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Lions and Unicorns

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In other words, save me from my enemies, both physical and imaginary.
Our imaginations can sometimes do far more damage than real enemies, creating scenarios that will never happen, tainting our days with fears and anxieties that never materialize. Small hurts and injustices become massive pits of sorrow, books of over the top self-sacrificing scenarios which will never (and should never) be written. Thank goodness. Who would want to read an epic sob story? Whereas, stories of heroic self-sacrifice lift our spirits and encourage us. The difference? In the inspiring stories, the hero’s goal is to overcome the difficulty, not wallow in it.
At least my imagined scenarios only go so far. After conjuring up the lowest possible point my life could reach, my faith kicks in. God will preserve and rescue me. Always.
If only God and I remained, it would be enough. I do believe that. And so, faith pulls me back from the brink, spins me around, and shows me how much I have to be thankful for.
I d…

If I Knew Then What I Know Now...

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Some have posed the question, “If you could go back to high school, would you?”  For myself, no. I don’t want to go back and live my life over. Once is enough.  Another popular question, “If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?” I would tell my younger self, “Don’t be anxious over things not in your control. Everything will work out one way or the other. If it is the other, you’ll survive.”  Oh, but would she listen, even to that? I doubt it. I have let go most of my worries only because I have walked through the fires and experienced God’s miracles. Had I not suffered and God had not rescued me, would my faith have grown? Would I be able to give my troubles to God and leave them there, along with the anxiety and fear?  I still fall now and then into that dark abyss, but not as often or for as long. Most dismal circumstances can lead to immense good. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. And I believe.  No wonder Jesus said, “Blessed are they who have not seen, and have belie…

Money, Money, Money

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For the first time in my life, I feel wealthy. I know the few thousand we garnered after selling our home is not real wealth, but it sure feels like it. For the first time in my adult life I need not count every penny, or wonder if I can buy toothpaste before payday.

However, it’s a fleeting security. I am only one disaster away from losing it all.
But, I am not worried, nor am I fretting. God has rescued me from financial catastrophes, health crises, and other troubles when there didn’t seem to be a way. Why should He stop now? It is Him I need to trust, not a savings account. Yet, it could be easy tofixate on that number, coveting it above all other things.
People often misquote St. Paul. He did not say money is the root of all evil. In 1 Timothy 6:10 he states, “For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.”
Psalm 48:7,8,11-12 continues with this: “They that trust in their own strength …

When a Planner Marries a Panster...

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These two personalities pose a few challenges in a marriage, or any close relationship. A planner likes things, well, planned. They like to know what to expect, stay organized, and be prepared. They can be rigid and stuffy if they don’t allow some flexibility.
A panster likes to swing it, be spontaneous, go with the flow, fly by the seat of their pants. They are usually easy going and fun to be around, until their lack of planning leads to a crisis or disaster.
One case in point, a wedding. Spontaneity is great until other people’s schedules (like magistrates) don’t match up with the panster’s scheme. My panster husband almost blew the wedding by not mentioning it to our travel agent until almost too late. Bless the woman, after her initial heart attack, she managed to get it arranged.
On the other hand, a planner tends to over plan, over schedule, and end up frustrating herself and her partner.
Compromise is the key. The planner agrees to ditch the schedule, except for important thin…

Closed Hearts

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Although  I have encountered some who seem to flit through life without a scratch, their worst experiences being small inconveniences and annoyances (compared to financial crises, health issues, and the deaths of loved ones), most of us have been in that dark place Saint John of the Cross called, the black night of the soul, at least once, if not more.
A dear friend wrote about this condition in her new novella, Ice Melts in Spring (soon to be released). I won’t give away any spoilers, but will say only this, Linda Yezak hit the essence of these dark moments right in the heart, literally.  Her heroine doesn’t see God’s hand in her suffering because anger and bitterness have closed her heart to His presence.  She is spiritually blind. The key to opening her heart? Forgiveness.
The author describes the moment God lifted those burdens from her character, nailing the weightlessness and the joy.
My heart goes out to all those with closed hearts. May they see God's hand in every aspe…

Home

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Right on schedule, three years after purchasing what we thought was going to be our last home, I caught my husband looking at houses for sale.
To be honest, I understood why he was house hunting again. The traffic on our street quadrupled after Wal-Mart built a Neighborhood Market a half mile down the street, and the area has grown to the point a two-mile drive takes ten to twenty minutes, depending on the time of day. Still, I dreaded the nightmare of another move — until my husband showed me pictures of the house he was interested in.
We scheduled a viewing.

The moment I stepped out of the car, I knew we had found, home, the place where we could set down roots.
The half-acre property sat alone on a small hill overlooking the Snake River Canyon, rolling hills, and farmland. Fully landscaped in lawn, trees, and shrubs, it was like standing in the midst of a private park.
He didn’t have to convince me to put in an offer.
Yes, it was a nightmare selling our other home, applying for…

The Fourth Watch

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Selling a home, buying a new one, and moving is a nightmare of huge proportions. No wonder it is the third most stressful life event. If I had more faith, the process would not be so heart wrenching, but like Peter walking on water, I looked at my circumstances, doubted and sank beneath the turbulence of documents and time restrictions.
I failed to trust God.
He gave me a promise the first time I stood in the new house.  He swathed in a blanket of warmth and I heard the word, home. We would live in the house for the rest of our lives. Whatever challenges lay ahead were only bumps along the way. All I had to do was trust.
I was like Peter starting out strong, then succumbing to fear. Then, during the fourth watch of the loan process, Matthew 14:22-23 was listed among my devotions. Yes, the story of Peter walking toward Jesus on a stormy sea.
Jesus’ words echoed in my heart. “Oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
In my weakness, I let circumstances overrule my faith.
However, …