Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The health care debate  is causing me to consider heart care. No, I'm not talking about cardiac care. I'm talking about  how we view others.  How do we measure another's worth? Are we concerned with what a person can "give back" to society before we will invest in their health? Does that make a person worthy? If their treatment is too much of a burden on an insurance company, is their life deemed unworthy?  When they are no longer "cost effective"? If a person will not be able to have a high paying job because of limited intellectual ability, to help pay taxes one day, are they still worthy? What if a person looks "different" or struggles to have intelligent speech, or has legs that won't work properly?  What if they are older? Frail? What then? Are they worthy? What makes a person valuable? What makes a person real?  Is a person intrinsically valuable because of WHO they are, or only WHAT they are able to contribute?

Jesus had plenty to say about the value of each person, each life.....regardless of what society says, or what might be coming down the road with healthcare. God, Himself, gives a person value. We are all created in the image of the Almighty. It is He that declares a person's worth. If we choose to look at others the way The Great Physician does, we will understand that investing in others is always good heart care.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Precious In His Sight

I am a first born. A thinker.A doer. I tend to be a perfectionist. I'm extremely observant about most things. I'm detailed and live by my day planner...well the planner along with my daily lists. Sometimes my lists are written out, sometimes I just check things off mentally. Make no mistake though, I always have a list.

Unfortunately, I also have qualities like stubbornness (No way!), pride (I KNEW I was right all along!), and irritability (Why can't you do it the RIGHT way?)  when people don't meet my "standards".  The truth is I'm a lot harder on myself than I am on others....but, still. It's something I'm working on. Believe me when I say, "I have a lot to work on."

So many times in my desire for security in my life and the need to feel in control of what is going on around me...I mess up. Oh, how I mess up. I won't share all the gory details with you except to say that I realize I'm not perfect. Period.

As I get older I find myself, more and more often, considering how God made me. How I interact with others in my world. Sometimes the lessons that I have to learn are annoying to me. (See! It's that irritability coming out in me!) Sometimes the lessons are painful. Sometimes they perplex me and I just don't "get it".


At other times I'm blessed to be witness to some of this life's miracles and am privileged to see the hand of God in my circumstances. I am definitely a work in progress. We all are. We really are. Whether we see it or not.  I'm not being trite when I say that.

I often times find myself in situations, sometimes by my own choices--both good and bad, and sometimes because things just happen. We all live in an imperfect world where things happen. I'll be the first to say, there are times when I am ticked. Perturbed. Annoyed. I wonder why life can't be easier. I am not above having a kicking, screaming, toddler fit...IN MY HEAD over some stuff. People...I said, IN MY HEAD. I am way to mature and dignified to have a fit in front of anyone. Puh-leeze. But then God says to me...I SEE YOU. Uh oh.

God is holy and just. All knowing. Ever present. A wonderful counselor. And just between you and me (and well...God), I think He certainly must have a sense of humor. No one could put up with me, if they didn't. After all scripture does tell us He is long-suffering (which is a fancy word for patient). I'm so grateful for that, let me tell you.

Now, I have to be honest. After the kind of difficult times my family and I have been through, especially over the past couple of years...I was feeling sort of like Job in the Bible. He really isn't my favorite character. He is the guy that loses everything. Yet, he never blames God. I wanted to be that way.....but, instead I griped at God. Sadly, I'm too good at it. WHY ME? WHAT IS GOING ON? I DON'T GET IT. DO I DESERVE ALL THIS?  Then I'd cry and fall limp at His feet. Instead of yelling at me, God gently picked me up.

He does to me, what He did for Job all those many years ago. Job, in his own words said, "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  Gold. Valuable. Beautiful. Precious. BUT only after being tested. In order for gold, as we know it, to be usable it has to go through the fire. Yes, the fire. The junk has to rise to the surface before the Master can really get to the beauty that lies underneath. And for those of us that are His children, when the Master looks at us....He should see a reflection of Himself. That is when we will really shine.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Heaven On Earth

Sometimes we all just need to go to our "happy place".  Don't you have one? The place we go to when we are stressed out and we need a break from the hectic day. That place is different for all of us.  If we just close our eyes....we can see it....and it makes us smile. Every time. We breathe deeply and we remember.

For me it is Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the base of the Teton Mountains. My family and I went on vacation there.  It was late Spring in the year 2001. I had lost my husband the year before, I was getting used to being a single mom, it was months before 9/11 happened and thus changing travel forever. Life for me was different then.  That place spoke to my soul. The "wild west" beauty of the valley framed against the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen. I didn't just see that area as a tourist...but, as a place that I tucked away in my heart. Maybe, it was because of where I was in life at that time, the struggles I had endured, but I felt like this was one of the closest visions I'd ever have of heaven here on earth.

When I'm having a rough day I think about this place. I can see it in my mind's eye. I can feel it in my heart.

Take a look at my heart. Scroll all the way down to see some of the pictures.

What is your place? Where are you the happiest? What place "speaks" to you?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sorry, You're Not Allowed

News has gotten around that Rev. Franklin Graham has been "let go" from being able to say a prayer at the Pentagon during the National Day of prayer on May 6th. This is because he called Islam an "evil, wicked religion" at one point.  Now he is not allowed to say a CHRISTIAN prayer, at the NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? What is wrong with this picture? What has happened to this country?

Is our country becoming so "water downed", so politically correct, so ANTI Christian that we now "cave in" to just about anything so as not to offend?  When does this stop? WILL it stop?  I found an interesting article by a man who did some interesting research on this very topic. I think you will find his article extremely eye opening. Check it out.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Life Story

I've mentioned before that I love to write. For me there is something in writing...something soothing about putting words on the page. Putting my thoughts in black and white for others to read. Other times it is scary putting myself into my blog.  I wonder what others will  think of me? Yet, I have discovered for the most part, that my readers can relate to the things that I say. We are not all that different.

I read a "faith filled" blog this morning, written by a new friend named Bonnie. She has an interesting story. The child of a teenage, mail order bride from Hong Kong. Daughter to a busboy in Chinatown. A life full of demands and expectations. She closed the door on that life and opened another.....If you have a minute go check her out  at  http://www.faithbarista.com/ .

After reading her eloquent words, I was left to mull over my own  life story. All the details of each day that make up my life. The little things, as well as the big things, that make me who I am. If you are anything like me you have wondered to yourself, especially when you are smack dab in the middle of something, "What is going on? What is the point of this? Am I supposed to be learning something? What if I don't feel like it? Can I turn back? And then in near panic..... I WANT MY MONEY BACK. LET ME OFF THIS RIDE!"

I have had ups and downs in my life. Great joy and incredible pain...and sometimes those emotions are within the same day! Haven't we all been there? I used to think it would be great to be able to say to God, "Look God. You've got me mixed up with someone else. This wasn't meant for me. I can't handle this situation. This was meant for someone much stronger than I am. Can't You just take this away?" But, over time I've realized that so many of the hard things I've been through, are the very things that caused me to strengthen my faith and grow into the person that God created me to be. Who He knows I am. Life is not easy for most of us. Sure, it would be great to be strikingly beautiful, incredibly smart, have the perfect marriage, obedient children, wonderful relationships with all family members, a custom fit career, an orderly, color coordinated home, and money in the bank. Oh yes, and no problems. Not ever. Doesn't that sound great? Too bad. That's not real life. That is not most people's journey.

One of my former pastors once said, "You can be sure that you are either just getting through a trial, are currently in the middle of a trial, or getting ready to be in a trial."  That is how life is. If one accepts that, life is easier to understand. We should chant the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared! I wish I could say that I've always been prepared for everything life throws at me, but that would be a lie. Most of the time I'm in the middle of something before I realize it. I'm caught off guard.  AGAIN. I might occasionally throw a "melt down" in there for good measure. (not a good solution I realize, but still....) I don't know about you but many times I just hang on tight and close my eyes and wait for the ride to be over. And hope I don't get sick in the process. Through it all, I've come to realize that many times the "scars" from life's battles are the very things that I treasure because they show that I am a survivor. I went through the battle and came out on the other side. Maybe a bit worse for the wear...but, still standing.

I know that I could not survive the fights of my life if I did not have my faith in the Lord. It is He that gives me the strength for this journey, called life. It is ultimately in Him that I am able to overcome the obstacles and have victory!

Psalm 28:7- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.

Psalm 60:12-With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.

Phil 4:13-I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

1 John 5:4-5 -For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A friend printed this quote on Facebook:

From Braveheart: William Wallace: "Now tell me, what does that mean to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don't follow titles, they follow courage."

For whatever reason this resonated with me. Courage.
I've been thinking about courage a lot lately. Sometimes in life we all are called to be courageous, even when our knees are knocking, and our tongue is tied.
Sometimes we have to step up and speak out. Do the right thing, even if it runs against the grain. Even when you know what you're saying is right, it can be scary.
Scary to be the voice.

To quote a famous and much loved cowboy, John Wayne, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."
Enough said.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I have a book full of mom-ism's. It always gives me a good laugh. I thought I'd share some today to give everyone a good chuckle. If you are a mom you will totally understand. If you are a son or daughter you will also "get it".  I have chosen to add my own take on each of these  timeless nuggets of wisdom. Enjoy!

--I don't know is not an answer! (and if I don't know the answer either, I will fake it. I'm a mom, it's my job.)

--I just want what's best for you. (and what's best for you is for you to do what I say.)

--If all the other kids jump off the bridge (or cliff) are you going to, too? ( Son, don't answer that!....especially, if you have a child who would seriously try to be Evil Kneivel. Next thing you know you're sitting in the emergency clinic.)

--If I want your opinion, I'll ask for it. (I already know your opinion and I'm choosing to ignore it.)

--I'm not running a taxi service. (I'm finding out the going rate for taxis...I will be deducting it from your allowance.)

--Isn't it past your bedtime? ( I don't care if you are eighteen. Go to sleep already!)

--Life isn't fair. (This is an understatement. Go with it.)

--Look at me when I'm talking to you. ( I will stare at you with laser beam eyes drilling through your head, until you look at me.)

--Now, say you're sorry and act like you mean it. ( I said act like you mean it! Don't stick out your tongue. Don't roll your eyes. That's it! I'm coming over there!)

--Some day you will thank me for this. (Yes, you will! You might be 92 when you come to this realization...but, I don't care.)

--Some day when you have kids you'll understand. ( Oh boy! I can't wait. Grandchildren. Spoil them and send them home for YOU to deal with. Yea!  Revenge is sweet.)

--Were you born in a barn? ( Don't think I haven't thought about that. You and the horse could be room mates.)

--What part of NO don't you understand? ( Am I speaking English...um...yes, yes I am. And the answer is still NO!)

--When I was a little girl... ( I never gave my parents one bit of grief. I was an angel straight from heaven. NO you may not call grandma to verify this fact. What, are you calling me a liar? Go to your room!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Moments In Time

I found out a couple of weeks ago that a friend of mine from college passed away. He was just two years older than I am. Two years. That's it. I'm sure that morning  he didn't  expect that he would be meeting the Lord face to face in a few short hours. When I saw his name in the obituaries, memories flooded back from my college days. Days my classmates and I thought would last forever. Days that end...sometimes much sooner than expected.

I have recently been asked to speak at my church's, ladies luncheon. I had been considering what to speak about. So many thoughts swirled around in my head...a million different ideas. After hearing about my friend, I started to think about my time here on earth.....and really, not just my time. OUR time. Each of us has a set amount of days. Only God knows how many there are for each of us. It got me to thinking about what my legacy will be? How will I be remembered? I've thought about this before and I think I might have blogged about it at sometime in the past. It's a hard question. To be honest, I don't think most people really want to think about it. It's deeply personal, but also a little scary. "What will YOUR legacy be?"

I'm sitting here in my home library/office. My desk and walls are filled with pictures. I love pictures. I have pictures of my son at age two. Again at age six. Pictures of my teens dressed in their Sunday clothes with smiles on their faces. The kids at a competition. My husband and I at our wedding. My grandmother when she was in her twenties. Pictures that have meaning to me. Memories. Pieces of my life, past and present, quilted together. While gazing at my pictures, it occurred to me that one day my kids will be looking at pictures of me. I will be gone. No longer here. What will they remember about me? Of course, after everything has been sifted through I like to believe that when they think about me they will have good memories. Not perfect memories...because, I'll be honest...I'm not perfect. I am so far from perfect that it's not even a dot in the rear view mirror of life. So, memories of perfection are not what my legacy is going to be about. Ever.

I believe it is our imperfections that give life meaning. You might be thinking, "Why does she want to talk about imperfections? What good is that? Does she really want to be remembered for those???"  Yes....well, at least some of them. When I sometimes get impatient with my own children, and yell at them in frustration...it humbles me. It is because of that, I am able to have empathy with another mom who is going through a trial with her own children. When I struggle to keep my opinion to myself about something my spouse did (or didn't do)...and sometimes fail...it humbles me. It allows me to go to him later and say, "I'm sorry". When I stomp my foot and shake my fist at the unfairness of life and then realize I'm not God...it humbles me. Then I can go to Him in prayer, study His letter (the Bible) to me and understand that He still loves me, even when I make daily messes of things.

Ultimately, I want my legacy to be one of relationships. Did having known me change anyone's life? Did I make a mark on things? Did I tell others by my words and actions that Jesus Christ is central in my life? That it is HE that made all the difference? Without HIM I am nothing. That is the truth. I don't say that to denigrate myself, I say it because I'm being honest. All the good and lovely things that people could say about me after I'm gone, are nothing compared to the good and truly wonderful things that Christ did (and does) for me. For us.  He is what makes my life enjoyable. My relationship with Him. Life is never easy for any of us. I'll tell you something, I've dealt with some sad things in my life. Even in the midst of my worst times, when I was ragged and worn out emotionally...He did not leave me. Or give up on me.  I hope my legacy will be one, where I took the spotlight off myself and shone it on the One who deserves it the most.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seeing With Different Eyes

"Do unto others as you would have done unto you." -- The Golden Rule

"Whatever you have not done for the least of these, you have not done it unto me."---Jesus

Kindness begets kindness.

And the greatest of these is love.....

It's easy to love the lovable. I smile at the lady at the grocery store. I wave at the man who drives his truck down our road. I chat with my friends. People that look an act like me...people that love me back.

God calls me to more than that. So many times there is no real effort on my part to step out of my comfort zone. Sure, I like to think I am a good person. That I go the extra mile for people. But do I? Really?  If I am completely honest with myself, I have to admit that no, I don't. It's difficult. It could be messy at best...and painful at worst. I don't have the time for this. But, that would be a lie. I always make time for what is important to me.

When most people think of prejudice, I believe they think of skin color. But, really there is so much more to prejudice then that. Honestly, skin color is not even on my radar map. That particular thing is not something that I, personally,  have any issue with. And that is the truth. But that is not all there is.

Do I have preconceived notions (prejudices) about the unmarried woman with five kids, all by different fathers? Do I believe Jesus loves her any less than He loves me? What about the young man dressed all in black who looks scary? Did Christ die in his place? Or the man who claims there is no God? Who is angry because his child has to say "one nation under God" at school? Or the woman who buries herself in buying  her "things" because she is empty inside?  And lately, what about the people who disagree with me on politics? How do I treat these people? Do I love them with Christ's love? Or do I show my prejudice? I can't deal with "these" people. They are a mess. I don't want to get "dirty".  I don't care what they think. They're wrong........and with that, my own prejudice echoes back to me. And it isn't pretty.

Yesterday I was convicted about my attitude....about how I need to change my thinking. The lady with five kids? Maybe she is looking for love in all the wrong places, because she's never known the love of her Heavenly Father? Maybe the boy dressed in black is, in his own way, desperately trying to make a statement that he is HERE. "I'm not invisible. Look at me! Please SEE me." The atheist who is fighting against God is a man on a sinking ship...and the One who can rescue him is the One he fights against,  the wealthy woman with all the things in her closet might be the same woman who looks in the mirror and never feels worthy enough....because she looks at herself with the world's eyes, and not with the eyes of her Heavenly Father, who sees her potential, and one for whom He died.

We all live in a fallen world. Life is not easy. There are people that need a friend. A mentor. A confidant. Someone who will share the burden with them. Someone who will look past the facade to see the person. Someone who will take the time to build relationships....and step out of her comfort zone.

Jesus looked on people with compassion. He was never afraid to get dirty. He talked with the highest scholars of his day as well as the shunned of society. He wasn't afraid of tax collectors. Or lepers. Or the disabled. He loved the unlovable. The prostitutes. The possessed. The lonely.

My prayer needs to be, "Lord, help me to see others as you see them. Allow me to be your hands and feet. Love them through me. Amen."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Walk The Talk


This is a line from my morning devotion. I sort of gave it a brief glance as I read over the rest of the text. Trust Him. True. Yep. All good. Oky-dokey.

(BAM!!! ) Hello. Are you with Me?

Yes, Lord. I just read my devotion this morning. Aren't you proud of me? Isn't that pleasing to You?

You can trust Me.

Why, I know that. I just said I read it. You are trustworthy. I get it.

I don't think you do.

What? Of course I do. After all You are God. You can do anything. I believe that.

Do you really?


You do realize I know what you are thinking....and, I definitely know if you are lying to me. It does you no good. I know you, Dawn. I know your inmost thoughts. Everything is laid bare before me. I'm God and that is how I operate.

I know, it's just......well....


It's just that sometimes I feel like you don't always care about the specifics of my life. God, life is hard sometimes--well, if we are being totally honest....most of the time. I get stressed and hurt, and sometimes angry and (gulp) sometimes I even get mad at You. I know I shouldn't but, I do. There, I admitted it.

I know you do. Let me tell you some things. Things I think you need to hear. Will you sit quietly for a few moments and listen, not just with your ears, but with your heart?

Okay. (turning off TV, putting away book, logging off g-mail, closing door) I'm ready.

First of all, I precisely created You. You, Dawn. I created your inmost being. I knit you together in your mother's womb. I knew you and loved you even before you took your first breath. There is nothing about you that I do not understand. I have never stopped loving you. You matter to me.

But Lord, You are the Master Creator. Why do you care about me? I have done nothing to deserve Your love.

I love You because I choose too. It is my very nature.

But, God sometimes when life is difficult and hard. Well, it seems like you must be busy with someone else and You forget that I am hurting. Lord, sometimes life just hurts. Some days I just don't feel very joyful.

I never forget. There are things that you will not understand on this side of Heaven. My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts. This does not mean I have forsaken you. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned through difficult times, that you in your stubborn nature would not learn otherwise.

Okaaaay.......but, it's not easy. And Lord, do you really think I'm all that stubborn?

Yes. Yes, I do. This is a true fact.

I never said life was easy. Or always fair. You live in an imperfect world. One day that will all change...but, for now there is sorrow mixed in with the joy. Even in the midst of all that I have promised, and I DO NOT BREAK MY PROMISES, that I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you. Remember that. That is very important. There are NO OTHER god's like me. I am THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I will not be mocked. And yet, I know each and every hair on your head....I call the very stars by name, and I know the hearts of all mankind. I love you.

So, I need to trust You. Always. I need to walk the walk. Not just talk the talk.

Yes. I, the eternal God am your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. You can rest in me. I don't get tired.

And I can trust you in the dark times and well as the light ones?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Tick, Tick...Tock

The ticking I am starting to hear, is me... aging. Ugh. Make that a double ugh.  Several months ago I noticed a very faint, barely visible to the naked eye, brown spot on my left hand. Is that dirt? Do I have a new freckle? Upon closer (microscopic) inspection, I came to the conclusion that it was indeed an age spot. How fair is that...I'm just 41 (oh, okay...next month I'll be 42)...BUT STILL!

To make things even worse I noticed gray hair. Now in all fairness those gray hairs have probably been there for awhile, I just had them cleverly disguised as blond. I've been too tired lately to bother with the dying of my hair. When did those gray hairs pop up? I blame it on my kids. It's easier that way. Anyway, that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

I was talking to my husband last evening. I asked him where our young bodies went? When we were both a lot more slender and in shape. I for one think my young body ran off somewhere. I need to track it down. I prefer the one I had at 21. Hmmmm.....where could it be? I'm looking for the one that defied gravity, the one where all my clothes fit  me perfectly. Yeah, that one. Sigh.

Over the past month I've noticed some brown splotches on my face. Great. So, I did what any self respecting woman would do. I googled it. This is what I found.

These dark patches on the skin are called solar lentigenes, hyperpigmentation, or less formally, sun spots. These discolorations are not cancerous and don't cause negative effects on your skin health. If you neglect sunscreen or have neglected sunscreen in the past, chances are you have a few of these sun spots on your face, neck and hands.

So, the tanning I used to do as a young(er) person has come back to bite me in the ....FACE. Aggggghhhhhhh! That stinks.

There is one positive note to all this aging. I have fairly smooth and wrinkle free skin. I remember having oily skin as a teen. My dermatologist told me one day (not then of course) I would appreciate having this skin type. The oils in my skin would keep my skin soft and smooth and I wouldn't wrinkle as early. So far, so good. The doctor seems to know what he was talking about. So, even though I'm splotchy and "fluffy" (doesn't that sound so much better) and graying....I still am not wrinkly. I realize that it is only a matter of time.  I hear the tick..tick..tock. Stupid clock.

Finally, I will end today's blog by saying that I saw Raquel Welch on FOX news last week. She was promoting a new book. The woman is 69 years old and she is still drop dead gorgeous. Whatever she is using, I want some! I'm not kidding.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming!

This sermon gives me goosebumps.

Praise the Lord! My Savior lives! Friday was sad, and dark....hopeless. Let us remember if we are living in "Friday" right now---don't stay there! Sunday is coming! The day that Jesus proved once and for all that He conquered death for those of us that call on His name. HE LIVES.

A Muslim Studies The Resurrection

I found this video very compelling and maybe you will too.

A Muslim man comes face to face with what the Resurrection really means.

Abdu Murray Interview from Kensington on Vimeo.

I've Got Nothing

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="161" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]HGTV logo premiered on March 1, 2010[/caption]

I'm sitting here staring at my computer this morning. I'm blank. I've got nothing. Boring with a capital B. I want to write, but I've decided that it just isn't happening today....at least not right now. It's frustrating when I get writers block. I guess I'll come back later and try again.  In the meantime I think I'll watch "Bang For Your Buck" on HGTV.  Hey, my question is this: Where do the people get an extra $100,000 to redo a basement?  I must live in a different world. A much less expensive world, for sure.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do You Know My Jesus?

Tomorrow, Christians celebrate Good Friday. Sunday is Easter.  That is the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection. Death could not keep Him...the grave could not hold Him. That is my KING. Do you know Him?