Wednesday, December 23, 2015


This is a glass piece I created several years ago to celebrate the birth of twin boys. What a joy! The birth of two children! In this season of joy in our Savior's birth, we are surrounded by expectations of joy. We should be happy!

And I am... but...

I am realizing more and more as I grow older that everyone has holes in their happiness. We have our granddaughter's loss to face this Christmas. A congregation member has her deceased daughter's birthday to live through on Christmas Eve. A friend is passing the fifth anniversary of his son's death. Both my mother and my mother-in-law have to go through the holidays for the first time without one of their sisters. An aunt is marking the first Christmas without her husband.

The holes are myriad, gaping, painful.

What do I say to my granddaughter's parents? "Merry Christmas"? How can they be "merry" without their should-be-three-year-old?  How can the holidays be "happy" when there is so much pain and grief? So many holes? What do we do?

We turn to the One who makes us whole. In this world, there will always be holes, but in the next, we Christians are promised wholeness.  And even better, holiness!

This is not a glib statement from sincere Christians! We know the pain of loss here. We feel it, too. But we keep our eyes on the promises of our Good and Almighty God. He promises that there will be no more tears. He promises that He works all things, yes, ALL things, for the good of those who love Him.

And we trust Him. We trust that He will wholly fill the holes of our grief with His holy presence.

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Active Shooter"

I just saw a breaking news headline that began with "Active Shooter." We've seen too many of these lately. Too much violence. Too much hatred. Too much anger. A four-year-old was shot and killed in a road rage incident in Albuquerque. Multiple bombings have taken place in Turkey, Nigeria, Cameroon. Mass killings in Paris. Multiple racist shootings in Minneapolis.

Seeing "Active Shooter" in the headline makes me sick to my stomach, but it also revealed to me a way in which God has been molding me. My first response was to bow my head and pray. I prayed for the shooter(s), that they might find peace and hope in Jesus Christ instead hatred or anger. I prayed for the victims, three of whom appear to be police officers, that they might have non-life-threatening wounds, that they might get help quickly, and that they would know the healing touch of God, our Father. I prayed for those bystanders who weren't injured, that they might escape injury and find the peace of God in the midst of this terror.

Mind you, I am not bragging about my own ability to pray; this is GOD'S work in me. My usual response would be to feel sad and helpless. I recognized in today's response that God is continuing to work in me, as promised in Philippians 1:6. And that is a great joy for me!

I love the idea that I am not finished... that God is still working in me... that someday God will carry this work to completion. This is hope.

In this world of "active shooters" and other terror and tragedy, we must cling to hope, to the promises that God has made that, in the end, all things work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

In times of fear and worry, turn to Him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Not a "Normal" Christian.

Last night, our family attended a "Singspiration" service at the local Assemblies of God church. The churches of Dulce get together like this about 3 times a year, gathering all God's people into one of our churches to celebrate and worship as one. It's a joyous time!

Gathering with God's people of different traditions is an interesting experience, and I love it! Hearing different styles of music is delightful, and participating in various forms of prayer is fun and enlightening.

Each gathered church led some songs, and several people sang solos or duets they had prepared. Many folks gave their testimony, and one in particular struck me.

This person pulled the microphone closer and started by saying, "You can probably tell by looking that I'm not a normal Christian."

Not a "normal" Christian. It stopped me in my tracks. I looked around at the Christians gathered to praise God together, and I noticed:

1. Most were Native American. Not surprising since we live on a reservation.
2. There were more women than men, but not by much.
3. Many of God's gathered people had tattoos and/or piercings.
4. Very few of the attendees wore something other than jeans. Quite a few sweatshirts, too. And
    tennis shoes.

I fit several of those descriptions myself last night. My thoughts went back to the person who was singing about Jesus saving his/her life. "Normal" described him/her quite well. Just a normal, everyday Christian in this place we live.

I was filled with joy to praise God with these folks. The only thing that makes one a Christian is loving Jesus and trusting Him to forgive your sins. I wish all Christians could gather, ignoring the petty differences we have, finding the common ground of Jesus, and praise Him.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I am the Lord Your God

I am reading the Bible chronologically this year. It's a reading plan on my phone, and I am 14% done. That means I'm reading Leviticus.

Yep. Leviticus.

We have a "Sing Through the Bible" DVD that we play sometimes for AWANA. The song about Leviticus has a refrain that goes, "Rules. We've got rules."

Yep. Leviticus.

It's been hard to get excited about doing my Bible reading through Leviticus. (This is also true for me in Chronicles, where Brad and I are in our continuous reading through the Bible.) After all, it's...


Skin diseases. Clean and unclean animals. Sacrifices.


Then today, I begin my three or four chapters with Leviticus 19. Verses 1-2 say, "The Lord said to Moses, 'Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am Holy.''"

16 TIMES in Leviticus 19 alone, God says, "I am the Lord your God." or something remarkably similar. 4 more times in Leviticus 20, and at least four more times in Leviticus 21.

I am the Lord your God. Now that has relevance to me. To today. To our lives right now.

I can't let my mind wander during that.  God Almighty is my Lord, my God. He claimed his people, Israel, and He claims me.



Monday, October 12, 2015

Where was the Church?

More than two dozen times in the Bible, we are exhorted to do right by our neighbor. "Do not defraud or rob your neighbor." (Leviticus 19:13) "Do not plot harm against your neighbor..." (Proverbs 3:29) And Matthew 22:39: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

The Bible even defines who our neighbor is in Luke 10: 30-38. Jesus says that we are to go out into the world and do what the Samaritan did: Go out of our way to rescue and take care of our neighbors, even when they dislike us. That's a radical requirement! We are not to limit our loving care to those neighbors with whom we agree or those who have invited us into their homes in friendship; Jesus says that piety is not enough. Serving those we like is not enough.

We are to go out of our way to serve those with whom we have no friendship!

For strangers.

The church of Christ is to be the very hands and feet of God. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit so as to be made "like Christ," who "took on the very  nature of a servant."

Have you ever wondered what that looked like?

I've never thought about it as much as I have this week. This week, in which our community is grieving the deaths of several of its members. Some of these deaths are personal for me, and I am grieving for someone I knew. Others are communal and almost knock me down breathless in their tragedy.

Many deaths here are precipitated by alcohol and/or drug abuse. Some are connected to mental illness. Occasionally, there is the death of a Jicarilla elder, prominent in the community.  The death of young people is not uncommon here. But this week, a young woman took the life of her very young daughter and then herself. That level of tragedy is beyond words. It is known only in the groaning of the Holy Spirit in our weakness to express the loss.

And I wonder...

Where was the church?

Where were we, the body of Christ, in this young woman's despair? Were we, like the priest or Levite, walking on the other side of the road? Were we ignoring her cries of pain? Too 'good' to stoop down and lift her up?

Or were we totally unaware? Blind to her needs, to her anguish?

Where were we when our neighbor was so desperate?

And where will we be for our next neighbor? How can we reach out and lift our neighbor out of distress next time? I have no answer, but I know the only answer is the hope we find in our Lord. He is our help and our shield.

Please pray with me that the church, the very body of Christ, will find ways to "love our neighbor as [ourselves]." (Matthew 22:39)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fear Not

Sometimes things are a mess. In my glass shop. In my life. In our neighborhoods. In our nation. In our world.

I was asked recently how I protect my children from the fear they might have of a shooter coming to their school (or theater or wherever). And I've had many conversations about how we can protect our children from those who would wrong them, from bullies to sex offenders.

And my response is this: We can't protect our children from the mess and the evil of this world. We can certainly shelter them from adult movies, dangerous parks where drugs are regularly sold, etc, but we cannot predict where the next mentally ill shooter will choose to express their anger with a gun.

And honestly, I don't think we should try to protect them from every evil they may face. What we need to teach them is how we, ourselves, face fears. As adults, we know that evil can come from many quarters, and we know that it isn't always even  possible to protect ourselves.

So what do I do to face my fears of attacking dogs, bears, mountain lions... of rapists and shooters and robbers?

I'd love to say that the very first thing I do is turn to God, and while that is certainly my "bottom-line" in dealing with my fears, I have to admit that the first thing I do is prepare. I prepare myself by knowing which decisions are likely to lead to danger and which decisions are likely to lead to safety.

So, for example, our daughter and I wear bear bells when we hike. And I've learned (and taught my 8 yo) what to do in case of a bear (mountain lion, scary adult) encounter. I think these precautions are just plain smart. I try not to frighten myself or our daughter, but to be prepared.

Here's a recent example of being prepared: Lately, there has been a very aggressive dog in one of the yards I pass on my daily walk. There is a fence, but this dog can almost jump over it, and there are many gaps in the fenceline. I have carried the occasional stick while I walk to deal with dogs, but this particular dog has been a consistent problem. My stick seemed to provide no deterrence. So I bought pepper spray last week. And used it yesterday. Successfully.

However, each day as I approach the area this dog frequents, I turn to God. I don't simply say, "God, protect me from this dog." I try to seek a deeper truth, I say: "God, in everything You are my God. In everything, You are my strength. No matter what happens today with this particular dog in this particular situation, I turn to You. In You I find my hope."

Ann Voskamp recently posted this meme:
I cling to this. God is with me in all things, large and small. My fear and dismay are not the victors! God is. And this is what I'm trying to teach my daughter. Yes, there are things to fear in this world... But the victory is God's!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Tiara

"Well, the job doesn't come with a tiara, that's for sure!"

This was my not-so-serious answer to the question, "How do you like being a pastor's wife?"

See, I've been me much longer than I've been a pastor's wife. I've been a teacher, a mom, a volunteer in and out of church, and a homemaker for many years. I've only been a pastor's wife for two. And only in one place.

In some ways, our church is a throwback. One pastor. No secretary. A part-time custodian for the gym/classrooms, and volunteers for cleaning the sanctuary. My husband is pastor of preaching. And pastor of plumbing. And pastor of building and grounds. And pastor of volunteers and visiting and cleaning the sanctuary when there is an extra event...

I do help out in the church. Our wee one and I are taking our turn at cleaning the sanctuary this month. I plan to teach Sunday School in November. When there's a potluck, I bring our share (or a bit more).

And there are certainly times when my contribution is as great as my pastor-husband's. For example, in the past month, we have had church-related guests (some staying here, some not) three or four times. I love hosting visitors, as long as they can deal with our busy household and steep stairs. We often invite people to eat with us, and having overnight guests is a fairly frequent thing. I don't mind the laundry, cooking, or cleaning up at all...

But there's no tiara that comes with the job.

And I don't mind that at all. I'm not really a tiara kind of girl. Or middle-aged woman.

Being a pastor's wife has been a blessing, just like I thought it would be when I was eleven and shocked my mom by answering the age-old "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A minister's wife." Then I was told that I should be something for ME, not as an attachment to someone else, and while I believe that in many ways, I also believe that God has called me to be a pastor's wife.

It fits me. And I like it. Alongside being a homeschooling mom. My ministry may not be very visible, but that isn't what God calls us to. I love supporting my husband in his work. I love praying with the worried grandma and the grieving mother when they call the parsonage, but my husband isn't home. Providing a plate full of food for someone wandering through the yard is a ministry for me. Being a safe place for various families to drop off their children in an emergency is a ministry for me. Teaching my daughter and the young Jicarilla boy who has joined us for school this year is a huge undertaking, and very much a calling. Adding in the other two kids for Science is a blessing.

My mentor in being a pastor's wife died recently, and I miss her. I know she would read this and give me a call to encourage me. I hope that someday I can be remembered as I remember her: As a woman of God who fulfilled my calling well.

Even if it doesn't come with a tiara.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Create in me

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

This verse drew me in this morning. Renewal is something I've been thinking about during my spiritual "lull." On this day I was walking, seeking God's presence as my Sunday began.

And then I realized...

Well, duh...

No matter how hard I try, renewal is not my work. It's God's.

Look at the words of the Psalm again: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." God is creating. God is renewing.

So, instead of trying to think of new ways to approach my lack of spiritual motivation, I prayed the Psalm: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." I gave this work to God and entreated with Him to work in me.

I will trust in Him to complete His good work in me (Philippians 1:6). God began His work in me when I was a child. I sought Him eagerly throughout my adolescence. I dropped away in college, but it has been almost exactly 20 years since I returned, somewhat reluctantly, to church.

God drew me back to church and worked in me to renew my faith. He has grown and developed my faith and my understanding. He has equipped me to meet His call in my life. He will continue to work in me until I am completely transformed. This lull will produce His fruit. And I will continue to pray and read and study and trust. He is faithful and I am His.


And amen.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


 I haven't done much glass work lately. I'm in a lull. Not that I don't have work to do; I'm in the middle of a piece in my series that is framed in found frames, but I am completely uninspired to work on it...

Do you experience lulls? I think it's pretty normal. We get enthused about something for a while, then our interest wanes, and pretty soon we're in a lull.

I've just ended a lull in kayaking. When we moved to Dulce, New Mexico, two years ago I thought I would kayak in the lakes on the reservation. I've been there a few times, but the lakes are very low and muddy. It's been a challenge to get in and out of the kayaks (and the lake!). I was even considering selling my kayaks... but then a friend asked me to bring the kayaks so she and her children could try out the sport. We met at a lovely lake in Colorado, and I realized that there was amazing kayaking available in the area. Since then, I've been kayaking numerous times and enjoyed it immensely.

Trying something new sometimes restarts our motivation to enjoy something. That's the strategy I've been using to bring me out of my current lull in seeking God. It's not a change in what I believe, but just that I have been in a lull for seeking God, seeking His guidance, seeking His will...

I've tried new devotionals. More prayer time. Reading books. Listening to Christian music. Trying to write for my blog. Not much was working. I haven't felt totally lost or disconnected, just not inspired.

 I have read John Piper's Desiring God daily devotionals for a while now. They are always excellent. So I decided to pick up the book from my husband's extensive library. I've been reading it for only a few days, but it has begun to pull me out of the lull. Thank you, God, for your faithful leaders who inspire us to follow You.

I pray that you are not in a lull, but if you are, don't give up. God will provide. We can rest in that truth. Especially when we can't see the way out for ourselves; that's when God's faithfulness shines.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Two Years

Two years! We arrived in Dulce two years ago this week! It's hard to imagine that it's already been two years, but as my husband shared in his reflections, we have experienced much here in these two years.

When I think of two years here, it makes me look ahead to the next 8-12 years. We planned to stay 10+ years here in Dulce, which means we're already almost 20% "done," whatever that means.

Ministry, like glass work, is a process. You start with a pattern, a plan. For me, most of the planning in ministry here has to do with the children. We've had two years of Sunday School experiences and one year of AWANA experience. Our plans were clear-cut and simple: Bring God's Word to the Jicarilla Apache children of our church and community.

The first year, our Sunday School teachers prepared their own lessons, a month at a time. Sometimes this went well, and sometimes it didn't. In my own teaching month, I realized that I had to adjust my expectations in many ways! For example, our children ranged in age from 2-12. And the number of children varied from 1-26!

In the second year, we tried a video curriculum. This was a total bomb. There were about 2 children who were interested in the video regularly. It was only a couple of months into the year that we went back to plan-your-own-lessons.

This year, we have a prepared curriculum for multi-aged groups. We are hoping to meet the needs of our children better this year. I imagine that we have some surprises in store for us this year, as well! My plans are building on what I've learned each year, and hopefully I will continue to improve the planning for Sunday School.

Our AWANA ministry has learned from mistakes, as well. We moved our meeting time at least twice last year, which cut down on attendance. We also have learned that we shouldn't give t-shirts to the kids on their first visit! Again, building on what we've learned...

I'm actively involved in a homeschool co-op, and we're developing a network of homeschooling families here on the reservation. This isn't directly connected to our church, but ministry isn't always in the context of a church!

Like glass, the picture of ministry here in Dulce continues to develop, and I look forward eagerly to what is to come in the next years. We pray that God will guide our work here, bless our efforts, and bring much fruit from the ministry of His church on the reservation.

And like glass, the process sometimes changes what is planned. I pray that I will remain malleable like clay in God's hands. I pray that God will melt me, mold me, fill me, use me... all the days we are here (and beyond)!

For ultimately, it is His work here that matters, not mine. The work He does through my hands and the hands of others, not my plans. I need only be faithful and trust His work and His timing. And a beautiful, finished creation will be completed. That's His promise.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


As we come up on two years here in Dulce, I was considering how to express our lives so that our friends, family, and others can know what ministry and life look like here. I decided that simply sharing a day would be a great way to let you in on my day-to-day reality. So, here goes:

Today, a Wednesday, I got up at about 6:20 and met a Jicarilla friend to walk together. We walk at the high school track, which is about 3/4 of a mile from our home. I walk to the field, then my friend and I walk another 3/4 of a mile on the track while we chat. Today I learned that a member of our congregation was ill, that some people were traveling, and that the wildfire was still burning. A second fire crew was being called to fight it. The fire is about 4 miles from our house, and as of tonight has burned over 160 acres just on the other side of a ridge and across a river from the parsonage and church. I must admit that wildfires scare me! Hand me a tornado any day; I know what to do during a tornado!

I returned home about 7:40 and got ready for the day. I wrote a letter to one of my parents while I was waiting for school to start.  By 8:25, my second student arrived. I am home-schooling our 8 year old daughter, and this year I added a 7 year old Jicarilla boy. It has been a delightful addition! My daughter loves having another student, and the two of them learn very well together. We spent the morning doing lessons and reading, except for the quick trip I took to the post office to mail a package containing a glass piece I had finished yesterday. Brad took a few minutes away from his sermon-preparation and hung out with the kids while they were on a short break. While I was at the post office, I chatted with a woman from our congregation, finding out that one of her family members needed prayer.

On another break from our lessons, I returned a call to a friend and found out that she was going to homeschool one of her children. She wanted to chat about homeschooling, so I made a plan to meet with her later today.

Following school, the two kids headed out to the backyard pool while I made some lunch. We usually make lunch together so we can discuss nutrition, but there are so few pool-days left that I let them go swim. They ate under the trampoline, delighting in being outside with their lunches. I ate in the kitchen, window (and ears) open to the pool and trampoline, while I continued to read "Half the Sky" by Kristof and WuDunn. If you haven't read this book, you should! It is an excellent discussion of the oppression of women around the world, and of how to turn that oppression into opportunity.

By 1:00, another homeschooled Jicarilla boy arrived to join the swimmers. The three kids had a wonderful time swimming, jumping, and playing while I sat under a tree, crocheted a Christmas present for a granddaughter, and chatted with an elderly widow who happened by and saw me outside. She stayed till suppertime.

At 3:00, I taught a science lesson to all three children, and wrapped up their playtime. They were picked up by family before 4:00. I then made a quick supper while our daughter practiced her piano lesson. We ate early so that Brad could take our wee one to her soccer practice from 5:30-7:00. I've been helping the coaches with the kids, but tonight I stayed home so I could meet with the new homeschooling family.

Before supper, I also shopped, bought, and drop-shipped two magnetic door alarms to one of our grandchildren's family after their two toddlers managed to open the chained door and get outside. Thankfully, a neighbor found them immediately and returned them home. Their mother was distraught, as was I. It was this kind of situation which caused the death of another of our grandchildren in February.

I spent from 5:30-7:20 with the newly homeschooled child and family, doing a quick assessment of the child's reading ability. Following that, I made some recommendations to the family about what strategies would be effective for the student. When our daughter arrived home from soccer, all the children went outside to jump on the trampoline. I finished my visit with the adults in the family, and they went home. Our daughter came in for a bath and bed. After tucking her in, I started writing this post.

This was a very typical day for me. It is busy, but I am rarely overwhelmed. God has provided the patience, energy, and enthusiasm for all my activities. Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm doing much ministry, but when I examine this day, I see several interactions that could be considered ministry. This is what God has called me to, and I am blessed to live each day in His grace and providence. I am delighted that my education and experience as a teacher are being put to use. I am blessed by several friendships. And I love serving the people here.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Four Things This Christian Wants to Say About the Supreme Court Ruling:

I have been mulling the Supreme Court decision of this week. You would have to live under a rock not to know that the US Supreme Court ruled that marriage between two men or two women is now legal across our land. I have four things to say about that, and I might surprise you!

1) We do not have to agree to be kind and respectful of one another.
I have read and seen some very unkind things from both sides of this issue. There is no need to hate others because they believe something different from you. We do not have the right to demand that everyone agrees with us!

2) This is not a theocracy. 
Thank God! (Irony intended.) The United States of America is not a theocracy, and I'm glad. There is no guarantee that the people in power will agree with me! And I believe that I should be free to believe in the way that God moves me to believe. This is the same reasoning that allowed me to be a committed Christian, but teach in a public school. I wouldn't want MY children taught someone else's beliefs; therefore, I shouldn't teach mine either.

The final two statements are more from a Christian perspective than the first two. In these, I assume that Christians may hold positions on both sides of this issue. In fact, I purposefully do not reveal my stance because it does not matter!

3) A sin is a sin is a sin.
Even for those Christians who believe firmly that homosexuality is a sin, this should make a difference. One sin is not worse than another. Romans 8:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Jesus tells us that just being angry is as much of a sin as murder! (Matthew 5:21-22) There is no distinction. Should Christians spew hate at gluttons? At people who cohabit prior to marriage? We Christians should not be in the business of condemnation. Period. Sin is between the person and God; the rest of us should stay out of it.

4) Jesus told us to love one another. 
John 13:34 says that we are to love one another as Christ first loved us. Jesus didn't hate sinners! He loved us. And then he told us to love each other. He didn't say, "Love your neighbor as yourself, unless he's ___________." ANY word can go in that blank because Jesus didn't exclude anyone. And neither should we.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Left Behind

This piece is called "Good." It represents God's creation as depicted in Genesis. A dear friend's husband bought it for her on their fiftieth anniversary. It has brought me much joy to know that she had it!

That dear friend died this week. She lost her fight with cancer and went to join her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have no doubts that this beautiful sister in Christ is out of pain and praising our God.

It is the third significant loss I have faced in 2015. Most of  you know about our 2 year old granddaughter's tragic death in February. And in March one of my mother's sisters passed away completely unexpectedly.

At this time, between my husband and me, we have one aunt, one uncle, and one parent suffering from a terminal illness. One is in hospice care. One is continuing to do well. And one is failing at home. Blessedly, each of these ailing family members is a Christian, which gives me hope of being with them again. But it still sometimes feels overwhelming...

I know I'm not alone. I hear people talk about their losses. Sometimes multiple losses. I know people who have lost many more loved ones than I have at this point. And I know that I will lose more as time goes on.

So how do we, as Christians, process these losses? How do we face a future without our child(ren), without our grandchild(ren), without our parent(s), without our sibling(s)? It seems so bleak to be left behind.

Our hope is in You, Oh God. In You. (Psalm 39:7) Even our nations put their hope in Jesus Christ! (Matthew 12:21) "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."(Hebrews 10:23)

The key is in that last Scripture: "...for He who promised is faithful." Not US. He who promised. Our Lord, Jesus Christ. We can depend on Him. We can hope in Him. We can be assured that what He promises is true.

So on these days when we feel overwhelmed by loss (or potential loss), let us hold tightly to He-who-promised. To Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.

We are not alone. We will never be alone. He walks with us. To that we cling in times like these.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Fathers' Day.

It's not a punctuation error that the title is "Happy Fathers' Day" instead of "Happy Father's Day." I hated Father's Day with a passion until my youngest daughter made my new husband a father with me six years ago. My current husband is a GREAT father to our little one, but even that didn't completely take the sour out of my heart about my own father, and therefore about Father's Day.

My biological father was abusive to me when he lived with us. He has been an erratic presence in my life as an adult, and more than seven years ago told me he didn't want to be my dad anymore. When we moved to New Mexico, I sent him a Christmas card with our new address. His response? To send every. single. thing. I had ever given him (or my children had ever given to him) to me in an unmarked box with a note saying basically, "Don't ever bother me again."

So you can see why Father's Day hasn't been a banner holiday for me. I took solace in my Heavenly Father, which soothed most of the pain, but I still didn't like the day. I always called my stepdad and wished him a happy day, but I was still holding something back.

Two things have happened to change this for 2015:

1. My mother's husband of 27 years wrote a note in my birthday card: "To My Daughter~." When I opened it, tears of joy filled my eyes. My stepdad has always been kind and accepting of me and my kids; he is definitely their grandpa, but he's never referred to me as his very own daughter till now. It filled my heart with gladness.

2. My first stepdad (my mom and he were married during my teenage years) stopped by our home on his way to the Grand Canyon. We have always maintained a relationship, but it hasn't been super-close, even though I've always thought of him as one of my dads. Anyway, in spending a day and night with us, we rekindled our relationship. We talked about my childhood, and I guess I surprised him when I said that he changed my life.

He did. He opened my eyes to so many things! He's the guy who taught me to fix cars and use tools. He's the man who took me camping and taught me to love nature. He's the guy who sparked my interest in geology. He's the father who taught me to trust some adult men.

After my first stepdad returned home, he sent me a heartfelt email, apologizing for not fulfilling the role of father after my mom and he divorced (not that he was obligated to do so!!). He also said that he'd like to be a grandfather for our daughter, if we would let him. Our daughter has a bunch of grandfathers, but as my mom always said, "The more people who love you, the better!" I responded positively, and then said that I knew he wasn't really even old enough to be my dad (He's only 13 years older than I am!), but that I have always thought of him as a dad. He accepted that role, too, and we welcomed him into our lives. It has been wonderful in many ways already!

So this year, 2015, I am not fatherless. I have an abundance of fathers! I am blessed by my Heavenly Father, of course, but He has also fully opened the door to my heart for two more fathers. I am blessed in so many ways, and this has filled a hole that has been in my life for a very long time. Shopping for Father's Day cards was a joy instead of a burden. I have two phone calls to make on Father's Day, and both men think of me in some way as their very own daughter.

I have two things to add to this:

1. If you are a father in any way to any children (young or grown), please reach out to them. Even if it's been years since you've been in their lives. Even if you are part of their daily life and family. Reach out. You may be the father that can heal their hearts of great pain.

2. Happy Father's Day! And I can really feel that honestly this year. Thank you, God. Amen.

Friday, May 8, 2015


"What a story of redemption!" my friend stated quietly. The conversation had started with a simple question about a visitor my family had hosted recently. But the answer wasn't simple, and I had shared a story of abuse, attempted suicide, multiple losses, and much anger. My sweet friend had listened, given me support, and finally simply said, "What a story of redemption!"

I'd never even thought of it. I guess I've always thought about redemption as what God does for us after we die, when we stand before Him, righteous because of His Son's sacrifice on the cross.  I've looked forward to that redemption, when my soul was cleansed of all the bad decisions, wrong actions, and lost times in my life.

I wasn't even quite sure what she meant. I asked her to clarify, and she said, "Look what God has done in your life! You came through all of that, and you are living a redeemed life!" A light came into my heart when she said that: She was right. God has already redeemed me.

God took this broken child of an abusive father and a deeply depressed mother... this lost, angry young woman who walked away from the church for many years... this betrayed wife of a pedophile (unbeknownst to me until revealed by my child)... this twice-divorced woman who made many wrong relationship choices along the way... this mother who couldn't even protect her children from evil within and out of her home...

and taught her to love and trust again.

Each and every one of those hurts has been redeemed by God Himself. He took me away from the abusive father and two abusive husbands... and taught me to love my stepdads and my true husband. He touched my depressed mother and healed her with grace and physicians... restoring His relationship with her, and my relationship with her, too. And when I finally surrendered my search for a life partner to Him, He brought me a relationship that was based on Him, a complete and joyous marriage, better than I'd ever dreamed was possible. He has even blessed me with a chance to parent again, with a healthy partner and an incredible child!

What grace!

What love!

What joy!

And yes, what redemption!

Even though I have walked a different path for more than a decade, I have held on to my previous definitions of self (broken, damaged, betrayed, hurt) for far too long; I am redeemed! Redeemed here and now, in this life. I have been thankful to God for this life He has given me, but I've never thought of it as redemption, and it is.

Thank you, my friend, for opening my eyes. Thank you, God, for placing this dear friend in my life.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Who's in Charge?

It's been a rough day at this homeschooling family's home. Some days are like that. Math was hard, student's attitude got harder, and finally Mom's attitude got the hardest.

That's when I sent the student to her room and put my hands together in prayer. Almost immediately, I was nudged to take the girl a notebook and a pencil, so I did. And I told her that when she had written (whatever she wanted), she was to bring it to me.

She did.

I read it.

My heart broke...

I know that helpless, hopeless, worthless feeling that she was expressing. I've been there. Feeling dumb. Feeling unimportant. Feeling like nothing...

So I pulled her into my lap and told her that I love her, even when I'm mad. Always. Forever. There is nothing she could do to lose my love. Nothing.

Then I went on, again nudged by God: I told her that when she feels that worthless feeling, she needs to remember three things:

1) It's temporary. Everyone feels bad sometimes, but it doesn't last forever. It's a temporary feeling that should be treated as temporary.

2) Satan loves to whisper these things into our sadness, our anger, our worry, our lives. They are lies! I gave her some "Truths" to counter those lies, including "You are a precious child of God, and He loves you."

3) You are never alone to deal with this. Dad and I love you more than words could ever say, and your birth mom and birth dad love you that much, too. And God loves you and is with you always.

That little one snuggled in, sobbing, for a while. Then she apologized for her attitude and I apologized for mine. We cuddled a little longer, then she popped up and said,

"Well, Satan's not in charge!"

and proceeded to tear the paper out of the notebook. She said, "I know what I'll do to him (Satan)!" and she ripped that paper full of lies to shreds.

I gave her a high-five and hugged her, then we went back to the math. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Teach Your Children Well

Almost every parent I've ever met wants to teach their children well. They may have differing ideas of what to teach their children or of how to teach their children, but by-and-large, parents want the best for their children. (I am not addressing those extreme parents who do not have a desire to do the right thing by their children; that is a separate issue entirely.)
Created for a beautiful "rainbow" family, $60.00

I've written in the past how teaching my African-American (now adult) son involved teaching him things specific to being an African-American male. These things have come to mind this week, given the events in Baltimore. A friend and fellow blogger has spent some time teaching her young son well; she writes about that here.

But a couple of days ago, I had to teach my 8 year old daughter something I would rather have avoided. She is of mixed race, but her learning didn't have anything to do with race.

You see, we were attending a ministry retreat far away from home. It was at a gorgeous canyon camp  in Oklahoma, and there were only about 7 children and youth in attendance. While the parents studied and talked, the kids were allowed to play freely in this lovely place. They hiked, played basketball, climbed and jumped, golfed, and goofed around. It was an amazing experience in freedom for our wee one. She was allowed to go anywhere, as long as she stayed with the other girls (4 total, ranging from 5-13 years old). There were three boys, all significantly older, and one younger boy who stayed with his parents.

One afternoon, the 13-year-old girl came quietly into the conference room and whispered to me, "Your daughter wouldn't come back with us; she's playing down at the playground with the boys." I could tell by her tone that she understood the danger in this.

Not that these boys seemed dangerous or unruly! From what I saw, they were nice young men, but I didn't know them, and they ranged in age from 12ish-15ish...Anything from innocent curiosity to intentional cruelty could hurt my 8 year old. It was just a bad combination: little girl and adolescent boys.

But oh, my! My 8 year old didn't understand. She was distraught that she couldn't play with the boys... and I finally decided I had to tell her why. Even though I didn't want to ruin her innocence. Even though I didn't want her to learn to be afraid. She was just so sure she was right and that she should be allowed to hang out with the boys.

So we had our first girls/women-have-to-be-careful talk. I hated it as much as I hated having the hands-visible-no-sudden-motions talk I had with my son 13 or so years ago when he was learning to drive.

I think it went okay. She didn't seem afraid of the bigger boys, and she was willing to obey the directive to stay with the girls. But a piece of her childhood is over. And that makes me sad. To learn that someone might hurt you... that's a sad learning.

I will be glad when God's Kingdom comes to fruition and our children (and WE) can return to the innocence God intended for  us!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two Years

 Just over two years ago, our family flew to Durango, Colorado (the closest airport to Dulce, New Mexico), were picked up by members of the pastoral search committee, and visited Dulce for the first time. We had a blessed visit, wonderful conversations, and went home feeling certain that God was calling us to this place, to these people.

About one year, eight months ago, we loaded (almost) everything we owned into a 26 foot Penske truck, our Subaru, and a trailer. And then we drove the 1200+ miles to Dulce from Rochester, MN. It was an education in traveling via truck, as both my husband and I drove through mountains, chugging uphill at ten miles per hour at times!

When we arrived at the parsonage four days later, we were greeted by members of the congregation who had cleaned the house thoroughly, laid out new towels for us (what a treat!), and were ready to unload the truck. The largest items were unloaded the next day by some really strong guys who made short work of it.
So, we've been here long enough to feel at home, and we do think of Dulce as our home. We've been here long enough to get our feet on the ground and have some idea of what ministry here looks like and feels like.

What have we learned?

1. God is faithful. Always. He is good, and His plans are better than anything we could envision on our own. (Isaiah 55:8) We might have desired to stay in closer proximity to our families, but God's plan was for us to come to northern New Mexico; and it is good for us to be here. I can't imagine a place for which my husband would be a better match as a pastor. And I cannot imagine a place that would provide more for me or our daughter, either.

2. God will provide. (Luke 12) And He has! In everything, God has provided for us. From a homeschool Co-Op and children's theater groups for our wee one to teachers for AWANA each Monday, God has provided abundantly for us and for His people here in Dulce. We have made personal friends and are involved in many things here. God has created opportunities here that we hadn't even thought about! We love hiking in the wilderness areas with our Outdoor Education group, and our daughter has a horse to ride any time she desires. Blessed abundantly.

3. We have a supportive community in the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church. Our family has experienced many things since we moved here. When we have celebrated, our church family has celebrated with us. And when we have grieved, our church family has shared our grief. It is a blessing to know that we have a supportive church family here, as well as in Minnesota.

4. We expect to be here until we retire. Whenever that is. We are living here in Dulce, not just staying a while. We are striving to build deep relationships, inside and outside the church. When we visit Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, we are simply visiting, not "going home." And when we return to Dulce, we are "coming home."

5. There is much work for God's Kingdom to be done here.  Dulce is the right place for us, but not because it's perfect. There are many challenges here: alcohol, drugs, suicide, hopelessness, and grief, among others. We do not delight in the pain here, but in God's provision for the hurting and hopeless. We don't see ourselves in a hero role, in any way. Christians cannot solve the problems of the world...

But God can.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Alpha and Omega, installed in Rochester, MN

My family and I have participated in the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child several times. Each time we've assembled a box (or boxes), we've prayed for the boy or girl who will receive the gifts. We've carefully chosen an assortment of practical items like combs and hand lotion to include. And we always try to have a couple of really fun toys or other frivolous trinkets, just for fun.

The past couple of years, I've watched on Facebook as the Operation Christmas Child boxes were delivered, enjoying the photos of children all over the world receiving gifts. My 8-year-old has enjoyed that, too.

The thing I've never done before is have my child be a recipient of a shoebox. I had almost forgotten the evening we spent at another local church right before Christmas. We sang carols, listened to a wonderful preacher, and enjoyed worshiping together as a family. Following the service, the group who had traveled from Texas to our community on the reservation had gifts for all the kids. Our wee one joined the line with much anticipation and received a shoebox.

A couple of days ago, our daughter was cleaning her room. She came out carrying her shoebox, still filled with gifts. I asked her why she hadn't taken them out in the four months since Christmas...

"I just think it's so cool that someone loved Jesus enough to give me gifts, Mom. I don't want to take them out. I like thinking about the person who gave them to me."


I wonder how many children around the world are holding on to those shoe boxes filled with little gifts that don't really cost us much in money or time... holding on to them, being grateful that someone halfway around the world or across the country or on the other side of town loved Jesus enough to give them gifts.

And maybe the person who packed her box intended it for a Native child on the reservation, but I hope that s/he would be blessed to know that our daughter treasures it and feels blessed by it.

It also made me think about the items I have packed into those shoe boxes. I'm pretty sure that I will intentionally add something that the child recipient can wear or carry to remember that we loved Jesus enough to give him/her gifts.

The Bible speaks many times about how we are to treat the poor (Psalm 41:1-3, Proverbs 22:9, Isaiah 58:6-10, for just a few examples). God tells us to love Jesus enough to take care of the hungry, the weak, the orphan, the oppressed, the downtrodden...

What do you love Jesus enough to do?

Sunday, April 12, 2015


I have, at times, been discouraged. I have, at times, been encouraged. I have certainly encouraged others here in Dulce and elsewhere. I have even discouraged people from particular choices...

and I'm wondering what it is called when a person is neither encouraged nor discouraged. That's kind of where I am today. I'm not feeling down, but there isn't anything really exciting on the horizon either. I'm just sailing along.

The root word courage floated through my head, followed by a quick, "Nah. Courage is something brave and difficult... it doesn't take courage to float along in my life."

But I think I'm wrong about that. It does take courage to keep on going. When there is little reward and little to fight against... it does take courage to stay focused on God's work, God's kingdom, God's will.

For example, our AWANA youth ministry, which began in October 2014, is limping through the final quarter of the year. We have had inconsistent adult volunteers and dwindling numbers of children. A week or so ago, the only children present were the children/grandchildren of the adult volunteers. It would've been easy to send everyone home!

But we didn't. We met as a leader group and made some decisions about how to increase involvement again. Then the handful of children played games together, not divided by age groups. Then their faithful teachers took them to classrooms where there were often more adults than kids and taught them God's Word.

It would be easy to get discouraged by poor attendance or lack of follow-through in whatever ministry we deem "ours," but God calls us to serve, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.  That takes courage. Real courage.

SonRise $60.00 plus tax and shipping

Monday, March 2, 2015

Grieving and God

Everlasting Life
This piece was commissioned by someone who was giving it to a grieving mother. She had lost one of her children. Another dear friend of mine had a son die unexpectedly at age 29. The 7-year-old son of a college buddy died from cancer. And if you follow this blog, you know that our 2 year old granddaughter, Raelyn, died in a tragic accident just a week ago.

We shared our grief with our church family here in Dulce yesterday during our Sunday service. It was good in ways most people couldn't imagine. Why? Because almost everyone I spoke with had tragically lost a child or grandchild. My church family shared my grief in ways that the vast majority of Americans cannot. Those listed above are few and far between. We can be thankful for that, but it makes losing a child or grandchild even more difficult because there are so few with whom to share the grief.

But here, on the Jicarilla Apache Nation, losing a child or grandchild is not so rare. That is a sad situation, one large part of the grief of this Nation. I will not begin to assign causes as to why more children (young and adult) pass away here, but I can tell you about the faith that holds our church members together through this grief.

One woman told me of her father's response when her teenaged brother was killed in an accident. Her father said, "God gives, and God takes away." This man was able to celebrate the short life of his son because he saw that life as a gift to him, even if it ended sooner than the father would have chosen.

Another woman told me of her daughter's death. She said that without her faith that God would comfort her in her grief, the grief would have killed her. She said that praying through her grief upheld her, and knowing others were praying for her brought her through the times when she couldn't even pray.

On a different occasion, following the recent death of an adult child, a person told me that their dying child had asked God to forgive their sins and accept them as God's own. This brought much peace to the grieving parent.

Our family's grieving over Raelyn has only begun, but to these I cling: 1) Raelyn is with God. She is free of pain and fear; she is perfect in every way; and she is God's child.  2) Raelyn's life was a gift to us all. She was a delightful, smart, funny, sweet, and loving toddler. I have many wonderful memories to carry with me wherever I go.
 3) Prayer is essential to our healing. Our 8-yr-old is processing by drawing and writing, talking, and praying about Raelyn and our family. Our first response when we are overwhelmed by the sadness of losing her is to pray together. To hold hands and to name every person who is grieving, including ourselves.

 I ask you to join with us in praying for Raelyn's mommy, Courtney, her stepdad, Brandon, her biodad, Josh, and her brothers and sisters. Pray that they might find God's peace and grace in their grief. Pray that they might find healthy ways to grieve her loss and to preserve her memory.

Rest In Peace, Baby Girl. And God, comfort those of us left here on Earth without her.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This is NOT a Disney World...

We just got back from Disney World. Every child's dream vacation. We went to The Magic Kingdom multiple days, met every princess in the book (and movie!), and rode Splash Mountain at least five times. Our eight-year-old daughter has been dreaming about this trip for months, and she was a dynamo, racing for rides and chances to meet princesses. We also went to Epcot, Sea World, and Gatorland. Whew! A lot of fun in one week!

Against the gorgeous backdrop of Disney, I got a phone call from my son. He told me that his two-year-old daughter (who doesn't live with him) had somehow gotten out of the house the night before into the bitter Wisconsin winter. She had been airlifted to Mayo in Rochester and attempts were being made to revive her.

As the perfect princesses visited and the groundskeepers maintained the spotless grounds... As we waited in line for highly-anticipated rides, and the never-ending panorama of sweets and delights paraded by...

We waited to hear whether our granddaughter, who is also the half-sister of our daughter, Kat, was showing any positive signs. We waited to hear if the CT scan showed any brain activity. We waited to hear if her life-support was going to be removed. We waited to hear that she had passed into the loving arms of Jesus.

Of course our hearts were breaking. Our son's heart was breaking. Raelyn's mommy's and her fiance's hearts were breaking.

And yet, we were at Disney! We were on the dream vacation of our eight-year-old! We were 1500 miles away from the hospital... and we had driven...

So we experienced Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Gatorland, and Sea World, under the storm cloud of a distant tragedy. We caught ourselves crying over silly things, like hearing a toddler crying or eating something that Rae would love.

 Once, both our daughter and I started weeping while in line for a muffin. A man behind offered assistance, and our wee one blurted out, "My baby sister died yesterday." Instead of being shocked, he knelt down beside her and said, "When I was seven, my big brother died. It really hurts, doesn't it? You will always remember your baby sister, and you will always love her. But she would want you to have fun, too. So you have fun, and when the sad comes, you remember how much you love her." Smart man, and kind, too.

Another time, I couldn't find a restaurant we needed to find. I asked about 5 people, and they all gave me directions that I couldn't follow. I finally found a different restaurant and asked if they could provide the wrist bands we needed so we could eat at Sea World. When the man said, "Sure, but not until we open in an hour." I began to cry. I was just overwhelmed with sadness, helplessness, and frustration.

What a juxtaposition: Disney World and tragedy! The perfect princesses and blemishless beauty of Disney, and the cruel reality of hypothermia, organ donation, and cremation.

We would all love to live in a Disney World, where everything and everyone are clear-cut and perfect. The "bad guys" are always caught, and the problems always solved. Someone else picks up the litter and delivers our snacks.

But this is NOT a Disney World. It's a world where two-year-olds make terrible mistakes and pay with their lives. It's a world where each of us has tragedy, in one form or another.

                                                             But isn't it supposed to be a Disney World?

No. It's not. In the Bible, we are told repeatedly that we will have troubles in this world. Psalms 88:3 says, "For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near." 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, "He comforts us in all our troubles..." There are many more verses which refer to the difficulties we will undoubtedly have here on Earth.

We cannot live as though this world is supposed to be a Disney World. Instead, we seek God and His comfort in all the troubles of this world, in all the tragedies that find us here. We do not deny these tragedies, Jesus himself wept. I took comfort in that thought while I wept in the line surrounded by people having fun. Jesus himself knows our family's sorrow.

So let's live like it's God's world. Knowing that in a fallen world, there will be trouble... and tragedy. But also knowing, deep within us, that God is in control of it all, and that it will, in the end, come out right.

We who so desperately miss Raelyn already can take comfort in the fact that we know she is with God. She is in no pain, has no anxiety, and is in a place way better than DisneyWorld.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Ring, A Knock, A Cry

We never know when the phone will ring with tragic news, an invitation, or a desperate need. If you have ever lived in a parsonage, you know what I'm talking about.

There are days when I am unequal to the task of welcoming such phone calls, or at least their callers. Thankfully, I don't have to meet the needs; God does that. He strengthens us to overflowing with what is needed.

Here in Dulce, it is just as often a knock at the door that alerts us to a need. Sometimes, I am able to help the person with scheduling a party in the church's gym, providing some food and drink, or just an arm around and a prayer. Many times, the need is for the pastor, my husband, and I am thankful that God provides him with the patience, strength, and grace to meet these needs.

We are blessed, here "in the trenches" of God's work. Thank you to each of you who pray for the ministry here in the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Our eight-year-old found puppies again; this is at least the third time she's found puppies here in Dulce. She loves puppies, and we always stop to play with them, especially if they are at someone's house that we know.

This newest batch happen to be on a road we travel frequently, by foot and by bicycle. Today we were on our bikes. We stopped and she played with the two puppies who were left from the litter of five. The others have been sold or given away, I suppose. This always makes our wee one sad, but she enjoyed the two who are left.

As I waited for our daughter to play with the puppies, a car drove up and stopped. I figured it was someone we knew, so I turned and said hi. It wasn't. It was a mangani woman I'd never seen before. "Mangani" (maan-gah'-nee) is the Jicarilla word for "white person." I find myself identifying unknown white people that way here. It isn't an insult, it's just a descriptive word. My husband received a high compliment a couple of weeks ago; someone told him they "forgot he was mangani." It means we're a part of the community.

Anyway, this mangani woman opened her window and asked, "Are the puppies ready to be given away?" I told her that three of them had already been sold or given away, but they didn't belong to us. I started to tell her the name of the man to whom they belong, but I hesitated. 

You see, here, everyone has a nickname. Pretty much everyone. It took me a while to figure this out. I was very confused! I was trying to learn names and faces, and I thought I would get someone's name sorted out... and then someone else would call them something different from what I knew!

Anyway, I know this man by his nickname, but I don't really call him that at this point, and I sure don't have the right to share his nickname with someone else. So I told her his given name and she went on her way, planning to talk to him about the puppies.

And I got to thinking about this nickname thing among the Jicarilla. I now know enough people that I am aware when a nickname is used for many people. But I'm actually not so sure whether the common name most people are called is their nickname and the occasionally-used name is their given name... or if it's the other way 'round. Or maybe it varies from person-to-person or family-to-family.

I do know that I use the name that has been told to me when I refer or talk to a person. I'm thinking that someday I'll be familiar enough that I'll be able to use both names, but I need to know more of the "rules" before I do!
In His Hands
And then I started mulling how absolutely amazing it is that God knows my name; it is written on His hand. He knows every secret name I have... because I belong to Him.


Sunday, January 4, 2015


"By Our Love" is available for $60.00
 These are this first two versions of a new design called "By Our Love." It is a small piece, 8x8 inches, but has many small pieces of glass, as you can see. The very first version of the piece is pictured to the left. If you look very carefully, you will see a couple of changes that were made before I built the second piece (pictured below).

Certainly, the colors were rearranged, but so were a couple of the shapes of pieces. I found the first version very difficult to build, so I rearranged a couple of pieces to make it easier.

I rearranged something else this morning, too. I have been trying very hard to start my day with Bible reading, devotions, and prayer. I have a Bible app that has devotional plans in it. I have chosen one in particular to follow.


Valentine's Day? "By Our Love" is perfect!
I keep getting sidetracked in the  mornings... I think, "Oh, I'll just read this email. It's from my mom, so it's important." or "I want to see what so-and-so said on Facebook." And then half an hour later, I've read all my Facebook updates or emails... and I haven't read my Bible.

It's so easy to get sidetracked. So easy.

The other morning, I picked up my phone to read the Bible. I swiped my phone to get to the Bible app... and I realized something I could do. It was so simple! I can't believe I didn't think of it before! On my phone, there are four apps that are locked in place while the rest of them are on several screens that I swipe to get to. Those four apps were at the bottom of every page. The phone app, the mail app, the camera app, and the music app.  (I was a little proud that Facebook wasn't there!)

So I took the mail off the dock and put the Bible app on the dock. Now it's on every screen. Just a small rearrangement, but it will make me more aware of the Bible and less aware of my  email.

What else could I rearrange in my life so simply that would increase the time I spend with God? I thought a bit, and came up with another. I am trying to memorize scripture, and one of the tools I use is Scripture Typer, a program that tracks my practice and reviews in typing passages I'm trying to memorize. Instead of opening the program when I am ready to type scripture (which happened almost never), I open the program in a separate window when I start my computer for the day. I am practicing scripture multiple times per day instead of once a week or less! So simple.

I am continuing to look for ways to rearrange things so that I am intentionally spending more time with God. What could you do?? Please share your ideas with me, so I can grow, too!