Seven Years - Peace in the Valley

Today is May 13, 2018.  Seven years ago today my life and my family's life was forever changed by the diagnosis of cancer.  Today just also happens to be Mother's Day.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate seven years cancer free -- than being a Mom. God saw me through a very difficult time as a Mother and blessed me with two sons. So much has happened in the last seven years that God has been planning it amazes me.  For those that don't know my entire cancer story you can read the side bar titled "My Cancer Story."  I know God has been preparing me to write and return to blogging.  I don't know if anyone really reads this but here goes...It is pressing on my heart and mind to write more often about my journey battling cancer and being a cancer survivor.  Many have asked me to write about life on a cattle ranch here in Peace Valley Missouri. Devotionals regarding being a wife, mom and woman in Christ seem to be top on the list. I want to explore th…

Ditch the Fig Leaves this Christmas

This is the season of giving and receiving.  Making lists and checking them twice.  So much pressure we put upon ourselves to be perfect.  Perfect cards, perfect desserts, perfect outfits, perfect hair, perfect kids, perfect's all perfect.  Or is it?  I'm tired of the perfection game.  Perfection is something we strive for but never attain.  We miss the Perfect gift of Christmas busying ourselves trying to "be perfect" and before long we are wiped out well before the twenty-fifth of December. Why do we make ourselves crazy this time of year more than any other time?  We want our families to appear happy, our homes beautifully decorated minus any life clutter popping out of closets and drawers and the kids on their best behavior because we have bribed them with lots of candy. Who are we really trying to fool? Why does the fig leaf come out this time of year and try to hide the truth of who we really are?

It's no secret that Adam and Eve made fig leaves…

Let the Children Come

There is a big difference between being tired and burned out.  I am physically tired due to this season of life with a little 16 month old running around.  Zachariah is into everything.  I mean EVERYTHING.  I also have the privilege of homeschooling my oldest boy Dustin.  This also is a task that requires self-sacrifice and huge time commitment.  I don't do it alone, which I am thankful for, but it does mean I have to prioritize my day. The last few days have been crazy to say the least.  We have been trying to get a backyard project completed all summer long and well the timing wasn't perfect but, we finally got a concrete patio poured in our backyard.  The thing about it is that means the dogs, all 4 of them can't be in the yard for 3 days.  In case you don't live in an area that is receiving an arctic blast let me just tell you it's cold, bone chilling cold. Right now it's 11 degrees. Winter blew in and settled in.  So the last few nights I have spent time b…

The Attitudes to Be

The treasury of scripture never ends.  The deeper you dig the more buried treasure there is to find.  I love this about the Word.  There isn't enough time in my life to spend studying the truths buried between the lines of each verse.  I have set to a habit of cogitating the profoundness of this great and marvelous mystery.  It is an absolute joy and privilege to have the ample resources at my finger tips to make digging into the Word easy.  Tools at the swipe of my finger, located on my iPhone like the Blue Letter Bible, software programs like Logos, pod casts from various pastors and YouTube videos of teachings.

 I always found it hard to understand this particular passage of scripture in Matthew chapter 5.  I have spent some time really studying it and wanted to share my findings.  Of course these aren't all my original thoughts.  Mostly this is due to the fact that my Bible study group is covering the life of Jesus and we just happened to finish up on this.  I have re-re…

My Hardest Peace

I am a fighter.  I am stubborn.  I admit I want it my way and my way now.  It's this flesh that keeps me trapped and stuck on my man-centered ideals and a false reality that life is all about me.  Cue the thunder and lightening bolts from heaven.  Wake up and slap my-self silly to recognize it's not about me, it never was about me. I finally came to that realization after I had finished college, married prince charming and had one baby. I had bought into the lie that life was about the pursuit of happiness the Great American Dream had lied to my Little House on the Prairie romantic ideas of farm life. Well if the American Dream was a lie then my fantasy of farm life painted on Little House on the Prairie was even worse.  Farm life is hard work.  Not for the weak or weak minded.  There is a lot of work to keep a farm operating. I married my college sweetheart who was preparing for a career as a veterinarian. I worked four years in the lab as a chemist and scientist. Put him thr…

Making a Come Back

So I know it's been a while since my hand rested on the keyboard and I stared blissfully into the LED light of my laptop.  What can I say?  Life happens.  I have been busy.  Busy doing important things.  You know like mothering my babies, tending a garden, chasing two growing energy laden puppies around, home-schooling my oldest boy, continuing ministry activities and occasionally cook, clean and do laundry. Not to mention, just enjoying this season of life. Reading that makes me tired! I feel a sense of conviction to write again in this blog realm.  This is part of my journey; my continued healing and recovery from cancer.  I face it daily.  I don't like to admit it but my own mortality stares back at me in the mirror every morning.  Life is fragile.  Life is short.  Too short.  We have no idea of when it will come to an end.  We just know our days are numbered and we must make to most of each day.  Live like you are dying.  Sounds familiar to the words of Jesus, "He who…

Key Number One

We must learn like Paul.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in  whatever state I am to be content.  Philippians 4:11-12
Learning is key number one.  Paul tells us that he has learned.  The verb tense tells us that it took some effort and time.  It's like when you first start to play the piano.  You have to keep at it.  You practice until you learn how to do it.  Being content is like that. You can't just sit down at the paino bench and expect to play Mozart.  You build up to it.  Sometimes it takes days, weeks, months and even years to master.  This is what Paul was writing about.  He had to go through the training in order to learn.  Paul didn't just one day wake up and say oh I have contentment in my life now.  No he went through a lot of things to get to a place where he could honestly pen the words I have learned to be content.

I can only imagine that before his conversion Paul was a disciplined man.  He was a Pharisee among the strictest sect of Jewi…