Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Beginning of Lent

(Google images)

Tomorrow, February 13, 2013 is the first day of Lent.

I have always associated Lent as a ritual done by the Catholic church. When I looked up the definition of Lent on Google there was more information than I knew what to do with. So to summarize, Lent as I perceive it, is a 40-day period prior to Easter of self-denial and spiritual growth, which can mean different things to each individual participating. 

Although the church I attend does not practice this tradition, the whole concept of Lent has always intrigued me. I have only participated in Lent a couple of times, but this year I really feel different about it, I guess you could say I am approaching it "intentionally".

For self-denial, or "sacrifice", I was going to give up Facebook, but decided that it would be much harder to give up eating sugar, as in desserts or snacks. You see, in the world as this girl knows it, "dessert" is a "food group", and most of you who know me well would agree. I always wondered what people meant when I heard them say, "I gave up ___________ for Lent", now it all makes sense. 

As for the spiritual growth part, honestly that is something that is, and will be, on-going until the day I die; however for the sake of Lent, I want to be attentive to a couple of things in particular, which perhaps I will share at another time. 

The most important thing I hope and expect to take away from this journey is to for my relationship with my Redeemer to be deeper and that the fruit of that relationship with flow out to others.

I pray this post will encourage and inspire you, and that only God will be glorified, through his son, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

His Grace is Sufficient

But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Most mornings on my drive to work I pray and meditate on what God is doing in my life. This morning as I was thinking about Missy God brought this scripture to mind...well, the first part mostly, "My grace is sufficient for you....." 
and my heart's reply was, "Yes Lord, you ARE enough for me, you ARE grace."
God's grace is what gave Rick and I the strength, to let Missy go...
God's grace is what has gotten me through today, and yesterday, and tomorrow, and the next day and the next.....

Grace takes "trust" on my part....to believe that He has everything under control, EVEN  if it does not look like it to me.
"Trust" that He sees the whole picture, and all of His plans for my life, and for those I love and care about,  are for good, and for His glory.

When I "trust" God with everything, his Grace doesn't necessarily take away the pain, or sadness, but it does fill me with a "peace that passes all understanding". 

God finishes our prayer, praise, meditation time with filling my heart with the chorus part of a worship song "Let Your Glory Fall" by Matt Redman,

"You are good
You are good
and your love endures..."

I started my work day grieving, yet encouraged and walking in grace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saying "Good-bye"

Missy aka Puss-n-Boots

Today Rick and I had to say good-bye to our beloved Missy kitty.

Missy was a kitty we saw wondering around our old apartment complex about 10 years ago. I immediately wanted to take her in, but Rick said, "let's wait and see if she is still around a week from now, and if she is then we will see about that." A week went by and she still seemed to be a stray. After catching her we took her to the Veterinarian who after checking her over head to toe informed us she was not a kitten but rather was approximately 2 yr old and had been spayed and had a microchip. We had the chip checked to see who the owner was and their was no name. We did everything we could to find her rightful owners, but to no avail....so, she became our Missy.

Since October of this past year Missy started to ever-so-slightly begin to ail. It started with her vomiting what seemed like ALL OF THE TIME. With Dr Gregg Bennett's recommendation we put her on a hypo-allergenic diet and that seemed to do the trick. Then over the holidays she didn't hardly eat for about a week, but was constantly drinking water. After the holidays and everything was back to normal she seemed to be back to normal too; her appetite was back and she was back up sleeping on our bed at night. Then all of a sudden she seemed to be losing weight. We took her back to Dr. Bennett 2 weeks ago and after blood tests and a urinalysis we were informed that she had a bad UTI and she was put on some antibiotics.....which brings us to today....

Today Missy had a 2 week follow-up appointment with Dr. Bennett. We got there at 9am, and left at 11:30 am with no Missy. 
He was as concerned as we were with her continued weight loss and we agreed with testing her for Feline Lukemia and HIV, which came both came back negative. Great.
Next we agreed to an x-ray of her chest/abdomen, which came back showing a mass on her liver. We all agreed that rather than just send her home on a different type of antibiotic we would have them take a needle biopsy of the mass to see if it was just a bad infection or cancer.....it came back as cancer.

 We all agreed that since her quality of life was just beginning to take a turn for the worse (if it hadn't been for her recent weight loss and becoming seemingly "worn" out we would not have known that she was even sick),  now would be the best time to let her go. 

I have never, ever had to do this before, and it was HARD. Words just cannot describe what both Rick and I felt. I am so glad that he was there...Later he made the comment that "maybe this is why he hurt his knee" because otherwise I would have been there by myself. I know it may sound silly to some, but we are a family, our pets and us, and...well...I don't think that I need to say anymore. 
Bless his heart, as Dr. Bennett took us into another room and began to explain to us the process of putting her to "sleep", he even had tears in his eyes. 
We were blessed to be able to be with her until her heart stopped beating. 

God gave us this kitty, and she has been such a sweet blessing all of these years....God, in his graciousness gave us grace today.....grace doesn't necessarily make it easy, but it gives us the strength to get through it.

I honestly don't know what he does with our precious pets when they leave this world, but I would like to believe that someday when I go to Heaven, Missy will be there at Jesus' feet welcoming me.

Thank you to those of you who have prayed us through this time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


(photo from Google Images)

December First 
(a few days late)

So begins my love-hate relationship with the holiday season.

 I absolutely LOVE the romantic notion of Christmas: Old English Christmas music, fire in the fireplace, little white lights everywhere, greenery, hot cocoa (with a bit of Baileys), baking, creating handmade gifts, candles, smells, family (in small doses), the Nativity, Hallmark Christmas movies.....Oh, and snow - all month, with icicles hanging from the eaves....I am sure that  I am forgetting something but you can get an idea, right?

What I hate is the hype, which seems to be starting earlier and earlier every year. Why should one holiday dictate what I have to buy, or that I even need to buy anyone anything? Personally I like the idea   of giving gifts whenever you want, especially out-of-the-blue when it is not expected. Those are the best and seem to mean the most.

Second I hate that I very seldom get my "white" Christmas. I have friends that say, "If you want white go to the mountains." Ba Humbug! It is part of my cozy, along with the warmth of a fire. Who can argue with the beauty of snow and cold and colorful lights and....and....and....

I have found that if I stay home and don't shop I can stay perfectly "content" with my choice of simplicity, it is when I run into a store for something that I have to keep my "needs and wants" in check.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year when it is all kept in perspective. Joy and peace and hope, words that we find on cards, in songs and decorations, can really only be found in one place....rather, one person...God, through his son, Jesus Christ.

Please remember this as you go about the days leading up to December 25th.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Day 30

This last day of November I would like to give thanks for a special lady.
Her name is Vivienne and today she is 85 years old.
I met her 38 years ago when I started dating her son (my ex-husband).
It took me awhile, once we had married, to call her Mom....I wanted to, but for two years I had called her Mrs. White.
She was always so kind to me and we got along quite well, despite our spiritual and political differences. 
I always knew that I was loved.
I learned many things from her gardening tips, love of quilts and antiques, and how to make the BEST potato salad.
When her son and I divorced we didn't have much to say to one another...there was no hatred, or what not....I guess you could say that we gave one another "space" for a few years.
Four or Five years ago we "reconnected".
We are friends, I know I am loved, and she is loved.
Happy Birthday, Vivienne.
I love you.
I hope your day is blessed. 
I pray that this next year is filled with joy, hope, and grace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Day 29

Leaves are one of the most beautiful parts of Fall.
Seeing this picture reminds me of some wonderfully fun times while growing up.
There were several Maple trees bordering the back of our yard and we would help Dad rake them up and then run and jump into them sending our nice pile all over the place.
Thankful for this memory.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


(from Google images)

Day 28

I am thankful for this country that God bless me to live in.
Despite all the things that may seem wrong, 
I choose to be grateful for all the "good" that we, as a nation have.

I remember when my oldest daughter came home from spending 2 months in another country she said to me, "Mom, Americans do not know how great we have it..."

I encourage all my readers to choose to focus on the good you have; I am sure that regardless of how dismal your life may seem right now there is something you can find to give thanks for.