A Tug On My Heart...

It's been a long time since I've posted.....

  A lot of life has happened in the last four years, mostly health issues.  I had a neck fusion that led from one thing to another.  I had a disc that was dangerously close to my spinal cord and one fall or accident could sever my spinal cord.  I had no choice in the matter but to have surgery, it was a "have to" thing.  But it left me with terrible headaches that I never experienced before. In the process of all this the doctor found out I had 4 herniated disks causing my leg to give out on me. My days are filled with chronic pain.  It's been a battle both physically and spiritually.  During this time,  I've stayed close to the Lord, but I must confess some days I wondered where He was.  There were two things I tried to do everyday...have a quiet time sitting at the Lord's feet and making dinner for Bob....even if it was simple.  I didn't always accomplish this, but it was my goal.

My husband went part time a year ago which has really been nice.  He works three days a week which is just perfect.  It gets him out among people and keeps us with full medical benefits. It's been a big change I will admit but, it's worked out perfectly at a time I needed help.

I've missed blogging.  In this battle I've been in, I wasn't sure that I had much to offer in words of encouragement.  I feel the tug in my heart to try again. It's not easy and most of the time impossible to put into words the deeper things that God is doing in us. Pain can change people.  I pray for His glory that I've changed for the better.

Blessings, my friends!


I never realized until today, how many people I have in my life that encourage me. Sometimes I feel very alone,as I struggle to be productive when my chronic illnesses want to take control of my every effort, to do even the simplest of things. Keeping a Gratitude Journal over the last six months has helped me to recognize just how many people encourage me. Keeping this journal has helped me to see things with a grateful heart. It's taught me to watch for those things the Lord brings into my day that I have to be grateful for. As I read an email that I received yesterday, read a card I received in the mail and listened to a message left on my phone today, it was like a light bulb went on...Look Patty, at the encouragement you receive from friends and even acquaintances. My mind went back over the weeks of those that have emailed, left a message on Facebook or called me with words of encouragement. I took some time to do a self examination of myself, to see if I pay it forward to those I know. I am going to try and be better at encouraging others.

As I write just simple sentences of gratitude and count my blessings every day...the Lord encourages me. David sought encouragement from the Lord in 1 Samuel 30:6. God waits for us so He can encourage us in this journey called life. He loves to encourage us. We have to learn how to recognize it when He whispers encouragement to us.

If the simplest of words can discourage... then the simplest of words can encourage as well. I want to be an encourager, don't you? Thank you, dear hearts, for your words of encouragement!

Word For The Year...

"Obedience above all else pleases God the most."
~ Pastor Greg Laurie ~

I asked the Lord for a word for the year 2011. He gave me the word OBEDIENCE. I was afraid it would be self control...and it was obedience! I got out our very old Scrabble Game and spelled the word to put over my sink in the kitchen. Because I was working on my health/weight I thought it meant...stick to your eating plan. Nope. For me it meant God wanted me to have obedience in all things. As I would read in the Word to tame my tongue..he wanted me to obey. If God whispered to me to submit...I was to obey. Pray more...obey. Spend less money...obey. The list goes on and on.

OBEDIENCE is a big word. For each of us it can mean something different. The obedience that God requires of me may be different for you. Some things are black and white for any follower of Jesus Christ. There are no gray areas for those things He commands us to do from His Word. Some things are black and white and others are the whispers of God that we know are meant just for us. I want to hear and obey the whispers as well as the commandments.

I have been reading through the Old Testament and one thing I have seen over and over is how God's people continued to be disobedient. All they ever had to do was obey and love Him. I find myself continually saying, "Why didn't they just get it?" Then I remember how many times in a day I don't obey even in the smallest of things. God's mercy and grace are bigger than any of my disobedience's. Thank you, Jesus.

"To obey is better than sacrifice."
1 Samuel 15:22

Journey of Change...

I have asked myself and God, why every time I sat down to write on my blog the words wouldn't come. I seemed empty of anything to say or share with my readers. Great things were happening in my life...but, there were no words. Today I realized I have been on a "Journey of Change."
I found myself stepping out into areas that were totally out of my comfort zone. God stretched me in some areas, giving me the gentle nudges I needed..at times I felt like they were more like a shove off a cliff...but all in all...He stretched me and I didn't break!
The one change I made this year was my commitment to get healthy. It seemed like a full time job planning my meals around healthy recipes rather than my old stand by comfort foods. I had grown accustomed to making comfort foods ...I thought it would make me feel better. It was a bad habit I had let myself nurture living with chronic illnesses. A friend introduced me to Daily Plate.com. it's an online calorie tracker through Livestrong. As long as I faithfully tracked my calories, I'd lose weight. I hadn't factored in getting older and I thought I could lose it like I did when I was younger. Not so! I lost weight very slowly...very slowly...I had to fight discouragement along the way. My husband joined me on this leg of the journey and we tracked our calories together. We'd shop for fresh fruits and vegetables and we walked this road together.

My friend who introduced me to Daily Plate also shared the most wonderful book with me. Made To Crave, Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food, by Lysa Terkeurst. This book may not be for everyone but it was for me. I'll share more on that book in another post. This friend also made a scripture/quotes booklet from the book to go to in times of temptation...I love it!

I didn't exercise at first. I actually lost most of my weight without it. But when I started walking the track I loved it. As I walked to Chris Tomlin's worship and praise songs I could see the entire San Bernardino Mountian range as I soaked in God's Majesty all around me. I was really feeling victorious! Then... I tweaked my knee on Christmas Eve..I just moved wrong. My exercise has come to halt. This week I am going to start on an exercise video of chair exercise. DONCHAKNOW that makes me feel really old?? With my DVD and weights that will be my new journey until this knee heals, surgery or God's amazing touch.

This is where I have been on part of my journey of change. As of today, I am not going to say.."I wish I could have lost more in this year's journey." Instead I am saying...I lost 53 pounds this year and I give God all the glory! My husband lost 40. He's at his goal..I am not..so the journey continues. To those of you have encouraged me to come back and write again..thank you. To those of you who have left comments and I did not reply...I am so sorry, but thank you! To my friend who encourages me in this journey and to my husband..I couldn't of done this without you both....This was just one part of my "Journey of Change." I'll share more in my next post.

Trial or Consequence?

~ Beside Still Waters ~

My husband and I have been watching a series by Pastor James MacDonald called Turning Your Trials To Gold. We set aside one evening a week to watch the DVDs and this week was our last one. Pastor James taught a six week bible study at Harvest Christian Fellowship and at that same time he was going through cancer treatments at a nearby medical university. The Lord ministered to him as he walked through his trial and week by week God gave him the strength to share those things.

The key verse for the entire series was, Job 23:10. "But He knows the way I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

I gleaned so much from these teachings and as I sort through my notes and thoughts I will share some of those things here on my blog. The point I wanted to share today is some of Pastor James' thoughts and mine, on trials and consequences.

One definition of a trial is....A painful circumstance allowed by God to change our conduct and our character." Our trials are designed to change us. God wants change in us and through us and every trial we face is allowed by God for our ultimate good. In the midst of trials it's hard to remember that ultimately God has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says, He knows the plans He has for us. He knows.
God also knows that sometimes we aren't always ready for His plan and the refining process of trials shapes us so we are ready for His "ultimate plan".

When we go through hard times we can be so quick to call it a trial, when in all reality it is a consequence to sin. A person who cheats on their income tax and then is audited and has their wages garnished says..I don't know how I am going to pay my bills. I am in the worst trial of my life. Is it a consequence or a trial? It's a consequence. The sin doesn't have to be big....but there are consequences to all sin. What we say and what we do can lead to consequences that disguise themselves as a trial.

How do we make it through our trials? We want to be trained by the trial so we surrender, trust, obey and abide, praying that we will come forth as gold when it ends. Some trials go on a long time, some are short. Most trials are normally for a season. Some longer seasons than others. We need staying power in the midst of a trial. Don't quit...don't give up, trials produce transformation. Bear up under it.

How do we get out of a consequence? Repent. Repent for our actions and behavior. Some of what we have sown will not automatically be gone. The residue from sin lingers. Freedom comes from repentance. Take necessary steps to right a wrong.

These are just a few of my thoughts today. In a time when it seems Christians are in the heat of so many trials, maybe we should ask ourselves...

Trial or Consequence?
Lord, we want to come forth as gold.


~ Beside Still Waters ~

"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Thy loving kindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Thy hands."
Psalm 138:8

My concerns seem to be multiplied lately, as I am sure many of you feel the same way. I find such comfort in knowing that the things that concern me, concern God. Since He can do the impossible, and nothing is too hard for Him...then as I submit to His will, His desires, lay my concerns at His feet, I can have confidence that He is working for good those things that concern me. I encourage you to be comforted knowing that even in the midst of your concern, God is working.

God is Sovereign ....it's something we all need to remember.... that whatever our circumstances, He is in control and not one thing comes as a surprise to Him. Things can hit us and knock the wind right out of us and drop us flat on our behinds....and all the time God must be thinking, "I've got you..I've never dropped you before and I won't drop you now."

"Thou hast enclosed me behind and before,
and laid thy hand on me."
Psalm 139:5

He is behind us, before us and His hand is upon us...
What an awesome God!

Change Of Color...

Have you ever seen a chameleon? If you look closely you can see this little guy in the picture. Chameleon's can change their color in less than 20 seconds to blend in with their surroundings. I've heard the expression. " they are whatever color they're sitting on." It certainly applies to these little critters, but when I heard this saying the first time, it was making reference to "people".

Some people find themselves being more spiritual in one surrounding, then not so spiritual in another surrounding....change of color. Another example would be...you tell the person you are with what you think they want to hear and another person what they want to hear....change of color. You do things with one group of friends that you would never do with another group of friends...color change again.

A consistent walk with Jesus...walking in the Spirit...will prevent any of us from turning "whatever color we are sitting on." Oh how I desire that the only color I want others to see, is the reflection of Jesus in me... in whatever circumstance and whatever company I find myself in. You too?

Just a few thoughts from my desk today....
Have a blessed day,

Look Only To Him...

"This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself is the very place in which God is giving you opportunityto look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and to learn long-suffering, gentleness and meekness-in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us."

~Elisabeth Elliot~

"...inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
2 Corinthians 4:16

I have been....

Sitting at His feet...

Taking care of my health....

Tending to my home....

Working on a quilt ....

Making a whole lot of dish cloths....

And now...I am ready to blog again.
I don't know if anyone even visits anymore. When you don't post, you lose your readers. I had to be still to mend my hurting hip and the computer chair just didn't do it any good. So, I sat and read, quilted on a white on white quilt that I started years ago..knit dish cloths, because they were mindless for me as I sat on the heating pad. Most importantly, I sought the Lord for direction on some things troubling my heart.

Next week I hope to share some of my thoughts .
Thank you for your concern while I was gone, I know it just looked like I disappeared.
I guess I did!

Where Does Time Go?

Where does time go? It's been so long since I have posted on my blogs. I was posting so much and then I guess I hit a wall. My husband was home for two weeks on vacation. Actually two separate weeks with a week in between. On the off weeks, I had a root canal..a root canal reversal and a root canal...all on the same tooth and I am not done yet!

Our church had a spring tea on May 1st and that was a big undertaking. I gave a 15 minute sharing on The Joys of Journaling. I also was a table hostess and was responsible for setting up my own table. The theme was In The Garden..I'll share some pictures in my next post.

Summer's can be so hot here in S. California.....I usually have some summer projects to work on. So I have been thinking what to do...as the A/C hums away. It's not hot yet and I am loving it. We may actually have rain this week...that is not normal for S. California..at all.

Patty's Pantry has been deglected too. I never did get all my recipes reposted after I lost my blogs a couple years ago...two fingered typists type slow...:) For Mother's day I was given, Martha Stewart's Cupcake cookbook,which is terrific.....oh nummy, I'll have to post some of those when I try them!

It's been one of the roughest years I can remember health wise...But I always look for a better day tomorrow and that's what keeps me going. When looking to Jesus He will always show me something good for each day. He is so faithful!

Have a beautiful day everyone!
Look for Jesus in the everyday things and you won't be disappointed.


Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
~Psalm 27:14~
"In times of uncertainty, wait. Always, if you have any doubts, wait. Do not force yourself to any action. If you have restraint in your spirit, wait until all is clear, and do not go against it."
~ Streams in the Desert ~

Heart Attitudes...

This is my paraphrase of a story Pastor Raul told in church yesterday. I have heard it before and this may not be word for word what he said...but you'll get the meaning.

A little girl and her father were going somewhere in the car. She was standing up on the seat and he told her to sit down and put her seat belt on. She continued to stand as he started to drive away. He told her again to sit down and put her seat belt on...she continued to stand. He pulled the car over sat her down and fastened her seat belt. As he drove away, he looked in his rear view mirror, she looked at him and said, " In my heart, I am still standing!"

When our Heavenly Father asks us to do something it is for our own good. Sometimes we kick and scream in our hearts that we don't want to do that thing He's asked of us. We go ahead and obey and we do it..but like this little girl, in our hearts we are still standing. We went through the motions of being obedient and on the outside it looks as if we were...but the heart attitude was one of rebellion.

I have learned and am still learning that we just can't go through the motions of obedience. We aren't fooling any one but ourselves when we do. God knows the motives of our hearts..He knows if the action of obedience is sincere and the motives are right. Take this sentence, worded the same way..but with different attitudes.

I'll go Lord, only because You want me to go. The heart attitude is I will go Lord, I may not want to, but I will go because You know what's best and I want to be obedient to what you have asked.

I'll go Lord, only because you want me to. The heart attitude is I'm going but only because I have to go because You want me to go, not because I want to go.

The first response is a humble response, one of surrender..the other response is one with selfish attitude. A response with rebellion.

One of these attitudes is the heart is still standing in the back seat. Oh my goodness, how many times have we had this attitude?

The attitude of our hearts has so much to do with everything we do..well, it actually has All to do, with everything we do. It not only applies to how we respond to the Lord but applies in every situation in our life. What is my heart attitude? Is it surrendered or rebellious?

We live in trying times and can be surrounded by trying people. It has to be a daily, minute by minute decision to have an attitude that is pure and motivated only by our love and obedience to the Lord.

This is my attitude of the heart story....

Things were coming at me like ocean waves a couple years back. I felt like I was rolling with the punches pretty good. It was one medical test after another and a year of continual ear infections. I started to get a little overwhelmed. I wanted to have the right attitude so I would say,"Whatever, Lord." I'd be laying there having another ultra sound and again I would say, "Whatever, Lord." I thought I was being surrendered...NOPE. It was my way of handling the situation for the moment, but it was far from having a surrendered attitude to God in my circumstances. Need I say, I quit saying "whatever." Not my will, but Yours Father," is the desire I have for my heart attitude now. I try never to say, "Whatever" anymore because no matter how I use it...it's an attitude!

My challenge to all of us today is...

Let's not have our hearts still be standing when we have been told to sit down!

Quote For Today...

"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy."

~Elisabeth Elliot~

We Are Daughters...

I was reading the other day in Genesis chapter 30 and my heart was touched by the fact that Leah so desperately wanted to be loved by Jacob, that she would do most anything for him to love her. I couldn't help but think of some women today, doing whatever they can do to earn the love of a man...or anyone. If only we could learn at a young age that we are Daughters of the Most High God and we never have to sell our selves out or compromise ourselves for love.

I think there are many women who feel that they have to be something other than what or who they are, to earn love and acceptance. It’s sad, but I must say I have been there. Although I learned an earthly example of my Heavenly Father’s love through my husband, I felt I always had to earn love from other people by what I did.

There were some hard lessons through the years, but God taught me and worked with me to see that I was of value to Him just because I was His Daughter. I still can fall into the Enemy's trap of wanting to be loved and feel like I have to do things to earn it. When that happens, the Lord will prick my heart and remind me that I don't have to do that because love should be given freely.

Poor Leah, she was never loved they way that she desired. She wasn't a perfect woman she certainly did many deceitful things. She reminds me of the woman who is unlovely, difficult to love, the woman who is always left out.. the underdog. The kind of woman who always strives to be loved and yet is always on the outside looking in. These are the kinds of women that always touch my heart and I find myself drawn to them.

Oh, please if you find that I have described you in this post won't you please realize that you are of value and you are LOVED because you are a Daughter of the Most High God...He created you!

"He created us because He delights in us."
~Beth Moore~

God Opened Her Eyes...

"God opened her eyes."
Genesis 21:19

Genesis 21 is the story of Hagar and the strife between her and Abrahams's wife Sarah. Hagar was the mother of Abraham's son Ishmael, born in a concubine. Sarah insisted that Abraham send them away becausehe didn't want Ishmael to share in Abraham's inheritance. Hagar and her teenage son headed for the desert. When I think of our deserts here in California I am sure it had to be scary being out there all alone. When Hagar thought they were about to die because they needed water, God opened her eyes and she saw a well. He could have provided a spring, but He wanted her to open her eyes to show her what had been already provided.

Reading this caused me to think how in hard times, I simply need to ask God to show me what is already there. He always has a solution, I just may not always see it or expect a solution that is right in front of me. "Show me the solution that you have already provided ," should be my prayer.

God is always with us, He was with Hagar in the desert...His provision was already there..she only needed to open her eyes!

"The question is not if God will prove Himself faithful to you,
but how."

~Dr. David Jeremiah~

Praise Report...

Praise the Lord! All my biopsies came back negative. Thank you for your prayers.

Nothing's Impossible...

My reading this morning was in Genesis 18. Verse 14 says, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" The Lord was reminding Abraham and Sarah that He had promised them a son. As I thought about this verse it came to me, that at times I think things are impossible. Why do I think these things are impossible? I think it's because in my human thoughts and reasoning and in my human strength...they are impossible. Luke 1 :37 tell us, "For nothing will be impossible with God."

If we know God is asking something of us...then He will equip us, enable us, and give us strength...When we rely on and depend on Him, we can see the impossible happen before our very eyes. Yes, we have to do our part, but we are also told that we can do all things in Christ who gives us strength.

I am going to take a page in my prayer journal today and write at the top of the page, "Nothing Is Too Hard For GOD." I am going to list the things that I have felt were impossible, or things I have given up on, or even things I feel God wants me to do... and commit them to prayer.

How about you? Have you felt that there are things in your life that are impossible? Take a few minutes today, sit a spell and reflect on these words, " Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

"You do not have because you do not ask."
James 4:2 NASB

Days of Uncertainty....

With life changing decisions being made in our country, and days of uncertainty ahead, we can always remember and trust in the fact that God is sovereign and on His throne!

"I'm convinced that there is nothing that can happen to me in this life that is not precisely designed by a sovereign Lord to give me the opportunity to learn to know Him."
~Elisabeth Elliot~

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28


"Suffer the pain of change or suffer the way you are." ~ Joyce Meyers ~

Edited new thought; What I think the author of this quote means..or I should say what this quote means to me is, If God is asking us to change, at times there is pain involved, if we choose not to change, then we can suffer pain the way we are. I just happened to like this quote, not necessarily all that this author teaches.


It seems like the past few months I have been pushed from places of being comfortable to places totally out of my comfort zone. We have been attending a church closer to home with our children, I have changed doctors..those are two of the biggest changes. I was in an ER this last weekend with bleeding from an endoscopy and back to another hospital a few days later to have another endoscopy..both places that were new to me. Change. Maybe it's because I am getting older, they say older people don't do well with change. Older people???? Another change..but in my head I am still 18 with the,"girls just want to have fun attitude". I still want to have fun, I just want to sit still doing it!

God is always at work changing us. We should never get comfortable anywhere. We have to adapt where He places us and trust Him in new surroundings and circumstances. I have been married to the same man 40 years, lived in the same house for 39 and have had the same best friend for 45 years. See, why change might be hard? LOL

In an ever changing world, the Lord who is unchanging, is my rock of stability... I want change in my life, but I only want the changes that God allows or desires of me.

So many of you have such big changes in your lives...mine are minimal. And for that I am thankful. The only change that comes easy for me is...changing my mind. (:

I just wanted to let you all know I am still here...things going on with doctors and such...I get a bunch of biopsy reports back on my stomach next Thursday..any little prayer would be so appreciated.

Have blessed weekend!

Run After Jesus...

"And He will give you everything you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern."
Matthew 6:33 NLT

"Jesus is life, Girlfriends, Jesus if Life. Let's run after Him with every ounce of energy we have."~Beth Moore~

I've asked myself so many times what am I running after. In years past, I remember running every day working for Jesus and each day got busier and busier. One day many years ago, I realized that all the different ministries I was involved in kept me so busy that I didn't have time for Jesus. I have always been involved in a women's study, but to me that wasn't necessarily sitting at His feet sharing intimacy with Him.

I learned a very valuable lesson..it isn't so much what God wanted me to DO for him, but it's what He wanted me to BE. Doing and being both take energy..and at different seasons in our lives, God may ask us to do more for Him. God is always asking us to BE..Be in love with Him, Be in His Word, Be at His feet, Be hopeful, Be merciful, Be everything Jesus sets the example to BE.

Running after Jesus with every ounce of energy that I have, means being careful and being wise on how I use my energy. A friend of mine who also has chronic illnesses, says she has a teaspoon of energy with a cup full of things to do. That's how I feel...and if I didn't already have a cup full of things to do..there's plenty more things I dream of doing.

If you find yourself in this place today...Seek first His Kingdom...and run after Jesus with all the energy that you have. Run after Him and then you'll know what things He wants you to DO. But always remember..He always wants You to..BE!

God bless your day!

Jesus Can..

"No storm is so great, no wave is so high, no sea is so deep, no wind is so strong, that Jesus cannot either calm it or carry us through it."

~ Anne Graham Lotz ~

When Life Unravels...

"Weave the unveiling fabric of God's Word through your heart and mind. It will hold strong, even if the rest of life unravels."
~Gigi Graham Tchividjian~

Sometimes life does seem like it is unraveling when things hit us one thing right after another. Today in our world many people find themselves frustrated and discouraged when circumstances of life begin to tear apart and unravel every thing they have known.

I get frustrated when my knitting starts to unravel because I was careless how I put my needles down. I want to throw it in my knitting basket, rather than take my time and put the stitches back on the needle. I watch it unravel and I feel helpless.

We aren't helpless and can't throw in the towel when our lives unravel...we have to go on. God's Word always stands strong, it will always encourage, always refresh, always direct, always comfort us. Whatever our need is, God's Word will hold strong amidst the greatest difficulties that life can bring. All we have to do is pick it up and read it, asking the Holy Spirit to work and weave the words into our hearts and minds.

A friend told me years ago that when we have to rip out stitches..it builds our character. Spending time with the Lord in His Word when life is unraveling..well, that's where true character is formed. Building everyday on God's Word makes our charcater stronger and sronger...and then we are less apt to throw in the towel when the hard times come.

Have a blessed day!

Be An Encourager...

" Be an encourager, a healer, one who helps restore the years the locust has eaten"

~Dr. David Jeremiah~

"I will restore to you the years the swarming locus has taken," says the Lord in Joel 2:25.


Oh, there are so many people out there that have been victims of what the locust has taken from them. Our Lord, is the Restorer of the lives that have been affected.

WE all can be an encourager. It would be our part of their healing process to encourage them. Our lives get busier and busier, and unless we make a conscious effort to have eyes that see and ears that hear the needs around us, how will we know how it is we can encourage them?

Are you someone that is in that place of needed encouragement? Have the locus been brutal through the years? With a Lord that loves you and wants to restore you..and a Lord that will provide the encourager's that you need, it won't be long before those years are just a memory.

And for those of us not in that place right now, let's all look for ways to encourage others. Amen?

Let's all be who God wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do....being an instrument of encouragement to those who need it.

The Father's Chisel...

"The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you (if surrendered to Christ), is the best shaped tool in the Father's hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust Him, then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose it's work."
~Streams In The Desert~

I can think of so many times in my life that I didn't recognize that the greater work would be done in me, if I just surrendered to the instrument that God was using to chisel me. One time in particular, I thought I was surrendered, but in reality I was just existing in a state of emptiness. I was empty because I was wounded and filled with hurt, self pity, resentment and bitterness. When wounds get that infected, God needs to take a chisel to scrape them before the healing can begin. I did as the quote above states, I pushed the instrument away....growth was delayed and the healing process took longer.

That was a long time ago, but if I could change one thing, it would be that I would soak myself in the Word yielding myself to the deeper work God wanted to do. I didn't fall away spiritually, I just didn't let the healing balm of Jesus comfort me. All I could think of was how much I hurt and wanting it to go away.

The deeper work was done. I let the chisel do its work and there was healing. Sometimes those deeper works can't be put into words because they are so profound in your heart. That was one of those times. I might have delayed the healing, but healing eventually came. The Father was waiting for me to trust Him....if you find yourself in this place today, won't you trust Him to use His chisel to shape you for eternity? The longer we put it off and push the instrument away, the more there will be to be chiseled and the longer it will take to heal.. Start the process...surrender.

" My heart trusts in Him and I am helped."
Psalm 28:7
Originally posted in 2008

Keeper of the Home...

I love being at home. I like to putter with different things around the house. I can putter a whole day away. I enjoy it and I feel this is where God has called me to be at this time in my life. When I was 18 I read in Ann Lander's, "As women, it is up to us to make a husband's life what it couldn't be without us." I clipped that out of the newspaper and carried it around for years, tucked back in my wallet. I don't even remember when I took it out. I'll have to look, but it could be in my memory box. I am curious now if it is, and I'll have to check.

That one sentence holds a lot of wisdom and can be used in every area of our married life. How could this practically be applied? For me it was important to be at home. The more I stayed at home and took care of necessary things, the happier my home was. Oh, don't get me wrong, I am a people person and I thrive on fellowship with other women. Having girl friends makes me a better person all the way around. But my theory was, if I was going to be a stay at home wife/ mother then I needed to be the best one I could be. For me, that was staying home long enough to take care of home matters. It meant taking care of my home.

So, the question is...how can we make our husband's lives better, than what it would be without us? For each of us the answer may be different. Here are some suggestions.

* Pray for him, he should be tops on your list.
* Consider his needs.
* Be a keeper of his home.
* Don't over extend yourself outside the home or to outside commitments.
* Cook for him. Learn how if you don't know how.
* Work with him, not against him with money issues.
* Make him the most important person in your life.
* Smile at him. (o:
Maybe just one thought will help someone today to remember, home is where your heart is.

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Proverbs 31:10-12

If You..

Holland, Michigan

"If you always think the way you've always thought,
You'll always feel the way you've always felt.

If you always do what you've always done.
You'll only get what you've always gotten."
~Unknown Author~

One Path...

"No matter what the problem may be,
no matter what trouble may ensnare us,
there is only one path to safety."
"Life is difficult and difficulty is the only path to wisdom."
~Dr. David Jeremiah ~

There always seems to be some kind of difficultly going on in our lives. Sometimes they are small petty things..other times they seem to take over our lives and seem overwhelming. Those same difficulties that trouble our hearts are the very things, that if we choose to go down the right path, will teach us wisdom. How do we obtain wisdom? By walking through the difficulties in our lives, with our hearts teachable, asking for wisdom for each situation and then allowing God to do the hard thing with us. Surrender.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for you are with me."
Psalm 23:4

Everyday Blessings...

Recently in the last few months we began going with our children and granddaughters to a small church just two blocks away. It wasn't planned, I never dreamed we would all be at the same church again. It was a God thing. To worship and be in God's Word with her children is a Mother's heart's desire. To have her granddaughters run up and hug her legs..well, that's a double portion of heart's desire being fulfilled. I don't know what the future holds...but for right now I am taking everything as a blessing from God. I told a friend awhile back, " I don't know what God is doing." She said back to me...Sometimes the Lord just wants to bless us. Period. When things like this happen I'll say to myself, The Lord must really love me." Yes, He does, but some days He just wants to bless me. Period.

God does want to bless us in small things and big things. No, I am not in to the the Prosperity Doctrine way of thinking. Just like we like to bless our children, the Father wants to bless us. For Christmas I made my son a crocheted afghan. He wanted one and had hinted for a couple years. I was having such a hard time with one of my hands I didn't think I would be able to do it. But I really wanted to make one for him because I knew it would bless him. I started on it a year ago right after Christmas 2008. I did a row at a time so as not to tear up my tendons, which I did a few times. Well, I finished it and he loved it. He was blessed and I was too, knowing he was.

So, last week my daughter and I were dropping some things off at The Salvation Army and decided we would walk around and see if there was anything that caught our eye. I walked back towards the blankets and bedding..I didn't need any so why I even walked back there was beyond me. There is was, my eyes went right to it..a crocheted afghan the same ripple pattern that I made my son, but it was aqua. I grabbed that thing before anyone else saw it! I checked it over and it looked like it was just made. The workmanship was beautiful....then I saw another little crocheted blanket as well. I smiled all the way to the cash register only to find out everything that day was half price! I got it for $2.50 I hardly ever find deals like this..but this day, in this way, God wanted to bless me.

Last week a man came to my door to see if we wanted him to cut up and haul away the branches that we had on our side yard. He wanted $100. My husband had cut them and it became too big of a task and he was whittling away at it a little at a time. It was going to take weeks. Two days later another man came to the door...he wanted $150. geesh. Saturday my husband was out snipping away at these branches and a man came and asked did he want help? He wanted $40.
What a blessing that was to have this man and his son cut these branches up and haul them away. We looked at it as a blessing from the Lord.

We aren't LUCKY...we are blessed! Everyday even in little ways, God wants to bless us. We are His children. Just like we like to bless our children, so does He. We have to see the every day things that happen in our lives as blessings. Then, we have to acknowledge them as such with grateful hearts and words of thanksgiving. Look for His every day blessings in your life today...you'll be amazed!

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting of shadow."
James 1:17

What We Say...

"For whatever is in your heart determines what you say."
Matthew 12:34

I was thinking this morning as I read this verse how we talk to one another really gives a glimpse of how we feel on the inside. As I have been out and about, I have observed this verse in action. The way people talk to one another these days shows such a lack of respect for one another. Sometimes there isn't much of a difference between Christians and Non Christians on how we respond in conversations. In the age of Facebook, Twitter, texting...and whatever else is out there, we aren't only speaking rudeness, but we're writing it too.

Verse 36 of this same chapter, Jesus says we will give an account on judgement day for every idle word we speak. OUCH! That the words we say now will reflect our fate then, either we will be justified by them or will be condemned. Whoa, that is serious stuff concerning what we say.

We can say what sounds to be the right thing to say, but when the motive of our hearts is unpure and manipulating....well, that's what's springing up from our heart. It's scary to think that the more we talk, that much more of our hearts are revealed.

"The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the heart of a wise man is in his heart."
~Benjamin Franklin~

I challenge us all to choose our words wisely and kindly...but more so..make sure our hearts are aligned with God and we won't have a problem with what we say...SELAH


"Faith...I saw it with the eyes of my heart."
Joni Eareckson Tada

Scrap Book Journaling...

Some times when I look back over 2009, I wonder what happened, that I quit doing so many things that I loved to do. I rarely blogged, I read the least amount of books that I ever have, I didn't write in my journals very often..... These are some of the things that I enjoy doing..it was a different kind of year and for so many reasons I am glad to see 2009 done and 2010 here.

My husband was off the first ten days of the new year so I didn't have a lot of time to think about what I would like to do with this new year ahead. One of the things that I do want to do more of is scrap book journaling.

This kind of journaling is different than most journals as it is made up of clippings of my favorite things from magazines or just pretty stuff that I enjoy. Journaling this way gives me a chance to be creative and journal all at the same time...for little money. Regular scrap booking supplies can be costly. I buy sketch books at Aaron Bros. The paper is heavy enough to glue pictures and write on. I got mine on sale for $12.00.

I write all diffeernt kinds of things in these journals..scriptures, my thoughts..to do lists and goals..

I thought I would share with you this morning one of the things that I hope to incorporate more of in my days in this new year...more thoughts later..have a blessed day!

40th Wedding Anniversary!!

Today we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with our children and our four grandgirlies.

We started the day going to church together and going to Sunday brunch at a Southern California Mission. It was warm and sunny and we ate out on the patio. We have gone here before for other family milestones, including each our children's 21st birthdays. It was a special way to spend the day and both of us wouldn't of wanted anything more.

We both give God all the glory for our forty years together. My husband has given me an earthly example of unconditional love, showing me a small example of just how great and loving my Heavenly Father's unconditional love is. For that I am blessed and overwhelmned at times.

All of a sudden I don't feel very young....you can't be married 40 years and be young! That's okay, it's been a wonderful forty years filled with many of life's challenges. Whatever those things were, we took them hand in hand and walked them with the Lord as our guide.

Now what? I look forward to walking with this man for as many years as the Lord will give us.

Forty years was a big milestone. One lady asked me today, "Forty years with the same man?" Yep, forty years with the same man...and as many more that the Lord will give me.

Thanks to our children for making our day special and to my husband who makes me feel special every single day when he looks at me!

Gifts Of Faithfulness, Mercy and Grace...

At this end if this day 2009 will be over ushering in the new year of 2010. How did this happen? Weren't we just concerned about Y2K? So much life has gone by and many changes have been made to each one of our lives the last decade. My mother and my father in law both went home to be with the Lord in this decade, I have four beautiful grand daughters, I 'm not in my forties anymore and my fifties are almost behind me. They say a woman changes the most physically in her fifties. Terrific. These past ten years have been some of my worst years and yet some of my best. I am thinking some of you might say the same thing.

We are living in perilous times of uncertainty. We are still at war and our sons and daughters are still serving in counties that their lives are in danger every day. Lost jobs, homes foreclosed, divorces, illnesses have become part of our daily lives.

And yet....

"...He remains faithful..."
2 Timothy 2:13

God gives us the gift of faithfulness everyday as a gift. In that gift of faithfulness is mercy and grace amidst whatever circumstances we might find ourselves and our loved ones in. We often times, fail to recognize these gifts when things are falling apart around us. I am guilty of this at times.

If I could wrap up a little gold box and give one to each of you to put where you could see it everyday, I would. Maybe you'll want to wrap a little gold box for yourself as a reminder...God remains faithful...no matter what!

Elisabeth Elliot said;
Sometimes when I was a child my mother and father would say. "Shut your eyes and hold out your hand." That was the promise of some lovely surprise. I trusted them so I shut my eyes instantly and held out my hand. Whatever they were going to give me I was ready to take. So it should be in our trust of our heavenly Father. Faith is the willingness to receive whatever He wants to give or the willingness not have what He does not want to give."

Whatever the Lord places in each of our hands this year, one hand should be open in trust to the One who loves us most. In the other hand, let's embrace the gift of His faithfulness, grace and mercy.

These gift are ours because they were bought and paid for by the precious blood of Christ. Will it be this decade, this year, this day that He will return for us? We can look forward with much anticipation to all the things God will do for us and in us because of His faithfulness.

God bless you, dear friends, may He bless your New Year!

Make Room For Jesus...

Winter still waters...such a place of calm. The busyness of Christmas is past and all that needs to be done now is to put the decorations away and get on with what ever is next. I need a place of calm right now..to be still with my thoughts, seeking God and His voice. I've learned that I need to sit still so that I will hear His whispers when He talks to me. I am listening, Lord..I am trying to sit still so I can hear.

When the holidays are over sometimes we look back with such agony and grief that we didn't make room for Jesus. We bring Him into our Christmas by having mangers and stables in our homes and on our lawns, we wear lapel pins that say Jesus is The Reason for the Season, we sing songs about the birth, so yes, we bring Christ into our Christmas. The grief comes when we didn't make room for Him. We brought Him into Christmas, but in all reality we didn't make room for Him. The days flew by and one day could lead to another, and another, and maybe we found ourselves being spiritually starved for spiritual food.

There were some Christmases that I was so grieved that everything came before spending time with Jesus, that my heart just ached. I failed to make room for Him.

If that's what happened to you this Christmas..there was no room for Jesus...don't lose heart and let the Enemy of your soul beat you down. We are supposed to make room for Jesus every day of the year. Everyday is a fresh start and His mercies are new every morning. if we make a commitment to make room for Jesus now...well, next Christmas He will already have his bags unpacked and settled in to a heart that made room for Him!

Just a thought...If you have to, leave a small manger up as a reminder all year long..to make room for Jesus.

Lord Jesus, help each one of us amidst these busy days to always make room for You. Don't let us get distracted with the cares of this world that we fail to sit beside those still waters and listen for Your whispers. We can't do it on our own, stir Your Holy Spirit in each of us to a greater love and desire for you. In Jesus name we ask, Amen

A Heart That Dances...

This is the bible study that I did during the summer. It's written by Catherine Martin who is founder and president of Quiet Time Ministries and is dedicated to teaching devotion to God and His Word. She challenges others to love God with all of one's heart, soul, mind and strength.

From the back cover;

Come dance with Me..

A close relationship with God is not just a walk, it is a dance of the heart as you keep in step with the Lord. Many people search for religion, but God desires relationship; many people want to do but God emphasizes that His people should be. (Italics mine.)

  • Discover why God called David the man after His own heart.
  • Find out why God allowed Moses to speak with him face to face.
  • Lean about God's heart of love for the people of Israel.
  • Reflect on the relationships Old Testament prophets had with God.

A Heart That Dances will take you on a great adventure of intimacy with God. You will experience the firsthand joy of life with the Lord and the celebration it truly is.

I am really glad that I did this study. I found myself truly wanting to dance with the Father as I drew closer and closer to Him.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him."
Psalm 34:8


"Nothing happens by happenstance.
I am not in the hands of fate, nor am I the victim of man's whims or the devil's ploys. There is One who sits above man, above Satan, and above all heavenly hosts as the ultimate authority of all the universe. That One is my God and my Father.
~Kay Arthur ~

I was sharing with a friend the other day that the trial she was going through has come as no surprise to God. Sometimes those things come into our lives that almost suck the very life from us. It has been my experience that those very things can draw me closer to God and if I abide in Him and surrender to His will, a deeper work will be done in me. The work that was done that took me deeper and deeper with Him, wasn't anything I could put into words. It wasn't anything that I could teach on or write about or even explain...it was a hidden work of the Spirit. Oh, the change is there and people will see it, but yet they won't be able to put their finger on what it is.

Nothing happens to us by happenstance. Our Father is on His Throne and he has all authority over all things. What comfort that brings us in a world full of chaos and uncertainty.

"...If God be for us, who can be against us."
Romans 8:31

Joy In The Journey...

I imagine most of you thought I had given up on blogging...No, I just felt empty of words to write about anything. So much was going on in, and around me, that I couldn't sort it all out on what to write, so I am jumping back in today and letting God sort it all out, as I start to write on my blog again.

For months and months I felt this dark cloud over my head. I don't know why. I couldn't hear God. I know that He never leaves us, but I couldn't feel His presence or hear His voice. I was in the Word, going to church, having fellowship...yet, this overwhelming sense of sadness just seemed to over take me at times. I know that living with chronic illnesses can do that at times. I have lived with these chronic illnesses for 18 years and every day it is a challenge to do what is before me. I know some of you know what I am talking about. Each day God gave me what it was I had need of. I may not have accomplished my agenda for the day, but I did get up each day and took care of the needs of my husband.

It didn't help at all to record breaking heat for weeks and weeks..it seemed like the hottest summer that I can remember. I am so thankful for air conditioning...but I did start to feel really closed in as the days went by. At the same time, there were the fires that were burning out of control and it always leaves you with a sense of where will it be next.

I have been to the doctor for the weirdest things the last four months..and a dentist appointment that went bad and found myself sitting in the chair for eight hours...not good for a fibromyalgia body. It took days to recover.

We have had extended family drama, the kind that cuts to your very heart. It's not behind us yet, maybe it never will be. The enemy would like nothing better. The enemy must be laughing his head off thinking, "This is a Christian Family." Some of us are walking with integrity.. some are playing right into his hands and are not. So sad. This has taken a toll on my physical health, stress usually does.

Well, I gave you the tip of the iceberg of the happenings around me...there is so much more...but today is a new day and it feels good just to be able to come here and say hello and share my heart.

I love the picture of this leaf at the top of this post...it reminds me that we are to stand out in a world of grey.

Today is a new day! Thank you to all of you who left me comments and sent emails inquiring about me. It encouraged me so much. There can be joy in the journey, because God is so faithful!

I Am Alive...

Yes, I am alive. The other day someone was talking to my daughter and said they still saw my husband out walking, but what happened to the beautiful dog he walked with. She told them the dog was put down two years ago..then he asked..." Is your Mom alive or dead." Whoa..that made me feel kind of weird. Maybe he thought I walked with my husband..I never have. His legs are a foot longer than mine and I could never keep up with him. He also walks at 5:45 and I am still trying to figure out that time of day if I am still alive.

I am alive, but I haven't felt well this last month...okay, longer than that. I won't whine and tell you the details. I am on the mend, I think...

I got to thinking my blogging friends might wonder if I was alive too. I am posting today with hopes of posting again really soon. I want to tell you about a bible study that I have been doing this summer. I have really been blessed doing it.

It's sooo hot here. It seems to me to be one of the hottest summers for me. I don't know how all of you who live with humidity do it. My hair hasn't looked good since April.

I'll close for now and tell you all that I will be back, hopefully in the next few days!

Glimpses Of His Glory...

We have been home a week from vacation, it feels now like we never went. Isn't that weird how that happens? It all seems like a blurr. This year as a family, we went back to our favorite family vacation spot, Pismo Beach, located on the Central Coast of California. There were ten of us..my husband and me, our daughter, son in law and my youngest and oldest grand girlies, our son and daughter in law and my two middle grand girlies. Oh, and Molly, our son's family's chocolate lab puppy.

I was weary and tired as our vacation time approached. It had been a busy year and especially the last few months with health issues and busyness in our Women's Ministry at church. Busier actually, than I had been in years. I was so looking forward to relaxing and all of us being together making new memories.

I had to make trip to urgent care two nights before we left with an ear infection. It seems every time we go away together I get sick..so I was a little discouraged. I have learned to roll with the punches but I was blind sighted the first day we arrived when my foot froze up and I could barely put any weight on it. This happens periodically, but it hadn't happened for awhile.

The drive takes 4-5 hours depending what the traffic is like in Los Angeles. On the drive up to Pismo, I said to my husband, " I have an assignment for us while we are gone. Let's look for glimpses of God's glory this week." So we talked a little bit about it and several times during the first day my husband asked, "Any glimpses?" I would just smile... not yet.

Here I was at a beautiful stretch of California coastline.....I saw dolphins, sea lions and I think I spotted a whale one day...reflections of the sun through evening fog coming in...rolling hills of Vineyards...the majesty of my Creator was all around me. Nothing wowed me as a glimpse of His glory. I guess what I wanted was....Oh my goodness, would you look at that! I would sit on the balcony of our room looking out over the ocean..just saying to God, " Show me Yourself in a special way." Here I was soaking in all the beauty and fresh air and yet I didn't feel I'd seen anything I was looking for. I have never been one to look for the big hype or emotionalism of Christianity and I still wasn't.

The night before we were to head for home our son's car wouldn't start and he had to be towed to another city. They were going to have to stay behind and wait another day. You know how that sets with a Mom. I was thankful that the car didn't break down somewhere with those darling little divas and a puppy in 105+ heat. And thankful my daughter and her family stayed behind with them one more night.

Please don't take me wrong I did praise God while I was there for His beautiful creation and the blessing to be able to come one more time with my family...I did worship Him and praise Him!

When it was time to leave we did our hugs goodbye, yet at the time, I was somewhat anxious to leave them all behind and then it hit me. The glimpses of God's glory that I had been looking for all week was in the faces of each one of my kids that day. I wasn't expecting this....I fought tears all the way out of town. I had asked and asked for 4 days for a glimpse of His glory...and once again He was faithful. I was wowed and I knew, that I knew, this was the glimpse God wanted me to see.
Steven, Rachel, Grace, Darcy, McKenzie, Robbie, Hannah, Haylee and Papa
and Puppy Molly
Isaiah 43:7 says, We are created for God's glory. I have learned there are two truths to those who are called by His name..1. God wants to make Himself recognizable to us and 2. He also wants to make Himself recognizable through us...

That's what I saw one day last week..glimpses of His Glory through my family! Pretty cool stuff.