Category Archives: personal

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.

Monday’s encouragement

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. Psalms 24:1 NKJV

I needed this verse this morning.

To be honest I woke up in a less than joyful mood.

To put it in one word, I was cranky.

The Lord, being so patient and merciful, brought me this verse as I read this morning.

It’s truth reminded me of what is important.

God.

No matter how I’m feeling, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally, God is the One in charge.

He is on His throne.

He does what is best.

He loves me and paid for my salvation.

What do I have to be upset about?

I could argue, complain, choose to be offended, or miserable, but in the end I’m only choosing hurt when I allow myself to do those things.

I don’t want to hurt others, myself, nor dishonor my Lord.

Thus, these verses are my lifesaver, my necessary flotation device for my attitude and thoughts.

I will cling to God’s Word rather than sink into the waves of self-pity or self-focus or discouragement.

Because:

Psalm 73:28 KJV — …it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Please:

Psalm 143:10 KJV — Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

For:

Psalm 18:30 KJV — …God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for reminding me of what is truly important this morning. Lord, I trust You with my day, my “list”, my needs. Please teach me how to be discerning and what to focus on. Lord, thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for providing for all my needs, including the verse of encouragement. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Choosing to lean…

…on Christ.

I’d not been home from my shot appointment for very long, (I take allergy shots every three weeks) when Handsome took me out to the garage.

He and Anne had poured the top of this table in high quality resin, same stuff used for restaurant tables.

The resin looks great and I was praising God for His help with this project.

Handsome and I were discussing what else was required for this set to be finished.

That’s when I realized, it needed paint.

One side of the top had marks across it.

They wouldn’t come off.

I didn’t want to paint this.

For starters, I wasn’t feeling well, shots alone make me tired, and I’m not feeling good this week.

On top of that, this table has a decorative edge I knew wouldn’t be easy to paint.

I still needed to homeschool Jase.

It was supposed to rain, requiring me to get this painted as soon as possible so we could bring in the other furniture.

Thankfully, the rain wasn’t supposed to start till night time.

My husband could tell my mind was a whirl as he waited my response.

“What can I do to help you? Remember I have to leave for work in 40 minutes.”

I smiled.

I told the Lord, “I trust You” and asked Handsome to tape off the table for me.

Then I changed clothes, set up some work for our son, and headed to the garage.

God was so gracious.

He helped me finish in plenty of time.

I sent the above photo to my husband.

The kids brought in all the other furniture in the afternoon and we gladly closed the garage for the day.

When the rain hit last night, my heart was glad.

Not only had the Lord provided all I needed to finish the table, the kids and I also got all the ripe tomatoes picked and a bowl of apples.

Jase was able to get his school work done and I spent part of our evening reading to them.

It hadn’t mattered that I didn’t feel good.

God provided for all my needs.

Today, I’m still leaning upon Him and looking forward to seeing how He is going to walk me through another day.

Things go so much better when I do not lean on my own strength.

I’m humbled and grateful for His mercy.

Monday, I’d leaned on myself and things went poorly for days.

Friday, I leaned on Jesus.

I’m so thankful for another opportunity to learn to lean on Him.

2 Samuel 22:31 KJV — As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for Your patience! Please continue to help me learn how to lean on You alone. Please help me to walk with You daily. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your ways, how much better they are than ours. Thank You for holding us in Your hands and guiding us. Thank You for Your faithfulness. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

In my own strength

One of my Monday projects.

I know better.

This isn’t the first time.

Prayerfully, it will be one of the last…

Monday, I felt really good and of course I had so much I wanted to do.

There’s a long list of things which all have a deadline, because we are having a yard sale, packing, and moving.

So, I didn’t realize when I began doing things in my own strength.

I can’t look backwards and say, “When I…then I was leaning on myself, not God.”

Rather, it’s all fuzzy and I wish it were a clearer line, but sin has a way of hiding, it masks itself as a “need” or a “must”.

All I do know is my family tried to tell me and I should have listened.

They were very sweet, “Mom, you’re over doing it…”.

They were right.

I was.

I did.

Today, I’m feeling poorly and have to rest.

That’s the consequence when I overdo.

It’s tempting to waste time beating myself up.

I’ll admit, it’s embarrassing as well.

Yet, even in this, I know God can work through it.

I can praise Him.

I can be thankful.

I can learn.

Because, God is able to work in and through my errors.

What a good day for me to meditate upon His Word!

Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV — Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your Word. Lord, I am sorry for leaning on my own strength. Lord, I look to You for all the things which need to be completed and I thank You that You are faithful. I know I can rest in You. Lord, I humbly request wisdom for today, so I don’t do anything which would harm myself nor others. Please continue to help me to learn how to live daily leaning upon You alone. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Sorting through

Breakables waiting for the yard sale.

There’s something very healthy about cleaning out and paring down.

It reminds me of thinning a fruit tree.

It’s dangerous for a tree to have too much weight on a limb.

Proper thinning helps the tree bear fruit without damaging it.

As I’ve been thinning out our belongings, it has struck me, it is healthy, both physically and spiritually.

Because with each thing I go through I pray and ask the Lord what His will for that is.

Yesterday, I came across a tote of old decorations.

There were leftover table scarves, glass candle sticks, and pennant banners.

Some from our daughters’ graduation parties, some from their bridal showers, and some from our daughter’s baby shower.

Many memories, but most of the stuff is no longer needed.

Who knows, maybe another family is in need of party decorations.

So, I put those things in the yard sale box with a smile.

At one point in my life letting go of that kind of thing would have been a struggle, but my trust in God has grown.

He’s taught me so much about clinging only to Him.

I’m so thankful.

There’s a beautiful freedom, a lifted burden, when we cling to God and let Him carry everything else.

His Word is truth:

Matthew 11:30 KJV — For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, thank You for helping me learn to trust You. Lord, how grateful I am for Your patience with me. I’m a very slow learner, Lord, but I am willing to learn. Thank You for Your faithfulness in all things. Lord Jesus, I so want others to find the truth in Your Word as well. I want others to understand the beautiful blessings of a relationship with You, how real treasure is never stuff. The enduring treasure of salvation and a heart at peace in You is the most valuable thing of all. Lord, please reach those who have yet to know You. Please continue to teach me and other believers what You want us to learn: trust, faith, mercy, grace, and love. Lord, please help us to walk in these things and to grow in understanding of the season we live in. Lord, please guide us in Your truth daily. I love You, Jesus. Amen

Bathed in prayer

Our lives must be bathed in prayer.

It’s the only way I know to walk closely with Jesus rather than following my own desires.

A few months ago, I had a moment in prayer which caused me to feel unsettled.

I felt the Lord was preparing me, that a change was coming.

Later, in a conversation with a neighbor, I began to state something about our future and I felt a check in my heart not to say what I was going to.

It was like the Lord was warning me not to commit to something, because I did not know the future.

Time went on and I still couldn’t figure out what God was telling me, but I started praying for what I should do.

Start packing.

It didn’t really make sense.

I wasn’t sure what God was trying to tell me, but I knew better than to argue or ask “why?!”.

I began seeking God on how and where to begin doing what didn’t make sense.

At least not at the time.

I cleaned out some closets.

Finished up craft projects.

I gave away things.

I reorganized papers and filed stuff I’d put off.

Still praying, throughout for God to help me follow Him.

Then, Handsome and I were talking about the small furniture business we have and we realized we both felt we were supposed to finish up everything we had on hand, empty our storage unit, and close our booth.

It seemed a bit strange, but we began working on furniture like crazy.

God blessed us and Handsome was able to empty the unit before September.

We let the owners of the mall know September would be our last month.

It has only been in the last few weeks God has shown us why.

My husband has recently accepted a new job in a different city.

He wasn’t looking to change jobs.

We weren’t unhappy where we are.

But God brought this job to him.

We bathed it in prayer.

Here we are.

He starts the day after our wedding anniversary, next month!

I’m sure you guessed the rest–we are moving.

Not only has God blessed us with this new position, He’s opened the door for us to buy a house and property.

We will get to live in the country again.

And we are so thankful to God!

Moving is not easy, especially as my health still restricts my actions, but it will be good

We have enjoyed this house.

Our landlord is truly the best.

The neighborhood has been such a joy.

We are so thankful.

God has blessed us abundantly.

I’m humbled by how He has walked us forward into all these things.

I’m thankful for the way He has guided us.

I’m continuing to bathe it all in prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which guides and directs us, speaking through Your Word. Lord, please continue to keep our feet planted firmly upon Your paths. Help us, each one, to walk in ways that are honorable before You. Lord, as we prepare for this move, please help us to keep in mind all these things are Yours and we want to be good stewards of them. Lord, please help us to be wise and kind as we deal with all the change. Lord, please go before us and prepare the way. Thank You. I know You already have and Your salvation is all we truly need. I love You, Lord. Amen.