Why BB4TheLord2

Why BB4TheLord2: My first blog, bb4thelord.blogspot.com was began a couple years after I became a young widow. After ten years on that journey of widowhood, I took a break from blogging. Now the time has come to begin again. Writing is a gift God has given me and I must get back into using the gifts God has given me.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Make Room for Jesus!

Like my preacher said recently, "Make room for Jesus in the clutter of your life." Keep your eyes on Him during this Christmas season.

It will keep you focused on what is most important as the world clamors and tries to make us feel compelled to shop and give and serve for all the wrong reasons.

Take time to pause.
To pray.
To worship.
To praise.
To acknowledge the Lord.
To seek Him and His strength.
To rejoice.
To delight yourself in Him.
To encourage yourself in Him.
To draw near to Christ.
To listen for His voice.
To step out in faith.
To look up to heaven and say, "I believe."

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanksgiving Chair

I posted this same post on our old blog.

It brings about our healing full circle. Almost 3 years ago, I verbally thanked the Lord for taking Jim. This Thanksgiving as we spent some time in silent prayer, the Lord was working on Snurr's heart in ways I didn't know. We each took time sitting in the Thanksgiving chair. When we were done, Snurr lingered behind.

"Do you know why it took me so long? I thanked God for taking Daddy. It was a hard thing to do."

Oh, the preciousness of those words to me, I can't describe. But I feel lile Snurr just slammed a door in the enemy's face and has opened himself up to the Lord in a way he hadn't before.

My mind went back to the night that the Lord told me to verbally thank Him outloud. I fought it...for two weeks. Then finally obeyed. And I realize my obedience was more than just for my healing. I paved the way for my youngest son. He needed to hear me say it as much as I needed to say it. And when he was ready he followed that example.

Obey the Lord, even when it is hard. Even when it hurts. You never know whose little eyes are watching or ears are listening. You have no idea how God will use your example in another's life.

Our Great Provider

Several pounds of chicken.

Quarts of corn.

Boxes of cereal.

50 lbs. of ground venison.

Two large sacks of potatoes.

Over the last several weeks, the Lord prompted the heart of different families at different times to give these things to us.

As usual, I am overwhelmed by the Lord's tender care of us.
He is our Great Provider.
And He never ceases to amaze me how He does it.

Thank You, Lord. And may the boys always remember how You have tenderly cared for us through the years.

Back to Bethel

About a month ago, I felt God calling me to go back to an Old Bethel, a place where the Lord had spoken to me many years ago. The Bible talks often about going back to your first love, when Christ and your faith in Him was fresh and exciting. My Old Bethel, it was at a place that I first heard God calling my name.

Twenty years ago....After all I had done against Him, after all the mess of doing things my way. The Lord came after me, loving me when I didn't even like who I was. The place is beautiful, remote, and peaceful; but that particular day I was there, I was a mess. Was I ever a mess! It was a windy March day with a sharp breeze that swished through the evergreens. Inside I felt like a whirlwind of emotions that circled around a hollow soul. My life outside of me was just as cluttered and empty. There was no one else around, but I heard my name on that wind. Seeing no one, I knew within me Who it was.  And He was calling for me.

Me - the one who had stuck my fist in His face. Me - the one who had a Christian name, but who was wallowing in sin. Me - the one who had chosen to go directly opposite of what I knew His Word told me to do. Me - the one who defiled His name and dragged it through the mud. He was calling for me?!

Like a majestic king reaching out to a dirty beggar girl, He didn't look at who I was, but who He saw me as. The fact that He sought me and called my name was overwhelming. I wasn't ready that day to fall into His arms. I wasn't ready to let Him clean me up. But I knew He loved me. I knew He cared for me. And He knew my name.

Over a year later, I finally surrendered. I humbly cried out to Him. The King of kings wrapped His arms around me. He adopted me! He took me as I was and washed the filth away. It is so sacred words struggle to define it.

Last month, I felt the Lord calling me again. To revisit my Old Bethel. Time to go back and visit where I first heard Him call my name. To remember. To praise. To ponder. To rekindle. To pour out my heart. To surrender once again.

I didn't feel Him speak to me. But I felt the Lord so close. I placed another book upon His shelf like I did many years ago.  I felt Him lessen a heavy burden. I was reminded of a promise in His precious Word. The chilly fall wind rushed around me causing my hair to whip me in the face. But within my soul, I felt His precious peace that passes all understanding.

Friday, November 3, 2017


My stomach is queasy as a new sailor and my eyes fill with tears of rage.
I vent to God my anguish and the grief for a child I have never known takes me to a dark hole within.

God, how could this happen....while a small town goes about their business of life that a infant sits in a prison pendulum being rocked to his death?  The stench of drugs looms in the air and his little sister drifts into the room and out again. But the little fellow doesn't perk up when humans enter. He has long ago learned they are indifferent to his cries. So he suffers in silence. Alone.

Only the Lord spoke words of comfort to him.
Only the Lord welcomed him home.
Only the Lord knew for days of his passing.

But the Lord is just.
The Lord will only let hidden things remain so for so long.
Soon the authorities arrive and neighbors stand appalled.
Town folk are stunned. Outraged. Grief stricken.
The world seems vile and hideous.
Parents become monsters.
And monsters are hated.

And where does all the hatred get us?
Nowhere, for the earth is full of it and is spinning into a pit of hell.

The ogres who parented this precious little one are locked up.
And yet we are all ogres.
We are all vile and sinful.
Some of us display it more fiercely than others.

How is a neglected baby that dies called murdered,
But an aborted baby is called a woman's choice?

4 months out of the womb or 4 months in.
Does it matter in the eyes of God?

The Lord's eyes see it all.
I am appalled how drugs blinded these people from caring for a precious creation of God.
I am equally appalled that women across America think they have a right to murder their children within them and not think it is equal to human sacrifices of old.

I want to vomit. I am sick with the sins of my nation. Its indifference to do gross sin in front of a holy and just God, and then whine about a God they don't believe in when He allows suffering through natural disasters and tragedies.  I want to shake people out of their pleasure seeking slumber as much as out of drug induced one.

ISIS, crazy psychopaths shooting at crowds, ran over bicyclists, fires, hurricanes, floods, and the list goes on and on and on and on. What will our grandchildren say to us when they look back?
What did you do to stop the destruction, the self-destruction of the greatest nation on earth,
a nation that championed for human rights to freedom?

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

The answer comes back to the LORD. We must turn to the LORD. Where is He everyone asks.
Where He has always been. He is a gentleman. Waiting for us to respond to His Word. Waiting for us to realize our filthiness and to cry out to him. Waiting for us to realize He is God alone. And we deserve punishment. We deserve hell. He made a way of escape. He provided deliverance, but we shake our fist at Him and demand our rights to do things our way. He has every right to squash our whiney ungrateful lumps of clay that we are.

Woe to him who strives with his maker.
Woe to him that calls evil good and good evil
Woe to him....
Woe to us, America, for not running back to Him when we see we strayed.

Like Josiah of old, we must rip our garments and weep.
We must gather together and harken to the Words of God again.
Destruction probably will still come. But at least then we would be ready
to face the living God.

We have blood on our hands and are like the harlot wiping her mouth.
We are so defiled.
So much monsters as anyone else.

We all need forgiveness, for we are all murders and ogres.
We all deserve to die a slow painful death.
We deserve torment.
We deserve hell fire.

I am sick, just sick with the vile sin of this world....
That makes me see myself as I really am.

A sinner. No better and no different than anyone else on the planet.

Only Jesus covered me with His blood when I cried out to Him.
And the Father sees them no more. I fall on my knees in praise.

Yet I weep.

I weep and weep for all the children that never got to breath. I weep for the curse their mothers are ensnared in. I weep for neglected children who never know love till the Lord holds them in heaven. And I weep for our nation that has forgotten the LORD is a righteous and just God.

Psalm 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Silent Victims

Sterling Daniel Koehn....from Iowa to the UK, his horrifying story has been heard. There are other silent victims. On paper, I dump out the words rattling around within me. They are raw, sharp, and covered in tears. They may never be posted here.  But I found a well written article that echoes my heart's cry 100%.

Read on:

One Child's Death Mourned, Another Celebrated

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Holding With an Open Hand

The longer I walk with Christ Jesus, the more I am learning to hold everything in an open hand.

I have been trying to focus daily on releasing my will. My son found a sun catcher that says “Let go & Let God.”
Perfect! We hung it in the kitchen window so I can look at it when I do dishes. Let… “I will work and who shall let it?” the LORD said in Isaiah 43:13b

A reminder to hold everything in an open hand.
modern conveniences,
loved ones,

Job understood this when he said “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21b). The LORD first taught me this when I miscarried my first child. Since then I have had many repeat lessons through the years.

The Lord reminded me again recently I am His. And He is free to do whatever He wants with His creation and with His child. He loves me more than anyone else I know. And He has the best plan in mind.

I must rest upon Him. Fall back and trust Him. Let Him lead when I cannot see.

To hold everything, even what is most precious to me, in an open hand,
knowing He wants to guard and protect it even more than I do

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Heavy Prayer Mantle

Like the widow Anna in the New Testament (Luke 2:36-38), God commissioned me many years ago to serve Him with fastings and prayers. It has been the most exhausting and rewarding part of being a Child of God.

I have borne many burdens of prayer as an intercessor. I know the joy of victory and sorrow of defeat. I know the heavy attack that knocks me to my knees and causes me to feel the shadow of satan on my face. I know the time and sacrifices it costs me and my boys. I know the reward of seeing prayers answered and captives being set free. I also know the battle scars it leaves and the wake of destruction that can occur when the enemy wins a round. Sometimes the prayer mantle can seem so heavy....

And I am human....
The Lord called and commissioned me to war on behalf of someone recently; week after week this heavy burden was upon me.  It still is. But one morning I tried to run from it and was swiftly admonished. Desertion is not an option.

My king commanded I do this till He says to stop. So it's not about how I feel. It is about duty, it is about obedience, it is about loving others like my LORD loves me, unconditionally, in a steadfast manner.  Like He did when He bore the heaviness and pain of the cross for me. I own Him this, I owe Him everything...

My mind replays other heavy burdens and the victories of people who responded to God working in their lives.  I stand in awe of the miracles He has done. And then my heart skips a beat and tears come as I recall those who didn't heed the LORD and the destruction that came to their household and sent ripples to all those around them.

I tremble when God gives me the real heavy burdens. Pain is inevitable. But to be idle is unthinkable. The love of Christ compels intercession and sacrifice.

So I take to heart the encouragement of a fellow warrior, don the heavy prayer mantle again, gather up my gear, and step out once again to be an armorbear for someone who is clueless to how God has caused me to war on their behalf.

I focus on the face of my Saviour and await His smile. I remember His promises. And think of the day He will wrap me in His embrace and I can lay down my gear and just rejoice continually in His presence.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Our pastor preached recently on one of my favorite topics, prayer. He taught us that we must first of all- pray, then be earnest, be clean, make it about bringing God glory, and be persistent. A week later he preached on being confident when we pray.

Confidence is having no doubt, worry, or concern, but instead having power that nothing can hinder.

 1 John 3:21b-22a says "...have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him..."

Confidence= Believing God is with us

This is not the world's counterfeit confidence of our power and ability. God confidence is in His ability and power and counting on His supernatural working. It is built on God's Word and bases strength on what God says. God wants to do something amazing in our lives even more than we do.

We lack confidence when our hearts condemns us. Satan gets us to think about our sins. We lose boldness. It is a great tactic of the enemy to hinder our prayer life. It isn't about our righteousness. It is about God's. God is greater than our hearts, greater than our sin. Confess it, seek His forgiveness, and accept it. Then get back to praying.

This last week  I was reminded again that prayer is battle, and satan likes to make us our own worse enemy. Like my pastor said, "Think about it: we are the greatest influence on ourselves. Who else talks to us so much?"

My friend and I were discussing high school football, and a team that has had a lot of injuries. He said "If they were more aggressive, they would hold better physical forms that would protect the body." What the team lacks is inner confidence. It would come out as being more aggressive that would end up keeping them from getting so hurt. Picture David charging down the hill to face the giant Goliath. Now that youth had God confidence!

Do you see the spiritual application?  If we would have more inner confidence in God, we would be more aggressive against satan and he wouldn't end up wounding us so much. Our "form" would be better.

This applies to the whole team as well. The family. The church. As each member has greater God confidence, the whole team would be more protected, and gain more ground.

Verses on confidence:

Ps 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Eph 3:12 In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him

Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit,
and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh

Acts 28:31
(Paul) Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Heb 10:25
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Prov 3:26
For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Prov 14:26
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence and His children shall have a place of refuge.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Armorbearer Part 1

"Intercessory prayer is the privilege to be another person's armorbearer."

I have been doing a word study on "armorbearer" recently. I especially like the story in 1 Samuel 14 about Jonathan's armorbearer. The Lord has some powerful things to teach us.

Armorbearers were assistants to warriors; a sidekick, if you will. They carried armor, of course, but also weapons. They needed to be strong, but also courageous. They finished off any enemy that their warrior had struck down. They watched for the enemy to attack from a blind spot to their warrior. Should the enemy wound their warrior, the armorbearer was often looked to, to finish off his warrior, so that the enemy wouldn't torment him or shame him in death.

Spiritually, we need to be strong for other warriors, encouraging them to step out in faith and helping them slay the enemy. We need to be on guard for them in prayer. We can also thrust others threw, with the Word of God and through prayer, when they have been mortally wounded by the lies of the enemy.

This takes being a tree of life to others to a whole new level. A level of warfare.

There are many different people we can be an armorbearer for: Christ, your pastor, another leader, a spouse, a friend, even the unbeliever. I hope to expound on this more in the future.  For now, dear reader, just be in prayer on how you can be armorbearer and to who.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


There are times in life when you feel like the door is locked and you just have to sit on the steps and wait. It maybe that God hasn't unlocked an opportunity you are hoping for. It might be you expected a family member to be healed and it hasn't happened yet. It might be that a friend won't let you in when you know God sent you to share truth.

At times like these, it can be difficult to sit and wait. We want to bang on the door and scream and yell. We think we have the right to demand to be let in. Or we want to just walk away in a huff and give up. To get angry and bitter. To rant and rave and ridicule and speak evil.

But God calls us to sit and wait. He has a plan that cannot be rushed. He is getting ready every detail. He is lining things up as they need to be. He is teaching a lesson that will only be learned in this manner. He is tearing down a wall brick by brick. He is warming the soil of a soul so it will sprout seeds when you plant truth. He is allowing a friend to see Proverbs 17:17 in action and thus they will grant you a sneak peeking into their heart.

Now don't get me wrong, sometimes you will cry as you sit and wait. It can be disappointing to have to wait for what you thought God was going to do right away. It can be down right scary not knowing what is going to happen next. It can flat hurt when someone shuts you out. Let the tears fall. Don't you yourself build walls.

But don't let your waiting be in vain. Pray while you wait. Examine your ❤. Focus on Christ and Who He is.  Sing and worship the Lord.  Be still and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Bask in the love of the Father and trust that He is working all things together for good. 

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Sunday morning our Sunday School lesson was on when God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice. Isaac and him were on Mt. Moriah and that ram took the place of Isaac on the altar. Abraham renamed the mountain Jehovah-jireh which means the Lord will see to it or the Lord will provide. Sunday night the Lord did just that for me personally.
Unknown to me, my church family took up a love offering for me. When it was given to me, I was so overwhelmed, in a good way!

Three weeks ago the Lord allowed that storm to happen. He kept all the trees from hitting our home, He brought help to us, and now He has provided the finances to cover the electrician's bill! See when our powerline was hit, it pulled all the wires on our pole and made a real mess. All that had to be fixed before we could have our power company hook us back up.

And the love offering was even more than that. To me, it is an earnest check from God. A promise from God that He will provide in the years to come that I have been concerned about.
Yes, God WILL provide! He will see to it.
I stand with Abraham, though on a different mountain and call it also Jehovah-jireh.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Tears streamed down my face, and my heart was overwhelmed because once again my very personal Savior did something only He could do. I can not even begin to describe it in words. It is so sacred right now. So overwhelming in an
amazingly good way.

Just always remember Jesus sees, He knows & He cares! Every detail of your ❤, every need you never speak of, every burden you carry. He gets it.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Personal Invitation

Psalm 65:4
Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.

Choosen! The God of the whole universe chooses me, causes me to be able to come before His throne, wants me to live in His courts!
I am personally invited every moment of the day and night to come to Him. Wow!

And yet so often I linger in the distance. Distracted, doubting, and dirty...forgetting He will clean me up, He is the Desolver of doubts, and that He is waiting for me.

He is waiting for me......
I must go

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Journey

One week after the last post, our area was hit by a nasty squall of a storm.
Our huge pine tree broke apart and 2/3 of the tree fell on the main power lines running along side our road. Another tree by the cemetery also blew down. In our driveway, another large branch fell on our own power line. Two trees uprooted down in the shooting range, two trees fell across the field drive, three trees came down in the south woods, and another tree fell across my trail to the creek. Countless tree branches lay around the place. I wandered around that Thursday morning in a daze and felt very overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed by all the damage,
overwhelmed by the mercy of God,
and by Saturday night I was
overwhelmed by God's goodness, and
overwhelmed by His reminder that He sees, He knows, and He cares.

For 18 years I have prayed for the trees to never fall on our house during a storm. God honored those prayers. My brother came quickly to help with a chainsaw and generator. Even though the power was out until Thursday afternoon, we had electricity to the refrigerator and could run some lights and a/c units. My brother-in-law came out Thursday and help cut up some of the wood. My brother and nephew came again Thursday and Saturday to help cut up trees. Saturday some men stopped by and offered to help cut up the huge section of pine tree laying ragged on the ground. Four boys on bikes also stopped to assist them. They made quick work of something that would have taken us hours. And Jim's cousin had vacation time and came up to help for a couple days. The boys work with him and accomplished more in two days then just us could have done in a week.

In all this outpouring of support, many emotions have swirled around our family:

The pine tree was very colossal! If we went on a hike a mile from home, we could still see the top of it. It was a marker for home. The remaining third of it is like a half blown-up spaceship pointing to the sky.

We discovered that Saturday three huge cracks in the Climbing Tree. Those cracks were a testimony to me of God's protection. That part of the tree should have fallen on the house. But they were also a sign to take action. So my brother has been working on cutting down the most dangerous limbs. Eventually, the whole thing will have to come down. This tree is close to our house and has been a favorite for my boys to play in since they could walk. It has had many forts built in it through the years, as well as a tire swing Jim hung, and a climbing rope to swing on as well. Many memories have been made in that tree. Seeing it be cut down little by little has been sad.

The shooting range is like a trap just waiting to spring. One tree fell into another into another. Limbs and branches are intertwined with several other trees. The shooting range my husband worked tirelessly on and that we have tried to maintain is a disheartening mess! It will remain as it is until the Lord gives me wisdom and peace on what to do.

The trees across the field drive were sawed up and moved out of the way so two dozen loads of brush could be hauled out of the front yard. The tree across my trail was also cut and removed, so I can at least get to one of my favorite places to think and pray. And cry....

This "not my will" stuff is hard, very hard. I am trying to not complain, to be thankful, to keep a good attitude, but it isn't easy. My inner brat wants to have a pity party, to stomp my feet, to demand God make everything easy and all sunshine and rainbows.

Monday night I found myself visiting the same hotel I released my balloons at.

What a whirlwind two months it has been!! I had to just get alone with God for a few moments. To once again release my life into God's hands. Yes, this "not my will" stuff is so hard. But really, I am trusting myself to the One who bled and died for me. To the One who loves me more than I can ever imagine, more than I will ever understand. He promised He'd make all things work together for good to those that love God and that He would make everything beautiful in His time. Even the messes of trees at our place and the swirling emotions in me and my boys, these too He will turn into something good and beautiful.

So I reread the poem, "Late at Night" and I focus on my Lord's words to me:

Feel Me cupping your chin,
Lifting your head,
Wiping away the tears,
Making you look straight at ME.
Lock your eyes with Mine.

Stray not!
One step at a time,
one breath at a time,
one prayer at a time,
one moment at a time.

Choose to trust,
no matter what your heart fears,
or your mind doubts,
Trust Me, child, this is best.
I love you, more than you can ever imagine,
More than you will ever understand.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thy Will

I love to release a balloon into the air. It is just therapeutic for me. I like to watch it be released and float away free. I enjoy staying and watching till it disappears out of sight.

I was given several balloons on my birthday by a good friend and I took them to my retreat with me. They nicely decorated the room, but I also had another plan. Some of them needed to be released.

On the first day of my retreat, I took a solitary balloon. In my mind, I attached a label: My Will.

I released it into the wild wind. It whirled around chaotically and rose into the sky. I watched it for a long time. Thinking about how I was going to attempt to practice the same surrender to God.

On my last day of my retreat, I took three balloon that were tied together and released them as well. These ones symbolized my three children. They sailed up and away differently for the three were tied together, like I hope my sons will always be in life.

It has been over a month since then and, my oh my! What a month!

I returned from my retreat ill. It took me lots of sleep and several days to recuperate. Then a financial issue occurred. After that craziness, home owner issues. Throw in one son starting driver's ed,  another one in softball, and cousins visiting. Sometimes the days felt like a whirlwind and the nights were much too short. More recent, I was in the ER waiting room for my brother. Then just two days later, I brought in my own son with a broken arm. A teenager I have mentored for the past five years, will soon be moving two states away. And another one looks like she'll be moving out of town also. None of this was my will.

In all of this I can see, though, God's will being so wise and needed. I didn't enjoy being sick, but the Lord showed me somethings while I was "made to lie down". I didn't like my brother being in the ER, but it has been brought us closer. And though watching my son have his arm manipulated back in place was difficult, surgery was avoided. And his skateboard crash could have been so much worse. In all this, the Lord surrounded me with support and needed prayers from friends and family.

Some days were so hard to look up to God and say, "Ok, not my will, but Thy will." Instead I would say, "This is hard, this hurts, this is miserable, this is so against everything within me." Then once again, I had to release my will. I must fall backwards on God's love without knowing the outcome. His love has been such a constant in my life. A strong cord in the midst of a hurricane of emotions. I know He loves me and His will is always best for me and those I love.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hearing His Voice

This is taken from a poem I wrote last month called "Late at Night"
I had had fear pounce on me and was trying to figure out why.
As I poured my heart out in words on a page, the Lord spoke to my heart.
Here is that section of the poem:

My heart hears His voice:

Cast your care upon Me
Put them in My backpack
My shoulders are broad enough
To carry all your cares

Tie My love around you,
Like a rescue rope in a stormy sea
I will lift you up out of the raging
Fear, doubt, anxiousness

Rest in Me, let Me blanket you
With My lovingkindness.
Let Me hold you and sing songs
over you to calm your soul.

Rest in My arms,
Rest in My Word,
Don't just believe on Me,
Believe Me

I have plans, grand ones,
Trust Me, my child,
Stand on the water beside Me,
Let Me hold your hand like you did your sons'
So many years ago.
You may wobble and tumble
But I will catch you
I may lift you straight up
Or gently set you gingerly on the ground.

Feel Me cupping your chin,
Lifting your head,
Wiping away the tears,
Making you look straight at ME.
Lock your eyes with Mine.

Stray not!
One step at a time,
one breath at a time,
one prayer at a time,
one moment at a time.

Choose to trust,
no matter what your heart fears,
or your mind doubts,
Trust Me, child, this is best.
I love you, more than you can ever imagine,
More than you will ever understand.

Don't run ahead of Me.
You will fall. Just patiently walk beside Me.
Let Me lead, and guide.
Let Me protect

Allow Me to whisper secrets in your ear.
To reveal yet another sliver
Of Who I Am
To give you yet another name for Myself


A Small Victory

We recently visited this 130ft high trail bridge after we spent some time with family. It was very cool! But more than being just pretty awesome and neat to see, it was a victory for me. I am scared of heights. Never used to be, but somehow in my thirties the ground began to spin when I look down from up high. Just walking down the steps of a balcony can make the world start twirling. I will feel like I am falling, though I am not, and fear rises up within me. Any touch from someone near me makes me feel like I am going to go over the edge.

On my time away for my birthday, the Lord spoke to me about many things. One of them was fears. We all have fears of one kind or another. No matter what kind they are, they paralyze us and cloud our rational thinking. Even more concerning is that the fears control us. The Good Lord doesn't want our fears to be controlling us. In fact He instructs us to fear Him only for what we fear has power over us.

Now some may argue that fears help us be careful and more cautious. And this is true. But like many things in life, this must be in balance. Having a healthy fear of fire, guns, sharks, storms, and heights could be better called having a respect for them and the power they have. When you follow safety rules and procedures, you have nothing to fear. The imbalance comes when fear is a irrational terror inside, even when safety rules are followed.

With this in mind, plus the determination to fight my fears in my forties, I walked across the bridge 13 stories above the river. I made myself stop at every lookout, and look down. When it got too dark to see, I shined my flashlight down into the world below. My head spun, but I kept the terror squelched. And each lookout was a little easier.

I have won a battle, but not the war yet. I may never be able to look down from up high and not have the world go spinning. But I have taken a step forward. On my time away, I bought myself a sign that says, "Let your faith be bigger than your fears." Let.....fears hinder our faith. Faith is letting go, it is trusting in what you cannot see. It is falling backwards without looking, trusting the Almighty will catch you. The Bible says, "Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?" Isaiah 43:13

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Several weeks ago my sister-in-law sent me this picture and it started me on a journey.

The day I got it I was feeling buried. I felt the heavy weight of life on me. I felt trapped and suffocating. This sign gave me an attitude adjustment. It reminded me that my perspective was all wrong.

A few days later as I was doing my daily devotions I read this verse:
Romans 6:5 "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"

Like I told a friend, "I guess I better do a study on the word planted."
I was surprised how many times this word was used.

We can be like a tree planted.
Psalm 1:3 says "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
The "he" in this verse is referring to the man in verses 1 & 2 that:
  • walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly
  • nor standeth in the way of sinners
  • nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful
  • delights in the law of the LORD
  • doth meditate day and night

Jeremiah 17:7-8 is similar. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

God plants.
Genesis 2:8 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man who he had formed."

Psalm 80:8 "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it."

Psalm 80:15 "And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself."

Psalm 92:13 "Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God."

Psalm 94:9 "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?"

Psalm 104:16 "The trees of the LORD are full of sap: the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted."

Ecclesiastes 3:2 "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted."

Jeremiah 2:21 "Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?"

Jeremiah 11:17 "For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal."

Jeremiah 45:4 "Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land."

Ezekiel 17:5 "He took also of the seed of the land and planted it in a fruitful field, he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree."

Matthew 15:13 "And he (Jesus) answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up."

We are called to plant.
1 Corinthians 3:6 (Paul said) "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

In Genesis 9:20 Noah planted a vineyard. Later in Genesis 21:33 Abraham planted a grove and calls there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. Ecclesiastes 2:5 We learn Solomon planted trees. In Luke 13 a fig tree is planted. In the Gospels is the parable of a man that planted a vineyard.

And in Luke 17: 6 we read "And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."

Final Verses I Noted on Plant(s):

Jeremiah 32:11 "Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in the land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul."

Jeremiah 42:10 "If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, I will plant you and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you."

Psalm 144:12 "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Softening Tears

Many years ago this picture was given to me.
I today I sent it in a letter to a couple who suffered a miscarriage.
And once again my acquaintance grief popped in to say hello.
My mama heart goes back many years to when I lost Benjie.
I read a quote today that once again brought tears to my eyes.
"Jesus, I wanted to hold my child in my arms and tell him about You. Will you please hold him in your arms and tell him about me?"

Jesus uses time as a great tool in healing. But I am thankful that He keeps my heart soft with tears. That I can go back and feel the loss of a precious little one so that I can pray with understanding for a couple going through a tough time.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. The boys decided to give me two precious gifts:
  • an uninterrupted nap
  • to not argue with each other all day
They accomplished both. I love my children and the young men they are becoming.

Yet I remember a distant Mother's Day being pregnant and at the same time grieving a child I never got to know. I remember a Mother's Day holding a fussy infant and at the same time dealing with ornery preschoolers, when all I wanted to do was be able to hear the sermon uninterrupted. I remember days with tears and fears as a young widow with little ones looking to me to be an anchor through the storm.  But again those tears kept my heart soft to other mama's juggling little ones, alone. I think of all the times I have run to the Lord in tears because there was no husband here to turn to. Tears.

I was talking with a young girl yesterday and we spoke of tears. She tries so hard to bury her hurt inside and not vocalize it to others. And I reminded her God gave her a voice to vocalize in a right way her feelings, her pain. But He also gave us tears. Tears are our pressure-release valve. I know that when I squelch them and stuff them into a back closet, my heart gets hard. They usually come rushing out in a flood of anger later, hurting those around me. Holding them in can be destructive.  
"Tears are like rain. They loosen up the soil of our heart." I read that years ago. And it is a great truth.

So as the tears came to my eyes and the familiar lump swelled in my throat today, I choose to thank God for tears. I know He has collected them in a bottle and has used them to keep my heart soft. To keep me tenderhearted. Towards Him and towards others.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Turning 40

I turn 40 this month. And I am really very excited!
Sounds crazy, don't it?

But let's do a quick review:
  •  My 28th birthday I was a happily married women with two great kids and a wonderful husband.
  • My 29th birthday I was a barely functioning widow, really an emotional amputee with three sons (5, 2, and a newborn). My birthday was simply a day focused on breathing as my wounded heart bled out my eyes.
  • I simply have no memory of my 30th birthday. I entered my 30's with about as much enthusiasm as a corpse.
  • Most birthdays since then have been a blur. Usually full of vast emotions and learning to breathing again. Putting another school year behind us and forcing myself to walk forward.
  • Certain ones stand out. I remember the cold splash of reality of being a widow longer than I had been a wife. Yet still having his missing "happy birthday" put a hole in all the well wishes of others.
  • There were a couple birthdays that family did surprise parties after church. It was sweet of them, I felt showered with love, but inside was a storm.
  • Then there is the birthday when my dad broke his hip. That was a memorable and crazy day for sure!
This year is vastly different. I have been planning for months. 40 to me isn't "halfway between diapers and Depends" or becoming "over the hill". To me turning 40 is a declaration, "I lived through my 30's!"
"I survived my 30's (and maybe even thrived a little) as a widow homeschool mom of three boys." The fact that the Lord did an amazing healing in my heart this last year just is icing on the cake. Turning 40 feels like a graduation.

With God's unshakeable grip on me, I have kept the faith.Through His wisdom, He has used my pain to help others. Through God's grace and provision, I have continued to homeschool the boys. I have survived, and lived over 4,000 days longer than I ever thought I would. I stumbled and fell many times, got scrapes and bruises along the way. But with the help of God, I struggled to my feet and tried again. Miraculously, I have lived to tell a tale that I thought was going to kill me. He stood against my deepest fears and healed my shattered heart. Like I said in December, "I feel as if I have finally graduated from physical therapy with prosthetic limbs and I am able to walk again. I feel that the LORD and I can hike together now toward something special up ahead. I don't know what it is, but I know the LORD is good and He knows best."

And so, for my 40th birthday, I am looking forward to a retreat.
Some time completely alone with just my Healer and me. Time to relax and just be. 
Not be a mom, or a teacher, or a house manager, or a daughter, sister or friend.
Just be me. Spending time with my Creator. A two-day long God date.

Time to reflect. Time to write. Time reading my Lord's love letter. Time listening to Him. Time to look forward and dream. Time to step into my 40's with a smile and a sweet peace knowing God's got some pretty exciting adventures ahead.

And in all my anticipation of my 40th birthday, I think of my Jim. I can just see him with a big grin on his face, like he knew this is where I would get to all along. And there'd be a knowing twinkle in his eyes, showing secrets he won't share, but that say "It's going to be great!"

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Gift

Every time I am in church, I look up to the ceiling above the pulpit. Upon the ceiling is the shadow of a gift. It has the shape of a present with a fancy bow on top of it. I know this is just a shadow of the mounted projector from the lights below, but each time I look to it, I am reminded of several things:
  • "Today is a gift; that's why it is called the Present!" Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone.
  • My preacher is a gift to my family. He bears our burdens in prayer, instructs us in God's truth, and guides us to step out in faith and follow the Lord daily.
  • The sermon is a gift. A message from the LORD personally to me. An audio letter from God. Pastor is just the speaker. It maybe be full of encouragement, or it may be like sandpaper to rub away a sharp corner of sin in my life. Either way it is a gift from the Lord who loves me and wants the best for me.
  • My church family is a gift giving support, encouragement, fellowship, and accountability.
  • It is estimated that 100 million Christians are persecuted around the globe. Openly meeting to worship the Living God in a place free from persecution is a gift.
  • The list can go on and on.....our building is a gift, the music is a gift, the Bible is a gift, the children in my Sunday School class are a gift, my own children are a gift, my health is a gift. My vehicle that brought me there is a gift. Events in my life that brought me to this church body of believers, these too were gifts.
  • God the Father giving His Son to die for me on a cross that was to have my name on it....a gift.
I am so very thankful for the shadow picture of a present that calls me to be thankful and attentive to the many blessings the Lord showers down upon me daily.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Unspeakable Joy

Our ladies group has been practicing "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin.
Recently the chorus has been "an anchor for my soul."
I just can't help, but sing it.

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Easter of 2007 was a day of hope for me. It was a day when I really began to feel like the boys and I were going to be okay. A day I realized some day my husband's grave would be empty too. Ten years later, I can say we are better than okay. We are a living breathing miracle of God's healing power and grace.

My nephew got married recently. Years ago I used to love weddings. That all changed when Jim died. I avoided them like the plague. Some where unavoidable, like my sister-in-law's and I just wept through them. In time, I didn't weep the whole time through them, but the vows got me every time. "Til death do we part." Most couples are clueless about that statement, thinking of being old and grey. No one thinks of being 8 months pregnant with their third child. Tears, a punch to the gut, a grief wave, curling my toes to stop from weeping. This is how it usually went hearing the vows and "I do's"

With the great healing the Lord had done on my heart this past fall, I was wondering how this wedding was going to affect my heart. I was going to be running into memories and was more involved in this wedding than any previous one without Jim. Having worked through the most emotional six months of my year, this wedding was the last heart check. Am I really healed?

I can honestly say that I felt no twinge, no grief wave, no lump in the throat, no curling of my toes.
And my heart wanted to leap for joy! I can't even begin to describe the joy of being healed. The Lord promised it many years ago. This is how I longed to be healed for so long. And it has finally happened!  "No more sorrow, no more pain."

I am not naïve to think I will never feel pain or sorrow again. But in my heart where it concerns Jim, there is no more sorrow and no more pain. For pain that used to suck my breath away and make me feel like I was dying a slow excruciating death....to go from that level to "no more sorrow, no more pain" is a miracle. Like I said, I don't think I can describe it. I just know that God truly is my Healer.

I also feel that if the Lord has someone for me in the future, that I am healed now and will be able to give them all of me. Like the Lord on Resurrection morning, I feel alive again. And there is unspeakable joy where once was the darkest, most overwhelming pain imaginable.

Thank You, Jesus, my Healer and the Lover of my Soul.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

God Says No

When I first became a Christian and was learning about prayer, I learned the LORD has three answers:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Wait
I once saw a saying that had a 4th response from God: "You've got to be kidding!"

Though it makes us smile, it can be so difficult when God says, "Wait" or "No."

In my head, I know when God says No or Wait, He has my best interest at heart.
I know this, but that doesn't instantly take the disappointment away. When hopes or dreams don't happen, when expectations aren't met, when something easy turns into the most difficult thing in the world....it is hard to remember that the "No" from the Lord is best. When I want to run away from a situation or speak my mind on a matter, and He says "No" it becomes a battle of my flesh and His spirit within me. When the timing for something seems to make sense but God clearly says "Wait.", it can be so difficult to not run ahead of the Lover of my soul who knows exactly what is best for me. It is trying on the soul when I pray, and pray, and pray for someone or a situation, and don't see any change or things get even worse. God has said "Wait" and I impatiently want to see evidence I have been heard.

And often when told "no" or "wait", we grumble and complain. The Israelites did the same thing to God on their way to the promise land. And what is really cloaked under all that murmuring and whining? 

And that is exactly what the Lord reveals to me in how I respond to His answers. I am such a daughter of Eve. For I am doubting Him, not trusting in God when I respond to His "No's" and "Wait" with complaining and fretting. Oh, me of little faith.

I recently journaled, " I feel like the LORD has been telling me No about lots of things lately. I need to be mindful about telling Him Yes about things."

Instead of focusing on His answers, I should be focused on my response to my Lord. My Lord.
Too often, I shamefully admit, I have said the oxymoron, "No, Lord."

Luke 6:46 says, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

So once again, I humbly bow before the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the Only Wise God and surrender myself to Him.  I choose to press into my God, when my inner brat wants to pull away because I didn't get what I wanted when I wanted it. I look into the heart of my Saviour who bore the cross for me, whose blood washes away my sins, who loves me with an everlasting love, and rejoices over me with singing.  I kneel before my Maker, My Healer, and choose to say "Yes".

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Breathe in Grace

Sunday night as my pastor was preaching, he said that if his grown son was in a car accident, the LORD would give grace to his daughter-in-law.

Snurr instantly leaned over to me and whispered loudly, "Did God give you grace, Mom?"

"Yes," I whispered with a calm, confident voice, as my brain took me back in time and rattled my soul, "God gave me grace."

He did.

He still does.


For every situation.

It is a gift the Lord has for me each morning.

It is a choice for me to open it and receive it.

It is what I breathe in deeply
                 when I hear troubling news,
                            when I am frustrated,
                                   when I am weary,
                                            when I look into the future,
                                                     when I face another loss,
                                                              when the enemy whispers loud accusations,
                                                                          when the Lord seems silent,
                                                                                     when I must make tough decisions,
                                                                                                when I pray for a hard-hearted loved one.

Grace, I have learned, is freely given and in great heaping amounts.....
                though it is given when needed, like manna from heaven, it is provided daily,
and it is my responsibility to gather it daily and look to God in faith the next day for the next need.

Even as I type this, a concern for a loved one comes.
             I pause. I breath in deeply. I breathe in the grace of God for this moment.

I take my tears, my fears, and worry....I shakily exchange them for His grace.
I choose to trust in my Healer, my Creator, and the Lover of my soul.

I breathe deeply His abundant grace.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Worship His Holy Name

Life verse I picked out after I got saved:
Psalm 28:7  "The LORD is my strength and my shield: My heart trusted in Him and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him."

Verse that spoke to my heart this morning:
Psalm 103:1 " Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name."

Made me instantly think of song that some young ladies sang in church a little while back. Just the piano and their strong voices praising the LORD. Was very powerful! Here is the chorus and the 2nd verse that I like best:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find"

Song by Matt Redman


Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Valentine

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Red and pink are everywhere! Flowers, chocolate, cards, and candy overflow the store aisles. As with many other holidays, this one for me is different this year. I smile and linger at the frenzy of the approaching lover's holiday. I don't feel like half of me this year. I am well aware of being single in a couple's world, of course. But I don't feel alone. I look at the cards and candy. I pick out some cards for my boys and get them a tasty treat, praying they will do the same for their wives someday. 

In the book Every Young Woman's Battle, the author's have a chapter titled "Falling in Love with Jesus." Three sections of that chapter are called:
  • Making Jesus Your First Love
  • Giving God Every Chance
  • Seek Him and Find Him
Very powerful truths!!

I have blogged many times how God is enough. His word promises us so. Ps 23:1 says, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." Faith in Christ is not a religion! It is all about a relationship! A relationship between my heart and the heart of Christ. The Bible is His love letter to me and He gives me gifts every day. He sends flowers each spring and peaceful snow-globey snow in the winter. Every time someone gives me chocolate, I know it was Him prompting their heart to do so. I have felt the comfort of His hugs in my soul and His gentle hands wiping the sadness off my heart. He has held my hand through countless storms, but also as we've scampered forward into a new adventure.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lover of my soul, my ultimate valentine. He pursues me. He knows me. He loves me for me.  And what person doesn't want that?!

I will admit, it has taken me years to recognize and appreciate HOW He loves me. It is so NOT physical. It can not be felt by the skin or seen with the physical eyes. It's heart and soul communication and closeness. He takes the initiative and I respond. I seek His face and He reveals Himself to me.

This is why I say you will never find contentment and fulfillment in a love relationship until you find it in Christ. No spouse will ultimately fill you and tend to all your needs. It is humanly impossible! But Christ can do what man cannot. The Bible states in 1 John that God is love. Who better to love you? Who better to lead you to still waters to satisfy your thirst? Who better to fulfill the longings of your heart?

And like any relationship, it takes effort. You must care and tend to the relationship with trust and communication. There will be times you feel distant and you must work at drawing nearer to God. The book of James tells us to draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to us.  But no matter what we do or say that isn't right, the LORD always loves you. Always waiting with outstretched arms, ready to forgive, ready to love.......

Christ is the Ultimate Valentine! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Snurr and I were relaxing on the couch chatting the other day and he made this statement,
"My kids won't have a grandpa."

I sighed deeply. Once again his brain is processing the absence of his father, this time thinking forward into his future. This is the part of widowhood that is most difficult, watching my children grieve. There is nothing I can do to shield them from the pain. I will say I do feel privileged at the same time. I am thankful they feel safe enough they can share their heart and hurts with me. So very thankful.

I waited for Snurr to share more.
I could see the gears turning in his head.
"I have two grandpas."
"Yes, you are very blessed."

I explained to him that if his wife's father is alive that his children would for sure have one grandpa.
Then I explained I actually had three grandpas, but I only knew two. My father's first dad died when he was eight. So his stepdad was my grandpa also. Then I had my mom's father as a grandpa also.

So I told him that if the Lord sees fit, and someday I remarry that his children could very likely be like I was. Have three grandpas, one in heaven and two on earth.

As he quietly processed this, I thought about how unpredictable grief is. We never know when it will pop up or what will trigger it. Most often when grieving, we think backwards in time. We also grieve that our loved ones can't be with us currently. But grieving forward also occurs. It is all apart of our hearts trying to process our loss.

One thing is certain. The Lord is there. He is there where ever we are grieving.
And He has great grace for whatever the future holds.

Monday, February 6, 2017

An Acquaintance Visits

I stood on the porch. It's 5:55 p.m. Eleven years ago there was a horrible, life-altering accident. I look down the sidewalk and recall the policeman and my neighbors walking up it. Tears flow at the memory. The mind flashes thoughts of metal crashing and tearing, of tires on the pavement, of my beloved mortally wounded and bleeding, then silence with just a cold winter breeze.

Back on the porch, I pull up my hood and step down one step.
Hot, salty tears flow down my cheeks. I take a deep breath and head down the sidewalk to meet an old acquaintance, Grief. We have traveled many miles together. We've never been friends. Grief can be demanding, bossy, rude, exhausting, and overwhelming.  Though Grief has been very painful, knocking the wind out of me, pouncing on me, and wounding me to the ground, I don't think of Grief as an enemy either. A bully at times maybe, but whose power has diminished over the years. Two things are constant about Grief: it is unpredictable and the Lord has always sent comfort.

It has been quite a long while since we last spoke. There has been such healing in my heart, I had hoped we'd not ever have to meet again. But the tell-tale scar on my heart and soul give it a passport to come, though its stay won't be long.

Grief and I walk down the driveway together. Then I force my feet to face the cemetery. Tears continue to fall with each rhythmic step of my feet crunching in the snow. I head to go into the cemetery one way. I stop. Another flash from the past. A tent. Chairs. A casket. Family. Cold wind blowing through the huge hole in my heart.

I turn and walk along the edge of the cemetery. Three trees. A garden stone. A dream remembered. A touch to the cheek. Understanding eyes. Permission to move forward. Crunch, crunch. The snow beckons me on.

I turn again and walk forward uncertainly, not knowing what Grief will do. I reach the graveside. And the tears come more forcefully and sobs escape my lips. Time stops.
Grief swirls around me like an icy blizzard.
Blinding my eyes,
stinging my cheeks,
making my lungs gasp for warm air...

"I love you so much....." I whisper into the night as I stare at a picture of a married couple, so happy, so in love, sharing the secret of a third child within. It seems like a lifetime ago I posed for that picture with my Jim alive beside me.

The icy blizzard calms, and the blessed warmth of comfort of the Lord comes.
Time begins ticking again. Grief backs away into the shadows of the trees, but doesn't yet leave.
I breathe in the grace of God.
I fill my lungs with the warmth of His love and faithfulness as the tears continue to flow.
But the sobs are silent. Like birds released from prison, they have flown away.

I stoop down. With my finger, I write in the snow. After five words, my finger throbs with pain from the cold. But it is the only pain I feel. I breathe a sigh of relief. Through the tears, I read in the moonlight, "I will always love you."

The mind jumps to a beach in Michigan and the waves flowing in. Two honeymooners write in the sand. The waves threaten to erase their creation. Quickly the bride writes "T.I.D." which means True If Destroyed. They turn their backs on the water and the good man plucks an enormous red maple leaf and hands it to his soulmate.

The cool breeze tussles my hair and I turn towards the path in the woods. I feel Grief lingering behind me, following, yet staying in the shadows. Tears continue to fall as I meander through the woods to the field drive. My back is to the life in the house, my back is to the grave. I walk on and on until I feel Grief has given up following me and the tears cease. Then I just stop and stand.
Alone, I just stand and Be.
"Be still and know," God said.
My eyes contrast the crumbled down old barn and the home beyond full of life.

The nightly breeze has begun to dry my cheeks. I lick my lips and taste the remnant of salt. The mind flashes to a memory, but it is blurry and fading. The mind quickly tries to jump to the future, but it is halted and captured. I turn around and retrace my steps.

Suddenly the night is pierced by a holler from the boys, "Mom?" It is repeated, then the door bangs shut. I turn towards the house as I tramp through the woods. Instinctively, I follow the path to the cemetery. Without even thinking I write "T.I.D." Then smile at my Jim's picture and use my boot to snowplow my words of love into forever. Into eternity.

Using my sleeve, I remove the tears from my lashes and finish drying my cheeks. I walk back towards reality and the boys who need me. I glance at the time. 6:11 p.m. Sixteen minutes have passed; it seemed like hours. Where will we be in five years? Who or what is in my future? I round the corner of the house and light from within streams out across the snow. Home awaits.

I open the door to reality, to continued healing, to the possibilities of the future, and shut the door behind me. And Grief remains in the cold, waiting for permission from the Almighty to visit me again.