Thanks in Action

It’s Thanksgiving season again. The time to reflect on our lives, gather with family and consider our history as a country that was birthed by the drive to live in a new world where freedom and liberty set the foundation for society. As Christians, many of us take time during Thanksgiving to refocus and prepare our hearts for the impending celebration of our Savior’s birth. We will reflect on blessings and hardships, explore areas of Christ’s intervention or answered prayers over the year, and we will look intently and intentionally at what we have. There will be many Facebook posts, …

Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

Wedding rings

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly… Birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I? These words, from the song made popular by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, were sung to me by my mother when I was a young girl and when I was a new mother anytime I got discouraged or down. No matter what I was dealing with, she knew when to spontaneously start singing, and it always brought even the slightest smile to the situation. Today I don’t hear my mother’s wonderful voice as often…guess we thought I out grew it, …

God Isn’t Done with Me Yet

To pick one moment and say, “that, that right there was when God wrecked me,” is hard to pinpoint. It wasn’t the moment our 6 month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t the moment my husband deployed, or the moments I thought he would never return. It was a gradual build up, a gutting of everything I held dear before the final sweep of the wrecking ball knocked through my walls. Our first child was born during the week before finals of my second to last semester of grad school. I was on track for the life I’d …

The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Love & Sacrifice

Love. We’ve been hurt by it and we’ve been blessed by it. People have even died for it. Love evokes a passion from within us. However, for a lot of us love can be so confusing. How can one fall in love and then years later fall out of love? How does that work? Is love really so frivolous? Is love really that unreliable? Despite the passion that lives in that one little word, we have managed to water it down. Love has become this abstract concept that our culture distorts for its own purposes. In fact, love has become …

5 Relationship Myths

My kids and I take a summer sabbatical every June to Florida, where I grew up. My husband usually goes on a mission trip and travels to a conference in June, so he kindly allows us to go to my hometown in Florida. Our last week in Florida, he flies down to join us. He loves to enjoy the beautiful west coast Florida beaches I grew up on. We also work in a mini Disney vacation with our little family and spend a couple days away, just him and me, on the beach. I cannot tell you how much I …

My Dad: Salvation to Service

I was born into the home of new believers. My mother found Christ first and spent a full year praying for my father. He had once said he would go to church but he would never want a Christian in his home. He never did find God. God found him. He found him in his room searching the scriptures for the UFO’s his older brother swore were in there. He found my father wrestling through the Old Testament exclaiming he could believe in Him, it was this crazy Jesus he couldn’t swallow. He found him considering conversion to Judaism. Then …

Grace Expectations

No human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. This is something I’ve learned over my life. We often put so much pressure on our husbands, children, friends and family to fill a void in our lives, to be a certain way, or to be who we think they should be so they can meet our needs and our expectations.  Whether we are aware we do this or if we do this unknowingly, it’s wrong. Let me say it again, no human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. It is Jesus’ job to fill that part of our soul …

Reflections on Earlier Life

Memories of a Centenarian Scripture: “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23: 5-6 While I sat and meditated, thoughts of my earlier life filled my mind: I was the oldest of ten children, lived on a farm and been raised during difficult times. 1918, the year of my birth, influenza caused more deaths than the war being fought. Thankfully, our family was spared. As I reflected on those days, I am thankful for loving parents.  With a large family, …

From Tradition to Memories

In a world of busyness and chaos, hustle and bustle, it is nice to take time to stop and enjoy it.  How often do we simply relax with our spouse or play with our children?  I can honestly say I often find myself telling my children to “go play” instead of “let’s play.” One of the many things I love about the Christmas Season is that even though it is hurried in the shopping and wrapping and parties…. there are still those moments when I can sit and do a craft with my children or make cookies with my family.  …

A New Tradition

A tradition is simply the transmission of beliefs from generation to generation.  We have to be careful that we do not get caught in them and undermine the authority of our creator, but rather bring Him pleasure by remembering Him in all that we do.  Such traditions that bring Him pleasure are saying grace before we eat or the taking of the Lords Supper.  As we do this, we quote “…Do this to call me (affectionately) to remembrance.” I Cor. 11: 24 AMP  I am always amazed at the various types of family traditions that I hear about during Christmas …