It’s good and Spring now! It took awhile but it’s really here now!
We picked up a couple of blueberry bushes and some more hibiscus (the yellow, some of them above).
Jerry got them planted this week and mulched. He is quite the gardener! Have I mentioned that I’m totally nuts about him? 😍
I don’t know if it’s the mood I’m in this year, or the age I’m getting to, but I LOVE flowers!! Flowers, flowers, flowers!
Spring is a season of transition, of hope, of promise of things to come, signs of life, renewal, newness of life, out with old, in with the new, cleaning up, clearing out.
It can be a lot. But, there’s also, a lot that it can be!
I love the holidays AND winter so much. It’s often hard for me to let go of winter and embrace the change and newness of Spring
But, I’m determined to not be that person stuck in the past. To value, appreciate and enjoy the past while fully rooted in the now, and reaching forward to the promise of the future!
Nature teaches us to embrace the cycle of life. It’s our example from the Lord for our good!
Like the flower above, the full goodness of what’s in store ahead does not yet appear, but we can trust our Good Father for the Ephesians 3:20 — “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” of life! If it’s not good yet, hold on, trust Him and SEE what He does!
We had a grand ole time on Easter Sunday with all the kids! The Dads hid the eggs and the Moms stuffed the eggs! Then we let loose the hordes and the kids found the eggs!!
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” — Genesis 8:22.
“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, The Message
We lost my Daddy on 1 January this year.
He and my Mom had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my youngest brother and his wife and their daughters, and I am pretty sure that my Baby Sis and her family made it there as well.
In our family we did not have a set routine to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, each year we all did our own things, sometimes some of us connecting in various ways at various times.
A few scant days after, he took ill. It happened horribly fast, no time to adjust at each step of decline, before another step overtook us.
We are all walking with a limp now, I guess you could say. Walking it out, figuring it out, praying it out, talking it out, loving it out, faithing it out, sometimes crying it out.
Questions. So many questions. Memories. Unaccomplished wishes. Things to hold onto that make you feel close to him. Like he can live on in your lives and be instilled in your family dna.
Beyond the thousand little cuts where you can’t hug him, can’t introduce him to great grandkids, can’t text him, can’t call him, or drive the backroads to visit him, beyond all this hangs the question, ‘What’s he experiencing? What’s Heaven like for him right now? What is he doing?’
I don’t doubt it’s beyond our ability to conceive. Far, far richer, far sweeter, far deeper. But, I want to know. And I feel the Lord encouraging the question. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. — Proverbs 25:2
Yesterday afternoon, all the way through last night, my thoughts and pondering peaked in this regard. Jesus taught during His time on earth, through the rabbinical style of asking questions, and still does today.
I found myself the last week or so wondering if my Father in law had met up with Daddy yet, for a cup of coffee and ‘catching up’, welcoming him to the place. We lost my Father in law in December 2014. I think of him every day. Miss him very much. See him in his son, my Batman, everyday.
Then I realized likely my Granddaddy would be at that table for coffee. We lost him in late March of 1983. I picture the men on the outside of a wooden building, under an overhang, as to a porch on an old style of a General Store.
I picture them smiling, talking, sipping, contemplating. The question came ‘Do you really think so?’ Yeah, I really kinda do. ‘Ok. Can you think of what you know from The Word that can help support that?’
I can. God is very relational. He created us for relationship with Him. He designed us not only in His image to have relationships, but also that we need one another, and each have different parts and pieces that only work best in collaboration with each other. The Church (Body of believers) is designed for us to work and be in relationship with each other. He designed us so that some friends are like family and some family are like friends. Yeah, I think that continues at a higher level in Heaven.
He let me steep in that picture for a little while and then took me around the table to what they might be saying:
My FIL, (sweet smile he had when he’s tickled): “I tell ya, I never imagined how much I would like it here. How welcome I would be. How much at home I would feel. I had no idea how good this would be!”
My Daddy, with eyes in wonder: “It’s more than everything I ever dreamed! I did not realize or expect to be so near to the Father and His Son, to be so near to Jesus, to see where all the prayers are kept! It’s absolutely overwhelming! It makes all the hell seem trivial in comparison to this!”
My GrandDaddy, looking at his coffee cup, kinda smiling: “You boys haven’t seen the half of it! Wait until you see what they’re working on!”
“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. TODAY you will join me in PARADISE.” — Luke 23:32-43, KJV
“4 I sought theLord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” — Psalm 34:4-5
Hey, Everybody! I pray you are sleeping well as Itype this! I know I’mfixing to!
Fell asleep and woke up…that’s never my best. Sometimes I’m too happy to sleep and my mind races…sometimes, the enemy of my soul wants to rush in and whisper things to imagine and worry about. Tonight I talk back with the Word. God’s Word is always the answer, and more effective if we speak it, pray it, declare it. Doesn’t necessarily mean you feel better instantly…but…you CAN know beyond what you feel…and your feelings WILL catch up. I think our culture talks about ‘anxiety’ too much. Gives it too much power. Not because it’s not a real thing. But, because it IS a real thing. Anxiety is a fact. Everybody deals with it. Its everywhere. It’s like humidity or clouds…it’s there…but, so is the breeze, so is the sunshine and the moonlight, and the morning dew and rain from time to time. 🤷♀️ it’s not everything. It’s not the boss. We have a Protector, if we will keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us in His perfect peace.
My closing Word to go to sleep with
—“47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” — Luke 6:47-48.
That’s never sounded as good as it does tonight. I hope this encourages someone.🙏🏻♥️
“Return to the stronghold [ofsecurity and prosperity], youprisonersofhope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.” — Zechariah 9:12.
Hi, old friend!! It’s been too long!! I think about writing here every day! We have imaginary conversations! I couldn’t settle for an imaginary one today!
How is life treating you lately? Drop me a note and I’ll pray for you like we have been friends for life!
It’s definitely a new season. We are looking forward to Jerry’s retirement. We are thinkingofpresent and future endeavors. Still looking at campers, hoping and trusting we choose ‘the right one’! We are both writing more, but neither of us maybe writing quite as much as we want, but we are definitely more focused and making good progress at learning to adapt and juggle. Remember we have a new grandbaby on the way from the youngest son and his fiancé? Well, we found out that our oldest son and his wife are now also expecting! We just are amazed!! So, that’s number 6 and number 7 on the way!!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” — Psalm 127:3
I’m kinda baby crazy right now!! 🥰👶🥰
In many ways everything is the same as last year, yet everything feels and seems different! We learned a lot. We have made decisions and taken actions a lot. Processes of timebrought some things to completion, some things to fruition, and the Lord has just blessed us. I’m of a mindset we are never without His blessing once we give ourselves to Him, but some seasons are definitely sweeter thanothers, though all He WILL cause to work out to our good because we love Him and are called unto His purposes. All in His time.
Right now, I feel content in pursuing a path that helps us be ready for our future, while also working as much as I know how, to be useful in telling the good news of Who I know Him to be.
Also s’mores! Lol! I have discovered I really like s’mores! They make a great dessert! I’m just saying!
Been studying a bit for this next podcast, number 5. The number of GRACE! It’s about The Blessing of God on us His people, how important it is to Him for us to have it, know it, and understand it, walk in it. And what (or whom) He has blessed cannot be cursed.
I get hopeful every timeI think of someone accidentally tripping across our podcast blog, or on Spotify or Stitcher, and learning, breathing in knowledge of the goodness of God, from a regular girl who isn’t an ‘influencer’ by today’s standards, but is an ambassador by His standards, just a Christ follower, a lover of family, and maybe s’mores! 🤣🤣 Somebody who runs to work, walks the dogs, gets groceries, cooks dinner, does laundry. Takes 4 insulin shots a day, and gets up and does it all again tomorrow, just likethem! I’m hoping it will be enlightening and uplifting, shining a light from Him on their path!
I pray this next week, your hope is strengthened in all number of ways. That you will find courage to take at least a baby step forward every day! “Return you to thestronghold, you prisoners of hope!”
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” – Psalm 91:14
We go through things that isolate us, for a season. We pray. Yet, things get harder. We KNOW He hasn’t left us. But, we don’t understand what we are going through. Because NONE of it is good, feels right, or leaves us with any hope. Instead we feel betrayed. Bereft. Abandoned. Our hope begins against our will to crumble. Leaving in it’s place cynicism.
What is this?
Could it be that we are under construction? Think about Joseph.
What the enemy of our soul meant to sideline us, The Lord allowed to prepare us.What was meant by the enemy to make us bitter, was tempting, but God used it to enrich our heart’s capacity to empathisize and have compassion. What satan meant to isolate us from our support network and our divine destiny, the Lord allowed to develop our deep roots in Him, expanding our reach and tearing down unintentional walls we grew up with. Pain and suffering when submitted in faith to the Lord, somehow make wine out of juice, pearls out of grains of sand, diamonds born out of extreme darkness and pressure. Lord, make us shine, let us love, reach, mend. May we be sweeter, more gracious, more generous, more full of faith and great expectation, and in love believe the best, and not waste a drop.
Genesis 50:20 — Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery:
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
I can’t see one area of pain or trouble that He has not blessed us in the midst of. That we haven’t grown to KNOW Him more fully, more deeply, less surface knowledge, more in our bones knowledge.
I can think of many times my family, or family members, or myself were rejected, betrayed, treated unfairly. And we are none the worse for it. We are wiser than when we went in. We have more compassion than when things were ‘good’. We know the Lord and His ways (very importantly) better, than we did at the beginning.
He never ever leaves us or forsakes us. He never causes the trouble. IF He allows it, it’s because He has far greater in store for us to be a part in His plan, and He needs our foundation deep and strong.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28
If you or a loved one is going through one of these ‘Under Construction’ times, drop a simple comment, I will keep you/them in prayer.
He. Is. Faithful. He is for us. He is not against us.
“In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:“ — portion of Isaiah 30:15.
It’s been a long, hot summer, Y’all.
We took a few days off at the end of May, and it was nice. We enjoyed getting a few odds and ends done around the house. Hanging out. Whatnot. Resting up.
The world also blew up with regards to policing and race issues and social media became extremely non fun and toxic, the very same weekend.
We don’t watch the news. As in ever. Anything we want to know, we can find out on our phones without talking heads telling us what to think about it.
Of the two of us, Batman has the smarts to stay out of social media. And I’m SO grateful.
I’m good and hooked. 🙄 I have rules for boundaries though and stick to them! It helps a lot!
Social media is how I found out about all the bad stuff, weirdly in an account that I purposely keep only for inspiration, photography, family, praise and worship ministries, biblical teaching. (told ya social media became non fun!)
I’m not going to try to rehash the bad things that happened this summer. Just laying out a little corner of the world and how it impacted us.
I could see the storm coming to our country, our society, and there was no avoiding the wind, the rain, the lightening and the thunder.
It would impact us all, and if you are a law enforcement family, a lot.
There’s layers to it. It’s clear. And it’s jagged. All at the same time.
I was so distraught that weekend at what I was seeing. I worried how it would impact Batman and our little city. I remember I didn’t want him burdened with the knowledge of what I was seeing.
And so much more. My blood pressure was definitely up!
“And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,Peace,bestill. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” — Mark 4:39.
The resulting unrest across the country had another side effect of causing people to realize they needed a certain kind of training which we (Batman) provide.
Being so busy all summer was good medicine for my mind’s tendency to be over wrought with troubles and their potential implications.
Potential. Oh, the trouble we can weave in our minds and hearts, that never comes to pass. But, our bodies bear the brunt of the stress dumping hormones for sure!
So grateful for so many good people we have gotten to meet and help. Like I tell Batman, I love to watch him work! 😍 getting out of the routine to do this, was super good for me. Gave me distance from the perceived problems of our society, and the opportunity to do what I think I do best. Help. That’s my favorite! Help my husband, help our clients, help our family.
With the added layer of the virus and the various ways citizens and government have complicated it, I have had oodles of opinions!! Gracious!! Nobody needs more opinions though. So every time I was tempted to ‘put my foot down’ on social media about it, I always felt this check in my spirit. To be still. To know that He is God. The famous verse from Psalm 46, He had firmly planted it in my heart at the end of last year, and impressed upon me to take it with me into the coming year, 2020.
The check in my spirit, restraining me, from spouting off opinions no one needed to hear from me about the virus, was “I don’t know yet what is really going on. I know the devil is at work. And so is our Father. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t understand yet. Wait and see. Trust God. Be gracious. Be prudent. Believe the best. God will work good out of all this, if we make room for Him.”
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” — Psalm 46:10.
You know, that verse above we often quote the first half, and rightly so. We need, we crave, that stillness of our hearts and minds and lives. And it comes with KNOWING He (alone) is God!
But, let’s not forget the one, two punch of the second half of the verse! He WILL BE exalted among the heathen, He WILL BE exalted in the earth!
That. That restores order to my mind, hope to my heart, peace to my life.
I still keep an eye on the news online. I see it. But, I don’t soak in it. I also take care to not aim to be right, score points, or any of the things that social media is designed to do, but rather to know facts, stand for truth, encourage the best, keep it to a minimum, where possible, build tiny bridges.
Batman and I have also learned the joy and wisdom of taking a week each month off from our side gig, to catch up on life and rest and just enjoy!!
This year is teaching me over and over the beauty of ‘resting’ in the care and Grace of our Lord. In so many ways, trust in Him. Make room for Him. Expect good from Him. It’s not really about the storm clouds, the wind or the lightening, it’s about Jesus, being the center of our focus!
“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment andrecreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.“ — Matthew 11:29. The Amplified Bible.
Thanks for listening Y’all!! I’m praying we get all the ‘goody’ out of this crazy year, that He has for us all!
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.”— Matthew 1:20-23. ♥️♥️ So, this certain song came on, on my way to work Friday and it just touched my heart so much. Because on those back country roads, that I love to drive, and are a big part of who I am, I was able to really think about Jesus’ birth from Joseph and Mary’s point of view. Scripture tells us He was willing to come down from Heaven in human form and endure the cross for the coming victory. He thought you were worth it! He was ‘made poor’ so that we ‘might be made rich’. (2 Corinthians 8:9) He took an unfathomably hard road so that we would have a path to follow out and through and up and over, to a better place, a better way. I particularly realized something, as I listened to Trisha Yearwood sing this song, and thought of Mary’s unique and unlikely dilemma, and Joseph’s perdicament. Jesus, our Lord, had Himself born into something which was almost unheard of in that time, a single mom (unmarried and pregnant), who Joseph agreed to marry in spite of, in obedience to the Lord’s guidance, making Joseph a Step-Father. Jesus really walked in humble shoes to give us the advantage of the greatest hope! And to be able to show (I believe) our current generations, so many of whom come from either broken, blended or both, families, He’s been there. His Mom was talked about. His Dad was talked about. His family life was ‘complicated’, while we don’t ever want to treat His deity with a lack of reverence, we also do NOT want to miss out on His HUMANITY which He CHOSE to be born to FOR A PURPOSE.
John 10:10, — “10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I AM COME THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, and that they might HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY.”
I believe, like so many things He walked out for us, He walked this unique and challenging family life out,,so that we could have wholeness in all circumstances, with His GRACE!
He did without a lot, endured a lot, overcame a lot, for you and for me. This week I want to embrace the victory He purchased, the abundant life He wants for us, for you and for me, and it’s going to require I let go of the things that don’t matter and grab hold of the best things He has for me. It’s going to require more of my attention. More of my heart. He knows I’m weak. But, that just makes more room for Him to move in me!
“Oh taste and see, that the Lord is good: blessed is the man the trusteth in Him.” — Psalm 34:8
Couldn’t sleep a few nights ago, and this verse came to mind! Eventually, had to loook it up and study it!
Some key words:
🎯Taste: to taste, perceive
🎯See: to see, discern, consider, behold, enjoy, joyfully, look one upon another, regard, to mark, view, observe, TO FACE (this makes me think how often in my studies I realize that’s how He wants us to know Him, face to face!)
🎯Good: good, beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, favor, joyfully, merry, kindly, gracious, most, pleasure, pleaseth, prosperity, sweet, wealth, favored, good in every way, sensual goodness,(as in tangible), intellect goodness, moral goodness, having benefits, welfare, prosperity, bounty. Basically, if it’s any kind of good? It’s found in Him and His Goodness!!! ALL the things good!! 🤗👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
🎯 Blessed: this one is pretty amazing— blessed, happiness. From a root word meaning to go straight, to advance, to be led, to go, to make progress, to set right, to be made HAPPY!
🎯Man: valiant man or WARRIOR, strong man, to be strong or valiant, to be mighty.
🎯Trusteth: to trust, to be careless (as in having no care!) to confide in, have hope in, take refuge in!
Way better things to be thinking about, as compared to the things we often see around us on social media and especially, the news.
As we ‘Taste’ and ‘See’ (know Him face to face) that the Lord is GOOD in every way, we are BLESSED —we advance, go straight, are MADE HAPPY, make progress and are set right! We are not only Happy and advancing, we are STRONG, VALIANT, WARRIORS! (A Happy Warrior! Love it!) we are made blessed when we trust in Him, making Him our refuge, having no cares!
“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: His Mercy endureth forever.” — Psalm 107:1
Hey, Everybody! Not entirely sure of how this will come together, but it’s on my mind and I have to try!
A lot of things are coming together this year. No Covid can stop the move of God. When He says “Grace!” Grace is coming! It’s pouring! It’s rushing to heal. To fill, to refresh, to replenish and to restore! It just washes away the obstacles.
His Grace. It’s always here, right where we need it! Sometimes, where we need it and HOW we need it, is more like a trip to the ER, court, chemotherapy or radiation or a root canal, or two. It’s more like long term physical therapy or visitation, or unemployment. In other words it’s in our pain and our suffering, our desolation. it’s what keeps us going, helps us not be overcome, but instead to overcome. It’s the salt in our water we are faithfully treading. Giving us much needed buoyancy. It’s the spiritual CrossFit training chiseling the freshly flab out of our souls.
Thank God for it!! Because of THAT Grace, we make much needed progress, and LIVE to SEE way better days!!
We last to live to see the days our hearts long for, that we dream of. We KNOW we are experiencing much needed GRACE when we experience these much longed for victories, when we achieve accomplishments we struggled for, when we can’t wipe the silly grin off our faces, because He DID it! He brought our hopes to pass! He restored us, refreshed us, vindicated us, brought us out and INTO our much better place!
But, that Grace? Is a result of the first Grace. Which is not near as fun, and if we aren’t mindful, we may miss it altogether. And that would be a shame, because we NEED the memory of His faithfulness in the times of our darkest pain, our most pressing darkness, our most infuriating injustices. We need to tie that memory to us like a tourniquet around our arm, keeping the life blood of our faith from running out.
I like to take a breath and look around, outwardly and inwardly, and try to take stock of alllll the many ways His goodness is popping up and showing out, little details, that I know are not happenstance. Big things, that I wouldn’t have even known to pray for, but He did them anyway!
Last year and the year before, were challenging times. That’s the most I can really stand to say about them. For now. At the end of the year as we approached 2020, I was strongly impressed by the Lord, that where 2019 has been all about work, survival mode, it was preparing us for a 2020 that would see us thriving! I have to say, 5 months in, and I see the benefits all around me, tendrils of plants peeping up through the soil, some flowers already starting to unfurl.
If you are in survival mode, (or even coasting or thriving mode, this works all the time!). I encourage you to hold onto Him and His faithfulness, scream in your car on the way to work if you have to, cry in the shower, turn the Praise and Worship music on to Def Con 12, and give the devil a migraine! Read your Bible relentlessly. Listen to powerful and BIBLICAL teaching, every chance you get.
And in the process of time you will begin to feel a shift in the weather. He is faithful and knows we need changes in our seasons. And He’s a GOOD Father. So He does much needed work in us during the hard times. SO THAT the good times coming, don’t wreck us!
Look around, savor the signs of His faithfulness. Celebrate with Him, the beauty of His Grace. Don’t be ashamed to testify, someone most likely needs it.
“While Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines came within range to fight Israel. Just then, God thundered a huge thunder clap exploding among the Philistines. They panicked—mass confusion!—and ran helter skelter from Israel. Israel poured out of Mizpah and gave chase, killing Philistines right and left, to a point just beyond Beth Car. Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “EBENEZER” (Rock of help), saying “This marks the place where God helped us.”— 1 Samuel 7:10-12 The Message
Happy Sunday, Y’all! God bless you and keep you and give you great JOY!