A Hope Filled Soon

Maybe it was the combination of Good Friday falling on my dad’s 4th heavenly birthday and the solemnness that emanated from the Tenebrae service I attended at church that caused my mind to wander down the road of contemplating how death impacts those left behind.

Years before dad passed, I started to prepare myself for the one-day-inevitable. I’ve worked in senior health care for much of my career and seen my fair share of road traveled with life ending diseases. And as much as I loved my dad and wished that Parkinson’s wasn’t wracking his body, I knew what lay ahead, the disease would win, strip me of my father and I’d never see him again, this side of heaven.

I’m guessing Mary Magdalene and the disciples also understood the finality of death. After all, we live in a fallen world and know that while life is beautiful and precious, it also carries with it finality.

That was before Jesus entered their lives and flipped the script of life and death.

For three solid years they followed, watched, listened, learned and were profoundly changed by His Holy presence.

But then, in one fell swoop, Christ was gone.

Can you just imagine their heartache and confusion? They knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was The Holy Christ, Son of God, and yet, He died a human death. But why? Why would Jesus die like us?

Now for us, and even for Mary and the others, prior to the resurrection, we accept death and its finality as a part of living this life. But let’s imagine for a moment if there was a knock at the door and your beloved family member who had recently died, stood before you, fully healed, healthy and they join you for dinner.

What would you think?  You might think someone was playing a cruel joke on you or maybe you’d believe they were an image created in your mind because of grief.

Look at Mary. She’s overcome with grief and as one final act of reverence she comes to prepare the body for burial. But the moment she enters the tomb her grief turns to bewilderment, fear and confusion. What has happened to her Lord? She turns to the man standing next to her, thinking he is the gardener, “Sir, where have you moved the body?”

It’s understandable to me that she doesn’t recognize who she is talking to, because the last time she laid eyes on Christ, He’d been brutally beaten beyond recognizability and let’s face it, no one comes back from death. Yet, the man before her is whole and healthy.

So can you imagine when the eyes of her heart were opened and the truth of who stood before her over road the logic in her brain? Shock, disbelief, confusion, and joy! Oh my! The unprecedented joy! Your brain tells you no! But you heart says, yes!

Jesus is alive!

I love how Mary Magdalene grabs hold of Jesus when she realizes He is standing next to her.

In fact, there’s this image floating around the internet that I think speaks to how I imagine Mary jumping into His arms when she realizes Jesus was alive!

Look at her joy!  Death did not win!

In this moment is where the hope of Christ springs forth!

For three agonizing days many believed death had had its last word and won. But then, just as He promised, our precious Lord stands before us, filling us once again with hope and joy!

Holy truth! Jesus made a promise, and He kept His word!

Amen and Amen!!!

The idea of Jesus coming back from death to stand among us, to show us that even death held no power over our Lord and that He conquered the very moment that brings such grief and finality is absolutely mind boggling. But that’s exactly what Jesus did.

Oh, how they must’ve rejoiced and been confused all at the same time, don’t you think?  I bet their thoughts volleyed back and forth, finally settling on one conclusion, Jesus said it, He meant it and He did it!

But what about us and our loved ones? We know death to be final and the permanence weighs heavier on our hearts than simply missing them due to time, placement and distance.

Christ again gives hope by reminding us that through Him we do not need to grieve as the world grieves. We can rejoice in the truth that death no longer carries permanency. One day just as He promised to John in the book of Revelations 3:11a, “I am coming soon.”

The definition of soon means, “without unnecessary delay and in perfect timing.”

Doesn’t that change your perspective of life and death? Yes, death happens and there is plenty of heartache. But there can also be joy! Because just as Jesus showed us that death has no power over Him, we too can embrace the fact that death has lost its sting. One day, either because we draw our last breath or Christ returns, we do not need to live in grief as one who has no hope.

Yes, I will miss my dad until I see him again face to face and knowing I will see him again because of what Christ has done, eases the sting of losing him for now.

If you have lost a loved one, I pray that the truth, love and hope of Christ comforts your hearts.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Until we meet again, may God keep you in perfect peace.

Blessings and best wishes,

Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado


Triumph over Tragedy

I picked up this book for one reason, we were facing giants in our lives. Not just one, as did David when he fought Goliath but an army full of them. In fact, it seemed that as soon as we finished one battle, another enemy came forth, taunting and baiting us into war.

We were exhausted. Battle weary. My husband and I needed advice, help and wisdom on how to withstand yet another attack. Sometimes, when I’m in the thick of a battle I need that cheering squad to remind me just who I am and who God is. “Facing the Giants” did that.

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. David, the scrawny good looking teenage family outcast, sent by his father with food to aid in the support of his older brothers who were on the front line of battle against their arch enemy the Philistine’s and their monster frontman, Goliath.

When David hears Goliath taunting and bad-mouthing God, indignancy welled up in David as he threw down the gauntlet, grabbed 5 smooth stones and ran into battle.

Keep in mind, David didn’t fight for his sake, he fought for the name of the Lord. In fact, in this story, David knew God had the power to fully defeat the enemy all on His own, and yet David stood for God as a willing participant against Goliath and the Philistine army.

But when it comes to our own lives is that how we see the trials that taunt us? Do we rear up in righteous indignation, prepare ourselves to be used by the Lord to bring Him glory or do we pull back like David’s brothers? Afraid? Shrinking back, already defeated?

If I’m completely honest, it’s yes to both. There are times when life will kick me off of my soapbox and before my fanny hits the ground, I’ve already given up the will to stand firm in God’s strength and power to defeat the trial before me.

Max’s book, “Facing the Giants” reminds me over and over to not focus on the battle but focus on God. To give God the glory, to give Him the praise, to seek joy in the midst of heartache and to be reminded just as David knew that we love and serve the one true Holy Lord Almighty.

I enjoyed reading “Facing the Giants” and found a bounty of helpful tips to implement in my life now and when the next trial hits, such as:

  • Remember each trial is an opportunity for God to be glorified
  • No battle is ever too big or too small for our God.
  • Along with my personal favorite tip, “run towards your Goliath, not away from it” because we know, believe and trust in who and what God can do in any given situation. That little tidbit of advice did wonders to readjust my thought process as it applied to facing trials.

Let’s face it, how many of us look at a burning house and want to go run in? Or how many of us saddle up to the truth we are about to lose our home to foreclosure and welcome the idea to see God glorified through it all?

Reading Max’s book helped me to really grasp the concept that focusing on God instead of my trials allows for a deeper relationship between He and I and through Him I am able to confidently and peacefully walk through whatever is happening in my life, because I know God is with me every step of the way.

If you are in over your head with struggles right now that seem 9 feet tall or even if you’ve recently exited the battle ground and wished you had had more peace, more confidence and a deeper relationship with God because of what you faced, I encourage you to pick up a copy of “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado.

I am hopeful you too will find in Max Lucado’s book, another “stone in your pocket” that will enable you to take aim at the enemy, with God at the helm of your lives, defeating your nemesis once and for all.

Happy reading and best wishes,


Have Faith

I’m on this road right now that has pulled me out of my norm.
I think it’s safe to say I’m afraid.
I like life to be predictable and yet I’m at a place right in my life where everything in my life is in upheaval. I have kids going off to college, my husband and I are a trying to decide if we’ll put down permanent roots in this new state and I want to try my hand at pursuing a secondary career.
It’s all very unnerving and a bit stressful. All of those what if’s cause me quite a bit of worry.
So why don’t I have faith?
It’s like this: I do and then…I don’t.
I’m human, and frankly, sometimes, my faith in God and how I’m feeling in the midst of challenges are two separate issues.
Spiritually I know God is good. I never doubt that. In fact, my life is a complete testimony to God’s love, grace, mercy, provision and tons of forgiveness.
But emotionally I’m still just a human. I struggle to fight back my worries and fears. I struggle with needing patience and focusing my eyes on God instead of my circumstances. I struggle with resting and being still while I wait.
I definitely have issues with waiting. J
I’m one of those people who maps out where she’s going and the best route to get there, days before I even am scheduled to leave. But now, I’m in a stage of life where I simply do not even have a clue what my destination is, let alone, trying to figure out how in the world I’m gonna get there.
I’m lost.
110% at a loss.
And that, my dear friend, completely sets me on edge. I don’t like feeling at a loss and vulnerable. I don’t like to wait and pursue God instead of a goal.
Did I really type that last sentence?
I did.
Can I admit that I wasn’t expecting that sentence to come out as I typed?
I was planning on writing something else and look what happened…the truth popped out.
I guess I want God in my life on my terms especially now, in this moment of my life, when I’m constantly living in limbo-land.
My own personal hopes, dreams and direction for my life are on hold.
And I don’t like it. Especially when it’s combined with the truth that I haven’t the slightest idea where I’m headed next.
These moments are unchartered territory for me. Up until this year, my life followed a very traditional route, “get married, buy a house, have children, raise the children and then….???”
To be honest I’ve never given one thought as to what came next.
So here I am. In a new state, with a new church, barely any friends, my kids are leaving home and, and…
And what? What comes next?
I don’t know.
I honestly don’t know. It’s a horribly uncomfortable feeling.
I want my life to matter. I want it to count. I want to live a life worth living.
So how do I make that happen? Do I fill my days with work and busyness? Nah…that leaves me feeling empty.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job. But as we all know, there’s more to life than work. So what is it?
I’m sure many of you might be thinking, “Oh stop your whining.” And you’d be right. There is a small bit of whining happening, but mostly frustration. Simply because I do realize that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So while I’m on this earth I sincerely want my life to matter. I want it to matter to me, to my family and to my future generations and to those to whom God puts in my life.
So I’m on the road to figuring it out. Me and God. We’re gonna do this life together.

Along the way, I need to remember to not be afraid and have faith. God is with me always.

“So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

Blessings and Best Wishes,

Welcome to Window of Faith!

I am so glad you are here!
Friends and family who enter our home know that I’m rushing to hug their neck, sending a prayer of thanks heavenward to God for their safe travels, then I’m dragging my company off to the kitchen so we can share a bite to eat while we sit and visit.
My fondest memories have always included a combination of faith, family, friendships and of course, food. I find there’s something about sharing a meal that causes people to smile more, laugh more and simply relax. At the end of the day, everyone leaves feeling happy, satisfied and encouraged.
So this is my prayer for Window of Faith- to be a place where God reigns and friendships flourish – and of course, if we can add a little food in the mix, all the better! So please, pull up a chair, grab a glass of your favorite iced drink and let’s get acquainted and talk about what God is doing in our lives!
With blessings and love,