Saturday, April 17, 2021

Spring Cleaning


"Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right, persevering and steadfast spirit within me." 
Psalm 51:10

It's that time of year again! It's time for spring cleaning. I like to do a deep and thorough house cleaning in the spring and then again in autumn before the holidays. In spite of doing a deep house cleaning twice a year, in spite of doing a weekly house cleaning every Saturday and in spite of trying to keep things picked up and tidy daily, dirt and grime and stuff still accumulate! The need to clean my house just never ends!

There are some similarities between the need to keep our physical home clean and maintained and the need to keep our "spiritual house" clean and maintained as well. Our "spiritual house" could be called our innermost being, our soul or our heart. No matter what we want to call it, the truth is, dirt and grime and stuff accumulate in us just as they do in our home.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 18th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with:
Sunday Scripture Blessings
















Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal


I'm well aware that my weekly gratitude posts have been posted every other week all too frequently lately! Life has been so full and busy and there have been so many changes in our lives since mid-January that it's been hard to maintain any sense of rhythm or routine-and I love my routines! In leading our church, God is doing a beautiful, deep work of growth and maturity and we have been busy restructuring everything from children's ministry to growth groups. In our family, our oldest daughter and her husband transitioned to lead another church in the network they are involved in which meant that they also relocated-thankfully only a half hour drive from us. Our second born daughter and her family also made a big move-they have moved across the country to my son-in-law's home state of South Carolina. Last week we had the grandkids here with us while my daughter and son-in-law moved their belongings and then Saturday, we said teary goodbyes to them as well. (Truth be told, I've shed tears just about every day since they told us of their move! I've LOVED having all of my children and grandchildren living close by and having my daughter and four of our grandkids move so far away is heartbreaking.) 
Yesterday, I spent hours surrounded by my Bibles and journals and study materials prepping for a meeting I have tonight with the women from our church. There was something grounding, healing and refreshing in spending the whole day feasting on the riches of God's Word. For months now, God has been speaking to me about the difference between knowing His ways and knowing His acts. Moses knew God's ways-He knew God as a friend. He knew God's heart and God's character. The children of Israel knew God's acts. They served God for what He could do for them and got angry when He didn't do what they wanted. (In all honesty, I have questioned why God would allow my grandchildren, who bring so much joy into our lives, to move so far away. Obviously, it's not God's fault. My kids have a free will to make choices. But, I can't say I didn't wish God would tell them "don't go!"😔) I can honestly say that keeping this gratitude journal has helped me to see that God is constantly acting and working for my good. This has helped my relationship with Him to become more focused on Who He is. He is faithful. He is steadfast. He is merciful. He is trustworthy. I am less focused on asking for Him to act the way I wish He would. Yes, my heart feels torn apart at the loss of close contact with my daughter and grandchildren. But I have a friend Who has promised to never, never, never leave me or forsake me. For that, I am forever thankful.
*****************
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)
#14,328-#14,373

3-29-2021-
-the morning sun through my kitchen window
-the amazingly detailed way that God provides for our needs and so many of our wants
-seeing my oldest granddaughter at her job
-running errands with my guy
-an evening walk

3-30-2021-
-making candles

-filling plastic eggs with candy with my grandson
-the best kind of fun with him-making a castle and knights and a king and queen out of cardstock and watching his imaginative play

3-31-2021-
-golden yellow forsythia, salmon pink flowering quince
-getting to see  our oldest daughter's new home
-heart talks with my girl while helping her pack and clean

4-1-2021-
-a beautiful day to weed the flowerbeds with my grandson
-a bit of time to write before a busy weekend
-seeing God at work 

4-2-2021-
-a huge bald eagle perched on a tree top
-a walk by the sea


-spending the day with my guy

4-3-2021-
-prepping for Easter dinner
-listening to encouraging teaching while I cook and clean
-God giving me this day to get ready before the grandkids spend the week with us

4-4-2021-
-Christ is risen!
-my oldest son-in-law on his birthday today
-our annual Easter breakfast and celebration at church
-family and friends around the table for Easter dinner





4-5-2021-
-Philippians 4:6-7
-a walk to the park with my grandsons
-dinner in the crockpot

4-6-2021-
-planting some flowers with my grandson
-walking around the park with my youngest grandson in his stroller while my husband watched my other grandson play on the playground 
-a hot dog roast and s'mores with the grandkids around our backyard firepit




4-7-2021-
-lots of volunteer help for next week's meeting
-encouraging communication amongst our growth groups
-taking my grandkids to see their cousins and Auntie's new house

4-8-2021-
-coffee and a wee bit of quiet time in the word while Papa and big sister watch the younger grands
-a sweet meeting with a friend
-a refreshing evening walk with my grandsons 

4-9-2021-
-a beautiful day to go to Lake Sacajawea with the grandkids
-time to work on Sunday's blog post
-watching a good movie with my husband after the grandkids went to bed

4-10-2021-
-these beautiful words from an old song coming to my mind- "He hideth my life in the depths of His love and covers me there with His hand"
-a chance to have a heart talk with my oldest granddaughter before they left
-my daughter's loving words when saying goodbye

4-11-2021-
-my youngest daughter on her birthday
-my daughter and grandkids arrived safely in S.C.
-God's deep work in His people
-a bald eagle flying overhead on our way to Sunday lunch

still following,


Saturday, April 10, 2021

No Longer Hopeless and Helpless

Hopelessness and feeling helpless are one of the cruelest weapons of the enemy against us.  satan relentlessly lies to us that our situation or circumstances are hopeless and that we are helpless to do anything to change it. The enemy tries to get us to accept this as the truth and to paralyze and immobilize us from moving forward in life. Thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness and despair are not from God, our God is the God of hope!   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 11th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,





Also happily linking up with:
Sunday Scripture Blessings


















Saturday, April 3, 2021

The In Between Doesn't Last Forever



 I like to take the time to watch the movie, The Passion of the Christ, during Holy Week, the days before we celebrate Christ's resurrection. I have often thought about the hours in between Jesus' gruesome death on the cross for our salvation and His victorious resurrection. Surely, those were dark hours for His family and followers. Dark hours when doubt nipped at their heels. “Was He really who He said He was?” “Will He really rise from the dead as He said?” “How? When?” As I look back over my life, much of life occurs in the “in between” hours between despair and hope fulfilled, in the dark hours before promise is fulfilled. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 4th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,





Also happily linking up with:
Sunday Scripture Blessings

















Monday, March 29, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal



It's been almost twelve years that I've been keeping a gratitude journal-of writing at least three things a day that I give God thanks for. I'm still learning to see with gratitude. I'm still having to practice so that my eyes see the blessing of the Lord even in the messy middle of life's hard days. I still have to remember to stay present to His presence and not worry about tomorrow. I am still learning, but what I do know is that in the practice of training myself to see life through a lens of gratitude, I am being changed. 
*****************
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)
#14,304-#14,327

3-22-2021-
-a heart talk with my firstborn
-praying with a dear one from church 
-such a beautiful evening hosting one of our women's growth groups at my home

3-23-2021-
-seeing God at work in our growth groups as we learn to trust and be real and honest with each other
-good reports back from each of the growth groups
-God's help and grace and wisdom and strength as I lead the women of our church

3-24-2021-
-a sweet friend getting some lily of the valley for me
-my daughter, oldest granddaughter and youngest grandson coming by to see me
-hot pho soup for dinner on a rainy evening

3-25-2021-
-a heart talk with my youngest 
-a rare but wonderful nap!
-God's help when I'm over my head in ministry life

3-26-2021-
-my firstborn daughter- it's her birthday!
-a grandkid sleepover at our house (with three of the eight grandkids)
-the annual making of the hot cross buns with the grandkids
-the first outdoor fire in the fire pit since last year






3-27-2021-
-my guy bringing me coffee in bed
-the sun warm on my back as I watched the grandkids play together at the park


-this beautiful spring day
-grandkids' hugs

3-28-2021-
-my granddaughter's sweet letter to her little cousin
-God's good work in our church
-Sunday lunch with family
-my two year old granddaughter via FaceTime telling me, "I need a magic wand!"

still following,







Saturday, March 27, 2021

Make Sure Your Foundation Is Trust In God


 "I know that I can trust You...

I lean not on my own understanding

My life is in the hands of the Maker of Heaven"
("Climb" by Will Reagan and United Pursuit)

When I sing these words from Will Reagan's song, "Climb," I realize two things - just how true those words are and just how far I have to go in wholeheartedly living them out. I completely believe the Bible and the Bible says that God is trustworthy, but there is a kind of "I know" that means I really truly know it personally and intimately. I KNOW that I can trust Him is something we learn and grow in throughout our journey of walking in a living, breathing, growing relationship with God. There have been many times over the years that I may have struggled to sing those words with personal assurance.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, March 28th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,





Also happily linking up with:
Sunday Scripture Blessings