Yes, Jesus loves you!

I’d like to tell you about the times I’ve experienced Jesus’ presence.  These were times when I was scared and felt alone or bereft by grief. 

The first time I am truly aware of experiencing Jesus’ presence in a very extraordinary way was when I was 27.  I was single and on staff with Cru.  I was on a break before heading back to my assignment and staying at my parents.  I had gone to see my eye doctor.  He looked into my eyes, called an eye surgeon, and within the hour, I was being seen by an eye surgeon.

I knew there was something wrong with my eye, but I didn’t know what.  The eye surgeon, looked into my eyes, told me I had a detached retina, swore, then walked out of the room.  I was alone in the room, and so scared.  I didn’t know what would happen next.  Suddenly, I felt Jesus’ presence by my side.  I didn’t see Jesus, but He was there.  I was flooded by peace and strength.  Jesus said, “You’re going to be all right.  Your eye will be all right.”  I didn’t hear this in an audible voice, but it was so clear, I might as well have heard it that way.

Then the eye surgeon came back and told me that he was sending me to another eye surgeon.  He told me I would probably lose sight in my eye, maybe both eyes.   However, since experiencing Jesus presence, I was no longer afraid; I was calm and reassured.

I went down to the Detroit area, and had eye surgery done by a kind doctor.  He was encouraging and told me we were going to get the eye taken care of right away.   He did an amazing job, and I have almost 20/30 vision restored in that eye. 

 Every year when I go to my current eye doctor, he makes a comment about how astounding it is that I can see as well as I can out of that eye.   Jesus has healed blind people many times, and I think Jesus prevented me from going blind.  He bestowed his grace and mercy upon me.

 I have also experienced Jesus’ presence, when I’ve gone through labor and delivery.  Every single time, I have been apprehensive, (as most moms will tell you—each time is different, so you kind of know what to expect, but at the same time you don’t.) But the first time, the first time, I was terrified.  I don’t know why childbirth preparation classes show videos of other women giving birth, screaming at their husbands, in utter agony.   These videos do not help the fear factor of birth.  They just make it worse.  I kept praying over and over again, “God if you can make labor better for me than those women, I saw give birth, I would really appreciate it.”

Of course, I was not alone.  My husband was with me, and my sister, who is a labor and delivery nurse, was with me.  What comfort I drew from them!  My sister had already had 3 of her children and was 6 and 1/2 months pregnant with her fourth when she came to help me.

  I think my sister’s presence was equally helpful to both my husband and I.  She had been through this herself and as a nurse, and we drew on her experience and knowledge.  However, there was a point where my courage was flagging and at that exact point, I experienced Jesus presence once again.   I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through labor and delivery as calmly as I did, without Jesus giving me His strength.

When I was in labor with Sean, (my third child), I experienced Jesus’ presence again.  It was a particularly grueling and painful labor.  I wanted to scream and yell and give up, and Jesus showed up.  He got me through.  He gave me courage when I had none left.

  In the past 6 ½ years since Sean has been gone, I have experienced Jesus’ presence so many, many times.  Usually it is when I am in the depths of grief and I think I can’t bear any more pain, that I experience Jesus by my side.  Often, He will comfort me with words of love and reminders that He is with me. Often, He is silent and listens to my grief.  He brings me His strength. 

For a long while, when our family would go to church, every worship service, we would be standing in the back row of church, crying during the service.  During those times, I would experience Jesus standing with us, throwing His mantle over us.  

It’s funny—something that hardly ever happened—experiencing Jesus’ Presence– is something that occurs rather regularly now.  Scripture is true, “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted.”

I hope when you are at your lowest points and you’re scared and alone, that you experience Jesus’ presence and intervention in your life—that you experience God’s grace and mercy and His miraculous blessings of life.   If you do, you will find what I have, God shows up for us — because He is such a great God and His grace and mercy are limitless; His love is unconditional.  Jesus cares for us. “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

I know when someone shares their God stories with me, I can be tempted to compare myself to them and come out on the losing side of the comparison. I did not share these stories for that reason. I know Jesus did not show up for me, because I’m all that great. Jesus showed up because He is love. He is love to me and He is love to you. He simply loves us. If sharing my story, can help anyone know in a more tangible way–“Yes, Jesus loves me”–then I’m happy to share my story. I’m happy to encourage us to know that Jesus is real, and Jesus does love us. 🙂 So Be Encouraged. 🙂

The Silent Scream

The Silent Scream

There are times in my life where I just want to scream.  I want to pick something up and throw it against the wall.  It happens unexpectedly—and it is usually related to pain.  The pain of grief.

And….the anger of grief.

I can be going about my day, doing some menial task–like sorting socks–and I will come across one of Sean’s old socks.  The loss of Sean hits me.  It just hits me out of nowhere.  This blinding pain.  And then comes this rage.  And I want to throw something. 

Inside my head, I scream.  I call it the silent scream.

Sometimes, I come across a photo that I don’t usually see of Sean, (we have photos all around the house of Sean, and I’m used to seeing them–they don’t surprise me or hurt me anymore), but sometimes, I’ll unexpectedly see a photo of him—and it is like a hit in the stomach, and inside my head, I silently scream.

It’s funny—I’ve heard about the five stages of grief, as though once you’re through a stage, you are done with it.  That hasn’t been my experience.  Grief still has the power to knock me down.  Grief still has the power to elicit anger inside of me.  A pure instinctive reaction—-that says, “no, this can’t be my reality.  This beloved son of mine, can’t be gone.”  And when I have to acknowledge once again that he is gone, I just want to wail and scream.

Why am I writing this?  Well, I suppose because I want other people who are in pain, to know they aren’t alone.

After Sean died, I would try to find blogs or pieces written by others who had lost a child.  It helped me to have someone to identify with.  However, after awhile, the ones I read–they didn’t talk about the pain anymore.  Perhaps they thought they needed to put on a brave face and go on.  

However, the people who didn’t deny the pain, who would refer to it—those were the people I appreciated.  They are the ones who helped me the most.

I think our society is uncomfortable with pain.  I think we are uncomfortable with suffering.  I think we like to deny its existence and pretend it is not there.  It is too big for us.  It is too hopeless for us.

It is NOT too big for God.  It is NOT too hopeless for God.   This is what I have found—over, and over and over again.   God is with me in the pain.  God is with me in the suffering.  

Here’s what I wish for each of you reading this—that in your pain and in your suffering—that you would experience the reality that God is with you as well.  And I pray that in that reality–we would experience God in a way we never would have otherwise.  

May We Be Encouraged!!

Carry On!

When my boys were young, I read them a book called, “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.”  The book is a fictionalized account of Nathaniel Bowditch’s life.  Why am I writing about this book?  Because the message of the book is “Don’t give up, even when your dreams don’t appear to be coming true—keep pressing on.”

Nathaniel Bowditch did live, and he accomplished great things and overcame great obstacles.  He was born in 1773, 2 years before the American Revolution began.   He lived in Salem, Massachusetts.  He was a mathematical genius, and when he was young his dream was to go to Harvard to study.  However, his family had many financial problems so instead, he had to stop formal schooling at the age of 10, and when he was 12, he became an indentured servant, for 9 years–until he was 21 years old.  He lost his sweet mother, and beloved younger sister when he was young.

 However, with each adversity, Nathaniel–”Carried On.”   He kept studying,  He taught himself Latin, French and Spanish.  He would read familiar verses from the English Bible–like John 1: 1–”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. and then read that verse in the language he was studying like Spanish, “En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.” and in this way–he could figure out the language.

 He pursued knowledge.  When he finished his indentureship, he worked on ships, doing navigation, and he taught the crews how to navigate.  He ended up writing a book on navigation called: “The New American Practical Navigator”,  that is still used today and carried on every U.S. Commissioned Naval Vessel.

Nathaniel was one of seven children, and he dearly loved his family, but he would lose most of his siblings.  His  precious first wife died after only several months of marriage. 

Again, Nathaniel persisted and did not give up, or give in to despair.

 He remarried and had 6 sons and 2 daughters.

He was awarded two different honorary degrees from Harvard, and was asked to take a faculty position there as the chair of the Mathematics Department.  It is thought that he turned it down, because by this time he owned his own company, and would have taken a great step back financially.

Isn’t that a great story!  I love stories like Nathaniel’s–I call them transformational stories.  They offer me hope.  They encourage me to keep going, to keep fixing my eyes on Jesus, to keep running my race.  Hebrews 12:1,2

2 Tim 2:3  says, “Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”  Then the scriptures go on and compare us to an athlete and a hard working farmer.

In life we suffer.  Soldiers suffer,  Athletes suffer.  Farmers suffer.  They do not give up, they keep going.  If they want to win the battle–they keep going.  If they want to win the race–they keep going.  If they want to bring in the harvest–they keep going.

I think that Nathaniel Bowditch kept going because God gave him strength to do so.  

I know that I keep going because God gives me the strength to do so.

God will give us the strength to keep going.  That does not mean it will be easy.  It won’t.  Life involves suffering.  It’s good to look at that fact squarely.  Anyone who tells you differently, is selling you something. (I think I heard this line in the “Princess Bride”, but it is a good line and a true one. 🙂)   God does not tell us, we will not suffer.  In fact:  Jesus Christ says, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but take courage, for I have overcome this world.”  John 16:33   Jesus has overcome this world, and so shall we!!

So, let us be encouraged and let us–“Carry On”!

Continue the Celebration

We have just celebrated Easter—and I heard a song that sent shivers through me, (a good thing), as it was so beautiful, and such a great song for this Easter Season.  It’s called:

My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust.


I am not skilled to understand

What God has willed, what God has planned

I only know at his right hand

Stands one who is my Savior

I take him at His word and deed

Christ died to save me: this I read

And in my heart I find a need

Of Him to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high

And for sinful man to die

You count it strange, so once did I

Before I knew my Savior

My Savior Loves, my Savior Lives

My Savior’s always there for me

My God; He was, my God; He is

My God; is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying: let me bring

My Strength, my solace from this spring

That He who lives to be my King

Once died to be my Savior

My Savior Loves, my Savior Lives

My Savior’s always there for me

My God; He was, my God; He is

My God; is always gonna be

Without further ado:

My Savior My God (Lyric Video)

Irrefutable Evidence

Have you ever thought—I’d like to have faith—I’d like to believe—but bridging the gap between my mind and belief is too far of a gap.

Fortunately, God has provided irrefutable evidence to bridge that gap.   The real issue is—being open to that evidence.

At the bottom of this post are two videos that give evidence that can help bridge the gap, between your intellect and your belief. The first one is only two minutes long and deals with evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The second one is 30 minutes long and gives evidence for fulfilled prophesies. The third video is a favorite song of mine, especially meaninful at Easter time.

These videos are for every seeker, who wants to find the truth.  They are for every skeptic, who sometimes wonders if there could be proof.   These videos for every believer, who wants support for that belief, and encouragement in that belief.

With Easter coming this Sunday, you owe it to yourself to take some time and be amazed at what God has done.   Watching even one of these videos could literally change your life for all of eternity!!

 May we be encouraged!!

These videos are for every seeker, who wants to find the truth.  These are for every skeptic, who sometimes wonders if there could be proof.   These videos are for eve=====ry believer, who wants support for that belief, and encouragement in the belieWith Easter coming this Sunday, you owe it to yourself to take some time and be amazed at what God has done.   Watching even one of these videos could literally change your life for all of eter

Proof of God

Why did Jesus have to die?

“Why did Jesus have to die, in order to save us from our sins”.  I have asked this question to a number of people over the years and many people have no idea why.  I mean think about it, why couldn’t Jesus have made some cookies, or run a marathon to pay off our sin debt—why did He have to die?

Recently, I had a conversation with a woman, and I asked her this very question.  She also had no idea why Jesus had to die.   I showed her the verse in Romans —-”For the wages of sin is death….” (Romans 6:23)  I told her that each of us has earned a death penalty for our sins–a spiritual separation from God—and that death penalty has to be paid with death.

Think of it this way, if I got a ticket for $200 for speeding, I couldn’t pay for that ticket with a batch of cookies –I would have to pay for the ticket with $200.

When I was a young woman in my twenties, I went with some friends to New York City.  I parked, by mistake, in a no parking zone, and the car was towed.  We had to ride the subway to where it was towed, and pool our money together to pay the toll,   While we were standing in line, we talked with some others, and explained to them—that this is what Jesus did for us—He paid what we owed—but the stakes were far higher—He sacrificed His own life—to save all of our lives.   He paid all of our tolls—so to speak.

For Christ died for sins, once for all…”  (1 Peter 3:18)  Our Death penalties had to be paid for with Death—if we choose to pay our own penalties–we will be in a state of death, (spiritual separation from God), forever.  

However, Jesus was able to pay for all of our sins–with His One Death—because Jesus is God–come in human flesh—-so with His One Death—He could pay for an unlimited amount of death penalties.

That is why the rest of that verse reads, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

So how does one avail themselves of this free gift of eternal life?   By faith.

“By grace you have been saved through faith…..” Ephesians 2:8    Faith is the ability to take God at His Word.

   Faith says, “Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins, Jesus.  Thank you for forgiving me.   I accept Your great gift.  I accept a relationship with You.  I ask You to come into my life, and make me the person You created me to be.”

It’s as simple as that.     Jesus has sacrificed to save us—and this is what we celebrate this week—that our Lord and God, (in the words of the Apostle Thomas–John 20:28), died for us and then rose from the dead.  He has power over life and death.   

This is good, good news!!

So, let us be encouraged!!

The Prodigal Child

I love the story in the Bible of the prodigal son.  It shows a loving and forgiving father.  It shows a son returning to the father.  This is a story that gives hope to so many parents who have their own prodigal child situation.  Some parents have children who are estranged from them.  Some parents have children who have walked away from God.  Some parents have children who have gotten involved in drugs and/or alcohol.  That is why I’m sharing this video of a woman named Lin as she tells us her own Prodigal Son story.

The son, named Chad, was estranged from his parents for 20 years.  He was involved with drugs, was homeless, and went to jail for a period of time.   He was filled with anger and bitterness towards his parents and would not speak to them at all.

The mother, Lin, talks about how God kept giving her encouragement during that time.  She prayed for her son faithfully.  Romans 8: 28 and Philippians 1:6  were two of the verses that she claimed when she prayed for her son.   

“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, and to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

.”For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Lin claimed these verses because she knew her son had made a decision for Christ when he was young. She believed that God would complete the work began in him, and that God would use everything, bad and good, for good in her son’s life. Her son did come back to the Lord, and to the family, answering so many prayers on his behalf.

In closing the video, Lin encourages other parents by saying that God loves our prodigal children more than we do.  She tells us we can be confident that God is going to do a good work, and bring it to completion.  Now that’s “Good News”!!

So—Let’s Be Encouraged!!

Today is Gonna be a Good day**

When my daughter was 7, she made me a sign, that says, “Today is a gonna be a good day.”  She made me this sign a year after I lost my son, Sean James.

I have that sign propped up on the table beside my bed.

“ TODAY is gonna be a GOOD DAY!!” 

What a thought to open my eyes to, when some days I don’t want to open my eyes.

 During the winter months, when the dark, gray days permeate my spirit, I see this sign: 

“Today is gonna be a good day.” 

I find it a little easier to hang on through the winter.

 This week, the sun has been shining, and snow has been melting, and I am thinking about that sign:

“TODAY is gonna be a GOOD DAY!!”

I can smell spring in the air—the birds are coming back.  The weather is warmer—not warm—but not freezing.

My spirits are rising.  Hope is in the air.  New Life is in the air.

“TODAY is gonna be a GOOD DAY!!”

I have the same problems.  My trials have not gone away.  But somehow, my burdens seem a little lighter.  It is easier to put those things I have no control over, in the Father’s Hands.  It is easier to put the things I think I have control over in the Father’s Hands.

Spring is coming!!  New life will overcome death and decay!! 



Line from this song: The Winter Storms make way for Spring.


**This blog was first published 2 years ago–but it so perfectly reflects my thoughts during this time of year, that I thought I would publish it again. 🙂

Moment By Moment

There are times in my life when I’ve experienced huge miracles, but my response to those miracles has been a trifle lukewarm.  For instance–whenever I’ve been pregnant–I’ve been aware that a tremendous miracle was taking place inside of me.  A child was literally being formed and grown inside of me.  (I used to love to read those books that showed what was happening month by month–and then there was the ultrasound–where my husband and I could actually see our little one moving inside me.)  

However, I usually had terrible morning sickness, (that lasted all day long), and sometimes I thought I was so sick, I could actually die.  (Yes–I might be a trifle melodramatic).  I did not “feel” like a miracle was happening inside of me—I felt miserable.

This past month, I have been aware of another miracle happening.  God is healing my body.  I am doing all the things the doctors are telling us to do, but they are amazed with how fast my body is healing.  One of my doctors even did a little shout, and hand fist, when looking at my progress.

However, I have been battling the same kind of malaise as I did when I was pregnant.  I haven’t been able to “do” much.  

That is difficult.  I often confuse my value and significance with what I do, instead of who I am.  I often confuse who I am with how I feel.    If I “feel” sick, or tired or discouraged—I also feel out of touch with the Lord.  It is hard to focus on Him.  It is difficult to connect with Him.

Even though He is connecting with me, even though He is doing a miracle within me.

Every time I go through one of these times, where I am sick, or incapacitated —  I struggle with my value, and my worth.  I struggle with malaise—not quite depression–but the same kind of sinking that depression brings.  (After I had my third son, I struggled with depression–so this malaise wasn’t/isn’t that.)

So what do I do?  Honestly, I don’t have a lot of energy to remind myself of God’s truths–of how He says I am valuable, and significant in Him.  Or of how He says I am loved and I belong in Him. Yet, God uses these times to remind me, : It’s not what I can “do” for Him but what He has done for me–that brings me all of the afore mentioned blessings.”

Sometimes I think, when I go through these down times, when I am so very weak–this is when I most experience the strength of God. This is when I see how much He carries me step by step. He stays with me, moment by moment, He has not and will never leave me. He holds all of His children, and will never leave any of us.

God continues to work His miracles—for He is and ever will be a wondrous, faithful and loving Father.

May We Be Encouraged!!


It’s been awhile since my last blog.  I’ve been recuperating from my health crisis, but I think I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m really looking forward to doing all the “things” I’m used to doing.

However, In the meantime, I’ve been reading some inspiring books, and watching videos about decluttering and organizing.  (I’m going to put a link in this blog with one that helped me figure out my organizational style–and now I’m raring to put my knowledge into action.) Click here to go to video.

Also, I’m going to share a blog I’ve written called, “Spring Cleaning”.   This is the time of year, I’m thinking about and attempting to dive into some “Spring Cleaning”.  I have not been able to do that yet–but someday soon–it is going to happen!!

Without further ado—   Spring Cleaning!!

PUBLISHED ON April 27, 2022

This is the time of year for Spring Cleaning—cleaning out closets, and cupboards, giving away what others can use, and throwing away what no one can use, organizing and cleaning what remains.   

I don’t really like Spring Cleaning.  It is not my “milieu”—my area of strength.

I feel like God has been doing some Spring Cleaning, in my “house.”   Lately, I have been through some circumstances that have reminded me of other painful times in my life.  Times of conflicts with others, times I felt vulnerable and exposed and rejected.

Usually, when I am reminded of these times, I feel the same feelings of anger and a desire for the offending party to experience justice.   This time, God has said, “I want you to look at this situation, really look–and I want you to forgive this person.  Forgive them from your heart.  Now, I want you to Thank Me, for this — whatever it is.    

In the words of Ney Bailey, “We become bitter to the degree that we do not give thanks.”  Or in the words of scripture, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, and no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled.”  Hebrews 12:15

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Th 5:18

God commands us to give thanks to Him, in everything!!  He tells us this, for our benefit–to get our eyes off the storm, and onto Him–our Protector in the midst of the storms.

When I was giving thanks to God for these difficult things–I did not feel thankful, I will probably never “feel” thankful.  I thanked Him because I am seeking to obey Him, despite my feelings.  I am seeking to live a life of faith–of obeying what God tells me, in spite of my feelings.

For a long time, I have let my feelings dictate my forgiveness of others.  But as I said in my last post, Embracing Joy, I am determined to forgive others who have wronged me, and to seek forgiveness from others whom I have wronged.

I also seek to thank God for these situations—as doing so digs out the roots of bitterness in my life, roots I did not even realize were taking hold of my heart and my life, until God began doing some Spring Cleaning in my life.

I think God has been desiring to do this Spring Cleaning in my life, for a long time, but I have been putting this off for a long time–just as I put off the Spring Cleaning in my home, because I don’t like it.  However, I love the end result of Spring Cleaning.  I love finding things in my closet.  I love finding things in my house.  I love a good, cleaned and organized, visually beautiful home.

We are God’s temple.  He lives inside of each of us.  When we allow Him to give us a “Spring Cleaning”, we really reflect Him.  We reflect His love and forgiveness for others.  We reflect His eternal priorities and perspectives.  We reflect His generosity and grace.   We shine–because He is shining through us.

I encourage all of us, to take some time with the Lord and allow Him to point out the areas where only He can go, to sweep out the cobwebs, and shine all the lights–to get rid of the roots of bitterness–and wash away the sins of unforgiveness.    It may be painful at first, but afterwards–”it yields the peaceful fruit of His righteousness.”  Hebrews 12:11  

Jesus wants to do some Spring Cleaning–and He is really good at it!!  He is just waiting for us to give Him the keys to our homes.  

May We Be Encouraged!!