Friday, October 1, 2010

The Heart of a Little Boy

God always, always, always hears our prayers....I think, most especially, the pure prayers of a childs' heart.

Yesterday, one little 6 year old boy had his prayer answered.....our little Easton. Ever since he knew his Momma was going to have another baby, he has said over and over again...."I hope it's a girl....I really want a sister." Even I explained to him yesterday as they stayed with me while Dale and Summer went for the sonogram, that God, and God alone, knows what the Johnson family needed and that God knows they just might need another little boy. Easton's reply was this......."OH NO Yaya, we don't "need" another boy, we need a girl and I just want a sister."

Such precious words from THE HEART OF A LITTLE BOY!! His hearts desire was a sister and how wonderful of God to have allowed it! We are ALL rejoicing in this miracle of life that is forming and are PRAISING the GOD who is creating "her" right now. We yearn for the day next March when her darling little face we'll see!!

When Dale and Summer came in, they had a bag with them with something in it. They told the boys that inside the bag there would either be a pair of Crocs for a little boy or a little girl and that's how they'd know which it was. So thankful my camera was close and I was able to capture the moment on Easton's face. PRICELESS:)) Then, the boys ran to grab the little girl outfit they picked out earlier to present to their Momma. We had bought one boy and one girl outfit to be prepared either way when the announcement came. Sweet times, sweet times:)

PRAISE YOU GOD for YOU have done GREAT things and we thank You for Your hand and Your answer to THE HEART OF A LITTLE BOY.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness


What does that word mean to you? How do we attain this thing called HAPPINESS?? Is it something that only comes and goes? Can it become a way in which we live our lives every single day?

Well, I propose that THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS "can" be something we achieve and maintain the rest of our days on this planet.


Well, a great way to begin is to consider daily doing something like what our young ladies from our youth group did tonight.....

Reaching out and spending time with others, focusing on someone else, OTHER than ourselves and being a blessing to those around us. THAT is how we begin to find HAPPINESS. We don't have to be in PURSUIT of it all our lives....HAPPINESS can easily be found through the giving of oneself for the benefit of someone else.

Tonight, 12 of our young ladies, met with some of the widows of RRC. They wanted to get to know us better and had an ice cream social for us, as well as a devotion by Debbie G. After this, they let us help with the blankets they had made for the Mercy House. You might not believe it, but if you'd of been there, you'd of seen it for yourself. These young ladies adore spending time with our older ladies, learning from them, listening to them and just being in their presence. In this day and age, you would think they wouldn't make or take the time, but they do and they end up being the ones who come away blessed for having been there.

Tonight, as I was driving some of the girls home, we got into the van and Amber said, "You know, it makes me feel so good to do what we just did." That statement pretty much sums up how I know they all feel. Their hearts were full and so was mine. It was in the precious moments taking time to reach out to our widows, that the girls found HAPPINESS.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?????? You don't have to pursue it any longer. You'll find it when you give of yourself. It's just that plain and simple. Forget yourself, take the time and reach out to someone else. There is a myriad of ministries at our church you can be involved in and they all need YOU. Why not pray and seek the Lord about where you can give of yourself?? Someone needs what you have to give.

HAPPINESS is waiting for you......why not reach out to someone tomorrow? They'll be so glad you did and you......well.....YOU will find HAPPINESS:)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Time for Everything

Writing has been hard for me since the death of my sister. I cannot seem to find the words....the ache is deep and lingering and the tears continue. I've struggled to be able to express how I feel, except for the tears. There are few who truly know my heart.

But, 2 Sundays ago, it was Emily R., who helped to lift me up out of the pit. It was to be her last Sunday in my class as she was to move up the following Sunday. She and I both were struggling. It is always hard for me to say goodbye to my girls when they "move up." I get attached, very attached to them after spending 3 years watching them grow and mature in the Lord. Emily stayed after class and she and I both cried. As we held each other, she leaned onto my shoulder and said, "I don't want to put my foot over the threshhold of the door cause I know this is the last time. I don't want to go."

Immediately, the Lord whispered this in my ear......

"There is a season, an appointed time for everything, under heaven....."

And so, that is exactly what I whispered into Emily's ear. As I was trying to encourage her and help her understand that truly, there IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING...the Lord God Himself, encouraged me also. It was time for her to go...."There is a time for every event under heaven...."
and just 2 weeks ago, it had been time for my sister to go...."A time to give birth and a time to die..."

I cried because I was loosing Emily and I had shed buckets of tears over the loss of my sister....but, I too, realized this...

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiates 3:1-8

For everything in this life.....there is a time and a season for a beginning and for an ending. Emily had helped me to remember this, even in my own sorrow. I cannot say that the tears have stopped, but I have clung to these verses, simply remembering that life is full of seasons. Some are difficult, some pleasant, but they are ALL a part of life and living. We MUST step over the threshhold, for life demands it. We cannot stay where we are, in the same classroom forever....never growing and maturing....we MUST take that step and move forward into the rest of the life that God has for us.

Thank you Emily, for helping me, even when you didn't know it and thank You Father God, for getting me through this most sorrowful time of my entire life. Once again, You have blessed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goodbye, My Dear Sister

After a 10 month long battle with glioblastoma, brain cancer, my sister lost the fight this morning.
How do I face the rest of this week and the process of the funeral? In the flesh, I have absolutely no idea. I only know this....HE is my Rock, the One I must lean and depend on, more than ever before. He will walk through this with me, just as He has every other difficult time in my life.
There is much I could write about my big sister. I will forever remember the laughter, the jokes, the sister trips we took together, our joy with each grandchild we rejoiced in, the silliness that we all so wonderfully enjoyed and how we could bring the house down, no matter where we were, with our loud laughter!

In this first picture, Lou, Pat & I, posing in front of the B/B we stayed in while in Amish Country a year ago. The second pic is Pat, Me & Lou at Falling Water, in PA. The next pic is Pat, Lou & I at the restaurant at the ski resort where they have a condo. The last two photos were taken the last time we were together. As she waved goodbye, this was the final time I saw her standing up.

All these years, we 3 have been sisters and friends. My heart grieves in the knowlege that she is gone but through the tears, God whispers gently in my ear that He hears my heart and Psalms 56:8 reminds me of this...
"You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?"
HE has caught my tears....he knows the brokenness of my heart.....he knows the depth of my anguish and He cares enough to catch my tears in His bottle.
How can I thank my God enough for this?? Is it possible?? Even now as I write, I feel Him holding my heart in the palm of His hand. It's although He is reaching in to comfort me. Thank You Father, thank You....You know my heart and You hear me.

GOODBYE, MY DEAR SISTER.....tonight I thank God for the 62 years He allowed all of us to know and love you. Your little sister loved you more than you knew and I shall miss you the rest of my days.

Thank you God, for my big sister.....Mary Lou.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Have Much to Learn

This afternoon, nine of our middle school girls had the incredible opportunity to "sit at the feet" of Mrs. Jackie F. and be taught how to arrange flowers! As we sat and listened and watched her, she beautifully made 10 for each of us to bring home. Each was totally different than the one before, each in a different container and every one of them absolutely lovely. The girls got to choose the one they wanted and I'm tickled to be able to say there was no arguing out of these young ladies, each was just tickled to have one of Mrs. Jackie's masterpiece's.

WE HAVE MUCH TO LEARN from our seniors, much. But are we willing to stop and listen long enough to hear what they have to say???

Proverbs 20:29 says, "The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old."

Why not take the time to listen to someone who's a generation or two older than you? They have experience that you do not. They know more than you simply because they've lived longer than you. You could learn much, if you'll give them the time of day. I challenge you to make plans this week to spend some time with one of our "seasoned" adults. You'll be so glad you did.

Tonight, I am so thankful for our widows who are so generously opening their homes, sharing their talents and blessing our young women's lives by sowing into them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Anchor Holds

Somewhere around 12-14 years ago, Darrel and I were invited to go out onto the ocean on a friends 21 foot dive boat. I was invited along, more for the ride than anything, as everyone else was scuba diving. I am scuba certified but have never, nor will I ever, ocean dive. I admit, I'm just too skittish of all the "stuff" that's in there. Sooooo, on this particular day, I was just going to stay up top while all the guys went down diving.
Now, I was absolutely fine as we traveled about 20 miles out into the ocean. I was enjoying the ocean, the dolphins beside the boat, the wind in my hair and just the wonderful feeling I had while skimming the top of the water.

And then........the boat came to a stop.

The anchor was lowered and the r o c k i n g began.

UGHHHHHH.....As each diver suited up and went down, I got sicker and sicker and sicker. Needless to say, I christened the bow, the stern, portside and the starboard side! It was horrible and I mean HORRIBLE. I thought the guys would never come up from diving and I was sure I was going to loose everything that was within me and wither away to nothing before someone saved me from my obvious fate....death by vomitting!!!!!!!!!!! The anchor was holding steady but I was about to pass out! UGH AGAIN!

Have you ever experienced a time where turmoil abounded and you felt you could not go on? Maybe you were physically sick, like I was that time. Maybe you're spiritually sick or maybe you're even simply sin sick. Whatever, it doesn't seem to matter because we serve a God whose ANCHOR HOLDS through whatever type of storm you shall ever pass through.

When our faith abounds in Him...when we are anchored deep into the arms of Christ....when we have made the conscious choice that we are rooted and grounded firmly in Christ, we can rest assured that THE ANCHOR HOLDS! We shall not be washed ashore, washed aground, torn apart, drown or lost at sea!!!

THE ANCHOR HOLDS!!! We are safe....we've already been rescued!!! HALLELUJAH KING JESUS!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

He Walks Among Us!

Some of the sweetest memories I have in my life, are the ones that were quiet moments spent with family and friends. Moments when hearts collided, smiles were shared and a oneness was felt amongst us. You know what I mean, I know you do! Some of my sweetest memories of my sisters are the ones where we were gathered together, walking, talking and sharing our hearts together. I remember years ago when Nancy J. and I used to walk together every morning. Those were precious times indeed. I miss them as they haven't happened in a long time and as for my 2 sisters and I, there will never be another time I will walk with both of them at my side. Those days are now behind with my sisters illness.

There is a comfort when you walk among family and friends. You feel loved and safe, at peace and a part of a bigger picture.

BUT...When I get hold of this verse......

"I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people." Leviticus 26:12


You mean HE, God the Almighty, the Creator, the Sustainer of all mean HE walks with me??? I wish you could see my face right now but most especially, I wish you could see my heart. If you could, you'd see it's smiling right now.

At this season in my life, I find greater comfort than ever before in remembering HE walks with me. How incredible to know that Jesus is not a distant God ruling from His throne.

NOT AT ALL! He is here for us....DAILY....HOURLY....BY THE SECOND!!!

Tonight, I am so thankful that my God....MY GOD.....HE WALKS AMONG US!!! I'm never ever alone. That feels so good inside of me to know.

When you're lonely, afraid, sad, happy or whatever state you're in....HE'S right by your side. Why not go for a walk with HIM right now???

Friday, August 13, 2010

Have YOU Left Any Evidence???

For the most part, no matter what we do, we leave behind the EVIDENCE of our actions. If we walk on the beach or new carpet, we leave behind our footprints. We can simply move through any place and leave a hair fallen from our head and our DNA is left behind. If we touch a door knob, our fingerprints are there and can easily be found. If we cook in the kitchen, not only is there a mess there to be cleaned up but even the smell permeating your home is EVIDENCE that you have cooked something.

Now, if we had NOT walked across that sand or carpet, left a fallen hair, touched a door knob or cooked a meal, rightly so, there would be no EVIDENCE of it. We must "do" something for there to be EVIDENCE that we have done it!!!

And so it is with our faith. Anyone can say, "I believe in God." It is extremely easy to speak these words but IF we say we believe in God, then where is the EVIDENCE of it??? Where is the proof that we have left behind from an action that has been accomplished??? What do we do on a daily basis to show the EVIDENCE of our great love for Christ and what He has done for all of us?

Good works are the EVIDENCE of genuine faith, the EVIDENCE left behind wherever faith has gone. In other words, right actions are the fingerprint of your faith. THE EVIDENCE!!!

Where faith exists, the EVIDENCE marks it as genuine.

"Father God, as I walk through this life I've been given, help me to live in such a way that I leave a trail of EVIDENCE of my faith in You. Let that EVIDENCE be sufficient so that someone might follow the trail to You. Thank You God, thank You."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Final Destination

Most of the time when I think about the words FINAL DESTINATION, they conjur up a plane ride to somewhere and the last leg of my journey. Most often, those plane rides take me to either one of my sisters homes either in Pennsylvania or California. I love traveling and being headed for just about anyywhere, always have.

But 31 years ago, I made the decision about where MY FINAL DESTINATION would be. I'm heaven bound when I leave this earth and I often long for the day.

Today during our youth nursing home visitation time, two ladies especially blessed our hearts. Their joy and peace in Christ dripped off of them and literally spilled out onto all of us who were there. When we walked up to 91 year old Mrs. Henry, her smile lit us all up! Although she recently suffered a broken hip, you would never ever know. Mrs. Henry never complains about anything. She praised her Lord and Savior for caring for her, helping her sleep so well and feeling better than she felt she even deserved. Her joy was obvious to each of our youth and spoke volumes to them. Then there was a new friend to us, 99 year old Mrs. Juanita. Her words of wisdom touched the girls and nearly made them cry. Her love for Jesus was open, forthright and so precious. She encouraged our youth to live for Him and daily prepare their lives for the day they too, would meet Him face to face. She and Mrs. Henry both were so appreciative of our visit but they blessed us more than they know.

After our visit today and our sweet conversations with these ladies and others also, it fills my heart with joy to know that MY FINAL DESTINATION won't be by plane.


Monday, August 9, 2010

What Are You Wearing???

Ever gone shopping looking for "just" the right outfit maybe for a particular occasion? Maybe it was a wedding, get-together, backyard bar-b-que or a special date. Of course, you've just got to have the shoes AND the jewelry to match the outfit also. When it's all finally purchased and put on, you feel like a million bucks and can't wait to go out in it.

As nice as clothing ourselves in just the right outfit is, God says the following...

"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

Hmmmmmmmmm.....sounds to me as though clothing ourselves FIRST in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, are MUCH more important than what we're clothing ourselves with on the outside. "Clothing" ourselves is a choice. When we go shopping looking for that perfect outfit, we don't just stand in front of the racks and know the outfit is gonna work. We "choose" to try it on, it doesn't just jump off the rack onto our body. We have to choose what to wear and take the time to clothe ourselves in it.

The same is applicable here. It is a daily choice to clothe ourselves in those things which God knows are more important.

So....WHAT ARE YOU WEARING tonight??? What will you wear tomorrow???

It's your choice.