Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Return to the manger... and remain

Joel 2:12-13
"Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity."

Lord, each year at this time we come to the manger to remember Your birth and to celebrate. But all too often we walk away within a matter of days, our "holy" devotion as dry and forgotten as the obsolete Christmas trees lying in wait for collection at the cold and muddy curb.

Today may we rend (open, make large) our hearts to You. May we return to You and never leave Your side. May each day forward find us daily kneeling before Christ, whether at the manger, the foot of the cross or the empty tomb... Or in joyful anticipation of His return. May our faith and devotion to You keep our hearts ever green and fresh each morning.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twas the Week Before Christmas Eve

‘Twas the week before Christmas Eve
My nerves are just shot
Seems all in the office
Are stressed out – a LOT

My coworker talks to
Herself all day long
So I plug in my ear buds
To block it with song

The workload is growing
There’s no end in sight
No holiday spirit
Just work morning till night

My tree isn’t up yet
There’s just been no time
At this point all shopping
Must be done online

I’m frazzled and tired
And ready to cry
My hands in my head
I just keep asking why?

Then God gently answers
You’ve crowded out Me
Instead of the manger
It’s the world’s view you see

Come sit here beside Me
I’ll give you some rest
Stop the hustle and bustle
And look at the best

Let that be the focus
This holy of seasons
Remember Christ Jesus
His birth is the reason

So I sat down in silence
And took a deep breath
And focused on Jesus
And there I found rest

Yes, the world still is crazy
In the harried holi-daze
But now I’m much calmer
Relaxing, in praise

Of the Savior who came down
From heaven above
To give me His gift
Unconditional love

Friday, November 16, 2012

Come to Me

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 

I have read this verse so many times, especially when I was tired and needed rest.  But this morning, as I was spending devotional time with God, what hit me fresh in the face was the image of Jesus.  He stands in front of me, stretching out his nail-pierced hand, and with unspeakable tenderness and love whispers, "Come to Me..."  I find myself catching my breath and feeling tears streaming down my face.

Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth, wants me. 

We all want to be loved and cherished.  We all want to belong to someone and share our lives in love.  How often do we watch as the media shows as a man kneels down, hand outstretched to the woman he loves, asking her for her hand in marriage?  Isn't a woman's heart meant to be thrilled by that kind of love?

And yet here I am, faced with the reality that Jesus Himself is asking me to be His bride - to come to Him and let Him love me forever.  To be wrapped up in His loving arms for all eternity.  He will never leave me, never divorce me, never hurt me.  I can be myself with Him, because He always knows the good/bad/ugly of me.  I don't have to pretend to be perfect, or worry about saying the wrong thing and feeling vulnerable and foolish and scared in His presence. 

He will always be there to listen, to encourage, to share His wisdom for my life.  He will protect me, be my ultimate knight in shining armor and love me unconditionally and sacrifically... always.  He laid down His life for me already... and conquered death... for me.  For me...

Jesus, as I write this with the tears blurring my vision, I once again say yes.  In my head I see myself resting my head against You as You wrap your arms around me and hold me close.  Draw me close to you... never let me go...

I love You.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's That Scent You're Wearing?

Have you ever walked past someone and caught the slightest trace of their perfume? The aromatic bouquet seems to slowly rise in the air like the smoke from incense until it quietly swirls around your head and tickles your olfactory senses? Often I find myself turning around to see who is wearing it, and may even go up and ask what the person is wearing. I want to know!

I love my fragrances and have my own “signature” scent which I always apply before I leave the house. It’s one of the primary and mandatory accessories of my wardrobe; it matches everything and always fits. While I don’t douse myself with it (or at least I try not to), a little mist in the air here and there does the trick. It makes me feel more feminine and even a bit prettier. I like to think that whenever someone catches a whiff of that particular perfume, they will think of me.

When I read 2 Corinthians 2:15, I wonder…does the fragrance of Christ within me catch the attention of others and make them turn their heads from a pleasant scent encounter? Do they want to know more about it? Without a word, does Christ’s presence in my life make itself know? Does a quiet, gentle and obedient spirit give rise to a delicate aroma? Am I a fetching fragrance of my Lord? Do I rise up into His heavens and please Him?

Or is my behavior, words and attitude more like the stuff which causes God and people to wrinkle their noses as if they’ve just stepped in something not so nice or just driven past a ripe landfill on a hot July afternoon? Haven’t you ever caught yourself saying someone’s attitude stinks? Well, there you go… and no amount of lovely or expensive perfume can camouflage the truth of a foul disposition or a disobedient heart.

Before you leave your house today, be sure to bathe in the Word of God. Don’t leave without a time of prayer with Him. Let Him cover you with the fragrance of Christ that will rise up and envelop you throughout your day, wherever you go. Today, make your life a sweet-smelling offering to the Lord.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Riverfront Property

Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Luke 7:37-38: 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

John 4:13-14 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Recently I was reading about prayer, and in Mark 9:29 when Jesus is talking with His disciples about prayer, the Greek word is “proseuche” (Strongs 4336). It means prayer addressed to God; a place set apart, a synagogue. Such places were situated on the bank of a stream or the shore of a sea where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer. I loved the fact that this noun is a feminine noun, just made it a little more personal for me.

It brought to mind one of my favorite verses in the Psalms - Psalm 1:3. I’ve always imagined a beautiful weeping willow tree next to a flowing river. It’s so peaceful and comforting – a place of nourishment where one can retreat and find rest and renewal. I have found that some of my closest times with the Lord have been when I’ve taken my Bible, a notebook and just gone to a local park or wooded area where there is a stream or river. There’s just something about that place -- the natural sanctuary crafted by my Father, where I feel most in His presence as the winds dance across the grasses and the water bubbles over the rocks in harmony with the praises sung by the birds.

So... when I pray I take this body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and allow Christ to fill me to overflowing from within. It is a choosing to set myself apart to be nourished and renewed, drinking Him in and allowing Him to wash over me and flow through me.

I want to be a woman of spiritual substance, deeply rooted in Christ wholeheartedly -- passionately and solidly embedded in Him. I confess time and time again in my life these sinful, selfish feet of clay have uprooted like the trees that recently were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. No long entrenched by the Living Waterbed of Christ, my faith has withered. Yet, in His mercy, love and patience my Abba has gently picked me up, replanted me, nourished me and brought me back to life in Himself. He tenderly washes away my sins and allows me to drink deeply of His waters until I am strong once more. I am always amazed at His love for me.

Oh Father, I want to consistently be rooted in You, moment by moment every day of my life. I want to be riverfront property, never moving again from Your side… or Your Living Water. Today I choose to lift my face to the loving warmth of Your Son, drink Him in, and wiggle my spiritual toes down a little deeper.

I love You.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pray and Vote!

2 Chronicles 7:14  "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Before you take a stand at the polls, please get down on your face before the Lord, pray pray pray, and then VOTE!  And then pray all day for this crucial election!

God bless America!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are You Praying for the Hubs?

I wanted to share this article by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  Whether we are praying for our own husbands, our future husbands, the husbands of our family and friends, or even the ex-husbands, we should be praying!  Wave the man flag, as my friend Karla says -- the hubs of the world need our prayers!!  To read the associated Bible verse, you can CLICK HERE for an online Bible.

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“She does him good . . .” (Proverbs 31:12a)

Bless your husband by praying for him! The Apostle Paul instructed all Christians to pray for one another (Ephesians 6:18). This includes wives’ responsibility and privilege to pray for their husbands. Earnest prayer for your husband is good for him, for you and the spiritual health of your home (Proverbs 31:11-12).

Satan desires to destroy your husband, especially his character and his leadership in your relationship. Trust God through prayer as you daily surrender your husband and marriage to the Lord’s wise, loving care.

Day 1
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)

Day 2
Pray that your husband’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)

Day 3
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)

Day 4
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

Day 5
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. (Prov. 20:6; Gen. 2:24)

Day 6
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)

Day 7
Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you. (Prov. 6:23-24, 26; Rom. 13:14)

Day 8
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character—persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc. (Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 15:58)

Day 9
Pray that your husband handle finances wisely, will have discernment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord’s work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family. (Prov. 23:4-5; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:5)

Day 10
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others. (Prov. 20:7; 1 Tim. 1:5, 3:7; Eph. 6:10-12)

Day 11
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant’s heart before the Lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do His will. (Prov. 15:33; Eph. 6:6)

Day 12
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love. (Prov. 5:15, 18; 1 Cor. 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Day 13
Pray that your husband use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly. (Gal. 5:13; Phil. 2:3-4)

Day 14
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love. Pray that he will not use filthy language. (Prov. 18:21; Eph. 4:29)

Day 15
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin. (Prov. 13:20; Prov. 27:17)

Day 16
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit’s control. (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:31; 2 Tim. 2:4)

Day 17
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength. (Eph. 3:16; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Cor. 10:11)

Day 18
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective—living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life. (Matt. 6:33; Deut. 6:5; Eph. 5:16; Ps. 90:12)

Day 19
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses. (Rom. 14:19; Ps. 34:14)

Day 20
Pray that your husband will yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography. (Prov. 27:12; 2 Cor. 10:5)

Day 21
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord. (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22; Ps. 16:11)

Day 22
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)

Day 23
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:1-2)

Day 24
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life—that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church. (Luke 2:52; Prov. 13:15)

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the truth. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan’s attacks. (Ps. 31:24; Eph. 6:13; Ps. 27:14)

Day 26
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Day 27
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body—the temple of the Holy Spirit—for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)

Day 29
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray that his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home. (Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:4, 7)

Day 30
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24)

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

© Revive Our Hearts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Leviticus 20:7-8: Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

What does it mean to consecrate myself? It’s so much more than to follow some legalistic rules put on me by some church or organization. Oh, it’s easy enough to put on the front, the false mask of being perfect, consecrated and holy. I can wear the face and clothes of the tight-spirited holy-roller church lady and carry a Bible and spout verses and quotes and speak "Christianese." But when I come home at night and look in the mirror, the soul mirror that reflects who I truly am in front of nobody but me and God, what do He and I really see?

At times it is the woman who doesn’t see herself as being worthy to be honored, to be treated as sacred or sanctified. It is the woman who can’t see herself the way her Lord sees her – special and wonderful and loved beyond measure.

Sometimes it is the woman who follows her rebellious heart to paths that lead away from God’s will. Pride and stubbornness replace humility and obedience and I choose the instant gratification of sin instead of patiently waiting on the Lord. Like a restless and strong-willed child I wriggle away from the loving warmth of my Abba’s hand and go running off to play in dangerous passageways that leave me broken and bruised and hurt.

But on rare occasions… in blessed moments that I pray will happen with increasing consistency as I grow in His grace… I look in the soul mirror and see glimpses of the woman God has designed -- a woman who sets herself apart for her Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. A woman who seeks His will above all and chooses to dedicate and keep holy her mind, her body, and her heart. Reflected back to me is a woman who lives intentionally within His paths of righteousness each day, moment-by-moment. It is in these times of “consecrated choices” I discover my true identify and worth… and with it the sweetest moments of peace and satisfaction and joy.

So today, I will mindfully choose to dedicate all I am, all I have and all I love to Him. I will humble myself and gladly submit to His will for me that I might become the holy and consecrated woman that He has designed me to be. Not perfect… just me, fully me. And so grateful that I am always, no matter what, passionately loved and treasured by my Father.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hands of Love in the Aftermath...

There is so much that goes on in a given 24 hour period, and now that we are dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it only adds to the stress and daily hardships we face. Some of us still do not have power, others have downed trees, damaged property. I am particularly heartsick for my friends who have suffered significant losses, including one dear couple who lost their only home which was at the Jersey Shore. I cannot even wrap my brain around the videos and photographs that have been shown in the media of towns like Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island wiped out.

For those of us who still have power and heat, but are at a loss to even know where to begin to help your friends and neighbors, may I suggest one or more of the following?

1) Pray, Pray, Pray – for them, with them

2) Wrap your arms around them if possible and just hug them, silently. Let them cry and grieve.

3) Offer them your home, your shower, a meal, a ride.

4) If you have a generator, offer it to them, or if you’re using it, offer them an extension cord hookup!

5) Help them begin the clean-up process – don’t say, “Oh if you need anything just let me know.” Be there – show up and say “put me to work.”

6) Call and text to let them know you’re thinking of them and praying for them.

In the days to come as the rebuilding begins, continue these things, and send a card, give them a gift card to help them replace items if they can, continue to bring meals, offer babysitting. Help them feel some sense of being normal in the midst of chaos. Give them a big gift basket filled with everyday items they may have lost – think along the lines of a shower wishing well basket, or everyday pantry items like flour, baking soda and powder, rolls of wax paper or aluminum foil – you know what I mean! Stop by with a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts and sit for 15 minutes. Let them cry when then need to, and help them laugh through their pain.

The main thing is – be there for them consistently through the long haul. They’re going to need to more than you or they realize. We’re all still in shock and reeling from the storm. Do one simple thing… then another… then another. It is amazing how those seemingly miniscule acts will make such a lifelong impact. Reach out and be the hands, the heart and the loving arms of Jesus.

If you can think of other ways, please share them here in the comments section, or email me at  I'd be happy to share your ideas!



Monday, October 8, 2012

Haiku of the Heart

Though sadness is not
Tangible, the weight to the
Heart is arduous

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hoboken Haiku

Which path should I take?
The Hoboken rain is cold
And my heart shivers

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Monday, August 13, 2012

Matthew 10:29-31

I love this verse, song and artwork!

Monday, August 6, 2012

080612 Monday

Sleepy Monday feet
Shuffle from rain to office
I miss my warm bed

Image: "Walking in the Rain" by Emiel Hansen

Monday, July 23, 2012


Today's powerful blog is by my friend and fellow writer, Pam Manners.


Words -- meant for life.
Creating life.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God
And the Word WAS God.

In the beginning, God spoke the world
Into being,
Bringing life into
Everything began with a word
From the Word.

Words -- meant for:

Words -- meant to:
Show love
Bring joy
Ease pain
Give hope
Convey beauty

But like everything else
We’ve taken and twisted and turned them into
something else entirely.
Crushing others beneath the weight of our hate-filled words
Burning them with the fire set by our own tongues.

Words -- spoken out into the cosmos
Never to return
Reverberating down towards
Generations to come.

Words -- once released from our lips,
They cannot be retrieved,
Like a kite on a string
Caught up by a powerful wind,
Unable to be reeled back in.

Words -- dripping with hatred’s
Poisonous venom.

Words -- they can be stricken from the record,
But not from a heart, mind and soul.

In real life, once uttered,
There is no Edit button to click on
And change them.

Words -- in real life,
They cannot be rewound
And deleted.

Words -- once made ready, aimed and fired at us
They are:

Forever embroidered onto us
Indelibly ingrained within us
Permanently tattooed upon us

Words -- that hurt and maim
Carelessly thrown our way
Like verbal daggers that wound and scar
Slicing deep into our inmost being.

Words -- that bring about death
Like grenades set to explode,
Thoughtlessly dropped into our laps
By those with no regard for us
Or our emotional well-being.

In the beginning -- created for life.
Created by God.
For good.
For OUR good.

Today -- and every day
May you think before you speak.
Choose wisely what you will bring to others with your words:
Joy or sorrow.
Encouragement or despair.
Wisdom or foolishness.
Healing or destruction.
Life or death.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Own Fault

How often I have lived in the heavy chains of "It's My Own Fault." I felt I had no right to pray because I had chosen to walk my "not God" path and was living with the consequences of my choice (let's call it what it is --my sinful disobedience). The weight is suffocating and filled with despair.

Today I read a beautiful devotional by one of my lifetime favorite authors, Elisabeth Elliot. In her clear and poignant way she wrote about this in a way that needs to be passed along to anyone dealing with self-flogging, festering fault. I pray you will also be blessed with her devotional. May I also recommend reading any of her many books --life changing!

Someone who is suffering as a result of his own foolishness or failure may read these words. These griefs are hard indeed to bear, for we feel we might easily have avoided them. We have no one to blame but ourselves, and there isn't much consolation there. Sometimes we imagine that we must bear this kind of trouble alone, but that is a mistake. The Lamb of God, slain for us, has borne all of our griefs and carried all of our sorrows, no matter what their origin. All grief and sorrow is the result of sin somewhere along the line, but Christ received them willingly. It is nothing but pride that keeps me from asking Him to help me to bear the troubles which are my own fault.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, take away mine.
I take Him at His word indeed,
Christ died for sinners--this I read--
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior.
(Dora Greenwell)

Daily devotions courtesy of, a ministry of Back to the Bible.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

$hopping $ans $pending = $illy $avings!

There's this fun imaginary world called, where you can play big girl dress-up to your heart's content.  Here's the fun part - instead of creating lessons in lusting and discontent and coveting, you just gather all these terrific outfits together and then use them when you do go to your normal shops, consignment stores and second-hand gently used boutiques.  The clothes on the site are absolutely over-the-top reDUNK-Qlous expensive (mostly), so you just laugh at the prices, put your dream outfits together, then let your creativity loose while matching the crazy $$$ items with something more realistic for most of us who live on planet Earth!  My Grandma used to call it "having champagne taste with a beer wallet."

Girls just wanna have fun (and maybe the occasional pretty outfit). 

10 Mood-Boosting Foods You Can Grow: Organic Gardening

10 Mood-Boosting Foods You Can Grow: Organic Gardening

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tender Talk Tuesday

Taken from

Today we’re going to exercise the strongest muscle you have – your tongue. We haven’t been able as a society to tame it yet, but today you and I will work on it.

For today, I want you to be mindful/intentional of every word that comes out of your mouth. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Will it comfort/ease/help, or will it hurt, criticize and tear down? Is it something you would say in front of the person you’re discussing? Is it soothing, like balm on a wound, or is it a verbal bullet that sears through the soul like fire?

Just for today, for this one day only, say only something that will be kind… sweet… calming… use your words like a cozy warm blanket to envelope the spirit of everyone you meet. Wrap up your words like precious treasures with cheer, reassurance, humor that isn’t sarcastic or at someone’s expense. Refrain from any cursing or off-color remarks.

Even work on the tone of your voice – keep it soft, warm and loving. Cushion your volume with a gentle spirit. Often speaking softer causes people to listen more and pay attention, especially if you are one who relies on communication via yelling and repetition (i.e., nagging).

Find words of respect and encouragement for your husband/significant other, words of love for your children and friends, words of support for your coworkers and people you meet throughout the day. Surprise a stranger with a kind word, a word of thanks or praise. And if you have been using silence as a weapon, melt it with courage to be the first to speak – in love.

The power you wield with your words is more influential than you can imagine. Lydia Snider wrote that each day the average person will say 2,250 words to 7.4 other individuals. Will yours hurt or heal? Use them well. They may make all the difference to one person’s life today.


Monday, April 2, 2012

I was really touched today with a blog posting from the blogsite "Keeping It Personal" by Teri Johnson.  To read her whole terrific blog please visit her website by surfing to  I appreciated her reflections and the associated Scripture verses.  As someone who is prone to dwell on the negatives and the what-might-be's, her blog was a timely reminder to me that God is always, always in charge, and that I need to seek HIM for my answers, my goals/dreams/visions, and my day-to-day living.  I pray you will enjoy her blog as well!

Blessings, Linda

How can we keep the goal, dream, vision, and passion alive – when we experience setbacks and negativity? How can we live a life of contentment and gratefulness on our winding journey?

FIRST we must understand that it starts with ME – I mean YOU – I mean it starts with ourselves, each individually. We are responsible only for ourselves. Period.

When we feel restless, discontent, or if we find ourselves having too many pity parties alone – LOOK in the mirror – examine your life today – REFLECT on these 5 “P” words:

1. PATIENCE = Things happen on God’s timetable, not our timetable. We do not want to get ahead of His perfect plan.

“Stand firm, and you will win life.” Luke 21:19

2. PERSPECTIVE = Take a step back and look at the big picture. Ask yourself, how important is it really?

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

3. PERSEVERANCE = Press on – If you are confident you are going where God wants you to go, living in His will, don’t give up.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

4. PURPOSE = Why are you where you are; today? Look for ways to be a light in your world, everyday, in every relationship, in every situation, in your current place – regardless if it’s where you want to be.

“Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

5. PRAYER = Whisper this simple prayer, “Father, open my eyes to see, open my ears to hear, open my heart to know, what You want for my life. Amen” Expect God to reveal Himself to you daily. Look for Him.

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Heart of the Question

The Heart of the Question | Discovery | Scripture Union USA

This was a good devotion that I wanted to share with you. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Confessions of a Girly-Girl

Yes, I’m a self-confessed girly-girl – dresses, makeup, clothes, shoes, perfume… the whole nine yards. Yes, I have a closet filled with imaginary outfits on pinterest (click HERE). Hey - don't judge, it's my way of being frugal!! And yes, I am the only woman I know who carries a pair of emergency earrings in her car, in case I rush out in the morning and (gasp) forgot to toss them on. I am a woman of the 80s, so don’t even TRY to take away my hairspray or you might lose use of your hand. (However, I’d be more than happy to share if you just ask.) I love walking through makeup stores and allowing my senses to dance with delight to the colors and possibilities and olfactory pleasures. I think of it as a big girl equivalent to being a kid in a candy store with two bits in her pocket. Sadly, the wrinkle cream that swears my cheeks will mimic that of an newborn’s backside costs WAY more than two bits! Hmmm… maybe I should just smear baby oil and diaper rash cream all over my face. But I digress…

I’m also a child of the 60s, so there is a certain conflict to my old “part my long blonde hair in the middle, no makeup, no bra, torn jeans and daisies” barefoot all-natural granola-eatin' hippie spirit. Unfortunately, some of those choices are simply not options anymore. I am seriously devoted and bound (yes, pun fully intended) to my collection of lovely unmentionables now, and it would be a sin to society to go without… people running and screaming, “My eyes! My eyes!” The drama is just too much for me to fathom. I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with my dual personalities… and those are only two inside the madness that is me. But I digress…

What I’m trying to say here is that all the external workings of beauty, from hair/makeup/nails/perfume to clothing/stockings/shoes/handbags mean absolutely nothing if I do not practice beauty from the inside out. Unkind words smear even the most elegant lipstick into lip-sick ugliness. Manicured nails become claws when catty, and pedicured feet are repulsive when running to tell a tale on another. An icy, harsh look makes even the most fetching eyes hard and unattractive. Bitterness, anger and a fermenting attitude age one more than a lifetime in the summer sun.

Join me today in exercising your innermost beauty – that of a loving heart, a spirit of compassion, kindness and humility. Wear gentleness and patience as soft, glowing garments more alluring than any earthly designer could envision. The most beautiful accessories are a warm smile and a loving soul.

Remember - you are most stunning when you strip away everything that entangles the unique and most beautiful you inside.



An example of what I consider to be beautiful:

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Leaves Whisper

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Empty Sweater

The empty sweater

Hangs limp, lonely on the chair

Never to be filled

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Morning Song

Lilting through the blue

Air of the frosty morning

Feathered silver notes

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Morning Musings

Morning swallows me
Like a cold cup of coffee
The taste is bitter

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today I want to pay tribute to the most amazing woman I know – my Mom. It’s her birthday today, and I would like this opportunity to sing out her praises.

She is a VERY active member of Curves gym, and has well over 1,000 visits in the last few years. All you have to do is ask her to show you her guns, and that sleeve is up and bicep curled!

She has a heart “as big as the all outdoors” (as my Grandmom used to say). She is loving and giving, and is a tigress when it comes to her family. She is our matriarch.

Her faith in God never fails, and she is a prayer warrior.

Her life hasn’t been easy, but you’d never know it from her cheerful disposition. Mom’s sense of humor is funny, zany, warped and wonderful – I call her my “Crazy Old Broad”. She plays practical jokes on me, and sometimes we get to laughing so hard I cry.

She’s wise, and always ready to listen and not judge – I know her love is steadfast, even when I’ve messed up oh-so-many times in my life. She’s got the best Mom-hugs in the world! She is my biggest cheerleader and always supports me, even if she doesn’t always agree or understand.

She’s also an incredible Grandmother, and her nickname is “Gooma” – so of course we call her “The Goom”, The Goomeister”, “Goominator”, and I call her Momma Pajama or MPJ for short.

She’s the only person I’ve ever heard of who actually ran away and joined the circus! (Oh am I gonna pay for letting that out!) Yep... yep... My Mother IS the ORIGINAL wild woman!

I have the honor/blessing/privilege of having her with me since her home burned down about a year and a half ago. She walked away with nothing but quite literally the shirt off her back, and yet she has always looked at the bright side and counted her blessings. Mom doesn’t hold “things” tightly – her family and friends are her greatest treasures.

But let me tell you, Mom is our family’s greatest treasure. She is gutsy, courageous and strong, and is always there when we need her. She is my hero, my inspiration, and my love and respect for this woman knows no bounds. Truly, the words haven’t been invented yet to describe her.

So happy birthday, my bestest friend and Crazy Old Broad Mom. You are the absolute best Mom E-V-E-R, and I love you and thank God every single day that He blessed me with you. Here’s to another year of love, laughter, good health, blessings and all the happiness your beloved heart can hold.

Psalm 31:28-29 – “Her children arise and call her blessed; many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haiku 012412

Dancing on the snow
Glistening pas de bourrée
The pines rue their roots

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Haiku 011112a

Persistent tapping
Raindrops shimmer in the night
Fluid fingertips

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Haiku 011112

God’s majestic hand
Draws the evening curtain closed
Tucking in the earth

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inspired, Inspirational Woman!

One of my inspirations and role models is Ernestine Shepard, a 75-year-old body builder and personal trainer from Baltimore, Maryland. She holds the Guinness Book of World records as the world’s oldest personal trainer and body builder. She began trainer at 56!!! Her mantra is “Determined, Dedicated and Disciplined.” You can see her via video on YouTube find out more on Google. One of my bucket list items is to meet this amazing woman!
I found this article on her on by Lori Braun of


* * * * *

74-Year-Old Female Bodybuilder in Guinness Book of World Records
by Lori Braun;

SHE’S a decade older than the average retirement age, but 74-year-old Ernestine Shepherd has a body and level of fitness that would put the average 30-year-old woman to shame Ernestine, from Baltimore, Maryland, can bench-press 150 pounds and each day runs 10 miles. She’s also earned a place in theGuinness Book of World Records as the oldest professional female bodybuilder.

Ernestine, who goes by ‘Ernie’, lives by the motto “Age is nothing but a number. You can get fit at any age.” She adds: “I feel better than I did in my 50s .“ You do not have to take a lot of supplements, you can do it naturally like me and still look good.” Ernestine says that she is on a mission to both help and motivate people on the importance of being fit and eating healthily.

Inspired by her sister, she said: “My sister and I were invited to a picnic and told that we could wear a bathing suit. When we put the bathing suits on we didn’t look so nice. She began laughing at me, and me at her. “That was a turning point for the both of us and we began working out”. Sadly for Ernestine, her late older sister, who died after suffering a brain aneurysm, was unable to witness her accomplish the dream she so wanted her to fulfil. But she would certainly be proud of Ernestine’s success and perseverance, which has led to her receiving medals and being on TV.

"We kept working and we looked fabulous, but she kept constantly telling me that she was having headaches and she felt like she had water running in her ears. “They put her on life support, which was a shock to all of us, because the day before she was with me at the gym. Without her encouragement this would never have been made possible. “Before she died, she had said to me that I would be in the Guinness Book of World Records, and that I should become a bodybuilder. “Since praying to God, He has kept me focused and helped me to keep my sister’s dream alive,” she told The Voice.

Ernestine is a personal trainer and fitness instructor, and also holds weekly classes at her various churches. Offering advice to older men and women, she said: “I have a group of senior members in my class, and I start off by telling them that age is nothing but a number. I’m not asking them to be bodybuilders, but to be healthy and happy. “One must be determined, disciplined and dedicated to be fit.” The bodybuilding sensation, who is also a model, wants more than just a sexy physique and six-pack abs. She said: “My ministry which God has given me is to help, inspire and motivate people on the importance of being healthy and fit. I go to various churches and I speak, and each time I’m well received.”

The mother of one says that her son and other members of her family have also been inspired by her fitness. “My husband does a lot of walking, and even my grandchild and nieces and nephews are inspired. It’s amazing. My son looks a lot younger than 56. They all look good,” she told The Voice.

Ernestine sticks to a strict high-protein diet; she drinks three to four cups of liquid egg whites, which helps her to burn fat while sleeping. She said: “We all need protein, which consists of chicken, roasted or baked, nothing fried. Tuna fish, roasted turkey and carbohydrates, such as frozen vegetables with nothing in them, and drink plenty of water.”

She added: “I wouldn’t dare crack an egg and drink it because I don’t know what it’s been tested for. I order mine from a special source. “I’ve been drinking it for years and I’m now accustomed to the taste. You can’t acquire a taste for it right away, but I have, and it’s already been tested for salmonella.”

Offering advice to readers, she said: “Decide to be healthy, think about how you would want to feel and look. After you get that in your mind, go for it. You will start feeling better and better. Keep at it; don’t give up at the first hurdle.”

She added: “My aspiration is to make it to ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. That would be so amazing. Lastly, a strong woman is ageless and everywhere. She’s not defined by her shape or size, but rather by her personal strength. She demonstrates emotional and spiritual endurance, bringing peace and balance to those around her.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 - Starting Off with Scriptures

As I get older, I find I sometimes forget things - I usually wind up running back up to my bedroom at least once every morning before I leave for the day, having forgotten my phone, my tea, my glasses... yes, I fear someday I will arrive at my destination, open my coat, and realize I've forgotten to change out of my pajamas! Or I'll go in a room and then forget why I went in. I've taken to writing pretty much EVERYTHING down... now if only I could find that notebook...

That being said, since God made my brain and has said the Holy Spirit will help me remember things, I have decided to take up the challenge of Cindy Bultema's "She Sparkles" blog "A to Z Memory Verse Challenge"! I've put a button on the margin where you can click to join. Every other week Cindy provides us with a verse (and associated study ideas) in a "A to Z" style.

We're just starting off, so I'd love to have company on the journey - won't you join me? The first verse is Joshua 24:15b:

A - As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Short, sweet and to the point, yes? You can also get the whole family involved. I'm encouraged, as it seems manageable and I really want to hide God's word in my heart to help me stay on the right path. As King David wrote in Psalm 119:11 (which I had to look up), "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

So sign up, and let me know in the comments portion. We're on our way to a brighter and better 2012 as we stay in God's word!!