• Confident Hope

    As a Christian, Why Can I Not Handle This Better?

    In the hardest season of my entire life (our prodigal season), I was a total mess.  In that test of faith, I failed. If I could go back to that time, of course I would handle it differently now – on this side of God’s beautifully-crafted miracle.  Hindsight gives us 20/20 vision.  Right?  While I struggled to not cry through each day for months and months, I wondered, I’m a Christian.  Why can I not handle this better? Have you ever thought this same thing?  If not, possibly you can at least relate.  Of course we are hurting during tough seasons like that, but I learned a lot from my…

  • Zeph 3.17

    The Unacknowledged YESes

    In your current season, do you feel you are stuck in a pattern of hearing no from God?  No to this, no to that.  Does no seem to be His only answer lately?  Are you having a pity-party over that? Or, maybe you have a huge, over-arching longing to which you hear a continual no.  Or at least no, not yet. No, your prodigal hasn’t returned. No, your illness hasn’t vanished. No, your marriage isn’t mended. No, your finances are still nothing but a mess. Either way, many of us may be experiencing a constant stream of noes in our lives right now, and the Lord wants to change our perspective.…

  • Sit With Your Friend

    Sit With Your Friend

    In a season of change (possibly a very tough season), your friend needs you.  She may need you to sit with her, to maybe even cry with her.  She may not ask for it.  She may not even know she needs it.  But it will be balm to her. Your friend doesn’t need you to discount her need to accept the change – that letting go.  Don’t say, “Oh, well … that’s in the past.”  Or don’t say, “Here today, gone tomorrow!”  No.  She needs time to sit and soak and grieve and cry and say good-bye to what was.  The former things are sometimes hard to let go of…

  • Sewing Courses on Udemy

    Online Courses Set Free

    “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.  To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.  Then he went away.” Matthew 25:14-15 In my last post (A Season of Letting Go), I explained this summer season as a time of letting go.  Part of that process of getting most old things out of sight and out of mind is with finding ways to put those things to bed, so to speak.  To let them rest but with a productive end.  Yes, Goodwill or Salvation Army stores are…

  • Isaiah 55.8

    Things That Go Bump In The Night

    Can you hear it? You know, the thoughts, fears, and worries that awaken you at night.  The fear that looms so large you can’t go back to sleep.  That one concern on your mind seems so much worse in the dark.  It grows larger and larger by the minute.  And, then it goes bump.  (If nothing else, the bump is in your imagination.)  The bump gives way to continual chewing on the doubts and fears.  Examining them.  Stewing over them.  And you wish you could turn it off and stop thinking about it! When we were young, it was monsters in the dark that scared us.  Now it’s our thoughts…

  • The Power of Understanding

    The Power of Understanding . . .

    Have you ever encountered someone who asked how you were doing and then they dismissed your honesty?  You usually say “fine” and then go on about your day, but that one time with someone you know well, you chose differently.  Finally for once, you chose to be honest about your “fine-ness”. You exposed yourself and were a little vulnerable.  And it blew up in your face.  Stunned you.  You weren’t understood.  Did you feel that person didn’t care to even try to understand?  Where was their empathy?  Why should we expect empathy, even from other Christians?  Humans have the innate ability of letting us down.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t…

  • Journey To Brave

    The Journey To Brave

    “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7 God wants us to be brave, not timid.  2 Timothy 1:7 has become a favorite verse since sudden changes in my life occurred eighteen months ago. On June 16th, I posted on Instagram a picture of Annie F. Downs’ book, 100 Days to Brave.  And so it began.  I was four days into it when I shared my recent favorite books and Bible studies.  I wanted so much to tell you about this book at that time.  But I’d barely begun. Still only a fourth of the way through,…

  • Book Title Reveal

    I hope you had a blessed Memorial Day as we paused to ponder the gifts of life and service from our military service men and women.  It’s hard to imagine our thanks being enough for the sacrifice of so many. Thank you all who added to my list of hard seasons we face in life (in this post).  After adding your suggestions to my list, it grew from fourteen to twenty one!  You’ll see the finalized list in the book when it’s finished (hopefully later this year). God first gave me this book title in January of 2015, only it was to say “Scared to Sacred (with the stroke of…

  • Looking Back on Life's Road

    What’s Your Tough Season Score?

    I’ve missed you!  I apologize for being quiet for longer than usual.  Yes, we got our daughter “graduated” and moved to another state for her internship.  We had fun celebrations with her!  Soon after, I had a ten-day jaunt to see family and friends.  So, you can see that my absence was for good reasons.  But, I did miss you and I’m happy to be back – hopefully with a more evenly-spaced blog posting schedule.  😉 Part of my time away was for our high-school girl’s trip we take each year – a group of seven women of which I’m blessed to be included.  I tasted new recipes from some…

  • Embracing Spring . . .

    Embracing Joy in the Hard Seasons

    I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! When it comes to embracing seasons, we don’t want to miss out on the beauty of our calendar seasons when we are in the midst of a hard season of life.  We can get so bogged down with the tough seasons that the beauty in our surroundings can escape us if we’re not intentional with our focus. After missing the joy of spring last year, I was somehow surprised at the blessing of our daughter visiting two weeks ago and planting my porch pots with beautiful flowers.  I wasn’t able to do that last year, and I’d nearly forgotten how much I…

  • Are You One of THOSE People_

    Are You One Of THOSE People?

    Not too long ago, I realized I might be one of THOSE people.  Do you know to whom I’m referring?  Those people are extremists about whatever is their thing.  Whatever your area or thing, are you afraid people see you as one of those? It occurs to me that, when people don’t quite understand why we do the things we do, they may see us as extremists.  When we are serious enough about our Christianity, our health, or any other area of life, to make serious changes in our actions, people notice.  As the saying goes . . . Actions speak louder than words. There was a time in my…

  • Your Cup of Trembling

    What Is Your Cup Of Trembling?

    Sometimes we feel we deserve the trouble in which we find ourselves.  That’s the case when we’re fully aware of our wrongful acts and intentions.  When my children disobeyed, they had consequences.  I made sure of it.  What better way to teach them?  Does that mean God does the same? God cares for us, His people . . . His children.  Just like all children, we regularly mess up.   The Old Testament shows how the Israelites, over and over again, followed the circular pattern of blessing — turning from God — eventual full rebellion — consequences — repentance — and back around to blessing.  Full circle. I was drawn to…

  • Your Table for Spiritual and Physical Satiation

    Spiritual and Physical Satiation

    Therefore God’s people return there and drink it all in like water until they are satiated. (Psalm 73:10) As warm temperatures topped into the 70’s a couple of weeks back, I suddenly couldn’t resist the urge to set our tables for spring – both in the kitchen and in the dining room.  With no guests expected, why was setting tables so important?  (I had other things more pressing on my list, for sure!) For many months of last year, I didn’t set tables at all.  After blogging for five years about lots of things in the home, like setting fun tables, God had taken me in this new direction of…

  • Your Reminder

    Let Scars Be Your Reminder

    Are you experiencing warm weather yet?  I laughed at hubs last week because he appeared from the bedroom, dressed for the day . . . in shorts!  Me?  I still wear winter clothes, jackets, and even gloves.  (I’ve always been cold natured, but this is getting ridiculous!)  It’s a little warmer here, so hubs is anticipating hot temperatures ahead. When thinking of hot weather, I’m reminded that we’ll be wearing cooler clothing that allows more skin to show.  That means, scars and other skin imperfections will be exposed.  I have a long scar on my face, of all places, where it is always exposed.  (Thanks to our dear Tennessee Walker,…

  • Bible Study Blessing or Burden

    Bible Study Blessing or a Burden?

    As I ran the vacuum this afternoon, I was pondering the fact that I haven’t published a blog post as usual today.  Since this is Wednesday, I feel a burden to “get it done”, to “check that box” and not “let God down” on my commitment to be faithful to Him through my blogging.  I haven’t been stressed about it per se.  But, I do feel a responsibility similar to the keeping of my physical home. As I often laugh while doing “laundry for the Lord” or “toilets for Jesus” (as quoted by a friend long ago), those thoughts bring a new attitude.  When we do what the Lord calls…