Keeping Our Eyes Fixed (Faithful) to Christ


Mark 5:28,34  For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” . . . And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”



Yesterday could be summed up in one word.


Many of you have been praying for my family, and I thank you deeply. It has been a very rough week. My pain and insomnia are so severe that I can’t function very well. By the time I made it for my son’s archery practice, my body and mind had enough. I melted down into tears and couldn’t stop them from coming.

Just a glance at my webpage tabs yesterday, would tell you what I spent my day doing. On the one side were scriptures and commentary on the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garments to be healed, and on the other multiple medical sites were open researching answers for my family’s myriad of illnesses. The woman who had sought medical care had spent 12 years without relief. She was an outcast and now broke with failed medical treatments. I think she might have shed some major tears. Then she hears about this great healer . . . he’s the answer, I just know it!

Do you and I know Jesus is the answer? And if we do, do we also remember that his plan is good for us?  Are you wrestling with a God who just will not fit into a nicely wrapped box? Do you believe that his purposes are greater than your circumstances?

The weight of my family’s health is so heavy that it feels as if my faith might break. I want an outward manifestation that God is good, but I realized last night that I don’t need to touch the hem of Christ’s garment, I have HIM in my heart. Do not take for granted that the greatest miracle in our lives is that when we believe, Jesus chooses to dwell with us. No more law to get to God, the answers are all right there, living with us! Amazing!

So as I close the medical tabs of anxious searching this morning, and determine to trust God’s perfect plan. Maybe he does an outward healing, but I can tell you this much for sure. Our family is changing from the inside out.

We cannot always help the moments of wrestling with flesh, the world, our enemy–we live in the crowded, smog filled, faith-challenging world. But, don’t spiral into fear, depression, and despair because God isn’t answering the way we think he should. A friend reminded me last night, what is God’s greater purpose in my circumstances?

The growth in my family spiritually has been noticeable. My book is in the hands of the publisher. And I certainly can speak bold encouragement into your lives.  None of my physical circumstances have changed this morning, but God is giving peace from the inside out.

Hit the mark of faith. We’ve stepped out of the boat, but we still have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.


Father, you are faithful. Help us to deeply root our trust into the rich soil of your promises. When our eyes fail us, help us to breathe in your testimony of miracles. You still do them today! Break the chains of depression that say God will never measure up to our expectations. Thank you for changing my family from the inside out! Amen



Dressing in Delight: Changing our Outlook on Life

Numbers 6:25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ 

Playing dress up was not on my agenda yesterday. I have been battling a cold that is moving in and picking out curtains. To say I was miserable yesterday is an understatement . . . I was even second guessing going out on the planned date with my husband.

But, grandparents arrived to watch the kids and I prepared to leave, such as I am. . . enter Natalie. “Can I pick out your dress?” Dress . . . I was doing well to get out of the house in jeans and a nicer shirt. But, sigh, who can resist a pretty little redhead with big brown eyes who just got to be her daddy’s princess at the Father-Daughter Dance. So dress up it is.


Ready to Dance
Dancing the night away!

A funny thing happened when I put on the dress. I perked up. I laughed and was more in the mood to go out. Not even daddy escaped the wardrobe fairy. He was transformed into dress pants, my favorite of his blue shirts and a tie put it all together. We even took a picture, just as she and he did for their dance. All because a little girl expected elegance for our date.

There is something about putting on a different attitude in the circumstances we are in that can help change the course and pattern of our lives.  When we put on grace, forgiveness, or gratitude that can replace the rags of depression, hatred, and unforgiveness. It doesn’t just happen. We must grab those downward spiraling thoughts and pull them back up out of the pit. Sometimes we need someone to come in and say, ‘You aren’t going out dressed like that!’

Story Telling
Keep those smiles looking good.


Make a date this week and then dress, not based on feelings, but on the event planned for.

Some suggestions that perk me up:

  • A hike in the woods
  • Out with your spouse
  • Coffee with a friend
  • Trampoline with kids (impossible not to giggle)
  • A local band
  • Photography
  • Art class
  • Surprise me

I would love to hear how your date went. What did you talk about? Where did you go? What was your favorite moment? Did you find your countenance improved?

When Words Fail: Laugh

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 

Words have been failing me lately. Literally. I try to respond in conversation and I can’t bring what I want to say to mind, or I’m talking about cooking and “cat” comes out. Imagery and laughter aside, it is quite frustrating for a wordsmith to be silenced. So, since laughter is good medicine and the kids and I have been creating an abundance of jokes . . . here are a few of my favorites.


Why are suckers always singing? Answer: Because they are covered in rappers.

Why don’t musicians like the police? Answer: Because they place you under a-rest. (Daniel original)

What note can a car tire play? Answer: B flat

Who gets in trouble more, a football player, or figure skater? Answer: A figure skater, because they are always skating on thin ice.


Cultivate laughter, plant it in the lives around you and watch joy grow.




Grander Views in the Middle of Pain

Jeremiah 15:18 Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.


Daniel has been in more pain over the last few weeks. His vertigo and sensitivity to any kind of car motion has ended up in several episodes of throwing up. So our trip to Cedar Point (roller coaster capital of the world) was up in the air as to whether he would enjoy.

Much to my surprise and delight, Daniel worked within his limitations and enjoyed his time. But I questioned the wisdom of one chosen ride. Spinning 300 feet in the air at 30 miles an hour didn’t exactly sound vertigo friendly. He wanted to try anyway. He did fine as we went up, but as soon as the swings began to circle around the nausea began. I held his hand and told him to look forward. Vision better focused he could now take in the scenery and exclaimed. “It is beautiful! God is so creative! Wow, is this all one lake?”

Oh, what a glorious view I received as a parent! I breathed in my son’s joy and suddenly my own heartache diminished. Daniel could see God’s glory, even though his own physical struggles felt overwhelming.

We all need grand view reminders, so that when life is at its hardest we see God is bigger and so capable of bringing us through. But, we can’t have them if we have boarded up the windows, locked ourselves in pain, and wait for death to take us. We can only have them if we step out, take a risk, and look outside our problems. Where will you go for your grander view?


Love Always,





Freelance Fridays: Listening

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Daniel asked for advice this morning . . . or at least that’s what I gave him. Every suggestion he shot down as incorrect, and our conversation concluded with him stomping off declaring that I wasn’t listening, and me frustrated that he is such a “know it all”.

The question: Why did he come for me for help, if he didn’t really want it?

About 5 minutes later, the Holy Spirit breathed into my mind. “He’s right, you weren’t really listening.”

My eyes were suddenly opened to the truth of my own heart, Daniel’s, and the heart of Christ. I did not seek God, I just dove into fixing mode. Daniel needed me to listen and understand. The only answer was to take him to Jesus, and allow Jesus to work with him on this matter, not me. My answers, right though they sounded to me, and most certainly biblically based were not what was needed. He needed Jesus. I was a Pharisee giving him a to do list, while God is more interested in helping his being.

I went to Daniel, apologized for not listening. Empathized with his tough situation  and offered to pray. We held hands and prayed together. I trusted God more deeply to give Daniel the wisdom and insight to address the problem in a spectacular way I didn’t come up with.



Princesses Forever


Natalie is teaching  me so much about being a daughter of the King! He is extravagant with his love and calls us his bride. Treasure your daughters, and being served as daughters of our Father in heaven. Many of us struggle with being loved by God. I resisted for a long time, but oh the first time I climbed into his lap and let him hold me, he has shown me such kindness, and given me over the top blessings that could have only come from him.

When I was pregnant with Jonathan I did not expect much in the way of gifts. I was content with second-hand clothes and the simple things. The one extravagant thing I longed for was a cradle, but I told no one. A few days before Jonathan’s arrival, my Lamaze partner and her husband showed up at the home I was staying, In their arms was handmade a cherry wood cradle, crafted by my friend’s husband. I knew that it was a gift from God.

My husband was an amazing and unexpected gift from God. More recently this necklace under the Jonathan tree.

Continue your story!

My children, Daniel’s music, and my daughter’s love for animals are an inspiration and delight. These are all parts of one great big love note from God. His consistent comfort, at just the moments I need them are testaments to his presence in my life.

This morning He surprised me with the lilies in a part of the park I don’t normally explore.


Don’t be afraid of your longings. Expect good things from God no matter what battle you may be in the middle of.

James 1:16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


I’se the B’y Who is So Happy

Psalm 112:1Praise the LORD!
            How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
            Who greatly delights in His commandments.

Yesterday Daniel preformed in his first strings concert. He was practically floating as the performers made their way to their chairs for the first song. This boy, who has loved the violin since he was three, is most certainly created to make music, among many other things. He was praising God, for making him love music, the whole way home. I have to admit, his joy is contagious.

When we are in tune with the gifts and talents God has blessed us with there is a delight that spreads like wildfire. God has made us each uniquely gifted and heaven draws close to us when we move within that gifting. Eric Liddell, a runner featured in the movie Chariots of Fire stated, ” I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Do you and I feel God’s pleasure?

It has taken me a long time to be at a place that I can honestly say, when I write, I feel his delight in me. I start with a blank page and words bring images of God’s love, grace, justice and forgiveness to life! Words are clay in the hands of our maker. I love to watch His love take shape, uniquely designed for you, my reader.

We can waste a lot of time believing that we are worthless or, we can pick up our fiddle and play to the delight of our Father’s ear.


Daniel’s First Strings Concert: I’se the B’y


The Importance of Laughter in Grief

It is so vital to our wellbeing to laugh! I believe that God in heaven laughs. He named Isaac (laughter) because Sarah thought it was impossible for her to be pregnant. I believe that he takes joy in us, and laughs deeply. Can you imagine standing close to the throne of heaven and hear God laugh.

In this season of grief I need laughter, to water my soul with joy. Sewing seeds of joy in a desert. If you have a funny story to share, or a humorous author that you like, feel free to share in the comments. Jonathan loved to make me laugh. In fact, if something got me really tickled, it was his goal to get me to laugh like a hyena.

Brian: Natalie, what do you think about 3 more days of school?
Natalie: Just 3 more days and I can go back to being nocturnal!