Week 42: Patience



It’s a quality almost everyone would love to have, but not every finds: Patience. Patience with your family, coworkers, other drivers or shoppers–our patience is challenged nearly every minute of the day.

Patience was not my long suit when I first began teaching thirty years ago, nor when I first became a parent over twenty-five years ago. I really never even noticed that I wasn’t patient, but Someone must have, because over the years, it was a quality I finally achieved–but not alone.

I believe patience is something we have to ask God for every day. The last few years I spent in the classroom, I found that I almost had to ask for it hour by hour. But towards the end, I found that a morning prayer walk asking God for patience, kindness and love helped me more than anything I ever did. Did I get angry? Yes. Were my feelings ever hurt? More than once. But it was definitely something directly from God that got me through MOST days without entering into a screaming match with a 7th or 8th grader.

The thing is, patience is not something I can do on my own; it’s not something I naturally have. For me, it’s got to come from God.

Week 41: Peace


When I was newlywed, the town where my husband and I lived had a horrific tornado. It started a few miles west of town and ended a few more miles east of town. As the crow flies, it was about a mile behind my house when it blew through. That, my loved ones, was too close for comfort! That was as afraid as I had ever been at that point in my life.

Little did I know that one day I’d live smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley. Some way or other, I was going to have to find my big girl panties, and put them on! In other words, I was going to have find peace somewhere because one just can’t go around being afraid of the weather all the time!

These days, the Lord has given me a measure of peace that I’ve never had before concerning the weather. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that in the few years we’ve lived in Oklahoma, I’ve never had to use my storm cellar. My husband did once, but I wasn’t home at the time.) The point is, I trust the guys on Channel 9 to keep me informed and me safe. (On the 8th Day, God created weather men!)

As a child, I was afraid of many things. (The dark, the town fire siren, thunder, the house burning down with me in it, the space heater in the hall of my house, and the Wizard of Oz were just a few). I’ve fortunately outgrown most of those fears, although I still sort of freeze when I hear the Saturday tornado siren or a fire truck headed my way. Anyways, it feels good to feel peace about those fears at last!

Week 40: Joy


{If you obey my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.–John 15:10-11}

Why does Joy have to be so elusive? From Black Friday until December 24, we run, run, run trying to find it! Or, more accurately, BUY it! but if that’s where we find Joy, then why on December 26, are we always so let down? And it’s even worse in January when we receive those lovely Visa bills in the mail! This is something I’ve personally struggled with–especially in the last few years, and not just around Christmas. I’d let the enemy rob me of my Joy because I’m not where I’ve always been and where I thought I’d still want to be.

So where do we find our Joy now? Now that we are grown up and don’t find it so munch in telling the devil he can sit on a tack. Maybe we’re looking for counterfeit Joy. Maybe Joy isn’t all about that giggly, silly, giddy feeling that we think it is. Maybe that silliness is something else. In John 15:10-11, Jesus found His Joy in obeying His Father. I’ve been reminded several times lately that Jesus was fully God and fully man. This means He felt all our emotions – He just didn’t sin. He laughed, He cried, He hurt, He obeyed. And obeying meant dying. He left His seat beside His Daddy and came down to the world we’d ruined. He left everything to obey! And despite the earthly sorrows He felt, He said He found Joy in doing for others what His Father sent Him to do. Wow! God never asks us to that much! Our obedience, which Jesus says will lead us to Joy, is not nearly as hard as what Jesus had to do for us.

We won’t find Joy in a box; we’ll find it in loving one another, even people we don’t want to love-so maybe it is kind of hard to do. Jesus found it in dying for us because He loved us. Us. Me.

Week 39: Love


Fruit of the Spirit: Love

It’s the most over-used (and misused) word ever! But it’s one of the most commonly used word in God’s Word.


Fill in the blanks:

  • I __________ pizza!
  • I __________ puppies!
  • My Mama _________ me!
  • Jesus died for me because He ______ me!

See what I mean? From cover to cover, the Bible takes this word pretty seriously. In Genesis, Abraham asks Sarah to prove her love for him by disguising her identity. In Revelation, Paul chastises the church at Ephesus for forgetting their first love. But in over 130 mentions of the word Love from Genesis to Revelation, never does it mention loving chocolate!

I wonder how we ever came to misuse this word so completely! What the Word does encourage us to do is…

  • Love those who hate us (2 Samuel 19:6)
  • Love the Lord, our God (Matthew 22:37)
  • Love each other (John 15:17)
  • Love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9)
  • Love our husbands (Titus 2:4)
  • ¬†Love…believers (1 Peter 2:17) because…
  • God’s Love never fails (Psalms 107:8)
  • Love covers all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12)
  • A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17)
  • God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
  • God is love (1 John 4:16)

Love is something to hold onto when everything else is gone. Something to hope for. Something to live for. Something to die for. Something to DO.


Week 38: Walk by Faith


{So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. –2 Corinthians 5:6-7 ESV}

I’ve been looking forward to visiting my parent’s house for weeks. Finally, the day came and my daughter and I were headed north past the state line to a glorious 4 day with people we truly loved being around. The neat thing about going there is my Dad always has things planned out for us and we know we will be having some type of adventure when we are there.

When we arrived we were told the next day we would be going to the local rescue mission to donate some items he no longer needed. We jumped in the truck the next morning with a truck bed full of clothes, toys, and electronic items and headed downtown. The area around was dirty and sad, but you could tell the building itself had been lovingly cleaned and taken care of. We back up to an open door and were greeted by a small man with a happy, unusual smile – some teeth were missing – and a cheerful heart. As I stacked some of the donated items in his hands, I realized I needed to stop otherwise he would not be able to see. I said to him, “That should be enough for this trip.” He responded, “I walk by faith, not by sight, so load me up!” I just sat there in awe, final came to and then continued to stack clothes in his hands. Here is a man that has obviously had hard times, but contributing to his community by working. A man who could easily be down because he doesn’t have a lot. A man that sees the greater good because he has God leading him in his life.

When we were finished, I told him to have a blessed day and he confidently replied that he would. Yes, sweet man, I’m sure you did! Let us be reminded to walk by faith, not by sight because our God has given us everything we need. Be Blessed!

Week 37: Pretty Side Out


{Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things from Your Word.–Psalm 119:18}

I placed a cross on my rearview window in my car the other day and it kept turning on its cord so I kept on seeing the back side of the cross. I took it off and then put it back on the mirror several times, but it kept on turning no matter what I did. I finally conceded to the fact that the back side was not was not as nice as the front side would be and that others would now see the pretty side. It made me think — we show God’s love (pretty side) toward others and our side (not as pretty) needs to be kept to ourselves. We as humans can be ugly toward others – jealous of people who have worked hard, short with the ones we love, not listening to the needs of others, and so many imperfect actions we do as creatures of sin.

What would happen if we really tried to look at others through God’s eyes? What would happen if we took the time for the people that cross our paths every day? If we held the door for the person behind us who is having a bad day? Listen to our family rather than zoning out on our phones? My goal this week is to purposely show God’s (pretty) side to others. Won’t you join me? Be Blessed!

Week 36: Can’t


{I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.–Philippians 4:13}

What an ugly word “can’t” is. I was talking with my husband about a goal I have and asked his opinion on how to meet that goal. After a while, he stopped and said, “Do you realize everything I suggested you said to me I can’t do that?”. I paused and realized he was right (I’m being transparent right now and it’s a little hard to do that). After talking with him, I opened my Bible and asked God to just take over this area in my life. It made me realize, I’m not strong enough on my own to meet this goal by myself. I am going to have to relay on Him to help me go through the hard times of meeting my goal. I will be the one doing the physical work with Him beside me.

This morning I overheard two women talking and one asked the other how she was doing. She answered in a monotone voice that was she doing just fair and she wasn’t going to do something because she just can’t — it’s too hard. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s so silly, you’re not even going to try?” BAM!! Yes, it was a thump on the head from God for me. I had to be outside of my situation to see how I sounded. A dear friend said, “Don’t compare someone’s chapter 20 to your chapter 1.” Here’s the thing, you have to open your book and start on page 1 and pray for God’s strength. Know that you may end up reading the first chapter a couple of times before you make it to the end of your book. Just don’t leave a bookmark on the first page. Be Blessed!