Friday, August 29, 2014

What I learned this summer, hopefully.

Prompted by Lori Harris over at I'm going to give you a few things that I THINK I've learned.  Sometimes the lessons don't take and I have to learn them all over again :-)

1.  You CAN find a kindred spirit right here in blog-a-sphere.

2.  A summer with low humidity is so much easier to tolerate than the opposite.  I know this because normally southeastern Nebraska is humid, though we seldom say you can cut it with a knife.  This summer was so much drier in the air that I could handle even the 90's without complaint.  (Right now the humidity is heavy and my lungs seem to struggle to get oxygen out the the wetness.)

3.  God's precious Word is alive.  True, I already knew this, but it has been so very alive again this summer.

4.  A "God bless you" from the other room from the lips of a near 2 year old is so very precious after a sneeze.

5.  I do not like clutter.  My daughters may scoff at that because I seem to always have clutter.  And its EVERY where!  But it's getting on my nerves lately.  Too much stuff or too little house?  The first I'm sure.

6.  Being artistic requires a certain amount of clutter.  I know, I don't like it, but I find that my artsy Ggirl, aka photographer, works best when she can lay out a few supplies and really get down and dirty with her art.  (See the T-shirt she made above.)

7.  When the word gets out that you are a prayer warrior, satan tries to rob you of your time.  It took me awhile to accept that one of my spiritual gifts is prayer.  Its so not me!  In my "closet" with no one around, alone, oh, except for God.  But now that I love being one, communing with God alone, just He and I, I get a little covetous of my prayer time.  (Where do my mornings go?)

8.  God cares for the girls being sold, often by their parents, into a life of sex slavery.  I praise Him for rescuing over 6,000 girls through the work of Tiny Hands International.  (Check us out at )

9.  For me, memorizing a psalm is harder than the whole book of Philippians was!

Psalm 139:1-2
for the choir master, a psalm of David
Thou hast searched me and known me.
Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up;
Thou dost understand my thought from afar.

I love that last line.  It fits in so well with my prayer life.

So much for the what I learned this summer.  It was not too busy here in Huskerville.  Just the right mixture of sun, water, family and church.  And the weather was AW-some!

How was your summer?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

apples of gold

It probably only took a few minutes.

You thought about it off and on, then finally sat down and wrote it.

You chose a card (it was so perfect).  You picked up a pen.

Maybe you took a few moments to gather your thoughts.  Then again, maybe it was just there in your heart, each word lined up, ready to be written.

You wrote.  You penned.  You scrawled.

Then you folded it.  Tucked it into an envelope.  Addressed it quickly because other things were calling.

You stamped it.  And, if you are like me, you placed it in your mailbox and raised that flag that calls the mailman to stop at your box. probably didn't think much else about it.

I know the steps.  I've done them hundreds, maybe thousands, of times in my life.

But the effect at this end, the giver becoming the receiver, well, I'm not sure you understand.

Your words reminded me of this:

"Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken (written) in right circumstances" (Proverbs 25:11).

I'm not sure I truly understand that saying.  But I've seen some artsy depictions of it.  And let me tell you, they are B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L!!

And that is what your kind words mean to me.

Perhaps I DID do something to merit your thoughts.  I'm not sure, maybe.

But I think that God did something through me that touched you and thus you responded in my heart-language.  Snail mail.  (Love it!)

All I know is that the day before my mailman dropped those cards in my box, I had told God I was weary.  Or was it frustrated?  Lost maybe?  Not sure that I was doing what He wanted me to be doing at this stage in my story.  So why bother.

I'll admit it, I was low.  (Stinkin' thinkin'!!)

I battle with depression.  Unfortunately, or not, it IS a symptom of being a creative person.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps I need the deep down blues in order to be motivated to write.  All I know is that statistically artists and writers (even actors and musicians) struggle with depression.

I haven't been really down, you know that down-downness where even brushing my teeth seems futile, I've not been there for many years.

But I've been on the edge, finding my feet beginning to slip down that slippery slope of stinkin' thinkin'.

I was there just the other day. I could see the ground beginning to teeter.

So I cried out to my Father in Heaven, the One who, even though He is the Creator of all things, still lifts me to His lap and bends His ear down to hear my whispers.

I love the LORD, because He hears 
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:1-2

And what was His response?

He, in His omnipresent way, saw me those days before I was slipping.  He saw me on Monday, and He knew exactly what I needed.

So He moved in your heart, whispered in your ear, "Write that note to her!  She needs it."

And you heard.  And you heeded.

And all I can say is...what an awesome God we both serve.

(I am a prayer warrior by God's gifting.  And with it I've used my writing gift to encourage others with snail mail.  I encourage you to take that minute or too and just write a simple note to that woman that God has been nudging you about.  Just write "I prayed for you today."  I can tell you it will make her day AND glorify God in the giving.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

His Plans

This is an open letter to a friend who is in a transition time in her life.  She's feeling a little down and lonely and "unused" by God.  As I began to write to her I thought that maybe there are others of you out there who are also going through a sabbatical time and could use these thoughts on the subject.

Dear sister-in-Christ,

I heard what you were saying last night at our study, how you are feeling kind of left-out because you are not preparing for youth ministry this year, and I wanted to encourage you if I could.

So I was praying and trying to find just the perfect edifying words from The Word that would encourage you in this season of your life, but I just kept coming back to the old familiar words of Jeremiah 29:11.

I know you know them too.  "'For I know the plans that I have for you (dear friend),' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'"

Familiar words.

Fresh thoughts (I hope).

I looked up the key words and this is what I found.

welfare is the Hebrew word shalom.  Yes that word.  Meaning peace.  I had never connected this verse to receiving His peace before.  I like that.

calamity literally means "friend, friend of the king".  Strange thought.  This did not seem quite right, but then I see it is often translated "adversary."  Better.

Adversary.  Someone who tries to undermine my faith, to pull me down, to work against me.  How thankful I am that God's plans for me are not to tear at me, burdening me to go where I do not want to go.

future literally means "after part; end."  So God's plan will take me right up to the end.  To that moment when I breath my last gasp and wake in His arms.

Can you see what I see here?  That we are to view God's plans for us as bringing us peace, the absence of fret and worry, that they are not adversarial making us pull back, but they will see us through to the end (He'll never leave us!)

hope means "expectation".

We should be at peace with all seasons knowing that God has a plan for us that is peace-filled, not heavy-laden, expecting the best from Him right up until the end.

And in this spirit, His Spirit, I am praying for you.

I totally understand the transitional times, how they can seem lonely and empty.

I urge you to spend more time drawing closer to our Lord in prayer and in meditation on His Word.  For I have found these down times to be times when He is trying to break through my striving, my serving, my doing to get closer to me.

Sometimes He needs to wipe my slate clean so He can begin writing the "rest of the story," as Paul Harvey always said.  The rest of His-story through me.  Through you.

Be of good courage, dear sister.  He is not through with you yet.  This is merely a pause in the action.

For HE knows the plans He has for you.  Plans that you can stake your life on, that you can hope in.  He is still moving you toward the end of those plans.  And He is still walking with you, even now.

On bended knee, Peggy