The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Today I was having myself a big ole' mess of anxiety. I was convincing myself that nothing felt good, safe or secure. I even began to conclude that leaving our job to come back home was a horrible mistake. 
I was sure that being home didn't matter  to anyone else anyway and now we were facing all kinds of uncertainties for what?
I carried that mess around all morning and afternoon. 
But then after asking someone to pray for me and doing the same for myself, I began to have a clearer mind.
We are in transition. We are moving from one stage of our lives into another. And what was comfortable and content has evolved into new and different.
So I have a choice. I can resist the process of transition or I can embrace it.
I am reminded of a man in the Bible that I love reading about when I get full of anxiety. That man is Caleb. Here is part of his story.
I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. (Joshua 14:7-14 ESV)

Caleb was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent to spy out the promised land. Ten of those returned and spread fear and doubt among the people, but Caleb followed the Lord wholly. He did not allow himself to be led by fear or doubt, he trusted in God with ALL OF HIS HEART.
Because of their fear, the people did not get the promised land but were made to wander until they died. 40 years later, Caleb, who was still trusting and full of strength, was blessed to enter and receive land that was promised by God. Because he followed the Lord wholly.

God expects us to be Holy. But He also expects us to be wholly His. This means we are to be trusting, devoted, eager, zealous, without hesitation.

I want to be trusting. I want to live devoted and eagerly for God in this next stage of my life. I do not want to look back. I want to be wholly His. Pray for me. 
And I will pray that you, too, are wholly living for God.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Job fair

Yesterday was a bit hard for me. My husband and I, along with another friend, attended a job fair. We are all in search of work. We are all three hard workers. We are all earnestly wanting to work. 
So we attended the job fair.
There were about 20 companies there to talk to.
We each chose the ones that matched our interests. We gave resumes. We filled out applications. We talked a little with the job recruiters.
And then after that we drove around to some other locations as well seeking to fill out applications.
There are jobs to be had.
There are willing capable workers. 
You just have to find the right fit.
But last evening in a moment of tired weakness, I ask myself: "Why did you quit a job that you loved without having another job first?"
And doubt and worry began to set in.
It is never a good thing to allow these thoughts. When I let my mind go over and over the "what if" and the "if only" thoughts, I lose ground to Satan. 
Rumination sprouts. It grows into doubt, worry and fear. And all of these are enemies of faith.
Did not God say that He cares for me? Did he not say that He would provide for me? Did He not ask me to believe and trust in Him?
Then according to His word I must: destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB)
Those doubts, worries and fears are against my knowledge of God. I have to take those thoughts captive (prisoner) before they imprison me.
Pray for me, my husband and my friend as we continue to look for work. 

Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NASB)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What's holding you back?

We keep getting phone calls from people wanting us to further our education. We try to be polite and decline their offer, but very often they just keep rapidly firing more and more information until you basically just have to hang up on them.
It is the same thing with people calling us about extending our vehicle warranty. They are so persistent. One man asked, "What is holding you back?"

Many things in our lives hold us back. Some times it is just a general lack of interest. Sometimes it is the price for which we would have to pay. Sometimes our friends hold us back from things like healthy eating by always bringing us fattening foods or suggesting unhealthy habits. Sometimes our families hold us back by their demands on our time and attention.

Do you have goals and dreams? What is the difference? A goal is something you work toward, a dream is something you think about. At what point do you stop thinking and begin to act?
What is holding you back?

In scripture, Saul of Tarsus had a roadside encounter with The Lord. He was literally blinded by the light. He knew immediately that this was God speaking to him. He was told what to do, given detailed instructions. Even told who to see.
He followed those instructions, went to Damascus, to a street called Strait, to a man named Ananias. Ananias gave him the instructions that he was told to give. And then what?
This was all that God had said.
Saul  followed to the letter.
Ananias obeyed God too.
But what now?
Saul was still blind. 
What was holding him back?
Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' (Acts 22:16 NASB)
He had a choice. It was now up to him to make a choice. Why was he waiting? What was holding him back?
Finally Saul took the plunge (pun intended) and that day began his journey into a new life, a better life, the best life. No more dreams, just goals. No more holding back for Paul who was once Saul. 

What is holding you back today? Seek God's instruction and make your choice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

At all times

We have been home and out of the truck for 2 1/2 weeks now. I miss going places with my husband but it is so good to be home.
We have been busy trying to get settled back into our home and our home life. Some of it is going pretty smoothly, some takes a little more adjustment. There are some areas where I wonder if we will make work without a complete change. 
Throughout whatever we were mixed up with for the past two weeks we have been looking for jobs. I have applied to over 20 myself by answering ads. But I have had no response so far. 
I am trying to be patient because I know The Lord has something in mind for me. I believe this. However, it is hard for me to wait and not wonder or perhaps even worry just a little. 
Please pray for me to wait upon The Lord.
This morning I read:
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. (Psalms 34:1-4 NASB)

I WILL bless the Lord AT ALL TIMES. If I continue to praise Him AT ALL TIMES the humble will hear it. Let's magnify (Make big) the Lord. Let's exalt (lift up) His name. Let's seek the Lord together.
He will answer.
He will deliver us from our fears. 

Satan will try to discourage, frustrate, and cause doubt and worry.
Choose this day:
Bless or doubt
Praise or fear
Magnify God or Satan
God will answer, Satan will not
God will deliver, Satan will not

Who will you honor today? 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Women are like teabags

Yesterday while unpacking some of my things from the truck, I came across my tea cup and saucer that I had used for an online tea party. As soon as I saw it, it reminded me of a very good friend. And then I wondered about her. She is and has been going through some very rough ordeals lately. Her strength of character is sure being tested. Yet she quietly marches on. 
She does not ever complain or bemoan her situation and no one would even know about her problems unless you are close enough to her to ask her.
She truly is a strong woman.
A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.---Eleanor Roosevelt

I would like to say that I am a lot like her. I would like to think that I can handle my struggles in this life with grace and dignity. But I know that often I do not.
There is a saying that says misery loves company. And there is some truth to this nugget. Sometimes I just want people to know of my struggles. 

The more I pondered this, the more I realized that in my own life, 
 It's the big, heavy pain that I try to bear on my own. And the lesser, just nagging trials that I wanted to share with my friends.
Now why is this? Do I share my lesser struggles because I know they will pass and I can appear to be an overcomer? 
Do I hide my heavy heart because I am vulnerable and don't trust people?

We ALL have trials and tribulations. Everyone does. 
Scripture tells us that when we are strong, we will endure. And endurance over time will make us complete, lacking in nothing.
Spiritually, what we endure builds us toward perfection.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Be zealous and Repent

"Wait, til your father gets home."
I wonder if anyone says these words anymore.
But those of us that are my age or so sure know what they meant, don't we?
We are in trouble. We did something worthy of punishment and dad, the administer of discipline, would be dishing out the punishment. And it was usually in the form of the belt on the backside.
However this punishment is usually prefaced by, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."
Has any child ever believed that?
I am reminded of this as I read God's word this morning. I am reading from the first chapter of the book of Malachi. 
God is telling the Israelites that He loves them and they say, "It doesn't feel like love to us. It feels unfair, it feels mean, it feels like punishment, it feels like discipline." 
Ok, that is my paraphrase. But it is basically what they are saying.
And God answers, "I would rather not have to punish you, I love you. And it's because I love you that I am not going to allow you to dishonor Me. You are being really disrespectful and disobedient. I have given you many chances. I have told you over and over, yet you keep doing the same things. I won't put up with it any more." Again my paraphrasing. 
Have you ever said similar things to children? Was it because of your love and concern for them? Of course it was!
God loves us. He loves us enough to bring punishment upon us. 
If you feel like circumstances in your life are feeling like you are being unfairly or unjustly disciplined, maybe it's just loving discipline. Maybe God is trying to get your attention. Maybe He is waiting and wanting you to make better choices. 
In the scripture we do not see God letting them go easy. We do not see Him letting them off. His discipline continues until the people turned from their behavior that did not please the Lord.
And even then the consequences of their sin stuck around for years. 
The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12 ESV)
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV)
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19 ESV)
So be zealous and repent.