Thursday, April 17, 2014

Are you Carrying Heavy Loads?

Do you carry heavy loads?  The other morning I was lugging my large black plastic garbage bag to the dumpster. As I slung it into the receptacle, I accidentally threw my cell phone in too. Luckily, it landed right on top of my garbage bag.  I figured I could reach it and all would be well.

Not to be!  I couldn't reach it as hard as I tried. I attempted to pull the garbage dumpster over but it was too heavy and full. I was also concerned that my cell phone would sink deeper into the garbage and be lost forever. So I hoisted myself onto the garbage as I attempted to reach it with my hand. Before I realized it, my legs were up in the air but ...I got it.  I quickly looked around and was relieved that nobody was around to see this crazy woman in the dumpster!

I actually have a spiritual lesson in my garbage story. I wonder how many of you are carrying around heavy loads every day. My bag was heavy!  I think of the Scripture verse:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

As we approach Easter, I'm reminded of the Cross. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God the Father. He took on my sin and yours upon Himself. All the guilt and burdens in life. He paid the penalty for it all. I recognized and admitted that I was a sinner and invited Him into my heart and life. So now I have peace with God.

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.



Jesus didn't stay on the Cross. The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive and sits at the right hand of the Father. He intercedes for us today.

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven." Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." John 3:16-17 (NIV)
What burdens are you carrying around with you?
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Insecurity
  • Responsibilities for others

Will you consider leaving those burdens at the Cross?


I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for Whitespace Thursday.

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

Blessings and love,

Are you Carrying Heavy Loads?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Blessing of Blooming Where you're Planted

Bloom where you're planted. I've heard that many times and I do agree with it. But I have to say when I look at this photo, I wouldn't mind sitting in one of those chairs.  Just saying ...

Back to reality.  I feel like I'm blooming right here in the desert of Phoenix.  Last week was very hot but today it was in the low 80's and windy.  Figures that I wore a skirt of all days. Between the wind blowing and the kids lifting it up, I'm glad I wore shorts underneath. I didn't want a Michelle Obama moment!

I took these photos while I was driving home from an afternoon spent with friends at their Scottsdale home. Many of my friends from back east didn't realize that we have so much green in Arizona.

The children in our Pre-K 3 class go to Art Class every Friday. This past week we had one of my favorite substitutes; Mrs. Thomson.  Every time any of the preschool children see her they always recognize her as Miss Debbie's friend.  Well, I do consider her my friend but she's been subbing at our school before I even worked there. So we get a chuckle out of this!

The children loved using their creativity to make necklaces using the outer border of paper plates.

And speaking of blooming ...my very own little garden is blooming. My roses are looking pretty good.  I love tinkering in the mornings as I trim and fertilize. I'm putting together an herb garden too with fresh basil, rosemary and parsley.  I can't wait to go on this year's Arcadia Edible Garden Tour Tour to get more ideas and tips. I already purchased my ticket.

So yes I will bloom where I'm planted; even in the desert of Phoenix. And when you start to look around there are always many blessings to be seen.

#1068 The beauty of the desert
#1069  Flowers in bloom
#1070  Spending time with amazing co-workers each day
#1071  An afternoon of catching up with a special group of friends
#1072  Knowing that I am prayed for by these friends
#1073  Writing a blog post that was difficult for me and receiving such thoughtful feedback and comments (in case you missed it you can read it here)
#1074 Brokenness is not a bad word after all
#1075 I get to teach Culinary Camp this summer to 7-11 year old children
#1076 Learning more and more about gardening

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays as I count my every day blessings.



May I encourage you to look around at your life and begin to notice those every day blessings. I can guarantee it will change your perspective.

Blessings and love,

The Blessing of Blooming Where you're PlantedSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brokenness Can Lead to Blessing

Broken can be the best place to be.  I would never have written those words several years ago. But after going through incredible life changing experiences, I'm at a point in my life when I can acknowledge this fact.

I don't want to stay broken. But it's the place where I got out of the way and allowed God to work in me and through me to ...impact others.

I'm fairly competent in myself. After all, I am blessed with good health, a good mind and a desire to work hard.  I prided myself on the fact that I took care of my health through regular exercise and I choose what I ate wisely. I kept my weight steady. I love to read and can sit for hours devouring great books.  I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  I love people.  I love children but was unable to have my own.  I loved creating a nurturing home environment.



I lived in the house of my dreams for 12 years. I spent months with a designer as we picked out every fabric and piece of furniture. I volunteered two days a week teaching little children in a national Bible study organization. I served on the Leadership team for my church as we planned and organized a yearly women's conference bringing in speakers like Lysa TerKeurst, Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs and Jennifer Rothschild. I enjoyed my friends and going to lunch. I loved frequent visits back east to visit my family. I loved taking vacations in Europe. 


But life happens and not always as I planned.  My circumstances changed drastically in 2010.  Suddenly, I had to return to work.  We had to move.  It was survival and no longer self actualization.  I began to indulge a bit more in sweets. I didn't have easy access to a treadmill.  I became depressed and felt shock and denial.  What was I doing wrong? Why was this happening?  I had appreciated all I had and not taken it for granted. So why was it all gone?  What was I to do now?

I had reached the end of myself. I felt broken. Living far from familiar surroundings with little hope of recovery, I turned to the One I always told others to turn.  To Jesus.  He is my hope and source of love and encouragement. But I continued to try to understand the why of it all. I prayed and asked the Lord to show me. Was I doing something wrong?  I prayed that He would reveal that to me but no answer ...

I realized we can't always choose our circumstances but we can choose our response to those circumstances.


Fast forward to today; 2014.  I'm not living in my dream home but I am living several miles from my former neighborhood. I'm creating a nurturing environment in a much smaller place. I have a job working with preschool children. I realize that the Lord answered my heart's desire for children in a way I wouldn't have anticipated. I get to love them and teach them and then send them home to mommy and daddy.


I'm exercising once again on my treadmill each morning and starting to lose the extra pounds I gained during this difficult time. My husband discovered the main cause of our upheaval and now he's starting another company.  Such is life with an entrepreneur!

These Scriptures have become so real to me through my journey.

Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV):
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

God is so good.  God is so faithful. He's taught me that material possessions can be easily taken away. I'm learning to be content in all circumstances. Counting my every day blessings has been so helpful for me to focus on what's good and right in my life. My eyes have been opened to life in a new way and ...I have joy in my heart. He's showing me the plans He has for my life and they are good.

I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Faith Barista for this Faith Jam Thursday as we lead up to Easter.


Blessings and love,

Brokenness Can Lead to BlessingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA