Archives for March 2012

Warning Signs

Not long ago my hair dryer made me nervous each time I used it. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, hair wet and as straight as a string, and panicked a little each time after flipping its switch on. The faint burning smell it emitted could not be a good thing.

Thank goodness for the warning sign. This particular hair dryer had served me long and well and was now even giving me a heads up that it might be nearing its last blow dry session. What a trusty friend, huh?

Somehow, though, I’d forget the warning and go on my merry way, not thinking about it until the next time my head was wet. After a few nerve-wracking episodes of blow dryer roulette—also known as praying for it to dry my hair before it shut down permanently—I decided to take precautions and buy a new hair dryer before disaster struck. In other words, I finally paid attention to the warning signs.

Since a hair dryer disaster is a trivial matter (if it happens to someone else!), let’s consider other more serious warning signs we might be overlooking or forgetting as we hurry on to the next item on our agendas. What do we see happening in our lives that warrants our proactive and precautionary attention?

Maybe our bodies are trying to tell us something. Is it time to see the doctor? Do we need to make more time for sleep at night? Or maybe we see signs of trouble with our families. Are our kids acting out or withdrawing? Do our spouses seem more distant? And what about finances? Are we juggling payments or hiding purchases and credit card statements from our significant others? For each of us the warning-sign scenarios may be different, but if we are wise, we’ll pay attention.

And what about warning signs that something may be amiss in our spiritual lives? Do we find ourselves skipping church on more Sundays than we attend? Do we tell ourselves we won’t be as busy next month? Maybe we feel like God is far away. Have we been neglecting time in His Word or in talking with Him? Or perhaps the joy has disappeared from our relationship with the Lord. Have we slipped into following a set of rules rather than loving a Person?

Let’s be thankful for warning signs
that alert us to possible problems—and then let’s be proactive. Let’s take precautions, if possible, before we encounter major malfunctions. We’ll all rest easier then.

“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Proverbs 4:6

*Have any warning signs come to your attention lately?

*Flickr photo by Henrique Vicente


“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Psalm 125:2

I love this verse. After rediscovering it a few years ago, I personalized it and made it part of my early morning prayer each day. Before even getting out of bed, I give the Lord my day and place my times in His hands. Then along with a few basic requests, I add, “And Lord, as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so surround me with Your peace and Your protection.”

Sometimes the thought of being surrounded brings up negative images, but that’s certainly not the case here. Not for me—not when it’s the Lord doing the surrounding.

I suppose if someone didn’t love the Lord or was trying to run or hide from Him, it would be a frightening prospect to be surrounded by the Almighty. But for those who know and love Him and look to Him for help, great comfort lies in the precious knowledge of His surrounding presence and care.

The image of mountains, so strong and protective, surrounding a little town paints the perfect picture of what the Lord does for His people. The Lord stands guard, ever watchful, ever ready to protect and guide. He provides majesty and beauty, adventure and stability. He keeps us nestled in His peace as we look to Him.

Let’s picture ourselves surrounded by the Lord. Let’s relax in His care. Let’s snuggle down into that place of peace He has reserved for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Him. Are you with me? Let’s be surrounded by His peace.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” —Psalm 121

*Flickr photo by Duncan~

*We enjoyed a wonderful visit with our kids last week during Spring Break. Hope you had a great week as well!

Spring Break Celebration!


Woohoo!! Spring break is finally here! Since spring break has become synonymous with spending time with our kids the past few years, I’m sure you can understand why I’m downright giddy. We haven’t seen our girls and their guys since Christmas, and we are remedying that at this very instant. Double Woohoo!! :)

I’m taking a blogging break this week while we’re celebrating spring break so I’ll see you on the other side. Have a great week—hope you find something to Woohoo about, too! :)

“Shout aloud and sing for joy . . .” Isaiah 12:6a

*Flickr photo by _Zeta_

Let: Will We Allow Fear and Worry?

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Have you ever noticed how little words in scripture (or anywhere for that matter) can have great significance? Last year I blogged about the giant impact of the word “us” in Hebrews 12:1. Today let’s look at John 14:27 and focus on another little word—the word “let”.
When Jesus spoke the words above to the disciples, He had just shared the Last Supper with them and told them He would not be with them much longer. He then spent time comforting them and telling them about the Holy Spirit, whom He promised He would send to them.

Jesus’ reassuring words at such a critical time in all of their lives still hold great comfort for us today, but they hold instruction as well. He told the disciples then and is telling us now not to be afraid, not to let our hearts be troubled.

By using the word “let”, Jesus shows us that we have some control over our anxieties and fears. He exhorts us not to allow them to overtake our hearts.

Experiencing pangs of worry or fear about life situations is natural and happens to all of us. It’s what we do with those initial feelings that matters in the long run.

Do we dwell on our worries and fears and allow them to grow larger by the minute, or do we honestly acknowledge them and then take them to the Lord in prayer? Do we spend time and precious energy imagining worst-case scenarios and desperately trying to think of fixes, or do we relinquish our burdens into our Father’s capable and faithful hands?

We don’t have to “let” anyone or anything steal the peace that Jesus promised us. It’s as real and available to us today as it was to the disciples. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s not allow our hearts to be troubled. Let’s give our worries and fears to Him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

*Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of a physical problem. If you suspect that at all, be sure to see your doctor.

*Do you have a favorite scripture about worry or fear that you’d like to share?

*Flickr photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto

Mementos of Love

A smattering of cards from some of the special people in my life decorate my desk, but they’re not just decoration. They are love.

One is from a friend, and the others are from my kids. The cards add color and cheer to my workplace, but I keep them there for a different reason. As I work, they stand ever propped before me as reminders and mementos of the givers’ love for me.

These aren’t the only mementos of love in my home.
Dearly loved photos are scattered throughout the house, keeping my loved ones close to my heart even though they live miles and states away.

Our piano stands as a testament of my grandparents’ love since it was purchased with the gift of money they gave us when my grandmother was battling cancer. They wanted to show their love before she passed from this earth. What joy it gave them to see how we used their gift—and what a blessing it has been to us as a family.

Don’s mom’s six-foot tall curio cabinet filled with her Precious Moments collection (over 55 figurines!) was given to me by his siblings in love and appreciation for all the years I helped care for their mom when they couldn’t be here. What a treasure.

Many other mementos of love fill my home, as I’m sure they do yours as well. As we consider our treasures, let’s also think about the mementos of love our heavenly Father has given us. I immediately think of the Bible, a gift of love from God to all of mankind. And oh, what a treasure it is to me.

What mementos of love from our heavenly Father do you see in your life? Actually, when we stop and think about it, anything we have is a gift from Him, isn’t it? Let’s take time to treasure our treasures today. Let’s thank God for mementos of love!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

*What mementos of love in your home—and in your life—do you treasure?

*Flickr photo by kathryn_rotondo