A post came up on my Timehop app today from back in 2015. I was still driving my daughter to school at that time and she would have been in the 7th grade. That morning, she touched my hand and commented on how my veins stand out. I explained to her that is what happens when you get older. Your hands seem to always give away your age. She stroked the top of my hand again and said tenderly, “well mom, I like the way it looks.”

Interesting that my immediate thought was something negative about myself. In fact, my response back to her was obviously an attempt to lighten some harsh blow that was inevitably about to come from her observation. Yet instead, she was observing something that she noticed and liked about me, unprompted and uninhibited. I remember thinking that day about my own mother’s hands. I also have a fondness for her hands. I always liked the way her hands look. I wonder if my hands look like my mom’s hands? Then, I thought about the tender touch and comfort that can come from the loving hands of a mom. A mother’s hands wipe away tears, caress faces, gently rub and comfort burdened backs, and firmly grasp their children’s hands perfectly.

I also remember wishing that I could see myself through my daughter’s eyes that day or maybe even my mother’s eyes. Better yet, maybe I could see myself through my Father’s eyes each day, remembering fulfilled promises He has given me in both my own mom and daughter. Maybe this week, I will look around at the many hands around me. Who needs their hands held in prayer? Who needs a loving squeeze of reassurance? Who needs a hand to hold when the going gets tough? Who needs a meal prepared and delivered? Who needs a tear wiped from their cheek?

Father, help me be aware of opportunities to be Your Hands this week. Thank you for my mom, my daughter and these old hands made in your image. Help me use my hands wisely and boldly. And thank you for the hands that Jesus stretched out on the cross to save us all.

Be joyful!

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.’” Luke 1:46-48 NIV

My Father’s Eyes

Jesus in our Eyes by stasiabv on DeviantArt

We attended a birthday party on Saturday, where I found myself surrounded by the most gorgeous women. The weather was beautiful, allowing us to sit pool-side under a gazebo. The faces around me were no less radiant than our surroundings. I allowed myself to take it all in, enjoy the easy conversation, abundant laughter, delicious food and found myself thankful beyond measure.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see ourselves through each other’s eyes? I found each friend breath taking! I could sit back and take in the whole picture. I wasn’t zeroed in on the flaws in each lady. No ma’am. I was focused on the value of each person and their unique design. Plus, we all had one thing in common: we all have a deep relationship with Christ. I have prayed with these beauties, cried with them, studied God’s Word with them and laughed with them. You see, I had the inside scoop and the essence of their nature became the beauty in their faces.

Then, this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. God, our Father, sees us in our fullness. Our flaws are covered by his Son’s blood. He has prayed with me, cried with me, studied His Word with me and laughed with me. The essence of His nature has become the beauty in my face. There is nothing that I can do that will make Him love me any more or less. There is nothing that I can do to make Him see me any more or less beautiful than I am. Right now. In this season.

Father, help me see myself and others through Your eyes. To borrow some lyrics from Amy Grant:

She’s got her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain
Knowin’ what you’re going through, and feeling it the same
Just like my Father’s eyes.

Be joyful!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13‭-‬18 NIV

The Old Sleeping Bag…


The little old man found his old sleeping bag over the weekend. (If you would like to know the back story on the little old man, please read my previous post entitled, “The Little Old Man”.) I came into his room to give him his breakfast and found him zipped into this very worn sleeping bag, which he had laid on top off his bed. I must have looked puzzled because a very sleepy, little old man said, “Look, I found my old sleeping bag.” “I see,” I replied, “was there something wrong with your bed?” To which he responded, “Well, I used this sleeping bag for thirty six years.” So, I said “okay” and gave him his breakfast and left the room.

But, it really wasn’t okay with me if I am honest. In fact, I found it strange and a bit annoying, especially because I wasn’t sure how many years it had been since the old sleeping bag had been cleaned. Yet, each time I went back into his room, the little old man was tucked tightly into his old friend, the sleeping bag. I even overheard the little old man ask the angel dog if he liked the old sleeping bag. Hmmm…why was this getting on my nerves?

I brought the sleeping bag issue to my husband’s attention and shared that I found it odd and was afraid that it might be a stinky, old sleeping bag. My husband thought that it was indeed odd. But, this was not the first odd encounter that we had experienced with the little old man. He encouraged me to let this one go and let the little old man enjoy his new found treasure. Hmmm…boy do I hate it when my husband plays the part of the Holy Spirit.

I spent Sunday afternoon, cleaning the little old man’s room. I washed all of his linens and I cleaned the old sleeping bag. I made his bed back up and then laid the old sleeping bag on top. I know exactly what you are thinking, why is this such a big deal? But, if we are honest, how many times does someone show up with an “old sleeping bag” and disrupt our normal routine? How often do we allow our need for control to create huge mountains out of life’s tiny mole hills? Better yet, how often do we push our old sleeping bag, routines or habits onto God and expect Him to fit in? And how often do we try and control our own lives, when the easier thing would be to let go and let God take control?

You see, sometimes, we need to bring out the old sleeping bag and lay it down before our Father; let Him freshen it up, clean it off and spruce it up. He is the master of making old things new. In fact, it is one of His specialties!

Hmmm….the old sleeping bag…..who knew?

Be Joyful!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

A Game of Fetch…

Photo creds to my beautiful daughter!

My daughter and I took the angel dog to the beach Wednesday afternoon. He loves to go to the beach for so many reasons. He loves to ride in the truck. He loves to dig for shells. And he loves to play a good game of fetch with any size driftwood we find on the shore.

Wednesday was no exception. My daughter found a great piece of wood and launched it down the beach. Angel dog would go running for it, ears flopping and tail curled up. He brought it back to his mom every time. His “sister” would grab it and launch it again and again. Each time angel dog would find his way back to me. You see the angel dog likes to stay close to his mom.

My daughter finally plopped down next to me too and we chatted while watching two huge pelicans catch and eat fish. I could remember my own mom and I spending many an afternoon, in Florida where I grew up, soaking up the sun at the beach and talking about life.

There is just something about the ease and beauty of the beach: waves crashing, sea gulls calling, and the blissful feeling of the sun warming your body. Life is good at the beach. As I watched my daughter and the angel dog play, I thought about how small they seemed nestled next to the vastness of the ocean. And how I loved having them both close to me.

Our Father who art in heaven filled the vastness between Him and us with a Cross, which allows us to plop down next to Him and take in the beauty of His creation, while chatting about life. His Son warms our bodies and He fills our hearts with His Holy Spirit. He loves to watch us play along the shore and delights when we seek Him out, especially after life takes us on a run. And just like me, He loves to have His children close, under His mighty protection.

Take time this weekend to spend some time with your Father, soak up His Son and let His Holy Spirit move you. And don’t forget that after a good game of fetch, it is always best to return to Him. Stay close, for He is a good, good Father.

Be joyful!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)


crossI have been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. In fact, I truly believe that God has been laying this powerful word on my heart to ponder for about two weeks now. My teenage daughter has a hard time admitting when she is wrong. (She gets this solely from her father. Ha!)  She also has a hard time saying that she is sorry. I have tried to point out to her many times that forgiveness has to do with her own heart. And that it is often one of the most freeing, uplifting things that we can do. It’s funny how your own words can come back to haunt you.

We recently had an argument within our family. I wish I could tell you that we handled it calmly, with complete understanding, calm heads and voices, and resolved it in a Biblical manner. But, I am trying to practice transparency and honesty with this blog. It was quite the opposite. Harsh words were exchanged, doors were slammed and resolution was left for another day.

I think God often uses family relationships to teach, refine and refocus. This has truly been the case for me since this unfortunate incident. What I realized is that the right and wrong of the situation at the end of the day really doesn’t matter. But, what does matter are the hearts involved, starting with mine. You see, I have been harboring unforgiveness. I have been justifying my own thoughts and feelings, replaying the fiasco over and over again. Then, I started to realize that I felt horrible inside. And that the more I justified, the more I felt God pressing in on me to repent and to allow Him to handle the situation. And not only was God asking for me to repent; but He was asking me to extend grace; regardless of whether that grace was deserved. He put songs on the radio, scriptures, words in my Bible study, messages from the pulpit, all whispering the same thing to me….it is time to forgive and be forgiven.

So, I did. I gave it all to my Father and asked Him to renew a right spirit within me. And just like that, I felt free, uplifted and my conscience was clear. Grace and love became easier to extend too, imagine that! Why did it take me so long?”

Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.'” (Luke 23:24 NLT) Our Savior pleaded for our forgiveness from the cross. He demonstrated from that excruciating vantage point the importance of forgiving one another. He then gave up His own life for my sins and yours. For my stubbornness and yours. For my pride, and yours. For all of my short comings and yours. He conquered the cross, so that we could stand before our Father, forgiven and redeemed.

I want to be more like Jesus. I want to extend His grace, love and forgiveness more. He placed me here, within this generation to do His work. He wants me to shine bright for Him. Sometimes, we have to get our “self” out of the way.

And sometimes the first step is forgiveness.

Be joyful!

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT)

A Tale of Three Fathers…


When I was 13 years old, my biological father died of esophageal cancer. He was an amazing man, with an infectious personality. He loved to laugh; he loved his family; he loved to tell a good joke; he loved fishing; he loved oysters; he loved the beach and he loved God. He was the kind of person that people were drawn to and wanted to be around. I was blessed to have him. I know that I had more of an earthly father in those 13 years than some people experience in a lifetime.

Here is the amazing part. I now have a second father who is equally remarkable. He has been my father since I was 16. (The poor man has been putting up with me for 29 years. I think he deserves a medal!) He loves to laugh; he loves to cook; he loves to travel; he loves to read; he loves his family; he loves to garden, and he loves God. He, too, is the kind of man that people want to be around. I currently have more of an earthly father than some people experience in a lifetime.

There were several years when I resisted loving my second father. I was so afraid that he would try and take the place of my first father. What I didn’t realize was that he just wanted a place in my heart. And God made our hearts big enough for all kinds of love. We simply have to put fear aside.

Now, are you ready for the UNBELIEVABLE part? My Father in heaven orchestrated all of this to His Glory. You see, He knew that one day I would have a daughter. And He knew that cancer would have touched her life too. And that the loss of a parent was part of her story. He knew that my love and respect for my second father would grow to new heights as I, too, navigated being a second mom. God knew that I would understand a little more the capacity of His heart and the kindness of His nature. He knew that I would encounter grace in ways that only He can orchestrate in our lives. And how God can weave brokenness into beauty in ways we will never fully understand.

I have the extraordinary privelege of having three amazing fathers. Except I think I may have muddied the order here. God is my first Father and He blessed me with two more. I am one lucky gal!

Be joyful!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11  (American King James Version)


And So It Begins….

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.” Psalm 119:2 (The Message)


I can just see my sixteen year old daughter rolling her eyes at this start. You see, she already told me that she thinks it is ridiculous when I begin a text with “greetings”. For that matter, she can’t believe that I insist on texting in complete sentences. If God has blessed you with a teenager, you know that opinions are shared, even if they are difficult to hear. Laughs are shared too, often at this dear old mom’s expense. And joy, well it comes too, when you learn to not take yourself too seriously and just enjoy the ride.

So, yes, greetings is what I have to offer as I begin this exciting new journey! I have been thinking a lot about transitions lately, because it seems that I am in the midst of a few right now: menopause, a brand new teenage driver, caring for aging family members, and the realization that my rear end seems to be growing at an exponentially alarming rate, just to name a few!

I broke down yesterday and purchased a pair of “cheaters”. I have actually needed these glasses for 8 years now. But I have simply refused to give into this part of the aging process. Giving in can be such a difficult process. Along with “giving in” to my new cheaters, came following a steady nudge from God to begin a blog. You see, I have felt this nudge for about the same time that I needed these glasses.

But, in this new year, God has been adjusting my sight. He has been closing doors and providing insights. He has been trimming away insecurities and breathing life into areas that I thought I had hidden from Him. He has been calling me to be bolder, more patient, extend more grace, practice forgiveness and not take myself too seriously.

So, I invite you to take this journey with me. I plan to share some of the things He is teaching me using this blog. The blog title provides my framework. I will talk about love. I will talk about faith. And I will definitely talk a lot about a very special angel dog that God placed in my life “for such a time as this”.