Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stress in the Life of a Toddler

(I am babysitting said Toddler as I write this.)

Yesterday I asked, “What do you do with a twenty month old, anyway?”

Just imagine a six hour journey with a Toddler who is belted into a car seat, 
that does not come with a toy chest, a drink bar, or a reclining seat--let alone 
a McDonalds play aea! We propped up the diaper bag with toys and a 
sippy cup and off we went. The trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas is pretty barren 
and there are few places to stop. We made two stops, one of which had a 
playground for tots, and then came the end of the journey taking us  into 
the western sun, rush hour traffic, and increasing noise from the back seat. 
A thought ran through the mother’s mind. PRAY. And so we did. We prayed 
that God would send an angel to babysit. Noah was quiet for the next 45 minutes. 
Blissfully quiet!

Thank you, Papa, that you love Moms, Grandmom’s but especially toddlers. 
How is it that an angel would spend time entertaining a Toddler!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Above the Storm

Above the Storm

This past Friday I flew to Phoenix where my daughter picked me up and then we drove 
to Las Vegas where we attended the wedding of my beautiful, talented niece.
Sunday we drove back to Arizona for what turned out to be six hours or so in the car, 
with a 20 month old?

Meanwhile, on the east coast friends and family were getting ready for a major storm 
of epic proportions and for the last 24 hours have endured high winds, heavy rain,
high tides and even, in some cases, heavy snow. It has been called the biggest 
weather event ever because a cold front met a hurricane and the whole mess turned 
into a massive nor’easter. Meanwhile, here in Arizona, the sun is shining and I am 
preparing to enter into another beautiful day. I am “above the storm,” so to speak. 

It has caused me to ponder many things and my journey has taken me to Psalm 42:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear 
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 
though its waters roar and foam, 
though the mountains tremble at is swelling…


Whether in the midst of the storm, or removed from the storm, 
whether I feel safe or not, 
I am safe. 
Why, because “God is my refuge, a well proved help in trouble.”

“Papa, My heart goes out to those who woke up this morning and 
found chaos and destruction everywhere. Many have lost everything. 
You are in their midst and I pray 
that they will be still and in that stillness, know that You are God.”

See the stories in my website:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Celebration!

It is Thursday morning and I am packing to leave on Friday for a wedding on 
Saturday. However, my clothes are laid out for a celebration this afternoon.

Several years ago a gal named Erin was suddenly asked to leave 
the house by her husband of six years and she left, without furniture 
or her beloved dog. The pain was unimaginable as she found herself 
living with one person after another, even living in her car at times over 
the next six months. I met Erin early in this process and saw how God 
provided for her in the midst of the storm. During that time she believed 
God for the restoration of her marriage. Then came the divorce, and more 
pain. However, I could see what a deep thing God was doing in the heart 
of lovely Erin. 

Clint is a precious man of God who lost his wife after a four year struggle 
with Cancer. He and his wife had five children--all girls. God brought these 
two hurting people together and Clint began to court Erin. She has a heart 
for teenage girls and has ministered to struggling teens for many years. 
Several months ago Clint slipped a ring on Erin’s finger as he asked her 
to marry him. She said “yes” while trusting God to help her to be the kind 
of Mom these girls needed. 

What a faithful, gracious God we have!

“Clint and Erin, I am so in awe of what God has done for the two of you and 
for those five beautiful girls. I can’t wait to be there when Pastor Bob 
pronounces you, “husband and wife.”  See you very soon. I love you!”

See Pastor Bob’s story on my website!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grumpy or Grateful?

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)

I was grumpy, fretful, unthankful; then self pity walked in. There was no
room for singing let alone thankfulness. Things went from bad to worse.
Why, oh why, after all these years, do I still lose perspective on whose I am;
who I am--a princess in the Kingdom of the King! And why do these things
happen just as I get to particular verse?

In Mark 6 Jesus feeds the five thousand, then He walks on water, gets into
the boat, the storm ends. However, “They (His disciples) had not gained any
insight from the incident of the miracle in the feeding of the five thousand, 

What if they had seen, really seen, The compassion of Jesus, and His power 
in the feeding of the five thousand? They were there; it was not a parable. What if
his character so thrilled them that they went into the boat with songs on their
lips so that when the storm came, they saw only the power of God? I can 
picture it: They see Jesus coming toward them and they recognize Him,
because of joy, and they invite Him in to join the party. Then they greet Him 
as he climbs over the side, by dumping buckets of boat water on his head.
Then they all fall into a heap as they laugh with this wonderful Man who had 
just stilled the storm!

What a difference faith makes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Fear to Faith

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching 
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)

Papa is wooing me toward Him through our times together in scripture. 
I can be going my own way, doing my own thing, or desperately trying to
“get everything done,” when that quiet voice inside, or the words of a friend,
(even those of a daughter!), rein me in and I come into balance. I can see 
things from an eternal perspective because His word does dwell in me richly.

When I think about the word, “admonish,” it feels harsh, but how does Paul
put it? “...teaching and admonishing each other with psalms, hymns, and 
spiritual songs.” Dear reader, don’t you find that odd? Does genuine joy and
singing bring a more penetrating rebuke than a verbal confrontation over
something?  Does joyful singing demonstrate a level of faith that is not often
seen in the church who seems mired in fear? Now remember that Paul is 
writing to a church, not an individual person. It was a small fellowship growing
in the midst of increasing persecution. They came together daily to sing and 
share their victories with one another. Fear was banished and they went home
with gladness of heart. Hum...maybe we as believers should be meeting together
more often so that we, too, can grow in faith instead of fear...

Well, you can see how my meditations tend to wander all over the place, but 
hopefully by the end, hearts have been encouraged. Such is my prayer.

Go back into the website to read some stories you may have missed.

Monday, October 22, 2012


“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom… (Colossians 3:16A)
There’s that little word, “let” again.
Richly: Plenteously, abundantly, amply
The Apostle Paul is saying that the word of Christ is to be so ample that it flows into my spirit and then out to others. It is all about dwelling in Christ through his word. It is not just the leadership of the church who are to be engaged in spreading the Life of Christ, but me also. How does this happen and where? It begins with living in scripture and meditating on small portions. Psalm 1:3 encourages us to “meditate in His word day and night.” When He is part of us in this way, it is natural to share when hanging out with friends; while working together and in small groups. It does not necessarily happen while listening to a sermon, but afterward as we ponder the message and as people share what they have heard with one another. We need each other in order to live out our lives victoriously while here on earth. I get a little off in the head trying to live the Christian life all by myself. Iron sharpens iron!
So, today I will ponder this little phrase: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peace Revisited

Peace Again?

That word “peace” has been watered down to the point where it is meaningless.
The world talks about peace all the time, but not in the context of peace within
the individual. Jesus says:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I
give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid.”
(John 14:27)

Frankly, I sit here convicted, overwhelmed with the events that press in on
me personally, and in terms of world events. My focus is on me or what man
is saying. My face is not toward my Papa God, who created heaven and 
earth and whose presence remains here with HIs creation. I tend to get 
caught up in the minutia of daily life and lose sight of WHOSE I am. When
this happens, peace is blocked, stress comes. 

“So, Papa, I come today to sit with You. You are my greatest need."

See my new story of a man who has found freedom coming out of pain:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Back to the book of Colossians!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed, 
you were called in one body.” Col. 3:15


I am to let, allow, permit His peace to rule me.

Peace is a greek word meaning “to join.” Also, “quietness, rest, to set at 
one again.”

In Isaiah 26:3 I find one of my favorite verses: “Thou wilt keep him in 
PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts
in Thee.”

Malcolm Smith did five sermons on this one verse! There is no way I can 
unpack it in a little blog. However, the scripture puts the two words together:

“perfect peace, means “to be well, happy, healthy, prosperous, to rest safely,
 to be safe in mind and body, full, content, complete.

Jesus purchased THIS peace on the cross, then He came into me at 
the momen tof salvation, so I have all I need to both be at peace and 
to extend peace to  others. How wonderful to know that I don’t have 
to work up any of the fruits of the Spirit of which this is one. On Sunday 
Pastor Bob showed us a pear that was picked from a tree and a pear 
made of glass. It took effort to form the latter, but the former simply grew 
out from the branch. To be attached to the Vine is to walk out of the life 
of that Vine.

Dear Reader, I do not know if you need to go back to the basics as often 
as I do, but, my flesh is not programed to produce peace.

See my Stories:

Monday, October 15, 2012


Saturday was cool with bright, warm sunlight. And so, 3PM found me 
outside sitting in the warmth and thanking God for another gorgeous day.
Suddenly something flew in front of me and landed on the edge of the table. 
I watched this gray winged creature as it flapped its wings again and again, 
and color appeared. I was mesmerized as colors of bronze, orange, black and 
white flowed into its wings. It must have just emerged from its cocoon. The 
moth/butterfly finished its activities and then flew into the butterfly bush to enjoy
a meal as it moved from flower to flower. The bush had only seven blossoms left.
When it had sucked up all it wanted it flew away. The entire “show” lasted only 
a quarter of an hour. I had not anticipated seeing another such creature, nor 
did I expect to see any life except for the Sparrows which seem to keep me 
company these days. However, my Papa God showed up and showed off!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Butterfly

It is almost mid-October. The Humming Birds have been gone for at least two weeks, 
for the nights are very chilly while the afternoons are still full of sunshine and warmth. 
Soon cold weather will arrive and the flowers will die in one night. Imagine my surprise 
to see a small butterfly feasting on the Butterfly bush in our backyard. Vibrant colors 
of orange and some black, unlike any I had seen before. The wings were perfect, 
an indicator that this beautiful creature had just emerged from its cocoon. I was entranced 
as this beauty went from flower to flower knowing that it probably would not survive the night. 
What impresses me even more is that God did not find it a waste for this butterfly to come forth 
to live only one afternoon. 

I have another take on life--it has to be long and fruitful to have significance and worth. 

Papa, thank you for the lesson of the butterfly. I so enjoyed your gift to me, for that is how 
I read it. You set it up knowing that I would come out to sit on the deck in the very few minutes 
the butterfly was feasting. Papa, this day has also been very special with its sunshine 
and clear blue sky as the autumn slowly descends on the trees tinged in gold. We got 
to see it because You gave us a dog who needs to walk and run everyday. 

Thank you for all the little things you do for me, for us, everyday. Give me eyes 
to see Your love poured out.

See my new story of a man who has found freedom birthed out of pain.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Heartbeat Away

The telephone rang on Tuesday afternoon. It was my honey calling to say
that his Meniere’s Disease had flared up again, and he was feeling too dizzy
to drive home. (Miniere’s affects the 8th cranial nerve which controls hearing 
and balance.) I grabbed a snack and headed out into rush hour traffic. When I 
got there he requested that I take him to the ER.   Thunk...   His chest felt tight 
and his pulse was in the 40’s. The hospital was only ten minutes away and they
soon had him hooked up to an EKG. Blood was drawn. He looked drawn. Glen 
did not feel well at all. I was not able to reach any of our friends by telephone.

These moments are pregnant with possibilities. Glen’s Dad and all of the Uncles
had died from Cardio issues. Maybe it was stress from work, or just a Miniere’s 
thing? An ER room is a lonely place.

A decision was made to keep Glen overnight and to do further testing in the morning.
All of his tests came out looking good and I was able to take him home yesterday 

The experience has given me pause. How fragile we are; how suddenly life can
change! Truly, each of us is only a heartbeat away from Eternity.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Yesterday I wallowed. I woke up feeling disconnected and the day was gloomy
and cold. However, when I took Jake for a walk connection happened. A woman
was walking her two small pups and we chatted for fifteen minutes before moving
on. Then I came across a neighbor and friend working in her garden. She took 
a break and gave me a perfect cup of cappuccino. 

Thank you, Papa, for a dog that needs to walk, a lovely woman, a friendly
neighbor and coffee. You tenderly cared for me using four paws and real
people. I would have missed it if I had not sat down with you this morning.


Monday, October 8, 2012

New Story is Posted!

Take a look at one Pastor's journey into freedom through honesty.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Above All

Paul continues by saying:

“and ABOVE ALL, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect
harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)

Harmony. I guess I  need to change my comfortable fatigues for 
silky pale pink dress to go with my dancing slippers!  The 
passage in Corinthians 13 seems so extreme!

Love is patient and kind
Love does not envy or boast
Love is not arrogant or rude
Love does not insist on its own way
Love is not irritable or resentful
Love does not rejoice at wrong doing
Love rejoices with the truth
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things.

Jesus bears, hopes, believes, endures all things. He wants me to let go
of justified anger, and allow His love to well up in me at any given moment.
I find these meditations somewhat convicting, especially today when there
was this altercation with my favorite man just as I walked up the stairs to
finish this blog. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

One Little Phrase...

“...bearing with one another.”

Just one little phrase causes me to pause and reflect. 

Bearing comes from forbearing: “ceasing from or restraining an action;
patience, long suffering.”

It seems to me personally and painfully, that God is not only asking me to
“put up with” the flesh patterns of others, but to cease trying to change those
patterns, and to accept what is. Loooong suffering. Sigh...

See my stories: 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Combat Boots or Dancing Slippers?

Paul says, “Put off or put away, anger, wrath, malice, slander,
and obscene talk. Don’t lie to each other, seeing that you have 
put off the old man with its practices and have put on the new
man, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of 
its creator...Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

Papa says to me:
“Jane let go of your anger. When you came to Christ the old man
died and so did the things you used to do. Now walk in who you 
are. My darling Jane, you are chosen, holy and my beloved one,
so put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
Don’t try to work them up. Well, you can try, Jane, but how is that
working for you? Know that I am all these things and I dwell in you.”

“Papa, I am right now your chosen, holy and beloved one? You really
see me this way? I know, you want me to leave my combat boots 
behind and slip into my beautiful pink dancing shoes!”

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Burn the Books!

In view of the previous blog, I want to burn all of my self help
books that leave me guilt ridden and full of shame. “Five steps
here” and “twelve steps there” can never truly change my flesh.
Just give me Jesus. He is my only hope.

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