Category Archives: personal

In the middle

The last several days have been unusual for us.

Our daughter and son-in-law had a combined birthday party for our grandchildren.

Bubba turned one last week and Faye turned two in April.

It was a blessing to be able to join in their outdoor celebration.

The following day we had planned on picking up some furniture for Anne.

It was a Craigslist post. After prayer and family discussion, Anne felt she should buy the settee, rocker, and a chair.

They are all Eastlake Victorian furniture and we were happy to go get them for her.

She’s down with Grandma and hasn’t gotten to see them yet, but I know she’s going to be pleased.

In the midst of this venture to bless our daughter we got to see how God was blessing some strangers.

The couple were selling these items to help pay for their needs.

The husband had under gone back surgery three months ago and still was obviously in a great deal of pain.

They talked about all the things they were doing to make ends meet.

The furniture had been given them by an old couple who’d had it from their parents.

They’d specifically given them the furniture to sell and help them with their living expenses.

It blessed my heart to hear how God was meeting their needs in unusual ways.

I told her we’d be praying for her husband and she made sure to let me know they’d pray for my mom’s foot surgery. (I had mentioned her in explaining why Anne wasn’t with us.)

My heart was so thankful to God that this purchase was a win-win and He allowed us to be in the middle of it all.

While the furniture sits in our living room, I have an every day reminder to pray and praise.

Prayer for this couple and God’s continued provision, healing, direction, and relationship.

Prayer for others who are suffering or going through a difficult time.

Prayer for Anne and Grandma, and the road ahead.

Praise to God for His faithfulness, His provision, His wonderful works.

Philippians 4:19 KJV — But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Jesus supplied our need at Calvary and it’s truly worth praising Him for continually!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation. Lord, thank You for allowing us to be in the middle of You blessing others. Lord, thank You for using something small to remind me of how great You are. Your faithfulness is incredible. Your salvation is awesome, the most incredible gift ever. Lord, please continue to reach those who have yet to know You, that they might be saved and added to the flock. Lord, thank You for the wonderful ways You reach others. Thank You for Your love! May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Amen.

Timeless truth

My parents in the early 90s.

Wisdom from God is timeless.

I was reminded this morning that His truth endures, no matter the generation.

Our oldest daughter is preparing to teach choir.

After the past 5 years of working on her degree, it’s so exciting to see her using her gifts and education in this way.

She’d given me a copy of her Choir Handbook and requested I review it.

This morning I was reading along, making notes, and stumbled upon an extreme blessing.

The title of the paragraph reads: Choral Success.

One line brought me to tears.

“A mistake learned from is a mistake worth making.”

It was as though I’d dropped through time and place.

I was sitting in my first car, gripping the wheel in my distress, my father sitting in the passenger seat, his voice with profound calm saying:

“A mistake you learn from is a mistake worth making.”

After I understood their meaning I stopped feeling so stupid over the error I’d made and calmed down.

His words of truth have passed from my lips to my children many times.

It’s truth, found in God’s Word.

No, it’s not an actual Bible verse, but it can be found in the lives of many people throughout the Bible.

Peter is my favorite example.

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:21‭-‬23 NKJV

Talk about a mistake!

Peter’s error is a painful one, but he learned from it.

The Bible never has another record of Peter rebuking Jesus.

And we don’t see Jesus bringing his error up again, but moves from this into teaching.

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Matthew 16:24‭-‬28 NKJV

What incredible teaching sprouted after this painful error.

Peter obviously learned from his mistake.

Scripture is full and overflowing of truth, wisdom we can apply daily.

With that timeless truth we can be blessed, we can bless others, and we can grow.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Lord, thank You for this nugget given me by Dad and passed on to my daughter and now all her students. Lord, thank You for the gift of this memory when Dad spoke Your wisdom to me. Lord, thank You for Your incredible blessings which so often catch me by surprise. How great is Your Word, Your love, Your truth! I praise Your holy name! Amen.

The joy of family

It was a lovely week, which ended in a lovely weekend.

Our Anne was able to come home for the week.

My mom’s foot has healed so well that she is no longer under restrictions.

Thus, Anne could be here.

Our Bell was also here for a few days, Thursday through most of Saturday.

To add to the blessings, we got to watch Bubba and Faye on Saturday while their parents had a day together.

Although, Bell had to leave Saturday night, everyone else stayed over.

Yesterday, we all drove South.

Anne was to return to Grandma’s.

Handsome and I needed to restock the booth, and of course Tim and Sis were returning home.

The house felt empty when we got back, but I know that’s simply the “drop down” after all the excitement.

Not unlike the feeling one gets when Christmas is over and it’s time to pack it all away.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to see how valuable each stage or season is.

To cherish time with others, but to also realize there is value in alone time.

To see God working in us when we are together and when we are separate.

Because He knows every season and is working through each one.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV — To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

And I want to hold tightly to Him in all things.

Not unlike the small yet wonderful embrace of my grandson or granddaughter, I want to cling to Jesus with that kind of innocent pure love.

But that kind of relationship requires me to let go of other things.

I can’t cling to Jesus if I’m trying to hold on to the world, or even other people.

He has to come first for me to give Him my best.

I’m so thankful for it.

Because I can find joy, pleasure, and wisdom in any stage.

Philippians 4:11 KJV — Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Paul spoke in respect to physical needs, but the truth is applicable to all of life.

I’m still learning this lesson, but it’s a beautiful journey and a blessed walk.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word and Your truth. Thank You for my family and the gift of time together. Lord, thank You for teaching me so much daily and showing me how blessed each stage is. Lord, I want to cling to You more each day. Please continue to help me learn how to let go of other things and hold fast to You. Lord, I praise You for all Your wonderous works! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

…your adornment

3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:3‭-‬4 NKJV

These instructions are timeless.

How we adorn ourselves speaks volumes about us.

Not just in our wardrobe choice, but in where we place our value.

Pharaoh was robed in the most expensive and up-to-date fashion of his time yet he’s remembered for a heart that denied God.

Camel skins covered a man whose ministry was the entrance of the Messiah.

It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the heart.

Because styles change, bodies grow old, hair turns color or falls out, but the character of a person is visible to God at all times.

How will we live in today?

What will we choose to spend our time, interest, and money on?

What do we truly value?

Is it a temporary thing or an eternal one?

Isaiah 40:8 NKJV — “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truths we can apply and the guide we can measure our hearts with. Lord, please continue to teach me how to adorn myself in Your Word and Your ways. Lord, help me to be a gentle and quiet spirit, beautiful before You. Lord, if there is anything in my heart which does not align with Your Word, please show me. Lord, I do not want to harbor anything which would hinder my relationship with You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Abstaining

1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

How are those called by Christ’s name to witness to those who have yet to know Him?

Two things: abstaining from fleshly lusts and good works.

These instructions are given elsewhere as well.

Romans 13:14 KJV — But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Lord knew we needed more than just the command “don’t do”: put off fleshly lusts; He knew we needed a “do”: put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because without Jesus, we are simply slaves to our flesh and chained to our sin.

Scripture clearly outlines what fleshly lusts leads to, that we might recognize the danger.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV — Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Scripture also gives us many verses as to those things we should be “putting on”, the gifts of the Spirit and the works of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

God’s Word tells us that putting off the flesh and putting on Jesus Christ is a testimony to those who accuse us, to those who have yet to know Him.

It is how we shine brightly in a lost and dark world.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these practical and understandable lessons. Lord, thank You for giving both a warning and an instruction. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, that I might not deceive myself, thinking I’m fine, when the truth is I need You daily. Thank You that Your Word brings me such peace as I daily learn to walk with You. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please continue to use my life and the lives of others who love You as a testament to Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness, Your truth. Lord, please let the world see the truth, turn to You and be healed. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A lovely vacation

The past week Handsome (my nickname for my husband) was home on vacation.

We did something we’ve never done.

We stayed home together.

Past vacations have been a kaleidoscope of different activities, whether together or separate.

Twice my husband and I went to the UK and left the kids with Grandma.

Handsome and Jase have had many camping trips which included either hunting or fishing.

Two different years the kids and I flew to the UK.

Once, the three younger, my mom, and myself flew back East to visit her family.

Handsome and Bell went to Africa to attend a wedding a couple years ago.

But rarely do we all take vacation at the same time and never without a schedule.

God had put it on my husband’s heart to not schedule the time outside of previous commitments.

He and Jase headed south Tuesday, as our son had a quick doctor’s appointment and my husband had a dental appointment.

Handsome did inquire into our son’s desire for the vacation and Jase mentioned the coast.

We took Wednesday to drive over for the day.

The majority of our time was simply spent at home.

Yesterday afternoon, Jase and my husband went fishing at a nearby pond Handsome had recently discovered on a walk.

I had to laugh when I received the picture above.

Obviously the fish weren’t biting if the pole was still enough to become a perch.

But it was an excellent example of our week, and if it were a word it would be:

Restful.

Throughout the week, my husband commented on what a great vacation he was having.

I praise God for the gift!

His direction to my husband was perfect, His guidance was better than anything we would have come up with.

Because He knows what is best for us.

I again was struck by the beautiful things which occur when we trust in the Lord and follow His lead.

His work truly is perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV — He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your direction and guidance. Lord, thank You that You give us rest, not just physically, but eternal rest from striving against sin and spiritual death. Your salvation brings us rest. You are just and upright. You hold truth and grant us it in Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your perfect ways. Thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and love. Lord, thank You for teaching us daily to trust You and not to lean our own understanding. Lord, in all my ways, I want to acknowledge You. Thank You for teaching me how to do that. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Buttons

When I was a girl, my mom sewed.

She’d learned to make her own clothes in highschool and my grandparents bought her a sewing machine for her highschool graduation gift.

I remember wearing pretty frilly dresses my mother had made.

I recall trips to the fabric store.

These were normally pretty dull, because I couldn’t understand why it took so long to look through all the bolts of fabric in the big bins.

Obviously, I had no idea what discount bins were, nor why Mom was having to search through the many different types of fabric to find the ones she wanted.

But I never got tired of looking at the rows of paper-backed buttons.

When it was time for Mom to begin her sewing project, she’d carefully gather all the needed items and if she was going to use buttons on the dress, she’d get out her big jar.

Where Mom got such a large assortment of old buttons and what happened to it later, I have no idea.

I loved the button jar!

Sometimes, she’d let me dump out some and play with them.

It was one of my favorite things to do.

It felt like a treasure hunt and fun category game rolled into one.

I could sort the buttons by size and then color, and save the really unique ones by themselves.

I always felt a little put out when it was time to scoop them all back into the jar, special ones included.

Today, I got to relive the fun of that childhood memory.

A while back I got a small plastic container with a mish-mash of buttons.

I didn’t have time to sort them into my sewing box, so they’ve sat in a drawer waiting.

I’m working on a pair of little girl backpacks for our neighbors and realized I needed some buttons.

As I dumped out the container the memories of childhood popped up.

And I enjoyed this mini sorting game, looking for the “treasure” buttons that will go on the bags.

Praise and thanksgiving followed.

“Lord, thank You for providing these buttons for this project and many others.”

“Jesus, thank You for my mom, who put in so much extra time making clothes for my sister and I.”

“Lord, thank You for the ability to make things, and the supplies I need to do it.”

“Thank You, for the memory, something I’d forgotten about my childhood that You have given me back all through a few buttons.”

James 1:17 KJV — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for today. Thank You for this mini reminder of my past and how You were with me then just as You are with me now. I love that You are timeless. Thank You for using such a tiny unimportant thing to bring me joy. Thank You for Your gifts, they are amazing. May my life bring glory to Your name. I love You. Amen.

A tender memory

Maybe it’s just the season of life I’m in.

Possibly, it’s because I’ve been feeling poorly.

Whatever the reason, I was struck by a memory today that brought tears to my eyes.

I had driven Hubby to work, because I needed to get my allergy shots.

I’m still cleaning out closets and going through things, but I already had three bags full and decided to drop them off after my appointment.

As I lifted one, I’d done weeks before and been forgotten in the closet, my eye caught the fabric through the stretched plastic bag.

I put the bag back down and just stared.

It was like I’d stepped back into the past and saw in my memory the little boy that was so excited about me buying it.

He had a special stuffed frog, and he liked the fact that this fabric had frogs too.

His frog was named Sean-the-Frog.

I have no idea why, I just clearly remember him saying, “His name is Sean-the-Frog.”

I think he had his own way of naming things.

This frog had been a last minute purchase at an airport gift shop, because we were flying to the UK and I realized he needed a pillow.

After we came back from our trip the pillow lived on his bed.

Which prompted my purchase of the fabric.

I’d planned on making him a blanket.

Unfortunately, I never did.

But I’ve hung on to the fabric.

When cleaning out a chest weeks ago, I figured I’d just give it away, that little boy is now 16 and no longer has bright green bedding nor does Sean-the-Frog live in his room.

He’s been moved to “the cave”, a small closet under the stairs we keep all kinds of toys in for visiting children.

But I went to town and donated our stuff after getting my shots and the fabric stayed behind.

Because I want to fulfill my promise to our son and make it a blanket.

Who knows, maybe he will want it again in the future.

If not, I’ll have it ready to bless whoever God puts on my heart.

I’m certain, the Lord has a plan for this frog fabric.

Until then, I can enjoy the memory of our little boy which it ignites.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV — To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for today. Thank You for the memory of our son and the ability to look backwards at all the things You have done in his life. Lord, I am touched by how You work through even the smallest things and I thank you for them. Lord, You know all our seasons. You hold every detail in your hands. Your ways are perfect and Your Word is life. Thank You. May our lives bring You glory and our hearts find joy in humble service to You and those You place in our lives. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

God’s blessings

While sitting at my desk this morning in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the change.

As renters, the back garden was a mowed yard with trees, their full branches of apples nearly touching the ground, and everywhere else was weeds.

Not a single flower or decorative plant was in the beds.

I remember feeling rather down about it.

We moved in the middle of September and my health was not going to allow me to do any yard work.

But I praised God for a yard and the lawn being mowed and the over grown apple trees.

(Anne baked us some pies!)

The following spring, one history will remember, was an interesting combination.

Despite the circumstances, the weeds were cleared away and we planted some seeds.

We were blessed to add some veggies.

It was a time of adjustment and the yard was definitely an “in progress” project.

Today, it’s much more of a garden.

There’s still things that need to be done and weeds are always trying to take back what they lost, but as I prayed I realized just how much God has blessed us with in the yard.

It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is still working.

His blessings are around us every day and all I have to do is take the time to notice.

Because I want to live with a grateful heart, I never want to miss a blessing before me.

I want to sing praises to my God and share of His generous works each day.

Because in the little bits of life’s blessings we can find the truths of God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and grace which will carry us through the big things.

Romans 1:20 KJV — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;…”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for creation which points us to You, the Creator. Lord, please continue to help me live a life of thankfulness to You each day. Please continue to hone and mold my heart into Your likeness, that others might see You and come to know You. Lord, I am weak and unable, but it is in my weakness You are strong. Please help me not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in You and Your Word for every part of my life. Thank You for Your incredible blessings. Thank You for Your goodness and truth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

I thought I’d share pictures from the garden with you this morning as an added testimony of God’s blessings.

May you too see the blessings that surround you, dear reader. ❤️

John 3:16

John 3:16 NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I was a little girl when I memorized this verse.

I had already accepted Jesus as my Savior and was excited to learn about Him.

I remember wanting to have something to quote to others.

I went to public school and found this verse my favorite answer to the question, “Why should I believe in God?”.

But it wasn’t until I was an adult, that I realized these words, so beautifully and succinctly capturing the truth of salvation, were spoken by Jesus.

How precious it is to me today to think Jesus Himself gave me these words to share about Him!

The only thing I would change about all of this is: adding John 3:17.

Together they really give a clearer picture of what Jesus wants us to know.

John 3:16-17NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

What life-changing truth!

What a clear picture of God’s love!

How blessed we are to have these words spoken by the Savior of the world.

If you have yet to memorize these words, I’d encourage you to do so, for the truth of eternity here is too good to simply read, it’s worth making it a memory.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Your truth astounds me and the preciousness of Your sacrifice has only grown in my heart over the years. You have brought me through so much and I praise Your holy name for it all. Great is Your faithfulness and greatly are You to be praised. Please continue to breath life into my heart and mind through Your scripture and Your Holy Spirit that my life might reflect You more and more each day. Thank You for Your love and salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.