Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Grace in the New Year

"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For You will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders", Isaiah 9:2-4.

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever", 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

These verses are what I'm praying for you, for myself, for my family, in this new year:
*that instead of being a hot mess, you will be saturated with the heat of Jesus light, filling you with His grace, dispelling the darkness and depression.
*that you will spend time soaking up Jesus presence, like a butterfly basking in the sun; and you will let Jesus lift the yoke of your slavery to sin that is chafing and rubbing your shoulder raw.
*that you would let Jesus fit your yoke to His, so that you can walk through this year easily and gracefully, with Him by your side, in gentleness and humbleness, in rest for your soul.
*that you would surrender your life to Jesus, for real this time, and let Him lift the heavy burden that's weighing you down, flattened and spent.
*that you would not give up in your difficulties , but would glorify God in the way you walk through them.
*that you would fall in love with Jesus and keep your gaze fixed on Him always.

Wishing you a blessed, happy, and grace-filled new year, 2014. Peggy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

His Strong Right Arm

    As I sit here the week before Christmas, thinking about how I feel, I decide that I feel joy. Joy is a new concept for me, as is feeling like The Holy Spirit lives in me.
    I lived a huge portion of my life, after the abuse, feeling empty, joyless, and hopeless. Last Christmas I wrote that, for the first time, I felt like I was in the manger, worshipping the Christ child; whereas before I had only looked on from afar.
    This Christmas, I feel like I've gently touched that tiny, sacred, right hand. That powerful, right arm of the Lord Jesus Christ is enabling me to live with victory, joy, and hope. Praise God!
"Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. the strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things", Psalm 118:15.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Singular Focus

    My two year old granddaughter was here over Thanksgiving. She's so precious. My daughter said she had been talking about coming to see Mema and Papa for days. She cried when she got home because she had to leave us. But while she was here, everything we tried to do for her or with her she said "Let Mommy do it"; over and over we heard "Let Mommy do it".
    You have to admire her singular focus. Her focus was on the one who loves her the most and the one who she loves the most. Her focus was on the one who takes care of her every need, the one who protects her from every harm, and the one who will always keep her in her heart.
    Sound Familiar? Jesus is the one who is all that to me and I need to keep Him in singular focus.
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You," Isaiah 26:3.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful In Loss?


    My husband and I are at an age where our peers are beginning to pass away. We have lost two good friends, one this week. I have wondered how their wives are going to be able to go on. I have wondered how I will be able to go on if my husband dies before I do.
    Then I remember Jesus; and I know I/we will be able to go on because He has said He will never leave us. I had a little taste of loss when my dearly loved little granddaughter moved to Oklahoma a few years ago. But I found out that I can live without anyone except Jesus. I know I have to have Jesus in my life!!! I have learned that praising Jesus with thankfulness in any situation can bring joy to the most broken of hearts.
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit", Romans 15:13.
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances", 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
"You are my God, and I will praise You. You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever", Psalm 118:28-29.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Heavens Proclaim

    Since we've moved to our house in the country, I've marveled that every day the sky looks different from the day before; each day lovely in its' own way. Being a city girl my whole life, I had never realized there was an infinite variety of cloud formations nor had I noticed the glorious shades of pink and purple that can't be discovered in a tube of paint. I'm awestruck over a Creator who can brush such artistry into being.
    I can remember the first time I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I stood there in the "Monet" room with tears rolling down my face. I had only seen his paintings in books before. In person, I was bowled over by such light and such beauty. But that is nothing compared to the handiwork of The Artist who spoke all color and form into being.
    During my days of depression I just saw everything in shades of grey. It's a testimony to God's healing that now I can see the beautiful colors of everyday things.
"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak, night after night they make Him known", Psalm 19:1-2.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Old Man Winter

    The outside temperature has dropped 35 degrees since yesterday. The strong north winds are driving the wind chill factor down into the teens. This is a chilly reminder that winter is knocking on the door.
    I dread winter. For as long as I remember, I've struggled through the dark and frigid days of winter. I've struggled physically with bodily aches and pains; I've struggled emotionally with the heavy hold depression gets on me.
    And now, at the age of 65, I'm entering the winter of my life. All my aches and pains and negative thinking have been magnified by "Old Man Winter".
    But, as I lay in bed this morning, not wanting to get up, pulling the comfortable quilt of darkness and depression higher up on me, Jesus came to mind and turned my thinking around. He showed me that:
*I'm never too old for His love
*It's never too cold to kick depression away
*I can build a relationship with Him as easily as building a snowman
*I'm never too old to find joy in Him
*I'm never too old to receive the gifts of peace and rest from Him.
    Come on," Old Man Winter", give me your best shot. I'm not afraid of you anymore.
"If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant as though a floodlight were filling you with light", Luke 11:36. NLT

I'm never too old for His love

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Trees Sing Their Praises

   The trees in the Ozark Mountains where I live have been glorious to behold this autumn. I'll let them speak for themselves. "Let the heavens be glad , and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise", Psalm 96:11-12.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Artist of My Soul

     I'm an artist. Not a very good one, but it has been a big part of my life. When I am focused on where the next brush stroke goes, or how to mix red and blue to get that perfect shade of purple, then I'm not thinking about how afraid I am that my daughter has been called back for an ultrasound of her breast.
    Painting is my escape from the world. Yet when I'm depressed I have a hard time painting. I guess that I'm so closed up that the creative juices can't flow. I've been painting quite a bit lately, which is a good sign of my mental state.
    I received a gift, a "God Thing", when we moved into this house. An accomplished artist who lives down the street stopped by to ask if she could take pictures of my sheep so she could paint them. When she found out that I was an artist, she invited me to a painting group of 7 or 8 ladies who meet at her house every other Thursday to paint. That has become such a blessing to me.
    As I'm writing this, I'm looking out my window at the vibrant leaves of red, orange and gold that are gracing the trees in our area this autumn. I'm amazed at the artistry of God. His colors take my breath away.
    We all have a share of God's creativity because He lives in us. Let's unleash it. For you it may be painting, or writing. Maybe it's decorating a house or an office. Maybe it's the creative way you raise your children; maybe it's dressing them. Maybe it's dressing you.
    Whatever it is, let it out. Be guided by the creativity God gave you. Use it to glorify Him.
"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens," James 1:17. NLT

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    I wrote last time about the two pygmy goats we bought. Going to a new place so traumatized them that they still won't get close to my husband or me. My daughter and two little granddaughters visited last weekend. My daughter is an animal lover extraordinaire. She spent a couple of hours sitting close to them. With upmost patience she sang songs to them and offered them food and they started coming up to her.
    You know, God has been like that with me. With upmost patience He waited for me to come to my senses and draw close to Him. He shouldn't have cared about me, a loose mess who found herself neck deep in sin and anchored to depression. With boundless grace, mercy, love and patience He pulled me out of the dark pit I was in and set me on His solid rock.
 "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.  They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety, He rescued me because He delights in me", Psalm 18:16-19.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Matter of Trust

   We brought two pygmy goats home to our little sheep farm last Thursday. The idea is to keep them in a small pasture on the side of our house that is overgrown with shrub. Goats supposedly like to eat that sort of vegetation.
    So we drive out to a farm to get them and bring them home in a large dog crate. We had pictured opening the crate and watching them calmly walk out and into our lives. But in reality, they jumped out of that crate and lit out like jackrabbits. We had no idea goats could run and jump like that. They ran lickedy-split all over our barnyard with the two guard dogs in pursuit. Even our sweet pet lamb, Rosemary, got into the chase. They ran through a pasture, into the farthest corner, and hid behind a telephone pole.
    It has taken us four days to try to calm them down. They spent their first two days behind that telephone pole. Nothing we tried would cause them to venture out. We finally decided to move them to a pen where they could see the other animals and get used to all of us. So we trapped them in their corner with a piece of fencing and carried them kicking and squealing to their new home.
    We put a doghouse "igloo" in their pen for shelter, laid out water and food, and waited patiently for them to get over their trauma and realize we could be trusted. Every day we pull chairs into their pen and sit and watch them. They are just beginning to come out of their corner to sniff us and the food
and stick their heads in the "igloo". Small steps but progress just the same.
    This has given me a fresh picture of my relationship with God. He has provided for me everything I need. He desires to take good care of me. His ways are always best for me. He has promised to never leave me alone. Yet I'm often afraid to trust Him and cautious to follow His ways. Sometimes He still has to pull me kicking and screaming from something He knows is harmful for me.
    Only when I can see Him as my Good Shepherd, my Great Physician, and the Refuge of my soul,
will I be able to let go of my fears and my rebellious ways. When I realize that He has given me all that I need, I will know that "He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name",
Psalm 23:2-3.

"But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me", Psalm 13:5-6.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Basic Obedience

   I'm taking my Border Collie, Grace, to Basic Obedience classes. My husband has mowed a walking path around our six acre pasture. When I walk Grace, she literally pulls me around, occasionally leaping into the air to catch a flying insect, while almost pulling my arm out of its' socket.
   Something had to be done before I got hurt so I looked into Obedience classes.  I was so nervous before the first class, afraid that Grace would not be obedient at all. But she was so good, and all because of a little metal collar with prongs called a choke collar. It supposedly mimics a mother's tug on the neck when they are puppies.
   Grace is a different dog with her choke collar on. We start off walking; she starts to pull me; I stop; she feels the tug; she walks beside me. It's nothing short of amazing.
   That's sort of how the Holy Spirit works with me. I start to do something I shouldn't do and I feel a tug, kind of like a nudge in my heart.  The more of these nudges I get then the more I learn that it is best to walk in God's way and not my own. I give thanks to the Holy Spirit for teaching me Basic Obedience. It's nothing short of amazing.
"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you know Him because He lives with you now and later will be in you", John 14:15-17.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No Running Start

   We're getting our sheep ready for breeding season in October and November. We are feeding grain to all the ewes to get them big and healthy. My husband went to Oklahoma last week and bought a new ram with better bloodlines. We've sold our other ram.
   When my husband went to pick the ram up, he was in a pen with three other rams. There were tires laying all across the floor of the pen. He was told that this was so they couldn't get a running start.
   If left to their own devices, the rams will fight each other. They do this by butting their heads. If they can start running and build up speed, then the butt will pack a wallop. The tires in their pen will keep them from doing this.
   You wonder what this has to do with anything. That picture has been in my head ever since my husband told me this. When I start to have negative thoughts, I see them surrounded by Jesus. This hems them in and they can't get a running start. So I can think positive thoughts instead.
"And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you the way out so that you can endure", 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Monday, September 9, 2013


  I confess that I'm having a hard time dealing with these shingles. As the red blisters have popped out on my back, the negative thinking has popped out in my mind. "I don't feel good. I'm in pain. I'm never going to get over this. Why has this happened to me?? Me?!? ME!!!"
   I just need to gaze out my kitchen window as I eat my breakfast. Mister house finch has brightened up the feeder with his jaunty red cap and vest. I'm in awe over the Creator who fashioned his feathers that way.
   I just need to walk out my front door to water my black-eyed susans. A painted lady butterfly is basking on a petal. The intricacy of her design takes my breath away.
   I look around our little sheep farm and I see the sheep and the dogs and our neighbors' cows. Life is precious in all the forms it takes. I thank God again for my life, for life.
   As the evening settles over us, I look out my back window. The sky has turned a pinkish-purple as the sun says goodbye to the day. I ponder the wonder of the One who spoke the sun into being.
   I just need to take my mind off of myself and my puny messes and focus on the One whose specialty is cleaning up messes. There is nothing I can do or think that will keep Him from loving me.
   I just need to remember that IT'S ALL GRACE.
"Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. All glory to God forever and forever. Amen.", 2 Timothy 4:17-18.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


   I've got Shingles. It is painful. I was going to post about how hard it is to deal with this pain and about how easy it would be for me to slip into depression. But I'm not going to. I'm going to post about the victories Jesus has given me over this pain as he has walked through it with me. I'm going to post that He is never more than a prayer away. I'm going to post that because Jesus lives in me that I have the strength to bear anything. Because of the power of Jesus I can live in victory no matter what the world throws at me.
"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me", 2 Corinthians 12:8-9. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Short Leash

   I've written before about my Border Collie, Grace. I'm crazy about that dog. We got her when she was 7 months old, from an abusive situation. I need something to love on and she needs lots of love, so we make a good pair.
   When we first got her, if we put her in the backyard, she would climb the walls of the dog pen and climb the chain-link fence. Since then I've kept her on a short leash. I've been afraid that she'll run off. When I walked her around the pasture, she would strain hard on the leash, literally pulling me around.
   One day, my husband said "Just let her go. She can't get out of the pasture fence".  I wasn't so sure. I was afraid to do that but finally I let her go.
    She ran like the wind across the pasture and leapt high in the air, chasing butterflies and bumble bees. Over and over she would run and leap, then she would come back to me. It does my soul good to see her running free, using the skills she has been bred to use, then coming back to me.
   Jesus doesn't have me on a short leash either. He lets go of me to make my own choices. I don't run very far away from Him anymore. I know that I can trust Him. I know that I can find peace and security in Him. Just like Grace has found security in living with me.
"Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. I cling to You, Your strong right hand holds me securely", Psalm 63:7-8.
"So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free", John 8:36.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Gift of Grace

   When I began writing this blog I thought I would write about the damage caused by childhood sexual abuse and the steps I took in healing from it. But in the 2 1/2 years I have been writing it, God has transformed me from a woman depressed and fearful of life to a woman with rest and peace and joy. And it's all because of Grace.
   Of all the gifts God has given me, Grace has been the hardest to accept. Because I felt unworthy and Grace is free and undeserved. It doesn't require an apology or a thank-you. It doesn't need to be wrapped or reciprocated. I can't work hard enough to earn Grace; no amount of money can buy it; there will never be a vote deciding who receives it. Grace is the pure, untarnished favor of God formed in the figure of Jesus Christ.
   God knew me before I was shaped in my mother's womb. He looked down through the ages and saw a little girl ravaged by abuse. There was no hope for fixing that broken child-no self help books, no support groups, no sanctimonious preachers. No hope except for the love of a Savior carrying out the plan of God for Grace. It's the best gift I've ever been given. 

"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful Grace and His gift of righteousness for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ", Romans 5:17. NLT

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"This I Know"

   I've been an infant in my Christian walk for a long time. I've been teething on "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so". It has just been for a year or so that I have believed that Jesus loves me. I had always thought that I was too bad for Jesus to love.
   Now that I've graduated from that basic truth, God wants to take me a step further. He is trying to teach me that "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world". I have been selfish, self-absorbed, and self-indulgent. It's as if the only word I can speak is "Me! Me! Me!".
   God is opening my eyes to the fact that there are many people in the world, our country, my city, that do not have all that I have. Like choking on my first taste of solid food, I don't like the taste of greed and excess.
   I have so much more than I need. My house is filled with things I merely wanted. It's time to take a few steps to reach out to someone who needs what I can give.
"You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's Word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food", Hebrews 5:12.
"Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others", I Timothy 6:18.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Hide Your Crazy"

   "Run and hide your crazy and start acting like a lady" .That verse from Miranda Lambert"s song, "Mama's Broken Heart", has been running around in my mind. I say that a lot to my dog, Grace the Border Collie. She is the sweetest and most loving puppy-until she isn't. She does have a streak of
     It makes me think back to the years of my life when I was trying to "hide my crazy and act like a lady". You just can't hide things like sexual abuse,  I taught Bible classes, and went to women's conferences, trying hard to hide how different and damaged I felt inside. It wasn't until I was almost 50 and shared the abuse for the first time with my Alanon sponsor that I began to heal.
     Praise God! When I couldn't hide the craziness any longer, Jesus showed up. When I brought my old stuff out into the open, Jesus shined His light on it and He healed me step by step. "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along", Psalm 40:2.
     I no longer have to "hide my crazy". Jesus is making me into the woman that He created me to be.
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new  person. The old life has gone, the new life has begun", 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Monday, July 22, 2013


   I've been thinking a lot this summer about how much I really need. I identify with the little girl in the AT&T commercial who says, "If we like it, we want more! We want more!" That's me! If I like the way a pair of JJill linen pants fit me then I want them in 3 more colors. If 6 solar lights look good on my front walkway then I get 2 dozen more plus a butterfly and a sun and a moon. For crying out loud, I have 4 sets of dishes for my husband and myself to eat on.
   Excess. Greed. Not pretty words. "Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip", Romans 1:29. Greed is defined as "a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed.
   I'm going to a Bible study of Jen Hatmaker's book "The 7 Experiment". She takes 7 areas of her life and identifies the excess in that area. She then takes steps to rid herself of what is not needed and give to people who do need it
   I'm overwhelmed. I'm struck mindless. I don't know where to start. But God does. It starts with Jesus, with putting Him first, with surrendering all to Him. "So don't worry about these things, saying "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the minds of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need", Romans 6:31-33.

Monday, July 8, 2013


"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint", Isaiah 40:29-31. My pastor used these verses Sunday and it got me to thinking about eagles. A few times since we've moved to the farm we've spotted a pair of bald eagles in the tree line at the edge of our pasture, along a creekbed. Regal looking, the bald eagle is a symbol of freedom in the USA and our national bird. Eagles have long fascinated me. I love how they can just spread their enormous (7 foot)wings and soar on wind drafts at speeds of 35-75 mph; searching for prey with their sharp eyesight. That's a picture of how God wants us to surrender everything to Him and then just go with the flow, soaring on the wind drafts of the Holy Spirit. Eagles mate for life and share the duties of building their quite large (up to 8 feet) nests, which they continue to use and add to year after year. We humans can certainly learn from them in this area. My favorite thing about eagles is what I read one time. If they have ingested something toxic or poisonous they will lay on a rock and spread their feathers out to the sunshine and let the sun draw the poison out of them. I try to follow suit. If I have let some bad thoughts or besetting sins create toxic feelings in me, I will sit for as long as it takes in the presence of Jesus, my Son-shine, and in His Word, until those bad feelings are replaced with His joy. I can also identify with their molting. The eagles molt in patches, taking a year to replace their feathers. They start at the head and work down. God has been transforming my heart, slowly, for years. He starts with my mind and replaces the negative thoughts with God-centered ones. It is a process. Yes, there is a lot we can learn from eagles. God spoke often of eagles in His Word. "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself", Exodus 19:4. "Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so He spread His wings to take them up and carried them safely on His pinions", Deuteronomy 32:11.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tiny Tyrant

   Our two youngest granddaughters, ages 2 and 8, came to spend last week with us. It gave my daughter a much needed break and we had a blast but we were exhausted by the time we took them back to Oklahoma on Monday. Bella, the 8 year old, was great and although she is known for her "Bella meltdowns", she didn't have a single one while she was here. However,  Kaya, the 2 year old, was a tiny tyrant.
   Kaya had learned over the holidays that if she climbed on a bar stool and sat at the counter and yelled "cucack" enough times that someone would give her a cupcake. She continued this tradition this past week. You don't want to say "no" to her when she has her mind set on something. It took 40 minutes and 3 of us to get her dressed in the mornings. I have never seen legs and arms slip so fast in and out of clothes before.
   But we loved every minute because we love those two little girls to the moon and back. I thought about how much Jesus loves me. It doesn't matter how much of a tyrant I am; it doesn't matter how difficult I am; or how set I am on getting my way. Jesus loves me to all eternity and back. I pray that He will help me to get over my tyranny of selfish ways and to follow Him.
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it, But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it", Matthew 16:24-25.

Monday, June 10, 2013

One Step Ahead

   We have a new puppy at our place, a six month old Border Collie that we named Grace. I figured she was going to need a lot of grace, and we were, too, to raise her. I gave my husband Phillip Keller's book "Lessons From a Sheep Dog" for his birthday. Keller had a Border Collie as his beloved companion and sheep herder. You know what comes next, right? My husband had to have one, too.
   We've found out since Grace has been at our house that we need to keep one step ahead of her. These dogs are highly intelligent and full of energy. As I've thought about Grace, I have seen how I need to keep one step ahead of Satan. If I give Satan an inch, he'll take a mile. If I give him a thought, it will stay in my mind a whole day. If I give him one bad experience, he'll push me into depression for days.
   I can keep one step ahead of Satan if I refuse to think negative thoughts and by reading my Bible and claiming Jesus' promises daily. I can keep one step ahead of Satan by recognizing that I am a child of God and by resolving to not let  bad experiences trigger old thoughts of inadequacy and lack.
   I am not that abused, damaged little girl anymore. I am a mature woman that has been in love with Jesus for a lot of years. If I surrender all my cares to Him daily and ask Him to walk with me every second and every step of the day, then He will enable me to keep one step ahead of Satan. 
"So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you", James 4:7.
"...because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world", I John 4:4b.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Pecking Order

   It's weaning time on our little sheep farm. When the lambs get eight weeks old we separate them from their mothers. After we weigh and vaccinate them, we put the females in one pen and the males in another. They do not like this, of course. They cry for a couple of days and nights until they discover that they are safe and that grass and grain can fill up their bellies just fine. My tender heart hates that we have to do this but I know it's the way of life.
   Right now we have four females and four males that have been weaned. It's been interesting to watch them establish their "pecking order". It changes with each new lamb. It's not necessarily the oldest that gets to be leader but often the biggest and always the most confident. Given time, they learn to work it our among themselves. I see this happen with the birds at the feeders outside my window, with our dogs, and also when our grandchildren come to visit. I guess all of creation follows a "pecking order" where the fittest get the best and the rest just hang on.
   I'm not good with the "pecking order" thing. I've never had the confidence to rise to the top. Most of the time I'm just grabbing hold and hanging on for dear life. I'm glad that there's no "pecking
 order" where Jesus is concerned. He loves us all equally. While the world tells us that we need to be more, Jesus tells us that we are enough just like we are. That's why I want Him for my Good Shepherd.
"He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart, He gently leads those that have young", Isaiah 40:11.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Covering

   The sheep we have are katahdins. They are a hair sheep. They don't have wool. Instead, they have a wool-like covering they shed in the spring. They look a little scraggly this time of year as they are shedding. They can often be seen rubbing up against the fence for a little help in getting this covering off. 
   I wasn't born with a covering but I took one on after the childhood abuse. It was a covering of guilt and shame and self-loathing. After I became a Christian, I began to shed it but it hung on tenaciously.
It clung to me for years, like a bad odor, refusing to move on. It affected my thoughts and actions and image of myself for a long time.
   I'm free of it now. I quit listening to Satan's lies about myself and began to believe God's Word. God's Word says that I am covered with a robe of righteousness.
"I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness", Isaiah 61:10.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Solid Food

   This week it was time to wean our first three lambs, the triplets. They are eight weeks old and over 40 pounds, so it was time. They don't like it at all, nor does their mother. They are letting us know by their constant pacing and their pitiful "baaaaaaaas".  My mother's heart wants to rescue them from their misery, but I know it's the way of life and they need to grow up.
   It's like what Jesus has done to me at times in my life. He has led me away from people and places that felt like a perfect fit and placed me where I feel uncomfortable. I feel too crowded or maybe too loose. I feel abandoned by Him. But I know that He is working behind the scenes to give me everything I need to grow up and eat the solid food of His Word.
"You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong", Hebrews 6:13-14. NLT

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Mother

   This post is in honor of my mother, Rosemary Irene, who passed away August 18, 2010, Not a day goes by that I don't think about her and miss her terribly. She was lovely; a poet, a lover of Jesus, a supporter of anything and everything my family was involved in. She died of a massive stroke after five years of serving as caretaker for my dad who had Altzheimer's. My dad passed away four weeks after mother did. They had been married 66 years. I've written here before how their amazing love story was the legacy they left our family. One of my greatest regrets was not insisting that mother let me get her help caring for dad. In her honor I'm going to post a poem she wrote about their favorite place to visit, the beach:

End of the Day by Rosemary Irene Smith

As we sat on the seawall
At the end of the day
We watched a tireless fisherman
And some children at play.

Most of the crowds were gone
After a day at the beach
The fishing boats were coming back in
And the sky was the color of peach.

Oh' it was a beautiful sight
To watch the waves rolling high
And see the flying fishes
Jump against the sky.

The fresh salt spray
As it blew in our face
Made us forget our cares
And our fast hurried pace.

The bright hot sun
Had already sat in the west
And now we were ready
For our much needed rest.

To our right and to our left
As far as we can see.
Is sand, water and sky
A most peaceful sight to me.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gentle Savior

   I've written before about our guard dog, Delilah. She is a Pyrenean Mastiff, descended from an ancient livestock dog breed found in the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain. She is massive, muscular, and strong. She will weigh over 150 pounds when she is grown. She has big, sharp teeth. She could fight a bear, if she needed to protect the sheep, and come out the victor.
   But what has impressed me even more about Delilah is her absolute gentleness. When one of the lambs wanders away from its' mother, she will glide behind it ever so softly and give it the most tender nudge with her body. She might have to do it a few times until the lamb sees its' mom and runs towards her. She is never aggressive with the lambs, never growls, never pushes hard. She is amazingly gentle.
   This is a picture of how Jesus is with us. He does not force us to believe in Him but He gently tugs at our hearts until we are overwhelmed with His love. Even though He is all- powerful and could call down legions of angels to help, He never forces us to follow His ways. He waits patiently beside us until we understand that His way alone is the way of rest and peace for our souls. He is a gentle Savior.
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light," Matthew 11:28-29.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lost and Found

   One of the things I've noticed about sheep, since we've started raising them, is that they are not very good at figuring things out. Last night, one of the lambs got seperated from his mother by a fence. He was on one side baaing loudly and she was on the other side baaing loudly. All he had to do was walk down the fence line a couple of yards to the gate to be reunited with his mom. Neither one of them could figure this out and that little lamb was hopelessly lost.
   I've been hopelessly lost in my life, too. I couldn't figure out how to get from the place of captivity my life was in to a reunion with The Shepherd of my soul, Jesus Christ. I floundered around for years until I took a step of faith and started attending a Bible study. There, in that study of Matthew, I fell totally in love with Jesus Christ and He proved to be the way out of my captivity.
   I've seen the lambs get lost from their mothers this way numerous times. They just can't figure it out. Sometimes we have to help them. I continue to make the same mistakes over and over, too. Trying to figure it out proves fruitless until Jesus shows up and saves me from my stupid self.
   I praise Jesus that when I am ready to give up, He isn't; that when I've hopelessly lost my way, He shows me a way back; that when the chaos and terror of the world deafens my hearing, His voice sounds clear and true; and that when I want to let go, He grabs hold of me with His powerful right arm.
"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away, We have left God's path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all", Isaiah 53:6.
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost', Luke 19:10.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


 We decided we needed some color on our little sheep farm so last Saturday we spent all day planting
seeds and some flower bushes.  It is beyond amazing to me that you can plant a tiny seed, not as big as a pinhead, and a few months later it has grown into a large lovely flower. How is that possible?
To me, it's a small pciture of the Gospel. A picture of Jesus being buried in the ground, then rising to new life in glorious splendor. It is also a picture of our lives as Christians, I think. We die to ourselves, our old natures buried with Jesus, and by His power we rise as new creations who are becoming more and more like Him. It's amazing. How is that possible? The Bible says"For nothing is impossible with God", Luke 1:37. The Bible also says "The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its' branches", Matthew 13:31.
My deepest desire is to have the kind of faith that grows into a tree like that. Or a tree like this: They will be called oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord for the display of His splendor", Isaiah 61:3. Jesus is amazing. He is the reason everything is possible.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Guardian

   Before we bought the sheep to get our little sheep farm started, we bought possibly our most important purchase, a guard dog. Her name is Delilah and she is beautiful with the spirit of an old soul. She's a six month old Pyrenean Mastiff. She's 75 pounds and growing, a solid mass who can inexplicibly wiggle under the smallest fence spaces.
   She walks our fence line and instintively knows that all inside it are hers to protect. She lets us know, by the timbre of her bark, if anything unusual comes in, including the arrival of baby lambs. If one of the lambs gets seperated from her mother, we hear about it. We have no doubt that if a predator came after one of the sheep Delilah would defend it to the end. That's who she is.
   When I think about Delilah I think about my guardian, The Guardian of my soul, Jesus Christ. He has already given His life for me. And I have no doubt that He will be with me, guarding my path and pretecting me from harm, until I see Him in my heavenly home. That's who He is.
"Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked", Psalm 97:10.
"He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him", Proverbs 2:8.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Successful Day

   "A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day."  I read this yesterday in "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (which is written as if Jesus is speaking to you), and it has filled up my mind. Wow! What a perspective! That's so freeing!

 If I keep my focus on Jesus all day, I'll have a successful day:
*even if the dishes don't get washed.
*even if that million dollar deal doesn't get closed.
*even if my son doesn't get his homework done.
*even if the sheets don't get changed.
*even if the house sale falls through.
*even if I don't make it to the grocery store.

And also,
*even if that million dollar deal closes,
*even if my son gets all A's,
*even if my house sells for more than I'm asking,
those things don't make a successful day. A successful day is one in which I have stayed in touch with Him! I've seen that principle before:

"But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her".

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Black Sheep

   My husband and I recently moved to the country. It had been a dream of his to raise sheep when he retired. Although he dragged me, heels dug in, into his dream, I am absolutely loving this lifestyle. We've had five little lambs born this week, a set of triplets and a set of twins. One of the triplets is solid black except for a little comma of pink for a nose and a pink crescent mouth. I'm in love!
   This got me to thinking about the term "black sheep". In the English language," black sheep" is used to describe a disreputable or odd member of a group. You may have a "black sheep" in your family: an eccentric aunt, a wayward cousin, an alchoholic brother. I was the "black sheep" in my family. But my mother never stopped loving me and praying for me.
   This ewe, Big Mama, doesn't see any difference between this black lamb and the other two. She lets all three nurse as much as they need to. She head butts anyone who comes close to them. She doesn't  see the black lamb as an anomoly but as one of her babies to take good care of.
   I thought of how this is a picture of our Good Shepherd, Jesus. He doesn't see some of us as black beacuse our sins are greater. He sees all of us who believe in Him as white as wool and lovingly takes care of us all the same.
"So there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus", Romans 8:1. NLT 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Self Is A Slippery Slope

   What a slippery slope self is. I've been desperate for Jesus for as long as I can remember and in love with Him for a very long time. I've gone, over the years, to a lot of Bible studies and Christian conferences in order to know Him better. I've learned about grace, and mercy, and forgiveness, and unconditional love. Lately, I've spent time sitting alone in His Presence and I've been feeling good, victorious, like an overcomer. But still-self is a slippery slope.
   It only takes one morning when I have to rush off somewhere and I don't take the time to read my Bible or pray, and I've lost my footing. It doesn't take but one day of my family visiting and the old triggers ignite, and I'm starting to slide. It doesn't take but one afternoon of black storm clouds moving through and my body aches all over and I'm tripped up.
   You get the picture. It doesn't take much at all to make it all about me. "I don't feel good. I shouldn't have said that. I want what she has. I don't belong there. I'm too old to do that".
   It's time. I know it's time. Jesus has shown me it's time. Time to grab hold with both hands. Time to center myself in His Presence each day. Time to keep my focus on His love and grace. Time to make it all about Him.

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand", Psalm 37:23-24. NLT

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Living Like It

   Today is a beautiful spring-like day where I live. I'm thankful that we have had a mild winter. Except for a few snow flurries and a strectch of frigid weather last week, I can't complain about the cold. I'm so sorry for those of you who have had one major snowstorm after another. I know how difficult it can be to dig out from just one snowfall and I'm praying for you.
   I have felt really good this winter. January and February are usually the hardest months for me. I barely can drag myself out of bed; leaden with a heavy blanket of depression. But this year has been different. I don't attribute it to the mild weather we've had. I attribute it to the forced time of sitting because of my severe back pain a year ago. With nothing else to do as I sat, I turned to Jesus and spent more time in His presence, praying and reading the Bible.
   This may sound crazy, but even at Christmas I noticed a change. It was a feeling of being in the stable, kneeling at the feet of Jesus, worshipping Him with the shepherds. All of my life before, I had merely watched the Christ Child from a long distance. I have been praying for a while that Jesus would make me into a new creation. Recently I have realized that I already am that new creation. I just need to start living like it.
"For you are children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation", 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 8. NLT

Monday, February 25, 2013


   I have become enchanted with God's creation of the feathered sort. When we moved to our new house, I hung a birdfeeder on a large tree right out the front window of our sunroom. Birds flocked to it. So I hung another and another and now I have five feeders and two suet cages. I'm fascinated, enamored, amazed over my new feathered friends.
   In my opinion, the bright red northern Cardinals are the most beautiful. I have a half dozen or so that visit every day. I have two red-bellied woodpeckers that are arrayed in my favorite color combination: black and white back feathers and a red head. Then there's the black and white striped downy woodpecker. What a charmer! Not to mention the rather large family of tiny goldfinches that can eat a tube of black oil sunflower seeds in half a day or less.
   I can sit and watch their comings and goings for hours. I marvel at the artistry, complexity and beauty of God's created beings. He didn't have to give us birds and butterflies. It would have been enough to just have blue skies, warm sunshine and green grass.
   But because of His infinite love, He chose to give us tulips and monarchs and robins and rainbows and seahorses and zebras. For us to enjoy. To help us understand His love. To humble us at His majesty. God's creation is indescribable! And I'm enchanted and totally in love with the Creator of it all.
   "Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
   And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?", Matthew 6:26-30.

Friday, February 22, 2013

First Snow

     We had our first snow of the year this week. I had a scary drive home in the midddle of it. Then I settled down in the sunroom and marveled at the whiteness; how pure, how clean.
     I know that much of our country this year has dealt with extreme blizzards and digging out from record amounts of snowfall. People in that situation aren't going to be thinking about the beauty of snow but how quickly to get rid of it.
Where I live, we have been blesssed to have one small, perfect snow-so far, anyway. I sat in wonder of it, watching it cover the crumbled leaves and brownish grass.
I thought about what Jesus has done in my life. He has covered my imperfections , my sins, my wounds with His Amazing Grace. He is turning this broken woman into something beautiful. I sit in awe and marvel.
"Come now, let's settle this," says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make themas white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them white as wool", Isaiah 1:18. NLT

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Song of Praise

   When I first started writing this blog two years ago, I was bent down under a heavy load. I thought I would write about all my struggles overcoming childhood sexual abuse. I thought I would share about the ways God had healed me and He had healed me in many ways.
   But there was still a darkness in the core of me that I couldn't dislodge. When my back pain began to cripple me a year ago, I was forced to spend a lot of time at home in my chair. During this extended time of sitting, I tried to keep my focus on Jesus. As I did, His light shone more brightly in me.and began dislodging that core of darkness.
   And my blog has become, fittingly, a song of praise from my heart to His. I love you, Jesus. You are everything to me.
"But I trust in Your Unfailing Love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me", Psalm 13:5-6.
"From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another", John 1:16.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sweet Like Honey

   Sometimes when I'm reading my Bible, I come across a verse that's sweet like honey. (How sweet your Words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey",Psalm 119:103)
   That happened this morning. Nothing I could say today would be better for you to read than this verse about how much God loves you. I hope and pray that you feel His love poured over you today and that you feel blessed in the life He is giving you,
   "But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life", Psalm 42:8. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Blog

   It's now February. I've been doing this blog for two years. That is beyond amazing to me for many reasons. The first being that someone of my age and limited tech savvy could even get it started. I remember being snowed in the day of my first post, I remember all the excuses I came up with for not doing it. And I remember clearly feeling like God had said, "Do it. Now. Today."
   I remember how good it felt to publish that first post. I also remember the fears I had of putting my "stuff" out "there" for anyone to read. I remember praying to God that I would let Him give me the words to write and I would let Him be in control of everything else. Because, you see, this blog is a thing between Jesus and me and I would do it if noone ever read it. For Him.
   I was so depressed that dreary, snowy day two years ago. Since then, I've gained a new understanding of Grace. It hasn't come easy. Nothing ever is for me. I'm stubborn and rebellious at best and addictive and self-destructive at worst.
   Last May, I was on my knees in tears, broken. I was begging God to take my life because I was in so much back pain that I didn't think I could go on. That was when Grace slipped in, shined through, picked me up, and carried me along. I stand in awe because of the good place I am in now. Because of Jesus. And I'm so very thankful for the friends I've made through my blog. He really does have "the whole world in His hands".

"Praise the Lord! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my Strength and Shield. I trust Him wiuth all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with Joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving", Psalm 28:6-7. NLT

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A New Day

 Yesterday was a bad day. Nothing bad happened, but I was bombarded all day with negative
thoughts, and temptations to do things I know aren't good for me. I gave in to some of them. I can be so weak. But today is a new day. I'm thankful that I just have a few bad days now and then. I used to have bad years. I'm thankful for lessons Jesus has taught me about keeping my mind focused on Him
and thinking that I'm holding on to His right hand as I go through my day. If I do those things today, then today will be a good day. As long as Jesus' presence is with me every second & step of my day.
"Let me hear of Your Unfailing Love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to You. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to You to hide me. Teach me to do Your Will,  for You are my God.May Your Gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing",
 Psalm 143:8-10. NLT

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Joy

   Joy has been elusive in my life. Growing up as I did, victimized by abuse, I can't ever remember feeling lighthearted or carefree. Sexual abuse is a heavy load for a child to carry and I was bent down under the weight of it.
   Then I grew up, and God healed me from much of that shame. But still, feeling joy was as foreign to me as feeling pure. Until this past year. Along with that pinching nerve pain in my back came a new understanding of grace. One I could live with. It doesn't matter how good I am. What matters is how good my Jesus is.
   After a lifetime of fear, negative thinking, and beating myself up, I've learned to be fully present in the simple moments of my day. And that is where, unexpectedly, joy shows up: in the sunbeams dancing across the tile floor; in the beautiful redness of the Northern Cardinal as he lands on my feeder; in my little dog seeking out the best spot to sunbathe; even in the bleating of the cows next door.
   This professed city girl has embraced fully this country life that I moved into back before Christmas. I've been feeling so good that I start to feel guilty. I've been feeling so good that I start looking for the next bad thing. Then I remember my new understanding of grace. I don't have to fear being punished because I'm not good enough. I don't have to try doing enough good things so that I won't be punished. Jesus' goodness forgives my sins and loves me just as I am. And when I remember that, then I can feel joy.

"I pray that God, the source of hopr, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit", Romans 15:13. NLT 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fearing the Flu

   Whenever I have listened to the news this week, I have become afraid when they talk about the flu epidemic in our country. I'm afraid my husband and I might get it. I'm afraid my chidlren and precious grandchildren might come down with it.
    It's scary because it's out of my control. There's nothing I can do about it. I have to trust God. There was a time when irrational fear dominated my thinking. One bad thought would sneak in and grow until before I knew it, I was sliding down into that familiar downward spiral of depression and despair.
   But Jesus has changed me. I'm in a better place now. I can pray. I can trust. I can give the situation to God. I can turn my back on irrational fear and not allow it to get a foothold. I can choose to live in the moments of each day. I can choose joy.
   "But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. I praise God for what He has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?", Psalm 56:3-4. NLT
   "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you", IPeter 5:7.
   "I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,"Do not fear. I will help you", Isaiah 41:13.

Friday, January 4, 2013


   There is a book out called "One Word That Will Change Your Life". It challenges you to ask God for a word that you can focus on as you work out His purpose for your life in the new year.
   The word that God has brought to my mind is "new". I.m praying that I see a lot of that word in my life in 2013.
*We are enjoying the new house we have moved in to.
*I'm looking for new victories over my back pain.
*I'm praying for a new attitude toward life.
*I'm asking God to help me with new thought patterns (positive and not negative).
*I've long been praying that God will take away my heart of stone (since the abuse) and give me a new heart. Maybe this is the year. No, I say, this is the year. With God's help.
"And I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender responsive heart", Ezekiel 36:26.