A Path to Walk on

“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Amos 3:3 (NLLT)

While living in San Diego I had two friends that ended up being walking partners. The three of us didn’t walk together, but for a season I walked with one on a paved path around a lake. It was a big lake and we only made it around the entire lake once or twice.

My other walking partner and I lived closer together and we walked on a dirt pathway around a small lake by both of our homes.

These times together were wonderful. They were times when friendships deepened. It was a time when confidences were shared and prayed about. I cherish the memories of these times.

This morning one of my walking friends called. As usual, it was an uplifting conversation. After we hung up, she texted me a quote on friendships and thanked me for the conversation. I replied that all we needed was a path to walk on.

After I hit send, it occurred to me that friends always have a pathway to walk on, even if it is long distance. When a gift of a friend is given to you, the Lord already has a plan for the two of you. The longevity of a friendship determines the length of the path you have walked together. It also makes you look forward to the path ahead of you.

Friendships are a gift. These gifts are different, each of them. They are like sweaters hanging in a closet. One may be for cold weather and hard times, these are sturdy sweaters. Some are for warmer weather and happier times, these are light and breezy sweaters. But, we always have our old faithful sweaters that are worn through each season and provide comfort when they are put on.

I am blessed to call many, friend. Each is a gift to me. Each hold precious memories that hold a special place in my heart.

We are unique and individual. The same is true for the path we walk with friends. Some paths have gone up steep mountains that eventually lead to refreshing mountain streams. Some paths have been dark and full of thorns and thickets. These are difficult pathways that need help in navigating. Other paths lead to coffee shops or restaurants for gentle conversations and laughter. Some paths are quiet paths, where conversation is muted and still and peaceful.

I have walked many of these pathways through the years. Today’s conversation reminded me that distance does not change a friendship, it only changes the look of the path in front of you.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)

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)


“Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
    With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

A couple of nights ago as we watched an episode of one of our favorite shows there was a quote that caught my attention. It went something like this, ” There are many kinds of first love. I have wondered if our love was a fleeting thing or something more.”

We have all experienced many first loves. Not just in personal relationships, but all areas.

As I thought on this quote the past couple of days, I have thought of my first loves. Ginger, a miniature collie, my first dog. I never thought I would love another dog like I loved her. I did. Shugo. There will never be another dog like him. My heart could not take being broken again.

My first car that was mine. I loved that car. I was so sad when we sold it. I remember the pride I had when I drove it off the lot. The pride and prayer that I didn’t crash it on the way home.

I know every person I could talk to would tell me of some first love that will never be matched.

Thinking of all of this, I realized there is another kind of first love. That love when you have just accepted the Lord into your heart, allowing Him to guide and direct your life. I was giddy when I accepted the Lord. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about Him. My life was changed and I felt it. I was different inside, I felt whole.

But, first loves can grow dim. I thought I never would have loved another dog like Ginger, but, there have been many dogs in my life since then. That first car? Well, it didn’t have what my current car has. It is dull in comparison. My first love as a young teen? I have to think about the sun and sparkling water of Hasson pool.

So true, is my first love of Jesus. This has been a lasting love for me. I am comfortable knowing that Jesus is number one in my life. I am secure knowing He cares for me and is with me. But that new, exciting feeling? It’s faded many times.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” Revelation 2:4 (NLT)

I don’t need to rekindle the other first loves in my life. I do want to strive to always feel that first love of God. Such a simple quote in a television series and it led me to many days of thinking about it. That’s great writing there.

48 years, Thanks for the Memories

“Thanks for the memory Of sentimental verse, Nothing in my purse, And chuckles When the preacher said For better or for worse, How lovely it was. Thanks for the memory Of Schubert’s Serenade, Little things of jade And traffic jams
And anagrams And bills we never paid, How lovely it was. Thanks for the memory Of faults that you forgave, Of rainbows on a wave, And stockings in the basin When a fellow needs a shave, Thank you so much. Thanks for the memory Of cushions on the floor, Hash with Dinty Moore, ” Bob Hope (song)

In January of 1975, I said I do to so much I never expected. I was two weeks away from turning 20. Dale was already 20. We thought we were so mature and knew what we were doing. I look back now and laugh. We were kids.

This year we are where we spent our first eighteen months of marriage. The Virginia Beach area. It has grown so much in the intervening years. One of our homes is now a vacant lot, overgrown with weeds and looking small compared to the amount of apartments that once stood there. Our second apartment is long gone also, but now a beautiful beach home is where our rent by the month apartment once stood. It is now a beautiful area, not a run down bad part of town. I am certain none of the houses there have to worry that the pilot light in their heaters will be extinguished by blowing sand. Waking up to sand in the living room is just one of the memories of this area.

As a child, I always dreamed of marrying someone local and living in the south side of town in one of the Victorian homes that grace our city. I did marry someone local, my high school sweetheart. We have lived in apartments like I mentioned above, in a Japanese apartment that was very small, in multiple government quarters, and two homes that we have bought. I have always had a roof over my head. Life has been good.

Yes, there have been years where we went to dinner on this date and barely spoke a word to each other. There have been years where we have dressed up and dined with majestic views of the Pacific and the Atlantic. There have been years where he has been on the other side of the world and I sat at home wondering if he was okay and where he was currently.

Life has been good, and great. Marriage, I think is a series of upheavals and nothing. It is the mundane and the excitement. It is life.

I am so grateful to have spent this time with this man. He has made life interesting, entertaining and surprising. As I woke today in the same area where we first lived, I smiled to myself. One of my aunts gave us three months. I think we showed her.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NLT)

Sound of Freedom

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” I Peter 5:8-9a (NLT)

Having spent most of my adult life around military bases I now can recognize the sound of commercial and military aircraft. In San Diego we lived under the flight path of the International airport. Every few minutes a plane would pass over us. It became normal for us. We also could tell the difference between the military helicopters, the medical helicopters and the police helicopters. It was our normal.

When we moved to our current home, Dale asked for a quiet location. No airplane noise, no traffic noise, just quiet. We have that. When the occasional airplane flies over our home we joke that we did not give them permission. On occasion we hear a military aircraft. We recognize the sound and one of us immediately heads outdoors to see what is flying over us.

It seems we miss the sound of freedom, which is what the sound of military jets is.

Our daughter lives in the same area we did as a newly married couple. There are several military air bases in this area. Often, throughout the day we hear and see the sound of freedom. I never tire of it. I love to see the jets in the sky practicing their maneuvers.The ability to fly jets through the sky, dipping and speeding across the expanse above us brings my heart a swelling pride in our military.

The young people with the ability to fly these awesome aircraft are also the ones who rush in to battle when there is a need. They practice so that at the first call they can defend our freedom, our country, our way of life. They give their life for ours.

Our Savior did the same thing. He willingly gave His life for our freedom, our way of life, for each of us personally. He is the mighty warrior, He is dressed in armor, He will defeat the enemy of our souls.

On this earth we can have many enemies, both human and the enemy of our souls seeks to destroy us by disease, broken relationships, and by others. Like our country can stand behind the warriors that defend her, we too can stand behind the Warrior, who died for us.


“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 3:16 (NLT)

Today I have seen several examples of bravery. People in my life standing strong and confident that God is in control.

For the past several weeks we have known that our oldest daughter is battling cancer. Today she had an extensive surgery to eliminate this wretched disease from her body.

As she left for the hospital this morning dressed in her “Sayonara Satan” shirt she smiled and was mentally ready to go. She knows the next few weeks/months are going to be a battle, but she also knows that God is with her each step of the way.

My son in law was prepared also. His devotion to my daughter is a trait that I have admired for years. He had his battle face on. This man who has seen the horrors of war, knew that the battle facing his wife wasn’t an easy one. He was prepared and ready to support and defend her in any way he could.

My husband, was doing what he could for our daughter. He too, was being brave. Pushing aside memories of our little girl who was prayed for and promised when we were told we couldn’t have children. He put on a brave face and was there for our daughter and our son in law.

Our granddaughter (Little Miss) was brave as she woke up to just Grammy and Grampy. A different feel to the morning for her, but she got dressed and did her normal routine with just a touch of sadness. We assured her that it was okay to feel sad because it was different, but, everything was going to be okay.

Our son in law’s mother, we talked for a bit. It’s been a while since we talked. She is a strong and brave woman, herself. She cares for an adult son and is navigating life as a widow. As I talked with her I realized that she lives a brave life daily. She prays and keeps moving forward, one step at a time.

Me. I guess I too was brave. Like I usually do in stressful times, I clean. I do laundry. I know how I felt inside, so although I may have given the appearance of bravery, I was jello inside.

Bravery comes in many forms and shapes. Today I saw many faces and forms. They all blessed me and gave me strength. As I prayed today, for my daughter and all that I was in touch with, I was grateful. Bravery comes from the Lord, and also friends and family. They hold you up by their prayers, their comments, their texts and messages. They help you be brave. So, I appreciate all prayers and good thoughts for my daughter and her family and I thank you for the prayers that have truly held us up today.

Title and Positions

 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4 (NLT)

There are three positions and titles that I cherish. These three define me. They are all answers to prayer. They make up my life. Nothing could sway me from claiming them.

These titles and positions are:

  1. I am a child of God. In April, I can say that for 46 years I have called God my Lord and Savior. This is my favorite position and title. To be my Lord’s is the greatest gift of my life. I am His. “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. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT) and “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (NLT) Being God’s child is humbling and exciting.
  2. I am Dale’s wife. We started dating in high school. We were a typical high school couple, we’d date, we’d fight,we’d break up and vow never to get back together. We’d date again and so on and so forth. There came a time when I started to pray that someday, somehow I could become Dale’s wife. Obviously, we did marry. Our life has not been idyllic, but it has been worth each and every trying time. I am proud to be in the position to call my title, Mrs. or wife.
  3. In 1977 I heard that there was only a slim chance that I could have a child. I truly wanted a child. Dale and I talked about adoption. But, the doctors forgot to tell God that I couldn’t have a child. We had the ultimate blessing of having two beautiful daughters. Hearing my name, Mom, is beautiful music to my ears.

As I have thought about my life and titles and positions, the three I mentioned above are the greatest positions/titles I could ever hope to attain. Holding positions/titles demands respect for those around you. A title or a position does not make you greater or different from anyone else. Years ago I yearned to have a position/title, I thought that would make me feel accomplished and in tune with the Lord. When I stepped into a position of leadership, it humbled me. There was a weight that was put upon me to not embarrass those who put me in the position. There was a weight that was heavy that I not disappoint the Lord.

Positions/titles come with a cost. Are you willing to give that extra bit when you don’t feel like giving anything? Are you willing to do the dirty work that comes with a title? Are you willing to wait? Are you actually ready to give, serve?

I often joke that when I get to heaven I will have nursery duty for the first millennium. I love babies and little ones, but I really don’t like nursery duty. For a few years I had the nursery. At first I grumbled. Then I complained to the Lord. Then, one Sunday as I was sitting in the rocking chair with a fussy child I heard very clearly, “Let the children come to Me. They are precious in my sight.” I sat crying with the child and told the Lord that until I had learned each lesson He had for me in the nursery I would be content to stay there. After that, my attitude changed, I saw it differently.

About a year ago, I was released from the nursery. What surprised me is how much I missed it at first. I had seen the beauty of that ministry.

Sometimes we are so anxious to get that title/position that we neglect to see the importance of it. We desire the title, but God wants us to learn what He desires for positions. He has a perfect plan for each of us. He has a gift for each of us. We need to stop and wait to see where He would like us to be.

In San Diego I led prayer groups, taught on prayer, prayed for people. I do love to pray. As we left our church there before moving, giving our final hugs to everyone, our pastor leaned down and spoke to me. What he said was this, “Do not expect to do and be involved with prayer in South Carolina. The Lord may have something different planned for you.” At first I struggled with this. I was out of my comfort zone. I felt lost. We are starting our fifteenth year here in South Carolina. I am just becoming confident that I am getting ready to do something. God’s timing is the best. In all things He deserves the recognition, the praise and the glory for what HE is doing in me.

As a dear pastor once stressed to us, a call to salvation is a call to ministry. We can minister no matter what, no titles, no positions are needed. Just a willing heart to serve our Lord wherever we may be.


“Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” 22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” John 21:21-22 (NLT)

I am terrible at comparing myself to others. I have done it my whole life. I wish I was shorter (I just had to wait on that one, you know…gravity and age). I wish my hair was that color. I wish I could dress like that. I wish I could write like that. I wish I could teach like that. I wish I could pray like that.

I think, like most people, my life has many desires that I wish for.

The thing is, though, my life is exactly how the Lord created me. Yes, I pray differently, I write differently, I dress differently, I do what I do. I do me.

Often I go to Psalm 139:13, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (NLT) My youngest daughter is a knitter. I have often watched her take a ball of yarn and turn it into a work of art. She patiently works the yarn in her hands, pulling stitches that don’t work and re-doing them. She measures and calculates exactly how many stitches to place here and there. The end result will often bring about ooh’s and aahhs. Most of her work are gifts to others. I have seen reactions from those who have received gifts from her. The joy in the faces, the appreciation of her work, the details that she never fails to put into place.

We (I) am knit together. In my mother’s womb the Lord took two pieces and knit me together. The details, the height, the hair, the eyes, the brain, the speech, the type of walk we have. The Lord knit us together.

His artistry was unique for each of us. He did not compare us to His other work, that did not matter. What mattered was us, each individual.

The apostles learned this afresh when they asked about John. What about him? It was the same as us saying, “I wish I could, or did, or have….”

This lesson hit me today during my quiet time. I am me. You are you. A perfect artist knit us together to be exactly who we are. Likewise, we need to follow Him. That is the perfect response we can give our Creator. He made us and knows us intimately. To follow Him, allowing Him to work in this creation that we are, gives Him the ability to work in us. We, then, will see the freedom to be who we are and what we were created to do.

When Decorations Come Down

I do love to decorate. I love fussing with little things and placing them in the exact place they fit. I love seeing the transformation of our home.

I really do not like taking down and putting away decorations. Especially the putting away part. It’s tedious and frustrating.

Yesterday I finished un-decorating our living room. It looks bare. Empty. Plain. Our banister going up the stairs is empty. No garland, no ornaments, just a handrail on the steps.

As I look at this, I remind myself of when we first looked at our home. It was really empty then. No furniture, in need of paint (still is in many rooms), but we fell in love with our home. It was perfect! It was an answer to our prayers. It was our dream home. It still is.

There is a spiritual lesson here for me also. When I came to Jesus, I was in great need. My marriage was crumbling. I was in a foreign country. I was away from family and friends. I felt alone and lonely. Sometimes the Lord allows you to get to the bottom of yourselves so that all you have left is to look up.

In this state, plain, empty, lacking any hope, I looked up. The Lord was there, ready to transform my life. I came to Him empty and plain. He gave me decorations. First, He gave me hope. He gave me peace. He cleaned my insides and decorated me with His Holy Spirit. My smile returned. I was renewed, washed in His presence, in His love. He decorated me for His kingdom.

Since that time, there have been seasons where I have tried to hide things in my life, like He isn’t aware of my every action and thought. I have decorated myself in self righteousness. I have placed pride in just the right spots. I have boasted of things that were petty.

Eventually I realize the season is over and I allow Him to un-decorate me. He removes the pride, the boasting, the world from me, but instead of carefully wrapping it up and placing it in storage, He takes it and throws it into the deepest pit, where I cannot retrieve it.

God is faithful, even when I am not. He is always there beside me. Each day is new. Each day I attempt to keep the day focused on Him. Some days it’s a cinch, others a fleeting thought will remind how little I have been in touch with my Creator. No matter what the day turns out to be, I know that He is decorator and He is also the One who will remove the extra garland and tinsel I have put on to cover up my bare spots.

” Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrew 13:8 (KJV)

A Tree Named Arthur

I am a huge fan of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I love the allegory. I love that trees talk and move.

When I go into our woods, I think of Narnia, and also of Hobbits. My imagination flourishes when I go walking about.

Last week, my grandson, daughter, son in law, Dale and I went walking though our woods. We were down by our creek, walking along side of it. I pointed out a tree on the hillside. The roots were bare and the tree was growing out of the side of a hillside. One root was strongly in place. It held the tree up, it seemed.

I looked at it closely. It looked like a foot, it’s toes embedded into the soil and almost on tip toes the root went up into the tree. We talked about it. I mentioned it was like a tree from Narnia, where it had been frozen and could no longer walk or talk. I asked my grandson what the tree’s name was.

Without hesitating he told me the tree’s name was Arthur. We told a story about Arthur and we talked about him. The following day we went down and spoke to Arthur again.

I never thought I would ever meet a tree named Arthur. But, here, Arthur lives in my woods. His name fits his personality and his feet. They look to be a size 13 or 14. He has a ‘good under standing’ even if we can only see one of his feet.

Arthur was stopped from moving up from the stream. He looks as if he meant to keep moving to the edge of the woods, but, alas, he is stopped by the creek below him.

Maybe some day Arthur will start to walk again.