Friday, November 13, 2015

Learning in the Waves of Life...

Windy... windy... here in Ludington on the Lake Michigan shoreline! We got up this morning, packed up some breakfast & went down to the lake to check out the big waves & have a "picnic". Gorgeous & terrifying all at the same time!
It is also a little “flakey” here in Ludington today! And of course the complaining has started on social media! I love the season changes… if I didn’t I would not live in Michigan! If we don’t have winter then we will never get to springtime! If the season of dying off never comes then we would not have new life! No matter where we are in life’s circumstances we have to have the time of letting things… well, die, for lack of a better word.
One of the great things of life is you never stop learning! One of the crumby things of life is… you never stop having to learn! I will admit… I have been going through some rough waters lately! I love to plan! I love to feel secure! I love to know how things work & how thing will work out! So right now I am in a big stage of really learning what it means to live by faith! I can talk a good story & I can encourage people with the words, “Walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) It is always easier to say it than do it!
I was having a long, tearful conversation with my hubby about the unknowns of our situation… his being unemployed, trying to start a new business, & the B&B’s slow season. I told him I have a heart to be obedient, but I just need to know what it is I’m supposed to be doing! I don’t even know the question, so how can I know the answer at this point!!! My wise hubby said, “It is taking it one step at a time & making sure to praise God at every step!” So now what I am learning is to remember to praise God! It is my heart of gratitude that will change my attitude!
In Hebrews 11: 1 it says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I know where my hope lies… if I can trust God with my soul… can’t I trust Him for my circumstance??? I love that in verse 3 of this chapter, it goes on to talk about how the whole earth & universe, all that we can see, was created by God, who we can’t see! Wow! The vastness of His power! Just thinking about that puts peace in my heart!

Praising Him!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just do what it says...

I have been able to take a little time to do some crafting... it is hard for me to just do crafty stuff without having a good reason for it! Ha! That is why this project I painted is so appropriate & maybe a little ironic too! My hubby put the "palette" together using some reclaimed wood we had... love the rustic look of the wood.

Doing what it says can be so hard for me! In the stillness is where I just need to be sometimes! When the hub-bub of life seems to be taking control... I just need to push the "PAUSE" button before God does it for me! Does anyone else have that problem???

Recently, I have been searching out God for direction in a couple different areas... I have felt overwhelmed at times "doing good!" I have really felt like He was telling me that it is okay to push the pause button... the world will not fall apart without my hand being in everything! There is enough time in the day to get everything done that God wants me to get done... but I have to stay on His tasks & not my own!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones." - Proverbs 3:5-8

I am a work in progress... as we all are! I am so thankful for a loving, patient Heavenly Father! He nudges me, sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently... but always with His massive love!

Life is not easy, but when all is said & done... I know how very blessed I am! My circumstances will never define my JOY!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thankful in the unplanned moments...

I had a moment yesterday as I stood looking out our kitchen window… the quick thought that went through my mind was, “why me?” I know many times people ask that question, but this question for me came from an overflowing heart of gratitude. Instantly, I was reminded in my heart of God’s faithfulness!
November is a great month to share thankfulness (although any day is a great day for that too!) So on this 1st day of November let me say I am so grateFUL for God’s faithfulness!
Every day is a journey… I honestly can say, not too many things in my life have gone the way I have planned! And that is okay! God’s plan is always so much better than I could ever have imagined! That can be difficult to say… it’s not a statement that just rolls easily off my tongue… choosing to follow where He leads is not easy many times!
For example two months ago Luke, my dear hubby, went through a downsizing job loss… out of nowhere, but we believed God would provide. He did. A week later Luke was given a new job… it was not really what he wanted to be doing, but we knew it was what he needed to do, & we had peace about him taking it. He met some great people! And no matter where he is placed it is an opportunity to touch lives! It was an environment where they wanted growth, but didn’t really want any change… you know how well that works. But being the honorable man that he is… he kept on doing his job, trying to make changes where possible.
The last couple months in this transition have been hard… mostly on me, but Luke too. Going from a job where he set his own hours, more or less, to working 5 ½ days a week from 8-5:30 has been quite an adjustment… to say the least! Having the B&B is a joy for us! We had a great summer season, but him being gone so much the last two months has really put a damper on what we could accept for guests. We just knew something would need to change. So not knowing what that means, we started to pray for direction. Little by little Luke has started to receive some direction… not that he has all of the answers. But you know, if you get all the answers then you don’t need to lean on God? Right? We were pretty certain the job Luke was in would be short-lived.
Last Thursday Luke came home around noon… that struck me as strange but didn’t really think too much. I was on the phone when he walked in the door so I finished my conversation & hung-up. I asked him what was going on? And he said the board released him from his job. Wow! The peace that flooded over me was crazy! “So now what?” were the next words that came out of my mouth. Luke’s reply, “we keep doing what we are doing.” Searching for direction from God & following it!
As I write these words… it seems almost “insane” to me! I almost laugh at myself that I am not freaking out! In my flesh, I want to freak! Relying on God… is the only reason I am not! This is discovering joy in life in the not as I have planned moments! Thursday afternoon Luke started working on a plan… a plan that God has laid on his heart. I could see a light light up in Luke with the idea of doing something new… where his gifts would actually be used. It is still just a plan, so we don’t know yet how it will be, but we know God is faithful!
I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6

From the outside looking in, this may seem a little crazy. That is okay too… you don’t need to understand it! But what we would ask is that you will keep us in your prayers… that we would be so thankful for!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cooperating with God...

The last 12 days have been like a whirlwind! Luke headed off to his first day at his new job on Monday! So excited to hear about it & see what doors have been opened or will be opened! I prayed with him before he left… he would never show any anxiety, but I know it has to be a little strange to start something totally new! Although he spent many years working at local co-ops… over 25 years at Pigeon Co-op & 7 ½ at Falmouth Co-op. He has had good preparation for this! Manager of Acres Co-op in Scottville… not sure what this job entails, but I know that the people that work there are going to be blessed by a great, loving man with a greater servant’s heart! I know I may be a little partial… but it is true! Almost anyone that knows Luke would say the same. I just love that guy!
Three years ago when he got his previous job, it was a dream job that came at the perfect time. I always had a feeling that a job like that would not last, but I had peace about it, so even though I was shocked when Luke came home & told me he was let go… I was shocked, but not too surprised. Not sure if that makes any sense??? A couple months back, Luke was going to a meeting with his boss, & I had the feeling at that time he was being let go… not for any particular reason, just a feeling. When Luke came home that day from his meeting, I questioned him if everything was ok, if he was doing good, if his boss had any criticism for him… Luke answered “No. Why?” I said that there was no reason, just checking… I let that thought pass. At that time I examined my heart & asked myself, what would I do if Luke came home with that news? I prayed & said to God… whatever is to come Lord, I know that You’ve got it! I never told Luke about this until after he was released from his job. I do believe that was a test for me… I know God was preparing my heart! Even though I know I didn’t pass with flying colors… I did pass!
“My brothers and sisters, be very happy (count it all joy) when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of you faith produces endurance. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything.” ~ James 1:2-4
The next part that comes for me in my test is my adjustment to change… once again! It has been so nice having Luke work from home! We enjoy spending the majority of our time together… working shoulder to shoulder… this should be interesting to see how it all unfolds. We started the B&B to do it together! And God is blessing it so much! I know that will continue, but I have to be willing to change!
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord. ~ Isaiah 55:8
Our comfort is not what God is ultimately concerned about… Really?... Really! It’s about growing our character! I like to be comfortable though! ;) I’ll let you in on a little tidbit of information… a few weeks ago Luke had been told about the job as manager at the farmers' co-op in Scottville. He came home & told me. It was nice to know others thought enough of him for him to be on the shortlist of a job offer… I did tell Luke that it was nice, but that he was fine where he was at… I think my words were, “no need to rock the boat.” I also said, that God will let us know when the time is right to move on to another job. Funny!? I was being selfish at the time… I’ll admit it! I didn’t want him taking a job that would change anything about the way our life was. I didn’t want things to change! Like that verse says… I had my own thoughts & they weren’t God’s thoughts at all! 
I know I am just rattling on & if you are still reading, you are probably thinking, “Well, what’s the point?” ;) I guess there are a couple points… I love God so much! He is so faithful! What I have experienced in my relationship with the Lord is just hard to even fathom! Yes, He did provide a new job for Luke in a quick manner, but even if He hadn’t… I hope I would be still singing His praises! It is not what He does… it always has to be just about Who He is! For weeks Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart about keeping my eyes on what I do have in my life & stop paying any attention to what I don’t have… it comes right down to a heart of thankfulness. Life can be so hard… the ups & downs… dealing with the day to day struggles… DON’T LOSE HEART! Trust God! Don’t ever give up! Be open to whatever God’s way is… don’t put Him in a box! Kick the lid off that box & push the sides out! I’m trying! I’m learning! I’m a work in progress! So thankful the Lord never gives up on me… and He never gives up on you either!
“I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sweet, Sweet Moments...

I have an update to share with you from my last blog post, but first...

I had the privilege of making an anniversary card for a 75th wedding anniversary! How often does that happen in a life time? So I had to share a picture of it:
The Inn is full again this weekend! We will have 8 for breakfast in the morning! We are loving all the different people we are meeting! Summer has been very good for us!

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen" Philippians 4:19-20

Now the update... the loss of Luke's job last week was a huge surprise for us, but we know it was not a surprise to God! Looking back at how the Lord has been so faithful in every need (not usually the way we thought it would be)... brought us to praying hard & trusting Him more. Well, I am blown away & surprised once again... long story short... Luke was offered a great job this morning & they want him to start on Monday! We are seeing so many ways God has been orchestrating for Luke to get this new position! God sees the whole picture... just trust Him when all you see is a pixel of that same picture!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

No Fear in Life...

Wow! It has been some summer! Here are a few highlights... Our first official summer season of having Shining Light Inn B&B open! We have met so many incredible people from Switzerland, Rhode Island, Missouri, Maryland, New Jersey, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Ontario, & Michigan, so far ... busy, busy, busy... enjoying it so much... who would've thought I could find joy in cleaning toilets & doing laundry! I turned 50 in July with my hubby giving me a wonderful surprise party. Luke & I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary August 11th... we are trying to make it a 30 day celebration which will culminate with a few days on Mackinac Island in September. I have now been married for half my life!
Now in the midst of all these good things, there always has to be a challenge of some sort... I don’t even know where to start with what is going through my mind & heart right now… Luke was let go from his job on Friday! If there is any good part of being dismissed from a job, it has to be that it was nothing that Luke did… it was a corporate decision from higher up, just tightening their belts. In ways it still seems like a nightmare when I think about it, but at the same time… there is this crazy peace that is flooding over my soul! I know I cannot let my mind (imagination) override my heart! I also know that this incredible crazy ride we call our life for the last 10 years is all in God’s plan!
I love the book of Isaiah! I have found lots of good things in this Book… the more I have dug into it… the greater peace & strength I’ve found. Isaiah 41: 10 came to my mind as I wrote this, so I got my Bible, yes my “real” Bible & not just online… I have made so many notes throughout these pages. It reads, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Those words wash over me with such peace! The note I have written next to this verse is, “He promises!” I can remember I wrote that note next to that verse when we were in the process of moving to Ludington. I believe this verse came to my mind today as a reminder of what I have experienced of God’s faithfulness. God has brought us through so much in our 25 year marriage & His Word reminds me that He will not stop doing what He says He will do.
I’m not sure where this whole job change is leading for Luke, for us. Just when we are getting the B&B off the ground this happens… some would see it as a rug pulled out from under us. It was a shock… it is a shock! And I know Luke is not the first person in the world to lose a job… I am not trying to dramatize it! But here is what I do know… we are living a dream with running Shining Light Inn B&B, something God has placed in our hearts! God made this happen when we couldn’t even imagine how it would or could be possible… and we know He has His hand all over the door that will be opened… at just the right time for Luke’s new job!

So many things in our life that for us have no explanation except God! From the outside looking in, it might look different to you, but from the inside looking out… we know it is ALL Him! Isaiah 41:18-20 says ~ “I will make rivers flow on bare hilltops. I will make springs flow through valleys. I will turn deserts into lakes. I will turn dry land into springs. I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and wild olive trees in the desert. I will place cedar, fir, and cypress trees together in the wilderness. People will see and know. Together they will consider and understand that the Lord’s power has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”  I pray that whatever the next step is, whatever is to come, people will see it & know… it can only be God!

Prayers are appreciated! Thank-you!

Thursday, June 11, 2015


It has been months... I know many months... life is just so busy! But I knew today of all days it was a must to share my oh so grateFUL HEART!

I love spending my quiet time in the morning! God's Word never gets old... so many good things to find! I have been a Christian for many years, but I have not always lived out my Christian faith in a good way! In fact, there were many years I never really lived... I was just existing, always waiting for the "other shoe to drop." I "white knuckled" through life for so many years! It is crazy how you can be saved, know you are on your way to Heaven & yet not live with JOY! 

Reading in Psalms 86 it says in verses 11-13... "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your Truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, You have delivered my soul…”

God gave us His Son to die for our sins... He has done everything possible to show us the Truth, but we still have to decide to walk in the Truth! It is a daily decision to live a joy-filled, victorious life, or to live a life of defeat! Today I am choosing to live in victory & walk in His Truth!

Another reason I have a grateFUL HEART today is because my baby sissy is getting married on Saturday! So we have a whole, long weekend filled with family, love, & happiness! My sissy is 44 & never been married! She is marrying a man who is a little older than her & also never been married! They have a great love-story, which was so masterfully orchestrated by God! It makes my eyes wet just thinking about it & how over-joyed I am for them! So we celebrate Rick & Michele! Cannot wait to see all that God has for them as they walk through this life together!

So here is a sneak peek of the wedding card...

The jute twine I braided reminded me of the verse ~ “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a braided cord is not easily broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

where it ALL began...

February... the month of LOVE! Well, hopefully every month is that! Actually, my hubby proposed to me on February 12, 1990... great memory!

He gave me a Cameo Silhouette for Christmas, so last week I finally did my first project using it... have to say, it is a little intimidating to me, even though I have used a Cricut for years.

I bought the canvas at Hobby Lobby. Used Sparkle card stock from SU & vinyl I already had from somewhere. The saying... "LOVE where it ALL began,"... I love my husband, I love my family & friends, but none of that would matter is it didn't all start with the love of God. For me the love of Christ is where love began.

"Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. This way, … you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep His love is. You will know Christ’s love which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God." ~ Ephesians 3:17-19

Thanks for stopping!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Delight in the Mess...

This morning I decided to dig into the pomegranate I have been hoarding for a couple weeks. What a lovely fruit! I can remember the first time I found out such a thing existed… I was 11 years old, my family was on vacation in California. When I saw one busted open, it was like a bowl full of edible rubies! They stained and were a little messy, but oh so sweet!  

The one I deseeded this morning was a biggy… just packed full of those sweet ruby pieces! What an abundant blessing! From the outside of a pomegranate you have no idea what beauty could be on the inside! You have to crack it open to get out the good stuff! But as you break into it, the juice will splatter all over, your fingers will get stained and messy, but the “treasure” at the end of the inconvenient mess is so worth it! 

As I was plucking the precious fruit I was reminded of the word I have for this year… DELIGHT! It may not be delightful to do what you have to do to get to the good stuff, but finding delight in each step of the way can really change your attitude in the outcome!

We know the verse, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” ~ Psalms 37:4… that is a great place to start, but what does delight really look like??? It cannot be like, “I’ll delight in You, Lord, so You will give me what I want!”… although I know I have been there before! As I contemplated this word, I really felt like God was reminding me that no matter my circumstances, no matter the messiness of life, no matter how I feel… I must choose to delight daily in the life He has given me!

So then this morning I came across this verse, “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all you fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  ~ Zephaniah 3:17… Delight actually started with my Heavenly Father… He delights in me with gladness! In another translation, the word delight is exchanged with celebrates! Life is a celebration when I keep my eyes on Him!