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Showing posts from January, 2013

Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert

Friends, have you heard of Katie Ganshert? This girl ROCKS! I was blessed to read and review her first release, "Wildflowers From Winter", (check out my review) which by the way, I LOVED! Katie's newest novel coming out in March, "Wishing On Willows", is a beautifully written novel that tells the story of releasing yesterday and embrasing today. We see how it takes time for a heart to heal.  Through these characters we see a reality of what loss does to a heart. Through Katie's writing style, we are able to feel the pain of the characters. Characters that at first glance you would think were secure in themselves, but at closer glance, we see the insecurities. An emptiness waiting to be filled.
We meet Robin Price and her precious son. Robin is as real as you get. She is a struggling with the loss of her husband,  and is finding her way to surrender. It's not easy for her, being a single mother, holding on to the cafe that she and her husband dreamed o…

He Is My Forever Companion

You know you have a wondrous friend when you can spend time together not saying a word to fill the silence. My husband and I have this kind of relationship. We can be together for hours. Him watching TV and me reading a book. No words spoken, just holding hands. It's the companionship that speaks volumes. In that silence I am able to come to a total enjoyment. It's like an unspoken joy.
I open my eyes to my Savior. I am learning to just be in silence. I say, "Good morning, Lord", and I am filled with a desire to spend time with Him. I lay my head down for rest and there I am once again seeking my Savior. A solitude of peace. A soft flow of grace. It is as though we are speaking heart to heart.
I once heard that it was selfish and rude to fall asleep during prayer. Friends, I have to disagree with this statement. For me, what better way to fall asleep, then to the voice of my Savior? I am learning to simply listen to Him. In the silence of the night I can hear my …

What's A Seed Have To Do With It?

A few weeks ago I noticed a new shoot emerging from a plant I have in my kitchen. I was thrilled to see it growing. Yes, I was giddy like a school girl. Why you ask? Because I am not a girl with a green thumb. I am the girl who kills a cactus. So, when I see something growing I am thrilled with excitement.

With a little closer inspection I noticed that this was not my plant at all, but something new. Come to find out, my husband planted a potato just to see what it would do. I can tell you, we have little shoots of all kinds of things coming up all over the house. He loves to grow things and I'm guessing, he too enjoys playing tricks on his wife who knows nothing about growing plants, much less a garden.
I do however remember growing bean plants. Remember those? You plant the bean. It loses it's outer shell and then before your very eyes a shoot grows upward and you can pretend your now Jack with your very own beanstalk. Come to think of it. It's time to plant one with…

Gotta Prepare With The Right Stuff

There are days I have a hard time dealing with folks. Gosh, I even have a hard time dealing with myself. Doubt slips in and I hear the words, "You can't do it. You just don't have what it takes." Crabbiness can overtake me and all it takes is one person to say the wrong thing and I am ready to explode. I battle my flesh on a daily basis. Most of the time I am my own worst enemy. I allow Satan to enter my mind and once he is there, gosh, the heart is soon to follow and I am having one mountain of a bad day.
As the day comes to end I'm wondering, why in the world did I say that to my son? I find my words were not encouraging, but more discouraging. I am then going to my son asking him to forgive me. My hubs can say, "Wow babe, that's a big bowl of ice cream", and before anything else can be said, I am there with the words, "What, you saying I'm fat?" I am that girl with an A-T-T-I-TUDE!

You know those days. Your head is already pound…

Who Needs Their Feet Washed?

Thirteen walk into a room. Twenty-six dirty feet. Men who have walked the sandy roads to share a dinner. Only One reaches for the basin and towel. He kneels as the others stand in amazement. Why didn't they think to do that? I ask myself, "Would I have thought to do that?"
Can you see the room? Imagine being in line to have your feet washed by your Savior. This had to be one the most tender and humble of moments. To sit before Jesus, placing your feet in the basin, and having Him gently wash your dirt covered feet. I don't imagine there was a lot of talk in the room. I can however imagine a holy hush.
"He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, "Lord, are You going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head." John 13:6-9
Peter did not realize he would soon deny Jesus. Deny ever knowing Him. Being a part of Him. B…

It's Time To Celebrate Our Imperfections

I'm learning that if I totally have my eyes open and my heart ready, that I can just about find a lesson in everything around me. Ladies, lets be real. It's hard at times to be us, isn't it? I recently seen Brooke Burk-Charvet, speaking about her thyroid cancer and the scar she now wears. She was sharing how difficult it was having a scar right there on your neck for everyone to see. I too have one of those scars. I remember when the bandage came off and found myself looking in the mirror. I was horrified. It was one monstrous scar. It's a little over two inches across.
Over time my scar has faded. At first I would notice people looking at me and I knew they were wondering what in the world happened. I looked as if my neck had been slashed. I didn't want to wear any kind of shirt where my scar was visible. I even kept my bandage on longer than I had to. Now, it's a different story. That scar has grown on me. It's a story I can share of God's glory and …

What A Friend I Have In Joy

Picture a yard filled with flowers of every kind. Gardens at every corner of the house. It's a terribly warm day in Missouri, but here I am in the yard of my friend, Joy. I have always found her name to be the definition of her walk. Joy carries such a beauty. A beauty rare. It's as though her joy is contagious and her passion for life gives way to allow her Savior to shine through her every action.

Joy is my Sunday School teacher and on this day she has invited me over for lunch. A lunch in where I walk away with a new recipe for chicken salad and a truck filled with flowers to plant in my own summer yard.

I'm not sure when my relationship with Ms. Joy went from being my Sunday school teacher to my friend. It's as though it just blossomed. Maybe our love for the Lord connected us. She is not only my friend, but my sister in Christ. She has been my mentor for many years now. I look to her for my example to follow. I hope to one day become the woman she is today. Lif…

Just Like Jesus Devotional by Max Lucado

This devotional blew me away. I was totally surprised. I'm a Max Lucado fan. I admire his work, but sometimes it can be repetitive as book after book comes out. This is one I missed in 2002 and has now come out repackaged. It's a thirty day devotional. Thirty days spending time with Jesus. The introduction alone is praiseworthy. I pondered the introduction for days. As he asks, "What if for one day, Jesus were to become you?" This was such a powerful question for me. There are other questions to follow that make you stop in your tracks.
In each devotional, Max Lucado shares a scripture verse. Along with that verse he shares a powerful devotional. He focuses on four components: Thinking, hearing, reflecting and speaking. Along these lines he ends the devotional with a few questions that are sure to make you think and grow. There is just enough room to pen your answers. I love this aspect. I enjoy working through a devotional and later coming back to it to see just …

Extend The Branch Of Grace

Have you ever dodged someone at the grocery store? It happens doesn't it? A few months back my son and I were walking down an aisle, coming closer the the check out. We had grabbed all our items and we were focused on having lunch. I look ahead and there is a woman and her daughter coming toward us. I see her look at me and before I knew it, they turned down an aisle faster than you can say, "Oh no she didn't". Oh, yes she did. I walked along side my son and he says, "Mom, did she just do what I think she did?" I'm not even sure I replied at the moment. I just shook my head in unbelief. The saddest part is that we are members of the same church. I think that's the part that really threw me for a loop.
I mean, we don't have to like everyone. I get that. I really do. But being rude and avoiding someone just so you don't have to say, hello, is just..well, wrong. That put a funk in my day. I found myself with a bad attitude. My son was feeling …

Don't Allow The Pain To Get In The Way

I reach for drink of coffee. I ponder my day. Over the last few weeks I have been in more pain than normal. Living with chronic pain isn't something you can ever prepare for and you find yourself dreaming of one day with nothing hurting. Head or body.
A few weeks back I took a fall. Now this I cannot blame on any illness. This was more along the lines of my own goofiness. I was in the bathroom, with my leg propped up on the counter, as I was fixing my hair. Have mercy. I was on the floor before I knew what had happened. I found myself just laying there, thinking, "How in the world did that happen?" Well, I went out that night to see, "The Hobbit", with my girlfriend and was in pain, but not bad. It didn't hit me until in the middle of the night when I tried to move. Ouch!
There are days where I feel like if it isn't a migraine it's my Fibromyalgia acting up. Maybe it's my thyroid levels again. Oh wait, it could be the arthritis that I have i…

Lets Share Coffee

We have all heard of "Fix A Flat". Maybe you have even used it yourself. Usually it works for a while, just until you can replace your tire. It's not meant to hold it forever. Although it covers up that hole that is now present in your tire, you know the repair goes much deeper than just the surface.
I want to share a quote from, Lyn Smith, that I read this morning in my, "LeadHer Challenge Devotional".
"One of the best feelings in the world is when someone stands by you unwaveringly. Some things in life are just plain hard, but nothing is sweeter than a friend who doesn't let you do hard things alone. It takes courage, strength, and selflessness to come alongside someone in their difficulty. A friend like that doesn't preach, criticize, or correct during those times; they simply SHOW UP AND LOVE." Lyn Smith
Lets be honest. There are times we look at a friend and think, "Oh, she needs fixed. I can help her do that." Girls, I have been…

How Do I Respond?

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and the bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
Okay, let me get real. Let me be as transparent as I possibly can. My words do not always give glory to God. Oh, so often my words bring Him shame. But I'm learning, God doesn't leave anything empty. Even when I seem to use words that don't bring glory. He brings a lesson to my heart. He can take my biggest failures and my smallest triumphs and turn them into something of glory.
I wake reading my devotional or Bible and I repeat God's Word over again and let it soak in. I step out of bed and see the sunshine through the clouds. I ponder His Word. I watch the beautiful birds at my feeder  and th…

God's Perfect Wilderness Road

"But forget all that-it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."  Isaiah 43:18-19
In my Bible commentary it says that God didn't want the Israelites to forget the exodus from Egypt, but they did need to look forward in faith. Seeing what God was doing now and would do for His people instead of dwelling in the past. Have you ever dwelled in the past? I have downright settled down, pitched a tent and camped for weeks.

I have figured out that when I spend time dwelling in the past about what could have been or about what was lost, I totally lose sight of the blessings I have today. You could say that as long as we remain in the past we limit what the Lord can do in our life today. When I'm stuck thinking of the what ifs and if onlys I'm missing out on what the Lord has for me today. This ver…

"Unglued Devotional" by Lysa TerKeurst

Do you like devotionals? I am a girl who desires them. I soak them up. I carry them in my purse and read them daily. I look at it as adding a great tool to my study time with the Lord and His Word. The latest devotional I have been introduced to is, "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst.
Lysa had written an early book entitled, "Unglued", Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions. This new devotional penned by Lysa is a companion to this release. You don't have to purchase "Unglued" to enjoy the devotional, but friends, I found this to be a great and poignant read. What I love about Lysa is that she speaks from her heart. She shares her experiences and she too is on this journey of faith. I admire her honesty and just raw emotion as she expresses her love for the Lord.
This little devotional is sixty days of imperfect progress. I just love this. After all, we are a work in progress. Lysa gives a scripture for the day, her thought for the day, a devoti…