Thankfulness: It’s a Beautiful Thing



Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:


I have a friend who is my ultimate example in the “giving thanks” department since she consistently expresses a grateful, thankful heart no matter what she is experiencing.

Since we have been friends for over thirty years, I’ve watched her react to good times…bad times…and everything in between times.

I also remember that she passed her habit of expressing a grateful spirit to her children…and it showed. My friend’s five children remain to this day some of the most thankful young adults I know. And it still shows.

As I sit reflecting upon how my friend has influenced my life, I recognize that she has taught me many lessons that have challenged my thinking, challenged my way of living, and challenged my default response mode.

Out of everything I’ve learned from her…the supreme lesson of all has been to give thanks in everything…

“Give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thessalonians…

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Thanksgiving….Giving Thanks Every Day, Especially Today


Looking forward to Thursday…when family, friends, food, and fun will be here in abundance. :)

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:


Remember that a grateful heart is almost always a happy one.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7

Life’s Little Instructions

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Today, especially today, I am thankful for —

loving family
good friends
the strength to make a meal (and clean it up) ;)
a warm house
living in the United States
the conversations we’ll share today
delicious smells and yummy tastes


gentle reminders all day long that Jesus Christ is the Giver of all good gifts and I am a thankful recipient of His forgiveness and grace

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Outgrowing Our Spiritual Playpen


Growing up…is hard to do.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:


Aside from the comedic implications of this photo depicting the typical grandma as the rescuer of her grandchildren…there’s some real truth to this statement.

Aren’t we all guilty of spending too much time in our own
“spiritual playpens?”

I know I am.

I demonstrate this fact every time I demand…

to have my own way
cling to my rights
refuse to listen
dig in my heels
turn away in anger
rehearse another’s wrongs
close my heart and mind to truth

If you’ve ever been a tad unwilling to leave your spiritual playpen in favor of growing up…read what Elisabeth Elliot has to say on the topic.

Love is the way to maturity. Selfishness stunts growth and keeps us in a spiritual playpen. The world is full of emotional babies, crawling over each other, screaming, “Mine! This I want, and this I shall have, and never mind what it does to…

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Character, Like a Photograph, Develops in Darkness

characterindarkResearching some great quotes to use in my new book on loving aging parents well, I came across this gem by Carolyn Custis James in her book, When Life and Beliefs Collide.

“Most of us are better theologians in hindsight. We look at the struggles we have weathered and survived and testify warmly of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. But when a new crisis hits or we weary of the steady dripping of little problems and stresses, our theology collapses like a house of cards and we’re faced with the task of reassembling it all over again. Yes, God was good, he was faithful, he was in control, he did show his love to me back then. But here and now? Somehow yesterday’s theology doesn’t look quite so glorious or reliable in the bleak light of today’s circumstances.

The great women theologians I have come across cultivated the habit of using their theology in the here and now. What set these women apart – kept them from sinking when everything else was going down and strengthened them to lend a hand to others – was their unblinking focus on God.

They were serious about knowing him and studied the Scriptures with that intention. They were not passive with their knowledge but consciously took it up and confronted life with it. Their hearts were strong because they were sure of God.

It made a difference in their running, and what is more, because their eyes were fixed on Jesus, they were better wives, mothers, daughters, and friends.”

I love this line…..”Their hearts were STRONG because they were SURE of God.”

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Viewing Life Through the Eyes of Faith, Not of Sense


Viewing my adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith…not sense…it’s most God-honoring stance I can take.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:


Yesterday I sat amidst a group of lovely ladies while we were discussing the first two groundwork chapters of the book, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts.

If you’ve ever doubted the power of sitting with a small but mighty passel of like-minded folks discussing the little and the big stresses, strains, and never-ending litany of troubles that do “trouble” humankind throughout their lives…then you are missing something quite wonderful.

As we opened the first pages of Jerry Bridges’ fine work, we discussed three foundational truths.

God is completely sovereign.
God is infinite in wisdom.
God is perfect in love.

Which translates like this — “God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.”

Thus said…when we go through difficulties (large or small) we have to view…

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Lost in the Middle — Somewhere Between Back Then and Tomorrow


Enter the Empty Nest season of life…and do two things (over and over and over).
1. Surround yourself with good, faithful friends who know you well enough (and love you enough) to tell you the hard truth about your ever-changing (sometimes unrecognziable) self.
2. Live one day at a time, content not knowing what all your tomorrows will bring.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

For many years, I spent the bulk of my time writing on single parenting topics, not because I was a single mom, but because two of my closest friends were. As they moved from married to single again status (this time with children), I couldn’t imagine anything more painful.

Now I can (and they can too).

Although neither of these women would ever want to redo that terribly painful time of their lives, it’s been many years now, and it’s almost like another life to them. Today, both they and their now young adult children are doing great.

But for some years it was a constant struggle for them. Never having enough money, time, energy, help. It seemed the “never enough list” went on and on.

Often, when we’d talk, they would mention the uncertainty they sometimes felt about how their kids would “

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The Great Consolation: Doing What’s Right


No matter what we say, inside of us is a God-given barometer for gauging what’s right and wrong. And no matter what society tells us, our conscience smarts, we do feel guilty, and our sleep is disrupted when we make choices that go against this internal warning system.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:


“In many ways, sin is the punishment for sin. The more I choose against God’s design and give in to my sinful desires, the more I suffer even if I never get caught, even if no one else knows.”
Philip Yancey

I could be backing myself into a corner here. Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.

How much would you pay for a clean conscience? To sleep sound at night? To enjoy a guilt-free existence? What about the basking in a conflict-free zone with co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors alike? Ever considered how much value we place on treating (and being treated by) others with courtesy, respect, and selflessness?

It’s a high stakes gamble anymore just locating individuals willing to live sacrificially in theory let alone having to actually make good on any spoken ideals.

After all, since when did we ever believe that when a person makes a promise they…

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