Friday, October 21, 2016


It rained yesterday - a brief shower to settle the dust. Then came the wind - breaking the heat and   blowing the dark clouds across the skies. We woke to a cloudless day and crisp fresh air. 

Then another change - an unexpected day alone. I mentally ran down the list of "shoulds," but a gentle whisper spoke of rest. An almost irresistible invitation except for the guilt that always seems to follow thoughts of throwing out the to-do list. Would it be okay not to visit Mom and Dad? Yes - it will be alright. Well, I really need to get out there and pull some weeds and sweep out the garage and wash down the patio.....It will keep for another day. 

Attempting to banish the guilt, I got ready to go for a walk - key, phone, ear buds. Leave the ear buds home today. I know it's nice to walk with some music or an uplifting podcast, but for today just come and walk with Me. 

I stepped out into the beautiful morning - the one I'd been longing for (and whose late arrival I'd been complaining about for days and days - please forgive me Lord). 

 A clear blue sky, sunshine, and a brisk breeze; the industrious hum of the neighbor's mower and the smell of freshly cut grass. Butterflies - orange, yellow, lustrous black - zig-zagging and looping along my way - keeping me company for just a little while.

The long field grass dancing to the rhythm of the wind.

The waning moon looking almost translucent against the backdrop of brilliant blue.

Seeing home with fresh eyes - eyes of gratitude and wonder at the magnitude of His blessing.

The crape myrtle tree in front of the house bearing signs of fall and holding tight to one last bloom.

And surrounding it all - the quiet. The quiet I say I long for and, ironically, so seldom choose. The quiet that brings into sharp focus the beauty all around me and the gentle touch of One whose heart is for me - always for me.

Blessings dear friends. Wishing you the gift of quiet in the midst of this noisy world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Catching Up A Bit

This picture was not taken this year. There are no colorful autumn colors around here - at all. Texas seems to be enamored of ninety degree temperatures and has therefore clung tenaciously to summer. Absolutely oblivious of calendar dates, Texas remains HOT!

We did have one cool day a couple of weeks ago, and like the optimist I am, I began shuffling summer clothes and winter clothes from one closet to another. All in vain - sandals and capris remain the standard uniform of the day.

However, I am ever hopeful and have begun to furtively put a few fall decorations up. I don't want Texas to notice, or she (he?) might perversely stay hot forever.

Things have been quiet in our little neck of the woods. We're still busy pulling weeds and mowing the five acres (see above). All of the growing things are still happily growing. They simply won't go to sleep until it gets cool. My list of "things to do when the weather is cooler" is growing by the day.

We are anticipating fun times, though. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas isn't far behind. We're staying home for Thanksgiving this year, and our granddaughter and her husband are coming for a visit. We are so happy! We plan to cook together and do all sorts of fun things.

Christmas will bring wonderful gifts from across the ocean. Our daughter and son-in-law will be coming with our new little grandson. We can hardly wait to get that baby in our arms. We Skype every Sunday and are hopeful he will recognize those faces he stares at so intently on the screen. At the very least, he may recognize our voices. We have all kinds of plans for making this a memorable Christmas.

It's impossible to ignore all of the words flying around social media these days. There are times it becomes overwhelming and so disheartening. I haven't weighed in. I don't plan to. I search for truth and pray for truth to have it's way. I trust that the Father is in control:

     "He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives 
      wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars." Daniel 2:21

     "He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.  
      Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken
      root in the earth, but He merely blows on them and they wither, and the storm carries them 
      away like stubble."  Isaiah 40:23, 24

I do have a secret I'm holding close to my heart for a little while. I'm working on something I hope to share with you in just a few weeks. My heart beats a bit faster when I think about it.

That's all the news from my little corner of the world. What's happening in your little corner?


Tuesday, October 11, 2016


2013-09-17 12.19.03

Change is one of those words that can produce a variety of emotions right in the heart of us.

We Skype with our daughter and son-in-law every Sunday. They live far away - across a vast ocean. It's wonderful to be able to see them, but the real star of the show is our new little grandson. We first met him as a newborn, cradled in his Mama's arms, tiny and curly-haired. As one week folds into another we see the change in him. He has gone from a sleepily little bundle to a wide-eyed little cherub - looking right back at us through the screen. Sweet, miraculous change.

There are those changes that come with the tick of the clock - the phone call late at night, the knock at the door, the sudden, violent storm. In a moment the world shifts and life is no longer the same.

A change of our own choosing - a new home, a new job, a marriage, a birth - the kind of change we like. It adds a something special to our lives - as long as it goes according to plan…

I'm over at Laced With Grace today with the rest of this devotional. Come join me!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I just turned the page on this stunning, sometimes heartbreaking, book. I was surprised at the sudden tears that filled my eyes. A mixture, I suppose, of not wanting the story to end and the emotions it evoked.

William Kent Krueger has woven words together in his novel, Ordinary Grace, that create a beautiful whole. For just a little while, the characters and their story came to life in a way I won't soon forget. Their stories touched my life, and I am the richer for it.

I marvel anew at the power of words - the spoken word, the written word. Long after the book is closed and the last line read, or the final word is spoken - they linger. We cannot calculate the good or the evil our words might do. So much depends on where they fall. They can crush a tender spirit or anger a bitter heart. They can encourage those who have lost hope or bring healing to a wounded soul.
We would be wise to guard our words carefully. Once given life, they can't easily be called back.

We seem to be living in a time when too often words are wielded as weapons. They are thrown out with abandon, with very little thought to the damage they will cause. They leave in their wake so many wounded souls whose only recourse is to fight back with words of their own - or succumb to the pain.

I once had a wise Pastor who said, "Only use words that are edifying and glorifying."Or as my friend Ann Voskamp wrote, "Only speak words that make souls stronger." Think how that would change the public discourse. I know, for me, it would mean a lot less talking and fewer regrets. And the people whose lives I touched would be enriched. I'm working on that.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

My Hiding Place

When the noise rains
all around me,
Lead me beside quiet waters
that I might hear Your voice.

When worry and anxiety
bow me low,
Lift my spirits
with words of promise.

When discouragement clouds my view
for lack of worldly praise,
Draw my eyes to Your face
that I might see true worth.

When the circumstances
beat me down,
Hide me in the shelter
of Your wings.

When my steps grow weary,
and I think I can't go on
Carry me, cradle me
in Your strong arms.

When my heart beats wild
with fear and doubt,
Still the throbbing
with the gift of faith.

"For You are my hiding place
You protect me from trouble
You surround me with songs of victory."*

*Psalm 32:7


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The "Dailiness" of Life

I wonder if anyone else has ever felt this way. I woke up the other day and thought, “Oh Lord, I just can’t do another day of the same old thing.” Something deep inside my spirit was just tired of the same old routine. 

As often happens to me lately, the portion I was reading in my “Hinds Feet on High Places” devotional spoke about that very thing. Much-Afraid had just weathered a terrible storm in her journey up to the High Places. It was fierce and terrifying and had lasted for many days, but she had come through it with her faith intact and feeling much stronger. After the storm, she continued on her journey with her faithful companions Suffering and Sorrow. Before they had gone very far along the path they found themselves surrounded by a thick mist that seemed to obliterate everything from sight. It never varied from one day to the next. “In some ways the dangers of the storm had stimulated her; now there was nothing but tameness, just a trudge, trudge forward, day after day, able to see nothing except for white, clinging mist which hung about the mountain without a gleam of sunshine breaking through. At last she burst out impatiently, ‘Will this dull, dreary mist never lift, I wonder?’”

No sooner had Much-Afraid uttered those words than her old enemy Resentment spoke up – taunting her with words meant to discourage her from continuing the journey altogether. If that wasn’t bad enough, Self-Pity had soon put her two cents in as well. Suddenly Much-Afraid had gone from victory in the storm to discouragement. She began to doubt that she was even on the right path.

This is all a pretty fair description of how I was feeling that day. Sometimes the “dailiness’ of life just wears us down. I have heard the voices of Resentment and Self-Pity ringing in my ears. If I allow them to drown out the still, small voice residing within in me, I find myself discouraged and filled with doubt just like little Much-Afraid. 

Are You here Lord Jesus as I go through another day that looks very much like the one before and all the others stretching out as far as I can see? Am I on the right path? When I prepare another meal, make another bed, do another load of laundry, shop for groceries yet again, wash the dishes, iron the clothes, does it count?

In the quiet, I hear the whispered reply, “As you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” I feel the warmth of His approval. Surely I am on the right path, the path He has chosen for me. I may feel as though I am not making any progress (not doing any great and glorious things for the kingdom), but as long as I am in the place He wants me to be all is well.

This is a repost from nearly nine years ago. It seemed appropriate for today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


"Before she turned out the light she studied the baby. Miracle, miracle she thought." *

Have you ever prayed for a miracle? Have you asked for the impossible while faith and doubt warred in your heart?

This morning I pushed back the covers, peeked at the clock and decided it would be all right to rest awhile longer. I pulled the blanket up to my chin, closed my eyes and whispered a prayer. Nothing out of the "ordinary" - requests for the miraculous. Some of them so often repeated, I wonder if I've become a bit of an annoyance. But I believe despite the shadow of doubt that tries to push its way into my heart.

So it always goes. But this morning a tiny shaft of light sliced through the darkness, and I saw what had been there all along - the miracles:

My prayer, my unspoken words, heard by the God who bends down low and listens. The One who is indescribable in His greatness listens to me. With more voices than I can count mounting to heaven, He hears mine. Miracle, miracle.

I opened my eyes and saw rays of sunshine peaking around the edges of the blinds on the living room windows. The sun, making it's routine appearance. Miracle, miracle.

I pressed my hand against my chest and felt the rhythmic beating of my heart. The same heart I had seen during an echocardiogram - marveling at what I have taken for granted for nearly seven decades. Miracle, miracle.

For three springs in a row I've watched a pair of cardinals skillfully weave a nest and raise a family. Miracle, miracle.

Every Sunday afternoon, a wee baby boy gazes at us through my computer screen. We have "known" him since long before he was born. Through a series of sonograms we have watched as he was "knit together" in his Mama's womb. Miracle, miracle.

The world spins, the seasons change, the seas rise and fall. Seeds are buried beneath the earth far from the sunshine and rain. At just the right time, new life pushes its way up through the darkness. Miracle, miracle.

They abound around us. So we pray: when it seems futile, when doubts threaten to overwhelm faith. The God of miracles is with you. Sometimes, for me, the miracle is in the knowing that whether or not I'm given the specific miracle I requested, I will be given what is best. Miracle, miracle.


*from the book Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark