Happy New Year

A Pure Heart

 Pure Heart

Create in me a pure heart ,O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

It’s the start of a new year, a time to take a deep breath and start fresh. We make lists, we make plans, we declare our resolutions but the simple part of all these ends there. Next it’s up to us to be disciplined, motivated and honorable in order to uphold our end of the “bargain.”

In Psalm 51, David is asking for forgiveness, acknowledging God’s loving kindness and tender mercies. He admits his transgressions and sins and asks God to wash him and make him clean.

We may not be looking at the past year and all our mistakes, but the sentiment can feel the same when we have a moment to think about the coming future.

This passage may have been about David’s transgressions and God’s forgiveness, but it is also about the faith and certainty we have, asking our Lord to wipe away all the days past and give us the unwavering discipline we need to hold steady, one day at a time.

  • stead·fast, stedˌfast – adjective
  • resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
  • “steadfast loyalty”
  • synonyms: loyal, faithfulcommitteddevoteddedicateddependablereliable,steadytrueconstantstaunchsolidtrusty

Happy New Year

Making Plans


Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established

Proverbs 16:3

As the year comes to a close, many of us take a moment to reflect on the year past and envision the new year to come.  We make plans, set goals and have lists of resolutions with every intent on accomplishing them.

We often get carried away with the things we want or want to do, putting so much effort into accomplishing them we forget to stop and ask if our goals are the same as God’s goals for us.  There are times we want something so much we can almost taste it.  If it’s important enough, we don’t stop until we finish.

An overall theme in the devotions I share is trust and faith in God, even when we don’t completely understand, like my previous post Grandma’s Quilt, when it feels like our lives are being ripped and torn, shredded into pieces and we can’t see passed what it used to be, what we wanted it to be to see what it is, something ruined, no longer useful, not pleasing or serving to the Lord. If we give it up to Him, let him use His nimble hands, He will turn it into something new, something beautiful, something better and long lasting. Like the quilt that covers my lap, whatever He makes will be cherished and we’ll see Him turn the fabric of our past into something unimaginable, something so much better, something according to His purpose.

Another important teaching I’ve been reading lately is not just blindly trusting in God’s way over our own, but in seeking out truth and understanding for ourselves.  In Proverbs 2, Solomon teaches us about the value of wisdom.  It says to incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding. If you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understading, if you seek it as silver, search for it as you would for hidden treasures, THEN you will understand the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.  The Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

He’s telling us not to just bumble around waiting on God to drop things in our lap but to seek out the knowledge and understanding that God will give us.  Search for it like we would silver or a buried treasure, things we might desire more than anything else and He will give it to us.

In an excert from my devotional Bible, Sara Trollinger wrote, “God doesn’t want us to have intellectual knowledge of truth.  He wants us to experience its operating power in our hearts.”

YES, God wants us to trust in Him and the plans he has for us.  YES, He wants us to have faith that no matter how difficult things are for us to understand, He has it under contol.  YES, God wants for us to let go and let Him take the reins but He also wants us to GROW, to HUNGER and THIRST for only the KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM that He can give us. 

TRUST in GOD but never give up questing for what He has stored for us.  Live through the experiences in our lives that gain us knowledge and wisdom and carry those forward in a way that pleases Him.

Make your plans, your lists and resolutions but “Commit your work to the Lord” first, as he says in Proverbs 16:3, “and your plans will be established.”


Your Faithful, Steadfast Shepherdess

Bloom Where you Are Planted


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future.”

  Jeremiah 29:11

This is a message of hope, to keep faith, a reminder that God has a plan no matter how far away we feel, how lost, alone or out of sorts.

In context, this was a small passage from a letter that Jeremiah sent to the people of Jerusalem who were taken captive into Babylon.  To these prisoners taken far from their home, God’s message was clear.  I HAVE A PLAN, DO NOT LOSE HOPE.

He also said for them to build houses, plant gardens, get married and have children, help them gow and marry and have children, to seek peace where he says, “…I have caused you to be carried away captive.”  In other words, Bloom Where You are Planted, because God Planted You There.

So many times throughout the Bible we read about faith and trust, God’s plan, God’s will.  When things feel difficult, overwhelming or just completely out of our understanding it’s easy to question and wonder is this God’s will? Is it in His plan

In that same letter, God says, “Call upon Me, pray to Me and I will listen… seek Me and you will find Me when you search wih all your heart and I will bing you back.  I will bring you home.”

This is more than just a message of comfort or an encouragement to be steadfast and have hope.  It is a promise.  He knows our circumstances, no matter how difficult they are.   He is not asking but telling us to settle where He has put us and wait for His time.  He does not ask but tells us to go to Him in prayer, seek him in our Bibles, carry Him in our conversations and there we will find Him and when His timing is right, He promises to bring us home, no matter how far away we might be, how lost or lonely or how difficult the journey.  Until then, we grow and bloom for Him.

LAST NOTE:  Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, seek the Lord with all your heart, in prayer, in your Bible, in your fellowship with friends and family.  If you are where God needs you, you will find the way to grow there and not diminish in Him.  If this is not the place God has planned for you, He will take you away and put you where you are needed.

Never Worry

We all have worries sometimes but I was reminded when reading in Matthew that Jesus said in Chapter 6:25 “..do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on… Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more value than they?”

Do not worry but put your faith in God and in His love for you and your family, trusting that He knows more of what you need than you do.

“Be still and know that I am God…”  Psalm 46:10 

One of my favorite verses, in fact the picture above is of my living room wall.  Every time I find a minute to sit down in there, the feeling of peace slides over me.  I’m not sure if it’s just the verse or the gentle way the birds are laid out around it (thanks to my husband who wouldn’t let his pregnant wife climb up on anything).  Either way, the sentiment is calming, reassuring and warm.  I thought I might share the verse in context with it’s chapter in Psalms, though it raises a little more excitement and energy then the segment by itself.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though it’s waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.  4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the most High.  5  God is in the midst of her, she shall not dawn.  6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved.  He uttered His voice, the earth melted.  7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. 8 Come behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth.  9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two.  He burns the chariot in the fire.  10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Grandma’s Quilt

Grandma’s Quilt

gma quilt

My Great Grandmother was a simple woman. She loved God before all else and it was evident in every part of her life. She was strong and gentle, firm and compassionate, beautiful and modest, wise and humble. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother before she passed away. There were so many things learned from her by the women in my family. If there was a woman of this century who fit the Bible’s example of a “virtuous woman” it was she.  

When she passed away, she didn’t look around at the vast amounts of riches or glory she’d gained, there was no thriving empire to look out over and see what great things she’d built in her long life. Instead, she laid peaceful in a bed, surrounded by all her children, all her grandchildren, most of her great grandchildren and even some of her great-great grandchildren. She listened to their voices, singing songs that she’d taught them, stories that she’d told them or been a part of.  Some had her hair, some her eyes, some her strong chin, her soft complexion. She was able to look around her before she took her last breaths, see the faces, hear the voices, the love, the laughter, the sorrow and understanding and know that this was what she built, what she gave, the empire she left to last lifetimes survived her in the generations that sat around her and would continue to carry on with out her.

 She didn’t just pass down knowledge of recipes, sewing, gardening, mothering and keeping house, the way she lived her life, loved her family and loved the Lord were the greatest treasures she passed down.

 She made a quilt for every baby born in our family and I imagine, babies born in other families too. One memory that stands out when I couldn’t have been older than four. She sat with a pile of material beside her, old dresses, aprons, table cloths and scraps. Humming a sweet hymn, she took out a piece at a time, cutting away the threads that held together whatever pattern it was before. An apron, faded and worn out quickly turned into a pile of rags, frayed along the edges, no longer held together by string. I glanced up when she came to a dress I recognized, a dress I’d worn more times than it could handle. Too small, too worn, it was no use to give or sell, she quickly set to undoing the stitches, cutting away at the pattern that made it mine. “Grandma!” I must have shouted, girl’s tears easily filled my eyes. I can’t remember my words, but the intent could never be forgotten. How could you ruin my dress? She was so calm, so gentle, so easy with words. She paused only for a moment to smile at me and smooth away invisible wrinkles in the dress.

This dress is too small and is worn in places that can’t be patched or fixed. It’s useless anymore as a dress, but watch and see.” She shook it out and went back to cutting, her nimble hands working quickly as she continued. “It’s exactly the color and pattern I need to make something new.”

I don’t remember if I accepted what she said or simply understood that I couldn’t wear it anymore but she continued cutting away, stripping away the shape and fittings in one pile, leaving a heap of what I saw as ruined dresses, aprons and clothing in another. Eventually she cut them all into squares, strips and shapes though I’m sure I didn’t sit there long enough to see it. One day she’d finished, holding up a beautiful quilt and I could see my favorite dress, the pretty color and pattern in fitted shapes with an apron, a tablecloth, an old shirt. These were things we’d worn out, used up, couldn’t give away or sell. Rather than throwing them away, she turned them into something beautiful, useful, something that would last longer than a size 3 dress or a button up shirt with holes.

Sometimes I sit, one of my grandma’s quilts wrapped around my legs and remember that day. I knew I couldn’t wear that dress anymore, I knew it was ruined and no longer useful and fought with her when she shredded it but she knew that she could tear away all the bad and make it into something better. As I smooth away the wrinkles, I see an old apron or tablecloth, a dress she often wore and remember her nimble hands, working magic over something “throw-away,” turning it into something treasured.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,

to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God works that same “magic” in our lives if we trust Him to do so. It might feel sometimes like our lives are being ripped and torn, shredded into pieces and we can’t see passed what it used to be, what we wanted it to be to see what it is, something ruined, no longer useful, not pleasing or serving to the Lord. If we give it up to Him, let him use His nimble hands, He will turn it into something new, something beautiful, something better and long lasting. Like the quilt that covers my lap, whatever He makes will be cherished and we’ll see Him turn the fabric of our past into something unimaginable, something so much better, something according to His purpose.


Love is Patient

Love is Patient, Love is Kind

They say every pregnancy is different and Lord knows, being pregnant with number two after seven years, this one was definitely different.

With the first I felt beautiful and full of energy, waddle or not, I loved every moment I was pregnant. I was full of love, hope and anxious to be a mommy. This time… let’s just remember the SEVEN years in between.  Seven years to learn exactly what I was getting myself into.  Seven years to know what to expect without having to read about it.  

By seven, my son was waaaaay passed the -needing my constant attention- phase. I could actually go to the bathroom with out getting interrupted… AT ALL!! My free time consisted of hours in the day, not just minutes. By seven, he was self-sufficient and I was raising him, not just sustaining his life. 

By seven months pregnant, I was heavy, achy and had trouble fitting my huge belly behind the steering wheel and be close enough to reach the pedals.  I had to turn sideways to do the dishes or to stand at the stove and stir a pot. The grocery store became the worst imaginable ordeal, bending, lifting, twisting, reaching only to repeat it all loading up at the check out and at one particular store, you bag you’re own groceries only to repeat the process three more times loading everything into the car, out of the car and then into all their proper places at home.

Needless to say, after a trip to the grocery store, I was tired and my feet hurt, just looking at them made me cry.

heart phone

When my husband called, I couldn’t help but complain about how I waddled through the store, having to twist and turn and ask for help reaching the top shelf. I was feeling sorry for myself, awkward, fat, swollen and embarrassed. I knew that I shouldn’t waste the precious time I had with him when he was working so far away but I couldn’t seem to help it. I knew he might quickly find reason to hang up or just be quiet and let me go on or even worse, tell me what a bad day he had and then I’d really feel terrible.  He surprised me, instead.

My big, strong, former Marine now Roughneck husband who was probably a little sweaty, a little covered in mud and exhausted from a long day’s work on an oil rig somewhere out in the hot middle of Texas, said simply, “aww, cute.”  It was so unexpected it caught me off guard and I was grinning like a weirdo, mid sentence.  Here I was, describing the most awkward and uncomfortable time of my life and my husband just imagined how cute I was, my big ‘ol belly in front of me, waddling around the store. That’s Love, patient and kind. 


Knowing God’s Word

Knowing God’s Word

Holy Bible

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible is inspired by God to teach us and correct us about righteousness so the we can live the life God has planned for us. If we aren’t familiar with the teachings of God’s word, how can we be sure that we are following them? And more importantly, how can we teach them to our children?


If you’re new to the knowledge of God and His word, the bible is a great resource for questions and excitement you might have about your purpose. It’s full of fascinating stories and laws specifically laid out for us to live by. God tells us many times throughout the bible how important it is to KNOW His words, to know the laws He’s laid down so that we may live our lives according to His will.

 Be inspired by God! Learn, teach and fall in love with the stories in the letters that He’s left for us. Find yourself imagining what your life would be like in another time or place; find yourself relating to situations that were written for you to learn from and live by. Be reminded of the love and faith throughout the Word and renewed in the Spirit that dwells within it’s pages.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

Hungry for God