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  I have thought a lot about “the voice” of the Lord.  I really can say at times, “the Lord said…”.  Certainly, in the Word, the Lord said, but I mean, to me.  I know there is controversy about it.  Do I hear Him audibly?  Nope.  But I really “hear” Him in my heart and spirit.  Not all the time, never about anyone else.  Only to me, about me.  He does prick my spirit about things at times.  I will hear, ‘go give her a hug”, “stay away”, “don’t say that”  kind of stuff. 

I was reading Psalm 29 today.  It is so interesting and made me think.  Verses 3-9 talks strong words, big words, big voice.  Verse3, “the voiceof the Lord is upon the waters…”the God of glory thunders.  The balance of that passage mentions that the voice of the Lord is powerful, majestic, breaks the cedars.  Verse 7, “the voice the Lord hews the flames of fire, shakes the wilderness.  Verse 9 “makes deer to calve and strips the forest bare; in His temple EVERYTHING, says “Glory”.  Isn’t that amazing?  His voice alone can do all those things.  Incredible.  The strength and power is indecribable.  Yet, He can use that powerful, amazing voice, to calm us, to encourage us and to make us know we are loved.  The same voice can be soft and quiet, just to let us know He is there.

I remember one of the first times that happened to me.  Mike, Erin and Brody and I were at Disneyland.  It was when the Indiana Jones ride was brand new.  The line was all the way from Frontierland to Main Street, USA.  We went everywhere else until the end of the evening and then the line was 4 hours long.  Standing at the end of the line, a couple came up and asked us how many were in our party.  We told them 4.  I was a little skeptical, thinking that they were scamming us a little.  They said that there had been a mistake of some sort and “Town Hall” had given them a pass for 6 people to “go to the front” of the line.  They asked us if we would join them.  We could not believe it.  We walked right past all those folks to the head of the line.  The ride, of course, was very fun and exciting.  We got off the ride before we even realized what had happened.  The kids were thrilled.  It all happened so fast.  Weird, but I immediately had to go to the bathroom, (sorry, but true).  I really needed a minute alone.  In the stall, I could not help but say, “Thank You, Lord.  Only You could have orchestrated that.”  In that still, soft voice, but true, I could even hear a smile, My Father said, ” you are wecome.”   I was a little stunned, but I knew it was Him.  The voice that had the power to raise Jesus from the dead.  The voice that is powerful and majestic cares about telling me that I was welcome, just so in that minute I knew He heard me.  He was there and heard me in the bathroom stall in Disneyland, Anaheim, CA.

There are many things I pray about and for that I have not had that immediate response.  What I learned right then was that my Father hears me wherever I am, whatever I am doing and in His timing He aswers His way.  I am grateful.


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  “I’ve got a story…”.  Anyone who has ever attending a Bible Study that I have led, knows I say this periodically.  I just want my sweet ladies there to know, our God is real and if I can tell them how real the Lord can be to them, I will.

We have been studying the book of Exodus  this year.  I have learned just how wonderful the Old Testament  gives us glimpses into what the Lord has in store for us.  It can speak right to our hearts and we can see the New Testament jump out from the pages.

Exodus 17:9, begins with Moses telling Joshua to choose men to go out and fight against the Amalekites.  

(Wait, let me say right here, this is my own interpretation, my own thoughts and of course, “just my opinion”). 

Ok, continuing, Moses then would station himself on top of a hill.  Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill and as long as Moses held up his hands, Israel would prevail, but when Moses let his hands down,  the Amalekites would previal.

In continuing in verse 12, Moses hands were heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him.  This struck me as the first symbol, not of the New Testament, but a symbol, nonetheless.  II Samuel 22:2 says, “The Lord is my Rock, and Fortress,”  That “rock” supported Moses.  Psalm 19:14, “my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Verse 12 continues, “Aaron and Hur supported his hands one on one side and one on the other.  “His hands were steady until the sun set”.  Ok, this really hit me…Galatians 6:2, the Lord tells us to “bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the Law of Christ.  My mind went immediately to our own Pastor Phil.  He not only is a great guy that we have known for over 25 years, but an excellent preacher and teacher.  Since our very own, “Generous Mr. Lovewell”, Pastor Jim went home to be with the Lord this summer, Phil has been missing that  “burden bearer”.  He was Phil’s “iron sharpens iron” .  Pastor Jim was the hospital going, marriage councelor, dispute negogiator kinda guy.  Our congregation has grown rapidly from approximately 200 to approximately 550.  Phil needs an Aaron and a Hur.  This started my little group of ladies to decide to pray for this help; a man of God’s choosing for Phil.  I am comforted that God will provide this for him.

Then I thought about myself.  How can I help? What can I do to “bear one another’s burdens’?  That very morning I was browsing my Facebook News.  There was that familiar “Generous Mr.Lovewell”  post reminding me to do something and “lovewell”.  So, once again, I mentioned that to my ladies and challenged them to “love someone well”  this week before Thanksgiving.

After Bible Study, Mike and I went to WalMart to shop for Thanksgiving.  There in front of us at the check-out, was a cute couple, a little older than Mike and I.  In their cart, I saw (okay, I am always curious when some people buy the things they do, nosey, I know).  In their cart, were “Apple Jacks”, Cocoa Krispies, popcorn, Junior Mint’s, and I thought, “that has to be for their grandkids”.  I wanted to ask, but I found a better way, (just incase they really did eat all those things).  As it were, they were expecting their grands from out of town– Idaho and Modesto.  For a minute,  I felt sorry for myself, since I will not be able to see my TN kids or grands for the holidays.  Then….God showed up !  As I spoke with them, I became really happy for them.  I could feel it, I knew it was the Lord, because I am way too selfish.  They went on their way.  The cashier asked, “Wow, how many people are you cooking for?”  We had 2 carts, (I know ridiculous).  I asked her if she was cooking and she told me she had never cooked a turkey before, her exhusband had always cooked it and he was gone now.  She told me her son was going to his girlfriends and she had to work until 12:30 p.m.  Well, guess where God showed up now….yep, my mouth.  Out He came.  “Come to our house” and I started writing my address and phone number down for her.   She looked so surprised, but happy and said, “really?”    “Yep”, and I hugged her and we left.  Now I had had no time to think about it, or ask Mike about it.  He asked me on the way out what all that was about.  I told him my story of that morning.  He agreed, he usually does.  I realized whether my new friend, “Donna” shows up or not, that God used me to “lovewell” and we are grateful.  We are privileged to be used by an Almighty Good, who “shows up” to do His work anytime, anywhere He chooses.

We are grateful.  Thank you, Lord.

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I kinda knew something was up when Mike was frantic to get the downstairs room done.

When I asked him, he just said that “he had promised me before summer” it would be finished.  I believed him.  I always do.  So I bought it. I was there for him.  Excited and everything.

Then about 2 weeks before Easter, he told me.  It was a bad day I was having and he wanted to do something to cheer me up.  He also didn’t want to cheat me out of the fun of preparation for them to come.

MercyMe was coming to Sacramento, that meant Brody would be here for 5 days, so Kristin and the boys were to fly out early, go to the concert and Brody come home with all of us.  Yeah !!!!  I was very excited.  And Mike was right, preparing is part of the fun.

We would be together for the Concert,  for Easter at church, for Zion’s birthday that weekend.  I loved it.  Did we plan?!!!  I did !…

This is the back of Bridget’s car after the Wal-Mart run.  I wanted everything perfect.  Well, maybe not perfect,  but done.  I wanted to have every cereal, snack, towel and food they could possibly need.  Like I said, I was excited.

I made menu’s, calendars’, well really, I cleared the calendar so that nothing was going to interrupt the time I had with them.  I knew they would have a plan of things they needed to do,but I wanted nothing to effect it.

Erin, Mike, and the kids and I picked up Kristin and the boys at the airport.  All the way home, the kids were so fun.  The cousins had not seen each other in almost 2 years and it was like nothing had changed.  The love that is there, was incredible.  We could definitely see the family love and they giggled and wrestled all the way home.

We  even refinished some furniture that was my Mom’s for the room.  Erin did this entire project.  My mom had this in her kitchen.  When Erin and Brody were babies, they would take the canned food out and put it back in over and over in her kitchen.  We had it in our kitchen after Mom went home to be with the Lord.  It is now a book shelf.

It was entirely so much fun to prepare and be excited at the same time.

Later I will do Easter, but one really nice thing we did have planned was the Family Picture while everyone was here.  A very kind, and generous man from our church agreed to do the pictures at church.  We found a day when everyone could be there.  Matt is the only one missing.  That made me a little sad, but we did the best we could do.

These are all the kids, blood, in-loves, and heart doing some signs of some sort.  Joey brings this to the family.  It’s a tribute to him.

Can you believe it?  I am trying to do the best I can to enter these in, be patient…This is us.  Sookie and all.  I love it.   Wait, I’ll try another..

Ok, this is the us.  The bloods and the in-loves.  To me they are all bloods.  We are grateful, so thankful and humbled by what the Lord has done.

There will be more pictures of this precious, encouraging time later.  For now, I am so grateful for our kids, blood or not, grands and my husband.  Lord, you are kind and generous.

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Grad.Spring2009 057We knew it was coming.  We didn’t want to think about it, but we had to. She had cancer all through her little body.

Gracie came into our family about 13 years ago.  It was before Erin and Brody  left home, before any grandchildren had been born.  She was my baby.  She was strong willed, spoiled and contrary.  She didn’t like to be hugged or loved and she whined at the table.  It’s true, I spoiled her.  I gave her the last bite of everything I ate.  Mike, didn’t like that, the kids didn’t like that, but I didn’t care.  She embarrassed me a lot when people came to dinner.  I didn’t care.  I loved her.

She was great company to our Sookie and the Toby, the cat.

We miss her terribly.  People have asked before, “Will there be dogs in heaven”?  Some people have said, that theirs would be.  I  hope there are some.  I hate to say it, but for Gracie, probably not.  She was a stinker…but I loved her.

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Summer2009.bday.camp. 279 For our family, this, the Donner/Tahoe area is one of the most beautiful places God created.  Our church camp was here again this year and we loved it.

This picture is of Noah and a couple of his buddies, building at the lake’s edge.  The water was cold, but they never care.

Summer2009.bday.camp. 240Next, Harold and Shayla, well Harold talking and Shayla listening.  It was so cold the first night, Shayla was freezing in her tent.  She moved into the trailer and slept with Trinity the next night.  People said it was 29 degrees.  It felt it.

Shayla has been close to all of us this year.  She helps Harold and Nik with the Junior High.  She is a good friend to Erin, loves the kids and we have become her “aunt and uncle.”  She is a great gal, who truly seeks to follow the Lord in all things.  Love her to pieces.

Our friend’s, the Brown’s brought “Nitro”, their Weimerheiner.  He was beautiful.  We could throw sticks out into the lake and he would swim and bring them back.  Zion had a great time with that.  I think Mike and I did too.  Summer2009.bday.camp. 251

Speaking of Mike having a great time.  He borrowed the skateboard from Mike Sparling, and away he went.  Scared me to death, Erin too.  But the grands thought it was

Summer2009.bday.camp. 264

was great !!!…    I was so happy for Mike.  It had been a while since he had a day off.  He turned his phone off just as we left for the lake.  Never turned it on until we got home.  He fished, snorkled, rode his bike and Mike’s skateboard.  He taught Zion how to ride a 2-wheeler, as he had the other two kids at campouts.  I was very glad he had some “down” time.

Just a note here….when we came back we stopped at Colfax for a lunch.  An elderly gentlemen across from us began to choke.  His wife panicked and started yelling, “Help, help”.  Mike jumped up, scared because of the age of the gentleman.  Mike gave him the Heimleck manuever and out that food came.  The guy and his wife were very appreciative, Mike was still scared, but everything went perfect.  We are grateful for a perfect result, and know that the lord had His hand in that deverted tragedy.  Thank you, Lord.

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ThanksTree 018Bqrb's camera --Noah's B-day, Sew and Rip 009Bike and Work Stuff 003Grad.Spring2009 094 Our eldest, oldest, (what ever is right) grandson turned 11 today..  How on earth does this happen.

Noah John is beautiful, inside and out.  He is “crazy” smart and real.  I have certainly written this before.  When he was born, being our first, I could not even breath until Erin brought him over…everyday.  He brought a new dimension to our lives, of course.  As he has grown and matured, he continues to do that.  Honestly, he is very much like his uncle in that he loves quiet.   He loves to read.  Dislikes being around loud noises and needs alone time.

Some of my favorite times is when he comes over and says,  “Mammo, could we just read together, in the quiet, or sit outside and talk?”  I love that.

My prayer for Noah has been since the day he was born, “Father, make him a man after Your own heart.  Grow him up to be true to his “namesakes”.  A strong, man of God, who loves like You, is peaceful and kind to others.  As he starts Junior High this year, my prayer is even more so.  And ya’ know?  So far so good.  Thank you, again Lord.

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Grad.Spring2009 053

Wow, it has been a very busy Spring.  We have had 3 birthdays, 1 college graduation, 2 High School graduations, traveling to Tahoe, Home Shows, and general family stuff.  Time gets by and I really miss connecting with my “blog Family”.  I miss you, Melody.  I miss you too, Scottie and all the other sweet people I have met here.  I am not far away.  You are always in my mind.  I miss communicating with my fam through pictures and words.

With the summer upon us, I am truly hoping for more time, to write and reflect on things.  Sometimes, I feel I was meant for a different time, a slower paced, quiet life.  Then again, I would not want to miss all the things that go on in the “right now”.  Guess, I’ll just trust the Lord that He knows best,  and go for it.

Noah, Trinity and Blue all did very well in school this year.  I am always and proud “Mammo”, so that just adds to it, since I was a very lower average student.  I cared more for “social” activity than academics.  I am still that way.   I truly want the kids to all do well though and be whatever the Lord has designed for them.   Zion will begin Kindergarten this year, he is quite ready and excited for that.

Grad.Spring2009 059These gorgeous things are blooming again in the back yard.  I try to take these pictures to send to our Kristin, I know she loves flowers as much as I do and will appreciate them like I do.  It always amazes me that God takes care of these things.  They come from sticks and climb and I do not have a green thumb at all, and yet “our Father takes care of these things”…like the lilies of the field,  I am so grateful.  How generous of Him to allow these for our pleasure.

Grad.Spring2009 073Honestly, I never see this lavender, and we have about a dozen of these in our yard without thinking of Kristin.  She loves the smell of lavender.  And we love her.  Zion actually took this picture for his Auntie.  He is a pretty good photographer for 5.  Quite the eye.  He gets it naturally.  Erin is a wonderful photographer and we all know Brody is.

When the Spring happens and the yard is in bloom, I really take some refuge there.  I can sit on the swing, water or just stand and look, the Lord is there.  We talk and usually there is a noise to distract me, but I do steal some time alone with Him here.  I am so grateful for this place He has provided for us.

Grad.Spring2009 016This is absolutely, the only thing that I can grow inside the house.  I put them in my kitchen window and enjoy them year round, every day.  As I look at these pictures, I realize I love purple flowers.  I love the look, the smell and the peace they give.

Thank you so much for allowing me this indulgence and taking this walk with me through what brings me peace in my busy world.  Thank you, Father for the creation of beauty in your world and allowing us to live here.

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