Category Archives: Love

March 31, 2021 next

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Good morning, DearHeart.

There’s always a tingling feeling in my stomach when I explore the next right place.

Mystical.

Alive.

Signs of new life ushering me and you into the next season. I spoke to a friend at a crossroads yesterday, weighing pros and cons on opportunities … ready to move on from a dark place she was in because … on her way there … she thought she was moving into place she had only dreamed of. When she got there, it was not. Not at all. Now, scared to trust herself … maybe she couldn’t, look where it had landed her. Maybe she shouldn’t … so many doubts.

If you find yourself there, too, then (you know this) remind yourself that the God who made you always provides an escape with the lessons learned and the stories to someday use to encourage another … the same way He provided an escape for His Son, our Savior from the cross … into the next right place.

And, like He used that hideous cross, God has a plan for the most beautiful new life to come from the darkest night. You can trust Him here. Especially when you don’t feel like you can trust yourself.

As His child, you are in the position of the Saved. God shut the door when you accepted Him as Lord of your life. You are saved. Period. You can’t leave God, and God can’t leave you. As His, He is armed and ready to fight for you … you are on a good team … God wins. Every time.

“Therefore of anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

(*Behold = to stand in awe; to gaze upon).

Wake up.

Embrace the newness of this day, this season.

You are a new creature.

Go.

February 19, 2021 creek quiet

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Good morning, DearHeart.
The early morning hours are my favorite part of the day. The quiet and stillness found there are a balm to my soul bringing calm and courage for the day ahead.
In a world where everyone has something to say the silence of the morning is the time of day I so appreciate.
The quiet this morn reminded me of the silence on the creek a couple of days ago. A mysterious sort of quiet, the noticing kind … “ah, yes, God, here you are. I feel You. I hear You.”
So many people are experiencing hardship from this bitter cold. No water. No power. They are cold. Waterlines bursting. Ice and water causing damage. Frustration.
With all of the preparation, knowing it was coming, doing all we could do, even our animals have suffered.
Yet, I stepped out early into the dark.
Silence.
Snow blanketing everything as far as I could see.
But, oh. The quiet.
It is in the silence that God speaks.
And, here is where I am reminded:
“It is the same with my Word. I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:2, NLT
His Word accomplishes.
He brings life – even in hardship … especially in hardship.
“But the Lord is in His holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20, NLT
Our souls need time to sit in the silence for God’s still small voice to be heard. May our words be few and His heard.
Silence – it has a sound all its own.
It has the sound of God’s voice.
Wake up.
Notice the silence.
Sit there.
Go.

February 16, 2021 snowdrifts

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Our mailboxes look strange – almost covered in a drift! Hopefully, our mail-servants know we value their safety over our mail. It can wait.
Lately I’ve been reading all things to do with sustainable agriculture, homesteading, nature, wildlife, following permaculture & gardening blogs, and such. I read this, and it stuck:
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” Aldo Leopold, ‘A Sand County Almanac’.
It hit home, especially with Levi and Bryan and their crews working all night in this weather to help keep oil and gas flowing so we can get warm. This bitter weather is wreaking havoc on all of nature, and routines, and families … it impacts us individually, as well … physically … mentally.
Sometimes, I look back on the events of my life to be reminded of the grace that has come from the harshest seasons … every single time. What is it, I wonder, that is triggered when we endure great suffering? What kind of God is so absolute in His faithfulness, that in the most difficult, from the darkest of days, we can rest assured (in our inner-turmoil) that our Creator has a plan for our redemption … especially when we are at
the breaking point,
the I can’t do this another day point,
the “God, I need a miracle” point,
the point of being frozen and broken and hurt and empty?
My God.
That’s what kind of God will do that. Mine. He is that faithful. That’s why I believe. He has proven, over and over that I can trust Him every single time; because He has a plan
every. single. time.
Even when, like the mailboxes, I feel like I’m about to be overcome by a huge drift.
“let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Wake up.
Press on.
God’s got a plan.
Go.

February 15, 2021 where does my help come from

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m back by the fire this morning. Out the window earlier, looking toward the barn, I wonder what we’ll find in the lot of Dale’s calving heifers on the other side. I’m also wondering how can air that rushes in my lungs so crisp and clean feeling be so harsh. Like the snow – so simple and quiet, calm …. yet, it is also haunting and brutal. Deceiving.

Ellie, my dachshund, stands at the back door that leads down to the barn when she needs to go out. This morning, she walked bravely out the door on the snow-free path that Luke shoveled before he left yesterday. She stood there, shuffling back and forth trying to decide which bank of snow she would dive through to make her way to the back porch where I let her back in. The snow was much taller than her.

It’s a difficult journey for every breathing thing right now.

There were no smooth, paved roads that took God’s people through valleys, through mountains and other rough terrain as they made their way back and forth to and from Jerusalem each year either.

Yet, they found strength in God Himself to keep returning to Him. The traveler’s fortitude, stick-to-it-ive-ness, help me navigate these hard winter days that can wear down our bodies and our minds.

God will be our help. “I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121: 1-2, NLT).

May you and I look to the Maker, our Maker, for all help.

He is our support system. “He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber” (verse 3, NLT).

The God of the Angel Armies stays ever positioned, ever alert to our needs. To your needs even in this very moment. To my needs. To the needs of the livestock, wild animals, birds, the needs of the fields and streams and the skies.

“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever” (verse 8, NLT). The words “watches over” are used five times in this short psalm (verses 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.)

Discouragement and harm and snow stacked higher than us will threaten to invade our space, but God deposits into each of us all that we need to press on in our journey. All we need to press into Him. There is never a moment He is not faithfully watching over us.

May we look up, from the bottom of the high drifts and see our Help.

Wake up.

God’s got a plan.

Press on.

Go.

February 3, 2021 rocks and sand

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Good morning, DearHeart.
It’s been a hard winter. It is still taking its toll. And, while some folks step up for the challenges of adversity, others respond differently … and some just get downright ugly.
Yep, the winter has been hard. But, you know … it’s been hard on everybody. For many, a vibe of irritability is alive and active – but, there are still those who are not. I wonder …

  • Could it be that the virus has given people permission to be irritable on a public/ social stage?
  • Could it be that they have been grumpy all along but kept it under wraps?
  • Could it be this was the new “them”?
    I’ve been thinking about this … attitude … for months now. And yes, I do realize I have probably been cooped up way too long.
    A familiar passage of Scripture came to me yesterday, along with a children’s song I learned in Sunday School.
    It’s the story of the two builders – one builds his house on the sand and one on the rock. A storm hits and we know the outcome. The one on the rock stands firm. The one on the sand “fell flat”. Check it out …
    “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    Here’s the thing I missed all these years. Or maybe it was because the rock and sand foundations were always emphasized. But, as I read it now … I realize the same storm hit them both.
    Same storm.
    Different outcome.
    Scripture describes the storm exactly the same way for each of these builders. It wasn’t that one experienced a drizzle and one a hurricane.
    It was exactly. the. same. storm.
    No matter what we experience in life, we will not be the first to have experienced it and we will not be the last. There is nothing new under the sun. I fully get that the details of our situations can vary yet there are more similarities than differences.
    Wondering … why can some go through difficulty and remain pleasant while others become as unreasonable as all get out?
    And there, before me lie the answer. It was in red – the very words of Jesus Himself –
    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice……” (verse 24)
    It is in the practicing of His Word, intentionally living out each day according to the way He has set out, that we are able to stand the storms of life with joy. It is not solely in the hearing. You and I must apply His Word, actively living it out, day in and day out.
    In good times,
    and in bad.
    In joy,
    and in sorrow.
    In abundance,
    and in want.
    In sure times,
    and in the uncertain.
    Storms will come.
    Take that one to the bank.
    But, how you and I handle it and come through is entirely up to us.
    Wake up.
    Choose your house.
    Go.

February 2, 2021 laughter

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Our Rush has the best laugh ever – and it is contagious! I love it! When was the last time you laughed?
In the middle of the night I woke and realized I was about to push Dale off the bed. He told me about the bizarre dream he was having – and I laughed until my sides hurt. It was 2am.
Laughter heals.
It is a gift from The Almighty that comes as a medicine for the tough times – a strengthener for all times. It leads to wholeness and a certain mending of the heart. Whatever brings healing laughter is sacred. We fail to realize how sacred. We tend to get stuck in goggles of gloom and doom and political hogwash and virus talk – all lenses that need to be shattered away.
Laughter lightens,
realigns,
reorders,
reasserts strength and power – this is the laughter that heals.
It severs us from anger,
changes our habits of thinking,
adds color to the dullest darkness. Laughter makes us better,
more generous,
more sensitive.
Laughter is sacred.
Search it out. Make a note-to-self of the people and places that bring you to a doubled-over, hold your gut, roll in the floor, tears streaming down the cheeks – that level of laughter. Make it a point to go there. It is your healing. It is the healing for those whose lives you touch.
“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭126:2‬ ‭NLT‬
Wake up.
Find the place.
Laugh there.
Go.

January 20, 2021 provision

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This is Samson the Rottweiler. Luke got Samson late in the summer … full of puppy life, and he stole our hearts. Then, a series of unexpected events from a parasite, to swallowing a stupid chicken bone, then Parvo – the COVID of canines – took his health (and us, and Dr. Booth) through the ringer. It took nearly two months of … pretty much total care …. eleven days in the hospital, syringe feeding and watering at home… driving home from work at noon to poke more water and chicken bone broth down his throat, laying him in the yard hoping he’d get up and do his business. Sometimes he was just too weak.

The days he would give up, we didn’t.

The days we were sure “this is the day”, then he would rally.

During the early fall, I couldn’t believe I was sleeping in the recliner all night again with a baby … dog! I thought those days were over 20+ years ago.

Even my Mom, who is not a dog lover, but loves us fiercely, was among the daily calls … “what about Samson, is he still hanging on today?”

At 16 weeks, the average rotttweiler pup weighs 45-50 lbs. Sam weighed ten.

T. E. N.

At week 17, he had gained a half pound. Then, a full pound the next week.

Some days he slept all day.

Some days he had life, but he was getting stronger and stronger.

He had a few set backs.

In November, he started acting like a pup again and his Rottie personality started coming back.

Now, mid-January, he is spoiled, rambunctious, eating and making up for all the meals he missed.

Because we had staying power, stayed the course, fortitude, stick-to-it-iv-ness, and a God of miracles, we arrived at victory.

The Psalmist reminds us:

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road He set. You, GOD, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course You set.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭119:1-4 MSG‬‬

As believers, we are called to ‘staying-power’ when the world goes bizerk. Especially, now.

So many miracles unfold from chaos. Even now.

That’s why, in adversity, I can still stand amazed in the presence.

His presence.

I’ve experienced His goodness.

Here we are God’s groundwork has been laid in you and me.

No matter what comes, supernatural provision has been arranged.

Life nudges on through alarm clocks and coffee, through ailments and scars, and little victories dotting the way.

When we check our reserves for compassion, preparation matters. Because, when we are happy we are singing, but when the day comes, and we take hit after hit and we need one more ounce of fortitude, then, we need to know that the stores we have laid in can deliver that one. more. ounce.

Here’s the deal, we don’t need to forgive, until we are in a place where we need to forgive.

We don’t need racks of courage until we need courage is in demand.

And, we don’t need extra masses of compassion or strength or faith until everything we’ve got has been all used up.

This is why you and I stay in constant contact with the God of the Universe. We seek Him, and we find Him. We find Him ever more so when uncertainty, tragedy, the unthinkable comes.

We call on Christ,

we call on His people,

His beings,

the seen and the unseen,

and in preparation,

we. meet. the. day.

We are ready.

Wake up.

Meet the day.

Keep your reserves in check.

God is still in control.

Go.

January 21, 2021 self-prayer

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Our Liv is an intense little soul. She goes full throttle, she thinks full throttle, and we pray full throttle for her … mostly that her big personality will stay on course to always bring her Maker big glory. It is important to me that she learns to pray that for herself, too. To be used by God for His purpose.

Do you pray for yourself? I mean seriously–

pray …

for …

yourself.

I’m horrible at this in my prayer life.

Think about all the people you pray for and the intensity with which you pray for them. Do you pray for yourself in the same way?

In my quiet time a couple of weeks ago, I read through Psalm 90 in the New Living Translation. It’s a familiar psalm, but when I got to the last verse, I stopped in my tracks. I grew up reading and studying the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version. I love both of them. But I’m growing to to love the NLT. Its freshness is easy to read. Sometimes, however, the translation is completely different than what I expect.

Here are the two translations of verse 17 that I am most used to:

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. Ps 90:17 NIV.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Ps 90:17 NASB.

Establish the work of our hands.

Confirm the work of our hands.

I pray these words over my man and his work almost every day. He works all the time. Never stops. So, I decided long ago that if he is going to devote so much time and energy to it, then I want his work to have meaning and I want it to last.

But, then … the New Living Translation sheds new light.

And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful! Ps 90:17 NLT

This struck a new chord … OUR EFFORTS. I stopped and journaled all that was on my heart. This writing is part of it. I rarely pray for myself. And, I certainly don’t pray that God would make my efforts successful! How selfish. Why, that would be promoting myself!

Or, would it?

I have this blog. My goal for this blog is to encourage others in their walk with Christ. My desire is for anything I write to bring glory to God!

Of course I want it to be successful!

Of course I should pray that God will grant favor on my efforts so that He is glorified (Proverbs 16:3) Not to advance “my kingdom,” but to advance His Kingdom–so many would know Christ and see Him in the story of their life each day, too.

Do you pray for yourself that God would bring success to your efforts so that He is glorified in your life?

About a week ago all I needed–was good sleep. Good sleep does not come easily anymore. Hot flashes and night sweats are my evening companions. Ugh. TMI 🤷🏼‍♀️

As I closed my eyes, I asked God for the gift of sleep for that night. You know what? I slept all night. The first time in weeks, or months! When I woke up, I realized–I rarely pray for myself! Do you?

Do you pray for yourself to sleep well at night? The psalmists prayed for sleep (I was curious and looked it up) (Ps 3:5 & 4:8)

I told Dale I slept so good – he knows – and experiences my nightly gymnastics meet 😂. You know what I realized? I rarely pray for myself and the healing of my physical body.

When you are sick or injured (especially in minor situations), do you pray for yourself to be healed or to recover quickly?  We should follow the example of the woman who squeezed through the crowd, simply to touch Jesus’ robe. She was healed immediately – one of my favorite miracles – Mark 5:25-29.

So many people need prayer. My husband, my children, my parents, our families – nieces, nephews … so many friends – many of you who are walking through deep trenches of suffering.

The list goes on … with so many other people who desperately need prayer, who am I to focus on myself? That is the voice of the adversary – shut him out by praying for yourself. If I don’t pray for myself, and you don’t pray for yourself, then, we are not going to be the best deal for others who need us.

Wake up.

Self care = self prayer.

Do it now.

Go.

January 15, 2021 Rock

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Good morning, DearHeart.
When Bryan was doing an internship in Alaska to complete his Bachelor’s from Southwestern, we went there to visit him. I picked up these smooth rocks from the edge of the Homer Spit on Katchemak Bay. I’ve stacked them at least a thousand times – always a reminder of God’s faithfulness to me. (The buckeye on top is a different story for another day 😉).
That year was the darkest of my life. Lessons are learned and absorbed when the only thing you can do to get from one day to the next … one hour to the next … is place every breath on God. To stack rocks you have to get still.
I had to train my brain to get so very still during that time because it was prone to lose focus and scatter in a zillion, even darker, directions. The rocks are in my kitchen windowsill; a constant and very personal reminder of His faithfulness to me. It seems when when tough times come, I look up and they have tumbled again and have to be reset.
A God-is-faithful reset.
His “no-matter-what’ Ang, you can trust me through the process” – that level of faithfulness.
I woke in the night with this tune in my head … I wonder if I was dreaming of rock climbing – or maybe I fell off a rock … and Jesus caught me … again … like he does over and over … and put me back in my place –
“ … on Christ the Solid Rock I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand”.
In Psalms the writer used this imagery in referring to God. Repeatedly.
The psalmist knew it to be true … God was always the protection and foundation he sought after.
“Since you are my Rock and my Fortress, for the sake of Your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3, NIV
God is our Rock. The title “rock” fully describes Him as
my Savior,
Redeemer,
Refuge.
This verse reminds me of all that is strong, secure, and safe about God. I’m asking myself, in these rocky days … am I living each day maintaining, declaring, believing that God is my Rock? If I stand firm on His character and His Word, then my faith will be unshakable.
God is our Fortress. David was trusting God to be his ultimate defense, not depending on any other source. This leads me to a second question – Am I letting Him be the source that I turn to?
“Adversity does not make us frail; it only shows us how frail we are.”
(Anonymous)
It’s true.
In discovering our “frailness”, we also discover our only true source
of strength,
of reinforcement,
and support is our God.
We come to discover we are stronger than we thought becauseHis strength will be our strength.
God is our Rock and our Fortress.
Thank you, Jesus.
Wake up.
Stack the rocks.
My God is faithful.
Go.

January 14, 2020 socks

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Good morning, DearHeart.

You all truly bless my socks off. When I read your comments, it is humbling – so tender and touching to me. I feel so undeserving of any credit. I don’t know why I have to write, it’s an urge or a call that is overwhelming. Even when it sounds like a ramble to me, or I read back and think “I really need an editor before I hit send!” … I am forever grateful and thank you … every single one of you, from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share glimpses of my life and thoughts and our Savior with you.

During my days I get to wear many hats. As a matter of fact, each time I step out a door, walk a hallway, turn the key, pick up my phone, I’m answering a new opportunity. Yesterday, I sent a lady some resources to open a business, worked on a computer glitch, solved the worlds problems with Dale, fed animals, made an omelet, planted some seeds … actually, I played in the dirt (mudpies are one of my favorite things – like butterflies and flowers 😉 🌸 🦋).

You are, too.

The daily news is heavy. It can leave me

disappointed,

disheartened,

and afraid most days.

Every day we can hear of violence and tragedy. Unrest. Hatred. Attacks.

These reports keep me running back to the Word that keeps me focused and intentional as I read:

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever unseen.” 1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT

Some versions say, “Let nothing move you.”

Stay steady. We outsmart the enemy when we choose to stay steady, firmly fixed in our position with God. We keep on doing what we have always done.

These reports keep me in God’s Word … focused on what is

true,

and right,

and good.

I stay focused (and continuously REFOCUS!) on the One who is steady.

“All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17 NLT

Wake up.

Steady on.

Go.