Thursday, December 5, 2013

Made For Another World

Hey Friend,

There are many things that I do not innocent child being diagnosed with cancer, people close to me having their marriages torn apart by selfishness and infidelity, a town of hard-working people whose homes are destroyed by tornadoes, a classmate losing her battle with depression...these do not make sense to me

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  (John 15:19)

So, if I am In Christ, the world will hate me.  Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, so if I am His disciple, this pertains to me too.  Maybe that explains why I have this homesick feeling?!  Don't get me wrong, there are many things in my life that I love:  my fiancé's loving arms around me, my children's smiles and laughter, a jaw-dropping sunset, the roar of the ocean, the breathtaking majesty of God's complex creation.  But, there is always an itch that I cannot scratch, a longing that nothing earthly will fulfill.  

"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is...that we were made for another world." (C.S. Lewis)

I kind of have to laugh at the bumper stickers and line of clothing that says "Life is Good".  One day, I am going to make one that says, "Life is Hard But God is Good". Do you think that would sell?

God lovingly gives us glimpses of Heaven.  Postcards from Heaven, I call them.

The book of Ephesians talks a lot about our life in the "heavenly realms".  Christians have already been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs to and comes from the heavenly realm. Grace, redemption, peace, forgiveness, love, to name a few.  God has already bestowed upon us a piece of Heaven.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the trials and tribulations of this world that I lose my eternal perspective.

Erma Bombeck was famous for saying, "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing here in the pits."  Somewhere along the way we get the notion that life should be a bowl of cherries.  Then when life throws something at us, a real curve ball, we are surprised and taken back.  The Bible tells us, up front, that we will experience trouble.

In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

God is a spoiler...He gives us the end of the story.  Read it again, but take heart I have overcome the world!  What a praise!  We know, without a doubt, who wins in the end.

It's been a long time since I have been behind the lens of a camera, but one of my favorite shots was to make the forefront of the picture somewhat blurry and focus in sharply on my object of interest in the background.  I was focused in on what was ahead instead of what was immediately under my nose.

In a similar way, God wants our eyes focused on the future joy that He has in store for us.  In that day we will know for the first time, unpolluted joy! 

So what can we take from our earthly trials and tribulations?  How do we endure?  We hold on tightly to God's righteous right hand and we profess:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  (2 Corinthians 4:17)

What this says to me is not that God is making light of our very difficult struggles, but that in comparison to the glory that awaits us, they will then appear light and momentary.

Our tiny minds cannot even begin to grasp what our Loving Father has in store for us.  I know Him just well enough to be certain that He will blow our socks off!  He loves you so much and is with you in your troubles.  He promises to never leave nor forsake you during your brief earthly journey and He will lovingly lead you into the place that He has prepared for you and scoop you up in His strong arms. He dearly loves you. That you can rely on. 

I'll end this post with the lyrics of a song by the contemporary Christian group, Building 429:

"All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong."
God IS good!  He has just made me, made you, for another world...
In His love,
ps.  Don't forget that any comments and/or subscriptions to my blog will enter you into a prize drawing at the end of this month.  Great prizes...don't miss out.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Keeping Christmas Simple

Hey Friend,

The pots, pans and mountain of dishes had been washed and were drying in the sink.  My fiancé and my daughter's boyfriend were already heavy into football.  The turkey's l- tryptophans had settled in and so my son and the two dogs were peacefully dozing with full stomachs.  I had my feet, finally, propped up and was taking in my satisfied brood.  Ahhh, yes, this was Thanksgiving!

About then, my daughter's question cut into the peaceful calm.  "So, are you going to decorate for Christmas tomorrow?" she queried.  Everyone else remained still and calm, but I felt my heart start to flutter.  I could feel the anxiety begin to creep throughout my body.  I'm certain my blood pressure took a sudden leap. "Uhh...well...I don't know...I guess so," I managed.

I was looking for a lifesaver to hold onto my sanity.  Silence.  And then it came to me, "You know, I'm really busy planning my wedding in January," I said as the words started to flow, "and I have various contractors coming to work on the house in December, and your brother is moving back in, and Christmas is just going to have to be really simple this year."  There I said it.  I had my excuse.  Christmas was going to be really simple this year!

Why did I feel like I needed an excuse to keep Christmas simple?  Maybe, because in boxes in my attic, I have the ability to do christmas...or I have the potential to do CHRISTMAS!!!  Though my heart yearns to keep Christmas simple, the world screams for bigger, better, bolder CHRISTMAS!

In reality, I don't need an excuse to lower my blood pressure and keep Christmas simple, if I take my cues from the Christmas story in the Bible.  In Luke 2:1-20, Luke, the wordiest of the disciples, tells the entire Christmas story in twenty verses.  An event that was foretold for centuries, is relayed simply in one portion of one chapter in the whole Bible.

I encourage you to read this passage as we begin the Advent season, as we begin preparing our hearts for Christ's coming.  Take in the simplicity of the setting.  Mary and Joseph were doing the ordinary things of life.  They were going to register for taxes.  Along the way they found refuge in the only place that was not full that night - a cave-like shelter where the animals were kept.  The only warmth was offered by the animals bodies and their breath.  This tiny babe was wrapped in simple cloths and laid to rest on hay in a feeding trough.
The angels first announced His birth to the simplest of men - the shepherds and they offered "Peace". 

Perhaps my favorite line is found in Luke 2: 19, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Mary's response to birthing this God-child, was simple and sincere...she treasured and she pondered.

This Christmas I want to keep Christmas simple, not because I have a ready made excuse, but because I want to take my cues from scripture and like Mary, I want to take time for reflection and to treasure up all these things and ponder them in my heart.

To do this, I will have to be like the salmon swimming upstream against the CHRISTMAS the world wants me to get sucked into.  I will have to be purposeful in making time to treasure and ponder.  I will have to let the simple be good enough...

After all, simple was good enough for Christ...

What are you purposefully doing, or not doing in order to keep Christmas simple?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

In His love,


ps.  All subscribers in November and December will be entered to win prizes as I prepare to celebrate my one year blogging anniversary.  Leave a thought or idea on keeping Christmas simple in the "Comments" section and I will enter your name as well. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Approaching God

Hey Friend,

In tackling this subject, I logically came up with the Who, the How and the What when approaching God.  I have struggled and prayed about being vulnerable enough to share the "What" when I get to that part of my post.  So I ask you gently, in advance, to hold it carefully in your hands.

When I was little I had a love-hate relationship with the movie "The Wizard of Oz".  I hated the wicked witch and the flying monkeys.  I recall burying my face in my mother's shoulder when it came to that part.  I also wondered about the great and powerful Oz.  If he was the giver of good gifts, why was he so intimidating to approach?

I admit that often I have approached God as if he were Oz...I was afraid of God.  Was my God just a bunch of smoke and mirrors like Oz?  I would hear people speak about the God of the Old Testament - the God of fire, floods and plagues.  I gravitated more toward Jesus.  I liked the pictures of Him in my Sunday school stories with little children sitting on His lap.  He was usually smiling or had a peaceful look on His face.  I could relate to Him.

However, Jesus clearly states in John 14:9, "Whoever has seen me has seen the father."  The more I purposefully and intentionally dug into this truth, the more of God I began to see.  The God of the Old Testament was also the God of the parting of the Red Sea, the Passover and countless times He showed mercy to His people Israel.

I am especially drawn to the verses that speak of God as compassionate and filled with loving-kindness.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."  (Jeremiah 31:3)

"For your loving-kindness is before my eyes: and I have walked in your truth."  (Psalm 26:3)

"Every path He guides us on is fragrant with His loving-kindness."  (Psalm 23:10)

God is quick to lavish his mercy, grace and loving-kindness upon us.  These words are a cool drink of water to my parched soul.

How then, do I approach my loving and kind God? 

I am the queen of namby-pamby prayers.  I tend to sheepishly go before God and then I cover all my bases...uh, well God, if it's your will and if you see fit, then well maybe you will answer my prayer.  Pffftt!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

In him (Christ) and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  (Ephesians 3:12)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory.  (Ephesians 3:20-21)

"Ask and it will be given to you..." (Matthew 7:7).  Sometimes we simply do not ask.

I can just hear God urging me on, "Come on can do it...come boldly before me and bring your prayers with you!" 

So What do I bring before the throne of grace?  Hold this gently.  Of all my prayers, I believe my most earnest plea would be for my son...that God would soften his hardened heart.  I have always said that my greatest desire, as a mother, would be for my children to have a close and personal relationship with their Lord and Savior and that they would walk in His ways. 

I won't go into all the details of how his impressionable heart was hardened, but I come with confidence before God and pray that He would give my son a heart of flesh in place of a heart of stone and that When not If my son returns that he would be greeted by my loving arms and the compassionate arms of the Lord.

As I pray for you every morning and every evening, will you pray this for me?

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)

Will you wait in expectation with me? What prayers do you need to bring boldly before His throne of grace?

In His love,


ps.  Don't forget about the drawing at the end of December for Ann Voskamp's best selling book and the DaySpring mug and coffee for all those who subscribe to my blog.  Be sure to look for the verification email once you subscribe.  No spam; no lists that are sold...promise!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

When Others Let You Down

Hey Friend,

My twenty five year old daughter is my maid of honor in my upcoming wedding in January.  She is very creative and has a good eye for details, so early on in the planning process I wanted her to come with me to the venue where we are having the ceremony and the reception in order to get her input and ideas.

I had visions of a wonderful bonding experience between mother and daughter.  I had expectations of her oohing and aahing over how beautiful, cozy and inviting it would be.  I wanted her eager ideas and suggestions on how best to create the perfect setting.

What I got was about the complete opposite.  She harshly critiqued everything.  If there was something wrong to be found, she found it.  There was no laughing and smiling and was, in short, a great disappointment.  She had let me down. 

I stewed on this for about two months until I finally had the courage to confront her with my disappointment.  Stewing...bad idea!  Wounds left untreated always tend to fester.  What I had was a major infection.  When I did finally talk with her, she apologized profusely and then shared what I had she was, twenty five, and dreaming as every girl does of her perfect wedding.  And here I was, her middle-aged mother getting to plan two of my own weddings before she even got to plan one of her own.  She owned up to her problem - it was jealousy with a capital "J"!!  After our talking it out there was forgiveness and reconciliation. I also found out that she had been hard at work arranging a lovely bridal shower for me. I didn't know the whole story.

Another thing wrong with this story were my expectations.  How often do we place unrealistic expectations on others, particularly those we love the most, and then are let down when our expectations are not met?  I remember, as a wife, how I often expected my husband to read my moods or my body language - in essence read my mind - and when he failed to do so, I felt let down. 

I have learned, slowly, over the years that other people are not psychic.  They can't read my mind and therefore, cannot possibly read my expectations. 

I have learned to look for the best in others rather than expect the best.

Great expectations are usually a recipe for disaster.  Besides, the Bible tells us that everyone, even our closest family members, will fail, forsake or let us down at some point. They may do it intentionally or unintentionally, but it WILL happen.  There is only One who will never let us down.

I will never leave you nor forsake you.  (Hebrews 13:5)

There are two stories in the Bible that stand out to me as to how we should handle it when others let us down.  It may not be easy, but God promises blessings if we do it His way.

In 2 Timothy 4:16-17, Paul is speaking at his court hearing, "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was delivered from the lion's mouth."

Notice what Paul says when all of his best friends deserted him..."May it not be held against them."  Notice the blessing that followed when he obeyed God's command to not hold it against them -  the Lord stood at his side and gave him strength and he was delivered from the lion's mouth.

In the book of Genesis, the writer tells the story of Joseph who was basically sold into a life of slavery by his jealous brothers.  Talk about being let down by those you love.  What is Joseph's reaction when he encounters his brothers years later when he is in a position of great power?  In Genesis 45, he forgives his brothers.  Furthermore, in Genesis 50 he goes one step further; he reassures his brothers.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..."  (Genesis 50:19-21).

When others let us down, we need to realize and trust that God is in control and will use every situation, even the really devastating ones, for our good!

One last thought on this topic...realize that when someone lets you down, there is very likely something going on in their life.  The reasons people let other people down are many: jealousy, selfishness, greed, anger, immaturity, hurt and in general, our sinful nature.  I've heard it said that hurt people hurt people. 

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."  (Matthew 5:43-44).

That's a tough one - pray for those who persecute you.  You don't know what is going on in their life, so God calls us to lay our enemies on the altar before Him. 

Will you pray with me?  Lord, so many times I have let you down.  Please help me to forgive ____________ who has let me down.  I release my hurt and disappointment to you as I lay them before you at your altar. Bless them and keep them.  In Jesus name...Amen.

In His love,


ps.  Don't forget to subscribe to my weekly blog.  Winners will be chosen to receive the best seller by Ann Voskamp "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" and a DaySpring coffee mug and coffee.  When you subscribe you will receive a "verification email request".  Be sure to click the link in the verification email you receive in order to activate your subscription. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankfulness Is Good Medicine

Hey Friend,

May I bend your ear for a moment?  This has been an extremely stressful week for me.  I've had to deal with some things that no parent should have to deal with.  I am weak, weary and worn.  This was also the week that my daughter threw a surprise wedding shower for me.  It was a delightfully perfect evening.  I felt such an outpouring of love that I will treasure, always, in my heart.

So where do I choose to "hang my hat"?  Focusing on how life and circumstances depleted me, or on how the love of my daughter and friends filled me up?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

When I was young and my mother would try to give me cough medicine (yes, the yucky thick red stuff), I could bob, dodge and weave like a champion prize fighter.  When the medicine hit its mark, then I would cough and choke on it.  Was this really good medicine?

Thankfulness is a lot like good medicine.  Sometimes we may cough and choke on it, but we need to do it anyway.

God calls us to be thankful, not because He needs the thanks, but because He knows it is truly good for us.  God is not a glory seeker.  He is perfectly sufficient without us.  In other words, He doesn't need our thanks, but He knows that we need to give thanks.  It is hard to be miserable while giving thanks.  Thanksgiving and giving praise can override whatever state we happen to be in at the time.  This is just another example of how God's heart is always truly loving toward us!

In everything give thanks.  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Too often we, at least I, focus on what we don't have versus what we do have.
Really, if we received no other gift, but the gift of eternal life with our Father in Heaven, we should be endlessly thankful!  All the other blessings are like the cherry on top.

Sometimes, I think that I can't give thanks until I am in a thankful mood.  Instead, I need to just choose to say, "thank you".  I don't wait for my emotions to change.  In fact, the obedient act of choosing to give thanks, can change how we feel.

Studies show that if you write down five things a day that you are grateful for, you feel 25% happier.

Ann Voskamp, in her book "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" says, "Stress decreases by half - simply by multiplying our thanks.  Why in the world don't we do this?"

We can thank God with more than mere words...we can thank Him by "paying it forward" and doing a good deed for someone else and then thank God for giving us the ability to do so.  We can thank Him in word, deed, song and even dance.  Confession time...I used to be a dancer and so often I put on praise music and dance around my kitchen as a way of saying thank you to my loving God. (It also gives the neighbors something to talk about).

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  (Colossians 3:17)

This is why God calls us over and over again to give thanks.  He is loving, kind, compassionate and abundantly good to us.  He knows that when we give thanks it is truly good medicine and we are blessed because of it. He also deserves our thanks!! 

What, during this season of giving thanks, are you thankful for?  Will you share it with God and be blessed?

In His love,


ps. Just a reminder that I will be giving away a copy of Ann's book mentioned above as well as a DaySpring coffee mug with Isaiah 40:31.  If you subscribe to my blog in Nov/Dec I will pick one blessed winner from those who subscribe.  Also I still pray for all readers of my blog, morning and night, and I truly give thanks for you!  You are loved!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why She Talks Sports: Loving The Unlovables

Hey Friend,

In the US, for sports aficionados, fall is the "Happy Time"...the delightful convergence of many professional and college sports.  Since I was young, I could tell you the difference between a breaking ball and a fast ball slider.  I have a scrapbook I made on the life of Roberto Clemente, complete with scorecards from his games, newspaper articles and baseball cards.

I grew up with the "Steel Curtain" in Pittsburgh and could appreciate the grittiness of Jack Lambert as well as the fluid artistry of Lynn Swann's receptions.  Did I mention donning full goalie gear so my son could dream of being Mario LeMieux?

I confess that I didn't immediately love sports, but my dad did.  I am a people pleaser and I quickly learned that it pleased my dad that I took an interest in what he was interested in.  I was all about my father's business, and in being so I grew to love what he loved.

It is very much the same with my Heavenly Father.  If I love Him (which I do), I want to be interested in what He is interested in...I need to be about my Father's business.

"Be imitators of God...and live a life of love..."  (Ephesians 5:1)

It is easy to love others when they are lovable or when we know and like them.  But what about the nameless faces we see on the street or in the park?  What about the homeless man holding a tattered sign?  Do we love him?  Take it one step further...what about those we don't like, the ones who have hurt us, the unlovables?  What does God say about them?  Let me share some insights borrowed, in part, from my pastor.

In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us (Trinity) make man in our image, in our likeness..."  God used His very own image to fashion us.  He created ALL men and women in His likeness.  He didn't withhold His image from some; so, when we look into the eyes, the face of another individual, we are looking into the very face of God.  We are created to love those people because they bear the image of God.

Furthermore, in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, we learn that "We are given the seal of God written on our foreheads by the Holy Spirit."  God put His holy signature on each of our foreheads.  He loves us (each of us) so much that He gives us the seal of ownership.

So, when I find it hard to love others at times...I will look for God's image and for His signature.  I will attempt to imitate God.  I will let all that I do be done in love.  I will be about my Father's business.

Play ball!

In His love,


ps. It is easy to subscribe to my blog.  You will only get my once a week post in your inbox (no spam and I don't sell lists).  Go to "Subscribe" up above and click on the blue line "Get Walking Well With God delivered by email".  All those who subscribe in the months of November and December will be entered into a drawing to win a nice prize when I celebrate my one year blogging anniversary in January :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Perseverance Posse

Hey Friend,

Lisa, Cathy, Linda, Bev...together we comprise a tight sisterhood known as the "Perseverance Posse".  We are a group of Christian, middle-aged women with grown (notice I did not say fully mature) children.  We have navigated the waters of divorce, infidelity, mental illness, surgery, prodigal children, job loss, military life, financial difficulties, even death (and don't forget menopause).

A strand of three (or more) cords is not easily broken.  When one of us is down, the others come alongside and lift her up in prayer, word and deed.  I don't know where I'd be without these women in my life?!

Sometimes when we get together we jointly ask, "Why so many trials, Lord?"  I believe our answer can be found in James 1:2-4:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

"Pure joy" is a strong term.  Often we are not joyful while in the crucible of suffering, but when we look back and see, once again, that God was faithful to bring us through, we can truly be filled with joy!

A Christian can rejoice in suffering because he knows it is not meaningless.  Part of God's purpose is to produce character in his children.

God is more concerned about our character than our happiness.  Why?  Because learning to persevere ultimately produces hope.  Not only does hope not disappoint us, but it gives us life, builds our trust in God and alleviates fear. That sounds like a recipe for happiness.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us... (Romans 5: 3-5a)

My daughter is in her first year of teaching middle school - Yikes is right!  She has been totally overwhelmed by the whole experience and has thought about giving up on many occasions, but she is sticking it out.  "Why so hard, God?" she asks.  It's really tough when you are IN the crucible of trial, but take heart - there IS hope!

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  (James 1:12)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  (Hebrews 10:36)

What glorious promises for those who lean into the Lord and keep on going. What abundant love God lavishes upon those who persevere!

So, together with my posse and with my daughter, we wait on the Lord.  Wait for the strength He promises when we persevere through trials and suffering.

How has God worked in your life to build character through perseverance?  I invite you to scroll down and share your thoughts under "Comments". 

In His love, 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Words We All Need To Hear

Hey Friend,

As a young girl, I would walk home from school (yes, in the days when kids actually walked to and from school) with my girlfriends.  We'd tug at our knee socks and we'd pick wild daisies.  Nudging each other on, we would think about a boy we thought was cute and then, one by one, we'd pluck the petals off...he loves me...he loves me not...he loves me...he loves me not... On it would go until we reached the last petal.  HE LOVES ME!  We'd laugh and giggle with excitement.

We never, as humans, outgrow our need for love and affirmation.  God designed us that way.  It is our heart's deepest desire to feel that we are worthy of being loved.

The world can be a hard, cruel place - reminding us at every turn of how we don't measure up.  Children learn, at an early age, how to bully and inflict harm with their words.  A close friend of mine has lived for over twenty years in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage.  Many of us know her pain.  After hearing, "You're not worthy!" long enough, you start to believe it.

God's message, however, is far different than that of the world.  He whispers to that deep place in our soul, "I love you! You ARE worthy in my sight." We are precious gems unto the Lord.  He loves us unconditionally.  God so wanted to spend eternity with you that He was willing to send His only son as a sacrifice for your sins.  Our tiny minds cannot fathom the height and depth of His great love for us.

If you measure the price God paid for are of GREAT worth!

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)

In return for the love and affirmation God shows us, He calls us to show and speak love and affirmation to others. 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these."  (Mark 12:30-31)

Read it again...There is no commandment greater than these!  This is the heart of God.  He calls us to renew our minds and to view others through a different lens - through the lens of His great love for us.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  (Philippians 4:8)

I believe that God would have us take it one step further.  Do not only just think about these things, but speak them.  Speak them to ears that are hungry to hear words of love, affirmation and praise.  I have to pray, hourly, that my words do not default to a critical spirit. 

Through His Spirit at work in me, I can speak life giving words to others.

Who in your life needs to hear words of love, affirmation and praise?  I encourage brave enough to speak those words to them today.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meeting God On A Mountain Top

Hey Friend,

Yes, you are in the right place!  Welcome to my new blog home.  I feel like I've been handed the keys to a brand new car that I don't quite know how to drive yet lol.  Hope you'll bear with me as I get the kinks worked out?! 

If you are new to my site...WELCOME!  This is a place where we get to be real.  I hope you will settle in and let me share with you what God feeds me each week.  If you have been a faithful reader, thank you, and I hope you will subscribe to my weekly post (no other spam mail will arrive).  I also hope you will find it easier to comment on posts because I would love to get your feedback!   If you are reading this, please know you are being prayed for every morning and every evening.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I also invite you to contact me at my email address if you feel led to do so...

So what's on my mind this week?  I just returned from a wonderful week in The Great Smoky Mountains with my 80 year old mother.  Oh, what an adventure we had...

My SUV climbed up the steep and curving highway to get to the mountain top town of Franklin, NC.  From there we turned off the main road onto a narrow paved road which soon turned to gravel and dirt.  Kicking the car into 4 wheel drive we began the ascent to the very last cabin on the tippy top of the mountain.  We navigated narrow, sometimes washed out road that had many switchbacks. 

We reminded ourselves that this city girl from the hills of western PA and her mother from the mountains of WV were homesick for the mountains.  I secretly prayed we would not meet anyone coming down off the mountain.  At last we arrived at our destination and what a sight to behold.  We were really up there and the purple hue of the mountains stretched out in every direction.  What an awe inspiring sight we beheld!  The beauty and majesty of the view around us made me gasp in disbelief.  This was going to be a true mountain top experience.

I've always been amazed by people who don't believe in the existence of God.  As I stood on the wood deck of the cabin, I thought how can you NOT believe there is a God when you look around and survey His handiwork.  The mountains stretched out endlessly and the sun, starting to set, lit up the sky with hues of pink and orange that filtered down through the umbrella of trees that surrounded us.  The woodland animals scampered around in the trees, oblivious to the great view that they had.

With no tv, internet and questionable phone service, my mom and I spent our evenings and our early mornings in the giant sunny yellow rockers out on the deck.  Glass of wine in hand, we rocked and talked and gazed out on the tree covered mountains.  The dogwoods were already a deep crimson red and the tips of the other trees were just breaking out in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. 

In the early mornings we would sit on the deck in our fleece jackets and jammies.  The hot coffee warmed our hands while we literally sat in the clouds.  The birds chirped their good mornings to us while we waited for the sun to rise and break through the cloud we were in.  Our sleep was restful with the crisp mountain air and the crickets singing and owl hooting its lullaby.  Slowly the sun would start to break through the fog with its tendrils of light streaming through the tree tops and then the first glimpse of the mountains would appear.  This was truly meeting God through His creation.

If I did nothing else that week, but to take in God's majesty, that was fuel to my soul.  My mom and I hiked to cascading waterfalls and strolled through quaint mountain towns.  We dug our hands in the dense NC mountain dirt and found God's treasures hidden there as well.  Stones, that appeared to be nothing more than muddy rocks, came alive with color when you would shine a light through them.  There were colors that only God could have dreamt up. 

My mom and I talked and laughed and shared with each other.  We basked in the stillness of the mountains and not having to know what time it was.  We met with each other and we met with God on that mountain top.  I have stored up this time and will treasure it in my heart.  Is there a God?...after my week in the mountains, it confirmed what I know...that my God is an awesome, creative and loving God.  He made all this for our good pleasure.  When has anyone ever given you a gift quite like the creation He has gifted us with?

Usually my posts are infused with scripture, but this week, I let God's creation speak for itself.  My prayer is that I will never cease to be amazed and astounded by the world that God has given us.  May I see His love in the beauty He has created just for you and me to enjoy.  May my heart lift up a song of thanksgiving and praise.  Our God is truly good...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Special Guest Post

Hey Friend,

This week, while I head to the beautiful mountains of NC, I have asked my very special friend and blogger Beth to guest post at my site.  Beth's tag line to her blog, Simply Beth, is "Let all that you do be done in love."  To me, Beth has a heart that exemplifies God's great love.  She's the "real deal"!  I hope you will welcome her and then take some time to visit her blog site:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I've seen it written many times that one of the keys to a great blog post is a vulnerable story.  "Dare to be open and truly vulnerable about your life," says writer Mary Demuth.  It certainly isn't easy being vulnerable.  For many of us, being vulnerable is the complete opposite of how we were raised.  Stuff your emotions and move on was more of the norm.

I was reminded of words shared by Joyce Meyer in her Amplified Bible from First Corinthians.  She wrote how we are like jars of clay.  "Imagine a clay pot with a lamp in it and a lid on it.  Even though it may be filled with light, no one can see the light within it.  Yet if the pot is cracked, the light will shine through the cracks.  In this same way, God works through our imperfections."

Read just a few stories of the Bible and you will notice how God used imperfect people over and over again.  If we were perfect we wouldn't need God.  Isn't it refreshing to know God isn't asking us to be perfect?

"God works through our imperfections."

For many years I was sure I had failed my children.  Their younger years were spent watching their parents go through many battles.  Many times I wished we could go back in time and do it over again.  Countless hours were spent worrying about how the choices and mistakes we made as parents would impact the lives of our two boys.  How would those choices and mistakes impact them as they became husbands and eventually fathers?

Could it be possible that during those years of pain and sorrow, and the many mistakes, there was something greater taking place in us?  Could it be God was using our brokenness to draw us closer to Him?

My husband recently shared with our small group about a time when he asked our oldest son for forgiveness.  The two of them had a very difficult relationship for many years.  He shared his story with such vulnerability.  It's his story to share, but imagine a father approaching his son on the day of his wedding and asking for forgiveness.  I imagine a light was shining through the cracks of the doorway as the two of them embraced.

On the day of my son's wedding, I didn't see a young man shattered from the brokenness of his parents.  I saw the greatness of our God.

"God works through our imperfections."

The imperfections of my marriage can seem too great at times.  We made many mistakes and the reasons to ask for forgiveness are long.  For much of our marriage we relied on our own strength, a strength we simply didn't have.  How do we ever apologize for all the pain our children endured as a result of our imperfections?

I can't help but to think of my husband again and the story he shared.  Kristen Strong ( says it better than I ever could, "A genuine apology is a gateway to shocking, glorious redemption and a fresh start."  My husband had not told me about his apology to our son.  I was hearing his story for the first time as he shared with our small group.  I did witness what took place following his apology: a "glorious redemption and a fresh start" for a father and son.

The pain we endured - those imperfections - God used them.  He used them to paint a glorious story of forgiveness through a father and son.  He uses them over and over as we dare to be vulnerable in exposing those cracks in our marriage.  Each crack is another story to tell on how God redeems.  Each one leads to sharing the greatness of our God.

"God works through our imperfections."

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

With love,

Let all you do be done in Love.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When You Feel Lonely In Crowded Places

Hey Friend,

There was a buzz in the air as people found their seats and wondered and speculated about the giant spaceship looking thing that seemed to form the stage.  I was there with my husband and two grown children to witness, in person, the one and only U2 in concert.  Certainly an enviable ticket.  You could almost feel the electric current pass among the 60,000 fans all anticipating the event to come.

My kids had led the way in followed by my husband, then me.  Not a word passed between my husband and me before the concert.  His back was turned toward me as he engaged my kids in excited conversation.  Unbeknownst to me, it was merely weeks until my husband would leave. 

The lights lowered and the spaceship came alive with lights.  "It's A Beautiful Day" rang out in the crisp night air.  I could see the stars and the thousands of waving cell phones.  I bit my lip and in the darkness tears burned down my cheeks.  Here in this crowd of 60,000 people, I had never felt so alone in all my life.

Why do crowded places breed loneliness?  I often, if I'm going to feel lonely, feel lonely in crowds.

I believe that in crowds we realize that we are not connected.  When there is a disconnect between us and God, or a disconnect between us and others, loneliness sets in.  A crowd is just a blatant reminder that something is amiss.

Does God allow loneliness to find us so that we will seek Him?  Perhaps so...

David, in the Bible, was no stranger to loneliness.  Read Psalm 38:9-15.  David cries out with his longings and laments that his friends and companions avoid him.

God, however never avoids us or forsakes us...even in our loneliness.

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave nor forsake you."  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Jesus was also no stranger to loneliness when his close friends fell asleep on him and he was all alone in the garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus stood by himself in a crowd as people jeered and mocked him, tortured him and sent him to his death...alone.

But, thankfully, God is loving and compassionate and true to all his promises.

I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.  (John 14:18)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

I have found that it is often at my loneliest points - when my heart cries out to God that He is faithful and draws near.  He IS the great Comforter and He IS the God who sees (El-Roi)!

He held my hand that night, there in the massive crowd.  The tears didn't stop, but my Father was counting and catching them.  If you are in a lonely place, His promises are true for you!  Know that you are loved...


ps.  I continue to pray, both morning and evening, for all who read my blog.  Praying especially for you if you are feeling lonely. You are not alone.  You are loved...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vacationing In The Land Of Busy-ness

Hey Friend,

Usually I post on Thursdays (for you folks that notice), but yesterday was an extremely busy, run around kind of day.  You know how those go...The day started out well and with good intention, but before I knew it I had made a few too many left turns and before you know it I was in the Land of Busy-ness.

I smiled and chatted with the Starbucks' barista as I waited in the drive-thru line to get my two pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin bread to take to my son and co-worker.  I even paid for the irritated looking woman behind me who probably was running late for work.  I dropped the dog off at the vet for blood work and a "spa day" (aka good scrubbin').  Picked up my friend's daughter and took her and her kitty to her vet for an emergency visit.  Ran to the grocery store.  Dropped the groceries.  Back to get friend, kitty and bag o' medicine. Drop them off.  Go get my clean smelling, mad at me dog. And, and, and...

Occasional days like that are okay, but I have to be careful that I don't start to vacation in the Land of Busy-ness.

Being constantly busy, to me, is like wearing an old pair of sneakers - comfortable to slide into, but not something you want to wear all the time.

Right now it's very easy for me to get caught up in a million little things, like home improvement projects and planning for my wedding.  It is safe to do other things because if I spend time with God, He might want to do some major renovation.  He might want to transform me and gosh, that takes work. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  (Romans 12:2)

Don't get me wrong, many of the things we do in our day are good and righteous acts.  Acts, that are pleasing to God.  But just as faith without acts is dead; acts without faith is, well, just plain addicting.  I have to watch that pride doesn't creep in there.  I am not performing in the great recital called life.  I am playing to an audience of One.

"All our righteous acts are as filthy rags."  (Isaiah 64:6)

God's reason for creating us is so that we can live in relationship with Him. (Period)

When I step back and truly take in what God has done in order that I can have a relationship with Him...He watched the blood of life drip from His son so that I could spend today and eternity with Him.  He loves me...he loves you with a persevering passion.  But, God will not compete for our attention. He will stand at the door and knock, but we ultimately have to let Him in.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come and eat with that person and they with me.  (Revelation 3:20)

God knocks every day at my door.  He is gracious, humble, filled with loving-kindness; but some days I don't open the door.  I'm too busy vacationing in the Land of Busy-ness.  It's easier.

On my smarter days, however, when I do open the door and invite Him in.  What joy and peace fill my soul.  Yes He may want to do some renewing and renovating, but in the "potter's hands" I am safe.  This is where I am meant to be.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.  (Psalm 84:10)

God will transform just as much of our lives as we are willing to give Him.  What are you willing to give? 



Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Does Grace Come?

Hey Friend,

I held my mom's fragile hand in mine as we walked into a room filled with caskets.  For a moment we both stood there, as if frozen, and gazed around.  We were on a shopping trip...a terrible, gut wrenching shopping trip.  The kind and compassionate, portly funeral director explained to us our different choices.  There was everything from your very basic box, if you will, to the super deluxe steel casket. 

I remember running my hand over the Cadillac box with it's shiny, cold, steel gray exterior and wondering who in the world would need that?  From dust we came and to dust we will return.  My dad was a simple kind of man.  A no frills guy who liked vanilla ice cream. My dad worked with his hands and loved building things from wood.  The cradle he had built for my two babies was and would continue to be a cherished heirloom. As if in unison, my mom and I decided on the chestnut colored wooden casket.  Simple in design, it would be fitting for my dad.

I look back on that time and I think how in the world did I do what I did?  It's been two years and the surreal experience is forever etched in my mind's eye.  In a few days time we went from picking out caskets to picking songs and scripture;  from meeting with everyone from the funeral director to the lawyer.

 Quite simple, God gave me grace in the moment.  I am an only child and for years I wondered, what on earth am I going to do when one of my parents passes away?  It was a thought that haunted me and made me anxious.  I couldn't fathom how I would get through it when that day would come.  But God did not give me grace in the period of my waiting and anxiously wondering, He gave me grace for and in the moment. 

There is not grace beforehand, there is only grace for the moment. 

Grace is not offered in the "what ifs" but in the "what is".

Grace does not mean there will not be pain and anguish, but grace does promise peace for those who believe.  Time and time again, grace and peace are joined together in the Bible.  Paul started each of his letters with the greeting: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3) Peace comes hand in hand with grace.

Grace is only offered in the present tense.  It is not in the beforehand.  I realized all my worrying was for naught, because God gave me what I needed when I needed it.  This experience has helped me to not fret and worry about how would I handle it if (fill in the blank)?  We all dream up our worst nightmares and wonder how on earth would I get through that?  It causes dread and panic because the wondering is void of grace.  I know now that I can rest in God's promises. 

I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Ultimately, I must trust that God is good.  This is where my heart rests.  Through all the tests and trials that have come my way, God has been true to his promises and has showed up to give me grace and an underlying sense of peace.  No good thing has He withheld.

For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss) and no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Psalm 84:11)

So when does grace come? Grace comes for the moment...the moment our heart cries out to the Lord.  It will never be easy (in this world you will have tribulation), but God promises He will answer with grace and peace that only He can give.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Things I Learned This Summer (Part 2)

Hey Friend,

Awww...not again?!  It's 4:30 am. and bing, I'm awake once more.  When will my body let me sleep in?  This has gone on for a couple of weeks and I have fought it, analyzed it and finally have come to the conclusion that this is when God wants to meet with me. 

I've always been a morning person, but not quite this early.  Even my dog looks at me like I'm crazy and she slowly saunters down the steps after I have a cup of hot java in my hands and have settled into my favorite chair.  This has been going on for most of the summer now, and I have finally stopped fighting and find I actually enjoy rising at an early hour.  The house is quiet and peaceful when it is dark outside and the rest of the world is sleeping.

It's then that I am a captive audience, without distraction, to whom God can speak.

I've learned that if I walk my dog at 5:45, I get to experience the awesomeness of God in the magnificent sunrises He blesses me with.  Now that fall is approaching, the sunrise is more of a benediction on my walk with my dog.

God's mercies are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness.  (Lamentations 3:23)

Another thing I've learned this summer is that I need to not only drink in scripture, but I've been challenged to memorize it.  It's kind of like packing my emergency kit, because when the storms come along (and they will), I need to be equipped with God's grace on the tip of my tongue.

His word is what I cling to and the more of His word I can have tucked away the better.  Not only for the storms, but for when life calls for praising Him.  I want to be ready with scriptures to bless and praise Him.

Impress them (God's commands and words) on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates.  (Deuteronomy 6:7-9)

Due to extensive knee surgery that kept me immobile for a long time, I rediscovered my love of writing this summer.  Do you sense a thread here, that God has to go to great lengths to get my attention sometimes?  A reader said that they appreciate that I am honest, real and transparent.  Yep, that's me.  It isn't easy sometimes, but I feel called to do so, so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder and support one another in this difficult thing called life. In a glossed over world, we need to be a little more real.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)...this is the most recent scripture I have memorized.

What things have you learned this summer?  I'd love to hear from you, but at the very least, I hope you will reflect upon this season and find something you've learned and can give thanks for.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things I Learned This Summer (Part 1)

Hey Friend,

As the smell of school bus fumes fill the air and kids with bright new sneakers once again grace the halls of neighborhood schools, I thought it would be a good time to write my back to school essay..."What I Did This Summer".

Seriously, I did learn quite a few things about God, myself, my family and others this summer and I hope that you won't be bored to tears with my reflections...

After several years of what seemed like nothing but trials - a long drawn out divorce, my dad passing away, the dog dying, a rebellious son, extensive knee surgery and recuperation which made me have to leave a job I loved (teaching), and a few other plagues; dawn finally peeked through the darkness.

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

On May 31st, my summer began with the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful man in the world asking me to marry him.  I know that only God truly loves unconditionally, but I have to say that my fiancé comes pretty darn close. I've been a busy bee making wedding plans.  We want something small and intimate, but boy I've realized what an industry weddings have become.  When asked by the florist who my wedding planner was, I replied, "You're looking at her!" 

One thing is for sure...God has been in control all along.  God is in the business of bringing beauty from ashes and He has never failed nor forsaken me.  Perhaps that's why I knew immediately what lyrics we would dance to for our first dance together as husband and wife:

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you     (Rascal Flatts)

Besides, this southern girl needs a little country to kick off what I know will be many happy years together. 

Now there's the little matter of fitting into the dress I picked out.  That leads me to another thing I learned:  It's a lot easier to put on weight than to take it off.  Okay, no big revelation there, but what matters is understanding why I put it on and having the right motivation to take it off. 

For why I put weight on, glance back at the 3rd paragraph.  I admit I am a stress and comfort eater (double whammy). When the goin' gets rough, give me the M&M's.  There is something physiologically soothing about eating a pint of ice cream.  But, God calls me to cast my cares on Him and find comfort and refuge beneath His wings.  Ben and Jerry's is a far cry from the comfort God can offer.

My motivation to take weight off was all wrong too. 

I am the temple of God and His spirit dwells in me. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

If my body was God's temple, then God was slummin' it for quite awhile.  I was not treating my body like a suitable dwelling place for God's Holy Spirit.  I will not say that this has been easy, but I did have to come to the realization that God had equipped me with everything I needed to make some radical changes in my life (which included my eating and exercising habits).  I had to believe with my whole heart in Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

 Christ and I have taken off 45 lbs. and still have a way to go.  Like many things in life it takes commitment, obedience, accountability and encouragement.  Since taking that first step, God has been faithful to provide.  When I slip up or stumble, He doesn't criticize me, He just says, "Keep taking steps, Bev!"  God is pretty awesome that way!

I'm out of time and room for today and laundry calls my name so I will end this post with one simple thing I have learned...Whether they are two or twenty, children are most beautiful when they are sleeping.  Nuff said. 




Thursday, August 22, 2013

God Loves Us In The Midst Of Our Messy Lives

Hey Friend,

I finally found it...the copy of "Real Simple" magazine that I was hunting for through the cluttered pile of magazines and newspapers on my coffee table.  Alas, there it is with the captions that had caught my eye.  "A Place For Everything!  Ingenious Organizing Systems To Clear The Clutter For Good".

Ironic, kind of, wouldn't you say? Just follow these ten easy steps and your life will be completely organized, miraculously changed and you will be a much happier person.  I admit that I crave organization and simplicity, but my life and house are anything but organized and simple.  I think it is in my DNA to be a clutter-bug?!

This trait, unfortunately, draws me into the "comparison game"...a deadly game at best.  This is where I look around and compare myself to the other people, women in particular, that I see keeping tidy and organized lives and houses. Secretly I muse...they probably have a chore calendar for every day of the week and have all their meals planned out in advance.  My method involves opening the freezer door and whatever falls out onto my feet is dinner for that evening.

In addition to comparing myself to others, I have had the audacity to compare myself to about an impossible mountain to climb!  When I seek perfection in my life, I am being prideful and think that somehow I can achieve perfection on my own.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that God loves us in the midst of our messy lives.  He is mindful of our frame and the messes we make of our lives.  You see:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

No matter how big or small the mess, we ALL fall short of the mark.  Perfection-what we need to stand face to face with God is impossible for us to attain on our own.  We NEED GRACE!

"Life isn't about getting it right - but about receiving grace." (A. Voskamp)

God's grace, like rain, falls down on the broken, the down-trodden, the despised, the lonely, those who have failed and yes, even the mess makers.
Read the Beatitudes (blessed are those...) and you see what a heart God has for those who struggle and come up short in life.  All He wants is for us to turn to Him and He is ready and able to pour out His incredible love upon us. 

If your life is a mess, rejoice, you are a great candidate for God's grace.

What changes do you need to make to lead a life governed by grace vs. a life that is dictated by the bar set by this world?  Will you join me in inviting God's grace into your messy life?  He's ready and willing to love on you...



Thursday, August 15, 2013

When Less Is More

Hey Friend,

Sometimes I sit and reflect back on my life and I wonder what was I thinking?  How on earth did I do some of the things that I did?  What was my motivation?
Every so often it is good to reflect on the past, but not so much that we get tangled up in a web of regret.

I look back on my years in college and I wonder who was that girl that wore a superwoman cape?  I was a cheerleader, I was a choreographer in the dance company, I was VP of my sorority, I was the coordinator of Orientation Board - the group that organized the week of freshmen orientation, and I graduated summa cum laude with a double major???  Whew, makes me tired just thinking back on it.

I graduated into adult life and the path continued...I coordinated rather large chapters of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) - one in PA and one in IL.  I was very active in church.  I sang (tried to sing) in the choir, I taught Sunday school, I was a senior high youth group leader, I led numerous Bible studies and was a small group leader...and the list goes on!

I was a modern day Martha - running around in circles, "doing good and serving" while my other lazy sisters in Christ simply sat at Jesus' feet and drank in His words.

Serving is not a bad thing, but too much serving begs the question, "Why?"  Looking back I can see that subconsciously I was compensating for a low self-esteem.  Maybe if I succeed in doing all these things, I will feel better about myself.  I also think that I didn't buy into the fact that God loved me just as I was. 

Christ's words, "Come as you are..." (John 6:37) were lost on me.  I felt like I had to perform for God in order to be fully loved.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The enemy was having a field day with me.  I bought into his lies that "more is better" and resting, savoring and simply sitting at Jesus' feet was lazy.  I was a striving maniac...always in "Go" mode.  No time for resting, reflecting and just being.  No sir, not me!  I really wasn't living life as it was meant to be lived.

Satan's name means "adversary" and he is definitely adverse to anything that resembles abiding in the Lord.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.  (John 10:10)

I was so busy serving (serving who?) that I wasn't living life.  I had traded in my freedom for performance and it was slowly killing me.  I believed the enemy's lies that I had to do more or I really wasn't a "good" Christian.  That is the voice of condemnation and that is not how God speaks to us.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  (Romans 8:1)

Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Fortunately my God is good and over time I have become confident in the truth regarding to whom I belong.  I have traded performance for freedom, striving for resting, shame for delight and death for LIFE!  Less actually is more!

I do less, but I live more...I now love the time when I can sit, like Mary, at Jesus' feet and drink in His word.  I believe the truth in Jeremiah 31:3. that I am loved with an everlasting love.

God is love and Love does not ask us to bury ourselves in the rat race of always doing.  Love lets you truly "Come as you are."  (John 6:37)