Showing posts from October, 2016

Taking off the Mask

Masks.  We all wear them.  It's the face we think people want to see.  The smiling, happy one that we wear no matter how we feel on the inside.  The mask of perfection.  I'm good.  I'm happy.  All is well in my world. But behind those masks are hurting people.  People who really wish they could take that mask off for just a moment to let their skin breathe and their true identities to be shown.  But that would mean being vulnerable and that is risky.  Because generally people don't want to see the person behind the mask.  They want to see the happy, smiling, "everything is peachy" person.  The real person behind the mask may make them have to take a look at who they are.  It may mean that they have to acknowledge that they are wearing a mask.  It may mean they need to stop what they are doing and actually look at the person. Today is Halloween.  The day when millions of children dress up and pretend to be someone different.  I thought it was fitting to


Psalm 39:4-7 (HCSB) ~ Lord , reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am. You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight. Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor. “Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them. Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. I've been blogging since 2008 and I've met some wonderful people throughout the years.  With the coming of Facebook, I've been able to develop further friendships there as both myself and my online friends had glimpses into each other's daily lives.  One of these readers and friends is a woman named Fiona. This morning when I opened up my Facebook page I saw a status update on my wall from Fiona.  But this time it wasn't Fiona talking, but her husband to let everyone know when Fiona's mem

Multitude Monday

This past week was one in which I felt as if I didn't even have time to breathe.  In fact, in looking back over the week it's hard to even remember individual days.  It's all kind of one big blur.  And when that happens, I feel "Cranky Terri" start to come out.  In fact, yesterday afternoon was spent sitting on the couch, feeling lethargic and irritable.  Which tells me that I need to work harder at being selective about my activities.  As I reflected about this and what was causing the stress, I realized it was centered around something that I hadn't planned on doing but was coerced into.  It's my own fault for not saying, "No." and the exhaustion I still feel is morning is a hard way to learn this lesson.  I want to work on saying, "Yes." to those activities that I truly feel passionate about and that I also feel God pushing me to do.  And that requires slowing down, thinking about it, and then the ability to not feel guilty wh

An Apple a Day

Dan, Emily and I went apple picking last week and I'm not sure what I was thinking but decided that it would be a good idea to pick a bushel and a half of apples.  Needless to say, I'm up to my eyeballs in apples! Apple jelly, apple sauce, apple filling for pies and on and on it goes.  I finished one bag and am halfway through the second one.  I've been trying to do a bit each day so it's not so overwhelming but the sweet smell of ripening apples is in the air so I need to move fast before they get overripe. I'm enjoying making the apple jelly mostly because it doesn't require peeling or coring the apples.  Just cut them up into chunks, skin and all.  Simmer them in a bit of water, strain and use the juice for jelly. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away then I am set for the year! ;-)

No Regrets

Dan and I were chatting the other day when he made the observation, "We've really had a great life."  And he is right.  I feel like I've been able to experience so many different things.  It's not been an easy life, but it's been one in which I truly have few regrets. I love what I do, whether it's caring for my home and family or sewing and creating or ministry.  I can honestly say that I'm happy. However, I recently came to the realization that one of the things I've missed the most the past few months is using the talents God has given me in the artistic end of things.  Creating makes me happy.  It's an outlet for me, especially being in full time ministry.  It's the one thing I had in my life that was truly just for me and I felt as if part of me had been lost.  So as time has gone on I decided that in order to stay sane, I needed to add that back into my life.  God has wired me to be active and I know my limits and how

When You Reach the End of the Desert and See the Promised Land for the First Time

Two events happened yesterday that made my heart leap with joy.  The first occurred as I was driving Emily home from school.  She had been working on her essay for her college applications.  As she read her heartfelt words to me, the tears began welling up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks.  She glanced over at me as the fountain of salt continued to pour out.  "Why are you crying?"  I had to tell her that the tears were happy ones because she finally caught on to what I knew for the past few years.  God was using some of that rubble that had happened to her in her life and was building a beautiful structure with it.  He had taken some of the terrible experiences and used them to shape the woman he wants her to be.  I was crying because she was understanding this truth too.  She was acknowledging how the bad was being used to push her towards the good God wanted for her life.  And it was beautiful! The second was that after a year and a half of trying to find diffe

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

I Peter 2:12 ~ "Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." Matthew 5:14-16 ~ "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." We live in such an individualistic society. It's all about doing your own thing. Living your life the way *you* want. Grabbing the American dream. Not letting anyone tell you what to do. Unfortunately this thinking has crept into the church and into believer's thinking. Yet, according to God's word we do not live for ourselves. We are to be a light and an example to those around us.

Strong Women

My husband points out from time to time that I'm a strong and determined woman.  He doesn't mind, but does do some good natured teasing about it.  And he's right; I am.  I come from a line of strong women.  They were women who had to deal with harsh circumstances, were knocked down and yet, somehow managed to get back up.  They spent their entire lives doing what was necessary to get through the day.  They didn't give up.  They kept trudging forward, determined to make things better for their families.  Their strength came through adversity.  And yet, they are two of the most generous and caring women I know. As I look at my grandmother and mother, I realize that I have many of the same characteristics.  When facing a problem, no matter how big, I tend to roll up my sleeves and get to work.  I make quake inside but I still come face to face with the giant.  Any bit of strength I have in me has also come through the trials and adversities I have dealt with in my l

Change the Lens

I have a sign in my sunroom that says, "Live Simply."  I love it because it's a reminder to me to appreciate the simple things in life.  It's impossible to be happy if you are always dissatisfied with your life.  I do a lot of talk on this blog about living frugally and I know that it's also impossible to do that if you are constantly looking to "things" to make you happy. Learn to look around and appreciate the beauty in all you see.  If you constantly look for what you are missing, you will feel dissatisfied.  If you can appreciate the simple things, contentment will follow. Look around you today.  Smell the air - it's free.  Appreciate the beauty of nature - it's free.  Feel the cool breeze on your face - it's free. List the numerous simple things around you that bring you joy.  Most of them are free or very inexpensive.  Enjoy them.  Appreciate them.   As we learn to appreciate the simple things in

You Rock!

Stooping down, I picked up a rock from the pile.  I turned it over in my hands, feeling its rough edges.  Each rock that I looked at was different.  Some were smooth; others rough.  Some were plain looking while others sparkled and others were tinged with color.  As I tossed it into the waves, I was reminded once again of the uniqueness of each of us.  God created diversity.  He uses each of us in different ways for the purpose He has for our lives.  And yet we so often keep trying to be someone different.  I know I fall into this faulty thinking.  I often think I have to do something like someone else to be loved and accepted.  I do my best to conform into an image.  It's not God's image of who He created me to be, but the image of who others think I should be. One day I was lamenting to Dan how I needed to be less outspoken or be more demure, and he looked straight at me and said, "You are the only one who has a problem with who you are."  "Be the w