The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Monday, April 11, 2022

Home again

 3 years?  How has it been that long???  It has been a busy and complicated, and amazing three years in many ways.  Filled mostly with events I could not share with my readers.  These years have been happy, sad, scary, and unpredictable.  There have been moments when I have wondered if I will survive and become the theme of my life!  True confession some days I embraced the sunsets in the messy, other days not so much!  If you are still here Thank you!  I'm home.....  

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A promise Kept!

Do you remember the first time someone promised you to be there and they weren't?  Maybe a friend broke your trust or a parent who missed that soccer game?  The fishing trip or the birthday party you spent months talking about, or that wedding that was planned, but didn't happen, because the person who promised to be by your side for the rest of your life, somehow could not even be there for an hour to declare their love for you.    Worse maybe you carry the weight of a promise you made and broke. 
I have been both the person who was hurt by promises not kept and the person who has broken a promise.  In fact, more than once I have tasted the bitter reality of a promise unfulfilled.  Sometimes I have been the person who has inflicted pain on others and myself because I  made a promise. I didn't keep or I believed a promise that wasn't kept.  Do you need something sure in a world of uncertainty?  I bet you do, and so do I, but is anything true anymore?  Will we see our sunsets again figuratively speaking?  Well,, that will depend on where we look for hope.  Whose promises will you and I  choose to believe?  The politicians, The government? Our churches?  Our educators? Our families?  Our finances, our country?  After nine weeks in the house, only seeing a handful of people, I have a lot of time to reflect, and even for a person like me, who recharges best having a lot of alone time, nine weeks is a bit extreme.     All things I listed, are not bad, but if these are where we find security, we will always be disillusioned, cynical, and yes like I was as a nine-year girl, through blurred tears, as I learned sometimes people make promises they can't keep, even though their intentions were good...   I found the ultimate trustworthy Promise Keeper!  He is trustworthy and True!  He keeps his promises, and not a one has failed me.  If I haven't seen it coming to fulfillment yet, based upon his track record, I can trust Him!  So when you and I are tempted to find security in our position, our bank account, our government aid, our knowledge. our status, our health,  our mentors, ourselves, then we are looking for hope in false promises. So many times I still trade the unfailing promises of God in for temporary false promises.  Don't miss your Sunsets in this time of personal and global chaos, instead, I hope we will look to Jesus who is always the Keeper of His promises!
Hebrews 6:18-19
 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure. 

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Is fear causing you to miss your Sunsets? Based on Ps. 34:4 and Romans 8

I remember being in a mainstream education class for the first time as a first-grader.  For those who may not be aware, that is what schools called it years ago when a student with any disability was seen as being able to interact in a classroom with children who do not have any type of visible disability.  Even being young, I often felt I needed to prove or earn a right to be there like any other kid, but to be honest, I wasn't sure I was smart enough or capable enough myself. though I would never admit my fear to anyone including myself. The more successful I was, the more I feared I would wake up one day to the reality that my success was null and void.   I loved to read but was often terrified to read out loud.  I still don't like to.  Math though I wasn't mainstreamed for math until 8th grade, and I was years behind.   If I wanted a real high school diploma though I had to pass the math testing.  It was a total nightmare. I even got the pre-algebra award for the most improved student for a semester.  People, I guess thought that was something to be proud of but I wasn't.  I was embarrassed and ashamed of my struggle., though by God's grace and some really amazing family members I passed the state testing.  I went to tutoring in high school every week, for a minimum of 3 hours on top of keeping up with the other homework, and trying to attend youth group on Wednesdays, because the Bible interested me more than anything I learned in school.  People thought I liked going to school because I only ever made one C on all report cards in 12 years before college.  I was happy and expressive, but school years were misery for me a lot of times.  It wasn't all bad though, I loved most of my teachers, and unlike some kids, I was never bullied or made fun of by peers.  I went to "good" schools.  Looking back, I regret I did not try out for the Middle School debate team.  I would have done well.  I can argue with a wall if I'm passionate and believe in something.    I had a fleeting thought of writing for the school newspaper, but my motto was to do something one hundred percent or don't do it all.   There is nothing wrong doing things well, in fact, I wish people gave their best more, but I am learning. doing your best does not always mean being the best at whatever it is.  Fear has kept m from doing a lot of good and positive experiences over the years, but the more I learn to embrace the grace of Jesus, the more I find the freedom to overcome the fear, instead of avoiding it or running from it.  Fear is something I think some of us almost battle from birth.  It is hard to break patterns of fear because we become enslaved most of the time because of temperament and/or trauma.  I am not writing this post, because I have mastered fear, in fact, it might surprise you to know, most mornings I have an inner battle with fear and dread.  It wears off by about noon most days, but it is one reason I don't like having conversations before nine-thirty in the morning because if I haven't read the Bible or prayed first, my mind will be hit with an overwhelming sense of dread, if I don't begin with thankfulness, and get my mindset right.     Someone once told me fear was a sin, and it only added to my shame and reinforced my fears.  I know this person meant well, but you cannot condemn or in a sense beat the fear out of someone, instead, you give the cure, you don't try to take the fear away, you combat it with the real truth one is loved and cared for so fear unfounded at least, is not necessary.  How do you embrace your own sunsets in the face of fear?  What has worked for you, and what has not?
Action Step- What are you refusing to do or feel because you are scared?  Identify the fear.   Ask someone you trust to tell you what they see.  A friend did this at the beach last year, and it helped me so much! 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lord, If You Had Been Here, Then...

Can I be honest?  I have been avoiding writing a post lately.  As a writer, there are times when you don't want to write.  You don't think you have anything anyone wants or needs to read.  My writing is a lot like my prayer life sometimes.  I don't want to pray about that thing.  I don't want to take that question or questions to God which leaves a lump in my throat. I just want to sweep it under the pretty colorful rug in our living room.

I want to be that Christian who doesn't get angry when Comcast cable asks me the same question fifteen times expecting if they ask long enough my answer will differ from what it was thirty seconds ago.  I want to be that Christian you know the one who's first thought is what does the Bible say about this, instead of chocolate can fix it  I thought after losing our mom to cancer, everything else would be kept in perspective, and for the most part, I hope I have done that, but I had expectations of myself spiritually after the last almost five years.  I thought my faith would grow. and while I have learned on a heart and soul level that God is good and compassionate, trust is not my immediate response to obstacles.  I can "preach" grace with the best of them, but accepting, it resting in it myself has for me been tugging war for many years. I've been a bit silent on the blog for a while because I feel pressure or maybe it is pride wanting acceptance to impress or make my writing lighter for your reading.  I know that is what many people want, and I truly get it.  Life is hard enough, keep it simple.  Keep it funny.  It is coming,,but I need to ask you to give me grace for the journey I have been on for the last few years.  I need time to let my soul catch up.  Yes, I'm working on writing a book ever so slowly.  Between working with the heavy cases of pregnancies unplanned.  I find myself wanting to love well my 89-year old grandmother in her declining health.  I owe her so much. I felt much the same way in the last year of my mom's life.  Scared to stay by her side, but never wanting to do anything or be anywhere else if she wasn't.     I don't want to have regrets wishing I had taken more time.  So yes there have been many laughs during the unknowns.  I've been challenged in my faith, invited to grow, built transparent and fun friendships.  I have found people who want to know me, even before they discovered my last name.  if my posts have had a sad tone over the last few years, it is probably because I have seen and experienced some sad.  I haven't stopped loving or laughing.  I haven't stopped praying or expecting to see God's glory.  This week I studied the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11.  Before the miracle, this man's sisters told Jesus
 Lord, if you had been here physically our brother, would not have died. They dd not grasp the fact that Jesus already knew what was going to happen, He knew what had already happened.        Jesus knew the whole story...  The sisters I believe thought as long Jesus was present, there would not be death or pain.  As I reread the account last night the tears flowed even as I tried to suppress those.  Unlike these sisters, I know Jesus is there, He was there, and He will be there.  I also know that just because Jesus is with us, does not mean we won't see the pain of death, hurt, or abuse, because Jesus tasted all of it too.    This does did not make the grief any less painful.  What it does offer you and me is the comfort and love of Jesus in the pain.  my own[ struggle has been since Jesus is with us  I  wonder why would God not choose to stop it? That is what faith really is, not avoiding questions, but believing God is great enough, to shine his glory and compassion in our pain.  Jesus knew pain, so why would I think we would be exempt from it, if the Sinless Son of God, was subjected to suffering loss, and rejection Consider what question or hurt you fear inviting God into. and let go.  It might not be once or twice and wax on wax off, kind of deal but together let us invite Jesus to be Lord and King over the pain.  Many people believe it is wrong to ask God questions, I use to be one of those people,  God does not forbid questions, nor should parents, but just as parents may allow questions, this does not mean all questions will be answered. God does not have to answer us, but that doesn't mean he does not allow us the freedom to ask Him.   What funny serious or heartfelt, question would you desire to ask God if you believed you had the freedom to ask?  Thanks for embracing the Sunsets even in the unanswered questions along the journey.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Finding your Sunset when the past still hurts.

The afternoon I went to a funeral visitation of the wife, of a man who has always been kind to me.  I don't know this man well, but He has been a jokester when I have been around him, but today wasn't a day for jokes.  Before you read any further please be aware this is a heavy post, and it is one I will not no I can't apologize for.     This post isn't fun or lighthearted there's plenty of time and room for that. Friends this isn't that post, and if sadness makes you uncomfortable, PLEASE give yourself permission to keep scrolling.  Sincerely I mean that  You see this man's wife died in her forties leaving behind 5 kids of all ages and her husband.  She died of colon cancer.....  When I heard this news it wasn't that I wanted to go and comfort this man, oh part of me did...  The part that does not want him and his family to feel they are alone.  You see I know what it is to love someone and lose someone to the Hell that is colon cancer.  I know what it is to be sad and confused 5 days before my 32nd birthday because of the fact colon cancer took my biggest fan.  I lost my mom, and a couple years later a classmate who was 32 at the time to cancer  I spent so many nights after everyone went to bed softly crying wondering how my brother would ever be able to survive to lose our mother in his late 20s was unthinkable to me.  How would I ever survive even losing her at 32?    So then today when I saw a nine-year-old boy slumped over in a chair surrounded by people probably only a handful of which he knew their names, dealing with the cold reality that his mom was not there, I remembered the brain fog I felt at my mom's visitation, and how much it hurt when people said, well at least they were expecting it.  Nothing hurt more than those words to me.  I knew what they meant and even if they were right, it never brought me comfort.  What did bring me comfort was hearing how my mom made people laugh.  I was comforted by people saying how much my mom's students loved her.  My Pastor's wife, told me somehow things would be ok, and I found so much comfort in those words.  5 days later my Pastor sent me a funny birthday card, which I still have 4 years later.
What could I have said today to this man grieving the loss of his wife, the mother of his children?  I could have said, You will find happiness again.  I could have said life is unfair and hard.  I could have said, I'm praying for him, and I am, but even that seemed hallow.  I spoke only two words to this man. Those words were I'm sorry.  In those words I meant, I'm sorry cancer stole the women you love.  I'm sorry your children know the pain of seeing their mom slip away.  I'm sorry the sky isn't filled with sunsets.  I'm sorry the days are long, but the nights are even longer.  Sometimes though less means more, and I said I'm sorry.  There is something I wish I'd said though.  Something far more powerful Jesus is here.  I don't know this man's spiritual beliefs, but one thing I know is, knowing Jesus is here in the hurt matters!  As you face life's dark places, has to know The Maker of your Sunset is here in your pain made a difference in and for you? Part of me didn't want to relieve the pain of almost 5 years ago, but I knew God never wastes our pain, and so if an ounce of compassion can comfort a man just by showing up, it is worth any discomfort it may cause me.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Are you clearly seeing your Sunsets?

A sunset moment is any moment good or bad that awakens us to the beauty of life and our own authentic purpose.  It is the redemptive element one sees when we take the time and effort to learn, grow, find meaning in the greater story we were created for.  It is a moment of clarity, a realization big or small which when implemented, fully embraced makes us more present and more a reflection of the one by who an by who we created for what each was created for.  Sunset moments serve as a reminder to live, appreciate grown, and to motivate to see a glimpse of the grander story.  It doesn't just make life better it makes life more abundant more meaningful even the pain.  In other words, a sunset moment can often be the beauty rising from the ashes.  It is a smile on a rainy day, a laugh long overdue.  It is a splash of gratitude in a mountain of chaos It is an act of kindness when no one is there to witness its impact except you God and the recipient.   It is where joy and hardship dance.  It is where the ordinary has a head-on collision with the spectacular!    A sunset moment transforms us even if only for a moment to teach, us, inspire us to inspire others through and in the midst of our every day living.  Jesus referred to it John 10:10 as abundant life.      Tim Tebow calls it purpose, One pastor calls it knowing your Why.  Athletes sometimes call it the sweet spot.   We all know what it is even if we can't explain it.  Based on this explanation have you had a Sunset moment this week?  Have you embraced it or have missed those?

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Sunset Moments of 2019 and Hope for 2020

Confession:  I'm not a big dreamer goal setter, and usually New Years day I'm a little sad when I see everyone making goals, dreaming and planning, mostly because I buy into it's just another day, and there is some truth in the reality that a change of year isn't a magic pill or a blank check that automatically changes one's life usually.  Last year at this my grandmother was facing health challenges that brought fear and great uncertainty not only to her but to us her family also.  If you told me this time last year that I could have endured what I have, I would have thought you surely were wrong.  If you told me almost 5 years ago, I would have survived watching our mother slip away, as cancer took her life. I would have said I'll never survive the depression and anxiety that crippled me and almost stole my life, I would have told you I could not do it, I would  not ever find joy again, But God knew better than me.     Yes, I got the shingles for likely the second time in 4 years, but God has been faithful.  I have been stretched spiritually and questioned and.trusted.  I have truly found joy in 2019, I have developed a greater gratitude for family,and I have deepened my friendships. I have spoken up for myself, and I have made mistakes.  In  2019, I have been bolder.  I have risked and been vulnerable, and I have extended a little more grace to myself and I hope others too.  I’ve been honest, even when maybe people didn’t want me to be. It has been sweet, fun, and hard, but I’m glad I lived all of it.  Here are some of my best moments in 2019


Sunday, November 24, 2019

114 reasons why I Have a wonderful Life and I'm thankful!


  10. God's spirit lives within me.
  11. Magaret 
  12. Ron,
  13. Bill
  14. Brady, 
  15. Jack 
  16. Mandy
  17. Kim & Brad Jocelyn and Cameron
  18. My brother, Mara, and Maddie and Harper
  19. Mumzie
  20. Macy 
  23. Family
  24. Maddie's name
  25. Jenn Hand
  26. Michelle 
  27. Todd 
  28. Alex
  29. Hope
  30. Abbi
  31. Jacob Ray
  32. Mama and Daddy  Hand
  33. Houston and Katy Gibson
  34. Matt Bailey
  35. Lauren Judkins.
  36. Church
  37. Community 
  38. wheelchair
  39. My sight,
  40. My Hearing
  41. Use of my Hand
  42. My computer
  43. WIFI
  44. FOOD
  45. Water/ Shower
  46. The privilege of growing up in Brainerd Hills Baptist church
  47. My van
  48. Barbara Nunley
  49. My WONDERFUL Overnight work crew
  50. Real friendships
  51. My faith is growing.  
  52. Two Rivers Church
  53. Everyone who gives me rides to Church   
  54. Martha Rodgers 
  55. Shelia Dale
  56. Linda Matthews
  57. SISTERS OF HOPE AND SAFE Tower prayer groups.
  58. Money
  59. Printer
  60. Memory foam mattress.
  61. Health getting better.
  62.  clothes
  63. medicine
  64. Heaven 
  65. Choices volunteers and staff
  66. unexpected surprise gifts.
  67. Music
  68. Sun
  69. Healthy relationships
  70. Sharon White
  71. Aunt Phyllis 
  73. The House family
  74. CARLY turko\
  75. Meghan and her family
  76. Lindsay and Dave, 
  77. Terry and Cindy
  78. David and Dana
  79. Emily and Chad Hall.
  80. The Howells
  81. Logan and Liz and Lettie/
  82. Chrysalis/Emmas
  83. The Jessen and Teague families
  84.   Sandra Rose
  85. Beth Barber
  86. Peggy Worsham
  87. Janis Marshall
  88. The Vandegriffs:
  89. Richard Mason Humor and care Dianne's  cooking and kindness
  90. Andrew Crawford
  91. Sally and Joe Henderson
  92. Mike Lofton and Deb's kindness to me.
  93. Spring
  94. answered prayers/unanswered 
  95. ALEXA 
  98. Dresses
  99. filtered WATER
  100.   Saturdays and Sundays
  101. Julia and Mike K.
  102. Mike Graham
  103. Glenna and Matt Rodgers
  104. Carta. 
  105. Purple blanket 
  106. George and Sharron Pepper
  107. The Dees's and the Caseys and the Murdock's  
  108. The Hightower's
  109. Tina Massingale.
  110. Amber Walden
  111. Sally Thomas. 
  112. Memories with mom
  113. Conversations with dad. 
  114. wining against Depression  

Sunday, October 06, 2019

What is a sunset anyway?

It seems like a simple question does it not?  Most people have seen one.  That beautiful image that pokes its way through the clouds or between the trees.  That splash of bright orange interacting with that sometimes cotton candy pink.  Sometimes it takes your breath away  Stops you in your tracks.  It is the sunset that often causes me to pause.  It is often the sunset that puts my place, reminds me how small I am, and how big God is.  I'll even tell you a secret too, I've been known to tear up at a sunset or two.  Shh, don't tell anyone ok?   You see for many years now, I believe all of us have defining moments that change us,  that make us better, and more fully present and engaged in this beautiful, messy journey called life.  It may be a moment in the midst of a hard season where you find something beautifully breathtaking either before during or after a storm.  We may have a Sunset moment every day or maybe less.  It might be a smile, a prayer, a song, a card a word of hope, a butterfly landing on a bush.  A friend's laughter, a donation, etc.  It may be months or years before you see your next one.  If you and I aren't looking and paying attention, there are so many reasons we miss our sunset moments.  Those moments teach us about what is important The moments which drive us to savor and celebrate our blessings and to find goodness and joy in the face of pain and sorrow.  Sunset moments are often uniquely specific and deeply personal.        In the coming weeks, it is my hope and intent to post about different barriers that keep us from recognizing and embracing the Sunsets in our lives.  Before we explore that though, it is crucial to understand what embracing your Sunset means, and also what embracing your sunset does not mean.
    Embracing your sunset for me personally always means discovering my God-given purpose, and in so doing, my desire is both to love and serve well A sunset moment can be both positive and negative event, gesture,  lesson, spark, but it will always ultimately drive us to love, savor, celebrate, learn, grow, and it motivates us and shapes to fulfill our purpose, and brings positive transformation.   HAVE YOU HAD A SUNSET MOMENt  LATELY?  
Action Step-  Ask GOD to reveal to you a blessing or sunset moment He has given you lately.  Here is one of mine this summr.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Story about A Dog and How it reminded me of God's Faithfulness!

As I sit here, wondering how the pieces will ever come together in this puzzle called life. I remembered another time I was sure nothing would work out when I realized I could no longer keep my dog, Franklin, My spirit was crushed. I felt sure beyond repair physically sick with fear of what would happen to him. Who would take this dog I loved so much! If you are not a dog lover, and no I don't mean a dog-liker.  I mean a dog lover bordering on being the crazy person who is not embarrassed to say I'd rather have a dog than a spouse, then  I both pity you and envy you. Those of you who think having a dog means you feed it, and leave it outside. I am a dog lover, there is no I like you, its I fall head of heels in love, it is you're my friend and I'm, not just your master. Who in the world could or would take this dog who had endured most likely abandonment and abuse. Then He got so attached to my mom she was his person. He lost her, and losing him, felt like I was losing her all over again. It seemed so unfair. Yet God provided Lana. She served as his groomer, and she became his savior. I called her one day balling my eyes out. " I can't take care of him, He deserves better", I said through uncontrollable sobs. Remembering, I told God if he would make a way,, I'd surrender Franklin. Can you help me find him a home? She was kind and gracious said she would try and find someone, I told her I had 2 weeks before I had to rehome him. She considered a few people, but I wanted him groomed before He left me, and she agreed. The day He was groomed Lana asked me if she could keep him overnight and take him on a trip to see family after He was groomed. "Sure," I said... I was relieved I knew time was running short. Franklin never made it on the trip, and because the trip did not occur at the time, and Franklin has been with Lana ever since that day. Through the tears, worry and broken heart God remained faithful. He provided and what seemed impossible, became better for him than I could ever dream. If I am honest, as much as it hurt my heart, it was best for me too. It still hurts, and a few tears rolled down my cheeks, even though now a few years have passed.
       What this story reminds me of today, as I embark on unknown territory with something else, It isn't an unknown path to God! He knows where the road leads. He knows the aspects of the situation, others don't grasp. God isn't still trying to figure out the best plan, He is the best plan. Ephesians 3:20 How has recalling God'a faithfulness, helped you remember to trust him to bring your sunset to pass in your right now?