, Your name is great and greatly to be praised. We thank You for all Your wonderous works, both the seen and the unseen. May our lives bring glory to Your name, Jesus. Amen.

Prayer works

Throughout my life I’ve experienced nightmares.

Without giving too much description, the dreams are demonic.

This morning I awoke from one, but it was unlike any I’ve ever had.

Although the dream was demonic, I was completely calm throughout.

Normally, I am afraid, angry, full of grief, or a mixture of these emotions.

Not this morning.

Upon waking, I asked the Lord why this was so different.

Your husband was praying.

My husband had gotten up early and was downstairs in prayer.

His time with the Lord covered me from the attack.

Just before he left for work I told him about it and thanked him for it.

I also thanked God for my husband and his prayers.

James 5:16 KJV — Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

God’s Word is true.

1 Peter 1:3-7NKJV — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

We can and should put His Word into practice in our lives, because we may not see how God is working, but we can always trust that He is.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the prayers of my husband. Lord, thank You for showing me another example of Your beautiful truth applied. Lord, You are faithful, good, and trust worthy. Thank You for showing us so much love and kindness. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You and grow those who do. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Building relationships

It was the kindness of a stranger.

A woman holding a toddler saw us struggling to take a picture and offered to help.

It was merely one of many blessings from the Lord yesterday.

Throughout our celebration of our wedding anniversary we had many moments of sweetness.

Including returning to a restaurant we’d enjoyed on our honeymoon.

Throughout our day, my heart pondered relationships and what I’ve learned these past 24 years.

This morning, my mind returned to scripture.

Esther 2:11 NKJV — And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.

This has always been a precious verse to me, as the love of Mordecai for his adopted daughter touches my heart.

The application to building relationships is huge.

Mordecai took time daily to inquire after Esther.

He had a job.

He was probably busy with other responsibilities.

Yet, the scriptures clearly say every day he inquired about her.

Is there anything which grows a relationship like the honest loving inquiry into another’s life?

To listen to what has occurred in their day with real feeling and interest?

To hear from their heart about their experiences, their feelings, their concerns?

This simple act of inquiry reveals a beautiful relationship between father and daughter.

And the same act of love can build relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, friends, neighbors, co-workers…

It’s also important in our relationship with God.

Inquiring of the Lord daily; asking insight into His ways, learning Him more, understanding His Word, is vital to building our relationship with the Lord Jesus.

And He is willing to listen about our lives as well.

Of course, we must humble ourselves before God and accept His salvation that our sin and pride not cut off the relationship.

Psalm 10:4 KJV — The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psalm 10:17 KJV — LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Scripture teaches so much about building relationships.

This is one of my favorites:

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Ephesians 5:17‭-‬21 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word! Thank You for a wonderful day yesterday and how much You reminded me of Your truths. Lord, I want to follow Your Word. I want to sing to You, to give glory to the Father, to be filled with the Spirit, and to submit myself to You and others. Lord, help me to prefer those around me rather than focusing on my own wants or needs. Lord, help me to be humble and interested in those You place in my life. Not to become blind to people, but rather to see from Your perspective and to have wisdom and love in dealing with others. Lord, please help me to redeem the time for the days are evil. Thank You. Amen.

Tomorrow, will be…

our wedding anniversary.

We have been married for twenty-four years, tomorrow.

As I pondered how to express my deep gratitude and joy at this milestone, I decided to scroll through some pictures.

Although, it will only give a tiny fraction of our lives together, here are some memories:

This is the last professional photograph of my parents.

The same month we celebrated our first wedding anniversary we lost my dad in a freak accident.

These two pictures are of our first child, and the beginning of joy.

Although, we made many mistakes while learning to be parents, we couldn’t be more thankful for the way God has worked in her life.

Words escape me, there’s nothing which express the joy my husband and I shared on the day of our daughter’s wedding.

The only thing that has come close was the birth of our grandchildren!

Faye has Papa wrapped around her finger!

Of course Bubba also holds a special place!

Through all the highschool achievements, basketball and track, we had no idea God was going to take her gift of music and put her through University!

We were so blessed to watch her receive her diploma in music.

The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He gave us Sis first. She has taught us more about ourselves, the Lord, and perseverance than we could ever have taught her. We are so blessed to be her parents.

When our oldest girl was three months from turning three, our second daughter was born.

I never understood what “fun” really meant before she was born.

Here, she’s helping water our steer.

She too has been blessed with gifts and we enjoyed many a basketball game or track meet, cheering on our Bell.

We were so grateful to God for the blessing He bestowed upon her during her years in sports.

She was also blessed to travel to the UK more than once and Africa.

I love this picture of Daddy and daughter on her wedding day.

August they celebrated their first year together, here we all are at their wedding.

When Sis was five and Bell had just turned two, God blessed us with Anne.

Our sweet, gentle, quiet, and shy third daughter, she’s always been full of love.

Although, she did compete in basketball and volleyball, we discovered she has asthma and she dropped sports, but loves to dance, bake, and paint.

She redid her bedroom furniture two summers ago.

She also worked very hard at homeschooling and passed her GED this last spring.

Her graduation photo.

She’s also a favorite with Faye from the beginning.

When Anne was three months old, my husband’s mother nearly died from a stroke.

My husband’s mother.

It handicapped her permanently, but she’s still the wonderful loving mother she’s always been and we praise God for every day we have her on earth.

As one can imagine, it was a difficult season.

But God chose to bless us again when Anne was a few weeks away from her second birthday we had our son, Jase.

He has helped us see the world from a unique perspective, it wasn’t until he was five he was diagnosed with a Communications Disorder. It was obvious from a very young age that Jase was unique, it has taken many years for us to learn the challenges he faces daily.

He has taught us things we would never have known.

We praise God for him!

He enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing, art, and building things.

He is a treasure daily.

Inside these twenty-four years God has worked through us and in us.

We have moved, lost loved ones, changed jobs, learned to live with little and abundance, watched our children become adults (or stand on the verge of it), dealt with health issues, and walked with God, both as individuals and as a couple.

These years have been full to overflowing with God’s mercy and grace for us.

I find some of my favorite memories are just us being a family, so here are few last pictures of the kids just being kids.

I praise God for my husband and the beautiful family He has blessed us with.

May we glorify His name daily!

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for my husband. Thank You for our marriage. Thank You for the love and blessings and gifts You have given me through my husband and our children. Lord, please continue to guide us as we walk daily with You and one another. Lord, You alone are the One who has brought us this far, who has blessed us so much, who has given us all we have. Please help us to be a light that shines brightly, leading others to You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Handsome, my love,

Thank you for the last twenty-four years. Thank you for leading our family and loving us. Words do very little to express how I feel, but I praise God for you. I am praying for you every day and trusting the Lord for the future ahead of us. I can not imagine my life without you. I love you.

Admitting need

It began rather early.

I woke before 6, not breathing well.

Often times, when I’m not breathing well in my sleep, I have upsetting dreams.

This was the case, so I actually didn’t notice how much I was struggling to breathe, because my emotions were all stirred up over the disturbing dream.

I spent a long time in prayer and with my Bible.

It was a bit later, as I was getting breakfast, when I realized my asthma was kicked up.

I’m certain it was the Lord, helping me to see myself realistically.

As the day wore on, it continued to be troublesome.

Later in the evening, I had an attack.

Anne is here, and was quick to get her Daddy, who set up my nebulizer for me.

The treatment worked and we were all thankful.

Today, I will be dependent upon my family, as I am exhausted from yesterday.

Yet, there’s so much joy in admitting my needs.

Because God has always known my limitations and when I choose to humble my heart, I can clearly see how much I need Him.

Whether I’m in good health or not.

He has always been faithful to supply all my needs.

Those times, when it felt as if something was lacking, were always points where I had stubbornly refused to surrender my ideas to Him.

It was never that He didn’t supply my needs, it was that He didn’t do it my way.

My own willfulness blinded me to His provision.

Thankfully, I’m learning.

Instead of starting the day off telling God what I’m going to do, I begin by asking Him what His plan is for me.

Thus, I can admit my limitations without fear, because I know He shall supply all.

1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for supplying all I need for salvation. Nothing on this earth is as lasting nor as needed. Lord, I thank You for Your faithfulness to me each day. Thank You for my family who are so loving and compassionate. Thank You for their gentle care for me. Lord, for those who are struggling with fear and need, please help them to look to You. Lord, show those who are in need what is required for peace, they must surrender themselves completely before You and accept Your gift of salvation. Nothing else matters like eternity. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your sacrifice that paid the price for all sin. Lord, please let me never cheapen nor slight the magnitude of that. Thank You for all Your wonderous works! Amen.

Moving Sale

Job 1:21 KJV — And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

These words speak so deeply of a truth I have a hard time learning.

But I love them.

And I am learning.

Today, we are having a moving sale.

It will be open tomorrow as well and I’m praying for understanding that nothing belongs to me.

No things.

No people.

Not even myself.

Because my tendency is to hold on to stuff.

After as many moves as I’ve had throughout my adult life, I was expecting to find it easy by now.

But it still is a lesson I’m having to put into practice.

Because our new home is much smaller than this one, a lot of things have to go.

But I know it’s for the best.

I trust God with all.

As I stopped for a break in the middle of our preparations, I was struck by the phrase:

“…blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Because that’s what everything comes down to.

God is worthy of all glory, all honor, all praise.

His name is blessed!

Psalm 113:2 KJV — Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your character, which is holy, just, and righteous. Thank You for being worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Truly, Your name is the greatest treasure. Your salvation the only thing worth clinging to. Thank You for the reminder. I love You, Jesus! Blessed be Your name!! Amen.