Tuesday, September 24, 2013


As many of you know, on April 22, 2013, I had bi-lateral hip(s) replacement surgery. Not quite knowing what to expect during the recovery process, except a lot of therapy, I struggled trying to stay positive and not letting negative thoughts set in. While doing this I began making a list of what I saw from my bed during my recovery.

1. God – everyday all during the day, I prayed for a peaceful night and less pain the next day, and everyday as I began to heal, I saw that He was answering my prayers!

2. I saw a wonderful husband, my caregiver that was very patient and was asked to do things for me I would have never imagined! Anyone can love you when the sun is shinning, but it takes that special love to love you when life is a little bit on the stormy side!

3. I saw flowers and cards sent to me from loving friends offering support and encouragement.
Prayers – never have I seen so many people praying for me, especially on Facebook, high school friends I have not seen in decades! Prayer works! A big thank you to each and every one of you!

4. I saw my family making sure I had everything I needed to make me comfortable and sacrificing their time to come take care of me.

5. I experienced as I got stronger that with prayer comes strength and power to overcome my weaknesses. All part of God’s plan!

6. I learned not to be ashamed of my tears. I read in one of my devotional books that just as we should laugh, we should cry, they both are therapeutic, and help us to make sense of a world that at times gets overwhelming.

7. I know sleep is good the healing body, but I felt like I lost months of my life. I learned that life is much too short to waste. I am struggling where I am in life, not due to my surgery or my wonderful marriage, but I am praying constantly that I will see the direction that God has planned for me for the remainder of my life.

8. I realized that I should never stop dreaming just because a recent dream did not materialize.

9. You are never too old to set another dream. There is no way of knowing what tomorrow may bring, so I still dream of one day living the life of my dream. Life is much too short not to.

10. And I learned that in order to enjoy life you have to work hard at it. Work daily at making the best decisions to get your life where you want it to be.

Now, I am back at work, physically feeling better than I can even remember! People ask me if it was worth the pain, and my answer is always yes! I believe it was part of God’s master plan for me to enjoy a better quality of life for me and my husband.

We never know what the next journey will be or what the future holds for us, only our Savior knows, but I hope to make the best of each day. I believe that the best day of my life, with my husband, will be when our life is our own. No one to lean on but God, no one to rely on but God and each other and no one to blame but ourselves. The gift is ours, one we have worked hard for and I know it will be an amazing journey.

This is the day our life really begins.

Blessings to all!


Thursday, March 7, 2013



Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Eleanor Roosevelt



As age creeps upon me, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking can be good and it can be dangerous! Within the past year, I’ve been asking myself “what is life all about”?

What I have come to realize is that life is not about wishing to be in some other place or in some other time.

Life is about what I really want. I want to embrace what life I have left with open arms. Embrace Christ as my Father; embrace my husband, my children, and all my beautiful grandchildren. I want to take the time to feel the sun on my face as well as the rain, to feel the cold outside without dreading it. To really feel Love and appreciate it!

Life is more than a race to see how much non-essential “stuff” you can own. I want to live a life of Grace instead of a rushed life of effort. I want take time to be a Wife, Mother, and Grandmother as well as a follower of Jesus Christ without being in a hurry! I feel as though I have rushed all my life and I’m ready to slow the pace down a little!

I’ve also come to realize that no one is ever really going to understand the journey I am on, because they have not walked the same path I have, no more than I could understand your journey. Once the decision is made in reference to the way you want to live the rest of your life, it is an exhilarating feeling. I want to be free to feel and grow the way God planned me to be and to appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
Life is about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.

God is in control and to me that is a Win-Win situation!

To be continued . . . . . .

Monday, February 18, 2013


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

If you let God, he will. God will impart into you his wisdom, if you let him. There are too many times as humans that we start to think that we know better than God knows. When we live life in an attempt to do as many works as possible to be righteous, we start to think about how we are in charge of our destiny, not remembering that God has a will in mind for us. We start to do things, and hear our conscience more than we can hear our spirit man, and confuse our thoughts with the beliefs and vision that God has sewn directly into our hearts.

Stop trying to live courageous through what you think is courage, live through God's courage. Stop trying to love, live through God's love, and learn how to really love through his wisdom.
Stop trying, and let God start doing in your life, only then will you know the difference.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Grace looked up from the old, worn photo album to see Richard the postman making his way through the cold to her door. What a sweet young man, she thought.

Grace loved her walks to the mailbox in late spring and through the summer, but the cold winter air seemed to whip through her thin skin. Though in her heart she still felt like a young, energetic girl, her age was evident to her. Aches and pains made her careful and slow. As the air turned cooler, Richard made it a habit to deliver Grace's mail to her door.

Today was an especially lonely day for Grace. It was the seventeenth. No one but her Jim would have known what a special day this was. It wasn't her birthday or their anniversary. For forty-two years the seventeenth of every month was their unique day, as Jim would say, just because.

Though they never were rich with money, they were determined to be rich with love. For this reason, on the seventeenth Jim always found some special way to say it and live out

1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions."

Over the years the gifts had been as simple as a scribbled note or as elaborate as a bouquet of store-bought flowers. But the message was always the same: "Just because." Once he'd secretly taken Grace's wedding band from her jewelry box and had it engraved with their special saying.

She found such comfort, confidence, and connection in those two simple words. To Grace it was more than a gesture of love, it was an outward symbol of much more.

When she'd gotten sick and couldn't keep up with the house, it meant I love you for who you are not what you do.

When they had an argument, it meant even when we don't see eye-to-eye I love you still.

When she started aging, it meant yours is a timeless beauty.

Though Jim had never been a man of many words, his just because was perfect and poetic to Grace.

Jim had passed away three weeks ago. It wasn't a sudden death; they both had known his end was near. They'd had a sweet time of reminiscing, hugging, crying, and then as quickly as he came into her life all those years ago, he was gone. She missed him terribly but had peace.
They'd had a wonderful life and left nothing unsaid.

Now Grace loved flipping through their old photo albums savoring pictures, but even more so she loved touching all the mementos from over the years written in his masculine handwriting.

Though she'd seen the postman coming, the doorbell startled Grace. Carefully, she made her way to the door. She graciously took the few letters he handed her and apologized for not having cookies. Maybe tomorrow. She then walked slowly to the kitchen to open her mail. A bill, another sympathy card, and something that made her heart jump and melt all at the same time.

Her eyes filled with tears and her hand trembled as she slid her finger underneath the envelope's back flap. It was a simple letter as they always were, delivered on the seventeenth as they always had been. Before his death, Jim had arranged for Richard to make one last special delivery. "Not even death shall stop my heart. Just because, Jim."

Sometimes a short story illustrates a point better than pages of instruction on how to have the perfect marriage. This kind of love — not flashy but forever; not commercial but committed — is truly honoring to the Lord and to your spouse.

I pray this story settles into your heart. That it reveals something to you about the heart of your loved one. Because even the smallest things can bring the greatest joys.

Dear Lord, I am so thankful for who You are – the Great Lover of our souls. Cultivate in me a heart of generosity and intentionality so Your love can shine through me into my relationships. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thank you Lysa!

Happy Valentine's Day and remember, it's not the flowers, the candy, the dinners, it is the "just because"!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Manger of My Heart by Renee Swope

Several years ago, a very sweet friend of mine, whom I met through Proverbs 31 Ministry wrote this Christmas prayer to help keep her heart (and mine) where it needs to be. To quote Renee, "Each December I put it somewhere in my home where I’ll see it often – to remind me of what matters most. And each year, I share it here with you, my blog readers, in case you’d like to pray it, too. I hope you find this as special as I do. Thank you Renee ~

This Christmas, Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
Fill me with your presence from the very start.
As I prepare for the holidays and gifts to be given,
Remind me of the gift You gave when you sent Your Son from Heaven.
The first Christmas gift -the greatest gift ever,
You came as a baby born in a manger.
Wrapped like the gifts I find under my tree,
Waiting to be opened, to reveal Your love to me.
Restore to me the wonder that came with Jesus’ birth,
when He left the riches of Heaven and wrapped Himself in rags of earth.
Immanuel, God with us, Your presence came that night.
And angels announced, “Into your darkness, God brings His Light.”
“Do not be afraid,” they said, to shepherds in the field.
Speak to my heart today, Lord, and help me to yield.
Make me like those shepherd boys, obedient to your call.
Setting distractions and worries aside, to You I surrender them all.
Surround me with Your presence, Lord, I long to hear your voice.
Clear my mind of concerns and all the holiday noise.
Slow me down this Christmas, let me not be in a rush.
In the midst of parties and planning, I want to feel Your hush.
This Christmas, Jesus, come to the manger of my heart.
Invade my soul like Bethlehem, bringing peace to every part.
Dwell within and around me, as I unwrap Your presence each day.
Keep me close to You, Lord. It’s in your wonderful Name I pray.
© 2012, Renee Swope


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Just five short days ago, on Thanksgiving Day, I sat in the recliner reliving the day and began to add to my list of things to be thankful for that I started earlier in the year. Today I am joined with others at "A Holy Experience" who are also counting their gifts. You see, we can't get distracted by the little things that go wrong. If we do, we miss out on all the things that are going right.

Here are just a few things that I have to be thankful for:

~Thanksgiving with all our children and grandchildren.

~ beautiful weather on Thanksgiving

~ fishing with my children and grandchildren

~my husband frying turkeys

~making homemade cranberries for the first time

~creating precious memories

~assurance that God will provide

~time with my sisters

~knowing I am never alone

~preparing my heart for Christmas

Won't you join us . . . . . . . . .



Monday, November 19, 2012


Why isn’t everyday Thanksgiving without all the craziness of all that food?  I’ve gained 10 pounds just looking at Thanksgiving recipes!!
When the weather gets cooler and the leaves turn these beautiful colors of yellow, orange and red, the first thing that comes to my mind is Thanksgiving. What does Thanksgiving really mean?  Is it good food, family, friends, and football games?  Is it memories of lost loved ones? I know mine is. As my parents got older, the holidays revolved around them, and now that they have both left this world, I begin to ask myself what does Thanksgiving really mean to me?
Thanksgiving is a day to consider all of the blessing in our lives. While being thankful for family, food and a roof over my head, there are so many other things that I should not forget about–namely just being thankful for life itself, and that tomorrow might just lend itself to try something new, say a kind word to someone, apologize if I must, laugh a little louder, smile, smell the air, or find a new way to relieve stress.
For me, I want to make everyday Thanksgiving!
I want to live with an attitude of gratitude!  Gratitude of appreciating the blessings that I am given everyday, not just that one day! Let my eyes, ears and mind look towards what is going “right” in my life, not what is going wrong.  It is strange how the devil can work into our lives and we lose sight of everything in our lives that is grand and we lose sight of how fortunate we really are!
I want to show appreciation for others. Everyday the people I encounter make up what is happening in my life. Some of these people I will never meet, but the ones I do, I can greet with a smile and a good attitude and show my appreciation for their talents and their love. I so often take people for granted, without even realizing I am doing so, only to miss them so much when they are gone.
Celebrate life everyday! As I get older I really wished I had worked on this earlier! Eating healthy and exercise more.  I know it is never too late to begin!
Stop and smell the roses. I really want to take time to enjoy nature! Everyday can be Thanksgiving just by thanking God for the wonderful surroundings I have. Love the weather! Weather it is rain, snow, sleet or the beautiful sun is shinning. Notice nature like the clouds, the leaves on the trees, the mountains, the sunsets, and if I can get out of bed early enough on a weekend, enjoy the sun rise.
I want to give more of myself to others.  It is one of the best joys of life!  The gift of a smile or a kind word can touch so many and it cost us so little!
With the help of our Heavenly Father, with more of Him and less of me, I can change the way I look at life and who knows in the process I just may change someone else’s!
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalms 100 (NIV)
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Election week is over, and it has been a very stressful week.  Through it all, we must remember, God knows the best path. "His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts." Because of this, we can take the path God has laid out for us today. We can trust, and not fear, in His infinite wisdom and love. And we can be certain that God will never lead us down the wrong road.

Dear Lord, because You will never lead me down the wrong road, I can trust You when I need to make decisions about my family, my career, and my health. Thank You for Your wisdom and guidance. In Jesus' Name, Amen.



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