Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

Some pondering on the pandemic

In case you had not noticed, I have a mind that collects thoughts faster than our furniture collects microbes of dust. 

Stand in a room of your house when the sun is streaming in and look at all those bits of matter swirling around and you might just get a glimpse of my daily existence inside the gray matter tucked under this head of mine. 

So I jot notes in journals and spiral notebooks, on the backs of receipts and bank statements, napkins, my hand if I have nothing of paper to use. With the coming of smart phones, I have been able to even email an idea to myself but I have also been known to use the voice record feature. 

I saved my old blackberry just so I could have a record of thoughts from that season, and yes last time I checked I could still pull them up. God bless the Blackberry which far surpassed Apple and all their updates and backups and such that need a tech degree to even operate at times. 

Currently on my phone I have 31 recordings of undeveloped ideas and so this morning as I was walking I decided to listen to a couple. 

One of them was recorded in January of this year. I was reflecting on a picture I had seen with a news article quite a while after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan. It showed tables with boxes of photographs and people looking through them trying to find any that belonged to them. 

As someone who struggles to delete any of the 11,000 plus photos on her phone..yes…11,000…that are also stored on two computers and two external hard drives, I still get a lump in my throat imagining these broken hearts looking for any tangible keepsake of life before it was ripped away. 

When I googled today to try and find that picture, I see that eleven years later they are still struggling to rebuild and regroup. 20,000 died right away…500,000 were forced to evacuate. The damage was so incredibly shocking. 

And we all were upset and prayed and had compassion…for about a week or so. Until the next thing came and took our attention. 

My thoughts I recorded in January were we now understand, worldwide, all at once…what it is like to have life completely turned upside down. 

While the pandemic is discussed from many angles and theories and critical analysis, we cannot deny that all of life on planet earth was touched by this. 

The toll it took on some was life itself, on others mental or physical or economic health. The decisions made by leaders in the midst of it and in the aftermath continue to keep us in a state of unrest and imbalance. 

While we can say, in some ways, it is good to be back to “normal,” we are far from “normal” around the world and in our own communities. 

We are forever changed and often we gather, with friends, digging through the aftermath trying to find whatever it was we lost. 

I watch with amazement as we are asked to put masks on our children to go in enclosed buildings at a small local zoo yet stadiums are packed with unmasked adults and children yelling and screaming. 

I listen with interest to a fellow shopper who is wearing a mask as she tells me she is vaccinated, but her brother is a research doctor and has reminded her that with the vaccine, we who contract Covid will be able to fight it off, but we also help it to mutate. She asks me where do I thing the variants come from. 

I hear the news that threatens we may all be going back to wearing masks, and I remember the feeling of having to put that thing on to go to work or to get groceries. I remember the sad eyes of others looking over the top of their mask back at me or the panic in the eyes of others. 

We are not unchanged by all that has happened, but the wonder is that we have done this across the board. 

We may not agree at all with others about anything that has happened, but we have all been affected and we have all lost something. 

I know for me, this healing and processing needs to take place outside of the political and media spotlight. This past year and a half has challenged some things that I realize I had just accepted or taken for granted. 

As I pray and seek God for answers to my own questions of personal and global loss, I am learning more about who He is and who we are. I am drawing closer to Him through His word and I hope and pray you are as well. 

Perhaps digging through the ancient promises that still hold true is a much better place to gather than old boxes of photographs. 

I just know that as I think on different parts of the world where devastation hit a community hard and we all felt bad but our lives went we all know what it feels like to lose everything we called normal together all at once.

We are living in a most significant time…let’s seek to live it well for such a time as this <3

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A new view of that “Fear Not” command…. <3

In keeping with our theme of hopping in the car early and heading off for a long day somewhere to be with people we love, I have about 15 minutes before Russ calls me to help load his kayak on the back of the truck and we head south so he and Sarah can yak while I read. 

Or nap. 

Which sounds more probable. 


My quick dip into my devotions this morning brought up this gem and I don’t know if it was just for me, but I rather doubt it when I look out over the landscape of life on planet earth in 2021.

So I am passing it along to you with prayers whoever needs this insight, finds it.

In a daily book given to me at Christmas by my dear friend who prayerfully searches for which one to share each year, I found this thought:

While we, as humans, are alarmed by the presence of fear – Jesus whole life was lived in a swirl of fear-inducing circumstances. 

Born into the terrible threats of Herod, living on the run to Egypt, His miracles produced fear in people, He was hated, hunted and killed on a Cross. 

The author, Rick Lawrence,  points out that in the midst of all of this, He Himself never feared and constantly encouraged His followers to not be afraid – because He knew He had nothing to lose. 

He had already given up everything to save us. 

We, however, are always worried about what we might lose and so we fear. 

Lawrence goes on to say that our “fears” are relative to circumstance and one fear will become overshadowed by a bigger fear. He gives the example that a financial pinch may cause us to fear, but that fear would cower to a diagnosis of cancer as we faced the greater fear of losing our health over our money. 

He ends with this thought:

“It’s the weight of the fear that recalibrate our reality. And Jesus wants to be the heaviest weight in our universe – so bit that all our lesser fears lose their traction, and ‘in the shadow of His wings’ (Psalm 17:8) we discover our safest refuge.” 

Rick Lawrence, Jesus-Centered Daily; Group Publishing, Inc. 2020; July 14 entry


Isn’t that powerful? 

Whatever raises its head to threaten you today, remember….it is still under His feet <3

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A word from the wise…. <3

Good morning to you! 

Or afternoon…or evening…or whenever you find your way here. 

I have a quick thought to share because, if you checked out yesterday’s post, you know that we have a V.I.P. arriving while I am at work on Friday and we are spending all day with the Fab Four on Thursday…so today I have just a short little thought to throw out there. 

My reading in Proverbs thus far this week had me in a section that included Chapters 7-9 where Solomon, who was proclaimed to be the wisest man ever, is contrasting wisdom with folly. And l would like to go on record saying that as I read the portions about the seductress that leads men astray, I did have the entire soundtrack to “Welcome to the Hotel California” playing in my head.

But that is a sermon for another day….

For I promised to be brief and so here is what I noticed as I read these passages. 

I often say that I am searching for wisdom. I am seeking it and crying out for it. And I feel that foolishness is holding up a big old billboard to distract me all. the. time. 

However as I look at these passages I notice this:

The young man who is led astray actually wanders up the path to the porch of folly. (Proverbs 7: 8)

In Proverbs 9: 14 we find the one who would lead us to ruin, sitting on her porch again, calling out to those passing by. 

However, Wisdom “…takes her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection.” (Proverbs 8: 2) 

She shouts and hails people…

“You! I am talking to YOU!” (Proverbs 8: 4-5) and she is pretty blunt about it actually. 

In Chapter 9, after she has prepared her table she goes out into the town and stands in a prominent place. 

So why, if Wisdom pursues me and Folly just waits for me to stumble in, do I have so much trouble finding Wisdom at times? 

Perhaps it is because Wisdom doesn’t flatter or promise ease….perhaps because Wisdom calls me what I am…slow to listen, rebellious of heart…and then asks me to work hard at sitting under her teaching. 

Maybe that’s why sometimes Wisdom eludes me. 

Wisdom doesn’t have an agenda. 

Wisdom doesn’t lie in wait for me. 

Wisdom doesn’t make empty promises and it doesn’t flatter my ego. 

Wisdom is available in the clear, open paths of every day life – making itself known to me as I walk in the right places and acknowledge that I need someone to teach me the ways of the wise. 

Wisdom is not slinking around waiting for me to wander along some dark, enticing path and find it.

Wisdom is transparent and honest and available to me right on the paths I take to walk on every day when I set my heart to desire the better way of living. 

Interesting to think about, isn’t it? 

I pray today you will continue faithfully on the path God has set your feet to walk out, and that along the way you will hear the voice of Wisdom guiding you. 

Oh, and if she calls you a blockhead, it’s okay…we are, sometimes, a little thick-headed you know <3

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