Thursday, July 10, 2014

Before and After

I’m a dog lover and I’m very thankful God created precious little fur-friends to enjoy and love who love us right back. It’s my pleasure to share articles from National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR ) in each issue of Christian Women’s Voice Magazine. But it sure tugs at my heart to see the “before” photos on Facebook taken of the dogs at the puppy mills; proof of precious animals suffering deplorable conditions.

I always look for the “After” pics to quickly follow – that Hallelujah moment after they’ve been rescued, fed, bathed, loved and in the arms of their “forever families.”

I can relate.

Maybe you can, too.

I often consider the state of my heart before Jesus took hold of it. Before He rescued me I looked and felt like those sad and bedraggled “before” pics. I was definitely a soul in need of cleansing and belonging, to be spiritually fed and held in the arms of my Savior. I was ragged on the inside. Closed in, stifled and miserable in my conditions with little to no vision of the future or what life might be like outside the bars that caged my soul. In my vanity and selfishness, I relied fully on my own strength, my own desires, never giving thought to a plan larger than my own.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"  Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:25-26

I’m so thankful for the contrast of before and after. It’s quite a journey getting from one to the other, but the rewards are unexplainable. Having the peace of Jesus in my heart and knowing that He loved me first makes each and every day a precious gift to be lived with gratitude.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's All Come to This...Once Again

'Trumpet Macro' photo (c) 2010, Jamesongravity - license:

I promised him I wouldn't cry.
I lied.
What’s a mom to do when it’s her boy now a man heading out to fulfill a dream?
All the years of school band concerts and me straining to see the little spiky-haired boy behind the music stand; the shortest but loudest trumpet of all and never missing a note…it’s all come down to this.
Cody in high school marching band 2009

All the solos, the starched white shirts and black pants, the Christmas concerts, spring concerts, jazz concerts, playing Sundays in church, for parades, funerals, rest  homes and Veteran’s Day…all right next to his dad, the best teacher of all; the one who’s nurtured the love of music that now burns a passion all its own.
It’s come to this.

Cody and his Louis Armstrong Award, 2010

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) ESV
His bags are packed. The air is thick with anticipation.
The tarnished yard-sale trumpet will remain in its case for now, though it’s served him well over the years – the years that mattered most when all the learning, growing, building and becoming quietly occurred.

It will be a newer, shinier horn that accompanies him for the summer tour; one that will better reflect the stadium lights when he takes the field….one that will reflect the tears of joy and love from the proudest parents in the stands.

We love you, Cody and we're so proud of you!
Woo-Hoo!!!! Look out, drum corps! Here comes another Dillon!!!

Cody front and center marching with Pacific Crest, 2013

It's a whole new season, a whole new show and whole new excitement!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sharing a Few Random Thoughts...

'Frog Pond' photo (c) 2011, liz west - license:
 I’m working hard to clear up the murky water in my little fish pond out in the back garden. I pulled out the old pump, purchased a new pump/UV light combo unit a few days ago, installed it and now I’m just waiting for the magic to happen. I can’t wait to actually be able to see the 9 fish I've been feeding.
I love the thought of adding light to a dark and murky situation to bring clarity. And I love how both light and dark cannot reside together. It may take lots of time and patience, but in the end, the strength of the light is the stronger of the two…and always wins.


I’ve noticed that all my watering has encouraged the weeds to grow as well as my roses. I've developed quite the weedy mess out there that’s going to take a few days of back-breaking work with the hula-hoe, lots of iced tea breaks and many hours on my knees.
Funny how when we’re looking for real results in life, it takes dedicated effort and some time spent on our knees….


'Hebden Suspension Bridge' photo (c) 2010, Andrew Bowden - license:
I can’t get that picture out of my head, the one I believe God put there a few weeks ago. It’s a calm, serene body of water with several stepping stones leading from one side to the other. They’re randomly spaced; some jagged, some smooth and slick. Surely, the trek from one side to the other would be an unsure, treacherous journey.
Yet, not far away from those stepping stones is a stable and secure bridge.
It brings to mind how I often hop across the stepping stones in life; unsure about my footing or which to take next…and all the while…God offers the bridge. His way is secure. His way is safe. He is faithful to bridge the waters from my hopes and dreams to His purpose for me.
The bridge or the stepping stones.
It’s a daily choice.

Be blessed and have an awesome day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sharing Today's Newspaper Article (6/6/14)

'Coffee. Joe's Garage' photo (c) 2010, My Aching Head - license:
Good Morning!
I just wanted to share today's newspaper article with you: Read it here

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guest Posting Today!

Hey friends...

I'm guest posting over at the Tapestry Network today, and I'd love for you to join me:Here

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sharing My Heart

It’s the hurting friend across the miles who grips my heart today.
Another with ragged breath escaping over a scratchy phone line.
And another sunk low in her dark depression and void.

So, what do you say to the hurting soul who’s only familiar with the sharp edges of life? Balancing on that high wire of the tight and the jagged with nowhere to go?
The answer is and was and will always be the same: Jesus!
My heart aches and the tears sting for those who deserve more.
Should believe in more.
Were made for more.
Those I hope to see graced with more.
The pain and the hurt and the struggle are real.
Yet the Healer, the Savior, the one true source of comfort and hope is real!
The is no other way – no other life-long solution to stop the bleeding of a broken heart; the soul needing and grasping for purpose and strength.
Only my Jesus can mend the many holes in a spirit once intact.
Only my Jesus truly comforts the truly hurting.
Only my Jesus gives hope to the hopelessly lost.

Only my Jesus hears our every prayer and gives light to our darkest days.

With Love,


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