Solid Evidence

My blogs are like a huge pile of rocks – a reminder of the things God has done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to actually build a large mound in our front yard! But David wasn’t so sure.

21 “When your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’…22 “then you shall inform them”… 24 “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24

Instead, I journal and blog and reread the accounts again and again and marvel and cry (happy tears). These scribblings/typings are solid evidence when I feel lost or alone or unheard or hopeless. It’s embarrassing to think I come to that point, but I do …often. And here I stop, seeing to my shock- that I have felt all this before, and God was so very, very faithful each time.

Mercy!

I’m glad I’ve written about my worry and desperation along the way. These are my truthful words, followed by God’s comforting hope. Sometimes the process was long and agonizing, sometimes quick and merciful, but always His love and care came through somehow.

He hears, He knows, He has a plan – has become my motto. And probably what I’d write on my big messy pile of rocks. Instead I’ll leave behind journals, blogs and stories my children have often heard 10s of times… heck, they lived through them. Hopefully they will pass them on to the next generation and possibly encourage some outside our family as well.

Grateful and thankful today,

ForGlorySake!Anna



 “For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and He is faithful through all generations.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:5‬ ‭

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Beware

Over 350 times in the New Testament we are told in various forms to: beware, be aware, stay alert, stay awake, be alert! The warnings are for everything from the devil himself, to evil workers, lawless people, false teachers, false prophets and somebody offering a bribe.

The greatest concern – losing a grip on truth. This year with all the added chaos, there’s been so much confusion and conflicting information. Every day I get updates on: illnesses, deaths, natural disasters, and mayhem of every kind. A crazy year, topped off by an election… that’s only getting crazier.

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled, lawless men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.” 2 Peter 3:17

So who has the truth?

Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth.“- Jesus. John 17:17

Since God’s Word is truth… I have to have a firm grasp on it! That means – read, read and read some more. I use several versions and a few commentaries. I also love biblehub.com for any confusing passages. They offer an Apostolic Bible Polyglot (word for word translation from original Greek to modern English). Super helpful.

Studying the truth helps me spot the lies, maybe not in statistics and reported numbers… but definitely “errors from unprincipled, lawless men.” Putting scripture in my heart guards me against being led astray, I won’t lose my grip on the truth that really matters!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Life

Years fly by, wrinkles deepen, hair lightens, details grow fuzzy – family members pass and new ones are added

Addresses accumulate, along with photos and possessions, but it’s these faces I treasure and the stories they tell

Smiles, laughter, talking, listening, remembering – maybe hearing for the first time something that finally brings understanding; a new perspective

Life shared in a family, relative to relative – one generation to the next, how beautiful to watch it grow and mature. Each building on the experiences of those who are older

May God give us grace to learn from the ones gone before, never forgetting their lessons but wisdom not to repeat their mistakes

ForGlorySake!Anna

family 2020
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Alone?

Through all of this 2020 pandemic chaos, there’s a sensation I’ve had of standing alone, being alone, feeling alone. I’ve heard others express the same… I know I am never actually alone.

God allowing difficulties and hard times is frustrating and difficult to reason the whys. Yet I know He will use all things, even controversies, differences of opinions and social divides.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a person sharpens his friend.

It can hurt to be on different sides with loved ones (neighbors or friends) – unable to relate or agree, even if congenial. But we can listen with love and so bring glory to God.

God wastes nothing offered to Him! He is growing us, refining us, maturing us always. He is passionately into making us more like Jesus as painful as that may be.

Ezekiel 14:23 They will console you when you see their behavior and their deeds, because you will know that it was not without reason that I have done everything that I have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

The hot topics of today have only pushed me to dive deeper into God’s word for answers and reassurance, to carve out more time for prayer and to seek Him alone for the love I need toward others.

I am never alone! The great God of the Universe is with me ready to strengthen and help me. And He has a purpose!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Ephesians 2:21 In Jesus the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
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Making sense

Times are strange. My search for truth continues through all of the shifting sand we are living in. Daily I look for which scriptures apply. I don’t necessarily mean prophetically… although that’s fun to speculate.

Jude 1:18 …”At the end of time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.” 1:19 These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

I’m wondering more about how to live, what to say, what to do? I know God’s word holds all the keys for every era, every situation that could come… even controversy over race, protesting, masks, politics, social distancing and economic fall-out.

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 1:21 maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.

Nearly finished with my yearly read through the Old Testament, I’ve launched into the 21 small letters of the New- easily read one a day. Between these books -Romans to Jude- lie treasure, practical guidelines and help.

Jude 1:22 …have mercy on those who waver; 1:23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

I know God holds His Bride in His faithful loving sight. He will come for us when it’s time. Until then, He will lead us into becoming an ever useful building of His making, ready to be light in the darkness.

1:24 Now to the One who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before His glorious presence, 1:25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.

ForGlorySake!Anna

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
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Shifting Sand

2020… Pandemic, quarantine, school closures, reopening, vaccine trials, disputes over masks, censorship, contact tracing, riots. All words I never thought I would use or even read. And all hot topics and headlines from the news today. Amazing times, amazing year.

I prayed and fasted for 40 weeks (once a week) leading up to 2020. The word that kept coming to me was clarity. I prayed to see truth upheld and openness regarding where things stood in our world. Be careful what you pray for! I have seen more than I ever imagined. True colors in so many areas.

No, I do not think I caused any of this, but I believe as I sought God again and again, He revealed His heart to me. I am not the only one either! Many fellow believers were calling out to God to bring transparency and a “20/20 vision” and He is. Quite an awesome unfolding each day.

I call this time shifting-sand, as news, crisis, chaos, rules and absolutes change daily. Every morning I wake to discover something uncovered that was hidden. An ever unveiling, we are seeing more and more come to light.

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. Mark 4:22

He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. Job 12:22

My Hope as all this happens: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3

The Lord Almighty is with us; verse 7

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” verse 10

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:21-22

He never changes or casts a shifting shadow, James 1:17

stay strong!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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The Squirming Place

The squirming place lies between prayers sent, and answers that come. It’s when I’ve called out and even surrendered my will, but there’s silence. I can feel the anxiety and suffering, yet relief is only hoped for.

Why does God always seem to allow this gap? What is gained from it? I swear I’ve been here more times than I can count, with my husband’s health. This time its ophthalmic herpes zosterwith presentation of migraine or Shingles in the eye. The rarest of all shingles’ types.

I hate the pain. I hate the wait.

It got me thinking about how instantaneous Jesus’ miracles were. Hands touched a patient or words were spoken, and boom, they were whole. Why not now? …Then, I felt God ask me, “Did the healing happen the moment they got sick?”Umm, no. There were hours and days and sometimes years prior to those scenes. Each of those people had a tale of time before that moment. What I read in the gospels and epistles is their encounter with healing. Wow

So, God has always had a plan. I know this! He knows what He’s doing. I know this too. Still, why does He allow the space for waiting? I have no idea and He is not telling. It’s up to me to trust His timing even when it doesn’t make sense. Can I tell Him I don’t like it? That I think it’s too long or it’s too much? Yes, I think I can… knowing in the end, I just will never have all the data.

I heard a quote recently that really made me think: “God gives you what you would have asked for, had you known everything that He knows.” – John Newton

I don’t know how that’s possible, because I can’t imagine asking for suffering. And yet, God uses it all throughout the scriptures. It sadly seems to be part of our lives and God does not shy away from this fact. Jesus promised we would have troubles, however take courage in the fact that He overcame the world. John 16:33. How did He do that? Through suffering.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes  his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
Isaiah 53:10
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Brazilian love

In my heart I journey south… way south. 10,000 miles, to a country with children I love. Over the years: 6 through Compassion International and countless others with Hope Unlimited.

Beautifully tan and dark headed, their eyes look at me in photos I’ve saved. I call out their names in prayer, writing letters. Hoping some day to hug them, kiss their cheeks, hear their voices.

Why Brazil?

My husband started this 31 years ago. He went there in college to study and to learn. He taught me about the people and culture. I fell in love also. We have waited a long time to visit. In the interim I read and imagine, try to learn the language.

Someday – what will it be like? Will I find more similarities than differences?

Traveling seems to make the world smaller. Unique but not actually foreign. It’s been amazing to enter other cultures and experience life. Individuals become real…with stories. They are now forever tethered to my heart.❤️

The irony of my former ballet company setting up a base there is almost too much. After the travel ban, Brazil? I pray so…

ForGlorySake!-Anna

Hope Unlimited 💜💚🧡
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That was then, this is now

2020 What a strange time. We are home, quarantined, together. Eight of us in the same house. It’s not like we haven’t lived together for so many years, but this is different. Two are home from college – apartment contents with them. Two are married, living in their own space below. Six are still in classes, on-line.

All adults. All independent. All opinionated. All hungry. Incredible people that challenge and encourage me daily. We cover the spectrum: from high energy to mostly mental productivity, a need for social outlet and a desire for peace and quiet. We are diverse!

Looking back over the years and the dynamics of our family (see: Quite a Tale) I’m intrigued to ponder this present time… What is God up to? What is He doing now? Where is this going? How will life be different afterwards?

I don’t want to miss a moment! Not a tiny thing. God don’t let any of this be wasted! Prepare us, grow us, make us useful in it. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to seclude and set apart and offer a unique opportunity… What can it all mean?

I’m still unsure, but I’m reading and studying and seeking. And He promises (!), we won’t miss any treasure that way. So I will love and be loved and enjoy the moment, knowing God has a greater plan even in thisCovid19/quarantine 2020.

Your will be done!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

3 more not pictured
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Maybe it would be different…

Had I not lost my 1st baby and 4th baby and 7th baby to miscarriage,

Had we not been given the gift of another son who overcame his past and grew and flourished and succeeded,

Had I not stood by my husband through colon cancer, resection, sepsis, ileostomy, take-down, and double inguinal hernia repair,

Had we not struggled through months of financial loss, building a business back while drowning in an ocean of medical bills,

Had we not seen a child through rebellion, addiction, humiliation, out patient and recovery,

Had we not cared for and taken in aging parents with Alzheimer’s and dementia until the Lord took them home in front of us,

Had we not witnessed a daughter who pushed us away for several years, come home by way of Lyme Disease and it’s difficult diagnosis and long recovery,

Had we not watched another son deal with the stress of graduating in chemical engineering while managing a long negotiation process for his 1st job, only to discover thyroid cancer in the midst of a world pandemic and receive surgery the day the country shut down,

Maybe… if I had not lived through those things… my prayer would be different. But as it stands and as I’ve prayed through all these trials,

Your will be done, LORD. Use all this for our good and Your glory. It’s not for me to change Your plan, but to ask You not to let us miss anything. Don’t waste any of it, Father. In Jesus Name.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

tossed
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Tried & tested

Tried and tested, stretched and pulled

pushed to the end of me,

don’t know what’s happening, can’t see the end

wondering where this will lead.

So many thoughts, are swirling about

can’t seem to get a grip,

God of mercy, God of grace

hold me, and don’t let me slip!

Care for my family, care for our needs,

use me in all of Your ways,

open my eyes to see where You lead,

as days pass by in a haze.

Seek more of You? That much I can do,

to You I will trust with all,

protect us dear Father, come get us soon,

I work while I wait for Your call.

“He preserves our lives and does not allow our feet to slip, For You O God, tested us, You purified us like refined silver.” Psalms 66:9-10

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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