Through Every Season

Year: 2013 (Page 1 of 3)

Seeing Him

Some of the first things that you learn when loosing a loved one is that the grief comes in waves and has many layers. 
Like a roller coaster there are ups and downs and you can’t see what is around the bend. You just have to hold on tight and trust that Jesus will carry you through.

The only control you have is over the attitudes of your heart.. and those can be very difficult to manage.

I think the key is an attitude of submission; by faith His grace becomes sufficient in you as you acknowledge your weaknesses and allow Him to be strong in the midst of them (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Jesus led by example when He humbled Himself, made Himself nothing and “learned obedience” through the things He suffered (Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 5:8).

I’ve heard grief described as something that needs to be “embraced” in “small doses.”  The significance of losing Joel is impossible to take in all at once. Each new week brings a new layer understanding that has to be worked through; new tears that need to be cried.

Through each small dose, I’ve survived by holding on in faith to the truths that God loves me and is with me.. and by trying to listen and obey as He leads.  I am always so thankful for His instructions.. especially through these night seasons (Psalm 16:7).

I continually recite to myself:
“Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.
Let it do its work so you become mature and
well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1)
Allow Jesus to perfect the “work” in you (Philippians 1:6)..
Rest “rooted and grounded in His love” (Ephesians 3:17)…

A rest stop on our way to Texas in May.

The last few weeks, the Lord has been slowly lifting a veil from my eyes; gently revealing His presence in the midst of my grief.  I am beginning to see what I only held onto in faith before.

Tuesday, as a new layer of loss unfolded before me, I saw the Lord as the One Who has been slowly exposing the layers of loss and pain; leading me through the grief of losing Joel.

Seeing Him there, knowing that I am not alone, knowing that He is with me meticulously working to direct me through my through my grief.. eases the pain a little. His gentleness and even His slowness speak of His lovingkindness towards me; they confirm that He is truly “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
Seeing His capable hands at work in my grief gives me hope. Hope that He is leading me through these painful places with a peaceful end in mind. Hope that I will find healing in His wings, rest in His shade, and a crown of life at the end of this difficult race.

Revelation 21:3-5
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said,
“I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.”

And then we’ll be truly “Happy, happy, happy.”

With eyes of faith learning to see Jesus,


Focus on the Most Important Things


Where should our focus lie?

I’ve been meditating on one of the verses that really ministered to us shortly after Joel’s home going:

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

It speaks of trusting a God whose ways are far beyond my understanding; who knows and loves me perfectly and strengthens me in my weaknesses.

It speaks of hope in a day when we will see Him face to face; a day when we will be made like Him and have a mature understanding of mysteries that are now far beyond our reach; a day when we will see how He has tenderly and lovingly woven everything in the tapestry of our lives together for our good and His glory.

Last week Holy Spirit reminded me that this verse is found in the midst of the love chapter.  🙂

As a young mother, I often used this chapter to measure my love walk at the end of the day.  “Was I loving?  Was I kind?  Was I patient when ______ didn’t remember that 4 x 6 = 24?  Was I long suffering when ______ left their socks in the middle of the living room the floor for the umpteenth time?”

When Joel was murdered, I found myself struggling big time with verses 7 and 8.

“Love always protects… Love never fails…”

How was my sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and most importantly “loving” God living out “Love always protects.. and love never fails” at the moment of the shooting?

How am I now supposed to always trust, always hope and always persevere when love feels so much like excruciating pain?

How can my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world carry on living day after day through war, famine, death and persecution; so much daily pain and struggle?

Everywhere we go.  Even when we “run away” to the Nashville Zoo for a break on my birthday, there are reminders of the pain and suffering around us.  The family that donated the land to the zoo buried several children in their small family cemetery.

These are the answers I believe I’ve found in this chapter:

Verse 12:
1) Accept that right now I see things “imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror…”

Verse 13:
2-4) “And now these three endure: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

2) By faith, believe that God is good, that He loves me so passionately that He died for me while I was still a mess, that He still loves me today and has called me to abide in His love.

3) Set my hope on the grace and glory that will be given to me at His appearing.  I Peter 1:13
Romans 8:18, and 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

4) While waiting for that promised day, focus on the most important and enduring thing: love; His love for me and through me towards others.

Everything is hard right now.  Even snapping photos of this beautiful cloud leopard at the zoo reminds me of Joel.  He loved taking photos at the zoo and would often take off with my camera.

A recap of the chapter:

Verses 1-3 Without love it all adds up to nothing.

Verses 4-7 Love defined.

Verses 8-12 Our understanding this side of Heaven is very limited.

..but there’s one thing we can count on:

Verse 13: “And now these three endure: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

Jesus Culture’s “One Thing Remains” kept me going in the first days and weeks after Joel’s home going.

Even when it looks like His love has failed, it hasn’t.  One day we’ll see the evidence of the things we’ve believed.  And even if we don’t, I would rather have believed and be proven wrong than have not believed
and be proven right.

Ephesian 3:14-20 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Doing all I know to abide in His love,



Lifting My Eyes to Things Yet Unseen

Ephesians 5:1-21
For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

These verses about being filled with the Spirit and speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs are some of my favorite to meditate on.  Although, I don’t have a clear vision of how God intended for us to live these verses out, I imagine it being something like living in The Sound of Music and singing “A Few of My Favorite Things” during a thunderstorm, but much more glorious.

When Mike and I were in Pigeon Forge the week before Joel went home, we saw a couple of musical shows and heard one artist reminisce about gathering with friends and family to play and sing songs and hymns on their front porches in the Tennessee Mountains.  I told Mike that my one regret now that the kids are getting older was that we hadn’t spent more time as a family singing and playing music.. worshiping together.  Living in the mountains would have been a big bonus.

We did share some family worship times.  I taught the kids a little piano and we sang hymns together during devotions.  Mike taught them how to play bass and guitar, we led worship in children’s church and started iWorship for the young adults in our church in Florida.  James learned how to run sound.  Judi was the coolest female bassist ever.  Josh and Joel worked, as they could, on starting their own band.  Joel played his guitar constantly; while writing school papers, while solving math problems, even while playing video games.  I miss hearing him dearly.  I don’t have a video of Joel playing.. but he probably learned from watching one like this:

When Jesus returns, by His grace I hope to be found awake and filled with the burning oil of His Holy Spirit.  I believe that these verses hold a key to one of the things that awakens and fills our hearts: making melody with our heart to the Lord; worshiping in Spirit and in truth, loving and encouraging each other through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, while giving thanks to God for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus.

This song by Lou Fellingham and others have been a great encouragement to me.. helping me to keep my eyes looking up and my heart set on His.  I am so thankful for the gift of music and it’s usefulness in teaching, encouraging and strengthening our inner man.  I am thankful for the musicians and anointings and other gifts that the Lord has blessed His church with and most of all I am thankful for His Presence in the midst of our worship and the promise of His glorious return.


There is a day
That all creation’s waiting for,
A day of freedom and liberation for the earth.
And on that day
The Lord will come to meet His bride,
And when we see Him
In an instant
We’ll be changed

The trumpet sounds
And the dead will then be raised
By His power,
Never to perish again.
Once only flesh,
Now clothed with immortality,
Death has now been
Swallowed up in victory

We will meet Him in the air
And then we will be like Him
For we will see Him, as He is
Oh yeah!
Then all hurt and pain will cease
And we’ll be with Him forever
And in His glory we will live
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

So lift your eyes
To the things as yet unseen,
That will remain now
For all eternity.
Though trouble’s hard,
It’s only momentary
And it’s achieving
Our future glory.

For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a
shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and
the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in
the air, and thus shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort
one another with these words.”  I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Looking forward to that Day,


“My Food is to Do His Will. I Surrender.”

Mike and I have always tried to live of life of listening to and obeying God’s voice.  The center of His will is exactly where we want to be.  Where else would we go?  Only He has the words of life. (John 6:68) 🙂

I learned a whole new dimension of hearing and obeying God from a verse sung on IHOP this week:

“My food is to do your will.  I surrender.”

It’s taken from Jesus’ words in John 4:34

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

The disciples had left a tired and hungry Jesus near a well while they went into town to buy dinner only to return to find him too excited to sit and eat.  They’d missed Jesus’ one-on-one encounter with the “Woman at the Well.”  He had spoken life to a lost soul and she’d received it, causing Jesus to feel fed, refreshed, and exuberant.  Jesus goes on to say that the harvest is plentiful, giving the word harvest a double meaning: hungry souls/food for us.

There is so much to feed on in this story:
• Jesus has no problem crossing any boundaries to meet you where you are.
• A new husband (or wife), a new car, a new house, a new job; nothing on this earth will ever satisfy us.
• Jesus is the only one who can quench our thirst. He is a fountain of life to us.
• Jesus reads between the lines, sees us as we really are and STILL loves us.
• He longs for true worshipers who worship in spirit and truth.
• Jesus takes pleasure and is fed by ministering life to us.

Then my new found food:
• I, too, am fed not only by the Word and His wonderful presence, but by doing His will and completing the work He has for me.
• The Harvest is not only plentiful, it’s also food.

I watched “This is Our Time” on NetFlix yesterday.

It echoed not only the lesson of “My food is to do your will,” but also the sad lessons of “I surrender,” that I am living out right now:
• Living for Jesus doesn’t always look the way we dreamed it would.

Sometimes it looks insignificant and sometimes it even looks like patience or longsuffering.

No mater what it looks like, it can become food for us when done in love and as worship to the One we love.

• Sometimes our hard work ends in what looks like failure.

Sometimes Christians are eaten by lions, crucified, beheaded.. etc.  It doesn’t mean that they failed to do God’s will or to have enough faith or that God failed to keep His promises.  It points us to an eternal perspective of the good things He’s prepared for us that we can’t comprehend except by the revelation of His Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:9).

We have to surrender our own ideas to God’s wisdom and open our hearts to His eternal perspective.

• We have a heavenly hope, so let us fix our eyes on Jesus.. who for the joy set before him endured (Hebrews 12).

Not even doing His will will satisfy us without this hope; this joy set before us… without
seeing how we excite and satisfy the longing of His heart.

“Like a Rushing River” by Misty Edwards expresses this ideal of surrendering with an eternal perspective..  “You make all things beautiful.. just in time… it’s just a matter of time.  Calm down my soul.  Be quiet within me and trust in God.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Surrendered in Love,



Fighting Hope with Reality and Hope in His Love

I woke up this morning to my subconscious scheming how “next time” I’d devise a way to protect Joel.  I had to tell myself, “There will not be next time.  You can not protect Joel or anyone else.”  It’s just too horrible for my subconscious to believe it’s true.

Last summer when the kids first started finding things to do away from home, I had to tell myself the same words, “You can not protect them.  You have to let go and trust God.  They are growing up now.”

Caving, swimming at waterfalls, ATVing.. talks of motorcycles..  then hearing on the news about a 19 year old who drowned while swimming too near a waterfall.  Mike won’t allow Judi to have a trampoline.  Two years ago.. two totaled cars ago, trusting God with their driving was a battle.  I am not sure how much my heart can take.

Earlier this week, I dreamed that Joel had been in a car accident and I was rushing him to the hospital.. and believed that someone, somehow was going to be able to save him.  I had to re-face the fact that he was beyond any medical professional’s help… there was no hope, no chance.

I keep fighting hope, fighting dreams with the reality of this fallen world… with the hope of Heaven and Jesus’ eminent rescue.

I am tired.. physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually..

I fight by continually going over and over the Words the Lord has spoken to me during this time.  I am so thankful for them.. even the painful ones.  His Word is life.

Think of Joel as having pushed ahead of you in the race..

He knows my thoughts before I think them. (and still loves me.. so thankful.)

Run with perseverance..

Try to learn to be content..

Rest.. it’s God that does the work in you

Rejoice in hope..

Repent from useless thoughts (Romans 1:21)

Jesus is a Wounded Healer..

Be strong and very courageous.  (Josh 1:8 .. a foundational verse for Mike and I early in our marriage.)

My Peace I give.. (peace that passes understanding.. that gives us strength to go on.. )

Then this week:

Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in Heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I am fighting to stand firm in FAITH.. holding on by a thread.. feeling like a small puff of wind is all it would take to send me careering down the ravine.

Fighting to believe that GOD LOVES ME.. that His love is greater.. that He’s the one holding me.. that I am not alone.  Praying all the more fervently for others in the battle… for the ones struggling to hold on to His Word like me and for the ones who haven’t heard.

Fighting to wait for the HOPE that does not disappoint… HIS LOVE…  (Romans 5:5)

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.



Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Since Joel’s home going I’ve been doing my best to survive from one event to the next: from Joel’s Memorial Service to Christmas to New Years.. then Judi’s Birthday which I didn’t handle very well.  It snuck up on me.  It had always been extra joyful because for the next several months after Judi’s birthday Judi and Joel were “only a year a part in age..” and suddenly, I had to deal with the idea that that joy was lost.. and just a few days after, the one month anniversary of not having Joel with us.  At times I was shaken with separation anxiety.   Every day was.. still is.. an exercise of not seeing Joel as dead but alive and well in heaven.  If I hadn’t had the assurance of heaven…

In the second and third month, selling Joel’s car, closing his bank account etc., all the chiropractor stuff started, Josh’s birthday… then Spring Break, Passover/Easter and Mike’s birthday all rolled into one.. then it was time to prepare for Joel’s birthday and our trip to Texas.  Just listing the highlights is stressful.  Thank you, Jesus, for walking with me through the fire.

After getting through Joel’s birthday/family reunion trip and Mother’s day (also all rolled into one), I finally had some space just to be and discovered that it is also extremely difficult.  More of the shock is wearing off and I am feeling more of the pain of losing Joel.  As I shared in my last post, finding where to turn my sad thoughts was hard work.

Looking in from the outside must be puzzling.. “Five months have gone by.  Shouldn’t you be better by now?”

Balloons for Joel’s 21 Birthday

The shock of losing Joel had protected me from feeling all the terrible things that have been happening around me like I normally do.  The horror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary the day after Joel’s memorial service.. I couldn’t even process it.  A suicide in a near by school, the Boston bombing and the West Texas Fertilizer explosion.. I was numb…

The tornado this past week in Oklahoma was the first thing I felt.  I want to say like I used to feel.. but I am not sure if I feel the sorrow the same or different now.  Then this past Friday night, when I heard that one of Joel and Judi’s friends from church, Cole, died in a motorcycle accident I just wept.  He was just a few months older than Joel.  The emotions are so overwhelming.  I didn’t know how to pray beyond “God, help, please, help..”  Then yesterday morning I heard that there were deaths in the floods in San Antonio.  I feel surrounded by death.

My prayers have been weak.. despairing.. “God, help, please, help.. it’s bad.. so many are suffering.. all around the earth.. wars.. famine.  God, and I know it’s only the beginning.  God, please, help.. come to our rescue.. send revival.. send Jesus to take us home.  Help, God, help.”  I keep remembering that He isn’t slow to keep his promise to return and that He longs for all to be saved from 2 Peter chapter 3.  I long for their salvation, too … and feel selfish and unhappy with myself when all I want is for my suffering to end.

I’ve felt so lost, so alone this week.. not knowing how to deal with all the pain I am now feeling that the shock is wearing away. It felt like my only two choices were to live in despair with hardly a word beyond “help” to pray or buck-up and be hardhearted.  Seriously, that’s the making of an atheist.. most are brokenhearted people who feel deserted by God.. and can’t believe in a God who would allow all this suffering.

I knew that those couldn’t be the only two choices.. that both those choices were wrong.. that there had to be another choice.  I am so broken that it was hard to see past my brokenness.  Even though I knew better, I couldn’t see what the better was.  Open my eyes, Jesus.  To keep moving, I had to keep reminding myself that life wasn’t about living for myself but for God and for others.

Then a friend called, and did something I couldn’t do for myself, she loved me where I was; she listened and said that if “help” was all I could pray then that was exactly the right thing to pray.. the thing that needed to be prayed.  Her words were worth more than gold to me.  They set me free to hear the voice of Holy Spirit the next morning remind me to “Rejoice in hope” from Romans 12:12

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Hope was the third choice.. the choice I knew there had to be.

The three phrases were exactly what I needed: to rejoice in hope.. to hope.. to keep finding joy in Jesus over and over again while going though suffering..  to be patient in affliction.. patient.. resting.. trusting in God’s work.. and to be faithful to keep praying even when all I can pray is “help.”  I texted a thank you and my revelation to my friend and she responded, “Yes, my friend you are right! Thank you for reminding me that our God is a God of hope and grace and He gives us His strength. I will choose hope too! Love you!”

I think I will be reading Romans chapter 12 all this week.  Don’t miss it.

Verses 9-16 from the NIV
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

Please,  pray for me as I continue to learn and relearn through this suffering and pray for my family as they have to live with me.. and work through their own grief and losses.  🙂



Thankful for Joy

I woke up this morning remembered that Joel was gone.

Holy Spirit graciously keeps reminding me gone means pushed ahead in the race.. happy in Heaven.. he is well.. I can smile and be joyful about where and how he is.

Not that I wouldn’t much rather have him here and want to get up and look in on him and make sure he got home safe from closing at Donatos (Joel, I still have to look up how to spell it.  Sorry.) or go greet him and ask him how things are going, hug him, kiss him… wish him a good morning.

I have to remember that he is gone every morning.  It’s not a nice thing to wake up to.  Most days I don’t know what to think.. how to feel.. what to do after remembering.  Be sad is the obvious choice.

I’ve been trying for days to choose to be thankful.. to find things to be thankful for.  Then yesterday, I tried to count it all as lost and seek to know Christ.  It’s been hard work… trying.. striving.. but I haven’t known what else to do.  I’ve felt lost and alone.. praying for grace and anointing.. for Jesus to pour in His anointing oil and bind up my broken heart.

This morning was different.  After I remembered that Joel was gone and what gone meant, there was a new grace.  The joy in knowing that all was well with Joel in Heaven flowed over into a choice that was available to me to make.  Joy was a choice and I had the grace to choose it and maybe Holy Spirit even gave me a little push in joy’s direction.

It wasn’t like the past couple of weeks where it was an exercise of my mind to find some other choice than being sad.. searching for things to be thankful for.. searching for some way to draw near to Jesus.. searching for the right choice.. for the right thing to do.

It was just there.. joy.. I could chose it if I wanted.  Thank you, Lord, for grace for today.

It’s not that I haven’t had any joy since Joel’s pushed ahead.. and it’s not that I am not still sad, or that I am over missing him.  It’s just that joy has been made available to me in the midst of it.. and I am thankful for it… for the rest in it today.



Where do I run to?

3/23/08   Favorite picture of Joel and I.

Living in different states from my family has motivated me to take family photos, scrapbook and eventually led to starting this blog for my sisters and Mom in December 2007.The very first time we moved out-of-state was to Thailand.  Josh was 8 months old.. we didn’t have e-mail, blogs, cell phones or even a computer; by the time we got a letter the news was at least 3 weeks old. Long distance calls were a rare treat.

Pictures, Facebook, blogs.. etc. are such a blessing. Each helps take away some of the sting of living apart.

Favorite picture of all four.  September 30, 2007

I shared one of my poems in my very first blog post. I looked back through my poems today and found an older one that I hadn’t posted before. I wrote it on April 19, 2006.

Where do I run to?
Where do I run to?
Where do I hide?
Where do I go
When all that I am is tried?

I run to my, Father,
Creator of all things.
There I dwell safely
Under the shadow of His wings.

By my God I can run on a troop.
I can jump over a wall.
In His strength
I can do it all.

Alone I am weak,
Afraid I will fall.
But He will never leave me
Abandoned in the call.

His sweet Spirit
Trains my hands for war.
A war of compassion that
Leaves me hungry for more;

More of His presence,
More of His love,
More of His promise
Come down from above.

I will rest secure
In the work He has done.
It’s by the power of His Spirit
That the battle is won.


I am still running into Jesus’ arms for strength and respite; praying daily for more of His grace and anointing; for wisdom in how to walk until the battle is over and I run one last time into His everlasting arms.

Happy Mothers Day!




It is Good to Wait Quietly

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is a David vs Goliath story where a weak, poor, indebted Mexican army of 4,500 men defeated Napoleon’s mighty, invasive French army of 8,000?

I’ve recently watched a relationship between two friends go downhill because one friend loaned money to another and the one who borrowed shows no interest in repaying his debt.

Watching this relationship has shown a new light on what I went through when I was praying for or “holding out” for healing from my recent experience with breast cancer.. and surgeons.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I realize now, that over time the idea of healing as a “promise”.. a promise not yet fulfilled for me.. caused a rift in what is normally a joyful,  free, and naturally flowing relationship between the Lord and I.

John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Praying, “standing” on the “promises” in the Word, and believing for healing led to putting myself in a place were my attitude was that of a lender toward God as the borrower; acting as though God owed me the healing He’d promised.

Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

I continually find myself “doing” when God wants me to “rest” and let Him do the doing.  I’ve learned to be leery of striving in the things I need to get done.. but in this case I found myself striving in believing.. in my faith.  I believed I was “doing” what I was supposed to do by praying, confessing and believing.. when I should have been resting in His work.

Matthew 11:28  Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

I am continually relieved when I remember that my job is to rest, to trust, to worship; His is to do or not do as He sees fit.

Lamentations 3:26 It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Healing from breast cancer, healing from losing Joel.. is His job.. mine is to rest, to trust to lay it all down at His feet and know that He loves me and will do what is best for me and my loved ones in His perfect timing.

John 6:29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

The Joy Set Before Us

A few pictures from 2012

Joel and Judi playing hands and foot with their cousins, Karen and Kyle.

My attempt to capture a sweet picture of Joel and Zoe’ sleeping together.  Zoe woke up the moment I opened the door and spoiled my photo.  Catching her on film not in a blur is a challenge.  The look on Joel’s face shows that he also caught on to what I was trying to do.

Josh and Joel enjoying a little friendly competition. Love this picture.

When they weren’t working, sleeping or at school.. Josh and Joel were studying, hiking, playing guitar together or just hanging out.

Joel often helped Josh with his math homework.. Math isn’t Josh’s favorite subject.. Joel loved the challenge and was so proud that he was able to help his big brother.

This is my last photo of the three boys..  Joel was working on an English paper, Josh had just returned home from class and had something to tell Joel, James had just returned from work and had something new on his computer to show off.I love the scene.. the camaraderie between my boys.. I love that they all three chose to stay home while going to college and grow into adults together. Living, learning, playing and growing together created in them a wonderful bond.

I had a sad thought today, Joel’s birthday… I can no longer tell James or Josh to go ask “one of your brothers.” They only have one brother to go ask now.

Joel so lived and embodied this verse.. we miss him living it before us:

Philippians 2:2-4 Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
My happy thought: I had a beautiful revelation last night.. while meditating on Jesus’ description of our Heavenly Father:
 Luke 15:20 So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

Just a few words into the verse.. I was overwhelmed with a vision of Abba Daddy’s face..FULL of LOVE, ANTICIPATION and EAGERNESS.. the look on His face when He welcomed Joel home.

I was overcome with tears of joy.

He looks forward to His return for us and our homecoming with the same GREAT eagerness. He LONGS for us.. to embrace and kiss us… to overwhelm us with His great love.

It was that for that joy that He laid aside all of Heaven, made Himself nothing, became a servant for us and submitted Himself to endure the terrible the death on the cross. (Hebrews 12:2, Philippians 2:6-8)

We love you, Jesus!


Come, quickly!




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