Surviving the Unknown World

August 1983
The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.

“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”

We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”

Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?

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Memories of Long Ago

soda bottlesI remember spending hours collecting soda-pop bottles from alongside the road and returning them to the store for two cents apiece. It didn’t matter how long my friends and I were out. We’d be gone on our bikes for hours with one goal in mind: to stand in front of the general store counter and peer up to all the colors and wonders that were held in the clear glass jars. Continue reading

This is When I Begin to Panic

back to school graphicWasn’t it Spring just last week? How can it be that mothers are buying back-to-school clothes for their kids?

All those dreams of getting lots done over the summer—almost dashed if I don’t hurry.

What about you? Has the time pasted you by, too?

Listen for the Whispers

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11 – 12

Elijah—a powerhouse for God—experienced one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament. He was invited to see God. But he had to experience destruction before he heard God’s voice.

Isn’t that how Life turns for us? When life’s winds and storms fill our world, we call out to see the power of God. Somewhere in our heart we hope He’s greater than our current storm.

But sometimes the storm gets bigger. Continue reading

Book Review, Red Pen Redemption by Lori Roeleveld

Red Pen RedemptionWould you be bold enough to challenge God with your life? Helen Bancroft did in Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption.

It’s a story of Helen’s self-justification and self-indulgence. She is both hero and villain. I loved her and hated her. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her by her shoulders, then I wanted to hug her close to protect her. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was closing into the end of the story that I realized I had seen myself—my own life—reflected in parts of this story.

Roeleveld’s use of scripture soothed, guided, and enticed me as a reader. She also expertly offered example after example how Helen tried to look God in the proverbial face, only to blink and turn away. Just as I had tried in the past, and if you dare to read this, you may see yourself, too.

I rarely give five stars ratings. I think five-stars are reserved for mothers to give their children. But this book has what it takes to change lives. A tall order for a piece of fiction. Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption is slated to be a beloved Christmas Season staple for years to come.

Discovering Freedom in All the Things You’re Not

Having trouble wearing all the hats you own? Lori Roelveld’s blog hit me right between the eyes.  She offered that maybe I should sell some of those hats at the next neighborhood garage sale, because maybe they’re not meant for me to wear.

Ever feel like you’re not enough? Consider this, even Jesus wasn’t enough for some people. Check out Lori’s post as she offers insight on discovering freedom … in all the things we’re not.

And check out Lori’s latest book, Jesus and the Beanstalk (Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life) due to release September 20, 2016!

Using Words that Count

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Our hearts are full of love as we set a course full of good things when we hold our swaddled babies in our arms. We never want heartache and pain to enter their little worlds.

But it does, and sometimes we can’t save them.

Take a moment and read Beth Miesse Saadati’s latest post, It Shouldn’t Have End This Way: The Epilogue to My Daughter’s Suicide Note. Beth has felt pain no parent should feel. Maybe her words can be used to reach that special person, letting them know that they are loved.

Our children need to hear us–really hear what we say–when we tell them bad situations don’t last forever. They need to know they matter; that they fill our lives with joy every day.

Love you, Beth, and am praying for you and your family..

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Problems Still Happen

Mother’s day is over. Back to reality. What do you do when the trials come? Dr. Michelle Bengston addresses dealing with how to deal and view trials that come into our lives. I hope you find this as encouraging as I did.  http://drmichellebengtson.com/what-do-you-do-when-the-trials-come/

Asking for God’s Blessings

Why is it I tend to only talk about the God I see in the rear-view mirror?

It’s easy to share stories of His presence after I’ve crested a hill or made it through the latest crisis. But I’ve come to realize that’s when the victory ends up being about me. My relationship with Christ. My answered prayer. My faith that sustained me. See what I mean–rear-view mirror.

Pathetic, just pathetic.

I want to have a confidence in the God of my today. He’s constant. It’s my pain, fear, and sometimes lack of faith that I struggle with. I am a broken person. I need to seek God’s face.

Lean in and I’ll whisper a secret fear to you. Will God think I’m crazy and selfish if I ask him to answer the prayer of my heart? I can’t tell others about my prayers to God because what would they think of me if the prayers don’t get answered? Maybe I’m asking with a self-serving heart? Maybe I’m spending too much time asking for my glory instead of His?

Then it came to me: It’s not the size of the ask, it’s the condition of the heart when I ask. I need to check on my heart when I go to God and not wait until the the blessing has played out. Half the blessing is in the process. The other half comes when I can see it.

of moose and menIn reading Torry Martin’s book, “Of Moose and Men” (Harvest House, 2016), a line jumped off the page and into my heart, “…God doesn’t just answer prayers. He sometimes exceeds our measly requests so that our cup may runneth over.” Torry shares stories of his life–as well as his best friend Rob and faithful dog, Sam–in Alaska and how God used challenges to show His presence.

I need to remember that God’s always awesome—always! I need to remember that it’s me and my self-run focus that gets in the way of receiving the blessings God has for me. He wants to bless me, and I want to be open to His blessing.

Just as in Mark 9:24, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I love it when a book changes my heart. That happened with this one. Give it a read. You’ll be blessed by it, too.  And together we can tell of God’s blessings for us while we’re climbing our hills.

What Fills Your Cup?

Olivia - spaghettiWe are what we eat and drink. Maybe not spaghetti or iced tea, but we are what we take in. What do you hunger for, or put another way, what is important to you? And what does that have to do with having a blessed home?

All Christ-centered homes have at least one thing in common: Christ comes first. It isn’t the rules found in Scripture that makes a home Christ-centered. It’s the hearts of the people living in it. Reducing Christ to a list of rules leads to legalistic Christianity.

Help your family see God as loving, approachable and involved. Include God in your daily conversations in your home. Make attending church non-negotiable. And show how seeking and serving God can be fun. Remember, the only way to show it is to do it.

Try to put Psalms 63:1 into practice, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” You and your family will benefit when a heart—your heart—hungers and thirsts after God.