For Those You Have Given Me, Lord~

I am thinking this morning about the many people God has put in my life. Much if not most of the time, we are very caught up in what is going on in our own lives. Self-focused are we! But we were made for relationship, so most of us count those we know as an important part of the fabric of our lives. Facebook, which is often a bit intrusive, is still important to me because it gives me a window into the heart, mind and lives of some of the people I care about. It enables me to (hopefully, prayerfully) make comments to encourage rather than inflame. But Facebook certainly is not the best platform to reach those we care about.

This morning I feel the weight of concern for family and friends who are struggling. I’ve often been torn almost literally to pieces by the emotional baggage of someone else’s burdens. Can anyone relate? I’ve had to learn to ‘let go and let God’ take care of what is not mine to handle. Over time, I’ve realized that I cannot edit someone else’s life story. I cannot fix ‘their broken.’ But there are things I can do when someone I care about is hurting. I can reach out with words spoken or written. I can reach out without words by a hug or a gesture – even just an “I see you – I understand” look. I can think out of the box and ask the Lord to help me know how I might encourage them or brighten their day by doing something spontaneous or unexpected.

But I believe the best thing I can do is to pray. The very best! No, not the least or the only thing I can do. Praying is the best thing! In supernatural ways we cannot even begin to fathom, God drew us into relationship with Him and one of the outcomes of His great love impacts our relationships with one another. How AMAZING that my pitiful words to God can somehow have an impact in someone’s life! How can that be? It is certainly beyond my understanding. Some verses from the Bible which tell of the power of prayer:

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16   

“God is my refuge and strength. He is an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

There are too many promises to share more here, but my prayer today is that someone reading these words will trust the Lord today to handle something burdening their spirit and grieving their heart. I pray that someone who feels unequal to the task of lightening someone else’s load – let alone carrying their own – would pray and ask God to speak encouragement and direction. I pray those who are struggling, anxious, or fearful, would hear the voice of the Lord possibly because someone else prayed over them.

Lord, we cannot fix, nor can we heal. But we know who can and who does. I pray we might lay those burdens weighing on our hearts today at Your feet. I ask You, who knows and sees all, to take care of those who desperately need a touch from You! And I ask You to lift the weight of these burdens from our collective shoulders and lay them where they belong – in Your grace-filled, loving, and powerful arms. Because there is power in Your name, we pray

in Jesus’ name. AMEN✨

Make me an instrument of Thy peace, Lord

Heading Home

Lord, I want to be a light in the darkness; a beacon that draws a weary sojourner to a Rock of safety and Hope. There is no shortage of places to go to find “news.” (That word has taken on a whole different meaning these days.) There is certainly very little encouragement to be found and no shortage of Bad News to send us into a tailspin. So I hope to be something different: a voice with a prayer and a paintbrush, directing eyes and thoughts away from “News” and back to Hope.

“Heading Home” is my 1st painting of 2021. I wonder what it speaks to you…

We in Arizona have some of the highest virus numbers in the world right now, I believe. God help us~ So I’m hunkering down a bit more trying to keep the “COVID glitter” from having another body to infect or spread even further, as my daughter so cleverly puts it. My BLOG is an attempt to reach out – to you! I need people in my life so this is another way around the pinch of the pandemic to spread encouragement rather than infection. To share the powerful truth of the love and presence of God, even in the midst of the chaos all around. God is still on His throne! He is not surprised or alarmed! He still has His arms open to provide comfort and forgiveness, healing and peace. And I throw in a little watercolor to comfort your eyes as well~

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

”When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Ps 8:3-5

Forgive me where I fall short, Lord. I need Your hands to lift me from discouragement to where I should be in Your presence. Help me love and forgive, to understand to intercede, and to be a Light of Your love. And I lift up our nation this day, praying for Your hand of grace over a broken and dispirited country as we inaugurate our President tomorrow. Praying in the powerful name of Jesus, Lord. AMEN

2020 sendoff

Puppy Lovebug

Oh, are we ever glad to see 2020 slide into oblivion! It’s almost history, friends, and won’t we be glad to kiss it goodbye.

Speaking of kissing, I’ve missed lipstick. 💋 I’ve always been a lipstick kind of girl but…that was before 2020. Not much use for lipstick when there’s a mask over your nose and mouth. I’m not confident that the mandatory mask signs will disappear any time soon. But one can only hope this 2020 “fashion item” will ultimately become less mandatory. I never would have dreamed my art would suddenly be worn on people’s faces!😷

There has been much that was painful, despairing and discouraging this past year. We each have our own stories and know friends and family who have suffered great loss. Sending heartfelt sympathy as I write this to Cliff and his family over the passing of his wife Missy, just last night. Our world has certainly changed and we want so badly to have it back! We fight an invisible enemy that has taken lives, stolen family and friend time and bankrupted countless businesses in our communities and in the world around us. I don’t recognize our world at all.

But even so, I will cling to what I know to be true REGARDLESS of the mayhem around. I will love on those God has given me even if it has to be at a distance. I will pray for our nation – for all nations – and ask God for strength to shine His light brightly in my small corner of the world. I will seek ways to bring joy and encouragement where despair seeks to gain a foothold. I will pray for you, my reader, and for your battles.

“In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Isa 26:3; “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Ps. 33:20.

Praying you will rest and find HOPE in Jesus as we head into a new year. He IS the light of the World and the giver of living water.

Living Water

Welcome 2021💫