THM Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Hello again from 'where have you been land'!  I've been doing stuff man.  I can barely keep up with me.

Anyway, today, I wanted to share a little tweak I did to a recipe that you can find in the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, pg 290.

I don't believe it would be ok for me to include the whole recipe, but I am going to tell you what I added so that if you have that recipe, you can free to try my tweaks/additions and see if you like them.

As I was working, I wanted to keep the cake in the E setting.  As it stands in the book, it has zero fat added to it.  I admit that I only tried it once and that was the microwave version. I don't want to complain, but to me, it tasted like pineapple flavored cardboard.  No offense sister, but my taste buds haven't quite arrived to finding that result satisfying.  But I was determined to figure out how to make it yummy as I LOVE a good pineapple upside down cake!

To my taste, the single biggest missing ingredient was butter.  1 tsp of butter has 4 gms of fat, so that seemed a safe addition.  Here's what else I did.

Begin by heating the pineapple, 2 tsp Gentle Sweet (or your favorite non-sugar sweetener), 1/2 tsp butter and 1 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Let that simmer a bit, you're looking for a slightly carmelized final result.  To that, add a few dashes of carmel extract and a few dashes of coconut extract. (no, I didn't measure!!)

In the other bowl, mix the butter but add an additional 1/2 TBSP almond milk, 1 TBSP Coconut, a few dashes of Coconut extract, 1/2 tsp extra sweetener, 1 tsp Just Gelatin, 1/2 tsp Baking powder.

Grease your ramekin with the remaining 1/2 tsp butter.  Bake as directed.

So what did I add:

2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 TBSP almond milk
Several dashes of both Caramel and Coconut extract
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Gelatin

These additions vastly improved the taste, texture and enjoyment for me.  And by the way, this is a huge portion.  I couldn't even eat all of it.  I usually only have 1/3 cups oats so perhaps that is the difference?  Anyway, let me know what you think if you try it!  I think next time, I might do something with a cherry or two, but I haven't thought that through yet.



Hello friends,

I am writing today to say 'Hi there! I haven't forgotten YOU, or what I set out to do!!!'

Just in case you were wondering what happened to me....... I have some hope that perhaps one or two of you missed me at least a little.  If you didn't, no guilt.

We are all so busy in this life. More and more I realize how easy it is for us to get caught up in our own lives to the point where we are completely tunnel-visioned and scarcely see even the other people who live in our own houses.  The poor souls that exist on our periphery are quickly forgotten in favor of whatever urgent matter occupies our thoughts right NOW!

All that to say, you've all been on my mind and I've wrestled a tiny bit with feeling guilty for not having kept up with my writing.  For the most part though, I'm learning how to let that go and do what I need to do, knowing I'll get back to all of this when I am able.

However, I did desire to let you know a bit of what's going on in my world.

First, I was sick, sick, SICK for almost 4 entire weeks.  That is just soooo draining.  I'm still not certain how much was actually sick and how much was allergies and how much was, well, womanly things.  Whatever the cause, I was down for the count.  But, thank the very good Lord, I am feeling much more like myself again.  Allergies reign in the desert right now, but I can handle that better than all of it together.

Second, being sick, sick, sick left me feeling a bit dark.  I don't exactly know the reasons, but I was struggling a bit.  But things are looking up again so yay!  I no longer fear these times as I once did.  I know they will pass and I KNOW that they are meant to teach me something I need to know about me and about Jesus and about my relationships.  So I look for the lesson with expectation.  It's a good thing.

Finally, I've gotten way behind on some important things in my own world and I needed to buckle down and get caught up.  So most of my energy is being spent on that project at the moment.  I'm renewing my Flylady skills, working on financial records and doing some organizing.  It feels great!

All that to say, I'll be back, I promise, but I can't promise when.  I hope YOU are doing well. Feel free to leave me a comment and share a bit about what has been grabbing your attention recently.  I'd love to hear all about it!



Sacrificial Cost

Luke 8:26-39 tells the story of the man from Gadera who was possessed with a legion of demons. You can read it below to remind yourself of the details.

Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. (ESV)

As I read through this story recently, I was struck by the fact that despite the incredible gift of freedom Jesus gave to the possessed man, and indirectly to the town as well, they asked him to leave them.  In fact, it says they were 'seized with great fear'.  

Fear of what, I wonder? 

As I pondered, I believe that what they were afraid of was the cost, the sacrifice required to let Jesus into their town.  He'd only been there for 5 minutes when he cost them an entire herd of pigs.  What else would he pry from their tightly closed fists? They really didn't want to entertain the idea at all.  They never stopped to consider what they might have gained in return, instead, all they envisioned was the potential for greater loss.

Jesus performed an act that brought complete freedom to this man in a way that no one before had been able to do. Not only did he free the man himself, but the entire town was relieved of the heavy burden of having to deal with the man's destructive ways.  In addition, surely the man had a family and his family was now given great joy and hope in the return of a beloved son, or husband, and maybe father. To the town was returned one able-bodied, right-minded man who could now be a productive member of society.

But a herd of pigs was lost.

The townspeople weighed the cost of the man's and the town's freedom and considered the cost of that freedom too great, so they sent the Freedom-source packing.

Did any of them ever wonder what might have happened if instead, they'd invited him to stay and share His story with them? Did anyone regret that decision? What else might Jesus have done for that city if only he'd been invited?  

What had been the cost of sending him away?

Gadera's plight is not so different from our own.  Jesus told his disciples that they must count the cost of following Him. There should be no doubt that there is a cost. But isn't there also a reward?

It is true that Jesus will ask us to send some things that we hold dear straight over the cliff. But why would he do that?  The question is, do we trust him to direct us in ways that will bring the most freedom?  Yes, there is a sacrificial cost, but the sacrifice pays for something gained. Do you and I know what we are missing because we hold tightly to what we believe is our life?



Most new brides have a certain expectation for what marriage will be like.  If they tell you otherwise, they aren't being honest. It's not really something that can be helped. If you literally had zero idea what to expect when entering into a legally binding agreement of matrimony, what would entice you to go in the first place?

So, like any other bride, I walked happily into marriage anticipating a certain type of bliss that at least marginally lined up with, you know, just every fairy tale I'd come across over the years.

And, like any other bride, I quickly discovered I'd made a significant miscalculation. It's not that marriage was terrible right off.  It's just that it didn't look anything like a fairy tale and that takes a girl off guard.

Let me start by saying that I am fully convinced that I have the most amazing husband on the planet.  I will tell anyone the same story if they ask me.  He's been an absolute blessing to me in so many ways that I couldn't possibly express all of them. He's the most loyal, committed man I've ever met.  He's also the most meticulous and, personally, I'm pretty sure he can literally do anything he sets his mind to.  He's kind, compassionate, a great listener, intelligent, hilarious and wise.  He's the best, truly he is and if I ever have to find another husband because he has died, it will be pretty much impossible to find one who will hold a candle to this man. I'm almost certain that I wouldn't want to even try.

With that said, he did have a wee bit of growing to do after we got married.  Ok, a LOT of growing.  But so did I. And so began the process of discovering in exactly what areas we needed to make adjustments.

The first thing that presented us with a difference of opinion was how money ought to be spent. For example, I had in mind that we'd be spending money on new things for our baby.  Jeremy, on the other hand, anticipated yard sales and hand-me-downs. I anticipated that we'd go out for dinners on a somewhat regular basis.  Jeremy, on the other hand, liked home cooking quite well and didn't much fancy offering his hard-earned cash to the local prepared-food vendors.

Well, you probably get the picture.  It took a lot of effort, and would for years to come, to agree as to how to make purchases.  To be honest, there's still work to be done in that area, mostly on my part.

You may have heard that money is the number one reason for divorce. By God's grace, though we certainly didn't agree about how to spend it, we did agree that we didn't want to let it divide us and in the end, that issue, though difficult, has not been successful in bringing an end to our union.

We were also still adjusting to the idea of being parents. The truth was that we weren't prepared with the attitude of a healthy couple expecting a child.  We'd thrown ourselves headfirst into the jungle of parenting and we lacked the basic necessities to prepare well. The primary problem, the one I see existing in most young parents, was SELFISHNESS.

(I turned 20 the first year of our marriage and we celebrated at Carlos Murphy's restaurant.)

A grown person can have an extraordinary tantrum when faced with even the mere idea of having to give up a bit of self when they hadn't previously decided on doing so. Given that we were expecting a baby, a few such selfLESS ideas presented themselves and let's just say the the walls in our apartment did require a bit of patching before we moved out due to the aforementioned tantrums.

But there were wonderful parts of being married too.  Right from the start, I knew that I'd married a good man. We worked together to earn money for our family, pooling our resources.  In the year we married, we also spent a lot of time learning about the politics of our country and choosing which side we were on.  We formed many of those ideas together.

(Just another day to go to work)

Jeremy attended school at the U of A and worked as a server at Coco's restaurant. I was working as close to full time as a server as well, so we didn't have very much free time together as a couple. Our car and motorcycle always seemed to need something and Jeremy and his dad were prepping a demolition derby car for the Labor Day derby event. All of that meant that we really enjoyed what little time we could scrounge together.

(Jeremy and Dad work on the Derby car in Flagstaff)

(A trip to Tombstone added interest to our summer)

God blessed us right from the start with a sweet couple a few doors down who were also expecting a baby.  It was great to be able to talk with Sabrina about pregnancy and parenting.  She already had 3 older children, all under the age of four.  She and her husband Aaron were followers of Christ and that seemed to be their primary focus in life. That being said, we never felt judged and were able to develop a casual friendship as we watched their family romp in the grass of our common area.

(We took a couple of trips to Lake Powell and enjoyed fun in the sun, I even tried to learn to water-ski while 7 months pregnant!)

The Summer passed relatively uneventfully and Fall was now upon us.  Fall, and new life!



How many believers over the millenia have felt misunderstood by their fellow man? In particular, how often has that come at the hands of the Church itself? I'm no historian, but I believe that more people were likely martyred by the official Church than by non-believers. Perhaps somebody who knows the stats can correct me if I'm wrong, but from where I stand, it began with the crucifixion of Christ and it's been going strong ever since.

Well, actually, no, it began with Seth, moved to the prophets, on to Christ and since to various martyrs down through history.  Given that, we oughtn't to be surprised when we face it here.

In the American culture, where I live, it's not generally about life or death. That may be a benefit (or it may not be, I'm not always certain.) What we face here is typically more along the lines of a rejection of truth which our Savior leads us into.  When I've faced this experience, I can often end up devastated in spirit.  It is so disheartening to be misunderstood.

We feel judged unfairly.  We know that the people making the judgement don't actually understand us or what we are trying to do or say. But we must helplessly watch as people add more bricks to whatever walls keep us separated one from another.

The trouble with these kinds of walls is that they are literally unable to be penetrated without destruction of the wall itself.  The reason is that you can't see anything at all through them.

So what do you do when you see a wall going up between you and another person? You can try to meet them at the wall and begin dismantling it together. You can invite an open dialogue. You can try to listen carefully to their point of view.  You can invite them to listen to yours.  But in the end, if the wall keeps going up, you are left with only one option that is good.

You can relate to Jesus. 

Misunderstanding can be a place of communion. That may seem strange but consider this.  Jesus was the true Son of God, sent from Heaven to preach the good news.  And that is what He did.  But most people didn't understand Him.  That was especially true of the religious leaders of His day.  

These religious leaders were men of great Scriptural knowledge and experience.  They were the ones responsible for teaching the people about God. And yet they misunderstood God in the Flesh. These men looked to the Scriptures and somehow couldn't seem to find Jesus there at all.  

When Jesus came and taught, they completely misunderstood everything he said and did, even to the point of suggesting that He was demon possessed.  The Living Son of God was called demonic all because of misunderstanding.  They were expecting Him to behave in a certain way, do a certain thing, say a certain thing. When He failed to reveal himself in the way that they expected, their response was to reject Him.

I've been a bit of an unorthodox Christ follower myself and over the years have found myself feeling rejected because of misunderstanding as well.  During those times, I am drawn to passages like Luke 6:22-23 which says "Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

I am reminded that my Savior was misunderstood and so shall I be misunderstood. I've often wondered at times if I should be concerned when no one is misunderstanding me, so frequent was that response to the biblical followers of Christ.

Certainly that doesn't mean we ought not check ourselves if someone rejects our teaching, but if we go back to the Word and to Christ himself and find confirmed that which we've stood our ground on, we can remember that Jesus himself stood there before us and we can look to Him for comfort and for ultimate understanding of who we are and how we live.


The Fruit of My Labors

When you plant an apple tree, you are anticipating a harvest of apples at some future date.  You'll do certain things to ensure that this happens.  You'll dig a hole the right size, you'll add good things to the soil, you'll fertilize at the right times and in the the right amounts, you'll water at appropriate intervals, you'll prune and you'll watch to see the progress of your tree.  Then one day, you'll reap a harvest.

This can be used as an analogy for other activities as well.  For example, if you want a fresh baked loaf of bread, you'll gather flour, water, yeast and salt at a minimum and combine them in the right ratios, you'll mix and knead and let rise, you'll bake for the right amount of time. In the end, you'll reap a lovely browned perfectly baked loaf.  You'd never expect to get bread from combining sausage and onions.  You know that you have to add the right ingredients for the right outcome.

Character is the same way.

I recently came across this verse in my bible study time. 

For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,  for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn-bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45

In particular, the last part of this passage grabbed my attention. The person produces based on what he has stored up in his heart.  Now, this verse may seem to be simplistic on first reading.  The reader may be inclined to think this is a black and white thing and that a person only produces good or evil.  I don't think that is the case at all, people are capable of producing both good and evil in the same moment.  But the thing that is important is that you will only produce what you have stored up.

Not only that, but in order to produce it, you had to first plant it and cultivate it, tend it and nurture it and finally, gather it and store it in order to ultimately produce something. 

So if I am producing patience, love, respect for people or a servants heart it is because I have planted and cultivated these things.  If I'm producing impatience, anxiety, anger, disdain, laziness etc, it is because I've planted, cultivated and am now harvesting these things.

So here is my job, I need to be a fruit inspector.  I need to evaluate what I am storing and what I am producing and recognizing how and when I planted for that particular harvest.  I then need to decide if my field should be plowed up and replanted or nurtured and tended for the next harvest.

The truth is that you and I ARE producing something.  We are never completely out of production, so WHAT is it that we are producing?


Going to the Chapel


Details are always the place where things get complicated.  Many of us might prefer to be like Scarlett O'Hara and say "I'll think about that tomorrow", but tomorrow always come quicker than you imagine and you find you must look at those dreaded details.

It didn't take long for Jeremy and I to decide that we would get married and raise our child.  We'd gone over the possibility of adoption but that didn't seem a viable option.  It's amazing how quickly you become attached to the life growing in your womb once you know it is there. It's almost like someone designed it that way.......

So, one March evening, Jeremy bent down on one knee in my ultra-romantic studio apartment and asked me to share his life with him, to be his wife and I, without the slightest hesitation, said "YES"!!!

With that decided, we proceeded with how to let our parents know what was happening. For my part, I didn't find myself self tremendously nervous to tell my dad.  I'd watched him live a life that was decidedly outside the lines (rules for Christian living) and I knew that my own mother had been pregnant with me when they'd been wed. So one day, the two of us went out to his home and shared the news.  His response was as expected, pretty calm and not particularly emoting one way or the other.

Sharing with Jeremy's parents proved to be considerably more difficult for Jeremy. Bob and Dorothy were and are committed followers of Christ.  They had taught Jeremy the need for abstinence before marriage.  Jeremy, as a first-born son is also a dedicated pleaser and he was crushed at the idea of disappointing his parents with news of his indiscretions. It took him some time to finally come to a marginal measure of peace with the idea of posting a letter in the mail to break the news.

If you know Jeremy, you know that even composing such a letter was going to take a great deal of time and effort, but eventually, he completed it and mailed it. If he'd have been a nail-biter, his nails would have been nibbled to the quick during the interim.

And Bob and Dorothy, just as they had when they received me with love, received this news with love and acceptance. Rather than point fingers, they reminded us that we are all prone to stumble and they at least were looking forward to meeting the little darling I was growing in my tummy.


It was decided that we'd marry on Jeremy's grandparents 56th wedding anniversary in Bob and Dorothy's Flagstaff church home.  May 16th was not much more than 6 weeks away by the time all of this had been settled and there was much to be done.

Dorothy had an amazing group of friends who threw themselves wholeheartedly into planning our wedding day, even including a bridal shower for a young woman they'd never met.  All I had to do was approve of color choices, baseline ideas and find myself a wedding gown.

It is a little to strange to think now how few people attended for me.  At that time in my life, I had very few friends and the only family that came was my dad.  In fact, only one friend outside of my two bridesmaids came to my wedding and to this day, I can't imagine why she did.  She was a lovely young woman I worked with and she brought her brother.  I can't recall that we ever did a single thing together outside of work, but her support at our wedding showed me that sometimes you never know who truly cares.  That kind of gesture can sometimes mean everything.

Jeremy's family and friends filled out our gathering and before we knew it, we were bound together under the sight of God and man. Our wedding was simple but lovely.  We held our reception in the beautiful back yard of a family friend and everyone brought potluck to share.  We danced, laughed, opened presents (they still did that AT the wedding back then!) and enjoyed one another.  And then, Jeremy and I hopped in our little chariot (a 1973 Toyota Celica) and headed to Lake Powell for a camping and boating honeymoon.


I'm Back

Hello friends, just a quick post to say thanks for your patience.  I've been rather distracted for the past 10 days visiting some pretty special people.  I'm sure you'll understand why I haven't been writing but I will share a few favorite shots of the time I spent with my precious family.

We spent a week in the home of our daughter and son-in-law in Georgia.  What a pleasure it was to reconnect with them and their darling babies!!  Not only that, but my brother and his lovely wife joined us as well so we are feeling very blessed indeed.  My plan is to ramp up my writing again so I'm hopeful you'll join me for the next chapters of My Story.

But for now, feast your eyes on this......

 (Jon re-enlisted and we all got to be there for the ceremony in the park)

 (Kassidy was fascinated with this box and played with it for a LONG time)

 (Boys watching cars chases, car rebuilds, car explanations......)

 (Liam received his first lessons about fishing from our family professional, Uncle Russ)

  (And of course, Liam also needed his first football instruction from Daddy)

 (The beautiful mother and daughter duo)

 (And the beautiful sister-in-law, Vivian)

 (Some of us toured this piratey ship!)

Many good memories made. The amazing thing to me is that Jeremy and I were quite sick with a nasty bug almost the entire time we were there, yet we still managed to have a great time, guess it's all that good company!



The first thing I noticed was how tired I felt at the end of my shift.  I'd worked a normal shift but by the time it was over, I felt completely exhausted.

Next, I noticed some other changes in my body, things 'just didn't feel right'.

And then..........I think I might be pregnant.


With child.

I thought about Jeremy and I, the intimacy we'd shared. The care we hadn't taken.  And I knew.

To be certain, I'd need to see someone.  Searching through the Yellow Pages I found a local clinic that invited young women to come and receive a free pregnancy test. I told Jeremy my suspicions and that I would be going to the clinic to find out whether I was right.

Jeremy didn't offer to go with me.  He wasn't happy.

I went alone one afternoon, into a shabby little house in a shabby part of town.  There was a kind woman who signed me in and had me fill out some paperwork.

I was invited to pee in a cup and wait.  While waiting, I heard a motorcycle outside and looked, hoping Jeremy was coming to be with me.  It was Jeremy, but he drove by. Several times. But he never came in. I felt alone.  Scared. I was alone and terrified.

After what seemed like an hour, the nurse called me back into her office and asked a few questions.  WAS I? was the question screaming out of my mind!  AM I PREGNANT?!!  STOP TALKING AND JUST TELL ME!!!!  She droned on.  I have no idea what she was saying, until finally, she answered the question that was about to cause my mind to explode.

'Your test came back positive. Do you know what you want to do?'

Tears, panic, fear.  No. No, I don't know what I want to do! I'm not ready to be a mother! I don't know HOW to be a mother! I hardly even have a mother! How can I be a mother?!

I'm ashamed to say now, that the first place my mind went for a solution was to abortion. I asked for and received information about how to go about obtaining one and hurriedly escaped the clinic to absentmindedly drive home, hoping Jeremy would come by so we could discuss the results and what we'd do next.

When I was in high school, I'd been part of a Speech and Debate class in which my primary goal had been to have an opportunity to debate on the topic of Abortion.  I was strongly Pro-Choice and had a bit of a militant attitude toward anyone who didn't agree. I was a woman and I was angry and I wanted my voice on the right of women to choose to be heard.  I felt perfectly justified in this position, having lived through years of sexual abuse and watching a friend being kidnapped and ultimately raped.  In my mind, every abortion was about those kinds of cases.

That wasn't the case here at all, but it didn't matter.  My intellect didn't take the time to separate the circumstances out.  I just knew that I had a choice and I could choose abortion if that was what I desired.

I don't recall many details from that day.  Primarily, I recall the fear, the feeling of being alone and worrying that Jeremy would desert me.  That was probably my biggest concern at that point.  I was desperately in love with him but I feared that this could easily send him scurrying away.  Given that, I was inclined to do whatever he wanted to do.

When he finally showed up, and it seemed like an eternity before he did, I bawled my eyes out in his arms.  We talked things through, the options, abortion, adoption or parenting and ultimately decided that we should seek an abortion. Jeremy would help pay for it.  I'd call my friend Celia and ask her to come and support me.

Then, I set about making appointments.  I called Celia and she did agree to come, though she tried to talk me out of going through with it.  But ultimately, she was willing to support me either way. I was grateful.

I went into the abortion clinic shaking with fear.  I had a preliminary appointment where they would draw blood and give me instructions.  I remember asking them on the phone why I couldn't just make one appointment and simply get it over with all at once.  They had a procedure and this was the way it was done.

So the afternoon before the abortion was scheduled, I went in for the preliminaries. For reasons I now believe to have been divine, during that appointment, I began to doubt my decision.  Still, I followed the plan and did what they told me to do.  I mechanically drove home to find Celia and Jeremy waiting for me and we spent the evening together, trying to distract our minds from the reality of what we were about to do.

We had cleared a space on the floor for Celia to sleep and Jeremy and I got into bed.  I had set my alarm for the next morning at the appropriate time.  The appointment was early and we'd need to get up before first light to get ready.

Then, I turned off my alarm clock.  I had made my decision.

I wasn't yet strong enough to tell Jeremy, because I was afraid he'd be very angry with me.  But I knew that I could not abort my baby. I lay there restlessly through the night, pondering how I might be trapping Jeremy into parenting a child with me and how would I explain what I had done the next day and what if he woke up early and tried to make me go.

I'm sure that I slept some, but I don't think it was very much.  Morning arrived, with the light of the sun streaming through bent blinds waking us from our sleep.

'I'm not going', I said to Jeremy. 'I can't do it.'

I wish I could remember his response, but I can't, not specifically anyway.  I know that he wasn't happy.  Frustrated would likely be a good word.  Maybe he stormed out?  Maybe he just sat there dumbfounded?  Maybe he asked me why?  He likely did that at least.

All I knew was that I could NOT kill my child and I had made the decision that I WOULD NOT.  And then, I went back to sleep thinking we'd figure out the details later.


Catching My Breath

Lately, I feel a little like I'm running a marathon.  There has been a lot going on and I'm struggling to keep all the proverbial plates spinning.  

Truth, several plates have crashed into smithereens and now I have to get new plates and clean up the mess..........and set those plates spinning again!

Wait a minute!  Is that really true?  Do I have to do this? Do I really need to be part of the local circus, performing death defying acts to the applause of the mildly entertained crowd?

Sometimes, it is hard to know what I must do and what I can set aside until later. Much of American society lives according to the 'Tyranny of the Urgent'.  I'm not immune.

So what is the reality? How do I live in peace?  What does it look like to accomplish what is actually necessary and leave what is not?  And once I've gotten behind a bit, that task becomes far greater.

I'm going to go and ask the Master.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
John 14:26-27 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

Let go of focusing on the things of this world. Worry is emotional atheism. It is acting as if God does not exist. - Harold Vaughan

"And whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” and SIN MUST BE CONFESSED! If we confess our distrust of God, unbelief, fear, emotional atheism, anxiety, worldly outlook, self-focus, self-absorption, then “God is faithful and just to forgive us. . . .” If you want to get right, you must get your sin out of sight! Jesus bore your “griefs and carried your sorrows.” Life is too short to worry yourself sick! Confessing (admitting) your worry as sin, puts you on the path to worry-free living. -- Harold Vaughan

I borrowed some ideas from the internet this go-round but I think you'll get the picture that if our trust isn't fully in Christ, even when the world around us appears to be spinning into a million pieces, we'll end up in a puddle of worry and anxiety.  

I think our Lord actually allows things around us to get out of control just so that we'll learn how to trust Him through it.  If yours fit's that description, look to Him and learn peace.
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