Death is Not Final

IMG-4424Today as I stood at the foot of the graves of both of my parents, it felt surreal.  For the past almost 6 years, my dad has stood there with me, looking down on the grave of my mom, his wife of 52 years.

As I stood there alone today, he lay next to her, finally with her again. I took comfort in that.

As you can tell from the headstone, he’s been there for a little over 4 months.

But today they put the date of death on the pink marble stone he picked for her, though she had told him that she wanted it match her parents, who lay to her right.

His name and birth date have been there for almost 6 years.

The vase where flowers would be has been there, too.

But today, they stamped into stone the day he left this world.

Marked for all to see that he was no longer with us.

It just made things too “official”.  Too real.

I know where he is today.  I know he is with Jesus, worshipping our Savior Face to face.

No more tears, dying or pain there.

There, not here.

Here, there are still tears.

Here, there are still people dying.

Here, there is still pain.

But the real comfort is that Jesus is here, too.

No, we can’t see Him like my parents can right now.

But we can see evidence of His presence and His love for us.

We cling to His promise that He will come back one day to get all believers and take us home.

Oh, what a day that will be……….



My own Silent Night


My Christmas Eve / morning picture is not like everyone else’s.
My Silent Night means no more monitor alarms blaring and Daddy resting peacefully.
My view isn’t a Christmas tree with presents, but a sleeping dad and nurses’ stocking hung from the nurses station.
Thanking God Daddy was not more seriously hurt and praising Him for my own Silent Night.

That’s enough, God!

In the past 2 weeks, I have an uncle, an aunt and a cousin who have all passed away; two of them today.

This leads me to plead, “That’s enough, God!  No more!”

that's enough.pngThen, as usual, God calms my wounded spirit and reminds me where they all are right now.

My uncle is once again with his wife, parents and other loved ones and friends who have gone before worshipping their Lord and Savior in His very presence.

My aunt is once again with her husband, parents, siblings and loved ones who were waiting for her to join them as they worship Jesus face to face.

A cousin, who on this earth, lived with a devastating condition, is now running, jumping, and singing praises to her Savior!

This makes me rethink my initial statement.


I was wrong.


its never enough


It’s never enough until all my family is worshiping God face to face.

It’s never enough until every one has heard of His gift of salvation.

It’s never enough until God calls me home.


The pain of losing someone is bearable knowing that I will see them all again.

precious in the sight


Letting God clean up our Messes

It’s amazing how God uses our difficulties to teach us things.  I experienced this yet again a little over a year ago and wrote about it.  Just now posting……

April 2018-  My house has recently been inundated with cats- a momma cat who had kittens.


I should preface this to say that I’m not a cat person, but most of my family is, so I’m having to deal.  We have them inside while the kittens are small and until we can have momma cat fixed.


Since they are inside I am experiencing litter boxes for the first time.

I have gotten most of my cat information from online and I read that the box needs to be emptied about every week and the litter changed out.  

Saturday it had been a little over a week, so it was time for the big change.

We have a larger size litter box so the cat won’t make such a mess by scattering the litter everywhere.  I thought this was really smart until I went to empty it.


I took it outside so the dust wouldn’t get everywhere.  I thought, I’ll just empty it into a trash bag and toss it in the big garbage can outside and be done.

Carefully I  worked half the litter box into the trash bag on the ground,  lifted the box and it smoothly dumped all the litter into the bag.  

Easy peasy! I thought this won’t be so bad….

I should really learn that when that thought comes to mind I should be extra careful because things are about to go wrong.

I started to pick up the trash bag and take it the 2-3 steps to the big garbage can to throw it away when I realized how heavy kitty litter actually can be.  

I picked up the bag easy enough, but lifting it over the half fence to put it in the garbage can was proving to be a little harder. I got it to the top of the fence.


Ok, I thought, almost there. The bag was sitting on the ledge of the fence, but was spilling through the cracks and on the other side of the fence. I attempted to pick up one section and it created  a hole in the bag, causing a stream of litter to cascade to the ground.


I said, “No, no ,no,no” like the bag was going to hear me and stop splitting open. I quickly covered the hole with my hand and stopped the flow of litter. This is when I knew I might be in trouble.

While covering the hole with one hand, I picked up the bag and pushed another overflowing side up and over the top of the fence.  This created another, bigger hole in the bag, causing another stream of litter to cascade to the ground.

I clapped my other hand over that hole, stopping the flow of litter, but now I was out of hands.


This is the point where Lucy would be screaming for Ethel. 

The door to the house was closed and the only person downstairs had headphones on and could not of heard me if I yelled. I thought about texting someone inside, but I couldn’t let go of the bag or I would lose more litter and make a bigger mess.

So I just stood there,


leaning on the fence,

holding a bursting trash bag of used kitty litter with two hands,

attempting to not make a bigger mess.


As I stood there contemplating what I could do, I thought, the only option is to just let go and put the bag back on the ground and scoop it  inside another bag to stop the holes from leaking and support the rest of the bag so it would not break.

Moving it to the ground meant letting go and making a little mess so I could avoid a bigger mess.

Resigning myself to the mess that was about to be made, I took my hands off the of the holes and dropped the bag to the ground.

More litter did fall out, but once the bag was on the ground, it stopped.

I proceeded to get the torn bag into a new one and eventually got it in the big garbage can. I then cleaned up the mess that was made, washed out the kitty litter box and was drying it off when a family member stepped outside and asked if I needed help.


I swallowed the urge to go off on that unsuspecting person and just said, “For future reference, use two garbage bags to empty the litter box.  

It wasn’t until later that day that I felt God metaphorically tap me on the  shoulder.


“Remember this afternoon when you were trying to take care of the litter box all by yourself and you got stuck.  One hole, then two holes opening up and litter began pouring out? Did you think about how much easier it would have been if you had asked someone for help before you started?”

I truly felt like He said, “Can you see where I’m going with this?” and laughed.

Our lives can be like that. We try to handle a big problem on our own and things can start to fall apart.  Holes can come up in our lives where things start spilling out and we end up with a mess. The more we try to fix it ourselves, the bigger mess we can make.  When that happens and we see no way out, we have to lay it at the feet of Jesus and let Him help us through.

When I finally laid the torn bag down on the ground, the mess stopped. 

 When I laid the second, perfect bag, with no holes, on the ground to envelop the bag with holes to help get it to the trash can, it was a picture of  laying our problems down, our messes, at the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to take our mess and clean it up.  

He will envelop us, wrap His arms around us and our mess  and He can help us through them.

Yes there might still be a mess from where we tried to do it ourselves, but God can give us the patience we need to clean it up and make it through.

Holy Spirit in Me

Proverbs 4:23,” Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

As I was reading my Jesus Always this morning, a particular sentence stood out to me.

“Since you belong to Me, My own Life flows through you!”

This is like one of those things that you’ve heard preached all your life, but then one day, it hits home with your heart.

That was me this morning.

As I thought about my day, my family, my struggles, it was if God leaned down and whispered in my ear,” Don’t forget, you have My Power flowing through you.  I’ve got you.  Let me be what comes out of you today.”

Wow. Just wow.  What more can I add?  Let God be what comes out of you today.

time lapse photography of lake
Photo by Rachel Baskin Photography on


A drop of water

Who would have thought that I could hear from God while I brushed my teeth before bed?

closeup on young woman brushing teeth

Sometimes it’s the little things  that make the most impact.

As I brushed my teeth, I looked down in the sink and saw a small piece of straw from who knows where in the sink.  I tried to kind of splash it away down the sink.  When I did, I noticed that it got caught in a drop of water.


At that point I could no longer splash it away by itself.  It was so attached to the water droplet that it  could only be moved if the droplet moved.

To accomplish that, it took more water.


Ok, you are saying how in the world can a piece of straw and a drop of water teach a lesson?

Here’s what God reminded me of that night.

When we are stuck in a situation, sometimes it is hard see a way out of it.  It may feel like there is no solution or way to change what we are experiencing. I know for me, my first reaction is to try to change it myself.  I will rack my brain to try to come up with a way or a plan to make happen what I want to happen, or what I think needs to happen.

That is when, on more than one occasion, I tend to cement my feet to the floor.  But in doing this I am limited in my movement.  It also seems that when I do this, God is orchestrating it to where nothing I do or try seems to get the desired result.

Then when I am at the end of my rope from trying to figure it out on my own….


Along comes God.

Like the water droplet in the bathroom sink, He comes along, attaches Himself to me (or so it seems.  He’s been there all along) and moves me in the direction He has for me to go.  I have to let go,  un-cement my feet and be willing to be moved.  Once I allow God to pick me up, it is so much easier to be moved.

It is also hard to remove the straw from the water droplet once it becomes attached.  Even if you do separate it, the straw is wet from being attached to the water.

And if the straw stays attached to the water for a long time, it becomes soft and pliable as it soaks in the water.

So it is with God.  The more time we spend attached to him, being surrounded by His presence, the more we look like or feel like Him.  We get wet with His presence.  The longer we stay in His presence, the easier it is for Him to mold us and take us where He has for us to go.

I pray I get good and wet with His presence.



My own kind of Christmas.

As I scroll through my Facebook feed and see everyone’s Christmas time pictures, I struggle with feeling like my Christmas won’t measure up.

I don’t have a bunch of siblings and nieces and nephews that all get together and take pictures.

I don’t plan on cooking a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings surrounded by a table full of relatives.

We don’t have a bunch of presents under our tree to be opened.

All of this can make one feel lacking.

Until I realize what I do have.

I have a family that loves me. A husband and 2 adult children who love me and will be here for the holidays.

A wonderful sister and her husband who I will see later today.

I have a dad nearby with whom I will be blessed to spend the next few days with.

I have a wonderful bunch of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, who I will miss seeing this Christmas.

I have an awesome family-in-love who, even though I will not see this season, I’m so blessed to be part of their family for over 30 years.

I have a mom, dad-in-law, aunts and uncles, and all my grandparents who will be spending this Christmas with my Savior.

And above all- most importantly- I have a Savior- Jesus Christ- who makes this season possible- who is the Reason for this season.

I am blessed.

Merry Christmas!