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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Growing Family…

Two of our boys are married, another daughter will wed this summer. 1 granddaughter almost 2 and a grandson due any day now. Such blessings! Our family is growing with each passing year. Not something even a pandemic could stop. I think of all that David and I have invested into this crowd and it reminds me of God’s promise:

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38

Whatever you do with a heart and mind toward God will be blessed: study, befriend, parent, serve, share, speak… love. He multiplies the seeds sown for His glory. Cleaning clothes, toilets, floors, little bottoms and noses, driving miles, cooking meals -He sees it all. He promises a blessing in return when we care for the least of these, especially for our own families (1 Timothy 5:8).

God says that persistence will pay off in treasure without measure. More love to give and receive when we ask Him for it. More patience to endure. More strength to continue. Memories and photos, help me look back for a glimpse into the 1000s of hours that led me to now. Fun, busy, difficult, sad, even boring moments made us all grow.

Now as we add on to our family again, I could’t be more grateful for this kind of abundance. New people grafted in, bringing their wisdom and experiences with them. It’s just blessing on blessing. God’s not finished with us, our maturity or opportunities. I’m making room in my lap!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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Truly Life

There’s life in Jesus: “I’ve got my salvation, my sins are forgiven, I’m headed to heaven, done.” And then there’s Abundant Life: joyous, overflowing, all of me for all of Him. “A hunger and thirst” (my mom called it), with the desire to find out what’s pleasing to God, Ephesians 5:10. There’s a difference.

I decided in my late teens I wanted that. Not just a resting-salvation, but a reaching for more and more of Him. The full and complete lacking nothing kind of maturity James talks about. I wanted to live for the One who gave His Life for me… or die trying.

Peter told the early church: “For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, HE WHO COMMITTED NO sin, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT found IN HIS MOUTH; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously…” 1 Peter 2:21-23 nasb.

Paul told Timothy, to”take hold of that which is truly Life” I Tim. 6:19. But what is truly-life? It’s a great question to ask whether books, movies, podcasts, or events. I aim to choose wisely… sometimes I miss. Jesus offered eternal life by faith, yet repeatedly said living like Him would make it “perissos” Greek for superfluous. Never the easy way, always the most rewarding.

Living superabundantly starts with getting my heart and mind in sync with God. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” Psalm 19:14. This is a daily prayer along with putting on His armor to fight the good fight, Ephesians 6:13. And lastly, asking for help to take advantage of the very best He has for me, so I can live what’s Truly Life.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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Smooth sailing


Standing at the railing looking over the harbor, I tried to imagine all the miles the boats had traveled. How many years had they been on the water. Where were they headed next? Would they withstand the next storm at sea? Shopping for groceries, later, I thought similar things about the sea of people. What was each story? What had God specifically made them for? Did they know their Creator and that He loved them so?

I’ve read testimonies of people who came to know Jesus late in life. They said they’d just been too busy to think about what really mattered. It wasn’t until something dramatic happened that they stopped to consider, “What happens after death?”

Isn’t that how life-altering events happen- unexpectedly? You feel tossed around, when suddenly the ground falls away. Crisis: financial, health, relationship, emotional free-fall. I’ve been there, and Jesus caught me. I knew He would, because He promises to hold tight to those who hold tight to Him.

But what about someone who doesn’t know Him? How do they cope? Where do they find footing? Who rescues them and brings peace by promising a future and a Hope? How I wanted to share His love with everyone – in the store. Instead, I prayed and left their souls in God’s faithful hands, hoping so much they would grab hold of The Truth before anything dramatic happened.  

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation had been laid on Solid Rock. Matthew 7:24-25

We all need Someone to hold us and guide us safely through the storms. Only Jesus can do that. It’s never too late to call His name. He’s ready for you today!

ForGlorySake!– Anna

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Faith or just grace?

I wonder if it’s age that has driven the passion from most of my “whys?” and “how’s?” Maybe it’s the fact that my husband’s medical crises (plural) have become too many to seriously worry over all the details?

I could claim “ignorance is bliss” regarding this most recent illness. At least the seriousness of it and total cluelessness over the invasive surgery required. Both were surprises in timing, expense and length of recovery. Yet I wasn’t stressing like I should’ve.

Someone recently stated that the peace I had was due to my “deep roots of faith”… hmm. I agree, there has been ample opportunity for God to both test, and encourage faith’s growth. Literally trial and error has brought me some maturity concerning trust. But sometimes I think God brings contentment because of Grace.

Filling my mind lately with a myriad of stories from persecuted Christians worldwide (VOM.net) has proven again and again the overwhelming Grace of God in the face of unexpected and dire circumstances. Mercy, provision, strength and favor in the worst of situations. And always, always I hear – Grace.

This Grace doesn’t seem to depend on the amount of someone’s personal faith. As in my case, sometimes I’ve been too confused and too tired with no strength left. That’s when it miraculously came like a flood, just where I needed because: God is forever faithful and loves His children. He has been my Solid Rock in the landslide, my Anchor in the storm.

Faith is a wonderful gift to cultivate and protect, yet even when I fall short in trust … my Father is there to hold me and prove He will never leave me or forsake me. He knows my name. God’s amazing Grace sent Jesus’ to die in my place, so that I can have abundant life no matter what else is happening.

Grace is far more than I deserve.

ForGlorySake! – Anna





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Will I trust?

In the darkness? In uncertainty? When no answers come? When things go from bad to worse? The question He always seems to ask me 1st: Will you trust me?

Life has felt uncertain lately. The outcome of this election did not go as I hoped and prayed… as many hoped and prayed. Since then, it’s been one blow after another- to my beliefs, my hopes, so many prayers and so many concerns.

Everyday I’ve been choosing to begin with the basics of Psalm 23. Yes, God is my faithful Shepherd. I won’t suffer lack. He leads me to rest and refreshment -all in His righteousness (Jesus). He’s with me in darkness and gives nourishment as wolves surround. I am commissioned and abundantly supplied. God is good!

Lots of New Testament verses come to mind when I meditate here. Especially 2 Peter 1:3 –seeing that Jesus has granted us everything needed for godliness, I can continue to trust Him and serve Him through an onslaught of disappointments.

Job said, “Though He slay me, I will ‘yachal’ in Him.” Yachal is an act of the will: to remain, wait, tarry, trust continually even with long-suffering. It is as King David stated in Psalm 71:14, a will to hope and a will to praise yet more and more in God.

Voice of the martyrs has a VOMradio.net with stories from persecuted believers all over the globe. They’re faithfulness in the midst of adversity has been a door of Hope to my heart. I am reminded again and again as this world is fading, yet I can trust Jesus will come again for us!

“And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with Me, so that where I am you may be also” John 14:3

ForGlorySake!Anna

finding rest for my soul






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Restore

Psalm 23 has become a haven of Hope for me this new year. I recite it just about every morning and God has been showing me some little truth to cling to that day. Sunday I asked for rest and rejuvenation, which immediately took my mind to verse 3.

“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of Righteousness for His Name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

The end of last year and start to 2021 has not been easy. David’s recovery is slow, but steady. We keep pushing forward; plugging ahead, hopeful that strength will fully return and life will go back to normal. Whatever that is.

Bible Hub, Hebrew translation for Psalm 23:3 offered the definition of restore as: recover, refresh, return, reverse, reward. How lovely to think of restoration as a refreshing reward.

I read on to find righteousness, meaning: just, right, and in Greek: Truth. Jesus is named Just and True in Revelation 19:11, “… the One seated on the white horse was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice He judges and makes war.”

For His Name’s sake, revealed this is all done for God’s own purpose, His intent, His will. How beautiful! As a sheep in His flock, I am being guided daily on the path of Truth, the path of Jesus, according to my Shepherd’s will.

That afternoon turned suddenly warm and sunny. It had been sleeting the night before. I set 2 old lounge chairs side by side on the back porch and called for David to come sit by me. We rested in the sun for more than hour.

God had given me just what I asked for: a refreshing reward for our souls, according to His will. I thanked Him for mercy, for grace and for the blessing of life. He is the Good Shepherd ❤️

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Recovery ❤️


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And He did…

2020 ended. 2021 came, an anniversary, a birthday, even an unexpected lifesaving surgery for my husband. Slowly “we” got out of the hospital and slowly “we” made our way home. Mercy of all mercies: I had been allowed in with him, and allowed to stay there for several days! I don’t know how… it was just grace.

God has moved us through yet another difficult chapter in David’s health-journey. He covered all our cares and once again narrowed our vision to “real needs.” He’s still doing it today: mending, strengthening and providing financially for us.

Shocker of all, this illness was not Covid related. Even with probable exposer to the virus in the hospital, we have both stayed well. As before, the how’s and why’s of this lung infection remain a mystery. Will it happen again? No one can say.

One thing I will say: our God has NEVER failed us and He’s NEVER left us. We have weathered terrible odds and 11th hour rescues. He’s usually not early… but so far never too late. I have no idea what’s coming in the future. I only know for certain God goes before us.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Blessed



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A Still Small Voice

1 Kings 19 tells the story of God commanding the prophet Elijah, to go outside the cave he was hiding in and stand on the mountain before Him.
Look, I AM ready to pass by.” 

A very powerful storm appeared, with wind that dug into the mountain causing landslides… but The LORD was not in the wind.
After the terrifying windstorm there came a terrific earthquake… but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the terrific earthquake, a fearful fire broke out… but the LORD was not in the fire. Then there came was a soft whisper. A still small voice that simply asked Elijah,”Why are you here?”

2020 gave me loads to grapple with. Yet in the midst of new fears God brought clarity daily: Revelations into the secret intentions of people’s hearts. I have never seen such good vs. eviljustice vs. injustice! I was sickened and fascinated at the same time.

In the midst of this great expose’ a shake-down took place. Foundations were uncovered and a deep divide formed in this country. It seemed to come on all fronts… and strangely at a moment when believers were separated from one another. I found it difficult to know when and where to take a stand. So much was happening so fast.

Reading again how Elijah ran away snd hid, how He wanted so desperately to be rescued from Jezebel and how He felt God had left him threatened and alone… isolated. I understood.

Yet God never lost sight of His prophet, He did not rebuke him. He listened to the plea. Then without a word, dramatically demonstrated His awesome power, finally asking in a very quiet voice, “Why are you here?”

 Why do I tremble and fear evil? Why do I withdraw snd hide? My God is King. Eternal, Creator, Defender, Savior! His plan was before all time and Psalm 139 says my name and days were written in His Book before the world began.

What do I have to fear? Is He not the same God of the great wind, earthquake and fire? Get up – go out – and stand. “He is God and there is no other!”

ForGlorySake! Anna

“I sought the LORD’s help and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4 

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Intruders

I strive for peace in our home. To me it’s worth a lot. Sometimes it requires overlooking offenses completely. Sometimes it means waiting for a better time and place to discuss an issue. Mostly it involves holding my tongue and letting God defuse me.

When peace is disrupted by trivial trials or huge dilemmas, God says, “to count it ALL joy.” How?? …The end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 has been one trial after another. Not so peaceful. And not just for our family, but so many others. Being in the hospital for my husband’s life-threatening illness only gave us focus- highlighting what’s truly important.

“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance” James 1:2 (The J.B. Phillips paraphrase)  

I have a hard time considering intruders as friends – unless I remember they push me close to Jesus. I have difficulty seeing joy in the crisis -until God reveals some un-asked-for grace in the midst of suffering. I don’t naturally track my spiritual growth in tough times -but looking back I see stronger faith.

Such a strange concept… joy in the pit. I know God is with me. I understand He sustains me. I can even swallow that there’s a bigger picture, grander plan, greater point than what I see. But joy? All I know is to ask Jesus for it and then wait to see what He will bring. He usually surprises me with something amazing, reassuring He is in control.

Oh for a break right now! If not, there IS peace to be had in Jesus, in the midst, and with joy. I only have to ask and wait. He will answer.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

Not easy, but thankful
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Greatest Fear

My greatest fear has changed with age. As a child, it was spiders or my mom dying. As a teen it turned to a fear of being disabled- unable to dance. When I married it became my husband’s death, my children not loving Jesus, failing at homeschooling… 

Each fear, God confronted straight on, challenging me with the same question, “Will you trust Me?” No matter what I feared, the question was the same. And time after time I had to chose to trust

Now I have little fear, because I know after so many confrontations… “Yes, I will trust You, because You are trustworthy.” God loves me with an everlasting love, He will always stay close and He always, always has a plan for our good. 

I think the amplified Bible states it best:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 

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