Are you settling for second best? God intends for us to live life fully. He doesn't want us to settle for second best. Sometimes it's really good to read scripture out of context. It's then the Ah-Ha moments can come. That's what happened when I read this verse.... God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? Romans 8:32 As we make our approach to Easter, we're contemplating this amazing love that God has for us and the significance of Jesus giving His life to pay the price of our sin. When God sent Jesus to earth to be … [Read more...]

    This evening we sat at a red traffic light.  My husband is usually a very patient man, but tonight, he was very tired and commented several times as we sat under the heavy gray skies about how the light was slow, that the timing must be off, and then finally, it turned green. I, the typically impatient one, wasn't bothered by the length of time the light remained red. Remember, I said Tim was tired.  He is usually quite busy on the weekends with his work and we also volunteer at church... so we don't have much time together. I had some errands to do and he offered to come with me. … [Read more...]

  Are you been in that spot where you are looking for answers but can't seem to find any? There I was in that very spot, trying to make things happen, and being completely frustrated when I came across this verse.... This is what the SovereignLord,     the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me     and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15   The morning I read that verse I had no idea that it would be a day where I would encounter an obstacle at every turn.  Nothing seemed to go the right way. It was the culmination … [Read more...]

  Have you ever read a passage of scripture that intrigued you and you wanted to know more? This week I came across this verse... “May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”  Deuteronomy 33:12 Can you guess which sentence jumped out at me? It was... "And he dwells between His shoulders.”     This scripture was part of a blessing that Moses gave to the twelve tribes of Israel prior to his death and this verse specifically was a blessing for Benjamin and his tribe. I know that all the blessings … [Read more...]

  We live in a shaky world.  It seems there isn't much we can count on. ONE thing we can depend on is GOD and his never ending loving kindness. The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.” So says the Lord who loves you. Isaiah 54:10 Think about the past week. Not to dwell on the negative... but were there people who let you down? And no doubt you let someone else down, too. Some of it may have been purposeful... generally, we try yet we fail, we care yet we're selfish. Though relationships and nations may appear … [Read more...]

  Most of us don't like confrontation. It is something I try to avoid if at all possible.  But, there's something else that recently has made me feel even more uncomfortable... observing friends being shut down for interjecting thoughts or ideas that may be contrary to the listener.     Open communication and a free exchange of ideas are so important to me.  A respectful, kind, and friendly discussion is one where we actually listen and then speak and generally it's a rather enjoyable experience.  I am terribly uncomfortable when people think their ideas are the only ideas and … [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...]

  Have you noticed how our hope can waver?  In the midst of winter and the never-ending gray... hope seems tentative.  But... come a blue sky sunny day... hope shines bright! If you're floundering, there is ONE thing YOU CAN DO to find your HOPE again!     On those days when you feel hopeless, you're not alone. Lamentations... the book filled with laments reflects those feelings we sometimes share... I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,     the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—     the feeling of hitting the … [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...]

  We are a week into the New Year.  Already time seems to be going by too quickly. There are so many things I want to accomplish.  New goals being set.  I'm trying super hard to become more productive with my time. And, I even started a little accountability support group of sorts with two other blogging friends.  We learn together, share tips, encourage each other, pray for each other, and speak Truth to each other. Speaking Truth is a big one for us.  It's so easy for us to get sucked into the lies of the world.  You know the lies you have to fight each day.   That's why it's so important that we … [Read more...]

  I coulda... If only I woulda... There's no question, I shoulda... If that's your assessment of the past year, then turn your head, move forward, and never look back. The past few days I've been thinking through the past year and I've had more coulda, woulda, shoulda thoughts than I care to admit. I confess I spent too much time spinning my wheels. I allowed my circumstances to cloud my vision and impede my forward movement.  There were days I made good choices and moved forward... but those days were too few and far between. I don't want another year of that.  I don't want to look back on … [Read more...]

  You are so very blessed. I'm not talking about the roof over your head, the family that sits around the table with you, or any of the "stuff" of life. It's all good. But there's better.     As we embark on the season of Thanksgiving I am so taken with the knowledge that God takes joy in doing good to us. I will make an agreement with them that I will not turn away from them. I will do good to them, an agreement that will last forever... I will have joy in doing good to them. Jeremiah 32:40-41 Our good is His good. Our joy is His joy. It is His forever promise to … [Read more...]

  Today is the 15th Anniversary of one of the most dreadful days in American history... 9/11. So much has been written and read... I don't know that I have much to add other than my personal story and my personal call to action.     My story is one of a distant bystander. That fateful morning I had a lazy morning at home.  I had the day off and was lounging in my pj's, reading the latest home decor magazines, enjoying a cup of tea, and watching the "Today Show" on TV. It was a most spectacular day with the brightest blue sky and I had plans to get outside and enjoy every … [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...]

  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...]

  Yesterday, while working on a project, I thought about and prayed for some friends who have had one unpleasant surprise after another.  The guy said to Tim, "I feel like Job, only I still have my wife and kids."  No doubt you relate.  All of us go through days, weeks, months, and sometimes years, of challenges. As I attempted to encase a mound of fiberfill pushing to be free while applying just the right amount of pressure to the sewing machine pedal, this verse came to mind... Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God … [Read more...]