Category Archives: trials and tribuations

Are You Battle-Scarred by Emotional Shrapnel?

As kids, we dreamed about becoming a cowgirl/cowboy, nurse, doctor, astronaut, movie star, rock star, inventor, race car driver or flight attendant. We dreamed about being beautiful, happy, and influential. We dreamed about traveling, building, and buying.

Nothing is impossible in a child’s dream world.

Graduation mottos told us, “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” We were told there was no limit to what we could accomplish. No was dream too high, no ambition out of our reach.

We approached adulthood and our dreams were tempered by reality, but the future was still exciting. We planned our careers, our weddings, our families and our homes.

Reality exploded unexpectedly under our feet when we stumbled into adulthood.

We painfully learned there are factors that limit our dreams, like our health, finances, families, our talents and abilities, and God’s will for our lives.

Adulthood surprised us, and in some ways, disappointed us.  I pictured adulthood as eating my desert first, staying up late reading every night, and spending my money on camera equipment and books. I never dreamed about  thyroid cancer, funerals,  a miscarriage, false accusations by Christians,  or watching an Innocent Man sentenced to jail for eight years.  I have friends who didn’t plan on being single, barren, divorced or dying at a young age.

Unexpected suffering infiltrates our lives and can make it hard to appreciate all the other blessings.

 

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We’re walking around wounded by shrapnel from situations out of our control.

It doesn’t take too long to end up being battle-scarred and weary.

HURT:

Do you often wish you could take your words back?  Are you sharp, impatient, or cynical?  Are your words unintentional swords?  Hurting people hurt others.

Is there someone that you don’t hate only because you’re a Christian?  I’ve heard people say “The Lord tells me I have to love them, but I don’t like them.”  Yea, I know what they did, I have those people in my life, too, but we can’t allow them to keep damaging us by reliving their wrongs. 

What gives you nightmares?  What can’t you forgive?  What can’t your forget? What can’t you accept?

Remember how you used to run and show your Mommy your owies?  It’s time to run to your Daddy – your Heavenly Father.  Show Him where it hurts. 

Speak freely to Him in prayer. He knows the words before they’re on your tongue, so you might as well say it to His face, and not behind His back. Bring your brokenness and your tears to Him.  

Have you even felt that loving compassion when a hurting child runs crying into your arms? You do anything to soothe and help them. You never want them to leave your embrace.

Your Heavenly Father has His arms are outstretched and He’s longing for you to come to Him so He can hold you and make your owies all better.

HELP:

Don’t go it alone. Find other people who have suffered in a similar way and have learned to endure with hope and joy.  They will provide the encouragement, wisdom, and the accountability you need.

The best thing a dear older brother said to me was, “Girl, you gotta’ get over it!”  He loved me enough to point out I was picking a wound that needed to heal.

There are radio programs, books, blogs, and magazines.  Christian ministries are devoted to very specific problems that prove you aren’t alone in your pain. 

HEAL:

Some shrapnel can be removed.  Apologies can be made, medicine can be taken, counseling can be received.  I  avoid women who gossip. I found a few that can be trusted.   I made changes to improve my health. 

I was surprised to learn that most physical shrapnel is left in by the doctors, because removing it can cause more damage to organs and nerves. The body naturally forms a casing of protection around it.

If a situation can’t be removed or changed, it still can be healed. We can’t make people apologize for the damage they’ve caused. We can’t bring the dead back to life. Some diseases can’t be healed and we suffer the side-effects from the disease and/or treatment. You have to accept this and move on in your healing.

The shrapnel should be surrounded by prayer, not just yours. The Word of God will also soften those shards of life exploding in pain around you. Turn TO Him, not AWAY.

HAPPY:

Not many of us are living the lives we planned, but that doesn’t mean we can’t life a  fulfilled and purpose-filled live. Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance. 

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Circumstances  bring us to a place where the Lord wanted us. A move 1400 miles away brought me four blocks from a Christian writers group and great medical facilities  – two things I didn’t know I’d need.

Cancer taught me much about my suffering Savior and gave me a great understanding and compassion for others.  I don’t regret what the Lord allowed in my life.

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Happiness is letting Him heal your emotional shrapnel.

Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man

 

For years I’ve joked with  single women, “You’ll never find The Perfect Man because I married him.”

My love for my husband grows and changes from year to year as we survive trials and tribulation.  They aren’t troubles within the marriage, they’re troubles outside we’ve weathered together. In fact, we’ve often joked that if the Lord had shown us the path we would  take together, we wouldn’t have gotten married.  Just joking, of course.  The truth is, life is hard for everybody, and going through life with someone who is your best friend and is there for you no. matter. what. is a joy and a privilege.

Years ago, my friend and her fiancé  took a test to see if they were compatible for marriage. They were asked questions about household chores, common interests, and expectations for future family. To me, it was shallow.

Who decides who’s going to do dishes before they’re married?

Life happens.  Some couples can’t have kids, others end up having more than they planned.  Other couples move and are exposed to new foods, interests and hobbies.  There are too many unknown factors to match up couples according to a simple list of physical things that will change.

The ideal is to  match the core of your ideals and ride the changes and hardships in life together. Choose a man who has a depth of faith and moral character that will endure for eternity.

Ten Things to Look for in The Perfect Man

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the Son of Man more than you.  He is faithful to the Lord Jesus, His Word and His people. He actively uses his spiritual gifts to minister.  He should love the Lord more than you.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the real you.  There is no glass Cinderella slipper in his hand that you must fit into.  Yes, there are colors he  likes you to wear, or foods he wants to eat.  But, overall, he loves you for your passions, interests, and  beliefs. He wants you to become the woman the Lord created you to be, not the ideal mate he created in his mind.

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves you more than his possessions.  How does he react if you have an accident with something he owns?  When I dinged up our Suburban, my husband said, “It’s just sheet metal.”

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man loves the way you look, but his staying power isn’t dependent on your staying that way. Illness happens.  Babies happen.  Stress happens. I have two  6 1/2 inch skinny scars  that interweave across my neck like a macramé’ choker.  My husband  doesn’t see the imperfection, he sees the woman he loves. These blemishes don’t affect me, because they don’t affect him.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man listens to you.  Yes, he needs to be reminded, he needs to be told more than once, after all the word MAN is still in that title, but overall, he listens to your words and understands the passion,  because he knows they come from your heart.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man understands you come with baggage.  He’s willing to open up the baggage, help wash what’s inside and  repack it neatly.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man knows when he marries you he marries the whole family. He won’t make you choose between him and them.  He doesn’t have to agree with their philosophies, approve of their life choices or enjoy all their activities.  He respectfully chooses to love them and be a part of the family because they’re your family.

 

Red heartThe Perfect Man is not afraid to ask for advice and is not too proud to act on advice given.  No person is an infinite fountain of wisdom, your life will always benefit from a man who is willing to seek out advice from others who are older and/or wiser.

 

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Red heartThe Perfect Man blesses you when there is a reason and when there isn’t. I get flowers on Valentine’s Day and the First Day of School. But, I also have been given lovely gifts like an usual rock or a twisted piece of wood when my hubby was out hiking. When he went to the ocean for the first time on a business trip, he brought home a takeout box of white sand so I could share his experience.

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Chocolate is always good, too.  It’s never about money, it’s about the thought.

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Red heartThe Perfect Man will pass the Bed Pan Test. This is the final and hardest test to pass.

Many  men will buy flowers.

Many men will buy chocolates.

Not many men will hold a bed pan.

The Perfect Man  holds the bed pan while you puke your guts out.Then he’ll wipe your mouth, give you a drink of water, and not care that your breath stinks.  That’s what my man did eight years ago when I went through my first round of thyroid cancer.

The Perfect Man grows more perfect through trials, clinging to the Lord for His strength and  wisdom. He endures poverty and riches, sickness and health, joy and sorrow with the same faith and joy. Because His love for the Lord endures, His love for you will endure.

Not all marriages will require a bed pan, but all couples will endure trials together. Many marriages end during cancer. Other marriages are destroyed while dealing with a prodigal child, a miscarriage, death of a child or financial troubles.

The bed pan signifies the commitment of a man determined to stick out his faith and his marriage, by the grace of God,  at any personal cost during every trial.  He’s willing to sacrifice for his bride, because He loves the One who gave up His life for His bride. How men handle frustration and trials will tremendously affect your marriage.

So, that list you have in your Bible.  C’mon, single girls, admit it.  I know THE LIST is in  there, that’s where I kept mine. Take it out right now and add one more thing:

“Must be able to pass the Bed Pan Test.”

And next time you look into the eyes of the young man you’re swooning praying over, if you’re confident he could hold a bed pan,  he just might be The Perfect Man. 

 

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

We all know this feeling. 

We’re wedged in by trials and tribulations
and cannot escape.

We twist and squirm, but get scraped and wounded.

We can’t walk away, because this is our life, our family, or our job.

We can’t wiggle free, we’re bound to these circumstances.

We can’t make it go away.

We must stay in our circumstances between
a rock and a hard place.

Is this where you are?

You might wonder where the Lord is if
the boulders of tribulation have blocked your faith.

He’s much nearer than you believe.

Exodus 33:22
I will put you in the cleft of the rock
and cover you with My hand
until I have passed by.

 

Moses asked to see the Lord’s glory.
The Lord agreed to pass by,
but had to shield him from the full power
of His presence.

Moses had to be in the cleft of the rock
for the glory to be revealed.

What have you asked of the Lord?

To be like Him?
To know Him more completely?
To be conformed to His image?
To be used?

He’s answering your prayers
and will display His glory. 
But, suffering and glory always walk hand-in-hand
through the Scriptures;
we can’t see His glory without suffering like Him.

We need those hard places in our lives.

And the rock scraping your elbows?
It isn’t any ol’ rock.

Psalms 95:1
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the
Rock of our salvation.

Stop squirming, stop trying to escape.
You’re in between
The Rock and a hard place,
covered by His Hand.

Wait patiently, my friend.
His glory will be revealed.

Making your home sing Mondays

Your Hairbrush Is Preaching a Sermon

I  lose a lot of hair daily.

Long, blonde strands are picked from the sink, the drain,  the throw rugs, and my clothes, especially sweaters and my wool jacket. I quit wearing fleece because I ended up looking like a walking hairball.

Hair wraps around the vacuum cleaner roller and has to frequently be cut off. The vacuum cleaner is filled with  hair.  It used to gross out my MIL so much, she liked it when I  combed my hair outside.

I always related it to my thyroid issues, but my Cosmetologist daughter reassured me it’s normal to lose hair.  She quoted a cool statistic, which I promptly forgot in my panic over losing so much hair.  I looked it up on the internet.  The average person loses about 100 hairs a day.

It sounded like a lot, but I couldn’t accurately picture the size of a100 strand hairball.

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I pulled out my hairbrush, the didn’t have the ambition to actually count them.

Besides, someone else is already doing that for me.  No, not one of my kids, Someone else is in charge of hair counting.

Luke 12:7
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.


You might be wondering, “Doesn’t have the Lord have anything better to do than count stray hairs?  Like conquering evil and healing and saving souls?”

He counts hairs for a people who have a hard time counting on His Word.

The people in Luke 12 were worried about persecution, protection, possessions and provision, the same problems people have today. The Lord was impressing upon them He knows and He cares about every detail of their lives, and He has the capacity to handle them all.

If He knows some unimportant details, don’t you think He knows the important details?

If He notices that stray hair hanging on your left shoulder, don’t you think He notices the weight of cares pressing down, as well?

If He can keep track of about 100,000 strands of hair on the heads of 7 billlion people, can He not manage the affairs of their hearts and souls, as well?

Instead of a cause for worry, losing hair can be a cause for praise. Each loose strand reminds us that our heavenly Father is counting them to remind us we can count on Him.

As quickly as we cast off stray hairs, we should cast off stray worries.

I Peter 5:7
Cast all your cares upon Him,
for He cares for you.

Your hairbrush is preaching a sermon.  Are ya’ hearing it?

 

 

 

 

Making your home sing Mondays

My Courage Failed

 

A year ago, my courage failed me.

I watched an Innocent Man taken away in handcuffs.

I knew the  verdict before it was read.

I knew when twelve jurors filed in and refused to meet my eye.

I knew when all the police officers in the building filed in and formed a shoulder to shoulder line behind the Innocent Man, obstructing view from family and friends.

I knew by the grief that settled around my shoulders, a mantle I would wear by faith for eight years.

You are not allowed to cry or make noise in a courtroom.  It’s protocol that looks good in movies, but is hard to abide by when the court system has failed you.

I put on my coat and gloves, gathered my purse and walked into the frigid winter air, upheld on each side by a dear Christian couple that offered support.  But, it wasn’t the strength of their support I felt, it was the presence of the Lord.

It was a walk I’ll never forget.

As I forced myself to take step after step, the Lord spoke to my broken heart, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

I knew He had allowed it,  a plan that was not my plan and a way that was not my way.

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I looked the verse up and I have left this verse on my online Bibles the entire year as a reminder. 

I stayed a few more days in the state, dealing with the Innocent Man’s belongings and business affairs in a home where he was taken in and loved by Christian strangers who became family. Before this happened, he had been gainfully employed.  He had been a few months away from getting a degree.  He had renewed his faith in Christ as His Savior and was eagerly living a new life in Christ. One lie took everything from him but his faith.

His life went into boxes, then into  a garage. I knew that the majority of the items would be useless to him upon his release, but I didn’t want him to come home to nothing. 

It wasn’t until I was at the airport to fly home that my courage failed.

I  walked through the busy crowd that was oblivious to my intense pain. Others were flying home to loved ones, to exotic vacations, or on business trips.  I tried to notice if anyone else wearing the same mantle of grief.

The first time my courage failed was in the security lines.  Of course, I was chosen to be searched.  I was not so kindly pointed to a table when my suitcase was immediately seized and opened in public, my piles of dirty laundry shoved around by blue-gloved hands.  There was no eye contact, and I was suspect.

I hated that feeling.

I knew I was innocent.

Then, Homeland Security Man looked up, almost smiled and said, “Oh.”

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He showed me the offending item and allowed me to repack my suitcase. I was thankful he let me keep my Courage, a memento I had taken from the Innocent Man’s desk.

The second time my courage failed at the airport was just prior to boarding. 

I didn’t want to fly 2,000 miles away. It seemed to cruel to leave him in prison while I went back to my wonderful life with my husband, children, my home, my church family.

I called the Innocent Man’s brother and sobbed on the phone.  I tried to cry quietly, but the waves of grief overflowed; I wanted to lay on the airport floor and weep.  I clenched my teeth and bit my tongue.  I wiped my eyes and tried to hold my sobs within my person. My body ached with the effort.

I wept because I felt I ‘d failed.  I hired good lawyers.  I’d researched, studied and interviewed and was extremely involved in the case. I spent hours at my computer, hours on the phone and hours in prayer. We had covered all of our physical and spiritual bases.

But I was flying home alone and an Innocent Man was in prison.

The first few months in county jail were painful.  I learned  several prisoners had died in this jail because they were refused medical treatment and full medication.  The IM is a diabetic who needs four shots of insulin a day.  The jail policy is to give two. Intervention and prescriptions from his primary care physician were refused. His blood sugar levels were daily in the 200’s and 300’s and he was worried he would die in jail. (I didn’t tell him about the jail’s history.)

But, during a phone conversation the IM said to me, "I’m so at peace. I am so in love with the Lord."

Another time he said, “If this room was dark, I would be glowing. I have something the other men don’t have. They might profess salvation, but they aren’t happy in here.”

The same Presence that walked me out of the courtroom, was walking beside him.

He was transferred to a state prison and relief came in the form of medical attention.  They allow four shots of insulin and other health screenings.  Friends and family members learned skills we never thought we’d need to know.  Prisons don’t provide warm clothing,  shoes, pen, paper, lamps, shampoo, etc., so we had to learn how to provide his needs.

Each step of the way we’ve all had to summon fresh courage to face the obstacles and go on. We’ve had to remind ourselves often that God is sovereign, and we choose to believe nothing is out of His control or His care.

The Innocent Man continues to grow in his faith, trusting the Lord and renewing his strength to face each day.

Our quest to prove his innocence is stronger than ever and we were given a strange source of comfort last month.  The IM was transferred to a new wing and his new roommate was a lifer for murder. The IM is a kind man and a true friend to many prisoners.  Within 24 hours this man looked at him and explained that he’d been in for a long time, knew the system and he knew men. He stared the IM in the eye and said, “But I can tell ya’ now, you’re innocent!”

At the one year anniversary I’m feeling various emotions, mostly thankfulness to the Lord for walking us through the first year.  I’m grateful to the Lord’s people who visit the Innocent Man, uphold him in prayers and letters and provide for his physical needs. I am still grieved that wickedness prevailed, but remind myself to trust the Lord.

As we begin year #2, I’m summoning fresh courage from the Lord.

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

 

Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

 

 The definition of courage is “to be strong, grow strong, prevail, be secure, press, so strengthen.”  It’s more than possessing strength, it’s also the process of gaining strength. 

“Be of good courage” isn’t a gentle reminder or a pat answer from the Lord, it’s a command.  The imperative form proves it’s not an option. We must go on, and we must go on with courage.

Those outside the bars promised the Innocent Man we we’d remain strong, so he had spiritually, mentally and physically well people to come home to.  He promised to remain faithful inside the bars so we wouldn’t despair. His courage has become our courage.

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Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for the Lord your God,
He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

With inspiring courage from the Innocent Man and strengthening courage from the Lord my God, I will keep walking the path the Lord has allowed.

I don’t want my courage to fail again.

When Faith Fails

We’ve all had moments of spiritual weakness,
when o
ur current circumstances are beyond our strength and acceptance.

We don’t see new mercies each day, only new pain.

In my 1-12 grades in public education, we had to meet physical requirements in  Physical Education class to receive a Presidential Patch.

The standards were high, even for a tomboy like me.

We had to do sit-ups, jump rope, 50 yard dash, 880yard pant-a-thon, stretch against a yardstick and a few other things I can barely remember.  The worst was the dreaded flexed arm hang.

I usually could make the criteria for each of the other items, but the flexed arm hang was a killer. It was always the last event on the list, too, so I knew the coveted blue patch with the embroidered gold Eagle would be mine, and only mine, if I could keep my chin above that bar for over a minute.  Maybe it was three minutes.  All I know is that for several years this event kept me from winning.

In high school, I was competing against the other smallest-girl-in-high school, Barb.  We both did a bajillion sit-ups.  We both ran like the wind.  We reached, hopped and jumped through all the hoops the President set. I never could figure out why he cared how many sit-ups I could do, but after seeing his picture in the news, I was pretty sure I could do more than he could.

Then, the final event, the flexed arm hang. I can still see her face while she hung on and on and on and on.  She was athletic, flexible, fast, cute, and apparently, strong enough to beat the school record for the flexed arm hang. 

The stakes were high.

My turn at the bar came and I hung and hung and shook and hung and hoped I didn’t smash my chin against the bar.  Several times I had to pull myself back up as my chin neared the metal enemy.

It wasn’t pretty, seeing me almost cry while clenching a bar high above the gym floor (high to me, I wasn’t even 5 foot tall yet), writhing in agony and knowing those who weren’t cheering me on were mocking me.   At this point, I thought the president was ridiculous.  I KNEW he couldn’t do this.

The gym teacher held a stop watch in her hand, her thumb on the top button, waiting to mark my failure. She called out the time occasionally enough, which made me clench and stretch and shake even more.

Finally, I dropped.  I couldn’t win.

I qualified for the President’s approval, but I couldn’t beat Barb.  II didn’t have enough strength.

Everyone agrees that when an athlete fails, they need more practice.

Why don’t we think the same in Christianity?

Why do we blame the Lord when our faith is weak? 

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The Lord calls it as it is.

But, he just doesn’t leave us hanging, writhing and clenching our teeth in pain as He points out our weakness.

He offers us His strength. 

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He doesn’t just offer His strength, He exchanges it for our weakness.

The failing is on our part, for not taking what’s offered.

Are you barely keeping your chin above the bar of adversity?

Look up, friend, look up.

The weakness of faith is from us, not from the Object of our faith, the Lord Jesus.

If you’re fainting, and your faith is small, let Him perfect your weakness into His strength.

 

Do You Pick Your Scabs?

As a sister wedged between two older brothers and one younger one,
I didn’t have a Princess type upbringing.
It was rough and tumble, as I kept up  with the boys and their adventures.

I learned I couldn’t fly off the front porch like Superman, and still have the scar on my chin to prove it.

I learned to throw rocks like a boy, and my sister still has a scar on her chin to prove it.

I learned to ride a bike down the steep 5th Avenue in Helena, Montana,
and still have the scuffed up knees to prove it.

My knees might have healed better, if I hadn’t always picked at my scabs.
I couldn’t help it.

The scabs started to dry around the edges and my little fingers,
with dirt under each fingernail, would have to just start
picking
poking
scratching
peeling
and eventually
pick the whole scab off and start the bleeding process all over.

I know, disgusting, right?
My dear mother not only tried to keep me from danger,
she tried to keep me from causing further harm to myself.
I know she told me not to pick my scabs over and over,
I just couldn’t stop.

Doesn’t that scab just look perfect for picking?

As an adult, I still pick scabs.
I know, gross, right?
Only now they’re on my heart and not my knees.

Just as I am beginning to heal and trust the Lord for a trial He’s allowed,
I begin picking at the edges with lack of faith and questions.

Why did you allow this?

I previously blogged it’s OK to ask the Lord WHY,
but after He’s answed, we believe and don’t ask again.

This isn’t fair!

That’s right, we deserve so much worse.

Why do things keep happening to me?

I can’t handle this Lord!

This Lord promises and provides His presence, His power and His peace.

The real question is~
why do we hinder healing by reliving the agonies of previous victories?

Sometimes, it’s a little overwhelming to know that apart from a miracle,
my cancer most likely will not be cured.
It isn’t always easy to accept that an Innocent Man is in jail.
There are even times when I weep over wrongs that happened years ago.

I’m a big girl.
I should know better.

Those wounds were cleansed by the blood of Jesus,
He carried me safely through the flames,
and He spoke peace to my heart.

There is no reason to relive the agony,
I should only be praising Him and thanking Him
for His presence during the trials.

I gotta’ grow up and stop picking at those scabs.

Are You Listening, LORD?

We’ve all had times when we think the Lord isn’t listening to our prayers.  We’re in good company with David, ya’ know, King David, the man after God’s own heart? Read the cry of his heart in Psalm 102.

In verse 4 he’s so depressed  and distressed  he says,   “I forget to eat my bread.”

In verse 9 his grief caused him to “mingle my drink with weeping.”

David knew what it is to be distraught, alone and forsaken, but does the right thing in his trials. He goes to the Lord and begs Him to hear his prayers.

Sometimes we do more than just ask the Lord if He’s listening, we accuse Him of not listening. In our minds, we know we’re wrong. Of course, He  hears us. He’s omnipotent and omniscience. We don’t even need audible prayers, He knows our words before they’re on our tongues.

The problem is on our end.

In reality, we’re not doubting His ability to hear, we’re doubting His willingness to answer our prayers in our way and our timing.

We don’t FEEL He’s listening because we want an answer now.
We don’t FEEL He’s listening because we want our own way.
We don’t FEEL He’s listening because we asked for a different path.

We need to change our feelings into fact. These feelings come from our circumstances and people on earth, not our relationship with our Savior.

As we identify with David, let’s follow his  path to peace through the next chapters in the Psalms.

Psalm 103:1, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.

Psalm 105:1,  “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name”

Psalm 106:1, “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 108:1, “O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise…”

Psalm 111:1, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart…”

Psalm 112:1, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord…”

Psalm 115:1, ” Not to us, O Lord, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.”

David praised, thanked,  and blessed the Lord.  He willed himself to sing and praise the Lord’s Holy Name through his soul distress to the point where David’s heart changed.

God did not move. God did not change. God did not open His ears or His heart any more or any less to David’s prayers.

The LORD has inclined His ear toward you, trying to catch every precious word you pray ~ He is listening.

Taking My Vitamins

Winters are hard for me.
A sun-loving Norwegian transplanted into the Pacific Northwest eight years ago,
I don’t get as much sun as I need.
We have an average of 226 cloudy days each year.
You do the math.
The sun doesn’t shine much.
Due to lack of sun and  lack of thyroid,
 winter  finds my Vitamin D  and calcium dropping,
It ain’t perty.
Specially when I forget to take my supplements.
This winter, with added spiritual trials to my physical trials,
I was in a rough patch.
If the sun peaked through the clouds, I dashed outside to soak up the rays,
even when it was cold enough to make my legs look like plucked chickens.
Yea, goosebumps aren’t attractive, especially on leprously white legs.
I read books that encouraged.
I planted colorful flowers to overshadow the gray.
I reminded myself to take my vitamins.
It still didn’t help.
My dear hubby, who  takes my well-being seriously,
took matters into his own hands.
He knew exactly what I needed.
He ordered Vitamin M.
What’s Vitamin M, you may be wondering?

M is for Mommy.


He called my Mom,
told her she was needed on the coast, and they booked a ticket.

We picked her up on Saturday.

The order of business for the coming week,
not necessarily in order,
is to talk,
drink coffee,
shop at thrift stores,
talk,
drink more coffee,
bake cookies,
shop at antique stores,
talk,
drink more coffee,
pull out all my mending,
talk,
make homemade chicken noodle soup,
drink coffee,
talk,
talk,
and drink more coffee.

We all figger after a good dose of
Vitamin M
I should be feeling better soon.

It’s just what the hubby ordered.

Don’t Waste Your Trials

I grew up with generations of extremely frugal women.
Remember that squeezing a penny so hard a booger comes out of Lincoln’s nose?
Yea, well, that’s the kind of amazing women I spawned from.
Not only frugal, they were creative and could make anything, really.
Mom and Gramma could cook up a tasty dinner out of almost nothing.
My Mom can sew anything. 
She even sewed a new top for a pop-up camper when we were kids.
Uh, HUH!  She did! 
She figured it was cheaper to buy canvas and ribbits,
as we kids called rivets, and replace the failing one,
than to buy a whole new camper. 
She made piggy banks and paper dolls out of bleach jugs. 
She made hats out of pop cans and yarn scraps.
She sewed doll clothes from scraps.
Her mother was also frugal and creative,
and we have adorable little panties that say”sugar” on the rearie
just to prove it.
Gramma was known for her quilting and crotcheting abilities,
each kid and grandkid have items to prove it.
We have piles of Christmas ornaments carefully
crafted with a bajillion sequins.
How could she sit still so long?
So, with this long line of amazing, talented, creative and frugal women
lining up for generations behind me,
sometimes I have a hard time…..
throwing things out.
There’s not a bleach jug that goes into the garbage
that doesn’t make me cringe.
Last year, I actually cut that thin strip of bleach jug from the middle,
and laid it under something heavy in the garage to make it flat.
I was pretty sure I was going to make paper dolls,
just like my mom.
I threw it out this week. 
It’s so not gunna’ happen!
I long ago lost that feeling of anguish over throwing out bread bags,
but not washing out ziploc bags makes me kinda nervous.
They can be washed in the washing machine and hung to dry,
as long as you don’t use them for food again.
I also realized you can just buy a new box.
After  reading Tightwad Gazette,
the guilt just grew leaps and bounds.
Do you know people actually make stuff out of
The shredded paper from the shredder? 
Frugal people have uses for that stuff.

I hate wasting things.
But, I confess, week after week
I still throw out my dryer lint and shredded paper.
Guilt taunts
“waste not, want not”
“what would your gramma say?”
“waster, waster, waster!”

There are things I don’t want to ever waste,
as advised by my husband’s mentor, John.
He loves to encourage us,

“Don’t waste a good trial.”


Trials have a spiritual purpose in our lives,
or the Lord wouldn’t have allowed them.

James 1:3-4
“knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Throw out the lint and shredded paper,
but look at the trials with new light.
What can the Lord fashion in your life with these struggles?

C’mon,
waste not, want not!