Friday, June 28, 2013


Life doesn't always happen the way we thought it would.
Seriously, this is so true.

What happens when you get married and envision this special kind of life with you and your spouse? 
You think about all the dreams you have together for your future.
We will work and save money and someday buy our first home.
We will begin to have our children and really start our family.
We will develop friendships that will last a lifetime. We will make memories with these friends and our kids will become best friends and we will live together in the same town and grow together through life's ups and downs.

For those of us who have spiritual roots, and for me, that means having a relationship with Jesus, we will find a church home, get plugged in and find a ministry we can do together.

We have all sorts of plans and dreams and look forward to them with such expectancy and hope.

Then our dreams are dashed.

Our hopes seem like a distant thought. The life we had planned is anything but that. Now what do we do?
What do we do when one of us becomes almost chronically incapacitated by pain. When our physical bodies act like they are 80 instead of in our 20's?
When getting up each day is a chore? When our minds are absolutely astute and wanting to accomplish goals and activities for the day, but our body is wracked in unbelievable pain. And the doctors know something is wrong but they can't fix it? They can't even diagnose it but they know something is seriously wrong.

I don't know what this is like, but my daughter does.
The bright, energetic, full of life gal can't even sometimes cook a meal for her husband. That sweet artistic soul has visions in her head of what she wants to produce, but her hands can't grip her paint brushes because the circulation is so bad that it causes numbness and pain.

And I wonder often "where is God?"
Does He not see this? Can He not heal just one of her health issues??

The logical thinking side of me, knows He is there.
I know "all the answers".
That He is using this in her life.
That He never wastes pain.
That He loves her way more than me.
That He is never going to abandon her.
That He has a plan.
On and on and on.

But the emotional, the mother side of me wants to scream at God.
I can't and YOU can. Why don't you?
WHY does she have to go thru life like this?
How can this sweet couple forge a future when so much of it is unknown.
Yeah, I know, alot of all our futures are unknown.
BUT WHY GOD?? Can you just not give her a little break?

And I have no answers.
But I do have faith.
Faith that believes God.
Faith that has seen me through devestating blows in my own life.
Faith that has held me when I had little to hold on to.

What if I didn't have faith in God??
Oh LORD, I shudder the thought.

For a minute I wish I could be God and heal one part of my sweet gal.
What part would I choose? 
Gosh, I have no idea, but I would heal something that would give her hope.

HOPE is what she clings to.
She even has it tattooed on her wrist.
Hope is what this mom needs right now as she gets ready to say goodbye to her after a visit.
No answers.
But HOPE...
Clinging to Hope and Faith.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Sometimes I can get overwhelmed by life.
Let's face it: alot of us can get overwhelmed by life.
Our days are filled with to do lists; we have so much to do that we get bogged down trying to accomplish what we set out to do.
Often times, I , and probably you too, miss some of the blessings that come our way because we are "too busy" trying to be the superman or superwoman we think we should be.

Fortunately, today was not one of those days for me.

Its a chilly rainy day at Woodleaf today-which is not typical for the end of June. 
When I woke up this morning I envisioned a day at home thinking this was the best place to be. No messy games for me!! I am sure the kids had a blast, but it was too cold for me-especially in June, to be any part of that.
After my time with Jesus and exercising, I took a quick shower trying to decide whether or not I wanted to go to camp. It was then I remembered that I had a friend who had been at camp as an adult guest for two days and would be leaving sometime today.
I hurredly dressed and went down to camp to see Aunt Ruth. 
Ruth is an incredible woman I met through our dear friends the Parsons.
She obviously isn't my aunt but to countless young people,  she is Aunt Ruth; the woman who loves and cares deeply for the young people she meets. I wanted to see her just so I could experience the bright life she brings and believe me,  I was not disappointed and truly thank God for the blessing she is to so many of us.

Before I even saw Ruth, my eyes caught a glimpse of my friend Chewy, who I hadn't seen in years. Chewy had been an intern here at Woodleaf for three different summers starting with the first one Scud was here. 
We connected almost immediately that first summer because of mutual friends and our love for coffee. I ran up to Chewy and hugged him warmly and we made a date for later in the morning.

But first I needed to check on my friend Ali who had the stomach flu and see what I could do for her. The privilege it is to take care of sick people reminds me of how grateful I still am, for the nurse I once was. I was able to help her figure out her dose for Insulin which always increases when someone with Diabetes gets sick. Then I was able to find some rice and bananas for Ali to eat and off I was to check on another friend who was feeling nauseous and give some more nursing (more realistically just common sense advice) care.

I met up with Chewy and brought him up to our home for a cup of coffee and we caught up a little on events in his life. Chewy's dad died unexpectedly on his birthday this past January, and it was incredible to hear how God orchestrated Chewy being just 15 minutes from his dad this past year and being able to have that time with him before his passing. Chewy is one of those friends that makes you smile just thinking about him!!

Then early this afternoon, I received two more visitors from San Jose. Natalie and Shannon were on my summer staff two years ago at Lost Canyon. I had actually recruited them to come with me. But what makes this even better is that on Saturday I drove to both the San Francisco and Sacramento Airports to pick up two other of my summer staffers from Arizona who were coming to visit . So here we are having a mini reunion because two of our Interns this summer were on that same summer staff and our retail supervisor for the summer was also on that team!!! I never expected this to happen and now I am in the presence of some gifted, talented , godly young women.

All these people I have visited with today remind me again and again the blessings God has showered on me being involved in the ministry of Young Life over the past 39 years. I have been privileged beyond my wildest imagination with people who have touched my life in significant ways. I have had blessing upon blessing through the richness of these relationships.  Some of the friends and people that I have met I might not even remember but that certainly does not negate the impact they once had on me. 
I have watched my own family be blessed beyond belief thru the friendships we have made and through their own adventures and ministry with YL.

It was my heart that was reminded again today of how much my life has been enriched thru Young Life. 
Too often I have complained about the time that has been taken from me doing something with Young Life. Too often I have not relished the fact that God has given me priceless treasures thru the people He has brought into my life thru this ministry.
Today I am ever so grateful for the reminder that not only does Young Life tell thousands upon thousands of kids each year throughout the world of a God who desperately loves them, but gives each of us the gift of treasures in the relationships we make.

You may not be involved in Young Life and that is perfectly OK, but I am sure you must be involved in something that has brought you joy upon joy.
Why don't you count your blessings today!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I know its my age. 
There's something about waking up in the middle of the night. If I wake up before 3:30 am, I can easily go back to sleep. Anything after that, most often results in insomnia.
This morning was no exception. 
The clock said 3:45 and I've been awake ever since.

Stressing over logistics of people's upcoming visits.
Not having the time for each person that I would like.
Feeling like I am cheating them.

Presently, we have our daughter Katie visiting us for two weeks while her sweet Nate is in Israel on business. Last week, our other daughter Kristi said she wanted to bring her family up this weekend. Which is always great because I LOVE having my family visiting. It was afterwards, that I realized that this same weekend I have two of my southern belles coming for a visit too.

So I began to stress. How am I going to have time to make each person feel special? To feel loved and cared for? And how do I have the time to care, nourish and love on our Interns? And I have dear staff friends counseling this week at camp and I have not even seen them yet and today is day five. 
So naturally, this would keep me awake and my mind would not stop .

I knew that I needed to get up and spend time with Jesus because hopefully that would calm my heart and mind. 
As ususal, the WORD OF GOD did calm my anxious heart.
I finished reading in the book of Joshua this early morning.
My life verse is in Joshua chapter 22 verse 5

"But be very careful to obey all the commands and instructions that Moses gave you .
Love the LORD your God.
Walk in all His ways.
Obey His commands.
Hold fast to Him and
Serve Him with all your heart and soul."

Also, in the last 4 chapters of Joshua we are told twice that  not one of the LORD's promises to us has gone unfulfilled; not one of His promises has ever failed.
OK, that is a HUGE statement. None of His promises to us has ever failed.
Which immediately sent me to Philippians 4- a chapter that I go to frequently when I let the worries, struggles and stresses of my life get to me.

The New Living Translation has become my favorite version for verses 6-7

" Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Then there's the often quoted Phil 4:13, " I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength."
And my other "go to"- Phil 4:19, " And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus."

Yes, those 4 verses began to calm my anxious heart. I told God I needed His help. And I began to thank Him for these type of problems. 
I'm worrying over things I cannot control.
I had no idea that all of these visits would coincide.
What kind of problem is it really to have so many people to love? How rich am I that I have so many people God has blessed my life with to love?
Yes, I may not have the time that I would want for each of my upcoming visitors. But I would hope that they leave Woodleaf knowing that I do love them, that they are special and that I wish I had more time with each of them.

It was that phrase, " His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" that got to me.
Life is all about living in Christ.

As you live in Christ Jesus. As I depend on Christ. As I go to Him with my concerns, anxieties and prayer requests. Living in Christ is showing me again that I was never, you were never meant to live life apart from Jesus. That we need Him desperately. Not all our times are desperate, but we need Him each and every moment of each and every day. Our hearts don't beat, our lungs don't breathe apart from His provision.
WE all need to learn what it means to live in Christ. It takes some of us a lifetime to learn that life really isn't life, apart from living in Jesus.

My stress is gone now.
I know that I will rely on Jesus to live purposely and love those that He brings into my life. I am so thankful for the unbelievable amount of friends that God has enriched my life  with. I am indeed a very blessed woman.



Saturday, June 15, 2013


These three words came to my mind this morning.
I wasn't sure what at first, they meant, and decided to contemplate them for awhile to see if they had any connection. 
I think they do.

Probably the greatest need we all have is to "lean into" Jesus.
Many times life can throw us a curveball. We don't know what to do next. Or  perhaps we might have a clue, but we need some added input.
Maybe we are going through something that has lasted in our opinions, way too long. We are ready to give up. We have no strength left. We are just plain empty.
It is often in these times that we realize we need help. That we don't have the resources, the energy, or the stamina to keep going. Life just seems unbearable.
This is the time that we have depleted our selves of everything and we finally realize that we need JESUS. 
I don't know about you but when am I going to get it through my thick skull that I really need to go to Jesus FIRST. Why is it that I think I can handle things on my own? Granted there are things I can do on my own, but when I am in the midst of a trial, whether it be a short one or the kind that lingers for years, WHY do I think I can do this without HIM?

There is NEVER a day when we do not NEED JESUS. Some days we are acutely aware of it much more than others. But what we need most is to lean into Jesus. To cling to Jesus. To trust Jesus, even when there is no answer coming to our trial. We need to be leaning into the fact that HE LOVES US like no other. That nothing happens to us that He is not aware of. That He is the ONLY ONE who can supply us with the strength, the grace we need to keep going.
Leaning into Jesus causes us to remember we are not alone. Reminds us that He is with us every step we take, every breath we breathe. He is there. He is more than willing to supply us what we need moment by moment. 
Our only responsibility is to GO TO HIM.
Sounds easy enough. We just need to do it.

Does your life represent Jesus well? 
To be honest, sometimes I might look a little bit like Jesus, and other times, I 
look nothing like my Savior. But I truly believe we are Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) here on earth. That we are to look like Him, act like Him, love like Him, extend grace like He did. We may be the only Jesus someone ever sees. 
Our lives are to LEAK Jesus. We need to look like we have been with Him. That Jesus Christ is our role model. That we imitate Him (as Ephesians 5:1). We are to live as if we are oozing the life of Jesus in our lives. 
Even when life is not fun. Even when we don't feel like it-that's a hard one. So often I want to be a brat, be concerned with only what I want. And not to have to think what might be for the better of someone else.
Jesus tho, commanded us to "Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:12). Love unselfishly, love extending grace and forgiveness, love unconditionally. Love when you will get nothing in return. Love as Jesus does. And when we do that, when we love like Jesus, we will LEAK Jesus out into a world that desperately needs to be loved.
The way we can LEAK Jesus, maybe the best way we can leak Jesus is to be with Jesus; to spend time with Jesus. In doing that, we come away reflecting Him. That is what we are meant to do.

When we have spent time with Jesus, when we have sought His direction, His Words, we begin to look more like Jesus.
We are to live like Jesus did. 
Thinking of others as more important than ourselves. (Philippians 2:4)
Being humble and gentle like Jesus.
Extending Grace and mercy and forgiveness like Jesus.
Having time for others. Even when its inconvenient.
Being willing to sacrifice our lives: our time, our money, our resources for others.
We are to live for Jesus.
We are to live like Jesus.
We are to live with Jesus.
We are to live in Jesus.

If we really were aware of leaning , leaking and living like Jesus, our world would look so much different.

Friday, June 14, 2013

SUMMERTIME!!! and the living is easy??

 Summer Vacation.
Remember those words and how they affected you when you were a child, a teen.
I remember those words, singularly or together and a HUGE smile would come across my face.
Those carefree days of not having to get up early to go to school. Of riding bikes with friends. Of hide n go seek games and steal the bacon in our neighborhood.  The fun of slowly eating a popsicle-the best kind being the ones you made from KoolAid and froze them.
My siblings and I sold our popsicles in the neighborhood for 5 cents.
Another family sold candy that were in jars.
We both made some money that we probably spent at the others houses.

Summer was magical.
Every year we would spend 4-6 weeks at my grandmother's beach house in Ventura. I learned how to dive thru waves, and then how to body surf and finally how to surf. We went looking for shells each morning. We walked along the beach from one end to the other. We met and played with friends we would have all thru our childhood. I had my first crush at Solimar.

Then I grew up and had to get a job in the summer during college vacations. 
Well, that wasn't so much fun.

But then I got married and had kids and got to experience summer vacation all over again through the eyes of my children.
I was never a mom who dreaded summer. I loved again, those carefree days. I loved spending time with my kids. For years we had a beach day every week where we would go to Santa Cruz for the day and my hope was to give them a love for the ocean as much as I had.
We had season passes to Great America and often went when Scud got home from work and most of the crowds had left for the day. 
I loved letting the kids have friends over to play.
It was just a blast for me. I hope they thought so too.

Today I read two things from 2 of my friends at Woodleaf that were very meaningful. Sarah is having a "YES" day with her kids. Anything they want she said YES to. They had some premade parameters: because we live in the mountains, it had to be physically feasible, safe and affordable. Those kids will have a blast today and have gone thru a number of things on this list already as i write.
Sarah and I talked about why don't we always have "YES" days for our kids. I remember reading something by Chuck Swindoll when our kids were in elementary school about only say no when you absolutely have to. That too often we say No out of convenience to us, but why don't we say Yes more??
And if we said YES more, how would that influence every part of our lives.

My other young mom friend, Christine, posted an article from another blog about saying these six words to your kids:
                " I love to watch you play"
How awesome is that??
I loved watching my kids play. Whether it was baseball, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, football, playing the piano or even playing video games. 
We NEED to take the time as moms to stop and ENJOY watching our kids play. It will do wonders for us. We must take the time to stop, slow down, put the lists away, get off Facebook or blogs and take the time to ENJOY our children. We need it and so do they.

So for you younger moms who have your kids home now for the summer.
ENJOY them. PLAY with them. HAVE FUN with them.
All too soon, those carefree days of summer will be gone.
I miss them and am almost certain you will too.
Living is easy in the summer; if you have the right attitude.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursdays-the next go round

Summer at Woodleaf makes me lose track of the days of the week.
Today, for example is Day 6.
Someone asked me what day of the week it is today, and I had to stop and think.
I had wanted to have every Thursday be "THANKFUL THURSDAY", but it seems almost beyond my grasp in the summer.
What I do on "normal" as in "not summer" Thursdays is take 5 minutes and write what I am grateful for. 
So here goes today's list -in 5 minutes

Scud-always the best choice I made-outside of my relationship with Jesus.
A surgery went well this week for my friend.
For RJ, I like him alot.
For our 14 Interns-they have incredible stories.
That we got to see one son and his gal last Saturday (along with her family).
Strawberries and Peaches. YUM
I am forgiven.
I know God's Grace.
For a brief few hours , I got to be a nurse again.
Time with my friend Becky and her sweet boys.
My times with Jesus.
My times praying for friends.
An internet that works today!!

That's my 5 minutes- I need to learn to type faster.
What are you thankful for this day?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Ephesians 4:30

" And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live."

That verse got me this morning. Many verses in Ephesians 4 made me stop and think this morning, but this one, in particular just made me put my pen and journal down.

I was convicted. How to I bring sorrow on God by the way I live?
Sometimes -well in reality, probably often by my thoughts.
Sometimes by what I watch on TV.  Dang it...but I love Grey's, and Scandal and the Good Wife.
Sometimes by how I talk to people. You know in an annoyed voice, or a curt voice or by even talking in a mad voice.

I know I must grieve God greatly when I judge people. He is the JUDGE, not me.
I must cause Him to wince when I covet things I don't really need. Especially in light of the fact, that I live in the most affluent country in the world. There are literally millions and millions of people that would love to have even an eighth or tenth of what I possess. And yet, I think I need more. Actually I just want more; I don't really need it.

I must cause God sorrow too when I am not content. 
I know there are alot of us who think "IF ONLY".
If only I had a better job.
If only I had a nicer home.
If only I could get that piece of clothing that everyone else seems to be wearing.
If only I could go this place on vacation- everyone else goes there.
If only I had another degree- imagine where it could take me.
If only I had gone to a better college.
If only my parents had cared for me in the way I needed.
If only I had a girlfriend or a boyfriend-then I know I would be content.
IF only I had not done "that". I would not still have this guilt.
Way too many "If Only's".

Then there are the "obvious things" we do, that can cause God to be sad.
When we gossip.
When we lie.
When we cheat.
When we do whatever it takes to get what "we" want- no matter if others get hurt in the process.
When we drink too much.
When we swear too often.
When we do anything that would cause others to say: " I thought you were a follower of Christ."

It really pains me to think of how much I might cause God to be sad.
I am again ever so grateful that Jesus took care of all my wrongs on the Cross-  where He suffered and died for me.
I am determined to try and change. 
I don't want to cause the LORD grief.
But I am smart enough to realize I can not do this without His Help.
LORD GOD, have mercy on me. Please.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Facebook says I have 545 friends today.
A couple of times a year, I go look at my friends and spend at least an hour deleting people. Mostly they are summer staff or work crew kids that have requested to be my "friend" and I don't have the heart to say no. But a few months later, I will delete them because to me, they really aren't my friend.
I mean how can someone be my friend that I hardly know?

This morning I got to thinking about "friends". And what that means. has this definition:


1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter.

3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile.

I again realized that there are many differnt kinds of friends.
Casual Friends:
These people are the ones who you might have just met and think they could be someone would like to get to know better. They also might be people that you've known for awhile but it is a friendship that is very much surface level.
The depth hardly scratches any surface.
Fun Friends:
These are the people you enjoy just being with.
You have fun together, whether it be having a mutual hobby that you do together, or that you are beginning to make memories with.
Good Friends:
These are the people in your life that you begin to share your life with and they do the same with you.
You begin to help each other out when the need arises.
You've spent time with them individually and in groups.
You have memories galore.
For me, this is where I share spiritual insights and look forward to them sharing the same with me
Then there are the friends that I am going to call the Inner Circle.
I have about ten women who are my Inner Circle. These are my friends who have seen me at my best and loved me still-at my worst. My Inner Circle has been there for me in the darkest, toughest times in my life. These dear ladies are the ones I can be real and honest with. I have shared my deepest thoughts and fears with these friends. I know when I tell any of these women something so personal, that I have their confidence it will not be shared. They may be disappointed in me at times, but they have never deserted me. they have loved me and supported me for 30-35 years. 
These amazing gals have stood with me when my dad left this earth, when my sons literally couldn't stand me, through very difficult times with my daughter. But they have celebrated with me in the marriages of my girls, the birth of grandbabies, travelling for birthday celebrations. They have been my rock and support. I seriously cannot imagine my life here without them.
 And then there are my girls. Those younger friends who I became acquainted with through Young Life.  Oh, these gals have given me tremendous blessings upon blessings. They are my friends and I'm not sure where they fit on my so called friends category list, but I love them and am thankful for the gifts of their friendship.
545 Friends?? I'm not sure they are all friends.
But I am ever so grateful for the ONES that I know are.
Thank you Susan, Sue, Karen, Beckie, MK, Ruth, Sandy, Diana, June and Jean....(in no particular order.) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Oh my, its getting hot at Woodleaf!!
I realize that for my friends living in Arizona, they have been in heat for awhile now. Not "in heat" but suffering from outrageous temperatures.
Usually the days at Woodleaf in the summer, are in the 80's-which is always my favorite temperature. This week-or the first few days of it, we are inching to the high 80's. But Friday and Saturday, its going to be in the high 90's.
So what you say? Big deal. Get over it.

Oh I wish I could.
Ask my children. When they were little, if the thermometer went above 89 degrees, I was in the " NO COOKING MODE", or as Scud aptly referred to it as the " Missy, meltdown mode".  I know, its probably the only time in our 39 year relationship that he's been RUDE.
Those 90 degree plus days were our popcorn and watermelon dinners. Mostly watermelon. I think I added the popcorn to make it more attractive for Kristi.
I still do those days. Oh shoot, that reminds me, I DON''T HAVE A WATERMELON right now. BUMMER. Note to self, get one in Chico on Thursday.

So its going to be HOT. And when you live at 3100 feet elevation, the heat might seem more profound. I think of it as being closer to the sun.
This is the time when we caution-no, we actually almost demand the campers, the work crew , the Summer Staff and our camp staff, that they really really need to increase their water intake, so that dehydration doesn't become an issue.

I am going to stock up on Gatorade because as a nurse, I find it helpful to also increase your intake of certain elements and Gatorade was designed to do that. Plus, I want to bring some added boost out to our fabulous Interns that are in the sun most of the day.

I am prepared. Well, No  I'm not.  Its too hot for me in the high 90's, but you can believe that I will do everything I possibly can to make this easier. Including raising my PG&E bill by turning on the AC. Thank God for air conditioning!!

The heating up of the temperature makes me wonder what I do when the HEAT OF LIFE strikes. How do I handle the heat of stressful times? Can I prepare for those times when life seems to be going out of control? What measures can I do to prevent me from having a boil over?

Truthfully, sometimes I can handle the rising temperatures of life's battles better than I can at others. 
If I know something is on the horizon that can threaten the seismic atmosphere of my life, I can realize that I am going to need MORE TIME WITH GOD. I can pray more. I can read my Bible more. I can recruit people to pray for me and let them know what's going on.
But what about those times when we have no idea something is about to   decimate my life for a time. You know those times when you get the diagnosis you never wanted to receive. Or that pink slip that you get (which is never really pink at all). Perhaps it was the absolutely crushing blow of the news your spouse is leaving you. Or something happens to your child-whether it be drugs or a life threatening illness. Maybe a relationship has gone bad. Whatever it may be, your life has gone sideways; a way you never ever expected.

In those very difficult times when life heats up, and you think you are about to explode, or you can't take this heat; the absolutely BEST thing you can do is what I do when I know something is happening.
Why we don't always go to the LORD first is mind baffling, but eventually we will wind up going to Him, because we know we can't make it through without Him or we go to GOD in desperation and plea bargaining.
We also need,  as followers of Jesus to spend more time with Him. We need to pray and lean on Christ more. We need to be in His Word-just to know we aren't the only ones who have ever had the heat rise.
We also need to go to our friends. They will be there to pray for us, help us with actual physical needs and how well we need their emotional and physical support. A simple hug can go a long way.

As I am preparing for the heat of this weekend, I encourage you to prepare for the next battle of your life that will cause you to possibly overheat.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

WHAT IF: my mind is submerged

What if:
 My mind is submerged in Your Spirit,

 my words would be saturated with Your love, truth and wisdom.

What if that could really happen in my life?
How different I would be.

If I let my mind be submerged in the Holy Spirit throughout my day, oh what a difference it would make. If I continually -and that's the key- looked to the Spirit of God who lives within me, 

NONE of the thoughts I had would be bad, or complaining, or critical or judgemental. 
 Instead they would be concentrated on how I could encourage someone, or build them up.  Or perhaps help to produce a positive change in my life or someone else's.

Long ago, a dear friend of mine, gave me the book, "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence. Every few  years I take it out and read it again, because I think this book has challenged me more than ANY OTHER.  The entire premise of this book is to draw you to Jesus throughout your day, whether it be at work or in your leisure time. 
Tom Raley gave me this book while I was pregnant with our daughter Kristi. I was a runner back then and he inscribed in the book to me, 

"Keep Running Missy-but run to JESUS- each and everyday".

So that was 35 years ago. And I know I have run to Jesus. I have pursued Him. I know Him more now than I did then. I love Jesus more now too. I am more intimately aware of Jesus more today than I was 35 years ago. 
Duh...that SHOULD be the case.

But do I think of Him more? Sometimes. 
More likely tho, NO.

What if I did? What if I set my watch to beep every hour of the day while I was awake? First of all, I would need to purchase a watch that did that!! Secondly, I know it would make me stop and remember and pray to Jesus more during my day. Thirdly, if I really stopped and thought about Jesus every hour, it would become a habit after a period of time. Why is it that it takes 6 weeks to make a habit and only 2 weeks to break one?

I have been struggling for awhile now with forgiveness. 
Someone who I thought I could trust, betrayed a confidence.
I'm pretty sure that I have now forgiven the person because I have been diligent-and I mean really diligent about pursuing Jesus in this and realizing that in Colossians 3:13, He has commanded us -specifically me to:

"Forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you".

So I am once again learning that it is easier to forgive than to forget.

But what if my mind had been submerged in His Holy Spirit? 
I truly believe that my words and my thoughts would have been saturated in God's love and His truth and His wisdom and this whole matter would be over and done with.

What if I keep turning to Jesus often-and even trying hourly everyday? 
Oh how His Spirit would saturate me in His love, His truth and His forgiveness of me!!
And that in turn, hopefully, would spill over in me to all the ones He brings into my life in a daily basis.

I am so thankful that Jesus has never given up on me. I am even more grateful that He loves me and because He does, He won't let me stay the way I am. That He is continually through the days and months and years, transforming into looking more like Him. I am so thankful that Tom gave me this book, that he thought enough of me to know that this little read would challenge me through the years.

Its time to read "Practicing His Presence " again.
If you have never read it, I can't encourage you more to go get this book.
I guarantee, you will be challenged for years.

If my mind is submerged in Your Spirit, my words will be saturated with Your love, truth and wisdom.