Sunday Strength


am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

~Galatians 1:6-10

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hisch


Let's Talk...

Since November 23, 2010, I have...

1.  Broken a toe that stubbornly refused to heal.

2.  Been at a friend's side as he passed away and then stood with his widow through a memorial and military funeral.

3.  Learned dear friends were pregnant with their second child and within weeks learned that same child has Trisomy 18 and may not live to full term or through delivery but if she does, she will only live for a few hours after birth.

4.  Been sick with bronchitis and some other viral malady they never named.

5.  Was with my mother as she passed away & am still going through all that follows that.

6.  Been with my dog as he had first some virus and then a grand mal seizure.

7.  Done something to my back (MRI results Wednesday) and am having serious difficulty sitting and standing.

8.  Found out my dog has an "indeterminate" mass on his stomach and/or liver.

But...for my MRI this morning, I was offered headphones and any one of a huge list of CD's or any FM station to play while they did the test.  I chose my local Christian radio station, Spirit 105.3.

The first song I heard?  "It Is You" by the Newsboys.

It's bad, folks.  It's really, really bad right now.  I think the only reason I'm not a puddle is because I'm in too much shock over the waves that keep coming to actually cry.  I stand in disbelief.

But under it all... seriously, under it all.  I know.  I KNOW.  With every single fiber of my being that God has this and that as long as I keep trusting Him, He will work it all together for good.  All of it.  For His good.  Not mine, per say.  His.  His renown.  His glory.  Him.  All Him.  I won't copy it all here but I turn to Isaiah 25 & 26 in times such as this.  Here is a portion of Isaiah 25:

1 LORD, you are my God;
   I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
   you have done wonderful things,
   things planned long ago.
2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
   the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
   it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
   cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
   a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
   and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
   is like a storm driving against a wall
 5 and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
   as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
   so the song of the ruthless is stilled.
 6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
   a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
   the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
   the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
 8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
   from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
   from all the earth.
            The LORD has spoken.

I know He has it and it will all work to His glory.  I praise Him in my pain, I keep my eyes focused squarely on Him.  And I Trust.  I Pray.  I Wait.

I love you, Lord.  Always.


Oh my aching back...

I don't know what I've done to myself but...I tweaked my back really, really well.  Can't hardly move.  At all.  When I do, I'm in extreme agony.

Oh joy...

Praying it heals.  Fast.  I need some semblance of normalcy soon.  I'm starting to lose pieces of my mind.


Giveaway to... WHERE?????!!!!!

I haven't posted about a giveaway on my blog for quite some time.  It is, however, imperative that I post about this one.  Why?  Because it is, in a word, AMAZING.

A 7 day trip to Paris.

Yes.  THAT Paris.  The one in France.

Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day! is giving away a trip to Paris and is offering herself as tour guide for part of your trip.  The trip includes airfare and hotel stay.  The rest is up to you but... seriously?  Airfare AND hotel?  I will happily, skipping down the road happily even, foot the rest.

How I dream to win this trip.  Not only do I *need* to get away but Paris is my husband's & my goal trip for our 10th wedding anniversary.  I won't argue one bit if we go 4 years early!

As I publish this post, there are some issues with Jordan's site, comments won't work, etc.  She's working on it.  The contest is open until June 20th, though, so you have time to enter.  Don't delay too long, though.  And if you win?  Let me know because if I don't win, someone I know winning will get me doing the happy dance just as fast!!

Best of luck!



When I started this blog, my idea was to record those things that happen in our life.  I'm not a crafter, I'm not an interior designer and I'm not a brilliant writer.  This isn't a blog to make a living from, it's strictly a journal...I just decided to use a very public forum for said journal.  It's been ok.  I'm not so interesting that I've built a major readership but it did bring a dear friend into my life, a woman I would have never "met" if I didn't blog and that's more than enough for me. 

So...in the spirit of an online journal, I'm going to write about our Sunday.  We finally had a Sunday afternoon we could spend with Aaron's sister & brother-in-law.  They were sick for the boys' birthday party in January and then we were sick for their combined 40th birthday party in March and then Keith in April and my mother in May...  It's been since Christmas since we've seen them for a visit.  Today was a big day.  We were excited.

About 3:20 this afternoon, I was on the phone with a friend when Christopher came into the living room to get me.  He said one word.  Max.  And he pointed.  I could tell...one word, his tone, his face...it was serious.

And it was.  By the time I got out back, the seizure was over but there was foam at Max's mouth and you could see he had no idea what was going on.  I just told my friend on the phone I had to go, hung up, through the phone on the table and ran...  shoes, closing windows, grabbing the remote and opening the van door from the living room.

We headed to his vet's office, guessing it was probably closed and it was so off to an emergency vet hospital we went.  By 3:45 he was being evaluated to make sure he wasn't in serious crisis and when it was determined he wasn't, he were put into a waiting room with him.  We waited almost 45 minutes for the vet to come in which felt like much longer than that but ultimately wasn't too bad.  Max's panting eventually slowed down and even the red around his eyes and the "red" that his tongue & gums became went back to normal.  Except for his lethargy, by the time the vet came in, Max seemed fine. 

So...now it begins.  We pray he doesn't have another one but if he does, we start blood tests and then we hope it's something like hyperthyroidism...not a brain tumor.  In the meantime, Max is sleeping on the floor at my feet and we pray.  Pray he doesn't have a seizure he can't come out of when we're not home.  Pray this was a one-time fluke and he never has another one...  Pray.  Pray because we know everyone, everything has its time but after Keith & Mom, we're not ready for it to be Max's time.  Pray.  And love our puppy.


Signs of Love

I've never quite figured out how I feel about "signs."  While the Bible is full of statements regarding Jesus performing many signs, I often think about the time the Pharisees tested Him, demanding a sign and He told them they couldn't read it anyway (Matthew 16:1-4 and Mark 8:10-12) and they'd been given all the signs they were going to get, no more would be coming.  I often think Christ performed the last of the "signs" and we have to wait for the return of Christ for such amazing wonders but then...  Then things happen that I can't explain, that don't fall under any category but flat out miracle and I think... God isn't done sharing His wonders and signs, where is my head? 

When our dear friend Keith passed away at the beginning of April, we were all left in absolute shock.  Don't get me wrong, Keith had been ill, diagnosed in December with metastatic melanoma, given 8-12 months but we all knew he was going to beat that timeframe.  Had to.  All of the stories we'd heard were of people who were given that 8-12 months and then went on to live another 2 or 5 or more years after that "end date."  But Keith's melanoma moved into his lungs and then he contracted pneumonia.  It was the pneumonia that took him, he didn't have the strength or lung capacity to fight it.

So...we're all left wondering how could it be possible.  What was God thinking?  We had time.  We were going to say our good-byes.  We had plans.

Yeah... we all know the saying about making plans...

But.  Keith's military honors funeral.  It was a brilliantly-beautiful afternoon and if you're at all familiar with our weather this year, we haven't had many of those.  Actually, since October, we didn't have an all day sunny day, no rain whatsoever day until May.  Even on that day it rained but for Keith's funeral, the sun shone brightly and the temperature climbed.

He was carried in by the National Guard and a motorcycle group called The Patriots stood at attention, lining the walkway with American Flags and honoring Keith's service.  It was, beyond a word, beautiful. 

The amazing thing, though... the sign if you will... was the dove.  Doves, white doves mind you, do not often fly alone.  This one, according to the funeral director, was not a "regular" at the cemetery but there it was.  It arrived when Keith did, with the motorcycle procession and it flew overhead while they sat at the cemetery entrance and then flew with them when they drove him to where he was handled by the National Guard (please forgive me if there is better terminology for this...my mind still isn't working clearly).  When that soldier took his urn, the dove continued to fly over Keith.  Once he was placed on the table and the service started, the dove flew behind us and sat in a tree.

And there it stayed.

Until Keith was escorted back out and placed in the car to go home.  Until that urn was put away, the dove sat guard.  White dove.  A single white dove.

Staring at that dove, all I could think of was Christ being baptized and God having a dove alight on Him.  It was all I could do to hold back the tears as I stared at that bird.  I brushed it off...for a bit.  Saying too much was being made of a bird but as I thought about it and thought about it, all I could see was God's mercy and grace overflowing from that simple, single dove.  Keith was ok.  He is home with God and all is well.  That dove was God's sign to us that that is so.

And it gives us great peace as we try to adjust to life without our friend.  Thank you, Father God.  Thank you.