Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.



Friday, June 29, 2012


*after posting my last two posts, I felt I needed to repost this one, written after last Christmas.  The sweet soul my son has always had is still in there, and I am getting to see it more and more.  He is still much the prodigal, but I believe steps are being made to bringing him home.  When, I don't know. It could be tomorrow, it could be years. But I've learned to trust his care to my Lord and Savior, and I am at peace, waiting with my heart always open. . .*

I had to change the light bulb the other day and got to thinking about all the things that change. Some we do ourselves, others we have no control over, like the changing of the weather. We change out batteries, we change the sheets, new momma's change the diapers, daddy's change the channels. Some change their spouses, others change their jobs and houses. Out with the old and in with the new. Just like the number of our changing years.

Circumstances can change and at times when you least expect it. My family changed years ago in a way that I didn’t like. The precious first born walked away and I was devastated. I wanted to crawl up in a fetal position and hide. . .and I did for awhile. But my God, who does not change, was there with me and would not let me stay in that position. He met me and taught me to stand up and be strong in Him, that my life goes on to live for Him no matter what. He said, “Leave your changes in my Hands to deal with and go on to live, go on to serve.”

In the last five years, so many changes came with this first born child of mine. Every time my mind reeled, God brought me right back in to Him. The God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and forever, only with Him could there be peace in the chaotic changes this world brings on.

Change can be bad, good, scary, exciting. Change always brings about some kind of emotion. I’m so thankful for a God who does not change with the winds of emotions, and the changing of circumstances. My God is strong, He is solid, He is steadfast and loving always. He is always there to hold me up and give me blessings, sometimes when I am least expecting.

First born came over our threshold again after many, many months of silence. He got a hug from his momma. As the lights twinkled on the Christmas tree, he pointed to a bag with a tree on it and said, “That one’s for you.” I opened it up and drew out a beautiful shiny black box with an even more beautiful silver engraved label with the inscription on top, “Love you Mom”.

First born immediately got a hug from his momma. Then I opened the shiny black box and found a beautiful pen with a quote he had inscribed on it. . .

“One joy scatters a hundred griefs.” So true! First born got another hug from his momma.
He said to me, "I know you like to write, so I wanted to get you a nice pen." A thoughtful thought from him. . .he got another hug from momma!

Change. . .I never know from one day to the next what will happen around me, but I’m sane because I serve a mighty God who never changes. I find comfort in that. I find strength in that.

What changes will tomorrow bring? I don’t know but God has it in His hands. And I will always hold that Righteous Right Hand of His and it will all be ok.

Do changes scare you? I'll be honest, they scare me sometimes, I'm only human. But I know from experience to look to the One who never changes and call out to Him. He’s right there. He is a light that never needs changing. Let's take His Hand and never let go. Through the changes we don't like, holding His hand, we can learn from them and move on. And for the good changes, let that joy scatter the griefs and let's praise His Holy Name!

Once in a great while I get to have one of these joys. . .

and I praise God!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sticky Notes and Spare Keys

(I've been working on a memoir about our prodigalism days over the last six years. SO much has happened and I feel to be able to process everything and to heal, God led me to write it all down. This is another small story from the middle of that book...For many of you not knowing the story, some of this may seem eratic, but I think you will get the point of this small chapter. . .and just a tiny inkling of what life has been like. . .and I hope you see that God is always there with us to help us through the trying times. . .*all stories written about others are written with permission*

"Life isn't like a book.  Life isn't logical or sensible or orderly.  Life is a mess most of the time.  And the theology must be lived in the midst of that mess"  Charles Colson

When Tim and his friend Will moved in with us, they had come from an uncomfortable place, Will's parents apartment.  It was tiny; Tim slept in a chair and Will on the sofa.  His parents apparently got the bedroom.  The parents did meth.  I was told they fought a lot, were loud, could be very paranoid, and be accusing of very undesirable things.  I wanted Tim to remember and Will to experience here at our home, a quiet, relaxing, comfortable, peaceful, and loving environment, a place to rest their heads and souls.  I bent over backwards to make Will feel comfortable in his new place without being pushy. I wanted Will to feel the Christ like love he had never experienced. My constant prayer was, "Lord, let Will see you and help Tim remember." 

 Several days after being here, my heart broke for Tim, he looked so tired and discouraged.  I wanted to help, so I turned to my bible.  I found a couple of Psalms that talked about turning your troubles over to the Lord and you will find rest for your soul.  I thought these were perfect for Tim.  So I wrote two, yellow sticky notes with a Psalm on each one and a third that said, “Dad and I love you, let us help however we can.”  His car was locked so I got the spare key from my room.  This car had been ours first and we gave it to him.  His car was still filled with his stuff and I thought, out of respect for him, that I did not look, so I just opened the door, put the sticky notes on his dashboard and steering wheel, locked the door and went back inside.  I smiled, thinking he would find these as he left for work and would be encouraged by them and being lifted up as he went down the road.

A few minutes later, he left for work.  I stood in my kitchen praying for him, when my cell phone rang.  I saw it was Tim and smiled, thinking he was going to thank me for the notes.  Instead, I heard this dark, menacing voice say, “How did you get into my car?”  I said I used the spare we had.  He said, “How dare you break into my car and leave sticky notes like I’m some little kid.”  I was stunned!  “Well, I replied, don’t worry, you’ll never get another one again and I hung up.  I was so hurt I went to the bathroom and started scrubbing the shower and tub. (Something constructive to do while having a pity party)  The more I scrubbed, the more furious I became.  I kept hearing him emphasize HIS car.  I couldn’t help but think Keith and I spent five years paying for that car and then when Tim needed one, we gave it to him.  He was mad we had a spare key.  I reminded him that when he got the car, he kept either losing the key or locking it inside, so Keith and I kept a spare for such a purpose.  We were being responsible because of Tim’s lack of responsibility at the time.

Like I said, the more I scrubbed, the more furious I became, so I called him back and said he had no right to be disrespectful to me, after all I had done for him and his friend, and the notes were given in love to encourage him.  All he could say was I had no right to be in his car and he wanted the spares.  I was so hurt, I hung up.

Tim called back but I didn’t answer, I had enough.  He left a voice mail that said, “When you can quit hanging up on me, then maybe we can talk like two mature adults.”
“Huh” I said to myself as I threw the phone across the room. (ok, THAT might have been a bit immature.)
I wish God had warned us parents that being hurt by the ones you love so much, your children, was part of this role.  Oh wait!  Maybe he did…let’s look.

Do you suppose Adam and Eve were hurt when Cain killed his brother, their younger son, Abel?  Do you think Samson’s parents were hurt when he said with disrespect in his tone and words, demanding they get him a woman out of their faith for his wife?  This would have disgraced the family during this time and went against God’s law which the family followed.  You think these parents were hurt when they saw such great potential in their son and he was given such great strength only to see him use it in a wrong and selfish way.  Do you think the father was hurt when he learned his son Jacob deceived him and took his brother’s birthright and blessing.  What about the other son Esau, who was willing to give this up for a bowl of soup?  And how about David, when his son Absalom killed his brother for revenge or for plotting against him to take away the throne and watching his son always listening to wrong advice.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not picking on the children.  These parents, in their own way, sinned also.  I’m saying sin and hurt from the ones we love go all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Don’t you think God was hurt when his first two children decided to go against Him?  And what about all his children today?  Do we still not hurt and disappoint him in one way or another?

This is sounding pretty grim isn’t it?  But we know the good news.  Because of the awesome sacrifice made on the cross from our Lord Jesus Christ, we believers have been given grace, mercy and forgiveness and we have that same supply to give to others.  Do we hand it out to the ones who hurt us?  We have a choice to make.  Don’t worry about it running out.  There is plenty to spare, just like our spare keys to the car.  And if God gave you a sticky note on this subject, I think it would say, “Remember what I gave you. I love you and I’m here to help.”  Put that sticky note on your fridge, (or steering wheel), and keep your heart full of spares…spares of grace, mercy and love.

With God, the mess can be redeemed.  There is the hope, the hope is in Him, and that is why six years later, my soul can rest.

"When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces.  But He doesn't put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves.  Instead, He sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project - a mosiac that tells the story of redemption."
Ken Gire

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"
Lamentations 3:22-24

Are you resting in all His hope, His love, His mercy and grace?
Take it all in and have spares ready for when you need it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Green Paint and Piano Keys

*There has been no editing so far, this is just my heart sharing. . .
(I've been working on a memoir about our prodigalism days over the last six years.  SO much has happened and I feel to be able to process everything and to heal, God led me to write it all down.  This is just a small story from the middle of that book.  Much happened before and after this small chapter. For many of you not knowing the story, some of this may seem eratic, but I think you will get the point of this small chapter. . .and just a tiny inkling of what life has been like. . .and I hope you see that God is always there with us to help us through the trying times. . .I also print this because I know there are a lot of you out there going through this same kind of storm and many have told me that the sharing of the stories helps. . .so, take my hand and let's walk together. . .

It was a wonderful Sunday morning; good worship time in church, good friends invited us out to lunch at one of my favorite eating spots and a good visit.  As I was driving home, I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s by Whitney Phipps.  He was singing a song titled “He”, a piece I played on the piano while I was growing up.  When I got home, I found the “He” sheet music so I could play it again. I wanted to play it on Tim's electric piano so I could have the orchestra in the background.  It was going to be so pretty!

            I asked Tim to help me set it up as it was too heavy for me and I was nursing a bad shoulder at the time.  He looked at me sheepishly as he was taking it out and said, “You haven’t seen it in awhile have you?”  My heart sunk. We had already gone through so much, I thought  “OH NO, Now what!”  He sat the piano on its stand and I took one look at it and was horrified!  Thick, green, acrylic paint was all over ALL the keys.  I cried, “WHAT HAPPENED?”

            Apparently, when he and Elena were still married and living in the tiny bedroom of her parent’s mobile home, Elena was painting a picture using the piano sheet holder as an easel.  Her paints rested on the keyboard.  She bumped into the piano and paint spilled all over it.  I didn’t understand why she was painting on the piano!?  They had a table in the kitchen she could have used. But, what was odd was that every key was evenly covered in paint.

Tim explained that so much paint had spilled, that they couldn’t remove it all and didn’t know how to clean it up, so they decided it would look better if they just spread it out all over the keys, I guess so they would all look the same.  How, I thought, could there be so much immaturity in my once such mature son!

            I felt like coming unglued but I held my cool.  Tim took the piano apart, took the keys off and then left for work.  I told him I would try to clean them.  This was not an easy job.  You couldn’t just wash it off.  Paint thinner wouldn’t do the trick.  Nail polish remover didn’t work.  I tried sanding it with fine grain sandpaper and that didn’t work.  I had a sink full of hot, soapy water from trying to wash the paint off.  By this time, I was so disgusted, I threw all the keys in the water and walked away to cool down.  About 20 minutes later, I came to the sink to let the water out, and noticed the paint was feeling soft.  I took one of Keith’s sharp pocket knives and tried carefully shaving and wallaah,  the paint was coming off.  I stood there at the sink for 1 ½ hours, shaving paint off of 45 white keys and 31 black keys under running, hot water.  That’s 76 keys total!  My fingers were turning a deathly white, fingers pruning, and skin was peeling off of my fingers by the time I was done.  The more I worked on these keys, the more worked up I became.  I thought Elena should have never been painting on the piano.  Tim should not have allowed anything on the piano.  And when there was a mess, why didn’t they try to figure out how to clean it and then do it?  All that happened over 8 months ago before Tim and Elena divorced, so it sat there in its bag wearing green paint for all that time.

            When I was done cleaning, I had a big ole, cry baby cry.   I kept thinking of all the kind, loving acts I had done for Tim and former roomate Will who had moved in with us and what had I gotten for it? I had also tried to do the same when Elena was in our lives.  Tim chewed me out for getting into his car and leaving him a couple of scriptures and an “I love you” note. 

Tim and Will have complained it’s too cold, or it’s too quiet in our house.  Will is always saying to me he appreciates us putting him up and maybe he means it, but it doesn’t have a genuine sound to it.  
Will hardly has any money, no car, and doesn’t work a lot of hours.  I offered him a job of cleaning the back of our house for fifty dollars to help him out.  He stood there pouring his coffee in my kitchen and said to me, “I think I’m just a little too lazy for that.”  My jaw almost hit the counter.  I was floored, but I kept my mouth shut.  Christopher asked if he could have the job, so he could earn some extra money. As a result Will stood there with fifty dollars less than he might have had.  I grew up being taught if you wanted anything you had to work for it, work hard, and if somebody needed something, you helped them.  I could not understand this except that maybe he had not been taught the same thing, but you would think by 21 years of age, you would figure that out for yourself.

            I had only showed love and kindness to these boys, have done their laundry, washed their towels, cooked for them.  My extended family said to quit making life so easy for them, make them leave.  But I wanted Tim to remember and Will to see what it is like to have a mother who did kind things for them, was helpful and loving, too feel a peaceful, quiet, loving home environment.  I wanted to build a relationship with both of them, praying at some God appointed time, I could share the gospel with Will, and maybe they would both come to church with us at some time, and see that there is a better way to live. Tim knew, Tim had the close family relationships, teachings and guidance, love and church home all his life, but after becoming a high school graduate, he let his new group of friends take him away.

            Christopher witnessed my cry-baby, pity party and showed a maturity well beyond his years.  He said I should quit listening to the family and others, and listen to what God has laid on my heart.  He mentioned that we are to love our enemies so I should surely love them with a Christ like love.  He said I was the only good thing in their lives at the time and he thought I should keep doing what I’m doing to show them God’s love, that it is not about me getting appreciation and thanks back but doing the right and godly thing.  I thought this was very mature and profound coming from a 16 years old boy.  I was proud of him!

            This reminded me when God met me in my dad’s hospital room and told me to be the daughter He (God) expected me to be, whether Dad deserved it or not was not the point.  God was growing and teaching me to step out of myself, to die to self, pick up my cross and follow him.  It’s not always easy but blessings do eventually follow.

           When Tim came home and saw the keys white again, I still expected something from him.  He said nothing.  I kiddingly remarked, "I think this deserves a thank you or something like, “Wow, mom, these look great!”  He glared at me with his tired eyes and said, “I didn’t ask you to do it”.
I had to decide what’s more important, to show Christ’s love through my demeanor and actions and not receiving much in return from the boys, praying this will eventually win them over, OR say, “No more” to everything and make them leave, leaving them angry and resentful, even though some would say, “Too bad.”  My heart says to show Christ’s love but not to tolerate disrespect, which Keith and I both emphasized with Tim when he was younger.  Although he is better in that department,   the immaturity still gets me.   For the time being, I just keep on praying for wisdom, discernment, and guidance. I was learning to lay down my expectations at that time.  Did I mention the cigarette burns on the white keys?  I guess they didn’t believe in ash trays.  No soap or scraping would take those off, but at least the keys became white again.

That evening, I picked up my sheet music “He”, the item that started this whole thing.  I looked at the words.  The first line says, “He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea.”  He used Christopher that day to help calm my “angry sea”.  He listened to me with sympathetic eyes and ears and then in his beyond 16 year old maturity talked to me with insight that brought me back down to earth.  I admire my Christopher, what a guy! 

I sit in church and read on Face Book, women who have children the same age as Tim, go on about how great their kids are, how mature and grown up they are, all the wonderful things they are accomplishing and how happy they are. I truly am happy for them. I would never wish troubles on any family. The devil tries to put a shade of green on me…you know…the color of envy, but I won’t let him.  I was proud of my son for 18 years and I will be again.  I love him with all my heart and I believe he is trying in some small way.  But he needs to lay down his pride and humble himself, totally surrendering himself to the Lord. My husband and I fall to our knees many nights beseeching help and we will continue to support our son in the ways the Lord leads us to. We also remain quiet when He instructs us to.  And we are more at peace now than ever before.   The green is gone, in more ways than one.

Another line in the song of “He” says, “He can paint the clouds, and turn the sky to blue. He alone knows where to find the rainbows end.  He alone can see what lies beyond the bend.”  I believe there is a happy, well-adjusted Tim around the bend, and I just have to keep being patient, trusting the Lord is working on him.  The last line of the song is this, “Though it makes him sad to see the way we live, He’ll always say, “I forgive.”  If He can forgive all that he does, who am I not to forgive the silly, immature ways of the son I love so much.  I’m so glad God will forgive the paint spills, the emotional spills, and colors my life with beautiful colors.  Green really is a pretty color…just not on piano keys.

*My son knows about this book and that I blog. I would never do anything to hurt him. He said he knew this was my way of healing and he's ok with it. . .this, I believe is a piece of that maturity he had coming out.  A piece of hope for me*

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brownies and Bibles

It's too hot for the Blanket Ministry for the Homeless right now, but I want to keep up with the friendships I have made in that community.  So out came the baking pan and measuring spoons and wha-la. . .brownies as a host/hostess gift.

As soon as they came out of the oven, my husband and I jumped into his jeep and headed down to the bridge thinking we might find Melanie and Tony, but whoever we found, that is who the brownies would go to.  Melanie was not there.  Keith and I drove to the other side of the bridge where we knew Tony stayed.  This side of the bridge is much more precarious and I became a wimp.  I'm not afraid to talk to the homeless and ex-cons, but I am afraid of steep climbs with big rivers raging below.  My hero of a husband took the pan of brownies and scurried down the path and up to underneath this side of the bridge.

 No Tony.  As we came walking back through the parking lot, we spotted a red t-shirted man sitting on the park bench under the shade.  From a distance it look like it might be Tony.  We walked towards him and he waved at us smiling big.

He was reading.  Can you tell what the book is. . .

I was elated to see what it was. . .

I met Tony last Fall when he first came to Bowling Green and was experiencing his first time as a homeless man.  He allowed me to interview him for the book I'm working on.  He told me he had accepted Jesus into his heart as a young boy, but as he grew, he got further and further away from Him.  He wasn't sure about the whole thing with God, the Bible and all anymore.  He let me pray for him that day though and had tears afterwards, thanking me for not treating him like trash.  I continued to pray for this man. 

He has been homeless now for 9 months.  We live in a college town and one of the christian groups there is called Hilltoppers for Christ.  Several of those Hilltoppers found Tony underneathe the bridge, (I guess they were braver than I on this steep, scarier side). They started bringing sandwiches and doing a bible study with him every week.  Tony read through the bible from beginning to end.  Those precious Hilltoppers now pick up Tony every Sunday morning, Sunday and Wednesday evening and take him to church with them.  Tony told my husband and I this day that his eyes have been opened once more all the way and he rededicated his life to the Lord.  That bible he read through was the King James Version.  Now he wants to read it all the way through again in the NIV version. 

Tony's whole demeanor has changed from last Fall. Back then, he was timid, scared, and uptight. Now he is relaxed, has a peaceful aura about him. When I shared with him about recognizing the difference, he responded with, "It's Jesus. He's been there all along, I just wasn't seeing Him. . .now I do." 

This man had a record, one much scarier to me than the drug charges some of the others have had.  But his time was paid and he has received forgiveness in his heart.  He is a new man.  He is my friend, one I would have been afraid of years ago, but God put Tony and my paths together in the downtown park one day last Fall and he and I connected. . .the connector. . .Jesus Christ.

Some say to me, "How could you befriend such people?" and "Aren't you scared?" I say, "Those 'such people' are no different than I."  I have never seen in God's Holy Word where he put a scale on sins, weighing one worse than the other.  Jesus Christ died on that cross to save us ALL from our sins, those sins were never put into a category of . . .He died for these but not for those.

We miss out when we want to judge someone for their sins.  If I was judged as the way many in the homeless community are judged, I would have no friends, I would be depressed. . .who knows. . .I could be the one under the bridge, wishing I had a friend.  Maybe I would be waiting for someone to come share the good news of Christ, or for someone to just come visit with me, befriending me, making me feel "not like trash". 

I want to say here, very importantly, that you have to be careful when approaching the homeless who are strangers to you, in secluded areas.  I never do.  In those places, my husband has always been with me.  When I do meet people alone, I am always in the middle of our downtown park with businesses all along the four sides.  People are out there walking their dogs, eating lunch on the grounds.  I am safe there.

A homeless person has never been threatening to me.  Just the opposite, they have been very polite and mannerly, even more so than the men who come out of those businesses in their suit and ties.

My point is, smile at everyone, give a handshake to everyone. . .just be careful in those certain places.  There may be a friend out there waiting for you, and you just might realize that you had been waiting for them.

We all stood up to part ways.  I hugged Tony and whispered to him that he was worthy in the Lord's eyes and he was our friend.  He smiled as he walked away with tears in his eyes. 

Brownies and blankets and sandwiches won't fix homelessness.  But they are great tools to get you to someone out there, feeling helpless and lonely, where you can offer friendship and in God's timing, His Good News, a prayer, a hug, and who knows. . .you might find them later on a bench reading that Good News.  What a gift, for them and for you!

May I ask a favor?  Next time you eat a brownie, say a prayer for the homeless and a special one for Tony as he works to find a full time job.
Or you could lift him up now and eat the brownie later :)
Thank you!

linking up with

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Heart

I went back to the pond awhile back, the one you see above, and it is changing because of new land owners; the trees are coming down and the paths are disappearing.  But my gift from the Lord, this heart, is still there.  I had to go touch it once more, smiling, remembering the first time I saw it. . .

From my book, Ponderings From the Pond. . .

My husband Keith and I went walking around the pond one beautiful fall afternoon, and I was feeling particularly low that day. Silently, I asked for some encouragement.

Keith spotted something on a tree and called me over to see it. It was a place where the bark had fallen off and left the shape of a heart. I smiled and said a silent “thank you”. I saw this as God’s encouragement to me saying “I am here, I know what you’re going through, I care, and I love you. I thought of the verse John 14:1 that says, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled…trust in me. Yes Father, I do trust in you. He is so good! He meets you wherever you are, even out by a pond.

As a twelve year old girl, I invited Jesus into my heart. If I had not had the Lord there and built that relationship over the years, I might have missed the message in the tree that day. As Christians, our eyes are opened up to so much more and our spirits ready to hear much more than if they were closed. I don’t want to miss anything the Lord has for me and I don’t want anyone else to miss their “heart messages”. 

That’s why it is so important to share the love of Jesus with everyone we come in contact with. Whether it is sharing the gospel with them, or just giving them a genuine smile and a hug, let’s not let those “heart moments” go away without participating in them. 

Yes, Jesus lives in my heart. Does He live in yours? If so, say a silent “thank you” right now. I love to thank Him all the time.  If not, ponder for a moment. Would you like to have a new heart and spirit? If so, issue that invitation to Him to come into your heart right now. You will never be sorry! Then be on the look-out for your “heart messages”.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…
Ezekiel 36:26

Thank you Lord!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Circle of Life Continues

I was saddened one day last year.
I had been sitting on my front porch for over a week witnessing a momma and daddy robin feeding and taking care of their babies in a nest they built in the plum tree right in front of my porch. I watched momma sit on the nest, the daddy always bringing worms. Then one day I finally saw the babies. Well…I saw only their beaks at first, wide open ready to take in their meal.
Then it wasn’t long until I could see their downy heads. I heard them squawking every day. Watching this bird family made me smile as I watched God's creation working out their everyday duties.

Then one morning I went out to discover a dead bird in my garden right underneath the plum tree. I don’t know if a cat had crawled up there and got it or what. Then I noticed I couldn’t see the babies anymore, I heard nothing from the nest. It had become quiet. My heart sank. I also noticed an ant trail crawling up the trunk of the tree. Was it a cat, ants? I don’t know, but this robin family was no more.

When you live out in the country, you see the circle of life more than if you were in the city. We don’t like to think of it, but it happens. It’s natural. Dogs out here have killed cats. They have killed mice out in the fields. A pet rabbit came up missing one day, never to be seen again. A favorite chicken bit the dust, or rather a dog bit the chicken. Deer have been killed in the road by cars. Their bones have become treats for the dogs. Are you wanting me to stop?

This all just got me to pondering once again. These creatures were all created by God. They are not infused with a soul as we humans are. They are creatures created with natural instinct and they just do what they are created to do. You may say, “my dog would never do that”. Yes, we bring pets into our homes and love them and we train them and discipline them, but that instinct never goes away because it was not meant to. Cars do not mean to hit deer, but if they jump out in front of you, especially in the dark, they risk getting hit and killed. If there are other animals around when this happens, they are not going to waste the carcass. The circle of life.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a bird. Do you think when babies are taken, the momma and daddy sit around and get depressed, sit in their nest not wanting to get out, not wanting to go on with life. No, they fly on to the next thing. That’s how they are created. But, what would I be missing? Love. Love is not just instinct, it is a God given emotion for us human beings. Love is wonderful…it can also be painful. But I would not give up love because of the fear of pain that might accompany it. I heard a quote a long time ago that said, “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” I agree. I have suffered pain through loving, but I would not go back and give up love. I would do it all again, because with God, He works all things for good. I just have to wait around and see what He has planned. I can’t wait, but I will because His timing is best. I will love, I will feel the pain, I will give it to God, I will forgive, and I will go on. Because that is how I was created to be.

After losing the bird family above, I was sitting in the backyard in another swing, I witnessed another bird family, this one is the Eastern Blue Bird
and on it goes. . .

This year, just last week, my husband and I captured another family. . .

The cirle of life continues.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kris, Kris, How Does Your Garden Grow?

With a son entering college a year ago, not being financially ready for it and being a couple that does not like to borrow money, a book helped me come up with a plan.  The book is Debt-Free U by Zac Bissonnette and believe you me, it works.  It's really a very simple thing. It's called  radical discipline. You give up what are not needs, just wants, and take the money you would have spent on those wants and put it away into an account.  We started doing this.  I mean little things.  I quit buying water bottles.  I quit buying the expensive hairspray at the salon, I quit shopping for myself, I gave up the gym membership, we have no cable or newspapers coming into our home, and on and on and on.  We paid for the first year of college with cash and I'm ready to pay this second year.

One of the things I really like is to garden.  But gardening is not a need, just a want and so that went on my list of things to give up.  Putting my son through college was much more important than having a garden full of plants and I was ok with this.  This new adventure has been fun and exciting, especially when I saw that it was working! I have to tell you though, the pretty flowers and plants out there were catching my eye, but I've been diligent and sticking to the plan.  

God is so good! When we live in obedience He either changes the desires of our hearts or He gives us those desires.  This is one time He chose to give and I shouldn't be but have been amazed.  Everytime I turn around, someone has given me plants and flowers and now all my gardens are full!  A dear lady shared so many things from her garden with me, plants that will come back year after year.  Others  gave us money after my mother-in-law died and said to buy something to plant in her honor.  A neighbor gave me a fern and others, flowers. 

Oh my, how does my garden grow?  With the love of the Lord and friends!

Oh Mary, Mary, you may have had silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row but I have these. . .

#1164. . .black eyed susans

1165. . .lilac bush

1166. . .lambs ears 

1167. . .hosta (this baby has been here awhile!)

1168. . .pretty pink flowers  (I forgot what these are called)

1169. . .ground covers

1170. . .lilies

1171. . .huge ferns

1172. . .red petunias

1173. . .a ninewine bush

1174. . .another species of a lilac bush

1175. . .sage

1176. . .oregano

1177. . .crepe myrtle bush (this baby has been here awhile too)

1178. . .fern for the front porch

1179. . .buds opening up and colors popping out

1180. . .messages

OH, I do this all the time, but Mr. Rabbit is just so cute for telling me!

Dear Father, thank you for loving me so that you would bless me with the desires of my heart, for loving people who shared with me, gardens full of your wonderful creations, and my heart full of joy.
Rejoicing and praising for You are worthy!
Even if my gardens stayed empty, You are worthy!
You are worthy of my praise no matter what goes on, or what is empty. 
You fill me with joy beyond belief and You are enough!
(But, thank you for the garden full of delight),
Your daughter with the dirty knees, spade, miracle grow, and water hose. . .

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

I CAN'T DRAW! Or. . .can I?

When my second born son was around 3-4 years old, looking adorable like this. . .

I have a memory stored in my mind that always makes me smile as I now watch him at 19.  All those years ago, he would sit at the dining room table with his brother, five years older and they would draw.  My younger one, Christopher, one day out of frustration, threw his pencil on the floor and in a quivering, teary eyed voice,  said rather loudly, I CAN'T DRAW!  I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DRAW!

"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art"
Paul CeZanne

I would tell him it just takes practice and not to give up.  He could have.  Many do.  But when God gives you a talent, it is hard to walk away. Christopher picked up the tools and began to draw again the next day. . .and the next, and the next, and the next.

"Creativity takes courage"
Henri Matisse

 Ever since, when he has free time, he draws.  I believe art has been therapy for him at times, it's been his friend and companion, God speaks to him through art.

"Painting (drawing) (art) is the grandchild of nature.  It is related to God."

At the tender age above, Christopher made many drawing for me, his mother.  Do you think I threw them away as he grew older?  Certainly not!  I framed them. . .

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
Edgar Degas

When pencil slides against paper, I glance over at him.  Sometimes he looks as if in deep thought, pondering at times, and at others, I catch him smiling as he continues to see the picture come to life in front of him.  When God works through us, we can't help but smile.  And that makes this momma smile.  She sees her son in his element.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Pablo Picasso

Thank you Father for giving my son this talent; thank you for helping him to pick up that thrown down pencil all those years ago and to practice, practice, practice. Thank you for replacing that frustration with joy.  In his humble spirit, I know he wants to honor you and give you glory through his art.  This momma is proud of him for so many reasons, but my heart still swells when I see that little boy pick up his pencil and go again. Bless him Father as he seeks to bless you. 

They say "practice makes perfect."
I believe if you take your God given talents and use them for His Glory, His light will shine through whatever that talent is. . .what do you think?

portraits by Christopher Bridgman

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

HA! Finally, some help. . .

If you read how I've been losing my mind here then you will understand why I was so relieved to finally find a solution  :)  Here it is. . . . .


YEAH!  Sometimes it's that bad.
Now, where is that recorder?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cradled by the Lord

Confession time:

This layed back, quiet gal popped her top. . .blew her lid. . .she yelled.

 It doesn't matter at who or why.  She just felt terrible.  Yes, she was provoked, and she didn't handle it well. She bent her head down on the steering wheel. This gal's purpose in life is to live her life pleasing her Lord.  She felt she had failed this day. She cried tears of anger, tears of frustration, and then tears of remorse.  She cried out "Lord!"

And in an instant, His presence was thick inside that car.  She felt His arms wrapped around her, cradling her, with gentle, hushed tones of "Now, Now. . .there, there."

"I'm so sorry Lord! Please forgive me!"

"You see these scars from nails?  You accepted them long ago.  What do they mean to you?"

"I'm. . .forgiven."

"Yes.  I am your Redeemer."

"You restore."

"Yes, I am also your Yahweh -Jireh, your provider."

"Yes, You give and give and give to me every day. . .thank you!"

" I am your Yahweh-Rophe, healer of wounded hearts."

"Yes, You've healed in so many ways. . .thank you!"

"I am your Yahweh-Nissi, where you find hope every day."

"Yes Lord, You are my Hope every day. . .thank you!"

"I am your Yahweh-Shalom, live in peace with me."

"Yes Lord, in You, I live in peace. . .thank you!"

"I am the Almighty, Elohim, rest in me."

"Yes Lord, I rest in You. . .thank you!"

With each declaration, her heart slowed down and came to a rest. "My times are in your hands."(Psalm 31:15) And my days, my hours, my minutes, my seconds.  Peace came into this gal's heart, the peace not from circumstances but from knowing and trusting God, the peace that surpasses all understanding.

He knows the beginning, the end and everything in the middle.  It didn't surprise Him this day, that His daughter blew her top.  And He came into that car and let her know she was still loved and cared for and that her loved ones would be too.  She relaxed in that incredible peace.

Now this emotional gal cried tears of joy. . .tears of thankfulness.

She sat up straight.  She sends a text of "I'm sorry!"  She receives one back with the same words.  He is in the Lord's care and she knows there is no better place.  Tonight she will sleep well.  And tomorrow will begin a brand new day.

"Yahweh will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

I belong to a Holy God and He dwells in me.

Dear Lord,
Forgive me when my sin nature falls and thank you that You see me as Your daughter, standing right next to you, an incredible position to be in!  I never want to leave your side.  The gratitude I feel, I feel I cannot adequately express, and yet I know You know my heart.  You are there.  You are at home and I am at home with You. 
Your banner over me is love.  May I wave this banner of love over all around me, especially the ones who cause my top to blow, especially the ones who need it the most.
May they see You in me and feel this incredible love that only comes from You.  Even in those moments that are not perfect, You can perfect the moment.  Thank you for who You are and that You are mine and I am Yours.
Forever grateful,
Your daughter

"To the Lord I cried aloud and He answered me."
Psalm 3:4

1134.  quiet time in the car
1135.  hearing from all sides of my Lord
1136.  knowing that not being perfect is ok
1137.  provisions in more ways than one
1138.  wounded hearts healed
1139.  having hope for today. . .and for tomorrow
1140.  living in peace. . .even in the hard days
1141.  pure rest
1142.  being loved by my Lord, even when I am unlovable
1143.  the words, "I'm sorry"
1144. experiencing Him perfect an imperfect moment
1145.  getting back up after stumbling
1146.  banners of love

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