• 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…

  • Sayings That Aren't Biblical

    What We Say To The Hurting That Isn’t Actually Biblical

    When you’re in a tough season, people struggle to know what to say.  They want to comfort you, and they search for words that will bless you.  Bless their hearts!  They truly mean to help you . . . but sometimes miss the mark.  Some have the gift of speaking loving truths into your life at just the right moment.  But not all. What’s wrong with being honest?  Why not say “I don’t have a clue what you are going through, but I am praying God will fix it.”  Or, “I’m praying for you in your pain and grief.”  (Or, we could do like my friend in this post.) Personally,…

  • Blessing Your Prodigal

    How To Bless Others – Even Your Prodigal

    Blessings are the words of life.  So, why wouldn’t we pray blessings for others?  With whom are you most concerned in your current hard circumstance or season?  I suspect that if someone has harmed you in some way in your current season, they could benefit from prayers of blessing – whether you think they deserve it or not. We can bless or we can curse, and of course, we would never want to curse anyone.  So, we choose to bless, extending prayers of mercy and grace on the behalf of others – including the prodigal if you have one. The prodigal can benefit greatly from your prayers of  blessing –…

  • 5 Points to Ponder When Faced With A Good HIDER

    5 Points To Ponder When Faced With A Good HIDER

    In last week’s post, I mentioned that I added my new California flight friend to my prayers.  Although I prejudged her for her reaction to my story about Emmie (as explained in that post), we never know what others are going through.  What hard things in her life was she possibly struggling to get through?  How could I tell? While tough seasons give us a tender heart for others, before that eventually kicks in, our own pain can dull our senses.  A pain bucket that’s filled to the rim can cause us to block any pain from outside sources above what we’re already dealing with on our own. Your subconscious…

  • How To Reach Your Prodigal On THEIR Turf

    “Many in the church today are being held captive spiritually, not because of the enemy’s power, but because we do not clearly understand our authority and calling in Christ…  As we begin to understand the hope of His calling, we will begin to walk in an abundant life of freedom and power.” Angie Weaver That quote is so true!  We have more power than many of us realize. When crying out to God for answers to your prayers for your prodigal, why not go directly to the source of the trouble?  I don’t mean physically going to the places where they hang out.  Nor to stand face to face with…

  • Time for Jesus

    Making Time for Time With Jesus

    What sort of season are you in right now?  I know winter and possibly snow season, but in your life.  Is it snowy in your life . . . cold . . . lonely . . . a hard time right now?  If so, I picture you staying inside, huddling by the fire, drinking warm cups of tea.  Are you taking time to be with the Lord?  Our tendency is to turn to God when we are in a season of suffering. If you happen to be in a good season right now, I picture you in a season of joyful sledding . . . laughter . . . friends…

  • How to Know God Will Do It

    But, WILL He? How to Know God WILL Do It

    Will He?  That was my question.  For months. Soon after our prodigal season began, a very close friend (and 2 AM sister) sent me the book, He is Able by Priscilla Shirer.  It’s a great book for recounting all the ways that anything is possible with God!  All the while . . . I had another question. I Know God is Able. But, WILL He? You might ask, “Will He what?”  And my answer would have been. “WILL God answer my plea?  WILL He bring our daughter back?” If you read last week’s (shameless) post  He First Loved Us In The Hard Seasons and my continual tears for months, today’s…

  • three little BAFFLING words @EmbraceThisSeason.com

    He First Loved Us In The Hard Seasons

    It was a Sunday morning.  Just like all the other Sundays during that hard season, I stood during our morning worship welcome time with my eyes cast downward, trying to hide my tear-streaked face. Poor choir!  Our third-row-pew afforded the choir members an up-front-and-personal view of raw emotion so visible that I know it grew somewhat irritating and tiresome for them to endure every Sunday.  Week after week turned into month upon month.  When would it end? That’s the way it is with a prodigal season of shame, sadness, and indescribable grief.  Well, that’s the way it was for me, at least.  If you’ve experienced a season of brutal betrayal,…

  • Health Limits Us

    How Anything But Optimal Health Limits Us In All Seasons

    Neighbors, Welcome Into My Kitchen! Excuse me while I freshen things for company.  I have my face on this morning, so no more Instagram pictures  like I shared last weekend, surrounded by Christmas clutter sans make-up.  (Horrors!  And, please follow me.)  Dusting my hands off now with Christmas decor all boxed up (woohoo!).  All I lack now is bribing hubs to pack away the Christmas Tree of Hope. A question for you:  As you look back at the long line of hills and valleys of your life, through hard seasons and celebratory times, can you agree that you needed God’s strength most of all and also good health?  As Christians,…