Category Archives: Music


Got a call on January 25th that my Dad was admitted to the hospital… By the end of the weekend, we learned they found cancer and that it was also in his lymph nodes. UNEXPECTED.

Prayers began as we asked the Lord for wisdom. Started searching for flights to head to Arizona. Learned unofficial diagnosis was pancreatic cancer and more tests were done in order to receive a prognosis the following week.

Made arrangements for Mike and I to go together, leaving the boys to man-the-farm and Grandma & Grandpa’s outdoor wood-burner. Lined up help from friends to assist the boys when needed… UNEXPECTED.

Never dreamed in a million years Mike would be able to come with me: UNEXPECTED… but thankfully, God is bigger than my expectations…

Once my Dad’s discomfort was eased, he began to feel better. Told the doctor he thought it unnecessary to remain in the hospital because he didn’t like sitting around feeling sorry for himself – that he felt better when he could keep busy… Doctor agreed. Released him 1-31. UNEXPECTED.

Mike and I flew in late on 2-1. My brother was supposed to pick us up, but was so sick he couldn’t get out of bed for three days. Virus… UNEXPECTED.

Instead got picked up by my Dad and Uncle Jack. Dad looked like Dad – though perhaps tired. UNEXPECTED.

What did I expect? Well, I guess I don’t know… But since I was expecting to see him in a hospital bed, I suppose I thought he’d be too weak to “be Dad”. But he wasn’t. And I was glad. This was a comfort – familiar felt good… UNEXPECTED.

Our hotel room number was 322. Kinda cool – have been memorizing Lamentations 3:22-23: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.


My Dad has wanted to get Mike out to see the desert ever since he moved out there in 1999. And even though this was an emergency trip & unplanned, Dad wanted to show Mike his favorite sights… UNEXPECTED.

Internal battles began… We didn’t come out for a vacation… Our funds were/are limited… Money in savings is for the next few months’ bills, right? Aren’t we going to look irresponsible to those around us? Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Prayers were answered and we were filled with peace at allowing my Dad to do what he wanted. He took us to see his good friend, Chuck – wanted Mike to meet him. Enjoyed listening to these guys share hunting memories and past stories… Drove us to grocery stores so he could buy us our “weird” health foods, lol. He wouldn’t let us buy anything that wasn’t a “good price” – he knew the bargains, lol. He and Uncle Jack bought food for a Superbowl feast & cooked for us. UNEXPECTED.

On Monday, Dad took us to his work to file for future time off. Met some of his co-workers and boss, and felt their compassion as they wished my Dad well. So many unanswered questions. Everything hinging on Thursday’s appointment with the oncologist. It was only Monday. It was touching to see everyone’s genuine concern for my Dad.

Then we headed to Uncle Jack’s property. The three men moved cacti as excavation was to begin the next day. Dad was so happy he could bring “the farmer” to the desert, and Mike was excited he got to play in the dirt. Ended the jaunt with a visit to my Dad & Uncle Jack’s favorite local hangout: Greasewood Flats. Heard stories of fun times they shared together. UNEXPECTED.









Tuesday came. My brother, Mark, was still sick, but getting better. Dad said we could borrow his truck to take my Mom to a doctor appointment, so Mark wouldn’t have to. The week before, she had had foot surgery. This appointment led to x-rays at a nearby hospital, and then back to the doctor’s office. 7 hours. Thankful we could help my brother, and were able to help my Mom, too. UNEXPECTED.

Returned to Dad to find he had spent the afternoon cooking ribs and veggies for dinner for us. UNEXPECTED.

By evening, Mark was well enough to have us over. Got to spend time with him & my Mom, and Mike finally got to meet our 7-year-old niece, Abbi. What a joy! Loved watching Mike play kitchen & color with her! Was fun learning Abbi associates Auntie Dawn with sewing, lol… She wanted to learn how to crochet, so we finger crocheted a bit, and played a game. UNEXPECTED.







Wednesday came. First Dad wanted us to meet a bartender friend of his. He said she liked to eat naturally like us, had told her about us, and she wanted to meet us. She offered to make him organic tonics while he did cancer treatments. This was the first I’d heard of him even being interested in trying something “alternative”, so it was fun to meet her and talk with her. Next my Dad wanted to take Mike to a “real” Mexican place for lunch… Followed by a trip to Cabelas. He started complaining of heartburn, and jokingly blamed it on the onions from lunch. He didn’t want to go back home… Said he was ok. Seemed ok. Took us to Lee Air Force base where we watched fighter jets practice. Joked with other spectators, and was “normal Dad”.





Returned to Dad’s place, and we talked about “tomorrow” – Thursday. The oncologist appointment. The hard stuff. What his wishes were. Those questions that are hard to ask, and that I was afraid to ask. It was an emotional conversation because he acknowledged his struggles… But it was beautiful, too, because he shared with me that even though his life may not have looked like it, he truly did believe… And the rest is between his heart and the Lord… There are no words to express how thankful I am we had that talk… UNEXPECTED.

Left Dad for the day with plans of meeting him in the morning for his appointment. Got back to the hotel – only a 10 minute drive. Walked into our room & my Dad’s roommate called in a panic asking us to come back. Dad wasn’t well. He called 911. I called Mark. We got there to find EMS working on Dad. No pulse. Mark & I followed to ER. Mike stayed at the house to finish with the police follow-up. Minutes later, I had to state my Dad’s wishes to the hospital staff. It hadn’t even been 2 hours since he told me what he wanted/didn’t want! I’m so grateful my brother and I were there together… UNEXPECTED.

A woman appeared to help us find a secluded room. I thought she was a volunteer. I just wanted to pray with Mark. Everything just seemed so unbelievable… This lady didn’t leave. So I asked her if she minded if we prayed. I was expecting to pray… But before I could speak, SHE PRAYED!! She SPOKE SCRIPTURE!! And I immediately felt the Lord lifting me up as His Words fueled every fiber of my being. Filled me with hope and comfort and composure. And kept me together as we waited for Mike to join us and to see Dad, one last time. UNEXPECTED.

It wasn’t until awhile later that I learned this lady was the hospital’s chaplain, lol… And then Mike shared how he prayed the Lord would send me comfort while we were separated. HE did!

So Dad didn’t make it to Thursday. So unbelievable: He didn’t make it to Thursday… UNEXPECTED. How ironic. “Tomorrow” was the day we were supposed to find out about how much time he had left, but he didn’t make it past “today”…

Can’t help but think about my last blog post. A post where I am mourning the loss of a trip we planned and couldn’t take. And now I see why. The Lord had a different trip in mind, with far greater implications… The lesson is the same, and I am in awe of how He prepares us for what is to come…Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16 NIV)

YES, LORD, I hear You! I pray I will move forward with a passion to be grateful for each moment I am in. Help me to stop placing my hope in tomorrow so that I don’t miss the opportunities that are right in front of me! Thank You so much for prompting me to have that last conversation with my Dad! Use my story to impress on others how precious the moment is that we are in, and not to assume there is more time! If you are reading this post, I pray you have heard the message of salvation that is ONLY available through Jesus Christ… That you have not only heard it, but understand it, and have accepted the gift of His sacrifice so you can spend your eternity in Heaven. And that if you already know this, but know someone who needs to hear it, TELL THEM – DON’T WAIT!! There are no guarantees there will BE tomorrow… WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us. I pray that you know there is a difference between practicing religion and having a relationship with Jesus. The Lord knows our hearts and motivations – and we cannot DO anything to work our way to Heaven. That it is between our heart and the Lord – we must each recognize we are sinners, and that we NEED Jesus. I pray for more people to repent of their sins, and live lives for Him. When that happens, we become a child of God, and His Spirit will live inside us. And because He then lives inside us, HE IS NEVER LATE… What appears as a mystery to us, is not to Him. He never leaves us or forsakes us. And His love endures forever… Amen

We extended our stay from Friday to Monday. The airlines waived the $600 fee!! UNEXPECTED.

To say these days are a blur, would be an understatement. At the drop of a hat, I cry. I can’t seem to control my emotions. I’m having a hard time believing this is real. One minute Dad was with me and then he was just…gone. I mourn for all those who will miss him. I mourn for the missed opportunities I had to have deeper conversations with him, but didn’t. But I mourn with Hope… With a renewed passion to share Christ-in-me more… Hard to type as well. Probably rambling too much and not in complete sentences. But for me, writing this is therapeutic. A record of these past 9 days. I really don’t want to forget all these details… I’m healing as I walk. And I am content with however long that is for me…

Just to journal the last of our trip: Thursday was spent learning about death certificates and how our culture profits from death. Probably good info to know for the future, but it is a bit of a shock to take it all in. We accomplished what we could and now have to wait on paperwork before we can proceed any further. UNEXPECTED.

Ended the evening with Mark & Abbi coming out to swim at our hotel. A nice way to relax after a tense and difficult day.

Friday, my brother needed to work, so Mike and I had a day to ourselves. A much needed time of rejuvenation. I know Dad would have wanted that, and that thought brought us relief as we experienced the beauty of Arizona that my Dad loved so much. We (tried to) climb Camelback Mountain, lol, but realized we were “out of our league” as runners sped past us at breakneck speed while we stopped to breathe and guard our steps to avoid any injuries… We were completely ok with our “peak” being 2/3 of the way up the mountain, lol.






Next we tried to find some baseball spring training baseball fields… We found some, but we were a day or two early.


We had two people tell us about climbing Pinnacle Peak. So we headed there next. It was soooo much more our style!! A not-too-aggressive climb, and the views were spectacular!!








Uncle Jack ended up meeting us there and we enjoyed another trip to his property to see the excavation progress. It was an emotional visit, since just four days earlier we were there with my Dad. He loved the backdrop of western movies, and loved living near the mountains and desert. But most of all, he loved sharing it with family and friends…




That night my brother and Mom had us out for an enormous Chinese dinner. I am still full, lol…


Saturday we found some souvenirs for the boys and then met Mark at my Dad’s house to clean out his stuff. My Dad was a simple guy, so there was only a room and some boxes to go through. Found some items to keep, and passed the rest on to others. Dad would have wanted that…

Enjoyed pizza and a movie night with Mark, Abbi, and my Mom.

Spent Sunday morning sorting through all my Dad’s personal files. Wanted to try to organize things and sort everything to make it easier for Mark to handle after we left.

Experienced a beautiful morning of worship at Trinity Bible Church. A message the Lord had prepared perfectly for us… EXPECTED!

Spent a final afternoon with Mark, Abbi, and my Mom, and then met up with my Dad’s two brothers who flew in this week to help Mark.



Saturday afternoon, we went back to the bar my Dad took us to on Wednesday. I wanted to shake the hands of some of his friends, and thank them in-person for being a friend to my Dad. Only saw a few, but that’s ok. It was something I felt strongly about doing, and I will continue to pray for his friends – both the ones I met and the ones I didn’t…

After a meal with my uncles and cousin, Mike and I headed back to our hotel to pack for the morning. We were up at 4am and found our way to the airport with only a couple wrong turns, lol.

Several waves of emotion have swept over me as we watched the mountains fade away from above. A bittersweet departure. I pretty much typed the whole 6 hours we flew – plus most of the day yesterday and today…

When we began this journey, we meditated on the words to this song by Casting Crowns: Jesus, Friend Of Sinners. Click here to read the words. And click here to watch/hear a video.

Friday, we heard this song by Sidewalk Profits: Live Like That – and it blew us away… Click here to read the words. And click here to watch/hear a video.

All along each day our devotions were equally convicting:

And the prayers that have been lifted up as we found moments to txt/email updates, have been felt and received with overflowing thanksgiving!!

Dear Heavenly Father, there is no doubt in my mind that YOU paved the way for this trip to happen. YOU laid the groundwork for us to be able to leave when we did. YOU saw to it that I wouldn’t have to experience this by myself – YOU used Mike to carry me when I needed support. YOU prepared our boys to handle the responsibilities back at home…the hours of bringing hay to cows, thawing waterers, plowing snow, shoveling snow, continuing their schooling, and all this while they also grieved the loss of their Grandpa. YOU orchestrated all the helping hands who pitched in whenever and wherever needed. YOU blessed Mike and I with four wonderful days to be with my Dad before he died. YOU stabilized us when we realized we couldn’t control our situations. YOU used the foods, oils, and herbs we brought to keep our immune systems strong when we were surrounded by bad viruses and bacterias. YOU opened doors for us when we asked. YOU prompted us to share our testimonies at the perfect times. YOU gave us YOUR words when our own were inadequate. YOU gifted us with time to build new relationships and add onto old ones. YOU encouraged us through hymns, songs, and spiritual songs. YOU sustained us with YOUR daily bread, and used the prayers of fellow Believers to strengthen us to persevere. YOU helped us to love, when we wanted to judge – and are enabling us to see all people as having been made in YOUR image. YOU forgave us when our words or actions caused pain, and we cried out to YOU. YOU allowed others to see Jesus in us, and are compelling us to be more bold for YOUR GLORY.
We are overwhelmed when we think about all the ways YOU provide for us, and our trust is in YOU as we put one foot in front of the other. I have comfort in knowing that YOU are in control during all the “unexpectednesses”. YOU have used us to scatter seeds of YOUR love and mercy – and we desperately pray for the growth of those seeds. That we will not grow weary in doing good, so that at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Amen

Deuteronomy 5:16
Joshua 1:9
2 Samuel 22:2
2 Chronicles 7:14
Psalm 55:16-17; 62:2; 107:1; 118:1; 119:11, 49-50, 71, 105, 130, 133, 169-176; 136; 139:1, 23-24
Proverbs 3:5-6
Jeremiah 29:11
Matthew 5:14-16; 6:9-13, 19-21; 13:1-23
Luke 9:1-5; 23:40-43
John 1:12-13; 3:16-18; 8:32; 9:1-5; 14:6
Acts 4:29
Romans 1:18-20; 5:1-5, 8; 7:14-25; 8:26-38; 10:5-15; 12:9-13; 13:11-14; 14 all; 15:4-6, 13; 16:17-18
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
2 Corinthians 7:10
Galatians 6:2, 9
Ephesians 2:8; 3:20, 5:19-20
James 1:2-3, 5-6; 4:11-12; 5:7-11
2 Peter 3:8
1 John 1:8-10; 4:4-6

Lead Me To The Cross

“Brooke Fraser of Hillsong wrote “Lead Me To The Cross”Chris & Conrad’s version of the song got on the radio, and Francesca Battistelli’s version is also popular.”

I personally like Chris & Conrad’s version, and have it on my playlist. Many times, I have prayed the words to this song. Speaks “Easter” to me. 🙂

“Lead Me To The Cross”

Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemption’s hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you’re risen

Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost


To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart


Yesterday, Mike mowed a path through the briars for tomorrow’s sunrise worship. As I saw the path to the cross this morning, this song came to my mind. 🙂




So excited – Selah concert!!!

Ahhhh – can finally relax. Made it…

Been waiting for this day since Christmas! FREE Selah concert in Canton tonight! We worked at CRAZY speed today so we could finish chores, school, garden harvest, & milking EARLY to make it up here by the time doors opened at 6.


Even had enough time to eat a picnic pizza in the parking lot, lol…

Thank You, Lord, for opportunities like today – for churches who sponsor free concerts – for talented musicians who share their gifts & sing for You – for workdays without calamity – for schooldays without difficulty – for harvests despite droughts – for family who allow us to borrow comfortable vehicles – for time to blog while we wait for the doors to open – and for phones to capture these moments & share with others. May this concert uplift us & fill us with joy through the harmonies & lyrics of Selah’s music. Amen.

“Thorn” removal…

Whew.  What a week.  Yes, the picture in the poem is actually Mike’s thumb.  Part of the reason this poem was inspired was because of watching him deal with this nasty splinter.  Another reason was watching Michael deal with food poisoning the past couple of days.  As a parent, there’s nothing worse than watching your child suffer.  Another thorn, another thorn…

Mike’s thorn is dissipating, but not removed.  Michael’s on the road to recovery – but may be gun-shy of a certain restaurant’s sandwiches, lol! 🙂

We gotta let the Light shine…

We had a bunch of lights in our basement that needed new bulbs. Some we needed to buy new bulbs for, and some we just had to take the time to find in our garage. Since we weren’t placing a real high priority on changing this situation, it’s been very hard-to-see in our basement. For awhile, that was OK; but after a couple weeks, I started to get a little cranky every time I had to go downstairs. 😦

Since our basement is a walk-out, it’s convenient for it to be our main entry & exit. And, since we are often muddy/dirty, this is a good transition space to change from dirty to clean before we go upstairs. This IS a nice feature, BUT, this also means our basement has a tendency to be a WRECK. I wish I could say it’s just our muddy boots; but the fact is, we can all be pretty lazy, and leave items laying around with the thought of either: “putting that away later” or “someone else will put this away for me”. 😦

This past winter, it seems I was finally able to get into a good routine for keeping it tidy. But once milking picked back up & garden season began, I had to let that routine “slip” so I could focus on other priorities. (I believe that’s called “planfully neglecting” so you can do what’s most important first, lol…)

Our basement is basically a “catch-all”: baseball bags & equipment laying around, shoes & boots strewn all over, work clothes in piles on the freezers, outgrown clothes overflowing in a corner waiting to be taken to Goodwill, misc items from emptying out pockets on the edges of too many steps, various found treasures like pretty rocks or old rusty hinges, chunks of dried earth waiting to get swept up, shirts waiting to get ironed hanging where ever there’s an empty space on a pipe, overflowing bins of laundry waiting to get washed….uggg 😦

And to not be able to see very well, while trying to avoid these obstacles, was not making me very happy…

One day last week, Mike surprised me & put new bulbs in! I walked in and it was beautiful…for about 5 seconds…

All of a sudden I could SEE just how bad this basement had gotten. It was like a veil had been lifted… I wanted to go back to the dark. 😦

Made me think about my walk with the Lord. Like Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:17. He didn’t come to abolish the law, He came to fulfill it. We need to KNOW what His laws are or we’d never know when one was broken. But none of us can ever be perfect at following the law, which is why God sent Jesus to model that for us! As I learn more about His Ways and try to “unlearn” the dark ways, I find myself sometimes thinking, “Wow – sure was easier back when I didn’t know that was wrong.” As long days & exhaustion sets in, the devil is just waiting to throw in his jabs – “the old way was better” or “nobody needs to know” or “just hide that so it’s out of sight”…

Well, thank Heaven for His Spirit Who now dwells in me!!!! I LOVE BEING IN THE LIGHT!! Isn’t this what I often pray for: “Expose the wickedness in me, Lord – bring it to light so I can see it keep me moldable, rebukeable – cleanse me, Lord from every sin…?” 🙂

I was listening to the radio & a Kari Jobe song came on PERFECT for lifting my eyes back up. Here’s the chorus (from Matthew 5:14-16):
We are the light of the world.
We are a city on a hill.
We are the light of the world.
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine.

Father, thank You for answering my prayers & sanctifying me through my life’s walk. 1John 1:5b-7 tells me that You are light. In You there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with You, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as You are in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, Your Son, purifies us from all sin.

Sorry, satan – I’ve been brought into THE LIGHT, and you can’t take me away. I am able to see what’s being exposed and press on because of what God’s Son did for me on the cross. In the Lord’s perfect timing, Jesus will be right beside me as we clean up these messes – one pile at a time. I’m so grateful for LIGHT! AMEN

“Gate Guides” for Father’s Day

my Father’s Day gift to Mike:

Ever since I memorized John 10:9, every time I see this crushed gate sitting by the barn, it makes me think of Jesus in this passage.  I love turning something that seems worthless or is a reminder of a past mistake into a new creation – a “remade remnant”, just like me!:)

The boys helped me move the gate for these pics, I added the words, and a friend printed them for me as 5×7’s.

And to get more of the “depth look” I wanted in this frame, another friend had some dried grass/seeds I glued onto the matting.

This framed project inspired “Part B” of Mike’s gift…Gate Guides.

Just some favorite Scripture and hymn/song refrains I know Mike likes, printed on 11×17 paper, attached to old file folders for a little more stability, covered in contact paper, and tied to gates…  (Note:  I used a better tool to poke holes through on this project – an old gutter nail, lol!)

My original plan was to have one attached to every gate – until the boys and I counted them all… We have 27 gates!!! Wow, doesn’t seem like we have that many – but once you start counting them, they all add up! 🙂

I ran out of contact paper, so I put the 8 up I finished, & will get the rest up as time goes on. The boys kept Mike occupied with a John Wayne western movie Saturday evening so I could get them hung.  It was fun walking with Mike as he saw them afterwards… 🙂

Lord, I pray these gate guides will help Mike stay focused on You while he’s out working in Your Creation.  If he’s having a rough day, may they be an aid to guide him back to You.  Rid his mind of the doubts satan likes to plant, and replace them with Your Words from 2Timothy 1:7 – that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of self-control. If he’s having a good day, may he use them to sing Your Praises as he walks – perhaps guiding him to a familiar tune to hum.  May we always remember to encourage one another and build each other up, as You tell us to in 1Thessalonians 5:11. Amen

Search me, O God

I woke up the other morning reciting “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” This has long been a passage I wanted to memorize, so I thought perhaps that was the day to write it out on a notecard to begin that process. After my devotion, I began my hunt for where this verse is in Scripture. I knew it was in a Psalm, and a quick concordance check brought me to Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Too funny – I just finished memorizing verses 13-16 of this same Psalm with a baby blanket I just crocheted…I wonder if I should just plan on memorizing the whole Psalm, lol!? 🙂

About an hour later, I was working in the milkhouse & had about 15 minutes to listen to Moody Radio. Just so happened to be a short program by Joni Eareckson-Tada on. Imagine my delight when she began her program with this same Psalm passage as a song!!

After milking, I went online & printed Joni’s program – click here to hear/read it. Then I went to one of my favorite sites – and downloaded the background music for the song. Click here to go to that site.

As I weeded a raised bed that day, I just kept playing this song & practiced memorizing/praying the first verse.  Search me, O God, and know my heart today. Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.  See if there be some wicked way in me.  Cleanse me from all my sins and set me free.  It was such a comfort for that day – especially since the devil seemed to be working overtime here: cows went through a fence, so Mike had to spend WAY more time than he wanted to getting them back in – boys came home from a sleepover at a friend’s house, so they were SUPER tired & cranky – paid $85 for washing machine repair man to fix an overflow valve only to have the washer still leak after he left… 😦

But somehow, my spirits weren’t dampened that day – hmmmm – wonder why?? 🙂

And the blessings out of those “issues” that day? Well, Mike got the cows back in + all the roundbales moved so they wouldn’t get ruined if they broke through again; the boys rested & were more pleasant after that; Mike was able to re-attach a tube to the washer so we didn’t have to bring the repair man back! Praise God for leading me to LIVING WORDS that helped me to not dwell on our circumstances, but delight IN HIM! 🙂

One final note – I love that the first line of the song ends with “today”. After I’ve had a “high” day with the Lord, I often find myself “coasting” along the next day – perhaps forgetting/neglecting to pursue Him like I did the day before. I like the thought of communicating this request with Him EACH DAY. May I remember Matthew 6:34: Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Help me to remember that You provide the perfect amount of grace that I need EACH DAY. But also, that I still need to seek You each day – not because You won’t still help me or You aren’t there, but because I NEED to remember that it IS NOT ME winning the battles, it is You, working through me. AMEN

A night out-dinner & a concert

A Mother’s Day gift from my 3 boys…
1st, a fun dinner in Akron. A friend recommended we eat at Luigi’s.(Thanks, Kellen!)

Next stop, Hudson – Christ Community Chapel – for a Fernando Ortega concert! I love his simple, melodic voice & that he writes/plays/arranges songs that are a witness to his walk with Jesus. 🙂 We were blessed with a front row pew – got to watch his fingers playing on the grand piano… I’m so grateful for being able to share this evening with my family. Thank You, Lord. 🙂

Redeeming the “nooks & crannies”

Michael asked me what was wrong the other morning, as I was a bit frazzled & cranky.  Both boys were eating breakfast, but stopped to look at me for my answer.  I started to explain how there are just so many “things” we’re trying to get done right now, but some days it seems like you’re going backwards.  Everything seems to depend on something else to be done FIRST.  I sometimes struggle with where to begin, and in my uncertainty, I allow my circumstances to determine my attitude.

Both boys listened to my ramble & acted as though they understood… Then Michael said he was amazed at all the “nooks & crannies” there were… I smiled.  He WAS listening! 🙂

Made me reflect on my daily prayers.  I KNOW that the Lord is in control.  I KNOW that since I am one of His children, I am on the side of Victory in the end.  I KNOW the words to pray for His Strength to get me through this day, and I KNOW the words to pray at the end of the day to thank Him for helping me throughout the day… SO, why is it, I allow Satan to win in the “nooks & crannies”??   Well, I know the answer to that, too:  Because “we live in the shadow of ‘the fall’.”

Father, I thank you for pointing out that You don’t just want to help me with the overall picture – You care about even the most mundane tasks.  Clarity will come if I allow Your Peace to roadblock Satan’s traps.  Seep into all my “nooks and crannies”, Lord.  May I allow You to help me be victorious in all the little battles throughout my day, and may I remember this lesson, fresh each day.  Amen. 🙂

One of my favorite music groups is Selah.  They sing a song called “Unredeemed”, that I absolutely love, and have on my playlist.  One of my favorite lines is, “We live in the shadow of the fall.  But the cross says these are all:  Places, where grace is, soon to be… so amazing…”  Just thought I’d share the rest of the words.  🙂

The cruelest world
The coldest heart
The deepest wound
The endless dark
The lonely ache
The burning tears
The bitter nights
The wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every lie that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see
It will not be
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Joy in dishes…

I have always struggled with my “wandering mind”.  Left in silence as I perform mundane tasks, it often wanders to criticizing others or allowing my self-righteousness to seep in.  I heard a sermon once about filling our minds with Jesus.  Matthew 12:34 says that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  I want that to be the same with my thought life!  So, while I used to look at sinkfulls of dishes as a drag and a reason for being cranky, I now use the time to memorize hymns or Scripture.  Truly makes this task a delight now!  🙂  Thought I’d share what I’m memorizing this week.  (I’m a slow memorizer, so it may be awhile for this one…)

Here’s the same song again – added it to our shower – another great place to focus on my memorizing, lol!  (My boys all like to make fun of me for this one…)  🙂

Back to the kitchen now – Thank You, Lord, for food to eat, dishes to eat off of, and time & hands to wash them.  AMEN  🙂

What do you do to keep your mind from wandering away from Jesus?