Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Onions Please

As he walked through the door, he knew all the locals were checking him out. While cruising timber for a new client in a remote part of the state, my brother was hungry and decided to stop at a roadside diner for lunch.

Once inside he saw men lined up sitting on stools at the counter eating hot dogs and only hot dogs, for that was all they served. 

Beyond the counter and through an open window the cook called out from the kitchen, “How ya want ya hot dog?”

“Mustard, no onions. Make that two please.”

Standing behind the men seated at the counter my brother tried to keep his eyes forward while all other eyes were on him. He knew these men probably meet everyday, whether they wanted a hot dog or not, to fill an uneventful day with uneventful talk. He was an outsider and knew he would end up the topic of conversation as soon as he left.

To be less of a distraction he decided not to move and kept his place behind the men at the counter as they went back to eating and talking. While he stood he watched through the open window as the cook assembled the hot dogs—bun, chili, mustard, and onions.

He didn’t want onions. Before the cook could begin adding onions to his second hot dog he felt he needed to remind him of his order.

“Sir, no onions please.”

Without acknowledging the correction, the cook kept on making the hot dogs—bun, chili, mustard, and onions. The men at the counter raised their heads and watched as my brother tried to get the attention of the cook. The next time he spoke it was a little louder and with more authority.

 “Sir . . . I said no onions please.”

Still, there was no acknowledgement from the busy cook on the other side of the window. He kept on preparing the hot dogs lined up in his large hand—bun, chili, mustard, and onions.

With his back straight and feet planted, my brother did the only thing he knew to do at that point to get the cooks attention. He yelled,

 “I said NO ONIONS!”

The diner went quite, the men’s mouths flew open, and for a moment all that could be heard was the clicking of the ceiling fan. Then a booming voice forced it’s way through the window from the kitchen as the cook yelled back,


Oh, I can’t even imagine the look that was probably on my brother’s face as the cook leaned his head out the window and yelled back. No, he didn’t tuck tail and run, but it was all he could do to stay in that small diner waiting for his lunch. With brown paper bag in hand that held his two hotdogs—bun, chili, mustard, and no onions—he paid and attempted to walk back out the door with some dignity.

As I'm reminded of this story, I wonder how many times we stand behind the counter, yelling over the heads of others telling God how to do something when He knows perfectly well what He is doing and how it needs to be done.

The next time we find ourselves trying to correct God, we need to take into consideration that He may not be working in our lives at the moment but in the life of another. In other words, we may need to remember, 

“It’s not our hot dog!” 

photos courtesy of

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rest At Noon?

"Tell me  . . .  where you feed your flock, 
where you make it rest at noon"  
(Song of Solomon 1:7 NKJV).

We are busy people, so busy that we have a difficult time resting. Why the thought of resting at noon, as this scripture alludes to, is unheard of to most of us. 

We can't just lie down and take a nap in the park after lunch 

or . . .

lie down on the floor of our office, for a power nap . . .

Oh, wait . . . I guess some people can take a nap at the park after lunch.

Maybe so, but most of us have to spend our days going from 
one responsibility to the next. 

Rest at noon – no way. 

What about resting at other times during the day?  

I'm not talking about sleep that may or may not come at night, but rest in our heart, soul, and mind.

If you need rest today then consider doing three things:

Go to Jesus, for He tells us to "Come . . ., all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).

Cast "all you care upon Him for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7).

Be "still, and know that I am God" (Psa. 46:10).

I try to remember to do these when I feel tired and need rest, especially rest from stress and worry. 

But I have to admit . . .

     the thought of taking a nap 

          in a hammock 

               with a comfy pillow 

                    in a garden 

                         does cross my mind sometimes!

photos courtesy of

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

God, You Waiting For Me?

I don't know about you, but I seem to always be waiting for God to do something in my life or in the lives of the ones I love. Do you do the same? Probably. We pray and say we are waiting on His perfect timing for:

  • jobs
  • healing
  • provision
  • mates
  • children
  • direction
  • wisdom
  • answer to many unspoken and spoken prayers
  • on and on we go . . .

And wait we should. We're told in Psa. 27:14 to "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord."  Psa. 37:7 tells us to not only wait, but to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him" and then Psa. 38:15 says "O Lord, do I wait; it is you, . . . who will answer."

But did you know God also waits for us? I've spent so much time concentrating on waiting for Him that I didn't realize He waits for us. Isa. 30:18 says:

"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; 
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you . . .
Blessed are all those who wait for Him." (NKJV)

How is the Lord waiting? 
He's waiting earnestlyexpecting, looking, and longing.

Why is He waiting? 
To be gracious, to show us favor, to show how kind He is, and to be full of grace.

And to . . .
Show us mercy, have pity on us, to show us compassion, and to rise and comfort us.

As sinners we don't deserve mercy, grace, or compassion. But sinners, saved by God's grace through the death of His Son, we do. And for this God waits.

As I continue to wait for God, as the Bibles instructs, 
I will also be thankful that God waits for me.
And for this I'm blessed and you are too.

photo courtesy of

Friday, July 12, 2013

Living in the Moment

"Living in the moment." 

This statement has been bouncing around in my head lately. I've been searching within to see if I do indeed live in the moment and I've come to the conclusion that I don't.

Sometimes I live in the past that's wallpapered in remorse, guilt, failure, disappointment, as well as missed opportunities. This is NOT a healthy place to be. Yes, I can LEARN from the past but I don't need to LIVE in the past. So much of today will be missed.

Other times I live in the future chasing after dreams, the what if's, and what can I do next. I don't finish one thing before I'm looking for the next thing to do. Again, this is NOT a healthy place to be. Yes, I can PLAN for the future, but I don't need to LIVE in the future. So much of today will be missed.

I need to live in the momenttodaywhere I am right now. This moment needs to be enjoyed, embraced, captured, shared, and consumed . . . for it will be gone, never to return again.  The past helps me realize where I have failed before and the future holds my plans, but I need to live today.

Where are you living? 
Search within to see if you are living in the moment. 

LEARN from your past, 
PLAN for your future, 
LIVE in the moment!

photos courtesy of

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Waves of Praise

"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Who determined its measurements?

Who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together . . .

Who shut the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garments and thick darkness its swaddling band . . .

And prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors and said Thus far shall you come, and no farther,

And here shall your proud waves be stayed?"
(From Job 38).

My God is awesome!

Not only does He tell the waves in the ocean how far they shall come on the shore, He:

  • Commands the mornings to begin.
  • Makes channels for the rain and a way for the thunderbolt.
  • Makes the ground sprout with grass.
  • Is the father of rain and drops of dew.
  • Even puts wisdom in us and gives understanding to our minds.

My God is awesome, and I give Him all the praise for He is my everything.

"Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for His name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven" (Psa. 148:13). ESV

photo courtesy of

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Different View

"Do you want to ride with the top down?"
     "No, it's too cold."

"Do you want to ride with the top down?" 
   "No, I don't have a hat or anything to put on my head. I have to be somewhere later."

"Do you want to ride with the top down?"
   "No, I'm fine. We're almost home."

For months my husband had been trying to introduce me to the joys of owning a convertible. It wasn't a new model, but it was new to him and he was excited. We'd always enjoyed our late afternoon rides together but every time he asked if I wanted to ride with the top down I'd have an excuse and say no.

But one spring evening that changed . . .
As we left his parent's home we noticed the sky dotted with colorful lanterns suspended in the early evening. With a glance from him and a nod from me we headed off in the direction towards the hot air balloons in the distance. Approaching the balloons my husband once again asked, "Do you want to ride with the top down?" This time my reply was "Yes!"

The endless blue evening sky was beautiful and as my husband drove through the countryside following the balloons I enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of being outside with an unlimited view. We've had hot air balloon festivals in our area for years and spent many hours at daybreak and dusk chasing these graceful objects but, I'd never been able to enjoy them to this extent. Not only could we hear the whoooosh of the propane being released into the balloons, but we could ride directly under them and even wave at the pilots swaying in their wicker baskets.

I realized how my limited view could become unlimited when I agreed to step out of my comfort zone.

We followed the balloons throughout the countryside along winding roads, past farm houses, and through wooded areas. There were times when I'd hear the whoooosh before I'd see the balloon as it appeared over the treetops.

Oh, what I'd have missed if I hadn't agreed to get out of my comfort zone and ride with the top down.

Since that peaceful evening in May I've thought about the times I've said NO to the small voice that would ask me to step out of my comfort zone.

How many adventures with God have I missed?

I know there're times when God wants to show me so much more, but I limit my view because I say no and won't follow His lead. 

Maybe He wants to:

  • Give me a totally different view of a problem, circumstance, or situation.  
  • Expand my horizons and let me see He has so much more for me. 
  • Let me experience things that'd be impossible unless I "ride with the top down."

Whatever God has in store for me I want to experience it and see it from a different view
His viewpoint.

I want to step out of my comfort zone that limits  
and live the abundant life God has for me. 

"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10 ESV). 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

In These Chairs

What would we talk about, sitting in these chairs?

Would I share my heart of deep longings and dreams, or 
what's stressing me out and causing me to ravel at the seams.

Would I tell you I'm happy and content with my life, or
that I sometimes want to quit and no longer fight the good fight.

Would I giggle and laugh telling stories you already know, or
would I grumble and complain letting my negative words flow.

I don't know, but . . .

I hope I would first thank You for Your love,
the love that caused You to leave Your home far above.

I hope I would tell You I'm sorry for wasted words and deeds,

deeds that could have been used to help others be free.

I hope I would cry tears of joy and thanksgiving,

for because of You I can have a life of abundant living.

There's so much I would want to take time to ask You 

as our voices glide over the water so blue.

But most of all I think I would want to slip out of my chair,

and sit at Your feet with Your hand laying gently on my hair.

For at your feet, head resting in your lap 

is where I would rather be,
For I know after being in Your presence, it's ALL about You, 
and not about me.

What would you talk about, sitting in these chairs?

"You make known to me the path of life;
 in Your presence there is fullness of joy; . . ." (Psa. 16:11). Click to Tweet

Friday, May 24, 2013

What Lies Beneath

This photo intrigues me . . .

I love daises, they are one of my favorite flowerssunshine captured and encased by delicate white petals standing bold atop strong green stems. They just make me happy because they look happy and full of joy.

I have always looked at these beautiful flowers from the top and never from beneath. But now, after seeing this photo, I can see they still look happy and joyful. I like the thought of that . . . of not only being happy and joyful on the surface, but beneath as well.

Having just returned from a wonderful writers conference where God did more in my life than I could have ever imagined, I have a long to-do list before me. But here is where I will begin, on my blog branding myself as a happy, joyful personnot only from the surface but from below. It's what's beneath the surface that counts.  We can always put on the outside what we want others to see but it's what's beneath, flowing from our hearts, that defines who we are.

It's not always easy to be joyful because as we go through life we encounter trials, disappointments, hurts, grief, and hardships. I know, I've had my share. I can't control these things, but I can control how they affect me. I choose for the joy, that comes from the Lord whom I serve, to be my strength (Neh. 8:10).

What lies beneath your surface? I hope it's unspeakable joy. Joy in the good times and joy in the bad times. It may not come naturally and I understand, but it's something we CAN have because it's one of the fruits of the spirit (Gal. 5:22).

The Bible says we have not because we ask not. Need joy today? Stop and ask God, for He will not only give you joy, He will give you His joy. Now . . . THAT makes me happy!

Blessings . . .

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Letter . . . NOT!

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.
I know you cannot tolerate wicked people.
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name's sake and not grown weary.
Your have left your first love -- ME.
(taken from Rev. 2:2-4).

No, this is NOT the love letter I would want to receive from Jesus, the lover of my soul.

I have to stop and think--if Jesus were to write me a love letter,
stating all the things He loves about me, 
would there be a YET included?

Today, on a day that is set aside for LOVE,
Let's take time to remember Jesus . . .
The One who gave everything He had for us,
and is going to share everything He has with us.

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, 
if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory." (Rom. 8:17).

If you have gotten caught up in the busyness of life and in the busyness of "doing" church and have lost your first love, all you have to do is:
  • Remember from what heights you have fallen (Where did Jesus pick you up? Out of the miry clay or beside your road of broken dreams?)
  • Repent and turn away from what seems to drive you away for Him
  • Go back and do the things you did when you first met Jesus

Then rest in the fact that:

"To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat of the tree of life, 
which is in the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7).

Happy Valentine's Day!

image from office

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What Does Your Day Look Like?

What does your day look like? I ask myself this question when I wake up. What do I have to do today? What will I have to face today? What do I need to get accomplished today? And the ever so popular one . . . Will I GET through today?

No matter what it is you and I have to do, or face today, we have a source in which to go to for assistance. For the Word says "God is able to BLESS you abundantly, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work." (2 Cor. 9:8 NIV).

As we venture out into our day, we need to remember what God's Word says to us:

God is able to BLESS us abundantly. Not just a little, not just to get us by, but ABUNDANTLY. And abundant means "more than enough." God is able to bless us MORE than enough today.

So that in ALL things we do or face today and at ALL times throughout the day . . . we will have ALL we need! I don't know about you, but I have many needs throughout the day:

  • patience
  • strength - mental and physical
  • love
  • faith
  • wisdom
  • direction
  • knowledge
  • and sometimes an absolute miracle!

I have to remind myself that I have ALL I need!

Last, but certainly not least, we will abound in every good work. The Holman Christian Standard Bible says "you may EXCEL in every good work."

What will we have to do or face today? I don't know but I DO know that God is able to bless us with everything we need so we can excel in all that we do.

Have a great day!

images from office

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Memories of Maggie

Lady Margaret Fortune -- Maggie  -- 
July 8, 2001 - January 29, 2013 

You came into our lives as a bouncing ball of fur
And captured each of our hearts.
For many years you gave us joy and laughter,
But most of all you gave us love.

You loved us through good times and bad,
Through happy and sad.
And that love was unconditional,
A love that knew no bounds.

You were there for Ally, as she went through her pre-teen years
And as she grew into a young woman.
You watched her dress for proms and outings with friends
And then sat and watched as she packed for college.

A greeter for everyone who came to visit.
You always thought they came to see you.
With the wagging of your tail and twirls of delight,
You made everyone feel welcome -- morning, noon, or night.

Your coat held the tears of a family finding their way
Through the ups and downs of life.
And as you got older and didn't want to play,
You could snuggle with each of us in your on special way.

During the day you rested up while the house was quite,
Only to spend the rest of the day in our presence.
In our laps, sharing a spot in the recliner, a corner of the couch,
Or at our feet  -- if we were at home, you were right with us.

You loved each one of us and had unique things you did with each.
From snuggling with Daddy to rocking with Ally or sitting in the chair with me looking over my computer . . .

You made each of us feel special  . . .

In red bows for Christmas, orange for football season,
Pastels for Spring, or purple, yellow, or green . . .
We thought you were the cutest thing
We had ever seen.

Ally had your bow colors planned for the year,
We didn't know your time was near,
That we would have to say goodbye to our furry bundle of love,
But only with the help from our Father above.

It was so hard to say goodbye
No time to plan or prepare.
But know you will always affectionally be . . .
The Baby of our family.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spiritual Belt

I have a confession to make . . . I lose weight, then gain it back. Lose it again and gain it back again. I have a belt to prove it.

The belt has not one, but three notches that are well worn. Sometimes I come very close to throwing the belt away, but hold on to it because it's one of my favorites. When I am at my last notch I realize how close I am to losing the belt for good. When I am smaller and three notches into the belt, I smile as I remember I am not where I used to be  . . . larger.

If I had a spiritual belt, I wonder what it would look like? It think it would look the same as the belt I wear. Sometimes I am lazy, sluggish, and distracted. It is at these times I began to realize that I am getting near to losing something very special -- a close relationship with my Heavenly Father. When I am lean, focused and dedicated, I look at the last notch and realize I'm not where I used to be.

As I go into a new year I once again spend time reflecting on the past 12 months. In the physical I ask: How did I do with my weight? my eating habits? my sleep habits? my job performance? Then I move on towards the spiritual and I ask: How did I do spending time praying? reading my Bible? memorizing scripture? studying God's Word? reaching out to others? I could go on and on with both the physical and spiritual "check up."

What have I decided? This year I am pulling my belt tighter; physically -- "Only one piece of pie please. Yes, the small one will do", and spiritually -- spending quiet moments reflecting, praying, and thanking God for His love and most of all His gift to us, His Son Jesus.

What would your spiritual belt look like?

image courtesy of