Tag Archives: opportunity


I can’t recall how old I was, but the memory is vivid.

My parents were taking us to a party at a home we’d never been before.

The people hosting were known to my parents, but not to me or my younger sister.

I had secret hopes of playing outdoors with other children, but my thoughts were diverted away from these plans after we got out of the car.

“What is that smell?”

The odor grew stronger we walked down the sidewalk.

We turned into the path to the door and I was puzzled by the stuff which covered the lawn.

Where every other house had green turf, this had a lumpy brown stuff.

My parents cautioned us not to mention the smell, hold our noses, or to make faces as we waited for someone to respond to the doorbell.

The nice lady who answered immediately apologized for the smell with an explanation.

“Well, I don’t know how we managed it, but somehow my husband and I miscommunicated and he ordered a truck load of cow manure to cover the yard today. I’d sent out the invitations for this weeks ago and couldn’t change it.”

She laughed and ushered us inside.

My parents assured her they didn’t mind at all.

The party wasn’t ruined, it was lovely and we left having enjoyed our time.

(And although I didn’t get to play outside nor were there other children our ages, the grownups included us in their game.)

Funny how perspective changes one’s outlook, even upon a childhood memory.

I can imagine, now, how trying that must have been for the hostess.

(Talk about a stinky situation!)

But I’m thankful she didn’t allow the manure in their yard to hinder her from opening her home to others and celebrating.

I’m also impressed that she didn’t, as far as I was aware, hold a grudge against her husband for ordering a load of manure the day of her party.

Which has brought me to a Biblical truth.

In life we can and will experience moments where someone has dumped a load of manure on us.


I’ve found my faith often grows best when I’m wading through some stinky situations.

Times I’m working hard to follow Christ’s example are actually exactly what draws me closer to my Heavenly Father.

Times God uses, because He knows what will grow my faith, strengthen my walk, and cause blooms of praise to burst forth.

Not unlike how a plant grows and produces more after being fertilized.

Although manure isn’t pleasant, God can and will use it.

My responsibility is to be humble.

Not hold a grudge.

And continue to open my heart and life to those the Lord brings.

Romans 8:28 NKJV — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and the reminder that You work all things together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purposes. Lord, thank You for reminding me of this moment in my childhood which I haven’t thought of in many years. Thank You for the blessings I can see in my garden when I apply manure and the encouragement I can have knowing that the stinky stuff of life is an opportunity to grow my faith and blossom in praise and thanksgiving. Lord, my life is Yours. I am Your servant and I trust You with whatever the future holds, for I know You are with me and that is enough. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

An irritant

What causes a pearl to form?

An irritant.

When something comes inside the shell of an oyster or mollusk, it secrets nacre to protect itself.

Although the irritant can be a bit of shell or sand it also could be a parasite.

No matter what the irritant is, by the time a pearl is formed (which can take six months to several years) it has been transformed into a beautiful pearl.

Which is a wonderful example for us in how to handle irritants.

For the Lord makes it clear in His Word we will have trials and tribulations.

How we respond to life’s irritants, either small or great, speaks to others as to the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

An oyster doesn’t simply “live with” an irritant, instead God gave it a way to both protect itself and transform it into a thing of beauty.

He’s given us the same ability.

We have His Word to guide and instruct us on how He has called us to live, which includes avoiding those life choices which are harmful.

‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
Deuteronomy 5:7‭-‬8‭, ‬11‭-‬12‭, ‬16‭-‬21 NKJV

He also grants us amazing opportunities to live for Him through difficulty.

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. James 1:2‭-‬4 NKJV

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10‭-‬12 NKJV

It’s important we recognize the opportunity when we come across irritants, for through them God is glorified.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV — And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the pearl. Thank You for the amazing beautiful You bring out of an irritant. Lord, please let my heart rely completely upon You that I might see the blessings in the irritants and the opportunities in those times of difficulty. Lord, I know that I will not always understand how to respond to trials, tribulations, or persecution, but I do humbly request that You bring Your Word to mind in those, that I might understand how to respond. Lord, please remind me to coat every irritant in prayer, that I might be led by Your Word and Your truth. Lord, thank You for Your ways. Thank You for Your beautiful creation which continually testifies to You, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

A Wednesday lesson

Jase’s new mug.

I drove to my allergist’s office to get my shot today, only they were closed.

They’ve had a sign on the door for weeks announcing the closure, but I ignored it.


I don’t get my shots on Tuesday or Wednesday, so it didn’t apply to me, or so I thought.

The problem is, I had a migraine on Monday and didn’t go on my regular day.

Since I hadn’t taken note of this closure I drove the hour distance in our old truck only to discover my error.

I felt like the drawing of the lady slapping herself on the forehead with the palm of one hand.

Both Anne and Jase had accompanied me, as they wanted to be dropped off at Hobby Lobby.

I’d checked the store’s hours before leaving home and I dropped both at the front door before heading to the office for my immunotherapy.

As I walked back to the truck, my thoughts kept running me into the ground for the wasted trip, the unnecessary gas used, loss of schooling time, and pretty much anything else.

But I knew that wasn’t honoring the Lord.

To clarify, I don’t think God is to blame for me ignoring the sign or for driving an hour to turn around and drive back.

But I do believe God uses my mistakes to teach me and I knew beating myself up over the error would only rob me of the perspective to see what God was doing.

So, I asked God to forgive me for my carelessness and to teach me through the mistake.

It took a while before I could look backwards and see anything good from my error.

Several good things have happened:

* Both Anne and Jase bought something they wanted at the store. (Jase’s mug is pictured.)

* I was able to save my husband a trip to the bank.

* The bank is in a nearby town I’m unfamiliar with, so I gained knowledge I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

* I was able to be real with my kids and admit although I’m disappointed with myself, it’s an opportunity to learn.

* The weather is beautiful and I enjoyed the countryside on our drive home.

The best part about it all is the cycle from my past is broken.

I made a mistake, but I’m not caught in an unhealthy response of running myself down because of it, rather I’m thankful.

Because God truly is working through all things for good.

Romans 8:28 NKJV — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for being God Almighty. Thank You for Your Sovereignty. Lord, I know You are using these things I find annoying to hone my heart and help me not to fall into unhealthy attitudes or actions. I know You are working all things together for good, even my moments of carelessness. Lord, please help me to be careful, mindful, responsible, and honorable. Please help me to walk with You in understanding and wisdom. Lord, I know You are worthy of all my trust. Your ways are perfect and Your truth is amazing. Thank You for all Your patience with me. Thank You for providing so much and showing me what I need to work on, surrendering to You my expectations. Thank You for loving and saving my soul! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Always an opportunity

I love how God never changes.

He is worthy of all our trust.

He’s been teaching me there is always something to be thankful for.

There’s always an opportunity to praise Him.

Yesterday, I was thankful for provision.

Despite being really tired all day, He supplied me with enough energy to do what was required.

The day before, I was thankful for the kindness of our pastor, who dropped everything to jump start our daughter’s SUV and then follow her home, just to make sure she was alright.

Wednesday, I was thankful for medical professionals as I got my shots and Anne had a three hour lab test.

The list goes on, because each day held more than one opportunity for me to be thankful.

I’m certain there were some opportunities to praise God which slipped by my notice, because there’s that many.

God’s blessings surround us daily and it’s incredible.

It used to be that I missed so many opportunities to be filled with gratitude.

Instead of looking at the ways God was providing, I only focused upon the things which I didn’t like, didn’t want, or upset me.

When the Lord corrected my perspective, I realized all the missed opportunities and repented.

He forgave me!

(What a gracious, merciful, and understanding God He is!)

He’s been teaching me not get tangled up with the emotions, but to be honest with what I’m feeling, and seek His face for the opportunity He has in the circumstance I’m in.

For this life is not my own, it belongs to Jesus.

He bought it at such a high price.

With the knowledge of His goodness I can rest in knowing no matter what, He is working and I have an opportunity to praise Him.

Psalm 9:11 KJV — Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

I can also walk through this life with security, my soul is safe in His salvation.

Isaiah 12:2 KJV — Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your blessings. Thank You for sustaining us and caring for us continually. Lord, thank You for providing so many opportunities to praise You! Lord, I again confess my past sin of missing You because I was focused on the wrong thing. Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for helping me learn to look forward to new opportunities to be thankful while continuing to praise You for Your past blessings. Lord Jesus, I know You are all mighty, and You do things beyond my understanding. I know Your truth is life and Your blessings are innumerable. Thank You for all the ways You have blessed me and for another day to continue to praise You.

Psalm 22:25-27 NKJV — My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You.


Sunday’s surprise

It was early, but not too early.

I had been awake for awhile when my phone began ringing.

To my surprise and delight it was Bell.

Where they currently are they have to find a cafe to use WIFI so I’d not expected to hear from them.

Yet there they sat, in a cafe, video chatting.

Then I received several beautiful pictures.

A number of which brought tears to my eyes because I recognized the areas.

It was such a pleasure to hear from our daughter and to see where they were.

Later the same morning I thought it would be nice to video chat our other daughter.

Since I had heard she was alone due to my husband being called into work.

To my surprise and joy she answered and behind her stood my husband.

He had already returned from work and they were both able to chat.

As the morning wore on I got ready for church and made sure Jase was ready.

We all piled into the car and arrived at church.

We walked in and took up a short row.

The pastor began announcements and I was surprised.

My chest had tightened and was giving me all the wrong signals.

I got up and went to the Ladies’ Room in hopes of getting some relief.

After taking my rescue inhaler twice I impatiently waited for relief.

It didn’t come.

The sound of women’s heal clicks alerted me to the presence of some one else, which frankly caused me some stress.

I’ve learned the average person has no idea what an asthma attack looks like nor what to do.

Instead they get worried or embarrassed.

To my relief it was our oldest daughter checking on me.

It didn’t take long to decide she should drive me back to the house.

Jase came too, as he was concerned.

Sis dropped us off to return to church with Tim and their sweet baby.

As we went inside I patted Jase.

“Don’t worry, we will have church at home with Jesus.”

He got a snack and I found a sermon on YouTube and we listened to Alister Begg.

It was titled Anxiety.

I thought it was extremely fitting.

When the sermon closed my heart was surprised again at the warmth of comfort and the growth of peace.

My day had been full of surprise, some good and others less than appealing.

Yet through each I could clearly see the Lord’s care and guidance.

None of these things surprised Him.

And although I have no idea what is next, I can walk forward free from anxiety.

Sunday’s surprises taught me that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your constant and continued love for me and all of mankind. I am astonished by how You work everything together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Thank You for the reminder to shun stress and live without anxiety. How great are Your ways. How much higher and better than anything I am able to truly comprehend.



I had tried to figure out what was going on.

In an effort to decorate for Thanksgiving I’d placed mini pumpkins and squash on rounds outside the front door.

Yet they kept ending up in the flower bed.

After several chats with family and a stern talking with our dogs I thought it was sorted.

Then I came out early this week and this is what greeted me.

I laughed.

Took this pic.

Texted my friend to share the “answer ” to my rearranged decor.

It was an opportunity I took to let go of my ideal.

So what if there’s no mini pumpkin on the wood rounds!

My life will never look like a magazine article because those aren’t real life.

I had another opportunity.

I was reading to our son his English.

(He’s come so far! Yet reading is still very difficult, therefore I often read assignments aloud.)

The lesson was on types of sentences.

He needed to label what the sentence was: command, telling, question, or exclamation.

The sentence said: I like to eat chicken.

What I said was:

“I like to eat children.”



Our son looked up at me and laughed!

Then he replied,  “Fee, fie, foe, fum, I smell the blood of a little  boy!”

No, I don’t have to be embarrassed.

This is an opportunity.

So, I laughed.

He laughed.

We laughed.

For days afterwards!

I even texted my hubby to share the joke.

Opportunity seems to be abundant when I’m listening to the Lord.

When I soak my heart in the Bible and then ask the Lord to open my eyes to His opportunities.

Even in the things I really really don’t like.

Our toilet has never been right.

We’ve done all kinds of things, but the end prognosis is it needs to be replaced.

Then out of the blue my husband’s father calls to say he has a brand-new toilet to give us!

We pick it up and store it in the garage so as soon as my husband’s schedule is open in it goes.

Then he tells me.

“Honey, you’re going to need to repaint the bathroom.”

! ? !!

This is my emotions.

I’m in the middle of painting Jase’s room.

I don’t have time to run back and forth to the store and figure out what color, to pickup more paint, it’s almost Thanksgiving!

This is an opportunity.

Yes Lord.

So as I pray about it:

What’s wrong with the color of Jase’s room?


Praise the Lord!

I ran out of paint but I was able to finish Jase’s room and get most of the bathroom painted.

So when the new toilet is ready to go in I should be able to paint that wall. I’m going to town soon I can get more paint.

And I love the new color.

I am so thankful.

I’m really looking forward to our new toilet too.

Just Tuesday I came home from work and the toilet was plugged. (It’s a daily issue.)

I worked away and finally thought I had it.

Not an hour later I’m informed it’s really


They were not joking.

I worked away for a while.


My success led me to rejoice audibly.

God gave me another opportunity.

One that took me by surprise.

Our son stuck his head in the bathroom door and with a big smile commented:

“Oh good! Did you get the orange out?!”