Counting the cost

Who builds a house and doesn’t count the cost first? Who goes to war and doesn’t plan ahead?

These parables Jesus told all equated to taking up our personal “cross” and following Him. Really? It’s like building a structure to live in? Going to battle??! Apparently so, (says the woman of nearly 40 years at it). Following Jesus has taken ALL I have and ALL I am.

Had I know that at 11 years old, it would’ve terrified me. Perhaps it was mentioned, but I did not understand. Would I have still raised my hand and come forward? You betcha! I mean they told me I could actually talk directly-to-God (!) any time, any where!

Communication was bent from birth. To have the Great God of the Universe listen to me??? Well, that’s just awesome. It took longer for me to see my sin and my need for an identity change (Him for me), but that came too- over time.

ALL of me… for ALL of Him. Worth it every day, every hour, the older I grow, the farther we walk together. I love Him more than life itself, more than any possession. He knows me, He gets me, He love me anyway… every way. He will NEVER leave me or forsake me. He offers treasures untold and 10,000 blessings besides.

My Great Big God, yes, You are worth the cost!

ForGlorySake! –Anna

God just signing His Art ❤️

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And the gift goes on

In 2009 one of the “big kids” that played in our front yard, began to live in our house. Our children were: 7,9,11,13,15 at the time. This young man moved almost seamlessly into our lives and hearts. He brought amazing strengths and determinations. Instant big brother!

“I want that child,” I had told God, and we were given 5 precious years with him, before he bought his 1st house. Not too long after, a beautiful wife was added… and now, the gift of a grandchild ❤️ Sweetness is being a Grandma.

Ah, the joy of seeing God fulfill our hopes and dreams… years of prayers! Far beyond what could possibly have imagined. God is so very good -to the last drop. In places I can see HIM moving …and places I can not, I can trust HE always has a plan.

I remember times of feeling completely inadequate, utterly unhelpful, without a clue how to pray. Yet,God was there, ahead of my game. Preparing and weaving and working all things together for our good and for HIS Glory!

Because that’s just how HE rolls. Gifts that keep on giving.

ForGorySake! -Anna

Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and all within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loyal love and mercies, Who satisfies your life with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1–5

precious pie

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When the “what if” happens

What if my loved one gets a terminal illness? What if I’m injured at a critical moment? What if my child becomes an addict… or goes to jail? Utterly fails? What if my child tells they are gay or not the gender I believed? What if there’s a car accident, a fire, a huge financial loss… ?

It’s an everyday battle that rages around us – the “what if’s.” Some are terrifyingly possible and some actually happen! What’s a mom to do??? I can either hide in my closet and shake (been there-done that), or I can take up my SHEILD of Faith and Trust God.

Personally I can not function in daily life with the constant strain “what if’s” – I need a break. I need peace of mind. I need rest. The only place I’ve found that break is in prayer… after I’ve cried and complained and after I’ve worried a bit. There’s a calm that comes, usually with a Psalm reading.

The worst has happened to me and God stayed in control. It all seemed chaotic and hopeless and confusing… but there was that moment He gave me peace in my heart to just Trust Him. And as I did (trust), more came. I think He likes to prove Himself, at least that’s how it seems to me.

Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy with burdens and I WILL give you rest.

The “what if’s” are not going away any time soon, how are you going to choose to handle them?

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Armored Up!

When I became a Christian, my mom taught me about God’s Armor (Ephesians 6:20-19). She told me to put in on in-prayer EVERY day, and so I have… and I cover all those I love as well 🙂

HELMET of Salvation (Greek: “of Deliverance“) -May we know Who’s we are and where our Deliverance comes from! Give us the mind of Christ.

BREASTPLATE of Righteousness– We are righteous because of the blood of Jesus! Even when we are unfaithful, He remains Faithful and True… it’s not dependent on any works. Help us see.

SHEILD of faith – (Greek: “of Trust”) I love this: all we have to do to deflect those fiery darts of the enemy, is TRUST! God will take care of it- He knows your name; has counted every hair. Help us Trust.

SWORD of the Word – (Greek: “given by the Word”) The Word = The Bible to be exact. We’ve got to read it and know it, to be able to use it. And WOW, is it full of promises and directions! May we read.

SHOES of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace – a tad confusing to me until I saw the Complete Jewish Bible translation: “readiness that comes from the Good News.” – You hear about Jesus and just can’t wait to run off and share! (John 4:28) Make is ready to share.

Always available, always usable, always fits 😉 This is Good stuff- this is Good News. Cover us in Your Armor, LORD.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

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When I Pray

When I pray, I have the ear of my Father.

He’s never distracted or too busy. He isn’t looking at his phone or computer (or whatever they have in heaven…) He isn’t thinking of the 1 gazillion other things He needs to be doing. He’s all in, listening, understanding, already knowing.

How is that even possible? And He waits for me to come. Loves that I come. Already has knowledge prepared to offer and useful encouragement to share! He has a book of scriptures I’ve read 100s of times to shine light on my specific situation in a new way.

He has helpful correction to give. A challenge for change. An inspiring story to motivate. Every morning, every day, every time I stop and pray. Easy, available, simple to plug in to…

He says:

(Matthew 11:28) Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn from Me, because I Am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For My yoke is easy to bear, and My load is not hard to carry.”

Take on the challenge to love Me and then love those around you. Take Me at My Word, to forgive you, equip you, use you! Take me at My Word, to never leave you or forsake you! To empower you in the Spirit of Truth, covered in My Armor.

He just wants me to come. And so I will because this is the best part of my day!

ForGlorySake! –Anna

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“Oh, be careful little eyes…”

I used to sing the song to my kids, “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see…” It would remind me every time I turned on the TV or radio that they were also ingesting whatever I was playing. It made me more sensitive to my choices.

We found out early on that some of our children would have nightmares from the simplest of cartoons – and end up in our room in the middle of the night! For their sake the rest didn’t even watch Scooby Do!

I remember neighborhood families mocking our older kids for “not being allowed” to do such-and-such 🙁 But that’s what family does! We sacrifice for the sake of the others; we love ’til it hurts sometimes.

Little did I understand that even my afternoon news show had stressed a particular child out… It was just too much sadness for them and I didn’t realize the weight involved until we decided to ditch cable (BEST decision ever) in 2014. Ugh.

All that to say, as parents, we discovered what smoothly sails past one – could cause another to stumble. And love says: I will bend to your need for peace at the expense of what I find entertaining.

It did not hurt any of us to turn off a movie, or TV show, or simply not bring that magazine into the house… while to do so hurt another. Too sensitive? I think not. I have my weak points as well. Did we love too much? Impossible.

God asks us to love God 1st and others next… to think on things above… to love mercy, act justly, walk humbly with Him… that temptation will come but woe to the one through whom it comes…

“…For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see”

Help me remember this, LORD.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

Philippians 4:8

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Why so disturbed soul? Put your Hope in God.

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” -Corrie ten Boom

These are precious words I seem to forget with a day turns all higgldy-piggldy. ” Sooner or later I’m reminded however, He’s with me… even in this.

Car trouble, unexpected bills, dying refrigerators don’t hold a candle to another soul’s loss of hope… loss of direction… loss of faith… these are the biggest and hardest to wade through for me. No quick fix, no easy words can sooth.

I had such a day yesterday, and I felt shaken and heartsick, but running to my “closet” and falling on my knees, I told God everything He already knew. Asking Him to intervene. I was reminded in a very tangible way, only a short time later, that He heard me, He was all over it, and on the job.

Hope was not lost. I could rest because this battle is not mine but His. Oh what a great -big -glorious God we serve, Who cares about our cares and listens to our concerns. Reaching into the middle of a day and shedding light on a shaken heart.

Silly me- Don’t trust in what you see, trust the one Who brought you a Savior, Who has all the answers… your Solid Rock!

ForGlorySake! Anna

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White like snow?

We just had our deck resurfaced! A much needed repair, as it had become dangerous with popped-up nails and boards… sometimes you just wait too long. How wonderful it was to return from vacation and walk out onto a new deck!

Suddenly I realized, however, that the old railing looked anything but white. So, I set out to paint and it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do ❤️ All the cracks and scars covered over like magic. You can’t even tell that I painted over a few dead bugs and spider web pieces.

Isaiah 1:18

Come, let’s consider your options,” says the LORD.

“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,

you can become white like snow;

though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,

you can become white like wool.

When God cleanses us from our sin, it’s not a white-wash, it’s a total redo… through and through. In His loving eyes my “dead bugs” are completely gone, as well as all cracks, scars, and old webs! I am made NEW in His Image.

But, what an amazing thought that He didn’t stop there. He is in the business of making my life match what He has already accomplished in me spiritually! I am being remodeled bit by bit: to think like Him, to love like Him, to serve others like Him.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

My life (how I do things) in exchange for Jesus. How is this possible? Who would ever have the patience to take on such an exhausting project? Who would have the vision to see the possibilities? Who would have the faithfulness to stick it out?

Only my God! He Can, He Will, He Does. Why?… you know,

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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The heart of the matter

I love finding hearts: on sidewalks, in fruit, in a stain or a rock shape! They remind me of God’s love for me or anyone looking. He’s always out for my good… if only I will take notice.

Apparently God looks for hearts everywhere too. Hearts that wonder about His existence and those that actively seek Him… hearts that deny Him and those that pridefully reject Him. He sees them all.

2 Chronicles 16:9 Certainly the LORD watches the whole earth carefully and is ready to strengthen those who are devoted to him.”

Reading through chronicles 1 & 2 I’ve been struck by how many times it is recorded whether or not the heart of a person was – set on wholeheartedly seeking God or against turning toward Him.

God notices. He records it.

I hope my heart is always found seeking Him, longing for Him. I hope I will be found encouraging others to look for Him and believe in His goodness. May I be a heart found at any time and in the most unusual place – as something beautiful for my LORD to discover.

I hope it makes His day… just like it does mine ❤️

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    I’m the one

    I’m the one who gets to hear their hearts, share their joys, carry their sorrows.

    I’m the one who gets to say “good-morning” and “goodnight,” with a kiss and a hug.

    I’m the one who has the privilege of praying over them every day in every way. Near or far, they’re close in prayer.

    I’m the one who gets to bless them, encourage them, tell them their incredible, valuable worth in Christ!

    This is the best job I’ve ever had: hoping all things, enduring all thing, loving through all things… motherhood ❤️ Right up there with being a wife. I could not ask for richer riches!

    I am blessed -blessed -blessed, to be the one.

    ForGlorySake! –Anna

    Pre-Amelia (+Lydia for good measure)

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