clearance rack.

clearance rack.

I picked this plant up on a clearance rack for $3.



The leaves were faded and straggly but there were many blossoms.

For 3 bucks, if it lasted a week or so, it was worth it.

I placed it in a container and kind of forgot about it because it got lost in its surroundings of variegated hostas and tiger lilies.

In other words, it wasn’t one of those breath-taking potted plants that made you look twice.

Throughout 6 weeks of extreme heat with little to no rain, this plant bloomed profusely. Not only that, but direct sun is typically not so great for impatiens. They wilt quickly.

Not this one!

I recently moved it from its original garden spot where it had gone unnoticed to the patio so I could see it everyday.

Even though I noticed it and chose it from the clearance rack, I soon forgot about it. And all the while it was blooming for me.

And despite the direct sun and little water, it still bloomed!

It reminded me 2 important things:

  • What we dismiss, ignore, or avoid may be the very thing God has valued.
  • In the heat of the day, when life gets tough on us, we can still be beautiful.






spiritual support.

spiritual support.

I am selective with the books I read.

Some people devour every new one that comes along.

Me? I carefully choose because I have to be able to trust the author.

Not only that, I do not have the emotional or mental capacity to pursue all of the opinions out there that best fits me at this point in my life.

I trust Timothy Keller and I am confident of his simple, honest approach to life.

This is the introduction to his book I just started reading, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering. What resonated with me was the last sentence: … inevitably this support must be spiritual.

We keep waiting for someone to get it, don’t we?

It may never happen.

“Author Earnest Becker spoke about the danger of denying the misery of life and the randomness of suffering. When we hear of a tragedy, there is a deep-seeded psychological defense mechanism that goes to work. We think to ourselves that such things happen to other people, to poor people, or to people who do not take precautions.

Life is tragic.

We all know this intuitively, and those who face the challenge of suffering and pain learn all too well that it is impossible to do so using your own resources. We all need support if we are not to succumb to despair. In this book we will argue that inevitably this support must be spiritual.[my italics] 


friday quote.

friday quote.

This is so good it’s worthy of a repost!

when it hurts


God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be.

So He put His arms around you and whispered “Come to Me”.

-Author Unkown

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Waiting is really, really hard.

We’ve been conditioned by this world, fresh with cutting edge technology.

Medical images are sent with lightening speed across the country for another doctor to view. No library is needed for a quick research on any given topic. Our televisions don’t have to warm up before viewing. Phone calls don’t have to wait until we get home.

So when we do have to wait, it can be frustrating.

I am old enough to remember slower days and now, I appreciate them.

It seemed the less we knew the better off we were.

Although, there is absolutely no doubt our advancements have been beneficial.

For me personally, it’s easier than ever to have a cause, jump on a bandwagon, and reach for the stars.

Not a bad thing .. until life comes to a screeching halt, warranting your absolute attention

I often think of parents who have hospital visits with their child as part of their normal routine. They wait.

I think of the caretakers  who sit with Alzheimer patients. They wait.

I think of the displaced families in the Louisiana floods.   They wait.

I think of the people who hear the word, cancer. They wait.

And then there are the homeless, the deprived, the suffering going on here  and even more so in under developed countries.

They wait.

Maybe the rhythm of your life has been disrupted. Not the waiting in line or a traffic jam kind. But the heart skipping, breath stopping bad news kind.

And life slows down to a crawl with hours or days of waiting, waiting, waiting.


Try to remember you are not alone. Not “someone has it worse” thinking, but remembering all of the people who are waiting, too. None of us know when we might face something that requires us to wait.

Laugh with the good.

Cry with the bad.

But accept both as part of life, knowing God is with us through it all.

Most of all, wait for eternity when he promises to wipe away every tear.



Photo credit: riosetiawan via / CC BY-SA

scripture friday.

scripture friday.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

-The Bible


no earthly thing.

no earthly thing.

There is no earthly thing that can take the pain away of your child’s death.

I have read story after story of many, specifically mothers, who need this validation. Because for the most part, they are not hearing it from anyone else.

In fact, they feel distanced from people who were once a part of their lives. And it is not the mothers who are creating the distance.

It’s not that mothers want someone to fuss over them. It’s that for some unknown reason, if their child’s death wasn’t enough to grieve about, friends, family, and church family distance themselves.

It’s almost as if they are too close, they will catch something.

The reality of death? The reality of knowing their child could die, too?

And so a second layer of grief is added to the first layer.

Grieving a child’s death is different than any other grieving. Every time a well-meaning person says, “at least you have good memories”, “death is death” (no, suicide is different), or any other statement to bring comfort, it is literally like pouring salt in a wound.

I think the hardest thing is for mothers who are part of a church family. I’ve read their stories. How is it that the very people who should know what to say … don’t know what to say? Or say the wrong things?

And then, instead of acknowledging this ineptness, the grieving mother is told “well, people don’t know what to say or do”.

You mean those who profess to know God, filled with the Holy Spirit, going out into all the world to preach the gospel – some believing in the mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils – don’t know what to say to a heartbroken mother? Distance themselves? And God forbid, talk about her behind her back?

She’s not the same.


I often think about Jesus’ words to us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

Perhaps the most important thing we should be doing in our churches today is that.

We do so many other things that we deem as our love for God and ignore what might take more of a commitment. More compassion. More understanding. More patience.

This has to be on God’s heart. Just read the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation.

Many are shipwrecked in their faith because of this further grief.

It’s not God’s fault. I know, the church represents God. But it is not yet perfect.

So we look to God for all that he promises for broken hearts.

We trust he is bigger than us and develop that relationship with him.

I promise, he will help you.

There is no earthly thing that can take away the pain of your child’s death.

Only Heavenly.


Mara ~earth light~ via / CC BY-NC-ND




Please allow me to step into your pain and introduce you to Ann Voskamp.

If you’re tired of the platitudes, her words are for you.

She says things like:

Because there is nothing we need to know more than how to live with our broken heart.

Feeling like no one understands us may be what overwhelms us the most.

Is the worst human emotion feeling alone? 

This fall, look for her new book.


If you cannot read it now, it’s okay.

But one day, when you’re ready, please read.

just look up.

just look up.

When I was little, I used to love my swing.

I would go higher and higher – imagining I would fly right off into the bit of sky I could see framed by the oak trees in my backyard.

While walking to my car recently, I looked up into the sky’s deep blueness, dotted with soft puffs of pure, white clouds.

I felt the same exhilaration I had on the swing years ago.

But this time, I was not that child, free from worry.

These days, I think we analyze too much. Self-help books, counseling, tell-it-all talk shows – often regurgitating the same stuff over and over.

Maybe we should just look up.

Look up and away from here and now.

Look up and away from what is keeping you stuck in the sludge of memories, failures, losses, and what-ifs.

Get comfortable and gaze at the sky.

It’s big, isn’t it? No, it’s enormous. The Big Dipper up there? Why, my friend lives over 1500 miles away and she can see it the same time I do.

Let the sky cover you with it’s mysteries. Let the universe hold it’s untold stories.


Let God show you he is the creator of it all.

Here I am at another place and time. Lots of disappointments, worries, struggles, and pain have accumulated. My mind gets weary. My body feels the weight.

As a child, I was not consumed because there were adults in my life who had to take care of the big things.

Now I know God takes care of the big things.

I couldn’t leap off that swing into the sky.

But I can leap into God’s arms.

You can, too.


Photo credit: mazahito via / CC BY