iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “God”

Who Needs to Hear This?


You are a precious child of God. He loves you. He supports you with His righteous right hand. “You shall not fear”, and its variations, are written in His Word 365 times. Each day of the year there is no room for fear.

When you feel weak or not good enough for a task before you, simply whisper “Jesus come near me and help me with this task”. He will help you.

Do not let the reactions or thoughts of others sway your beliefs you have in your heart. You may be the voice of the Spirit when someone else needs to know the truth.

Never stop planting seeds. The Lord will bring the “Son” and the “rain” in due time if the seeds you planted are ready to grow.

You are loved. Be love.

You are shown kindness. Be kind.

You are held gently. Be gentle.

Shalom and Love,

The Trinity

The Coffee Bean


Follow me to the fragrance section at the department store. There we will smell a variety of florals, some soapy scents, and some woodsy scents. After a few sniffs, we will need to pick up a little jar of coffee beans and sniff them too to clear our sense of smell in order to keep on testing the aromas. As we continue to go through the plethora of scents, not all of them are pleasing. We sniff the coffee beans intermittently as we make our way down to the end of the fragrance counter.

There are scents we are drawn to and could smell all day and there are some scents that make our nose hairs recoil. Usually the offensive scents are the ones hardest to forget for some reason. This makes us thankful for the coffee bean.

Life is like the fragrance section at the department store. We encounter people, places, and things in which we would love to be in the midst of forever. For me, my husband and our cats, family, cousins, friends, and work associates (past and present) come to mind quickly when I think of people. Places include memories of my family cottage while growing up, my current home, the church building on Sunday, and silent directed retreats that I attend at least once a year. As for things, I love my Bible and currently the internet game, Wordle. My sewing machines are very important to me and my sanity as well.

Life is like the fragrance section at the department store full of the things that are too strong and unpleasant to the senses. Top of the list for me is the violence and vulgarity in movies. Our society has become desensitized to such violence and filth and I choose not to watch such things or encourage them either. My heart breaks for the kids that are confused about their gender. God created us in His image and in the Bible it states that He created male and female and said it was good. I believe satan is the father of lies and he is running loose encouraging confusion, family division, and hatred, all of which top the news cycle every day.

I bring the fragrances of life to God and thank him for the pleasantries. I also lay at his feet my grief and concern for the state of the world; all the things that are too strong and unpleasant. God responds, “Follow me and let me be your coffee bean.”

My faith hits the reset button, and I can continue on.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25

Let Go of Control


I was as inconspicuous as I could be considering I was in the middle of the pond in a paddle boat.

Read more…

The Potter


Do you remember art class in grade school? The teacher placed a ball of clay in front of you and said, “Today we are going to let our imaginations open up to the possibilities of this clay. You are going to mold it into whatever you wish.”

Warming the clay in your hands brought it to life. Kneading and folding, kneading and folding, the clay is more pliable. So you pinched off a piece, rolled it between the palms of your hands and voila! A worm! After having pinched another piece off, a tiny pearl appears along with another and another and another until your strand of pearls turns into a caterpillar. Another hunk is pinched off and you rolled into a ball in the palm of your hands then transfered it to your left hand so your right thumb could press in the center to form a bowl. The ideas just kept flowing.

You looked over to see what your classmate made from their allotment of clay and saw that they created a bigger bowl than yours and they used their rolled worms to adorn their bowl. You looked down at your creations, you began to think of ways to change up the caterpillar and you took a cutting tool and engraved little lines on its back. You pinched off a piece of clay and started to adorn your bowl with little square shapes and triangles. The first worms you rolled out have since been kneaded back into the ball of clay to allow your imagination to take new shape.

The possibilities are endless and all in your control because you are the creator.

This creation process is very much like Creator God. He molded us in our mother’s womb and does not stop shaping us all throughout our lifetime. Pieces come off and stay off and new pieces are added. God knows when we need adjusting and tweaking, whether it is mentally, physically, or spiritually. His fingerprints are on us all. We are his beautiful creation.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:5-6

Flaws and All


I saw a quote from Augusten Burroughs on Facebook today that read, “I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

Around the time I first met my husband, I had a cold sore on my lip. I started getting them one summer from too much sun a few years prior to meeting him. It is hard to flirt with someone when you have a very noticeable defect oozing out of your bottom lip. Trying not to make a big deal of how awkward I felt as we made small talk, I simply pointed to my lip and said, “I’m human” and cut the conversation shorter than I would have liked.

Have you ever been around people that seem to have a too perfect of life? I am not one to verbally judge, but I do have some questions in my mind when I come across this type of person. I most wonder how much energy they expend to keep up a spotless facade? When they get home behind closed doors, do they deflate like a used balloon? Does a woman take a bobby pin out of her sleek hairdo and it poofs out all messy like in a cartoon? I just wonder.

I am attracted to people that are flawed and can admit it. Don’t puff up like a beautiful peacock only to have that be a costume? Be yourself. Be real. We will have more in common with others if we can drop our facades. God intended the human race to live the good life. He made Adam and Eve flawless in the garden until that one day they ate from the forbidden tree. That was the moment humans became flawed, but God did not give up on us.

As we close out day two of Lent, let us remember that we are all flawed and it is okay. Jesus, our Savior, was human and he understands us more than we understand ourselves. Remember, he looks at our hearts and knows our intentions and he still loves us.

Show me your flaws and I will surely show you mine.

2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

MARCH 2, 2022


Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a solemn day in which I take my Christian faith seriously and begin the next 40 days on a journey to the cross of my Savior Jesus Christ knowing that the cross is not the end. I observe fasting ingrained from my Catholic upbringing and tie it in with a Lenten Grace group devotional from my practicing Protestant tradition.

Today also marks the third anniversary of my mother’s entrance to heaven.

I started this blog in 2010 after my father passed away in 2009. Writing helps me sort out all the thoughts that tornado in my mind and gives you, the reader, a peek at how I incorporate God in the whirlwind.

I wrote many blogs on grief (Late Night Visitor series) after my mother’s passing. It was a healthy way for me to voice the pain of loss. I acknowledged the elephant in the room of my mind and gave it space even though it was very hard. But it was definitely healing.

I think of my parents daily as they were such big influences in my life. After helping to care for each of them at the end of their lives, I remain a little empty and lost. When my mom passed away, I paced around my house not knowing what to do with myself since she was a big part of my day for the three years prior to her passing.

As we read in the Bible, the disciples of Jesus were lost and confused after Jesus’s death on the cross. In fact, they hid in fear that they were next. But the three years they spent with Jesus on his journey to the cross gave them the directions they needed for their life ahead. God gave them His strength for their calling to grow His kingdom.

My parents worked hard to give my family a good life. I know my mother would be shaking her head at me if she saw me shed a tear for her today. She and my dad raised me in the Christian faith, and I know death is not the end. She is face to face with Jesus and all her family and friends that went before her. So mom, the tears I shed today are because I miss your physical presence. I miss the wonderful aromas filtering through the house from your days of cooking and baking. I miss talking to you each night and I miss how you kept our family traditions. I am so thankful God gave me you as a mother.

Today I will have ashes placed on my forehead as remembrance that I am from dust and to dust I shall go. I will begin the journey on the road to the cross with Jesus knowing that death has no victory. I will shed a tear or two in remembrance of my mother and then God will give me His strength to keep going to grow His kingdom.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

Just a Glimpse


I have something in common with a pregnant woman and an ultrasound. Read on to find out.

Most expectant mothers look forward to their ultrasound appointment. Valuable information is processed during this exam. Depending on the timing and type of ultrasound (2-D, 3-D, or 4-D) the doctor can evaluate size, weight and health of the unborn baby. They can also tell if there are multiple babies in the womb. The mother leaves the appointment with her baby’s first picture. What a treasure to be able to get a sneak peek of the contents of the womb. Gender is identified if it presents itself. Some like to keep it a secret and be surprised at the birth while others give the information to a loved one who plans a gender reveal party.

The ultrasound is a glimpse of what is to come.

So where do I fit in?

I recently had foot surgery. I am home from work for a couple of weeks and unable to drive. I have not been outside the house for more than a week and my only interaction with people is either through phone calls, email, FaceTime, text messages, or Facebook. The one person I see daily is my husband.

A while ago, I subscribed to the United States Postal Service (USPS) informed delivery service. This service is like an ultrasound of my mailbox. Each morning I get an email showing me images of the mail I am to expect waiting for me in my mailbox. I have seen cards addressed to me, and often who they are from, but I do not know how big the envelope is or the contents inside the envelope. I can only see that someone was thinking of me. I can choose to not open the email in the morning so I can be surprised when I open the mailbox and have my own personal mailbox reveal party.

Getting a peek into the unknown is rather exciting. I am cherishing the sentiments from friends just as much as a mother-to-be holds onto the first picture of their unborn baby/babies.

John 1:1 The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Was it Just a Dream?


Last Tuesday night, or sometime into Wednesday morning, I had a dream. I was standing in a space. There was nothing special about this space, but I remember standing there with people I did not know. I asked one person next to me, “What are we doing here?”

“Waiting for someone”, was the reply.

“Who?” I inquired.

“Oh, you will know them when you see them” was the casual response.

“Are you sure?” I questioned.

“Yes, I am sure” they said.

I stood in my place; I had no urgency to leave and I was curious to know for whom we waited.

The group of people around me once casually standing started to move back and out of the way as someone was coming through the crowd. When I saw the person, I exclaimed, “Jesus!”

Although excited, I felt a great amount of peace at seeing Jesus. He had long brown hair, dark eyes, and wore a white robe with some brown lines or something on it. He was not glowing as I imagined He could be, and the more I think about it, the whole dream seemed a bit muted from color.

The person in the crowd was correct. I knew Him when I saw Him.

When Jesus and I locked eyes, my only question was, “Can I have a hug?”

He opened His arms toward me and He hugged me.

I used to think I would be nervous meeting Jesus, but in my dream He was peaceful. All I wanted was a hug and he obliged. I woke up and felt His peace.

50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 7:50 NRSV

Like Peeling an Onion


Today is Father’s Day. I can say the simple phrase that many people can voice with me, “I miss my dad.” But this phrase packs a lot within and it really is not a simple phrase. Sort of like peeling an onion, there is so much more to the phrase.

Let me peel about my dad.

Outer layer, I miss my dad; he’s been in heaven since 2009. He worked hard at his job and he worked hard caring for his wife and kids. He loved my mom and that is the most important example he could share with all five of his children. Mom and dad bickered a lot but they were both perfectionists who would approach a process differently but always end up with the same outcome. I don’t think they ever went to bed angry at each other. Another valuable life lesson from both of them. Sadly, my first marriage was nothing like theirs and it fell apart quickly. Dad stood by me through that difficult time; never judging, but always supporting me.

The second layer, he loved his kids. He never belittled us. His conversations with us were always positive words and he was lovingly stern so we would turn out to be respectful adults. My siblings and I are high-functioning people. He was always goofing around with us too. He’d be in the back yard with my brothers and me as we played basketball. He had a famous “hook shot” which I picked up and made as my famous shot when I play basketball with my nephews. The hook shot is a lifesaver when we play a game of Horse.

The next layer includes the grandkids of which he was blessed with many thanks to one sister and one brother. He went by the name “Gramps” and it still sticks when we talk about him. He loved each grandchild and treated them so kindly. He used to slip bingo winnings into the hands of my niece and nephew when they lived with my parents for a short time. He put up a small basketball hoop on the side of the garage much lower than normal because my nephew used to play basketball like the big kids. And, he was really good for such a little guy. Of the great-grandkids he got to meet, he showered the exact same love, but his health was failing and he could not do as much with them. However, his love was evident. Always giving of himself.

In the next layer I remember a back-and-forth conversation with the neighbor kid, you know, the one where you say, “My dad could beat up your dad”. Thinking back to the other dad, yes, I bet my dad could have whooped him, but in truth, my dad was friends with everyone. I never saw him fight, nor did I hear him bad-mouth anyone. In fact, I was invited many times to run errands with him and in the course of each trip, he would talk with everyone he met as he seemed to know at least one person at each errand. I commented to him that everyone likes him. He assured me that was not true, and in my youth I did not comprehend that we cannot be liked by everyone, but he didn’t explain it. I had to learn that lesson on my own. Not everyone was his friend, but he treated everyone equally with kindness. What a beautiful life-lesson and I am thankful for the invite to go on errands.

The next layer, he was a devoted son. His dad was a watchmaker and when he needed parts, my dad would have to walk, after school, to get what he needed, bring it back home and head out to baseball practice or a game. My grandma would make dinner and leave him a plate and even though it was late he always cleaned up after himself. I clearly remember him jumping up from our dinner table to begin doing the dishes after a meal my mom cooked for the family. Dad was aware of what was important to others and a clean kitchen was important to my mom.

Getting deeper into the onion, my dad thought he felt called to be a Priest. Obviously that did not pan out as I am here today blogging about him. But his Catholic faith was important to him; my parents saw to it that we all attended Catholic school. Those years have planted Holy Spirit seeds in my heart and the love for the Trinity has sprouted within me.

He also was a very good baseball player; a pitcher actually. He tried out for the Detroit Tigers one time, but realized that his shoulder was not built for the majors. Instead he coached my brothers’ little league teams.

Can we talk aim for a second? That man had an eye for a straight line whether it was baseball, horseshoes, basketball, or those, heaven-forbid, pointy lawn jarts. He had an aim that kept him a winner much of the time.

At the core of my dad, he loved. He loved his country and it was evident when he quit school at the age of 17 to join the Navy during WWII. I regret not remembering much about his stories of his Navy days but I am fortunate to be the holder of his photo album from that period in his life. He was a handsome Sailor. At the conclusion of his church funeral, the Honor Guard performed a service of their own for their fallen comrade. They removed the flag that covered his casket, folded it and presented it to my mom. Someone snapped the most precious photo of that flag transfer and the look on my mom’s face was priceless. She was proud of my dad and was honored to hold his flag. The bugler began playing taps and that is where we all shed some heavy tears.

Truly cutting into an onion gets the eyes to water; thinking about my dad has the same effect. I miss my dad.

Magnificat of a Precious Child of God


A Magnificat is a canticle used in Christian liturgy, especially at vespers and evensong, the text being the hymn of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:46–55). I wrote this Magnificat while on silent retreat in March 2021.

All praise and honor to my Creator, my Savior, and my Protector!
When I feel alone, I am comforted to know that the Holy Spirit prays with me.
When I am silenced by suffering, I am grateful that the Holy Spirit prays through me.
When I feel helpless, I am strengthened by knowing that Jesus, who resides with the Father, is praying for me.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

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