Friday, October 22, 2010


Solitude … aloneness, separateness, privacy, seclusion.  How often in today’s busy rush-rush world do we find times of solitude?  Why would we want to find it?  Is there a benefit to periods of aloneness?  Are we afraid to be alone with ourselves?

Working out our path through life requires times of privacy and seclusion so that we can look at our lives and see where it is that we have been and make course corrections for our future.  We need to come to know and understand who we are inside.  This kind of introspection takes time.  Time is a gift and one that we should learn to use wisely.  We all need to work; we all have projects we need to finish; we have goals we should be working toward; we have things we just want to do; but we also need time to be refreshed.

Not every waking minute of every day needs to be filled with activity.  Spending some quiet time thinking, reading, writing or just gazing at something beautiful and serene brings a sense of calmness and peace that is sorely needed by all of us in this 21st century.  

The old saying is “take time to smell the roses” … I would add to watch the birds soar, the ocean waves roll in, the sun come up or go down with all its painted beauty, the lacey pattern of sunlight streaming through the branches and leaves of a favorite tree,  or listen to the sound of your favorite soothing music.  Notice the beauty of the creation around you; take it in and make it a part of your being. 

Learn to enjoy a bit of time alone with your thoughts, your feelings, your desires – see who you are and if you are who you really want to be.  If not, make plans to alter your life in such a way that you can become who you want to be so you can fulfill your part in God’s plan for your life. 

May you enjoy your times of quietness,

See Mark 6:31-32; Matthew 14:23; Galatians 6:4

"Letters to God" ... the movie

“Letters to God” … the movie.  My son showed me this movie last night and I want to highly recommend it to all.  It is based on a true life story and tells of an eight-year-old boy who is in the midst of a battle with brain cancer.  

His “Letters to God” remind me of the journaling that is often suggested for Christians.  But his letters and his desire to see others come to know the God who loves and cares for him reaches more people than one could imagine.

It’s an uplifting and encouraging story – reminding me that no matter what our circumstances, we can and should be sharing the joy and peace that we have in our relationship with our Creator.

I have no idea how old the movie is but it is readily available and I hope you take a couple of hours to watch and enjoy this poignant gem.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Restoration … is an on-going process of the body, the mind, and the spirit.  It is a process that brings with it acceptance and appreciation.  We begin to look forward to the rituals of restoration, to await their return in the cycle of our lives.  They bring us a measure of comfort.

Each morning a cup of tea enjoyed in my garden surrounded by the sound of the trickling fountain and the sweet sounds of the morning birds brings restoration to my soul and peace to my mind.  It is a time of reflection and preparation to meet the new day … a brief period of time that is mine before I meet the world and all that awaits me for that day.

When my body is tired or stressed from a busy day, a hot shower washes away not only the grime of the day but also removes the tension and strain from tired and aching muscles and prepares them for rest.  It is a thing of comfort for my body as are soft pajamas and a cuddly robe when the weather turns cool.

Taking a nap in the middle of a busy day when your mind is running in many different directions at once seems like a waste of time but your mind doesn’t think so.  It is a welcome respite from all that is churning inside … another time of comfort and restoration.  How much easier life’s challenges seem when we’ve had a bit of rest.

Enjoying a day of rest at the end of a busy work week is not only therapeutic for the body and the mind but rejuvenating for the soul – that inner part of us that cries out all week to be noticed but we are so busy we fail to take the time to consider the weightier, more transcendent matters of life.  In society today we plan, we work, we rush, we play – all on a tight schedule as if we are on a merry-go-round and there is no way to get off.   

Our bodies were created with inherent natural rhythms.  Studies have shown that our natural bodies are designed to work on a seven-day cycle.  Our heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels and red blood cell count (to name a few) rise and fall in seven-day cycles.  If we want our bodies to be healthy and able to work and play hard all week, we need to allow for a day of rest for body, mind and soul every seven days.

Our Creator planned for this when He created the Sabbath on the seventh day by resting and declaring it holy in Genesis 2.  As Lord of the Universe and Creator of all things He did not need to rest; He set apart a day of rest for His children so that they might find comfort and restoration every week.  In Isaiah 58 He says that if we will honor this day of rest, He will bless our lives and we will “ride on the high places of the earth”.

As for me, I look forward each week to this day of rest and restoration.  My body needs it; my mind needs it; and my soul enjoys every minute.

May you come to experience the comfort of the Sabbath in your life.

Blessings, Ann

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day  … what an amazing day this is!  Watching the Chilean miners being rescued from deep inside the earth after 69 days is so gratifying.  I cannot imagine how they and their families feel and the intense stress they must be under as each awaits their return to the land of  light and living once again.  At this point they are preparing to lift out the 29th miner.  Each reunion is a beautiful testament to love and faith and endurance … how fortunate we are to be able to witness these precious scenes.

The Chilean government is to be applauded not only for the feat of drilling the rescue tunnel but for all the planning that has gone into the execution of the actual rescues.  They have done an incredible job rescuing unbelievably strong and resilient men.

May God bless each of them and their families as they resume their lives together.

Blessings, Ann

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Better and Better

Better and Better

As I contemplated reaching my 65th year this past January I was motivated to take more control of my life especially as related to my weight gain and eating habits.  I had gone to a new doctor for an initial physical and she said that everything was fine except for my blood pressure that I keep under control with medication.  I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years and work at keeping it at bay with chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and neuromuscular therapy and have good results with these combined therapies. 

I think I was feeling old (extra weight can do that) and not looking forward to turning 65; and in the midst of my pity party it struck me that since I was otherwise so healthy why not do something about the excess weight and see if I could feel as good as I had just been told I was doing.

I’m happy to say ten months later that I’ve lost 34 pounds and am still working at it.  And I feel great!  I tell my friends that I’m not getting older – I’m getting better and better. 

My morning devotions this week took me to both II Corinthians 4:16 and I Peter 3:3-4.  In II Corinthians we are told not to become discouraged, that though our physical body is decaying and wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day after day.  That is, of course, if we are looking to God and allowing Him to do this work in us.

And in I Peter 3 we are admonished to not let our beauty be only that of external adornments (hair, jewelry, clothes, etc.) but to develop beauty in our inner being to reveal a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

It is so easy to become overly concerned with the physical and fail to take the same time and care to deal with the spiritual aspects of our lives.  These two verses are gentle reminders to me that both have their place.  We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and as such we need to take care of our physical bodies; but we also have a spiritual side that needs just as much care and nurturing so that we can become all that God has designed us to be.

May you become better and better every day, Ann

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Provision … do I trust God to provide for my needs?  Isn’t that one of the most difficult things to hand over?  We all want to be secure … in our homes, in our jobs, with our health, with the condition of our families, in our finances.  And when we don’t have that feeling of security, it’s so easy to give in to the whispering in our ear from the devil that we’re going to lose everything, we cannot pay that bill, we will not survive the latest health scare, our children will not make it through this or that – and on and on he goes.

We end up being totally stressed out, tired and depressed and many times nothing bad has happened yet.  We’re rehearsing the worst-case scenario when we don’t even know if that is what is going to happen.  Most times our thought process is more frightening than the real thing.  If it sounds like I might know what I’m talking about, it’s because I’ve been there many times over the years.  And I got tired of going around that mountain over and over again so I’ve been working at letting go and letting God … be God. 

God is all powerful, all seeing, He knows the beginning from the end, He formed me, He chose me, He loves me and I chose to let Him take care of me and everything that concerns me and my family.  That’s my new mantra and I’m working hard to make it a part of my inner being.  Intellectually I know it is true but emotionally sometimes I can feel the old fears rising to the surface.  I’m learning to button it up and to think of whatever is good, is perfect, and is lovely as the Bible suggests. 

Such a book … filled with such wisdom … and  though we read it we often fail to put it into practice.  It was written for us – our instruction manual for life.  If there is a problem, it tells us how to handle it; if we are worried and upset, it gives us comfort; if we are lost, it gives us direction (like a spiritual GPS).  The words there are like gold … never losing their value … and to be desired above all else.  It is one of God’s great provision for our lives … we must remember to use it so we can walk a successful journey.

Blessings on your walk, Ann 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vacation Fun?

Vacation Fun? … So far I’ve not discovered anything that I might need and didn’t bring.  Yeah!  However, the morning after we arrived in Lake Havasu we went out to the car and “Betty” didn’t open her trunk, her doors, or start her engine … oh, oh.  This is not a good start I think.  A call to AAA brought a truck and a jumpstart for the engine and shortly thereafter a trip to the local garage resulted in “your battery is borderline okay but the alternator is shot” … shot to the tune of over $400 … oh, oh.  But we’re about ready in a couple of days to embark on a trip to Oatman (waaaaaay out in the boonies) and don’t want to get stranded so we go ahead and bite the bullet.  Three hours later “Betty” starts right up and off we go. 

  Off to Oatman … , we decided to take the scenic route on Historic Route 66 … after all we are on vacation and we do like roaming around … a long, winding drive through the desert with rocky mountains jutting up from the parched earth.  It was a nice drive but not like any Route 66 we’d been on before.

We arrived in Oatman and were completely surrounded by nosey burros who were very well behaved … no nibbling or poking in your pockets (they must be well fed) but they were very friendly and liked very much having their ears scratched and we obliged. 

Funny thing was when I went to get out of the car after George had already closed his door I couldn’t get my door to open and I couldn’t get the power door locks to work … hmmm, strange.  George opened my door and off we went to explore the little town … very quaint, very conservative … neat. 

A couple of hours later we were back at the car and presumed to be on our way, but “Betty” seemed to be having some difficulty … very rough idle and she didn’t want to keep idling.  Up went an instant prayer – “oh God, there’s no garage …”  Since I talk to God on a very regular basis I know He knew I didn’t mean any disrespect … it was an actual plea for intervention.  And He did … the battery finally started to charge (thanks probably to the new alternator) and we made a slow exit out of town with a prayer that we would not end up stranded who knows where with iffy or no cell phone service. 

The next hour and a half provided to be a beautiful drive … again continuing on Historic Route 66 through gold mining country and some  of the steepest and sharpest mountain turns we’ve ever driven on.  It was totally awesome in a very barren, rugged sort of way and neat to think that we were someplace that many do not ever go to or see.  And fortunately the battery held a charge.

Upon arriving in Bullhead City we decided not to take any more chances and opted to install a new battery … another $100 … hmmm.  Well, that’s two repairs we won’t have to make when we get home … I consider that putting a positive spin on things.  After all, God is in control of everything that happens to us … better Him than me. 

Now we’re enjoying a few days of R&R and some fun with the slots.  We’ve managed to lose $10 and had a couple of hours of fun doing it. 
Obviously we’re not big gamblers … money is too hard to come by and we’re instilled with the Puritan instinct from way back when.  But playing like a couple of kids on the penny slots has brought us a bunch of chuckles.  And bringing George some much-needed down time. 

Happy Day, Ann