Sharing My Chocolate Cream Pie


Stepping out in faith and back from things, allows one to see life from a different angle. Like a mountain climber who’s reached the summit the view is breathtaking and clear. Instead of looking up at the task before you, you look out at the beauty in front of you. It was worth the work, the wait and the wonder.

Here are some things I learned in my four-month hiatus (with more to come I’m sure)…

1. Pounding on a locked door keeps you from noticing the open one.

 I was so very sure I knew which door I was suppose to knock on and walk through that I stood at it for way longer than I ever should have. I feel for Celia Foote in The Help when she rang the doorbell then stood in the bushes with her chocolate pie, peeping in the windows wishing, hoping, desiring to be let in, to be a part of the group. Instead of the rattle of a latch, she heard the prattle of laughter. She learned quicker than I that that door wasn’t going to open.

Stepping out in faith and back from things allowed me to see I can’t force anyone to open a door…especially God. It allowed me to see that door had become an idol…something I desired more than what should have mattered.

Closed fists pound. Closed fists can’t receive.

 Once I opened my fist and stopped pounding, a different door opened. Had I not stepped out and back, I would still be peeping in the windows with my chocolate pie.

2. Not acknowledging our emotions doesn’t make them disappear. It makes them fester.

 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until it gets buried deep down in my own marrow (and yours), It’s ok to say you’re not ok.

 Can I take it one step further? It’s ok to say what you need.

Saying you’re not ok and asking for what you need does not make you weak or needy or typical for a woman. Saying you’re not ok is one of the strongest things you can do. Asking for what you need takes hutzpah and heart.

When we don’t, we fester. When we fester, we eventually pop…usually in the wrong place at the wrong time with an odiferous oozing that’s plain nasty. Anybody out there?

3. Out of order love doesn’t last over the long haul.

 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

The most important one is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:29-31NIV)

The God of my faith is a God of order. I believe he put this verse in that order for a reason. We truly can’t love others or ourselves without first loving him with everything we have and all that we are.

We live in a self-centered society. If you don’t believe like me, look like me, act like me, think like me, dress like me I can’t possibly show you any kind of love (or mercy or kindness or grace or much of anything really).

I can’t tell whether we love ourselves too much or hate ourselves but either way, self-absorption or self-loathing creates a heart unable to love your neighbor.

Loving the Lord above all else allows us to see others (and ourselves) as made in his image. We see beyond the beliefs, looks, actions, thoughts and clothes to see people…Imago Dei…able to extend grace and mercy and truth and kindness.

Spending time with the Lord, creating space just for us, helps me keep love in the right order.

4. Life is too short to take my ball and go home.

 My very best friend since kindergarten is sick. Last fall she went to the emergency room thinking she had a bad gall bladder and left with a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis and a poor prognosis. For her, each day is a gift, one that she gladly opens. Each day is an opportunity to use the gifts and talents she’s been given and continues to share with her fourth grade class because she hasn’t quit.

I can’t quit either. It’s ok to step out in faith and back from things because we all need time to breathe on occasion. We all need a moment to be still, gather our thoughts and get our bearings but not for forever.

Part of me wanted to take the best of what I have to offer and say forget it. If the door won’t open, then I’ll take my gifts and talents and go home.

But then I talked with my best friend. The one who shared her crayons and didn’t laugh at me when I didn’t know my grandparents had ACTUAL names. The one who taught me that cows are nice, roosters are mean and how to sneak around the fairgrounds when you are there for 4H. The one who has been dealt a hand that isn’t fair and completely sucks but gets up everyday wanting it to be her best just in case it’s her last.

No. I’m not taking my ball and going home. I’m using the gifts that have been graciously given to me, sharing my chocolate pie with those who open the door and invite me in (and even those who don’t when love is in the right order. 🙂

I am thankful for what these past 4 months of soul searching solace has taught me.  I pray I continue to uncurl my pounding fists and open my hands to receive so I can in turn give back. I pray that I don’t allow feelings to fester. I pray that I keep the Lord in the forefront so I always see those I encounter each day through his lens and not my own. I pray that I make the most of each precious day given to me.

I pray these things for you as well dear reader.

Fiercely for you,




More Joy in One Ordinary Day


Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More. More.” I have God’s more-than-enough. More joy in one ordinary day. (Psalm 4:6-7 MSG)

 That last line got me…

More JOY in one ORDINARY day.

I want to find joy in the simple satisfactions of every day rather than be always waiting, ever disappointed when the marvelous is mowed down by mere.

It takes extraordinary courage to find joy in ordinary days when the world is hungry for more.

It’s easy to do isn’t it? Chase after the massive monumentals; the bigger-than-life-itself stuff. The living with tomorrow in mind and miss the here and now. I don’t want to become so busy chasing after extraordinary that I miss the joy that comes with the ordinary.

I never want to tire of the wonder of an egg. How does a chicken make an outer shell with an egg inside? Not to mention the greens, blues and all manner of hues. And then there’s one yolk or two?

I never want to tire of the smell of sun-kissed sheets dried on the line. It makes for the outdoor to come in and my sleep so fine.


I never want to tire of watching bees work to make honey. They take nectar from a flower and turn it in to something worth more than money.

The smell of bread baking and apple butter making.

Georgia peaches that travelled so far, line my shelf in wide-mouth Mason jars.


Sunrises and sunsets and super moons that are blue, remind me each day to be grateful and true.


Photo of this beautiful blue super moon is courtesy of Dianna Dickson 🙂

Old hymnals filled with songs I hold dear. They tell of grace and a cross and of Jesus who’s near.


I want to notice the forget-me-not so tiny and small as well as those who feel like flowers on a wall.

The snow as it glistens like diamonds in the sun. The hoof prints of deer making a path as they run.

The smell of a babe as you rock her to sleep is a joy in one’s heart forever to keep.

Sitting on my front porch swing listening to the frogs as they sing.

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. (Thomas Moore)

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals as long as we don’t get so busy racing towards the next thing that we miss the victory of today. There is more joy in an ordinary day when we s-l-o-w down enough to notice. Chasing after slow is a bit of all right too.

It does take practice. And determination. And courage. It takes a certain fearlessness and fortitude to say STOP in a world full of clamor and commotion.

We are so wired by technology to always be on, always be involved, always be in the know, that it takes a literal brain reboot to enjoy (in joy) silence and solitude and God’s more-than-enough.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. (William Arthur Ward)

There is so much to be thankful for, so much to be joyful about, so much to be blessed by…in a simple ordinary day.

Fiercely for you!












Feeling Like You Can’t…


I woke up at 2AM thinking about the previous day. I had some minor outpatient surgery to repair some varicose veins. I woke up the morning of the surgery feeling pretty anxious. That’s usually not how I roll. You do what ya gotta do. Ya know?

Cosmetics aside, I needed to have this done so the blood could flow back up my leg freely.

We arrived at 5:30AM, got registered quickly and was sitting in a very quiet surgical waiting room waiting for the staff person to arrive at 6. The longer I sat the more I felt the need to leave. Fight or flight I believe they call it.

Thankfully I was taken back and prepared for surgery before “flight” happened. I decided to “fight” by repeating this praise song by All Sons and Daughters…

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

And all the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

…over and over in my head.

Ironically, I woke up from the anesthesia with the feeling that I couldn’t breathe. I looked at one masked face after another telling them with panic in my voice I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

All of them told me I was fine. I was talking so I was breathing.

It didn’t help.

I reached back for the nurse anesthetist who had told me in pre-op prep that if I had any problems to let her know and she would help me. She grabbed ahold of my hand, told me not to worry, put an oxygen mask on and told the rest of the team that I was having a panic attack. She then proceeded to give me some “calm down medicine” in my IV. Calm down medicine is like sitting under the poplar tree at my grandparents house sipping iced tea on a hot summers day…cool, calm and refreshing.

The irony and parallel that I thought of at 2 in the morning?

The irony…the fact that I was singing the lyrics about God’s breath in my lungs and pouring out praise and then “coming to” feeling like I couldn’t breathe!

The parallel…how many times has life punched you in the gut and taken your breath away? Like life is spinning out of control? No one is listening. No one is helping you. How often does the enemy try to convince you that God is not there nor does he care?

The enemy wants us to feel like that. He wants us to panic and hyperventilate and grasp at whoever will listen.

What do (should) we do instead?

Praise the One who can help in the middle of it. And then watch the devil be defeated!

I know. I know. That’s the last thing you want to do. It’s easier to focus on the situation at hand and not on the One who can handle the situation.

We want to march out with the white flag singing I surrender all to the very one who is taking our breath instead of the One who is Breathtaking.

King Jehoshaphat had an entire (vast) army coming at him…the Ammonites and the Moabites got together and ganged up on King J and his crew. Guess who led the army out to meet the “-ite” brothers? The praise and worship team! Check it out…

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever. (2Chronicles 20:21 NIV emphasis mine)

Because nothing screams victory in battle more than a bunch of choir singers.

It just doesn’t make sense does it? Shouldn’t we send out our elite soldiers with their battle ready skills and armor? There are people trained for this kind of thing. Keep reading…

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. (2Chronicles 20:22 NIV emphasis mine)

Notice as they began to sing…not before.

Apparently we aren’t the only ones confused by this war tactic…

The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2Chronicles 20:23 NIV)

So the next time the devil tries to knock the very wind out of you, leaving you to believe your Father doesn’t care, that your Dad isn’t big enough, don your choir robe, inhale a big old breath, exhale some praise and sing baby sing. It will confuse the heck out of him.

That my friends is the best “calm down medicine” this side of heaven.

Fiercely for you!


PS Surgery went very well and according to my man, my legs look like I tried to shave them with a very old razor and no readers. You guys.



Comfort Food


Why is it the kids pick a dish involving your homemade noodles whenever you ask what they’re hungry for?

 My man asked me this as I was rolling out noodles for Johnny Marzetti, a family favorite for decades.

There is something comforting about combining eggs with flour and a dash of salt. Rolling them out then up, slicing them thin and spreading them out to dry on a cookie sheet.

But it’s more than that.

I get the recipe out every time. Oh, I don’t need it. I’ve made the dish so many times through the years that it’s been put to memory long ago. It’s more than directions on a card. It’s memories of the heart.


Seeing that familiar handwriting reminds me of sitting around the old oak table at my in-laws. A table where we ate together, played games together, did homework (yes, I married my high school sweetheart) together.

I remember the pan she used, the apron she wore and the Saturday morning conversations we had as she whisked, mixed and rolled. My mother-in-law, Evelyn was solace for my soul.

As I’m whisking the eggs and getting ready to add the flour, I’m reminded of all the times I watched my Granny mix noodles together. When asked why she never measured out the flour she used, she told me you just feel of it and know when the dough is ready for kneading. I can’t tell you a measure because when it’s storming the damp air causes you to need more flour. You’ll get familiar with the feel the more you spend time making them.

 My Granny was a woman of simple means. A country girl from the hills of Tennessee who could make do with very little. There is something comforting about simple, isn’t there?

There is solace in that recipe card with stains from use, those handwritten words of direction and the memories from long ago. It provides comfort food for the body.

But these words on a page are like food for the soul….

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.

(He is my soul Provider.)

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

(He is my rest Giver.)

He leads me beside quiet waters,

(He is my silence Sustainer.)

He restores my soul.

(He is my soul Rescuer.)

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.

(He is my steps Director.)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

(He is my Peace.)

(Psalm 23:1-5 NIV)

Like familiar writing on a stained recipe card this familiar passage doesn’t have to be looked up. Most of us have it memorized. But when you need to feed your soul it does one good to see and read the writ of old.

It provides, quiets, sustains and restores.

Like. Nothing. Else. Can.

I can’t explain it. I just feel of it and know.

Here’s to simple solace.

Fiercely for you!



My Year to Swing Easy


There has been a misconception about my word for the year. Although solo and solace sound similar, their definitions are not. While solace means comfort it doesn’t mean quitting. It doesn’t mean stepping away from everything and everyone and go it alone.

That’s pretty much what I had in mind for the New Year. As I was explaining my word thoughts to my man, he said something about that being my go to…going into hermit mode.

Kind of made me mad.

But there is some truth to it.

I DO find great comfort in being at home. It IS an easy go to when the world is nuts or you’ve had a time with an off-the-wall person. I CAN talk myself into believing that I don’t need relationships with people “out there.” People suck sometimes. I suck sometimes.

This month I’ve read six books, put together two puzzles, watched two Netflix series of multiple seasons, written a little, napped some, lit candles a lot, went to church, cleaned out my pantry and felt like I was settling in to this solo solace thing quite nicely. People? Who needs them? And then I found this…


It may not look like much to you but it’s my favorite ball marker given to me by one of my favorite golf partners and people ever. We don’t just golf; we do free therapy for each other, laugh, cry, cut up and act a fool. I had looked everywhere for this marker but couldn’t find it until it showed up in a spot I had already looked a hundred times before. Coincidence? Nah.

God teaches me in simple ways mostly because I can be pretty dense sometimes (or some may say mule headed.)

I love to golf. Not that I’m good at it but even on my worst day, it’s great to be outside enjoying the scenery, the company, and the fun. My aforementioned buddy and I decided to join a league where we bring down the median age to about 70.

I was a little nervous as I tee’d up my first ball and sure enough duffed my drive about 10 yards in front of the box. Next one was the same. What the heck?? So I asked my girlfriend what she thought was going on since she sees me golf all the time and we are fairly equal in skill (though she almost always outdrives me and beats me by a couple strokes…sigh…)

Her response: You’re trying too hard. Just get up there and swing easy like you do. Stop trying to kill it.

So I did. While I can’t say that every drive was straight and beautiful, once I started swinging easy it was way better. I was trying to impress these women, some of who have golfed longer than I’ve been alive. I was trying too hard and got caught up in playing someone else’s game.

This is the message God is trying to tell me. Stay in your lane. Be who you are. Stop trying so hard and play the game I’ve given you to play. But don’t quit. Show up. Bring your clubs. Tee up your ball. Swing easy. Watch Me work.

He says it better than I can in Psalm 46:10: Cease striving and know that I am God. (NASB)

Be still. Swing easy.


In a world that screams “hustle harder” so you’ll go farther, it’s frowned upon to be still. Hustle (push or force one’s way; jostle or shove, be aggressive, beg; solicit) for your worth. It takes courage to realize that that is exhausting and do something about it. To be brave enough to step back, stay in your own story and stop trying to kill it.

On a side note and I’m sure just in case the ball marker wasn’t enough to get the point across, the first puzzle I put together had several missing pieces. When we don’t show up or try to walk in someone else’s story, there are holes that can’t be filled and the world misses out on seeing the complete picture.

So while I need solo time for solace because I’m wired that way, I’m not quitting. But I am swinging easy this year. No more hustling. Because I’m already worth it.

Fiercely for you,















Solace for My Soul


Solace. It’s a lonely sounding word. So when it kept coming to mind as my word for this year, I balked. How boring. How lame. How unadventurous and ordinary. That won’t get you where you need to go to succeed. Sigh.

I looked it up in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary (a gift from my kids for Mother’s Day) and it says: (v.) to take comfort; to be cheered or relieved in grief. (n.) comfort in grief; alleviation of grief or anxiety; also, that which relieves in distress; recreation

The past few years have been a whirlwind of adventure with high school and college graduations, two weddings, births (grandbabies), deaths (Granny and Mom), loss of friendships, job changes, political discourse, successes and failures…bringing with it highs and lows, tears of joy and sorrow, worry and angst, confusion and concern, highlights and darkness.

If I were to be honest, I’m tired. Bone tired. Down in my soul tired.

Maybe solace, comfort is exactly what I need.

I began to notice something back in December when I knew this word was supposed to be mine in the New Year. On a handful of occasions during a six week period I had different people ask me the same thing but from different angles. What are you doing now that you have one kid at home? You don’t work? Don’t you get bored?? What are you up to these days? Oh my gosh! What I wouldn’t give to be unbusy like you.

 It made me doubt what I do…write a blog, farm a few chickens, grow a garden and take care of my family. It made me think I should be working, doing something big. I fail and succeed a thousand times if only in my own mind. Anybody else out there an over analyzer? I drive my own self crazy.  That’s the way of things today, isn’t it?

The world roars “MORE” while my soul searches for simple.

One of my goals for this year is to read through the Psalms and Proverbs each month. David is awesome! A badass king of the warriors, slaying thousands of men one minute and an emotional crying-myself-to-sleep-heap the next. I get that. But David knew who to go to for solace…

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1)

That’s what I want. A soul at rest. That doesn’t come from doing more, being more, running more, working more, serving more. Solace doesn’t come from the world or food or shopping. No. It comes from God alone.

When my now five-year-old grandson was just a baby, we took him to see my Granny, his great, great grandmother. Arteritis had long since taken her vision. Dark shadows were all she could make out and those only on the sunniest of days. She kept her eyes closed mostly and relied on her other senses to “see” for her.

Oh I wish I could see him. Bring him over and let me feel of him.

So we did. We watched as she used her gnarled, arthritic hands to see him.

She felt of his chubby little feet first. Squeezed his legs, his arms. Felt of his torso and his frog belly. Then she moved to his face, taking special care to be gentle. She explored the shape of his head, the curve of his neck, his tiny chin and button nose. She felt his eyes, his soft baby cheeks, his tiny ears with the gentleness and intimacy of Grandmotherly love.

As she rested her hand on his leg she said, He sure is somethin’ isn’t he? I’m so glad I got to see him.

 She saw him by being close enough to touch him, smell him, feel of him.


Time had slowed down, the baby was still (as if he sensed this old woman needed him to be) and we got to witness a beautiful few minutes between baby and great, great grandmother.

The world runs crazy after much of the wrong things. I’m guilty of it too. Chasing after people, positions and purpose wearies the soul. Sometimes we lose sight of God don’t we? When that happens, I want to get close enough to feel of him. I want to climb up in my Father’s lap, close my eyes, feel of His face and see that’s He’s something else. All else will fall into place.

Here’s to a year of Solace.

Fiercely for you!





When Christmas is Different


We’re having a bit of a different Christmas around here. It’s for a good reason…my middle daughter is having a baby soon and our oldest daughter is flying out to see her and this new little one while said oldest daughter is on break from teaching. So that means two of the five kiddos (and their spouses) will not be around for the holidays. That’s 40%. Almost half of us aren’t here.

We’ve been watching old VHS tapes of when all the older ones were littles with much of the tapings being around Christmas. The memories are beautiful but it’s also a reminder of just how different things are now.

Not all bad mind you. Just different.

The kids were all under one roof. Now three of the five are married blending traditions of both families as their own. Todd’s parents and sister and my grandparents were all alive and well. Those are treasured  times and moments that pass too quickly.

This year finds me feeling funky. What do you do when Christmas is different?

I woke up in the wee hours one morning with an acronym of GRACE on my mind and in my heart. Maybe you could use it this year too.

G is for give.

As in give YOURSELF some grace this year. Sometimes it’s easier to give to others than receive from yourself. We can certainly say to a friend, Of course you are sad (or bummed or blue or sick or whatever). It’s hard when things change (or you lose someone or your health is bad or it’s different).

 It’s okay to tell yourself that too. Cut yourself some slack, do what you can then gift yourself with grace.

R is for rest.

With all the hustle-bustle and added details…shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, parties, programs etc…of the season we forget or don’t allow for a time to rest.

Keep your quiet time appointment with the Lord. Allow yourself 15 minutes to simply be still or catch a quick nap. Spend a few minutes in the twinkle of the tree lights thinking through all you have to be thankful for. Don’t have a tree? That’s okay. Light a candle, grab a book or magazine and allow yourself some down time.

Self-care is important especially during busy (different) seasons.

A is for acknowledge.

Acknowledge your true feelings. Talk to someone…a counselor, pastor or friend about what you’re feeling…really feeling. Shoving emotions down because you shouldn’t feel this way or you feel like a Scrooge isn’t healthy and will come out somewhere else…hello cookies!

Stop telling yourself you should or shouldn’t do or feel a certain way and be honest with your emotions.

C is for cherish and change.

You get a two for one special here. Cherish those memories! When I look back at the Christmases gone by I LOVE seeing everyone together. The traditions, the food, the gatherings, the gifts. But life is about change. Some things need to go. Others need to be changed up a bit.

Do I miss some of those earlier years when my kids were all little and under my roof? I’d be lying if I said no. But I am learning to enjoy the rhythm of a new norm with a balance of old and new traditions.

Remember: just because you always have doesn’t mean you always have to.

E is for engage.

When your holidays are different, either from loss or even good things, it’s easy to withdraw from the world. It’s easy to assume everybody else is singing about the most wonderful time of the year and not struggling at all.

Don’t buy into that lie. Don’t withdraw. Please don’t.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing…coffee with a friend, serve in a shelter, go for a walk with a buddy, volunteer at church, visit people in a nursing home, deliver cookies to the hospital or abuse shelter….but do something. Serving, engaging gets us thinking outside of ourselves.

God sees us, you and me. He knows our struggle. He feels our pain. He knows when our Merry Christmas! is more like “Many Grievings.” It’s why he sent Hope in the form of a newborn babe, a Son, his One and Only…to help us through when things are different.

And that is GRACE.

Fiercely for YOU!







Thankful Before (Questions to Consider: the Purpose)


I’m not going to say there is a purpose to everything. That just seems so cliché and cold to say to the one who has lost a loved one or to the one whose marriage is falling apart or is living in the wilderness wondering if she will ever get out of there.

I don’t know the purpose to why bad things happen or God’s timing on things. What I do know is God can take everything we experience…every hurt, every painful thing, every dry time…and make something good from it. Every. Single. Thing.

Here’s the question: Can we thank him before we understand the purpose because, let’s face it, some stuff we will never understand this side of heaven. Can we thank him before we see the good that he makes from something bad?

Hard questions to consider for sure. But boy when we come to the place of being thankful in all things, it sure changes our perspective, our attitudes and our worship.

 Sunday November 12           Read John 11:1-43

 Monday November 13           Read John 11:1-16

Have you ever sent word to Jesus, letting him know (praying) about a situation?

Has his response ever seemed like he stayed where he was two more days? (A “delayed” response to your request.)

How did/does this make you feel? About the situation? Towards Jesus?

Tuesday November 14          Read John 11:17-37

 What was Mary and Martha’s reaction to Jesus when he “finally” showed up?

What was Jesus’ reaction to each of them?

Is it okay to be completely honest with how we’re feeling, sharing our disappointment, anger and grief with God (or even towards God)?

What “I AM” name does Jesus use here?

Wednesday November 15              Read John 11:38-43

 What does Jesus thank God for in verse 41?

For whose benefit and for what reason does he do this?

God hears our prayers. God answers our prayers. Sometimes his answers seem delayed but maybe it’s so everyone knows Who it was that was working in the midst of your request. Just something for us to consider.

Thursday November 16         Genesis 1:1-31

 Switching gears a little today. We saw in John 11:25 that Jesus is the resurrection and life, bringing the dead back to life. God is All-Powerful. His word can create something from nothing.

Spend some time today paying special attention to what happens every time you read And God said…

Consider this: Maybe you have something that seems hopeless and you feel helpless. A relationship that is dead. A job. A marriage. Etc. If God spoke into existence all that he did out of nothing, he can surely speak life and hope into your situation…that something that you lay at his feet.

Thank him today that he hears you and that he can speak life into whatever you are facing.

Friday November 17            Read Ezekiel 37:1-14

 Who does the setting in and leading around the Valley of Dry Bones?

All of us experience dry times spiritually. Often times it’s of our doing but sometimes the Lord actually leads into that valley. Verses 13-14 gives us a clue as to why.

We cannot know the beauty of the mountaintop if we’ve never experienced the depth of a valley. A valley is something meant to be gone through not lived in.

Listen for the Breath of Life to breathe into you.

Saturday November 18         Read Proverbs 18:21

 Our words have the power of life and death.

How do you use your words towards others?

How do you speak to yourself? Your family? Your friends?

This week has been one of thanking the Lord before we understand the purpose of the thing we’re going through. Can you thank him in the I don’t know why? Will you thank him in the I don’t understand the purpose? Can you thank him while in the valley of dry bones? Will you use your words to bring life to others and yourself?

I know it’s hard to be thankful in all things, in all situations, with all our words. But if we practice thankfulness before knowing the purpose, we will get better at it!

Fiercely for you!








Lessons in Loaves and Fish

My version of loaves and fish! Hey! This post is all about being thankful for what we have! 🙂

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. (John 6:11 MSG)

The need is great. The resources limited. The people are hangry. You are tired with very little left to give.

I’ve been there. Oh, it wasn’t on a hill but in my home. It wasn’t my belly in need of food but my soul. I was depleted, wrung out and I wasn’t sure how much I had to give to feed the need. What I did have sure seemed liked leftovers and not enough. You too?

When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do. (John 6:5-6 MSG)

The stretching of our faith doesn’t happen when we’re full and on fire. It happens when you have nothing left to give, the grief is great or you have no clue what to do.

Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.” (John 6:7 MSG)

Philip gets it. He gets being tired and not having enough…the disciples and Jesus had come up to this place to rest a bit. They had been serving and seeing miracles happen, healing and hope were given and people believed in Jesus.

My reaction is much like Philip’s when I’m tired. I can only see the vast need and not the Provider standing right in front of me. The last thing I want is to be stretched in my faith. Can’t you just fix it already, Jesus? Because I’m in no mood and I have no clue.

 We see the impossibility of making a way instead of the Way Maker.

One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.” (John 6:8-9 MSG)

 I get Andrew too. There always seems to be a but in my offering to Jesus.

 I know You can fix this but…

 I know You can help me but…

 I know You can feed this need but…

 I know You are my refuge and strength but…

 I know You can do all things but…

                            …that’s a drop in my bucket for a problem like this.


Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.

He doesn’t scold. He doesn’t criticize. He doesn’t reprimand. He shows them what can happen when we place our “not enough” in the hands of “more than you can imagine.” Needs are met. People are fed. Souls are at rest.

Jesus showed the disciples (and us) what happens when we give thanks for the drop in the bucket …God can use it to feed the masses (or your family or simply you.) He meets your need.

When we give him what we have, he gives us what we need but not always what we want. Wait, what?

I wonder what the people thought they were going to get when Jesus raised the bread and fish in thanks. They had just witnessed miracle after miracle so he could have easily turned those loaves and fish into T-bone steaks grilled to perfection, a baked potato loaded with sour cream and butter and a decadent chocolate dessert!

He spoke more than that into existence for goodness sake!

For example: I can give him a broken relationship and I need him to fix it. I know how the need should be filled (of course!)…I want him to fix the other person. Instead he gives me peace through the storm…something I desperately need. That peace then becomes something I want. Something that, oddly enough, satisfies that need deep down in my soul even though I didn’t get exactly what I asked for.

When we give him what we have, he gives us what we need and that becomes what we want….all ate as much as they wanted.

When we give thanks in the not enough, it becomes more than enough when put in the hands of More Than You Can Imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Have a need? Lift up that loaf and fish, thank God before he provides and see what happens!

Fiercely for you!






In Between the Before and After

We have been busy around here! Lots of pictures to share and of course a thought or two about some life applications. I am loving the new look. We went from dark earthy tones to a light bright farmhouse feel. It was a ton of work but very worth it. Makeovers usually are.

One comment on social media was that they didn’t think our “before” looked bad. And I suppose it didn’t but it was time for a change, an overhaul, a new do.

Funny thing though when you start moving things around and getting ready for something new, you find out exactly where you don’t clean much! You also don’t realize all the things you had let go through the years and had simply become used to seeing them.

You discover cobwebs and dust bunnies (and stink bug shells!) you didn’t know were there. We had to tear things out, rip things up, mud and smooth out some areas, move furniture from one room to the other and back again.

We ate on the couches that were in the kitchen while we were waiting for the carpet in the family room. Then we had to eat in the family room when we had the kitchen/dining area torn up.

We don’t want to talk about the messy middle though do we? We want this…

Family room before
Family room after. The curtains were a DIY using drop clothes from Home Depot! #likelinen
Sitting area before
Sitting area after
Dining/kitchen area before
Dining/kitchen area after
Kitchen area before
Kitchen after
Dining area before
Dining area after

Without seeing this…




We kept stacking stuff in the music room that will need to be put away too!


But it doesn’t work that way.

Life is like that too. You aren’t doing too bad. Your “before” looks okay but you’re ready for a change. Then the moment you start in, you realize that one thing leads to another that leads to ripping out something over here and tearing up something over there. Then there’s mudding the holes left behind and smoothing them out.

We want a rock star body with no sweat equity. We want peace from our past without dealing with it. We want to kick a habit without it being hard. We want to start standing up for ourselves without hurting anyone’s feelings. We want to be different but don’t want to have to change anything. We want an “after” without the messy middle. It’s not possible.

My friend Terra says it this way, What I’ve learned from intense transformations of both places and people: the before is rough, the after is beautiful, but the place in between…that’s when it’s ugly.

This place was a fiasco for a while. I was so ready to get things put back in order and looking good. More than once I wanted to quit because I was tired but I had to keep going, keep working at it and not give up in the middle of the messy. Today, I’m sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace as I type. And it feels so good!

Don’t you give up either! Your “after” is going to look fabulous!!

Fiercely for you!!