Tight Spaces

I would not say that I am claustrophobic, but I will admit that I am not a fan of closed in, tight spaces. I don’t like getting into closets during a tornado warning or closed doors at any time. I want to see the open spaces around me and know that I can walk around freely.

One of my verses in my devotional this morning gave me a new perspective on tight spaces. I don’t mind at all being hemmed in by God’s presence, surrounded by His protection, with His hand on me and telling me that He is there and it’s all going to be okay. That is not a tight space; rather, it is a place where I am free to trust and lean on Him.

There is freedom in knowing that God knows my name. I often wonder if He knows all of the people that are behind each name that I use. But then, I read this verse and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He knows my name, my nickname, my online names and all about each person that each name represents. That is awesome to think about, especially since as I age, I cannot always recall the names of those whom I know I have met and should know. God knows all of us intimately and completely and that gives me the freedom to offer myself to the only One who truly knows me and still loves me.

May each of you have a blessed and safe day. Let’s continue to pray for those in Florida affected by the devastation of Hurricane Ian. And if you have extra funds to donate, may I suggest Samaritan’s Purse. They have already mobilized and headed to the worst-hit places, taking hope, food, water and medical care with them.

Samaritan’s Purse

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful to be home again! I got home yesterday afternoon, got most of my things unpacked and just relaxed in the environment that I am used to. The last ten days had been stressful but I survived and one of the main reasons that I was able to hold it together was my dependence on the Lord and my attitude of gratitude. It’s hard to be grumpy when you are grateful! And I am so grateful for family, friends, health, God’s provision…the list goes on and on. So, today is a day to praise. Is everything going well in my world? No, I have family in the hurricane in Florida, but both have assured me that they are okay. I even heard from my brother early this morning. They are on the backside of the storm and expecting possible tornadoes after the hurricane passes later today. But I am thankful that God is watching over both of them and confident that He will take care of them as He sees fit. He is God and there in none other!

Have a blessed day of gratitude to the Lord for all He has done, but mostly for Who He is!


How much does an act of kindness cost you? I would concur with all who say that it costs nothing. I would also remind you that some of the kindest people in the word seem to be those who are remembered well. Do you know the name of Fred Rogers? His gentle, quiet spirit on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” attracted viewers from around the nation and perhaps the world. He encouraged the children who watched him regularly to “look for the helpers” during troubled times because they will always be there. How could he be so confident that the world is full of helpers? Because God put us here and that is one of our purposes. We need to look for ways to show kindness because the cost of it to us is nothing, but to the recipient, it may be everything.

One of the fruits of the spirit is kindness. Just be kind. Help the one struggling to carry a lot of packages, give your place in line to the mom with screaming toddlers, pick up that dropped piece of paper for the elderly man. It’s hard to imagine a world without kindness, a world in which there are no helpers stepping out. Be the one who helps, the one who shows kindness.

Wow! This Scripture is an eye-opener, isn’t it? God shows us daily the riches of His grace through the KINDNESS of Christ Jesus. If we are to follow Christ’s example, then we need to show kindness to others. After all, don’t we want them to see Jesus in us and wonder what makes us different from others?

Have a blessed day and may God’s grace fill you with kindness so that you may unselfishly reach out to do for others what you would like someone to do for you.


I was told for many years even before I finished high school that when opportunity knocks, I have to open the door. Today, this verse was in my devotional and reminded me of my grandparents’ saying and also expanded on it in a spiritual way. We are always to be ready to tell others about Jesus. There is a world of hurting people who need to know him and we need to seize the time that He has given us to share His love, mercy and grace with them. Yes, the days are evil, but God is good and we need to tell His Story to all who will listen.

I want others to find this rest that only comes from God. In the midst of life’s turmoil, you can find rest and peace in Him, knowing that He can be trusted with your eternal security.

Have a blessed day and when the opportunity arises to share about Jesus, jump in with faith and tell what He has done for you!


I have to confess that my compassion has been sorely tested this last week. Staying with someone who is absorbed by bitterness and anger is frustrating and hurtful. Every morning I need new strength to face whatever that day’s complaints are. And then, God shows me words from His Holy Word that pierce my soul and let me know that what I am doing, the small things that I accomplish daily, are but a drop in the bucket to the compassion He would like to teach me to have.

It’s hard to sing a song of praise around someone who is morose, grieving so many losses in her life. But I sing quietly to myself and then go out to just listen and offer quiet words of comfort. That has been my life this week.

I have found that I need to get ready each day with the armor of God but also with compassion and kindness and patience. The situation is not likely to change, but I can change how I react to it. I know that I would have problems dealing with all that my sister is dealing with, so I am trying to see things through her eyes. Her vision is clouded with macular degeneration and her heart’s vision is clouded with bitterness. But I can see clearly that what she needs is a touch from the Lord and that is what I am praying for and then waiting for the answer.

Jesus did not come so that we can hold grudges but so that we can forgive and be forgiven. This last week has been hard, but kindness has helped.

So, I wait for God to act. I have advised, prayed, given quiet counsel and listened. Now, the infinite wisdom and love of God needs to take over in all of the places where I have failed to make a difference, to consume a bitter life with His unending love. And so I wait.

For what are you waiting? God’s timing is always perfect, so no matter how long it takes, persist in prayer and wait patiently for the Lord to act. His way is not my way, but His way is perfect and that’s what I am waiting for.

Have a blessed day as you wait or as you rejoice because this time the waiting is over for you!

Trading Up

When I was a child, one of our activities involved trading toys to neighbors for more coveted ones. I was a poor trader because I usually got the doll with the sparse hair or the “jacks” ball that looked like it had been chewed on by the family pet. I don’t remember how it all came about, but I do know that when I got home with my new treasures, I quickly put them away into the playroom because they were not what I wanted but they were what I got. In a similar fashion, my husband, an avid sports fan, tells me in great detail who has been traded up from one team to another and how it will or will not benefit the new team. I listen halfheartedly because sports do not interest me at all, but I have listened, making it possible for me to include that analogy in my thoughts today.

In exchange for accepting Jesus as Savior, you trade up. Instead of a broken heart, you have healing. Instead of captivity, you have freedom. And instead of darkness, you have light. Now, that is trading up! Jesus does not, however, promise that all will be easy on this new road. He simply promises that eternity is waiting and He will be with us through all of the difficult times. I traded my shame over my sin for redemption and belief in an eternal home where I can always be with the One who sacrificed His life for me. Jesus exchanged His home in Heaven for a home on earth so that He could sacrifice His life willingly to save each of us. He considered us a “trade up” and I’m so grateful that He considered me worthy!

Have a blessed day and enjoy the feelings of peace and security that come from knowing the Lord as your Savior.


What does “unity” mean and how do we get there in this world that seems more divided each day? Many years ago, I studied in a history class the root causes of division between people, with my teacher instructing us that the basic problem was that some people have and others don’t. The ones who don’t want what the “haves” possess, so thus begins bitterness, envy and division. I believed what the teacher said then and I believe that this division has spread to families and even churches. Sadly.

I have been staying in NC in a home filled with the opposite of unity. There is bitterness, anger and unhappiness abounding. So, instead of good and pleasant, it is awful and very unpleasant. I am not happy here because I don’t feel that I can change anything, caught as I am between the factions that are determined to attack each other. Without the Lord, this situation is unredeemable, and I am doing all I can to stand in the gap and present God to them, the God of love, forgiveness and acceptance.

I have to pray a lot here, with a constant attitude of prayer, lest I lash out and tell my sibling how I see her actions and how she is hurting others. I can say a few things to encourage but nothing much that seems to be making a difference and that is discouraging. Still I persist and pray with my husband daily for strength, physical, mental and spiritual. The whole armor of God is a necessity here!

Speaking quietly and with soothing words seems to help some but it isn’t bringing the unity that I crave to see. Years of bitterness and resentment are seething under the surface, waiting to bubble out. Do I understand what is actually happening? Yes, of course. This is spiritual warfare!

The greatest example of love that Jesus gave us was His sacrifice on the cross. Thus, I am attempting daily to show love in practical ways so that some peace is found in the environment. It’s hard to be with someone who hates people just because of what they believe, but that’s where I am now. I’m at the point where I am praying and then trying to muddle through and make it to the end of my visit without damaging my own health too much. I am sure this is not what God envisioned when he made us a family, and I feel guilty about disappointing Him, but I don’t know what else to do but pray and stand.

This week has been beyond difficult for me, and I sincerely appreciate all of the prayers for me and this situation. I have five more days here and then I can go home and recover.

Have a blessed Saturday, my friends! Remember to hold your loved ones close and to show love to all whom you meet. You never know what a difference you might make!


I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that God always answers our prayers. It may not be at the time we expect or how we expect, but there is always an answer. The answer is always Yes, No, or Not yet.

Yesterday was a waiting period for me for answers. I had a high blood pressure reading that refused to go down. I stayed in the bedroom where I’m sleeping, praying, reading, calling my daughter to agree with me in prayer. After a couple of hours, my headache was worse and when I checked my blood pressure, it was higher still. Having had a stroke already, I knew I had to remain calm and focus on positive things. Thus, yesterday’s post about thoughts.

This has been a verse that I have leaned on repeatedly. I really need Jesus to always guard my heart and mind so those anxious thoughts don’t slip in and make themselves at home there.

After about six hours of the headache and elevated blood pressure and continued prayer, the pain eased and the pressure started to go down. Finally, in mid-afternoon, I felt normal again. God’s timing is always perfect, even when I think He’s arriving with an answer a little late. Just after I started praising God for feeling better, my sister got a phone call telling her that the issue at her doctor’s office was resolved. She was approved for the medicine she needed. Big praise from me there! Her negative attitude did not stop right away but it got better and so did I. Sometimes, it takes more praise and less anxiety for the answer to be revealed. But God never stopped working on my behalf or for my sister, the root of my anxiety.

I don’t know what today will bring. I haven’t taken my BP yet this morning. But whatever comes, I know that God is in control. As my friend here on WordPress said in her post, God is THE boss!

God knows where I am and He is examining the path before me, moving obstacles and helping me not to stray or stumble.

Have a blessed and wonderful day, enjoying God’s presence in your life and watching for answers to prayers.


There is a lot out of our control, but one thing we can reign in is how we think.

I have been having a tough time here in NC because my sister is angry and frustrated over her condition and I have become an unwilling target for her. As a result, my blood pressure has been climbing. So, today, I’m staying in the back room and thinking good thoughts (as much as I can) and asking for prayer. I can go home early but that would probably enrage her more, so I’m trying to stay calm and prayerful. I wish she knew the Lord but she doesn’t and says she doesn’t believe as I do. It’s all very sad and stressful. Thank you for prayers.

Have a blessed day!

When, Not If

I know with certainty that I have read this verse many times throughout the years. I have sat in classes with Ephesians 6 as it’s focus. But for perhaps the first time, I really noticed a very important word in this verse. Do you see it? The word is “when”. It says WHEN the day of evil comes, not “if” it comes. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the day of evil is coming, not just a possibility or a probability, but a reality of life.

To some, this might be a “whoa, hold on there, you prophet of doom.” This is not a prophecy about evil coming; I believe instead that it is a prophecy about our being able to stand firmly WHEN it comes. We prepare in advance and then we can stand through anything that the enemy throws at us. We have to always be prepared since we don’t know WHEN the enemy will hurl his fiery darts at us.

Having been a teacher for almost four decades, I know all about preparation and lack thereof. I would spend every Saturday preparing lesson plans for the upcoming week, and most days it took almost the entire Saturday to do them. I had to make sure that I was ready to stand before my classes and teach the subject matter in a way that would make sense to them and so that they could use it to further their knowledge of the Spanish language. Nowadays since I am retired, my preparation is to get ready for the day and I begin each day with a devotional and Bible reading. I like to think that I am preparing myself for WHEN the evil days come, just as I got ready for when the students asked hard questions.

There is no such thing as a sneak attack if you are vigilant and always prepared for whatever may come. Because evil is there, waiting for you to let down your guard. The word is WHEN, not IF!

May your day be blessed with the knowledge that you are fully prepared to face whatever happens because you started the day putting on the full armor of God!