Monthly Archives: March 2018

The battle is real <3

Recently I was quickly typing the last part of an email on my phone.

At work.

With a customer browsing the card selections I had pointed out to her as she pursued the perfect birthday salutations to send to a friend.

As I hurriedly pecked out the last few words, my email and miniature keyboard disappeared and the screen transformed into a picture of my husband with an incoming call.

In a split second I hit accept because in my gut I simply cannot hit “reject” on a call from someone I love so….

in the crankiest voice imaginable I blurted out a greeting.

He immediately asked if it was a bad time and he could call back.

I did what all good and godly women do…I struggled mightily to muster up a cheerful tone whilst explaining all the details of my current situation in living color/play by play/minutia ad nauseam.

And he did what all good and godly men do …. he began to apologize for interrupting my email efforts.

I felt ridiculous.

How on earth could Russ possibly know when he dials my number that the device on which I will answer could possibly be engaged in a text, email, weather check, photography session, health and wellness update, news feed or devotional reading…you name it?

He told me what he needed to share and we hung up.

I was still stewing about being so crabby when the lady made her way to the counter.

She is someone I know so I felt comfortable sharing my frustration with myself as I tend to do this frequently when a call comes through while I am using this gizmo for some other purpose besides what it’s actual name is … iPHONE….because the least amount of time I spend on it is actually using it as a means of verbal communication.

Her response was both consoling and understanding. She said that she knew exactly how I felt and she pointed out that “back in the day”, you could be typing on a keyboard and then off at some distance perhaps the phone would ring.

This gave you time to take your attention away from one object and turn it to the next.

It has given me food to ponder.

Our days are filled with rapid fire sound bites of information.

Whether it is the phone, computer or television; we are bombarded with random images and many words with very little time to process or react before the next onslaught begins.

I barely absorb the Dilly Dilly commercial before the evening news team delivers its teaser headline story of the latest tragedy with details coming up at 10. A political ad pops on and it is so dark I want to vote for no one and then March Madness returns but the screen has so many scores running across the bottom I can’t tell which team is currently on the court but who cares because seriously…cheerleaders please…put some clothes on.

I find that all I want to do is … shut down.

I want to draw in and close out the noise of this world.

I am tempted to harden my heart so that I can self-preserve what’s left of any hope for peace and quiet and serenity.

In these times it is only with great effort and discipline…DISCIPLINE…that we take concentrated effort to keep our hearts wide open.

We have to be diligent to fuel our souls in God’s word and prayer, asking for His perspective on how to navigate through the days we have been given.

To set the phone and other media devices aside.

To remove the headphones, turn off the television and radio, and sit for a while in silence.

To be present in His Presence and just to breathe deeply from His life-giving Spirit.

It is communion and fellowship with Him when the world would overwhelm us.

I hope you will join me this coming week for a quiet and reflective walk through the events of Holy Week.

I pray today you sense His love and joy and acceptance of you and that you will rest in Him throughout the course of your day <3



Preparing our hearts and our homes <3

Well, we had the first day of Spring this week….but apparently winter temperatures are holding fast and strong for a while longer.

I did get a kick out of some of the posts on Facebook and Instagram from around the country with snow and such heralding the season change.

One thing that these sunnier days is doing is highlighting the ravages of winter.

The sun streaming through windows for more hours of daylight are pointing to the need for a good scrubbing. And then there is a layer of dust that seems to migrate from room to room as I attempt to do some spring cleaning.

And so it is with our souls as we enter the last week of the season of Lent.

Hopefully we have taken time since Ash Wednesday to open wide the corners of our hearts and have allowed God to do some cleansing.

Perhaps you fasted from something the past six weeks and in your denying of self, have had a renewed sense of God’s holiness.

Just as houses need a deep cleaning several times a year, our inner man can have spiritual dust and grime that builds up in the course of our daily living and I find that as I do the physical rejuvenation of our home…whether it is wiping down walls and vacuuming behind and underneath furniture or cleaning out the leaves and sticks and pruning back plants to begin their new growth….I can lift myself to the Lord and ask Him to reveal the places that need some purging…the places that need some filling…the places where He would like to do a deep cleaning.

Next week we journey through the days called Holy Week…the final week of remembering Jesus’ last days as He walked among us as one of us.

I plan to do a daily meditation for the coming week here as we follow the recordings of His activities in the Gospels.

I hope you will set aside time in the coming week to meditate on the events leading up to the celebration on Resurrection Sunday.

Here are some passages to help you in that effort:

Sunday: Mark 11:1-11
Monday: Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday: Mark 11: 20-26
Wednesday: Mark 11:27-14:11
Thursday: Mark 14: 12-31
Friday: Mark 14:32-15

Of course there are other passages in the Gospels, but this is a good place to begin.

Blessings on you as you do the things to prepare your hearts and your homes for the next season God is moving us into <3

If the printer decides to mount an attack, I am safe <3

Russ had to travel this week and I must admit, I felt an added edge of protection having Rocco staying with us.

Although he never really barks or seems too alarmed about people coming in and out of the house, I just knew if I needed him…he would ditch the stoic facials and tap into his inner dogness and be my hero.

Sure enough, last night he roused from slumber as I was working at the kitchen table and moved with curiosity towards the front of the house.

He took a defensive posture and gave a couple of threatening barks.

Bolstered by knowing he was a dog of size and power, I ventured from the kitchen…only to hear the printer processing the documents I had just sent via my MacBook…yeah…

when I told him it was just the HP ENVY 5660, he shook his ears, yawned and headed back to bed.

Looks like the only way this weapon of mass destruction is going to do me any harm is if I get a paper cut.


Does Tuesday feel like Monday because of the time change?

Sorry for the blurry pic but the child never. sits. still.

I think my brain has spring fever because it is jumping all over the place today so here are some random thoughts on election Tuesday….which help me…I have no idea what any candidate plans to do but I know tons about how awful they think all the other candidates are.

And as a side note …in a world where people like to bash the Church by saying all people know about us is what we are against, I want to say…really? You all need a new church because I know where I attend I get taught about grace and love and forgiveness and Scripture truth. Which is way better than the political scene swirling around us these days.

I warned you my brain is overactive so let’s move along to this…

For a brief shining moment in Camelot, I was the leader in the family bracket.

And since I base my picks on if I like the name of the team and fill it out in about a minute and a half max…this moment will live on in my mind as Hall of Fame worthy.

Then there is this beast…

when we were playing a rousing game of “How do you like my hat?”

He has decided that the couch is the most comfortable sleep spot and manages to work his way around all the kitchen chairs and bar stools that we have set up to try and prevent this activity.


Although, it may be retaliation for …you know…the hat game…since he is at a distinct disadvantage to actually have a turn holding something over my head.

And that’s it for today folks.

I have to vacuum the sofa and vote.

Be blessed and I will see you on Wednesday and P.S. I love your hat <3


Message received <3

Yesterday we heard a great, and rather convicting, sermon from Pastor Brian on trusting God.

The passage he pulled from Mark happened to be about the encounter Jesus had with the “rich, young ruler” and he noted this account both IS and ISN’T about money.

It IS 100% about whether we place our trust in God or in the provisions He has given us.

And yes, money is one of the major provisions that add to our security, safety, well-being, health, shelter, identity…etc….etc…etc…

Pastor Brian wanted us to be aware that money, and what it can do for us and what we can do with it, is not the exclusive means for pulling us away from devotion to God alone…but it is one of the biggies.

And as I sat there, echoes started resounding in my soul from the hours I spent digging into Kelly Minter’s wonderful No Other Gods book, study guide and videos a while back.

Since I have never really earned large sums of money; but instead have enjoyed the fruits of the labor of first my father and now my husband, I can sometimes think money doesn’t mean that much to me.

But I know in my heart, I have become very accustomed and partial to the things it can bring into my life.

So this was a good wakeup call to me as to how addicted I have become to comfort.

But the Holy Spirit didn’t let me rest there, my friends.

He never does.

Because Brian had to go “from preaching to meddling” as the saying expresses it…and he used this zinger near the end.

How money can become a “functional idol”…a source of rest and wealth and trust and security.

Functional Idol

A phrase Kelly taught me in the study mentioned above.

A phrase that just happened to pop up on my devotions this morning.

Worded this way…

Zealotry over any “good thing” in any one area of your life is a red flag of functional idolatry.

When a “good thing” replaces Jesus in your heart.

What is the thing…the position…the mantle….the serving….that is the most important thing about you? About me?

It can be our status based on our possessions, but for me, it is the thing I have poured the most and best and purest of my life efforts into.

It’s my family.

I sit here with a choked throat and a face bent low and tell you that being an excellent wife and a good mom have many days knocked Jesus off the throne of my heart.

I know it when I get angry at the perceived failures.

I see it when I base my value on how well I am doing my part…oh, and God forgive me, how they are doing theirs.

I sense it when I compare myself to others who seem to be doing it better.

I am well aware that just as the Jews equated prosperity with having God’s favor, I live in a culture where having a financially, emotionally and spiritually prosperous family is the same deal.

And where in Scripture did the Lord ever say that having all your ducks in a row and looking well-turned out on social media was the hope and the promise of the Cross?

It is with sincere candor and conviction that I share …. I often have placed my trust in my role as wife and mother to the precious family God has given me to serve …

and THIS, too, is idolatry.

Oh there will be some who rise and say these are noble things to pursue.

Yes they are.

But when they have become my source of identity…my badge of recognition…the fulfillment of my life…the breath of my lungs and the beat of heart…

they are functional idols.

And they must be torn down.

Because the idol here is not really my family…it is my reputation as being the wife and mom of this family.

It is what others think of ME and how I have done in life based on how well all of them are doing.

To have a well-thought of…well respected…prospering in soul and spirit group….is a reflection of me, myself and I….

My devotion this morning pointed out that the good things God has called us to do, are not the sole essence of Christ.

They are blessed opportunities to live out His love but they are NOT Him.

I cannot worship at the altar of family.

I cannot rely on my roles as wife and mother to save me.

I cannot seek affirmation and confirmation of my God’s love for me based on the ebbs and flows of the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Jesus loves me…this I know.

He gave His life for me and it is at His feet that I must always bow down to worship.

He is my prosperity.

He is my wealth.

Belonging to Him is my identity.

What He has done for me on the Cross is the story of my life.

It is His love that must be poured into this poor empty heart.

And when it is full of Him and Him alone, then and only then, can I can serve those He has blessed me to love and tend in a way that will bring glory and honor to His Name.