The Madness of March.

Today was simply gorgeous. One of those rare almost-spring days when the wind isn’t blowing a million-fifty miles an hour, the sunshine is warm and you don’t need to bundle up like Nanook of the North to be outside for a pair of seconds.

I took some pictures of the graduating senior outside. It was delightful! Outside and of course the graduating senior. I sat in the mostly dead grass while waiting for her to change outfits and troop back outside for more torture.

Or. Err. Pictures.

I promise I didn’t torture her too much. At least not intentionally.

Right now I sit here saying all of this, waiting for my March Madness Bracket to fully load so I can pick my teams, I’m remembering yesterday. You know the fall day I took a pregnancy test and for the first time I passed. I saw two lines that day. In no time at all our little bundle of pink girlie-ness was born and we were smitten.

Then we would hear her muttering in the backseat, “duh-duh. duh-duh. duh-duh. Doh-doh. Doh-doh. Dah-dah. Dah-dah.” And then “dada, dada, dada” over and over until she was confident she got it right and then would announce DADA! to the world as if she had somehow just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Soon enough I was sitting down with her while her sister slept, who am I kidding? That girl didn’t sleep. But I would sit down at the dining room table with the graduating senior and spend the next few minutes teaching her how to read. She was reluctant and playing with her babies was more fun. Until she grasped the reading concept. She was 3.5. She is now 17 and I don’t think she has stopped reading yet.

A few minutes later we bought an electric piano from some dear friends who were moving out-of-state. I happily asked the graduating senior if she wanted to learn to play the piano. She very matter-of-factly informed me she most certainly did not wish to learn to play.

Too bad for her. I had already arranged lessons. At the first lesson, she was hooked. She hasn’t stopped playing. Right now for the first time since she was 6 she is not taking lessons. It seems somehow very, very wrong. She plays on our praise team and is has put a lot ownership in that.

I don’t know what they are going to do without a keyboardist in August when she leaves. Forget them! I don’t know what I’m going to do without my girl, my side-kick, my fellow coffee drinker, my giggle producer, my Rory when she leaves in August.

Five months. All I have left is 5 months. Five months to instill everything I haven’t take the time or the chance to instill in her to date. All the things I’ve shied away from telling her, all the things I’ve put off, now is the time.

Yes, there is that. But have I instilled a true love of and for Jesus in her? Have I modeled that? I’ve failed in both. I know that. I’ve let my own stinking, rotting self into the picture and let it have it’s run with my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. But still, is there still a chance? Can I still instill it in her?

There has to be. We need more time. The very thing I wished would pass quickly when I was elbow deep in dirty diapers, teething, and potty-training. I’ve enjoyed each stage of her life, each more exciting than the previous one. But I’ve squandered some of the best times of her life.

From this point onward, it has to be Jesus. It’s always had to be Him and about Him. But now my job as her Momma is nearly over, it’s time to let her stretch her wings and fly.

It’s both freeing and fear-producing at the same time. I remember all the first and now I find myself thinking, “I need to do this one last time with my girl.”  “This will be one of the last times we get to do this.”

Things we thought would go on forever, we no longer get to think that. Because forever is only for fairy tales and heaven. Not for those of us alive on planet earth today. We have the hope of heaven but while we walk here on terra firma, things end.

But things also begin. It’s exhilarating to think of the new adventures she’ll have. It’s breathtaking to think of where Jesus will take her and what He will say to her and teach her. It’s intoxicating to think of all the ways He will be so faithful to reveal Himself to her.

Spread your wings, baby girl, it’s almost time. Fly free.



Gale Force Winds

March came in very quietly. At least for the first four days. The past two days have been bitterly cold and windy.  The wind runs right through your jacket and stings your skin like you’re walking into needles.

Wind like this isn’t anomalous to this area. We don’t even talk about the wind until it is over 30mph sustained.  We lived for a few years outside of St. Louis and I began walking 3 miles a day with two lovely ladies. I always listened to the weather before leaving to meet with my friends. One day I was surprised to hear this from the weatherman’s mouth, “Hang on to your hat, it’s going to be a windy day! Gusts up to 10 miles an hour!”


Wind blows from the past into the future. It is incessant, aggravating, and normal. It blows where it wants and no amount of desire can stop its blowing.  I have a fairly strong will but I can’t use that to stop the gusts from taking my breath away.

We all deal with windstorms, storms that take our breath away and make it seem impossible to stand upright. These storms blow through our lives and leave us desperate to stand, to breathe, to make sense of the damage.

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This morning Jesus directed my thoughts to Mark 4:35-41. This is the story of Jesus being asleep on the boat when a storm arose. The New American Standard version of this reads, “fierce gale”, I looked that word up in Strong’s and discovered it could be translated whirlwind or hurricane.

That is some kind of fierce gale, it swept in out of seemingly nowhere and battered their fair ship. Is it any wonder they were terrified?

I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been there recently. Not in an actual hurricane, but I’ve been in an internal storm. My life has been battered fiercely and I’m very sad to say I’ve fought the storm on my own.

And failed. Miserably.  Just like the disciples were powerless in the hurricane, so was I in my own hurricane. And so are you. There is only One who can immediately calm our storms.  From a hurricane to a calm sea. Only Jesus can do that.

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Is it any wonder the disciples were left breathless? From a raging hurricane to a calm sea. Just. Like. That.

If Jesus’ actions don’t leave you in a breathless wonder, asking “Who is this?”, can you really say you encountered Jesus? He does things no one else can do. He turns hurricanes into a calm day in a millisecond. And we should, in breathless wonder, ask “Who is this?” but instead we glibly go about our day as if that always happened.

There is another instance of Jesus in a boat in a storm-tossed sea. (You can find this one in Mark 6:45-52.) In life we have a choice, get in the boat with Jesus and look out for storms, or have Him get in the boat with us in the midst of a storm. Either way storms come and He is there. He calms them but not before we experience some of the terror of the storms.

Too often we expect our Christian walk to be care and trouble free. “Okay Jesus, I’ve got You. You’ve got me. I’m in You. You’re in me. We’re good to go!” Then when storms come, and they always do, we’re left shaken wondering where we went wrong and how could we have possibly gotten it so very wrong. We’re terrified of what this storm means. We’re shaken and shaking in the howling wind.

No, Jesus in the boat doesn’t prevent storms. They still come. They still rage. But He, with a word calms them. We have but to ask.

Sometimes that’s the hard part. We want to wallow a bit. We want to feel sorry for ourselves. But more than that, we forget. We forget Who’s we are. We forget where we belong and to Whom we belong.  We take our eyes off the Storm Calmer and keep them on the storm. But that only increases the terror of them and diminishes our God in our eyes and elevates our self. We aren’t strong enough to calm the storm on our own and waiting it out is impossible until we turn to Him and say with Lauren Daigle,

Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me,
Let the mountains fall,
You are God over the storm,
And I will rest in You.
(I am Yours by Lauren Daigle)

Arrogance vs. Humility

Arrogance hurts those that love you.

Humility protects.

Arrogance hides.

Humility exposes.

Arrogance protects self at all costs.

Humility lavishly gives self at any cost.

Arrogance abandons and pushes away.

Humility brings in and includes.

Arrogance destroys friendships.

Humility restores broken friendships.

Arrogance hates.

Humility loves.

Oh Nuts

20171003_123125Do you ever just do something with very little thought, or is it just me? I do it all the time. Mr. FullCup is often saying, “What were you thinking?” The honest answer is actually, “I wasn’t.” Thinking has never been high on my list of favorite activities. I’m driven more by action. Why waste time thinking when you can be out there doing?

I mean, reeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllyyyyyyy. 

Mr. FullCup, though, he’s a thinker. I’m sure he’s still thinking about something from kindergarten. Inscribed on his tombstone will be the words, “I’m still thinking.” If he’s said it once, he’s said it a million times. To me.

I get a seriously silly case of the never-ending giggles when someone tells me I’m a deep thinker. People, maybe I am, but maybe I also say things I haven’t thought of yet. Most often thoughts are in my head and out my mouth before I have a chance to think about them. Sometimes, yes, I cover my mouth in shame or abject horror thinking I surely didn’t say that out-loud. But I did.

So what great thing have I done without thinking about? Two actually.

A dear woman of God that I know challenged me to write at least 500 words a day. To that end I’ve been blogging more. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to say, other days I sit and stare at the computer praying for something to drop into my head. I almost never know the end from the beginning. I always thought that was because I’m such a free spirit, under the complete control of the Holy Spirit.

Maybe to some extent that is true. But I think it is equally true that I’m maybe lazy and too spontaneous.

At any rate, I’ve missed the last two days. I tried, I really, really tried last night to convince myself that meant today I had to write 1500 words. Please.

Don’t hold your breath. I’d hate to be responsible for your death.  I mean. I could. But it isn’t likely.  (Just so you know, you have now read 350 words.) It takes work to write every day. But it is a discipline and a good one, so I’m likely to continue but please know, I’ll likely miss a few days here and there.

20171003_05325320170715_06575020170521_135317thankfulmug20161112_123951I love coffee. You might know that about me. You might not. It’s important, but not of extreme importance. I love everything about coffee. I love the taste, the smell, the anticipation of the first sip. I love it’s velvety smoothness flooding my mouth and flowing down my throat. I love it black the best.

My favorite flavor of coffee has always been hazelnut. I’m just nutty about that. Yesterday I was at my local Scooters, if you don’t have a Scooters, MOVE to where there is one! I love my Scooters. Not just because my daughter works there, I love the workers and the coffee. Oh the coffee.

The manager has graciously allowed me to called him, Rimi, a shortened form of his last name, and I love nothing more than pulling up to the drive-thru order box and saying, “Hi Rimi! I just need my regular.” And he knows exactly who I am and what my order is.

Yesterday I handed my thermos to him through the window and he asked, “What did you have in here?”

“It smells like hazelnut, was it?”
“Yes, it was.”

Then we had a discussion about his allergy to nuts. This allergy negates his ability to drink hazelnut coffee. And the light begins to burn in my mind. Or as Gru says,

“Light bulb!”

I have developed a nut allergy. I can’t have peanuts (which technically don’t count because they are legumes and not nuts) and I can’t have tree nuts. Bad things happen. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty rough a lot. By a lot, I really mean, all the time.

I thought was because over the holidays I splurged on food I don’t normally eat because of reactions I have. But even with stopping that it hasn’t helped.

20170603_13573720170609_09163220161207_063633120161112_124004DSC_0719DSC_0098DSC_0039It’s the coffee! I never even thought the hazelnut flavor would affect my allergy. (Fyi, I should have shut up 201 words ago.)

Obviously my allergy is not life-threatening. Of course if it had been I might have put two-and-two together sooner.

Like when I was in the casket at my own funeral but then it’d be a little too late.


What’s Your “The”?

I’ve been studying the book of Ruth lately. Painstakingly slow. I began the beginning of February and I’m still only on chapter 2. I hadn’t planned on studying it, but our pastor began preaching through the short book and I began reading it in preparation for his sermons.

Also I needed to make a graphic for the bulletin cover which necessitated my reading also. But I digress.

The story of Ruth is a wonderful picture of the life of an indwelt Christian. We all know it is the love story of Boaz and Ruth. But it’s also a love story of God and His people. In the first chapter we see ourselves as we really are before Jesus. We’ve fled the freedom of the promised land because of famine and are living exactly where God told us not to live…the Land of Moab.  But God begins wooing us out of our sinful state by noticeably blessing those around us. We decide to return and that is where the love story really begins. We come to the realization that He is our Kinsman Redeemer, and He has gone to great lengths to buy us back from captivity and sin.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Chapter 2 dawns with Ruth asking Naomi’s permission to go glean in a field, behind someone in whose sight she would find favor. Naomi obviously gives her permission and off Ruth goes. In gleaning that day she happened (actual Hebrew word means, “her chance chanced upon”) to come to the field owned by Boaz. I’m not going to get into the whole story here because that isn’t the topic or issue for this post.

In this chapter Ruth is continually referred to as “Ruth the Moabitess”, I believe the same holds true in the rest of Scripture. Everywhere she is named the two words, “the Moabitess” follows her name. It struck me as odd this morning. She is constantly referred to by who she was.

I am firmly convinced that she had a complete heart and life change when she left Moab with Naomi. I am sure it wasn’t after she left, but the change started before, while they were all still living in Moab. Before her father-in-law died, before her brother-in-law died, and before her husband died.

But nowhere is that change noted or mentioned. It’s striking to me, Rahab isn’t always known as Rahab the Harlot. But every time we see Ruth, we are reminded that she was an outsider, a non-Israelite. She didn’t fit it, didn’t belong, she wasn’t one of them.

In chapter 2 we also see that she is known for her kindness to Naomi, or what she did. When Boaz asked the servant over the reapers who she was, he was told “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi…”. He didn’t even say her name, but he did say what she had done. Apparently words got around in those days too. Everyone knew who she was because they knew what she had done.

Why the difference? Is it even important? Why call her by who she was every time? It’s an Identity thing! Her identity was in being from Moab.

Our identity isn’t in WHAT we do, but it’s in WHO we are.

We all struggle with seeing our identity in what we do. We ask people, “What do you do?” instead of asking, “Who are you?” Oh, yeah, we’ll ask someone’s name and then say, “Hilda, what do you do?” We identify with our actions.

I am a writer. I’m an attorney. I’m a CPA. I’m a banker. I’m a bank robber. I’m a teacher. I’m a student. I’m a Momma. I’m a secretary. I’m a bum. I’m a broker. I’m a cop. I’m a store clerk. I’m a librarian. I’m a barbarian.

It’s all what we do. But our actions don’t define us or identify us.  We are not what we do.

We pray all the time for Jesus to show us what He wants us to do. We need to stop that. Don’t ask Jesus what He wants you to do. He created you a human BEing not a human DOing.

But also don’t pray to be WHAT Jesus wants you to be. Pray to be WHO Jesus wants you to be. You’re a WHO not a WHAT.

Remember, you are not what you do.  Your job, your title, your activities do not define or identify you. Allow Jesus to be your identity, find your identity in Him and allow Him and His life to identify and define you.

The Apologetics Study Bible {A Review}

I LOVE God’s Word. I love opening a new Bible, bringing it to my face, thrusting my nose into the center and breathing in deeply. It always emits a sigh from my deepest heart.

Not simply because I’m enamored with a new book, and a new book smell. I get giddy with the heady scent of an old favorite book too. Currently the Bible that I use daily smells of all things coffee. There are coffee rings on some of the pages.

The sigh comes from a place of knowing how loved I am. The God who created a billion galaxies thought of and noticed little me. He wrote His life story through the pen of many men many, many years ago. He wrote this so I could, so you could know Him.

It’s what we were created for. We were created to know and love God. What better way to communicate that than through a love letter telling His story? I can’t think of one.


I recently had the honor of reviewing The Apologetics Study Bible. It is published by LifeWay/BH Publishing and uses the Holman Christian Standard translation.  I received a hardback copy, on the grey and white cover there is a watermark of The Thinker with the words “Faithful and True” along the edge of the spine. If you take off the dust cover you lose none of the design. I love that.

The pages are thin, but not super thin. The font though. Oh my word the font! I can almost read it without my glasses on. I love that. I can set it on my desk and not have to lean over very close to it just to read. That is huge.


Okay. Let me explain that. The font isn’t huge. But it is a big enough size I can see it clearly. This makes me happy.

Sprinkled throughout the Bible are little boxes labeled “Twisted Scripture”. It’s not what you think! In these boxes, Alan Street offers explanation for commonly misconstrued passages of Scripture.


In that picture you can see the great size of the font!! I love it!

Also you’ll find sprinkled throughout various articles on a wide range of topics. These are great to direct your thoughts deeper and would be excellent to use as a devotional.

Each book also has, as is typical for study Bibles, an introduction to each book, and study notes at the bottom of the page.

The one thing I do not like, and to me this is not a minor dislike, but is big. In the introduction to the books, it lists the man the Spirit of God breathed through as the author. The Author of the Bible is God. Men were merely the penmen, if you will.

You can order through Lifeway or your favorite Christian bookstore.

I give it 4 out of 5 turning pages.


When I was a girl Oreos were a rare and special treat. I loved twisting the top off of each one and dragging my tongue over the bottom cookie to get all the yummy frosting. Then I’d pop the cookies parts in my mouth.

Then Double Stuff Oreos were a thing. I’m rather surprised we don’t have triple stuff oreos today.  But I’m digressing a little. (Another digression, I can’t seem to type without making a bazillion mistakes. I’m hoping it’s just because my brain works faster than my fingers but all I can really say is how thankful I am for the backspace button.) If regular Oreos were a rare treat, Double Stuff was an extremely rare manuscript that must be treated with kid gloves. They were as rare as a blizzard in August. Which I suppose could have happened at some in history, but not in recent history and not in the northern hemisphere.

It’s entirely possible that I’m rambling and babbling on because I’ve forgotten the point of this blog post. If there was one. Which I’m sure there was but it has flown out of my mind like a canary from a cage.

Double…twice as much. Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. That was bold. Think about it. A mentor says, “What can I do for you before I leave you?” You think and think and then blurt out, “Yeah. I’d like to be you only twice as much. Twice as good.” Bold. Daring.

Why don’t we say that to Jesus? “Hey Jesus, I want to be like You, only double You in me.” It seems so self-serving, arrogant. But what if that prayer would be answered not with a “no” but with “I thought you’d never ask!”

Now I’m not at all saying we can get a double portion of the Holy Spirit, that’s crazy. (I think. I’ll have to ponder that some more.) But what if we just kept praying for more of Him, more of His life in us. More death to self, more life to Jesus. “Jesus, You were in me and with me yesterday. Today I want You to double that.”

That’s bold. That’s daring. What if He asked you to do something you didn’t want to do after you prayed that? How would you respond? Would you do it? Or would you sit back and say, “Oh no, Jesus, that’s too much. You’re asking too much.”

What if Jesus wanted your Double Stuff? What would you do then? Does Jesus even ask for our Double Stuff?  You see, now that I’ve asked the question, I find myself wondering if He does that. He certainly can. I’m going to have to think on this a bit more.

It should be obvious to everyone that I don’t always know the end of a blog post from the beginning. Maybe I should plan these out a bit more. Maybe I’ll start. No, I will start.

But never fear, I’ll probably still post random and rambly posts because that’s how I roll.