Even Nature Knows............

"See!" he said to all the people.

"This stone will be a witness against us.

It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us.

It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God."

JOSHUA 24:27

I've been working in my yard after school in the evenings.

Cutting back dead plants, planting a few new things.

My dream is to extend my memory garden in the back yard so that it wraps around our fence line.

I've had to move rocks to extend the garden's boundary line and to help hold down my landscape paper until I can buy some mulch.

I don't think a lot about the rocks as I'm lifting them and moving them around, except that I am thankful for their many purposes.

As I was reading in Joshua this morning, the rocks in my memory garden popped into my head.

I also remembered a sermon I heard as a young girl at a family camp in Nashville, Tennessee (I'm pretty sure that's where-I'll have to ask my dad).

Anyway, the man who spoke was a scientist.  He believes that everything around us that absorbs sound will one day be used to replay our words and life story in the presence of God.

The walls of our homes, the trees in the woods, the rocks in the fields.

I think about the sermon from time to time, and I wonder what it will be like if all of these things are one day able to "witness for and against us."

It's almost more than my mind can comprehend.

In the end, I guess it doesn't really matter how God displays His wonder and power.

I just believe He will.

And I do believe it will be like nothing we have ever seen.

For today, what do I do with the thought of the rocks "crying out?"

I think I learn to be even more aware of my words, my actions, my heart...........

Praying that today we can all walk a little closer to the Creator of these rocks.



This morning I was determined to get out of bed at 5 a.m.

I've pushed the snooze button way too many times this week!

It has been so nice having some quiet time again after several mornings in a row of waking up in a rush.

My Bible reading this morning from Joshua and I Chronicles focused on the assignments of land to the various tribes of Israel.

I would never be able to recall the names of all the cities and people who were listed in the chapters I read, but one thing rings clear.

Not everyone was given the same amount of land.

God knew just what every person and people group needed in the Promised Land,

and I wonder if the Psalmist was thinking back to this time in history when he penned these words in Psalm 16:


Psalm 16:5-6

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Through the years I have discovered, through my own choices and those of my friends, that God still has a desire to assign us our portion and our cup......

so that our boundaries fall in pleasant places.

If you know me well, you know that I have struggled through the years to find that "pleasant place" for myself.

I tend to bite off more than I can chew much more often than I say, "I'm sorry, that doesn't fit into my schedule."

I often feel inadequate if I'm not able to be as relaxed, "together," organized, etc., as this friend or that friend.

As I was reading this morning, my eyes caught the life of Caleb.

In Joshua 14, he approaches Joshua and makes a request for land for his people from the tribe of Judah.

Now 85 years old, he reminds Joshua of the events that had happened 45 years earlier when the two of them had spied on Canaan.

He reminds Joshua of the promise God had made to both of them at that time.

In his conversation with Joshua he mentions that he is "as strong now as when Moses sent him on that journey."

He states that he can still travel and fight as well as he could then, and he asks Joshua to give him the land God had promised him.

The Scriptures say that "Joshua blessed Caleb."

It goes on to say that because he wholeheartedly followed the Lord, the land still belongs to the descendants of Caleb and "the land had rest from war."

I'm struck today with Caleb's humility.

Joshua was chosen to take Moses' place.

Joshua led the people into the Promised Land.

Joshua became a leader.

Joshua has a book of the Bible named after himself.

Joshua is who we think of when he hear the words,

"Be strong and courageous."


But today I feel as if God is saying to me personally,

"Look at Caleb."


Caleb, a quiet, passionate believer in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

Caleb, a man who kept his faith, remembered God's promises, and followed God with all of his heart.

Caleb, a man who left a legacy for his family......

A legacy of provision and peace.


What has God promised us?

What does he require of us?


I believe that Caleb lived within his boundaries all of those years as he waited for God's promise to be fulfilled in his own life.

You don't see him trying to step up before his time.

Maybe that is why he was still so strong at the age of 85.........


I love Micah 6:8,

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.

Oh, to live within these boundaries......

Act justly

Love mercy

Walk humbly with God


Today, I'm feeling peace about some decisions I am trying to make.

Looking at life through God's lens and not man's frees me from a lot of guilt.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today, as if the responsibilities of this life are feeling anything but pleasant, try to view your life from God's perspective.

What does He ask of you?

Not near as much as you might think!


Take a deep breath today and know that loving Him is the most important decision you will ever make.

He longs to set your boundaries in pleasant places.


And just as he did in the life of Caleb, He will fulfill His promises "in His time."


If you can't sleep.................
I rise before dawn and cry for help;

I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,

that I may meditate on your promises.

Psalm 119:147-148

It's one of those weeks!!!!!!!

It'll Be Worth It........

I woke up in the middle of the night with all kinds of questions running through my mind about the field trip I have planned for Friday.

The names of people I need to talk to today seemed endless........

Last minute details that seem to be piling up quickly.

I tossed and turned, realizing that going to bed early was being totally defeated by my 3 a.m. restlessness.

I finally fell back to sleep by repeating the verse "Do not worry about anything, but by prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God."

I tried to keep saying, "Thank you, Lord, that we will be able to take over 200 kids on a trip they are so excited about.  Thank you for the opportunity."

The next thing I knew it was morning and my snooze button became my best friend which means I am now running late for school.


I think for the next three days I am going to have to keep repeating, "It will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be worth it...."

Life is kind-of like a journey to a long-awaited field trip!

As I type this, Olivia is getting ready for school and listening to the theme song from "Tangled."

The words "At last I see the light....all at once everything is clear, now that I see you."

Oh, life.

It can become so tangled, can't it??

Finally, finally, the day will arrive...........

The eternal field trip will finally be here!

And all the things we have dealt with here, all the questions, all the difficult moments.....

They will be untangled, washed away, replaced by the sight of Him.

And we will all say, "It was worth it!!!!!!!!!!!" 

At last we'll see the Light. 

Everything will be clear.

Oh, what a day that will be!!

I can't wait to share that eternal field trip with all of you!

If you think of me today, I would be so thankful if you would whisper a little prayer of peace for me as I untangle the last few details of a field trip that is quickly approaching.

I love you all so much!

What "Carry" Means........

Every Friday evening, Carrie cries as we sit with her in Bible study at the jail.

Her mistakes, her addictions, her sins.......they've taken a toll on her life.

Indefinite jail time, an angry son, an uncertain future......just a few of the results of her life choices.

But she cries mostly because she cannot forgive herself.

This past Friday evening as we were ending our time with the girls from her cell, she opened up about her struggle to forgive herself

- tears falling much more freely

-still sitting in the circle of inmates

- none of her inmate friends reaching out to her. ( I think tears are a pretty common site in jail.)

As I looked at her pitiful face, I sensed a nudge to hold her on my lap.

I remember almost shaking my head as if I were crazy for having such a thought, but then I felt it again.  My heart started beating so strongly that I knew I was resisting the Holy Spirit.

So I stood up and said, "Please don't think I'm crazy, but I feel as if I am suppose to hold you on my lap."

There was a chuckle as I took Carrie's hand and brought her over to my lap, but as soon as she sat down, this woman who is in at least her mid-30s, fell onto my shoulder and began weeping so loudly and holding me so tightly that all I could do was rock her back and forth and hold her tightly too.

Abby, one of my friends who was part of our study, gathered all the inmates and ladies from our church around her and began praying the most beautiful prayer.

In the prayer she said something about God carrying all of our burdens.

When I heard her say the word "carry," I couldn't help but think of the significance of Carrie's name.

God wants to carry Carrie.

God wants to carry you.

As we closed our time with these girls, I whispered to Carrie this promise.

Later in the evening after we had met with another cell, the guards came to tell us that someone from the other cell wanted to be saved.

We watched as the door opened and not one but four girls came back to give their lives to Christ!

One of them was Carrie!!

We prayed for the girls and made arrangements to baptize them Sunday night, and as they were leaving Carrie said, "Thank you for holding me so tightly.  I haven't been held like that since my mom held me when I was a little girl."

Last night we went back and ended up baptizing five girls!

Today, my prayer is that you will allow God to carry you.


Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

The Emptiness of "My Words"............

When I started blogging in 2007, I remember thinking "What in the world do I have to say that anyone needs to read?"

As I  sat and pondered my blog name, I felt a sense of unworthiness  even thinking I needed a public place to click away at my keyboard.

But, I knew deep inside that this whole blog thing wasn't really about me.

At the time, it was definitely about Nick and trying to find a place where I could share the highs and lows of his fight with cancer......

But it was also about God and having a place to share what He means to me and how He works in my life and how His Words are what keep me going.

As I thought and thought about "His Words," I began thinking about "My Heart."

My heart wanted to share......

My heart needed an outlet......

But without His Words, I had nothing to say.

Thus began, "My Heart His Words."

Many times I sit down to blog in the morning and thoughts are stirred inside me by something I have read in my quiet time.

Other times, though, I read His Words and even though my heart may be moved, I still feel wordless.

I've been feeling wordless off and on recently.

I'm not sure why.

I wonder if Joshua ever felt wordless in the days following Moses death?

Moses had delivered so many instructions, so many songs, so many blessings to the various tribes of Israel in his last weeks of life, and then he slipped off to Pisgah Peak and died.

I can't imagine being the person to whom everyone turned after they had been led for 40 years by such a great man.

In just a few verses, God tells Joshua "be strong and courageous" multiple times.

I have to believe God sensed fear deep in Joshua's spirit.

I love that God knows exactly what we need to hear and when.

For me, the listening part of my relationship with God often gets overshadowed by the talking part.

I want to be someone who patiently listens for His voice, His message.

Not someone who plows ahead without His guidance.

I'm glad Joshua stayed calm and listened to God in a season of his life when panic could have been the easiest option.

It's not until after God speaks to Joshua that Joshua chooses to open his own mouth and speak to the people.

I want to be like Joshua.

I want to listen first and share later.

I want to trust God for the next word and not try to come up with my own.

Today, if you find yourself wordless in a situation, I think it's okay to just be quiet.

Almost Wordless Wednesday.........

My fingers seemed frozen this morning as I placed them on the keyboard.

A blank screen.

A song from Moses to the Israelites about the power of God in my morning Bible reading.

The Israelites.............

a chosen people so prone to wandering.

Why was it so difficult for them to stay focused on the Lord of Lords when He spoke to Moses through a burning bush and lead all of them with pillars of fire and clouds????

Why did they wander away from Him so often, like sheep without a shepherd, when they had Moses as their leader?

And then I glance down at the Bible next to me, and I realize I'm no different.

I have His Words with me 24/7.

I have His Spirit inside of me continually and yet my mind is wandering.........

to things so insignificant in the scheme of things.

Early duty quickly approaching and Olivia wanting pancakes.

Field trip papers to organize for over 200 students.

A meeting after school to learn more reading strategies.

Laundry in the dryer that needs folded.

And the list goes on and on.

No, I'm no different than the Israelites.

I'm a wandering sheep, longing to be gently pulled back to Him by His loving arms.

So, I take a deep breath and remember, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."

With that knowledge and comfort, I will stand up and go........

I'll warm pancakes from last night's birthday dinner for Maria,

I'll get ready for school.

I'll decide if the laundry can wait until I get home.

I'll smile, because He is with me and He is my everything.

This life is fleeting.

I will remember the words in Moses' song to the Israelites,

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."

That's what I want ultimately....

to grow in wisdom.

Today, as you face the many things that this life throws your way, remember, life is short.

Eternity is forever.

Spend some time today storing up treasures there.........where it matters.

The Promises of Spring!!

If you think about it, every season has spiritual meaning.

Fall use to be my favorite season.........

the orange and yellow leaves, the crisp, cool air.

But anymore, I'm a spring girl!

I love the promise of new life after winter!

I love seeing hope in the branches of what appear to be dead bushes and trees!

Yesterday, I mowed after school, and I had to take a minute to capture a few images of God's promise of life after what appears to be death!  Truthfully, life was always there....we just couldn't see it with our human eyes!  This brings me such comfort when I think of those I love who have left this earth "for now."  They are still alive, and eternal resurrection is coming for us all!spring 2012 1530148

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If you are friends with me on Facebook, you have maybe already seen my biggest gift of spring!

Look what Olivia discovered in our backyard right in the path where Nick would zip back and forth in his electric wheelchair!



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Thankful this morning for the promises of Spring!


'For behold, the winter is past, 
The rain is over and gone. 
'The flowers have already appeared in the land; 
The time has arrived for pruning the vines, 
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. 
'The fig tree has ripened its figs, 
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. 
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, 
And come along!' "
Song 2:11-13 (NASB)


Martha and her husband board a plane today at 2:30, headed back to MD Anderson where Martha will learn the date of her surgery and the treatment plan to follow.

Leaving everything she loves for an indefinite amount of time isn't easy, though, so please keep Martha and John in your prayers.  Spending a little time with her yesterday, trying to do a little something to help her with her packing, and hugging her goodbye, I realized once again what truly matters in this life. 




In the end, that's what we have surrounding us.

Not the stuff we have accumulated,

But the treasures we have stored up

in memories,

in laughter,

in sharing life with those we love and with Him.

Please keep Martha and John in your prayers today. 

I'll let you know her surgery date as soon as they received the details.


The reality of what matters most hit hard yesterday morning when I walked into Sunday school and learned that one of our friends from church had lost their son in the night.

Remember our friends Tracy and Cheri who lost their daughter, Sasha, two years ago in a car accident?

Their only other child, Derek, passed away unexpectedly Saturday night.

Derek  has been an active part of our church as a Sunday school helper with his grandma and as a volunteer at Vacation Bible School every summer for as long as I can remember.

Please pray for Tracy and Cheri and their parents every time they come into your heart and mind.

I am so thankful that God promises in His Word that He is close to the brokenhearted.  Pray that they feel His presence in a powerful way as they walk this extremely difficult road.


I'm feeling the insignificance of daily routines today, longing for the day when our faith will be made sight.


I hope your week is filled with many opportunities to share His love with those around you.


As you walk through today, know you do not walk alone.


I love you all so very much,

A Different Kind of Friday......

I didn't teach yesterday.

I wasn't feeling well, and I knew a day at home would be the best medicine for me.

I had planned to work on lesson plans, grade papers, and rest under a blanket; but I guess my body needed rest more than productivity.

After being up for a little while with Olivia, getting her off to school and doing just a bit of paper sorting, I pulled a blanket up over me on the couch and decided to take a short nap.

Five hours later I woke up, just in time to pick Olivia up from school!

I'll have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I realized I had slept the entire day away; but honestly, I knew it was exactly what my body needed.

Sometimes, productivity equals rest.

I hope you have a productive Saturday - whether you are getting something accomplished on your to-do list or enjoying a quiet day of relaxation!

I love you all,

Happy birthday, Adrienne!

Twenty years ago today, we opened our hearts all the way up to love a new little bundle of joy.

No reservations.

No hesitations.

Our arms were eager to hold her.

Our lips were filled with kisses for her sweet little cheeks,

our precious Adrienne Annabeth Nischan.

We didn't know this gift would only be ours for 6 1/2 weeks, but we did know this:

She was a gift.

I don't think a minute went by in her short little life when she wasn't fully aware of our love for her.

And for that I am thankful today.








Praying you find reasons to be thankful today even if your heart has been broken.

Happy birthday, Adrienne!

We will always be thankful for the gift of YOU!

And one day, one glorious day, we will see you in Heaven, and every one of our tears will be exchanged for songs of joy!

Until then, know you are loved by so many here!

Why "More" Can Be Dangerous.........

"When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.

But that is the time to be careful!

Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey His commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today..........

Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God,

who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

Do not forget that He led you through the great and terrifying wilderness...."

I'll never forget the faces of the children in India.

The huge smiles in the midst of such extreme poverty.

The thankfulness they showed when handed one small piece of candy.

They understood what it means to receive a gift and be grateful.

Sometimes when I see my children or students at school act unappreciative when surrounded by phones, computers, nice clothing, plenty of food,

I am reminded of how easy it is to forget that we are blessed.

When Adrienne died, I remember feeling so very close to God as I walked the road of grief.

And even though I was so brokenhearted, I didn't want that relationship with God to change.

I needed Him to make it through each day.

Somehow, though, as we had more children and I returned to school to finish my degree, I became so caught up in "life" that I believe the closeness I had with God somehow dissipated in the middle of my busyness. I still loved Him. I still served Him. But there wasn't a connection with Him that caused me to lean on Him daily for strength, support, and guidance.

And being thankful wasn't my first thought as He blessed us over and over again as we walked the road of grief.

Since losing Nick, I have realized that the closeness I have felt to God in the wilderness of grief is a closeness that cannot be compared to any other relationship with Him.

Like a pillar of fire or clouds, God's presence is seen in the wilderness.

He truly is "close to the brokenhearted" if we allow Him to be.

But, when things get easier, and we begin to venture out again in what feels like our "own strength,"

I think it is a critical time for us to choose to STAY CLOSE TO GOD!

I don't want to be like the Israelites and forget who has led me through the wilderness of my grief.

The truth is, we NEVER live in our own strength.

God leads us from "strength to strength" according to one of my favorite passages in Psalm.

Today, be thankful for all God has done for you.

Like the children of India, consider every gift from God (even a tiny piece of candy) a blessing worth receiving with thanksgiving.

God loves you.

He is a giver of good gifts.

And, like any parent, He loves to hear the words, "Thanks."

Listen to the song below by clicking on the link if you are searching for a reason to be thankful today:


WOW! Why had I never thought about this before?????

I've always read the story of the Israelites FINALLY reaching the Promised Land and felt so sorry for Moses.

Think about all He had done......

He had stretched himself WAY out of his comfort zone (he didn't even feel like he was a good speaker)......

He had been such a great leader, leading thousands out of Egypt and trusting God to open the Red Sea so they could all cross.....

He had put up with such a whiny, ungrateful group of followers......

He had delivered the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, written with the very finger of God,  to the Israelite  people after spending 40 days on a mountain with no food or water.......

only to find them worshipping a calf made of gold.

But he messed up.

He lost his temper when the Israelites demanded water; and instead of simply telling the rock to give them water like God had told him to do, he struck the rock twice n his rage and then commanded it to give water.

God did not like this disobedience.

I read some theories this morning that explained WHY this was such a significant act of disobedience; and if you have time, you should Google the question, "Why didn't Moses get to enter the Promised Land?"

But for today, I think it is enough to say, "Do what God says..nothing more, nothing less."

Now, here is my point for sharing all of this, and here is what I felt God was revealing to me today from this story:

As Moses and the Israelites approached the Promised Land, and Moses knew the time had come for the people to finally enter it, he begged God to let him enter saying, "Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains."

But Scripture says that God was so angry that He wouldn't listen.  He said, "That's enough, speak of it no more.  But go up to Pisgah Peak and look over the land in every direction.  Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River."

My first thought has always been, "Why was God so hard on Moses?"

But as I read this passage this morning, it occurred to me that God knew something Moses didn't.

God knew that life still wouldn't be easy for the Israelites even though they were in the land that had been promised to them.

They were still on this planet.

They were still in a world mixed up in terrible sin.


God knew what Moses had forgotten!

How often do we cling to promises this world offers -  a better job, a healing from a sickness, a perfect marriage - and forget that our primary focus should be on our eternal destination!?!?

Hebrews 11 commends Moses for his faith.  It doesn't criticize him for his mistakes.  It goes on to say that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and it doesn't mention that Moses isn't there.  So I'm thinking that in spite of God's anger on that day, He had every intention of scooping Moses up and bringing Him Home where he would be experiencing MUCH, MUCH MORE joy than he ever would have in an earthly promised land!!

I love that thought!

I also love that even though God was angry with Moses, He allowed him to climb to a peak where he could see all the land his people would be enjoying.  God knew this was important to Moses, and God knew it would be enough to just "see" the destination to which he had been guiding the Israelites all of those years.

This morning, I am thankful for a merciful God.

Heaven is going to be amazing, and I can't wait to hug Moses and all the other men and women who set such great examples for us and yet messed up from time to time........

They give me hope, and they also help me feel very normal when I deal with earthly struggles.

Today, I hope you will think of Moses when you see water running from a faucet, in a stream, anywhere......

Think of the rock that Moses struck and remember that even though Moses missed out on living in the earthly Promised Land, He is now walking on streets of gold in the eternal Promised Land!

Have a wonderful Tuesday,

Give-Away Winners, Good Morning America, A Special Weekend, and A Reminder

***The winners of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers are Sandy, Charlotte, and Susan Wellman!

Please email your mailing address to me at tammynischan@yahoo.com, and I will get your book in the mail this weekend! Congratulations!

chicken soup caregivers

***I also wanted to let you all know that Joan Lunden, co-author of this particular edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul, will be on Good Morning America this morning sharing in an interview about the book! She has spent many years taking care of her mom, and from what I have heard from the publisher, this particular book is already doing extremely well in presales! It will go on sale tomorrow to the public! Please be praying that many who are facing life each day not just as a family member but as a family caregiver will be encouraged, strengthened, and inspired as the walk a difficult road.

***This weekend has been very special to me and Tim. We had the opportunity to share our testimony together (for the first time ever ) in the morning services at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Standing together as we shared photographs and the story of how God's love has kept us going through the loss of Adrienne and Nick was very significant to both of us. The love of the church was overwhelming to both of us, and the conversations we shared with other grieving parents and grandparents after each service will forever be engraved in my heart. One father, who has lost his only two children-both daughters- to suicide within the last three years, left me in tears. As I hugged him, looked at pictures of his precious girls, and felt the shaking of his body as he wept, I knew that in this life the only way we can survive is with the strength that comes from God above. Please, please, please pray for this man and his wife as they face each new morning of life with so many questions and so much sadness. I know we will be going back to Lexington to spend more time with them, and I cannot wait.

***When we returned home from Lexington, I had about an hour to change clothes and get ready for one ofthe most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of in my entire life. We have started a jail ministry here in our town in the past month thanks to Linda Hoffman and her leadership with Boyd County's jail ministry. We have met with the women in our jail the past two Friday evenings, and the laughter,tears, and stories change me every time I go. On Friday night, one of the girls decided she wanted to be baptized!! We made arrangements with the jail guards and returned last night to share this special occasion with her! When we arrived, we discovered that two girls from one pod and three from the other wanted to be baptized!!!!!!!! I have never in my life actually been the one to baptize someone, and I shared with the girls how much last night meant to me.....the girls, all dressed in orange and looking pitiful yet beautiful, were grinning ear to ear. I wish you could have seen their faces as they went under the water and came back filled with the Holy Spirit. We told them that the Bible only talks of rejoicing in Heaven happening when a sinner comes home, and last night, there was a party in Heaven. One of the inmates said, "Nick is there!" I cannot tell you what this ministry has done for my soul! I love these girls so much! Please pray for them. I know the journeys they face are not easy ones.

***As I was reading this morning in Deuteronomy 2, this verse stopped me,

"For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done.

He has watched your every step through this great wilderness.

During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.'"

I want to end this morning with this thought.

If you find yourself in the wilderness today, maybe life just doesn't make sense or maybe God feels so very far away, KNOW THIS, He is watching your every step. In our darkest days, He is there. Wilderness seasons are so painful. Believe me, I know.

But, never forget, this world is not our home just as the wilderness was not the home God had planned for the Israelites.

We are running a race here...............an often treacherous and painful race.

Yesterday in Ernie's sermon he said, "Victory is not for those who run the race but for those who finish."

My challenge for you today is to lift your head high and know that even in your deepest valleys, GOD IS THERE! Keep running!

Please keep Martha and Charlotte in their prayers as they continue to fight their battles with cancer. Martha has had a fever over the weekend, and I know Charlotte has been through a time recently.

I love you all so much,

"I'm Just ......."

Yesterday at the literacy training I attended in Frankfort, I overheard one of the teachers talking to a literacy consultant as I was walking out of the room.

As she began to ask a question, she said, "I'm just an English teacher.."

The literacy consultant quickly interrupted her and said, "You're not 'just' an English teacher.  Your are an English teacher!"

As I walked on, I thought to myself, "How many times do we find ourselves in chapters in our lives where we are saying, "I'm just a mom, or I'm just a teacher, or I'm just a homemaker, or I'm just something else," as if there is more waiting for us "out there" somewhere to make us more than simply "just something."  I remember when I was subbing, I would often catch myself saying, "I'm just a sub," when honestly I realize the value of a good sub who will keep order in my class, teach a good lesson, and at the same time not scare my students half to death in the process.

I think the devil whispers, "You're 'just' this or that," in our ear frequently so that we will feel as if we have not yet arrived. 

Discontentment lingers when we feel as if we are "just" something.

A sense of being incomplete or inadequate can often loom over everything we do.

I lived a lot of years of my life feeling like I was "just a mom" while many of my friends moved ahead in their careers, but looking back, those were some of the most wonderful years of my life.

If I could say anything to women (and men) around the world, I would say this:

Whatever you find yourself doing today, wherever it might be, do it to the glory of God, FOR GOD, and you are more than "just" anything.

You are a Child of the King, Redeemed, Sealed, Cherished, Adored, Loved, Needed, Cared for, Protected, Sheltered, Saved, and most of all............

Filled with His Spirit.

I'm done with the "I'm just ______" days!

I have a Father in Heaven who  gave His Son for me.

I have a Father in Heaven who promises me that while I walk on this planet, He is preparing a mansion for me in Heaven.

I have a Father who has called me to share His love with others.

And that is enough for me to know to rise above any earthly expectations.

II Cor. 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come

Col. 3:1

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

John 17:15-18

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

Eph. 1:14

Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Phil. 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Unknown Roads.........

I'm heading out this morning on a two-hour journey to a literacy training.

I've been to the town before, but I've never been to this particular building; and from the directions it sounds as if construction may make the parking area tricky to find.

I get a little nervous when I'm heading out all by myself to unknown places.

Tim helps me get the GPS set up, and he always shows me a picture of where I'm going on a map; but there's still a level of anxiety that comes over me even when I feel as if I have a fairly good idea of where I'm heading.

Life is so much like an unknown journey, isn't it?

We have a Guide, but there's still so many times when we get a little nervous about what is coming up around the next "unknown bend" in the road.

After Adrienne died, I remember cleaning the house one morning while listening to one of those Sunday morning TV shows that was a Christian music performance by various singers.

One of the songs was about a painful road with rocks that hurt the feet of the person on it; but then the song had these words, "I know I must be traveling right.  I remember passing Calvary."

I just loved that song.

I taped it and would sing along over and over again while crying.

Today, I'm praying that no matter how difficult and painful the road might be that you are on at this time that you have passed Calvary along the way.

Calvary-the place where Jesus paid the price, conquered death, and gave us Hope.

Hope-that this journey will all be made right when we cross into the Promised Land.

I love you all.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

The LORD is my light and my salvation -

so why should I be afraid?

The Lord is my fortress, protecting

me from danger, so why should I


Psalm 27:1


When I started doing updates on all of our kids, I had every intention of getting a few new pictures of Todd to share in his post; then one thing happened after another and the next thing I knew, several weeks had passed, and I had not yet written his  update. 

This morning, I decided to write his update using pictures I already have. Smile

Todd entered our lives in 1993 just a year and a half after the loss of our daughter Adrienne to SIDS.  His grin lit up our lives. 

I know that in many ways, I treated him with an extra-protective spirit because of the fear I had of losing another child.  Our pediatrician placed Todd on an apnea monitor for the first year of his life, and I constantly found myself checking on him to make sure he was okay...not wanting to relive the horror of 1992. 

Somehow Todd rose above my anxiety and grew into a funny, resilient kid who developed a sense of humor that made several of my friends say, "He will be the next Mark Lowry (a Christian comedian)."

I wish I could say that just being a toddler in a home with grieving parents was the extent of Todd's not-so-normal journey into adulthood; however, Todd is our son who I think suffered the greatest personal impact from watching Nick fight cancer and then be taken Home much sooner than we ever dreamed possible.

Todd and Nick were the best of buddies; and honestly, when Nick passed away, Todd lost his best friend.









My heart aches when I think of the what life could be like for Todd now if things hadn't gone they way they had; but I have to believe that somehow God will redeem and is already redeeming Todd's pain.

I see this redemption when I realize how sensitive Todd is to the pain of others.

Just last night he popped in from college to share with me all about a group called "Invisible Children," who were on campus raising awareness for kids in Uganda.

Todd has a passion for the hurting.

I love to think about all the plans God has for Todd. He is an amazing young man.

I wish I could figure out a way to show Todd just how proud we are of him and how much we love him.

I know that living with parents in grief for so many years has not been easy.  We have tried to walk the road of grief delicately so that our surviving children would not feel abandoned by our pain.  This has not always been an easy journey.

For today, I just wanted to share a few pictures of Todd and let you know that he is having a life-changing first year of college; and that at this time, he is feeling called into ministry of some kind.  We pray for Todd and our other kids daily, asking God to work in their lives in such powerful ways that they know FOR SURE He is with them and that He has a special plan for each of them.

I'm thankful today for a son just like Todd. Smile

And I know Nick is proud of him as he cheers him on from Heaven!


Train a child in the way he should go,

   and when he is old he will not turn

from it.

Proverbs 22:6




evan home 038137


Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Needing Answers?

I don't know about you, but I reach moments in my life where I need guidance.

Moses reached a point in the wilderness when he became frightened of the unknown terrain ahead and listen to what happened,


One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite,

"We are on our way to the place the LORD promised us, for he said, 'I will give it to you.'

Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!"

But Hobab replied, "No, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family."

"Please don't leave us," Moses pleaded. "You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide.

As I was reading this passage this morning, I thought, "How in the world did Moses become this unsure of where to camp next when he was following a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night.  If I had that kind-of guidance, I can't imagine every worrying about where God wants me to go next."

But then, I read on to Numbers 23 and realized that I am not that much different than Moses. 

I often turn to people for advice and counsel.

I want someone to speak out loud the Words I really should be waiting to hear from God.

So as I read in Numbers 23 about Balaam being in enemy territory and needing to know what God's desires were, and how he chose to do what I believe God longs for all of us to do,

I realized that even if I had a pillar of clouds and fire, I would probably still be just like Moses...

looking to "people" rather to God for my direction.

Listen to what Balaam did when he needed words from God,

So Balaam went alone to the top of a bare hill, 

and God met him there.

Numbers 23:3b-4a

Maybe you are finding yourself today at a crossroads, much like me, longing for a Post-it Note from Heaven,

wanting to make the choice God wants you to make.

Longing to please Him and not man.

If so, do what Balaam did.

Find a place where you can be alone with God and listen.

That's what I'm going to do.

No more turning to man for direction.

I need to hear God's thoughts, not man's.

And who knows His thoughts?

His Spirit.

And where is His Spirit? 
It's living in me and in you if you have accepted His Son as your Savior.

So, today, I'm turning in and listening.

Trusting that He will lead me in the path that He desires.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?

In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

I Cor. 2:11

Praying today for all who are dealing with the devastation of the weekend.

Praying for Martha as she recovers from her last chemo and prepares to head back to Houston for surgery in about a week and a half.

Praying for Amber who is recovering in Columbus Children's Hospital from a very long and serious illness.

Praying for Charlotte who continues her fight with leukemia and is doing very well considering all she has been through!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Angel Knew Where to Reach.......

This weekend has been filled with such tragedy across our nation.

I am so sorry for not writing sooner.

Just 40 miles from where we live, the small town of West Liberty is dealing with incredible pain and loss.

We were involved with some small efforts to help them Friday evening, but the road of ahead of them is one that is going to require the help of so many.

I have felt at a loss for words since Friday.

I read this morning of the death of the toddler from Indiana who was found in a field ten miles from her home after a tornado immediately took the rest of her family's lives.

This little girl's name was Angel.

As I was reading the story of her death


I was struck by these words from her grandmother.

"We were all around the bed, I had my hand on the side of her, and I reached for her hand, and was holding her hand,"

the grandmother said.  "I don't know what made me let go, but she put her arms straight up, she was daddy's little girl. 

So daddy picked her up and took her.  The whole room seen that.  He was just like, standing in front of her.  She wanted to go with daddy."

While my heart breaks for the grandma and for so many others who are dealing with terrible losses today, I can't help feeling happy for this little Angel.

She is healed.

She is Home.

I also find great significance in her name and in her actions (the lifting of her arms to Heaven) as she left this earth.

As humans, with eternity set in our hearts, death does not make sense.

We feel the pain.

We sense the loss.

We see the tragedy.

We question the reason for such horrible things.

I don't think God is surprised by our questions.

I do think He longs for us to remember that Jesus holds the keys of death.

The grave has no more power.

He covers us, even in these dark times, with His all-surpassing love.

During the tornado warnings Friday evening, I was sitting in a jail cell with women who are questioning their life choices.

The things they have done do not make sense to me or to their family members, and yet I know God still loves them.

The freedom they long for in an earthly sense is available to them spiritually even as they sit imprisoned for their mistakes.

My prayer is that they will choose to reach up for help instead of out to things like addictions and other strongholds.

As I think back over the weekend, I realize there are so many people filled with questions today.

Filled with sorrow.

Some are rummaging through the remainders of their possessions,

trying to find peace in the midst of great loss.

Some are sitting in bondage as a result of their sins.

All our wondering where to reach for help.

I guess the reason for our sadness isn't the issue today.

What matters is where we turn in our turmoil..

to whom do we reach out?

I woke up this morning to this view from my deck.

From every angle, life was peaceful and covered in a blanket of snow.

march 2012 snow 001

march 2012 snow 004

march 2012 snow 007

march 2012 snow 009

march 2012 snow 010

Today, I am praying that a spiritual blanket of peace covers so many who are hurting.

The pain of this world can only be lessened by the Presence of Him who is the Prince of Peace.

Thankful for His covering today.

Praying all will reach where Angel reached......

UP to a Heavenly Father who offers healing, hope, and peace.

I love you all so much,


Happy Friday!
I'll write tonight, but I just had to say, "Happy Friday!!"

I love you,

The Power of Being Still........

Isaac went out into the fields to


and when he looked up, behold,

the camels were already coming.

Genesis 24:63

I am so thankful this verse is in the Bible.

You know what it says to me?

It says, "God is working BEFORE I choose to be still."

And then...........

when I finally settle down..........

His plans play out around me., not because of me, but because of Him.

Isaac didn't do anything to set in motion the arrival of the camels.

He just became quiet enough to notice them appearing on the horizon.

What's heading your way that you might miss if you are not quiet?

Praying your day is filled with unexpected camels,



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