Focusing on the Good

Focusing on the good is a choice.

Focusing on the good is a choice.

Due to the fact that my son waited to the last minute to write a paper for his lit class and the fact that my brother was unable to install Word on his computer a few weeks back, I was unable to use my computer last night. I don’t really have a post today. But, as irritated as I was with him, I reminded myself that in a couple of years, he won’t even live at home anymore. My time with him is flying.

In the big scheme of things, not having use of my computer for the evening is really not a big deal. Getting angry over trivial matters is a waste of my emotional resources. The older I get, the more I have come to realize that most of the things that drive us crazy in life and eat up so much of our emotional energy, are in fact, trivial.

So, I leave you today with one of my favorite scriptures: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

That’s great advice from Paul, advice I think we can all use. There’s a lot of really negative stuff going on, but there always has been. Chaos and evil are not new and it’s rather presumptuous of us to believe that we ware somehow living in the darkest moments of history. We have all been chosen to live at this time, in this moment, for a reason.

Let us remember there’s a lot of good stuff too. May God touch our hearts and turn them all to the light, the light of Christ. When we have that light, the world is a brighter place. Perhaps you needed reminding today.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂


Categories: Building Christian Character, Choosing to See the Bright Side | Leave a comment

Exactly What We Need

Sometimes hope shows up when we least expect it.

Sometimes hope shows up when we least expect it.

A couple of days ago, when I got home from work, I let my dogs out and took a few minutes to enjoy the quiet. I was the first one home so it was really quiet. I sat down for a minute and checked my Facebook feed. The first post I saw was a post about the upcoming election and how America is doomed.

So much for the peace. It seems like everyone on Facebook has something to say about the election and yet everyone is tired of hearing everyone talk about it. Do you see the pattern of chaos here?

I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of thinking about it.

But, the very next thing that popped up on my feed was an article from the Christian Post and it was written by Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors. I took the time to read it.

It was like a breath of fresh air reminding me that it doesn’t matter who our president is, God is still sovereign. He is still in charge. He’s in charge today. He will be in charge on November 8th and He will be in charge on November 9th, too.

Lucado also listed Biblical kings who were not Godly people, but God used them just the same. He then backed it up with scripture. My favorite one was: “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1

Yep, that one is from one of the books of wisdom.

As I took a deep breath and shared the post, I felt restored. Lucado didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but God sent me those words at exactly the time I needed to read them. My peace was restored.

I was reminded that God is in control and for me to have any anxiety about the upcoming election, shows my doubts about His control. As I thought about it that evening, I was also reminded that God’s timing is so amazing. The Lucado post showing up right after one more election post, was no coincidence. He always gives us what we need when we need it.

The following morning, there was a note on my desk from my coworker. She had gone to the playground to search for a lost pedometer that a grandparent had called about. The note informed me that she didn’t find it, but she did find a quarter and she taped it to the note.

I laughed about it and shared it with Ivy before our morning prayer. We prayed for strength and peace and to see God and to be God for the people around us.

As the day began and people began to come into the office, one of the teachers came in who had been having a horrible morning. Her child had forgotten her snack and her lunch and they had a hard time getting out of the house, period. She was frazzled and she hadn’t eaten breakfast and was going to get a bag of chips, but was a quarter short.

And there it was, shining on my desk, taped to a note. Ivy and I smiled at each other as I handed the teacher the quarter that was meant for her. God knew the day before, what she would need that morning.

He always knows and He always provides. Whatever road you find yourself traveling on today, don’t lose faith. Hold onto hope. Watch for God. Wait for God. He’s in control and He will show up at exactly the right time with whatever it is you need.

A quarter taped to a note reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God, Watching for God | 2 Comments

We Are Not God

Dogs can't understand why humans do what we do because they are not humans.

Dogs can’t understand why humans do what we do because they are not humans.

We have two dogs at our house, Piper and Sandy. I love them both dearly. They are around eight and ten years old we think. They both came to us as full grown strays. They arrived at different stages in our lives with very different personalities. One is large and one is smaller. One is male and one is female. One has long hair and one has short hair.

I love them differently, but equally, because they are different, but they don’t always accept that fact. They tend to get jealous of one another and jockey for my affection. I can’t really explain my feelings for them to them because they are dogs.

Sandy has seemed to had some stiffness in his joints lately, so we bought him some glucosamine tablets. They are chewable and we give him one every morning. They seem to keep more comfortable. He’s able to run up and down the stairs more easily. He needs them.

Piper doesn’t need them. She’s smaller and younger and her joints are fine. But, when Piper sees us give Sandy a tablet, she thinks it’s a treat and she gets jealous. In her eyes, he’s getting something special that she’s not getting. I can’t explain it to her because she’s a dog.

My Piper and Sandy situation has really weighed on my mind over the past few days. I wonder if that’s how God sometimes feels about us. He loves us as equally, but we are different, so He shows us in different ways. We often don’t understand because we are not God. We are humans.

He also gives us different things at different times because it’s something we need at the time. To those of us looking at someone else’s blessings, we can perceive that, that person always gets more or better than we do and we get jealous. We may wonder why we don’t get those extra blessings. In our focus on other people and their gifts, we can lose sight of the fact that we may appear the same way to others looking at us.

Either way, we often don’t understand because we are not God. We are human.

The Bible tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

We forget though, don’t we? We think we know best. We think we know what we need more than God does. We become jealous like Piper is of Sandy’s glucosamine tablets.

But, when we lean into scripture, the Holy Spirit will whisper in our ears that we are loved. We are treasured and our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need. Not only that, but He will provide it at exactly the right time. Learning to believe that is called faith and it’s something we can all use a little more of these days.

We are not God. My dogs reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂


Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Letting Grace Seep In

When we allow grace to truly cover us, it seeps deeply into our souls allowing nothing bad to stick.

When we allow grace to truly cover us, it seeps deeply into our souls allowing nothing bad to stick.

Last spring, by hubby and I decided to paint our rails on our front steps. We had stained them previously and there was none left. The bare wood was exposed. We decided to use paint this time, hoping it would last longer. We sanded and primed first. We followed all of the directions.

It looked great when we were finished and it stayed that way for a time. But, fairly quickly, that paint we put on, began peeling off. We scratched our heads, not really understanding why. As the weeks went on, it looked horrible.

A little research informed us that since we originally used stain, it was still there. Even though we could no longer see it, it was buried deeply within the wood and it was oil based, so latex paint was never going to adhere for long. It may look good for a little while, but it would eventually come off.

As I examined the peeling rails and I searched for some remnant of the stain, I was reminded that we too are like that wood, when we spend some time with Jesus. When we spend time in prayer and reading the Bible, the deep truths of grace and redemption permeate deeply into our souls where they stay forever.

Now the enemy may try to convince us that our faith is not real or that we are not enough. The enemy may try to entice us to stray and we will sometimes fail and end up with a coat of gunk on our hearts and souls.

But, the amazing thing about grace is that it will keep that gunk from sticking for long. Once we have known the peace, freedom and joy that come from grace, we know that it will always shine through because like that oil stain, it lies deeply within us, even when we can’t see it.

Wherever we find ourselves on this journey, we can rest assured that once we belong to Jesus, He is a permanent part of us. He gets the final say and no one else.

Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you did too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character | 3 Comments

The Blessings in the Uneventful

We don't have to look far to find blessings in the everyday.

We don’t have to look far to find blessings in the everyday.

As I sat down to write today’s post, I wasn’t sure what I would write. I had a blessedly uneventful weekend, with no children with an appendicitis. I bought groceries and cleaned my house. On Sunday, I returned my parents’ dogs to them and got to hear a little bit about their trip to Niagara Falls.

The quiet was restored to our house.

The heat had at long last broken and my hubby and I were able to sand and re-paint our porch rails where the paint had inexplicably peeled. Our daughter was lounging close by in her Eno hammock while we worked. The weather was picture perfect. The sun was out. There was a light breeze. If I were ordering my ideal weather, it would have been yesterday.

As I prayed about what I would write, as I sought out God to share in this space, I could almost feel the tapping, encouraging me to look around and then I saw it.

While our lives are so often captured in photos, in those big moments, like weddings, job offers, birthdays, special trips, or the birth of a child, it’s the everyday that shapes us the most. We spend most of our time there, contrary to what social media would have you believe.

It’s the doing the laundry, and buying the groceries, and cleaning our houses that allow us to embrace our blessings. Are we thankful for the money to buy groceries or the fact that we have plenty of food available? Are we thankful that we have clothes to wash and water to wash them with, or that we have a washing machine? Are we thankful for the people God has put in our lives that created all of that laundry? Are we thankful that we have homes to clean? There are many who don’t.

What about our people? Are we thankful for one more meal with them? Are we thankful when they are close by? Are we thankful for their health? Are we thankful for our own health?

As I thought about it, I had seen God in dozens of ways all weekend, with the many blessings He has bestowed on me and my family. I was reminded that while the mountaintop moments are wonderful, the daily stuff is just as good and I should be thankful for the everyday since that’s where I spend most of my time.

One day, I hope to hear Jesus say, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:23

Being thankful and diligent with the everyday, is a way to be faithful to our God who has given us those blessings that we too often take for granted.

An uneventful weekend reminded me of my many blessings. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂



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Lessons from a Leper

When they followed Jesus' command, they were cleansed.

When they followed Jesus’ command, they were cleansed.

Last week, our sermon was on the ten lepers that Jesus healed. Lepers, in the Bible, lived on the edge of society. They had to call out to anyone who came near them, to warn them they were unclean.

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem for Passover when the lepers cried out to Him. He was on a mission. He knew His time had come, yet even though He had important plans, even though He knew the brutality that was coming to Him in a very short time, He still took time to heal them.

That’s the love and compassion that Jesus has for humanity.

But, what my pastor pointed out this time that caught my attention, was that, Jesus didn’t have a long conversation with them or go through any long ritual. He simply gave them a command. “Go, and show yourselves to the priests.”

And the next sentence is the headline. “And as they went, they were cleansed.” Luke 17:14

The lepers were not healed until they obeyed Jesus. Their obedience led to their healing. Jesus said, “go.”

How many times does Jesus tell us to go? Go and apologize. Go and forgive. Go and share. Go and tell.  Go to the meeting. Go to the worship service. How many times do we just stay in the comfort of our own little world and stay? Stay and be angry. Stay and live with the hurt. Stay and hold on tightly to all we perceive as ours. Stay and be quiet. Stay and do our own will.

What would our lives look like if we simply went in obedience wherever He tells us go or did whatever He tells us to do? All ten lepers were healed. They were cleansed of all that had kept them separate and isolated. They were free.

We can be too. One of those ten lepers was so overwhelmed with thanks that when he realized what Jesus had done, he turned around, ran back, and threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. That particular leper, was the wisest of all. Not only did he obey, when he understood that his obedience had healed him, he couldn’t help, but to give thanks.

That leper, like Martha’s sister Mary before him, understood that at the feet of Jesus is where we should all be, when we are in need, but when we have been blessed as well. It’s easy to find ourselves at the foot of the cross when things are bad for us, when we are worried, sick, or scared. It’s another thing to understand that our thanks for our many blessings go there too.

One leper out of ten got it right and Jesus told him so. Jesus told him to”Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

May the one guy who got it right, serve as a shining reminder for us all. When we live in obedience with thankful hearts, our lives are permanently changed.

Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you needed reminding today.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Biblical Wisdom, Building Christian Character | Leave a comment

Acorn Inspiration

Every mighty oak tree began as a tiny acorn.

Every mighty oak tree began as a tiny acorn.

As Fall attempts to show itself in my neck of the woods, the mornings are much cooler. Some of the leaves are turning colors, but at the moment, most of our trees are stubbornly holding onto them and most of them are still green.

But, one of the biggest signs for me that Fall is indeed here, is the acorns. My backyard is full of oak trees and long before the leaves turn their brilliant fall colors, the acorns begin to fall by the dozens.

The squirrels are busy gathering them up for the winter and they are almost everywhere I step. I love acorns and all they represent. They remind me of the possibilities we all have access to, when we put our faith in God.

On one level, they provide food for hungry animals. They have a real immediate use.

But, on another level, they are capable of almost unfathomable greatness. Each tiny acorn has the possibility of becoming a mighty oak tree. Oak trees are hardy. They provide shade. They provide homes for wildlife and they provide beauty that only God can create, in the fall. Some of them live for hundreds of years and they each began as a tiny acorn.

We too, have the ability to feed those around us. We can use words and acts of encouragement and love to shine the light of Christ into our often dark world.

We also have the choice to lean in close to Jesus and to trust God to do something big with our lives. We can choose to dig deep and be patient and wait on His timing and we too, can stand tall and mighty like the oak tree and point others to our awesome God.

Oak trees are strong. Some can even withstand hurricanes. We too, have that capability when we stay close to God.

All, of that amazing strength begins as a tiny acorn. Acorns always give me hope and inspiration and there are days when I really need them both. Perhaps you needed them today too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character | 2 Comments

Trust and Obey

Obedience to God, changes everything.

Obedience to God, changes everything.

Our Old Testament reading in church last week, was on Naaman. I have always appreciated that story and found myself reading through it again. It’s found in 2 Kings 5.

Naaman was a valiant warrior and the Bible says that through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. We might want to take note here that Aram was not Israel. The Bible is clear that God doesn’t only control the destinies of His people; He controls the destinies of all nations. That’s a fact that as people of God, we might want to hold close at the present moment.

Also, take notice that, the Bible says through him, the Lord had given victory. God has always been in the business of using people to have His plans accomplished.

But, Naaman had a problem. He had leprosy. A servant girl, who was a captive from Israel, told her mistress, Naaman’s wife, that there was a prophet in Israel, Elisha, who could cure him.

I wonder if that lowly servant girl had any idea what part her faith would play in Biblical history. Her faith, her courageous testimony, encouraged Naaman to go and seek the man of God. There are no small parts in Kingdom building.

Naaman went, all puffed up, I suspect, bearing gifts. He was a proud warrior, after all; surely Elisha would be so thankful for the gifts, that he would be honored to cure him. Naaman certainly was not a picture of humility, a trait sorely missing in our own world too.

Elisha did not rush out to greet him. He sent a messenger to tell him to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River and he would be cleansed.

Naaman was insulted. How dare Elisha not come out and meet him! He wanted Elisha to wave his hands over his skin and heal him. Naaman wanted to be healed in the way that he chose.

But, God’s ways and man’s ways are rarely the same. God does not serve man. Man is called to serve God. God was willing to heal Naaman just as God is willing to heal us, but it’s rarely with the snap of fingers. Healing takes time and often effort on our own part and oh yeah, obedience.

Elisha told Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan and he was so angry about the instructions, that he almost walked away sick. How often do we do the same? How often do we have the promise of healing within our grasp if we will only humble ourselves and obey God?

How often do we choose to walk away because of our own pride and stubbornness?

Naaman almost missed it. He stomped away angry, but his servants intervened. God had placed faithful people in his life, even though he didn’t have the faith required; the servants did.

Naaman grudgingly did it God’s way and he was immediately healed. Even though he wasn’t happy about it, he did eventually follow Elisha’s instructions.

Do we find ourselves, like Naaman, grudgingly following God’s instructions or do we find ourselves not obeying at all? Do we find ourselves with faithful friends who can encourage us to get on the right path when we are willfully following our own way?

Naaman’s story has so much to teach us about ourselves. It teaches us about the dangers of pride and about the rewards of humility and obedience. It teaches us about the value of faithful friends. It teaches us about the love and patience of our God. It teaches us to trust. It teaches us faith.

Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you did too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Biblical Wisdom, Building Christian Character, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Open the Eyes of My Heart

We can see God, if we are willing to look.

We can see God, if we are willing to look.

Last Sunday morning, our praise and worship team lead us in the song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” The song asks God to, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you.” It continues to a chorus of, “Holy, holy, holy, I want to see you.”

I love that song. I try to daily seek God in the everyday and share it here. So, that song is kind of like an anthem for me and when I sing it, I really mean it. As always when I ask God to show Himself, He does.

On Sunday, a young mom walked in, right past me, with her precious baby and there He was. It’s difficult not to see God in the miracle of a baby.

As our musical worship continued, I watched the woman who was sitting beside them look over and smile at the infant. I don’t know that I have ever seen that woman smile, yet every time she looked at the baby, she smiled. Yep, God was showing Himself.

At one point during the music, the baby began to fuss and his grandmother took him out for a few minutes. When she returned, she had him snugly wrapped in a blanket. When she walked back in, she stopped at my pew for a few seconds, so that I could see him.

I think my hubby thought it was a little strange, but I knew why. God was showing Himself, just as I had asked.

When we sing in church, it’s a form of worship. When we truly open our hearts and allow the words to wash over us, our song becomes a prayer and like any prayer, God answers us. He sometimes answers us in ways that only we can understand because He knows ours hearts that well.

The Bible tells us, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Our lives are not by chance. Our circumstances are not by chance. We were planned with a purpose.

That baby in church, was planned with a purpose. His sweet face is a reminder to all of us that God is still at work, contrary to what the media would have you believe. He’s not done with us yet.

In the next few weeks, as God shows up in such a huge way in the brilliance of fall, I pray that as a nation, we all seek to see Him, that we all seek to do His will, that we all open our eyes and watch for Him.

He has a plan. He’s still in control. May we all remember.

A baby reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

I have included a link to the song, in case you would like to hear it.

Categories: Building Christian Character, Watching for God | Leave a comment

Happy Fall

My kids have the day off today. We have a very short fall break, so I’m taking this day to enjoy my family and soak up the beauty that only comes this time of year. We certainly have a creative Creator.

I hope you have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

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