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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Life is...Why Now?

Life is...Why Now?

Why a mental health crisis now? 
Why the rise in mental health issues when we're finally getting out of the pandemic? 

When I've gone through difficult times I think...
"If I can just get through this part - THEN everything will be better."
And when the season passes and it's not all better it's devastating.

Life is still hard, even after the storm passes.
There's a rainbow, there's sunshine, but there will be another big storm or small thunderstorms and rain, BUT it's nothing to fear. 
 
There's a beautiful story about a storm in Matthew 4. 
The disciples and Jesus were in a boat and a great storm came upon them.

They cried out to Jesus, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And he awoke and and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be Still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm
He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" 
And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

What storm do you have in your life? 
What changes can take place if we are bold enough to... 
+ Cry out to Jesus.
+ Listen for Peace! Be Still!
+ Take in the great calm.

Jesus showed that he did care. 
Then and Now.
If you're struggling don't stay in the darkness alone. Cry out to Jesus. Call out to a friend, a counselor, a pastor, a helpline.

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." ~Psalm 62:8

flowers


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Life is...Finishing Well

 Life is...Finishing Well

It's easy to show kindness to someone when they are around. 

BUT how you treat others when they aren't there shows your true character.

It's easier to start a journey well than to end well, but how you end a journey makes all the difference.

We end journeys big and small every day: jobs, relationships, conversations, putting the kids to bed at the end of a long day...

*That is a hard one for me. It's difficult to end the day well when I just want my kids to go to sleep, so I can have a few minutes to relax.

It's hard to end well. 

It's tiring. 

It's exhausting. 

It's frustrating. 

~2 Timothy 4:7 says "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 

The finish is crucial!

What if Jesus didn't finish well?

What if he stopped before the cross or before the resurrection?

We didn't need another great teacher. We needed a Savior!

He had to finish well.

Peter and Judas BOTH betrayed Jesus. It is how they finished that made all the difference. Judas wrongly believed he couldn't be forgiven. He wouldn't ask. He decided it was the end. Peter asked for forgiveness and FINISHED the journey well!

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." ~Galations 6:9

My prayer for you and for me is that we FINISH WELL!


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Things that Change & Things that Don't

 Life is...Things that Change & Things that Don't

When I think of how to explain the last 9 months it almost seems impossible. How do you explain the craziness? It has been so life-altering & changes daily. I think this is the pinnacle of the destruction, the madness, the hurt, the heartache, the uncertainty - but it's not.

For me I can sum the changes into:

Fighter jets used to bring me a sense of peace

           -

Now they bring fear

So much has changed in 9 months

BUT...

God is still the same.

"For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." ~Malachi 3:6

There is NO OTHER place to put my hope. Everything has changed. Everything seems uncertain. EXCEPT God!

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is in him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" ~Psalm 62:5-8

Will you join me on focusing on God and not on the headlines?

Will you join me in bringing TRUE Love, Hope, & Light into a world that DESPERATELY needs it?!



Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Sucks

 Life is...Christmas Sucks

(I actually wrote this a few years ago, but felt 2020 was a good year to post it).

Christmas - What a wonderful, magical time as a child. What a difficult, stressful, sad time as an adult.

As I sit here on Christmas night pondering what a difficult Christmas season it has been & I realize...

We idolize Christmas (the nativity & Jesus' birth) but it must have been awful giving birth in a stable. And later having to flee to Egypt to avoid being killed.

What was it like the 1st Christmas?

"and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." ~Luke 2:7

but what were Mary and Joseph thinking? 

"But Mary treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart." ~Luke 2:19

Maybe they were thinking...

-Is this really how God wanted His son to be born?

-Is this really the plan?

-I don't want to have a baby here!

But yet, under these circumstances, of a baby being born next to animals, the Salvation of the World came.

Don't let this small, well-known verse pass you by.

It is like God is telling us, even from the birth of His Son...

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33

If the things that aren't really Christmas start to interrupt your Joy of the birth of the Savior - let them pass by. For Jesus came into the harsh world as a defenseless baby - born into extreme circumstances to be The Light of the World!!!!!

So, even though the Christmas season is hard - all of us have our own story and difficulties - when you start to think "Christmas Sucks!" Remember that in fact 

CHRISTMAS SAVES!!!!

For it was on Christmas that the Child was born into the world - the Child that would redeem all mankind.



Saturday, November 21, 2020

Life is...Breastfeeding and a World Hurting

 Life is...Breastfeeding and a World Hurting

I was reminiscing this morning about when David and Rachel were babies. I was fortunate to be able to breastfeed them, and anytime they would get a cold or start to feel sick I would give them extra kisses deliberately trying to get the germs they had, because I knew I could fight it easier than they could. I was stronger, and I could pass those antibodies on to them. 

Now our world is facing extreme sickness. 

Physical, yes, but also emotional, mental, financial, spiritual...

I am not saying deliberately try to get sick (that would not be helpful), but the same thought process applies as it did when I was breastfeeding. 

I am strong. Let me help!

How can you help someone who is hurting? Are they physically sick, are they lonely, did they lose their job, have they lost hope? 

Since March we have prayed daily for our family's health, but we always ask for health so that we can bless others. 

"God, thank you for our health. Please continue to keep us healthy so that we can bless others. Be with those who are not healthy. Let us see them and be willing and able to help."

Right now I am strong. How can I help you?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Life is...An Obituary


 Life is...An Obituary

My Gma would have been 87 years old today. Sometimes I write as the emotions hit me. Sometimes I need to process in order to write.

My Gma died almost a month ago. I could share a million memories, but I'm not sure they would matter to you.

An obituary is fine but is so incomplete. Here is what I would say about my Gma.

1 Corinthians 13:13 was read at her funeral..."And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

My Gma lived out FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.

And I would add JOY.

They weren't just words that she didn't put into action. She lived them out to show their purpose and their power.

Even during her last months, during a worldwide pandemic, she was teaching me. 

Here's what I learned through her Actions...

1. Even when I'm confused, scared, and hurting I want to be someone others want to be around. Someone who exemplifies JOY and HOPE.

2. Even during a pandemic of fear Gma showed LOVE and FAITH. She said but also showed that LOVE drives out Fear!

There is a great song by Kari Jobe "The Blessing" 

"May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you"

I feel comforted during the weeping and thankful for the amazing blessing that has come to me, because of the FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, and JOY from previous generations. 

May we continue it on to be a blessing to others.



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Life is...What If?

Life is...What If?

What would happen if we simply let politicians know that we are praying for them?

How would it change their heart? How would it change ours?
I have a lot of opinions on what is happening, and I have a lot of ideas, but I can’t see the whole picture, no one can. What if we handed it over to the only One who can see the whole picture and see what God will do!?
What if we prayed for those making decisions, no matter if we agreed with them or not.
What will God do when we pray - not argue or demand - just pray!

Dear President, Representative, Governor, Mayor, School Board Member.....

During this extremely stressful and challenging time I just wanted to say I’m praying for you.

Praying for wisdom and understanding, praying for endurance, praying for your family, and praying you see the impact your decisions make.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him as God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Thank you,
Nancy