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Holding Tighter or Letting Go?

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“The first author of beauty made all things,” Wisdom 13:3.Author, that caught my attention. This theme continued in the rest of my devotions. 
Psalm 19: “There are no speeches nor languages, where their voices are not heard. Their sound has gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.” Verses 4 and 5.
What author doesn’t hope that will happen to them? 
Then came the words, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life, will save it.” Luke 17:33
Eek! 
I am wallowing in grand dreams of becoming a best-selling author, and God brings me up short.
In my devotion, Living Faith, Author Amy Welborn, asked how we intend to lose our lives for God. This isn’t meant in the literal sense, as in physically dying, but in what we are asked to lose in order to follow God’s plan for our life.
Writing takes tremendous sacrifice. We spend hours in solitary confinement sitting at a desk with pen and paper, laptop, or computer. One of my former cowork…

Lighting Our Lamps

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Now that the days are shorter, I take Cooper, our little Brittany, outside in the dark, morning and evening. My flashlight is a necessity. So, it was appropriate that my Gospel reading for today told the story of the virgins and their lamps waiting for the bridegroom.

In my devotional, Living Faith, author Patricia Livingston suggested a new twist. She used the imagery of faith. We can run out of oil, wearied by too much responsibility and not enough quiet time. Rather than being selfish, it replenishes, allowing our light to burn brighter.

Streams in the Desert, also had an excellent example. Our spiritual life is like a garden. The more we tend it, the more beautiful it becomes. Perhaps our neighbor will decide to improve his own. Frantic busyness doesn’t accomplish anything other than to prevent refilling our spirits.

As I walked out in the country dark this morning, the stars were a brilliant canopy of light. I even saw a meteor. Later, while back inside my warm house, dawn shimme…

The Best Fix for a Broken Heart

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God did not promise us a life without suffering. Quite the opposite as he commanded that we take up our cross and follow him.
However, he didn’t leave us alone to flounder in our agony. He gave us the blueprint for joy amid our sorrows. This popped up in my memories on Facebook this morning.  It seems life often spirals in circles with old wounds reopened long after you thought they had healed. In truth, we bear the scars of many wounds, and the right circumstances can open them again. I had already vowed to put others before myself before I read this reminder. God merely confirmed my plan in His usual manner, a personal message where and when I least expect it. So, in response to a fresh wave of sorrow, I am doubling my efforts to be a better wife, mother, and friend, putting others first. It will work. When we focus outside ourselves, our sorrows fade to the background. Isn’t this what Christ told us to do? “For the first will be last and the last will be first.” “Love your neighbor …

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…