Pictures in our heart

The commercials on TV make us think the effects of aging can be covered up by hair-dye and skin care products. If all I had to worry about is my appearance that would be one thing, but it isn’t. Typically I can trust the Lord to Carry me through the ups and downs of life. But my concerns about getting older and losing my quality of life haven’t been the least bit palatable.

When I know I need to do something difficult I try to have fun doing it! That’s one reason I flew to Colorado to celebrate my 70th birthday with my daughter’s family. It was wonderful to play with my grandkids and spend time with my daughter.

A surge of joy went through my heart when I saw a picture a friend had painted. It’s of a happy little girl pig-pigtail jumping off a rock. As I looked closer I saw a pair of man’s hands, ready to rescue her. After I told her that I want to buy it, I realized that I need to get rid of something because all the walls in my apartment have pictures that once brought me joy, like the one of a bouquet of flowers a friend gave me over 20 years ago when she moved. Although I still like it, maybe I need to pass it along to some else.

Visit www. to learn about the artist.

My mind’s eye or heart can become cluttered with memories. As a kid I must have been frightened when I saw a group of elderly disabled people in wheelchairs without any teeth, without anything to do. The likelihood of those things happening soon isn’t likely. I still live alone and my teeth are in good condition! I can’t stress myself out wondering what my future holds. Instead I’m excited about it because I’ve replaced my crazy ideas with God’s promise.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saithe Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you [a]hope in your latter end. Jeremiah 29:11

Lean in to be set free.

When you feel prevented from enjoying the season of life you’re in, ask the Father to show you why. So He can change your perception.

His Comfort & Provision

Looking back, March of 2020 took us down a bumpy road that no one wanted to go down. When the Covid19 pandemic caused restrictions, I wondered how I would fill my days.

As I was looking at Facebook, I noticed a post about a writing class called Your Story Matters, taught by Leslie Lealand Fields.  The course was a rich time of learning more about the craft of writing.  I loved seeing how powerful it is when we tell our story.  It was a good reminder of how the Lord has guided me through the tough times and the good.

Before my daughter could drive, we often flew from Oregon to Montana to see my family. After arriving to bear hugs from my mom and lunch at our favorite restaurant, we were ready for the hundred-mile ride to her house.

After speeding down the highway for a while, my mom turned onto an unpaved country road. Forgetting that we’d always go this way to get to the farm, Rachel asked, “Grandma, I thought we were going to your farm?”

In reply, Grandma teased,  “Oh dear, I forgot the way, so I took the wrong road.”

My tired little girl burst into tears. 

After she heard Rachael cry, Mom said,  “Honey, I’m sorry.  We aren’t lost.  I’m just taking a short cut.”

Oh, the memories of raising my daughter as a single mother with a disability. I cried because I  felt overwhelmed. God comforted.  Now, in these pandemic times, the weeks of staying home have stretched into months nearing a year.  I have gotten bored, but on those harder days I remember what I am thankful for.

My daughter is grown up, happily married, and is raising my precious grandchildren in Colorado. So, with the travel restrictions this year, I had my first Christmas alone.  I had to lean into God’s arms. I remembered my family was happy and healthy and how well God has provided for all my needs. 

When the pandemic started, the Lord put 2 Corinthians 10:5 on my heart, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When I would get into a funk, focusing on how much He’d done for me filled my heart with joy.

What promises have helped you get through the tough times?

Easter Treasures

7784-autumn-back-light-clouds-dawn-416738The “shelter in place” order means that many ways we celebrate Easter will be different this year. I decided to share a memory about that day.
After church on Easter, when my daughter Rachael was little, we went too over to our friends Chuck and Dottie’s for Easter dinner. Before everyone got to their home Easter eggs, were scattered throughout their yard.

When Rachael had been married a few years, the tradition expanded because she had two kids in tow. The closer we got to the end of the meal, the more excited the children got about the traditional Easter egg hunt. After the older kids got their baskets and went outside.. My son-in-law picked up my little granddaughter to the big front yard so she could take part in her first Easter Egg hunt.

He lead her over to the egg and pointed. It didn’t take her long to figure out when she followed her dad’s gestures, and she’d find a surprise.1514[1]

Seeing the tenderness in my son-in-law’s eyes, my heart warmed because he reflected the love of our Heavenly Father. I’m glad Hannah can run and play like her friends, but I pray she’ll too learn to depending on her Father in Heavenly who points to the treasures he has for us.

The Coronavirus and fear are wreaking havoc with our world, but our Heavenly Father promises to give us his treasure of peace when we follow Him. God’s treasured Son died to bring God’s
treasures to earth.


A Different Kind of Contagious


The excitement at the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference feels electrifying.  Each year, when I first arrive, I like to mingle throughout the crowd seeing old friends and introducing myself to people who have come for the first time.   And that’s how I met my friend Xochit Dixon a few years ago.  As we started to visit, she told me she wrote devotionals for Our Daily Bread and lived with a severe chronic disorder.

Later, she emailed me to ask if she could interview me for her book Waiting for God.  Surprised, I asked her why.  She told me she was in a lot of pain and felt exhausted when we met.    But when she saw my smile while I struggled to avoid hitting anybody with my scooter and talked to me about my life, she was  encouraged to rely on God for the strength she needed. She said my courage was contagious and it encouraged her to rely on God to be her strength.

We  are facing a very difficult time in our country. People who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 Inadvertently exposes everyone they come in contact with because they don’t have symptoms for ten  days. There is a lot of fear floating around. Many of us wonder how we can help each other through this time of uncertainty. I believe that courage is contagious too. It’s my hope our demeanor as we interact with each other can be a reflection of the Comforter, who is the source of courage.  

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The Blessings of Barriers

A few months ago, I heard about a writer’s retreat that sounded like fun and I wanted to attend.  Because of my disability, I need help throughout the day.  A friend agreed to go with me and to help me.  Everything seemed to be worked out until I heard the bedrooms were upstairs. I knew that would be a problem because it’s difficult for me to walk.

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It’s times like this, my physical limitations have felt like chains that prevent me from things I’ve wanted to do. Attitudes, like pessimism or feelings of isolation and discouragement, repeated disappointment can cause us not to take risks because of the possibility of being told no.  These issues of the heart changed my perceptions and threatened to become more of a hindrance to a life of fulfillment than my physical disabilities.

When my plans don’t work out, it often disappoints me but,  I’m beginning to realize when God closes one door, He either wants me to rest, or He gives me a different opportunity.  In this case, He did the latter.   Last year I took an on-line writing class from Tracy Crump.  She’s teaching another workshop, a Dear friend live, who also lives in that area and also writes.  We’re both plan to attend the class and site-seeing. 

Although we don’t like the words NO or WAIT, we can learn a lot about God’s faithfulness when we quiet our hearts and listen to His.

What are you learning from the situations you are in?

Sunshine on Cloudy Days

Last January, the cheer of Christmas lights and friends was replaced by a cold chill in my heart when my son-in-law applied for a job out of state. I felt a sense of relief when he didn’t get it, until he started to talk about moving again. I’d always been able to see my daughter and her family at least once a week and I couldn’t help imagining the void in my life this would cause

I could talk to my family anytime I wanted too on my cell phone but sometimes that wasn’t enough.  One afternoon when I felt isolated I went for a ride scooter ride. The warmth of the sunshine, and a chat with a friendly neighbor changed me mood.  

 My friend (Heidi Gaul- Mornings With Jesus/20) struggles with Seasonal Effective Disorder.  She said depression looms all around her on dark winter days.  During a walk with a comrade one day her companion pointed out a patch of blue sky. Although it was only a sliver it was enough to lift my friend’s spirit.

Please share what brings you sunshine on your gloomy days?


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Each of us have unique ways of using our creativity.

After the long, gray winter in Oregon there’s nothing more delightful then the colors of spring. Acres of colorful tulips were in full bloom at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival near Woodburn, Oregon. For several years I’ve gotten brief glimpses of them as my car zoomed past them or I sat in a car and drank in their beauty.

This year, however, my friend me took me there for my birthday. I was thankful the garden was so accessible to people who use wheelchairs. We even put the chair on the trolley and rode right down to the field. We got a closeup view of them because my friend, Rinda, pushed my wheelchair along the numerous rows of flowers.

After a while I felt a bit perplexed. Something was missing. Finally, it dawned on me. Tulips are a delight to everyone who sees them, but they don’t have any fragrance.

When I was growing up, my mom’s lilac bush always was a sign of spring. Unlike tulips, the beauty and the aroma of lilacs always will be my favorite flower.

That reminds me of Romans 12:4. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.

Each of us have been given unique gifts to bring glory to God and strengthen the body of Christ. We have a tendency to want different talents instead of the ones we have.  One of the gifts He’s given me is the ability encourage people through my writing or by talking to them.  What about you?


How Can It Be May?

My blog site has been as been as quiet as a bear in hibernation. While I’ve been away, I took a writing class, spent time with my grandchildren, and finally got to read a book I’ve been waiting for.  The message of Shine the Light is so powerful I want to share it with you.

This is a brief summary Amazon gave about the book followed by my review.

In the book, Shine the Light, Shannon is out to save the world one caring act at a time. She’s stood by her best friend, Amber, through their whole lives especially when Amber lost her sight. She has an active outreach ministry to the homeless and disenfranchised. And she’s even let down her guard long enough to let a boyfriend, Justin, into her life. Her life has settled into a pleasing routine of teaching, freelance photography work, quiet dinners with Justin, and taking Amber on treks to find new subjects for her visionary paintings. But when a man from her past shows up, her secure world crumbles into triggered PTSD episodes that threaten everything she relies on. Will she be able to overcome these old memories, or will her past crush any hopes she had for a future?

My review: In Shine the Light,41Zn0t+r6PL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ April McGowan addresses some of the issues that affects everyone on one level or another. This gripping story of four friends who see life through their perspectives they’ve developed throughout their lives. My heart broke as I saw them struggle because of other people’s choices.

What Will God & You do in 2019?

As I prepared to hang up my new calendar I couldn’t help wonder what 2019 will bring. It’s blank now, but it will soon be filled with various activities that will stretch and mold me into the likeness of Jesus.

A few days ago, Facebook popped up with the memory of my book, “It Takes More Than Legs To Stand”, in my hands for the first time. Looking at the picture I was reminded of the joy I felt when I accomplished my goal of writing a memoir.

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In Genesis 35, after an intense battle, God told Jacob to build an altar as a reminder of when He met him. Pictures are a wonderful way to remember special people God brought into your life and accomplishments that brought Him glory. They remind us of when God showed us His faithfulness like the way He showed Jacob.

For his last sermon of the year my pastor talked about how our lives go through changes like the seasons.  Times of illness or sorrow can seem like an endless winter in Alaska. New Year’s Day can feel like a fresh start.  Like it or not we can’t cling to the good season and stop the other from coming.  But we can ask God to give us courage and grace to help us in our time of need.

Looking at ways that God has helped you in the past can help you when other struggles come up. In what ways has God shown His faithfulness during the different seasons of your life?

Make Room for More- Matt. 7:11

The count down to Christmas has begun.  As children make their Christmas lists of what they want,  Moms attempt to make room in their toy boxes. Parents get discouraged when they realize the toys that were on the MOST WANTED list last year has fallen into the ‘give away’ category because it hasn’t been played with for months.

Children can become disappointed and bitter when they don’t what they’ve dreamed of.  Other times they discover the toy they’ve received is much better than what they requested.

We often get disillusioned with prayer when God doesn’t seem answer.  When my pray for employment went unanswered, I felt crushed   Instead of becoming like the child who’s coveted toy that became unwanted.  I learned on a deep level My Heavenly Father cares for I’ve discovered He wants to give us better things that have eternal value.  In preparation for Christmas, ask the Holy Spirit if there anything in your heart that are substitutes for what He wants to you to have.


Matthew 7:11 

 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!