Whatever Path You Are On

Do you ever feel as if your life has you stumbling down a confusing road with an uncertain destination and wonder where on earth you are going?! I think of times I had no clue whether to choose “path A or path B” – and which one was “God’s perfect will” anyway? The life roads we had been on before 2020 suddenly made a sharp left turn OFF the paths we had thought we were safely on. These uncertain days have created a lot of division in our world and brought many to not only a fork in the road, but a huge boulder. Everywhere we go and to everyone we speak we navigate a minefield in fear we might set off an explosion! No matter what is going on in our lives, we move forward uncertain of what lies ahead or around the next corner. And as we’ve certainly learned especially in these recent days, life can throw us unexpected curves.

I have walked a very rocky path with a dear friend for several years. Her life has been painful on many levels and her faith has been a roller coaster with many stomach-dropping loops. Through the unremitting stress exponentially increasing this last year, we have prayed and asked God for what only He can do. And the months have gone on and the battles have continued raging. Then, within 48 hours, her circumstance abruptly changed 180 degrees to the positive and she was no longer on the same path at all. That which had been so incredibly frightening for her suddenly evaporated as her situation changed overnight. Too complicated to explain, the short answer is that God had NOT forgotten her, He HAD heard her many anguished prayers, He was working on it, and He finally had all His proverbial ducks in a row and made the Great Reveal. Her longtime prayers for release were suddenly answered. And her attitude was suddenly one of great relief and joy.

As I look back at all that has gone on for such a long and painful time and remember the many times she cried out, “Where is God?” “Why isn’t He doing anything?!” I know that I too wondered where He was. I have faith and knew He heard. I KNOW He answers prayers! And I know many times the painful answer is Wait. But what a lift to my spirit it was to see how AMAZINGLY God met her need! “Coincidences of timing.” No, I don’t have faith to believe in coincidences. It was God’s miraculous provision: blessing her beyond what would be a minimum answer to her need. I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible passages, Jeremiah 29:11-13.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

JOY! I rejoice with my friend. I look back in HINDSIGHT and celebrate! Yes, He was listening, He was directing her paths, He loved her all the way through hearing every prayer and seeing all her tears.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8.

I LOVE Hindsight! Through the rearview mirror I can see clearly what God has done. I will make an effort to REMEMBER His great acts of kindness and how He has blessed by sharing with you and by recording in my journal. I can hopefully encourage others and hopefully you, on whatever twisty road you may be struggling, to TRUST Him! To believe His promises. To remember His great love for You. And to continue putting one foot in front of the other trusting He will direct your paths. He is faithful And I for one shout Hallelujah This morning!

Beauty for Ashes

When I saw this photo, I knew I would be taking my paintbrushes to it. I know some people love abstract and free-form art. But my passion is trying to recreate something real. Isn’t it funny how different we all are?! Art is VERY personal and emotional and there is no logic to it, right? But this image, this one spoke to my heart.

This painting so reminded me of the stories of our lives. All of us have closets filled with old, broken down relics from our past: moments battered, bruised, worn, and often hidden away. These snapshots make up the stories of our lives. Some painful memories have an impact on the face we show to the world. Some secrets from the dark closets of our pasts have been given power to cripple or to rule over us. It is a new day. It is a new week. The Lord IS Risen! I pray we would open those locked doors and bring those ancient pieces hidden away into the light. Painful memories of our past do not need to define us in our present.

What is a stumbling block to you? What is holding you back? What lies are you still believing? What truth have you not looked at in the light of God’s promises?

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

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Most all of us have wounds unhealed: secrets gathering dust weighing us down, forgiveness that needs to happen. How can this old chair beaten with the abuses of time, pressure, and abuse be a beautiful frame for an old battered and likely discarded bucket? Yet when it is filled with glorious blooms and vibrant color, these discarded antiques bring hope and joy. God can make beauty for ashes And I count on Him for that!

This Monday after Easter, I pray you will trust the One who overcame the powers of darkness and death itself. Among the battered, broken down discards of our lives, I pray we would find HOPE to start this week with fresh eyes and a new perspective. JOY! Praying for a spirit of hope and FAITH for new beginnings as we head into spring, 2021

If you would enjoy a visual reminder of hope, I invite you to my Gallery where you will find any of my paintings looking like this (and more).

Masks, Spiral Notebooks, Tote bags, Coffee cups, yoga mats, throw pillow, STICKERS, LOL

Rejoice, He is Risen!

Easter and New Beginnings

Easter is coming! Flowers are blooming, butterflies, birds and blossoms abound and, at least where I live, real life feels like it is returning to our communities. As winter has turned to spring, the darkness of the last many months seems to be brightening and hope seems to be on the horizon.

There is something uniquely special about Easter Sunday and it has nothing to do with dying eggs, baskets or chocolate bunnies. The most profound truth about Easter is the sequence of events leading up to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He came to us, loved on us, taught us, then died for us. This singular, incredible real-life event of history offers real HOPE to our world. And the price for this astonishing free GIFT is simply to believe and receive it, to trust and obey Him.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I know many who have felt so wounded and lost this past year. So much was taken from all of us. I pray that if you have struggled at all, that you would look at Easter with fresh eyes. What can you turn from despair to hope, from lost to found, from dark to light? Reach your hand to Jesus who gave His life to buy us back into His family. Even if you don’t completely understand the cost of His gift, He will honor your faith and redeem that which has been lost.

This week we remember His suffering on our behalf as the days lead up to Easter Sunday. I recommend watching “The Resurrection” which is showing on Discovery and shares the impact this had not only on His disciples and mother Mary, but on the Romans, High Priest and other Jewish leaders. And in addition, I highly recommend the wonderful ongoing mini-series called, “The Chosen” which airs the first episode of season two on Easter Sunday 8pm ET. You can watch the entirely of season one free on YouTube or on The Chosen app.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus loves you, this I know.

The End From the Beginning

I had a lot of fun painting this rooster. They are lively colorful noisy creatures! As I was looking at this painting I was reminded of Jesus telling his friend, Peter that Peter would deny Him 3 times before the cock crowed the next morning. Peter loved Jesus and had just told Him that he would die for Him! Well, in theory maybe. But in reality, just as Jesus had seen and known, the rooster would crow and Peter would run.

Jesus doesn’t exist in time as we do. He did have to function in time while He was with us on earth, yet even then, He could see and know what had yet to happen. That gives me comfort! I am a True Fan of HINDSIGHT. I love being able to look back and see clearly what previously made no sense to me. Hindsight is 20/20, they say! But with FAITH in Jesus, I can trust in the One who knows the end from the beginning. Even in my darkest times, when my life seems uncertain, I rest on His wisdom and faithfulness. I trust His knowing rather than my own.

One of my favorite Bible verses is probably also one of yours: Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowedge Him, and He will direct your paths. Prov 3:5,6

Lord, we need You

So we ask You to lead and guide us. We make decisions and choices based on limited information and faulty wisdom. We invite you into our mess — we have tried and often times feel we have failed. Yet You use all the circumstances in our lives to ultimately shape and mold us. Help us to shine Your Light and to be faith-filled sojourners here on earth. We need Your strength as ours often fails us. As You’ve promised to guide us, You’ve also promised

“… that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬


I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come… Isaiah 46:10

WHAT Do You Want God to Do for You?

I love the author and pastor, Mark Batterson, of National Community Church in Washington, DC. One of his recent books is called “Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God.” It is wonderful and thought provoking reminding us of the many ways we can know God is speaking to us. Obviously, the first place is in His Word, the Bible. A blind man called out to Jesus from the side of the road. Jesus asked Him what seems an obvious question in Luke 18:41

”What do you want me to do for you?”

Mark Batterson said: “We’re out of touch with what we really want. If we don’t know what we want, how are we going to know when we get it? Maybe it’s time to take inventory. What do you want God to do for you? You owe it to Him to answer that question.”

Mark went on to say, “We let the expectations of others override the desires God has put in our hearts.” (pg 92 “Whisper”) Just think about that statement for a minute… Is there something you’ve always had as a secret desire deep in your heart that you have stuffed away?

Let’s each look deep within today sifting through all the COVID clutter to find our one and only true life. This is our now, our gift of breath – our present. We don’t get to do this over. What is a deep longing that You can bring to Jesus’ feet and ask Him to bless and prosper? Are you hiding from a calling because you are afraid of failure? Do you long for a good friend but have fears about their condemnation or disapproval? Do you have something you have always wanted to do or be?

What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Watercolor and writing have always been a secret desire for me. Hidden away in notebooks and closets for a lifetime, I strove to meet the expectations and needs of others oblivious to what God had placed in my heart…until I heard His call and knew it was His time.

What place in your heart aches to be filled? In James 4:2b James says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Those are pretty powerful words… I encourage you to ask Him to clear away the cobwebs and clutter around you and dust off your passions. Go before God and ASK Him for what is deep within You.
It is too easy to fill those empty spaces with very wrong things: eating too much, falling into depression, unwise choices. None of us are strangers to these things…So I pray honesty, vulnerability, WISDOM and TRUST in this process.

One of my favorite promises of Scripture is Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

What is your heart’s desire today? Are you lonely, frustrated, fearful, hiding? Is there a secret part of you that wants to poke your head out and shine? ASK Him. TRUST Him. BELIEVE Him. Because He sees you as you sit by the road. He only wants to know from your heart, what it is you need from Him. And maybe more than anything, you need Jesus Himself.