This morning I read this verse from 1 Corinthians and sort of felt like it was a slap in the face. Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  1 Corinthians 13:4-5 As I think back over the past 24 hours I know I had moments of impatience, selfishness, envy, and pride.  I wanted my own way and though I probably didn't notice it, was probably irritable or touchy.  Grudge … [Read more...]

  When I was growing up I used to hear people talk about how to know God's will for your life. It's a question to which we all want an answer.     Better yet... a direct message, email, a text from God would put us all on the right path.  Or so we think. I know that there are times when I'm perplexed with indecision and I wish for His "handwriting on the wall." God doesn't work that way and even if we had a personalized life plan in our hands Fed-Exed directly to us from Him... we would still pick and choose what feels good to us.  What?!  I hate to admit it... but how many … [Read more...]

  This morning I prayed for direction in writing this post.  As usual, there were no lightning bolts nor was there any handwriting on the wall.     My heart was open to hearing from God.  And he didn't leave me wondering for long.  I opened Bible Gateway and the verse of the day popped up. Here it is... If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also. 1 John 4:20-21 I had already been concerned about … [Read more...]

  If a TV reporter were to stop you on the street and thrust a microphone in your face and ask you what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving... what would be your answer? We often talk about gratitude here and how a thankful heart is a happy heart.     As I was editing photos today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and the pilgrims' first Thanksgiving dinner that my second-grade class reenacted on the stage of an old gym with the slippery brown linoleum floor.  A long table was placed on the stage and set with food.  I'm not sure if every student dressed in pilgrim clothing, but … [Read more...]

  Words... Have you noticed that there's been a war of words, especially on Facebook? Granted Facebook isn't REALLY our personal space.... but it feels personal to me. It's where I keep up with my nieces... one lives in Connecticut and the other in Arizona. It's where I keep up with the friends I've made in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond. It's also a work space for me... there are the blogging groups I belong to and there's my biz page for my blog, too.     Words, memes, and other images have invaded the space where I usually I look forward to seeing … [Read more...]

    That got your attention. Good grief... we're taught not to shout. So how in the world will shouting bring happiness?  Good question. These verses from the Book of Psalms opened my eyes... But make everyone rejoice who puts his trust in you. Keep them shouting for joy because you are defending them. Fill all who love you with your happiness. For you bless the godly man, O Lord; you protect him with your shield of love. Psalm 5:11-12     The psalmist pleads with God to "make" all who trust in Him rejoice. That's such an odd thing.  Doesn't it seem like … [Read more...]

  This week was a double header. No there wasn't any baseball involved. However, I did enjoy two celebrations in one week. And a really big one too.     Tuesday was my birthday and then five days later we celebrated our anniversary.  It's a big milestone kind of anniversary.  One for which you gather your friends for a party or take a cruise or celebrate by purchasing a new fun car.     I'm sure you know our budget isn't capable of  even thinking of such extravagances.  So we did little things... like split a yummy pretzel sandwich and soda at cute … [Read more...]

  If August had an official flower, I think it might be the sunflower. They stand tall.. stretching for the sun... bravely holding their seedy heads high. As our days grow shorter and the sun sinks lower in the sky each day, the sunflowers with rays of brilliant yellow brighten our spirits.     How is it that we see emotion in the sunflowers? Do you think we just might be transferring our feelings? I know, it's a crazy thought, but we anthropomorphize animals and birds all the time, so I guess doing that with flowers isn't too far-fetched. Maybe we see happiness … [Read more...]

    Like it or not... growth comes through hard times. When you've been knocked down it takes courage to get up and start over again. And then there is that thing called fear.  It's paralyzing... it kills your hope and dreams.   Whether you've been knocked down, overcome with fear, or are in the midst of a hard journey... you need encouragement. You need to know the secret for getting back up... having the courage to stand strong... and the confidence to believe for tomorrow.   So what's the secret?     My husband and I have been going … [Read more...]

  I'm sure you've noticed, too. This week has been filled with vitriol and gall.  Anger and hate.  Worry and distress. It makes my head and heart hurt.     In the midst of everything... this verse has been swirling around in my head. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”  John 13:34-35 This verse is directed to Jesus' followers. Those who were traveling the countryside with Him when He was alive and … [Read more...]

    When things go wrong, what do you do? More times than I can count, I'll talk to someone close to me. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with that.... except that GOD should be our FIRST go-to person/place. You see... we need others... even more... we NEED God.   When things go wrong... we need a safe place. There's only ONE safe place we can count on. God. He must be our safe place. What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely … [Read more...]

  Do you believe that God cares about the details you care about? Not long ago, my husband and I were having a conversation about my dream studio. The list included these must haves... nice sized windows and good natural light for photographing, high and low work surfaces and plenty of space for creating, a great view of either a lovely garden or tree tops. Fast forward a few weeks when we were in the midst of settling into an apartment... with just an inflatable bed and a card table and chairs... when I said to my husband, "You realize that our apartment windows provide us with a beautiful … [Read more...]

    “Don’t you mind,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan.” --The Silver Chair   I enjoy reading snippets of C.S. Lewis.  So much so that I subscribe to a daily C.S. Lewis devotional.  In actuality, these are not devotionals in the typical sense but are bite-sized excerpts of Lewis' writings from his many books.  Don't tell anyone, but I haven't read the Chronicles of Narnia series.  I haven't even seen the movies.  However, one winter, my husband did read the first book to me as we sat by the fire in the evenings.  That was pretty special.  That's probably why … [Read more...]

    Have you ever come home, expecting that your spouse or your children will be there waiting for you, only to find your house is empty? Immediately you look for a note.  Where are they? Your mind goes a million miles a minute and your thoughts dance all over the place with possibilities.  Most not good. What's the first thing you do?  You pick up your phone. You try to reach them. If your children are younger.... old enough to stay home alone for a short while... but not to leave the house without your permission... you undoubtedly fly out the door and start searching your … [Read more...]

  Sometimes we just need a little perspective...   Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.   Isaiah 55:9 Those days when things aren't going my way... this is a good verse to ponder. It simply reminds me that I don't know the whole story... see the whole picture... or have the wisdom to know what's best for that situation.  What I need to do instead... is trust God. You have looked deep into my heart, Lord,     and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working,     and from heaven you discover my … [Read more...]

  The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. Lamentations 3:22-23 If there is one truth that we can and should remember every single day it's this.... God's love never ends.  This intimate personal love He has for each of us never stops.  So much so that every morning when we awake... God has more love to greet us in the new day. When my husband speaks to children, there is ONE thing he always wants to be sure they know.  "God loves you."  He repeats it often.  When he was growing up his family sat at the front of the church... … [Read more...]

    Wouldn't you like to have God's blessing? One morning, because frankly, things have not been going as we hoped and prayed, I asked the Lord for a word of encouragement. As I opened my Bible it fell open to Jeremiah.  I'm not sure why, but God has often used passages there to speak to my heart in big ways.  I read a few chapters and came to these verses... But I will bless those who trust me. They will be like trees growing beside a stream— trees with roots that reach down to the water, and with leaves that are always green. They bear fruit every year and are never … [Read more...]