Thursday, December 30, 2010

My last blog was too grim for my daughter. I've pondered her reaction, of course, because that's who I am, and because I love her so much. This blog is my reply.

Honey, I'm not like you. You're a sanguine go-getter and I love you for it. No matter how hard I try, I cannot be sanguine. I'm just not funny, and I don't see life the way sanguines do. Fun for me isn't seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. My glasses are like telescopes. I test and evaluate, dissect and study. I want to know why and how, when and where; how it affects others; how it affects my life and what I can learn from it.

This isn't negative to me. It's how my mind works; how I view the world. That's probably why I like writing stories about people. Sometimes I have to be very careful or all of my characters think just like me.

I love going into the hows and whys of life. I love talking to people heart to heart--getting down into the depths of what makes us as people tick.

Here's one of my ponderings:
One of the great things about God is that he doesn't judge us on the outside. He looks at the heart. Without knowing, or think we know, what's in a person's heart, we can't make judgements.

I've been misjudged many times in my life by people who really don't know me. Those judgements hurt and when they happened, I turned to God and found that He knew what was in my heart. He assured me he saw that I was doing the best I could with where I was. I believe most people do that--the best they can with what they have to work with and where they are in life.

You may ask, "What about a person who does evil?"
I don't know. Only God knows. We have to leave all that to Him. I'm talking about us--the every day us.

Learning this wasn't negative or dark to me. I thought about it and talked to God about it for a long time before I finally came to these conclusions.

I don't live in this introspective place all the time. I like laughing, playing games and just being with friends. I used to love to dance. Now I have to watch others dance but my toes tap and my spirit jumps with joy when the music plays.

I hope this suffices as an explanation of why I write the way I do. I'd like to read what you write because I love hearing you tell stories and seeing you smile or make those funny faces no matter what's going on around you.

I love you and know you're going to be unhappy that I blogged this to you, but at least I didn't use your name. (:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

He is Mighty to Save

My daughter complained that I haven't written a blog in a long time. She's right. I haven't.

Sometimes I feel I have so much inside me I want to express, but the words just aren't there. Maybe those words are not complete, or maybe they are just too precious to share. Or maybe there isn't anything there after all. So I'll begin and see what comes out.

This year has been different from any I've spent in my life. Having major surgery and trying to get my energy back has given me a whole different perspective. The weather,low systems in particular, affect my joints. I don't want to say I have arthritis so I just say "my joints ache." The feeling is unlike any I've ever felt so it's hard to explain exactly how it feels or how it suddenly comes on.

The new perspective is this: I am no longer in control of my body. (As though I ever was.) I am nearer death and that thought bothers me. I don't mind going to Heaven. What I do mind is not being here any longer.

When my mother was close to her death, we talked about it. Her comment was, "I just don't want to leave you." I'm sure I gave her some dumb response like "We'll see each other again." We will, but that wasn't the point. Now I know what she meant. I don't like thinking that I won't be around when my great-granddaughter grows up, goes to college, gets married, has children. I won't be able to stand beside my grandson and watch all this happen. Right now, thinking about it, I already miss it.

What will it be like to be gone? To no longer be on this earth and in this life? My daughters and grandchildren and a few other relatives will remember me, but after that I'll be nothing but a---what? I'm not even sure. I won't be remembered like Abraham Lincoln or Princess Diana. How will I be remembered and is that even important?

I never met my grandmother's father. All I ever knew of him was a big photograph in her upstairs bedroom. The picture made him look austere and harsh. My cousin and I were scared to sleep in that bedroom because of Grandpa Nichols.

Will I be remembered like that? Just a picture that one of my great-great-grandchildren may accidently find in their parent's box of family photos? And if so, does it even matter?

What I'd like for my children and grandchildren to remember is that I loved God with all my heart and I lived my life in a way that everyone knew it.

Surgery at 74 isn't like surgery at 42, the age I was the last time I went under the knife. I kind of knew I'd come out of the anesthetic this time, but there was that slight doubt. All during the night before I had a song going through my mind: "Saviour, He can move the mountains, He is mighty to save, mighty to save." Friends and family were in the pre-op room when the anesthesiologist gave me the shot to make me forget. Later my grandson, who was there with his dad, told me I started singing this song. The others in the room sang with me, he said. The shot had done its work and let me express what was in my heart and spirit.

I didn't die. In fact, I learned a great deal during recovery and rehab. I've expressed that before on this blog. God went out ahead of us and made our way straight.

One good thing about dying. Once it happens to you, you don't worry about what you left behind. I'm getting there. I do know this--God is with me here and there. He is mighty to save under all circumstances.

Monday, December 6, 2010

. . .and all these things. . .

I've fought with being overweight all my life. However, most of my life I wasn't but saw myself as fat. Now I really am. (We become what we look at the most.)

In 1973 I almost quit eating because of stress. I got very thin and loved it, but hated the stress that went with it. When I look back at pictures of myself during that time, I see how gaunt I really looked--not just thin but prisoner-thin. That's exactly what I was: a prisoner of the stress.

Fast forward to the 80s. I was happy in life, began eating lots of sugar products and gained 30 pounds. No matter what I tried I couldn't lose the excess weight.

In a book store one day I saw the title of a book by Neva Coyle: "There's More to Being Thin Than Just Being Thin." What that book was telling me was that losing weight wasn't about looking good (which was my motive and has always been.) The moral of the book was "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."
I've got those words down pat in the KJ version.

I did what Neva told me and started counting calories. Every month I lost 5 pounds until I had lost 20 pounds. I was satisfied with this becauseI knew this was a good weight for me.

FF again to the 90s. My health practioner discovered I had a real problem with eating carbs, starches, sugar. When I ate them, my system went into flight or fight mode and didn't slow down which caused me to be unable to sleep. I went on a strict sugar/starch-free diet and lost weight again.
I stayed on that diet until this past year but steadily gained weight--a few pounds at a time. I felt fat and saw myself as fat although, when I look back, I was a good weight for my age.

I started drinking white oak bark tea and my body began to tolerate sugar/carbs/starches. My knee went out and I had to walk with a cane; we sold our house and had no place to live while the rental we planned to move
into was being rennovated; we moved into a furnished apartment for a month and spent that month choosing colors/flooring/etc. for the rental. The stress took its toll and the only way I could bring it under control was to eat--and eat, I did.

During one month I gained 40 pounds and it's is still on my body. I'm like Job in that "the thing I feared the most has come upon me."

I talk to God about it all the time--and continue to eat. I like being able to eat things I couldn't for so many years. These foods are still toxic to my body and still cause sleeplessness unless I take a drug that makes me go to sleep. Some nights even that doesn't help.

I'm reading a book ("Sun Stand Still") about praying impossible prayers. I've been praying that God will make the impossible possible for me--and that's to stop the eating, walk more and lose weight. But there's a problem--my motive.

This morning I read from the Living Bible the same words that turned me around so many years ago. The thought is the same but the words are much different. The message begins: "Don't worry about whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear, for life consists of far more than food and clothes. . .All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs. He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. . .Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be." Luke 12:22-34

Where is my treasure? Is it in being thin or is it in being disciplined? Is it in looking good or trusting God with my life? How do I change my motive and go after the real treasure? I've asked God to help me turn in the right direction--again. And He will answer--again. That much I know.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life in the Wilderness

We moved last May from a house we loved and views that thrilled our hearts with the majesty of the Lord's creation. Our house now is across town where we can see neither of the two views we loved: the Sandia Mountains and the lights of the city at night.

I've tried to be a "good soldier" and be grateful for this house. It's a nice house, and I do like it, but I found myself looking back with longing. God heard me, of course, and reminded me of an event we've all read about in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The Israelites were in the wilderness with God and they were looking over their shoulders at Egypt. That's what came to my mind and the sweet, still voice of the Spirit said, "Don't look back at Egypt."

I never thought of my house on the east side of town as Egypt, and it wasn't because God was there. But when He directed us to pack up and follow Him, that home became our Egypt. Nothing wrong with it, but it was time to move on.

The wilderness is where God was and the Israelites didn't get it. They saw the cloud by day and the fire by night and still didn't understand. They were on their way to the Promised Land but looking backwards and not recognizing Who was leading them kept them in the wilderness 40 years longer than necessary.

I'm not looking back any more. If God's in the wilderness, then that's where I want to be. I don't know what the Promised Land is, but as long as He's leading, that's where I'll end up. It's not really about the destination anyway. It's about the journey.

Monday, November 1, 2010


You have a gift. I have a gift. Are we using our gifts?

I've known for years of a gift God gave me, and for a long time I've wanted to use it. But I'm not. I've talked to God about this a lot but didn't receive an answer until yesterday.

Many years ago I painted. Due to circumstances I stopped painting. A few years ago I tried to paint again. Nothing! The "Painting Grace" was gone.
I started writing fiction. I wrote and published a novel. I wrote 2 1/2 more novels and stopped for two reasons. One, we sold our house and moved and then I had knee surgery. All from December through the summer. The second reason: an agent told me my work was good but not great.

During those months when circumstances and stress closed down the "Writing Grace," I learned so much. Mostly about God and His care for me. Somehow I was able to let Him carry everything.

I have begun a new novel and it's a hard one. Hard because it's historical fiction based on real events and real people. I'm not sure I can write this. If I do, I will have to have a double portion of "Writing Grace."

So what did I learn about my gift?

Character has to be matured before the gift can be used. Moses had a gift from God. He tried to use it too soon. When God eventually came to him and told him it was time to use that gift, Moses didn't want to any longer. But he did--and how? With the power and grace of God.

I'm not using my gift and it's all right because I know I'm not ready. The time will come and when it does, I won't even care any longer because I'll know it is not me but God through me bringing forth His gifting.

Same with this new novel. If it happens, it will be because of Him, not me. And I won't care either way. Now that's rest.

Monday, October 4, 2010

God Winked

Nothing is more exciting than to have God put something together for you that you don't expect. Can't you see Him making His plan? While He is hard at work on it, He must be thinking--"She's going to be so surprised. I can hardly wait to see her face when it happens."

The morning of the Big Surprise, as you pray, He puts His Heavenly Arm around your shoulder and says, "You go about your day. I'll be right here with you." Then He winks.

A wink tells you He has something up His sleeve, so to speak. But you don't think anything about it. You have a busy day and have to get started on it. One thing after another--all day long. Then, when you least expect it, there it is.

The surprise.

It's something you never prayed for or dreamed would happen, but it's wonderful. You look up at Him to thank Him, and He does it again. He smiles, then laughs and winks. "Gotcha!"

That happened to me Sunday and I learned something I'd never knew about God. Besides being the Mighty Creator, He's got a great sense of humor.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Off-Balance

The thoughts are coming fast right now. I don't know what's up but I'm going with it.

When I went to bed last night, I had a heaviness to pray, but did I get up and go do it? No. I've had such trouble sleeping lately that I don't want anything to interfere. The days following sleepless nights leave me tired and grumpy. So I stayed in bed and prayed--but it wasn't the same as it would have been if I had gone into another bedroom, gotten down on my knees and prayed. Finally the heaviness left me and I still didn't go to sleep until 2 AM.

I'm so hungry for Jesus right now. I remember having this kind of hunger in 1971 when I met Him for the first time. I spent every free moment praying and reading the Bible. I couldn't get enough.

Although I'm that hungry again there is also a malaise in me. Why bother? I'm stuck in a place where I don't know anyone who believes like I do or talks about spiritual things or desires to pray together in the Spirit or allow the gifts of the Spirit to freely move. I ask God all the time if I'm the one who is wrong or out of place. I know I need to listen to the Spirit within me and take time to pray more than I have been doing. I talk to God all the time and I do pray, but I don't go away like Jesus did--get away and commune with my Father.

I love the church we are in. I love the people and love their pure hearts. So it isn't like I want to move or leave. I see that many of the people are wanting more. In fact I believe there's a move of Spirit in this fellowship, and I don't want to miss it.

Perhaps that's what I'm feeling--change. And change always leaves us off balance. Come on, Lord. Lead us into the new place.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Musings

Beautiful fall day here in New Mexico. The front and back doors are open, I've decorated the front porch and the house with fall colors, scarecrows, etc. I'll leave all this up until time for Christmas decorations. Even if no one comes to the house, we can enjoy it.

The Balloon Fiesta begins the first weekend in October. If the fall weather holds, it will be a huge success. If you've never been in Albuquerque and seen hundreds of colorful balloons rise around you and into the bluest sky in the world, you've missed something wonderful. One of our neighbors is a balloonist. He's out this morning with two chase vans getting his balloon(s) ready to fly. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of balloons up this next week getting ready for the fiesta.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a little trip, make it to Albuquerque during the first two weeks in October. The weather, the balloons, Old Town and the great places to eat make for a vacation to remember.

I guess you can tell I'm sold on where we live. I love all of it. I may complain about a few things here and there, but I know we are where we are supposed to be. If for no other reason than to plant seeds. Isn't that what we're to be doing wherever we are?

Another great reason, or reasons, to be here are 5 grandchildren. We are within a 10 minute walk to their house. Seeing them grow up is a blessing. But not being able to see all 13 grands and the 1 great grand is frustrating. Why do people move so far away from family all the time? Back in the "day" families lived in the same area all their lives. They were able to know their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents because they all got together every holiday.

Although that's great, I wouldn't trade living back in the "day" with now. I like all the modern conveniences: the Internet, television, washing machines and dryers, daily showers, cell phones, automobiles, restaurants. However, I'm planning a book I want to write that's set in the 1700s, and I don't know much about that time period. Thank goodness for the Internet. It will save me a trip to the library and reading numerous books to get my information. However, with our busy schedule, who knows when I'll get it done.

Happy Fall Day to you all. Enjoy God's blessings today and come visit the Balloon Fiesta sometime. We have a spare bedroom ready for you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fire in My Belly

I haven't written anything in a long time and don't even know if anyone reads this blog any more, but this writing today is to quench the fire in my belly.

Years ago I read Jeremiah and understood when he said he had to prophesy the Word that was in him. He said something like it would burn him up if he didn't. They threw him in a pit because they didn't want to hear. That would make a person shut up, wouldn't you think? But that fire won't let you be quiet.Sometimes we need to heed that fire within us even though those who hear it don't want to hear at all. I might add, I'm not comparing myself with any Old or New Testament prophet.

I've spent most of the last few years keeping quiet--except in a few circumstances. After the times when the fire bubbled up (Does fire bubble?) and the words came out, I beat myself up and vowed to never speak again. But I still have to speak when the Spirit moves.

Those of you who have heard words from me you don't agree with or don't want to hear, please know this. I don't want to offend you and would keep quiet if I could, but my prayers have been fervent for God to reveal Himself to people as He has in the past. Do I heed what is in me to speak or do I not? If I don't, I will get along better with some people who take exception to my words but the fire will burn me up. I might pull away and never speak of it again, but eventually someone else would come along with the same message because it's a message we need to hear.

Know this, all you who wish I'd shut up: I would if I could, but instead I've been praying for God to put His words in my mouth. Is that what He's doing? I think so. I just hope you'll love me enough to listen and ask God for yourself. The truth of the matter is that God is speaking to us all the time and we need to always be open to what He has to say--even when it doesn't agree with our theology. Listen. Test. Pray. Maybe He is doing a work in this earth we cannot imagine.

I love all you, my friends.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Want to Stay Positive

I love having company and having a nice place for them to stay.

One of our sons is here now with his family. They'll leave in the morning to spend some time in the mountains with her family then they'll come back Monday and fly home Tuesday. In the meantime, while they are gone, part of the CA son's family will come through on Saturday on their way to begin their move to Chicago. I'm so glad we have beds for them.

The first of October my brother and his wife will come spend some time with us and we're looking forward to that.

It's great to have another son living about three blocks away. We see the 5 grands more often now.

I'm more grateful than I used to be since I had the knee surgery. While in rehab I met some people who are way worse off than I ever thought about being. None of them were giving up.

I love family and friends and God. I hope I'm never as negative as I used to be. I just want to always be grateful.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I've been reading my second cousin's book, "Confessions of a Prayer Slacker." A great read that really hits me where it needs to.

Not only am I a prayer slacker, I'm a blog slacker.

I wish I'd write some of the things that are rolling around in my spirit.
Maybe soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Resting and Trusting Part 2

I've really been frustrated since getting out of the hospital. My knee is doing great. I'm able to walk, sit, stand, move--all without pain. The one thing I can't do is sleep.

I took a sleeping pill tonight, but still not luck. It's after midnight and I'm awake. The little bit of sleep I get is fitful which leaves my groggy and without energy during the day.

I'm reading a great book that's really speaking to me. It was written my a relative, Diane Moody, and is titled "Confessions of a Prayer Slacker." I love the way she writes--some humor but lots of good advice. I remember when my entire life was spent reading the Word and spending time with Jesus. I didn't read novels or watch TV. I had no interest. All I wanted to do was be with Him. But I let life get in the way and to be honest, my first love waned.

I remember how He spoke to me. So close. So sweet. I want that again and Diane's book is drawing me back into His presence again. What's stopping me? Sleep. I get up in the morning with little on my mind besides eating and doing what I have to do. I don't want to read or pray or anything
else. My mind is mush.

I don't know when this will end and I will be able to sleep again. I'm changing my diet in hopes of helping sleep to come. That's pretty easy since I'm about half sick at my stomach most of the time and don't feel like eating but needing to.

The first thing Diane says she does is thank God instead of beginning with the gimmies. So that's how I will begin. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me through this surgery and for healing me so quickly. Thank you for Reid who took care of me without compaining ever. He was there for me every step of the way and still is. The biggest thank you goes to You, Lord. I know you know where I am and what I need and you are in the process of working all this out for me.

There. Is there anything else to say about me? No. I'll just go into prayer for others. Maybe when I get through that I can thank Him more for all I have. Maybe this prayer won't have any gimmies. Maybe this is just one more instance where I rest and trust Him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Following and Resting

I've been thinking about blogging again for some time. The last time I did was before surgery. Much has happened since then, but the main thing that has happened has been in me.

Having surgery is a big deal. You are totally without any power and are at the mercy of many people you've never seen before and will never see again. You can pray that both the surgeon who will be wielding the knife and the anethesiologist had a good night's sleep.

The night before the surgery I had a song inside of me. Every time I woke up the song began to play. "Saviour, He can move the mountains. He is mighty to save, mighty to save. Forever, author of salvation. Mighty to save. Mighty to save." I bathed in this song all night long. On the way to the hospital the next morning I mentioned this to Husband. He said he'd heard that song all night, too. That gave me a certain sense of peace.

In pre-op Doctor Son and Grandson showed up. So did Friend Couple. Several friends were outside in the waiting room. These four people were in the room when the anethesiologist came in to begin administering the drugs that would help me forget. I was told that very soon after he did that I started singing "Mighty to Save." They all sang with me. I wish I could remember that.

I was supposed to go home on the third day after surgery but couldn't. Too many drugs took away my ability to sit up without throwing up. I remember lying in that bed and listening as Husband was told they were planning to send me to a nursing home for rehab. I thought, "I can't fight, Lord. It's all up to you."

Hubby fought and I went to a real rehab hospital. That was God Instance #1.

They planned to send me sitting up in a wheelchair but I couldn't sit up. God Instance #2: I went by ambulance.

Both of these were not supposed to be covered by insurance. So far we haven't received bills.

God Instance #3: Rehab got me on my feet, strengthened me and made me able to take care of myself. I came home after 13 days.

I see how much God had it worked out ahead of time. Nothing I did or could do would make anything happen. I had to rest in Him.

Jesus has walked this way before us. He knows the way. I realized how little control I have over my life and how little I want. Since He's been here before, I want to do one thing. Follow Him.

I hope I remember to rest in Him and don't try to take hold of the reins again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Here I sit in the middle of the night not sleeping AGAIN! I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the nap I took today or the Frito pie and watermelon I ate at our life group. Or maybe it's the upcoming surgery. Since I'm awake I will share some thoughts that are rolling round in my head.

I love my church family. I'm sad for them because we're going through some unsettling times in our church. I think we are looking at the temporal instead of the heavenly. All I want for myself is to know Jesus, and that's what I wish for everyone. If He is first in our lives and in our desires, everything will fall into place. But is He? I don't know.

We have a good friend who is now going to be in a wheelchair the rest of his life. He and his wife have some big adjustments to make. They've lost control of their lives. But did they ever have control really? We think we do, don't we? Since January I have realized what I thought was control was anything but. If I don't have control, then who does? I like to think it's God who's in control of my life. But I'm not even sure of that any more. I am sure of this: I give Him control. And if something happens that is catastrophic, then I ask Him to get me through it.

I have to admit I'm a little anxious about putting myself in the hands of men and women I don't really know. They'll give me drugs that will put me out so some more of them can cut my leg apart and insert some metal. I won't know what's happening and I'll be totally at their mercy. But mostly at God's mercy.

Youngest Daughter called today and said she wondered if she should be watching her mail box for my "good bye letter." I told her she can relax. I didn't write any. I've written a few good bye letters in the past. I wrote one to both daughters a couple of times when I took off in my car to drive somewhere and when I flew across the ocean the first time. When I got back home safely, I threw them away. No letters this time.

Something else happened today that seems a little silly. We have a couple who are our close friends. They didn't show up at church, which was unusual. I sent him a text about where we and another couple were going for lunch and asked if they'd join us. I got no answer. After church I called his cell phone. He's is NEVER without his I-phone. No answer. I called their house. No answer. I called her phone. No answer. I called his phone again and left a message.

My mind went into the What If Mother Mode. Maybe one of them had gotten sick and they were both at the hospital where they couldn't use their phones. Or they'd had a wreck on the way to church. Or something had happened to one of their children and they took off for Texas and were in a cell phone dead zone. Seriously. I was worried. My girls and my brother will attest to how my mind goes into a scary place when I can't get in touch with them. And it happened with my friends. I was just about to call one of their daughters when he FINALLY called and put my mind at rest.

I care about those I'm close to. I worry and know that's a sin. I tell myself I'm not going to do that, but out of nowhere my mind goes berserk. I don't really expect my friends to tell me every time they don't do what I think they're going to do, but this time the Sin of Worry demon got to me. I apologize to them right here and hope I don't do that to them any more. However, I will ask that they just ANSWER THEIR PHONE!

I read this on a blog today: Here is God's secret to spiritual strength: "Quietness and confidence shall be your strength." The word for quietness in Hebrew means "repose." And repose means calm, relaxed, free from all anxiety; to be still, to lie down with support underneath. God help me do this!!!

What did we do before we had instant communication? We called back or let it go. I can tell you this. I'm grateful we didn't have cell phones when I was growing up. My mother would have been calling every hour.

Now I see it. I have become my mother!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Plan B and the Knee

I've been thinking about what to write all day. A few ideas have come and gone. What really perturbs me is the total lack of creativeness since all I can think of is this stupid knee!

This morning I tried to dust. I had no idea how much I use my knees to dust! I did a room or two and will save the rest for later.

Next Tuesday is Knee Day. I will have a total replacement. Months of rehab then I will be back to normal. I'm not sure I know how to walk normally any more. Surely that knowledge doesn't go away in just 4 1/2 months.

The book I'm reading now is by Pete Wilson, the pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville. It's titled "Plan B" and subtitled "What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up The Way You Thought He Would?" A shorter subtitle is "What do you do when your life isn't turning out the way you thought?"

I am grateful to my cousin's daughter who turned me on to this book, and I'm grateful to Pete for writing it. Most of all I'm grateful to the Holy Spirit who gave the words and thoughts for this book and somehow had it on the shelf at Border's when I looked for it. Why? Because I'm living in Plan B and have been for a long time only I didn't know it. This book tells me how to do it.

On the first page Pete sends this book out to those "who choose to believe in the midst of their Plan B that one day faith will win over doubt, light will win over darkness, love will win over hate, and all things will be redeemed and exist the way they should."

I'm not even sure what Plan A was any more. I expected to be in a different place than I am today. I expected my children to be in a different place. What I found out was that all my expectations don't matter a hoot when life gets going. How can one child meet the expectations and the other child be so far from them? How can a few years and some serious road blocks change a person's life?

I have many more questions today than I have answers. It used to be the other way. I had many answers and few questions. But those answers I was so sure of have fizzled. I'm only sure of one thing.


Without knowing Him and that I'm now in God's family because of Him, I'd never make it through this day and into the next.

Years ago, after leaving Plan A and not knowing if there was a Plan B, Jesus told me, "I'll never leave you or forsake you." In fact, while I was in the darkness between the Plans, He was there with me. I didn't know it then, but after what He said, now I know He's with me in this place, too. And wherever it leads.

I haven't had surgery since 1978. I didn't think about dying back then. Now I do. What if I don't wake up this time? I expect to wake up, but what if I don't? Where will I be? I think the scripture teaches that we sleep and wake up when Jesus returns. I don't like that--years, centuries of being nowhere? But time to God is nothing. If we die and sleep, we don't remember sleeping and being nowhere because in the instant between death and awaking in His Presence, it is that--an instant. And maybe we go straight to be with Him. Whatever He decides is all right with me.

Okay. I think I'll be all right. If I didn't think that, I'd be writing last letters to everyone I love. If you don't get one from me and I don't wake up, I want you to know I love you and am thankful you were in my life. But I'll wake up and have to go on living in Plan B, which, by the way, hasn't been all that bad so far.

In a couple of weeks I'll limp into the office and send out an email telling you all about my new knee and rehab and what it was like being in the hospital. At least it will give me something to write about. The next thing I want to do is get back into the writing mode. Surely all those books haven't gone by the wayside?

I'll let you know.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Night Musing

I am sitting here in the dead of night writing a blog when I should be sleeping. Aches and pains and who knows what else are keeping me awake.

I see the orthopedist tomorrow. That means I'm one day closer to getting the knee fixed. Today was one of the hardest I've had since all this began four months ago. Slow, painful, short steps. Leaning on my cane. Exhausting. I am sure surgery isn't a piece of cake but getting a knee replacement will mean some day being able to walk without pain.

When I start to feel sorry for myself, like right now, I have to remember how minuscule my problem is. Many people are battling cancer. Some are facing a lifetime in a wheelchair. Lots of worse things than knee pain.

I've asked God over and over what it is I'm supposed to be learning in this. Patience? I'm all right with that but I'm not sure I'm any more patient than I ever was.

I'm thinking the main thing I've learned is this. We may think we have control over our lives but we don't. The only part of control we have is our reaction to what happens in our lives.

A two year old says, "I can do it myself." And that's the way I've been. Hands on hips, jaw jutted out, lips pressed together. "I don't need any help because I can take care of myself." Well, think again, Me. You can't.

I have learned how to ask for help and gratefully take it. This morning a young kid who had been outside the church with a friend riding their skateboards stopped and opened the door for me. I profusely thanked him. That's just one instance of how courteous people have been as I struggle to walk. I will never again complain about the slowness of old people who are moving as fast as they can in front of me and stopping my forward motion. I think, if I can, I'll pick them up and carry them just like I sometimes wish someone would do for me. But they'd probably do exactly what I'd do in that situation. "Thanks, but I can do it." And one way or another we do manage on our own. Not always fast, but we figure out a way.

I can walk with my cane and with pain. I'll get there eventually, but if someone wants to help, I'll gladly step aside and let them. I'm so blessed to have a husband who is not only willing but anxious to do things for me. All I have to do is ask.

Is God that way, too? Is he willing and anxious to answer our prayers when we find out we are helpless to do whatever it is by ourselves? Is the only thing we have to do is ask? I think so. Instead of asking for healing, my prayer has been for the grace to go through whatever I have to go through. The second part of that prayer is that God will teach me something while I'm in it and change me into His image.

I don't see any sign that I'm different yet, but my trust is in Him that somehow, He will do it. I think there's a scripture that says something about when he chooses us for a good work we can trust Him to finish it. If it wasn't so dark I'd look it up. Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow. Right now I'm going back to bed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beautiful Pictures

I'm stealing another wise saying from a Facebook friend:

Beautiful pictures are developed from negatives in a dark room...So if you see darkness in your life be reassured that a beautiful picture is being prepared.

The past few months have been dark. Somewhere in that darkness I lost the woman I think I was. I haven't found her,and I'm waiting to see what the darkness brings forth. Someone near and dear to me says we will be better for what we've been through. I am trying to believe him.

Many people are wading through dark times. My prayer is that they, too, will believe a beautiful picture is being prepared for them.

As for God's timing in the darkness. . .we have no way of figuring that out. All we can do is grab hold of Faith and not let go.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You Never Know

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Wow! So true.

I read this on a friend's Facebook page today and it got me thinking.

You never know how much you love someone until they aren't around any longer.

You never know what God means to you until He seems to move away.

You never know where you'll end up until you end up there.

You never know what being able to walk means until you can't walk.

You never know the importance of sunlight in your life until the clouds take it away.

You never know . . .

What is it you never know?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'm overcome with the emotion of love today.

We love things, or say we do, like chocolate and sunrises and flowers. But those fade into nothingness when we measure them against the people we love. Nothing equals that kind of love. Miles can't separate us from that love. When I leave my daughter, son-in-law and grandson, my love for them is as strong at home as it is in their presence.

God gave us this emotion. He shared His love with us first. He loves us as much from His home in Heaven as when He was here on earth in the body of Jesus. Can you imagine what it will be like to be with Him and share that love every day?

I don't know what Heaven will be like where love is concerned. I hope we know our families in Heaven because I don't want to lose the love we have for each other. Surely we won't. I'm sure we'll be swimming in love there but I can't imagine loving people I've never known as much as I love my family.

One thing about finally being there with all our loved ones -- we won't experience the pain of separation any more. When I leave these three people, I leave a little of my heart with them.

A couple of years ago my two daughters and I went to Hawaii together. We decided we'd take some kind of trip together every year. But circumstances changed and that hasn't happened. Unless another circumstance changes it will never happen again. I'm thankful for that trip. The memory of spending a week with the two people I love most in the world will never leave me, but the ache of perhaps never being able to do it again doesn't leave either.

Time passes. Lives change, but love lives on.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hanging On to Him

Seems many people have serious things going on in their lives--more than usual. I've whined and complained about the pain in my knee and joints but that's nothing compared to what some other people are going through.

We heard about an old friend this morning who has been seriously injured by one of his longhorn cows. He's in ICU now, his wife and daughters standing by hoping to hear that he will live and be able to walk again. All three of his daughters have MS, some in very early stages. That's much worse than knee pain.

Another friend has a daughter who has something in her brain that causes severe facial pain all the time. She's had surgery and there's hope they have helped her.

Alcohol addiction and depression are problems some others we know face. The people who have this have husbands and wives and children who love them and count on them to pull out of it. But many won't.

We've been in a place where we've had to watch a lot of Fox News in the past two days. The oil spill, Joren Van Der Sloop, elections, Blagovitch, Israel and Palestine--and much more fill the air waves. None of it is positive, of course. Seems all we hear is about the ills of the world. That's why our souls cry out for salvation.

Is Jesus really going to come back and end this world? Christians have been looking for His return since He left. Many have died waiting. Will I die waiting, too?
I may, but until I do, I'm going to hand on to Him.

Hang on with me and pray for those who don't know Him yet, to meet Him. He is all that will get us through.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nice People

Some people in mundane jobs are nicer than others. I've had the not so nice before but today I found a nice one.

I've probably bored you with knee pain complaints since the end of February. (I know I'm bored with it.) I've had four injections with no change. I called my doctor yesterday for an appointment and got the general appointment line. The woman gave me an appointment time for mid July. I told her about the pain and asked for something sooner but she said "no way" and sent me to the voice mail of one of the doc's assistants. I explained everything to the invisible person on the other end (ie.pain, shots ended, etc.) She called this morning when I wasn't available and talked to Husband. He isn't as pushy as I am and got nowhere. She said the doc wants to see me when the injections are over if I'm not better. WELL? She said she has nothing to do with making appointments.

Let me digress. When Son-in-law who knows him and works with him asked for him to see me, I saw him in less than a week. Hmmmmm?

I called the clinic once more and was sent to another assistant's voice mail. I gave her my info and just asked for her to call so I could speak to a real person. Then I called the appointment line and that's when I met Jeff, the nice guy. He, too, couldn't give me an earlier appointment than mid July but he said, "Let me check the west side." Lo and behold there was an opening the end of June. A little better although still far into the future. He even said he could put me on a wait list. However, the list is long for cancelled appointments. Still, he offered and tried where the first woman didn't.

I'm sure these people get patients who want to be seen NOW, just like me. Maybe they aren't as calm as I tried to be and maybe they push and curse and cry (which I was tempted to do) so they do the best they can and let it go. But Jeff offered more and I appreciate that. He even gave me directions to the west side clinic.

When we were hanging up, I thanked him and gave him a compliment about his service. His humble answer, "I'm special." He is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Our company has gone home. While they were here, they worked to clear out the garage and make it livable. They took two pieces of furniture we needed to get rid of and would have had to find these pieces a home.

We loved having them here but are glad to be able to get back to the task of making the house comfortable.

The past few months has been the most stressful time in our married life. I've asked God many times if He accomplished anything in us during these months. At times I was sure we should have gone to Amarillo instead of staying here. When some health issues came up for both of us, we were thankful that we had medical professionals who know us to care for us. For that reason we thought maybe we had made the right decision.

The week we moved in we were overwhelmed with unpacked boxes. I sat and looked at the mess and knew there was no way we could ever do it all ourselves. That and some other stresses (a knee that is bone on bone and requires using a cane and pain pills to move around) caused a physical response that put me in the hospital over night. But Someone came to our rescue and although He came in the bodies of six women, I know our rescuer was divine. These women unpacked all our boxes, put things away and cleaned the furniture that had been gathering dust inside PODS.

Without all the boxes we were able to begin putting things in order. But the garage remained a mess.

California Son and his wife and son came to our rescue. (God comes in many disguises, doesn't he?) By the time they left this morning the garage was such that we could get our van in, a work table and tool bench had been put together for Husband, and empty boxes and trash removed. They drove away with their SUV filled to the top and pulling a full trailer--all items we wanted them to have.

Now we await our new living room furniture. This afternoon the window lady will come to help us with window coverings. We wanted her to come earlier but she had to leave town. When she comes today, the furniture will be in place, which is as it should be when we make our choices. Tomorrow, next Monday and Wednesday will probably be the last of the deliveries we will have until the window coverings come in.

When we needed help, the help came--at the exact right time. The move has cost us in many ways but we look forward to what we will do and finding out why we are here.

Have we learned to trust God more? I hope so because I have a feeling we will need that trust for whatever is coming. God doesn't put us into class just to have something to do.

Our family has gone home. The furniture they took now has a home and although this house doesn't quite feel like our home yet, we are ready to make it that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grace When We Need It

We're in the house and mostly unpacked. Just a little more organization to be totally livable.

One of my daughter-in-laws and I talked this morning. The fact came back to me that God gives us the grace we need when we need it. Not before. Worrying about what might happen is fruitless because I don't have grace for that. But if--IF--something does happen, the grace will be there.

Comforting and at the same time, a little scary.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Place Your Order

Our life has changed so much in the past 5 months. I can hardly recognize who we are today compared to who we were before.

For a month we've been in a temporary place. The house we will eventually move into is an enigma. I can't picture myself living there at all. We made some quick decisions that don't look good to me today. It will take a lot of God's grace to make them work for us.

I remember a time before moving to Abq when I sat in my OK house and experienced total contentment. First time in my life I'd ever felt that. Haven't since. Certainly not feeling it now.

A friend wrote a poem and sent it to me. She said I can share it.

"As my mouth salivates

and my mind jumps to and fro

I wonder if life will ever

return to a simpler time.

Will my thoughts ever be

simple and shallow?

Will they ever center around

anything but me?

What did I used to think about?

What were my days filled with?

When was my job(life for me) fulfilling

enough that I didn’t

struggle with my thoughts?

If my mind would just

settle down!

I long for contentment."

I pray that with this new phase of life will come contentment.

Yesterday I looked at the house with different eyes---on purpose. If I believe God was in this move then I have to trust him with all of it.

I found this quote today from the same friend:
“If you feel a deep hunger but don’t know what you want, just ask God to order for you. That way you’ll always get whatever is the best on the menu.”

“I spent the last week so lost in myself and unresponsive to God that I hadn’t asked

Him to order anything for me.

Yet He still gave me exactly what I needed to fill the emptiness.”
From Sister Chicks Down Under by Robin Jones Gunn

Yes, He is faithful.

Paul said he was content in all circumstances. I wonder if he put in an order?

I pray that when I look back on all this I will see how God worked contentment into me---no matter the circumstances.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Long Month

It's been a long month.

We are out of our house and into a furnished apartment. The house we may move into closes tomorrow. I say "may" because we've had so many stops and starts that our heads are spinning. This house is in a perfect location and is larger than the two that fell through. However, it needs painting, new flooring and some other upgrades which will have to be done before it is move in ready.

My knee is still in pain and my cane and I have become constant mates. I've been to my chiropractor, a PA, a sports medicine doc for a cortisone injection, and see another my primary care this afternoon and an orthopedist tomorrow. I think I'm looking at knee replacement, a scope or chicken cartilage. My sights are on the chicken.

The only word I've heard from the Lord in the past few weeks is "Count it all joy" from James 1:2. When we look back, maybe we can see that we have matured and our completeness in Him is closer than it was before all this began last year. We've had to put our trust in God in a way we haven't before.

One thing I know I've learned: My life is not totally under my control.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Whining and Thanking God At the Same Time

Whine, whine, whine.

We are still in the process of packing. Next week the POD comes to be loaded. We will close and be out of here on the 9th and have rented an apartment for a month. As far as we know this house (number 3) will go through then we can move in and be settled after so long.

The month of getting the house ready to sell, the two months of showing it and the entire month of March going through two house failures have left me exhausted. We've been packing for weeks now so the house is totally upside-down. I do believe it's getting to me.

This morning I woke up feeling lonely. I miss having fun times with our friends. We still see them some but I'm always so tired and so distracted that I'm not able to embrace their loving presence. I think it's because our lives are so unsettled right now. I need to be creative and I'm not able to do that. I'm having a lot of pain from arthritis, especially in my right knee, and waiting, waiting, waiting. All I really want to do is lie on the sofa with my leg up and just watch junky TV. Eating sugar has become my comfort food and sugar inflames arthritis. With the Lord's help I've been able to slow way down on that.

Now that I've voiced my feelings, I lift up my eyes to where my help comes from. The Lord Almighty hasn't abandoned me. I'll get through all this, look back and give thanks! Actually, I'm giving thanks now even as I whine.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Do You Think?

Are we supposed to know what God is doing in our lives?

Another house. Maybe a month with no where to live.

Found out today that California Son can't come pick up his furniture and help pack a POD. We'll have to ask other help and store his furniture until he comes.


I don't have a clue!

I wonder if we'll ever know.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Outline for a Funeral - Death and Tragedy - - On Becoming Truer

I read this tonight and feel someone may need to read it. If you or someone you know is grieving, I pray this will be a comfort.
Outline for a Funeral - Death and Tragedy - - On Becoming Truer

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If God Be For Us. . .

Surprised that one man can be so proud, but at peace because we know God's presence, we are back on the road to signing away our home.

The appraiser refused to re-evaluate his appraisal of our home although he made many errors. We had to decide if we wanted to make a fight of it and hire another appraiser, ask for an extension on signing the contract and maybe lose the deal or trust God once again.

If God didn't know the outcome of this appraisal, then we're done for. Either He knew or He didn't. We choose to trust Him and let the house go for the $35,000 less than what the people were willing to pay. If it's only about money, then we have nothing to worry about. God's certainly bigger than finances. George Mueller lived for years by trusting God. He fed thousands of orphans on faith and God never let him down.

He'll work out the place we are to go, too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning to Live

I don't think I've ever been in a place like this before. My memories of moving from one place to another are: decide to move, sell (if not renting), move. Nothing like what we're going through now.

Husband is slowly packing up the house. Still have the kitchen and our bedroom, the garage and laundry room to pack. I help some but mostly feel totally useless. He's a much better packer than I am and wants to do it himself. With my bum knee it's not a good idea for me to climb ladders or carry boxes (even if I could lift them!)

Our house will be sold one way or another. That part is for sure. The other house is asking for an extension for their bankruptcy court date before they close--IF the judge releases the house. Since we aren't buying it and our son is, it's up to him. If they aren't able buy the house, that puts us in the situation of having no place to live.

BUT! God is certainly bigger than all this and we still trust Him.

It is just so strange to be living in limbo. I wonder how many people have lived that way and live that way every day? To me limbo means living in minimal basic order. The way I see it, there should be an order to life. Not for us. We can't make plans beyond today.

Wait! Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Live every day as though it is the last? This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it? Does that mean we just live day by day without making plans?

I've always been a long-range planner. Can't do that now. Long-range to us is knowing we will get up tomorrow and prepare to move somewhere, some day---probably, but things could change at any time. Is that enough? Feels wrong to me even though I can't do anything else at this time except keep writing my little stories for the grands for Christmas. (Most likely Christmas will come and chances are we'll still be alive by then, and living somewhere.)

One really good thing about where we are now is that we don't have to worry about housecleaning. We're letting the dust settle on the furniture, allowing the floors to remain unvacuumed and mopped, (but we do make the bed every day.) No one's coming to visit and if they do, they'll understand the mess. What I'm missing is order. I do like order and I'm way out of my comfort zone.

When all is said and done, we'll look back on this and see what was really happening. If God isn't working all this out for our good, then what is going on? Like Paul, I think we're learning to be content in whatever state we are in. Even in chaos!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Down the Toilet, Not the Rabbit Hole

Sometimes when life seems to be going down the toilet all you can do is laugh.

We have our house sold. We have a house we are moving into in about two weeks. Right?

We found out this morning that the appraisal of our house came in low--very low. The appraiser made several glaring errors. Even the buyer's agent agrees. Our agent is writing a letter to the mortgage company stating the errors and asking for a reevaluation of the appraisal. Husband is at his office signing the letter.

A few mintues after he left for the agent's office, we got a call about the house we are (were?) to move into. The title company discovered that the owners of that house filed bankruptcy a few months ago and their house doesn't belong to them. It belongs to the bank.

What do you do when sh#t happens? Laugh. Could it be more crazy?

Thank God He has spent the past few months (and most of my life) teaching me to trust in Him.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Basics of Life

With all that's going on in my life right now, it's amazing that I am functioning at all. Not only are we having to downsize from over 3000 feet of living space to 1900, we are leaving a house we both love.

I spoke to two of my closest family members yesterday and came away from the conversations hurting for them. Another family member's actions have caused so much pain to those who love her, and there's nothing we can do. Except pray. And even that doesn't seem to be enough.

This morning I woke up with a heaviness. So much to do and so little energy. So many loved ones hurting.

My car has always been my prayer closet. Today I finally had time to go to the chiropractor and as I drove, I tried to get my thoughts together and have a talk with God. The words didn't come. I got behind a very slow moving vehicle and followed it for several blocks before I saw the bumper sticker that read "Jesus Christos."

I thought very little of it until I came out of the doctor's office and started home. My heart was still heavy so I turned to the Christian channel on Sirius radio. A song began, very slowly, slower than I'd ever heard it and when the chorus began, I sang along."Oh, How I Love Jesus."

My heart lifted. I sang all the way down the street to the next stop light and when I stopped, I looked at the truck sitting next to me and just a little ahead so that I could clearly see a sticker on the back of the cab. It read "Not I, But Christ." And I knew the answer.

Without asking, God saw my heart and answered my unspoken prayer. None of this is about me or my problems. It's all about Him. I rejoiced and turned the radio back on, this time pushing the button that played a CD. The first song on the tape was another word from Him.

"We need to get back to the basics of life.
A heart that is pure
And a love that is blind.
A faith that is earnestly grounded in Christ.
The hope that endures for all time.
We need to get back to the basics of life."

This move has been all about purpose, and that purpose is for us to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the Way and has our Way. My family is in His hands. All I have to do is slow down, love Him and get back to the basics of life.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moving Out, Moving In and Moving On

Too much going on to sleep.

We have a contract on our house and are putting a contract on the house we want to live in. At the last moment today we made the decision.

The couple buying our house wants to buy some of our furniture. We have no idea what but we're willing to sell almost anything since we can't take it all anyway. That's another answer to prayer.

I dreamed about house-hunting a few nights ago and the house we chose is the one that was most seen in my dream. It could have been because it's the one we both had the most peace when we were in it. We see-sawed all day between this one and one other that needed more work done on it, had more square feet but less storage and no views.

The one we like has a spectacular view of the mountains from Santa Fe to the Monzanos. The high school below might be a problem when baseball is going on but the mountain view is too good to give up.

We have a special relationship with the Sandias right out of our kitchen and living area windows. This new house has views from those rooms, too.

I'm taking a deep breath and thanking God for keeping us on His path. We pray that's exactly what He's doing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Octopus' and Becoming Stronger

When I first called Al-Anon, the lady I spoke to said alcoholism affects as many as five family members. I've been thinking about that and come to the conclusion that our actions, no matter what they are, don't just affect us. Actions and decisions we make are like octopus tentacles. Everyone within reach is fair game for the octopus.

I saw a video of deep water fish and was surprised to see the octopus's ability to blend in with the flora and fauna--color and texture and all. They can suddenly push away from their hiding place and the real octopus is clearly seen. It's too late for some unsuspecting prey.

If one of the tentacles grabs a family member or friend, that person can be entwined and imprisoned before they know what's got hold of them. Some people never get free. For those who do, the journey is long, hard and heartbreaking.

My past is littered with actions that touched and hurt others. I don't know how much damage was done or who has forgiven me, but the hardest forgiveness came for myself from myself.

Too bad we have to live over seventy years before we figure some things out. As they say, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I hope that's true for the ones I love.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

God is the Answer for me

Reid and I went to an Al Anon meeting this morning. I've told my grandson for a long time that he needs to go, but he won't. I decided to go myself.

Today the topic appeared to be "taking care of myself." I wish Grandson could have heard it. Many of the people talked about finally realizing they need to stop trying to change the alcoholic and take care of themselves. I think I'm over that hump.

I have fears and sorrow over the situation, but I'm emotionally detached and know I can't change anyone. But I have one thing that it didn't seem some of the others had. God. I believe He can change situations and people. My trust and faith is in Him and that's where I rest.

I don't know if I'll go back again. There are many other meetings and I might try out one of those. I almost feel like I'd rather be a sponsor who says, "Turn it all over to God." They do speak of a Higher Power/God as each of us sees Him. Without really knowing Him, that's impossible and I'm not sure where any of the people were spiritually except for two men. One admitted he has trouble with a loving God but is working on that. The other showed a deep belief in God. All I said when I shared was that I believed in answered prayer and that is where I am--or something like that. I'm not exactly sure what came out.

So many families are dealing with addiction. If there were 50 people there today who are and have been dealing with it for years, there are multiple more in the same boat. What a mixed up world we live in. So many hurting people. How can I reach out and help them? That's my desire. The only answer I have is God.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sugar and Stress

What is it about sugar that eases stress?

Since we started the house situation, all I want some days is something sweet. For years I haven't been able to eat sugar or starch, but after drinking white oak bark tea, sugar doesn't seem to bother me quite as much.

I can say that but at the Super Bowl party on Sunday I ate every dessert there: rum cake, blackberry cobbler and ice cream, fruit something or other, a cinnamon something, chocolate cake. Of course, I didn't go to sleep until 5:00 the next morning either! All night I wrote a new book titled, "When Children Break Their Parent's Hearts."

The past few days have been more stressful than usual. So far I've had a cheese Danish at Starbuck's, a soy ice cream carob bar and a miniature Hershey (from the bowl we have out for the house lookers.) I don't know if I'll sleep tonight or not.

I wish I would go pray instead of eating sugar. I pray all the time but right now nothing seems to be able to take the place of sugar.

I remember once long ago when I could eat sugar and was in stress. Instead of wanting to eat, I couldn't eat and lost so much weight. Why can't I do that now? Why is sugar my answer? Rhetorical question, but if you have the answer, please let me know.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shaping Our Lives

I woke up early this Saturday morning with our move on my mind. In the beginning we thought we knew God was moving us to another city. More than that, we felt God was speaking "purpose" to us. We were moving to fulfill God's purpose in us.

As time went on our thoughts changed. We knew one thing--we were selling our house and moving. But where? Reid's son asked us to stay in town and live in the house he would buy. Another of his sons is wanting to move back here in order to be near family. Our grandson doesn't want us to move and offered to clean out their barn and make it livable for us. We like the weather here and have friends, and doctors, and a good hairdresser :)
All which makes it hard to pull up roots at 73 and start over.

Yet we prayed. "Lord, where do you want us?"

This morning I sat in my favorite room, a room I may not have when we downsize, and read my Bible. I began in Ephesians and read about God's plan from the beginning to make us his children. I went to my Amplified Bible and found a sticky note I'd written many years ago and left on Psalm 90. I'd written four scriptures from the Psalm: 12,14,16,17. Below them was this sentence: God in circumstances shaping life, not circumstances. As I read the verses and meditated on the statement, I saw the truth of our move.

I love my house and I love the space I have. Thinking about squeezing all my "treasures" in a smaller place or having to live without them, is humbling. Humility! Of course. God is working humility in us, and as I read, I saw that He is answering our prayers for wisdom. Humility and wisdom. God's purpose is always to shape our lives.

Purpose is being, not doing.

When I saw this, gratitude came. Ah, ha! Something else God wants from us--gratitude. Oh, works happen, too, but they don't come first because if they do, then humility and wisdom suffer and gratitude pales into pride.

We don't know where we are going to live or who may buy this house and when, but it no longer matters. God is at work in our circumstances shaping our lives and we are grateful for that!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Our ladies Bible class is studying Galatians. We're memorizing verses (or trying to). The first verse is from Galatians 5:1--"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

This past week I began to think, which is always scary, because too much thinking can so easily throw me right back under the law.

"Lord, have I not taken care of this house you've given us? Are you taking it away because of something I did or didn't do?" What does this tell you? It tells me that God only responds to my works. I do good. He does good to me. I do bad. Well, you get it.

Galatians goes on to say that when we are under the law, then we are not under grace.
Romans tells us that there is no longer any condemnation because we are not under law. God's grace covers all the bad stuff I've done AND all the good! It doesn't depend on me at all!

That is real freedom.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tangles of Life

I wrote on Facebook yesterday, "It is such a comfort to drop the tangles of life into God's hands & leave them there." I've had this framed saying on the wall for years and just took it down. I had it hanging above my make-up table with some other favorites, but it looked kind of crowded and I took some down. But I can't put this one away. I need to see it every day so I hung it on a nail in the office.

Tangles of life aptly describes our lives right now. We were sure we were selling our house and moving to Amarillo but that has changed. Now we may stay in this town. We just aren't sure what God's plan really is. We did the first thing we were sure of--put the house on the market. The first two weeks we had non-stop realtors bringing clients to see it. Then the looking ceased. We had one last week and have had no calls since.

We haven't stopped planning and doing what we can, but we are no longer sure of anything.

Putting the tangles of life into God's hands is easy. Leaving them there hasn't been. But when we just don't have any idea what's next, leaving them becomes imperative.

So we just go about our lives every day living in the moment and praying for God's direction to be clear. I say continue because I really believe He's giving us direction all the time. All we have to do is be thankful and listen. Soon the tangles will be sorted out, but like Corrie Ten Boom, we don't need the ticket until we are ready to get on the train. When the time comes for us to know--we will know.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Movie and Freedom

We saw "The Book of Eli" yesterday and it was as good as we thought it would be. True there's some language but not from Denzel's character. He fights back but doesn't start the violence.

The story concerns an apocalyptic world where one man tries to save the only existing Bible. One line he speaks gave me chills. It has to do with why there are no more Bibles. I'm seeing that same kind of thought becoming prevalent in some areas of our culture. The ACLU is championing this thought--that Christians should be shut up and not allowed to speak outside of their churches. That would only be the beginning of shutting us down completely.

A couple here is suing their next-door neighbors for smoking in their backyard. The smoke comes in through their vents and is causing them health issues. They installed large fans that blow the smoke away from their house, but that isn't working.

I'm not for smoking period, but where does my freedom end and yours begin? Yesterday a man came in and sat down three chairs away from us (at the doctor's office.) His odor, mostly smoking odor, was so strong that I had to sneeze and move away. Should I have asked him to move? Certainly not.

I don't like having to listen to loud music in cars next to me. Sounds that cause my car to vibrate because it's so loud. But should I outlaw all loud music? I think a sound law has been passed here but nothing is ever done about enforcing it.

Leaving a house isn't as easy as leaving a chair. Throwing a rock at the car with the loud music isn't an option. At least smoking has been banned inside restaurants and public buildings. But outside those places we usually have to walk through areas where people have been smoking.

Everywhere we go we will come in contact with things we don't like. Those who didn't like the Bible in the movie had destroyed all of them--or thought they had. Although there were no out in the open Bibles it didn't stop God from speaking. In the Old Testament we find that one prophet thought he was the only one. God had to tell him he had many more.

What is the kindest, most loving thing I can do when someone offends me? Instead of burying their freedom to do that thing, we need to do what Eli did--let God work it out and keep on the path He has set for us.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Funny how people see things so differently.

I've been intrigued by the film "The Book of Eli" since I saw the trailers several weeks ago. I know it's violent and has bad language but two facts about it stood out: the story is about a man trying to save the Bible and Denzel Washington is the star.

I've seen some of Denzel's films that have spiritual themes, like "Man on Fire." I believe he's a Christian man who is raising children to be believers. Would he go against his deep beliefs to make films that denigrate his faith? I don't see how a person can do that.

One of my blog friends saw Eli and recommended it. I plan for us to go see it this week (if everything works out.)Another friend, who is a believer, saw it but saw nothing good in it. She only saw the violence and heard the bad language.

Last night, at small group, I made a statement that evidently isn't believed by some in the group. (That happens A LOT!) One person wanted to get right into a sword fight (giving scriptures to back up his belief, then I would give a scripture to back up mine, etc.) I stopped him. We will never agree on this subject. I have reasons for my belief and he has reasons for his. As far as I was concerned we could just disagree and let it go. He didn't feel the same way and had to take me aside to press his point. Although I continued to tell him I wouldn't agree with him, he couldn't give up. He absolutely believes he is right and I'm wrong.

Now why can't we just disagree?

I've been where he is before and pressed my beliefs, not in a kind and gentle way either. I may still do it more than I want to, but in my own heart I just want to allow God, not me, to change people's minds if they need changing.

It's amazing how God created us each to be so different. We don't look alike and don't think alike. For that reason Paul tells us in Colossians 3 to "Bear with each other." The Amplified Bible puts it this way: "Be gentle and forbearing with one another, and, if one has a difference against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness (which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony.)

Once someone tells me they don't agree with me, is it up to me to change their mind? Only if it is a matter of life and death. Evidently the person last night considers his opinion that kind of matter. But once I hear someone say, "I don't agree with you and I have my own reasons for my belief," I need to back off. Even when I told this person some of the reasons for my belief (which I shouldn't have bothered to tell), he let me know my experience was probably false.

I wish I had been more loving in my past with people who disagreed with me, but that's done. I can regret it, but better yet, I can learn from it. My prayer is for this man to only hear from God Himself and not from any past judgements. That's the same prayer I pray for myself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Following the Leader

I'm missing ladies Bible study class today for two reasons: I don't feel well and haven't since Monday but have pushed myself and too many chores to do around the house to keep it ready for realtors and their clients.

Our bodies can go for just so long then they tell us what to do. Yesterday my body said, "Enough!" I went to bed and slept three hours, which is unheard of for me. Last night was another meeting and I stayed home. I had planned to dust and clean bathrooms yesterday but since my body had other plans, I had to do it this morning working slowly and resting often.

I'm not complaining about the number of lookers we've had. I am surprised. I didn't think we'd have so many so early. But with God a person shouldn't ever be surprised.

The main reason I'm taking time to write this morning is to remind everyone to listen to your body and to realize "man makes his plans but the Lord directs his steps." I made my plan to clean yesterday and God directed my steps to bed! I liked that better than cleaning.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Selling, Changing, Thanking Jesus

I haven't sold a house since 1973 so this is almost a new experience: keeping everything in order, leaving the house with lights on and blinds open, smell good stuff sprayed around, looking lived in but not messy.

On top of that we've had to make some credit card changes. New numbers. New card sent several months ago that we never received. Hard to stay on top of all that and try to get the front gate painted in between realtor visits (thank you, Jesus!), take important papers to be shredded (maybe some day soon), go through boxes in the garage (we've done the house), and watch all the play-off football games (first things first.)

Yesterday I woke up with the beginnings of a head cold, which, I'm sure is nothing but stress detoxing. I'm managing to fight that pretty well.

Sunday we heard that we are citizens of Heaven and residents of earth. If I'm only a citizen of earth then I can't survive with all that we face down here.

The family thing is slightly better and again, I thank you, Jesus.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus--O, for faith to trust Him more.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart

My heart is heavy this morning. But I must not give in to the heaviness.

Last Wednesday evening at one of our Bible studies, we discussed joy. Some of the people thought of joy as the same as happiness. I talked about the joy I had even after my husband died. I was grieving but I had a joy inside that was unexplainable. It came from knowing that God had hold of me.

Since that night I've read about the joy of the Lord and meditated on what it means. From James I read that we are to count it all joy when we fall into various trials. In my opinion most of the trials we fall into are those that threaten to steal away our faith and trust in God. We pray. Nothing happens. In fact, everything looks worse. That's a trial of my faith that God is still in control and is holding on to me.

James says the testing of that faith produces patience. The perfect work of patience is maturity. With patience's perfect work we lack nothing. NOTHING! Can you imagine lacking nothing?

Thursday and Friday--all day, meditating on the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Then comes the trial of my faith last night. My heart ached and fear threatened. Where was the joy? I've prayed about this situation so long and what seemed to be better suddenly was right back where it has been for years.

In the notes on James 1:2-4 the author writes, "The proper attitude in meeting adversity is to count it all joy, which is not an emotional reaction but a deliberate intelligent appriasal of the situation from God's perspective, viewing trials as a means of moral and spiritual growth. We do not rejoice in the trials themselves, but in their possible results. Trials serve as a discipline to purge faith of dross, stripping away what is false. Patience is not a passive resignation to adverse circumstances, but a positive steadfastness that bravely endures."

I spoke of this trial to a friend last night and he said, "What can you do about it?"
My response was true. "Nothing." I cannot change this situation except through prayer. And that I will continue to do.

I want to make it clear that God has not brought this situation on our family. He only uses it to strengthen all of us--to bring us to that perfect work of patience, faith and trust. What is more amazing about Him is that He knew it was coming and prepared me with His word.

The joy of being in the Saviour's arms upholds me. His joy strengthens me. Along with the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, I have the peace that passes understanding down in my heart today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Who is in Control?

With a move in our future, our life has been busy organizing, cleaning out and throwing away. We have to keep the house in order "just in case" all the time. In the past few days we've hit a rough place, and although we are sure the Lord is directing our steps there have been moments of doubt. Just how much is God really in control of our lives? We throw around the word sovereign and say we know that is God's main attribute, but what does that really mean in our lives?

We receive a preacher's email messages and when we received this one, it spoke to our spirits. I hope Russ doesn't mind me copying and printing it here, but I couldn't say what it any better. I hope you get a message from his "New Year. Who is in Control?"

Here we are in the first day of a new year and I'm not quite through with the old one. I tend to hold on to some things, like memories of the past week. Like many of you my wife and I planned a trip to be with our family and friends who live about 2,100 miles away. We left on schedule and after 2 days, had traveled less than half of the way home. We were confronted with snow, Ice, freezing rain and eventually a blizzard, before we decided to turn around and drive back to California. We made the trip with clear sky and dry roads almost all of the way, in one day.

As I have thought about what happened to us, I have wondered if God might have had a hand in our travel difficulties. Now I know how impossible it sounds to think that God might put a blizzard in place just for our benefit, but could he?

Then I remembered Paul in Act's 16:6-7 where we read, "Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.
Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there." (NLT)

I also thought of Jonah in the Jonah 1:4 where Jonah was headed in a direction God didn't want him to go. We read: "Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up." (NIV)

So, could God put a storm in our path to prevent us from going somewhere? I believe that he could. You might ask, "Would God cause something like that to happen when it might affect someone other than just me?" Think about this, "Was Jonah in the boat alone?" No, he wasn't. So, could God affect our physical lives in some way to cause us to do what he wants us to do? Yes, I believe he can. If you don't think so, why do you bother to pray for the sick, or those out of a job or for safe passage on some trip? Do we believe he will only touch our world when we specifically ask him to?

OK, here is the point! Much of our world looks to the New Year and makes plans for their future. We make "New Year's Resolutions," planning what changes or direction our lives will take. The trouble is that it may not be the things God has in mind for us. We forget that he is still in control of our world, not us, not the scientist, not the politicians; it is God who is in charge.

We were disappointed that we didn't get to make our planned trip to Ohio, but one passage of scripture keeps floating to the front of my mind. Do you remember what James writes in James 4:13-16? James writes: "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog, it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil."

As you look to the New Year, don't forget to plan on God being involved with your life! If things don't go as you plan, maybe their going according to some plan that God has for your life.