June’s Blogs

Takin’ It Back!

There is a popular Christian song that refers to taking back everything that the devil has stolen. Some of the lyrics mention Scripture from John 10:10 (steal, kill, destroy), indicating that the devil is the one Jesus is talking about in that passage. He’s not. Jesus was referring to the false prophets of the day. While I love the song and know that Satan does steal from us, I realized that too often, Christians leave their door unlocked; allowing a thief easy access to the treasures God has provided for those who love Him.

Busyness robs us of intimacy with the One who loves us so much, He took our place on the cross. I think about the way we fill our days so full, there’s no room for time alone with the Lord, or flexible days to minister to others.

We are robbed of the peace Jesus offers, when we choose to spend countless hours worrying over something that may or may not ever come to pass. Stress levels rise, health is affected, and relationships can suffer. Guard your peace by giving your worry to the One who has the solution.

Can our faith be stolen? I believe it can. When we follow after those false prophets, we open the door to thieves with deceitful motives, who launder our minds with counterfeit ideas. Know the truth of God’s word. If you know the truth you will recognize the counterfeit!

A friend whose car was broken into recently said, “Thieves are everywhere!” That may be true, we live in a fallen world. But we have a God who is everywhere. We can turn to Him and take back our overloaded calendars, have our peace restored and find the truth that sets us free! How? By pursuing Jesus! Allow Him to plan our days, give Him our burdens, and study God’s Word with a passion. Take back what has been missing and see how different your life can be.

In the Right Hands!

My daughter, Kathleen, has quilted a myriad of quilts through her adult life. An assortment of fabric pieces in an array of colors and shapes, gets transformed into a quilted story, treasured keepsake, and work of art. Her perception of light, hues, and arrangement, lends depth to her projects, turning them into beautiful masterpieces.

Kathleen quilts for pleasure not money. She has never sold a quilt, but has generously made and given away her works of art. Her children and husband have also been recipients of her talent. She has taught other children basic quilting, thereby passing on this classic craft to future generations.

Whether it’s pieces of fabric or the pieces of our lives; when we put them in the loving hands and control of someone proficient in putting them together perfectly, the result is a thing of beauty.

A pile of fabric scraps looks hopeless to someone without sewing capabilities, and certainly many such heaps get tossed out, given up on, and seen as useless.

A person’s life, when wrong choices were made, indulgences promoted, or addictions encouraged, may look hopeless to those around. They may be ignored, shunned, or given up on and seen as losers.

Just as a seasoned quilter can turn scraps into treasures; God can take the seemingly useless pieces of a person’s life and create a new life, through the power of His Son, Jesus Christ. He looks at the pieces we have scattered about and sees a finished piece that delights Him. When we hand those odd-shaped shards, those worn out areas, and faded dreams, He holds them, forgives us, and transforms our lives according to His purposes. God doesn’t charge a price, He lovingly gives us Eternity with Him as a gift.

Those who received a quilt from my daughter, are grateful for the gift she gave out of love. We should be grateful to God for the gift He gave because of His unconditional love for us. Will you accept the free gift God offers you? He paid the price for it…He gave His only Son so that we might have eternal life.

Walking by Faith

I love serving my Lord and have tried to do it faithfully, even during some of my most difficult challenges. I fall short many times and even though I consider myself a strong woman who walks by faith, I came to a point recently when I fell to my knees at the altar and cried out to God that my legs were too weak to continue.

This past spring my husband was showing signs of confusion and seemed to have trouble processing things he’d always done well…including his ability to work up bids for jobs coming into our woodworking shop. We finally saw several doctors and the official diagnosis is Parkinson’s disease with dementia! The tremors in his left hand make it impossible for him to use machinery, and his balance issues prohibit him from being in the shop. We decided at age 81, it was time for him to retire and we wanted to sell the business.

A potential buyer approached us and although the process of finalizing things seemed to be dragging on, we were close to signing in early October. Then, our only employee who had been running the shop for us, developed heart trouble and was hospitalized for a week. The buyer decided that without him, he couldn’t go forward with the deal and he backed out, leaving us in a dire situation. We had no jobs coming in, a lease payment coming up, and no employee to do any prospective jobs. We used our small savings to pay the November lease on the shop, plus other bills associated with it.

We began thinking we would have to let the landlord keep the equipment to cover the remaining 5 months of our lease. I kept praying and pleading with others to pray on our behalf. I posted my prayer needs on my Prayer team page and asked my “Tribe” of prayer warriors to ask God to send help from the sanctuary. Stress takes it’s toll. I was worrying about our employee, our business demise, my husband, how we could possibly make it on just our social security, and then my youngest daughter went to the hospital with infection in her lungs. She had asthmatic breathing difficulty and nodules on her lungs. More time in prayer! My hair was falling out! I couldn’t sleep!

Two weeks ago, I went to the altar before Sunday school and in the quiet of the sanctuary, I knelt, cried and prayed. I felt a hand on my right shoulder, and a sweet sister began praying. Soon I felt a hand on my left shoulder, and saw my pastor kneel next to me as he prayed. We prayed and cried together.

Last week another potential buyer approached us and after several meetings and discussions, we arrived at an agreement. Even though we are taking a loss, we will be out from under the financial pressure of the lease and monthly bills. We will also have some money to supplement our social security, as we learn to live with less. God knew all along, who the buyer would be. God gets the glory as He strengthened my weakened spiritual legs, and infused me with His power. We hope to sign papers before Thanksgiving, and then we can begin a new chapter in our lives.

My daughter was finally released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Our employee was released from the hospital and is building up his strength. Nick is taking meds to lessen his tremors and slow the memory loss. I’ve increased my biotin to stave off more hair loss, and I’m sleeping better. The last thoughts I have as my head settles on my pillow, is a reciting of a chapter I memorized last spring; Psalm 8.

Even strong believers can get weak spiritual legs as they walk by faith! Circumstances and unexpected challenges can send you reeling. But God…can over-ride any and all situations as He works for good in your life, and nothing can thwart His plans! I love Habakkuk 3:17-18. Yet I will rejoice in God my Savior! Even in my weakened spiritual condition, I praised God for being there with me, carrying me through it all. I rejoiced because I didn’t have to carry the burden alone! Neither do you. If you are facing challenges beyond your ability to deal with them, kneel and cry out to God for help. He is waiting to hear from you.

Doorway Moments

During the course of our lives we walk through many doorways (try counting yours for just one day). Of course, I’m not talking about those doorways. I’m referring to the kind which are a recognition of a passage from one stage of life to another. They involve both an inner and outer transformation, and once you walk through it, you cannot go back.

This morning I sat quietly, sipping my English Breakfast tea, thinking about how different my life is now, compared to just a few years ago. The doorway of breast cancer, which I walked through in 2020, changed me both inside and out. It’s a doorway moment where I became a survivor, but can never go back through it and undo the cancer.

I thought about other doorway moments in my life and how God walked through them with me. Each stage of my life involves moving from one place to another. No, not a U-Haul move (although I’ve had my share of those), but a life experience move. Marriage, having children, divorce, losing loved ones, jobs, and so many more, brought about change.

I’m now in my “Golden Years,” and facing multiple doorway moments. I can’t figure out how I arrived at this age so quickly, but here I am. I want to make the best of this time; getting and staying healthy, being productive, helping others, and so much more. Some things I can do and some are not mine to control. That’s where faith comes in.

The time is approaching for my husband to stop working and that is a doorway moment for both of us. We have our own business and he, at the age of 81 and with declining health, has left the physical part of running the shop to our employee. I still manage the paperwork and oversee things, but it weighs heavily on my mind. We can’t close down until the end of April, when our lease is up. This is a huge doorway moment, one that I’m trusting God to take us through. We must have work and make ends meet over the next 10 months.

There will always be doorway moments in our lives. We can choose to walk through them alone, or we can allow God to usher us through them. Earlier in my young life I went through them alone. God had plans for me and without my knowing the Savior, He protected me. Those doorway moments served to draw me to Him. Now each one I walk through serve to help me draw others to Him.

What doorway moment have you recently walked through? If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, why not call on Him now, and ask Him to help you in this stage of your life.

Life Chapters

I love the analogy of my life being a book with many chapters. As a writer, I try to keep the reader turning the pages by leaving a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter. I’m hoping it will draw them excitedly back to the story, chapter after chapter. I want them to be eager to see what happens next.

My life has many chapters to it. Not just the usual; birth, childhood, adolescence, young adult, marriage, etc., but trauma, love, searching, transformation, and so much more. There are different genres in my life as well. Romance, cozy mystery, adventure, drama, spirituality, and humor, all serve to keep me turning the pages to find out what comes next.

The book of my life (and yours), can only be read one day at a time, as it’s being written. I’m not promised tomorrow. As I think back to previous chapters, I recall times when I was so tired of the drama, fearful of the next day, or worried about the outcome, that I didn’t want to turn the page. I wanted to skip over the bad parts and move to the good stuff! We can do that in a book, although we would miss important parts.

Our world today seems broken and though many think they can add their solution to the chapter, there is only one who can provide the correct answer; God! Amid the tragedies and turmoils in our country, we must place our faith and trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Only when we allow Him to enter in and lead our country, will we experience life as it was meant to be lived. We may be left with a cliff hanger day occasionally, and some chapters may be sad and difficult, but if we know the Author, Jesus Christ, we have confidence that the ending will be good!

I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Whatever adventure God has for me, I’m assured that He will live it with me. He will introduce me to strangers, provide me with new experiences, and teach me important principles of life. My life has purpose and with God leading the way, I can make a difference. I read His Book, chapter by chapter, and I know how it ends!

Undelivered Message!

I recently sent an email to a group I’m in. Hours later I received an email from “Mailer Daemon,” advising me they tried and tried to deliver my message to the recipient, but finally were giving up. I had no recourse but to accept the fact that my mail system failed, and my message did not reach the intended receiver.

Giving up! There have been times in my life when I felt like giving up. I’m pretty stubborn (thanks dad), and normally I will dig in and keep at it until I make it work. I might be trying to print out a bunch of papers and then the printer jams. I do the obvious and remove the crinkled paper caught by its corner. When the error message still displays, “paper jam,” I take a deep sigh, open the printer up and keep digging for any torn pieces, all-the-while, the clock is ticking away closer to my deadline. I finally manage to erase the error message and dispose of the minute piece of paper holding things up.

Whether the task at hand is fixing the printer, balancing a bunch of numbers, pulling out quilting stitches, or any of a thousand other problems, I usually get it done.

In my heart and spirit though, I’ve done the “splat” against the wall when faced with something out of my control. Once, my little Chai was sick late one night and he cried as he kept moving from one position to another, curling up on my lap, then changing positions. I had done everything I knew to do and as I sat on the floor with him on my lap, I gave up! I turned to God with tears streaming down my face, asking Him to heal my little pup. I dozed off and when I woke hours later, Chai was asleep too, still curled up on my lap.

In 2019, my husband was in the hospital ER, losing blood and failing fast. I hounded the medical staff to do something or he would die. I was terrified I would lose my husband, but this was way out of my control. Multiple pleas to nurses went ignored. I had done all I could and then I gave up! Sitting by his bed, I leaned over, clasping my hands on his and prayed. I begged God to send help from the sanctuary. Thirty minutes later, a new urologist walked in, examined my husband, and declared he knew what was wrong. He fixed the problem and the bleeding stopped. Help came when I sent my message to the right source!

These are just two examples when, after trying multiple times to fix issues which were out of my control, I simply looked up and said, “I’m giving up, Lord. You are the only one who can fix this, so I place it in Your hands!” I believe God waits for that moment of giving up. All my attempts to turn things around were like messages which didn’t get sent. I was sending my message of “June can do it alone,” into a void. When I finally sent my message of giving up to the right source, healing arrived. I looked up, then gave up.

How about you? Is there a situation you’re trying to fix on your own and it’s not working? Are you stubbornly declaring not to give up until you fix it? Fruitless tries take a toll on a person, causing many to lose hope. Perhaps today God wants you to look up and give up. Give up your “I can do it myself,” attitude, and give the situation to God. Make sure your message goes to the right source!

Marching On

Two years ago this month I discovered a lump in my left breast. My life changed, time marched on, and I’ve moved forward. The discovery of my breast cancer moved me through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and finally into survivorship. The year 2020 took me on a journey I didn’t ask for, wouldn’t have chosen, and do not want to repeat. And yet, the woman I am today is thankful.

One year ago I began the process of learning how to look beyond what was past and figure out the purpose God had for allowing it in my life. I spent extra time reading His word, looking for keys to unlock the secrets to making each day better, understanding who I am, and how to reach others who moved into survivorship with unanswered questions.

In my book, Cancer Courage Christ: A Devotional for Breast Cancer Survivors, I shared my journey, as well as that of other survivors. I was unaware of a phase called survivorship at that time. Once I entered that phase, it became extremely important to me to know how to live in it. After all, this part of my cancer journey is forever as long as I’m here on earth. I have been making notes and asking questions, trying to make sense of things connected with survivorship. My hope is to write a follow up book to share with others on what this phase is all about and how I found myself in it. One basic thing I learned is that when you complete your active treatments and enter survivorship, you become the initiator of discovering how to move forward with your life.

The medical team you were surrounded with and grew to love, must graduate you, to free themselves to take on patients just beginning their treatment. They still care about you and will answer questions you may have, but you will have to initiate the call. I decided to put on my “big girl panties” and plunge in to find my new normal. The normal I will function in from this point on.

My next cancer book, as yet unnamed, will tell my survivorship story. I will outline my four point plan as I explored how I found my new normal, my tribe, my outreach, and my in-reach. God has always shown Himself faithful as I approached a new writing project. He is the One who prompted my quest down this path, so I’m expecting no less from Him now. I must depend on God daily because He is my strength. The effects of my 2020 treatments didn’t stop when I was graduated into survivorship. I have residual pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and a host of other issues. As I take on each of these and try to manage them, God infuses me with His power each day, one day at a time. As a result, I have joy, hope, laughter, and love, in my life. You can too! Let’s travel this journey together.

Great Love Stories

February brings Valentine’s Day and love stories. I have searched for books to read this month, keeping with the romantic theme, but since I’m not a big fan of the romance genre, I decided to read some of the great love stories in the Bible. I know the author well, and there are many interesting stories to choose from.

I will begin with the first great love story about Adam and Eve. It’s interesting to note that in typical relationships, we bring baggage into them. Childhood memories (good or bad), along with teenage drama, can affect how we relate to a prospective love interest.

Adam and Eve had no childhood! Adam, being the first human, had no memories of growing up in a house with parents, or sibling rivalry, owning/losing pets, no peer pressure, or family drama to shape his world view, and his career field was already decided. Eve never knew any sister bonding or what it was like to climb onto her daddy’s lap and be read to before bedtime. She had no mother to teach her how to cook or sew. Neither Adam or Eve had a human parent to teach them family values or how to succeed in life.

Today I begin reading this great love story about our ancestral parents, Adam and Eve, and I ponder their beginning; Adam, having been created from the dust of the ground, and Eve, formed from one of Adam’s ribs. I know, this will be a great love story.

My other choices for this month include, Ruth and Boaz, Jacob and Rachel, Abraham and Sarah, to name a few. I’m saving the greatest love story for the end of the month. Can you guess which one it is? The love story about Jesus and His Bride!


Calendars and planners are plentiful this month as we prepare to input appointments and commitments onto the blank pages. Many forego the paper plotting, using their phone calendar instead. I prefer a portable planner with pages for notes and ideas, probably because I’m a writer. I love new calendars with large squares available to me when I make my to-do lists, jot down a phone number, or get an idea for a story.

The other day I heard a commercial which touted a theme of “We’re doing something new in ‘22.” I jotted it down in my planner so as to not forget it. Since the pandemic began two years ago (yes, that long ago), and I went through my cancer journey, the years seem the same. Isolation, protection, cancellation. We do what we feel is best for us individually and try to protect others. We all hoped and prayed that last year would be better, and yet this year we are still isolating, protecting, and seeing cancellations.

On January 1, 2022, I made up my mind I was going to have a good year! I wrote that on page one of my new journal. Then when I heard the commercial about doing something new in ‘22, I adopted that as my New Year slogan. I am tired of the same old same old. This morning in my quiet time, the Holy Spirit led me to Isaiah 43:19. It says, “Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” God is about to do something new and He wants me to see it! Something new in ‘22! When I’m struggling He will make a way…a new way. When I’m in the desert He will provide a new stream.

I have been praying about several new things which have been presented to me recently and I must admit that I am tempted to say yes, but not every new thing is possible, wise, or good. We must watch, seek, and hear from God before agreeing to take on something new. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“ The key word in the verse is ‘I.’ It’s all about God’s plans for me, not June’s plans. I can fill every block in my planner with good things and projects, but if they aren’t God’s plan for me, I’ve wasted my time. So, how do I know what to say yes to? The next three verses guide me. “Then you will call upon me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

Yes, God is doing something new in ‘22 and I am watching, seeking, and listening. I want His plan for my life to be what gets written in my planner. When I seek Him with ALL my heart, He will guide me through the year as new things begin to happen.

Lull Time

I’ve heard the week between Christmas and New Years referred to as the Lull, a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity. Anticipation of the magical Christmas morning is over, the big dinner has disappeared into leftovers, and afternoon naps come more frequently. Our home seems to want to stretch out the twinkling lights, Christmas desserts, and pajama dress code, just a bit longer, before the ear-splitting zings on New Year’s Eve, die out in the wee hours of the coming year.

Chai, our two-year-old Shih Tzu, echos the mood as he takes ownership of hubby’s new slippers, and stretches out quietly in his shaggy, cushy bed. I watch him snuggle into the softness and realize he, too, is experiencing lull time.

My lull time consists of reading one of my new books while sipping tea in a new cup, indulging in too many breakfast carbs, and denying the call of meeting real life approaching too soon. I know the end of one year and the beginning of the new one means paperwork…lots of it. I understand that trees must come down, ornaments need to be packed away, pages need to be written, and upcoming doctor visits will expose my food indulgences. But, during the lull time, I symbolically snuggle in and hug the quiet close.

This week is where I spend extra time with the Lord, reading His Word, feeling His presence, being still so I can hear His voice. Lull time puts my mind at ease and allows me to linger longer in prayer as I wait on Him. Lull time helps me prepare for busy days ahead by strengthening my spirit and building my faith. Lull time teaches me about trust and guides my thoughts. The Holy Spirit unveils what I’ve struggled with and shows me how to handle things. The answer was there but I had been too busy to see it.

My discovery will change how I begin the week after the lull. When fireworks lay silent in the dirt, when bare trees are placed at the curb, when trash cans overflow with wrapping paper and empty boxes, I will have God’s plan for me instilled within my heart. My discovery of learning to schedule regular lull time into my week, making it part of each day, with the purpose of putting Christ first in all I do, will make the coming year the best it can be.