Thursday, December 22, 2011

Men, Shopping, and Check-out Lines

The men are out. I mean in the stores. You know, shopping. I know this because I went shopping myself today which was relatively stupid and hazardous. Men shop differently than women do. I overheard one conversation between a man and probably his ex-wife on the telephone. The man wanted to know what to get the kids and he was a bit impatient. "What do you mean by coloring stuff? What is coloring stuff anyway?"  and "It's not like it's early or anything. There isn't much left. Just tell me something I can grab." I observed one man grabbing several pillow pets telling his friend, "These will work. Who doesn't want a pillow?" Still others were grabbing perfume sets, bath sets, and scarves. And I mean grabbing. I know I am stereotyping but I didn't see a whole lot of time and care taken. They were men on a mission. For some reason seeing them brightened my day. I know most men don't love shopping and most women do.  I say most because I hate shopping and I have met men who love it. But what I love is that they do it anyway. It may be annoying and they may hate it and for all I know what they bought might have been inappropriate or wonderful,  hard to say, but they do it. I still remember the snow cone maker that Bill got me. Totally not my idea of a gift and I let him know it but to this day it stands out and it is a memory. It is only when we give nothing that we receive nothing. A memory of a dad or husband trying is better than a memory of a dad or husband giving up or not caring. So it was good to see all those men in the stores. And all of the women. And I don't mind that every person ahead of me in line had an item that would not ring up...or that it took forever to find out how to ring up a bath scrubby thing...or that I spent almost as much time in line as I did in the store. I don't mind because I think it's the checker who is going to go crazy. He had to stay and I got to leave. Merry last few days of shopping to all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Hallmark Redemption

I live in a house with three other adult women and it is amazing that nobody has been arrested for assault as of yet. We all have quirks and drive each other completely crazy and Thanksgiving was no exception. Thursday went great. We decorated the house, ate pretty good food, and watched cheesy parades, Christmas specials, and a little football. It was a holiday so we treated each other well. But it was a long weekend and soon we started driving each other crazy. And I think I am probably the most crazy of all. It's like all of those cheesy holiday movies. You they are all, in one way or another about redemption. You may be watching it for the cheesy love story but there is always a good dose of redemption in all of the good ones. That is because we are all so full of hunger and longing for redemption. When I met Jesus I was completely redeemed...and nothing will change that. But I am still in need of and long for redemption...Just like how as the weekend got longer we found ourselves finding it more difficult to be kind to each other. How we are all bound up in this living of our lives as redeemed in a world that is not. For example,  I struggle to get over the rid myself of habits I know are wrong. There are events in my life that still don't make sense and people I am still working to forgive. I fight this fog of sorrow that surrounds me...knowing that I should have the joy of the Lord... I need redemption...from the habits that plague my life...from the sin that so easily weighs me down...from past sorrows I need to forgive...for  my lack of trust in what God has for me and my disappointment that the plans I had made for my life will never be. And my kids are no different. They need and long for their own redemption...because life never gets tied up as neatly as a Hallmark movie...but that is why I love those movies. They give me hope and remind me that God Himself will wipe away all of the tears from my eyes one day and I will rest in the place He has prepared especially for me. Until that day it is a struggle...there are moments of joy and times of intense sorrow...but God is present with me. There are moments, when living  in a household consisting of four adult women that I long for escape and think that I am the only sane person in the house...only to realize that it is me that is not only part of the problem, but most of it. God always puts us in the best situation for redemption and this is where He has me. Soon we will be adding a baby to the mix and I can only imagine the lessons we will all learn! Redemption is both a one time deal and a lifetime learning experience. I just sometimes wish my life would more resemble a cheesy Christmas movie and not a string of energizer bunny struggles that just keep going and going and going. But there is coming a day...soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giving my all...and then some

I have been thinking alot about this past weeks sermon. As has happened quite frequently lately there was much in it that God wanted to speak to me about. Pastor Sean talked about giving our all and then some, how good enough is never good enough and half efforts end in death. Sometimes I "do" a lot but still don't give my all. This past period of time in my life has been hard, disappointing, difficult to reconcile with what I wanted for my life. Sometimes hard to see God in. God has tested me in the deepest parts of my life, tested whether I honestly believe that He is enough, tested me to see if I will trust Him, even with all of my regrets. And to be honest, it's been hard. Sometimes the stuff I do is because I have no idea what I would do or who I would be if I wasn't busy. It isn't that I don't want or love serving God. I do love it. But I have noticed that there have been times lately when I am irritable, when I am so weighed down with what I have done wrong in my life that I cannot see beyond that. When I am so full of regrets that I cannot enjoy the present or see God in it. There are parts of my life that I cannot see any good resulting from and parts that I struggle to trust God to make a difference in. And that is where I am not giving my all and then some. I can "do" lots of things but God cares more about relationship than all of the stuff I do or anything I can give Him. In the "doing" of serving God all is well, in the "doing" part of relationship - praying, reading the Word, all is well, but I need to start giving my all in the "trusting," in the believing that He will take all of the disappointments, all of the sorrow, all of my regrets, all of my failures...that He will make them part of the beauty He is creating out of us who call on His name. I love Him so much. I want to give all of my all and then some, and then more besides.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Road

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

"Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." Thessalonians 2:8
I have been a bit discouraged of late. I so long to see people catch the vision and reality that we were born to serve the Lord and to connect people to Him. I long to see people saved and lining up to come to church, serve their neighbors, and love those around them. I am so spoiled. I get to serve God in the best possible place and work for the best possible people. I am of all people most blessed and so much of the time I am so caught up in my "life" that I fail to appreciate it. Today as I was in the car I felt suddenly moved to turn the radio off and concentrate on praying for everyone who came to mind. And it hit me as it so often does when I quiet the Cyndi and listen to God that I need to much more constantly and with much more urgency than I have been. I have felt the urgency of late, felt the deep longing for others to see the God I love and serve, but I have still been living life in the normal. I can't do  the same things all of the time and expect different results. I have to get more serious, allow the Holy Spirit more access to my schedule, allow myself to be moved, and be open to any change. I have allowed myself to think small; I have not believed that God will make a way in this wasteland of life. I often believe I have given my life but there is so much of my "life" that I cling to and keep. I have allowed myself to believe in being "good enough" when God wants greater. I so long for all of you to know that God is the most important relationship in your life and that His work is the greatest work that You will ever do. I hope this urgency grows in me. I hope it is not some passing moment. I do not want to be content to live my life as I always have but to love more, give more,  serve more, and grow more in Him. I want to live my life every day expecting that people are going to come to Christ, what I do will make a difference, and that God never stops saving and growing His people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Twitter Venting

There is so much I miss about my husband that if I would have been asked to make a list would not have come to mind. Besides strong hugs (if I hug you a little too hard when I see you please don't run away!), I miss venting. I miss how Bill listened to me, all those little things that nobody else (trust me) wants to hear. There are many things that I just don't want to talk to my kids about (half the time I am venting about them). I know I can tell God (and I do) but I miss the human interaction. I tried twittering my frustrations but that has its problems. I thought it was safe since most people I know don't twitter, but my boss does and since I am mostly either frustrated about my kids or it is work related (I have very little life), that didn't work very well. And it didn't have that human interaction thing going very well either. I knew Facebook would not work. I mean, most of what I vent is just that, venting. It is usually my problem or isn't meant to be public. I mean, when Bill came home from work I would just hit him with all of the stuff that went on in the day and all of the stuff that was bugging me or I was struggling with. All those things nobody wants to hear. But he would listen. It used to bug me that he had no answers. But he listened. And I listened to him. And I miss that. I tell God everything and I know He loves me and He listens. But today I thanked Him for a husband who listened to me vent. If you have someone who listens to you when you are upset or struggling or have just had a bad day tell them thank you. I wish I had.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meditations and Thoughts

On Monday, while I was praying before leaving for the day, I thought of the verse from Psalm 19, verse 14 , "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable Oh Lord." I thought God was reminding me to be careful when I speak, something which I am trying to learn but still need to work on, so I put it into my prayer. God often uses speaking His Word aloud to get my attention. This time, as I spoke those words I realized it was the second part that God wanted to speak into my life. You see, I often let my heart and mind dwell on past hurts and offenses, frustrations, trials that I am going through, and other negativity. As I spoke the words aloud they hit me like a ton of bricks and they have been my meditation all week. You see, I don't think I move forward very well or grow as I should when I am negative. I don't think it much matters how much I read my Bible or pray or fast or do great works if my mind dwells on the past and on the negative. As God often does I have been tested in my resolve to put this Word into practice. The negatives of life have attacked and I have been sorely tempted to sink into them but I will not. I will not. When I feel myself slipping I repent and pray about whatever is causing me to want to sink. I picture God being powerful in situations that I feel are hopeless. I believe that He is changing lives that I feel will never change. There is a power in our thoughts that I have been guilty of minimizing. Our thoughts can  strengthen our image our relationship with and our image of or they can diminish them. It is our choice what we dwell on. Let us choose that which is acceptable to God and life-giving to us.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Random Thoughts

Sometimes my mind runs so fast and with so many subjects that it is hard to focus on just one. This post is just a mental download of thoughts that have been streaming through my head of late. They reflect my recent experiences and are a picture of what God does with all the stuff that happens with us each week. What has been running through your mind? These are some of the things that have been running through mine.
·       I love my girls, each one, ones that are mine by birth and the ones God gave me as gifts. I struggle in my prayers for them, knowing that if they do not seek God alone they will be enormously disappointed by life but so wanting them to skip pain and struggle and heartache. I want them to get what God wants them to get without having to go through the lessons. Not possible, I know.

·       Lately I have been wondering where the good in certain things are. God promises us that good will come out of all the stuff we have gone through if we are His and I have been pondering that. Some things don’t seem as though they can contain good or bring it.

·       Sushi is so much more than raw fish. I liked it and am already trying to figure out how I can get out for some more. Not something my girls will be into that is for certain.

·       I read today that 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. 50% are so discouraged they want to leave the ministry. 80% believe that ministry negatively affects their family. I pray multiple times daily for the pastor’s at my church. As you pray for your pastor, make sure you are in the battle with him and that you are for him.

·       Housework has taken last place on my to-do list for awhile. So glad my girls have taken up the slack.

·       Why is it that the change of seasons makes me feel like I need to buy new clothes? Or preferably a new purse?

·       Speaking of the change of seasons, I am dreading having to build fires in the woodstove. I was never good at it.

·       I want so much to do what God wants and every day I start out thinking that today I will get it right; my flesh will not creep in, I won’t eat too much, criticize, call myself names, feel sorry for myself…and then…oh well – the righteous fail and get right back up and so will I.

·       I will never ever not need God’s mercy.

·       Even when I get it right my motives are often self-seeking and prideful. Which shows me how seldom I get anything completely right. God has to use my imperfect offerings because I so seldom offer Him anything else.

·       Inspiration comes from the most unusual places. I got lost in a mall (I know that sounds crazy) this week and it has inspired me to see the lost in a whole new way. I have been praying more and asking God how I can better represent Him. Almost everyone you see is lost. Being lost is scary. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and his chosen vehicle is me. Have known that but seeing it more clearly.

·       Want to love more and love better. Especially at home. Especially at church. Especially the ones that are hard to love. Especially when I am with unbelievers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tire Story

I haven't posted in awhile but trust me, I have been in such a place you would not want to have heard from me. But today was a red letter day. I knew things were looking up when I had a visit from my favorite kids at the office. They always lift my spirits! A trip to Leavenworth the day before had also brightened my mood. That joy was temporarily threatened when I went out to my car and noticed that my tire was low. Now, don't laugh at me! I know it's a small thing but I have never put air in my tires! Thats right, NEVER! This one tire has been getting low about every five days and I have been sending my kids and anyone around to go and air it up. I know I need to visit Les Schwab but have put it off. When I saw the tire today I knew I was in trouble. No kids around. No time to visit Les Schwab until Friday. I knew that it was up to me. So I dug up quarters, went to the gas station, got down on the ground, and aired up that tire. Felt pretty good! You see, it is those small things like airing up the tire that make me feel most abandoned since Bill has died. Now, my kids have been fabulous at helping me with all of the things that I have never done. But it is those very things that you don't know how to do that make you feel alone and I have spent a week feeling alone and abandoned. There is something about having a week of nothing but struggle and no one to share it with. A week of feeling crazy and mad for no good reason. A week of air being out of tires, and ants that won't go away, and making my children miserable. A week  of feeling old and like my life is all behind me. A week of feeling like I have lost the voice of God and it will never return. I won't pretend that I am all better. I am still feeling shaky and on the verge of losing it but in the past couple days it has definitely been better. God was with me today and we aired up my tire!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So I was going to totally ignore it. It is the second time and so I should be used to it. I was determined to not think about it and not let it phase me. My anniversary. Of course, when you decide to ignore something it is impossible. I was feeling sad and lots of other conflicting feelings. Like He always is, God was there. Sometimes I like to wallow and feel sorry for myself. There, I admitted it, which does not make it any better. I confessed it to God the other night and told Him I was going to refuse to go to that wallowing place anymore. It is not God honoring and it is a horrible witness when He is so good to me. But then my anniversary happened. And I started to be sad. But God helped me. First there was breakfast with Karly. At the office I was tempted by sadness. You can feel a bit alone in there. But then  God sent Debbie, and Noah and Lillie to bring sunshine to my day. How can you be sad when they visit you? And then Betty and Teresa stopped by just to visit. And then I went to a fabulous movie with my kids. I got very little done. And I had some sad thoughts. And my mood wasn't the best. But I did not wallow. And I am so grateful. Thank you God!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Project Runway

I love the show Project Runway. It totally fascinates me. Like last night. They went to a pet supply store and had to create clothing out of pet supplies; trying not to use fabric from things like doggy outfits and dog beds etc. In otherwords, take something that is to be used for one thing and use it for something entirely different. Taking most of the designers out of their comfort zone. Some of my most profitable times with God have been when God takes me out of my comfort zone. Now, there are times it is a disaster; like when I try to do anything artistic. Lets face it, I don't even move furniture around or hang pictures on the walls. But there have been days that God has called me to be creative with varying degrees of success lol. He teaches me to rely on Him outside of my comfortable box. To be honest my comfort zone is not all that comfortable. I am not a people person and often shrink from forming relationships. But that is not comfortable. Often, it is just lonely. So I force myself into situations that would not be my choice and find the peace of God for He never meant us to live in isolation. You see our comfort zone is not necessarily the place God made us to dwell in. If it were the Children of Israel would never have made it to the promised land, Abraham would have stayed put, and Jesus would never have left heaven. My calling and yours is to connect people to God and help them grow in that relationship. While we operate in different ways to fulfill this calling I can guarantee that this calling will take each of us out of our comfort zone and push us to operate both in our giftings and outside of them, both in our comfortable spot and outside of it. God always puts us in a place where we have to rely on Him to accomplish what only He can within the context of the life He has given us. Because only the Spirit of God can draw a sinner to God. We are His instruments chosen to say yes to Him in the context of the opportunities He presents to us. Just like on last nights Project Runway a designer way able to make a dress out of birdseed our God is able to take us outside of the box we live in and use us to bring life. Pretty amazing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Would Jesus have Read Twilight?

Don't you love the title? Nice and provocative; the type of discussion that could end friendships, place people in "camps" or "sides;" make all of us judge each other. I can only sort of answer the question here. I tend to think that most 30 something males don't read Twilight. Just a guess. But what this question means to me is, "Is it right for a Christian to read Twilight?" and that question I will not answer simply because it divides, judges, and is incredibly small. I may have an opinion;  in fact I do; actually I have an opinion on most everything. But my opinion is not important. As far as I know there is no hidden verse in the Bible that elevates my opinion to any great importance. What is important to me is how believers, myself included, make decisions. The Word of God says that "whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31) I think that most all of our decisions matter. My mind has been focused on a question this week that is related to this. Can God tell me no? I mean I know He can, but would I hear Him if He did? Do I think my own opinion is of such great worth that I trust it? Do I think that because I read my Bible daily that I can trust what I think? Sometimes I trivialize praying about things. I believe too often that if what I am about to do is good or God honoring I can skip the asking part. I can't. Sometimes a good thing isn't the best thing to do right now or maybe it is not mine to do right now. And then there are the other decisions we make, what to read, watch, see, do; those "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." (Prov. 18:1).  When we isolate ourselves from seeking what God thinks about our actions we do not have sound judgment. It may not seem to make a big difference in our lives but any decision that is not God honoring takes us a little further away from God. This post is meant to be about decision making, not about Twilight or any other book or movie out there. I used the analogy because I was recently asked the question and have been pondering the topic ever since. Do you allow God into all of your decision making or just the Spiritual ones or the ones you don't care so much about? Have you forgotten lately to ask God about what He thinks you should be doing? Can God tell you no? Would you actually hear Him? Those are the questions I have been asking myself lately and the answers are already changing what I am asking Him and I am taking a little more space to hear God before I act. I am glad I was asked the question. Even if I won't answer it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another Life Challenge

  “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,
that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things-things known from long ago." Acts 15:16

While reading this verse this morning I thought of the time of life I have been going through. Some of you may know and some of you may not but I am going to be a Grandma. It is not coming the way I would have chosen and I am being challenged once again in how I walk this walk with Christ that I am on. I love my daughter deeply and my heart hurts for her. But I am finding that my heart hurts for me and I am learning just how full of pride I am and I hate it. You start out this walk and you want everything to go perfectly. You think that you will make all these good choices and that you will love your children and be there for them and God will honor it and it will all go well.

Of course, that is only what you think will happen. The truth is that you will love them so much it hurts but you also will make so many mistakes that you will wonder how God can honor your efforts. They will push your buttons and you will get angry with them and say the wrong things and then wonder how you will make it. But you still think that they will watch you love and serve God. You think that because you gave them boundaries and you gave them fun that it will be enough. You think that because they asked Jesus into their hearts at camp or church when they are young that it is enough. You think that because you prayed for them and with them and took them to church every time the door was open it will keep them from wandering and it will be enough.  But it isn't always. You can't make your children go the way you want them to and make the decisions you want them to and the time comes far too soon when you cannot even protect and discipline them.

My Melody has gone through a lot in her few years and she bears a few of lifes scars. She came to a point where she told me she wasn't sure where she was with God and it is in that uncertain place that she got into trouble. It is hard to watch your child struggle and I have prayed and fasted much this past year for my girl. Getting pregnant was and is a hard thing to walk through, for her and for our family. We are learning who we are as believers. I have to be honest. This, combined with some other stuff has made me question so much of my life. I have felt like a failure and also like I lost the favor of God. I have struggled with pride, always wanting my life to reflect my committment to God I have been sure that I have let God down and like I have let all of those around me down. Now, I know all of the right answers to that way of thinking. I have spoken them. But it is easier to speak truth than to walk through that truth.

We are walking through this together, as a family, as we should. We are learning our way through something most of us never thought would happen to us. I am ashamed at all of the things that I foolishly thought would only happen to other people. Pride again. Melody is doing better with God but she and I covet your prayers. It is not an easy road. I am feeling exhausted and sad instead of excitement and I know that Melody is uncertain and afraid of the road that lies ahead. I asked Melody if I could write this and she graciously allowed it. For whatever reason writing helps me make sense of my life and I could use some sense at this moment. Please pray for us when you think about us. Pray that God will give me wisdom as I speak to my daughter and walk through this. Pray that God will reveal Himself to Melody in a way that makes sense to her so that she will lean upon Him. Pray that  He will give us rest and peace and joy in the midst of this challenge. Pray that God will use this for His glory. Pray that God will bring life out of what the enemy thinks of as ruin. I am so thankful to serve the God that rebuilds that which is torn and repairs that which is broken.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Trip to the Mall

By nature I am a glass half empty kind of person. I don't mean to be but for some reason I can find the dark cloud behind every silver lining. On Monday the office went on a field trip to the mall and it was very mind opening or expanding or whatever one should call it. I would have questioned whether one could learn much about the church or about walking with God from a simple trip to the mall but as often happens I would have been wrong. My glass half-empty mentality does not speak of faith nor does it draw people to God. Too often, on a Sunday morning I hide from people instead of welcoming them. On the very morning when I always get to have company at the house (house of God), I too often am moody, tired, or I just plain revert to my natural tendency to be an introvert. It is the morning when I most often feel the greatest sense of loss as well as shame. But I need to get past it because Jesus died and rose so I don't have to be bound by those feelings. I felt so challenged by that simple trip and went home and had a long talk with God about my attitude. Of course, then my computer at work crashed, catastrophically; not one of those minor crashes and I got caught up in some other stuff and down went my attitude. I feel like I have been challenged to walk by faith. I feel like I have been confronted with just how often I don't. I feel that little fear I sometimes get when I fear I won't ever get it right. Glass half-empty; that's me. I think I will try for glass only quarter-empty soon. And another trip to the mall, this time to actually shop!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Year

This past year since Bill's passing and the one before it have been very instructional for me. Instructional in a most uncomfortable way. There is a part of me that wants to say that it is good to be stripped of everything you know and are comfortable with and be faced with who you are without all those props but I can't say that. What I can say is that I still believe that God is good and I am not. I am even more sure that I am not good and in fact much of my outside facade was based on the comfortable props I had all around me. At this moment I feel very much out of control and in that feeling I am learning how very much I did like control and did feel in control of my existence. I would have told you and argued that it wasn't true, that I relished God's control of my life but it isn't true. I find myself wanting to control the lives of those around me, fearful that they will make a mistake and I will have to go through more loss. A little bit crazy I know. I am just now learning the painful process of letting go and watching others make mistakes without needing to rush in and try and make things better or right. I am also learning just how full of pride I am. I don't want to have my failures paraded in front of me and yet lately it seems that all I see is failure. My heart has felt so broken this year as I have reflected on the past and gone through some trials in the present and I have felt very much vulnerable and on the edge and I hate it. While I used to relish writing and putting out my thoughts and so called wisdom I have struggled with it of late. And that is good. It is hard to have your life turned upside down. It is painful to go through loss and see the ones you love make mistakes that you know will have consequences that they cannot fathom. It is hard to look back and see just how arrogant and prideful my life has been and how greatly God is working to get my attention. It is hard to love deeply and have it ripped away. This week marks the first year of life without Bill and it has been one of the most difficult years of my life. I have felt a sense of things being ripped away unfinished and it is hard and more time will need to pass before that changes. Our family is being tested and challenged and I covet your prayers. I came home today feeling weary of life, tired of being "okay" and so needing the peace of God. We will be moving this next week and I am praying that along with a new address that I will have a fresh peace in my heart. All I desire is to be pleasing to God and bring glory to Him. Right now that is not coming easily but I am trusting in Him who said that He will finish what He has begun in my life. I am trusting that His righteousness and mercy covers all of my failures. I am believing in Him who still answers prayer. I know the God that I believe in and I know that He is good and His mercy endures forever.

Friday, June 3, 2011

All that Matters

He is a mystery. He can’t be figured out, labeled, picked apart or contained. He can’t be analyzed, dissected, picked apart or completely known. We will never fully understand Him, His ways or His decisions. He is God. Bigger than my thoughts. Greater than my understanding. While my life feels like a train wreck, completely out of control, I know that’s untrue, it is completely in His hands. But in those times where everything feels like it has fallen apart and I feel like I cannot breathe it is hard to remember how He holds it all. It is hard to know that at times the greatest of blessings come from the fiercest of trials. I am trusting for the blessing but I am still living in the present. Faith and hope are built on the future. They are the things we believe in the middle of the storm. They are what we cling to in the fire of the present while we await the joy of the future. I hate these times when joy does not come easily and my heart feels broken. But it is in these times I look back. I was lost, alone and lonely. Jesus found me, loved me and saved me. And He will do it for you. I guess that is all that really matters.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Responding to great trial in a manner that is pleasing to God only can come by clinging more closely to God than the trial seems to weigh upon you. That is what I have been seeing the past couple weeks. Every time I have been tempted to want to give up or give in to discouragement I have instead been drawn back in to God. This has not happened by itself. Lately, in the flesh, I have desperately wanted to just quit or hide. It seems easier to try and avoid the problems by avoiding life. But each time I have come close, God has sent encouragement my way. Just this past Sunday my bosses gave me a gift and compared me to Anna, my favorite woman of the Bible. I don't even come close to being like her but just to have that comparison made  lifted my spirits and made me determined to walk through this time of my life. I am also very encouraged by gifts; it is part of how God made me. Their kindness was unexpected and at just the right time. This happens often with me. Of course it is my choice whether to take the encouragement or refuse it. There is a pleasure in self pity and in giving into emotional pain. Even writing that last sentence seems ridiculous but I know from experience it is true and that it is deadly. When I give into my circumstances I doubt the power of God and His wisdom. I conclude that I do not believe that He works all things to my good or worse, I do not care. I say in effect that I refuse to walk the path He has allowed (the paths we are on are not always His perfect will but He uses them still). When I am self-focused my prayers and actions lack power and while I may still believe in God and walk with Him I am of little use. Another encouragement for me has come through making a prayer list of the things I am most concerned about; the things that make me lose sleep and threaten my peace. I put checks when I see improvement in a situation and stars when there is an answer. It has only been a month but I am seeing lots of checks and one star already. As often is the case, there is one prayer concern that has no checks or stars but seeing the others makes me hopeful that they will come soon and keeps me persevering. I still feel shaky and often near the edge but am also encouraged by the faithfulness of God and by His nearness. I believe that "I will see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living" Psalm 27:13 and that God does not leave me alone or comfortless. He is good; He is alive; and He is able to meet us where we are at and answer our deepest needs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Feeling Cold

I am struggling. I am tired and weepy and am struggling to feel hopeful and that is not me. It isn't about God. More about me. I am second guessing so many decisions I have made; seeing so many mistakes and failures. It is hard right now to see the light and part of me feels like running away. Of course that is silly; where would I run to? Life cannot be avoided but is to be lived; its good parts as well as the bad. It is at times like these that I am glad I have developed life habits. I am glad that I go to the Word every day. I am glad that I have tried the Lord and found Him faithful. I am glad that I start and end each day with prayer and spend much of the middle praying also. I am glad that I have started to fast, in the past year, and that it is now established in my life. Recently I have started reciting truths and promises of God each day I am continuing for they help me see God.  For without the Lord I would totally lose heart. Without the Lord I would not feel convinced that I will pull through this space of time. But I know and believe that the Lord is good, that He answers prayer, that His will is never thwarted and that He is on my side.  I know that but I am not feeling it at the time. It is good to develop your relationship with God every day because in the day of darkness it is not something you can put on quickly. My mood has been like the weather of late and for the first time ever I am longing for summer. I am feeling cold and both my body and spirit long to be warm. God is good; all the time, this to shall pass.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I was thinking about Easter today. How easy it is to push to get so many things done that you forget. I took pause for a minute today and made a mental decision, Note to self - Rejoice! It is easy to forget the reason behind all of our activity. It is easy to let other stuff crowd out this most glorious time of our year. I felt myself feeling the push this week. Telling myself, just get through the day. Concentrate on your list. Get everything done. Forgetting the joy. Forgetting that I am set free. Forgetting that the resurrection of Christ is the most significant event that has happened in all of history! I pray that each of you gets a moment to pause and reflect this week. I pray that you all have notes to self that remind you to rejoice. I am excited to see what happens in our services on  Good Friday and Easter Sunday this week. I have watched the guys working hard and can't wait to see everything. As a church we have been praying and inviting and planning and now we will see what God does.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pray without Ceasing

Today I am filled with both excitement and trepidation. I am going to our churches ladies retreat in Leavenworth. First, the trepidation. Ladies retreats scare me. I have had some bad experiences on the very few I have been on. For years I avoided them. I have also never gone over the past in my adult life when there was a hint of snow on the road. Thankfully today there is just barely a hint but there is snow in places so I am nervous. When I was a teenager going to a snow camp I was in a wreck on the pass. I think that is where my fear may come from. All this to say I am feeling a bit stretched today. Stretching is usually a good think but it does bring with it some anxiety. I spent quite a bit of time on my knees last night casting that anxiety on the Lord and getting up feeling the wash of His peace over me. A friend of mine explained it well yesterday when she told me how she was praying for peace. She knew God was trying to give her peace but she wasn't accepting it too well. I kept feeling the same way so I kept at it and it took awhile but the peace came. For a moment. That is how peace is. It waves over you but you have to keep pursuing it. It is not a by-product of a single prayer but the by-product of ceaseless praying. Anxious thoughts invade. We pray for peace. Anxious thoughts return. We pray again. Praying without ceasing is a rhythm. See a need. Lift it up. A name flits into your head. Pray for them. You notice someone in your journeys. Pray for them and for why God made you notice. What else you might do. You are nervous about something, like I am about this retreat. You pray. You notice you need an attitude adjustment. You pray. You feel hurt and alone.You pray. You are happy. You prayerfully praise and thank God. You love your family. You pray for them. Rhythm. Ceaseless. God gave us prayer because He knew we would be lost without Him and that too much of our lives we cannot do on our own. He gave us prayer because He loves to be with us. He gave us prayer because He is the answer. Pray.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All Hat and No Cattle

Are you "all hat and no cattle?" I heard that on American Idol this week and it made me think about my life. Am I better at the "putting on" of Christianity than I am at the living it out?  Today Pastor Sean was talking about what God has called us to that would seem to be nonsense. That God calls the poor, the persecuted, the marginalized, the reviled, those who are "least"; He calls them blessed. He told us how all men struggle; some desire wealth, some live for their appetite, some long for the praise and approval of men, and some of us who are believers also struggle trying to keep our lives instead of losing them for Christ. I know that I could relate too well and found myself thinking about it this afternoon and hoping that on a daily basis I am putting on Christ and not religion. Often at night I kneel at my bed and I feel the frustration of my flesh and tell God about it. I promise to do better only to feel frustrated yet again at how short I fall. I am so thankful that God loved us while we were yet sinners and loves while we are yet clothed in our humanity. He loved us so much that He walked as one of us. For me that is a huge part of the story of Easter. He knows us; He knows our name; He knows every struggle. I love how He urges me to be perfect as He is. I love that He presses me forward and will not leave me to just "live out" my life. I don't want to just wear the trappings of my faith; going to church, maybe Wednesday nights, finding a small place to serve once or twice a year so I don't feel guilty. I want to serve God with my time, with my money,  with every effort. I say I want to.  I do want to. But I am not satisfied. Lord, help me not to just wear the outfit. Remember to push me on the days I need that push. Remind me of your love on the days I feel alone. Help me to understand Grace and extend it to those who need it most. Remind me when I forget that I am carrying Your gospel; Your Words. Help me understand fully what it means to be a light in the world. I don't want to be "all hat and no cattle." Amen

Friday, April 8, 2011

How Great is our God

 When I get physically and mentally tired one of the things that happens to me spiritually is I start doubting God’s love.
 It is then that:

I allow guilt to overwhelm me. I remember how unworthy I am and how many mistakes I have made. My failures as a wife, mother, and believer, those failures that we all have, wash over me and threaten my faith.
It is then that:
I allow doubts to sink deep. I believe in God but I start believing that voice that He does not believe in me. That somehow I am outside the paramaters of His unconditional love. That becaue I am the "chiefest of sinners" that I am over the edge of His mercy.
It is then that:
I question God’s purposes. I wonder why He has not healed. I wonder why so many parts of my life have seemed like a train wreck. I wonder in those moments why He allows so much pain and suffering.

There have been moments that I have felt this way in this particular week. Moments when I have felt pain, moments when I have questioned everything that I have done and whether any of it was worth anything at all.

It has been raining way too much. Raining outside, and sometimes hailing and snowing too. It is supposed to be spring. I have needed some spring outside and inside. I am sure many of you have too. Today the sun came out. It was warm. I got to have lunch with my wonderful daughter. I got some sleep.  My perspective changed.

I remembered these words:

"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?  Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.  Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us."

 Romans 8:31-34

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."1 Peter 1:6-7
How great and amazing is the God we serve!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time to be Trendy

I was thinking today about the importance of being “trendy.” No, I am not getting a new wardrobe and I will not be sporting a tattoo anytime soon. It’s just that we are trying to reach the culture that exists now, not the culture of 20 years ago and that makes it incredibly important for churches to change and people to embrace that change. Notice I didn’t say be entirely comfortable with that change. I don’t know about you but I have been stretched almost to the snapping point more than once the past few years. I have said in my head and occasionally out loud that if I have to hear one more “hip hop” Christian song I will go mad and I sincerely mean that. Yes, I’ve been stretched and if you are over, (well let’s not talk about age, you know who you are), anyway, I bet at least some of you have been stretched as well. Brian Dodd writes a great blog on leadership over at . He had this great list of imaginary quotes from churches that have forgotten the mission of the church; reach the community around us and the world as we walk through it. Some of these quotes show just how obviously off base we can become if we refuse to change. Others aren’t bad, for example revival is a great thing, but when grouped together with the rest become an impossibility. A church cannot experience revival if nobody wants to attend it. Anyway the list got me thinking about how important it is to keep the purity of the gospel while making it accessible and relevant to the day and times that we live in so I present it to you.

1. “Isn’t it great that our music is never too loud?”

2. “Isn’t it nice seeing people in coats and ties and not disrespecting God by wearing blue jeans?”

3. “We’re more spiritual and doctrinally pure than that fast-growing, watered-down gospel, baptizing-hundreds-every-year church down the street.”

4. “Can you believe that church is stealing all our people?”

5. “I hear we’re having to cut the budget because giving is not what it used to be.”

6. “Isn’t it great having all this room on the pew to spread out.”

7. “I love singing all four verses.”

8. “Don’t worry about our attendance. Let me tell you how large our membership is.”

9. “Are you coming to Monday night visitation?”

10. “Remember the good ‘ole days.”

11. “Visitors, please stand.”

12. “I hear it’s just a show over there.”

13. “We just formed a Committee on Committees.”

14. “We don’t talk about money. We preach the Bible.”

15. “Isn’t it great getting out of the parking lot quickly?”

16. “The poor will always be with us.”

17. “I’m really tired about having to hear about lost people all the time.”

18. “Pastor, I think we need to start praying for revival.”

Friday, April 1, 2011


My eyes are dry; My faith is old
My heart is hard; My prayers are cold
And I know how I ought to be. 
Alive to You and dead to me.

But what can be done with an old heart like mine
Soften it up, with oil and wine.
The oil is you, your Spirit of love,
Please wash me anew, with the wine of your Blood.
                                              (Keith Green)
My last post was about reactions so of course I was tested in that area. That is how it works. And of course I failed because that is also how it works; at least with me. I have felt frustrated  lately.  It is as if I am at odds with my feelings. It is hard to care deeply and feel strongly and not get caught up in a swirl of negative emotions when it all goes badly. Sometimes I try to steel myself against feeling. Let words and actions and attitudes wash over me without affecting me. It doesn't work for long because God made me to care. Sometimes I just want to quit, thinking I am beyond being useful. I don't feel hard but I have been battling this feeling that all that I do is without purpose. Proverbs 29:11 says, A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. It's been difficult holding back lately; fighting this desire to just be blunt. Too often I am left thinking that what I do is all for nothing.  I don't want to become hard hearted and uncaring but I need to believe that my actions, emotions, and ministry are in tune with God's and that  my reactions are His and not my humanity lashing out. There is a life in our words and actions when we are in sync with God that I have been missing of late. The words of the Keith Green song have been running through my head. My life must come from God and not from me. I must keep my spirit soft by pursuing Him fully. I need a restoring of the joy that is mine in Christ. "Because I know how I ought to be; alive to you, and dead to me." I know it and I need it. Self is such a difficult and persistant enemy. The victory may be already ours but the battle is fierce and ongoing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be Still and Know That He is God

I remember reading somewhere that you can tell if a man is a Christian by his reactions. Ouch.

Psalm 46:10 puts it this way; “Be still, and know that I am God.” Another version puts it, Our God says, calm down. Thomas Merton phrased it, “Be empty and know that I am God.” The idea of being empty makes sense to me. When I react poorly I am usually full of myself, full of the flesh. I tend to excuse it by labeling it a natural human reaction, saying I had no time to think, but I am beginning to believe that this is a copout. God expects more of me than natural humanness. I am now His child and a citizen of His Kingdom. If I can get to the place where I live my life empty of self I won’t need or want to lash out because self will not matter. The bad news is that in order to do this I must be willing to empty myself of everything that could be labeled self. Give up the fear that I will lose my place and importance. Give up the anger that so quickly builds when my rights are stepped on or when I take up an offense that is not my own. Give up the bitterness of past hurts. Give up the hiding; the worry that others will see who I really am instead of the mask I put on. Give up the rage that is behind every un-forgiven memory, every shattered dream, every unfair deal we have felt forced to accept. Give up the idols that we have made for ourselves. This is only done as I give my life daily and intentionally to God. It is only done when I take the time to draw near to God on a daily and sometimes moment by moment basis. The truth is that in the moment I react badly life is all about me. In those moments I can feel God trying to rein me in and pull me back. But self and the flesh are stern task masters and in the matter of our reactions they are denied only with great difficulty. When we are still; calm down, and are emptied of self we stand a chance. Be still, empty yourself, calm down, and know that He is God.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Put my Trust in You

Sometimes I am afraid...

...I put my trust in You.

Some days I feel overwhelmed by life...

...I put my trust in You.

There are days the future seems like a scary dark tunnel with no light...

...I put my trust in You.

Many days I feel like a failure...

...I put my trust in You.

Some days I wonder "why" ...

...I put my trust in You.

There are days I feel like I am losing it...

...I put my trust in You.

Some days I REALLY DO lose it...

...I put my trust in You.

Every day I am in need of Your grace so...

...I put my trust in You.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I have been studying the topic of hell this week and it has been a good reminder of its reality. Hell is a very real place where way too many of those we love, family, aquaintences, and the faceless of sea of those we don't will end up without Christ. Mostly I don't think about it. Mostly I live my life out without concerning myself with this ugly reality. Mostly I am selfish with my faith. It has been sobering to say the least. It has lit a fire under me to pray and do whatever I can to reach people for God. It has woken me up. Lately I have been complacent, doing my job, dealing with life at home and huge changes in my personal life. But really, I don't have time for too much of that. In Japan this past week, thousands went to eternity in an instant, most without God, most without hope. I know from experience that life can change in an instant. Our eternal destiny can change in an instant as well. When we invite others to church we give opportunity for lives to change in an instant. When we share with others the reason for the hope that is in us we give opportunity for lives to change in an instant. I am asking God to help me focus on His mission this year, apart from all other focuses and really give my life to Him, not just in part, but all of it. It has been good to be reminded. Life is fragile, but also eternal. We have work to do.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life Trek, Forgiveness, and Rob Bell

Great night at Life Trek talking about anger and forgiveness, watching a Rob Bell Nooma DVD. He has such a way of putting things in perspective for me. While he talked about how forgiveness is about letting go and allowing God to deal with people, and about not letting what others do to you effect who God made you to be he took it a step farther. He shared that true forgiveness happens when you are wishing that person well. I think sometimes we think we've forgiven people when in truth we are just sitting back and waiting for God to get them or at least for them to have to suffer the consequenses of what they've done. But God doesn't do that. God forgives us and gives us life. God forgives us and tosses our. sins into the depths of the ocean and remembers them no more. God forgives us and provides for our sin while we are still deep in it. I am afraid that too often, especially in my recent past, I have not lived in that kind of forgiveness. I am guilty of allowing the sins of others to affect my today. There have been days that I have wanted justice more than mercy but I thank God that God didn't want that for me. I am thankful that mercy always triumphs over judgment and the goodness of God is shown in His boundless forgiveness and grace. So grateful to walk through Life Trek together with a great group of kids. Praying that each of them find the God of forgiveness that I am so privileged to serve.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long Winter

It can be hard to write from a low place. I know my mom will worry if I struggle and I don't really want people to know it. I like saying that I am fine and revel in its acronym, Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional; fine. Not thinking I'm neurotic (overanxious) but the rest of them seem to fit. It is in this place I struggle to connect with God each day. It is both harder and easier. It is easier as I run to Him so often nowadays. I tell Him everything; all those things that you can't say to anyone else. Harder in that it feels like I am missing something; that I must have done something wrong because it feels like life is a bit of a trainwreck. I know and believe the Love of God but also struggle with the concept. It makes little sense but it is what it is. I am overcome with emotion on a daily basis right now which I hate. It is so often a lonely walk even when I am surrounded by people. I try to give myself permission to feel what I feel and to not be "fine" but am impatient with the process and frustrated. I am grateful for the prayers of so many of you. In some ways this past month has been one of the hardest. I know I need to let it be what it is but I do so long for spring. It has been a very long winter.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Day

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ( Rev. 21:4 )I was thinking about this verse while at my desk this morning and a thought occured to me. There are things, events that happen to us, sorrows we experience, sins comitted against us, while we spend our brief stay on earth that are unthinkable. They are the the events that we don't "just get over." The sorrows that haunt us daily and often rob us of our joy. Events that are not forgettable and that the consequences of cannot be erased. While they can be used greatly of God for His good and are allowed by Him for His purposes they still cause us grief throughout our lives. I believe it is these tears that God wipes away from us. These are the sorrows that do not disappear when we enter the presence of God but are ones that He Himself wipes away. These are the hurts that nothing but the touch of God can heal, the pain that only God Himself can erase. If you are carrying the unthinkable in your life know this, there is a day coming when God Himself will wipe that pain, that sorrow, the heaviness that you bear, He will wipe it away. Until then, rejoice in that hope! Know that the God who loves you is both just and merciful and that He will make it right and heal every hurting place.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It was Monday

Today was not my favorite day; it was quite Mondayish. I'm not sure that is a word but I have little doubt that you all can kind of feel what it means. Sometimes stuff just doesn't feel right and all you can do is pray. I am learning that the smallest of things can trigger grief. Like the Super Bowl for instance. I am learning that a house full of females, almost all adults, is both fun and frustrating. I am learning "meaning well" is not enough.  I am learning that my grand hopes of changing anyone, including myself, my family, my small group, so many that I love, and the world, are also frustrating and that I need to get a better grip on what it means to walk in the Spirit because that is the only way transformation is going to come. I loved brainstorming about discipleship this morning. I think I am passionate about it. I am pretty much useless on my own. I am more aware than ever of how deeply I need God and how much I love Him. I am trying to learn that sometimes you have to be patient and pray and then pray some more and again and so on.

This is also the first day of my grand experiment. In an effort to combat my asthma I am going gluten free. There is a lot of evidence that going gluten free is helpful in combatting autoimmune disorders and I want to give it a try. My asthma is not worse or anything but it is annoying and besides, anything that helps me get rid of bread and pasta can't be all bad. When I was in the grocery store this weekend I kindof panicked about it but am feeling like it is doable today. We are aiming to be totally gluten free at home and have a day off once in awhile when we are someones company or are out to dinner. Please pray for me when you think of it. I feel almost hopeless when it comes to diet issues.

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." Francis Chan (Crazy Love, great book)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhogs Day

Sometimes at night all I want is for sleep to come. I will stay up until I cannot stay up any longer, or so I think, and then I will go to bed and hope that I will just fall asleep. Today was Groundhogs Day. It was the first date that Bill and I chose to get married on and he always brought me home presents and flowers and a card. I always made sausage because it was ground hog. Sort of a sick thought but it was what I did. Today was my first Groundhog's Day without presents, without a card, without Bill and although we ended up getting married in August it was still like an anniversary for us. Last night I was worried about a lot of things and thinking much about Groundhogs day and how it would be and sleep would not come. Sometimes when that happens I reach my hand up out of the covers and just reach it up to the ceiling praying that God will take my hand and help me sleep. There are more nights now that sleep will come but there are still many nights like last night when I long for sleep and it eludes me; when I wish I could turn off the thoughts that run through my head and when I wish I were so much further along at appropriating the peace of God. Sometimes at night I think I can feel the touch of God when I put my hand up and I know that this small practice helps me fall asleep; I think because when I hold up my hand I am meeting Him. I miss my husband but my God takes such good care of me even in the stuff that seems so very small. I am most grateful.
I've been wading through deep waters
I've been trying to get home
The waves of sin they dash so high, sometimes I think I'm gone
When I think I'm going to sink I hold my hand up high
That great big hand of God comes down and takes ahold of mine.
Thank you Jesus

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Every once in a while I have a down day but the last couple weeks it seems that they have been on the increase. I  have been struggling with something that I don't usually struggle with. I usually feel  positive about life and lately I have felt edgy and discouraged. While there are some reasons for this (reasons are unimportant), I hate it! Today was another one of those days. I didn't even want to go to church which is almost unheard of with me. Thankfully church is not optional at our house and I followed my own rules. What a wonderful morning! It didn't start our too promising. I started to raise my hands during a worship song and hit Olivia in the face. (I have been laughed at much of the day) But the service was wonderful and I felt a little better by the time it was over. I have lunch with a bunch of the worship team and my kids after service each week. We got crazy and I laughed really hard. It has been a long time since I laughed so long and so hard and it was like medicine to my soul. It was a prescription straight from God and those kids were sent from Him. They are the high point of my week on most weeks but today they ministered to me. Sometimes I feel very alone and today I felt very much loved and cared for. I am so grateful for God's gifts. Who would think that crazy laughter would do a body so much good? God is good. While He lets us walk in the darkness sometimes, His light shines in often enough to keep us on track and to keep us moving forward toward Him. I still have some things to work out but I am confident I am getting there and that I am not alone in the journey.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on a Sunday

I have been thinking much about idolatry. This morning’s sermon included a verse I have been thinking about all week. “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8 I am so much in need of grace. Too often, when the shadows clear and in the brief moment that I see clearly I shrink at my own sinfulness. I am an idolater. Too often I have tried to localize God; tried to put Him into a box that I desire Him to fit instead of seeing and worshipping Him in truth. I have often sought to domesticate God; tried to believe that I somehow do something for God in my worship of Him, forgetting that He is complete in Himself. I distance myself from God when I blame Him for not doing what I desire Him to do and for “failing” to answer my prayers in the way I see fit. I forget in the moment that He is “all knowing, ever present God” and it is not for the creation to order the Creator. I also fill my time with that which is temporal and useless; spending so many moments on self and away from Him. Yes, I am an idolater and this morning I felt it. I always say that I love it when a message challenges me but this morning I just felt discouraged. It cannot be said that I have been unaware of my idolatry as on many occasions I feel uneasy and know that I am missing the mark. I am so thankful for the Grace of God   but wonder how often that Grace should apply to one who has walked for so long. Will I ever get to a place where I fully walk with and please the God I love? I think therein lies the discouragement. “I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the Mountains I can’t climb.” It feels impossible but I again give myself to Him, amazed that He never rejects me. I will cast off the idols once again that so easily ensnare me and continue my daily walk, praying that He will finish the work He has started in me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Out of Nowhere

It happened at the intersection by the Red Apple by where I live but it could have been everywhere. Sitting at a red light in my car I thought, "I don't want to do this anymore." We all have those thoughts sometimes. They can come out of nowhere. This day had been pleasant enough. I finished my project of the week and felt good about actually being done on time for once. The people I work with are great and it had been a nice quiet day to get things done, although I like the noisy days also. I had enjoyed Mop's this morning and my brother and his wife were bringing me dinner tonight and he is the best cook I know. In otherwords it was a good day. I sat an extra few seconds after the light turned green, a bit frozen in this thought I was having. By this time I was crying a little and feeling overwhelmed and wondering where all this emotion was coming from. After I turned the corner I quickly asked God to take this mood from me, whatever it was and wherever it was coming from and He did. Almost instantaneously. And He reminded me that I have been through a lot in a short period of time; that He knows and cares; and that He has purpose for me, even when I doubt it. I don't know if you are having one of those days or years but I want to remind you that God does have purpose for every circumstance you are going through and that He knows and cares and is always with you. Sometimes I forget and feel a little alone. It is then He comes and reminds me and that makes all the difference.