The Delivery Process


Well, my trailer has been delivered and setup…though we had a few hiccups…like wrong delivery address and electricity issues…I have spent a couple of nights there already and everything seems to be going smoothly…even with a few worries like getting rained on…

 

First, after unloading and unpacking, I settled down…since it was a warm day, I sat on the front step and studied the scenery…on one side is a golf course and then the rest of the trailer park is surrounded by trees and mountains…plus, across, the street, is an old barn with a herd of cows!  Yeah!  I finally have my little trailer in the country…yippee!  Or should I say moo?  The simple life I’ve been dreaming about for a while…

 

Next, while talking to my mom, I had a visitor…a little kitty who I had met before…he/she wanted to come in; unfortunately, I had to put a stop since my little lady is very territorial.  Anyway, the little thing hung out with me before heading off to find another adventure…

 

That first night was interesting…I heard thumps on the roof…were wild animals breaking in?  Oh, how I worried…then it was a matter of adjusting to new sounds and a mattress; however, by the time I spent a second night, things were more comfortable…though I missed the little lady, who also missed me…and less worrisome.

 

Despite the ups and downs throughout the process, I am excited to live here…though it was cool “home” after church last night rather than facing the danger of deer on the road or even blinding sun to get to my other home.  Plus, it is about ten minutes versus over an hour…so sweet!  I don’t even have my laptop, radio, or even a working television yet so it was nice not to be distracted by gadgets except my phone…just enjoying God’s creation practically in the middle of nowhere…

 

<<sigh>> I once heard you are in the place you’re supposed to be when you’re happy…well, this new adventure called trailer is a happy and relaxed place to be…where I truly believe God is calling me to live a simple life while even ridding myself stuff.  I guess, after losing my husband, relationships are more important than stuff…

 

Well, at the same time, I do have other worries like how to light the propane oven, change the gray and black water tanks, and then supporting myself…yet, I also know I shouldn’t worry since God will take care of me.

 

After all, according to Luke 12:22 (NIV):  Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear…basically have faith for God to provide since according to verse 30 “your Father knows that you need them…” 

 

At the same time, don’t wait for things to come to you…like me, I am looking for a job; however,  I know God will provide while I work on ways to earn an income through writing or whatever God has in store for me to live this simple life.

 

So, what are you worried about?  Like me, I was worried something would go wrong with the delivery, which did happen but, overall, the delivery went smooth and I met some great people with my dad’s help…so trust God and unwind from worry…after all, like the delivery guy said, worry just stresses a person out so release the worry…deep breaths…and let God work things out for His glory.

 

Or, just bask in His marvelous creation…like my new friend who doesn’t seem to have a worry even after accidently being locked in a shed all night…

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Community of Support and Encouragement


I do apologize for not writing in a while…its been hectic.  Starting with the first day of my new class, life started out with landing in the emergency room one day due to a lot of pain.  This visit will lead to several tests in the coming months and perhaps major surgery.  Nothing serious…I pray.  Yet the people who I expected to say something have been quiet; however, I have been getting support from strangers, good friends, and relatives…who I appreciate and feel blessed to have in my life.

Then, our community was hit was a tragedy called a school shooting.  Three young people tragically passed including the shooter himself.  The community is reeling.  People around the community have reached out in support of the families of all including the young man who chose to commit such a terrible crime.

In the midst of this, as I wonder if I will be diagnosed with the big C (not yet, more tests will determine if so), I’ve also wondered – why do people stay so busy and then show up at funerals?  Why don’t we stay in touch before a person passes or even is diagnosed with a terrible disease?  Why does it take a tragedy before we realize that someone was facing issues in their life?  This is not meant to judge anyone…but just a curious thought.

Yet, we need to support each other during both the good and not just the bad stuff…after all, God made us to be part of a community.  Humans thrive when they have a support system, surrounded by loved ones.  Perhaps if people knew they had this support, maybe there would be one less tragedy in this world?

I know it may not stop all tragedies like the one my communities and others have experienced in recent years in this country…but even if it was just one or maybe even two, that would be few less tears shed.

So think about it…who haven’t you spoken to a while that may need to hear from you even if they are going through a good time?  Maybe inside they are facing turmoil too afraid to say something in fear that they will be judged.  So, perhaps just a few words of encouragement will help them through that turmoil.

The encouragement can be a simple hello, how are you to even praying with them.

Maybe write a real letter or card sent through the postal system called snail mail.

So, in conclusion, I leave you with a verse that was preached in church yesterday to encourage those facing struggles now as they read this blog:

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcame the world!”

And, remember, even if you feel alone during a health crisis, loss of everything dear to you, or even something as simple as not passing a test at school that you needed to pass, God is with you and He does love you.

Finally, if you do need encouragement or even just prayer, please contact us so both my husband and I can pray for you…

Praising the Lord as I Hit the Bumps in the Journey


Hello, how are you my friends?  Hope all is well as I write tonight’s blog…

So, as I write this, I will first let you know that I may not write a blog for at least a week as I prepare to focus on a final paper on a passage in the book of Micah for my class on the OT Prophets this week.  Yep, another class is about to end and that will be one more down with five more to go…if I get a chance, maybe i’ll pop in and write a few notes about the final as I discover the Lord’s lessons in this study…

Anyway, as I go through this journey of earning a degree towards a Master in Pastoral Care, I have been hit with a few bumps in terms of my own health and even my husband’s health, which have forced me to cut back my hours at the church but I won’t give it up.  I almost did but God reminded me that He wanted me there and opened my eyes to another option of cutting back hours, which I have, as I face the bumps in my journey.

  • Bump 1:  As for my health, I won’t go into details but earlier this year I was finally diagnosed with diabetes and began treatment.  Currently its just taking a med twice a day as my condition is monitored.  This has forced me to watch what I eat and focus more on natural ways to heal my body.  For the most part, I’m controlling it.
  • Bump 2:  Then, throughout the course of getting routine checkups, a biopsy has occurred with the results to be on the lookout for a concern and be treated for it…no its not the c word, yet, praise the Lord and praising the Lord that it won’t become the c word.
  • Bump 3:  Another routine test confirmed a suspicion – I have partial hearing loss…it took 20 years until I finally got a doctor to really listen and have me tested.  IF something is not right, be persistent with doctors.  Yet, I need to be tested for something else to explain the physical reason why I have partial hearing loss (thought it was from either getting hit by a baseball plus construction at work at the time).  Even need expensive hearing aids!  But praising the Lord that He’s in control…
  • Bump 4:  Finally, yet another issue has been hitting my body that has led to the discovery of low iron and hemoglobin levels – yet another round of tests coming up…yes, I’m still praising the Lord!
  • Bump 5:  My husband has been having circulation problems again and this next week he will be having an angiogram on his hip to determine the extent of lack of blood flow in his right stump…yet I’m still praising the Lord.

Well, to be honest, I haven’t always been praising the Lord – over the course of the last several days, I’ve had my scary moments and even questioned why the Lord would send me on the journey to get a degree in ministry, only to have my health be attacked like this.  Yet, I continue to praise Him even in the scary times and sought both His comfort and the comfort of my husband’s arms and strong encouraging words.

I’ve felt alone because I’ve asked for prayer from people and not getting much response…yet I still praise the Lord and I will still pray for people.  Though the storm clouds seem dark right now, I know the Son is still shining and HE is in control.

Suggestion:  Be there for people as they are going through a rough time…even if you don’t know what to say or do, just a simple I’m praying for you will work.  Being silent only makes the person(s) think you don’t care and the storm clouds seem darker.  Yet that person(s) knows they still have Jesus at their side.

Finally, no questions tonight, but just a wrap up…even if you are still silent with people, you are still loved…as we continue to praise the Lord and put our trust in Him.

The Clydesdale and Prayers


Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do anything for it?  You prayed and you ran scenarios through your head as to how you would handle this thing you wanted really bad?

This happened to me a couple weeks ago at a county fair where I went to see one of my favorite animals – horses!  There was a raffle ticket for a horse – a Clydesdale mare, of all horses – but I was determined to win her as I purchased several tickets.  After all, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a horse.

I spent that night dreaming of ways to care for the horse – though I don’t think the apartment management company would welcome a horse as a pet – especially one as big as a Clydesdale.  I begged my in-laws, since they have a field, and even called my parents who have a neighbor with a field

I was full of hope until the night of the drawing came and went – with no calls!  I wanted to rant at God for not answering my prayers then remembered there are times when He will say no especially for something like a horse that I would not have been able to take care of.  So the reasons for God’s no on this prayer request were understood.

After all, James 4:3 (NIV) says:  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 

Maybe I would have used this horse for my own pleasures and not for God’s purpose?

Yet some prayers will be heard and taken care of yet sometimes God needs to say no to us.  We may not always understand like me wanting my son back in my life…yet I know God has a purpose for that and some day he will be restored to me.  Yet, other prayers like my husband’s complete healing are not so easily understand as I watch him fight the complications of T1 diabetes and yet he is faithful to God as he encourages those around him.

Yet, in conclusion, as I look back, there have been times that He has answered with a yes;   After all, Matthew 21:22 (NIV) says:  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  The yes answers have been about glorifying Him and serving His purpose like the prayers of giving me the right words for this blog or even allowing recent doctor tests to come back that said “no cancer” so I can continue to use my degree to serve Him.

Questions:

1)  Is there times that God has said no to your prayers?  If so, if you looked back, do you think there was a reason?  I know some “nos” maybe painful like not healing someone like my husband…and I don’t have an answer to these nos.

2)  Can you look back and see where He has answered with a yes?  If so, do you show you are grateful even if the answer was no?

Lost and Found


Well,  how was your week?  Have you been creative or reflective in your walk with Jesus?  Or even made an important decision to accept Him into your life?  Or do you feel lost rather you have accepted Him or not?

Throughout the book of Luke in Chapter 15 there are a few parables about sheep, coins, and even a son who were lost and so these parables reminded me of my own lost story this past week.  You see, I have been losing weight to fight a health issue and so my wedding ring has been getting loose.

Earlier this week, I ran a bunch of errands and noticed it was quite loose but I kept it on.  A few hours later, I noticed it was missing and went in an almost panicked mode…worst scenario – it was flushed down the toilet!  Or lost under the tires of a car in a store’s parking lot!  I even dug through the garbage, garbage disposal, hamburger, fish and so on (I’d split up the meat and produce picked up at the store)…but alas no ring!  We were both devastated and I moaned the loss of such a connection with my husband.

Then, a little voice kept whispering check the bags…check the bags…so I checked the baggie storage and then I checked on bag that had been shoved in an obsolete spot.  My heart leaped with joy as a small shiny object popped out and fell to the floor…rolling under a few more bags that had fallen!  Praise the Lord..after doing some more digging…I found my ring.

Quickly I tucked it away until I can find a nice chain to wear around my neck until the ring can be resized…

Lesson learned was that I need to tuck something precious away especially your ring if you notice it in a hazardous situation (yes I got the lecture from my hubby).

Above all, I felt like the woman did in Luke 15:8-10 whens he found one of her ten coins that signifies she has been faithful in her marriage.  She rejoiced just as Jesus rejoices when even just one sinner repents.  Or the Father who rejoices when His son returns home in Luke 15:11-32.

Questions:

1) Do you feel lost?

2) If so, where are you at in your walk with Jesus?

3) Have you said the sinners prayer?  Or even returned to Him after a long time away from Him?

4) How do you take care of your relationship with Jesus?  Are there warning signs that you are drifting away on the way to becoming lost?

5) Did you know that even if you have drifted away, God still loves you?

Wherever you are at, I’m praying for you and will rejoice with you once you are found and return to Him…

Creativity, Creation and Holy Spirit Sensitivity


During one of my classes, I took one of those spiritual gift tests (which are the gifts God gives you to fulfill your purpose in life and even if you are not a born again Christian, these gifts can be in your talents i.e. carpenter, financial advisor, technical wiz, etc.).  During the course of this test, it was determined that my gifts include artisan/craftsmanship, writer, and even music…and thought, I can understand the first two; however, music is one that still puzzles me.

After all, I do love music and have been in choirs over the year; however, I cannot read music; however, I just love to tune into music especially worship music sing with my heart to my Lord and Savior.  I tend to be more sensitive when it comes to the Holy Spirit during moments of worship, either at church, in my car, or even in my home.  Though I learned a long time ago to never drive and listen to a song that really puts you in tune to the Holy Spirit ‘cuz one tends to start crying their eyes out.

Like the music that allows me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, so does being creative…I love sitting in a natural spot like my grandparents’ old farm, Mount St Helens, a forest, or even a lakeside beach as the sun either rises into the sky or slowly sinks into the horizon.  Then I contemplate what the scenery would like if I took the picture, drew something, or even journaled about the view.

During this contemplation, my thoughts eventually turn to God and seeking His voice as I try and determine what He wants from me or simply to communicate with Him without all of the distractions.  Sometimes I have created poetry or sometimes I just write out the words God is saying to me.  After all,  He does want our attention and we are too busy to give Him our undivided attention.

In the end, I feel refreshed and look forward to the next chat…something I haven’t done in a while until recently when I was at a church campout…I went on a walk, met quite a large beetle, and soaked up His presence.  I didn’t have pen or paper to write but I did take pictures including the beetle, who was determined to cross the path even with obstacles in his way.

Questions:

  1. How do you seek out God and become sensitive to His spirit?  What tools do you use to write or capture the thoughts He gives You?  Even if you do not have a artistic or writing gift, are there other tools you can use?
  2. What obstacles are in your way to fulfill your purpose or the path God wants for you?  Are you determined to fulfill them or is something holding you back?
  3. What is your favorite spot to contemplate God, life, or even your future?

No Longer a Victim but Victorious in Christ


Well, tonight, my favorite football team of all time- the Seattle Seahawks won!!!  Afterwards, the MVP Russell Wilson gave God glory for the victory…yep the seahawks overcame much to become the victor and the MVP managed to give God the victory.

You see, I overcame much in my life and I give God the glory for no longer allowing me to be a victim but a person victorious in Him…

After my divorce, I remember going home and sobbing my heart out and praying to Him after hearing a song “God is an Awesome God…I fell asleep and woke up knowing that God was in charge and that even if things did not go my way, He would still be there for me.  And, I need to returned to Him who I turned my back on while married to my ex as I was going down a dark path…possibly even death yet I was able to turn back…as God pulled me away from being a victim of abuse and a nasty divorce even as I lost my son during the custody hearing because of many factors which I will not discuss since it’s between God and my ex husband…God will be the final judge in this situation.

Even though it would take a bit more time, I finally began to return to Him as I involved myself at a local church, went to a counselor and developed some wonderful friendships at church and even work.   I’m still friends with many of these people today and have enjoyed their friendship and mentorship over the years.  Life would include being active in singles ministry, greeting, serving at banquets and other fun group events and surrendering myself to Jesus as I became not a victim but victorious in Jesus Christ.  We continue to give Him glory as we plan our next journey of ministering to people and hopefully speaking eventually of what God has done for us because we are victorious in Him.

Then I felt the desire to go back to school so I enrolled at Northwest and began my educational journey which has just one more year to complete as I currently pursue my master in ministry, which I plan to use my degree to help other victims.

Yet, even before I started that journey, I was a bit fearful and wondered if I could handle school and if God would provide for me to head back…so He played a practical joke on me by sending me on what I thought was a simple hike…not!  I won a contest to go rock climbing!  Me – rock climb?  I don’t like heights – after all I had a traumatic fall when I was a child…yet God would not let me remain a victim as I overcame my heights by literally walking off a really high cliff and going down with a thin rope and trusting someone to keep rope from sliding off cliff…that’s what God expects of us.  Life will get dangerous at times and bumpy yet as we face our fears, we must trust Him and let go of our victim mentality and become victorious in Him.

Then, I fell in love with a great man who taught me about faith as he faces his own medical crisis…we married over a year later and I moved to a new town and new home and new church.  It was hard to find a new church and get settled in as I met new people.  Yet even then God would not let me become a victim.

Now, my great husband and I live in an even newer town and we are meeting new people…the land around us is covered in a layer of snow and it’s, well, just beautiful…we may not fully understand why God brought us here.  Life has been a struggle since we moved here yet we are continuing to persevere and not being a victim of our circumstances.

After all Psalms 20:6 (NIV) reads:

Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.

and Psalms 45: 4 reads:

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

So, are you still a victim of your circumstance’s or have you become victorious?  If you are still a victim, and even not, I’m praying for you…

Simple and Powerful Prayers


Prayer…what do you think prayer means?

I believe it is talking to God on behalf of other people as well as ourselves for healing, a job, finances, relationship issues, and so on.  Prayer is having a conversation with God about every day life while thanking and praising Him for the blessings in our life.  Prayer is a heart of gratitude while at times or it may be a prayer of urgency and hoping for a miracle as a loved one or even you are quite ill.

According to Strong’s Bible Dictionary, prayer is defined as intercession, supplication, a request, contemplation, petition, and to even ponder.

I used to be a weak prayer, even struggle with praying at times, yet since moving to this little town, without the distractions of too many everyday life of living in a large town, my husband and I are learning to pray together.  We pray as get ready for bed for each other and anything else that is going on with the world, our families, the church, or even our lives.

There is prayer for those on Facebook like the ones who needs a healing miracle, a missing relative, or even seeking prayer on behalf of my husband who still not himself since the strokes.  I find myself praying for these people when I used to say just praying and not bother to pray for them at all.  Now, I’m teaching myself to stop and pray as soon as I start typing that I’m praying and if possible, put the right prayer words in my response.

We can all pray.  Even Jesus prayed.  For example, during the time He fasted on the mountain and even the night before His death when He prayed to His Father to take the cup from Him, yet He went through with it.

Furthermore, when we believe, He gave us the power heal people in His name through the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we need to believe that people will be healed or their situation will be turned away.  Yet, even if they are not healed or the situation is not turned around, we can still pray that God will bring comfort and perhaps find another way to help with the situation.

After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) reads:

Rejoice always, pray continually, given thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, the missing sister was found, people were healed of their sickness and/or injuries, and there were a few people who went home to be with the Lord.  Furthermore, my husband is still weak yet he is slowly re-gaining his strength as he encourages me even during his moments of weakness.  Yet, he still needs prayer; however, I know God is with us and He will help me through this journey with my husband.

Finally, remember prayer can be done anywhere or anytime – while reading the Bible by praying His words, remembering His words, while we are driving, walking, riding, evening, morning, noon or even while watching your child as he/she participates in an activity.  After all, God does not care what time or place we pray as long as we are talking to  Him.  And, if you don’t know what to say to Him, just start talking and the words will start flowing out of you even if it’s just bits and pieces at first.

What do you need prayer for?  Whatever your prayer request, I’m praying for you and if you need prayer for a specific request, please feel free to message me.

Standing at a Crossroad


Wow!  it’s hard to believe that today marks the 1 month anniversary since we moved to our new town.

Since our move, we have learned a lot about each other, living in a small town and how God works even as we remain faithful to Him (even if we were unfaithful, He still works things out as He remains faithful to us).

Even the cat is enjoying the new home – though she put up a big fuss on the way over – as she cuddles with me at night and continues to beg for her dinner if I’m even a few minutes late in giving her dinner.

We’re learning that yes it does rain in this area though people have said it does not.  The last few days have been blustery with wind and rain as the temperatures drop.  The heater has been on for about a week and we realize that we may be in for a winter as cold as everyone talks about.  Hopefully I will have a white Christmas unless we are able to make it home for Christmas.

Yes, we still have the vision of opening up a community-type coffee shop as we discovered that there is at least one building for sale here in town.  If it’s God will and He provides, we would like to purchase it since it has at least 3 office spaces, 4 apartments, and it overlooks the lake with a trail nearby.

The downside is that we heard businesses – especially food industries – struggle in this area and if we wanted to live in one of the apartments, we would have to install an elevator and do other “remodeling” jobs to make it into a business.

Another downside is that the town often resists improving the area in order to attract visitors, wanting to keep its small town charm.  I see their point; however, maybe it’s time to attend council meetings and become involved with the politics of this town.  I can see some needed changes like maybe revitalize downtown with fresh paint, some greenery, and someway to make it appealing to those traveling 2 major freeways and give potential visitors a reason to travel out of their way.

Therefore, we need prayer in the following areas:

1) For this town that God opens the eyes of the local people without stepping on toes.  Perhaps we can make a change in this little town while keeping its charm and peacefulness.

2) Prayer that God opens a job up for me or provides the financing to purchase a building and/or remodel it for His Glory

3) For Dene’s health – we are finding great doctors; however, if it’s God’s will, I want him around so we can work on this plan together as husband and wife

4) For the local churches that they can work together to make a change for His glory and help us with elbow grease, resources, and other needs.

5) That there is a revival in this town and the small churches become crowded with people as they desire to learn more about Jesus.

Above all, even with these prayers, we must remember that God directs our path and He will provide in order to help us fulfill His purpose.  I’ve learned a new verse about paths and as we stand at the crossroads of these major freeways plus a minor highway, we must allow God to direct our steps as we prepare to go down a new road in our journey:

Jeremiah 6:16 (New International Version): This is what the Lord says:  “Stand at the crossroads and look;     ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”

One final thing that I have realized is that Dene and I live near two major crosswords as one of the highways crosses path with two of the main arterials through town.  We are praying that God helps us take the right path to reach out to people as we continue to hear His voice…

So, are you standing at a crossroad in your journey?  Do you know which path to take?

Family tears…and more


Just little over five weeks until we make the big move…

We’ve almost finished “blessing” people with the extras or stuff that we really do not want to bring down to Nevada with us.  Yeah, there’s a few more things but that will be given away during the last bit of packing.

In the midst of the packing, we realize that we will be saying good bye to family and friends in five weeks and may be on our own this Christmas as we scrape and settle in.  We do have some family close by but one, like a sister, lives in Arizona.

This weekend, I am going to a family reunion with my mom’s side of the family called the Wallace – Burkett – and whatever last name links you as being related to the Wallace – Burkett name – Reunion.  There will be camping, potlucks, fun, and hopefully a trick or two played on or by one of my favorite cousins.  Told them if they hear what sounds like a bear or big foot, it’s probably snoring from an unnamed person…

At the end of the weekend, we must say good-bye to these people with the understanding that it may be at least another year or two.  Some like my elderly aunts and uncles, I wonder, if I’ll ever see them again this side of heaven.

Just as we are saying good-bye to family and friends who will miss us, we have family and friends that are a bit concerned about this move.  I see their point especially since my husband has health issues; however, we are being called to Nevada and feel that his health would improve some with the warmer climate.

Some act as if they don’t care if we move and won’t take the opportunity to say goodbye or spend time with us in our final weeks.  All we can think is that they are trying to be brave and not show their emotions at the thought of us leaving.

At the same time, we are reminded that Abraham and even Jesus himself met some resistance from family as they answered their calling.

Yet, Jesus does call us to love Him more than our parents, brothers, and sisters and yet, we still love them and will miss them.

Yes, this attitude hurts especially when we have our own neighbors – people we’ve known only a few months – come up and say how we will be missed.  Yes, the rumor that we are moving is spreading quite quickly in this small “community” called our apartment building.

Even with this attitude from family, we will continue to pray for them and make sure we’re right with them as we make the move.  After all, you only have one set of family members and each of them are important.

As you prepare for a journey, are you getting resistance?  How do you handle it?  We plan to patiently answer their concerns, pray for them, and assure them that at least it’s not Africa or some other far corner of the world…