Thursday, August 31, 2017

The End of Summer

Sunset's sky last night signaled the shifting of seasons. Fall seems to be crowding out summer quickly. 

It is hard for me to say goodbye to the summer I love so much.

The constant rain of June produced numerous complaints on the lips of Mainers.  Day after day of sunny gorgeous hours graced our July and August. I spent many days in my flowers, staining my deck and painting various projects. Our newly stained porch and turquoise table invited friends and family to pause and share food and stories. 

A few weekends and a week in July found us enjoying time with our children and grandchildren at the camper.

I discovered a few wonderful summer reads, which deserve a post all their own!

I completed PT, said goodbye to my regular doctor who I've been with for decades as she moved on to a new chapter in her life, fell back into my chocolate addiction full force, walked on a daily basis, and continued my practice of prayer and Bible and simply sitting with the Lord in the early mornings.

So here I am, thinking about what pattern my autumn rhythms will follow. I feel like I missed sharing the shifts of spring here and now another season is upon us. Visit me on Instagram to see how August Break played out in photos. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Learning Continues...

Be sure to read & enjoy my final bullet point about what I keep in my Survival Kit!

a page from my visual journal

~ Spring in northern Maine is unpredictable.

I find myself relearning this fact every spring. After months of winter, I long for days filled with sunshine and warm breezes. I stare at my empty clothesline, dreaming of white sheets basking in light. 
Alas, spring breezes remain cold, rainy days far outnumbering sunny ones. My first trip to the clothesline yesterday resulted in several black fly bites, despite the hefty breeze.  At the end of the day, I pulled a blanket over me as I settled into my chair with cinnamon cardamon tea and chocolate chip GF cookies (I've had way too much chocolate of late).  I meant to read but pure exhaustion led me to the television instead. 

~ Isolation breeds introspection.

I am an introspective woman at heart but I've learned to balance this character trait with friends and serving. I worked hard at keeping my focus in check over the winter months, but the ongoing winter/spring made it a challenge.

Photos from "Click" May/June 2016

~ Perspective paves the way to joy.

My camera lay dormant much of the winter. I find myself falling back on my iPhone for convenience sake. I don't need to plan as much or think about perspective. My thought patterns defaulted as well. How do I know? Dwelling on disappointment and discouragement mires me in emotional turmoil and robs my peace. Thus joy is nowhere to be seen.

Hubby & me, Memorial weekend

~ God wants to bless me.

I return to this thought again and again. I know He loves me and shows me in little ways everyday. Yet the struggle with my health and constant disappointments of late pull me away from resting in His love. Through His Word, He continually speaks the same message of grace to my soul.

~ Trust is the bottom line.

Trust remains the bottom line for me.

~Memorizing scripture serves me well in battle.

Scripture lifts my head above the noise of the world, stays me when everything changes around me and reassures me that God has not forgotten me.

Here is my memory verse for June:

"The Lord and King is the Holy One of Israel. He says, ' You will find peace and rest when you turn away from your sins and depend on me. You will receive the  strength you need when you stay calm and trust in me. But you do not want to do what I tell you.' " Isaiah 30:15 NIRV

I want to do what He tells me. I want to depend on Him, not myself. I need to trust His seasons and timing in my life. 

~ My Survival Kit

At the end of every Surviving Sarah podcast, Sarah asks her guest what is in her survival kit for this season. Here is mine:

  • Texts, pictures and time with my children and grandchildren
  • Prayer and God's Word
  • Books! I never leave home without one.
  • Netflix. I am loving Heartland right now
  • Long phone conversations with a few close friends
  • Massage monthly
  • Podcasts. I discovered podcasts this winter and I love them. Favorites include - the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivy, What Should I read Next, That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, and several more.
  • iBethel TV
  • Apps on my phone i.e. She Reads Truth, You Bible, IF Gathering and as always Instagram

I will leave you on that positive note. Love to hear your what survival kit contains!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers of Rest

"Only one thing is needed.
You don't need to be or do better-
just loved better."
Whispers of Rest
Bonnie Gray

If you visit here often, you've heard me mention my "wilderness whispers" in sporadic posts over the winter. Although sunshine struggles to emerge here in northern Maine, the black flies announce Spring's presence. My soul wrestles on the fringes of the desert in the wilderness. 

When I received Bonnie Gray's new book in the mail, something stirred in my spirit. As a part of the launch team, I had been reading a few chapters electronically, but when I held her book in my hands and read the printed words,  I began to hear whispers of hope.

Each morning, I settle into my green chair with a cup of tea, journal, Bible and her book. This morning was no exception. I'd read it before but today God spoke the words to me.

"You don't need to be or do better - just loved better."

"Is this true, Lord?" my weary soul questioned.

The wilderness season brings temptation to try harder, do better, make changes. Anything to get out of the desert.

If I could just eat better, perhaps I would be healthy?
 Never mind I've tried a million ways to eat healthier.

If I could just be a better wife?
 I pray my way through lonely days as plans are disappointed and Hubby works tirelessly, but there are times I struggle with my attitudes.

If I could just have been braver when I was younger, kinder, more adventurous? Perhaps my days would be fuller now.

If i could just?

If I could?

If I?


But to be loved better?

I am learning to rest in God's love.
I am learning to trust His love for me, to believe He knows how I struggle with my health daily, sees the unmet desires of my soul, feels my loneliness in this desert place. 

If I could just be-loved.


My word today is BELOVED.

Each day in "Whispers of Rest," Bonnie Gray gives you a word. Or you can be quiet, listen and God will breathe his own word over you through His Word. 

You don't have to sit still all day. You can take a walk, snap a photo, or put pen to journal. Bonnie's words serve as a guide along the journey.

Today is release day for Whispers of Rest. Go to or or Barnes and Noble.

Whether you are fighting black flies and dreary days or enjoying a sunny beach, Whispers of Rest is a beautiful 40 day take-along read. 
God bless you as you begin this next season of your journey.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Single Prayer-Drop in the Desert

Nearly six weeks have passed since my last post.

Winter continues to linger on the edges of spring. My furnace still runs to bring heat into our home as dreary clouds drop rain day after day. Both my husband and I are fighting colds.

God's waiting room begins to feel claustrophobic. (see prior post)

I ask myself, "what can I write here that anyone will want to hear?"

I have no answers.

I maintain my daily practices.

Every morning I spend with my journal and my Bible. I pray over my days and pray to maintain some sense of perspective above this earth.

I work in the office and keep my household running, take mom to lunch once a week, drive my brother for errands, and knit dishcloths to give away  while watching the Voice or Netflix with Terry in the evenings.

I know God moves in the ordinary but I know He also moves beyond.

I note His promises in a small journal, easily accessible, hope building.

"May streams of your refreshing flow over me until my dry heart is drenched again."
                                                                                                 Psalm 126:4 Passion Translation

This is my prayer.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hearing the Father's Heart

I am sitting in the Social Security office waiting for my number to be called, thinking about all the errands I need to run.


Winter is hanging on and there is much snow still on the ground. Everyone you talk to is waiting for spring. Some patiently, some not so much.


I have been waiting since October for my shoulder to heal. I've gone the route of OT, PT, acupuncture, orthopedic doc and massage therapist. Just when I think I have a breakthrough, a setback plagues me with discouragement.


I turn to the Psalms where my eyes fall on many verses such as "all that I am waits patiently upon the Lord. "

All that I am waits patiently.

Is that true of me?

Would discouragement assault me if my thoughts were waiting patiently?

Would doubt drag my emotions down if I were waiting patiently?

Lord, you know all that I am desires to wait upon you but I'm tired today. I have much to do and forty-five minutes have passed waiting in this room with a dozen people.

Six months of waiting in the wilderness.

I look up at the clock. Should I leave and try another day?

Stay, daughter. Stay in My waiting room a little longer.

Shortly after I heard his quiet whisper, my number was called. The person before me got tired of waiting and left. They were almost there.

Am I almost there?

My reading this morning took me to Luke 12.

Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.

It makes your Father happy to give you the Kingdom.

What does seeking the kingdom look like?

One of my favorite books comes to mind. I pull it off the shelf.

"The Kingdom of God exists right here in the moments where we live." Simply Tuesday

I am reminded to live while I'm waiting. 

To breathe, to pray, to listen, to notice.

I look up from my book. Terry is walking across the yard from the shop.

Here is the Kingdom, child. Pray for him.

I pray as I walk to greet him at the door.

Jesus is in the details, the "ordinary daily" as Emily Freeman puts it.

The rush of life dulls our senses to the Kingdom.

My to-do list and daily pain often overshadow the Father's heart for me. 

I hear whispers in this waiting season.

I will wait a little longer.

While I wait I listen. I pray to notice.

Perhaps Spring is right around the corner.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

His "Yes" is My Hope.

Life is like a fairy tale!

Did you read the sentence twice? 

Unlike fairy tales, we don't have happy endings with every story nor life wrapped up nice and neat with a large bow.

Nevertheless, we do have the hope of a promise.

"Light arises in the darkness for the upright." Psalm 112:4

This has been a tough week. Last weekend, we had a wonderful time with our granddaughter and her boyfriend. For two whole days, we enjoyed games and movies and good food. Most of all, we laughed together and delighted in each other's company.

The minute they left for a three hour drive home,  an intense loneliness moved in. My week went downhill from there. One disappointment upon another blanketed my soul with bleakness. I struggled between fighting despair or giving in to it.

Tension stretched my emotions taut and old wounds flared up within.

Can you build an altar to Me in the heart of your unmet desires?

As I read my daily scriptures, I heard this question.

Can you believe I am saying yes to you, when everything seems to be saying no?

My word for the year is yes. Not only saying yes to myself, but believing God is speaking yes over me.

Can I believe his yes when everyone and everything else is screaming NO?

"That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls..." Hebrews 6 The Voice translation

The Message Bible tells me to "grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go."

The promised hope rests upon God's Words of blessing.

As I sat listening and praying, nothing changed in my world but the light of hope glimmered in the darkness. 

In the light of hope, I could almost imagine Jesus standing over me, with the word "yes" flowing from his lips with love.

His YES is my hope. 

I wait quietly upon His Word.

Can you build an altar by faith in the midst of your unmet hopes and dreams? Surrender is never easy and some days seems downright impossible. So I pray for help, for faith to let go and trust. I pray for rescue from the darkness. I pray for ears to hear his YES and a heart to believe.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Power of Hope

These words greet me every morning as I sit down at my desk with my muffin and tea.

I have called you by your NAME. You are MINE.

 I open my visual  journal and write a couple of morning pages, dumping worries and distraction upon the page. Then I open my lined daily journal to prepare to hear from the Lord. I write the date and the weather and perhaps a couple sentences.

During this season of Lent, most of my writing goes in my Isaiah book from She Reads Truth. For more information, see my post here -

Isaiah is not an easy read. I began by approaching Isaiah with the question foremost in my mind these days.

What is the heart of the Father?

Today's reading began in Isaiah 9, a familiar passage of scripture to me.

The first 7 verses stopped me in my tracks.

Having read the darkness and judgement prior, the words took on fresh meaning. Some translations rendered this passage as if it had already happened.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light."

Other translations render the words future tense.

 Holy Spirit whispered to me.

They are both.

Yes, the words are both.

Isaiah stood before the people of Israel speaking the words given to him. Were there those who reached out in faith, receiving the hope God brought from the mouth of his prophet?

Then Jesus fulfilled the words in a physical body, coming to this earth as the long awaited Messiah and our Savior. There were many who believed!

Today in 2017, I sit at my desk, reading and hearing the same words spoken, containing the same power to break oppression and lift heavy burdens from my shoulders, if I will merely believe them.

Are you sitting in gloom and darkness today? Perhaps the weight of our nation leaves you anxious and afraid? Do you carry the burden of sickness, divorce, financial difficulties or something else just as heavy for you?

God's words resound through the centuries!

He used a man, a human prophet to speak them into the earth.

God's words continue to carry the power of hope to break through every darkness. 

In the midst of rebellion and unbelief of Isaiah's day, the Father's heart remained constant Love towards his children.

Beloved of God, behold your Prince of Peace today.

 Reach out to Him, the Mighty God.

He is waiting for a tiny sliver of faith to connect to. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.

Let faith move your gaze to Jesus today.