“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 (MSG) 

I don’t know about you but when something difficult or harsh happens in my life that could carry on to the next day or the next my mind dwells on it and really makes it much worse than it will ever be. It turns in to a big hairy monster with sharp fangs and scary eyes. Jesus just said in that verse not to worry about it but often I am not good at keeping that in mind. It reminds me of the Veggie Tales song “God is bigger than the boogie man. He’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV and He’s watching out for you and me.”

  
Can you tell I used to work with kids? You know what I mean by a big hairy monster. Bills looming over your head, job interviews, health issues waiting diagnosis, distant spouse, called to the principal’s office, boss says she wants you to see you in the morning, a misunderstanding with your best friend, you name it. Your scary monster is unique to you.

My daughter was born with a genetic disorder that had to be treated symptomatically. Being a working mom I was grateful to have a job that allowed me 12 days of leave a year. Every single one of those days was spent taking care of a sick girl either in the hospital or at home with a fever. You working moms know what I mean about using your leave to take your kids to the doctor or staying home with them. My grandparents cared for her when she was mildly ill which was God’s provision for our family. One day as I was getting ready to go home my boss’s boss caught me in the hall and asked me to stop by his office first thing he wanted a word. Walking to my car I burst in to tears fearing the morning.

Arriving home kids in tow, I threw myself in to hurridly making something somewhat palatable for dinner teary eyed the entire time. My husband got home and when he inquired about why I wasn’t eating I about bit his head off! My stomach was in knots. The kids were on their own for homework and baths. Tossing and turning I could not sleep. 4:00AM came and went as I rewrote my resume in my mind and calculated a quick budget with me on unemployment. Oh brother was my monster ugly! 

  

At 5:30 I just got up. Rushing the kids through breakfast, brushing teeth and getting dressed we got out the door. I don’t even remember telling my husband goodbye. The big hairy monster had gotten bigger, meaner, more threatening and scarier as I drove in to the parking lot. 

Walking in to work it was like my guardian angel smacked me on the forehead just like in that vegetable juice commercial! What was wrong with me? Why hadn’t I even entertained the thought of praying? God already knew all of my fears and concerns. I shot up a sentence prayer and walked in to the boss’s office. He told me it had come to his attention that I had taken 11 of my 12 leave days and he wondered if I was OK. Telling me I was an exemplary employee he went on to explain that although we are given 12 leave days we weren’t supposed to take all of them. That made no sense to me but it was the way it was. He said that when an employee gets close he feels a need to find out if everything is OK. I told him that my daughter had a myriad of health issues and that she had been in the hospital. Mr. Boss became very concerned and proceeded to tell me that he was there for me and if I needed anything to let him know. He did not want to loose me as an employee and wanted to help. I was gobsmacked! That ugly monster reduced to dust as I walked out of his office.

  

I had allowed the enemy of my soul to steal my joy, make me a crazy momma and crazier wife. Instead of giving this issue to Jesus with confidence I took it to a horror show starring Frankenstein’s monster himself. Lesson learned for the moment I went to my desk very thankful for a loving God and understanding boss. I definitely cannot say I have not worried or been fretful for situations since then but that experience burned in to my mind. Even if I had been fired God had me. He is holding me in the palm of His hand, I am safe under His wings. You beloved are safe, secure and held. You are free to breathe. Take a deep breath! Feel the freedom to live and walk in grace, mercy and love. When the hard times comes He WILL help you. You can count on that. God is faithful and does what He says 100% of the time. Walk close to Him today. He is waiting for you. ❤️#whenyouwalkwiththewise

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 (NASB)

Recovering from bone surgery is definitely not for sissies. I know up close and personal. You never think about your bones until you break one. In the space of 6 months I have broken my left pinkie finger, 2 toes (one in half) and had my right knee replaced. Knee replacement is (if you are squemish close your eyes now – wait you won’t be able to read this)  basically amputating your leg and putting it back together. Recovery is slow and painful but it’s all totally worth it for the amazing knee you get! Doubling up on my calcium was in order and, young ladies, it’s good advice for you too. 

We don’t usually feel our bones. They are buried under muscle and tissue. When the Psalmist said in Psalm 22 he could count his bones he was in bad shape. Could you count yours? 

  

I get such relief from the phrase “healing to the bones”. Ponder those words.  Words can heal. Words can also hurt and break the spirit. Who ever said “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” apparently had never been called stupid or fat or useless. That phrase is a lie from the pit of hell for sure! Mean girls, bullies, loud mouth, is that the legacy you choose? There is nothing more powerful than speaking healing over a person who has been wounded by words. 

The bible has a lot to say about the power of the tongue for good and for bad. Over 100 verses in the book of Proverbs tell us how the tongue can be used for good or bad. Many times I wish I could have pulled the words back in immediately after I’d said them like a fisherman reeling in his fish! Once they are out of your mouth and touch the receiver’s ears it’s too late. 

   
I was at my daughter’s soccer game when she was 6. She was playing with all her heart and the teenage referee was making some bad calls. You could tell he was inexperienced and learning. We moms were sitting on the sidelines cheering on our little bumble bees. These kids were 6 not professional A-1 players but that is hard to remember when your little player is out there sweating and panting and fouls are being called on her that are clearly wrong. Other parents had already hurled insults at the young ref but he stood his ground. I said in a clear distinct voice “they shouldn’t have a kid trying to ref this game he needs to go back and get some ref lessons. He’s terrible!” Well that was it. The straw that broke the camel’s back. The woman sitting directly in front of me turned around and looked me square in the eyes with tears and a quivering voice said “that referee is my son and he is doing his best. He’s only 14 give him a break.” Well I could have just died! I remember the face of that precious mom to this day 34 years later that’s how mortified I was. I apologized but it was too late. She picked up her chair and moved far down the field from all of we cackling vultures picking her poor son apart. That young man was referee at my daughter’s next game and you’d better believe I didn’t say a word. I saw his mom and smiled but she walked right past me. I have prayed for forgiveness over the years and longed to have those words taken back.  I wanted to reel my words back in!

  
Words can heal words can hurt words can break a spirit. Be known for your tender words, your sweet speech. That is a legacy worth leaving. Be a blessing to someone today. Someone needs healing to their bones this minute. You be the one. Say thank you to the grocery clerk or the pharmacy assistant. Thank your barista for getting your order right. Send a note of praise to your child’s teacher or coach. Leave a powerful word on your supervisor’s  desk. We all need encouragement. You be the one! Be the one they will remember for good. Be the honeycomb that brings those dry bones some much needed healing. 

Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jepunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. Numbers 14:30 (NASB)

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. A day of love for sure but also a Sunday. On Saturday my friend phoned and asked if I was up to subbing for her Sunday School class. We team teach the very small (I’m talking 5 at the most) class of elementary students. Recovery from knee replacement on its 9th week I was ready to jump back in the saddle. The lesson would be about Moses sending in the 12 spies to spy out the promised land. Oh, I knew that story in my sleep!

The Old Testament is fascinating. I greeted my one student and set her on a path to use my scripture coloring book with special pastel pencils while I told the story directly from the Bible. The story goes this way: God told Moses to send in one spy from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to take a good look of what He had promised them and come back and report to the people. He told them to see what people they were up against, what the land was like, the cities, the crops and to make an effort to bring back some fruit. They found the grapes so large and lovely they had to put the clusters on poles carried by two men! 

  
Those were some huge heavy grape clusters.  When they got back 10 of the spies gave a bad report and 2 gave a good report. The 10 said the people were giants, the cities too fortified, they would   all surely die. The other 2 spies said that God carried them this far and would not let them down. They wanted to go in and take their promised land for heaven’s sake! The people sided with the majority, God’s anger burned against them and the consequences were dire except for the two men who gave the good report: Joshua and Caleb. Those two men and their families would be allowed to enter the promised land flowing with milk and honey as God had promised but thay would have to wait out the 40 years of wandering like all of the rest. Seems unfair but God’s ways are not our ways. The original Israelites who grumbled would die in the desert but their children under age 20 would enter.  After 40 years of going in circles those kids would be in their 60’s but God would lead them in to the Land.  As for the 10 who gave the bad report, they got a plague and died on the spot. 

  
I am merrily reading along, my charge is coloring a beautiful Bible verse and I get to the section with all of the names. Sheesh! Biblical names are hard to pronounce. Why couldn’t they be Johnny or Roger or Charlie? When I was on the church staff we met weekly. First order of business was to read the Bible.  We each read 10 verses as we made our way through the Old Testament. I have to say I really enjoyed that part but it seemed the pastor always planned it so that when a large portion of names came up it was my turn to read! I suggested we skip over the names but he said “if God saw fit to put those names in scripture it is our responsibility to read them.” I think I noticed him winking at his wife, our church office manager, to  just get me going. I read the names butchering them as I went but I read them!  

Starting in Numbers 13:4 we have names like Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi, Geuel and, of course, Joshua and Caleb. Then it dawned on me. I have heard this story preached, seen it flannel boarded, taught it many times and never saw this. THAT is why I love God’s word so much. One never stops learning even if the story is second nature. The names! I asked my little artist if she had ever heard of the names of the 10 spies who gave a bad report? Did she have a Shammua in her class? She said “nope, but I’ve heard of Shamu at Sea World.”

  
I then asked her if she knew a Caleb or a Joshua and we proceeded to name several. There it was! God not only preserved these two obedient Israelites but He preserved their names for eternity. If you look at lists of popular boy names you will always find Joshua and Caleb. You will be hard pressed to find Palti or Shaphat.  I had never even seen that part of God’s faithfulness to these two precious men in all of the times I read or studied that story. When we are obedient even when everyone is against us and we may have to pay some fall out ripple consequences not of our doing God will remember and bless. He wants our obedience my friends. Caleb and Joshua eventually entered that promised land and lived long productive lives. Their generations were blessed. They had to go through some trials to get there but those only made their resolve stronger. They believed God. Believe God today dear one. Believe Him for His promises for you. We read in 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are YES; wherefore also by Him our Amen (so be it) to the glory of God through us.” (NASB) 

And next time you meet a Caleb or a Joshua you just might want to tell them of the great men whose name they carry. 

#whenyouwalkwiththewise

  
1 Peter 3:1-4 has been my anthem for the last 30 years and I have had the opportunity to share it’s merits with many struggling women.  I was that struggling woman myself. If you know me you know I am quite outgoing and have a big personality. When I walk into a room I introduce myself to people and by the end of the event I have several new friends. Quiet? Not even in my radar.  I am not taking obnoxious or annoyingly loud; I would say “personable”. 

I come from a family who, when gathered together, talks over each other. The other night we had a birthday party for my dear sister. While inside my ears started ringing and I couldn’t figure out why. As I left and closed the door behind me I knew why. Boy was it loud in there! Big noisy wonderful loud. My precious brother Tim gets the “loudest in the family” award. He walks in and you know he’s there. His presence is unmistakable. He will say “Amen” at church and you know he means it. When Tim was a baby his ear drums burst and his hearing was damaged. I really don’t think he can hear himself. We laugh hard and loud and love even harder.

 My “little” brother! 
So you can imagine my shagrin when the Lord led me to 1Peter 3 while in the midst of praying for my husband’s salvation. I had been pouring my heart out to God daily asking Him to deal with Steve when all along I should have been asking Him to deal with me! Coming across the gentle and quiet spirit part was quite a blow. How in the world? You know those sweet soft spoken women with the delightful smile and gentle touch. They would never even hurt a fly! They are graceful, very spiritual, demure, always proper. I was being misled by the enemy of my soul as he constantly whispered in my ear “you will NEVER be like that no matter how hard you try.” Defeated was written all over me. I tried to be like them but people kept asking me what was wrong with me. Was I not feeling well? Was I mad? I was going about it all wrong. 

  
Sitting across from a dear friend over two cups of fancy coffee I pondered that question out loud to her. Her advice has never left my ears. She said that I could have a gentle and quiet spirit. It was a matter of the heart. Praying for the Lord to reveal what that would look like for me would be my mission. I desperately wanted that. Marveling at her wisdom at such a young age I took her advice. I began praying those verses in earnest for myself. I prayed that God would change me from the inside; that He would show me what that looked like for me. 

Things began to change around my house. Our home became a place of peace. Women you set the tone for your home. How you react and respond is huge.  My husband came home one night after months of my metamorphesis and said that he really enjoyed coming home to me not yelling at the kids. It was a nice break. He noticed!  Several years (yes, I said several years) later he came to Jesus. He told me it wasn’t what I said to him it was how I acted. He was observing my life, daily. Something had changed, he mentioned. Consciously I stopped the nagging about church and all things God and Jesus and just prayed. I asked God to make me the wife he needed and him the husband I needed. God did what only He can do; He changed hearts. God knit us together. It took years but I persevered because our marriage was worth saving.

  
Today I have many opportunities to counsel and pray with precious women in dire circumstances, ready to walk away. I always lead them to 1Peter 3 because I have been in their shoes. It’s a marathon I tell them. We have to be willing to empty ourselves of “self” and focus on Jesus. Results take time. Let God do the work in you, precious one. Contact me and let me know. I will pray for you because you are worth fighting for and we fight that enemy on our knees! ❤️ #whenyouwalkwiththewise

Good Morning Beloved

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 1 Timothy 1:15(NASB)

It is a trustworthy statement…1 Timothy 3:1 (NASB)

It is a trustworthy statement…1 Timothy 4:9 (NASB)

Trust – firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 In 2004 I started my penny journal. I’d heard a story of a rich man picking pennies up off of the sidewalk and when asked why he did it he said because “In God We Trust” was written on the penny and it was a reminder for him to keep trusting in God. That compelled me to put my own penny search to the test. I found my first penny walking in to a 7-11  convenience store. Big doings were happening at the school for which I worked. Being the administrator of a private elementary/preschool brought lots of opportunities to trust God!  I went home and taped the penny in to a journal I had laying around waiting it’s turn for good use. Fast forward 12 years and it is now a 3 ring binder with page protectors!


The journey continues to be fascinating. I never know where a penny will turn up. Believe me they have appeared out of no where (but that’s for another blog post). Over the years I have shared my penny journal with family, friends and anyone who would listen. People have often told me that they found a penny and think of me. I tell them to think of God and what He was doing in their life at that very moment. I ask them to take a picture of it and share their story with me!

Last week my niece was at Mirror Lake in Yosemite. She found a penny and texted me. God was there!  This penny brought her thoughts to the grandure of the beauty by which she was surrounded. God’s spectacular creation. She also said “Grandma Gertie says Hi from Yosemite”, my mom being in heaven. Pennies from heaven? Perhaps….

My journal has taken on a life of it’s own. Periodically I read through the pages and see how God has worked in my life, the lives of others and the school. Trusting God, trusting in God is a daily choice that I make. It is my anthem and my theme! Knowing He has me in the palm of His mighty hand has carried me through many hard times that would otherwise break me to pieces. The Apostle Paul wanted young Timothy to know that what he was telling him could be trusted; that God could be trusted.

Precious one today you have a choice to make. You can trust God or not. I am a witness to the fact that He is trustworthy! He is reliable, true and strong. Make no mistake, He is the only one you can truly trust. Here’s hoping you find a penny today and start your own In God We Trust journey. Just watch and see what God will do! Let me know if you find one. I’ll be excited to hear!

#whenyouwalkwiththewise

Good Morning Beloved 

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 8:34-35 (NASB)
Waiting has NEVER been my strong suit. If you looked in the dictionary for the word wait or patience my picture would not be there. I walk fast, talk fast and expect people to keep up (unrealistic for sure!). We live in an instantaneous society. One Minute Manager, Gone In 60 Seconds, Fast and Furious, microwave dinner, time flies, Quicky Mart, drive-thru fast food, drive thru weddings, give it to me now! Heck, life speeds by.


When I was a kid we didn’t ride our bikes to 7/11, we rode them to Speedy Mart. They were ahead of their time with that name! Speedy Mart was the little store on the corner that mainly carried things you would need in a hurry. Mom would send me there with a few dollars to get milk, bread and, if there was money left I could buy an Abba Zabba or a Look bar. I was back home in 30 minutes. Picture of things to come.

As time went by life accelerated to a break neck speed.


Children and adults alike are over scheduled. When our kids were growing up they were involved in sports, my husband and I worked full time, I was in college, involved in the local Jr. Woman’s Club, church activities (choir, Sunday School teacher, youth group leader and bible study teacher). Looking back at my life I am amazed my husband and I ever had time for each other!

I walked around exhausted in a haze of sleep deprivation. Where was my time for the Lord? Where was that time for pouring His love and knowledge in to my mind and heart? Beloved I feel your frustration! At night when we got home I cooked and ate dinner, did dishes (we had ants could NOT leave dirty dishes), threw in a load of laundry, had baths, fielded phone calls, helped the kids with homework then did my own and I would fall in to bed. My only hope would be to wake extremely early to catch a glimpse of God. He patiently waited and grew me in Him in spite of myself. That is how much He loves me and He loves you. He continues to call us unto Himself. He knows what is best for our lives and that spending even 5 minutes with Him in the morning can effect our entire day!


Fast forward as I sit around my dining room table once a week studying Romans and imparting knowledge to two young ladies in their 20’s I wish that had been me sitting around someone’s table in my 20’s. Start today precious one. Wait on the Lord. Give Him your time and watch Him multiply it! Seek Him; you will find Him. Riches unimaginable await you as you invest in the gold mine that is the word of God. That treasure is for keeps. ❤️

#whenyouwalkwiththewise