Discipline ~ A Necessary Part of Life

What a fun day Monday was…as it was the Annual Teddy Bear Auction
hosted by Barbara Fairchild Ministries.
We began our day about 9:30 meeting up at the Golden Corral.
Busyness everywhere, decorating the showroom,
making lists and organizing Teddy Bears.
 The Teddy Bears are donated by Theaters and 
Local Businesses in the Branson area.
Branson View Campground’s contribution
 is the second one from the right,
bottom row…isn’t she a cutie.  
The little green hat was on a bear behind her.
There were a total of 43 Bears auctioned off,
some of them two or three times.
And let the bidding begin.
Special guests included Teddy Bear Child 
(thanks Riley for being a great bear)
Santa Claus (played by Guess Who?)
Barbara Fairchild & her hubby, Roy Morris 
(doesn’t he look smashing in his yellow shirt?)
A group of people from Oklahoma representing Kids Against Hunger
And we raised over $3,880!
All for feeding local children
and helping families in the Branson area with Autistic Children.
If you would like your own Teddy Bearchild Package
(Teddy Bear signed by Barbara Fairchild, 
CD of her singing Teddy Bear, 
and the childrens book authored by Barbara)
please let me know.  
They are $54 including shipping and go for a great cause.
And after our busy, crazy day of Monday
we decided to take Tuesday off
and go for a ride.
What a beautiful day to be out in
God’s creation seeing His magical artistry.
The day began a bit gray and overcast but eventually cleared.
We saw some amazing colors of yellow, orange, & red dotted with green.
It was a great way to spend the day as our cell phones didn’t work
for most of the day so we were able to talk,
laugh and enjoy each other’s company
without interruption.
It was a full day
and we are thankful we were able to 
enjoy it together.
And now it is a new day!
Back to the bike this morning.
Rode for 45.20 minutes,
9.81 miles
burned 502 calories.
And boy do my legs know it.
While riding the bike I spent some time in prayer
and the thought that kept going through my mind was
“Discipline..it just takes Discipline.”
And God being God
began my devotion for today in
Now how direct is that???
God loves me enough to discipline me,
just like parents discipline their children because they love them.
And this verse came to mind
A verse that has helped me through 
some very difficult times.
Reminding me that difficult times lead to 
good times.
And how quick we are as humans to rationalize 
our behavior, our choices.
And sometimes getting to the Yes the hard way.
For me, 
my heart attack was a major wake-up call.
I have been diligent about exercising
and eating healthy until this past week.
Making excuses, rationalizing making poor eating choices
with “well, we haven’t seen these friends in a long time so go ahead and have that piece of pie.”
“One handful of gummi bears aren’t going to hurt me.”
“I haven’t had a bowl of ice cream in so long.”
You know, the lists goes on and on.
And then this morning I am reminded by God
There is a lot that depends on me,
that I can do for me,
giving me peace in life.
Exercising
(and boy do my legs hurt after 3 days not riding the bike)
Making healthy choices
(drinking a bottle of water first thing in the morning 
instead of starting with 2 or 3 cups of coffee with creamer)
Planning healthy dinners
(cooking at home instead of going out to eat)
And the evidence of knowing God,
knowing what is healthy for me;
is displayed in how I 
Love others,
Love myself,
(which is not being selfish but taking care of what God has blessed me with)
Forgive others,
Forgive myself,
(for making bad/wrong choices ~ that was yesterday,
today is a new day)
And bearing each others burdens,
helping where we can
and encouraging others.
By blessing others I am blessed too!
Thank you Lord for starting my own thoughts this morning
about discipline
and using my devotional 
to affirm what I know is true.
That I am not alone in this 
journey of life
that You are always with me.
**************************************
I close with asking for prayer over the next few days.
October has always been a hard month for me.
Emotionally as my Mom, Dad and Grandpa all died in October.
As I struggled with major depression issues many years 
in the month of October.
Halloween is not a fun holiday for me,
thus it was not always easy for our family.
I ask for prayer for peace in my heart,
and for love and joy to be exploding 
in the hearts of my children and grandchildren.
And again
I am thankful for the Lord’s 
consistent love and provision 
in my life over the past years,
today and what it will bring.
And His reminder,

Restless Exhaustion

Now isn’t that an oxymoron?
Restless ~ can’t sit still, feeling anxious, constantly moving
Exhaustion ~ tired, not moving, 
That is how I was yesterday.  
Feeling restless, like there is so much to do.
And there is: checkbooks to be balanced, kitchen to be cleaned, 
a cabin needing cleaning, bathrooms needing some attention,
dinner to be fixed, and the list goes on and on….
And not knowing where to even begin.
Adding in an appointment smack dab in the middle of the day,
guests checking in, telephone ringing,
mail to be answered, evening plans and the list goes on and on…
And feeling exhausted, to keep from 
getting the cold and achyness that hubby brought home from Portland.
So tired, just wanted to go to bed,
afraid to sit down for fear going to fall asleep 
wherever I sit.
And so I crawled into bed just after 7 p.m.
And was asleep before 8 p.m.
(I know because I missed the end of Dateline)
And finally woke up at 7:22 a.m.
Yep, I think I was tired.
Got up, dressed, started my morning routine
and thought crap! it’s already 9 a.m.
time to open the office.
Nope, only 8:01 a.m.
So asked myself
Do I spend time in the Word or just open the office?
Time in the Word…
…important for me, helps me to get off on a good foot.
And once again
God is Faithful!!!
Question of the day:  Do people encounter Christ when they meet me?
I would say yes, most of the time,
but on mornings when I feel rushed and discombombulated – ummm NO!
God affirming to me it was right to spend this hour with Him.
Variety of Scriptures this morning
Psalm 103:19-22
A reminder that there is comfort in knowing
God has power over everything,
especially with all the changes and instability 
happening in our world today.
And remembering
Romans 8:31
And Joshua 3:7-8
God said to Joshua, “This very day I will begin to make you great in the eyes of all Israel. They’ll see for themselves that I’m with you in the same way that I was with Moses. You will command the priests who are carrying the Chest of the Covenant: ‘When you come to the edge of the Jordan’s waters, stand there on the river bank.’”
As God was with Moses, He will always be with me!
Ephesians 2:14-18
And finally
Hebrews 12:14
I think a lot about Peace…
peace in relationships,
peace in my heart and soul
living in peace
and I cling to
for something I crave and have absolutely no control over
a healed relationship
with my younger sister.
And I have to remind myself
It is all in God’s timing.
God knows the desires of my heart
and I have peace 
in my heart that 
God hears my prayers.
*************************************
Today I am thankful for a new day,
to live in Christ
and knowing without a shadow of doubt
that one day, some how, some way
I will be reconciled with my sister.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back
Twelve years ago today, just about now I received a phone call from Ron.  I was at work, just getting ready to start my day.  He asked me if I had any appointments or errands I had to run. I replied, “No.”  He said, “Good, stay right there I will be there in about 15 minutes.” and then hung up on me.
I sat and stared at the phone…something was wrong.  What could it be?
Did something happen to one of the boys?  My mom?  His mom?
I walked down the hallway to my bosses’ office.  Told CU that I didn’t know what was going on but wanted to let him know that Ron was on his way into the office, something was up.  He told me to let him know if I needed anything.
And about 15 minutes later, Ron came walking into my office.
He did not look good.  
He took my hands and said,
“Kathy (my older sister) called, your Dad died this morning.”
I don’t remember screaming, but from all accounts I let out a blood curdling scream.  CU, DE and RB came flying into my office.  Ron was holding me and I kept saying, “He can’t be gone.  He can’t be gone.”
But he was.
My Dad and I did not always have the best of relationships.  He did many things that hurt me physically, emotionally and mentally.  BUT we had gotten to a place in our lives where we could love each other and be together, laughing and smiling and even joking about some things.  I knew at the age of 43 my Dad loved me and I loved him.  
After some talking, people were telling me I needed to go home.
But no, it was payday…people needed their paychecks…so I made plans to do a few things at the office and then head for home.  I told Ron I would be home around 11 a.m.  He was going to go to work and talk to his boss and begin making arrangements for us to contact our sons, Jamie & Brandon, make plans to go to California, to be with my sisters and put my Dad to rest.
And we did just that.  
We have never been ones to have much of a savings (against the angst of our parents and some good friends) but the Lord provided the money for us to get there – remember it was payday 🙂
Looking back I can see how the Lord provided: the money for Brandon to fly from Idaho to CA, for Jamie to be with us in Blaine and able to ride down with us to CA…giving us three drivers so we could drive straight through, both of us having bosses that understand the importance of family.
And putting us in a Bible study of a body of believers who would minister to me in so many wonderful ways in the days, weeks and months following my Dad’s death.  It was a very hard time for me.
YET the Lord provided.
And I was reminded of that this morning.
Moses cried out to God, the people needed water to drink.
The Lord showed him what tree to pull from and Moses
cast the tree into the water and the Lord turned it from bitter to sweet.
The Lord Provided!
I am reminded in Romans 14:14-23
that sometimes I let STUFF otherwise known as my To Do List
to control me,
instead of me controlling it.
God loves me just as I am.  
He doesn’t require me to accomplish a huge To Do List
God desires me to live in peace and joy,
seeking the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Yes, I have things that I need to do each day
But I have to remember that the most important 
thing in my life is 
my relationship with the Lord
which then helps me to have healthy relationships
with my husband, my children, their families,
friends, those I meet through work.
And in Joshua 1:1-9 (from The Message)
After the death of Moses the servant of GodGod spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Moving forward in faith is always easier if we remember where we have been and how God has provided for us before.
Looking back and seeing how God provided gives me hope for today.
Knowing God will not let me down,
never leave me alone!
So I am reminded today, 
that no matter what I am dealing with
God is with me every step of the way!
Today I am thankful that even though most of my life
my relationship with my Dad was a pretty rocky one
that we were able to talk, laugh and cry together,
sharing our family with him,
and knowing that in the end
he loved me and was proud of me.
I love and miss you Dad!

Pierce Arrow Show

Monday evening found us attending the
Pierce Arrow Show.
We had heard it was a great show but just hadn’t seen it.
Jw & Wanda invited us to go
and never one to turn down a free show off we went.
The comedian is hilarious!!
 
Gotta watch out for that bag…had a baby rattler and another snake in there!
Pierce Arrow
The bass singer holds the Guiness World Book record
for lowest octave.  

 The Preacher
Boy could he share the whole gospel in 15 minutes!!!

 Loved this picture with the cross in it.

 Always nice to see Elvis
 The Band
  

   
 Doing a spoof on Duck Dynasty (they have nothing to worry about)
   

Paying tribute to our Veterans

Ron loves this jacket.  Now to see if I can find one like it.
It was a great show.
Thanks Jw & Wanda for treating us!!
So thankful for friends near and far.

Parent to Child

Or
“Ali are you listening to me?”  God, Abba Father
So many different things were going on yesterday
~ Ron came home from Oregon
~ Unexpected guests arriving 
~ Schedules needing tweaking
~ Feeling like I was forgetting something really important
~ Frustration with self
~ Choices – am I choosing the right thing
~ Exhausted
And so I went to bed at 8:30 p.m.
And slept hard till about 5 a.m.
tossing and turning 
and jumping when the alarm went off at 6 a.m.
Putting one foot in front of the other
Riding the bike for 45 minutes
(10.21 miles, 520 calories burned)
And hearing this little tap on my shoulder
Turning to God’s Word
And He had a lot to say to me this morning
and
Am reminded again of last week Tuesday,
my response to someone
Yes, I was judging their behavior
Whoa…”but Lord, she was wrong…”
“Maybe she was buy you don’t have the right to judge.”
OUCH!!!  

Matthew 7 (from The Message) A Simple Guide for Behavior

1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
7-11 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

Being and Doing

13-14 “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
15-20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
21-23 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
28-29 When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.

And I sit in the rocker
tears flowing
Lord forgive me for judging so and so,
forgive me for throwing a temper tantrum,
forgive me for being a jerk and a fool.
and
Ouch, Ouch, Ouch
YET
God is Faithful
and tells me to
So I turn everything back over to God.
My fears and worries,
hurts and concerns.
Turning my husband, my son’s,
my daughters-in-love, my grandchildren
over to God.  
He is in control and
He knows better than I what they need.
Instead Lord help me to 
and to
Remember that I am responsible
for me, my actions and words.
Thank you Lord for your steadfast 
love for me.
Thank you Lord for being the best Abba Father
any child could ask for.
And thank you Lord for the work here in Branson
for this season.
Help me not to worry about tomorrow,
it may not come
but instead to live today,
in Your presence,
sharing Your love with others,
living peacefully and fully in You.  Amen.

Peace?

Peace?
Opposite of Peace is Anxiety
And I woke this morning with lots of anxiety.
Ron is flying home today from Portland, OR
after five days of fun with our son Brandon & his family.
Brandon, Danalyn, Max, Christopher, Treyson & Alexander
Kansas City, Summer 2013
Flying always scares me.  
It. Just. Does.
I set my alarm for 6 a.m.
I am determined to get on a manageable schedule
doing the things I need to do and want to do.
No one can do it for me.
IT ~ physical health, spiritual health, mind health
I was reminded yesterday that we reap what we sow.
How we have to plant good things to grow good things.
I attended Barbara Fairchild & Roy Morris’ worship service yesterday morning.
Oh how God met me there.
I had a pretty rough week in some ways
and was feeling torn in a couple of relationships,
feeling like I am doing something wrong
because the “FEELINGS” weren’t there that I thought should be.
(Remember: feelings are neither right or wrong ~ they just are!)
Telling myself that ~ a lot!
I was reminded yesterday
to 
that
laughter is good for the soul!
and that it is okay to laugh in church!!
And that we 
Reap what we Sow
If we plant Honesty we gain Trust
If we plant Forgiveness we gain Reconciliation
If we plant Love we will Be a Blessing
Oh how I want to be a blessing to others.
And then this morning
So first I had to find out what propitiation meant.
Normally I would call Pastor Charles but I didn’t think he
would like a phone call at 5 a.m. 🙂
So I checked on line
and this what I found
Propitiation: an action meant to regain someone’s favor
or make up for something you did wrong
Jesus did nothing wrong 
yet He gave His life for me.
Jesus died for me, for my wrong doings.
He didn’t have to do that but He did!!
He chose to give His life for me.
How awesome is that???
And I thought back over the past week.
I walked out of a meeting because I got angry.
What would Jesus have done?
I think he would have stayed and talked it out,
try to reconcile the differences.
I know I was wrong to just leave
and God has been dealing with me
each and every day.
And yesterday I was reminded
that God gives me a choice every day
to live like him or go against him.
Psalm 118:5-9
It is not what or how others treat me or feel about me 
that is important
but that Jesus loves me for me
and is always there/here for me.
I need to remember to 
NOT People
It is God’s approval not man or woman’s
that should be important to me.
I have always sought people out 
to love me, like me,
try to be the perfect daughter,
wife, mother, sister & friend
(which I am definitely not perfect)
seeking others approval
and I need to remember that
what really only matters is that 
I love God,
live my life for God
and Trust in Him
and that NO matter what happens in life
I will always be okay,
I will always be loved
by the One that matters.
Help me not to focus on
 but
In Jesus I have Peace,
that people don’t bring me peace
but
JESUS does!!!
Out in the world
there is chaos and hurt
BUT
in Jesus’ arms
I have peace.
Thank you Lord for the reminders yesterday 
and again this morning
that You are always with me.
That you know my needs and desires
and through it all
I am never truly alone
as You walk beside me day by day.
Lord I turn Ron over to you today
as he flies home.  
Be with the pilots as they wing through the air
bringing my sweet hubby home to me.
Give Ron a relaxing day
and thank you that he was allowed 
the time to be with Brandon and his family
for a few days.
And for encouraging me as I struggled
through some tough situations.  Amen.

Gatlin Brothers at the Grand Country Radio Show

We love attending Grand Country
and the Radio Show on Friday evenings.
Ron is getting closer and closer to looking like Santa!!
 Up first Jamie Hagge & Mike Patrick
 New South
 Mark….just love to hear him sing bass.
 Scott, Jason, David & Mark
 Jackie Brown & hubby, Matt 
 Melody Hart gettting ready to sing backup
Not very clear: Melody Hart, Michael Davis and Wayne Massengale
 Jamie on the fiddler and Mike singing
 Jamie is a very talented young man.  
What is amazing is that he does not read music and plays by ear.
 Gatlin Brothers getting ready to start.
 Melody Hart closing out the show!

A Day of Playing

A couple of Thursdays ago we decided to go for a drive.
Our Driver
The Navigator
And Passenger ~ Liberty, granddaughter of one of our guests
spending the day with us while Grandma, Grandpa and Momma are all working 🙂
We headed out of Branson and traveled to
Mountain Home, AR
  
It was a gorgeous day for a drive.
And then it was lunch time!
In the town square of Mountain Home we found this cute little restaurant.
 The staff was very friendly and the food was delicious.
     
 Miss Liberty and her Princess Bear
 Papa Ron (as Liberty calls Ron) 
trying to figure out how he is going to bite into this big burger.
 Reuben sandwich w/coleslaw for Grammy.
Ron saw the sign for Vinegar Pie and decided he needed to try it.
It was pretty tasty, like pecan pie without the pecans.
     
 Liberty finishing off Grammy’s double pumpkin pie.
 And heading out the door saying good-bye.
Leaving the Town Square
 Driving Along towards Mountain View, AR
   
 Norfolk Veterans Memorial
 

 
 
While waiting at a light in Calico Rock we saw this sign.
 

  

 Continuing on to Mountain View.  The leaves are just starting to change colors.

 Papa Ron is taking a long time to get there.
 Checking out the Mellon Country Store
Playing checkers with Papa Ron
  
 Ali is thinking this is the sign that needs to be posted at Branson View Campground
How many know what this is?

 

 

 Heading to Harrison, AR
and then back to Branson View Campground.
 Saw this huge flag through the trees.

It was a fun day
and we can’t wait to go for another drive.
Papa Ron said next time it won’t be for such a long ridge.
And Liberty thought that was a great idea.
Today I am thankful for the opportunities to spend time with my hubby 
new adopted granddaughter…she is sure fun to be around.

Sons of the Pioneers and Shepherd of the Hills

Last week, our friends & co-workers
 Jw & Wanda Wilks, invited us to join them for a fun evening out
at the Son’s of the Pioneers dinner and show.

 One good looking hubby if you ask me 🙂
 Roasted corn-on-the-cob along with fresh lemonade.
 Along with baked potatoes, beans, chicken and brisket 
along with an apple crisp for dessert.

And our sweet server.  
And then it was off to see the play
Shepherd of the Hills
(the story depicting some of the history of the Ozarks)
We loved how they presented the colors!
Wanda and Jw snuggling up, they thought it was cold.
We thought it was just right 🙂
It is sad that this show is closing for good on
October 19th after 54 years running.  
Thanks Jw & Wanda for inviting us to join you for a fun evening.

Keepin’ On, Keepin’ On

Live Today
that was the title of my devotion this morning.
It amazes me how God knows right where I am, 
just what I need and how to catch my attention.
The last couple of weeks I have been so focused on making sure
I exercise every day and for the most part making healthy food choices
that I forgot about keeping my daily appointments
with the Lord…now how could I do that?
I love the Lord, I enjoy my quiet time in the morning
yet I became so focused on “must ride the bike”
that my morning quiet time seemed to escape me.
And I know me, if I don’t have my quiet time in the morning
It. Just. Doesn’t. Happen.
So yesterday afternoon, while riding the bike I had a little chat with myself.
I can ride the bike anytime during the day or in the evening
but my time with the Lord
needs to be in the quiet of the morning.
So this morning, after waking with a headache,
taking some Ibuprofen and going back to sleep for about an hour
I pulled myself out of bed,
got myself dressed and headed to the rocker in the living room.
And there He met me!  Just like always.
Jesus says “I AM WHO I AM”
not “I Was” or “I Will Be”
But I AM!
He is here right now, today,
alive in the present.
It’s not yesterday or tomorrow BUT
Right Here, Right Now.
We need to live right here, right now,
not yesterday in the past, not always looking at tomorrow,
as tomorrow may never come.
Jesus promises to be right here, right now, with me, with you.
It’s not the burdens of today that get so heavy and overwhelming,
it’s carrying the burdens of yesterday and adding in what we worry/fear/unknowns
about tomorrow that weigh us down.
That is when our burdens become overwhelming
and so heavy that we crumble.
Remember to LIVE Right NOW
in TODAY.
In the passage of Jeremiah 24:4-7
we are told that though we may wander away from God
HE is always ready and waiting for us with Open Arms.
And in Isaiah 41:8-13
we are reassured over and over
Jesus does not want us to be afraid, does not want us to fear anything,
but to rest and live in Him.
He is our comforter, guidance counselor and friend.
It is Satan who wants us to fear, to keep us paralyzed,
keep us stuck in mud.
Here is a little chart I found.
I needed this this morning to remind me
that God wants only good for me,
it is the Devil himself who wants to cause troubles.
I think back to when our son, Jamie, was in Iraq.
How so often I would wake crying, unable to move
because I knew that something horrible was going to happen to Jamie
that day.  I remember, calling out to God and to others 
“I can’t do this anymore.”
Well I was right, I couldn’t do it…
but God could keep Jamie safe
and He Did!!!
All that worry and fear was for naught.
I am so thankful the Lord kept Jamie safe,
along with all the men in his unit, and returned them all safely 
to their families.  
I remember many times Pastor Charles asking me
“What if the worst thing happened?”
And getting down to the nitty gritty and thinking
if the worse of the worse happened
(Jamie being killed)
Jamie would be in Heaven with Jesus
and God would comfort me/us in every way we need in that moment.
I knew that I had some fears niggling at my thoughts
the past few days
and this morning God met me right here,
right now, right where I am.
He reminded me what the Devil is up to
AND that Jesus came to give me life abundantly.
And in John 16:33
Thank you Jesus for the reassurance
of your love and peace
each and every day!!
Today I am also thankful for the encouragement of friends.
For an unexpected email
or someone dropping by (even in their pajamas 🙂 
just to say hello and see how we are doing.
God is Good!!!