26 April 2008

It's official

I came home on my lunch hour and signed the lease. I got to see the inside of my new place. It's adorable. Small and cute, just the size I needed. The appliances are fairly new and new accessories are being put in place in the bathroom. The bathroom is right off the bedroom so no more heading down the hall for that. The closet is about twice as big as my present closet. I am currently occupying the child's room of our two bedroom unit.

I am just tickled pink. When I got to work this morning several people asked about my meeting with the leasing agent. I told them what had happened and they were just as stunned as I. It was great to have an opportunity to tell how God had blessed me through the entire event. I was able to share how my believing God would take care of me had allowed me to find peace in some trying times.

I will get to take possession of the place on Tuesday. First order of business is to clean everything and line all the shelves. From there it will be a series of a multitude of small trips down the stairs and across the street. I'm hoping all the trips will not include any with me tripping.

I will try to post after I get in place. It will be a little difficult as I won't have Internet access for a while. I need to get all the utilities in place before I spend anything on that. I'll be checking my email on my phone.

Thanks for all your great support, it was and is much appreciated.

Continuing to rely on God's goodness,


25 April 2008

I was there; and even I am having trouble believing it

Yesterday I spent the day looking for an apartment with no real progress. Well, I did find a few places I definitely did not want to live. As I was headed home I stopped off at a storage place to see if there were any units available for me to stash my stuff in for a month. I figured I would take Joanne up on her kind offer and move out to Manvel while she was gone next month. That would give me more time to find a place I could afford and feel safe. I had peace with that scenario and was planning how many trips it would take to get everything to the storage spot.

A friend called me and said she had a friend of a friend who was a professional leasing agent who would meet with me on Friday and help me find a place. I called work and asked if I could leave work early and they worked it out for me.

I met the kind man and we went to several different locations. At two places I did not think I would feel safe getting out of my car and heading to the apartment at night. At one choice, I wasn't sure about being out in the daytime. We ended up at a place I know by reputation and from several friends living there. They had an efficiency which would be available in late May. It was the right size and only a little bit above my budget. It seemed I had found the place that would be the best for me. I kept feeling uneasy about the apartment. Everything my head knew told me it was the best choice, my gut was another story. Since it wasn't available right now, I told the agent I wanted to ponder the decision overnight. After he had returned me to my car I started home. I was asking God to give me discernment about the choice I needed to make. The last apartment seemed to be an answer to my prayers but I just didn't feel peace about living there.

As I was driving I got a call and found myself talking to one of the ladies in the office of my current apartment. They have been very helpful to suggest places. I had told them early on of my budget constraints when they offered to find me a place here. There is only one efficiency apartment on this property. Most of the one bedrooms are at least $100 out of my budget. It seems they had a small unit become available. It's just a little bit bigger that the efficiency and just $9 over my limit. She wanted to know if I was interested. I told her I was interested and asked her what the best deal would be. She said she would call me right back. As soon as we hung up, I called my mother. She is my prayer warrior extraordinaire. I gave her the facts quickly and asked her to pray. I explained the leasing agent couldn't offer any deals without the manager's approval and that the manager was usually out of the office after four on Fridays. I prayed asking God to give me clear sign if this was where I was supposed to be. Lupita called me back within 10 minutes and told me of the offer, I could place a deposit and not have to file a new application, and I would get two weeks free of of my first full months rent. She wanted to know if I wanted the apartment. I gave her a resounding yes! When God drops a gift right into your lap, you would be an idiot to ignore it. I took the apartment sight unseen. Didn't even know where it was on the property.

When I got home I tried to find it but was unable to locate it. I parked my car and went to walk up the stairs when I discovered my new apartment is right across the street from this one. I can look out of my window and see it. Even better, it is on the first floor. Anyone who knows me knows that is a definite gift. I hadn't been ruling places out, but no stairs is a blessing. My knee gave out in March and I fell down the stairs. Didn't break anything but did get a little bruised.

It will probably take most of the weekend for my heart to settle and my brain to believe it. God has been so good to me during the entire ordeal and has gifted me in so many different ways. I have found out which of my friends are willing to put themselves out for me, which keep me in their prayers, and which will give anything they can to help me. My family has been so fantastic in their support. I have always known that I am blessed by my family and this has been confirmed yet again.

I just keep going over again and again what my father taught me long ago. God calls us to obedience, not results. The results are His, our gift to Him is our obedience. Never has that been so clear to me as it is today. I don't know what else to say except, Thank you Jesus.

Thanks to all of you for your support as well. The encouraging calls and uplifting emails were the best things you could give me.

Praising Jesus,


24 April 2008


While I was out apartment hunting today I got a call from a concerned friend who wanted to know if I had a home yet. That caused me to think back on my morning meditation which dealt with that very issue.

When we live our lives as missions, we become aware that there is a home from which we are sent and to which we have to return. We start thinking about ourselves as people who are in a faraway country to bring a message or work on a project, but only for a certain amount of time.
One of the most important spiritual disciplines is to develop the knowledge that the years of our lives are "on a mission"

Bread for the Journey by Henri J. M. Nouwen

It is very reassuring to remember that I have a home I will someday call my own. I'm only "visiting" here, it doesn't matter what I call home as it is only temporary.

Looking for a temporary home,


23 April 2008

I love flowers, they don't love me

The good news is that so many of the apartment complexes in Houston have pretty landscaping. The bad news is I'm allergic to most of it. After spending a good part of the day traipsing around properties I finally admitted defeat and came home to sneeze in peace.

I have visits scheduled for tomorrow. I will also be meeting with an agent who is a friend of a friend. Please pray that I can stop sneezing long enough to focus on which place is the one for me.

I am still feeling peace, but am seriously wondering where I'll be next week.

Trusting God will work it all out for my good,


22 April 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Regardless of your position on global warming, there is a definite need for Christians to become better stewards of the earth. We don't need any fact finding research on the environment or our affect on weather change. We were long ago made responsible for taking good care of the planet.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

Genesis 1 :26-28

As God's people we have to answer to Him for our care of His planet. What will your answer be?

going greener all the time,


21 April 2008

A regular day

Today was a day like many others. I was blessed to wake up, had food for body and soul, worked at honest labor and met with great friends for hugs, love and fellowship. My friends have really shown that their religion is true in the past month.

True religion... is giving and finding one's happiness
by bringing happiness into the lives of others.
William J. H. Boetcker
Every friend I spent time with today, offered encouragement, shared laughter, and some even offered to move furniture. Such is their dedication to bringing happiness to others. As the recipient of their affections, I am moved beyond my capacity to explain.
Happy God has gifted me with some great people in my life,

20 April 2008

Company in the uncertain

I spent some time today with a friend who took a bold step in faith this week. In the past year she has been making choices to change her life in ways she feels are important. This week she made the biggest choice yet. She walked away from a very lucrative job because she felt it was the thing to do for herself and her family. I am so proud of her I am about to burst.

She is doing her children a huge favor living life lessons right in front of them. They won't have to wonder where her priorities lie, she has shown them. She has shown them that the best choice is not always the easiest choice. They will in turn be more likely to take risks themselves. I know this to be true. I feel easier taking risks because my parents modeled walking in faith for me.

In a twist that could only come from a God with a huge sense of humor and His own timing, today's sermon was about Risking Uncertainty. The following was the scripture used.

Matthew 25: 19-30 English Standard Version

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'
But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Something Doug said in the sermon really hit home with me.
"Evidently in God's economy breaking even isn't good enough.
In the context of this parable wickedness is burying your talent in the ground, wickedness is playing not to lose, wickedness is failing to take a risk.
Faithfulness is using what you have been given, even risking what you have been given to the best of your God given ability."

I am grateful for Doug's insight as the last few weeks have had me answering lots of questions about why I would leave circumstances which are financially bearable for something so uncertain. My answer continues to be that money should not be the driving force of our life. I have prayed about leaving my situation for two years and feel the need to step away from the easy choice. It is about learning to let go of things I cannot change and move on to where God wants me to be. My friend Mara now knows this well, she made the right choice, not the easy choice. I hope to do as well as she.

Risking my talent,


19 April 2008

Jesus Loves Me...

..and I have never been more glad of that than I am this week. Went to see a great efficiency today and it was just gorgeous: fantastic design, access to a big back yard, and just at the top edge of my budget. The only drawback was the lack of appliances to cook with save a microwave oven. I thanked the owner for allowing me to see the unit and told him how much I loved all the work he had done. I explained that I cook and bake all the time as it's the best way for me to support my health. I have been changing all my recipes to incorporate suggestions from the anti-inflammatory diet. He then said that his place was probably not the one for me.

I was a little hesitant to see this room in the first place. Renting a room attached to a house owned by a single man , even with a separate entrance can be cause for thought. I had asked God to give me a clear sign whether or not this place would be for me. He answered that very clearly by the absence of a kitchen. So even though I was strongly tempted by the huge closet and large two spray shower, I had to yield to God's clear leading. When you ask for a sign, you'd be an idiot to ignore it.

Yesterday on my way to work I got to see an idiot up close. As I was on the feeder road for Interstate 10 , I saw and accident right in front of me. Someone changed lanes without signalling and broadsided the car already in that lane. Sadly for the lady driving the the first car, the second car was a police car. As we all slowly made our way around the wreck I lowered my window to ask if everyone was o.k. (Nurses do that you know) At that time I heard what may be the stupidest sentence to ever be uttered. She asked the officer, "Didn't you see me coming? I couldn't signal because I was on the phone." What came to my mind was not terribly kind but came nonetheless; Dear God please bless this idiot and help her get back to her village.

At lunch when I was meditating I thought of how often God must have had the same feelings toward me. He has laid down His plan for my life and yet I will often seek to avoid what should be done. God is very patient with me when I attempt to reason with him why I can't do whatever the task is. He is always forgiving when I get my heart right and tell Him I am sorry.

I found myself awake for part of the night and was pondering all that today would bring. Oftentimes when sleepless in the night I will sing myself to sleep. (yes I know that's weird). I was singing Jesus Loves Me and it was this verse that gave my heart ease.

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
No matter what He asks me to do it helps me to remember that just like God told Moses, He goes with me.
Thankful for the traveling Companion on the journey,

17 April 2008

No news yet

No news to report yet, although it has been great this last week to see which of my friends I can pray with. I have always wondered why so many people are quick to say "you are in my prayers" but will not actually stop to take a moment to pray with you. If I have learned nothing else these last few years it is that you should hold on tight to the folks who will pray with you. These are the people you want in your life. I am blessed to have so many friends who will pray with me and I know they are the reason I am who I am today.

I was reading a note from an anxious young lady today who wondered if her friends knew everything about her would they still be her friends. I can tell her first hand that those who love me in spite of all my faults are my very best friends. Perhaps that its why we can go to God together in prayer. I cannot hide anything from God, and you can't successfully hide anything from someone who joins you in prayer. Maybe that is why some people are reluctant to pray with others. I can see that if you are trying to hide bits of yourself it would be difficult to do so while you were praying. For that reason alone, I have never dated anyone I couldn't pray with. Frankly, I have found over the years that the people who have the biggest impact in my life are the people who pray with me. There is just something so encouraging about holding a friend's hand as you both pour your hearts out before the Lord.

I get great comfort from my time spent alone with God, Morning prayers are the reason I can get out of bed. Private time to center myself will always be a part of my day. But I have noticed this past year when it was difficult to get out as easily, how much I missed having someone to pray with. Thankfully I have two fabulous friends who either call me several times a week to pray over the phone, or drop by to see me just to share in prayer. If you don't have someone you can pray with on a regular basis, find someone. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself.


16 April 2008

Middle of the night

This time of night is always hard for me. In my family we always referred to as "O dark-thirty". Many times I have gotten up this early to start some journey. I mostly see this time of night for another reason now.

I have to a great deal learned to ignore, get past, or sublimate my pain during the day. I take time in the morning, part of my lunch hour, and evening to meditate. When my soul is centered my life is better. It's these times in the night when it sneaks up on me it is harder to deal with. I frequently wake myself up when I roll over in bed. Seems kind of unfair for my own body to attack me in my sleep.

Still, I have tried to see this as an opportunity. If I am unable to find relief like tonight, I use that time praying for family and friends. God has taught me so much in these middle of the night sessions. I am thankful for the lessons learned. I know I should give thanks in all things but will confess, this is one of the hardest things for me to do at a time like this. I have to ask Him to help me be thankful because I'm not up to the task right now. While I have been so blessed time and time again in night-time prayer, I still struggle with being thankful for the reason. I hope to do better and know that God loves me now just as I am.

I was listening to part of an audio book by A.W. Tozer Sunday afternoon was intrigued by something I heard. He likened our relationship to God to the way we view the moon. The moon always presents the same side to the earth. He said when we look at God we always see the face of Jesus, and when God looks at us, He always sees the face of Jesus. Jesus is who gives us access to God, so He is what we both see. It gives me hope to know that God sees me with all my imperfections through the face of Christ. His perfection is over me and I can reach out to my Creator because of it.

I think I'll cease the middle of the night ramblings now and see what else God has in store for today.


15 April 2008

A variation of Paul Harvey

A prayer I learned a long time ago on my first job as a nurse continues to help me keep on track.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
I need to be at work early in the morning for a meeting and then have several places to visit. I am certain I will find the place God has for me. Between friends searching, apartment guides, craigslist and driving neighborhoods something will turn up. As I was asking God to help me to remember He will work things out, I recalled the prayer above. The first time I heard it I only heard the beginning and learned of the rest of it much later.
You may recognize it when you hear the first part of the prayer.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Borrowing liberally from Paul Harvey "Now you know the beginning of the story"


14 April 2008

Prayers and Hugs

Went to work today and spent some time with my prayer partner Joanne. She and I have in turn been helping each other through varying health concerns for the last few years. She shared with me that her daughter was in ICU. She is a nurse and lives back east. She has lupus and her physician changed her medicine last week. Her reaction to the change brought her first to the emergency room and later to the ICU. She is doing well today and will be staying in the hospital while they adjust her medicine again.

As we often do Joanne and I hugged and thanked God for friends who help you in times of trouble. Joanne has said time and time again that she doesn't know how people who don't know Jesus make it through the hard times. I am grateful that God has placed this dear woman in my life. I look to her as my example of growing in God's grace. I am so humbled by the time and care she gifts to me and am grateful Jesus shares His very best friends with me.


13 April 2008

Beautiful days

Everyday is a gift from God but beautiful days like today make it easy to remember. The last few days have been tiring. Calls to and from Africa in the middle of the night make it difficult to sleep and lack of sleep makes everything more difficult. After dealing with the loss of a friend I was sitting with another offering support as he deals with his toddling niece having leukemia.

I have worked many years with families in crisis I know that the most important thing you can do is to offer love and comfort. Give a hug and show your support. Don't look for the right words because there are none. Job's friends were the best friends ever when they joined him at his side and sat in silence with him. It was when they opened their mouths that he should have sent them on their way. So I hugged my friend, offered to help get out the news about a blood drive for Corinne, and gave blood today while updating my info with the Marrow Donor Registry.

The chance to give hope and help is what really made today a beautiful day and I am thankful for the opportunity and the day.


11 April 2008

Glad and Sad

I am glad that an old friend claimed the promise made for her and moved to Heaven today.

I am sad because I will miss her.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.

Leonardo da Vinci

10 April 2008

Celtic Prayer

I've been using a Celtic Psalter in my morning and evening centering. Last night's prayer touched my heart and I want to share it with you.

In the quiet of the night
may I know your presence, O God.
At the ending of the day
may my soul be alive to your nearness.
Amidst the tiredness that overcomes my body
and the tensions that linger in my mind,
amidst the uncertainties and fears
that haunt me in the darkness of the night,
let me know your presence, O God,
let my soul be alive to your nearness.

The Blessings of a Friend

Went several places today and looked at quite a few apartments. Some nice, some not so nice, a couple a little scary. May end up in one of these but want to look a while longer.

I talked with a friend today who is also making big changes in her life. We were comparing notes. She too seeks to live her life to the glory of God. She gets the "whole life" concept. You know, that everything you do is for God. You don't have a separate social, work and spiritual life. I am grateful she is in my life. I need support from someone who understands life is about The Journey.
  • The people God uses you to touch with His love and grace.
  • The chance for you to offer comfort and bring hope.
  • The time spent with Him in quiet listening for His Spirit.
  • The joy of serving others.
  • The gift of sharing Him and leading others on their first steps on The Journey.
  • The pleasure of fellowship with others who seek to do His will.

When you are with such a giving soul as her's it is easy to open up and share your own steps and let her lift you and guide you on the way. I had originally called her to see how she was doing with the changes she is making and ended up being comforted by the encouragement she gave me.

This year has been a great one for clearer vision. God has shown me over and over again how much he cares by the special people He's gifted to my life.

Thanks Tammy for reflecting Jesus' love so brightly, thanks for always having a comforting word, thanks for keeping me motivated on my journey.



09 April 2008

Steps in the journey

Well, the word is out that I need a place to stay. Most surprisingly, I have been asking for help. I have had several offers of guest rooms, couches, and one friend offered me her house for the month as she spends May up in Philly with her sister.

God has been so good to help me find peace in all of this. Once again I am reminded of wisdom from both of my Fathers. My Heavenly father and my dad have both taught me much. My Daddy has told me more than once; and if you are a father you will understand why repetition is necessary; "God calls us to obedience, not results."

A dear friend put out a call for help on my behalf. She knows I have difficulty with this. She will be surprised and glad to know I have set aside my reluctance because I know it is an affront to my Lord. It may have taken me years to learn this but I am finally coming around. You see both of my Fathers have had to repeat many lessons for me.

My co-workers saved me some great boxes and I am using them today to get the packing started. I saw a few apartments on Sunday and have appointments tomorrow for more. Everyone I know is calling all their friends to see if anyone has a garage apartment available.

I'll keep you up-to-date with the steps on this journey here.

Thanks for your prayers,


06 April 2008

Road trip thoughts

Yesterday was such a day for the Lord I just don't know where to begin. I guess I'll handle it chronologically.

It started with an early morning wake up call as I had committed to be part of the team praying for Project 180. For the last three years Grace Presbyterian Church has taken one day and over a thousand volunteers into the neighborhood to share God's love. It's a fabulous day and the best way to recharge your spirit of giving. Since I was going to be working the early shift I signed up for an even earlier prayer shift. The great thing about prayer is you can pray in bed. All I had to do was roll over, quiet the alarm and open my heart.

I got to the site and was directed to the outdoor classroom. I spent three hours moving dirt, spreading mulch, and leveling crushed granite. I was pretty filthy by the time I boarded the bus to go back to my car. Being there and working with others who love to share Christ in a real and practical way to the world around them was better than I can ever tell you. It's what I love best.

I went home to shower and think about getting in a car for a day trip to Austin to have dinner with my family. My nephew was down from Purdue to be wooed by UT (They didn't woo him well by the way). I decided to make the trip after conversing with family and a great friend. I was traveling along and enjoying the wonderful wildflowers. I needed to stop and get gas and while stopped received a call with some disturbing news. I have been planning to move at the end of May but due to surprising developments I have to move out by the end of the month.

I got back in the car and started my music up. I had put the Zune on random play of some Selah tracks. The first song to play was Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, the next songs were, It Is Well With My Soul, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, Be Still My Soul, and What a Friend We Have in Jesus. I was singing along to each and thankful that while the Zune randomly chooses the song to play, God chose each one to give my heart ease. I spied a particularly beautiful patch of wildflowers and decided it was a great place to stop and do a little picture taking and prayer walking.

After getting back in the car, I thanked God that I know deep in my heart everything that happens to me works out for His glory. I have next to no time to find a place. I need to find something cheap, and I have less time to earn extra money for the move. Sounds frightening? Yes and no, yes when I think of working this out on my own, no when I remember that God works things out for me. Things may not work in any way I might envision and God works on His own timeline. Past experience has taught me it is best to rely on Him and let Him work on me.

So, the next 24 days are a chance to pray more often, trust more fully and rejoice greatly!

Glad Jesus loves me!