Right in Front of You

It’s Friday….I always seem amazed when Friday shows up again. I greet the day with a sigh of relief…I made it here again.

This week I particularly feel a sense of relief. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but God is good and continues to breathe His truth into my soul. 

In Psalm 37:3….trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness…

When I read that passage recently, I reflected on the name of​ my blog. Faith. Hope. Love. Food. My original intention for my blog was to share my food struggle journey, but God revealed a different focus to me.

The food that fuels my soul…His faithfulness, His goodness, His love, His peace, mercy, grace… have ​been so clearly evident and alive this week in my life.

Sometimes, what you are searching for is right in front of you, you just need a reminder that it’s there. My prayers this week have been an intense sense of needing direction, His direction. I have been feeding on His faithfulness and staying in the Word, praying His promises.

Ever heard someone speak to you and know it was exactly what God needed for you to hear? Ever received a hug and felt the love so deeply? I did this week. The answers I sought were right in front of me, I just needed reminded.

If you are struggling with making a hard decision, feed on His faithfulness and keep praying. The answer you yearn for just may be right in front of you.

Faith Lessons in the Kitchen Sink

This past weekend, I prayed over the question Jesus asked the blind men…what do You want me to do for you?

I realized I needed discernment to something I was struggling with. I needed​ affirmation. Today, God revealed the discernment that I needed to me through the words of another and a clear sense of peace in my heart.

It was a good day.

And tonight, I found this in my sink.

Just when you think they aren’t listening, you turn and see something that makes you pause and smile. He rinsed his milkshake glass without being told. Small victories. Simple things. Mom moments that remind me this balance thing I am striving for might just be attainable.

God uses everyday people, everyday simple things to grab our attention. The affirming words from your boss. Your son’s rinsed glass without being told. A listening ear from your best friend. Shared dreams with your spouse.

Sometimes, I overcomplicate things, and then a simple act of obedience from my son reminds me he is listening to me. I think how pleased our Father must feel when His children obey. It may be a simple act of stepping out in faith or a huge leap of faith. 

I challenge you to pray for courage to obey this week. May we all be free to laugh without fear of the future.

What do you want?

The joy of the Midwestern spring weather is that one day, you’re hot, and the next day you’re cold. Today was a cold day.

It is amazing how our moods can so easily mirror the tone of the day. It was cold, dreary, windy, and rainy today. Teenage boys seem oblivious to cold weather, though. I opted to stay in the car as my husband and son trekked across the soccer field for pictures.

As I sat in the warmth of our Jeep, I stared across empty fields. The stillness of the park, its emptiness, and lack of activity spoke to me. 

Today has been a reflective day. As I weigh through things in my mind, I can appreciate the mood of the day. The gray skies seem to offer permission, telling me it’s okay to have a quiet day. Last weekend, I cleaned and sorted. This weekend, I seek to be still, one question lingering in my mind from my morning devotions.
In Matthew, Jesus asks the two blind men, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Mark Batterson, author of Draw the Circle, says, 

We have no idea what we want God to do for us, and then we wonder why it seems like God isn’t doing anything for us. The great irony, of course, is that if we can’t answer this question, then we’re as blind spiritually as these men were physically. Most of us don’t get what we want simply because we don’t know what we want

Which has had me pondering all day….What do I want God to do for me?

I know what I am struggling with, and I know what I don’t want, but do I know what I want?

So, I am quiet, reflective, wondering….what do I really want? What is in the bottom of my heart? Am I brave enough to pray for God to reveal, to speak, to share? Am I listening?

What do you want? What are the desires of your heart? What are your hopes, your dreams? 

Are you brave enough to ask God for the desires of your heart and then trust Him with the answers without knowing what they will be?

I want to be that brave.

One more day, maybe I can

Just when you think you can’t do this anymore, God reminds you that well, maybe you can.

It’s been a week like that for me. Work has had me exhausted. The balance between work and home feels overwhelming at times. It is hard to find that separation between the two. 

Work is a source of back and forth anxiety for me, but work is such a huge part of my life. When you work full-time, you spend a lot of time at your job.

I love my job. I work with seniors. I love the residents and their families. We have some amazing staff. 

The day to day stress, though, can overtake all the reasons I went into this field in the first place. And then I start feeling….I can’t do this anymore!

Then, God reminds me in the midst of an exhausting week that yes, I can.

If you work in long term care, then you understand the intensity of state survey week.

I worked long hours this week. I left my house super early. My neighbor had to take my son to school. But….I witnessed staff coming together, working together, serving the elders. I spent lots of time interacting with residents and staff.

I was reminded what an amazing leader I am privileged to work under…One who is appreciative and cares deeply. I was reminded of the great group of people I work alongside with on the leadership team.

Our results? Deficiency free. Deficiency free. Those two words…The cumulative results of months of hard work and day to day, moment to moment dedication. 

I was reminded I am called to do this.

A few weeks ago, I read this passage from Psalm 127:2…It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.


That very week, I had been up early working and up late working. I was allowing work to become too much of me. What has felt like my passion and calling was beginning to feel like a source of total overwhelming endlessness.
I can’t figure out this balance thing, but I realized that I don’t have to. I am learning more about prayer through Draw the Circle 40 day prayer challenge by Mark Batterson. I can pray over the promises in that Psalm and trust God for His guidance in finding balance.

Sometines, life is about beautiful simple moments tied into profound realizations. The happy tears of my coworkers. The words of gratitude from a family. Sharing hugs of celebration with staff. Laughing with a resident.
Yes, God, maybe I can do this just another day.

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

Tonight, I am grateful for His reminders that I am exactly where He wants me right now. 

What if…

It’s one of those mornings where no one but me has to be up early. My husband has the day off work, and school is closed for my son today. 

In the mostly quiet house except for the off and on barking of our dog, I really don’t mind these days of being awake in solitude. My mind does a lot of thinking during these mornings.

The other day, I wrote about “keep fighting.” The next day, my devotional was about fighting, and it really resonated with me. It’s important to fight through the struggles of life and keep our eyes on God. But, here’s another thought to add to this whole fighting thing….God loves to fight for us.
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14

Stay calm? During hard times?? This is definitely something I continue to learn. It is becoming a little easier everyday. The whole expression of “let go and let God,” it really holds a lot of truth in terms of peace.

When I am discouraged, before I know it, my mind wanders to this world of “what ifs.”

What if I had chosen another career? What if I hadn’t changed jobs? What if we had moved so many years ago like we had planned? The list can go on and on.

But, here is another question…”What if I am exactly where God needs me to be right now?

Life isn’t easy, but it is during the most difficult moments that we can experience the most growth.

On this Good Friday, I reflect, what if Jesus would have been spared the pain of everything He endured on the cross for us, for you, for me? 

That is a what if I don’t want to think about because the answer would change everything.

Thankfully, that’s not how the story goes. Jesus died so that we may live. His death and Resurrection change everything. He died on the cross so we can live in His truth and promises.

Instead of worrying and “what iffing,” I need to let go and let God. He will fight my battles. Just stay calm, trust His promises, and rest in His peace.

What if we worried less and prayed more?

Prayer can move mountains. 

31 Days of Gratitude: Prayer 

It is Monday morning. Another work week is upon me. I have no idea what I will be facing, no idea what my husband’s work schedule will look like this week, or my son’s after school homework load.

The great thing is, I don’t need to know. 

I have learned a lot about the power of prayer and trusting God over the past several years. I have learned that difficult circumstances can mold and shape us. This particular verse was life breathing to me when I wanted to give up…

Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed. James 1:4 MSG 

I am definitely a work in progress, but I did grow so much in my previous job which has helped prepare me for where I am right now. 

Time after time, God has revealed His faithfulness. He may not always answer my prayers as I expected or would have liked, but God is not a genie granting our wishes. He cares about the desires of our hearts, but He knows what is best for us and sees the bigger picture.

God who began a good work in us will bring it to the day of completion. Philippians 1:6 

When life seems unbearable and the road ahead filled with obstacles, keep your focus on Him. Talk daily to God…while you are driving, standing in line at the grocery store, while your kiddos are driving you crazy, while your boss is placing yet one more demand on you…you get the picture.

I didn’t grow up going to church. No one taught me how to pray. I have just always, always talked to God as a faithful, loyal friend. He cares about our lives, the big and little stuff.

In the changing seasons, on the dreary days, when life feels ordinary and mundane…pray.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  

 On this Monday morning, I am grateful for prayer. Happy Monday everyone!!


31 Days of Gratitude: Unexpected Blessings 

Life does not always go as we plan and definitely not as we wish.

Sometimes, our prayers are answered seemingly right away with a definite yes. Sometimes, it appears as though God is saying NO. Sometimes, though, the answer is actually a wait… 

Not a no, but a wait and Trust Me I have something far better in store for you.

That little hand in the picture belongs to my son. As my husband and I had prayed for a baby and month after month, no answer, no pregnancy, just an empty womb…

God wasn’t saying no, but wait.

At the same time of our prayers, our son was born halfway around the world. Five years later, I was blessed when a beautiful, loving orphanage worker placed my son in my arms for the first time.

So many blessings have poured from this one. Our daughter discovered the beginning of a growing love for mission work and since our trip to the Philippines, she has been on three mission trips. Another amazing blessing…a family reached out to us.. their son from the same orphanage. Every year for the past seven years, we have spent precious time together. Not only have our sons enjoyed their yearly reunion, but our families have become closely connected.

Some of the greatest gifts in my life have been completely unexpected.

Another great example of God’s work in my life…I attended a writing conference two years ago and met a writing partner. She is now my treasured best friend to walk with me not only on my writing journey but the journey of life as well.

Sometimes, the answer to prayer may be yes. Sometimes, no… perhaps God is protecting us from something or maybe He is really saying wait, My child, something better is in store. And, sometimes, He pours blessings out when we least expect it.

Today, I am grateful for unexpected blessings.