Saturday, August 2, 2014


Recovering from back surgery I'm on the patio relaxing in a "Zero Gravity" chair.  The cool breeze dancing around the leaves of the 60+ trees in our yard capture my attention.  God, You are amazing!  Thank You!  

The tree closest to the porch I would deem as a nuisance.  It is a Chestnut tree-- uncommon to most.  I had never seen one until moving here.  The chestnuts are nestled within these big, round, spiny burrs.  Boy, do they hurt!  I say nuisance because when they fall off the tree I have to sweep them off the porch and rake them up from around the tree so the grandchildren won't get hurt.

Today that tree is not a nuisance but the the most magnificent shade; uncommonly beautiful.  ...and so I will rake and be happy.
Sometimes we have to look past life's thorns to find the happy.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Since I watch children during the day, there are times I have to tell them, “Don’t whine; there’s no sense in it.  No whining at Granna’s.”  Today, those words are coming back at me as I am sitting in my pity party pants whining about something I have no control over.  Just like the little people I am whining in the “No Whining Zone”.

Digging my way out of where I took myself, I decide to lay my eyes upon notes I jot down daily.  They may be found in a journal, yellow notepad, my cell phone journal or a spiral notebook; everywhere my thoughts are laid down for the moment.  Doing so, I found that in some notes taken last week, the Lord was speaking to me for this day.  So, I read today reflecting on my notes finding His words for my "right nows" and tomorrows.

The youngest child I watch is 5 month old, Case.  He is a very active little fella!  I just know one day he is going to run in the Olympics and win!  Most of the time when I give him his bottle he shows that aggressiveness!  As he is in my arms sucking on his bottle, his arm is flailing back and forth like crazy!  He is so strong that this action knocks the bottle out of my hand and we have to start all over.  One day I said to him, “You can’t control it, I’ve got to control it.”  Hmmm…

That same morning the children and I were doing one of our favorite things; taking a walk in the sunshine!  Two of the children are sitting in the double stroller and my grandson, Jude, sits at the front.  Every day we take a walk and never have I had a problem with the stroller resisting the turns.  But this day, it would not turn at the corners.  So, I had to pick it up and turn it myself.  Hmmm…

So, we press on trying to enjoy our time of strolling.

Jude looks up to the sky and points to one dark cloud amongst lots of sunshine and says, “Look!  A storm is coming!”  I smile and reply, “Honey, a dark cloud doesn’t always mean a storm is coming.”  Wow…

Are you with me?  God speaks to us as His children in the same way we speak to our own.  With His hands turning my face toward Him I can hear my heavenly dad say, "Look at me.  Focus on me for I know what is best." Our focus is followed by His faithfulness.

All along I have been trying to control, resist and anticipate a storm.  If I don’t stop, I will worry out the blessing God has for me that takes me to happy.

Heavenly Father, I know You care and are more than capable of meeting our needs.  I give You control of my life.  I know it’s a daily choice.  I choose to be happy.

I pray today you, also, will find that leaving your cares at the cross will take you to happy.

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.”
Psalm 138:8

Case, Ava and Jude


Thursday, July 4, 2013

EYES WIDE OPEN (Celebrating Freedom)

Four years ago today, I was in my father’s hospital room knowing soon, he would be taking his last breath and waking up in heaven.  Watching, waiting, hoping for more time for my reality to be my dad is still with me...

I spent the night that July 4th and watched out the window with mom as the  fireworks celebration began.  Though dad did not fully comprehend everything, it did not stop us from using every adjective we knew to describe to him this spectacular view; the celebration of independence for our nation!

Looking back to that night, I realize there was an adjective I missed…

As the night went on, my precious mom finally closed her eyes to a much needed rest.  So, I stayed up at dad's bedside keeping my eyes wide open, allowing my mind to capture new snapshots of this man I admired and loved.   He has always been in my heart and a treasured photo in my home, but, soon, the touch would end; soon the last breath would arrive.  I realized nothing tired me as I cherished those moments.

Every now and then he would seem frustrated and very fidgety with a fear in his eyes…  “It’s okay, dad.  I’m right here.”  Stroking his head seemed to ease him.  But, what brought the greatest calm was God’s word---as it always did.  So, the very last scripture I quoted him was the 23rd Psalm.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.   He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord f

I thought I had missed the adjective, but it just wasn't time for it's use nor to describe the decorations in the sky.  Then morning came when dad took his last breath here on earth, and with his eyes wide open stepped into an eternal view that I'm sure would be described as breath-taking.

He now celebrates freedom on the unending road of happy!

For those who are a part of the Shepherd's flock, I pray the 23rd Psalm will give you a calm and assurance He has never left your side.  Those of you who want to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Shepherd, repent of your sins and receive His grace.  No sin is too great that the blood of the sacrificial lamb can't wash away.

Thank you, soldiers, for the freedom to sit at my father's bedside quoting scripture.  Thank you, God, for the freedom in You through the blood of Jesus Christ!

My loves, my heart, my treasures; my parents.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The unleashed songs, vibrant colors in design and outstretched wings embracing the winds are why I thoroughly enjoy birds of the air.

As I sit here, I think  although they are a wonderful creation, these beautiful birds can also make a mess, fight with each other and have to endure storms.

Yes, bird droppings on our windshield or porch make us frown.  But, before long, their song puts a smile back on our face.  They do fight, then most always fly away together. So, though these beautiful creatures fight, have messes and face storms, they survive and continue to sing letting the winds carry them to a safe landing place.

Hmmm... our reality, life's mirrored silhouette, a bird.

We, too can make a mess of our days, get frustrated with each other, and lose our way in the storms of life and yet God's winds of forgiveness, grace and faithfulness are waiting and ready to carry us to safety.

Today, whatever you may be going through, let each time you hear a bird sing remind you of God's promises.

Let go... fly...  sing again.

"But I will sing off Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning.  For You have been a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.". Psalm 59:16

Saturday, June 15, 2013


(In honor and memory of my loving, charismatic, witty dad)

My dad was an example of what a spiritually balanced diet is!  He ministered outside our home as a wonderful pastor/missionary but also ministered inside the home as a great husband, father, and leader.

According to the world’s picture of success, we did not have much.  According to God’s definition, we were rich!  The Lord called my dad to go into all the world and preach the gospel and that he did!  But, he did not forget that we, his family, were also a part of that world.  He and mom were our sanctuary of learning.  So, we watched.

With this being Father’s Day, I want to honor mine by telling you how he lived the example to be, the manual of honor, the study guide of strength,  the format of faith, the blueprint of love. 

Mom and dad were the first vision for me and my two siblings of what love looks like.  How thankful I am they gave us love in truth; the real meaning, unmasked love.  Irritable moments became laughter, disappoints grew dedication and they never forgot they were teaching and we were watching.

Though at the time I didn’t realize, until now, he was teaching me how love in action are moments that become the forever.

Sometimes Dad might not have had the money to get mom a gift but he would always make sure to have her a card for her birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or just because.  There were even on some occasions when he would just write her a note or a poem.  From what I know, his love notes started back when they were in high school.  Marriage, kids and the busyness of ministry didn’t stop this act of love.  Years go by and dad’s health is poor yet his heart is still rich in love with mom.  His health stole from him the joy of picking out the cards himself, but, it did not stop him.  You see, he called upon me, “Here’s some money.  Could you please buy mom a card for me?”  Oh how I always wanted to get that perfect card to say the love he showed her.  Remember, I was watching. 

Thank you, dad for teaching me that it really isn’t the actual card or how much you spend; it is the display of love we show in all we do.  You helped me to understand that although most cards are thrown away or misplaced over time, making phone calls to friends or family when you don’t have much to say, or when sitting in the lawn chairs sharing conversation with the one you love is not on the “to do” list, those are the things that make life rich and the “heart thoughts” that make those moments A Forever Card.

Psalm 27:4
 One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.