A few years ago we had a secret sister time in our church. We would gift little things all year long for one person, some guessed who their secret sister was before the year was up, but the fun was never broken. We continued with this for some time, but, eventually interest was lost and we no longer did this for the women’s ministry.

I was blessed to have as my secret sister the same woman twice. The second time she really threw me off and I never suspected who she was.

One of her gifts to me was a year devotional by Max Lucado. I love this devotional. It is now dog eared and worn, but each morning it is the first thing I read. Many days I smile at a corner turned down and I remember how it spoke to me in years past.

Today, I read a familiar story. I knew the story and how it would end, but I still gleaned something from it. It was still fresh to me. It was also like a family story told each gathering time. Family stories are like that, we hear them, we know them, we know when a pause is coming, when laughter is coming, when embarrassment may come. It’s family. It’s history for those sharing.

We have another ‘family’ history book. The Bible. It’s the same stories that are read, listened to, and told. Most we know. But, with this book, there is a freshness. Words that have been there since it was written pop out of a sentence and changes the meaning for us. It is fresh, vibrant, alive.

The title of today’s devotion was “Oh Daddy”. It told the story of a young girl rushing into her father’s arms for comfort. It also talked how prayer begins when we can fall to our knees and cry out, “Oh, Daddy” to our heavenly Father. And, like earthly fathers He is there to catch us. He will wrap His arms around us and bend down to assure us that we are safe in His arms.

Today has been a day where I am reminded that it’s okay to run to my Father’s arms and cry “Oh Daddy”

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.[a] Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)

Memories and Tears

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NLT)

Last night we had a dinner at our church. The woman who planned and brought to life the event did so with perfection. The theme was Walking in Love. A sort of Valentine’s dinner which also served as a Pastor’s Appreciation. The food, decorations and time together was amazing. We also had a time of worship, singing older songs of praise. It was a precious time in the Lord. The song transported me back in time.

We lived in Bangor, Maine in Air Force housing. A two story home with a basement. White birch trees lined our yard. It was a lovely home and situation. Our oldest was almost six months old when we moved in.

As with most babies, nights were interrupted by crying and fussing. I don’t know why people say to sleep like a baby as they are usually awake at least three times during the night. Ours was no different.

As winter approached, when she awoke, I would put on my heavy bathrobe and slippers. I would grab her yellow printed quilt from Japan. It was a beautiful gift of a baby futon, not the foam kind we are used to, but a fluffy blanket that would be like a comforter.

I would head down the steps in the cool night and head to my bentwood rocker. Positioning ourselves and making certain both of us were fully covered and cozy. I would draw her close to me and begin to sing. We had a string of songs, some lullabies and a lot of worship songs. I would go through the line up of songs and then sing one over and over. There were no cell phones then to hold and keep me distracted. Only the darkness, my baby and my singing.

The song would quiet her and quiet me. It would calm my frazzled young mother’s angst. My focus would shift from grumpiness of being awake, again to the quiet joyful peace of sitting in a darkened living room with my baby.The wind could be howling outside, driving snow across our yard and building up on our back door, but, I was wrapped in the peace of quiet with a snuggly baby in my arms.

I haven’t remembered those nights in years. Last night we sang the song I would sing over and over. The song started and I sang, enjoying the song itself. As we repeated the chorus my throat stopped up, tears fell down my cheeks and I was once more sitting in the dark room holding my first born.

Our Lord is precious and kind. He recalls to us the times when, unbeknownst to me, He was beside me. Standing watch along with me as His beautiful creation of a child struggled with staying asleep. The impact that, in hindsight, I vividly recalled those seemingly endless nights, thinking all these years that I was alone, and I saw that He walked the floor with me and rocked with me also.

I am so grateful to have had that experience last night, in a crowded room and the Lord gave me this sweet, joyful, memory just for me. He knows each of us personally and He meets us where we are.

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice

To worship you
Oh my soul rejoice
Take joy, my king
In what you hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound
In your ear

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship you
Oh my soul rejoice
Take joy, my king
In what you hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound
In your ear

Joy in Listening

“As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25 (NKJV)

There is a friend of mine who lives on the other side of our country. We have been friends for years. I worked with her and her husband for many years, which deepened our friendship.

We have walked with each other through many difficult and dark times. We have laughed much together. We have wept with one another. We have screamed on roller coasters together. We have lived life together. She is family to me.

Next week Dale is teaching at our Wednesday night service. He has chosen his topic and wanted to be refreshed in some teachings from this friend of ours.

This morning they talked with each other. The phone was on speaker so he could take some notes and have his hands free to make references where needed. I sat in the living room listening to their conversation.

At first I was online scrolling through notifications. A normal part of my day. Soon, my attention went elsewhere. The voice on the other end of the line was drawing me in. The voice I know so well. As she spoke I was transported in memory back to a place where she taught and I listened.

The rhythm of her voice, the enthusiasm of the topic she was talking about. The excited exchange between Dale and her. How often did they do this and her husband and I just sat, drinking tea or coffee and smiled at each other, knowing they were sharing their hearts. The two of them both called to the same type of ministry.

Today, as I listened I was filled with joy and thankfulness. From this woman the Lord has taught me much. The gift she is from our Lord is a blessing too great to describe. The spontaneous joy we find when we are together.

Today my heart was filled to overflowing with the sound of a voice.


“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.” Philippians 1:3 (NLT)

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a lovely day with Dale. I talked with my daughters via text and phone. I felt an overflowing love from family and friends.

I was overwhelmed, actually.

Today the celebration continued with a dinner with friends. More gifts were given and one of my favorite cakes was there from a bakery that I love. It was a beautiful day.

I was overwhelmed, actually.

I love to celebrate and acknowledge birthdays. I get excited when it is someone’s birthday, it is a chance to show appreciation and love. Except when it’s mine.I like to just sneak by my birthday. I do not like a fuss made over me. I’m just me.

My birthday overwhelms me, actually.

Throughout the year we go about our lives. We see friends and family, we hug, we laugh, we confide and cry, we make memories together. It’s life.

At times through the year I feel lonely, or unseen. I think we all get to those points. After each of my friends has a birthday, there is usually a post on facebook that thanks people for the expressions of love. Gratitude exudes from those posts and they truly are heartfelt. When I read them from friends, I think, “well of course people love you, you are you.”

Each year I am surprised at the love I receive on my birthday. Gratitude is what I am feeling today. Thankfulness for the people who have expressed loving wishes for me. I am overwhelmed.

God has given me the gift of a longer life. He has gifted me with my husband and family, He has blessed me with my sisters. He has placed me in a loving church family. He has gifted me. Today I am spoiled.

I am overwhelmed, actually.

Thank you for loving me and blessing me.

Lesson from Lucinda

Lucinda is my granddaughter’s cat. She got her for her birthday and she is a cute cat as far as cats go. I always wanted a cat until I worked as a vet tech while living in Japan.

The job forever jaded my view of cats. I was bit at least five times a day by cats. I was only bit once by a dog. So, my affinity for cats diminished greatly. I still hold the same view.

But, Lucinda is part of the family now. She is a sweet little thing, but I often remind her that I don’t like cats and that if she knew what all I helped participate in with cats (spaying, neutering) she wouldn’t like me.

That being said, Lucinda is carried upstairs each morning to participate in waking up our Little Miss. She knows her routine and will wait for you to carry her up the steps most mornings.

I say most because, still being mostly kitten (she is about 9 months old), she gets the crazies some mornings. One morning in particular, I chased her around trying to grab her to carry her up the steps and keep Little Miss’s schedule. I finally grasped her and she fought. The result being a long scratch in the palm of my hand.

At that point, I was not happy with the cat.

Today as I woke up, my mind went to a few things. One was this scripture, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—  my Savior and my God!” Psalm 42:11 (NLT)

The past couple of days have been full of emotions for me. I titled a post Emotions yesterday, but, I could not write. As I went about my day this morning, it occurred to me that sometimes, although we feel okay and will answer ‘doing good’ when asked how I am, that is not always the case.

Emotions run deep. Sometimes we are not aware of how we are truly doing. We are functioning, we are going about our day, we are giving God our praise, on the outside we are doing good.

Inside though, we may be feeling drained, tired, uninspired, without energy. This is what I finally realized this morning. As I had my quiet time this morning I glanced down at my hand. There is a scar from where Lucinda scratched me.

I looked at my hand and remembered that morning. Usually the routine goes like this, you go into Little Miss’s room, turn off the ceiling fan, turn off her sound machine and gently wake up my sleeping princess. In between you put Lucinda on the bed and she gently snuggles into Little Miss. That morning I did what was needed to be done, and Lucinda who had the crazies jumped all over Little Miss, and ran up and down her bed.

Little Miss woke up giggling. What a great way to start the day, isn’t it?

Those memories came to mind and then I looked again at my hand. The day of the scratch, my hand hurt so much. In fact, it hurt for a couple of days until it scabbed over. When we got home last week, the scratch drove me crazy with itching. Now all that is left is a scar.

As I finished my quiet time, I felt that this scar taught me a lesson (from Lucinda the cat), emotions can hurt, they can give you an itch that is not quenched. You can live with them, but deep emotions can leave you with a scar.

The scar is a reminder of what you have been through. My emotions I have kept at a distance. I still do. I needed to help, and be strong, and do what needed to be done.

Last week I told myself to rest, get caught up on sleep in my own bed. This week, I wanted to do the same. The thing is, you can’t . So, now I am dealing with the deep emotions that are within me. I have never been one to show my emotions, so even writing this is different.

My heart hurts. But, I have and continue to speak to my soul, “why are you downcast oh my soul?” My faith has not dwindled, I know that God is the great physician and healer of both body and soul, but, my humanity is showing.

I will continue to look at my Lucinda scar. It will remind me that pain will heal, and afterwards memories of this time will be sweet, lessons will have been learned, faith will have grown stronger and God is on His throne ever constant and faithful when we have faltered and grown weary.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)


“Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” Deuteronomy 28:6 (NLT)

There are not many times when I actually think about how blessed I am. It is usually after an event or trial where I will look back and realize that the hand of God was upon the situation and He was blessing it.

Today, although nothing is happening and we have nothing planned, I feel blessed. I can’t even say I am in a particularly great mood either. I have grumbled a lot today. I have felt lazy most of the day. My outward expression has not been made up of smiles either.

But today, deep inside of me, I feel like I have been and continue to be blessed. I have talked with my sisters and it was like a lazy summer day when we were young and we could kid with each other and just be sisters. I have written some things and felt like the words have been there even if my brain was trailing off in another direction. I have been blessed.

I hope as you read this, you will feel blessed also and know that our Lord will bless us daily. We just have to look for it within ourselves.

Doing the Kitchen Dance

Last fall I reorganized my kitchen cupboards. I am still getting used to them.

For three weeks I was at my daughter’s home. She recently reorganized her cupboards. While I was there I did a little jig around her kitchen trying to remember where things belonged and also where things were supposed to go.

I don’t think I messed her kitchen up too badly. I told her to speak kindly of me when she was able to be up and in her kitchen full time.

Coming home, my little jig has now become a full blown waltz. I am so confused as to where I am and where things are and are supposed to be. I find myself opening cupboards and reminding myself that this is my kitchen and where I am looking is where my daughter’s things are.

I am getting much exercise putting dishes away and while I am cooking it is a jumble of frantic motions. I am still trying to figure out what type of music would go with my dancing. I know I will eventually remember where I am and things will once more become normal and mundane. Until then it is a cross between a waltz and a jitterbug.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people” I Corinthians 14:33 (NLT)

Elegant Invader

Last week my daughter and I were talking about her cancer. She told me that one of her friends had called it the elegant invader. This resonated with me and I told her I knew that I would blog about that.

The definition of elegant is of a high grade or quality. Usually when we see someone who is elegant we are taken aback. We watch them to see how they move, which is usually dignified and effortlessly.

To invade elegantly, means, (to me) to come in by force with a quiet calm. Taking something by force with little to no notice of what is happening.

Cancer is vile. It comes in to rob and steal and maim. It is a thief. It overshadows. It tries to hide itself while it grows and takes over, until it is revealed and exposed.

Cancer touches most families. It is a rare family that isn’t exposed to it’s harshness.

In the same way, sin carries the same qualities of a cancer. It too, can permeate every crevice in our being. It grows in darkness and overtakes and spreads silently. It too is an elegant invader.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” I John 1:55 (NLT)

As evil (both disease and sin) loves darkness, so our God is light and in Him we have life.

I know that my Lord is going to touch my daughter’s body with His grace and healing. This is a season of victory for her, but as with all victory, there is a battle to be waged first. She is prepared for battle, strong in her faith in facing this elegant invader of her body.

Likewise, I turn to God for my spiritual battle, as we are all sin factories.


“Little kids, little problems, Big kids, big problems” Evelyn McCarthy (aunt)

When I first heard my aunt say this, my kids were little. I thought to myself, how could anything I was going through be bigger? I was in the midst of little kids and little problems.

I was blessed to have never had big problems with my little kids. Many cannot say that. They have had to deal head on with childhood cancers and childhood serious illnesses. Thinking back, I can see the blessings that I had when my kids were little.

Last evening I was talking with a friend. We talked about our children and I quoted what I wrote above. We agreed that it was a true statement.

We talked about various times in our life where we realized that mothering never stops. As mothers we often have to deal with stomach issues. Not illness or virus’ or indigestion. But the feeling of being hit full force in our stomach when it comes to our children. Each mother experiences it at one time or another.

It is a feeling of having the wind knocked out of us. It is quick, like falling off the monkey bars when we were little. The fall happens and when you hit the ground, it hurts and takes a minute to catch your breath.

The difference between childhood and motherhood is major. As a child, we cry. As a mother, we breathe deeply and continue on. We check our voices and blink and keep talking, keep moving and pray hard.

The past few weeks people have been concerned about me and how I am doing. I am a mother. Like all mothers, I have taken big breaths, stood a bit straighter, and gone on.

When women become mothers our Lord issues an upgrade to our body. He implants in us the ability to cope with little sleep, little time, little everything. Our eyes open and although we promise ourselves a nap later on, we go through our day with little sleep and little energy and little,to no naps. We function tired. We look tired. We move tired. Our emotions are raw at times. But we carry on. We aren’t saints, but we are mothers.

It is a job with few perks. Except for the arms wrapped around you that are sometimes sticky, sometimes muddy, and sometimes just weary because they are mothers themselves.

Yes, problems are always there. It is life. Yes, sometimes those “knock the wind out of you moments” come one after another. Sometimes they are rare. But, as mothers, we are equipped, it came with the after market upgrade.

So, this day, if you are struggling as a mom, take heart, we have all been there at some point. Take a deep breath. Clear your throat. Stand a bit taller. Pray. Lean on a scripture I often turn to, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT) God will be with you each step of the way, giving you courage and strength.


“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

I have just come into the house after dropping Little Miss off for the bus for school.

It is a darker, rainy Monday. The kind of Monday where you truly wished it was the weekend and stay in the nice warm bed. Little Miss struggled a bit as she woke up, hesitant to open her eyes and move. But, she did.

By time we were waiting for the bus to arrive, she was full of conversations and questions. It was wonderful, and to me, it was a sunny day because I was with her.

Entering the house there was little light and there was a hushed feeling to the house. Quiet. No video games, no conversations, no television, nothing. Just the quiet.

As I sit here, I realize that we all need some quiet. A time to renew, to think, to pray, to ponder. There are so many references in the Bible that urge us to be still. To sit beside still water, to be slow to anger, to wait on the Lord, to stop.

Lord, today, quiet my mind, my body, myself. Let me remember this quiet time this morning and keep that quietness with me throughout this day. When I begin to get anxious, whisper to me and return me to this time. Thank You for allowing me to see You and hear You in this moment. Amen.