Wednesday, August 29, 2012


"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

When I gave my life to Christ, I had no idea what HE would be able to do with a simple minded, wretched woman like me. As I look back on what the Lord has done for me in my life, I am blown away at the extent at which He has seen fit to use me, and my circumstances, to reach out to others.

I started writing this blog when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and I recognized my absolute need for Jesus and I set out to seek how He would use that trial and everything that came along with it. It was my own personal journey with faith-walk. It was my reminder to myself of what the Lord had accomplished through my peeks and valleys...

And then people actually started reading it, and being encouraged in their own tough circumstances...such an amazing feeling for me because I never thought my life, and the events of it, would speak to anyone...except me. But God uses every THING and He can use everyONE!

All of these years later, and I just found out through Google that my blog has been visited thousands of times, and in several countries! SERIOUSLY! People in other countries, not just my little corner of the world and not just my sweet friends who want to encourage me and help me feel good about my writing! LOL

People in the USA, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa and Latvia have read about my journey. I don't even know where Latvia is! LOL! But it's just never know what the Lord will do with your circumstances in order to glorify Himself! You don't know how the trials you are experiencing will touch someone else's life.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

That says it all...

Thank You, Father, for the reminder that I need to allow others to see YOU through me and through my circumstances. Thank You that there isn't anything that I go through that goes to waste. You use everything! I praise You for Your guidance. Thank You for living in my heart. May YOU receive the glory for anything good that is in me. Help me to continue to shine Your light, Lord. In Jesus name. Amen!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All Things Work Together...

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Well, here it is...I have finally reached the point where I can actually SEE the Lord's handy work and greater purpose for my life! It is a milestone I didn't think I would ever reach.Throughout all of the grit and gore of my mourning, the Lord has proven to be faithful to me and He promised me through His word that He would use everything for His purposes. This promise I have held onto with a death-grip since even before Jay passed away!

When you are the one swimming in the "sea of grief" it is very difficult to fathom that the Lord could use such a devastating circumstance to encourage others and bring glory to Himself. This would be why HE is God and I am NOT. My quickly failing, over-the-age of 40 human eyesight, has given way to divine clarity in recent days...and MY GOD will receive the glory for what He has placed before me.

I have a heart to minister to other widows. I have had that burden on my heart for a couple of years now. The Lord has strategically placed widows in my life for me to encourage throughout my mourning process. He was preparing me all along for this calling. I will be the coordinator for the new widow's ministry at my church! This is a BIG responsibility and I am taking it very seriously. The enemy would love for me to be distracted or scared, but I am so excited for this opportunity to love on my widow-sisters. It fills my heart with such joy to be able to encourage a sister on her journey through mourning the loss of their husband.  The Lord is healing me more and more with each time I am able to encourage someone to not give up hope. It is true - you really do receive comfort by comforting others. God's word is more alive now than ever before!

For a very long time there have been no ministries that I truly felt like I belonged in because of my widowhood. When you become a widow, you sort of feel like an alien. You're "technically" single, but you certainly don't feel single. You're "biblically" married to the Lord (Isaiah 54:5), but that feels foreign because you are used to having your human husband with you and he is now in heaven. You have no single friends, only married ones, and you often feel like a third wheel when you hang out with them. You just don't feel like you "fit" anywhere.

So NOW is the time! The Lord has given me the gift of a "place of belonging"...and I am blessed to help other widows find their place of belonging.

Romans 8:28...Oh yes, the Lord truly does use everything to serve HIS purpose and bring glory to His name!

He is faithful.

He is good.

He is ever-present.

He is merciful.


Thank you, Jesus!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Salt and Light...

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." 

~Matthew 5:13-16

One of the pastors of my church just spoke about this scripture this morning for our staff devotions. First, it is such a blessing to work for my church...second, it is a blessing to be held accountable to the Lord through a staff devotion...God is SO GOOD!

The message this morning pierced my heart with the spear of TRUTH. The first verse, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?", reminds me that, as a believer, I need to keep my walk right with the Lord so that He may use me to speak HIS truth. If I don't keep my heart right and get the junk out and fill it with God's Word then I am not allowing myself to be that salt in a world that is desperate for healing.

Salt is a preservative. Salt is an antibacterial agent used to ward off disease. Salt promotes healing.

I was exhorted to look within my heart and ask the Lord what things He might want me to change, idols to be gotten rid of; find what might be holding me back from fully serving Him. I am still allowing Him to search my heart and speak to me. I want to be fully yielded. I want to be that open vessel used to help others for His glory.

The second part of the scripture, "You are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."...WOW! That one packs a punch!  Being "the light" is never an easy task for this dark world we live in. There are things and people that I experience everyday that try to dim the Lord's light within me. I have to admit that the past few years have proven to be a trial so difficult that I really felt as though the light in my heart was dimmed to a small spark. But as the Lord so faithfully reminds me, even a spark, when properly provoked, can become a forest fire! I have been praying for the Lord to fan this flame in my heart that it might bring about a massive wall of fire. I SO desire to shine a light for Jesus' sake.

Jesus died for me, for my sins! It is my desire for people to know that and recognize the fact that I truly am a JESUS FREAK! His love for me will never die. I am saved from an eternity of death and despair because of what Jesus did on the cross. This is what I want the WORLD to know...that they have a Savior that loves them and there is an abundant life awaiting them if they only open their hearts to believe. I want to have a BOLD faith! I don't want to disguise or hide my faith in Jesus Christ. I want my faith to be a beacon of HOPE for those that feel like they have none.

Listening to the exhortation from our pastor really made my heart JUMP with excitement! I desire to serve in missions. Pastor Rick serves over the missions ministry. He spoke of the many opportunities to serve throughout the United States, Mexico, and now Haiti. As he was speaking and showing the pictures and describing the scene of destruction that they often find themselves serving in. People whose souls are downcast, and they only need one person to throw arms around them and pray for them and show them the love of Christ.  THAT'S ME!!! THAT'S ME!! Send ME Lord!!

So that will be the thing that I seek after the Lord for. Provision and prayer, asking the Lord to provide a way for me to serve Him and shine His light in the missions. That is my heart's desire. I will be actively pursuing the Lord's will and timing for serving in missions field.  Until starts at home. How can I help others who live near me? What can I do to glorify the Lord in my own little town? How can I be that salt and light?

Thank You, Lord! I wait expectantly for an answer from You. YOU are faithful! May You receive the glory for anything that is good within Me! In Jesus name. Amen!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stillness in the Lord...

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

This scripture is ever present in my life. I can't tell you how many times this scripture has "somehow" (we all know how...or should I say "Who") been placed before me. Nearly every question that I ask of the Lord can be answered with this scripture...

  • Lord, I am not comfortable with this circumstance. How long will it be like this?
  • Lord, why do I feel like things just aren't the way they should be?
  • Lord, I need to make some changes, what would You have me to do?
  • Lord, I desire to have someone new in my life, is that what You have in Your plans for me?
  • Lord, I don't know what to do in this situation. Will You help me?
All to be answered with..."Be still and know that I AM God."

No one likes to sit and wait. Everything in life is rush, rush, rush...but I am being continually reminded that when God says "I AM"...that means HE IS! And you just don't question it. God is in control, and when the weight of the world rests on my shoulders, I have only to remember this promise, that He IS God and I am to BE STILL and trust Him for His plan to reveal itself to Me in His perfect time.

There are stirrings in my heart for things that I'd like to do as a ministry. I have been praying for a long time about a widows ministry. For obvious reasons, I am drawn to the care of widows. The Lord is slowly revealing things to Me and prayerfully it will lead to a ministry at church, but if it's not His will for it to be a ministry at church, it could just be that I need to make it my personal ministry. My heart has received much healing from the Lord as I have ministered to women I know, and some that I don't know, that have become widows. We share a common bond that not many (thankfully) women share. But as I get older, it is happening more and more. I believe the Lord has gifted me with a heart of mercy so that, as I have grieved the loss of my husband, I might be able to comfort other widows with the Lord's comfort that I have received for myself. I know for a fact that the Lord is using my testimony to speak to other women who have suffered this loss so that they can see that it is possible to survive, and thrive, after such a deep wound has been opened in their hearts. God is faithful to bind those wounds!

Another stirring I am experiencing is to visit cancer wards at hospitals to minister to patients and their families. I have witnessed for myself that there are many people who endure these things completely alone, with no loved ones by their side. And then you have those patients who have entire families there by their side. My heart goes out to both! I have been the caregiver, but not the patient...but I do have an understanding of what the patient goes through. I am seeking the Lord so that I know how HE wants Me to serve these people. All in His time.

No matter the circumstance, there comes a season in which we have to BE STILL so that we can hear the voice of the Lord speak and know how to move forward...and also so we don't get ahead of Him and HIS work! And in every bit of circumstances that we are to go through, we are to recognize that HE IS GOD and act accordingly. Yield to Him for the circumstances that have been allowed to come to us. He is faithful to lead us through them as we trust Him to guide our steps.

Lord, my life is Yours! I wait on You. Amen.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Taking A Load Off...

"Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior! For each day he carries us in his arms." Psalm 68:19

Continuing my journey in the Lord...I have just been taking one step at a time. I've been trying to allow the Lord to lead the way. While I believe I am navigating well through my life these days, there are times that I make the Lord's job harder than it needs to be by trying to take the control away from Him. Sometimes I just think I know better than He does what is good for me.  Well...I'm WRONG about that! LOL

I read the scripture above the other day...and there were two visions that came to me. One vision was of my loving God, carrying me through the difficulties of life; through the decision-making process; through the teenage-rearing seasons (ugh!).  And then...the second vision...of a loving Father who is carrying away His child who is throwing a temper trantrum because she is not getting her way.  Yep! That's ME! Haha!

But seriously, the many ups and downs of my life have warranted my heavenly Father to carry Me. I can do nothing in my own strength and through my own efforts. God is the LORD of my everything and I am doing my best to yield to His will and His calling on my life. I am so grateful for the fact that He is more than willing to carry me so I can take a load off!

An update, since it has been forever since I have written...

I am still single...yep...there you have it. LOL!  That's all...nothing really interesting to report. Life has just carried on. Praise JESUS!

My niece, Aly, is almost 15 years old now and is in high school. Yikes! When you have never birthed a child, and then you suddenly find yourself helping to raise a's certainly a different world.  Somewhere in this process of helping my Mom to raise this child, I became a "parent". Life is not the same as before. Suddenly I have to keep track of someone. I have to nag and bug and discipline. I even have been initiated into the "you're an idiot adult" and "what do you know?" clubs! Haha! That's hilarious! I remember when I thought the same of my parents. I remember rolling my eyes, just as my niece does to me. I remember being disrespectful to adults. And now it's all happening to ME! The only question I have for other parents is, HOW DO YOU NOT KILL A TEENAGER?? Hahaha!!

Honestly, it is the most difficult thing I've had to do...but I wouldn't trade it. I am accountable to my actions. I am accountable to my word. I am accountable to my LIFE! I don't even speed on the freeways because I'm afraid of getting killed and then where would that leave my niece?? I have to be around for her. This girl doesn't have the luxury of having her biological parents around, so me and my Mom are it! It is ever-present in my mind now. I even have a life insurance policy with her name as a beneficiary! She is my child.

I.AM.A.PARENT. I love my girl with all of my heart. Life is not easy for teenagers these days, so my heart is really invested in helping her to succeed and to know that she is loved and wanted. She has become my life. She can't stand me right now...and that's okay...because I know what comes later. She is most certainly worth the investment. Just as my Lord loves me unconditionally, and will never leave me nor forsake me...that is my devotion to my Aly. And someday she will look back on everything and I KNOW she will be blessed to know the depth of my love.

So, life has changed once again for me.  IT'S A GIRL!

And, God is good.