Have you ever felt like you are walking through life on old strength? 

That you are doing all of the same things, the same way, and it is all good. But as you walk your feet feel heavier than usual. With each step it feels harder and harder to pick one foot up and put it in front of the other. There may be no reason at all, just monotony, doing the same thing over and over and over again. It can drain our strength and leave us feeling lethargic. This can make the “everyday” feel somewhat overwhelming.  

Or, It may be for a specific reason…you are going through a health issue, someone you love is going through a health issue, you are encountering a serious life change, or maybe a relationship breakdown. Any or all of the above can be overwhelming and drain our strength. Instead of struggling to put one heavy foot in front of the other, it is a struggle to put your feet on the floor and get out of bed.  

I know this feeling. I am by nature a positive, upbeat person. I was taught by my grandma to thank God for the blessing of each new day the minute I wake up. She used to say,

“If you wake up in the morning, it is a gift from God!” Then she taught me to claim each new day for Him! She told me to put my feet on the floor and say to God,

This is the day The Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

While this TRUTH passed down to me from my Grandma has been my practice the majority of my life, I found myself dragging in strength.  Her precious daughter, my sweet Mom, has been dealing with Alzheimer’s. It has been a rough few years, to say the least, but the symptoms were fairly mild for awhile.

ALZHEIMER’S is defined as:

“A progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to degeneration of the brain.”

Now, beside the fact that it defines it as a brain issue, which is most commonly known, it is the word PROGRESSIVE that rings true.

Friends, the last month has felt not just PROGRESSIVE but RAPID!

This has put my sisters and I in a sad position to watch the mom we know and love, “progressively fade away.”

TRUTH IS, I didn’t just need God’s strength, I needed NEW STRENGTH!

And because GOD IS GOD AND I AM NOT, He knew this!

As I leaned into God, knowing He is faithful and true, He showed me something in one of my favorite verses, that I had never seen before. NEW STRENGTH!

But those who trust in the Lord will find NEW STRENGTH, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

As I was walking on one of my regular trails, spending the morning with God and feeling like my feet were made of cement, getting heavier and heavier with each step, I just kept walking. Why? Because I knew that leaning into God was all that I could do!

I could not heal my mom. I could not return her to her old self. I could not take care of all of the details. I could not even take the pain away from my sisters!  All I could do was practice the only thing that has ever given me strength, lean into God! Walk in His creation, read His Word, and whisper the verses over and over again to myself that I knew to be true!  

That morning, as I was doing that and feeling the weight of my burden with my old strength, I heard something! It was not a bird, or a dog on the trail next to me. It was not the sound of feet walking next to me. It was a loud rush of air being forced into a hot air balloon! I looked to my left and there it was!

The sound was louder than I had ever heard it before. The balloon was very low. It was hovering over the vines of the vineyard I was walking alongside. I stared at that balloon and at first just noticed it’s bright colors. Then I heard it again. This time it was louder! It was the rush of hot air being pushed into that balloon and causing it to rise!


What makes a hot air balloon fly?  A hot air balloon soars up into the air because warm air is lighter than cool air. So when air is heated by the fire blowing through the center of the balloon, it makes the heated envelope of gas less dense than its surroundings. In layman’s terms, the air around the center of the balloon is heated to over two hundred degrees and because warm air is lighter than all of the cool air around it, it causes the balloon to rise.

The more hot air that is pushed into the balloon the higher it rises.

Suddenly I knew why God had brought to my mind one of my favorite verses from Isaiah.

God was showing me that He was able to give me NEW AIR, NEW STRENGTH!

That He alone could and would renew my strength and make it new!

He would not magically heal my mom and restore her health, but He would take care of her, carry her through it, and give my sisters and I HIS NEW STRENGTH to walk lighter and soar higher than we could in our Old Strength.

Do you need NEW STRENGTH today?  

Lean into God He wants to give it to you!



God will renew your strength, make it NEW and help you walk through any and every situation you encounter!

Speak Truth Love


Have you ever built anything?
I mean, really built something! If you have, then I am envious of you! This is simply not a gift that I possess. Actually, it’s not even a “so so” skill that I possess. Actually, all my life I have looked with awe and wonder at people who can actually build something! There really is such an art to it. Now some may disagree with me and say it is more of a method or a process. All I can say is that I can take items out of a box, I can lay them out on the floor in perfect order, I can lay out the direction book and follow steps one, two, three in a distinct and perfect process, but I still can’t build!

Would you please picture with me in your mind the mess that would be laid out on my living room floor as I tried to build some thing that came in 332 pieces inside of a box? It truly would have looked better if I would’ve hung the box on the wall instead of creating the mess I had on the floor and tried to make it into something!

I have said over and over that I do not have an artistic bone in my body! I do not say this to acquire accolades or affirmation. I truly believe that I have other gifts to offer, but artistic gifts are not among them! People have argued this point with me many times. They have looked to the way I dress or to the way I even decorate my house and they have pointed out that I do have artistic gifts.

But I firmly disagree! What I do have is the ability to recognize beauty in something and the way it is put together and re-create or mimic it. As a teacher I used to say, “ I can copy and trace very well, but building it from scratch is not my forte!” Because I lack this natural ability, I believe it has given me an incredible sense of appreciation for those that have it.

I love walking through an art museum and staring at the masterpieces on the wall created out of nothing!

I love walking down crazy, busy, crowded city streets and being awestruck and inspired by the architecture around me. Someone built that out of nothing!

I love seeing the characters drawn freehand  by my brother-in-law and his son! I am flabbergasted by the artwork they create out of nothing!

I used to love to go to work with my dad as a little girl and watch him pull boards out of his truck, measure and cut them to a precise size, place them in the perfect position and pound nails into them to create something out of nothing! By the way, my dad could draw and paint freehand, beautifully! He once drew a horse head that looked so real I expected it to NEIGH! I truly believe their is an artistic connection to building!

I am in awe watching my son-in-law look up a project on YouTube and literally make something perfectly out of nothing!

This truly is a God-given talent that I do not possess! I can recognize it in others and even admire it, but that does not mean that it is a strength of mine.

However, I am made stronger by others who bless me with their strength of building!

Over four years ago now, we moved from Southern California to Northern California. My sister had come over to help me put together my new home in Sonoma County. I had bought a new set of shelves that I wanted to put in my living room. Like all wonderful products these days, it came packed in a box that looked way too small for a set of shelves! Inside the box were all the shelves along with 1 million other pieces! I just left the box laying in the entryway, unopened! As I was busy unpacking other boxes, my sister walked up to the box and said, “do you want this put together?“ “Yes,” I said, “I would love that!”

She opened that box, laid out all the pieces on the floor, laid out the directions, and built that set of shelves in less than an hour! Those shelves are still in my living room today. She has that ability to build! She blessed me with her strength of building and it compensated for a weakness of mine.

I could have gotten defensive knowing she had a strength I did not possess and said, “No, I’ll do it later!” Or, I could have let myself get defeated knowing she had a strength I did not have. If I would have done either one of those things, I still may not have a set of shelves in my family room(my husband does not have this strength either)!

I believe that we become our very best selves when we allow the strengths of others to compensate for our weaknesses! They in turn become their very best selves when they allow our strengths to compensate for their weaknesses!


God does not intend for us to live our lives alone! He also does not expect us to be perfect. God knows that we are better when we are together! He also knows that we are most effective and successful when we are pulling on our strengths and allowing the strengths of others to compensate for our weaknesses.

We all have those friends! Those abilities that are weak rather than strong. The question is, will we allow the strengths of others to BUILD us up and compensate for those weaknesses or will we pretend we can do it all by ourselves?

If this becomes our mantra, we are not only cheating ourselves of being our BEST selves, but we are also cheating others from being their BEST selves!



Speak Truth Love


Valentine’s Day is Sunday! It is a day set aside to “show LOVE!”

What does that really mean?

In biblical terms it would mean LOVING ONE ANOTHER!

There are many “LOVE ONE ANOTHERS” spoken in the Bible. But when we are talking about a whole day set aside to LOVE OTHERS, I believe we should take our cue from the one who showed the world the greatest love ever, JESUS!

In the book of John chapter 13 we read these tender words from Jesus about His LOVE for His disciples,

“…When Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to The Father, having LOVED His own who were in the world, HE LOVED THEM TO THE END.

So, Jesus gave them a bunch of money. NO!

So, Jesus set them up for life with a home and land. NO!

So, Jesus took them out for a nice dinner. NO!

So, Jesus gave them candy, flowers and a big heart balloon. OF COURSE NOT!

Jesus acted on His LOVE for them, lowered Himself to the dirty ground and washed their stinky feet!

Feet are not known for smelling sweet.

Feet are known to stink! We don’t shake feet, we shake hands. 

Yes, it would be uncomfortable to sit down and put our feet in the air every time we met someone new and wanted to greet them. But, it would also be less sanitary, and possibly down right stinky!

We walk on our feet. Our feet touch the dirty ground. Our feet get pushed into socks and shoes of all kinds. Our feet take the weight of our entire body on them. They feel the pressure of running and walking, stepping on hard blacktop, and rough ground. They step on rocks, gravel and sand. Not to mention all kinds of dirt in every form.

No wonder feet stink!

I am known for being a bit of a “neat freak.” Well, actually, I am known for being a huge neat freak. I like things clean and am not fond of touching dirt. Except to clean it of course, and then I have rubber gloves on my hands. Touching dirt, let alone, stinky feet, would not be something I would sign up to do. Yet, one of the greatest experiences in my life was doing just that!

In the Summer of 2009 we left for Nairobi, Kenya to do mission work alongside missionaries who were already working in the slums there. We walked each day into the slums of the Mathare Valley and witnessed the most detestable living conditions I have ever seen! The mud was thick and dense from years and years of piles upon piles of every gross and dirty thing you can imagine! The stench was overwhelming and caused an immediate gut wrenching reaction. I literally had to hold back the vomit. God was good and day after day we walked the Valley, prayed over it, shared the good news of Jesus with anyone who would listen and interacted with the people who lived there.

My favorite part of the day would be returning to the school the Missionaries built there and teaching the children who came.

As the time of our trip drew near for us to depart and return home, our leaders called us all together. They had set up chairs and wash basins and were calling all of the Kenyan workers over to sit in the chairs. We were going to wash their feet as and act of LOVING ONE ANOTHER.

I washed the feet of an older Kenyan woman who wore sandals daily and walked back and forth in the filthy, dirt of the Mathare Valley slums. I wrapped a towel around my waist and got on my knees, and bowed low to take hold of her calloused feet. I remember going down on my knees and asking God to help me endure the stink and demonstrate His LOVE. By the time I held her foot in my hand and dipped it into the water, tears were streaming down my checks! Her feet were beautiful and they were covered with the same sweet scent of the LOVE of Jesus that mine were!

I held her feet in my hands and washed them and dried them with the towel around my waist and felt like I had never demonstrated LOVING ONE ANOTHER like Jesus told me to any better!



JOHN 13:12-14

Jesus calls this, Loving One Another.

He demonstrates this Love for us as He Loves His disciples by washing their feet. Feet that walked up and down dirty, dusty roads in leather sandals.


When we truly love one another it can be stinky and dirty!

Jesus says He Loves His disciples!

He then tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and wash each other’s feet!

February is a month we dedicate to LOVE! We give candy, cards and flowers, but do we “wash one another’s feet?” 

Do we Love each other by doing the hard stuff? 

Do we listen, meet needs, go out of our way and speak God’s Truth in love even when it is hard to say and hear? 

I believe this is what Jesus meant when He told us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER by “washing each other’s feet.”

It may be stinky, it may be dirty, but we are to DO THE HARD STUFF IF WE TRULY ARE LOVING ONE ANOTHER!

I’m looking at Valentines Day a bit differently this year. My prayer is that you will too!

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Speak Truth Love


This may come as a shock to many of you… But when I was disciplining my children, I would get their attention without speaking a single word!

I would snap my fingers twice, wait till I had their attention, and then point to my nose!

My children knew exactly what that meant! They would looks square at me, their eyes fixed on mine. I would not make a sound or utter a single word until I had their full attention.

Did this happen automatically? Of course not! I did not give birth to two robots. This took time, effort and repetition! But I knew that my words were meaningless until I had their full attention.

When I began to speak my words to them I knew that they were listening. They may have agreed or they may not have agreed with them, but I knew that I had their attention and they were hearing what I had to say.

Our Heavenly Father is no different with His children! He wants our full, complete and undivided attention when he talks to us! 

Our Heavenly Father doesn’t just want us listening partially to Him as we turn on our Bible app and go about our daily business. He wants us to sit still, to listen intentively, and to pay undivided attention to the words from His love letter!

Our loving Father doesn’t want us listening to church online while we finish our morning chores. He wants us to be intentional about listening to His words of wisdom shared through our devices!

Our gracious Father doesn’t desire that we pray to Him only when we are desperate and in trouble. He wants to hear our voices coming to Him with praise, questions and requests when we are joyful, when we are scared, when we are elated, when we are frightened, when we have doubts, when we have hopes, when we falter and when we dream. He wants our prayers to be undivided!

It is far too easy in this crazy world we live in to become divided in our attention, pulled from every angle, and virtually unable to concentrate on any one thing for any length of time!

We click one screen to text a friend, we scroll another to keep updated on the latest news bite, we hit the up arrow on our remote and scan more TV programs than our grandparents ever watched in their lifetime! We open up an email while at the same time minimizing our screen and catching up on the latest trends and styles! We listen to a podcast and hear a liberal opinion and listen to another and hear a conservative one. We drive down the freeway and read more signs and billboards then we do ads flipping through a magazine! Our phones don’t just ring anymore indicating there’s a caller with a real voice on the other end…they chime every time an email comes through, they beep every time a text comes through, and they play a jingle every time our favorite team makes the headlines. And if we don’t pick it up, or answer, or read the latest bit of information we feel like we’ve missed out! 

As the saying goes,“ if you don’t post it, did it really even happen?”

No wonder our attention is so divided!

No wonder life feels crazy and out of control! No wonder we feel like all we need is a break!

Maybe it’s not really a break that we need. Maybe what we really need is to give our full, undivided attention to our Heavenly Father!

Maybe what we need more than anything is to learn to give God our undivided attention.

To not just hear the words, 

Be still and know that I am God,” from Psalm 46:10, but to actually put them into practice!

To not pick up that phone call, or respond to that email or answer that text. To not use every spare moment that we have scrolling down our Instagram or shuffling through our Facebook! But to truly meditate on the words, 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge(or listen), to Him and He will direct your paths!” Proverbs 3:5-6

I know it’s easier said than done, but practice does make perfect. One of the ways I’ve found to give God my full attention is to take a road trip. That’s right, you heard me, get into my car all by myself and take a road trip! Or, head out on a trail and walk.

Now of course this means I can’t plug my phone in and start making calls or answering texts or emails. I can’t put in my air-pods and listen to someone else talking. It also means I don’t listen to my favorite podcast! I don’t even turn on the music unless I choose to begin there with some praise music to get me going! I just simply get in my car, or walk down a trail and take a trip, sometimes long sometimes short, and talk to God! 

Then I am still and quiet and I listen. I look out at the gorgeous creation that He made and I just listen. This is one of the ways I have learned to practice giving God my full and undivided attention. I do not know what may work for you, but I do know that He is calling, and His call is one you do want to pick up and answer!


When God has your undivided attention, chaos ceases, and peace exists!

Speak Truth Love