Tuesday, October 1, 2013


My husband Jim was out on the road for most of September carrying pets across the country to waiting masters.  So many friends asked me how I managed while Jim was gone since I am not use to having Jim gone.  They asked if I was lonely with him gone. 

My answer was “no, not really”.  But we were also texting or talking to each other daily.  A couple of times I just really wanted to talk to him about something specific and I was able to call him and have that conversation.  Knowing someone loves me and is thinking about me even in their absence does not produce loneliness.  At least for me. 

But I have known loneliness in my life.  As the old western country song says, “sleeping single in a double bed”, now that is loneliness.  When I was married to my first husband, he was out wining and dining clients while I stayed home and raised small babies by myself.  Some nights he came home, some nights he didn’t.  But the expectation was always there that since we were married he would come home.  I never mastered the art of giving that expectation to God even though I had plenty of nights of practice.  In hindsight, I don’t know for sure that God wanted me to give that expectation up.  Marriage is about being faithful to the one you have committed yourself to.  And that was not happening in our marriage. 

Being divorced was much less lonely because I was not continually dealing with unmet expectations, resulting in heart ache and disappointment.  Honestly I can say I don’t remember being lonely during my 13 years as a single parent.  Exhausted – yes, doubts about parenting – yes, but loneliness – no!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Sad

The first time I heard the saying, “happy sad” was from the Amy Grant song So Glad.  This was back in 1983 and I was going through a very dark year in my life.  And this song and those words spoke volumes to me.  Because that is exactly how I felt – happy sad.

Yesterday I felt that way again.  I took my daughter, Narissa, age 33, to the doctor.  This doctor is a specialist of immunology.  Narissa has been diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency.  Basically meaning her entire immune system is bad.  The little guys that are suppose to be guarding her body from the big bad everyday germs are sleeping on the job.  They may not even be sleeping, they may have vacated the premises.  They suspect this is why Narissa has had non stop 24/7 head pain and many other issues for 10 years now. 

Knowing Narissa’s childhood physical problems I asked if this is some diagnosis that kids can be born with and if so what are they symptoms.  As the extremely kind and knowledgeable nurse started giving the deluge of symptoms, in my mind I was seeing my son, Byron, as a young child.  As most of you who have read my blog for anytime know, Byron passed away last year, 10 days after receiving a heart transplant.  He was 34 at the time.  Both Byron and Narissa had many of the symptoms Nurse Monica shared with us.  Then she summed it up by saying many of the children that have this immune deficiency diagnosis have cardiomyopathy when they get older.  Which all has to do with a heart valve problem.  Byron was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in his early 20’s and had this heart valve problem. 

I shared with Monica a little bit about Byron’s physical history and shared that his cousin was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at age 14.  She then said that this immune deficiency has been genetically traced back to people from German descent and asked if our family came from German descent.  Well pretty close, my dad’s family came from Austria

One of the major symptoms of immune deficiency is the body’s inability to fight infection.  To this day, even after an extremely thorough autopsy, the doctors do not know why Byron died.  Their best guess is that the infection they thought they had fought off with multitudes of antibiotics right after his heart transplant came back with a vengeance and took his life in a matter of minutes.

I am so happy that after 30 years of stomach problems with no cause and after 10 years of non stop head pain with no cause, Narissa has a diagnosis that makes sense.  And a diagnosis that can be treated, even if she receives treatment for the rest of her life.  But my heart is broken once again to think if we had had this knowledge when Byron was alive, he may still be alive today and leading a productive life. 

But in it all, I still confess “God is Good” and “His ways are not my ways”, Isaiah 55:8.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Philippians 3:16
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”

If you are a Believer then you have already attained eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.  God is calling us to live as if we truly know we have eternal life.  A life of no tears, no sorrow, where all needs, wants and desires have been fulfilled.  A life with no sin, no temptation, no heart ache, no pain.  Living now as if we already have what is to come. 

Last week I went into a convenience store and the clerk said to me as I entered, “Where’s that smile?  It can’t be all that bad.”  I said to her “Thank you for reminding me.  Unfortunately sometimes I have to be reminded to smile.”  And I was having a good day.  I had plenty to smile about. 

Some people call this “posturing”.  In sales it can be called it “assuming the deal” or “assumptive selling”.  Some people call it “hypocritical” because we are acting different than what really is.  We are acting like we have it together when we don’t.  We are acting like we have already made the sale, when we haven’t. 

I would challenge us to go a little deeper thinking this through.  Is it “hypocritical”?  I don’t think so.  The reality is we do have eternal life if we are believers so why not act like it.  Does it mean we have to be all happy and carefree all the time?  Absolutely not.  But we do need to hold onto the joy and the hope that God has infused into us with His Spirit.  Galations 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Christ lives in us so let Christ be seen in us. 

We have won the war so let us act like winners during the battles!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fear Factor

In a previous blog I wrote about being without a phone for three days and the fears and apprehensions I had to deal with because of that.

Throughout my life I find that what I feared has come upon me.  (Job 3:25 “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”) 

There have been three things in life I feared - that kind of paralyzing fear: 1) fear of losing my husband to another women - happened with my first husband (1982); 2) fear of losing one of my children to death - Byron passed away a year ago; 3) fear of pain - two broken ankles (2007 and 2013); totally crippled in a three day period and told I may never walk again (diagnosis – rheumatoid arthritis changed to poly arthritis once I started walking again (1981); almost lost my eyesight to an infection (1984); a pain on Mothers Day that was so intense it took me 45 minutes to walk 150 feet to the car from a public restaurant, sometimes laying down on the ground in the fetal position (diagnosis - twisted tumors which resulted in a complete hysterectomy 1999); day after Mothers Day was run off the road in my car which flipped over on its side in an irrigation ditch and started to fill with water (2004).

Fear stops us from seeing God for who He is.  Resulting in fear stopping us from doing what God wants us to do.  Did you know the command “fear not” is stated in the Bible more times than any other command such as “love God” or “love others”?

My life verse I adopted shortly after becoming a Christian is Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”  To be honest, I am not sure what I was going through and why I chose this verse when I did, but it is a verse I have clung to over the last 40+ years.  There were times I was just clinging to these words by the tips of my finger nails but I held on – because once I had tasted God’s goodness, I had nothing else to cling to. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Phone

Several weeks ago I was by myself for three days with no phone and Jim (hubby) had left town.  I was without a phone as the sim card I had received with my new phone was not working so I had to wait for a new sim card to be sent to me.  I did have the two dogs with me.  Jim left the day following the one year anniversary of Byron’s death.    I was beginning my third week of being out of a cast and walking from my broken ankle. 

I wondered how I would do without a phone and thought it would be a good test of my faith in God to protect me. 

How did the pioneers live without being able to have instant access via phone to another person?  How did I live 10 years ago without a cell phone?  I wouldn’t dream of going on a trip today without a cell phone yet prior to 10 years ago I traveled with two small children without a phone into some long desolate stretches of road and never thought anything about it.  

Isn’t it amazing how technology has given us so much but has also given us fears and apprehensions that never existed before?  In my life God has used technology or the lack of technology to increase my faith in Him.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Anny's Courage

This last weekend I attended a baby shower for a girl I actually babysat along with her sisters when they were small.  Anny is taking a new “adventure” in life, as she puts it.  Anny is single and because of physical reasons can not have children.  A co-worker’s daughter (who is a drug addict) had a child and does not want to keep the child.  Anny was asked by the mother and the grandmother (coworker) if she would consider raising Eli.  Eli is a beautiful 8 month old who was born while his mom was on drugs.  So Eli suffers symptoms of his mom’s drug addiction. 

Since I was a single parent, not by choice, for 13 years, I have some idea of the struggles Anny will encounter in this adventure.  I truly admire her courage for venturing on this unknown path of life.  Anny works full time, and like most of us, does not make a ton of money.  She lives in a one bedroom apartment and is currently looking for a two bedroom apartment.  Materialistically, Anny doesn’t have much.  But what she does have is her faith in God and strong family support.  And when the rubber meets the road, these are the things that count. 

Courage – “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. 

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 

It never ceases to amaze me how God's power and His love can take you on a venture you would never have planned for or by yourself.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Philippians 4:7  “The peace of God that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The dictionary’s definition of peace states that peace is: 1) a state of tranquility or quiet; 2) freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; 3) harmony in personal relations; 4) a state of concord or tranquility.

I call this worldly peace.  This kind of peace can only exist in the absence of difficult situations.  As it relates to the above definition: 1) absence of noise or commotion; 2) absence of oppressive thoughts or emotions; 3) absence of strife; 4) absence of discord.

God’s peace which is referred to in Philippians 4:7 can coexist with the most difficult situations.  That is because God’s peace is transcendent – it rises above both the circumstance and understanding.  The dictionary’s definition for transcend is: 1) to rise above or go beyond the ordinary limits of; 2) to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects; 3) to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence); 4) to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power

I have personally experienced this peace several times in my life.  My first experience with the peace of God happened 3 weeks after I accepted Christ into my life.  I received a phone call on a Saturday afternoon from my first husband’s girlfriend - that is when I found out my husband had been having an affair for several weeks. 

Another time was when my son, Byron, was born.  The doctors gave him less than a 50% chance of living and said if he made it the first 72 hours of life, he would live.  I remember going home from the hospital and sleeping soundly between hours 48 and 60 – knowing beyond any doubt that if we lost Byron, God would see me through it. 

Another time was when Byron had his first open heart surgery at age 2 – I remember him being wheeled on the bed into the operating room and he had to pass through these double doors that had two teddy bears painted on them waving to the people on the outside of the operating room.  Of course we were at a Children’s hospital.  While we waited in the family room I had such a peace that I was able to work on my Sunday School lessons for the next week.  This peace was not centered on Byron surviving these situations, it was centered on God taking care of me no matter what happened. 

And most recently when Byron passed away.  I felt God’s peace once again in the hours we spent saying good by to Byron as he lay passed in the hospital room. 

There have been other times I have experienced this peace of God but this is only a blog, not a book, so I will limit my shared experiences.  According to the definition of worldly peace, I should not have had peace at any of these times.  But God is greater than this world and His love and His power and His care extend beyond all we know in our finite world.