A Place Called Home

Sometimes life can seem random, like there is no rhyme or reason to what happens or when things happen.  I’d like to share memories that still help me when I think of them, to know that I am not alone, that I am loved, and that there is more to life, than just what we see.

What I am about to share next will seem like the opposite of what I just shared—but read on, and you will see what I mean.

My dad had a stroke 5 years before he died; it left my dad without the power of speech.   I remember my son Sean told me that he missed hearing his Papa’s voice, and he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to remember what his Papa’s voice sounded like. (Sean didn’t have to be afraid of that—4 years after my dad died, Sean passed.  Sean is hearing his Papa’s voice in heaven.)

Not quite 3 years before my dad died, my youngest child was born.  She was my parents’ youngest grandchild.   When our sweetness was just over 2 years old, we went to visit my parents.  My sweet girl was a busy, busy, busy, 2-year-old, never sitting down, always moving.  On this visit, she climbed up into her Papa’s lap, and stayed there hugging him, for the next 45 minutes.   At the time, I was stupefied as to what was happening.   The next day, my dad had another massive stroke, and spent the next 6 months in the hospital until he died.

I still cry when I remember our precious little girl, crawling up into my dad’s lap and hugging him.  It was the last hug between them.  How did this tiny little girl know this would be the last time, she would be with her Papa?  How did she know to embrace him and the moment?

  I have many questions like that:  How do birds know to fly south for the winter?  How do bears know to hibernate in the winter.  Yes—I know the scientific explanation, but someone had to design the birds to have those homing instincts, and someone had to design bears’ bodies to go into hibernation.

Scripture tells us that God takes care of the birds of the air, and we are worth much more to God.  God loves us; He cares for us.  He has prepared a place for us. 

Every time, I go to a funeral, and see the body, I am reminded once again, that our bodies house our spirits.  When the spirit is gone, the person is gone, even though the body remains.

Sometimes—life seems random, like a big cosmic accident, and then sometimes—something happens—and it reminds us that we are not alone, that we are loved, and that there is a place we are all heading towards—a place I call home.   May we be encouraged!!


I am uploading all of my 8mm video tapes onto my computer.  I have been going thru old memories, revisiting precious moments of my life.  My kids have gathered round to watch certain moments of their lives–birthday parties, special Christmases.

I’m hoping to share these moments with my family and friends.

It’s amazing what technology we now have, and the ability to share memories with each other.

When I was young, my uncle used to take movies of us–and he put them on a Reel TO Reel.  I’m not even sure where the movies are now–perhaps they are lost in the ravages of time.

Much of our history gets lost to the ravages of time.  I remember my chemistry teacher telling me that if things are not taken care of they will decay at a very fast rate.  They will still decay, even if they are taken care of–just at a slower rate.

When I was a young bride, my husband’s family took a trip to Canada to visit family.  As part of our trip, we went to an old town that my husband’s grandfather had lived in growing up–except no one lived there anymore, and the town had reverted to dust.  There were a few stone foundations left standing–but the town and its structures had literally disappeared.  It was very eerie.  

What is my point?  My point is that everything eventually will decay and disappear.   

This is a really good reminder for me.  I can tend to think–”oh–having this experience will fill me up, or—if I had financial security–I’d really be happy, I could have lots of beautiful things in my home, and I could throw beautiful parties and give lovely gifts—and then I’d be really, really happy.  Then I’d be loved”  

The truth is—God is the only One who can fill me up.  My security is in Him.  I am already loved by Him.  All the other things–they are gifts from Him–that He may choose to give or not give to me–but they are not Him.  When I start thinking others things can fill me–be it people or things—I have made them idols in my life.  

Ultimately–the “things” will not last.   But God–He is eternal, and He has given me and you and all of us– eternal souls.   We will last beyond the ravages of time.   Therefore what we choose to invest our lives in–should last beyond the ravages of time as well.  

God has the answers for each of us—but those answers will be centered on love—love as He defines it–not as we define it.   1 Corinthians 13:1-8   All of this is really great news—for God is able to satisfy each of our heart’s desires.  He has placed eternity in our hearts–and  saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

May We Be Encouraged!!

Gratitude for the win!!

This past Christmas, I received a Digital Picture Frame as a gift.  I have it set up on my kitchen counter, and while I’m doing dishes, I see pictures of my loved ones.  I see pictures of the moments of our lives.

I’ve been told that people who keep gratitude journals or make a conscious effort to focus on their blessings in life—-are happier, healthier people.  There is scientific evidence that keeping a gratitude journal helps addicts stay sober, and actually changes lives.

Looking at the pictures that come across the Digital Frame, is a visual reminder of all the many, many blessings in my life–all the many, many moments I am grateful to have experienced–all the many, many people I have been blessed with in my life.  

I find that scripture supports this idea of focus and transformation:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  Philippians 4:8

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

.….let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…..Hebrews 12:1,2

We are transformed by renewing our mind.  We renew our minds by fixing them on Jesus. Jesus is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise.  Jesus is the literal Word of God and is God.  John 1

  As we are transformed we act differently–we show what God’s will is to the world.  God’s will is for us to love Him, and to love each other.  Jesus as God in human flesh, showed us what this love looks like.

It’s not hard to understand—it’s just impossible to do–in our own strength.  That’s why Jesus sent us the Helper–the Holy Spirit.   It starts with fixing our eyes on the One who loves us and gave up His life for us.  It starts and ends with Jesus.  I guess that’s why He is called the Alpha and Omega–the beginning and the End.

May We Be Encouraged!!

Happy Mother’s Day–Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom!!

I am thankful I still have my mother on this earth.  She has been dealing with serious health issues for the past few years, and recently received some great reports!!  All who love her, are so very grateful! During the past few years, my mom has faced her crises with grace and kindness.  She has been unfailingly thankful for every small blessing.

My mom has been a blessing to me, and the rest of her family and her many friends.  She has been a prayer warrior, praying for so, so many, including me and mine.

God has given me a wonderful Mom. I am so thankful!!

I love you Mom!!!  

The following is a tribute I wrote to my mom a few years ago for Mother’s Day:

My mom is a beautiful Irish-looking girl.  Her parents were very young when they married—17 years old.  My mother was their second child and daughter, (they eventually had 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy.)  She was born in 1938, not long before World War II started.   Her father left to go serve in the military, and she, her sister and mother lived with her father’s parents.

My mom and her siblings

My mother says that those early years of living with her grandparents shaped the kind of person she wanted to be when she grew up.   Her grandmother was very hard working and cheerful.  She had a baking day, and a laundry day, and a cleaning day.  They lived on a large farm and had field hands that had to be fed.  Her grandmother cooked massive meals for them.

Mom and her older sister
Mom and her grandfather–Pa

My mother wanted to be just like her grandmother, cheerful, hardworking, baking and cooking for a crowd.

Dad and Mom when they were “courting”, sitting on her parent’s front porch.

She got her wish.  She married my father, and they proceeded to have 6 children.  My mother was cheerful, hardworking, and she cooked and baked like she was feeding farmhands, which is probably not far from how we ate.

Mom and Dad–Mom just gave birth to her third child and is not feeling the best, so is not wearing her usual smile.

Mom with my two oldest siblings, pregnant with her third child. She would have her first five children in four years!

In so many ways, my mother was the consummate homemaker, mother, wife, hostess and just plan—wonderful person.   She has persevered through life with a smile. She has known the loss of many loved ones, including her husband and her grandchild, (my son), her niece and nephew, two of her siblings, her parents, grandparents, many loved friends and extended family. Almost everyone in the picture below has entered into eternity, including the little boy –my Aunt Gaye’s son. My mother stood by her sister’s side, as my Aunt Gaye lost her husband, son and daughter within a six month period of time.

My mother hosted the holiday meal for her family, while being very pregnant with my youngest sibling!

My mother has shown me the wisdom of just doing the next right thing that there is to do. She has shown me what it looks like to depend on God, in times of weakness.

My Mom and Dad with all six of their children

My mother is a person of great faith.  She has an awe of the Almighty and a humbleness that displays that she knows who she is, because she knows who He is.

She is also a little dynamo!!  Her energy never seems to flag, and her smile is a constant garment she wears.

Mom and Dad with their children and grandchildren surrounding them.

What I love most about my mother, is her laugh.  It is infectious, and joy filled, and my mother laughs often.  My mom seems to take joy and sprinkle it wherever she walks and wherever she is.  Her very name means “Joy”.

She has graced her family and friends with that joy for more than 81 years.

Mom holding one of her great grandchildren–my granddaughter. 🙂

So, Mom—This Mother’s Day—I want to wish you a Joy Filled Day!!   I love you Mom!!

Chris August–Starry Night

image: Starry Nights by Van Gogh

Lyrics to Starry Night by Chris August

From the birds that sing
In the tallest trees
To the human life
Of you and me
From the desert sands
To the place we stand
He is God of all
He is everything

Given my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night
That was his design
Given my life to the only son
Who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring
Cause he is everything
He is everything

From the autumn leaves
That will ride the breeze
To the faith it takes
To pray and sing
From the painted sky
To my plank filled eye
He is God of all he is everything

Given my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night
That was his design
Given my life to the only son
Who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring
Cause he is everything

Hallelujah hallelujah
I believe
Hallelujah hallelujah
I believe

Given my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
On that starry night
He changed my life
Given it all to the only son who gave me hope when I had none
So let the praises ring
He is everything

Given my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night
That was his design
Given my life to the only son
Who was and is and yet to come
Let the angles sing
He is heavenly
So let the praises ring
He is everything

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!!