Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Clear Your Mind

How to clear your mind? Focus on how big God is -
What does that for you?
David and I used to walk the ocean together - he always said that cleared his mind.

For me, if I am not near an ocean, it is the book Knowledge Of The Holy - every chapter - blows me away with the magnitude of Our Lord.
And, to think that God can use everything for His glory -
Especially when we are in a battle - it seems difficult to see His ability to make something beautiful out of our struggles.
But He promises:
"He makes all things work for the good of those who love Him - who have been called according to His purposes."

I am grateful,for every minute God gives me to spend with you -
whether that is once every couple of years, once a year, once a month, or once a day -
May we be grateful and thank God for His people in our lives.
Those He created to walk alongside us.
And, together, may we accomplish His purposes for His glory.

Friday, December 26, 2014

One Transformation

This past week, I have been blessed with beautiful celebrations of Our Lord's birth - through meals and time with family. As I focus on saying "Thank You" to God today, I wanted to share an old story.
It transformed my life.

I was singing praise music all the way to the shower. I expected a blessed time celebrating an upcoming wedding. I knew few people at this shower - well, I knew a lot by name, but did not have a relationship with them yet - and I approached - they all said hi - but there were no seats available.
I brought my gift up front and searched the room - AHA - a table in back with one woman at it I knew - and I excitedly sat down next to her.

She immediately told me that she sat in the back because she had to leave early - which meant that as the shower progressed, I would be sitting alone at this table for ten. My insides started to shake - sitting alone again. This had happened before. I excused myself as tears began to form and I ran to the ladies room. I sobbed - I did not cry, I sobbed. As quickly as possible, I ran to my car and the drive home was painful. By the time I arrived home, I had a migraine headache - so I lay on the bathroom floor with the door closed for darkness - light hurt - and after I vomited into the toilet, I cried out to the Lord "I don't ever want to feel like this again, Lord - HELP ME!!"

I lay in quiet with no thoughts except a pounding headache -
"OH, okay. You have no reply?" I smarted.

So, I decided to rephrase my plea.
"Lord, how can I avoid this feeling - should I never go to a shower alone again?"
The thought came to me - which is how He usually communicates with me.
"Why can't you go alone?"
"Because it hurts to sit alone, Lord!"
"I am always with you, Mary."
"Lord, are you telling me that I should be able to go sit at a table for 10 alone - for several hours - while all the other people in the room are laughing and talking with 9 others?"
"You are, aren't you! You want me to be anywhere and never feel like people don't like me?"
"I like you."
"Lord, I am grateful You do, but while on earth, we need people too!"

"You are enough - help me, Lord - I want to live knowing you are enough and having my emotions receive this - no matter how I am treated by people."

The headache left. I got up off the floor and have never been the same since - I am comfortable alone - anywhere - and the funny thing since - it seems like I keep getting invited to sit with others at a shower :)

For Jesus' Glory!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lesson Learned :)

There was a chapter in my book called Lessons Learned, and I admitted these "lessons" were still a work in progress.
Today, I do "feel" (and I know our feelings are not always reality, but I think these feelings are) free of a huge burden I have carried - I do believe I have learned a lesson.

Trying to avoid those individuals who make life difficult - in fact, individuals who admittedly do not like us and side with the enemy's opinion of us - is not the answer. As I have fought a battle of trying to please someone who is always mean/rude to me - I decided to avoid contact with them. But, thrust into contact recently, I spent the next day trying to figure out how I could avoid this happening again. I spent way too much brain time on someone who is currently not nice and my desire to avoid them.
After talking to Our Lord about how to remedy this, He simply reminded me that I had judged them. I had expected the treatment I had received in the past and had hoped to protect myself from it in the future - instead of asking Him to bless them and releasing them over to Him.

In other words - in trying to protect myself, I wasted a lot of time. I could have spent the next day singing the Lord's praises instead of focusing on a person who was mean/rude - and how to protect myself. I think I was dwelling on the negative in one relationship instead of focusing on the positive in my favorite relationship!

So, the freedom I feel - it is wonderful! I feel like I can be around anyone - and "feel" accepted and loved - because I spend my brain time being loved by a wonderful God who is always with me - always smiling down on me - always waiting for me to focus on Him. And, my brain time is my choice - - what you focus on is your choice, too :)

May God bless each of us with more of His love so that HE can be our focus.

For Jesus' Glory,

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bypass My Conscious Thinking

When I read the following in Jesus Calling, I was ecstatic - finally it was explained - my desire to "fix" things.

"Problems are part of life. They are inescapable: woven into the very fabric of this fallen world. You tend to go into problem-solving mode all too readily, acting as if you have the capacity to fix everything. This is a habitual response, so automatic that it bypasses your conscious thinking. Not only does this habit frustrate you, it also distances you from Me.
Do not let fixing things be your top priority. You are ever so limited in your capacity to correct all that is wrong in the world around you. Don’t weigh yourself down with responsibilities that are not your own. Instead, make your relationship with Me your primary concern. Talk with Me about whatever is on your mind, seeking My perspective on the situation. Rather than trying to fix everything that comes to your attention, ask Me to show you what is truly important. Remember that you are en route to heaven, and let your problems fade in the Light of eternity."

I loved it - and thought I received it - yet found myself trying to "fix" things again - over and over - for those I love. It seems that I think I am helping - yet I am bypassing my trust in God and placing it in Mary.

So, I pray today for the Lord to dissolve this habitual response - and I trust Him to be big enough to care for those I love.

David used to say "God does not need a Junior Holy Spirit", when he saw me trying to solve others issues - may I laugh at any of my attempts in the future - and instead, thank God for His love and problem solving in each of our lives.

Talking to You, Lord - seeking Your perspective on any situation - no more bypassing my conscious thinking - I choose to be conscious of thinking of You - WOO-HOO!!!

For Jesus' Glory, Mary

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Never Once

How amazing that God raises up songwriters and singers just when we need them :)
When Amy mentioned the song "Greater", I listened to it and immediately purchased it to learn its message.
When Sue mentioned "Overwhelmed", I listened to it and, once again, wanted to learn more about God's Holiness through it.
This morning, a new song played called "Never Once" and it transported me back 35 years ago.

It was a normal labor - quiet, yet almost holy - and milder than my other two labors had been.
The song talks about struggles and labor can be a struggle, but knowing what it is doing brings joy.
When the Dr. said I was ready to deliver, I simply said, "Really?", as the pain had not been that intense.
They wheeled me into delivery and a little while later, I heard "It's a boy!" and it was a sweet sound to hear.
In the recovery room, the Dr. took my hand - "I am so sorry - I did not predict his size" he gently whispered. "Everything is alright", I reassured him. I don't think he delivered many 9 pound 12 ounce babies. But, I was thrilled the baby and I were doing well and excited to hold him. Thanks to his size, we went home from the hospital early.
As an infant, he was always satisfied - he did not cry often. He has continued to be a delight ever since.

I go back to that day - "Never Once" was God not with me. Holding my hand - directing the Dr., easing the pain in my body - and I am so grateful we serve a faithful God.

This week, that son is having a son - and I pray our faithful God is allowing a holy labor and delivery for his wife and child - and that His son is as satisfied as he was as a baby - and brings his parents much delight.

Thank You, Lord, for being faithful and never once not being a part of our lives.

For Jesus' Glory!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


He has overcome!
Jesus said - "In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart - I have overcome the world!"
What a relief!
To think - no matter what thoughts enter my mind - He has overcome them!
I pray He will keep me focused on pleasing Him today -
Whatever I say or do -
May it bring glory to You, Lord!
How Great Thou Art!!
Have a blessed day :)

Friday, October 10, 2014


Change is definitely a trigger word - there can be change for the good or ...
Many changes form us yet are out of our control. Especially because they involve others.
How many of us love doing things with people and situations that have become traditional? I think all. And, for a good reason - we enjoyed it last time, so we expect to enjoy it this time.
My life has changed more than I could have imagined when I was a teenager. My hopes and dreams centered around people, not career, though I did dream of becoming a teacher. My dreams usually revolved around my wishes - selfish goals that would make me feel like I had done something right - or what I thought I was good at. I am so grateful God is in control and not me - for my life has been so full and not at all what I would have imagined!

Well, as life changes - my response is usually, at first, a little taken aback - and I need to get grounded - find my footing.

It takes longer with a huge change - like someone very important to our lives being called to heaven - when every second of our lives feels different - Recently, a good friend from Kindergarten was called home. She was a light in this dark world - a wonderful, amazing woman of God I loved very much. Her children and grandchildren will have a huge void in their lives and I pray they will find firm footing on Christ - the solid rock. Nella is enjoying Our Lord's rewards and basking in unimaginable beauty right now. She showed Christ's love to all in her world and I am so grateful she knew Him and where she was going.

To smaller changes - like waking up today and not hearing Cozette chirp. I greet her each morning - yet she did not chirp back today. Cozette is a cockatiel that has outlived cocktatiel's life spans - she was over 20 and has been a sweet presence of God's creation and a small slice of life in the kitchen. The home is quieter - feels a little different - so, I immediately go to gratitude.

Thank You, Lord, for birds, dogs, cats, and all animals we humans can house as pets. Thank you for the life they bring into our everyday existence. Thank you for their love and the joy they bring to each day.

And, thank You for the capacity You give us to love. I am amazed at Your love through me to others and through others to me - I am so grateful and amazed!

I can only imagine what You have prepared for those who love You :))

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Focus

My last post was somehow kept in the "Draft" folder - and I apologize that it was not posted when I wrote it.

Today, I am focusing on my thought life - which directs my feelings.
I have heard that "feelings are not reality" -
Well, they sure "feel" real - yet I think I understand that saying better today.

When something happens and my "feelings" immediately react - especially with stress or sadness - or, worse yet, I often get the "feeling" that I am wrong - was wronged - was not enough - etc.
I am learning that these "feelings" may not be reality - it is possible the enemy wants me focusing on me - wrong me - or wronged me - not good enough me - or me that missed something.

I spent time with a friend and she described perfectly how it "feels" when you are betrayed. Somehow, we make it about ourselves instead of letting it stay with the person who betrayed - praying for them and letting it go.

Does this make sense? We can focus on "poor us" - we were betrayed - thus "feeling" awful. Instead, for her freedom, she now focuses with compassion on those that betray - prays for them - but lets their actions go to the cross - she does not make it about herself at all. In other words, she does not allow "down feelings" but is able to stand straight, chin up high, and believe she is beloved - as she is to Christ - who is faithful - she puts on the identity He gave her.

Today, I am spending time focusing on a God who created me and loves me - a God who loves me so much that He wants me to focus on Him - turn the garbage over to Him - and then bask in His love.

Wow - I want to enjoy the reality of those feelings :)))

May you, too, enjoy how much you are loved - you are more than enough - you are His Beloved! Don't let the enemy tell you anything else through a human :)

For Jesus' Glory, Mary


God has given me time to reflect - I am in a wooded area in Wisconsin, yet it reminds me of The Cenacle in Wheaton.
For years, beginning when I was a very busy single Mom, I took an opportunity to reflect on my life at a retreat - sometimes for an afternoon, sometimes overnight - but I took time to be alone with God and my thoughts on my life. It may have been once every two years, but I remember reflecting on my life at the Cenacle. I remember the first time I attended a Saturday retreat and arrived early in the morning - only to fall asleep for several hours missing the "sessions" for the day. I was told by a friend that I must have needed the sleep that day.
These days, sleep is plentiful. I can go to bed whenever I want to and I have no children waking me up during the night - (I still think of those years as a "tender" season. Yes, I was tired - but I gladly gave up my sleep to nurse my children.)

So, not wanting to relax as I take time to reflect today, I look at God's glory in the trees and woods and strain to "hear" the quiet - there it is - swaying gently in the soft breeze. Peaceful, quiet and calming.
Now, my thoughts can quickly go to the pain in the news - the pain so many on earth are experiencing - so I gather my thoughts - give them to God with a prayer for His Mercy - and then trust Him to care for His beloved children wherever they are - and go back to just "being".

Before 1953, I was not created - and though I do not understand it, I was brought into this world through God's choice of parents, His choice of city and country, His choice of size of family, His choice of physical attributes, etc. - I was created to bring Him glory in a given set of circumstances. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for creating me - thank You for giving me life - and thank You for every day of my life - every breath I take - because I was created by You for Your purposes.

Forgive me, Lord, for those thoughts that may have been ungrateful - or even rebellious - toward Your choices for me on earth. May I come to know You more and more each day - teach others with my words and actions how much You love all of us - and grow more thankful each day - for every breath You so generously allow me to take.

For Jesus' Glory,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fair or Servant

I spent a lot of time in my life trying to help others learn to be fair - to share - to be kind - because I thought I was teaching them to be like Jesus.
But, was I? Jesus was the ultimate servant.
Did I spend time teaching them to serve? To think of others' needs before their needs?
And, do I think of others' needs before thinking of mine?

As a server at the Olive Garden years ago, I remember the humility involved in serving at a restaurant, it is extremely humbling. But, how about serving in every day life? And, how do we teach it?

Waiting for others to go ahead of us in traffic - or in a line at a store - or opening a door for someone into a restaurant that has a list waiting to be seated? Can we allow others to be served before us - allowing them to have the last (of anything) and not getting emotional that there is none for us?

Losing sleep - when children are first born - is normal and I gladly serve newborns. But, as children grow, did I "try to make life fair" thus teaching them it is all about their satisfaction?
I remember focusing on being fair - like cutting a pizza in equal slices - so each of my children had the exact amount.
I think "being fair" is an important lesson, but could I have taught them a more important lesson - to "serve" - to let others have more pizza then they had at a meal?

If we teach children, and ourselves, how to serve - to let others have something instead of us having it, will we be learning, as the Bible calls it, to "Die to self"? Because if so, then we will win!

Christ promises - the least shall be the greatest - and it seems confusing - but I think that when we serve - He makes us great.

God bless you today!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Familiar Face

Her face was familiar. I did not think we had met before, but I remembered seeing her face. We were both in a line - well, there were two clerks waiting on people and we each chose a line - but neither of us knew if there was one line or two - so we kind of stood next to each other - forming a horizontal line - waiting for someone in the hotel to wait on us.

As the man approached her, I wondered if she knew him. Surely she did not. The conversation was pleasant - she was very kind - and he seemed to discuss something she understood. Her feet moved slightly - I noticed she had chosen cute shoes - too high for me to wear - but they worked for her. The conversation ended, he left but our line had not moved - and our eyes met - we began talking about why we were in line - keys that don't work, checking out, all pleasant.

Then, another woman approached her - thanking her for her words. She graciously accepted the thanks.
So, my curiosity peaked, I asked her - "Did you speak in this hotel?"
"Yes - just this morning - at a NAMI Conference."
"I am sorry - NAMI?" I asked.
"National Association for the Mentally Ill", she answered.
"I have had experience with mental illness in my family."
"I think most people have," I answered with a smile.
"That is what I was speaking about!" she exclaimed.
We smiled.

National Association for the Mentally Ill - I may need to look into that.
We chatted a few minutes longer and, finally, one line moved. I motioned for her to go first - she was there before I approached the area - and she graciously accepted.
Finally, the other line moved - I was taken care of and - just before leaving, I caught her attention, waved and smiled. She smiled and waved back and it felt good to say a prayer for her and her family.

The Lord knows that, in His sovereign plan, I have had some experience with mental illness - so I understand a little - and am curious about this organization.

And, still curious about her face - I looked up the conference in the hotel and the speaker that morning. Yes - I had seen her before - she has a famous name - but her face is unforgettable. Mariel Hemingway.
God bless her and her family and those involved in NAMI.
For Jesus' Glory, Mary

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gratitude vs. submission

It was a fun Sunday - perfect weather for playing in the sun - and my husband wanted help with fixing something. I patiently gave him 5 minutes - then another 5 - maybe even 10 - before I said "This does not feel good." "Why?" he asked. "Because it is Sunday and we have an opportunity to spend time with others - usually it is just us two and we can fix things all day long then." "Okay, thank you" he said, graciously accepting my defiance. I walked away - his project unfinished - and ready to jump in the water with visiting family - excited to spend a fun summer day. But, my spirit was not happy. I knew inside I was wrong, even though it felt good. He graciously changed into swim trunks and joined us.

I never said thank you. I never said it was all because of his kindness that I was near water - able to have family playing in the sun with us - I never focused on the fact that without fixing the things that were important to him, this day would not be possible. I had rebelled.

Asking forgiveness is pretty easy - and holy people easily give it - but learning not to do it again is the struggle. We can be so "right" in our thoughts - so sure we know what is best for us - so sure others are asking us something that is not appropriate or "right" at the time. God - forgive us.

"My thoughts are not your thoughts", says The Lord.

I want to teach my children and grandchildren how to be respectful to authority - not to rebel - but I have to learn it first. And, after this lesson, I do believe the secret is to always be thankful - thankful thoughts must be God's thoughts.

Have a thankful day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mary Story

He had trouble at work. It was a stressful day - so he would stop, close his office door and call me while I worked at my desk.
"Tell me a Mary Story?" he gracefully asked.
Or, on some days, it was more of a plea - "I need a Mary Story" he would gently announce.

"Oh", I would quickly reply - "Sure!" and I would sit back in my chair and give a current "story" - something that happened - usually from that day - that was fun to share. It always broke up his thoughts and he could return to the stress of his business, after our telephone call, laughing.
We enjoyed sharing stories - about our lives - our families - our work - and dating was fun - really fun - because we learned more and more about each other that convinced us we wanted to be together forever. David was the first "reader" of my story by asking for one - one at a time - time after time. He was the man God used to change my story - Big Time!

Our stories are not only His plan for us - they are our very life and breath - what we do each minute of the day that He can use for eternity.

This week, I was allowed to invite my children to Wisconsin to enjoy a lake house. The last time we did this as a family, I was a single Mom and they were very young - it did not go well. We stayed one night in a friend's fishing cabin. It was full of spiders and webs and it became a long, sleepless night - though I was grateful for the opportunity.

Though they could not all come, I was blessed with another opportunity - and I watched my children parent their children - and enjoy each other. At times, I watched from afar - watched their stories unfold - thanking God for these precious children of His - thanking Him for His faithfulness.

My story is all about the relationships God has brought into my life - and especially my relationship with Jesus - it always has been and always will be.
May Christ be glorified.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tender Hearts

David used to say - our strengths are our weaknesses.
We all have wonderful hearts - through God's grace - and, if possible, are tender toward others.
Sometimes we need to say no - and it is difficult to do - but please be wise at heart.

She stood outside her car, and as I approached Old Navy in the late afternoon, she wandered over to me with sad eyes.
"Please - I need help. I am trying to get to the hospital to visit my Mom and am out of gas.
Please - can you give me gas money?"
"Wait here", I suggested. I will be quick in here and when I come out, I will follow you to the gas station and give them $5 to put gas in your car."
"Okay" she said - but I knew it was not the reply she wanted.
When I came out of Old Navy, her and her car were gone.

Walking into Bed Bath & Beyond one evening, a young girl - maybe 18 - approached me panicky.
"I just need three dollars - PLEASE??" she sadly asked.
"Let me get you some help", I suggested. "I will get the police to help you."
"No, that is not necessary", she quickly suggested.
"Just hold my driver's license for 24 hours - meet me here tomorrow and I will give you the three dollars back and you can give me my license back."
She tried to shove the license into my hands. I had no plans to return to this area tomorrow.
"No, that will not work for me," I replied. "Again, I will call the police - they can help you."
As I started to reach for my phone, she ran away.

Limping toward our car in a Portillo's parking lot, her white shirt was easy to see and she began to wave us down.
"Is she waving at us?" Marty asked. "I think so", I replied.
He rolled down his window.
"Please help me. My friends are at Dunkin' Donuts and we are on our way to serve on a church committee - I just need help to get to Dunkin Donuts - please?"
"I will call the police - they will help you," I quickly responded.
"No! The police won't help."
"Yes, they will," I answered - "That is their job."
She swore some expletives and walked away - the limp was gone.

If a stranger approaches you anywhere - whatever their story - call the police to help them. Pray for them - but please don't encourage people to prey on other strangers for handouts. And, if they will wait for the police and it is legitimate - then ask the police what you can do for them. :)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Third Person

Her words in my ear when I hugged her at the wake played over and over in my head. "Pray for me" she pleaded. Of course I would pray for her - but her plea seemed different - grasping for air. So, the next day, I began moving around to groups of her friends at the funeral for her only son - "Let's get together and pray for Sue", I gently prodded. "I will be there" came many replies - "At my home" added Ev. So, we picked an evening within a couple of days of the funeral.

Then, I invited her by e-mail - whether or not she would be there, we would gather to pray for her.

We all quietly walked into Ev's home that evening - wandered in, sort of sheepishly. Not knowing each other as prayer partners - knowing each other as women who liked to golf. And, here we were - drawn together to pray for a fellow golfer in her valley - and not knowing how to start - or who wanted to put into words this difficult meeting.

I began with a short introduction as to why we were there - and then Sue arrived. She sat in the middle - we surrounded her - some close and some not quite sure how close to be - and we bowed our heads. We invited the Holy Spirit to join us in that circle of love - and we spoke gentle words of love, sadness and asked for comfort for our friend - oh - The Lord alone knows what was said - but after several minutes it happened. She was given a presence - she interrupted whoever was talking - "It is gone", she exclaimed - "I feel the deep sadness has left - I feel so much better - thank you!" She had come face to face with the Holy Spirit and somehow, through His amazing grace - He had brought her the comfort the Bible speaks of.
Her face began to shine - sadness, yes - but hope and comfort exuded from her.

And, tonight, months later, I saw her again - and the shine was still there.
We hugged.
"It was my first experience with The Holy Spirit" she joyfully shared. "I knew the Father and Jesus, but never knew the Holy Spirit personally before that night of prayer. Now I understand the Trinity. I will always remember our prayer night."

I will never forget it - Our God, Our Comforter.
Face to Face with Our Living God - Father, Son and/or Holy Spirit - let's all shine!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Yankee Doodle Dandy

It began with me running past the police because I thought the parade had begun - and I was still blocks away and did not want to miss the start because I was told my granddaughter would be near the front - but the children carrying the flags I noticed from a distance took backward steps to form a line on either side of the parade route.
I was on time.

What a beautiful day for a parade!
Trying to walk around all the spectators who had marked their territory - trying not to step on their blankets or budge their chairs as I searched for a shady spot to wait and watch - and I found it! Slowly sinking into a comfortable position to wait, I surmised the crowd. So many people wearing red, white and blue. So many flags. So much fun!
I decided that my white hat, red shorts and blue shirt fit in nicely.

Waiting - waiting - and I hear it - engines charging - flags waving - feet stomping in unison - and it began! The sites and sounds were exciting - the music was so patriotic - the cars filled with veterans and families who had lost a loved one in battle - loud applause - people shouting THANK YOU! - and rightly so. I shouted the same to many - clapped loudly - moved my feet when the band passed - and then, without realizing I knew the words, sang along with songs I loved - songs about a flag, a free country and those who gave so much for us to be free.

The motorcycle vets passed proudly - roaring so loudly we weren't heard, but still applauded.

All the young people playing in school bands - so many young lives lifting our spirits on a solemn day - showing us hope for the next generation - demonstrating respect for our country.

I jumped along with some of the music - watched closely for any sign of my granddaughter's baseball team - thanked God for all those who served and for an opportunity to remember - and - promised to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy when I got home.

Memorial Day - we will remember, Lord.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Shout Out!

We are blessed by relationships. Some come and go, but, God gives us some people to strengthen His voice in our hearts - to speak His Truth into our lives - to pour His love into us - as an encouragement - whatever length of time.

And it just feels good to know such people. It just feels good to think about them - and we smile and say thank you to God for creating them - just the way they are - and then allowing them to be a part of our journey on earth.

Today, I pray you are blessed with many of these relationships in your life - as I have been - and that you continue to become a person who brings joy to others - who brings God's Truth and love to others - who, when others think of you, they smile and thank God for creating you.

This is a shout out to one of these people in my life - Janet is celebrating her birthday today - and she loves this blog - and I believe it pleased God when He designed and created her.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!

For Jesus' Glory - and thanking God for His amazing creative genius when He created each of us!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Enemy - Fear

It is called The Opposite of Faith - It is known as False Evidence Appearing Real - It is the first word used by angels in the Bible when humans come upon their magnificent presence - "Fear Not".
And, it is the enemy of our peace - the enemy of Our Lord's presence that He promises - Peace!
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
"Do not be troubled. In the world, you will have trouble - but I have OVERCOME the world." John 16:33

He - Jesus - has overcome our troubles - including fear.
It has been a personal battle of mine for years - I have prayed and struggled to be free from fear - and it is a struggle. But, my prayers are being answered. Each year, I notice more and more joy and less fear in my life.

For years, I have appreciated Chiropractic wisdom and Medical wisdom - but sometimes, these two forms of treatment have given me cause for alarm against the other one. I have struggled with:
Fear of immunizations - fear of adjustments - fear of chemical prescriptions - fear of natural healing - fear of trusting Doctors - fear of blood pressure readings - fear of cancer - fear of Chiropractors - fear of hurting my body - fear of death - to name a few :)

No more. "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against me - that I choose Life and Blessings" (Deut. 30:19)
and, in choosing Life and Blessings, I renounce fear.

I trust The Lord to guide me to medical and natural healing - in His perfect timing.
I trust His discernment in me to make decisions and choices that will bless my body and give me peace. And, I trust Him to lead me to wise counsel - using whatever means or humans He chooses - for His path of blessing that gives me life.

I accept what He sovereignly knows what will be best for me - and the others I deeply love. After all, He loved them first. So, I trust His sovereignty - and thank Him for being so involved in every aspect of our lives.

Join me in renouncing fear - and let's enjoy whatever He has for us today - His peace - since He has overcome what concerns us.

For Jesus' Glory - and so the enemy flees.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Puzzle And A Book

It was started by strangers - a puzzle left out in a large waiting room of a Doctor's office.
As I walked past the table, I slowly looked at the picture on the box of what it could become - a beautiful picture by Thomas Kinkade that could bring light onto the table once completed. I stopped yet stayed standing, wondering if I should pass some time waiting for my name to be called - by gently placing hopeful pieces in a home.
Well, it caught my interest as the first piece I touched moved into its slot.
I stood for a while and a woman approached.
"A puzzle", she muttered.
She moved a few pieces around and I showed her why I was working on the area that caught my eye.
"I think we can find this piece that will finish this area," I said, somewhat asking for her help.

We both worked together for a while - no words exchanged.
I looked up and as our eyes met, I knew she wanted to talk.
Our conversation began with the usual incidentals - where we were from - what we do with our time - and since she was pulling out a chair as she spoke, I did the same. The conversation continued for a while - the puzzle having a few pieces slide into place very slowly - and then it was said.

I told her about the book God encouraged me to write, Hope Revealed. I mentioned that I speak to women struggling with some of the things I struggled with like divorce, single parenting, remarriage and widowhood.
When I mentioned divorce, a tear formed.
Her story started to be revealed as the tear slid down her cheek.
She quietly shared intimate details of a 25 year marriage that ended sadly. She exposed her heart.
We continued to talk for quite a while - her visit to this Doctor was for support for her sister - and as she was being support, she was explaining her broken heart.
Another tear and a request for a copy of the book.

Her sister came out of the office and she introduced us with a smile. She mentioned my book to her sister and wrote down her name and address to receive one.
It was easy to hug her goodbye as, with God's timing, I was called into the Doctor's office.

I pray that the puzzle will bring a little light into the waiting room. And I pray that the book will bring a little light into her heart. And, Lord, that both lights will bring Jesus Glory.

God bless us, everyone.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quiet, Trust and Healing

"When you don't know what to do - don't do anything at all."
One of my favorite David Bulthuis' quotes. It always pointed me to Psalm 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God.
How difficult it is to Be Still!
Waiting is not a "normal" thing for me to do - and goes against my grain.
It feels so unproductive.
Yet, it seems to be when I am most productive - mentally receiving peace - talking to Our Lord instead of to myself or other human beings - waiting on the Lord and His timing instead of Mary's timing.
And, trusting Him to fix things instead of me.

Today, I released many things over to Him during this "quiet" time - waiting time - prayer time - alone with Him.
It is easier to find time to pray with and for others.
I do think it is related to my need to "fix things" - or others - so many hurting people!
Instead, today, we spent time "fixing" ME - not with pride by too much focus on myself - but with honest communication of thoughts that have been pummeling my brain for a long time - yes, I am a hurting person also.
He reminded me of a book with a chapter on forgiveness. We spent some time with it today.

It actually feels good to take "Mary" out of the job of fixing people - fixing situations - fixing problems -
and - YES - there it is -
Trusting that God is big enough to take care of things without her input :)

Now, there is victory.
Now, that is life abundantly -
I have come that they may have life - and have it to the full - John 10:10 -
Releasing our wasted tormented brain time over to The Lord -
Freedom - Peace - in being still - as He quiets and releases - yes - fixes us.
Thank You Lord - I Trust You!

Praise The Lord!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

So Familiar - So Similar

It started with the hotel giving us a room on the 4th floor and as we walked to our unit, it was on the right side of the building. The balcony view of the ocean was so familiar - so similar to the view I enjoyed in Florida for years with David at Silver Thatch Ocean Club, Unit 412 - our winter haven from the snow. We called it a "little slice of heaven".

The second morning, as I began my day with this beautiful ocean view, I noticed people starting to walk alongside the cresting surf - some were playing, some were jogging, some were walking their dogs - but all were enjoying God's creation of the ebb and flow of the beautiful blue water and the sweet, soft, almost-pink sand beneath their feet.

Marty and I spent some time studying Scripture and then prayed together to start the day. I decided to sit a while longer and read in a comfortable lounge chair, enjoying the sweet aroma of the ocean breeze.

And, out of the corner of my eye - a very familiar sight - a tall, thin man wearing long blue swim trunks and a golf hat - talking to family - moving back and forth - and with each step - he became more familiar - more similar to David's body structure and movement. The same shoulders, arm length, size of chest and length of legs - similar in walk and movement - like watching an old video. I watched and waited for more - more reminders of David's presence on this earth. I drank in memories of David on the beach and enjoyed the refreshment of focusing on his love and the joy that he brought into my life.

As a tear began to form, I thanked The Lord for every day I was on this earth with him. I thanked The Lord for my life and for his presence in it. And, then I reminded myself that he was extremely happy right now in heaven - he was with His Lord and his work here was completed.

So, I put down my book, turned my gaze from the ocean to Marty, sitting at a patio table reading e-mails. I walked over and kissed him on the top of his head as I thanked God for his presence in my life.

We serve an amazingly loving Lord. His love overflows when we notice it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Grateful Servant

It is a blessing - each day - and when we look for it - we will find the blessing.

My husband described something at breakfast that his mother used to make - so I googled salmon and souffle - and tried a recipe that sounded like what he described. It is the first time I felt like a homemaker in many years - grocery shopping, fixing dinner and waiting for his meetings to end to enjoy a meal together.
And, it felt good!
What an amazing God we serve - serving others actually blesses the servant!

Watching him enjoy the souffle - I didn't mention that I had spilled the egg whites - the beater bumped the cup of them just before I was pouring them into a bowl. As I scooped them off of the counter I thanked God it was clean :)
And, the ones that hit the floor - well, a few less in the recipe didn't seem to hurt it but I will have more eggs on hand next time!

Nor did I mention the things the kitchen needs to actually cook in it - I did not bring many things with me when I moved in - but then I didn't have much. After all, living alone neither of us created many meals - so it was a little bit of a scavenger hunt.

But, finally, I simply enjoyed that he was enjoying something God allowed me to create from a recipe I found online.
And, I thanked God for the opportunity to serve Him.

May you be blessed to serve someone tonight or tomorrow - for serving actually blesses the servant :)

For Jesus' Glory, Mary

Sunday, February 23, 2014


It really could be a simpler life. The Lord has asked us to take life one day at a time - and when I do, it is really a wonderful life. Each day offers opportunities to focus on good - thanking God for life, choosing to smile, looking in the mirror and liking the image looking back, using words to encourage and uplift others and myself, spending time with Scripture, stopping - even for a second - and remembering how much God loves me - and then, when thoughts of things that are not good try to crowd out the good - get in the battle - fight for control of my thoughts.
What we allow into our eyesight and our minds to focus on each day will decide how our day goes -
and for me, how I will sleep that night!

Last night, Marty watched a movie I remember watching with David - not my style, but that is compromise in a marriage. The romantic comedy I would have chosen would have been rough for him to sit through - but I know he would have - just like David did so many times. So, I showed love like it is shown to me - watching something that is not my first choice - but knowing he will do the same someday soon.
Well, with this movie, my eyes saw some tension - suspense - a lot of car accidents, etc. And, I was able to close my eyes and enjoy being a part of a relationship. I did not allow the tension - drama - suspense - to play in my eyes or mind - I chose to focus on being in a loving relationship. This allowed me to fall asleep full or love - not focusing on all the accidents that took place - or all the people that were hurt in the movie.

Now, I know there is much pain and suffering in this world - but God wants us to focus on His Love. I understand why now. When I focus on His Love, I am protected from fear - I walk in joy each day - and am able to spend each day reveling in His Amazing Glory - and sleep in peace - His love is so amazing!!

Psalm 32:10
"Many are the woes of the wicked (and we live in a wicked world),
but The Lord's unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him."

Thank The Lord for His unfailing love - let it surround you - focus on it - and allow yourself to trust Him -
I promise you a wonderful day!

Blessings, Mary

Friday, February 14, 2014

Talk to Him 24/7

It started out as a wonderful Sunday - a beautiful worship service, a short church meeting and we were ready to go!
We had packed the car yesterday and were traveling with lamps and tables to Minocque, Wisconsin. Marty's Grandpa built a cabin there in 1939. I was privileged to enjoy a few trips to visit there since dating him, and this would be our first trip to spend time there with the just the two of us. A beautiful February Sunday for a drive - chilly, but beautiful! We should arrive around dinner time.

After driving 2 hours, we stopped for a nice lunch. With a Hallmark Store next to the Buffet Restaurant, I was able to purchase little Valentines for grandchildren and we began the next leg of the trip with love in the air :)

When the car started shaking, we thought it was the pavement. The steering wheel would shake a little and then stop shaking - shake and stop. Soon, we heard noises and he noticed the brakes and steering became unusual. Two warning lights began flashing and Marty asked me to look in the manual for their meaning. All I could find at first was the shape of their signal and the word "Danger"! He slowed down, put on our flashers and looked for an exit. Thanking God for smart phones, I looked at a map to assist him with a near exit. We were in a part of Wisconsin with very few. We drove for about 15 minutes with a feeling that the axle would drop off of the car any second - and thoughts of this automobile with us in it, tumbling down the snow covered side of the road ravaged my mind.

Marty found the exit with a BP I had found on my phone - and we clunked to a stop. I had called the girl at the station beforehand and she mentioned that there were neither taxi's or rental cars in her town. She would look around to see if anyone could help us on a Sunday. A lot more calls - finding most rental car agencies closed for the day - and the nearest one was 70 miles away. God intervened and we called one at a small airport - CWA - and they were open until 9 that evening - and would have a car ready for us - if we could get there. We searched for taxi's near the airport - found a taxi/limo service willing to drive 1 1/4 hours to pick us up! Whew!

We walked in the BP and the girl gave us a number of a towing service - that was 24 hours a day and in town! Woo-hoo!
Tom arrived to tow our vehicle - we found more information in the manual and he affirmed the problem - wheel bearings - and we sat and heard all about his life until the limo arrived.

They said it was a Lincoln and warned us that this would be a very costly ride. "We have no other choice" Marty replied. The dispatcher was excited! When the driver arrived, his car did look like it was once a Lincoln, but had suffered from either living near a golf course or getting hit by hail. Dick introduced himself - a retired driver - and his frail frame tried to move our luggage for us into his car, but we took over. We left the tables and lamps in the broken car and settled into the back seat for a 70 mile car ride.

I first noticed the car temperature - 80 degrees - and was grateful as it was very cold and I waited to warm up. Then I noticed the bright light "oil change now" calling out for attention to the engine. Once I warmed up - I really warmed up and waited for Dick to turn down the temperature in the car - to no avail. I started to try small talk about Dick's life when I noticed the car moving kind of dreamy-like toward the side of the road - and my thoughts scrambled - would he fall asleep driving?

A few more attempts at small talk and I realized he did not hear me very well. Then, Marty asked me to wait for conversation so Dick could concentrate on his driving - concentrate?? This car was the perfect temperature for putting anyone to sleep - concentrate? But, I worked hard at remaining quiet - and it was work - I succeeded except for an occasional crushing of my empty water bottle to see if Dick would flitch up front. I started praying for him and for all three of us to get to the airport. It was a long car ride.

We arrived, placed our things in the rental car and I jumped in - glad to have Marty behind the wheel - and all of a sudden it hit - the coldest car seat and car temperature I had ever experienced. Truly I must have just jumped onto a block of ice - and I pictured Eskimos living in igloos without fur. Marty started talking about how cold the car was - and I did not answer for at least three blocks. I did not want to lose any of my heat through my mouth.

Finally, I answered him and we laughed - it was the longest he had ever "not heard" me.

I learned to trust and talk to God more and talk to people less - talk to God while a car is shaking, while making phone calls for help, while others are driving a vehicle I am in, and while freezing.

So, I decided - why not just talk to Him 24/7?
God bless your communication with Him :)