Sort and Discard

>> Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Two weeks ago, I began a project that I planned to work on over the weekend. Boy was I wrong. Days later I’m still working on it. And I’m not done yet.  

I had 2,853 emails. 

Now I know there is a way to just delete them all. But I couldn’t. Some were receipts from purchases made and the receipt emailed to me. Others were pictures I wanted to keep. Still others were correspondences from when my husband, John, was ill.  You see they went all the way back to 2012.  That’s the year he was diagnosed with cancer.  Emails took a back seat to life.  

I’m down to 804.  And some of them have made me cry…again.  

But as I’ve been working on sorting, printing and deleting, my mind has turned to life.  There was a time in my life when I had to work on the project of removing negative input, untruths about God and incorrect advice for my future.  

And that wasn’t done in a few days.  It took me two years.  

What does your inbox look like?  Do you need to take the time to sort and discard?  

“Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!” 
 2 Corinthians 5:17 (MSG)


Alone or Lonely

>> Monday, June 11, 2018

Since the passing of my husband, I have been surrounded by a strong support group. I knew if I needed anything, all I had to do was ask. That has been such a comfort. But there is one issue I have repeatedly tried to explain. Some get it, and some don’t. 

There is a difference between alone and lonely. 

Alone: having no one else present; on one’s own

Lonely: sad because one has no friends or company; without companions

I am alone.

More than one well-meaning friend has taken me to lunch with an agenda on their mind; find me someone so I won’t be lonely. has even been suggested. When I explain I’m not lonely, they cannot comprehend I’m telling the truth. Of course, I’m lonely, they say. My husband is gone. 

Even after three years, grief sometimes still hits me out of the blue. A song, a thought or a date can trigger the flowing of tears. But that is temporary. Soon music is playing and I’m singing along. I am not sad. I sleep soundly at night. I look forward to my future. 

I miss my beloved. That is only natural. But that doesn’t mean I want him replaced. 

I’ve asked a few of my matchmakers if they were happy. I receive various answers; we take wonderful trips and he helps fix things around the house. But so far, when asked if they were happy I have not received a yes answer. 

I’ll keep my alone status. And I’m very happy and blessed. 

“The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” Psalm 30:5 (MSG)


Penny Walks

>> Monday, May 21, 2018

Money was scarce when I was a child, so entertainment had to be inexpensive.  I spent a lot of time with an older sister who had two daughters, and so for pleasure, we took penny walks.  These were the rules.  When you got to an intersection, you flipped a penny.  If it was heads, you went right.  If it was tails, you went left.  And on the rare occasion it fell in a crack and stood on its edge, you went straight ahead.  

Sometimes we went around the same block several times.  Sometimes we traveled a long way from home and had to remember our way back.  But no two walks were ever the same.  

Life is like that. Sometimes you go left.  Sometimes you go right.  Sometimes you go around the same block several times.  But my question is: “Who is flipping your penny?” Is God in charge of your walk?

Sometimes taking the walk is not your idea.  I arrived at the intersection of “Divorce”, although I didn’t want that word in my vocabulary.  And for a time, I continued to go straight ahead, because it was all I knew.  Changing directions was so terrifying it seemed impossible.  

Are you at an unexpected intersection?  Who took you there?  Do you tell yourself, “It’s not my fault?”  Is it your parents you blame?  Or maybe your spouse?  The list is endless.  Friends. Church.  Life.  But the true question is: what are you going to do about it?  

I had never had “Intersection Training”.  I prayed for a neon sign to show up in my yard, displaying the answer.  But as I cautiously emerged from my shell, I discovered the Bible was full of guidance about choices and what direction to go. I had to want to find the answers. 

Maybe you need to make a hard-right turn…right now…today.  Are you willing to change directions?  Just maybe your abundant life is down that road to the right.  You don’t want to miss out.  

Remember, no two walks are alike.  Even though someone else’s choice for direction in their life may look appealing to you, this is YOUR walk.  

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days….” Deuteronomy 5:33 (NIV) 


Out of the Nest

>> Thursday, May 10, 2018

I’m under a deadline to complete my current afghan project, so I took it to the backyard swing to enjoy the beautiful day while I worked. The birds were singing…a lot of them…since I have four bird feeders. As I crocheted I talked to God about my gratitude for His blessings. 

But one robin wasn’t singing. It was declaring an emergency.

Soon my dog, Charlie, was frozen in position with his nose stuck in an evergreen. I’ve seen him do that before when he sees something. But usually it’s short-lived and he goes about his business. 
The robin was still in distress and Charlie was halfway into the tree.  

“Maybe these two things are connected.” 

I called Charlie to leave the tree. He didn’t budge. I laid my afghan project on the swing and walked toward the tree. Charlie stayed frozen and the robin sounded desperate. Taking Charlie by the collar, I led him inside the house. Then I returned to the tree. Kneeling down I began to look for the problem. 

And then I spied it. A baby bird, apparently fallen from the nest. I wanted to help. What could  I do?

I returned to the house, with Charlie at the door determined to go back outside. Putting on some gloves, I returned to the tree once more. Crawling closer to the baby, with the momma shrieking and flying around my head, I pondered my next move. Reaching for the baby caused it to flutter and leave the protection of the tree. Now it was out in the open on the rocks. 

Momma was still going crazy. 

I moved to the other side of the tree, creeping closer. “Even if I do get it, then what? I don’t see a nest.” 

It didn’t work. The baby is still on the ground. The momma is still signaling distress. And Charlie is currently banned from the back yard. 

But our relationship with God can be just like that. All He wants to do is help. But we reject His advances while others…spouse, friend or pastor…try to give advice and guidance. For some, God is a big, scary thing that just causes fear. It used to be that way for me. Not anymore. 

I’ve fallen out of the nest and He has gently picked me up and situated me in a place of safety. He’ll do that for you too. 

“His huge outstretched arms protect you—   under them you’re perfectly safe;” Psalm 91:9 (MSG)


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