Out of focus


This is a chalk drawing one of my students drew today and asked me to take a picture of.

Just in case you are not sure what it is: it’s a puppy in a yard, flying a kite and the box is a picture frame.

I had a momentary giggle inwardly as she explained the art work.

I could clearly see the puppy in the yard, flying the kite.

Yet, children are wonderful reminders to check if our lives are in focus.

Another student days ago had made several poor choices in a row.

After discovering what his poor choices led to he laid his head on the table and said something like:

“My life is horrible!

I leaned down and gently spoke to him.

“Honey, you are making bad choices. If you will make good choices and use your time wisely things will get better.”

He nodded and wiped his little eyes and tried to amend his day.

The truth of the moment has hung with me.

If I make good choices and use my time wisely things will go well.

Easily spoken, but not always easy to do.

Self gets in the way.

Trials knaw at the joy like mice eating holes in a grain sack.

What seemed like a good choice turns out to be flat failure because the choice wasn’t bathed in prayer.

Words rip through one’s emotion like a serrated knife through tissue paper.

And it’s so easy to be out of focus.

Where do we find it?

God’s Word: the Bible.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ” James 1:5 NASB

Dear Lord,
  Please help me to stay in focus. Show me what Your will is for each day. No matter what the day holds help me to view it from a place of rest and peace drawn from my relationship with You, Jesus. Thank You for reminding me to make wise choices and to use my time wisely.


Again, praising the Lord


This time we had a friend over who is a nurse.

We didn’t go to the ER.

We did go to the Urgent Care.

Three stitches.

No basketball for a while.

She’s handling the pain and the set back well.

I wish I could say the same.


I didn’t cry, or get sappy.

Nor did I smile.

Instead I struggled with worry, guilt, and fear.

I wish I’d handled it all with peace and joy.

However, I am still learning.

On our drive home I started realizing how much I have to be thankful for.

Thankful for the friend who dropped everything to come check it out.

Thankful for the medical professionals who cleaned and stitched it.

Thankful for my husband’s job through which we have insurance.

Thankful for our daughter’s cheerful attitude.

Thankful for our friends’ prayers.

Thankful for the car which got us to the Urgent Care.

Thankful for my hubby who was calm and at ease through the entire process.

Thankful for Jesus and His faithful provision.

Come to think of it, the more I focused on these things the less I felt the guilt, worry, and fear.

No wonder God’s word tells us to take every thought captive.

So I can say:
Again! Again I’m praising the Lord for all He has done!

Singular love


My mother has raised sheep for many years.

Countless nights did we spend in the barn or pasture with a flashlight trying to help a ewe and lamb or lambs.

Yet, it has been a blessing when reading the Bible.

I have been able to understand the scriptures about our Good Shepherd better because I’ve been in the field with sheep.

Psalm 23 is my life chapter.

Through good times and difficult ones I’ve found great comfort in the words “The LORD is my shepherd…”

The parable of the lost sheep (Matthew 18:10-13) has always made sense since I’ve stayed out far past my desired time searching the pastures for a sheep which didn’t come in.

Yet the truth of these scriptures was reiterated in a quote I read.

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Augustine

Jesus would have died for me if I was the only sinner.

Yet He loves us all and died for each and every person.

How incredible the singular love God has for each one.

What an amazing awesome God He is!



These are our kids.

I love them deeply.

I pray for them continually.

I thank God for them daily.

And yet even though our oldest is grown and married I still feel a huge responsibility to train, teach, hone, and encourage.

I’m always looking for ways to improve or add or teach.

As an example I’ve been inspired to write Scripture and encouraging quotes on our chalkboard.

As I was searching for quotes I found these:

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”
George Washington

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

“All that I am,  or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Abraham Lincoln

There were many more which reflected each man’s personal walk with God.

It was obvious they each were men of extreme faith.

The combination of their comments on God and their mothers impacted me.

They inspired me.

Two monumental men who shaped history by their lives were not quiet about their faith or their upbringing.

How seldom do I stop and get even a glimmer of what my efforts in bringing up our children are worth.

Yet, I am so grateful to my own mother and father for raising me.

I needed an extra charge of encouragement as a mom.

Like all mothers I get bogged down with all I don’t do correctly or the things I want to teach but haven’t yet.

These quotes from men of history helped me reflect on the positive impact of a parent.

I want to be that positive person and so does my husband.

So today I’m praising God for 2 mothers I’ve never met.

Two women who raised sons.

I’m certain they had no idea what those boys would grow into.

And I’m following Mrs. Lincoln’s example.

I’m praying for our children everyday,  each one.

I’m leaving the results up to Jesus.

After all it is through the impact He has made that I’m able to impact my children.

Praise God for impact.

Praising the Lord when…


Those moments happen.

This was one of them.

I knew I wanted to use this frame as part of the decor for the bathroom.

It’s been a table decoration at Sis’s grad party.

Before that it was part of the bedroom decor.

With all the room changes after Sis moved it’s been sitting in a corner waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.

Then I had one of those moments.

I was painting and cooking.

(Not a good plan by the way.)

Something needed my attention in the kitchen so I put down my roller.

When I came back it was there.

An awful run right in the middle of the wall.

I tried to fix it and…

Well, to put it simply I was unable.

Next option: cover it.

So you probably figured out this frame is useful, cute, and covering a major mistake.

Just like my life.

Jesus takes my messes and makes beautiful useful lessons.

So I’m praising the Lord when I mess up and He makes new.

Praising the Lord for…


(This was a free photo shoot as a promotion for a local business.)

Mom and son date!

I wasn’t expecting it.

My husband has taken the girls on dates for years.

The last time he did our son asked when it was his turn.

I asked him if he wanted to go on a date with Dad.

“No, I want to take you on a date!”


Me, the mom, right!

So we were visiting in town with family when he asked again.

“When are we going on a date Mom?”

I said, “Not today.”

My husband wisely suggested I change plans.

We were already in town.

We had the time.

Why not?

So off we went to the movies.

I was a bit nervous about taking Jase to see the new Star Wars.

I like to preview movies.

More than once I’ve been out in the hall with our son, because something on the big screen was too much for him to take.

I don’t mind standing in the hall.

I do mind my son being upset.

Since he has trouble communicating it can take days for him to be able to explain what bothered him and why.

It can be a grueling experience for both of us.

However, as he improves he’s more able to share his feelings and thoughts.

As the movie began I wasn’t sure how this would all turn out, but I was willing to give it a try.

It was worth the risk to bless our son.

And I’m praising the Lord for it.

We enjoyed the movie.

We only had to step out once.

(Mostly to use the restroom.)

And as we left the theater Jase was bubbling over with all he liked about the film.

It was fun for both of us.

It was a memory we will cherish.

It is another opportunity to praise the Lord.

“A few days…”


This is a highlight in our lives right now.

We are taking care of a pair of kittens while Sis and hubby are on a trip.

It’s a bright spot in our days which have felt overwhelming to say the least.

With our daughters both taking trips to the ER.

With our water and electrical issues.

With the blessings and work of updating the bathroom and Jase’s bedroom.

With our daughter’s car breaking down.

With the stress and upheaval at my husband’s job.

With Christmas and basketball and family commitments.

With relationships.

We are weary, injured, and a bit raw.

I can slightly imagine what Job felt like when he said, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1 NKJV

Yes, at times it feels like there is so much trouble.

Pain and need and loss.

Where is the rest in it all?

Where is the comfort?

There is an answer.


He was with us in the hospital while we waited eagerly to hear if our daughter had internal bleeding.

He was with us when we walked the yard trying to find out why our well wasn’t working.

He was guiding while we prayed about which project to finish first.

He was comforting when we sat together and cried.

He was teaching when we opened our hearts to one another and prayed for answers.

Job was answered too.

God Himself spoke with Job,

And Job learned.

I wish we were past all these things.

I wish lessons were easier.

But in these moments of selfish weakness I’m reminded.

It is the difficult costly things which are so valuable.

Character is honed through trials.

Faith is built by walking through the unknown and trusting God.

Patience is gained by learning to wait with joy and by repeated lessons of trying.

Honor and dignity are traits of those who walked through the stressful, painful, costly, and long suffering with joy, meekness, wisdom, peace, and perseverance.

No wonder the Lord has had me reading James.

I cling to these verses and pray to be able to be peaceful, wise, gentle, loving, and kind.

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”