Category Archives: Christmas

October 27, 2020 ice storm


Good morning, DearHeart.

Life gets tricky. So do words. I was asked if we have a whole house generator yesterday, I said “yes”; then realized later that I misspoke. We weren’t talking about the same type. We have a generator that runs the freezers, or the range, or the heater, but – not at the same time. Dale rotates them. And, gases it up occasionally.

The kind she was talking about was one that keeps everything running at the same time. I’ve heard of those. Lol. I think you flip a switch or something. Oh, well.

Safe and warm. One way or another.

I think this is the first time Dale and I have had to do an ice storm without at least one of our sons. So, there’s that. 😳

Ice storm.


A left hook sneaks in.

Stakeholders move on.

The unexpected checks in.

So, what is there to do when the next 2020 unthinkable drops in?

Fear rises, grief rises; then the stages play out . . .



-just breathe,



-baby steps,

… they all overlap and rare-up, and replay and settle down again, but always present.

As a child of the Most High, there is a tickling reminder that an always present God is still in control.

‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So, wonder – ask, “Father, what is this here to teach me? You’ve promised me another degree of glory, even here. I believe you. What’s the gift in this unexpected season?

Show me each one.

Stay with me.

Grow me.

Let me invite you, DearOne, to consider this: the unexpected is to be celebrated. If life was exactly the same ten years from today as it is now, you’d be a puddle. It would not be pretty.

The unexpected gives us juice.



Even when it hurts.

Even when unwelcome.

It is not comfortable. But, the Holy in us is always, ALWAYS, working for our highest good. Always moving us, you and me, into His next degree of Glory.

How about if we simply trust Him a little more today, and doubt a little less . . . of life, of others, of yourself? How about if you and I allow our Creator room to make us uncomfortable so that He can deliver sweet gems of insight that are right there, waiting, just beyond the fear, … ahhh, yes, there they are . . . waiting to be seen?

His ways are right.

Trust Him in this moment.

Add another blanket.

Trust His ways.

Wake up.

Allow room for the next degree of Glory.


March 31, 2020 ammo


Good morning, DearHeart.

Luke was loading ammo in the middle of the week (yes, we are 2nd Amendment people, don’t hate, get over it). Our friends have a toilet paper stash to the ceiling. I’m buying powdered milk. These days are not normal. Unusual activities.

Fear or preparedness? Maybe a little of both. It doesn’t really matter.

There is a heightened awareness of threats that surround us. We take extra precautions that are unusual to our norm. The numbers of victims, day by day, continue to rise. In masks and gloves, we sanitize going in, and again going out. And, several times in between.

Such a strange adventure.

When it is over, we will all be living a ‘new-normal’.

When disasters like this virus strike, or any world event comes, we often feel like we have no control over the impact of what is happening, it creates fear, stress, and overwhelm.  It’s so easy to go into that space of feeling like the world is coming to an end and there’s nothing we can do about it.  But we have a choice.  We can flip that perspective and come from a place of


of empowerment,

and contribution.

It seems to me that our hearts are softer in the quiet of the morning or evening. Especially during times of crisis. Those are times for prayer. Here is one you may want to say, or use, or add to, to make it your own.

‘God of Wonder,

God of Glory,

we come before you with uncertainty

and fear

as we see this disease riddling our towns

and our families

and our care-givers.

We pray that Your presence would be felt by those who are grieving,

who are sick,

who are jobless

and those whose worlds have been

and will be rocked.

We pray for wisdom

and safety for those who are responding to the people in need

and the many challenges left in the wake of this disease.

We pray for our church,

that through us,

we may be a witness to Your compassion

and care for all who suffer.

God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1). 

You will not leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

You are for us, so who (or what) can be against us? (Rom 8:31).

For this we give You thanks

and ask that You hear our prayers for Your people.

In the precious and holy name of Jesus, I pray.


Wake up.



November 25, 2019 morning


Good morning, DearHeart.

God loves impossible situations. Over and over God’s word shares the insanely bizarre pickles of His followers, yet God doesn’t leave. He stills them. They panic, He stills them more … He stills you and me out of our panic until we can hear Him.

This time of year my guys hunt very early and late in the evening. One of my favorite parts of them hunting is listening to their stories of what animals and birds they see and hear from their deer stands. As we wake each morning, there is an entire creation coming alive … stirring in the woods, venturing out … tentative … stretching … sniffing the air, then sniffing the earth beneath their feet.

They get still and God pulls them into His care.

In the intimacy of the new sunrise , a settling of hearts and emotions pulls us to His stillness. He reminds us He is near. He reminds us Who He is, and who we are in His presence:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”

‭‭Job‬ ‭38:4-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Picture that.

When we think our chaos will consume us, a new sunrise offers an invitation for our eyes to open to the deeper invitation of one day’s gift, one day at a time, with the Giver of all good gifts.

When He speaks, stars spew from His lips … you can trust that all around you … around your broken places … the shadows are trembling in the light of His presence on this new day. God’s got a plan.

Wake up.

Your shadows are trembling.

Your eyes rise with confidence.


November 26, 2019 language


Good morning, DearHeart.

There is something so sacred, so deeply holy about the way Of God toward His people. He speaks to the very innermost part of our heart- in our heart’s unique language.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.” Luke‬ ‭5:4-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When God spoke to the wise men, He spoke to them through the stars. When He spoke to a young shepherd, He used the language through sheep. When He spoke to these seasoned fishermen, He used the language of fish. God loves our tribes. It is not by accident that He has individually set us in our place, so He can meet us right where we are. He can speak to us in our own language that our hearts can understand most clearly. This place in which you find yourself today is the place where holiness breaks into your familiar world and speaks to the language of your heart. The mundane is not so mundane after all. In case you are wondering … you are right where you belong. Do not take that lightly.

Wake up.

Notice God’s intentions.


November 21, 2019 brothers


Good morning, DearHeart.

Have you been told, and do you really know that you are a work in progress? Sometimes, I think we approach God with small thoughts of ourselves. We are maybe ashamed, or heavy, or guilt laden for … being human, … making human error, … thinking human thoughts.

I grew up with brothers, have mostly male cousins (I’m the only girl grand on Dad’s side of the family), and I raised boys to men. I’m really, really partial to the brother stories in God’s Word. One of my favorite is when Andrew meets Jesus and knows he will follow Christ forever, but first he went back and got his brother, Simon:

“Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ” ). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter” ).” John 1:41-42 NLT

Jesus laid eyes on the Peter, a young rowdy fisherman. Not an ordinary glance, not just any eyes, He looked at Peter with God-eyes … the eyes of a Maker who knew what He created him for before He placed him in his mother’s womb. He saw Peter’s future … “upon this rock I will build my church”. Jesus also knew how messy the process would be for Peter to go from here to there. Because Christ knew the end of Peter’s story,

knew his legacy,

knew his impact to the Kingdom,

Jesus set a Covenant in place with him, and

told him who he really was.

Jesus changes everything.

He tells us who we are … “I know this is who you’ve been, who you think you are, but this is who I see you to be. No matter your failures or accomplishments … they pale in comparison to who God Almighty says you are.

You are His.

You are fully known to Him.

He sees you becoming.

He is with you, holding you, fighting for you.

What a freeing place to start.

Wake up.

See yourself through His eyes.


November 20, 2019 Chex


Good morning, DearHeart.

I am a homebody. Deluxe. Home is my place of peace.

I’ve always been compelled to bring a certain level of comfort to our home … a place where our sons and their families come as a place of refuge and peace … an escape, like my mom & dad created for us – a home that Steve, and Russ, and I, and our kids still run to.

My guys were in and out this past weekend. Luke came through and smelled Aunt Norma Lee’s recipe for ‘trash’ (Chex mix) baking in the oven and said, ‘It smells like fall in here – I love this time of year!’ I totally agree. Deer season begins next weekend and there are certain sounds and smells and traditions that invite them in. It is intentional.

I want my home to be a safe haven for my family, for Dale to gladly anticipate coming home each day. I want my home to be

-relaxing; a refuge from this busy life;

-warm and loving, so that my man and my family feel my love before they even see me;

-a place of tranquility and peace, a place that is conducive to learning of God’s unconditional love for them.

-a place free of clutter so our minds can likewise be free of clutter. (I’m working on this one, lol).

-to be inviting and welcoming. I want to share God’s love with those coming into our house by how our home feels; not stuffy and perfect, but rather comfortable and loving. Creating a place we call ‘home’ provides a foundation for reaching, caring for, and loving on others.

“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

‭‭Wake up. ‬‬

‭‭Create warmth. ‬‬

‭‭Precious and pleasant. ‬‬

‭‭Go. ‬‬

November 18, 2019 transforming


Good morning, DearHeart.

When we were in Alaska in 2015, I picked up rocks from this beach in Homer. Those rocks are on my window sill at my kitchen sink. They make me think of that year … my year of so many losses, and of my total dependence on God. He held me steady when my life had grown so heavy, I couldn’t stand on my own.

He held me up.

He holds me now.

His constant presence has transformed me in so many ways over the years, but even more so through the trials. Like those smooth rocks that had been transformed on that pebbled beach, under a painted sky where the waves at the shore swayed

back and forth,

steady like a heartbeat,

soothing and smoothing.

The rocks remind me of how the saving love of Jesus covers heartbreaking inadequacy, and the messiness of human brokenness. Those rocks sing the song of redemption. They represent the intensity of His life-saving power through the journey. Christ showed me who I was through His eyes, and that He was all I needed. Can you see yourself through the eyes of the God who made you? Are you willing to to take the journey that leads to being transformed by His presence?

“Take a good look at God’s wonders – they’ll take your breath away.” Psalm 66:5 Msg

Wake up.

Allow transform.


November 15, 2019 men


Dale and Rush. Aren’t they the cutest?!

Good morning, DearHeart.

“Through wisdom is a house builded; And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge are the chambers filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”

Proverbs 24:3-4 ASV

The ways of God are a mystery which defies my understanding. As I look back over the journey of my life, it is humbling for me to realize His hand has led me to where I am today.

Every generation comes with its own distinctions. Every child is unique. Throw in varied and never before experienced situations, and understanding is imperative. We need to not only grasp each situation and the emotions of our family members, we need to interpret them correctly and with empathy. Often this will require more of us than we possess. “I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding” (Psalm 119:32, NLT).

Families stretch us and grow our brains and our hearts through each unique journey. Always learning. And, every day is a new journey!

“Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15, NLT).

Wake up.

Be ready to learn.

Embrace the journey.


November 14, 2019 held together


Good morning, DearHeart.

You ever had one of those seasons when everything feels like it is falling apart? I’ve been there, too. I had a season like that that began a year ago. Sometimes it’s big life events that slap you around; other times is the mundane –

lost your keys,

baby pooped like an explosion,

can’t catch up on the laundry,

forgot to buy dog food …

Daily disasters add up and can be stressful. They can catch you totally off guard and rock your core.

Satan uses the big deals and the mundane to try to make you believe that you are not enough.

Satan is a liar.

God’s Word tells us…

“for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.”

Colossians 1:16-17 NLT

Since I am visible and am on earth, those words – “all things” were created by Him—include me. And if I truly believe this then I have to be believe the last part as well – in Him all things hold together.

You know those days we thought we were losing it? We were falling apart?

He was holding those days together.

He was holding us together.

Circumstances may be painful. They may not be the road we would have wanted. But He is right there with us. He has never lost sight of us. I may not have understood it all but He knew completely.

In Him all things hold together.

In Him, I am held together.

And so are you.

Wake up.

Be held together.


November 13, 2019 increments


Good morning, DearHeart.

We are all wounded, aren’t we? Sometimes, we earthlings have trouble with forgiveness. We think of it as a all or nothing venture, the way God forgives us – completely, and done.



Totally free.

And, thank you, Father, for that miracle! For Your total forgiveness.

To me, due to our human wiring, forgiveness is a process, not a singular act to be completed in one sitting. The act of forgiveness has many layers that are revealed through time. The important part is simply that we begin the process. We open our hurt heart to a willingness to forgive. Once there is an opening, the rest will come. It may be in small and slow increments. The finishing of the process is a life work. It is alright. We have the Healer, so we have the patience to see it through to the end. Peace begins when we choose to engage our heart in the process.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NLT

Wake up.


Begin and continue.