Monday, March 31, 2008


Our Bible study leader used to say "You need to come apart once in a while, or else you'll come apart." He was SO wise!

Life gets hectic and filled with stress from every angle. It wears on you after a while. That's why when you CAN get apart for a time of rest and relaxation, it is not being lazy, it is being good to your body, your mind and your soul.

God has graciously blessed me with the most magnificent treasure. I know I've mentioned it here before, but it is a special group of friends that we affectionately call Divine Divas. For most of us, our friendship dates back 30+ years! We have a shared history of church fellowship, watching our children grow up...go off to college...get married...and have babies! We have been there hosting the showers and been there when parents have been buried. We have laughed together and cried together. We have agonized for each other in prayer. We have a bond that cannot be broken and the tie that binds us together is the Lord Jesus Christ.

I had the privilege this weekend of being with 7 of these precious women. Oh what a joy and delight it was. With the backdrop of a beautiful lakehouse and a setting that only God could orchestrate, it was a perfect weekend. We all needed rest and we all needed time alone with the Lord. It was a laid back weekend filled with lots of hours of sitting on the deck overlooking the lake talking. Now for you men, that will be hard to comprehend how you could talk for HOURS! But believe me when I say, we had no problem! My husband thought we were going to scrapbook. When I told him this was not a scrapbook weekend, he curiously asked me "Well, then what are you going to do for 4 days!!?" I said, "Talk, eat and sleep". He just shook his head, unable to figure out how we could possibly find something to talk about for FOUR days! But we did and we were still talking as the last of us pulled out of the driveway!

Laughter is good for the soul and laugh we did. That is one of the joys of a shared have so much to call upon. We reminisced and relived old memories. But we also had plenty of current material to keep us in stitches too.

I arrived in a state of complete stress and agitation after having wasted hours trying to complete a project to share with them that just would not come together. I was still fuming when I arrived and one of my dear friends sweetly told me her husband (the aforementioned Bible study leader) always used to tell her "Just let it go". Somehow that phrase kept being repeated all weekend and became our theme....JUST LET IT GO!!!!!!!! So "let it go" I did. I went to the dock, stretched out on my back and just let the Lord wash all over me. Still and quiet, gently rocking from the waves, just looking up into the blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds. Aaaaaahhhhh...there is nothing quite like it!

In addition to time spent sharing and enjoying delicious meals and plenty of CHOCOLATE (women HAVE to have chocolate or the event is not complete), we also found time alone with the Lord. My heart was so warmed as I would come into the main room and see these women absorbed in Bible study or a devotional or just reading the Word. It was not planned. Just one by one as they would come down from getting dressed for the day, they would grab their Bible or devotional book and get a spot to be alone. Some were curled up by the fire. Others were scattered along the deck outside, wrapped up in afghans. But it was a precious site for it reminded me that this was not just an ordinary retreat. These were all my sisters in Christ, bound by a tie stronger than history...we are bound by a third cord...Jesus. And that is what makes it So very special.

Before we left, as we always do, we spent time together in prayer, lifting each other up to the Lord, then closed by singing Bless Be the Tie That Binds.

What we have is rare. We talk about it often. It is rare for people in this transient society we live in to maintain a friendship for a few years, let alone for decades. It is rare for friends to really bond and spend the time together we do. We meet monthly for dinner and again one day a month with our grandchildren for Grandmothers' Day. I guess you could say we work at this thing called friendship. It is like a delicate flower that must be tended and nurtured for it to flourish. But we cherish what we have and we do not take it for granted. It is a blessing beyond compare.

We are sisters, sisters in the Lord.
Our faith in common, sisters in the Lord.
No matter how the world defines us
Nothing can break the tie that binds us
We are sisters, sisters in the Lord.
Take my hand,
I'll take yours
We'll reach together
For the Hand of the Lord.
We are sisters,
Sisters in the Lord.

Dick and Melodie Tunney 0 1983 BMG Songs

Monday, March 24, 2008


We were driving along the expressway late yesterday when I was captivated by the marvelous display of God in the clouds. The backdrop of blue was punctuated by very dark, gray clouds...very much like storm clouds. But the sun was behind those clouds, and it was outlining the dark clouds with a golden band of light and rays were streaming down from there. One expected any second that that sun would just come bursting forth in a glorious ball of fire! It was a beautiful sight, but even more a beautiful picture of God in our lives.

On any ordinary "blue sky" day in our lives, the storm clouds can gather. They roll in unannounced and unwanted, marring what had started out as a perfectly beautiful day. These clouds can come in the form of a sudden illness, a phone call alerting us to someone in trouble, or even something as small as a disturbing email or an unkind word that stabs our heart. The clouds roll in, overshadowing the Son. We feel the cold winds of fear and anxiousness as they grip our hearts. But....we must realize that God has not moved. He is there. The clouds may have overshadowed Him temporarily, seeming to dim His light. But make no mistake, it is there and if we will trust Him with our circumstances, He will break through the dark storm clouds and once again we will see Him in all His glory and brilliance!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, no matter what storms may invade your sunny day, be assured that just beneath the clouds, there is light breaking through and the SON will shine in your darkness!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


After Friday and the cross, came Sunday and the empty tomb. JESUS IS ALIVE!!

That is the central message of the Gospel. HE IS ALIVE.

No other religion worships a living Savior!

Because HE LIVES, I have hope for tomorrow.

Because HE LIVES, I have eternal life.

Because HE LIVES, death has no hold on me.

Because HE LIVES, I have a home in Heaven.

Because HE LIVES, I can have victory over sin.

Because HE LIVES, I am never alone.

EASTER = "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Friday, March 21, 2008


I pray you will not just watch this, but that you will listen intently to the words of the is powerful! And remember, that although this is FRIDAY....................SUNDAY IS COMING!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


"Who can find a virtuous woman..for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31: 10

Who can find a virtuous woman? I can . Her name is MOTHER.

Proverbs 31:13 :"She seeks wool and flax and works willingly with her hands....

My mother has worked hard all her life, providing for me as a child, doing without, sacrficing for me. She still works circles around me, caring for several acres of land, raising daylilies, caring for a beautiful yard. There is not one lazy bone in her body!

Proverbs 31:14: "She is like the merchants' ships..she brings her food from afar."

Mother is an excellent cook....coming from a long line of excellent cooks! And just as she likes to share beauty from her yard, she loves sharing what she cooks with those she loves. Her chicken salad is to die for and she doesn't dare show up for Christmas or Thanksgiving at our house without her fruit salad. Her grandchildren would disown her!!!!!! She is happiest when she is cooking to share.

Proverbs 31:15 "She rises while it is yet night...."

Mother has always been an early riser. She CHOSE to get up at 4:00 am and go to work early when they had flex time at her job. And, now that she is retired, she still CHOOSES to get up early. She is having her "second breakfast" by the time most people are having their first!

Proverbs 31:16 "She considers a field and buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard."

Mother has always had to support herself, and she has always done a fantastic job at it. She is not afraid of physical labor and her yard is living proof of that! She has had hundreds of daylilies in bloom in her yard... the site of numerous garden tours and even been featured on Mid South Gardens twice. She has a business mind and is meticulous about her business. She taught me volumes about handling business matters. One thing she pounded in my head was "NEVER sign anything without reading it!" It stuck. I pounded it into MY kids' heads. I have had to chuckle as I've heard BOTH of them say, after signing papers to buy a house or other legal documents, that the people they were dealing with could not believe they were actually going to READ it all. They, in turn, replied "My mother would kill me if I didn't read it all!!" THANKS MOTHER FROM ALL OF US!:)

Proverbs 31: 20 "She stretches out her hands to the poor, yea she reaches out her hands to the needy."

Mother is SO tenderhearted where there is genuine need. She would do anything she could to help anyone in need. Carry meals, get together clothes, give money...whatever it takes. If there is a need, she is there to meet it. She cared for her elderly sister for months before she died. She was bedridden and Mother tirelessly and selflessly tended her right up to the day she died.

Proverbs 31: 25 "Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come".

Yes, Mother is definitely a strong woman...she has had to be. But her strength comes from only one source...her faith in Jesus Christ. And honor....there is no more honorable or honest person alive than my mother. Her character is above reproach.

Proverbs 31: 28 "Her children rise up and call her blessed."

Today I bless you, Mother. I thank God for you and pray His richest blessings upon you as we celebrate your birthday today. May you know today that you are treasured by all of us and you are greatly loved. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


How secure are you? On what is your security based? No, I'm not talking about are your doors locked, your windows barred and the alarm system engaged...although living on the fringe of one of the most crime-ridden cities in America, those things are a necessity.

No, the type of security I'm speaking of does not consist of bars or locks. I guess the best way to define it is in very elementary terms. Who is holding your hand?

Now to some people that will be a very demeaning question. "Holding my hand? Why, I'm an adult! I don't need anyone to hold my hand!" or maybe your reply might be " you think I'm not (a) beautiful enough (b) strong enough (c) smart enough (d) capable fill in the get along in this world without someone holding my hand?"

Yet the truth is we ALL need someone to hold our hand. We need someone to cling to, someone we can trust our lives to, someone who will never let us down. However, most fact, I would dare say.....every person alive has felt insecure at some point in his/her life. For many, they have spent MOST of their life feeling anything BUT secure.

I read a disturbing statement yesterday, "When key people in your formative years were supposed to bring you security but brought insecurity instead, you inherit a tremor in your soul that is impossible to naturally still."* Stop! Please read that statement again. Can you relate? I believe there are far more people who would say YES to that question than NO. Many adults today have struggled with insecurity their entire life. They have tried to find it in lots of things and lots of people. But there is only one true source of real security and that is in God.

God created us to love Him. He created us to have relationship with Him. He loves us unconditionally, immeasureably and infinitely. No one else will ever love you like that! He loved you so much He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to earth to bridge the gap between you and God that sin had created, then sent the Holy Spirit to reside within you so that you would never be alone and one day you will join Him to spend eternity in Heaven.

Psalm 125: 1 says "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion, it cannot be shaken, it remains forever." You can be sure of this, GOD WILL NEVER, EVER FAIL YOU. You can trust Him 100%! There is no real security apart from Him.

*Stepping Up by Beth Moore - Song of the Ascents

Saturday, March 15, 2008


"For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB

We live in a day of "Blackberries", daytimers, and all sorts of technical devices to keep us organized. We are SO busy that we must have some means of keeping track. Our calendars are filled with business appointments, social events, doctor's appointments, our children's schedules, church events, holidays and more. Yet for all of our planning and scheduling, all our organizing and technical maneuvering, God still has the final word.

I knew when this month began that it was going to be a super busy one. I had many things going on this month. Yet overriding them all was the fact that I really did NOT know how things would REALLY go, as all was dependent on the outcome of one doctor's appointment. Even last Sunday as I was heading home from a wonderful week in the Caribbean with my husband, my mind was filled with the "what-if's" and wondering where I'd be THIS weekend. My calendar had "Writer's Seminar" written in for event I very much wanted to attend.

Well, as I reported earlier this week, I got a wonderful report from the doctor (THANK YOU AGAIN LORD!) and so all seemed to be on target for the rest of the week. I was eagerly looking forward to the seminar and on with the rest of the month's plans.

Well, I was NOT at the seminar today. Instead the closest I got to writing today was sitting here in my pjs composing this blog. I have been waylaid by the flu....and for those of you who have not had it, let me tell you it is one mean little bug!

That was NOT in my plans and NOT on my calendar. But, for some reason, God had it on HIS calendar so there has to be a reason. Not sure what that is, nor if I will ever know. But one thing I do know is that I trust Him and that is enough.

In our Bible study this week, Beth Moore asked the question, "What do you think you'd do if you thought you had God completely figured out?" I am glad to know that I will NEVER have God completely figured out. My God is past finding....My God is SO big and so powerful and so awesome that there aren't words in the vocabulary of man to describe Him! And that is part of what makes Him God.

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I do wish I knew what He was up to when things don't go the way I want or when things happen that are so painful and make no sense at all, but one thing I know....God loves me and He is for me. So when things happen that I don't understand, I have to just rely on that. As Job said," Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him," and as a popular song says "when you can't trace God's hand, trust His heart".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


"The way to peace and victory is to accept every circumstance, every trial, straight from the hand of a loving Father; and to live up in the heavenly places, above the clouds, in the very presence of the Throne, and to look down from Glory upon our environment as lovingly and divinely appointed..."

I prayed for strength and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart.
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak, trembling and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.
I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt.
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
And all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.
I prayed for peace and dreamed of restful ease,
A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose;
Above my head the skies were black with storm
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged and wild winds blew,
I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.
I thank Thee, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed
My feeble prayers and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;
Giver of good, so answer each request
With Thine own giving, better than my best.
---Annie Johnson Flint
copied from Streams in the Desert - 1965
CHECK IT OUT!! From filling in for me last week, God has led Josh to start his own blog! Please visit OUTDOORS....A PASSION at Be sure to give him feedback through the COMMENT option on his post.

Monday, March 10, 2008

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a universal truth that you don't truly appreciate what you have until you almost lose it. I have recently had a health scare that made me question just how much time I really had left on this earth. Very sobering thought! It causes you to look at each day appreciate all that is precious to you. It causes you to cling to NORMAL and be SO thankful for those NORMAL days!!!!!!!!!

Today I feel like I've been given my life back and all I can do is praise the Lord! There are truly not enough words to thank Him. I heard it said once that if all the skies were parchment and the oceans ink, we could not begin to write out enough words to truly express our gratitude to God. That is how I feel today. So the only way I know to express it is through a song that has long been one of my favorites, mainly because of the words. I pray that you will LISTEN to it and thank God with me today for his mercy and His unfailing grace to me. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a huge thank you to Josh for his wonderful devotionals in my absence last week! I know God has used them already to touch lives. Again, TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Thirst!

By Josh Steele

With spring quickly approaching my mind can’t help but think of the things I need to do around the house. You know those things that some of us love and others hate. YARD WORK!

That’s right, with the upcoming season comes the task of working outdoors. Mowing grass, edging, weeding flowerbeds, trimming hedges, and all that goes with it. Our spring season is not the time that I dread getting out and doing those things. Most of the time the weather is nice, not too hot, but warm enough to bring comfort from the frigid winter. I look forward to getting out and cutting the grass for the first time of the season, cleaning the flower beds out from the ongoing winter, and making things really look nice.

The time that I really don’t like yard work is the middle of the summer. As all of us know, summers in the south are nasty. Temperatures climbing into the 90’ s-100 with a high humidity just make for a long day. You know the days I am talking about. The one where you can’t get out early enough to beat it. You haven’t gotten out the door good and your clothes are already stuck to you. You feel like the air is actually burning your lungs. And you always have that water cooler or bottle close to your side.

I have noticed before that no matter how much water I drink on those scorching days, it’s never enough. I always have to have it. I can drink and drink, but the urge is always there for more.

This brings me to think of the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. We see in John 4:13-14 Jesus said, “ Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again-ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”

Wow is about all I can say. Just think what it would be like to have a well of water springing up within you for eternity. To never be thirsty again. Thirsty for what is the question I ask myself. Jesus is telling me that the well I keep going to is my pride, my worldly possessions, and my self worth. And just to think that if I drink from His well, His Word, I will never again thirst for those things! What a wakeup call. How great it would be to never thirst again for the perfect car, the perfect house, or any of the other things we build our lives on! Only for Him and His Word! Drink up and share His Water with your neighbor…..there is plenty to go around.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Walking the Trails of Life!

By Josh Steele

Most of you know that I love the outdoors. I don’t have to be hunting, fishing, or riding my four wheeler, to enjoy it. Just being out there, in the heart of God’s amazing creation is enough for me.

As I look back over the years, I remember many times that I have been walking down a trail in the woods, when I came to a crossroad. It amazes me to look at the paths animals take and as I come to those cross trails try to figure out which one I need to take. It is that decision that can make my hunt successful, my hike less strenuous, or my scouting trip worth the time I put into it. If I chose the wrong trail, it may lead me to a bedding area where the game I am pursuing feels safe and once I have interrupted that area I might as well go home. Or it could lead me through a thicket of briars and as we all know, those are no fun.

It would be best for me to stand at those cross roads and examine the paths, take a moment to think things through. Which one looks the “best,” or the straightest?

Doesn’t God call us to carefully pick the trails of life that we travel? Look at Jeremiah 6:16 “This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves.” Then again in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”

Are you are someone you know at a difficult intersection of life? I urge us all to take the time to study the paths and try to pick the trail most pleasing to Him!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sowing Seeds of Faith

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Josh Steele and I am the son-in-law of Pat and Larry. I was fortunate enough to marry their only daughter, Alisha 5 wonderful years ago. I was accepted into their family with open arms.

The last 5 years have been amazing as I have watched these two wonderful people show through their daily lives what love really is. May this week be a wonderful, romantic getaway for them.

Last week Mrs. Pat contacted me and ask me to write her blog this week while she was gone. Now some of you may have read some of my devotions that she has posted on here from time to time. I am not nearly as talented as she is, but I told her I would be honored to do it. So here it goes!

May God bless you as you read!

Sowing Seeds of Faith
By Josh Steele
When I was a young boy I spent many days with my grandparents, especially during the spring and summer. They lived on a small farm in Northeast Mississippi. They had chickens and pigs and my grandfather tended to cows on the farm next to them. A lot of our food came from what they raised on our farm.

One of the things I remember most was the loving care my grandmother put into her garden. She was preparing the field for planting as soon as my grandfather broke the ground in the early spring. She would make sure her rows were straight and all the sticks and debris were out of the loose dirt.

The greatest memory is when it came time to plant. The care she took with the seeds, the love that she put into each and everyone was evident. She took an amazing amount of time on each and every hole, pulling the dirt in the perfect way and placing the seeds at the perfect depth. She knew that by putting that much love into every little seed she sowed, she would reap the most at harvest time.

Doesn’t God call each of us to take that much love and care in each and every seed of faith we sow. If we just throw seeds of faith out into the field, will the winds of the devil not blow them away? Will the floods of sin not wash them away?

Consider what Jesus tells the crowds in Mark 4:3-9 “Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Then he said, “Anyone who has ears should listen!”

God calls us to sow seeds of faith, but to sow them cautiously so that His harvest will be great. I challenge us all today to go and prepare the fields of faith, sow seeds with love and compassion, and wait on the harvest!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Time For Celebration!

We were 17 years old and had been in class together for several years, yet never really paid much attention to each other. Somehow (by divine appointment, I’m sure) we ended up in the Guidance Office together 4th period of our senior year. He was dating someone else at the time, but began to flirt with me more and more…the silly kind of “flirting” you do in high school……….stealing the ribbon from my hair, crushing crackers and dumping them in my purse. Since he LOVES to tease by nature, I really didn’t get it right off the bat, but at the Valentines dance that year, it finally clicked! And on March 7, 1970 we had our first date. Three years later, March 3, 1973 we became man and wife.
Today we celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary!!!!!!!!!

35 years is a long time to be married to someone these days so I am SO grateful to God that He has blessed us with each other and with a strong marriage. HE alone deserves all the credit. He is the only one who can bind two hearts together for a lifetime. He is the only one who can make two one. He is the third cord that binds a couple together and holds them together.

I am so blessed to be married to this man! How do I love him….let me count the ways!

He is the hardest working man I know. He has been working and supporting himself since he was in high school. He has an incredibly strong work ethic and there is nothing…absolutely NOTHING he won’t tackle (and usually succeed at)! He may not have ever tried it before, but he will give it his best shot. He can’t stand to pay someone else to do what he can do himself and seldom does. He can fix anything, build anything, and put most anything back together again. He does not have one lazy bone in his body!

He is an excellent money manager. He has had to be. His dad died when he was in high school and he was the last one at home. He felt he had to do for himself so as not to be a burden on his mother. We did not have a lot when we started out, but with his good business sense and his strong self-discipline, we did ok. I have never had to worry if we would make it, or if our bills would get paid. I knew he’d manage every penny so well that he would see to it that we did.

He started out to be a builder until the building business went bust in the 70s. He found himself out of a job in the construction business, but he never stopped working. He would get side jobs, doing additions for people, putting up fences, or cutting cordwood to sell. He did whatever he had to do to support us. I was working at the time, too, so we were ok. But he felt like he was not doing his part because he did not have a “real” job. Yet he worked constantly and we never missed a payment on a bill or ever got behind.

We had only been married 3 months when he found us a house to buy. It was a modest house, probably 700-800 square feet, but we could afford it and he did not want to waste money on rent. So we bought our first house. At this time, he was driving a used 1966 pickup truck, which we affectionately called Old Blue, and I was driving the car he had bought just out of high school, a little green used Chevy. Both of which were now paid for.

We fixed up the house, painting and decorating it with “early attic” pieces and a few new pieces we bought when we married. I can remember being so excited when our stove and washer arrived!! (You know you are really grown up when you get excited over a washer!) No, we did not have a dryer…except for the clothes line in the back yard and the one in the attic where we would later hang diapers to dry.

We looked back at what we were making back then recently and were amazed that we survived! But, times were different. We had the basics and we were happy. We did not feel deprived or left out or behind everyone else. Some drove nicer cars, but ours was fine. Some had newer houses and more appliances, but we were fine. We seldom ate out. I mean going to McDonalds was a huge treat!!!!!!! Now people eat out like it’s nothing, but then, we just didn’t. Nobody did!

We did not have cable, we did not have cell phones, we did not have a dishwasher or a microwave. But we did have a bicycle with a baby seat on the back that we rode every weekend or afternoons with our babies in tow. My husband worked 5 minutes away from our house and came home every day for lunch and played with our little ones and he had weekends off, so we played with them, rode bikes, went to ballgames and went to church. It was a slower, more relaxed time in our lives. Some of the sweetest days of our life.

I was reminded recently as I read through some old journals, of just how resourceful this man of mine is. A neighbor was throwing away an old swing set. He salvaged it, painted it, bought a swing from Sears, and found a teeter totter in the ditch and fixed it and made a super swing set for our kids. It looked brand new! He took an old bike of mine, painted it and fixed it up for our little boy….looked as good as new. He found his grandmother’s old cane rocker in the ditch (people in the country used ditches like we use dumpsters) and re-caned it, stained and varnished it for me to use when we had our first baby. One Mother’s day, 8 or 9 years after we had been in that house, he surprised me with a dishwasher. Someone we knew was getting rid of it and he fixed it and I was thrilled!!!!!!!! (Now I don’t recommend dishwashers as a gift for Mother’s Day or anniversary, or birthday, BUT at that time in our life, I was thrilled!)

Even though we didn’t have much money, this man of mine has NEVER missed an anniversary, a birthday, a Valentines Day or a Mother’s Day. Whether we went out to dinner or he cooked for me, he always made it special. We only started getting away for the weekend maybe once a year when our kids were in junior high school. And that was such a treat! But the best gift of all came after 25 years when he surprised me with a trip to Hawaii for our anniversary!!! I will never forget that trip!!!!!!!! I had dreamed of Hawaii since I was a little girl and he made my dream come true.

He is a country boy at heart, still more comfortable in blue jeans than a suit. He is a lover of the outdoors. He loves deer hunting and loves sharing it with our kids. He loves the peace and quiet. He works so hard these days…seven days a week and often 12 hours a day…… the respite in the quiet of the woods is soothing to his mind and body.

He loves the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his job, he doesn’t get to go church like he’d like to. A lot of people would use that as an excuse to drift away from the Lord. But he has consistently made a way to carve out a little piece of time each day at work to get alone and read his Bible and do his Bible study.

He loves his children, their spouses and his granddaughter. He has always been there for them. He has always made time for them and made them a priority. It has not been easy with the hours he works. He had to trade shifts, miss sleep, and do a lot of things to be able to be there for them when they were in school, but he did. And it meant the world to our kids. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it doesn’t matter if you are there are or not. Kids will say “It’s ok. It doesn’t matter.” But it DOES matter. And they will never forget that you were there or that you weren’t there. Even now that they are grown, when they have faced trouble or crisis, I’ve heard his words “What do you need me to do” or “How can I help?” and my love doubled for him. He would lay his life down in a heartbeat for any of us and I know that without a doubt.

No, life has not been perfect. It has had its share of ups and downs, heartaches, disappointments and crises. But what has made the difference for us is that 35 years ago today, we stood and made a commitment to each other before the Lord and before our families. We took that commitment seriously. It was “til death do us part”. And God has honored that commitment. He has blessed us. He has grown us up. He has taught us how to be better spouses. He has taught us how to give and take. He has made us one.

Today I not only celebrate the 35 years God has blessed us with, but I celebrate the man God blessed ME with!!!!!!!!!!! My life would not have been the same without him. I thank God for him. I thank God for his love, his faithfulness, his care, his forgiveness, his prayers, his devotion to me and to our family, his respect, his love for the Lord and his provision for our family. I pray that God will continue to bless us with many more years to share together and to share with those we love………to live, laugh, and love! To God be the Glory!

Saturday, March 1, 2008


When you are afraid, in turmoil, weary, or anxious who do you run to? Who do you know, without a doubt, will ALWAYS be there for you?

David knew. He ran to God.

David, the master illustrator, gives us a beautiful word picture throughout the Psalms.

Psalms 17:7 "Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. 8 Keep me as the apple of thy eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. "

Psalms 36:7 "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. "

Psalms 57:1 "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. "

Psalms 61:4 "I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the cover of thy wings. Selah."

Psalms 63:7 "Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. "

Psalms 91:3 "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

God, through the Holy Spirit, reiterates this beautiful picture in the gospels:

Matthew 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens [NKJV: chicks] under her wings, and ye would not! "

Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! "

Do you see the word picture I am referring to? "Under the shadow of thy wings" or "under her wings".... God paints for us a picture of a bird that takes its wings and gently pulls its young beneath those pinions to guard and protect her little ones from danger and harm.

God, in His great mercy and tenderness, reaches out to us, sweeping us under His almighty wings, to shelter us and protect us and to keep us close to His heart. Listen to the full context of just Psalms 36: 5-10:

"Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindss, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust in under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be ABUNDANTLY satisfied with the fatness of thy house and thou shalt make them drink of the river of THY pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life; in they light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart."

I hope you will take the time to read that and read it again and drink in all the richness of that verse. There is no where you can ONE you can run to who will love you like God! In Him, you will be ABUNDANTLY SATISFIED!!!

**It is with great joy that I turn over my blog to my son-in-love for this next week (with the exception o f Monday). I know you are going to be blessed!