Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another "Gotta Share" Recipe...

These have become a favorite holiday breakfast around the Collins house. I'm sure you will love them, too! Enjoy!


Cotswold Cheese Toasties

3          eggs
2 ½     cups shredded Cotswold Cheese w/Chives and Green Onions*
1          tbsp grainy mustard
             Freshly ground pepper to taste
6          (1/2 inch thick) slices multigrain bread, cut on the diagonal
3          slices black forest ham, cut/tear in half (or to fit slices)

Preheat oven to 425° and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Beat eggs well in a medium bowl; stir in cheese, mustard,  and pepper. Place bread on prepared baking sheet and spread about a spoonful of cheese mixture and a piece of ham on each. Spoon remaining cheese mixture over the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.

* Other cheese options would be Sage Derby or Abbot’s Gold.

Tami’s notes:
I made a whole cookie sheet full of smaller sized slices.

Please feel free to share ~Branded Heart~ with your friends and family.
I love new friends and comments!
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Love Story

The Bible tells us that we shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we ought, [Romans 12:3 NIV] and encourages, even commands a spirit of humility [Colossians 3:12 NIV]. We are to love God above all things, and our brother/neighbor as ourselves [Luke 10:27 NIV]. We are warned of the pitfalls of pride and arrogance [Proverbs 18:12 NIV].

Jesus demonstrated that right from his humble birth. A child developed in his mother’s womb – fearfully and wonderfully knit together by the hand of God - His earthly peasant parents brought him into a world full of sin and hatred and death. Yet, because of who He was, there was obedience and love and eternal life in Him. Even the heavens and all the angels couldn’t contain themselves. They had to sing, “Glory to God in the highest! Peace and goodwill toward men.” [Luke 2:13-14 NKJV]

And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
- Luke 2:1-7 NKJV

The Christmas story has lost much of its splendor and awe-inspiring qualities as time and a hardened heart shroud the beautiful and simplistic message behind it, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16] “We love him, because he first loved us.” [1John 4:19]

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” - Luke 2:8-12 NIV

It’s a love story given to us by the Creator of all that is – because He loved.  

May God richly bless you and your family during this time of remembering the Christmas Love Story.
Merry Christmas!

Photo by Tami Collins
Christmas 2010

Photo by Tami Collins

Romans 12:3 NIV For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Luke 10:27 NIV He answered: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Proverbs 18:12 NIV Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Luke 2:13-14 NKJV And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Please feel free to pass ~Branded Heart~ along to your friends and family.
I love new friends and your comments!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I drove to work this morning like a mad woman — late again. Already having a meltdown before I even left the house — frustrated, angry, and seething poison from every pore, I wiped away the tears as I checked my mirrors for those red and blue lights. Settling on what I would say if pulled over for such an obvious disregard for the law — "yea, I’m having a bad day, yes, I was speeding and that is against the law. Where should I sign and thank you for doing your job to help protect me from myself." Thankfully, I didn’t have that conversation with anybody but myself. And, I made it to work in one piece.

Then, doing what I do every weekday morning — boot up the computer, start up the email, and reassess the day’s tasks. And, doing what He does every morning, the Lord speaks to me through my inbox. Here’s today’s “What the Lord is Saying Today.”

December 7, 2011. The secret for overcoming attacks from the enemy is to call upon the Overcomer Himself who abides with you. The Spirit of God lives within you to exalt Jesus and to do so many other things. He will teach, lead, and guide into the ways and path of the Lord. There are times when you know not which way to turn. At other times you cannot accurately assess the attack or the attacker. This is when you humble yourself and consider yourself of no account compared to Who is abiding within you. This Abider is not passive, timid, or weak. He is altogether sufficient to win every battle and He gives you perfect strategy and tools for the battle. He will never leave you. Ras Robinson

2 Chronicles 20:17 (AMP) “You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”    

December 7, 2011.  An opportunity is coming very soon. You will have a choice. I have been preparing you and drawing you. But, you are the one who will make the decision to participate. I am purifying a stream. This stream has been here for a long time, but now elements are coming together that will glorify Me in a way you have not yet seen. You will ask, “can this be true?” It is going to stretch way beyond your mind. You won’t understand it all. But don’t worry. Don’t touch it with any thought or hand of flesh. Stay in the Spirit and you will see things you have longed to see. Bev Robinson

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NASB) “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;” 

As I read this, I felt the hand of God pulling me back from the edge — reassuring me that “He’s got this.” So, my prayer today is that He will hold me tight and move on my behalf as I relinquish anger and frustration’s control over me.


Please feel free to pass ~Branded Heart~ along to your friends and family.
I love new friends and your comments!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Fight Within

This little light of mine...
Photo by Tami Collins
Some may have noticed an absence of information about my mom’s recent cancer surgery. A short and less painful version is that she came through the operation with flying colors. They took a 1” x 2” piece of her tongue (approximately) along with all of her lymph nodes in her neck on both sides. Three nodes had turned into cancer containing tumors. They took a skin graft from her left thigh to cover the exposed tongue tissue and gave her a feeding tube that she will be using for up to six months.  She had the staples from her neck incisions and gauze packing that was sewn into her mouth removed yesterday. According to her, the doctor is pleased with her recovery so far. Even though she went home and immediately picked up a pack of cigarettes and proceeded to make up for lost time.

Mom - the night
before surgery.
If you are sensing a bit of frustration and distance, you are absolutely right. My sisters and I spent a week up there in hotels and such beating our heads against a wall trying to get her and the “caregivers” of her choice to understand the seriousness of it all. Taking her to hang out at the smoke-filled bar was not in her best interest. But, you can’t fix stupid I guess. So, we left them to themselves, trying to touch bases when someone will answer the phone at her house, knowing that we will get an ear full of something less than the truth.

The whole experience has left me ragged and jaded. I have had a terrible time decompressing from the whole thing. Although I have learned to separate myself from things that my mom says and does, it is frustrating none the less to witness such a determined will running head-on into danger. The only thing that I CAN do is to leave it at the Lord’s feet and beg for His peace and presence to cover me and calm my anxieties. Then, maybe I can beat back the voices and thoughts that come to tear me down and wreak havoc in my life.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood…”Ephesians 6:12

Because HE Loves Me…

"The wisdom that comes from Heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness"
James 3:17-18

Every day I get a series of “emails from God.” If they didn’t speak so directly to me, I would just read them as great little tidbits of insight and knowledge. But, the Lord loves me fiercely and knows he has my attention. Today was no different. As I started to type up this blog post this morning, I was also reading my emails and had to stop, shake my head, and wipe the tear away as He once again did not disappoint.

He reminded me in today’s post on ElijahList from Victoria Boyson that, “It is essential that we all seek to guard our hearts with the love of God because “love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). The Lord has warned us in Matthew 24:12 that the love of many will grow cold because of the increase of lawlessness, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (v. 13). The only way of guarding our hearts is for our hearts to be bound to the Lord. Any places in our hearts that are not yielded to the Lord are areas of vulnerability to the enemy.

We must not pray for others out of a sense of frustration or anger. The greatest and safest prayer we can pray for ourselves and others is “THY will be done!” Not their will or our will, but pray earnestly for God's will to be accomplished in their life.”

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” —Luke 6:37
“...For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”— Luke 6:38

So, I wrap up my day having been counseled in the Lord. The Lord, whose banner over me is LOVE. And, He is the lifter of my head. To HIM be all glory and honor forever and ever!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just Gotta Share…

Every year around the holidays I try to infuse a new recipe or two into the mix of traditional dishes served. I usually put on a big breakfast for both Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. Then, I move on to getting the main event dinner into the oven. This recipe is one that I found and made last year during the holidays. It was a hit! I also made a delicious quiche and some Cotswold cheese toasties…all were new recipes to me that have now become requested favorites. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and make them again this year! Enjoy!!

French Toast Casserole

1      (1-lb) loaf French Bread, cubed (1½ inches)
1      (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
2 ½  cups whole milk
¾     cup sugar
6      tbsp butter, melted
¼     cup pure maple syrup

Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place half the bread in dish; sprinkle with cream cheese. Top with remaining bread. Whisk all remaining ingredients in large bowl; pour over bread, pressing on bread with spatula to soak up egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350°. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve with drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

My notes:
  • I make half batches in an 8-inch square baking dish that turn out fine.
  • I used the Texas Toast that you can buy in the bread aisle. Haven’t tried it with the French bread yet.
  • The first time I made it, I added a handful of craisins. Yum! The second time I made it with a few rounded spoonfuls of apricot preserves… delicious as well. The tart helps to cut some of the sweet richness. I’m thinking of trying a flavored syrup as well.

Be joyful at your Feast — you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless, and the widows who live in your towns. — Deut. 16:14

Monday, November 7, 2011

Autumn’s Dance

Photo by Tami Collins
Sitting at my desk, beside the only window in our office suite, I get to watch the goings on of the outside world. It’s a welcomed distraction from the 24″ computer screen that I stare at all day. I watch the stiff, fall breeze blow the changing leaves from the branches. The wind bends the branches of evergreens while it sends a flurry of golden autumn color swirling to the ground. The new-fallen litter crunches under foot as passersby scurry to their waiting vehicles.

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." –Genesis 8:22

It can only mean a couple of things.

Photos of friends and family
Thanksgiving 2007

One – my favorite holiday is fast approaching. That wonderful day filled with warm fires, the sights and smells of goodness coming from the kitchen, family and friends gathering around the table to enjoy the feast and give thanks for our many blessings. Pumpkin pie, hot chocolate topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, a long game of Mexican Train dominoes, and a lot of laughs.

Two – winter is on its way. With all that it holds and has in store for us. The beauty of first fallen flakes for the season never ceases to be a wonder in my eyes. I remember the nights as a child when my mom would come into our bedrooms and whisper, “it’s snowing” in our ears so that we would jump up to watch it out the nearest window.

Photo by Tami Collins
The mix of fall’s color strikes a beautiful contrast to the white backdrop of the new quiet blanket covering the once dusty and dry land. It’s a time to settle in with the provisions in place after careful preparation and hours of labor. Wood sheds full of dry, warmth-giving wood, cupboards stocked up with staples for those times when modern conveniences are interrupted by winter’s wrath, candles and lanterns are all accessible and stand ready to be used. Blankets, jackets, and boots have been washed and placed at hand. The garden has been put to bed and the chicken coop has its new light for heat. Scrambling to finish up last minute projects before winter settles in for real, we stand ready as we can be. And, we watch as the Lord renews the world around us in preparation for the Spring Dance.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.
-Acts 14:17

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday – November 3

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 
–Psalm 100:4

Finding the good, even in the small things, not only acknowledges that they exist, but that they are a gift. We live in a time when everything is taken for granted or is expected. And, when we don’t get what we think we should, we suffer depression, anxiety, or act out like a spoiled child not getting his/her way. Giving thanks in all things, for all things, is not just a good idea; it’s good for us – mind, body, and soul. So, give thanks with a grateful heart and reap the rewards that await you.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 
–Proverbs 17:22

Photo by Tami Collins

Today I am thankful for:
  • The rain after a long, dry summer
  • Woodsheds full of dry wood for the winter ahead
  • A roof over my head, food on my table, and gas in my well-running car
  • Sweet, thoughtful friends
  • Being woke up with doggy kisses and kitty snuggles
  • Praise and worship music
  • My sister

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Little Mama

Mama Chicken and her babies
We lost our little mama chicken today. As does sometimes happen in the mountains, pets and livestock get taken by predators. It’s a harsh reality and never an easy pill to swallow. We put so much energy into caring for and protecting them that they become part of the family. So, we mourn the loss of our busy little mama.
I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. –Psalm 119:28
She was such a joy to watch as she talked to her babies showing them things to eat, how to scratch for more, and the best places in the yard to “fluff.” They had their little route that they took covering the entire yard in search of bugs, seeds, and any treats that I tossed out for them. You always knew where there were by their little chirps and mama’s clucking in return. She would make a certain cluck sound for food, another for danger, and another for calling them closer to her when they wandered too far away from her ever-watchful eye. If there was too much space or an obstacle between she and her babies, she would run around in a panic trying to find a way over, around, or through to get to those kids of hers.
Now, this afternoon, as I watched them closely, they still call out to her but with no reply. They keep doing all the things she so carefully taught them to do – searching for food, drinking, watching out for danger, staying out of the way of unfriendly coop-mates. Sticking by anything they can dive for cover under. Recognizing people as friends, but, not getting too close. It breaks my heart to think of those little sweet faces snuggling together to keep each other warm without her protective wing over them.

Photo taken by Tami Collins
…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. –Psalm 30:5b
Today, I feel like both mama chicken and the little orphans. I can relate to each of them. The ever-present desire to protect my children, and, feeling lost from losing a parent. The predator seeking my mother’s life: cancer. The predator that took my dad’s life: MRSA. We do have a limited amount of time here on earth. And, none of us know the day or hour of our departure. Only our Father in heaven knows. Each minute is a gift. A gift sometimes filled with sorrow, and sometimes joy. But, God is there. We may not know what tomorrow has for us, but He does, and has orchestrated every detail of it. A life lived with Him front and center is a life worth living. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
I find comfort knowing that I have a Heavenly Father. And, He will never leave me or forsake me. We have His word on it. Receive each minute as the gift that it is – with thanksgiving and a heart of gratitude.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1Peter 5:7

The orphans

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday - October 27

In the spirit of a book that my dear friend Debbie sent me when I was going through a particularly difficult time, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I am starting my list of things that I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful for:
·         Dishes to wash on a cold fall morning when my hands are freezing.
·         A job to go to and people I love to work with.
·         My grandson’s smile.
·         The crisp fall breeze swirling the amber, scarlet, and purple leaves around my feet.
·         Laughter until it hurts.
·         A husband that will rub my back all night when I start tossing and turning. Even without being asked.
·         A drive-by hug from my kids.

Fall Favorite
Photo by Tami Collins 2007

With so much going on at any given moment of any given day, I sometimes forget to stop, drop, and roll.
   Stop listening to lies of the enemy of my soul. (Philippians 4:8)
   Drop the garbage that has accumulated in my life and mind. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
   Roll out the praise and thanksgiving. (Psalm 100:4)

So, today is a new day, with fresh mercies and opportunities to grow and learn. I’m thankful for today and all that it holds. For opportunities to find Him in his brilliant creation. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! — 2 Corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to ~Branded Heart~!

Hello! My name is Tami Collins. I have been a wife for nearly 25 years, mother to one step-daughter and a son and daughter of my own, new grandmother, amateur photographer, rookie gardener, owner of a small flock of chickens, and brand new blogger.

With the kids grown (but not completely gone), I find myself floundering around looking for a new purpose. I have thrown myself into being a mom and taking care of others my whole life. Living paycheck to paycheck and only one or two vacations in 25 years, I don’t even afford myself a hobby. I tell my husband that he got off easy with a wife that can fit all of her shoes on one small shoe rack and only has a few feet of closet space. (I, too, got off easy with a husband that does not watch sports of any kind. Okay, maybe a fishing show every once in a while.)  I have finally accepted that I am worth at least one haircut a year, and that jewelry is better left to those who have a clue about fashion. It’s all about comfort and practicality for me.

As I enter the next chapter of my existence on Earth, I sense a need for a deeper, more meaningful faith-walk and relationship with my King. My days used to be filled with transporting kids places, grocery and other shopping, last minute baking marathons, making sure the animals were cared for and safe, paying the bills, running errands for my husband…all while holding down a full-time job as a production manager/graphic designer for a monthly magazine. I could go on and on, but we all know what a full plate looks like… Point being, I sometimes feel like that dirty, limp rag in the hamper. I need more of You, Lord!

My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek.
— Psalm 27:8

I took my queue from a dear sweet friend who has found her niche in blogging and writing and encouraging as she dispenses what the Lord gives her each day. I thought, “I’m not the most eloquent of writers, and I have certainly been known to ramble on and on, but, why not? It’s okay to be unique. God can use that. If Jesus can spit in the dirt and heal a blind man’s sight, he can use my willingness to do something unusual and head-scratching, too.”

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
— John 14:12

My hope with this blog is that I can give utterance to the gems of hope, faith, love, and power revealed to us, through good times and bad, when we lean on the Lord and not our own understanding. Please bear with me as I attempt to follow the leading of the Spirit and step into a fresh purpose.

Note: the older posts on ~Branded Heart~ are an ongoing “series” of posts allowing me an outlet as I walk through this difficult time of my mom’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. - tlc


I am not a big fan of heights or roller coasters. Disneyland is as big a roller coaster as I can handle. Too bad for me this week is one of those “roller coaster” weeks. Up one minute and down the next. Lifted on a wave of hope and courage and then down into fear and uncertainty. Uggh…I just feel sick to my stomach.

Mentally pacing the floor, I anxiously waited to talk with mom to find out how the PET scan went. The PET scan helps to see where the cancer is, how far it has spread, and what will be necessary on surgery day and after. I think the cruel reality of it all is starting to sink in. I can feel my heart skip a beat and my mind feels more like I stepped off the Tea Cup ride - relentlessly spinning. I just need more time with her.

While hubby/grandpa was keeping the grandbaby occupied, dinner was on the stove, and, being the multi-tasker that I am, I placed the phone call to my mom. I love my blue tooth headset!

She answered the phone and sounded remarkably good. And, she was even eating! I know, sounds odd, but she hasn’t been eating more than a few bites a day for months, living on coffee and cigarettes. Nothing sounds good, and living alone with a houseful of dogs, she hasn’t had the energy or desire to cook. It’s too bad; she can make something wonderful out of very few ingredients. She has always been able to make a gourmet meal out of hamburger. And, she passed that along to me as I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her as a child. Yea, I’m sure you caught the “coffee and cigarettes” statement… ‘nuf said.

So, where is the lesson in all of this? I’m still pretty numb. All I can do is be thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who carries me through these times. I don’t have anything profound or particularly enlightening – yet. All for YOUR glory, Lord!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. — 1John 4:18-19

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finding Answers

Having the office all to myself for a few moments, I took advantage of the time to glean information from my mom about her recent doctor’s appointment. Still in the discovery stage of the cancer situation, all of the tests, appointments, an assortment of doctors, and details that need attention are stacking up. Lots of activity going on and yet there is the “hurry up and wait” syndrome happening as well.

Frustration and anxiety raise their ugly heads. How do I take care of all that needs to be taken care of while being so far away? Why in the world did she feel the need to move so far away ten years ago? Her living situation is far from conducive to health and healing. What am I going to do with the 14 dogs that she insists on keeping? She can’t care for them (or all of their messes) and get well after surgery and during radiation treatment. She loves those darn dogs. They have been a comfort for her as well as a big headache. Why do we do these things to ourselves? Didn’t she say something about a mold problem that was never really resolved in her house? Oh, dear God, I have to get her out of there!

When I take a look at everything on my plate right now – our family’s birthdays sprinkled in with the holidays; living in the mountains with wintertime bearing down on us; a recovering husband just starting physical therapy after surgery on his cervical spine; helping my young daughter with her newborn – my beloved grandson; while working a full-time job - I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. Lord, help me to break it down into bite-sized chunks. Show me when, where, and how to let go of things that I have no business holding onto.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:29

Time to start counting the blessings – focus on the good and perfect gifts in everyday. I can do this - not by my strength, but Yours. I simply must take you at your word. You love me and are concerned with every detail of my life. You have great things in store for me. I am the apple of your eye. I thank you, Lord, for my family, my home, my friends, and even these “teaching moments.” Let my heart remember that I do not walk this existence alone. Each day is to be lived fully. Life is not to be run blindly toward the grave.

I thank You that you search the deeper things and know me completely. I am free to come to you just as I am because you know everything about me. Nothing is hidden. There is no darkness in your presence. There is peace and rest in that knowledge.

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
— Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Wait

Today we wait. Mom has another doctor’s appointment with a specialist, a biopsy on her tongue, and, hopefully, some sense of direction as to surgery and future treatment. In my head I know the gravity of the matter and that Mom’s life could be cut short by all of this. But, there is this calm that keeps me afloat and has a firm grip on my thoughts and emotions. Thank you Lord for getting me to this place in my life where I can roll these cares over onto you.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
— Proverbs 3:5

It’s not always been like this. In fact, this is a relatively new thing for me. To trust and have the ability to hold onto the powerful truths that are tucked into the hem of His garment - the truth that sets you free. The truth that He does, in fact, have everything under control. Nothing surprises Him. That truth that I cannot add one day to my life by worrying about tomorrow. And, that comforting truth that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. — Hebrews 13:8

So we wait – holding on to the promises that His word is “yes” and “amen.” His word never returns void, and all things are being worked out for the good of those who love Him. I’ll just say it – I love Him!

Thank you, Lord, for your love, grace, mercy, and peace. I rejoice in you! Father, I commit my mother’s life and well-being into your hands. Your will be done. Please give us grace as we walk through this difficult time. Send your Holy Spirit as our guide, our comforter, and protector. I give you, and you alone, the glory. Thank you for granting wisdom and insight as we follow you. I love you, Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, AMEN.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.
— Isaiah 55:10-11

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As details start to come in about mom’s pending surgery, the pressure starts to mount as I am torn between my noble duties as a daughter and my duties and responsibilities at work. It wouldn’t be a big deal under normal circumstances, but with only three of us that work in the office, only one can be on “vacation” at a time – and that would be my co-worker.

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
— Exodus 20:12

What do I do? My motto and mantra is "family first – always" but this one involves an 8-9 hour drive one-way just to get there, a strong sense of responsibility to my employers, a deadline that is not moveable, and an injured husband that has to make his doctor’s appointments. But, it’s my mom. We haven’t been on the best of terms for over 20 years but we have grown close again over that past couple of years – leaving all the garbage and hurt in the past – a tale for another time.

As I seek the Lord's leading and wait for my queue, I have a strange sense of calm blanketing the bubbling anxiety. I have to wait…just wait…the answer is in the making. Things are going to come together, I can feel it.

“But, what if this, or what about that?” Tell the yapping, faithless voice in my head to be quiet and wait.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
— Hebrews 11:1

Then it happens. My cell phone buzzes with an incoming text message. It’s my sister – the one that has been asking me if I’m going up to be with mom during her surgery. The one that has a very full plate of her own, and a looming trip to her favorite place on Earth – her little house in Idaho.  She informs me that she is leaving in the morning to make the drive up to mom’s and will take her to the hospital and stay until she is settled back home in a day or so. Then, she will make her long drive back home in time to load up and make the family road/hunting trip to Idaho.  God bless my sister richly!

Thank you, Lord for answered prayer and another chance to tune my spiritual ear to hear your still small voice. But, most of all for your patience with me as I learn patience and build my faith in You.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
— Hebrews 11:6