Monthly Archives: January 2017

What Unites Us

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I woke up with just a few lyrics (“tonight’s the night”) playing in my head.  I tried looking it up, but I knew the Rod Stewart song was definitely not what was stuck in my head.  I knew the song had something to do with a city, so I added that to my search and found Toby Mac’s song “City on Our Knees”.  After listening to the song and reading the lyrics, I still wasn’t sure why this song was on my heart this morning.  The lyrics, “Through the fog, there is hope in the distance,” resonated with me as I had been praying since 4 am for the family of my student who went to be with Jesus on Saturday.  However, I thought there had to be more to it than that one line.  A search for the meaning of the song led me to a YouTube video in which TobyMac explained,

“City” is about a moment. A moment that we all come together, and our differences fall by the wayside, and love fills in the cracks, and we turn our attention on what unites us.

Tonight’s the night for the visitation.  Maybe that is why those words were on my mind early this morning, but I’m glad I didn’t stop there.  This beautiful student and faithful child of God had a desire to see our students unite this year and truly come together as one body.  She couldn’t have known that this would be accomplished through her death, but she would be so proud of and happy for her classmates who have done exactly what her heart desired.  They have come together in love and unity to honor her.  Her legacy lives on!

…so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.    Ephesians 4:12b-13

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But I Trust in You

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But I Trust in You


My children are all in the AWANA program at our church, and I made sure they were practicing their verses this weekend for their club meetings.  The little girls’ verse was Psalm 31:14 (NIV):

But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

Trying to teach scripture verses to little ones who can’t read yet is difficult.  I break the verse up into parts and get them to repeat each part after me several times.  In doing this, I usually learn the verse myself, but I am not meditating on what the verse means.  I read Psalm 31:14-15 (NRSV) in my devotional last night and didn’t recognize the verses at all, but I liked what they said.  I decided to look them up in the NIV because I’m not familiar with the NRSV. I just smiled to myself when I realized the first verse was the same as the one I had been teaching my girls all weekend.  


We had an assembly at school today for students, parents, and teachers to worship, pray, and grieve together as we celebrated the life of our precious sister who is now with Christ.  As I got in my car to go to the assembly, the first song that came on the radio was Eye of the Storm, and it brought tears to my eyes and also a smile to my face.  There are some lines towards the end of this song that I didn’t include in my quote yesterday, but I heard them loud and clear today.  It says when “there’s nothing I can do, my only hope is to trust You.  I trust You, Lord.”  God is my Lord and Savior, my help in times of need, my anchor in the storm, my comforter, my protector, my hope, and so much more.  I trust Him with everything. Even though we are sad and don’t understand why our loved one died so young, we know He is still in control.  

The mother of these precious girls trusts God and has been clinging to Him through all of this and posting on social media for everyone to turn to Christ if they don’t know him already.  She requested that her pastor implore any unbelievers in his congregation to accept Jesus as their lord and personal savior.  She has asked anyone reading her posts to message her if they don’t know Christ.  At the assembly, we were told that over 50 people have already accepted Christ in the last two days!  What a tribute to this young girl that so many have been saved through her death!

Almost 18 years ago, my first husband died unexpectedly at age 26 from heart failure.  The pain and grief were hard to bear as a young widow, but after many months, I was able to find joy in the fact that his parents, sister, and her husband had found a church home and become Christians because of his death.  The Bible says God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.  It may not be what we want or how we would have planned things, but God can redeem each death and use it for His glory as we trust Him and proclaim Him as our God.

I pray that each person reading this has a personal relationship with God.  If you have questions or would like to pray to receive Christ, please let me know or talk to a trusted Christian friend or family member.  I don’t have all the answers nor am I perfect, but I know the One who is, and I would love to introduce you to the God I know. 

In the Eye of the Storm

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I am heartbroken. One of my students died suddenly and tragically in an accident yesterday, and her younger sister (also one of my students) was critically injured, but by the grace of God, she will survive. I woke up early this morning, thinking it was all a nightmare, that I had only dreamed this horrific news, but reality crashed over me as I recalled hugging my students and sobbing with them yesterday. There were no words. We just held each other and shared our grief. Please pray for our school, our students, and our teachers this week as we attempt to comfort one another and continue living with a hole in our lives.


I have had the song Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson stuck in my head all week, and I began to meditate on its comforting words this morning as I prayed for the family and friends of my students who were in the fatal accident.  I was reminded that God is still in control and that we can still trust Him even when terrible things happen to those we love.  I have copied some of the lyrics below, but you can click on the link above to watch the YouTube video with all the lyrics. 

When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet

Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see…

When my hopes and dreams are far from me

And I’m runnin’ out of faith

I see the future I picture slowly fade away

And when the tears of pain and heartache 

Are pouring down my face

I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control

And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul

You alone are the anchor, When my sails are torn

Your love surrounds me, In the eye of the storm


Lord, I pray that you will guard the souls of these young people who may be confused and running out of faith.  We prayed for a miracle, and yet one of our sweet friends is walking on streets of gold.  We know she is even more joyful in Heaven than she was here on Earth, but it doesn’t lessen our sorrow that she will no longer be in our lives.  However, we do not grieve as unbelievers do because we know that we will see her again in Heaven and spend eternity together worshiping You.  Father, surround each of us with your love and comfort us with your peace.  Heal the younger sister and bind up her broken heart.  Thank you for allowing her to remain with us.  We know that you will make all of this work together for our good.  Help us not to lose sight of your eternal purpose as we grieve.  You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say, “Blessed be Your name.”  I ask all this in the name of your son Jesus, who you gave to die for us.  Amen.

New Year, New Goals

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As we begin a new year, I am reviewing the goals I set at this time last year and setting new goals for myself for 2017.  I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because those just beg to be broken.  I prefer to set goals that are attainable yet challenging.  

I’m happy to report that flossing my teeth became a daily habit for me in 2016.  I only missed two days the whole year!  My dental hygienist even noticed that I have been taking better care of my teeth and gums.  Unfortunately, I did not fulfill my 2016 goal of working out for at least five minutes a day every day.  I did work out more in 2016 than 2015, so at least I am making progress.  Another goal I had for 2016 was to memorize the book of Ephesians.  I’m happy to report that I completed this scripture memorization challenge in October.  I had planned to memorize half a chapter each month, and I was doing well until school started. Then I ran out of books to read while working out, so I spent about a week studying verses from Ephesians for 20 minutes to an hour each day while on the elliptical.  I memorized most of chapter five and all of chapter six in record time that week!  The whole book of Ephesians is now on my weekly review ring, but I’ve been trying to review more than once a week because we will be studying Ephesians at church this spring, and I want to keep it fresh in my mind.

For 2017, I want to lose a few more pounds and then maintain that weight.  I did not reach my goal weight by the end of November, but I had made tremendous progress.  Between Christmas and New Year’s, I put on a several pounds, but those came off quickly this week.  I weighed 129.8 this morning, and that’s where my weight has hovered for a few months.  It’s time to shed those last five pounds!  I have been working out every day this week, and I am keeping a log of my workouts.  Along with my cardio exercise on our elliptical, I do two sets of my age in crunches each day and one set of 15 squats.  (I’ve learned that my knees can only handle 15 squats a day.)  I want to tone my arms and build muscle because I arm-wrestled my son last week, and he won!  He’s not quite eleven years old.  I need to stay stronger than him for a few more years at least, so I have been doing bicep curls, tricep extensions, and tricep kickbacks in addition to push-ups each day (except rest days).  I have researched types of push-ups and why you should do your age in push-ups each day, and I have been working towards doing a set of 38 full push-ups for a few months now.  I have gotten so much stronger and faster, my feet are close together now (not several inches apart, which was easier), and I’m getting closer to the floor on my push-ups.  Many people say they can’t do push-ups, but anyone can do a wall push-up and progressively reduce the incline as they get stronger. I challenge you to get to your age (or at least half if you are over 50) in push-ups by the end of 2017.  


I am now memorizing Psalm 119, which contains 176 verses, making it the longest chapter in the Bible!  The whole book of Ephesians only has 155 verses, so it will definitely be a challenge to completely memorize the whole chapter this year.  This acrostic poem is divided into 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so I will need to memorize approximately two stanzas a month.  Fortunately, I started several weeks ago and have already memorized 12 verses.  I only have 154 to go!

What goals have you made for 2017?