Is your family wounded or broken today?

I have a certain routine to my day, especially my morning routine. I wake up, spend time with my husband before he leaves for work, have my cup of coffee, read posts and post on FaceBook, then at 7:00 or 7:30 am I always watch Joyce Meyer on tv. She always inspires me and stirs me up. I take notes of her great messages then post them on FB. After that I read 2-3 chapters in the Old Testement and one chapter of the New Testement in my Bible. Next I open my prayer notebook and pray for my friends and my loved ones. Then I get dressed go for my outdoor walk with the dogs and feed my birds. And then continue with the rest of my day.

Well today I joined WordPress.com and I want to start blogging. The more I read, the more excited I got. I have so many painful and joyful and life changing experiences in my life that I would love to share with people. I love to write and I especially want to help people that are hurting. I think God could really us me. I was so engrossed in reading about blogging and readiing people’s blogs that I totally lost track of time.

Then a dear friend called who I have not spoken with in a long time and we chatted and she shared her prayer requests with me. By that time it was time to take my dogs out for a walk- I had not taken them out since 4:30 am and it was already 9:15.

And then it happened. This black cloud settled over me. I did NOT want to read my Bible. I could think of a lot of things I would rather do because I really really did not want to read my Bible. I called one of my best friends. We usually chat on the phone for a while. I explained all of this to her and she prayed a 2 sentence prayer that God would speak to my heart and I would open my Women of Faith Study Bible. I literally had to force myself.

As soon as I started reading the Word of God I was instantly glad I did. I love to read the old familiar stories in Genesis and I read the study notes and I always learn something, I am always comforted or encouraged or inspired or convicted of my sin or just be reminded of the woman God wants me to be.

This morning Genesis chapter 33 spoke especially personally to me. It concerned family relationships. Jacob and Esau were brothers- they never liked each other, they never got along and to make matters worse the mother favored one son and the father favored the other. While the father was on his deathbed his wife and her favorite son tricked the father into giving the birthright and a full blessing to the younger son. ( The custom was the oldest child had the birthright and got his father’s full blessing and the younger brothers would serve the older brother and the older brother would gain all the land and be blessed by God and be prosperous.) Esau, the older son hated Jacob and planned to kill him after his father died. The mother sent Joseph away. Jacob was gone for 14 years- he served seven years working for one wife and another 7 years working for the second wife.

Now we come to Genesis 33. My chapter for today. I understand now why the devil did NOT want me to read this chapter…Jacob is returning home. He fears that his brother, who is approaching with a great army of men will kill him, his family, his servants and all his livestock. Jacob sends his servants ahead to his brother with gifts of livestock. The brother refuses the gifts but instead Esau runs to his brother and embraces his brother and they wept. Their hard hearts were softened and they felt love and mercy and forgiveness for each other.

Does your family live in perfect harmony with each other or is there conflict and strife?My 4 children did not have a happy childhood- they each grew up in different homes- 3 of them were in numerous different foster homes. Each one says they have forgiven me 25 years later but our family is still wounded and broken. One of my adult children visited me on Christmas Eve and we had a great time before he drove back to D.C. Two of my other children drove together from New York and New England to surprise me with a visit. I got to see my granddaughter who I have not seen for 3 years. My child who lives in Michigan was there also with my other two grandchildren… I live in Michigan. We had the happiest 4 days that we have had in many many years. It was a joy to see my children and grandchildren bond with each other. I was filled with joy. Then Friday night words were said in anger- cruel unkind words that left all of us hurt, devastated and angry. My son and my daughter left two days later and two of my children are not speaking to me, I cannot see my grandchildren- they want nothing to do with me and one of my children wants nothing to do with anyone in our family. So, as you can imagine, I am deeply hurt and dissappointed. But I have chosen to focus on the happy times we did share together and now my focus is on God, my loving husband, the two children that do love me and want to be their mother, my dogs, my cat and my birds.

I can see now why not he devil did his very best to keep me from reading the story of Jacob and Esau. If there was hope for these two there is hope for my family- and for yours. Whatever your family situation is God can heal it if we turn to Jesus, ask him to forgive our sin, be our Lord and Savior and put all of our faith in his death on the cross, burial and resurrection. Once we do this we are born again, we become a child of God and we can pray to him and give him all of our worries and cares and burdens and ask him to help us to patiently wait until his timing is perfect. He does not always promise us we will get what we want and we need to ask him to help us accept the things we cannot change… but he hears our every prayer, he loves us, he loves our children and our family members and He knows what is best for us. All I know is that if he could soften the hearts of Jacob and Esau he can soften the hearts of anyone if we pray and trust him and patiently wait.

# Daily Inspirational

Daily Inspiration

NOT MY QUOTE

“Self doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” I read that quote this morning on a profile page on FaceBook and I felt led to send the writer a private message and a friend request. That is so true. There is a wealth of meaning and truth in this short quote. It led me to really look at myself, deep down inside.

For most of my life I have wanted to write a book about my life; a memoir. Now that I am turning sixty and now that I have joined Hope Writers, my dreams have gotten bigger. I want to write many books! On the other hand I have been plagued with self doubt, regarding my writing. I will give you a glimpse of my inner thoughts.

“You want to write a book? Everyone wants to write a book. You have written a blog for four years, but on most days nobody reads your blogs, and nobody comments on your blogs. You post your blogs on Facebook, on Five Minute Friday, and you send emails to everyone you know with a link to your blogs. On a normal day, you are lucky if anyone reads your blogs and you get a few comments from people who love you. Nobody wants to read your blog for free. Who is going to pay money to read your book? Everything is digital now- you are technologically retarded. Other writers, bloggers, Facebook and Instagram posters write so much better than you do. Your sister Mary writes in her journals- she writes beautifully. She should write a book. You will never write a book. You will never get a publisher. You are poor- you can not afford a mentor, life coach, editor and you surely can not afford to self publish your books. If you self published you would spend a lot of money and nobody would buy your books. You would be stuck with a hundred books and you would have to beg people to read your book. Just give up. Don’t bother. Do you have any idea how much rejection authors have to go through? You have had a lot of rejection in your life- do you really want to set yourself up for more rejection? “

So, now you know. That is my inner turmoil, but I continue on. I keep going because people tell me I write well. I keep going because deep down a small part of me thinks that God could use my words to comfort, educate, motivate, encourage and inspire young people today. I know teens lured into pregnancy, abortion, human trafficking, gangs, drugs, who are abused, who feel as worthless as I often feel myself, who are hurting and struggling with so many issues. I want to help those who are hurting, and if possible, save today’s young people from going down the wrong road. I would much rather prevent them from heartache and pain than comfort them after their life is in shambles…. so I am reading books about human trafficking and learning everything I can about this evil nightmare. I do fundraisers every year for woman at risk (see warinternational.org) but if I could spare young girls and boys from this pain and devastation than I will do my best to do that. If I can raise awareness in young people, parents, teachers, principals and guidance counselors and then I will work hard and do my best – or I will give in to the self doubts and give up before I have started.

What about you? Do you struggle with self doubt in some area of your life? I would really like to hear your comments. Comments, even negative comments are like sunshine and rain to a writer’s soul. I am always begging to hear other people’s thoughts after reading one of my blogs.

❤️Terri

WHY WRITE FOR TEENS

When I was in junior high (middle school) I picked an elective class about writing and illustrating our own books. This was long before laptops, cell phones, iPads. We wrote out our stories and drew pictures. I loved it! I said to myself, “This is what I want to do when I grow up. I want to write and illustrate my own books.”

I have started writing a book many times throughout my life. I always gave up. Thoughts like, “I’m not good enough,” and “Nobody will want to read what I write,” and “Other people write so much better than I do” and “ This is too hard,” and “I have to have a happy ending” kept me from writing. I kept waiting for my life to be happy but it just never was. I finally have my happy ending- I have a good life.

I joined Hope Writers, a group of over a thousand writers from all over the country. There are interviews every week with a person successful in the field of writing. There is an evaluation test to assess at what level of writing you are at. When you find out what stage you are in there is a huge writing library with thousands of hours of teaching and you are directed to the reading materials in your stage of writing. ( Because I write a regular blog, and because of many other factors, I am at a stage three.) I have never written a book before, so I decided to go back to stage one, the Beginning Writer, and learn the basics. Some of the first lessons are the many barriers to writing- they have been enormously helpful.

In one of our weekly Tuesday video interviews the person being interviewed said something like, “When writing your story, don’t start at, I was born here, I did this and this and this. Write about one area of your life. “ Well I brainstormed. I divided my sections into each decade of my life. I thought about all of my own personal experiences, and wrote out all the topics I could cover. I did not want to write about my childhood, so I decided to start with my teen years.

Someone asked, “If you are not a famous person, why would anyone want to read your book?” After a conversation with my oldest son, I realized my own life was pretty boring. I want to write for a larger audience than my four children and my four grandchildren. I still wanted to write for teens. The problem is, I was a teen in the seventies – I have no idea what is life like for teens today.

My son asked me if I have ever had gasoline poured on me and then had someone throw a lit match? He asked me if I had ever been raped repeatedly by a teacher and when I went to the principal he covered it up? Have I ever been body slammed on the floor? No, no and no I have not.

These things made me think of Women At Risk International, a nonprofit charity that rescues snd restores women and children from human trafficking in 50 countries around the world and helps them to start a new life. (See warinternational.org) I cohost a fundraiser for them every November at the headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but how much do I really know about human trafficking? I contacted the founder, Becky McDonald and she recommended three books for me to read. They are sold in the War Chest Boutique (see warchestboutique.com). I am reading the first one now. It is titled SOLD and is written by Patricia McCormick. It was a National Book Award Finalist. I have been reading and jotting down notes of things I like about the writing.

Tonight, I went to my Hope Writers Library. Hope’s Emily Freeman is interviewing a successfully published author named Sally Clarkson. Sally says that she knew nothing about parenting, but as she was learning, she wrote for other mothers who probably did not know anything either. I love that! I wrote, “I should write a book about being a teen because they don’t know what’s going on either. “

Some possible topics that I would like to read, research and learn about include… Teens: Depression and Mental illness, Teens: Human Trafficking, Teens having babies, Teens who have had abortions, Teen juvenile delinquents, Teens in gangs, Tern rape victims, Teens and drug addiction, Teens in foster care, Teens in other countries- there are so many things I want to learn about and write about.

I am hoping this time I will stick with it and really write a book, and then another book and a book after that, I hope to make a difference in this world. I really want to help today’s young people. I really struggled in my teen years- it is hard for teens to live in today’s world.

So, tell me, do you have any suggestions, ideas or comments for someone hoping to write books for today’s youth? I love to get feedback from others.

❤️Terri D

#Community#Growth#Health#Wellness#Happy#Happiness#Inspirational#Discover#Motivation#Life#Personaldevelopment#Dailypost#Postaday#Smile#Differentsmiles#Reasonstosmile#Mentalhealth#Mentalillness#Selfhelp#Selfcare#Relationships#Reflection#Feelings#Honesty#Lifestyle#Sadness#Dreams#Hope

AFTER THE APACOLYPSE

This weekend I had a total apacolypse. I made a mess of my house, my home, my marriage, my reputation, my relationships, and my life. It is amazing how much damage you can do to yourself and others in just 24 hours. My drug of choice, my my addiction is my terrible temper. I totally lost it yesterday, on Sunday. I will not describe to you my words, actions, emails sent out, Facebook posts and everything else. I blew it. Have you ever been there? Are you there now? Or have you been on the receiving end of someone else’s addiction that caused you pain and heartbreak? Do you know what to do after you made a mess of your life? Here are the six steps I took. They may or may not work for you.

FIRST: IMMEDIATE SELF CARE

In my first yep I took care of my own immediate needs. I had a healthy breakfast with orange juice and took my bipolar, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and other medications and vitamins. Then I sent a message to my sponsor (from when we used to meet over a year ago) and two leaders of my current Christian 12 step recovery group. I asked them what they would tell a person who went back to their, drug, alcohol, food, porn or temper snd totally damaged and destroyed relationships, disgraced themselves and made a mess of their lives. (More about that later). I spoke with my therapist on the phone, who said, not for the first time, that I need more than counseling once a week. I need a DBT group. (Google dialectical behavioral therapy). I called the number and got my name put on a waiting list. Last week I fired my therapist but fortunately she had not canceled all of my appointments as I told her to do. I will meet with her next week.

SECOND: A CLEAN HOUSE

In my second step, I decided to tackle one small area of my life: cleaning up my house. My entire house looked like it had been hit by a tornado. It is a symbol of the chaos in my life right now. I decided to start, one step at a time, in the kitchen. I just took action and started. I began in one small corner of my kitchen and kept at it until it was clean. I washed all of the dishes, pots and pans that were piled in my sink, on my kitchen counter, on my stove and yes even on my kitchen table. I washed, dried and put away a load of dishes over and over again for what seemed like an hour. I pulled out all my appliances and cleaned behind them and really got everything cleaned out. Today I need to really clean up my life in the same way.

THIRD MY SPONSORS:

This is the advice from my former CR sponsor and the two leaders of my CR group. They gave me wise and godly counsel.

Pray. Ask God to help you to make the changes that you know you need to make. Today make the decision to ask for forgiveness, to state that you want to start fresh with a loving and

1/2 That you are not alone on making the mistake of falling down. That there is no shame in those who are in Christ Jesus. That everyone falls and makes 2/2 mistakes and blows it and screws things up. The only way to really fail it to stop trying. Are you ready to give it a go again?

It’s never too late to reach out for help and get your life back into recovery. God loves you and is waiting with open arms.

I am going to follow the advice of my sponsors.

FOURTH: STEP 8

Step 8 in AA and CR is to make amends where possible, unless to do so would be harmful to others. Do my next step is to go with step 8 and make amends to all of the people I have harmed. I need to confess my sin to God, my husband, my sons, my family, my friends, my church and everyone on Facebook. That is what I am doing now. Coming back to God Starting over. Confessing my sins.

FIFTH:SPEND TIME WITH GOD

I need to pray- really pray. I need to confess and repent of my sins, pray for myself and pray for all the people I have hurt, all the relationships I have damaged and destroyed, all the harm I have caused myself and others. I need to ask God to forgive me, as I pray Psalms 51 to my Father, Savior, Shepherd, Redeemer, Friend, Rock, Fortress, Mighty God, Holy Spirit, Comforter and Friend. Then I need to spend time studying all the scriptures I can on God’s grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. I have read many Bible verses about my addiction. I know how wicked, evil and terrible it is. Today I need to comfort myself.

SIX: CONTINUE ON:

I need to spend time playing games with my son, even though he trounces me no matter what game we play. Sometimes we need to stop, let the housework slide, and spend time with the people we love while we still can. After that I can take our dogs out, get some fresh air, clean the living room, feed the dogs, cook dinner for my husband and son, and continue on.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

Dear God,

In one day I made a total mess. I completely blew it. I disgraced myself, hurt my husband, hurt the people I loved, damaged and destroyed relationships, with my terrible, violent temper. I was so filled with fury anger, rage, wickedness and evil. Please forgive me Lord. Purge me with hyssop, blot out my iniquities, cleanse me from all of my sins and help me to start over again. Please help those I have hurt to forgive me and give me yet another chance. Help me to gain victory over my terrible temper. Help me to control my tongue, my words, and my actions. Thank you for those who prayed for me even when I told them not to. Thank you for those who reached out to me in gentleness, kindness and love. Thank you especially for Dawn who called me, comforted me in my pain, prayed with me and for me. Thank you for Mary and all the time she spent with me texting back and forth. Thank you for others who reached out to me with love. Thank you for your compassion, mercy, love, and forgiveness. Thank you Jesus. In your holy name I pray. Amen.

Dear Reader:

I was so angry last night I really wanted to kill myself. I was conviced that everyone hated me and wanted to be rid of me. I was convinced that I had ruined my life, that I was a failure, that I could never be the good person I wanted to be, that everyone would be so much better off without me, and that there was no hope. I was convinced that I would never be happy again. But I was wrong. I woke my husband up and he talked me out of taking a bottle of aspirin, as I had done many years ago. Are you here? Do you want to give up and end your life? Please, talk to a friend, a family member, a loved one. Talk to God. Pour out your heart to God. And then, after that call the phone number below. If you have to wait on hold, then wait on hold- please do not make a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Please call this number. Talk to them. Don’t hang up on them. Listen to what they have to say. Keep talking until you have said everything there is to say. And really, really listen.

SUICIDE HOTLINE

1-800-273-8255

And now, I will start reading the book I ordered months ago; the book that came in the mail two days ago on Saturday. I am in a spiritual battle and I will continue to fight on. I will read the book / Bible, and arm myself with the weapons my Mighty God has available for me to use.

SHOULD WE BOTHER PRAYING?

I sent the first lowing message to someone I do not know very well. I listened to her podcast this morning, and I wish surprised to find that I actually liked it.

WOW! You are quite the firecracker! I am not in the habit of listening to podcasts, I get20-30 emails every day, I have so many people that I need to pray for and I need all of my housework done before 11:00- today. I have so much scheduled after that. I told God I did not have time to listen to your podcast and I did not want to hear someone saying that my church- or the church- is terrible. God established the church “ Upon this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not”… can’t think of the word- “prevail upon it” but you are reaching out to help those who have been hurt by the church… those who have given up their faith and left the church.

I listened to your podcast and cried all the way through it…. because: 

A new friend’s nineteen year old son’s skull was shattered… night and day I prayed for this boy, night and day I sent messages to her telling her about my grandson whose skull was cracked from ear to ear with other cracks, who was not expected to live and he is healthy and doing well. I told her that with God all things were possible, told her to trust God that God could heal her son- this young boy died anyway. God chose not to heal him. 

My dear friend Kelly, my inspiration, my godly missionary friend who is far more valuable on this earth than I am has leukemia and was so upbeat, so positive, so strong in her faith… once again, for a year now I have prayed for her morning, noon and night. God healed me of my breast cancer but he has chosen not to heal Kelly. She has a few weeks or a few months to live and she is so sick, suffering..


A young woman in her thirties that She have never met needed a liver transplant but was too sick to get it. She was probably younger than my two daughters, she has friends and family members who dearly love her. we prayed, and she died anyway. God chose not to heal her.

My family member has leukemia. He had to have all his teeth pulled out, he has undergone chemo, he is in the hospital this week having chemo and is having a bone marrow transplant on Friday. I wonder, should I bother to pray for him? Will it help? Because God is going to do what He is going to do anyway, and no prayer of mine is going to change that, right.?

I keep very very busy and I pray for others hoping for the best, fearing the worst, but I continue praying and I tell myself God is good, He does love us and He has a divine purpose for our life and a divine purpose for our death…

So at 6:00 am this morning I took time out of my busy day, listened to your podcast, cried, and now I am going to listen to it a second time… and I will cry some more… I give permission to myself to feel the pain and sorrow, to be sad, and to cry. I just cannot wallow in it and stay stuck there.

I do not know how to listen to your podcast every day or I would try to. I have never used I heart radio or anything else on your list.

Everything you said about Jesus is100% doctrinally correct but I believe God commands us to gather with other believers for fellowship, to sing, pray, hear God’s Word preached and taught in order to grow closer to God and to each other. I know it is not a Bible verse but

“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.”

Dear God,

Please comfort those families who are filled with heartbreak, pain and sorrow. Lord please heal my family member. Lord please forgive my doubts and my unbelief. May something I said somehow be a blessing to someone today. Lord help those who have given up their faith and their church to be drawn back close to you and to others. Lord please help me. I am really, really tired. I am discouraged. I am filled with sadness and grief. In Jesus name I pray, amen


your friend,

Terri

https://willowbentleysmama.wordpress.com/2021/02/12/4654/

TERRI’S VERY LONG BLOG

I am drawn back to the 1970’s… when I was a teenager..,

I just spent an hour with one stupid person from weight watchers who tried to help me but had no idea what she was doing… my Weight Watchers membership was suddenly terminated… I spent an hour with this chick… only to find thst I could not renew my membership for six months for a payment of zero dollars because I did not have enough money in my bank… I have $10.00; she originally tried to sign me up for three months for $15 a month, I have a lot less in the bank than I thought I had- I have almost $15.00 in the bank, but not quite, so after spending almost an hour with this girl trying to guide me, with great difficulty into what turned to be a long and complicated process… only to give up because I did not have the $15.00 they would not even let me sign up for the one with the zero payment. She said I could try again later so I said no thank you and hung up on her.

Prior to this I spent almost an hour explaining to this stupid condescending woman that yes I am interested in the Bible, in prayer, and building a strong marriage but why no I still can not sign up for one more group. After listing all the groups I am in and all the groups I had to give up and after explaining how I spend my days, nights and weekends and asking her AGAIN to remove me for her email list and forwarding the email to leaders from the groups I am in now, and the groups which I had to give up.

Prior to this, this morning I was asked to pray because I was told yet again that someone young had died. She has parents, family, friends, and my dear friends were her friends. She was very sick and needed a transplant but was too sick to get one.. I am guessing this girl was in her thirties and younger than both of my own two daughters. I sat and cried, wrote to my two friends and their Dad, called my mother in law and talked to her for a while.

I tried to talk to my husband after all of these stressful things, but he was in a remote part of the state up north and could not hear me. He told me to put in my earbuds but I could not do that. My phone was almost dead and I had to leave it in the charger. I never hang up on my husband but I hung up on him, texted him and told him I was having a bad day and I was too angry to deal with him telling me he can’t hear me.

I put Bentley on a leash but it was freezing cold abd windy so after 15 minutes of fast walking we all went inside. I poured myself a glass of water from my water pitcher and went to wash the pitcher. The filter was filthy- I won’t tell you how long it has been since it has been changed. It is not a little Brita water pitcher it is a bigger better Zero watcher pitcher with bigger, better and expensive water filters.

I turned off the light and closed the curtains. I lit three scented candles that do not work. I turned on Pandora which also did not work- they are doing maintenance. Chick tried to tell me how to make our radio work but neither one of us knew why the radio would not work.

I have been up since 4:30 am but I do not want to take a nap. It is 3:30 pm and I have so much I wanted to do today! I want to smash things! I want to scream and yell and chew someone out!!!

Andrew came out of his room and had me turn on my phone and sign up for free accuradio.com And now, I am sitting back, listening to easy listening music from the 1960’s’s music in the dark, with candlelight, sitting back in my comfy sofa, breathing slowly, relaxing, feeling peaceful, enjoying the music and coloring in my coloring book which is not quite full… feeling happy and peaceful..,

This took me back to the 1970’s with my big brother Dave’s dark room, purple light, incense, great music and soft comfy chair that I could just sink in when I was stressed out or angry as a teenager…

I grabbed my computer intending to work on my notes for my book- and fill it with my sounds, smells, sights, smells, feelings, and emotions… but guess what- my computer isn’t working… it will not load… so back to my good music, candlelight, coloring, and sinking back into my comfy couch… and now maybe I will lie down on the couch and let myself relax and fall into a peaceful sleep…,

I’m so tempted to ignore all the typo’s and not spend 30-60 minutes editing…. I will correct my spelling errors but please don’t judge me for the errors I have missed…

❤️Terri

About a year ago our sweet Cricket went to Rainbow heaven….

TIME

SHOCKING WASTE OF TIME

I am going to write this blog in 5 minutes- timer set- go. My son Andrew the computer genius showed me how to go to my settings, set up what is called screen time, in order to view how long I spend on my phone. My average iphone time is three hours and 47 minutes! minutes! And it is only 8:30 in the morning! This is my second day to view my screen time! How can this be?

I’M STUCK IN THE PAST

Can you guess what I spend most of my time on? No, it is not Facebook, Twitter or Instagram- it is photos! I spent two hours last night looking at photos I have saved over the years. How sad that so many people have died, moved away, or have left our church. WOW! My four minute warning just went off… time really is short! [update: I spent 2 hours writing and editing this blog.]

MY ADVICE TO YOU

Go to the settings on your electronic device. Click on Screen times. Set it up to log you on each app that you use and give you a total time used each day. In two days my daily average was 2 hours 30 minutes! Hope Writers encouraged me to turn off all of my notifications in settings. I deleted 95% of them and 100% of my social media notifications. Turn off your electronic device and tv for an hour, two hours, a day, a week… and do the thing you used to enjoy doing before you became addicted to your device or tv. Go for a walk, and if it’s cold outside bundle up! There’s snow? Put on your boots, bundle up and make a snowman!

MY DAILY MINUTES OF BIBLE READING

I haven’t read my Bible app yet; I love to read and hear the narrator read the Bible to me. I read the Bible every morning and every evening snd still it will be a shock to see how little time I spend in prayer and in reading the Bible. It is a shock to see how much time I spend writing blogs, emails and FaceBook posts… I have been editing this little blog for an hour.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

MY PRAYER

Please help me to turn off my iPhone. Life is so short- it is truly like a vapor. I am going to be sixty years old. It seems like yesterday that I was a teenager, living with my family, with both parents alive and healthy… and then married with children of my own.. Please inspire me to spend more time with you Lord, and in prayer for others. I want to spend time with my animals and with the people I love, especially my son who is only here for one more week. Please God, encourage me to pick up my phone and call those who are lonely, discouraged, sick or hurting. Give me the energy I need to clean my house today and cook a nice dinner for Chuck and Andrew. Help me and Chuck to get outside today snd go for our one mile walk. I thank you Lord that you have given me another day of life. You have healed me from breast cancer for the second time. You have helped me to improve with my kidney disease. Thank you Jesus. In Your holy name I pray, amen.

Hard to believe… seven years ago…

DO YOU EVER FEEL WORTHLESS?

Sometimes I have a warped sense of my value. Perhaps it is from being abused as a child, and as a wife and becoming abusive myself. Maybe it is because my children suffered because of me. Maybe it is because of all the mistakes of my past and all of my damaged and broken relationships. But I sometimes feel like God loves others more than he loves me. I feel like other people are more valuable than I am.

NOT MANY PEOPLE READ MY BLOGS

I write a blog and now, after four years of writing this blog I have 300* readers but that does not mean I have three hundred people reading my blog. I write a blog to comfort, encourage and inspire others and lead them to Jesus. I hope my blog brings glory to God but I have never had one person say- thank you, I gave my life to Jesus today because of you. Never. Not once in four years of writing.

I AM LOVED BY MANY PEOPLE AND TWO DOGS

I write to those who are hurting because so often I am hurting. I am saved, I love Jesus, I have a great husband and two dogs who adore me. I have family, a church family and friends who love me because they are good, not because I am good.

I AM A MESSED UP PERSON

I struggle with bipolar depression, anger, anxiety and I have tried to kill myself numerous times. By God’s grace it has been over six years since I took 50 Tylenol. My dear friend Kelly Cook has only weeks or months to live. She has leukemia. I am in remission from breast cancer and she is dying. Why did God let me live? I wrote about that in a previous blog. I feel like Kelly, as a missionary who has led so many people to the Lord would have more value than I have. God should love her more than He loves me.

THE TRUTH ABOUT VALUE AND WORTH

The truth is, no matter how bad your kids are, you still love them because they are your kids. You love them no matter what they say, what they do or how many times they hurt you. You correct them, rebuke them, discipline them and you punish them but you never stop loving them.

GOD LOVES ALL OF US

So no matter what we say, what terrible things we have done and the terrible things we continue to do, God loves us. He wants to adopt each one of us and pour out his blessings and love on all of us. That does not mean we do not have really hard, painful times in our life, but it does mean that He loves us. I read the quote below and decided to write this blog.

You can never do anything to make God love you less and you can never do anything to make God love you more.

“But God demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

WHAT I LIKE TO DO IN THE SNOW

Normally I would say I would love to sit in front of a nice warm fire, sip my hot cocoa, or play on my iPhone. I do not ski, go sledding, ride a snowmobile or ice skate.

But a few weeks before my 60th birthday, I am still changing and evolving. We had a couple feet of snow in Wayland ( I think it was three feet in our front yard. ) We have two dogs, one of them is a little doxie so my husband gets a snowblower out and makes a path for the dogs in a giant loop, bisecting it lengthwise and crosswise. I love to go out and walk for twenty minutes; it is so beautiful.

In a few weeks to celebrate my remission from cancer and my 60th birthday in early March, my husband and I are driving to Northern Michigan to the UP. The Upper peninsula is known for it’s numerous waterfalls and beautiful scenery. There is a gorge with a river and beautiful waterfall that is referred to as the Grand Canyon of Michigan. We are going to those waterfall as well as two other beautiful waterfalls. The snowy scenery will look amazing in the UP. I am waking through the foot and a half to two feet in our yard for preparation, and it is slow and hard but really great exercise. We are told there are a lot of hikers, and the trails are not deep snow, but just in case….

OBSERVANT

This is the word from our five minute Friday group. My first thought was- what a big word. I have got nothing, nothing at all. I am not observant.

When we drive down the street my husband sees everything, as though he was a fish, with eyes on the side of his head. He sees every hawk, eagle, deer and cat. He sees every hot air balloon unusual clouds in the sky or the features of some old house.

I am emotionally observant. I notice people who are hurting, grieving, or heartbroken because I have often been hurting, grieving and heartbroken myself, I try to send a caring message, text, email or card. I call them. I pray for that person. So in my own way, I guess I really am observant.

God wants us to be observant of our own heart, thoughts, emotions, feelings, motives and actions. He tells us to guard our hearts. He tells us to observe- to be sober, and vigilant because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to destroy us, our families, our homes and our churches. He tells us to observe the birds snd the flowers. As he cares for the birds and the flowers, God cares for us. Observe the birds around you, the flowers, the trees and other things God cares for.

“Keep watching and praying that you enter not into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Matthew 26:41

Dear God,

Help us to use our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and feeling to be more observant of things around us, of others, snd of ourselves. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

FAITH OR FOOLISHNESS

You quit your job to write a book- you have never written a book before. Is that faith or foolishness?

You quit your job in order to go back to school: dancing school, art school, piano school, or Bible college. Is that faith, or foolishness?

You feel God calling you to be a missionary. You travel all over the country. Speak to churches, raise your financial support, leave your home, your family, your church and your friends snd you move to Africa, China, Russia? Or some other far away country. Is that faith or foolishness?

Before you answer that question, or a similar question read Hebrews chapter 11 in the Bible. Before any major life changing decision, don’t just follow your impulse or your feelings. it is a good idea to go to God’s Word, pray, ask God for wisdom, talk to your spouse about ir and maybe even seek godly advice from your Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or other wise and godly friend. Don’t totally ignore that impulse either- God may be calling you to do something everyone else thinks is foolish. If your spouse is opposed you must decide which is more important; following your dream or keepingn that spouse happy, peaceful and feeling loved. If you pray about it, God can change your spouse’s mind- if you are truly making the right decision.,.. you may have to wait, pray, and prepare yourself before following your dream. You have to decide; is this faith, or foolishness?

Lord, please give us wisdom, guidance, courage and faith. Help us to discern whether or not that longing or urge is coming from the Holy Spirit, or our own desire. Help us to pray, seek your will, seek godly advice and seek agreement and unity with our spouse. If the desire is truly from you, we ask that you would help our spouse to be wise, encouraging and supportive. In Jesus name we pray, amen.