Jesus Changes Everything.

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My sweet daughter in law has spoken from the heart. I wanted to share her words with you and how they can comfort us when we need them! Jesus does change everything!

gold mae dwell

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something. I went out west to visit my family for spring break. Here are a few pictures from my week with my precious nieces

It was an unexpected trip but one that I am so grateful for because last week when I got back my dog Duke passed away 😦 I think the Lord knew I needed the happy week so I could face the really hard next week that was coming. Here is a picture of my sweet pup that I am going to miss so much.


Like I said, last week was hard. Not only did Duke pass away, I felt like everything just kept hitting me and Alex full force…when it rains it pours, or in my case.. it hails. literally. The day Duke passed away an awful hail storm came through town, it literally looked like it had snowed and sounded like rocks…

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It’s A New Day!

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img_4200Birds flying high

You know how I feel

Sun in the sky

You know how I feel

Reeds driftin’ on by

You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me

And I’m feeling good

I’m feeling good….

The lyrics to Michael Buble’s song, “Feeling Good,” are going through my mind this morning as I think about how we all have a “fresh” start for this brand new year of 2017!

In my quiet time this morning, I reflected on how the Lord brought me through some tough times this past year.

Watching my Mother’s decline with her Alzheimer’s was really hard.  But I know without a doubt, the Lord was with my Mother every step of the way on her journey.  He was with me also.

Between my Mother’s Journey and health issues of my own, yes, 2016 was a tough year for me.  And although the Lord was with me every step, it doesn’t mean I reciprocated that action. When you get so caught up in your “tough” times, you forget to call upon the one who can help!

You get busy feeling sorry for yourself, wondering how you’ll make it through. You get so busy trying to take care of situations, you forget to stop and spend time with the one who will listen!

One day goes by, then another, then another. A week goes by, then two.  You begin to feel very tired, zapped and defeated.  And, you forget to call upon the one who can give you energy and strength!

“…Oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!”  Ephesians 1:19 MSG

I’m so thankful for His faithfulness. Even though we are not always faithful to Him, He is with us!

When Jesus repealed the law code, he made it to where we could be, “a new kind of human being,  a fresh start for everybody.” Ephesians 2:15 MSG

We all mess up. We get caught up in ourselves and situations we are in. And, a lot of times in the messes we make for ourselves.  It’s so easy to take our eyes off the Lord and say we can’t…

My prayer for this coming year, is to keep my eyes on the one who says He can…take care of everything!

More Important Than Lunch

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FullSizeRender (6)Our daughter Maria never ceases to amaze me!  She is truly a gift from God, my little rock at times.

She was right by my side 2 years ago when a car ran a red light and T-boned us, resulting in a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a broken clavicle for me.  Thank the Lord, just some abdominal bruises for her!

We never knew what hit us that day. As we sat there waiting for the ambulance, I was shaking, and in so much pain. Maria kept patting my knee, comforting me.  She was telling me that I was going to be alright and that help was coming. What a blessing she was to me that day.  My little rock.

Yesterday, she was my little rock once again. We went to visit my Mother in the nursing home. For the past couple of days, my brother and I have noticed that our Mother has just not been herself. When I went to see her on Sunday, she was sitting up, but she would not open her eyes for me.  I knew something was not right. It appeared she was extremely tired.  My brother and his wife went Sunday afternoon, and she was the same way with them.

Maria and I went yesterday to check on Mom.  She was at the table where they eat, and her head was bowed over as she was sitting up in her wheelchair.  I tried to get her to eat, but I didn’t have much luck.  I went to tell the nurse that was on duty that my brother and I were concerned with our Mom, how she had been for the past couple of days.  She came and got Mom, took her vitals, and called her Doctor.  The nurse told me that he wanted her taken to the hospital to be checked out.

We waited for the ambulance to come and get Mom.  The trip from the nursing home to the hospital is not far at all, maybe 5 minutes. It was getting late.  Maria and I had not eaten anything since early yesterday morning.  Knowing we would pass a Wendy’s, I figured I could get Maria something to eat on the way.  I knew it would take a few minutes for them to get my Mom settled into the emergency room.

So, I asked Maria; “Hey, you want me to stop and get you anything for lunch?”  Her response; “No, going to the hospital is more important than lunch.”  I looked at my daughter and was just amazed at that moment.  God was reminding me once again what a blessing she is, and such a little rock for me at times.

They weren’t the least bit concerned for their lunch, the 5 thousand who came to hear Jesus.

“From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. ( Jesus and the disciples had gotten in a boat to go off to a remote place to rest) When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke ~ like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them. When his disciples thought this had gone on long enough ~ it was now quite late in the day ~ they interrupted: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”  Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.” Matthew 14:13-16 

 We all know this bible story by heart.  With 5 loaves and 2 fish, Jesus fed this huge crowd of 5 thousand.  It was past lunch, and probably way past suppertime.  It doesn’t say anywhere in the bible where one person complained that they were hungry!  From surrounding towns, they just didn’t walk, they ran!  They came to be fed, but not with food, but by Jesus himself!  They knew that what he had to say was more important than lunch.

The 5 thousand were about the Father’s business.  Yesterday, my Maria was about the Father’s business.  She knew that going to the hospital and help taking care of her grandmother was more important than lunch!  God knew that Maria’s presence with me was more important than lunch.

They have determined that my Mother has a UTI.  This condition is so hard on older people.  When we left the hospital, she was getting fluids and an antibiotic.  She was resting well.  Maria and I will be going and seeing my Mother at the hospital this morning, hopefully and prayerfully finding her much better.

The picture above is of Maria with her Sunday School class as they were wading in the Hiwassee river this past Sunday.  Her smile says it all, how she enjoys being a part of such a sweet class!  She is my little rock sent from God!






Why Should I Be Glad In God?

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FullSizeRender“Be glad in God.!” Philippians 3:1 MSG

…Why should I be glad in God?

“But you, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” Psalm 3:3 NKJV

God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax;  you’re never sorry you knocked.” Psalm 32:7 MSG

God’s my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore, throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.” Psalm 32:7 MSG

God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan.” Psalm 34: 4,6,7,15 MSG

“God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, his purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost;  Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.” Psalm 36: 5-6 MSG

 “He lifted me from the mud. He stood me up on a rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song.” Psalm 40:1-2

“God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night. My life is Gods prayer.” Psalm 42:8 MSG

…that’s just a few reasons to be “Glad in God!”

Love…It’s The Fabric of Our Lives

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IMG_9764Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what to wear?  A perfect world (for most women, me included) would be to just get up every morning, put your clothes on and go out the door, without having another thought about what you had on. Wait, I guess we do need to worry, some choices may not be too flattering…right?  And, those pants went out of style 2 years ago!  Oh shoot, that blouse is not the right color!  Those shoes do not match my outfit! Yeah, this scenario could go on and on.

I was listening to a friend of mine the other night, cutting up about being in her nursing scrubs.  She made the comment about not having to worry about what to wear.  I knew she probably came straight from the hospital to choir.  A few of us were standing in the parking lot, after choir practice, just shooting the breeze.  I thought…”Yeah, that would be nice not having to worry about that!”

We all can’t be a Princess Diana. No, she didn’t have to worry about what to wear did she! To me, she has always been the epitome of fashion.  Her grace, and elegance still lives through her beautiful pictures. That’s why I chose the picture above, she was beautiful in everything she wore.

Guess what?  We don’t have to worry anymore about what to wear!  And get this, God has already picked out this new, yes, I did say NEW wardrobe for you!

“Chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:15-17

Several years ago, cotton material was making a come back.  The very basic of materials was promoting itself as the desirable garment for everyone!  And did you know that cotton in itself is incorporated?

This is Cotton Incorporated’s mission statement:

“To promote the use of and desire for all things cotton, to get people like you to care about what’s in the clothes, sheets and towels you buy.  We know amazing things about cotton, and our job is to help you see cotton is The Fabric of Our Lives.”

God knows amazing things about love! It’s our job to promote it!

Cotton’s statement reminds me of God telling us to wear love!  Regardless of what you put on, wear love.  It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it!

Love…It’s The Fabric of Our Lives!




Make A Run For It

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IMG_7736The phrase “make a run for it” means…to suddenly start running in order to escape from somewhere.

I often picture God and or Jesus, standing at the end of a road, or a beautiful pathway with arms wide open.

When I know I’ve let go of His hand at one time or another, the Holy Spirit directs my eyes to that pathway where I see myself running into His arms.

“God charts the road you take.” Psalm 1:6 MSG

Without Him to guide me, I’d truly be lost. I have no idea where I am going half the time!

Jesus loves us…period.  He loves us today, He loved us yesterday, and He will love us tomorrow!

No matter how bad we mess things up, or become a mess ourselves, He loves us!

He is standing on that beautiful pathway with arms wide open for you and for me.

If we “make a run for it”, it simply means we have realized the world’s ways are not for us!

When we make a run for Him, we will not regret it!

“If you make a run for God ~ you won’t regret it!” Psalm 2:12 MSG


Not Just One Word…

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I’ve sought after the “one” word for a New Year before.  I’ve even had an “unword” one year.  But this year, I have a verse for 2016.  Not just one word, but many!

Let me share my verse with you…

“For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior; faith expressed in love.” Galatians 5:6 The Message

I have been praying and asking God what verse he had for me in 2016.  As I would skim through pages of the bible, (The Message version) the Lord slowed me down from skimming through His word, to a search and study of what He wanted me to adopt as my very own.

In my slowing down and searching, I kept going back to this one verse in Galatians that I had highlighted a couple of years ago. Knowing this was the verse to claim, the one I truly believe my Papa God led me to, had me looking at specific words within the verse.

I kept coming back to the word interior…I know what that word means, but wanted to look it up and write down the definition for it.

The very first definition that came up on my Google search was from

interior: being within; inside of anything; internal; inner; further toward a center: the interior rooms of a house.

I confess right now, I’m not always a loving person…and to be perfectly honest, there are those that I just don’t want to love, or even know how to love?  Am I a lone wolf here, or can you relate!

This is what Paul tells us about love…

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t have love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 The Message

We can be so conscientious, (wishing to do what is right, especially to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly) with religion, that we miss the love…We can even disregard religion if we choose to, and miss the love. We are to love others. Period.  Love them as Jesus loves us. The interior deep within in us, where are hearts are, we are to love. If we believe and have faith who Jesus says He is, we are to express His love for others!

What matters is something far more interior; faith expressed in love

Dear Jesus, help me to love others in this new year as you love us!



There Goes The Neighborhood

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57c8e704fe86522c1849573cdd8c32e9Kevin, Maria and I went to a Christmas dance recital last weekend, and something that the emcee said…well, I just can’t seem to get it off of my mind!

He welcomed us all, but not just any welcome…it came from his heart, and he made no apologies for what he shared with us all.

When he said that Eugene Peterson got it right about the Christmas story, I sat up straight and was very interested in what he had to say.  You see, Peterson is best known for The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language.  The Message just happens to be my favorite version of the bible.

He told us that Christmas was so much more than presents or gifts.  Yes, I knew this…He said that Christmas was about God’s son, Jesus.  Yes, I knew this also…Sharing the passage from John was not what I was expecting to hear about the birth of Jesus…

“The word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”  John 1:14  The Message

What’s so neat about all of this, is that for a couple weeks before I heard this passage at the recital,  I have been thanking God for sending His son that was born of flesh and blood.  I have been thanking God that Jesus walked on this earth and knows what it’s like for each of us to live this life we are living!  He knows our aches and pains.  He knows our sorrows and joys…He knows how we feel each and every second of each and every day!

Look who else was in the neighborhood…

“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood.  They had set night watches over their sheep.  Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them….” Luke 2:8 The Message

The neighborhood wasn’t fit for a king, yet…The King of Kings moved right on in!

“So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.  Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe ~ people and things, animals and atoms ~ get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood poured down from the cross.” Colossians 1:19-20 The Message

I am so thankful that Jesus moved into the neighborhood! He came as a tiny baby and gave His life for each and everyone of us!

Jesus is the reason for the season!  Merry Christmas.



My Great God Cares For Me

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image As I was going to see my Mother in the nursing home one afternoon, crossing the Hiwassee river, something caught the corner of my eye that was up on one of the tall telephone polls that graced the bridge.

Since no cars were passing me, I did a double take.  Was that a nest? Not only one, but two of them!  If those were nests, they were the biggest bird nests I had ever seen!

On my way back home, I made a mental note to look again.  I slowed down and took a picture.

Things like this fascinate me. Why? I have no idea, except for the fact that I am just marveled by God’s beautiful handy work in nature.

Feathers lying on the ground catch my eye also, and remind me of this verse….

“Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.” Matthew 6:26 The Voice



I have this small bird feather on my bathroom mirror at home to remind me that yes, God cares for the birds of the air…but how much more He cares for us!

Sitting here in the hospital with my Mother who is suffering from dementia, I can’t help but question my God with the “why?”….”why God?”…”why is my Mom having to suffer with this horrible disease?”

On my way to see my Mother this morning, a small quiet voice whispered in my heart….

“Your Mother still has work to do here on earth…I have a plan for her, even in her old age, there is still a plan”

Could it be that God is trying to show me and my family that even into my Mother’s old age, He still cares for her…perhaps He is wanting to remind us that by her still being here, shows us He is soverign. He is Lord. He cares for her. He will never leave or forsake her…and by reminding us of this, that He will never leave or forsake us either, when or if He allows us to grow old.

“And you are even more precious to him than a beautiful bird. If he looks after them, of course He will look after you!”

Those of us who are still on this earth, are all a part of God’s plan.  He has a work for us to do.

These are words to a song written by Regi Stone and Jeff Ferguson that I have sang with a choir many times….it’s one of those beautiful songs that God just lays in your heart to rest forever.

“Autumn breeze starts to dance. Forest trees clap their hands. Eagles cry, oceans roar; worshipping the Lord. I join the praise, yet stand amazed that God, who’s so great, would know what I need. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me.

Nations rise. Kingdoms fall. God reigns high above them all. Knees will bow, tongues confess to His holiness. I join the praise, yet stand amazed that God, who’s so great, would know what I need. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me.”

What a beautiful reminder that our great God cares for us!

“Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.” Isaiah 46:4 NCV