Saturday, October 24, 2020

You Are Firmly Held By God


The enemy loves to torment us with worry, fear and anxiety when we are the most vulnerable. Let's face it, we're all a bit vulnerable right now. We are still in a worldwide pandemic that has affected our lives socially, emotionally, physically and financially. We are in the midst of a very contentious election season in our nation. There is civil and racial unrest in our nation and riots in many of our cities. Add to that all of the challenging circumstances that we experience living life on sin-sick planet earth, and yes, we are definitely vulnerable right now to satan's tricks. Thank God, that we have the Captain of the Lord of Hosts, Jesus Christ and His angel armies, fighting on our behalf. We also have the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, as our weapon to use against satan's lies.

The other night, I woke up in the middle of the night tormented by anxious thoughts about everything from the upcoming elections, to the future, to finances, to our children and grandchildren. I knew that my mind was under attack by the enemy...  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, October 25th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Monday, October 19, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


Oh my goodness! Life is so unexpected, so unpredictable. Yesterday morning my morning was going "according to plan." I hopped in my car to leave for church, put the car in reverse and heard a horrific crunch sound. Evidently my garage door, for some unknown reason, was only three fourths of the way open, so the roof of my SUV hit the bottom of the garage door, bending the door out and right off it's track and scratching up the roof of my car. Bummer! That's a big unexpected expense for us. I don't like it but, at the same time, I know that it rains on the just and the unjust-we all have bad days. This morning, I had news of the unexpected death of a loved one's father. There is a big difference in an unexpectedly bad day and a horrible loss that changes your life forever. Life has a lot of the former and a few of the later. But, life is mostly made up of ordinary, uneventful days that can become quite forgettable unless we make an effort to mark them in some way, to memorialize them. Mark your days with gratitude friends. Be thankful for the uneventful days, give thanks even in the unexpectedly bad days, and thank God for His presence and help to walk through the dark valley days. He is Lord of all of our days and He is always worthy of our praise and gratitude.
*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#13,783-#13,806

10-12-2020-
-God's daily care and provision
-finding a doll baby that looks like our youngest granddaughter for her  Christmas gift
-the feeling of getting a big job accomplished
-an encouraging evening with friends

10-13-2020-
-Your faithful provision
-a walk around the park with my grandson
-having a yummy Taco Tuesday at home

10-14-2020-
-Psalm 68:9 God confirms, carries, directs, establishes, makes provision and preparation for, rests and strengthens us when we are weary
-a good, long heart talk with my oldest daughter
-cooking a yummy dinner for a young mama who had emergency surgery and her family

-finding "shoes like Papa's" for our three year old grandson who has been asking for some for Christmas

10-15-2020-
-a beautiful, cloudless autumn afternoon
-the hope we have in praying for others and believing God for miracles
-trusting God with an unknown future
-praying together at church

10-16-2020-
-a really good Friday date day together
-taking a drive to somewhere we've never been before-so fun!

-text threads with our girls and my siblings

10-17-2020-
-listening to encouraging podcasts while doing Saturday chores
-my husband calling me from his office just to see how my day is going
-the encouragement of praying together

10-18-2020-
-my husband bringing me Starbucks
-my nephew's help with an unfortunate garage door incident
-remembering Jesus' body broken for me and his blood shed for me

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

A Heart Check-Up

Love is patient and kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on it's own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

Have you ever asked God to show you the truth about your own heart? I grew up loving Jesus from as far back as I can remember. I always wanted to live for Him and to do the right thing. It was easy for me to believe the truth of the Bible when it says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It was even easy for me to acknowledge and repent of my own sinful acts and choices. But, the truth is I struggled with the Bible verse that says there is no one good, no not one. I understood the concept that this is another way of saying that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's perfect holiness. But, because I had always wanted to be a good girl and tried to be a good girl, because my area of sin struggle was more inner attitudes than outward behaviors that everyone could see, a little voice within me would argue with God's Word when it said there is no one good, no not one. I wanted there to be some sort of parentheses added to that verse-there is no one good, no not one, (except Elizabeth, because, though she's not perfect, though she has, on occasion, sinned she always wanted to be good and tried to be good so she can have a pass on this one.)  Then, one night, I asked God to show me the truth about my own heart and He actually did. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, October 18th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


still following,






Monday, October 12, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


Keeping focused on God's goodness, on His blessings in my life is my coping mechanism in these tough times. satan wants me to get off focus. he wants to magnify life's difficulties until they seem bigger than God and His goodness. I choose to magnify the Lord instead! I will bless the Lord. I will continue to cultivate a grateful heart.

*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#13,761-#13,782

10-5-2020-
-autumn colors
-a healthy body
-youngest grandson's giggles
-God's provision

10-6-2020-
-an autumn afternoon spent baking for our church leadership dinner
-studying all that the Bible says about God's goodness
-praying with our leaders

10-7-2020-
-taking our two middle granddaughters out to dinner and to pick out some new books from the bookstore
-talking to my sister on the phone
-trusting God in uncertain times

10-8-2020-
-phoning a friend
-a sweet prayer time at church
-praying and singing with my grandson when I tucked him into bed 

10-9-2020-
-a sunny day to enjoy the outdoors before a rainy forecast
-"It's open!!!" three year old grandson so happy when we took him to a fully open playground at the park




-walking around the lake with the grandkids

10-10-2020-
-my husband getting up with the grands that we are caring for this weekend
 so I could sleep a wee bit later
-sun breaks on this rainy day so the grands could play outside
-cousins playing together

10-11-2020-
-the person in front of me at Starbucks paying for my coffee
-encouragement and prayers from friends who read my blog
-a relaxing Sunday afternoon

still following,


-

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Goodness of the Lord

I must confess, there have been days when I feel like there's an ugly cry just beneath the surface of my "I'm fine" exterior. I could recite a whole list of others who have much greater reasons to cry than I do. I think of them, shaming my grief and tears deeper down below the surface and lock them deep in the basement of my heart. 

In my morning quiet time with the Lord I ask Him to search me, to reveal the truth about myself to me. He unlocks the basement doors of my inner being and makes me face the grief that has been packed into the past ten months... (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, October 11th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


still following,





Monday, October 5, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you will see that my last gratitude journal entry from yesterday says, "the evidence of God's goodness in my life." If you click on that entry I've linked it to a song called Evidence by Josh Baldwin. This song reminds me of a habit that I've tried to establish in my life-to not let life's difficulties blind me to the truth that through everything God has been faithful and good to me. Writing down at least three "evidences" of God's goodness that I see in each day helps me not to drown in despair during times of difficulty. It's a habit I encourage everyone to develop!

*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

#13,740-#13,760

9-28-2020-
-heart talks with my Father God
-the feeling of getting a long procrastinated job done-windows washed
-friends coming over for dinner

9-29-2020-
-the psalms of David
-a new candle
-a super fun afternoon with some of the grandkids





9-30-2020-
-lunch with our oldest granddaughter
-getting another home project done
-watching a favorite show with my guy 

10-1-2020-
-it's October 1st!
-my brother-in-law's knee replacement surgery went very well
-a sweet prayer time at church tonight 

10-2-2020-
-foggy mornings
-a big bowl of clam chowder for lunch
-a long walk and prayer time by the sea



10-3-2020-
-painting 
-a friend stopping by to see me
-the smell of roast beef, potatoes and carrots slow cooking in the oven

10-4-2020-
-God at work in our church
-God at work in us

still following,


Saturday, October 3, 2020

The God Who Wants to Walk and Talk With Us

 It’s been close to thirty years ago that I first walked out the door of our house on that narrow country road. Putting one foot in front of the other I walked a full circle around our little town, right back to that same door of our house on that narrow country road. Day after day I put one foot in front of the other and walked that same loop, hoping to take some weight off my thirty-something year old body. Best of all, while that weight came off my body, weight of another kind that I had been struggling with came off my soul. I had been living with heaviness, a dark gray cloud hovering constantly over my head. Stuffed down soul wounds were like heavy sandbags around my heart. Day after day as I walked they began to lift. You see, as my feet were walking, my heart was talking to my Mighty Counselor. Here’s a little secret…He’s a God Who wants to walk and talk with us. He likes strolls in the cool of the evening with His most prized creation and meeting with ones full of confusion taking a walk down that old Emmaus roadhelping them to straighten out the crooked paths in their thinking. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, October 4th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


still following,